Bitcoin was launched in 2009 and at present has a market value of $163 billion. The advantages of Bitcoin are, it is the original cryptocurrency, and is the largest and most popular on the blockchain network. It is the most battle tested one against the attackers.
The loophole of it is, with the growing demand it has stressed the Bitcoin’s network, and making the transactions expensive. The system can process only about seven transactions per second, which is nonetheless guzzles the electricity owing to the consensus protocol, proof of work, and is designed to make mining labor more intensive.
Ethereum was launched in 2015 and at present has a market value of $70 billion.
The advantages of Ethereum is, It is a built-in programming language which allows the developers to write computer programs called as smart contracts, which run on the blockchain. The most initial coin offerings (ICOs) so far were based on the Ethereum smart contracts.
The loop hole of Ethereum is that it uses proof of work, which is relatively slow and energy hungry. Many of the early smart contracts were vulnerable to hacking, and the field of this smart contract security is immature.
Ripple was launched in 2012 and at present has a market value of $32 billion. The advantage of Ripple is its crypto token which is called as XRP, which is a “bridge currency” for the financial institutions so as to settle the cross-border payments faster and in a more cheap way than they do at present. It uses a novel consensus protocol that which allows for a much faster transactions than the Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The loop hole of it is, Since Ripple is a privately owned company, it has a lot of control over the system and the users say XRP is not decentralized enough which is in contrast with the Bitcoin, where anybody can mine.
Bitcoin cash (BCH)
Bitcoin cash was launched in 2017 and at present has a market value of $19 billion. The advantages of Bitcoin cash is the creators of this currency has made the product a “hard fork” of the Bitcoin, which means it is a tweaked Bitcoin’s software so as to handle the larger transaction volumes.
The loophole is Critics say that Bitcoin Cash is too centralized with a handful of miners who create most of these coins.
Litecoin LTC was launched in 2011 and at present has a market value of $10 billion. The advantage of Litecoin is that it is an “alt-coin” and nearly a clone of Bitcoin, but with a very few alterations. It processes the transactions four times faster, and the mining process is designed to remain open to their hobbyist which is not the case with the Bitcoin, in which the professional miners use the expensive hardware.
The loophole of it is though it is faster than the Bitcoin, the Litecoin is still too slow and energy hungry to be as an ideal payment method and it also has the added handicap of being a far less well-known one.
Cardano was launched in 2017 and at present has a market value of $5.9 billion.
The advantages of Cardano’s are, the creators of it say that the system is only a platform for the trading and transferring the token which puts an emphasis on the privacy and regulatory compliance. They also say that Cardano will eventually host smart contracts. In this way it will be more like Ethereum, but it uses a proof-of-stake consensus protocol and thus gobbles up little energy.
The loop hole of it is despite big claims from its developers; there is still very little information on Cardano.
Neo was launched in 2014 and at present has a market value of $5.8 billion. The advantage of Neo is that it is a China’s biggest cryptocurrency, and is a smart-contract platform with goals similar to the Ethereum’s. It uses a consensus protocol called as delegated Byzantine fault tolerance, which the NEO’s creators say it allows around 10,000 transactions per second when compared to Ethereum’s.
The loop hole of NEO is that it is highly centralized, and is not clear that this will ever change or not. The founder has said that the plan is to make it a more decentralized one someday.
Stellar Lumens (XLM):
Stellar Lumens was launched in 2014 and at present has a market value of $5.6 billion. The
advantage of Stellar is that it is a ledger of the hard fork of Ripple’s, which likewise aims for its lumens to be a bridge currency for the cross-border payments which only runs by a nonprofit, instead for a profit company. It also plans to compete with the Ethereum as a platform for the initial coin offerings.
The loop hole is Stellar faces a lot of competition, from Ripple as well as the traditional banking system’s dominant platform, called SWIFT, which is testing a distributed ledger technology with the blockchain-ish elements.
Eos was launched in 2017 and at present has a market value of $4.3 billion. The advantage of EOS is its tokens exist and at present it is being traded on Ethereum, though its smart-contract platform itself is billed as yet another Ethereum killer, it is yet to be launched. Like Cardano, it uses the proof-of-stake protocol instead of the proof of work which theoretically makes the transactions much faster and more efficient.
The loop hole is despite being on the track to raise more than $1 billion through an ICO; the project is nearly an impossible to judge before the network gets launched.
Monero was launched in 2014 and at present has a market value of $4.3 billion. The advantage of Monero is it uses ring signatures which is a type of digital signature that lets any member of the group to perform a transaction without revealing which one of them it was
actually. It is a way to let the users transact privately, and the mining process is designed to be an “egalitarian.”
