What is Ethereum? The ULTIMATE Research-Backed ETH Guide

What is Ethereum? The ULTIMATE Research-Backed ETH Guide

So what exactly is Ethereum?
Ethereum is the leading blockchain app platform that was proposed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and went live on July 30, 2015.

There are many different strands to this project and getting your head around it all can be quite the challenge. That’s why we have put together this comprehensive guide for those of you wondering “What is Ethereum?” and “How does Ethereum Work?” As the harbinger of the second generation of blockchains and home to the second largest digital currency in the world, Ether (ETH), the Ethereum project has started a new era of blockchain development that enables a global community of developers to unleash their creativity in the space. The ability to craft smart contracts gave developers a chance to think about new use cases for blockchain technology that previously remained largely connected to cryptocurrencies.

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.Ethereum also gave enterprises, organizations, and startups the ability to issue their own tokens, and build their own unique blockchain ecosystem using the Ethereum framework. Till date, Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens have been the most popular means for launching Initial Coin Offerings. Of course, Ethereum is still in development and has faced some hurdles. It has faced problems related to scalability, which was highlighted when the popular game dedicated to internet-bred cats called CryptoKitties managed to clog its network in December 2017. However, with a unique concept, upcoming developments, a strong developer community and the first-mover advantage (second only to the mighty Bitcoin), Ethereum is one blockchain project that continues to remain at the forefront of DLT and crypto development.

So… What is Ethereum?

In a nutshell, Ethereum is an open source Smart contract and Decentralized Application Platform. The Ethereum whitepaper describes the project as the next generation distributed computing platform, that provides a decentralized virtual machine known as the Ethereum Virtual machine EVM. The latter is able to execute Peer-to-Peer contracts by means of Ether (ETH), its proprietary crypto fuel. Blockchain technology is used as a tool of shared consensus, while Ether is the digital asset that is used to pay for transaction fees and computational services.

What’s the Difference Between Bitcoin and Ethereum?

Since the advent of the Ethereum project in late 2014 and its explosion of popularity within the confines of the nascent crypto space and beyond, Ethereum has always been compared to Bitcoin. All being similar to the use of Blockchain as the underpinning technology, both projects are fundamentally different. The main difference between them is the purpose of each one. In fact, Bitcoin was built as an alternative to regular money. Bitcoin can be used as a medium of value exchange, a means of payment and a store of value with no central authority to issue or control it and no intrinsic value or physical existence. On the other hand, Ethereum is rather a platform for developers to build and run Peer-to-Peer executable contracts and decentralized applications. Block time generation (seconds in the case of Ethereum and minutes in the case of Bitcoin), the rate at which new coins are mined (constant in Ethereum and halves every 4 year in the case of Bitcoin), the proof of work hashing algorithm (Ethhash in Ethereum, and Sha 256 in Bitcoin), and the total supply (capped to 21 millions in the case of Bitcoin and uncapped in that of Ethereum) are the other differences that set both projects apart.

The Ethereum Virtual Machine

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), is a 256-bit quasi-turning-complete virtual state machine that forms the runtime environment for smart contracts and specifies the execution model for such contracts. The machine is stack based, altogether separate from the main Ethereum Network, and has its own independent storage model. In fact, all the nodes on the Ethereum Network run the EVM in addition to validating transactions. The EVM could be seen as a testing ground for Smart contracts because once these contracts are deployed to the mainnet, such a step can’t be reversed. Any developer that wants to build on Ethereum, could deploy his/her untested code on this network of computers and see how it muddles along.

Ether (ETH) and Gas

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.In Ethereum each operation or work performed by the network has a cost assessed by the network which is known as a gas limit. In order to execute a smart contract, for example, developers need to pay for all the operations featured in their code. Sending Ether from one wallet to another one involves four gas units. These gas units are checking your balance, transferring ETH to a receiving address, subtracting ETH from your balance and adding ETH to the receivers.

So gas units refer to the smallest measurement of work needed to settle a given operation but don’t have a monetary value. The cost is paid in Ether. Gas is that unit that translates into Ether. Since Ethereum can only compute a limited number of gas units at any given time, miners are sort of bribed by network users to pace up the stream of request that is being sent over to the network. To pay miners, small fractions of ETH named Gwei are attached to each gas unit, which sets the gas price. What everyone should remember is that the gas price is how much you pay per gas unit, and the gas limit is how much work you are requesting from the network.

Smart Contracts – What Are They and How Do They Work?

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.Smart contracts refer to computer codes that facilitate the exchange of value whether it is money, property or content. They are called contracts because they translate the terms of an agreement, and smart because they automatically execute themselves once specific triggers are met. The notion of smart contracts was around way before the advent of Bitcoin or Ethereum.Simply put smart contracts are just like regular contracts in the real world, where two parties or more agree to specific terms of an arrangement and commit to sticking to it once signed. The main difference is that Smart contracts are fully digital. Furthermore, when running on a Blockchain like the Ethereum Network, a smart contract acts as a self-operating computer code that automatically executes itself once specific conditions are met. Blockchain-based smart contracts are immutable and would run exactly as programmed once deployed without any possibility of censorship, downtime, reversing, or third-party interference.

Other Blockchains Which Utilize Smart Contract

Smart contract enabling Blockchains are regarded by many as the “real deal,” this whole Blockchain revolution came up with since its rise to prominence. Put by Nick Szabo, the blockchain pioneer,

himself:

“New institutions and new ways to formalize the relationships that make up these institutions are now made possible by the digital revolution. I call these new contracts “smart” because they are far more functional than their inanimate paper-based ancestors. No use of artificial intelligence is implied. A smart contract is a set of promises, specified in digital form, including protocols within which the parties perform on these promises.

We crafted a list of ten blockchains, other that Ethereum, that support Smart Contract programming and deployment.

  • Cardano: a project that caught a lot of media attention, and that is allegedly developing a smart contract platform that seeks to deliver more advanced features than its competitors do.
  • EOS: a Smart Contract platform for industrial scale dApps deployments through a DAO model, commonly referred to as the alternative to Ethereum.
  • NEM: written in Java, the NEM platform is arguably one of the simplest to use since no specific platform programing language is required to code and deploy smart contracts on it.
  • Waves: the underdog of this list, it is an open source smart contract platform that focuses on scalability and speed of settlements.
  • Other interesting blockchain projects that could play an important role in the future of smart contracts, are Hyperledger Fabric, Lisk, NEO, Qtum, Stellar Lumens, and Tezos.
Ethereum Use Cases

Smart contracts make Ethereum flexible, providing it with more real-world use cases than its predecessor Bitcoin. A combination of smart contracts and dApps keep developers intrigued and users interested in the network. According to ConsenSys, some industries and sectors where use cases for Ethereum can be found include:

  •   Banking and Financial Services:

Large banks routinely spend more than $200 million per year on cybersecurity. If the servers of a central bank were to go down, you would see the collapse of a country’s payment clearing system. However, if every bank within a payment network instead transacted through a blockchain, there would be no single point of failure. Therefore, a country’s interbank payment network could be maintained even if multiple servers were to go down. Also, because the basic idea behind blockchains- creating a distributed, public and immutable ledger with a never-to-be-tampered with the record of transactions remains the same, the data behind the credit score of a user becomes more reliable for financial companies. Related industries like insurance can also be hugely benefitted as they can disburse payments more easily to their customers.

  •   Startups and ICOs:

Ethereum empowers startups by letting them launch their own Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). These tokens, usually created using the ERC20 protocol, help startups in raising the funds needed to realize their goals. Interestingly, one of the largest crypto exchanges and companies in the world, Binance, used funding generated through the sale of BNB, a coin that follows the ERC20 standards. Even Tron, one of the largest blockchain projects in the world started out with an ERC20 token offering.

