Trading Bitcoin comes with statuary warning, sometimes from one’s own instincts — and sometimes — from the governments’ empathetically written circulars. The digital gold has indeed swept a large section of global traders and investors towards its mouth-watering — and risky — volatility. And as with any speculative market, Bitcoin has its shares of ills when it comes to injecting nightmares inside the traders’ mind.
Many Bitcoin enthusiasts argue that altcoins are completely unnecessary and will not succeed because they cannot rival the infrastructure Bitcoin boasts. However, altcoins serve an important role. Decentralization is one of Bitcoin’s most prominent goals, and altcoins further decentralize the cryptocurrency community. Moreover, altcoins allow developers to experiment with unique features. While it is true that Bitcoin can copy these features if the developers or community desires, fully-functioning altcoins are much better “cryptocurrency laboratories” than Bitcoin’s testnet. Finally, Altcoins give Bitcoin healthy competition. Altcoins give cryptocurrency users alternative options and forces Bitcoin’s developers to remain active and continue innovating. If users do not feel that Bitcoin satisfies their digital desires, they can adopt an altcoin. If enough users left Bitcoin for a particular altcoin, the Bitcoin developers would have to adopt the features the community desired or risk losing its place as the preeminent cryptocurrency.
The blockchain is the underlying technology that drives all altcoins and the best way to visualize the blockchain is to think of it as a digital ledger. Let’s imagine a paper ledger into which cash transactions are entered. Mary would like to pay Jason $100. She meets Jason at a cafe along with Terry, the person in charge of maintaining the ledger. Mary gives the $100 bill to Jason, Jason puts it in his pocket, and Terry notes down the transaction: Mary to Jason $100.
As of May 2018, over 1,800 cryptocurrency specifications existed. Within a cryptocurrency system, the safety, integrity and balance of ledgers is maintained by a community of mutually distrustful parties referred to as miners: who use their computers to help validate and timestamp transactions, adding them to the ledger in accordance with a particular timestamping scheme.
The blockchain is like a collection of pages on that ledger. Each “page” is called a block, and contains multiple transactions. Whenever a block is filled up and a new transaction comes in, that transaction creates a new block with a link to the previous block. This new block is then appended to the blockchain. Once a transaction is written into the block, it becomes immutable: it cannot be edited or deleted.
Founded in 2012 as OpenCoin, Ripple got its current name in 2015. The San Franciscan computer software company Ripple Labs was co-founded by Ryan Fugger, Chris Larsen, and Jed McCaleb with the intent to create a decentralized monetary system that would empower individuals to create their own money. Interestingly, McCaleb branched off in 2014 to create Stellar.
2017 and 2018 were wild years in the crypto world. The number of ICOs exploded and with it the number of altcoins. As of this summer, there are over 2000 cryptocurrencies available. However, many of the new altcoins are weak in terms of creativity and vision. I’ve been tracking ICOs for the past two years and have seen a lot based on recycled technology and unworkable ideas. This, along with the low success rate of startups in general, suggests that many if not most of the new altcoins don’t have a future.
In 2016 William Mougayar wrote a brilliant piece explaining blockchain technology by leveraging something we all know about: word processing programs. He reminds us that when Microsoft Word was the only game in town, one person had to create a file, open it, then send it to another person to have it edited or updated. The similarity to banks is striking, and makes it clear why blockchain technology was created in the first place:
There are many who tell us that they can mine cheaper by themselves according to their calculations. However, it always turned out that they forgot about one or more of the above listed costs. We did our calculations, and we think it’s impossible to have better mining performance on a smaller scale, at home and by yourself. Take a look at our hash power offerings and start cloud mining today.
While the original implementation of the EOS blockchain allow for single-threaded processing, their next phase will introduce a multi-threaded engine. Parallel computing will allow for multiple transactions to occur simultaneously, leading to the ability to scale the platform rapidly, as long as there are developers looking to build on the EOS blockchain.
EOS addresses some shortcomings of the Ethereum Network. For instance, to develop a dApp on Ethereum you need to use Solidity, a programming language for smart contracts. The need to know Solidity is a barrier to the use of the Ethereum Network. EOS overcomes this by providing services to developers, including database and account management services, which do not require programming knowledge.
Bitcoin is not perfect! The system is powerfully designed, but it is the first widely-used cryptocurrency. As such, as it grows to a large scale crypto-commodity, we are beginning to notice problems and challenges that would have been next-to-impossible to predict when bitcoin was first designed and implemented. Many altcoins have been developed specifically to address concerns raised over the future and long-term viability of bitcoin.
The silence of the Chinese authorities was seen as a subtle acceptance signal by market participants. The situation didn’t last long however. On December 7th, The People’s Bank of China barred financial institutions from buying or selling virtual currency or Bitcoin related products. The Bank also demanded that businesses stop with the practice of pricing their products in Bitcoins. BTC/USD opened the day at $906.50 on BTC-E. After the news hit the wires, bitcoin prices crashed from to a low of $551 in only 9 hours, a fall of 39%.
Then there is Tron which gets daily fomo inducing pumps from founder Justin Sun and the rest of the team. Most of these ‘partnership’ teasers are insignificant but the latest one regarding collaboration with Baidu should have had a bigger impact. Granted, there was no actual partnership but the fact that China’s largest internet company will be working with the Tron Foundation should have had some effect on TRX prices. It didn’t as TRX spiked a little on Monday but has lost almost 7% since then and is down over 70% in the past six months.
Stox (STX ), a distributed ledger technology (DLT ) based prediction platform that allows users to predict the outcome of events in various ecosystems including the cryptocurrency markets, sports, tech, and others, has responded to rumors making the rounds that its orchestrating an exit scam, according to a Finance Magnates report on November 12, 2018. Stox (STX) Not Running…
The broker boasts fast delivery and easy ID verification which makes trading small amounts of bitcoins particularly easy. Buying and selling larger volumes of the popular cryptocurrency, though, is a bit tougher due to the strict ID verification requirements. As for fees, the e-wallets come with higher charges while SEPA, SOFORT, GIROPAY, and EPS have very low fees.
Even if they do not accurately understand how it works, most people are at least somewhat familiar with Bitcoin. However, once they begin to get involved with cryptocurrency, they may be surprised to learn that there are actually hundreds of types of cryptocurrencies known as altcoins. Altcoins are an intriguing facet of the cryptocurrency landscape, but they are not for everyone. Altcoin newcomers often have many questions, and this guide will provide a brief overview of altcoins to help beginners decide whether or not to invest in them as part of their cryptocurrency portfolio.
What’s so special about Bitcoin? There are many arguments on whether the new virtual currency will succeed or fail. We will not get into this nor discuss the politics behind the project. Our concern is strictly with the profit opportunities provided by this new payment phenomenon. In the next few pages on the new digital currency we will outline our thoughts from the perspective of a trader and a potential investor in this upcoming market.