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Bitcoin’s BIG BANG: Top crypto asset manager explains Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash

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AS the price of bitcoin suffers a lengthy New Year hangover one of the surprising trends for 2018 so far has been the arrival of a noticeable chasing pack of crypto offerings.

Ripple has arrived in 2018 by grabbing headlines, mostly down to optimism from mainstream banks that – unlike bitcoin, with its links to the Dark Web and terrorism – offers blockchain technology without the accompanying bad press.

Ripple or XRP has a market capitalisation of $112billion, having overtaken Ethereum earlier this year. It now sits second only to bitcoin’s market capitalisation of $225billion and has gained more than 45,700 percent over the last 12 months.

Express.co.uk spoke to asset manager Levi Meade, Lead Investment Analyst at Columbus Capital about the many differences in the “protocols” of the new offerings and why this is important in understanding their move towards mainstream adoption.

Mr Meade says that, although Bitcoin cash, Ethereum and Ripple are all referred to as cryptocurrencies, they are very difference animals and not necessarily in direct competition with one another.

Bitcoin Cash, Mr Meade says, was created on the basis of becoming a global currency, with Bitcoin only more recently seeming to be a potential safe haven asset or store of wealth. In terms of payment, both bitcoin and bitcoin cash have been built to allow the simple A to B transfer of value as the application.

Ethereum, on the other hand is referred to as a smart contract platform.

Mr Meade adds: “This was built with the purpose of extending the programmability of money, which simply means that much more complicated transactions than simple A to B transfers can take place when utilising the capabilities of the Ethereum blockchain.”

The asset manager presents an example, when he said: “Perhaps you would like to do a transaction with another person or company that has certain criteria to be met which affects the timing and amount of a payment or even perhaps stream of payments.

“With this is mind, rather than aiming to become a world currency, Ethereum has the potential to be a fundamental piece of architecture behind the next generation of the Web and smart devices, handling all aspects of value transfer natively to these systems.”

Finally, the Ripple blockchain again differs to an even greater extent to bitcoin than Ethereum.

The asset manager says that while the name of the game for bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum is “disruption” of the financial world. He said: “Ripple is a blockchain solution that can best be described as a massive infrastructure upgrade to the world of finance bringing value transfer into the digital age.

“The Ripple blockchain seeks to replace existing payment rails that connect Banks, Payment providers, Corporates and exchanges in order to provide quite dramatic savings in costs and time.”

But which of these offering is most likely to challenge bitcoin’s hegemony as the number one cryptocurrency?

None of them, according to Mr Meade.

He added: “It is certainly not the case that Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum or Ripple are directly chasing bitcoin.

“It is quite possible that amongst a number of different scenarios, all of these assets and blockchains can coexist. However, it is also the case that if anyone of these experiences massive wide scale global adoption that an ecosystem develops around it that leaves no room for a competing blockchain to fulfil its own individual use case at scale.

“The situation is not black and white – winner takes all.

“It is much more accurate to think of the situation like the Big Bang; right now developers and technologists are experimenting with this technology to see how it can be applied with other technologies and how it can be used and applied to form the foundation of a next-generation Web and digitally native financial architecture.”

Although the asset manager won’t pick a winner Jimmy Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer of leading blockchain specialist, nChain, told Express.co.uk that Bitcoin Cash – with a commitment to bigger blocks, faster speed, and lower transaction fees, is a new piece of technology that can rival the VISA and Mastercard global payment systems and create enterprise-level payment and technology systems.

He added: “While legacy Bitcoin has attracted much attention in late 2017, Bitcoin Cash has been quietly gaining traction.

“Bitcoin Cash is now set to take off further in the next 12 months as awareness of the benefits of a truly scalable cryptocurrency become clearer in the eyes of business leaders.”

 

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Bitcoin Educator Andreas Antonopoulos Gives a Digital Deep Dive on Blockchain Transactions

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One of the ways by which the crypto industry can make significant process is through the education of those who make use of crypto and those who simply observe the industry.

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The number of people who do this is growing and one of the most prominent is Andreas Antonopoulos, who is a bitcoin enthusiast and an author.

He recently uploaded a video in which he touched the process of manual construction of transactions that have multiple inputs in response to a question posed by a user about whether the process will be done by a blockchain or not. Antonopoulos explained that the process is done by a wallet and not a blockchain.“You can conduct the process with a variety of wallets that allow you to construct transactions. With multiple inputs. Electrum wallets and other web-based wallets are good examples of platforms that give you the liberty to control transactions. Just to clarify, the process is done by the wallets and not by the blockchain,” Antonopoulos said.

He also pointed out that the construction wallet is based on an algorithm and if more than one payment is needed due to small amounts the wallet will construct the transactions with payments. This process, he explained, is called coin selection and helps in the movement of various transactions.