  •   Digital Identities:

Since data and identity theft is such a menace, a smart contract solution is a good fit for this problem. Using information hidden behind a dedicated smart contract, users could not only take their identities digital but rest assured that they do not reveal more than what they are comfortable sharing. Services like uPort allow users to take back control of their identities and share only the information they choose through their mobile devices. Information can only be shared upon authentication from the user and the data is always stored safely on the Ethereum blockchain.

  •   Supply Chain:

A major application for Ethereum smart contracts looks set to be in supply chain management where it could benefit both consumers and suppliers through more efficient tracking. Whether you want to know about the freshness of produce or the origins of the diamonds you bought for your wedding, blockchain-based smart contracts can help to deliver this. The supply chain system of the world is currently broken but not beyond repair. Using an extensive network of smart contracts, companies can track their raw materials and the transportation of goods. They can accurately measure their manufacturing processes, related logistics and the process through which a product reaches a consumer. The consumer, on the other hand, is provided with reliable information that instantly proves whether a product is fresh, authentic, fair trade, locally produced and more.

  • Other major industries and applications where Ethereum could find many uses include Real Estate, Law, Oil and Gas, Energy Grid, Government, and Commodity Trade Finance and more as stated by ConsenSys.
Ethereum’s Most Popular dApps

Here are some of the most popular dApps that run on the Ethereum blockchain:

  •   CryptoKitties:

The internet’s obsession with cats knows no bounds and when CryptoKitties was launched, it was evident that there would be more than a handful of interested players.A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.The game allows players to buy, sell, collect, and breed digital cats. Each cat is unique and has its own value. CryptoKitties received widespread attention from the media, the crypto community and the “uninitiated” people who may have never heard about cryptocurrencies and blockchains before when cats on the game started selling for thousands of dollars. CryptoKitties remains one of the most popular dApps and should be credited for evolving the scope of dApps from “work” to “play” while adding value to “digital asset ownership.”

  •   LocalEthereum:

The second-generation blockchain cousin of LocalBitcoins, LocalEthereum solves one BIG problem for buyers- removing middlemen from the crypto ecosystem. You buy ETH over the counter using smart contracts and escrow services available on the platform. The seller’s Ethereum is locked via a smart contract and is released only when they receive the agreed fiat currency from the buyer.

  •   IDEX:

The IDEX decentralized exchange is considered by some a thing of beauty, especially as it introduces Ethereum users to the idea of giving up on “centralized exchanges.” Some of the most popular dApps on Ethereum are decentralized exchanges- they are new, innovative and remove a big hurdle from the world of digital currencies, providing more power to the users. The first adopters of IDEX were speculators, and the exchange enables a huge range of Ethereum and ERC20 tokens to be traded and exchanges. However, popular cryptocurrencies such as XRP, Litecoin, Bitcoin and Tron is not possible.

  •   Ethlance:

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.Giving other freelancing job platforms a run for their money, Ethlance allows users to work on gigs or projects of their choice without paying a hefty fee. This could mark the beginning of the end of freelancers having to give away over 20% of their earnings to centralized platforms such as Upwork in “fees” and part with even more dollars to get the money in their local currency. Ethlance, the decentralized freelance hiring platform allows you to work for zero fees. The only payment here is the gas utilized on Ethereum.

  • Other popular Ethereum dApps include FCK, Kyber, ForkDelta, Etheroll and more.
Pros and Cons of dApps

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.

The pros – Here are some of the key benefits of decentralized applications:

  1. Fault tolerance – Systems use redundancy to remove the risk of accidental failure. If one element goes down the network still works, this means applications can run with zero downtime.
  2. Attack resistance – There is no single point of failure, as the applications run on the blockchain. This makes them impervious to denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
  3. Tamper & corruption proof – Applications run precisely as programmed removing the possibility of fraud, censorship or third-party interference. This makes it more difficult for an individual or group to act for its own benefit at the expense of everyone else.
  4. No middlemen – This removes exuberant fees and allows users to interact directly with each other (peer-to-peer). This can lead to greater transparency, trust, and privacy.
  5. Open source –  An open source protocol enables anyone interested in the dApp to collectively contribute to its development for the benefit of everyone.

The Cons – Here are some of the negatives of decentralized applications:

  1. Speed – Currently the dApps can be quite slow with transactions also taking a long time.
  2. Scalability – The limit on how many transactions can be processed per second might be quite low which limits the dApps scalability.
  3. Fees – While in some ways the ‘compensating system’ is a benefit, it also means users have to pay each time they use the dApp.

It’s worth noting that solutions and new innovations are constantly occurring in the nascent dApp and blockchain industries, so the current ‘cons’ may well be overcome in the future.

The DAO Hack

The DAO was a project that crystallized most of what blockchain technology stood for since its inception, in both its business model and management structure. It was created in 2016 by members from within the Ethereum community, notably the Slock.it developer team. The DAO was conceived as a form of investor-oriented, stateless, decentralized venture capital firm after raising a record-breaking crowdfund sale of around $150 million worth of Ether in May 2016. Unfortunately, when things were looking up for the project, it turned out that there was a flaw in its source code, and that flaw was eventually preyed on. On June 17, 2016, some hacker(s) exploited a loophole in the DAO smart contract and drained as much as 3.6 million ETH (around $70 million at the time) to a subsidiary account in just a few hours of the attack.

In fact, the attack was found to be made possible when the hacker(s) realized that the smart contract was mistakenly coded to check the internal balance after sending coins not the other way around. The attacker(s) proceeded by requesting funds from the smart contract several times before the smart contract could update its balance. The hack marked the beginning of the end for the DAO and had far-reaching consequences on the Blockchain space that are still tangible today. Besides delisting the DAO token off major exchanges in the months following the hack, and hard forking the Ethereum main chain, the incident caught the eye of regulatory watchdogs all over the world, and put a special emphasis on the necessity of placing the cryptosphere under close scrutiny.

Ethereum Classic Fork

In the wake of the DAO hack, the Ethereum community gathered and debated on the proper actions the foundation should take in order to handle the disastrous situation the hacking incident has cast over the project. The community split into two fundamentally opposed groups. While one side suggested a hard fork to contain the hack, reverse it, and send the stolen funds back to their original wallets, the other side strongly opposed the move invoking ideological reasons, and arguing that prevailing with the code and trusting the smart contract under all circumstances, is the philosophy behind Blockchain, and failing to commit to it, could open the door for similar actions in the future. A vote took place in July 2016 and the decision to implement a hard fork to the Ethereum code and move the stolen Ether away to a new smart contract was agreed upon by a vast majority of the community including co-founders Gavin Woods and Vitalik Buterin. Consequently, a hard fork occurred on the main Blockchain at height 1,920,000, right before the hacking incident took place. The offshoot kept the name Ethereum and named its fuel Ether, ETH. However, the other group, or “the code is law” advocates, decided to stick with the original chain, which became known as Ethereum Classic.

Ethereum Mining

Did you know that Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s 11-year-old son mines Ethereum? The young one, Pichai says, understands a lot about cryptocurrency and has corrected him on occasion. Do you know as much about Ethereum mining as Pichai’s son? Well if not, don’t worry as we have all the information you need here to boost your knowledge on the subject. In a nutshell, Ethereum mining is similar to Bitcoin mining. The concept of mining, i.e., giving rewards to “miners” who create new blocks in the network in the form of a native cryptocurrency of the blockchain, is the same. However, the Ethereum blockchain is faster than Bitcoin’s, which means that blocks are created at a faster rate. In the Bitcoin Network, a new block is created every 10 minutes while Ethereum achieves the same in 15 seconds. Miners on the Ethereum network receive ETH tokens along with all the gas contained within their block (gas is the fuel of all Ethereum transactions which manifests as code-processing and transaction fees on the blockchain).

Can You Mine Ethereum With ASIC?

