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So, what’s a decentralized system? In simple words, we can say that a decentralized system works with no servers and each member is permissible to execute transactions. But in the case of the blockchain, each member must have to do some system-tasks as well, such as; storing transactional data.

cryptocurrency Security

Fork: Even a group of members can run an alternate-version of reality, which is called “fork.” The fork works by the similar regulations as the original decentralized system – though it might have a diverse state.

Let’s enlighten you about the hierarchical nature of cryptocurrency security!

First Layer – Tokens and Crypto Coins

  • One of the first and foremost thing in the crypto world is your cryptocurrency security.
  • Whenever you choose a cryptocurrency, you take all the perils and risks related to the protocol.
  • If someone can recognize and utilize protocol flaws, they can compromise the whole network, even including you; it won’t be much important which exchange/wallet you are using.

In the first layer, you can find two different types of currencies which include, the coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash etc.) and all ICO-issued tokens such as; MOBI or EOS.

What is the Difference?

Well, the difference is in the technical features. Each coin is either an independent network protocol or just a copy of some of it. When you research a crypto protocol from a security stance, make sure to find out if it can be centralized.

Let’s take an example!

In the case of Bitcoin, it’s now centralized around four major mining pools which also means that if all of them collaborate, they can possibly compromise the whole network.

Another advice! Whenever you look for proof-of-stake crypto, make sure to have a look at the genesis. This is also quite imperative, as whoever keeps the preliminary and initial stake can vote for transitions, as well as the network will be also trusting those who have higher stakes. If we take an example of NEO, a PoS network of China, which is same as Ethereum, was distributed 50/50 amid its ICO sales and developer community – unlike Ethereum distribution. Also, the NEO token distribution makes sure that no major stakeholder from the exchange platform or the developing side has enough stake to compromise the whole network.

Tokens

  • Now if we talk about tokens, all of them are based on a smart-contract aspect of few of the coins, which means their reliability and security is first based on the parent cryptocurrency – only subsequently on the smart contract’s code that issued it.
  • Mostly, all ICO coins (tokens) are based on Ethereum and just some of them are issued by smart contracts.
  • Also, it is imperative to point out that Ethereum got hacked a few years ago due to the DAO protocol hack – later hard forked and rolled back to the state. This also shows that the founders of Ethereum probably have a time machine as it looks like they have the ability to go back in time – yet again if it’s required.

Second Layer – Exchanges

One thing that everyone must understand about the exchanges is that they are written in custom-code with infrastructure security and has got nothing to do with blockchain. If we talk about an exchange, it is just a standard centralized web service arrayed in a data centre. That’s why whenever we talk about the exchanges, we always mention reliability and trust.

Almost every month we hear news about the data breaches and security events that occur because of exchanges.

Examples

Here are some latest examples!

  1. Back in December 2017, $63 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from NiceHash by hackers.
  2. At the beginning of this year, January 2018, more than $500 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from Coincheck by hackers.
  3. In February 2018, almost $195 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from BitGrail by hackers.

The hype around cryptocurrencies is due to the number of data breaches. Many exchanges have recently started their business – without investing in proper security measures. Simultaneously, if someone steals tokens/crypto coins from an exchange successfully, it’s nearly impossible to do anything about recovering it.

Third Layer – Wallets

Well, the third layer is linked to your personal security in the crypto world and you must’ve heard a lot about it before.

When you select a wallet for cryptocurrencies, you’ll have two options:

  1. Hot Wallet
  2. Cold Wallet

Hot wallet Vs Cold Wallet

  • The hot wallet is just like an account in exchange or in simple words, it is a website-based wallet.
  • In the case of a hot wallet, your tokens/coins are under the control of your wallet provider.

Whereas, a cold wallet can be a hardware, software or just a paper.

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A Violent Shock For JPMorgan Chase As the Lead Quits

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JPMorgan Chase & Co is a well known financial services company which operates around the globe. Along with blockchain projects its financial operations include:

  • Corporate & Investment Bank,
  • Consumer & Community Banking,
  • Asset & Wealth Management,
  • Commercial Banking.

blockchain startups

Founded in 1799, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has its headquartered in New York and is thought to be one of the most dependable financial services company. All was going on very well for the company until Amber Baldet, an executive leader of JPMorgan’s blockchain, decided to quit the company in order to head for her own new Blockchain initiative.

Who In Fact Is Amber Baldet?

Amber Baldet was one of the main executive leaders of JPMorgan’s blockchain business. She was head of the development of JPMorgan’s authorized Blockchain platform. She had been acting as the lead for project development of Quorum as well as working on the firm’s overall Blockchain technologies strategy. In true words she was the architect of JPMorgan’s blockchain startups, securing a critical position at JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence. She has done so in order to launch her own blockchain firm. Quorum is JPMorgan’s Blockchain and smart contracts platform.

 

Amber Baldet was nominated as one of the most influential people in the history of Blockchain by BlockDesk in 2017. She was heading the JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence since it was founded in 2015. She was considered to be the most precious assets of JP Morgan in terms of blockchain endeavours.

Who Will Take Over Amber Baldet’s Position?

