Prices Aside, Crypto’s Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Prices Aside, Crypto's Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Prices Aside, Crypto's Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Rachel Rose O'Leary and Alyssa Hertig

Feb 11, 2018 at 14:45 UTC

 

A look at the headlines of late may leave you with a familiar conclusion – with all the ups and downs in the market, it's just too early to take crypto seriously.

And it's true, despite the best efforts of even the industry's most notable developers, the world's largest cryptocurrencies remain not just volatile, but difficult (and risky) to use, at least in a way that their creators' intended.

Still, heading into 2018, enthusiasts the world over are hard at work on improvements.

As such, there's optimism advances could start to compound, creating a user experience that finally starts to transcend the issues – namely, the high fees and long wait times – users of most blockchains have become all too accustomed to.

In fact, in the year ahead, blockchain users could see exciting new features and scientific firsts that just might help push the industry closer to that vision:

 

1. Off-chain channels

What if it was possible for blockchain-based transactions to avoid using the blockchain at all?

That's the big idea behind off-blockchain payment channels, an idea that harkens back to 2015, but whose time may have finally come this year. Most associated with Bitcoin's Lightning Network, the idea is actually more general than this specific instance.

Essentially, off-blockchain payment channels would allow two people using any one cryptocurrency to send small payments back and forth, settling to the blockchain (and dealing with its high fees and slow transaction times) only when absolutely necessary.

Due to the potential impact, the idea is catching on – ethereum developers, while they often don't see eye-to-eye with their bitcoin peers, are at work on the same type of solution.

But there's more than just a rivalry at play, there's also reason to believe 2018 might be different in that actual live transactions could be sent in significant numbers.

The developers behind bitcoin's Lightning Network have declared the technology almost ready based on successful tests. Meanwhile, ethereum's developers have also unveiled successful tests for their versions of the concept, Raiden Network, with a more ambitious version, Plasma, potentially around the corner.

 

2. Real-live staking

As their popularity grows, attention is also being paid to the electricity required to sustain cryptocurrencies.

While the relevant data is difficult to pin down, proof-of-work, the consensus protocol that underlies bitcoin mining, is best defined as an energy-intensive process. As such, there are concerns about its electricity use could have large-scale environmental effects.

This is leading to new research on an idea from 2011. Called proof-of-stake, or "consensus by vote," the idea has been implemented, however, not at the scale intended by ethereum.

As such, it's long-awaited project Casper is likely to be under significant scrutiny this coming year, and early versions are beginning to see the light.

In a testnet released on New Year's Eve, one variation of Casper, was claimed to be functional. Karl Floersch, a leading developer behind the technology, told CoinDesk at the time that the code is working with "no hiccups."

Work remains to adapt this early version of Casper across the different ethereum clients, but ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has said he expects the technology will be tested alongside proof-of-work sometime in the future.

 

3. Privacy advances

Privacy has been a somewhat neglected promise in the majority of blockchains, but it's nonetheless an issue that could see improvement this year.

Most notable is the advances in zero-knowledge proofs, what Buterin has called "the single most under-hyped thing in cryptography right now," are getting cheaper and easier to deploy.

A form of cryptography that hides information without risking validity, it's already been adapted to a small degree into ethereum, which could lead to a wave of startups experimenting with private smart contracts in novel and unexpected ways.

Plus, in a white paper published earlier this month, a system for achieving zero-knowledge without compromising trust – a point of contention in some earlier iterations of the tech – was released, an update which could have exciting consequences.

And as existing tech matures, privacy-centric cryptocurrencies such as monero and zcash are also set to improve.

In preparation for an upgrade, zcash has been steadily reinforcing its security, while monero is stepping up to implement "bulletproofs," a feature that could cut fees by 80 percent.

 

4. Decentralized exchanges

No, this isn't just a new version of Coinbase or Kraken.

As the industry's largest exchanges struggle to cope with the influx of new adopters, an increasing number of projects are at work developing something called a decentralized exchange. The term denotes not just a new browser-based exchange, but rather a type of software users can use to swap one cryptocurrency with another without a central entity.