Yes, it is currently possible to mine Ethereum with ASIC. However, an Ethereum Core Development meeting recently pushed forward a proposal called ‘ProgPoW‘ that would make Ethereum ASIC resistant.

How Many Ethereum Nodes Are There?

According to Ethernodes.org, the Ethereum mainnet hosts about 8,752 nodes at the moment. However, this figure changes on a daily basis. Of these, the largest majority of nodes are based in the USA while China, Canada, Germany, the UK, Russia, and more trail quite far behind.

Are These Nodes Full Nodes?

A full node is any computer that enforces all the rules of consensus on the Ethereum network and is connected to it. A full node must have the entire Ethereum blockchain downloaded on its computer. By definition, all miners in the Ethereum network have to be full nodes. However, all full nodes do not have to mine the currency.

The nodes have a few important functions.

  1. They have to ensure that all the miners are given the correct block rewards.
  2. They must ensure all transactions have the right signatures.
  3. They must check that all blocks and transactions are in the right data format.
  4. They must make sure there is no double spending in the blocks.
How Can I Use Ether (ETH)?

Ether is one of the most versatile coins available in the cryptocurrency space today. As the second largest cryptocurrency in the world, Ether has many holders. Per the most recent CoinMarketCap data, Ether is valued at over $15 billion with 104 million coins in circulation currently.

Here are few of the common uses of ETH:

  •   For making transactions:

Ether can be used as an alternative to using credit cards and wire transfers. However, to make a transaction with Ether both the sender and receiver must have an Ether wallet set up. For cross-border payments, Ether could work to be much cheaper and faster than traditional methods.

  •   For buying ICO tokens:

When participating in token sales, Ethereum is often a popular cryptocurrency of choice. As a large number of Initial Coin Offerings are offered using the Ethereum blockchain, it means that buying tokens from these projects using ETH becomes easier.

  •   For making purchases in the real world:

Several cryptocurrency startups are pushing for the adoption of digital currencies and helping in the installation of PoS machines and other methods that enable purchases using ETH.

  •   For making digital purchases:

Many websites now accept payment in Ether, and your dApps could also accept ETH payments, enabling you to purchase anything from extra lives in games to subscriptions of a magazine.

  •   For trading/investing:

Ether is one of the most commonly available trading pairs for digital currencies used in exchanges around the world. You can purchase Ether and hold it as an investment or exchange it directly for other cryptocurrencies.

How Can I Store Ether (ETH)?

Once you have bought Ether, you will need an Ethereum wallet to store it securely. You have the option to use hot wallets, cold wallets, hardware wallets, paper wallets, desktop or mobile wallets. There is one for all platforms; some options will be better suited in comparison to others.

Let’s look into each option:

  •   Hot wallets- exchange wallets:

You will most likely buy ETH on an exchange like Coinbase or Binance. These exchanges will provide you with a wallet where you can store your ETH. Exchange hot wallets are easy to use, very simple and it’s usually easy to liquidate your holdings since your coins can be accessed on the exchange’s website. Therefore, exchange wallets can usually be accessed from multiple devices as long as you have a connection to the internet. The problem with these wallets is that they could be more vulnerable to theft than others depending on the security of the exchange and your account. If you trade regularly, then this is likely the best and most convenient option.

  •   Cold wallets- hardware wallets:

Hardware wallets can offer their users extremely strong security when used correctly. They are usually USB devices, and the market leading provider of hardware wallets currently is Ledger. You can store your Ether holdings on a hardware wallet for as long as you wish and rest assured that they cannot be reached by a hacker. Just make sure that you do not lose the device or tell anyone else your passwords.

  •   Cold wallets- paper wallets:

Paper wallets are considered the most secure way of storing your Ether safely away from malware and cyber-attackers. With a paper wallet, you print your private keys and Ether addresses and store them in a safe location. However, to many, this can seem like a big inconvenience when compared to using an exchange wallet for example. Again, like with hardware wallets, it’s important to keep your paper wallet somewhere safe and never share the information with anyone else.

  •   Desktop and mobile wallets:

As the name suggests, desktops and mobile wallets can be distinguished based on the devices where they are being used. Desktop wallets can be more functional, while mobile wallets provide more convenience. Mobile and desktop wallets can usually only be used on the device where they are installed. Therefore, if you lose the device, this will put your funds at risk. Some mobile/desktop wallets will be specifically designed for storing Ether and ERC20 tokens, whereas some will allow you to hold a wide range of cryptocurrencies together.

Which Is the Best Ethereum Wallet?

Given that there is such a wide range of wallet options out there, it begs the question, which ones are best? Well, to help answer that question, here are some of our handpicked favorites:

  •   Hardware wallet – Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S squeezes both advanced security and ease of use into one package. Our guide to storing cryptocurrencies securely on a Ledger Nano S can be found here.

  •   Desktop wallet – MetaMask

This simple, easy to install and easy to use browser-based wallet lets you connect to Ethereum and a host of dApps hosted on the blockchain instantly. MetaMask is a highly popular wallet which has also received funding and support from ConsenSys and Ethereum. Fake versions of this wallet are out there so make sure download a legit version.

  •   Basic Wallet – Mist Wallet

If you are looking for nothing but the bare basics, then the Mist Wallet is the right choice for you. It was created by the Ethereum Foundation for a no-frills, no-distraction experience and is listed as the most basic wallet available on ethereum.org.

  •   Multicurrency Wallet – Exodus

If you hold numerous cryptocurrencies and want a well-designed wallet that eliminates the need for multiple crypto wallets, then Exodus could be a good choice. Exodus is is fairly popular amongst crypto users and some cool features, including the portfolio feature where you can track your holdings.

  •   Web Wallet – MyEtherWallet

MyEtherWallet is one of the most popular Ether wallets out there. As a web wallet, it allows you to log in from any device, which does bring some security risks. However, these risks can be mitigated if it’s paired with a hardware wallet such a the Ledger Nano S.

  •   Mobile Wallet – Trust Wallet

Trust Wallet is now Binance’s official cryptocurrency wallet, and the app is available to download on both iOS and Android devices. It supports Ether and all Ethereum network tokens such as ERC20 tokens, as well as many other leading cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Tron, Litecoin, Bitcoin, and more.

Where Can I Buy or Sell Ethereum?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are the most common choice for buying or selling Ethereum.
Cryptocurrency exchanges can be centralized or decentralized.

The world’s three largest cryptocurrency exchanges are:

  1. Binance
  2. OKeX
  3. Huobi

Other prominent exchanges include:

  • Coinbase
  • Bitfinex
  • Upbit
  • Kraken
  • Digifinex

Ether is available to buy, sell, and trade on all of these exchanges. As Ether is a leading digital coin, it is available on most cryptocurrency exchanges.Different payment methods for purchasing Ether on exchanges include by credit/debit card, with fiat currencies, and with cryptocurrencies or stablecoins. The fees charged by different exchanges will vary and will also depend on the payment method. Other options include cryptocurrency ATMs where you can buy Ether with cash, trading Ether peer-to-peer on LocalEthereum, and using conversion exchanges like Changelly and Shapeshift to swap fiat-to-ether or crypto-to-ether instantly.

Is Coinbase Safe?

Coinbase is a leading and popular cryptocurrency exchange based in the US. Currently, over 18% of the platform’s volume comes from ETH/USD trades. For people using the exchange’s services, Coinbase provides a hot wallet which can be used to store currencies. Coinbase holds over 98% of its user’s funds offline and takes other security measures, which prevents thefts and hacks from damaging user’s holdings. Any funds stored online by Coinbase are covered by insurance.

Coinbase also enables two-factor authentication for the users, further protecting them from unauthorized access of accounts.
Coinbase also runs a bug bounty program with an active community of security researchers that help to keep the platform safe. None the less, some users still may want to take full control of their security rather than rely on an exchange. If so, using one of the secure methods mentioned above such as a hardware wallet or paper wallet would be a good option.