Also, he touched on the concept of change on the blockchain and pointed out that bitcoin transaction outputs have two states in which the exist which are spent or unspent and that there is no concept of a half-spent transaction.

While this was very helpful for users, some controversy was caused when Antonopoulospointed out that the scalability problem that bitcoin struggles with will always exist and that solving one issue will inevitably bring up more.

“..and you can’t, in the beginning, solves the problem for the end there is no end and also if you prematurely optimize if you try to solve scale problems for a scale that doesn’t yet exist you shift the problem somewhere else in the case of cryptocurrencies,” he said.

The Need for an Education

While Antonopoulos might have caused some controversy, it cannot be denied that his efforts to educate the public on blockchain and crypto are highly needed, especially seeing as many of the problems faced by users can put down to a lack of education about how blockchain works.

An example of this can be seen in security as a research piece that was published recently pointed out that over 700 crypto wallets were broken into by the researchers merely guessing the passphrases which were usually weak and repetitive phrases.

In such a case, education about how wallets, blockchain, and crypto work could go a long way to prevent such issues, ensuring Industries safer for all.

Source:bitcoinexchangeguide

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Russian Opposition Leader Raises $3 Million in Bitcoin Donations

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Bitcoin has become a significant funding source for one of Russia’s leading political dissidents.

Alexei Navalny, a politician believed by many to be President Vladimir Putin’s main opponent, has attracted more than 591 BTC in donations over the last three years, worth about $3 million at current prices, public blockchain data shows.

The donations became a flashpoint this week when a pro-Putin television network questioned their timing.

Navalny’s investigative center, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), regularly publishes exposés of government officials, including prime minister Dimitri Medvedev and attorney general Yuri Chaika.

On Monday, an anonymous Telegram channel, “FBK Staffer’s Confession,”  noted that the Navalny organization’s wallet received several large donations a few days before FBK published one such investigation, insinuating it was a paid hit piece. The claim was covered in Russian media, including the pro-Putin Tsargrad TV.

When contacted by Russian news publication Znak, FBK’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov denied any connection between the transactions and its investigations, saying the anonymous blogger “dragged the non-existent facts together in by the head and shoulders.”

Volkov added:

“You can say that each time Encke’s Comet approaches the Earth it coincides with a big war: 1914 (First World War), 1941 (World War II) and 2014 (War on Eastern Ukraine). But its rotation period is three years, and it approached the Earth many times when there were no big wars.”

Funding dissent

The Navalny wallet (3QzYvaRFY6bakFBW4YBRrzmwzTnfZcaA6E, listed on the donations page of his website) received its first bitcoin in December 2016 and since then has seen more than 2,000 transactions, including withdrawals, according to blockchain data.

Most transactions were worth from a fraction of a bitcoin to several bitcoins. From time to time, larger transactions occurred, bringing in up to 20 BTC at once.

Yet Navalny’s political movement, which also accepts donations via bank transfers and PayPal, is not the only dissenting voice in Russia to take cryptocurrency.

Investigative outlets including Zona.Media and The Insider, as well as internet freedom movement Roskomsvoboda, accept donations in bitcoin or ether. However, their wallets have accumulated only small amounts of crypto, no more than 2 BTC each.

 

source:coindesk

 

 

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Bitfury, Swiss Investment Firm Launch Regulated Bitcoin Mining Fund

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Blockchain technology firm Bitfury and Switzerland-based investment firm Final Frontier have jointly launched a regulated bitcoin mining fund.

The fund is targeted at institutional and professional investors to give them “convenient access” to bitcoin mining, Bitfury announced in a blog post Wednesday.

Traditionally, there have been “technological, logistical, financial and execution risk challenges” with access to bitcoin mining, the firm said, adding that the fund aims to address those challenges with an offering that has now been authorized by a European financial watchdog. Which particular regulator was not specified, however.

The fund will invest in turnkey assets consisting of mining sites with some of the “lowest electricity and operating costs globally,” scouted and operated by Bitfury, which specializes in manufacturing cryptocurrency mining infrastructure and also mines itself.

Claiming that the fund has been launched at an “advantageous” time for investors, Final Frontier co-founder, Imraan Moola, said:

“With the bitcoin price down significantly from its all-time high, yet institutional interest growing every day, now may be an opportune time to consider investing in bitcoin mining.”

Bitfury’s executive vice-chairman George Kikvadze said that the fund will help investors “strengthen” their portfolios and bring bitcoin closer to mainstream adoption.

Earlier this year, Bitfury partnered with South Korean R&D firm Commons Foundation to jointly launch a network of bitcoin mining operations in Paraguay.

Bitfury is also reportedly considering an initial public offering (IPO) in Amsterdam, London or Hong Kong, possibly to be held this year. The firm raised $80 million in November, in a round led by venture capital firm Korelya Capital, with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Inc. also participating.

 

source:coindesk

 

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