2017 saw a flood of new decentralized exchange projects, such as ShapeShift's Prism, 0x, OmiseGo, Kyber Network, and many others.

Expect those efforts to accelerate this year.

So far, hardware wallet Ledger has already integrated with decentralized exchange Radar Relay, allowing users to trustlessly exchange tokens based on ethereum.

While functionality is limited (it's only supported by a single wallet and only ethereum-based tokens can be sent), many in the industry see it as a glimpse into the future of not just cryptocurrency exchanges, but the technology itself.

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur
David ogden Cryptocurrency entrepreneur

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday
  • The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday
  • The digital currency has risen some 869 percent year-to-date
  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday, breaking a record set during the Thanksgiving weekend stateside.

The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday, according to industry site CoinDesk. It later pared some gains to trade at $9,631.21 at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN, rising some 3.27 percent on the day.

"The move appears to be retail driven," said Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and CEO of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy.

The largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, added about 100,000 accounts between Wednesday and Friday — just around Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday — to a total of 13.1 million. That's according to public data available on Coinbase's website and historical records compiled by Alistair Milne, co-founder and chief investment officer of Altana Digital Currency Fund. Coinbase had about 4.9 million users last November, Milne's data showed.

The surge in interest also comes on the back of CME's announcement that it will list bitcoin futures in the second week of December. The launch of a derivatives product for the digital currency will mark another step in establishing bitcoin as a legitimate asset class.

Still, with the digital currency having risen by some 869 percent year-to-date, plenty have taken to pointing out the potential pitfalls of what they see as a price bubble.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in October warned that those "stupid" enough to buy bitcoin will ultimately "pay the price for it." He added that he did not comprehend the value of currencies that were not backed by a government and that "[t]he only value of bitcoin is what the other guy'll pay for it."

Still, many others have offered a more moderate assessment for bitcoin and its ascent. Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the head of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, said people ought to be open-minded when looking at the digital currency.

More recently, a poll among chief financial officers on CNBC's Global CFO Council showed 27.9 percent of 43 respondents thought bitcoin was "real but in a bubble" while 27.9 percent thought the cryptocurrency was a "fraud." Just 14 percent of the executives said bitcoin was "real and going higher."
 

Author: Evelyn Cheng

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

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It’s practically guaranteed that in the next financial crisis, there’ll be a whole slew of bank failures. 

Don’t believe a word of it. The amount of capital that banks hold compared to the money on deposit is frighteningly low. In the US, the five largest banks have a capital ratio as a percentage of assets of only 6% – although that’s double what it was in 2008. In effect, if every depositor in a bank demands their money back simultaneously – the classic “bank run” – the largest US banks could repay only six cents on the dollar before they ran out of money. And since most banks don’t keep a lot of cash on hand, it could even be less.

Indeed, there’s only a single type of bank that would be completely safe: one where 100% of each depositor’s funds are kept in reserve as cash or other highly liquid assets. The bank would offer conventional checking accounts for a monthly fee but hold no assets other than cash, gold, etc., in its vault.

Your friendly central banker will never tell you it wants to abolish cash so that you have no alternative but to keep all your money in a bank where your deposits can be bailed in at the click of a mouse 

 

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Basics (Part 3) – Exchanges

FINANCIAL EDUCATION & YOUR BEST INVESTMENT

' The Greatest Wealth Transfer of History is in Front of Us '

<;

 

PROTECT & PROFIT 

Debt Collapse & Cashless Society

Don’t Be a Casualty in the Global War on Cash and Debt Collapse !

" The war on cash is a big victory for big government
– and a big loss for liberty, freedom, and privacy " 
  

In the war on cash, you’ll need safer strategies for your money

For the moment, we are in the calm of the proverbial eye of the largest hurricane ever,and it is the calm before the  inescapable storm that will be more financially destructive than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. If you fail to understand what money is vs what currency is, you remain at risk! 