How Much Is Ethereum Worth?

As of February 21, 2019, the price of Ether currently stands at $143 with a market capitalization of  $15.2 billion. In November and December 2015, Ether traded below the $1 mark. However, a year later, between October and December 2016, Ether’s price was nearing $10. In June 2017, prices went as high as $377.56 with market capitalization reaching over $34 billion. on January 13, 2018, the price of Ether reached an all-time high near $1,400, with a market capitalization of $133 billion. Since then, Ethereum has witnessed a massive sell-offs and tumbling prices in an unwavering bear market. However, like with all markets, a boom and bust cycle exists, and now everyone is waiting for a new bull market, with hopes that Ether could one day make an all-time high again.

Ethereum Price Predictions From Big Names

Ethereum has caught the attention of many crypto enthusiasts as well as prominent personalities from the traditional finance sector. Some have also made predictions about Ethereum’s price. Let’s look at what they had to say.

Jeff Reed considers Ethereum more valuable than Bitcoin:
Crypto author Jeff Reed believes that Bitcoin and Ethereum have little in their way to stop them from becoming alternative currency systems.

He said:

“You can conceivably trade anything using Ethereum, but this is not Ethereum’s strength in comparison to other cryptocurrencies – they can all do this. It’s rather the computing language that allows the smart contracts to exist that makes Ethereum more valuable than BTC (in my opinion).”

Steven Nerayoff predicted $3,000:
Co-creator of Ethereum, Steven Nerayoff noted that billions of dollars were being poured into the Ethereum ecosystem in Jan 2018, through ICOs. He was vouching for a $3000 price tag on Ether by the end of 2018, but unfortunately, this did not materialize.

Nigel Green sticks to $2,500:
deVere Group CEO Nigel Green suggested that Ethereum could reach $2500 by the end of 2018, followed by further increases in 2019 and 2020.

He said:

“The price of Ethereum is predicted to increase significantly this year, and could hit $2,500 by the end of 2018 with a further increase by 2019 and 2020. This general upswing will be fueled by three mains drivers. First, more and more platforms are using Ethereum as a means of trading. Second, the increased use of smart contracts by Ethereum. And third, the decentralization of cloud computing.”

Who Is the Founder of Ethereum?

Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum. Vitalik conceived the idea of Ethereum and released a white paper in 2013 describing in detail its design and rationale. Vitalik had already been interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies since 2011. He co-founded the news website named ‘Bitcoin Magazine’ where he published hundreds of articles and was also involved with the privacy-focused Dark Wallet project. It was during this time that Vitalik came up with the idea of a single blockchain that could be reprogrammed to create custom decentralized applications rather than having to develop a whole new blockchain. In January 2014 Vitalik formally announced Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami and started working with Dr. Gavin Wood who he went on to co-found Ethereum with. In July 2014 they launched a 42-day public sale of Ethereum tokens known as ‘Ether’ raising more than $18 million, which was the most successful ever crowd sale at the time. The Ethereum platform went live and launched a year later on June 30, 2015, allowing developers to start creating and running decentralized applications.

The Founding Team

Apart from Vitalik Buterin, other people were also involved in designing and perfecting the concept of Ethereum. The most prominent among them is doctor Dr. Gavin Wood who wrote the “technical bible” called Ethereum yellow paper, which outlines the details of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Dr. Joseph Lubin is another prominent name who later built ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based startup focusing on the Ethereum ecosystem. When the project was publicly announced in 2014, the core team consisted of Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Lorio and Charles Hoskinson.

How Can Programmers Use Ethereum?

Ethereum is a single blockchain with a built-in programming language. It serves as a platform where programmers can create, use and run many different types of decentralized applications. This has led to Ethereum being described as ‘The World Computer’ where just like with conventional computers the potential uses depend in part on the creativity of its users. To get started, programmers can start learning more about the foundational concepts of blockchains- decentralization and cryptography. They must familiarize themselves with the key feature of the Ethereum blockchain, smart contracts, as well as other components like GAS, Ether (ETH), and the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Programmers will also need to learn Solidity, the programming language used for Ethereum.

What is Solidity?

Solidity is the programming language used for creating smart contracts on Ethereum. According to Blockchain Council, Solidity is a high-level programming language, and the syntax is similar to the JavaScript scripting language.What is Solidity? – Source: Blockchain Council Solidity was initially proposed by Gavin Wood in August 2014. It was then developed by Gavin Wood, Alex Beregszaszi, Christian Reitwiessner, Yoichi Hirai, Liana Husikyan, and other former Ethereum core contributors. It was designed to enable the writing of smart contracts on platforms like Ethereum. For programmers who are well versed in JavaScript or C, Solidity will seem relatively proverbial. While Solidity is a fairly new language, there are numerous experts working on it, and there is ample documentation available to help new programmers who want to learn the basics.

Ethereum’s Future Plans

Ethereum has struggled with some scalability issues which could be a hurdle to the widespread adoption of the platform and Ether. Ethereum wants to overcome these hurdles with Ethereum 2.0, the Casper Upgrade. The upgrade is expected to arrive in 2019. It will include concepts like sharding which is expected to make the blockchain faster and more efficient. Once successfully upgraded, Ethereum 2.0 will then start on its journey moving towards Ethereum 3.0 which will provide the network with security against the power of quantum computers.

Scaling

Scaling could be considered the Achilles’ heel of the Ethereum network; however, a lot of work is being done in the background to try and overcome this. As Ethereum is not just a single blockchain, it also allows users to create their own blockchain-based projects on the original Ethereum blockchain. urthermore, over 1400 dApps are running on Ethereum currently which means that the network already has a large number of users and processes millions of transactions.

The problem begins when the number of apps, projects, and users increases to a level where the Ethereum blockchain nodes are unable to handle the ever-increasing amount of transactions. In fact, when the CryptoKitties game on the Ethereum network went viral in late 2017, the network became congested and saw a 600% increase in pending transactions. This surge resulted in the network slowing down and expensive transactions fees, therefore, reducing the usability/viability of Ethereum applications.

The solutions currently being developed to overcome the scaling issue include:

  • Casper – The upgrade that will set to bring about Ethereum 2.0 and move Ethereum to a Proof-of-Stake protocol. It is expected to occur in 2019.
  • Sharding – Splits up the entire network into separate ‘shards’. Each independent shard and its allocated nodes can process certain transactions, rather than the entire network processing each transaction, therefore, increasing throughput.
  • Serenity – A new blockchain system that would be connected to Ethereum. The goal would be to move all the existing Ethereum applications here where they would be “sort of folded into a contract on one shard of the new system.”

 

Proof of Stake vs. Proof of Work

Proof of Stake (PoS) and Proof of Work (PoW) are two popular types of blockchain consensus mechanisms. A consensus mechanism is used to verify and validate the information that’s being added to the blockchain ledger. This ensures that there is no double spending or other invalid data is being added to the blockchain. It also prevents the networks from being harmed through constant forking. There are pros and cons to each consensus mechanism, but, they all aim to serve the same purpose. A primary difference between consensus mechanisms is how the verification of transactions are delegated and rewarded. Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake infographic by 3iQ Research Group. Ethereum currently uses a Proof of Work system, but the Casper upgrade will start the transition of Ethereum to a Proof of Stake system. The new system will also have a penalty system built in to punish malicious actors.

Good Audience state that:

“The penalty system has the additional benefit of deterring 51% attacks. In a PoW system, a 51% attack is costly but repeatable as long as enough hashing power has been collected. With PoS, the attackers run the risk of losing their stake should the attack fail. In such a case, the only way to relaunch an attack would be to acquire new Ether.”