It took a very short time for JPMorgan’s executive committee to name Baldet’s successor. Christine Moy has been appointed as the new executive leader in place of Amber Baldet. She was the senior product manager working under the supervision of Amber Baldet and by chance was also appointed by her. In fact she had been working with Amber Baldet since the very beginning of the blockchain project. Later on the company admitted in a statement that Amber Baldet was no doubt extremely committed and helpful for JPMorgan to build an outstanding team. Christine Moy  was one of the team members who was groomed and trained by Amber Baldet herself.

 

Baldet’s departure from the company was after all on good terms, as was exclaimed by JPMorgan spokesperson in an interview with Reuters, he stated that the company had a respect and best wishes for her as well as her desire to start her new venture.

 

As far as the case of smart contract platform Quorum is concerned JPMorgan considers it to be the “enterprise-focused version of Ethereum.” It is basically meant for the clearing of interbank payments with the help of blockchain.

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Why Trump had to ban Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro in the US?

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An executive order has been issued by the U.S. President Donald Trump to ban the US Citizens from buying Petro cryptocurrency. Petro is first state-issued cryptocurrency developed by the government of Venezuela.

Further more, Trump has issued strict orders to the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to implement this ban. Earlier this year, the Treasury Department also announced sanctions on four Venezuelan government officials.

buying petro

Why was Petro Launched?

The cryptocurrency Petro was launched in February 2018, which could be purchased through US dollars and euros. At the time of its launch, it was claimed to be backed by the oil and mineral reserves of the Venezuelan government. According to some critics, if investors once started buying Petro, it could easily support the official currency of Venezuela, which is steadily falling down mainly due to US-imposed financial sanctions.

Reason for Trump’s Ban on Petro

As mentioned above, the ban was an attempt to put pressure on the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his undue policies. As a result, the efforts of Maduro’s government to boost their foreign currency reserves have been greatly affected.

US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin stated that President Maduro destroyed the Venezuelan economy which gave rise to a destructive humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Instead of improving the present condition of their citizens, the Venezuelan government is trying to bypass the US sanctions through its Petro digital currency. In short, the Venezuelan President is trying to loot the resources of his people.

Effect of Trump’s ban on Petro

According to many critics, it is probably a quiet big blow for the Venezuelan government. Since most of the cryptocurrencies and their present market value is based upon the US dollar, so when we take the role of US out of that scene, the interest and potential rate for any of the cryptocurrency is also automatically reduced.

At a stage when Petro was struggled to create some serious interest among foreign governments, the ban by Trump will be extremely fatal. Earlier this year, Poland had also shown an interest in trading food and medicine with the Venezuelan government for the Petro, which was denied due to the sanctions imposed by the US president.

Let us know your point of view about all this in the comments below!

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What Are the Uses of Bitcoins?

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Uses of Bitcoins

As the Bitcoin grows in popularity, the users are coming up with more and more ways to make it work for them. The use of bitcoins can be stretched as far as our imagination goes.

Bitcoin can perform almost every task that traditional currency does, but with more ease and comfort. You can buy goods/services and make online transactions worldwide through bitcoins.

In this article, we have discussed what is bitcoin and how to use it some most common things that you can do using this digital currency.

USES OF BITCOINS:

Hair Dressing:

Getting a new haircut to add some different flavor to your look is now easier than ever as several Top salons around the globe have announced their venture into the world of Bitcoin.

The saloons have trained employees to accept Bitcoin payments and have QR codes hung up around their shop.

Food:

Let’s admit it, food an essential part of our lives. Every time we hear the word “food” our stomach starts growling. And with restaurants around the world accepting payments in Bitcoin, it makes for an even greater experience for food enthusiasts. So, it’s time to get your Bitcoin wallet address and start paying for your favorite food in bitcoins.

Clothing:

Since the earlier days, clothing has had a very close bond with Bitcoin. It is said that clothes are one of the first items that the users could buy using bitcoins.

Most leading clothing stores accept bitcoins in payments and the trends keep on growing each day. Recently, an online retailer in China called Hyperbeast and a French retails chain Monoprix have welcomed Bitcoin payments in order to attract clients from different fields of life.

Real Estate:

After getting your hair done, having dinner at some feisty restaurant and putting on some lavish clothes, the next thing you’d want to do is rest in a home bought with Bitcoin.

That’s right. Several real estate companies/firms are accepting bitcoins as a form of payment. Whether you are making a down payment to buy a home or just paying rents, the real estate firms across New York, Australia, and Canada are welcoming Bitcoin payments.

Have low balance in your bank account? Your Bitcoin wallet has got your back.

Never heard of Bitcoin wallet before? Read our guide on what is Bitcoin wallet.

Last but Not Least – Donations:

The best way to put your money to good use is helping the needy. And Bitcoin makes this process a lot easier for you. Now you can donate your coins using Bitcoin wallets to those in need of a shelter or food.

In conclusion, Bitcoin has made our lives easier than ever. We can buy food, get good clothing and pay rents when laying in our beds; which was not possible before the arrival of cryptocurrency. And ever-growing use and popularity will only take our payment methods to a whole new level, bringing more comfort into our lives.

Where to use Bitcoin?