 Most people are rational and respond to adverse financial incentives (like negative interest rates) by doing whatever they can to preserve their capital by moving their money to the safest possible banks plus  'Being Their Own Bankusing the latest blockchain technology financial applications for precious metals and cryptocurrencies. 

 

BE YOUR OWN BANK 2.0

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It’s practically guaranteed that in the next financial crisis, there’ll be a whole slew of bank failures. 

Don’t believe a word of it. The amount of capital that banks hold compared to the money on deposit is frighteningly low. In the US, the five largest banks have a capital ratio as a percentage of assets of only 6% – although that’s double what it was in 2008. In effect, if every depositor in a bank demands their money back simultaneously – the classic “bank run” – the largest US banks could repay only six cents on the dollar before they ran out of money. And since most banks don’t keep a lot of cash on hand, it could even be less.

Indeed, there’s only a single type of bank that would be completely safe: one where 100% of each depositor’s funds are kept in reserve as cash or other highly liquid assets. The bank would offer conventional checking accounts for a monthly fee but hold no assets other than cash, gold, etc., in its vault.

Your friendly central banker will never tell you it wants to abolish cash so that you have no alternative but to keep all your money in a bank where your deposits can be bailed in at the click of a mouse 

 

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Coinbase Declines to Sign Bitcoin Unlimited Rejection Letter

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' The Greatest Wealth Transfer of History is in Front of Us '

<;

 

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Don’t Be a Casualty in the Global War on Cash and Debt Collapse !

" The war on cash is a big victory for big government
– and a big loss for liberty, freedom, and privacy " 
  

In the war on cash, you’ll need safer strategies for your money

For the moment, we are in the calm of the proverbial eye of the largest hurricane ever,and it is the calm before the  inescapable storm that will be more financially destructive than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. If you fail to understand what money is vs what currency is, you remain at risk! 

 Most people are rational and respond to adverse financial incentives (like negative interest rates) by doing whatever they can to preserve their capital by moving their money to the safest possible banks plus  'Being Their Own Bankusing the latest blockchain technology financial applications for precious metals and cryptocurrencies. 

 

BE YOUR OWN BANK 2.0

Earn Free Gold & Cryptocurrencies

Financial Education & LIVE Training & Wallets 

GOLDMoney Wallet + XIN-Wallet + Auto BITCOIN Income

XIN-Crypto from the NEW Blockchain INFINITY ECONOMICS

Far better that BITCOIN & ETHEREUM Blockchains

Amazing native core features & extensions

Cryptos and SmartWallet 'Descentralized'

 Get XIN-Coins For FREE – Limited !!  

Click Here To Get FREE Access 

 

EARN FREE BITCOINS 100% AUTOPILOT – EVEN NEWBIES !!

 

CLICK BANNER – GET YOUR WELCOME GIFT !!

 

Any doubt, I´m here to help ! 

Facebook – Message Me   

 

To your success,

DrJADelgado

 VIRTUAL STOCK EXCHANGE 

"8 RULES OF PRIVATE INVESTOR"

plus FREE 20 SHARES 

Access Survey  

 

It’s practically guaranteed that in the next financial crisis, there’ll be a whole slew of bank failures. 

Don’t believe a word of it. The amount of capital that banks hold compared to the money on deposit is frighteningly low. In the US, the five largest banks have a capital ratio as a percentage of assets of only 6% – although that’s double what it was in 2008. In effect, if every depositor in a bank demands their money back simultaneously – the classic “bank run” – the largest US banks could repay only six cents on the dollar before they ran out of money. And since most banks don’t keep a lot of cash on hand, it could even be less.

Indeed, there’s only a single type of bank that would be completely safe: one where 100% of each depositor’s funds are kept in reserve as cash or other highly liquid assets. The bank would offer conventional checking accounts for a monthly fee but hold no assets other than cash, gold, etc., in its vault.

Your friendly central banker will never tell you it wants to abolish cash so that you have no alternative but to keep all your money in a bank where your deposits can be bailed in at the click of a mouse 

 

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Coinbase Waves Goodbye Hawaii, Thank You Ignorant Regulators, NOT

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David https://markethive.com/david-ogden