Casper, Sharding & Ethereum 2.0

The roadmap to Ethereum 2.0 consists of two combined upgrades, which are Casper and Sharding, as is designed to bring scalability and security benefits to Ethereum. It may take several years for these both to be implemented fully and form Ethereum 2.0. Despite that Casper and Sharding will be combined to form Ethereum 2.0, both are separate projects that will have different phases and implementation and completion times. The Casper protocol is a proof of stake consensus mechanism that forms a major part of Ethereum 2.0 roadmap. With Casper, validators will have to set aside part of their Ether as a stake.

When blocks are discovered by validators which they think should be added to the Ethereum blockchain (validated), they will make a bet on it in Ether. If the block is appended to the chain then the validators are rewarded based on their bet sizes. As mentioned above it will have built-in mechanisms for punishing malicious actors on the protocol which will ensure that they cannot game the system and that the system remains trustless. Validators acting badly will have their stakes removed. Sharding, on the other hand, will divide the network into separate shards. Each shard will be designated to process specific transactions, which it can do so on its own. Currently, the entire network is needed to process each transaction, which is likely an excessive use of the network’s resources. That’s why implementing sharding could significantly increase throughput on Ethereum and enable greater scaling.

This is how Vitalik Buterin explains sharding:

“Imagine that Ethereum has been split into thousands of islands. Each island can do its own thing. Each of the islands has its own unique features, and everyone is belonging on that island, i.e., the accounts, can interact with each other AND they can freely indulge in all its features. If they want to contact other islands, they will have to use some sort of protocol.”

Conclusion

Ethereum’s contribution to the blockchain/crypto world is enormous. Ethereum has opened up new possibilities with blockchain through the introduction of smart contracts, decentralized applications, and tokenized economies. There is no doubt that Ethereum is still a work in progress. It has some issues, especially those related to scaling and the solutions needed will not just come overnight. The future of Ethereum depends on how widely adopted and powerful the network becomes as well as the creativity and talent of the developers who use the platform. Ethereum indeed appears to be heading in the right direction, gaining the attention of many large corporations and institutions. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance currently has over 386 members that support and back Ethereum related developments. Members include heavy hitters like Intel, JPMorgan, Microsoft, BP, and even the Indian Government. No one can predict for sure what impact Ethereum will have, just like in the 1990’s no one knew how much the internet would impact the world. It’s still early days for Ethereum, but it certainly has the potential to be a revolutionary platform.

Article Produced By
Malek Mezni

A tech journalist and crypto market analyst, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies a year ago, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.

https://blokt.com/guides/what-is-ethereum-eth

Chris Corey

12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges 2020 Buy Bitcoin amp Altcoins

12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges [2020] – Buy Bitcoin & Altcoins

Which is the best cryptocurrency exchange for buying or selling Bitcoin or altcoins in 2020? We list and review 12 top exchanges worthy of your consideration.When trying to decide on the best cryptocurrency exchanges, it is not simply a matter of ranking by volume or performing a broad comparison according to fees, accessibility, trading tools, or other common features.

Find a Bitcoin exchange which suits your needs

Most exchanges aim to support a particular type of client based on their location, experience, payment method, need for anonymity and so on, while very few can be considered broad catch-all exchanges designed for a non-existent “average user.” That is why we decided to offer a list of the best Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges to cover the needs of all our readers. We will include the top major exchanges that offer the broadest range of services, as well as some smaller exchanges that focus on more specific types of clients. This way, every reader will be able to find the best cryptocurrency or Bitcoin exchange for their unique needs. With the Fed pumping trillions of dollars into the US money system in recent weeks, now is as good a time as ever to purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. After all, Bitcoin doesn’t partake in quantitative easing, right? Let’s get started with our list of the top exchanges.

The 12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

This table features the top 12 best Bitcoin and crypto exchanges: Read on to find out the specifics of each exchange

Coinbase

Coinbase was created to be the most trusted name in cryptocurrency exchanges, and in this respect, it is more or less unrivaled in the marketplace. Coinbase is regulated as a US financial institution, including FDIC insurance for US deposits of $250,000 or less, and is compliant with key EU financial regulations. Coinbase is also backed by major mainstream investors, such as banks and investment funds. “The most trusted digital currency platform” – Source: Coinbase This level of trust ensures that Coinbase is the exchange of choice for most beginner cryptocurrency investors, and features a simple design to accommodate this client base.

Unfortunately, this focus on trust means that Coinbase trades in only a limited number of cryptocurrencies, though it does trade in all the top names. Clients are also limited to a relatively small number of countries of origin in North America, Europe, and Oceania. Coinbase has a fantastic track record when it comes to security, with only 2% of its customer’s funds held online at any one point. Along with its insure-policy, this makes Coinbase one of the safest exchanges to use for users looking to purchase cryptocurrency.t Coinbase, our first priority is to ensure that we operate the most secure and compliant digital currency exchange in the world.”

Binance

Binance was founded by Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, a Chinese software developer who previously built systems for the Tokyo Stock Exchange and developed futures trading software for Bloomberg’s Tradebook. Although initially based in China, a crackdown in regulations on cryptocurrencies there led the exchange to move to Japan. However, when Japan’s FCA issued Binance a warning, they decided to relocate to Malta. Binance is the exchange of choice for coin-to-coin cryptocurrency trading with some of the largest numbers for available coin pairs and trading volumes in the industry.

However, Binance flagship exchange also does not deal in fiat currency at all, making it a strictly cryptocurrency-based exchange. The base unit of exchange, then, is not USD, but rather Bitcoin itself. Binance also boasts low fees for trades and withdrawals. Trading fees are discounted if the user is holding Binance Coin (BNB). In 2017, Binance became the exchange with the largest trading volume, largely due to its huge selection of crypto assets available to trade. In February 2020, In an effort to sustain its impressive growth, Binance introduced margin trading, which is now available for BTC, ETH XRP, BNB, ETH and TRX. Binance has made some interesting acquisitions over the years, including Trust Wallet in 2018 and CoinMarketCap in April, 2020.

FTX.com

FTX.com is a revolutionary new exchange which has stormed on to the scene in the last 6 months. Founded by Alameda Research a cryptocurrency trading firm, it has made a bunch of cool new products. Read our full review of it here: FTX exchange review

FTX has many amazing new crypto products

Leveraged Tokens – Special Erc-20 etheruem based tokens called ‘bull’ or ‘bear’ which represent either a 3x long or a 3x short on an underlying cryptocurrency.
Indexes – Baskets of coins which together represent a certain index and can be traded on perp contracts. For example the ‘Shitcoin Index’ which contains 58 altcoins.
Perpetual contracts – Until recently these were really only available in Bitmex, but FTX has taken these contracts to a new level, offering them on many smaller coins (LEO, TEZOS, BNB, ETC just to name a few.
Presidential 2020 – USA presidential election futures which allow you to either short or long your preferred candidate.

These are just some of the cool features, but there are a bunch more.

CEX.io

CEX.io is a fiat-to-crypto exchange that offers some advanced trading features while still being very friendly for beginners to use.
Otherwise experienced investors who are new to cryptocurrencies often use CEX.io for the kind of trading that they are accustomed to with traditional securities and platforms.

Reasons to choose CEX.io cryptocurrency exchange – Source: CEX.io

CEX.io allows for free bank transfers for verified accounts and charges a small fee for unverified accounts using VISA or Mastercard. CEX.io also features low trading fees.
Most CEX.io users are drawn to the advanced trading features that traditional cryptocurrency exchanges do not generally offer. CEX.io also offers margin trading, which is essential to many trading strategies.
CEX.io does have a limited offering of cryptocurrencies, though it covers all the major coins. It also allows for a variety of coin-to-fiat pairs, including EUR, GBP, and RUB, which most exchanges do not.

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange for trading between fiat currencies and Bitcoin.

