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Ethereum’s price made the headlines on Tuesday as news of it hitting a new all-time high circulated the web. On the other hand, Bitcoin’s market share dropped below 50 percent for the first time in over a month.

From $19,130 on Monday to $18,191 on Tuesday morning, bitcoin’s price declined by nearly $1000. A 5 percent decline was observed within 24 hours which reduced bitcoin’s market cap to $304.7 billion. While the reason is still unsure, it is observed that the global average bitcoin price has hit $20,000 in several instances unlike the BTC/USD in major exchanges such as Bitfinex and Bitstamp.

Ethereum Takes the Crypto-Verse by A Storm:

As for Ethereum, it had been hovering around $300 for quite some time while Bitcoin was surging. But, the cryptocurrency took December by a storm and ripped the charts by surpassing $800, first touching at $882 then finally settling at $824. Showing a 24-hour gain of 12 percent, with a market cap of $79.5 billion.

Bitcoin Cash Following Closely Behind at $2,500:

Ethereum was not the only altcoin to shine at bitcoin’s fall-out, bitcoin cash price showed an impressive rally of 21 percent. Enabling the altcoin market to rise by $25 million and making their combined valuation to touchdown at $300 billion for the very first time.

By Tuesday morning, bitcoin cash’s price had settled down to $2292 and a $38.7 billion market cap.

In addition, Ripple and Litecoin were also one of the lucky altcoins to benefit from bitcoin’s expense by experiencing an increase of four percent and seven percent respectively. Ripple’s market share now lying at $30.5 billion and Litecoin’s at $18.7 billion.

Surprisingly, besides Bitcoin, the rest of these altcoins had experienced a great rally on Tuesday. While none of them have actually been successful enough to throw off the biggest cryptocurrency, they’re set out to be great competitors.

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A History of Bitcoin Soft Forks and Hard Forks

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Brief History of Bitcoin

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, which was launched in 2009 by a mysterious developer, with a name “Satoshi Nakamoto.” Since the creation of Bitcoin, it has inspired thousands of other cryptocurrencies (generally called altcoins) and has gained an enormous acceptance across the world.

bitcoin blockchain

Though some altcoins have copied some aspects from the original concept of Satoshi, other altcoins also made significant development on the Bitcoin model. However, in some cases, some altcoins are just a copy of bitcoin and have the similar underlying program – but at the same time, they are a bit different from the original Bitcoin. In such cases, the bitcoin blockchain should undergo a procedure which is called “forking.”

Forking

  • In forking process, Bitcoin blockchain divided itself into two distinct entities.
  • Through forking, numerous cryptos with a similar name to Bitcoin were generated, including; bitcoin gold and bitcoin cash.
  • It may be a bit difficult for a casual investor to differentiate amid these cryptos and to plan the dissimilar hard forks on a timeline.

What is Genesis Block?

  • After Bitcoin was created, the first block was referred to as “Genesis Block.” It was mined on the Bitcoin blockchain by Satoshi.
  • Satoshi made many changes to the Bitcoin network in this process and those changes have now become even more complex as the userbase of Bitcoin has fully-fledged.
  • Not one can regulate when and how Bitcoin should upgrade, and this makes the entire process of changing/updating the system a little bit more complex.
  • Even after the creation of Genesis Block, a number of hard forks still existed.
  • Hard fork included the upgrading of software executing bitcoin and its mining processes.
  • Once a software is upgraded by a user, that software version discards all other transaction from older software and generates a new branch of the bitcoin blockchain.
  • However, users who use the older software are still going to continue to process transactions, henceforth, there’d be a similar set of transactions going on across two different Blockchains.

Bitcoin XT

  • This is one of the most notable Bitcoin hard forks.
  • In 2014, Mike Hearn made the software for integrating some of the new features that he proposed.
  • At that time, Bitcoin allowed only 7 transactions-per-second.
  • Bitcoin XT was intended to allow 24 transactions-per-second.
  • Bitcoin XT primarily experienced a great success after its launch, with almost 1,000 nodes running its software (back in 2015).
  • However, just after few months, users lost interest in Bitcoin XT, making it ‘doomed to die.’
  • Even though Bitcoin XT is officially available today, but it has visibly tumbled out of the errand of crypto community.

Bitcoin Classic

  • After Bitcoin XT failed, few cryptocurrency community members demanded an increase in the block sizes.

To accomplish this goal, Bitcoin Classic was created in 2016.

  • Unlike Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Classic intended to raise block size to only 2 megabytes.
  • Just like Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Classic also saw initial interest with almost 2,000 nodes for few months in 2016.
  • Bitcoin Classic still exists today and has gained a strong support from some developers.

