How blockchain could disrupt passports and immigration

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The oldest piece of technology that everyone carries around for a lifetime is indeed the Passport. There is nothing in my opinion more obsolete than a piece of paper with stamps on it meant to track the places that we have visited. In my wildest guess, I would not be surprised if in 10 years from now we could be actually laughing at the idea of carrying around our passport country by country.

Blockchain could once again be the solution. It is not a mystery that I believe in blockchain being the greatest innovation opportunity of our times. The concept is so simple and yet so misunderstood by the most, that occasionally I catch myself commenting:

“People do not need to understand how blockchain works, they just need to use it.”

And for as radical it might sound, it is actually quite acceptable in pretty much any other aspect of our life.

Less than 1% of the world population knows how to program an app for a smartphone, and yet such innovation has taken the world by storm. In extreme terms, everybody has one or more cell phones in their pockets, and yet nobody knows how it works at its core. The same goes for computers of course. And by larger definition, let us think for a moment about the stock market or insurance policies. Do we really know what a hedge fund is? Do we totally be 100% confident about understanding every single clause of our insurance? Even further? Do we need to be able to cable or plumb our house before we move in? Of course, some people do, but for an innovation to succeed on a large scale, adoption is far more important than understanding.

Blockchain has been seen fully implemented over the past nine years almost exclusively with regards to cryptocurrency, and because of the word “crypto”, it ended up sounding scary ever since day one. However, the potential implementation of blockchain in other parts of our life makes it so promising that it is hardly imaginable how could it fail.

Given the idea of a shared ledger, blockchain will in future allow health records to be tracked globally for everyone. So if John Smith has a car accident while on holiday in Thailand, the doctors would immediately be able to track any allergy to medication even when the patient is unconscious. In our super modern society and with all the most advanced technologies that we hear about, isn’t it so primitive that doctors need to ask their patients whether or not they have any medication allergy? Blockchain could answer the question for everyone at any point in time.

Back to the main topic of passports, if we look at the issue from square one, we understand that the only reason why a country would ask any visitor for passport identification is to track entry and exit to avoid overstay. In other words, we need to track date one as entry and date two as the exit. There are also some small variables of course, such as visa extensions, reasons for visiting etcetera, but let us keep it simple for a start.

A country would not want to have overstay of foreign citizens that are inclined to crime and create harm to society. This can also be prevented by blockchain. In simple terms, a country’s custom wants to check whether a visitor has any criminal records in any other country. This is virtually impossible with paper passports, despite the deeply integrated international systems, but if we were to adopt blockchain as the main mean of transferring data fully, we could be able to find all the answers in a second. In fact, all criminal behaviors and arrests could be tracked by local police officers and validated block by block by other police authorities or simple citizens.

I imagine the blockchain requiring a parallel internet to run the profile of every single person in the world, that at will can disclose which relevant part of their lives can be exposed. On Facebook, we can all be happy, honest and successful, but on the blockchain, nobody could lie.

For example, citizens could publish in the public ledger their income statements and make it accessible on demand to the requesting institutions. Banks could clear the person’s credit in a snap while embassies could cross-examine the account balance without asking the visitor to present a bank statement. Everything could be transparent at will, and most importantly fast and secure.

I imagine a world where every citizen could travel from country to country without a passport, by carrying only their footprint on the blockchain as a form of identification.

Stefano Virgilli

TEDx Speaker, Marketing Blockchain & ICO, Singapore PR

Title photo by: Himesh Kumar Behera

What is Bitcoin (BTC)? A beginners guide.

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First and foremost, the definition says that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer (P2P) electronic cash system, as described in the white-paper. It was first published on October 31st, 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. In January 3rd, 2009 the first block was mined which marked the actual creation of Bitcoin. 

The abstract of Bitcoin white-paper.

Bitcoin along with Satoshi Nakamoto presented an entirely new alternative to the traditionally centralized currency transactions. A system built by the people for the people. So the primary intent is that people are the ones, who control it. Bitcoin enables people to transact money between users without the need of a centralized authority. Because of blockchain technology, Bitcoin can offer a completely transparent way to transact payments. This system can entirely question the need or importance of Banks and other similar money transfer institutions.