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Bitcoin & Ethereum Drive Cryptocurrency Market Cap Above $150 billion

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Bitcoin and Ethereum’s Gains

It only took a few hours for Bitcoin to shoot back up from $3,894 to $4,264.26 on Wednesday, which caused the total market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency world to surge above $150 billion.

It’s opposite team mate, Ether, also rose on Wednesday, marking the highest it’s ever been since June. These two unknowingly, drove the market cap of the digital currencies insane.

In particular, at the moment Bitcoin’s market capitalization is around $69.8 billion, which makes it twice as large as Ethereum, its closest rival.

However, Bitcoin has been a tad bit volatile lately, suffering from a 10% drop after it had crossed $4000 earlier. These fluctuations were an after effect of the scaling issue that was recently undertaken by the network. This is intended to increase the transaction sizes in the blockchain network. This new protocol is known as Segregated Witness, which is said to solve the scaling matter.

Related: Bitcoin drops below $4000

 

On the other hand, Ether rose to $324.07, its highest since June 23. It’s known to have doubled since its last low hit in mid-July. Overall, its performance has been well in 2017, as it is up more than 4000%, which brings its market cap to around $30.1 billion.

These recent increases in Bitcoin and Ether have brought together the total market cap of all digital currencies above $150 billion.

 

News Credit: marketwatch.com

 

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Gates on Bitcoin Shorting Spree

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In a recent interview, the estimated $90 Billion worth, second richest man on earth tried to knock Bitcoin again. Bill Gates was later met with great criticism by the early Bitcoin investor, Tyler Winklevoss. In a recent tweet after listening to the Gates interview, Winklevoss dared him to short Bitcoin as he claims.

Bill gates bitcoin

Its almost a decade Bitcoins have been around, but the Bitcoin came widely under the mainstream not before until late 2017. After a steep rise of Bitcoins’ value from $5,800 to nearly $20,000 within four weeks, it showed people around that this is the ‘new wave of future’.

Despite the huge interest in this digital, electronic alternative to government-issued money, their acceptance in the system has been slower. They are still not used as consistently and reliably for buying services and goods as frequently. People are more prone to hold this cryptocurrency as a digital asset than as means of a transaction. High volatility, minimal adoption, and high transaction fees have slowed down the Bitcoin’s embracement and adoption as a regular form of money.

‘Greater Fool Theory’ Investment

Bill Gates has always come up with strong criticism and disapproval regarding this Bitcoin. On several occasions, he opted for the opportunity and bashed the cryptocurrency. Bill Gates accuses Bitcoins to be worthless and ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment. He further there is nothing being produced or generated here so, you shouldn’t expect anything to rise high in the regard.

Gates has come up with very strict and naïve views about the currency lately. Regarding the misuse of the digital currency in illegal and unlawful dealings in drugs and other things, he directly alleges the Bitcoin to be responsible for the deaths and menace.

Joining the hatred league, other big names of the wall street has also some serious and grave remarks for Bitcoin. Names like Warren Buffet called Bitcoin ‘rat-poison squared’, while his partner Charlie Munger associates trading Bitcoins as trading ‘feces’.

Despite saying the cryptocurrencies, ‘crazier, speculative things’, Gates acknowledges the importance and worth of the Blockchains. After a continuously lambasting Bitcoin, it is very much clear that Bill Gates is not on the Bitcoin bandwagon, nor is he becoming one any time sooner.

Gates also states that he at some time back received Bitcoins on his birthday, and later sold them understanding and realizing they were of no such use and credibility.

Crypto ‘Twin Guard’

The early Bitcoin holder twin and the founder of cryptocurrency exchange– Gemini, sour heartedly took the whole incident. After the harsh statement, Tyler Winklevoss bashed Bill Gates in a direct tweet. Winklevoss pointed out the claim that it is easy to short Bitcoin and he should put his money where his mouth is.

It is not the first time Tyler has bashed and dared someone to short Bitcoins. The CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon was dared before too, to short Bitcoins before after he claimed Bitcoin to be a fraud. Jamie Dimon later expressed his regret for making that statement.

Being very critical about the Bitcoins and the whole scenario, Winklevoss twins hold strong statements against these wall street titans spilling negating about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The twins see this whole scenario as the failure of imagination by these wall street personals. They believe they are too old to understand the whole Bitcoin phenomena and their emergence. According to the twins, these Bitcoin opponents are very small ‘privileged minority’ who have an easy access to their resources, money and bank accounts.

Last year, respective Bitcoin futures market was launched by Chicago based CBOE and CME. This enabled a short selling for Bitcoin. This process may be a little less straightforward than a more traditional asset, but technically there are others ways too. Maybe Gates understood it.

According to another assumption, maybe Bill Gates wasn’t really clear on the way to short Bitcoins and he finds it too naïve and awkward to follow. Or maybe he just doesn’t really follow the whole protocol behind this cryptocurrency and Bitcoin gig.

Still, that doesn’t seem to stop and refrain the noted Bitcoin bull twins for striking and daring back these wall street personalities, which are all bashing cryptocurrencies and all these gaudy vocal detractors of Bitcoin happen to consist of the richest names in the world.

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