As a peer-to-peer exchange, LocalBitcoins acts as a medium between two parties who decide for themselves how many Bitcoins to trade, at what price and through which method. This means that people can make personal transfers of both fiat currency and Bitcoin while avoiding any regulations or taxes that they might face for making the same trade on a traditional exchange. LocalBitcoins allows people from all over the world to trade Bitcoins for any fiat currency based on a peer-to-peer system regardless of local cryptocurrency laws or financial regulations. LocalBitcoins operates by letting sellers place an advertisement for a percentage cost of the total value of the proposed trade. Buyers can then choose to trade with these sellers based on the offered terms. Buyers and sellers both have reputation scores based on past transactions, and users must decide for themselves whom to trust.

Bitfinex

Bitfinex is among the most advanced fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading platforms, boasting some of the highest liquidity and trading volumes among exchanges. Bitfinex has few rivals when it comes to cryptocurrency traders who are looking to implement advanced trading techniques and trade large volumes. Bitfinex offers the full range of features that traders expect from a platform, including advanced order types, margin trading, and a vast range of coins and fiat currency pairs.

Bitfinex also boasts low fees that are geared toward high-value traders, with fees dropping dramatically as the trade value increases. Bitfinex has suffered two major hacks in the past as its massive volumes made it a prime target, but they have since paid back all losses to clients and significantly improved their security set up to be among the best in the industry.

Bittrex

Bittrex is a crypto-to-crypto exchange that was designed with one priority in mind above all else: security. Bittrex was designed by a team with decades of experience in security for major software developers, such as Microsoft and Amazon. Bittrex also keeps most of its client funds in cold storage (inaccessible to hackers) and has a robust system for verification. In addition to security, Bittrex focuses on offering an enormous range of crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, with some of the highest trading volumes in the industry. While Bittrex may not be the first choice for experienced cryptocurrency traders looking to trade major coins, it is arguably the best exchange for trading less popular coins. Bittrex does have slightly higher trading fees than most exchanges and accounts can only be funded using Bitcoin, Ether or Tether.

Coinmama

Coinmama is a simple cryptocurrency broker that offers users a quick and easy way to buy coins using fiat currency without needing to store them on a third party exchange. Coinmama is ideal for people who simply want to purchase a cryptocurrency using fiat money without delays, hassles, lengthy registration, or hacking risk. Most often, people will make an initial cryptocurrency purchase using Coinmama, and then deposit the resulting coins from their personal wallet into a crypto-to-crypto exchange. Coinmama does charge relatively high fees for its services, so it is only recommended for users that are willing to pay a premium for speed, discretion, and simplicity.

Kraken

Kraken is one of the oldest and largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It trades in both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, with a larger number of pairs available than most similar exchanges, though not by an enormous amount. Kraken caters to advanced cryptocurrency traders by offering features like margin trading, OTC, and futures, though it does also make an effort to be accessible for beginners as well. Advanced traders will find all the features that they expect from an advanced platform, as well as relatively low fees that scale down with volume size.

Kraken promotes its essential features as having:

  • A comprehensive security approach
  • An intuitive crypto trading platform
  • Fees as low as 0%
  • A global 24/7 support team
  • A range of funding options

Kraken did have some performance issues in 2018 that garnered it a slightly poor reputation, but it has performed problem-free since then.

Changelly

Changelly offers a rare service in the crypto space: fast and anonymous crypto-to-crypto transfers with no third party holding.
Changelly is not designed for investing or trading, but rather as a fast, discreet and efficient means for exchanging the coins in your private wallets. Changelly works by offering you competitive exchange rates for a large range of coins and then making the transfer directly between your own private wallet. For this service,
Changelly charges a higher fee than most trading and investing exchanges, but not excessively so. The premium paid is for the anonymity and simplicity compared to a more traditional crypto-to-crypto exchange.
Changelly does also allow fiat-to-crypto exchanges, but these have notoriously high and opaque fees, and this service is not widely used.

Prime XBT

Prime XBT is a next-generation fiat-to-crypto exchange that offers cutting-edge trading tools, extremely high leverage and pooled liquidity from other cryptocurrency exchanges. This combination of features makes
Prime XBT a top pick among advanced traders looking to capitalize on short term price movements in the top 5 coins.
Prime XBT accounts can be directly funded with Bitcoin or indirectly funded through Changelly using fiat or other coins.
Prime XBT offers by far the lowest trading fees in the industry, as well as the highest liquidity by drawing on the trading volumes from the top 12 existing exchanges.
Prime XBT also has an extremely advanced interface, the ability to short crypto/fiat pairs and up to 100 times leverage, which is far more than the 2 to 3 times leverage offered by even the most competitive trading platforms.

BitMEX

For those who want to increase their purchasing power in pursuit of bigger and faster profits, BitMEX is undoubtedly the king in this area with its cryptocurrency derivitives trading platform that provides up to 100x leverage. That means if your account balance stood at either $10,000 or 1 BTC, you would be able to trade with funds worth up to $1 million or 100 BTC respectively thanks to the leverage offered. We do not recommend using 100x leverage, as it is a gamble and basically the same as playing roulette in a bitcoin casino.

BitMEX – “The next generation of Bitcoin trading products”

You can see how this has the potential to hugely increase gains, and equally, massively increase losses! And with it widely reported that “95% of traders fail” and lose money across most financial markets, this leverage should definitely be utilized with caution. Nonetheless, leverage certainly has its benefits and BitMEX is a vastly popular trading platform, so it’s definitely doing a lot right. BitMEX has excellent security, it’s easy to sign up, and allows its users to trade 8 different cryptocurrencies both long and short. So, whether you’re an aggressive trader looking for big returns, or simply looking for a way to free up some trading capital or go short, BitMEX is definitely a leading exchange that’s worth checking out.

Article Produced By
Ben Basarab

Experienced trader and finance writer, Ben spends most of his waking hours (and some of his sleeping ones) dealing with cryptocurrencies and markets in general. With an education in economics and finance and an interest in history and politics, there isn't much happening in the world of finance that he's not following.

https://blokt.com/guides/best-cryptocurrency-bitcoin-exchanges

Chris Corey

How to Store amp Secure Crypto on a Ledger Nano S 2020 Expert Guide

How to Store & Secure Crypto on a Ledger Nano S [2020 Expert Guide]

How to keep your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency safe using a Ledger Nano S and expert methods.

1 Introduction

There comes a time in every crypto-holder’s life when he or she has to take a serious look at how secure their current holdings are. Over the years, I’ve witnessed multiple people storing their crypto in ways that are begging for trouble. This includes the following:

  • Leaving their coins in an exchange wallet (with or without 2FA enabled).
  • Using a browser-based wallet with an unsecured computer.
  • Using a mobile wallet with known security flaws.
  • Storing a wallet on a rooted mobile.
  • Using a software wallet on their virus riddled PC.
  • Not using a hardware or paper wallet to store large amounts of crypto assets.

You shouldn’t be leaving your coins on an exchange, and if you can avoid it, you shouldn’t be using a software wallet. If you’re going to take away anything from this article, make it the fact you must obtain and use a hardware wallet or a paper wallet if you hold more crypto than you are willing to lose. If you’re interested in general security practices, it’s worth checking out our post on OPSEC and the best way to stay safe as a cryptocurrency holder online. To drill this point home let’s outline some previous known events in which users have lost obscene amounts of crypto.

2 Known Hacks & Losses

The following are (mostly recent) events in which large amounts of cryptocurrency were compromised resulting in losses for the victims. I’m not going to list every example, these are cases off the top of my head and should be enough to give you an idea of how common this is. There are likely many similar cases every year that are not made public by the victims. I’ll update this list periodically. As you can see, securing your coins should be taken seriously!http://blog.chuck-reynolds.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/securing-background-324×160-1.jpg Let’s discuss one of the two decent options for securing your crypto: hardware wallets. Paper wallets are also a good option in certain circumstances but are not as suited for regular access to your funds on an internet-enabled computer, so we won’t examine them here. Paper wallets are discussed in our blockchain guides.