Also, Bitcoin was the very first cryptocurrency in the form as we know them today. Bitcoin inspired thousands of new projects, as of today we have more than two thousand cryptocurrencies in the whole wide world. Since bitcoin code is open-source, everyone can copy it and try to evolve it in their own way. That is the reason why we have so many other “Bitcoins” in the market. Everyone wants to prove that they can make a better Bitcoin, but the cold hard facts are that Bitcoin, since its creation, has never lost its #1 position. Ever. And it is very doubtable that it ever will.

Other Bitcoins. Source: coingecko.com

In addition, Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million BTC. Currently, there are 17,4 million coins in circulation.

How Bitcoin Works

Bitcoins are transferred via a peer-to-peer network. That means John can easily send money to Kate via this network. When John makes the transaction, miners create new blocks where this transaction will be recorded. By doing so, miners confirm this transaction. These transactions are tracked on the Blockchain, also known as the giant-ledger.

The Blockchain

Blockchain records every single transaction that has ever been made within the network. Bitcoin blockchain produces new blocks every ten minutes. Every block in the blockchain is built up of a data structure. If a single file is corrupt in a chain, then blockchain prevents it from damaging the rest of the ledger.

Source: https://www.g2crowd.com/categories/blockchain

Confirmation

So when John makes the transaction, it goes into the blockchain and now is waiting for confirmation. Usually, for small payments, it takes these ten minutes to be verified and recorded on the chain. For larger transactions, it could take up to even an hour when the blockchain needs to create at least six new blocks to avoid payment reversing. After the confirmation, Kate receives her Bitcoins.

When looking at a government which can print out as many bank notes as they want, thus producing inflation, Bitcoin works differently. That is, Bitcoin’s blockchain is built up in a way that it controls how many Bitcoins are made and how many are being produced.

Block halving

Bitcoins blockchain has a 4 year block halving period. That means that every four years, or 210,000 blocks, the reward for miners, who produce Bitcoins with their computing power, halves. Miners produce new blocks every 10 minutes. At the moment, for every block that a miner solves the reward is 12.5 BTC. Currently, there are 70,250 blocks left until the mining reward is halved. Also, there are only 2 block halvings left to occur in the future of Bitcoin. Respectively the reward will halve down to 6.25 Bitcoins. In the next block halving, which would occur in 2024, the reward will divide down to 3,125 and stay that way until all 21,000,000 BTC will be produced.

Bitcoin’s key features

Bitcoin is decentralized. No single person or a central authority has full control over it. That means no one can freeze, lock or dismiss your money. It is based on a Blockchain. It was the first blockchain ever created and since then the development of this area has skyrocketed. Blockchain developers today are the most demanding job position in the world.

Bitcoin has a limited supply. There can only be 21,000,000 BTC in circulation. Today we have around 17,496,875 BTC in circulation. In other words, around 80% of Bitcoins have already been mined. According to estimates, bitcoin will reach its final coin figure sometime in 2140.

Bitcoin compared to Gold and U.S. monetary base. Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/06/02/4-reasons-why-bitcoin-represents-a-new-asset-class/#4731f35d3426

Bitcoin is deflationary. Some believe that Satoshi created Bitcoin to fight the money printing governments. It is awful that every year fiat money loses so much value. For example, during Fiscal Year 2014, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing delivered approximately 6.6 billion notes to the Federal Reserve, producing approximately 24.8 million notes a day with a face value of approximately $560 million.

Ron Paul described this very well in his website, calling the Fed crazy:

“When central banks create money, those who first get the new money enjoy an increase in purchasing power before the new money causes a real increase in prices. Those who receive the money first are members of the banking and financial elite. By the time the new money reaches the middle class and working class, inflation has set in, so any gain in purchasing power is more than offset by the increase in inflation. Thus, central banking causes income inequality.”

Ron Paul

Bitcoin, on the other hand, as already mentioned, has a fixed supply. And this is the model that Bitcoin Maximalists are defending. For most people, this would seem like a utopian dream, but bear this in mind.

Imagine a society, a world, where your money not only retains its value but increases with time. Bitcoin possibly can provide this. Once reaching the total supply of 21 million, its value can only go up.

The best performing asset of all time

Anthony Pompliano called Bitcoin the best performing asset of all time for a reason. Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, it outperformed S&P 500, DOW JONES, NASDAQ, etc. “during the longest bull run”. Bitcoin experienced multiple declines with more than -80%.