SegWit

  • In 2015, Bitcoin core developer, Peter Wuille introduced the idea of SegWit (Segregated Witness).
  • SegWit aims to reduce the size of all Bitcoin transactions, letting more transactions to come off at the same time.
  • However, SegWit was officially a soft fork and might have assisted in prompting hard forks after it was initially proposed.

Bitcoin Cash

  • Some community users and developers decided to introduce a hard fork in response to SegWit, as well as to evade the procedure-updates.
  • This, at the same time led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash.
  • Bitcoin Cash detached from the main blockchain in August 2017 – when Bitcoin transactions were excluded by Bitcoin Cash wallets.
  • Up till now, Bitcoin Cash is the most effective and successful hard fork of Bitcoin.
  • Bitcoin Cash is also the 4th largest cryptocurrency by market cap and allows blocks of 8 megabytes.

Bitcoin Gold

  • After the creation of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold was created.
  • The creators of Bitcoin Gold intended to evoke the mining functionality with elementary GPU (Graphics Processing Units) since they experienced that mining became also particular – in terms of hardware necessities.
  • Post-mine is an exclusive feature of the Bitcoin Gold and a procedure through which the developers mined 100,000 coins.
  • In general, Bitcoin Gold follows the basic concepts of Bitcoin.
  • Also, it is different in terms of ‘proof-of-work algorithm.’

As Bitcoin has been forked quite a few times within few years, there is a possibility that Bitcoin would still continuously experience both soft forks and hard forks in the future.

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Ethereum Mining Step by Step

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Before following the provided mining steps, here are some important information you should keep in mind before mining:

  • Mining process takes a lot of electricity and you should concern about this.
  • For the process, you should have an Ethereum mining calculator.
  • There must be a portion of free space on the hard drive of your computer. About 30 GB will be enough for the blockchain and other software.

The Ethereum Mining Procedure:

1st Step:

You will have to download Geth. Geth will help you as a communication hub, connecting you to the Ethereum platform even coordinating your hardware and reporting any development which requires action on your part.

2nd Step:

Usually, Geth received as a zip file. You have to unzip and transfer the file to HDD. The drive C: is usually best for this.

3rd Step:

For the execution of the installed application, you need the command prompt. Search for ‘CMD’ in Windows if you’re if you don’t know about this, from the search list click on it.

4th Step:

‘C:\Users\Username>’ the username is the name of your computer system and it is the usual display format by command terminal. The next step is to locate Geth, type in ‘cd/’ in the command prompt terminal, it’s an instruction for change directory. ‘C:\>’ must be highlighted now, which shows you’re currently in the C: drive.

5th Step:

The next step is “Account Creation”. To make a call to Geth, you have to type in ‘Geth Account New’ which followed by the enter key. The command terminal will now display ‘C:\> Geth account new’.

6th Step:

A password will be required from you at this stage. Some extra attention should be taken here. Make sure to your password, if possible write it down, and don’t forget to type it in carefully. Press enter button once again after putting the password. Your new have generated.

7th step:

Geth needs to connect with the network before anything turn into fully operational. Just type ‘Geth -RPC’ in the terminal, then press enter, this will start the download the blockchain of Ethereum and synchronizing with the global network. It is a time intensive process and it’s dependent on how large blockchain is currently and your internet connection’s speed. You have to wait to make sure the completion of this process before mining.

8th Step:

You need a mining software to proceed, which will help your GPU in running the required hash algorithm on the platform. For this heavy lifting “Ethminer” is a good choice.

9th Step:

Install a mining software of your choice for this mining procedure.

10th step:

Repeat 4th step in a new command (change directory command) terminal. For a new command terminal, make a right click on the icon of previously active terminal found in the taskbar and at that time click on the terminal from the menu.

11th Step:

Type ‘cd prog’ in the new terminal window followed by the tab key. ‘C:\>cd prog’ will be on display, press tab key again to display ‘C:/>cd” Program Files” ‘after this press the enter key to show ‘C:\Program Files>’.

12th Step:

Type ‘cd cpp’ to go into Ethereum mining software folder, then the tabs and the enter keys. You have to press tab once again and the terminal will now display ‘C:\Program Files\cpp-ethereum>’.

13th Step:

Start mining with GPU, type ‘ethminer -G’ followed by the enter key. This will start the mining process after creating the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), which is a huge file stored in RAM of your GPU to make it ASIC resistant. Make sure that there is enough space on your HDD before getting to this point.

14th Step:

Lastly, if you are going for it, CPU mining can be done. You have to type ‘ETHMINER’ then press the enter key to start the process. The creation of the DAG is still compulsory in this step after that Geth takes over communication with Ethminer.

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