The loop hole of Monero’s is its features have made it a preferred coin amongst the cybercriminals, and it has helped to fuel the rise of “cryptojacking,” where the hackers use malware to make other people’s computers to mine the cryptocurrency for them.
Dash was launched in 2014 and is formerly called as Xcash or Darkcoin. At present it has a market value of $4.3 billion. The advantages of Dash is that, it is the most decentralised coin in terms of rich list of addresses and governance.
Dash has notable features such as Instatsend, Privatesend, Chainlocks, DAO amongst others which speed up the payment processing.
The loop hole like few other coins, Dash also has the centralization problem. Because of this mishap, too many coins were distributed the moment it was first released, by concentrating on the wealth and giving a small group of disproportionate power in the decisions over the currency’s future.
Iota at present has a market value of $3.8 billion.
The advantage of IOTA’s system is it does not use the blockchain, instead it employees a shared ledger which is based on the mathematical structure called as directed acyclic graph. It aims to be the currency which is used by the internet-of-things devices to buy, sell, and trade the data, whether its transaction partners are other devices or the customers like the technology companies.
The loop hole is the Critics say IOTA is too centralized and the numerous cryptography researchers have questioned on the system’s overall security features.
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Jamie Dimon Claims Libra Will Soon Be Everyone’s Talk
Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, a global financial services firm, has been reported to claim that Facebook’s Libra project is going to be the talk of many people. Thus, he believes that it does not pose a threat in the near future. Jamie Dimon made this known during a conference call with analysts.
During the speaking, Dimon asserts that talks about Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, has been going on for seven years yet nothing significant has happened. He then avers that about three years from now, we are going to be talking about the project.
“To put it in perspective, we’ve been talking about blockchain for 7 years and very little has happened. We’re going to be talking about Libra three years from now. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it.” He claims.
Dimon added that there is no need for competition rather a leveled playing ground is better. And that since no one aids terrorism or criminal activities, there will be an insistence from the government on conformance to the the rigorous anti-money laundering rules.
“We don’t mind competition,” Jamie Dimon said. “The request is always going to be the same: We want a level playing field. And governments are going to insist that people who hold money or move money all live according to rules where they have the right controls in place; no-one wants to aid and abet terrorism or criminal activities.”
Jamie Dimon’s statements, especially as it regards to regulation in order to curb terrorism or criminal activities, can be taken to come on the heels of Donald Trump’s tweets and Steven Mnuchin’s press conference in support of Trump. These two figures have spoken badly about the ability of cryptocurrencies to facilitate illicit activities.
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
Steven Mnuchin is the United States Treasury Secretary. He recently echoed Donald Trump’s tweet posts on the negative use of cryptocurrencies.
“Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity, like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, randomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking” … “I think to a large extent, these cryptocurrencies have been dominated by illicit activities and speculation.”
Mnuchin then quotes Trump saying: “Bitcoin is highly volatile and based on thin air’”… “Treasury takes very seriously the role of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.”
Let us recall at this juncture that Jamie Dimon as the CEO of JPMorgan firm is reportedly expecting to project its own digital token known as JPM Coin by the end of 2019.
The dark side of remittances we don’t see
Statistically, there are about 164 million migrant workers around the globe, the majority of which are Africans in the diaspora that have left their families back at home in search of greener pastures and these migrant workers send a large chunk of their earnings to support their families.