Nevertheless, Bitcoin is still up +56,146.22% since its creation. Because when Bitcoin started, it was worth 0$. At the time of writing the price of one Bitcoin is $3,523.20.

Who created Bitcoin?

Ten years ago the Bitcoin white-paper, also called as “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was first published. It was posted by an anonymous pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto on October 31st, 2008. To this day people are still exchanging opinions on what, who or they are. Some speculate that he could be Japanese because of the Japanese-like pseudonym. Some say that he might be British because of his perfect English writing style in his posts. Also, people believe that that might be a group of people rather than just one. Nevertheless, there have been multiple people claiming that they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Also, many journalists have tried to find out who the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is, but all evidence is circumstantial.

The advantages of investing in Bitcoin

Bitcoin along with cryptocurrencies as an asset class, opened the possibilities for lots of people to start learning about investments. Before then, millennials and other people interested in investing knew about investment opportunities such as:

Shares or Equities

A share or a stock is an indivisible unit of capital, expressing the ownership relationship between the company and the shareholder. Basically, this is a small portion of a company. You can only buy them as a whole, hence the indivisibility. Your shares are entirely dependent on the company and the wellness of their business.

Bonds

Bonds are also known as fixed-interest stocks. These are a form of IOU (abbreviated from the phrase “I owe you”) issued by governments and companies when they want to borrow money from investors. They pay a fixed level of interest, with higher-risk borrowers paying more in interest than lower-risk borrowers.

Commodities

Commodities such as Gold and Silver is one of the best investment opportunities of all time. There is a huge variety of commodities in the global markets. It includes Oil and Gas, Copper, Iron and even such agricultural commodities as wheat, rice, soya, lumber and so on. Similar to shares and bonds, commodity prices rise and fall depending on the supply and demand, and funds can take advantage of this.

Real-Estate

Property as an asset class is also considered as one of the best investment types in the world. If you buy land or a house, there are multiple Return of Investment opportunities. You can develop it and almost in all cases, the price will rise. Whether residential or commercial, the property has a good record in providing a financial return that beats inflation.

Investor as a slave

All these asset classes till now made the investor a sort of a slave to the specific asset class. A Broker takes care of everything. He also charges a fee for his work, which is logical. Considering this, people just handed over their money to people who they didn’t know. This makes the investor almost a slave to the particular service which provides the brokerage. Also, the investor needed to know everything about the particular market. This requires many hours of reading and understanding, especially, if we look at markets such as Commodities or Real-Estate.

Also, it required huge amounts of money to start with, and up until now investing seemed like only for the rich. For example, if you wanted to invest in stocks, you couldn’t just buy a portion of a stock, like a 0,2 part of the stock. You needed to buy one whole stock. If you wanted to invest in real estate, you basically needed the money to purchase a house or land. And those are not cheap.

However, Bitcoin introduced a whole different type of investing. It is possible to buy the smallest portion of BTC you need. People don’t have to buy a whole unit. You even can buy Bitcoin worth of $10. Or even less, if you want. People always say Bitcoin has a scaling problem, but it doesn’t. Bitcoin can be divisible into small fractions like 0.00000001 BTC, called Satoshis. 1 Satoshi is the smallest unit of Bitcoin.
Also, you don’t need a broker to do the purchasing for you. You just need to read a few beginners guides, and you’re all set. Not to mention that when investing in Bitcoin you are the core holder and owner of your investment. Of course, if you don’t use any third-party services.

The disadvantages of investing in Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been and still is a very volatile asset. It still is looking for a more stable market so we wouldn’t recommend it for short-term investments. However, lately, we can see that the BTC market is starting to mature. In the chart below you can see the weekly volatility compared to other asset classes. Bitcoin’s weekly volatility is only a percent higher than Oil.

In comparison Bitcoin’s market cap at the time of writing is only $62,4 billion compared to S&P 500’s $21.03 Trillion, or Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) $7.5 trillion. You can only imagine how stable Bitcoin would be if it had a market cap of that scale.

Also, Bitcoin does not come with an insurance policy, like all the other above-mentioned asset classes. At the moment Bitcoin’s volatility is very high and it can come down as fast as it went up. Let alone the future regulations could improve or crash the price.