3 Hardware Wallets – Ledger Nano S vs. Trezor

There are many hardware wallets available, and most manufacturers offer many models. For the sake of simplicity, we are only going to discuss these two options today, as they are usually readily available and are arguably the most popular. The KeepKey deserves mention here too as it’s been getting some positive reviews. The aim of this article is not to shill you my favorite hardware wallets, however, it’s an important purchase, so let’s briefly go over the pros and cons of these two:

Conclusion

The Ledger Nano S takes the cake mostly due to price and currency support. That’s not to say other hardware wallets aren’t good. Do your own research and buy a wallet that’s right for you. And remember, always purchase your hardware wallet direct from vendors or authorized distributors. Never purchase from Amazon, eBay or third parties if you can’t be sure the device hasn’t been tampered with.

Article Produced By
Greg Adams

Managing Director, Editor, Proprietor & avid crypto-enthusiast. Greg is the founder of [blokt] and was the original editor responsible for building the team of journalists we have today.Greg specializes in crypto-security and sees himself as accountable for ensuring our readership, both new and experienced cryptocurrency users, stay safe and maintain high standards of personal security and OPSEC.Greg has broken many security-based news stories before any other publication, including the Parity Vulnerability story in November 2017, and the Bee Token Hack story in January 2018. Greg's industry commentary has been published on investing.com, capital.com, and express.co.uk.

https://blokt.com/guides/storing-crypto

Chris Corey

Bitcoin BTC Struggles to Maintain 10000 Falls to 9500 Support

Bitcoin (BTC) Struggles to Maintain $10,000, Falls to $9,500 Support

Bitcoin price is seeking support at $9,500 after touching $10,500 this month.

Bitcoin price has come under significant pressure this week as it failed to hold the $10,000 level,

which it had reached rather easily since starting this year around $6,900. While the price broke $10,000 on February 9, 2020, following a golden cross between the 50-day and 150-day moving averages, and even managed to defend the breakout for a couple of days, it could not hold its own against significant profit-taking, which turned the tide against the bulls. The $9,500 support is holding for now, and earlier, had served as the launchpad to breach $10,000. While downward pressure is increasing as market sentiment is turning bearish, the RSI is also cooling down, and technicals indicate that a fall to $9,000 should be the worst-case scenario in the short to mid-term.

On the upside, $10,000 is still a realistic target, but investors may hold off for now given the negative comments coming out of the United States. Last week, Steven Mnuchin, the United States Secretary of the Treasury claimed ‘significant’ new crypto regulations are on the way, while the Department of Justice is calling Bitcoin mixing a crime. Meanwhile, the upcoming Bitcoin halving is still widely anticipated as a positive driver for the price, but it is possible that the development may be priced-in at $10,000 per Bitcoin. Even though 2017 saw Bitcoin hit $20,000 without stopping, the crypto market has matured since, and there is money to be made on both, longs and shorts, which has resulted in major price swings. For now, $10,000 is a major price level for Bitcoin, and failure to breach it in the coming days may exposure further weakness in the price.

Article Produced By
Hunain Naseer

https://cryptovest.com/news/bitcoin-btc-struggles-to-maintain-10000-falls-to-9500-support/

Chris Corey

Bitcoin SV’s Intraday Gain Sees Downside Corrections

Bitcoin SV’s Intraday Gain Sees Downside Corrections

Bitcoin’s price trend has recently stopped its bull-run that it was carrying to hit the $10,000 price mark.

With this, the crypto market has taken a bearish turn around as the prices are responding to BTC’s price decline. Bitcoin SV is no exception when it comes to such market volatility. The currency is holding a moderate bearish bias today since 03:00 UTC. It is visible that in the current disturbed market, a fresh start something a bit too much to ask for. However, at least a steady movement above the key support level is crucial.

Bitcoin SV Price Analysis

BSV/USD opened yesterday at around $187, and it remained around that price range for a while. A bullish breakout took place when the price of Bitcoin SV stepped up a bit and traded above $189.It is today morning when the coin has seen a sharp bullish move, and it cleared a few resistance levels above 50% fib level and reached $206.93 by registering a 9.30% hike. However, the downward correction that occurred in the latter half of today has ushered the BSV price below the 50% fib level. Currently, Bitcoin SV technicals are indicating mixed signals. The currency is well above the 200-day EMA line while the MACD indicator is in the negative zone. At the moment, BSV needs a support level, which is what it is testing at $198.

Article Produced By
Ruti Vora

Ruti regularly contributes in-depth news articles for leading cryptocurrencies. She contributes technical chart-based price updates and analysis pieces on world's leading digital currencies. She holds graduate degree in journalism.

https://www.cryptonewsz.com/bitcoin-svs-intraday-gain-sees-downside-corrections/

 

Chris Corey

Wangiri Fraud Can be Controlled Through Blockchain Technology

Wangiri Fraud Can be Controlled Through Blockchain Technology

The Wangiri fraud, or the popularly known one ring scam, is still the talk of the town.

The telecom operators are still extremely concerned about scams. Based on the fraudulent analysis by CFCA 2019, it is calculated that Wangiri comes under the top 5 methods of fraud. According to the CFCA reports, Wangiri fraud caused a global loss of approximately USD 1.82 billion. Along with this, the Wangiri fraud has adverse effects on the customer experience as it shockingly increases the bill amounts.

The telecom operators regularly update their fraud management systems to keep themselves aware of the blacklists from the industry that eventually helps them to overcome this fraud. In this case, the data is not immediately updated. The telecom operators always receive the list at the end after a certain range of numbers are added as blacklisted or fraud.

The telecom operators are working on the fraud management systems so that they can have real-time access to the information on hotlists and the addresses related to this to avoid the loss in the revenue. Subex, a leading telecom analytics solution provider, has recently collaborated with the Risk and Assurance Group (RAG) that will be providing blockchain-based fraudulent management solutions to its customers. Subex is now an integral part of the RAG Wangiri Blockchain Consortium, which aims to use Blockchain Technology to collect information regarding threats and in the industry in real-time. The association comprised of some of the world’s renowned Communication Service Providers (CSP) from all over the world. The collaboration aims to provide their customers with a decentralized and cryptographically secured blockchain ledger information.

Article Produced By
Ruchi Brahmbhatt

Ruchi is an Independent Artist and a Graduate in English Literature with substantial experience as an IELTS coach. Being young and energetic, emerging technologies attract her to the core- blockchain and crypto being the most recent ones. She has also been a regular contributor of news pieces and insightful articles related to these innovative arenas. Ruchi’s other interests include human rights, art and architecture, technology, health, and social networking.

https://www.cryptonewsz.com/wangiri-fraud-can-be-controlled-through-blockchain-technology/

Chris Corey

Can Blockchain Technology Strengthen The Mobile Application Industry?

Can Blockchain Technology Strengthen The Mobile Application Industry?

Passing a day without our mobile phones is the worst nightmare which can cause our hearts to run for a beat.

Telecommunication devices have come a long way ever since the discovery of the first telephone designed by Alexander Graham Bell. The modern-day mobile phones are handy, attractive, and highly work efficient. Studded with an array of robust tools and services, mobile phones help us to streamline our work in the best possible way. Growth in the popularity of mobile phones led to the evolvement of a new technological sector of Mobile Applications.

Today, technological firms are putting in their best resources to curate mobile applications that have the potential to ease out the burden of the user. One can find an application for the management of important activities like banking, shopping, dining, education, traveling, learning, and gaming to trivial activities like keeping a track record of drinking water, footsteps, etc. As technology expanded its roots, the mobile application industry flourished manifold times. The infusion of blockchain technology to support mobile applications is the most popular advancement of the current times. This article will explore the advantages of using blockchain-powered mobile applications and how decentralization can be the next big change for your business. Have a look:

How Blockchain Enhances Mobile App Security?