Over the years we could see that the remittances inflows that constitute the money transfer business form a reasonable part of GDP income for most countries experiencing economic hardship, countries like the Philippines which have the highest migrant population in the world suffer from this experience the most. Regardless of the constant attention, we see countries like the US give the issue of migrants the global remittance industry keeps flourishing by the day as it keeps increasing in size and level of competitiveness
The dark side we don’t see
Although it may look very simple at first glance the remittance industry is a vast and sprawling network with various intermediaries. We could also easily see that at the most basic level at any time it involves parties which include
- the sender
- local agent
- money transfer operator
- foreign agent
- The receiver
Western Union PayPal and MoneyGram judging by their performance over the years have been seen to offer the best global remittance services, western union is renowned for their high commission as their services are costly and even if we could say that it should cost something for these services to be rendered, it does not take away the fact that there is a good measure of exploitation involved in the whole process as good percentage of whatever is to be sent is deducted before it gets to the receiver. PayPal came into the picture after a while a become a major competitor which we could say would have slashed the monopoly that might have existed in the system but for persons familiar with the services you could see that even they too had their dark side as the level of scrutiny involved when using their platform could get so extreme that you experience lockdown on funds which could have urgent need to the receiving party only for PayPal to hide under the pretext of investigating funds, this is not to mention the discrimination that we see clearly take place as IP addresses of countries which are perceived to be “low classed” are prevented from using their services
Light at the end of the tunnel
With the advent of cryptocurrencies we can already see the potential for a lot to change as this not only eliminates all of the problems previously stated but further reduces the gap between sender and receiver through speed of transfer thereby slowly eliminating any possible need for a third party except of course there happens to be a hybrid system to make both parties more efficient. Blockchain has come to change the way we do a lot off things
Why Trump’s bashing on bitcoin is a milestone achieved to cryptocurrencies
On the 12th of July the president of the United States of America issued a statement on his tweet stating that he is not a fan of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, while this could be seen to some as a negative turn of events for cryptocurrencies, so many enthusiasts saw this as a step in the right direction considering the fact that the president before now has decided to remain silent on the subject matter, but as it has been making waves recently he decided to take his opinion out through his tweet
Positive or not, for proponents, this obviously marked a psychological milestone seeing that his need to bash bitcoin further buttresses the fact that it is independent of global powers and also reflects their helplessness to be able to do anything to crush it, Coinbase CEO Brain Armstrong stated in one a response to Donald Trump’s tweet as one of the leading responses.
Armstrong’s reply actually reflected the disposition of other bitcoiners as most are thankful for the free publicity that has been given to cryptocurrencies noting a sudden surge in interest as documented by Google trends. Although judging from an objective standpoint of view it is noteworthy to state that Trump’s point of view was not just antagonistic but reflected some level of ignorance especially considering the fact that he found it difficult to consider the technology behind the birthing of cryptocurrencies as nothing but illegal as it has been proven over the very short existence of blockchain that aside from cryptocurrencies there are applications in other aspects of life, other cryptocurrency enthusiasts who have made remarkable contribution to the space also made some replies as Max Keiser, the RT host and regular Bitcoin bull, considered Trump to have nullified his chances of reelection in 2020(even though this is debatable considering the fact that this depends on many other factors) , while eToro senior analyst, Speculations have already been got about as to whether or not this would lead to a bull run as Mati Greenspan, described the words of the president as an early nomination for the most bullish tweet of the year, even though we could say that this makes a good premise to create a fundamental analysis this event does not guarantee any bull run, however, it is expedient to state that cryptocurrencies are beginning to gain more recognition especially with the introduction of libra into the world of cryptocurrencies. These are exciting times for any crypto enthusiasts and we can only sit back and watch the events as they unfold.
Africa Blockchain Alliance Calls for Applications to the Second Cohort of the Africa Blockchain Developer Program
Africa Blockchain Alliance has announced the opening of applications for the second cohort of the Africa Blockchain Developer Program.
The program was launched earlier this year in partnership with ConsenSys Academy, the educational arm of ConsenSys, a market-leading blockchain technology company.
According to Africa Blockchain Alliance, their vision with the program is to train 1000 blockchain developers across Africa and empower them with the tools they need to leverage blockchain to solve some of the pressing problems in Africa and the world.
Through the partnership with ConsenSys Academy, developers in Africa will have access to ConsenSys Academy’s on-demand developer course at a significantly discounted rate.
The developers on the course will have access to dedicated mentors who will have weekly office hours with them for 1 to 2 hours per week and answer their questions daily. Developers will also have unlimited access to an online forum with over 2,000 developers who are all current and past developers trained by Consensys Academy.
The program will run for a period of 11 to 12 weeks (approximately 3 months) starting from August 2019. On successful completion of the program, graduates will be issued certificates on the Ethereum blockchain and given the opportunity to work on blockchain projects in Africa and around the world.
The first cohort of the program is graduating this month. The cohort was made up of developers from 7 African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Morocco.
One of the developers from the first cohort had this to say about the program;
“This course is great. It teaches you about the blockchain ecosystem and how they interact with each other. You’ll learn how to use tools such as Truffle, Solidity, Ganache etc. It’s a course that’s for anyone going into blockchain development.” ~ Valentine Ahiwe (Nigeria)
Africa Blockchain Alliance will also be sponsoring a number of developers to the program through a $10,000 grant from Consensys Grants for the program. Developers that cannot afford the full cost of the program can apply for the scholarship.
You can find out more about the program and apply from the program website: https://afriblockchain.org/developer/
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