How Bitcoin has performed over the years.

The first data on Bitcoins’ (BTC) price goes back to July 7th, 2010, when the price was $0.05. So the first bull-run took it to $18.89 in May 29th, 2011. Then it went in a bear market for almost a year, cutting the price back to around $5. After that, a year of a slow bull market sent the price to $14, and at the beginning of 2013, it exploded to $142. Not long after, it surged its way to the first four-digit price – $1,205 in 2013 November. Then BTC went in on a two-year-long bear market lowering the rate to $228.50 in August 2015.

The biggest bull-run in Bitcoin history

After that, a three-year-long bull market began. The price completely exploded and reached unbelievable heights. The cost of one BTC was $19,000! In some exchanges, it reached even $20,000! Thanks to this bull market, lots and lots of people found out about Bitcoin. Media was covering it every day. CNBC was talking about how to buy Bitcoin and encouraging everyone on it. Everyone wanted to own a Bitcoin, which, preferably, he or she had purchased in 2013. During December 2017, it almost felt like Bitcoin is the only thing what interests people. The market was booming, new projects were coming out every two hours, and it felt like – this is it! Bitcoin has gained the needed attention – now we have to start using it.

Bitcoin chart, by Mircea Mihaescu

The problems

Along with massive popularity, came the networks’ usage problems. Bitcoin transaction fees skyrocketed and reached a shocking $37 per transaction in December 21st. That meant that small payments via BTC couldn’t be transacted. Since then the hype around Bitcoin has settled. Small payments now can be made through LightningNetwork – Bitcoins’ off-chain solution for micro-transactions. However now, the transaction fees are as low as $0,01.

The Future

Today Bitcoin accepts a total of 14,227 venues across the world. The most active areas being Europe and North America. The multiple payment cards and apps give us the possibility to spend our cryptocurrency as we want. You can buy cars, houses, boats, coffee, pay for rent, mobile services, and mainly use it as money, which it is. Just recently, during the Baltic HoneyBadger Bitcoin conference, The B Foundation was announced, which is an organization through which people will have the opportunity to finance Bitcoin.

Also, Bitcoin is slowly entering the traditional equity markets. CME and CBOE launched their first Bitcoin Futures markets back in 2017, January. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has launched a company called Bakkt, which will present Bitcoin Futures markets as well. However, they have failed to deliver a specific date for this launch. January 24th, 2018 was the date, but due to a government shutdown, it was postponed. Also, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) soon will review the multiple Bitcoin ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) applications. These milestones can bring huge funds coming into Bitcoin, which could eventually increase the price.

However, are we all in this just for the money? Alternatively, are we in for the technological or the financial revolution? How long will it take for Bitcoin to reach mass adoption, and, in general – will it be Bitcoin?

You can read the original .pdf file of the Bitcoin White-Paper HERE.

Source:

https://citywire.co.uk/funds-insider/news/the-5-asset-classes-funds-invest-in/a568135
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/iou.asp
https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/price/
https://u.today/every-crypto-collapse-has-a-silver-lining-the-current-btc-correction-has-been-smallest-so-far
https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-is-worlds-best-performing-asset-class-over-past-10-years-says-pompliano
https://www.bitcoinblockhalf.com
https://www.investopedia.com/news/only-20-percent-total-bitcoins-remain-be-mined/
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Currency/Pages/edu_faq_currency_production.aspx
https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/coin_currency_orders.htm
https://cryptoiq.co/no-launch-date-in-sight-for-bakkt-physical-bitcoin-btc-futures/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bitcoin-futures-contracts-factbox/factbox-cboe-launches-bitcoin-futures-contracts-cme-to-follow-idUSKBN1E10J8
https://goo.gl/dNx2Np
https://goo.gl/WsvvCY
https://goo.gl/hAV6Pi
https://bitcoinfees.info
https://coinmap.org

Cover photo by David McBee from Pexels

The team of 0x announces 0x Instant

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Recently the team of 0x announced their new release called 0x Instant. With this new update, users can now make instant crypto payments. Also, smoothly add purchasing to any app or website they have. 