Highest security standards

With blockchain comes the assurance of security, transparency, and immutability. The three pillars of blockchain technology strengthen the core ecosystem of the business entities they are employed to. Data is recorded or encrypted using cryptography in the chain of blocks. Each block has a timestamp of the other blocks, which restrains the loss of data in the network. All the participating nodes have complete access to the data, and so alterations or deletions cannot go unaddressed in a blockchain system. Blockchain is playing a significant role in the field of Domain Name System or DNS. The technology provides full control over the domain records making it difficult for an intruder to tamper the entries.

Better transparency

Presently, one needs to download mobile applications from Apple’s app store or from the Google Play store. These platforms approve the apps for sale, and this is rather unfair on the part of the customer’s sovereignty as all the decisions are taken without proper clarification or transparency. However, with blockchain technology comes transparency. The pedagogy is simple, and whatever happens on the decentralized ledger is visible to all the participating nodes or users. Thus, ensuring clarity for the customers in all forms.

Safe payments

Multiple mobile applications require charge or fee in lieu of their services. The customers need to pay from credit or debit cards, internet banking, or e-money. Sharing of passwords or codes can put your funds at risk. Blockchain uses digital wallets that are present within the platform. Thus, the user does not have to worry about fraud or cyberattacks. Also, the users will be allowed to pay using the app coins, which are stored in the digital wallets.

Ease of operation

One can run a blockchain-backed mobile application on any mobile phone. A user need not spend hefty amounts to buy blockchain smartphones such as HTC Exodus 1 and Finney from Sirin Labs.

Enhanced Advertising Tactics

Blockchain technology can help in popularizing the application through innovative advertising modules. As it is comparatively new, the developer can take the early bird advantage as more people will prefer to explore a new concept. Through digital rewards and wallets, one can make their mobile application more attractive in comparison to competitors.

Better infrastructure

The decentralized infrastructure of a blockchain-supported mobile application will be infused with a systematic interface for speedy and secured operations. The users can enjoy streamlined processes and efficient services.

Conclusion

Blockchain is the future of financial and industrial domains. The exciting chain of advantages offered by the decentralized ledger system is evident to one and all. By bringing together blockchain technology and mobile applications, we can lay the foundation of a revolutionary product that has all the useful characteristics one can think of. The opportunities are vast for blockchain, and we can expect a lot from it in the coming years. So, pull up your socks and see the advent of blockchain technology in the mobile apps arena.

Article Produced By
Scott Cook

Scott Cook got into crypto world since 2010. He has worked as a news writer for three years in some of the foremost publications. He recently joined our team as a crypto news writer. He regularly contributes latest happenings of crypto industry. In addition to that, he is very good at technical analysis.

https://www.cryptonewsz.com/can-blockchain-technology-strengthen-the-mobile-application-industry/

Chris Corey

TRON Price Analysis for April 28th TRX Aiming at Growth

TRON Price Analysis for April, 28th – TRX Aiming at Growth

On Tuesday, April 28th, the TRX keeps growing smoothly. It is generally trading at 0.0145 USD; the market is positive.

On H4, TRX/USD demonstrates a stable uptrend. The MACD has moved to the positive zone, i.e. factors are promising further growth. However, note that this growth is a correction of the preceding declining wave. By now, the quotations have reached 38.2% Fibo and may rise to 50.0% (0.0169 USD). Also, there is a divergence forming, warning of an upcoming trend reversal. It will be signaled by a breakaway of the support line near 0.0133 USD. The main goal of the decline in the mid-term perspective will be the last low of 0.0071 USD.

On H1, the TRON is demonstrating just a more detailed picture of the uptrend. Note that the Stochastic has moved to the overbought area, confirming the potential of further growth. However, the Black Cross will reverse the current trend. Among fundamental news, our attention is attracted to the upcoming ICO of the project called JUST belonging to the head of TRON Justin Sun. This project is a decentralized lending platform supporting, among other things, the placement of Sun’s own token TRX. It, in turn, is planned to be used for issuing a stablecoin called USDJ. Placement will take place at the Poloniex exchange.

What also looks interesting is the possible placement of decentralized TRON-based apps in the Samsung Galaxy Store. Users from the US and Europe who own Samsung smartphones will be able to test the new generation of blockchain-based apps on their gadgets. The TRON is known to integrate into the Samsung mobile devices for the first time in autumn 2019, alongside with the BTC and Ethereum. However, now the TRON is the only blockchain-based project that has a separate section in the Samsung Galaxy Store. This is a serious advantage because the Store is the largest application store in the world. More decentralized TRON-based apps are expected, which will be a good foothold for the cryptocurrency.

Article Produced By
Dmitriy Gurkovskiy

https://themerkle.com/tron-price-analysis-trx-aiming-at-growth/

Chris Corey

XRP Price Analysis for May 15th XRP Switches to Correction

On Friday, May 15th, the XRP rate is correcting after the recent growth. The cryptocurrency is generally trading at 0.2023 USD.

On D1, XRP/USD keeps forming an uptrend after a correction. Upon correcting from 50.0% Fibo, the quotations are trading near 38.2%. At the current stage, this may signify the end of the pullback and further growth. If the pair breaks away 50.0% Fibo, it has all chance to reach the next step at 61.8% inside the ascending channel. The MACD histogram is in the positive zone, and the signal lines have formed a Golden Cross, which additionally signals the continuation of the uptrend. The goal of the growth is near 0.2584 USD.

On H4, the pair keeps growing inside the ascending channel. It is currently testing 38.2% Fibo. A breakaway of this level will let the price proceed to the next checkpoint of 50.0% Fibo. The Stochastic has formed a Golden Cross, which signals the continuation of the growth. The goal is at 50.0% Fibo.According to the cooperative investigation by the watchers from the UCL Blockchain and Imperial College London, Ripple uses its capabilities to carry out voluminous transactions inefficiently. The results of watching money transfers from October 1st until December 31st show that only 2% of the transactions in the Ripple network are meant for payment. By the way, productive transactions are mostly connected with the Huobi exchange.

Among fundamental news, note the information that Ripple must be starting the work n a new credit product based on the blockchain. Such a conclusion may be made from this vacancy. The main object of work must be a product meant for business interests and covering for the demands of the companies that have troubles with current capital. We may deduct a rough scheme of the product: it might be quick credit for current capital; it is formed fast, calculated easily, and repaid soon. Such a product may yield high demand, keeping in mind the number of companies that Ripple is already working with.

Article Produced By
Dmitriy Gurkovskiy

https://themerkle.com/xrp-price-analysis-for-may-15th-xrp-switches-to-correction/

Chris Corey

Monero Will Soon be Removed From Bithumb

Monero Will Soon be Removed From Bithumb

Bithumb is set to become the latest Asian crypto exchange to officially remove Monero from its platform.

Not due to its privacy aspects, but rather because XMR is used to buy and sell illegal pornographic material. It has been coming for some time now, but Bithumb has finalized its decision on Monero.

Bithumb Gets rid of its Monero Trading Pairs

Several weeks ago ,the company announced that Monero would potentially be delisted in the near future. This is primarily due to an ongoing decline in XMR trading volume on the exchange. This decision will now be sped up due to a correlation between XMR and illegal pornographic material. Numerous people are using this currency to buy this material through Telegram. For Asian exchanges such as Bithumb, it is crucial to distance themselves quickly fro any sort of illegal transactions.

It is not the first time that an Asian exchange delists XMR either. In 2018 and 2019, virtually all other trading platforms took that step. Back then, there were concerns regarding Monero’s privacy and anonymity features, ad how they would facilitate illegal transactions. It seems unlikely that this decision will affect the XMR price or demand in any way. Earlier this year, Huobi also removed Monero from its platform.

Article Produced By
JP Buntinx

https://themerkle.com/monero-will-soon-be-removed-from-bithumb/

Chris Corey