“Instant is open-source, fully configurable, and allows hosts to earn affiliate fees on every transaction. Under the hood, Instant aggregates liquidity from 0x relayers for any ERC-20 or ERC-721 asset. It automatically finds the best prices within the 0x networked liquidity pool and lets users pay for tokens with ETH via MetaMask, Ledger, Trezor, or any other Ethereum wallet,” says in their blog post.

Coinbase Wallet already using Instant

The 0x team claims that Coinbase and Balance are already using their new 0x Instant improvement in their products. With the help of Instant customers of Coinbase and Balance can seamlessly purchase tokens within the services. All this is available with the multiple tools that 0x Instant provides. You can start with Instant Configurator to identify the tokens you support. Choose a liquidity source and select the affiliate fee, if there is any. Next, with Asset Buyer, you can configure and have full control over how the UI is designed. Also, they explain how this works in their blog post: “AssetBuyer leverages the new forwarder contract to abstract away the complexities of sourcing orders and performing market buys in the 0x network. That means no more wrapping ETH!”

A diverse set of projects already being hosted

0x claim that “Developers and creators can utilize Instant to build product experiences that couldn’t have existed before.” These projects include non-fungible token marketplaces, non-custodial crypto wallets, as already mentioned above, dApps, and crypto price feeds.

Non-fungible tokens are a particular type of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens are thus not interchangeable, says Wikipedia. 0x Instant main focus with these NFTs are crypto gaming industry. Recently Emoon implemented Instant to provide users access to a wide variety of NFTs. Emoon is a decentralized marketplace for ERC-721 assets.

CoinGecko adds 0x instant

For dApp projects, an example is Augur, “which integrated Instant to offer REP, so users can quickly join their network to participate in prediction markets.”

CoinGecko, as a crypto price feed representative, has added Instant to several coin pages, so that buying these coins become even more accessible than ever before.

Instant crypto transfers

This development, of course, marks another step closer to mass adoption, as this makes buying crypto so easy either for crypto beginners or already experienced users. However, this also paints a pretty vivid picture for the future, how crypto transfers and purchases might happen. Just by a few clicks, your desired cryptocurrency can be purchased straight to your Ethereum wallet. That is done though Metamask, a Google Chrome extension, which is a bridge between your Ethereum wallet and Google Chrome browser. Also, Brave browser supports this as well. This is yet another important step towards easing the way how people buy cryptocurrencies. Consequently, this technology will develop over time and we might see new features to come.

Source:

https://goo.gl/NVsHLJ
https://0xproject.com/instant

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Coinbase’s range of assets – a bullish sign?

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Recently Coinbase came out with a blog post announcing a broad range exploration of assets. These assets include Cardano (ADA), Aeternity (AE), Aragon (ANT), Bread Wallet (BRD), Civic (CVC), Dai (DAI), district0x (DNT), EnjinCoin (ENJ), EOS (EOS), Golem Network (GNT), IOST (IOST), Kin (KIN), Kyber Network (KNC), ChainLink (LINK), Loom Network (LOOM), Loopring (LRC), Decentraland (MANA), Mainframe (MFT), Maker (MKR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGo (OMG), Po.et (POE), QuarkChain (QKC), Augur (REP), Request Network (REQ), Status (SNT), Storj (STORJ), Stellar (XLM), XRP (XRP), Tezos (XTZ), and Zilliqa (ZIL).

Not all will be available for everyone

Coinbase explained that not all assets would be available for everyone. That highly depends on the law of the specific jurisdiction. “Some of these assets may become available everywhere, while others may only be supported in specific jurisdictions,” they say in their blog post. They are working closely with local banks and regulators to add these assets in as many jurisdictions as possible. Also, some assets might be only available for hodling, they reveal in their post, saying that “our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet.”

Why now?

This decision by Coinbase comes not precisely as a surprise, but it raises a specific question. Does Coinbase know something that we don’t know? Why explore the addition of these assets only now? Of course, “now” is a stretched term, and they already announced this in September, but all of these assets have lost more than 90% of their all-time high value. Is Coinbase discretely signaling of a bull market approaching?

“Over time, we intend to offer our customers access to greater than 90% of all compliant digital assets by market cap.”

Isn’t this a little late? Multiple services are offering this already, so what would set Coinbase aside from them? However, the motivation is bright for this, the market is getting larger, and people want to hold their assets in one place. On the other hand, this could have been a great feature last year, during the ICO craze.

As reported previously, Coinbase first added the support of Basic Attention Token (BAT). Then without notice, they added 0x (ZRX), and just recently, Coinbase added Zcash (ZEC) to their multiple platforms.

Source:

https://goo.gl/N4KW2Z

Does government attack crypto? Norway cuts electricity subsidies for Bitcoin Miners.

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Norway has announced that by the end of this year they will cut the current discount for electricity. It applies to data centers and bitcoin mining factories, who produce more than 0.5 megawatts. Until now, they had to pay 0.48 cents per kilowatt-hour, instead of 16.58 cents. 

A shock for the industry

Roger Schjerva, ICT (Information and Communications Technology)-Norway Chief Economist says that “this is shocking!” He expresses dissatisfaction as the government didn’t conduct any dialogue with the people working in the industry. He said that Norway scores high on the rankings of political stability and predictable framework, but now “they are gambling with the governments’ credibility.” The decision directly affects crypto-miners in Norway and Denmark. “We can only hope that the politicians understand that energy-intensive computing is something of what we are supposed to live by in the future,” he added.

Norway cannot continue like this

Several sources have pointed out that these cryptocurrency mining factories are gaining huge benefits from this tax discount. “Norway cannot continue to give huge tax breaks to the dirtiest form of cryptocurrency production as bitcoin. It requires an enormous amount of energy and provides large emissions of greenhouse gases globally,” stated a member from the Norwegian parliament. The Christian Democratic Party filed this proposal in combination with the coalition parties, and the tax cut will come into force by early January 2019.

ICT-Norway defends miners

It looks like the Norwegian crypto-miners have been living worry-free till now because the cost of roughly 0.5 cents per kilowatt is ridiculously small. It is hard to imagine what the effect will be profit or economic-wise. Since it is not yet mentioned what the future cost could be, it looks like ICT-Norway will not stand back and watch this escalate. They feel that the government hasn’t conducted a proper dialogue with the people working in the industry, and single-handedly decides on a sector that will be a big part of the future information technologies. It is still believed that this proposition will be filed for a more in-depth review. Whether it will be after the discount cut takes place, or before – that remains unknown.

Norway blocking Crypto?

However, if we look at this from a different perspective. Could it be that the Norwegian government is “throwing rocks” at bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general? This decision seems odd, because of the recent news of Sweden announcing the development of their native cryptocurrency – E-Krona. Alternatively, on the other hand – this isn’t odd at all. Could it be that Norway is looking into its own cryptocurrency development? That could lead up to that. They have realized that the demand for mining Bitcoin is enormous and the consumption of electricity clearly shows that. I believe that one of the plans would be applying a standard electricity fee for Bitcoin miners. After which comes the creation of their own cryptocurrency, with a lower power tax than usual. Which at the end of the day will be more beneficial to miners. However, that is just a poor vision.

Source:

https://goo.gl/14akre

Photo by pexels.com

Thursday morning crypto game exploration.

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As it was raining outside, and I had this warm and cozy feeling, it felt like I wanted to do something different today. I found a cool website that lists pretty much all the crypto-related games there is. 

The website is called cryptoandgamers.com. It doesn’t look like they have made a specific order, but it sure looks like many games.

The testing

Starting this off with CryptoKitties at the top. We all know what CryptoKitties is. That was the popular game that congested the Ethereum network at the end of last year. When it came out, it had a massive hype around it. Some of the CryptoKitties even cost around 120ETH, which is utterly incomprehensible to my mind. However, now during a bear market, the prices have slightly corrected, but still, you can find Kitties on sale for 100 ETH, but that’s more like a joke, I believe. From the overview, it looks like nothing much has changed since it came out, except a few exclusive cats. To me, this game is still something I don’t understand. How can someone pay money for a digital version of a cat and look at it as an investment – that the cat could be re-sellable. It’s just weird, but let it be. Some things in life are not worth understanding.

Then I jumped into various types of different genre games, like Crypto Baseball, for example. Sounds good, I already imagined how I’m going to play it, but nothing. “Page not found.”

Oh well, let’s look at other games like – CryptoFights. It looks like an exciting game. Powered by the Enjin platform, it is a 1 vs. 1 turn-based mobile fighting game, where you have to earn experience points to gain new levels. Sounds all good, we’re ready to play, but again the game hasn’t come out yet. It says that the game comes out during Q4 2018, which is now.

Moving on, hoping for at least one game that would work so that we could test it.

We tried EtherLeague, but that didn’t work as well, so we naturally moved on to the next one and whoala! DragonKing.io turned out to be working. It looks like it is a strategy game with role-playing game characteristics, but after registering, and watching a video on how to play, which by the way, didn’t explain much, we figured that it wasn’t worth our time. There were Ether and HitBTC bags flying around along with other players, but it wasn’t clear whether it that was in real-time or just an animation.

Next, we tried CryptoRome, which sounds like an ancient strategy game, and by the description, it sure did sound like that, but when we started playing it, all the hype narrowed, because it basically looks like a card game. You have to buy cards, that do different things, and it looks like the board game called Catan Universe. You have to collect resources, land, troops to get more territory.

I got tired of just wandering about websites that don’t work, so I decided to look at it from a different perspective. I went on dappradar.com and just checked out the most popular dApp games. The picture was clear – CryptoKitties, Ethermon, and MegaCryptoPolis were the top 3 crypto games that run on Ethereum blockchain. All three games have an average of around 300 users per 24h.

So the overall picture of the crypto game industry is kind of yet undeveloped. Most of the projects are only soon to come, and the ones working give you the feeling of incompleteness. Also, I believe that’s true! They are still in development, and mainstream blockchain games still are something new for the daily gamer. I think, mostly it’s because they just haven’t found out about blockchain technology or cryptocurrencies as a whole, and that might be the main reason why these games are not that popular.

Source:

https://www.cryptokitties.co
https://cryptofights.io
https://www.mlbcryptobaseball.com
https://etherleague.io
https://dragonking.io
https://www.cryptorome.io/
https://www.megacryptopolis.com
https://www.etheremon.com
https://dappradar.com

Photo by Canva.com

Crypto.com added Ripple to their wallet and card app.

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Just now, Crypto.com, previously Monaco, posted an announcement of adding Ripple to their platform. Crypto.com is a pioneering cryptocurrency platform from Hong Kong, which allows users to buy, sell, send, track and pay with crypto with the help of their platform. They also offer a variety of pre-paid cards, which all have different easements for the user. 

Crypto.com already supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and their own MCO token.

“XRP is the first coin that we’re releasing on our newly built backend infrastructure, which allows us to add new coins faster, as well as to perform faster withdrawals, all while maintaining full security of the platform. We intend to increase the number of coins listed aggressively, to eventually cover all cryptocurrencies that matter,” commented the company’s CEO and Co-founder Kris Marszalek.

These are great news for the Ripple community, as they have been constantly left out from Coinbase side, when speaking about the addition of alternative coins or tokens. Crypto.com being a slightly new company, looks like they can provide the proper service to their users and their token hasn’t bottomed out nor performed poorly. It has had some ups and downs, but the market movement is hopeful. The MCO chart also is not your everyday sh*tcoin chart with only one trend – down, overall it has seen some fluctuation since last year.

Definitely check this service provider out and decide on what you want to use it with. There are plenty of competitors in the game of crypto payments, cards, transactions, but now, during the bear market, only a few projects have been able to keep their heads above the water.

What kind of a cryptocurrency payment platform are you using?

Source:

https://goo.gl/55LmQU
https://goo.gl/zASvpn

Coinbase competitor Ethos paving their road to fiat gateway with a new partnership!

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Yesterday, September 27, Ethos.io and Voyager Digital Holdings formed a strategic partnership to bring fiat-to-crypto and vice versa trading to Ethos universal wallet users and to enhance wallet solutions and self-custody on Voyager’s retail and institutional platforms. 

On Voyagers’ side, this partnership would improve their wallet functionalities and self-custody optimization while on the Ethos side of the partnership this formation would improve the current Ethos wallet user experience by allowing seamless converting, storing and trading their digital assets, all on one platform, thus being one of the first platforms to do so. With the help of Voyager, Ethos universal wallet users will be able to covert fiat to the Ethos token and vice versa.

Voyager on the other side, will integrate Ethos Bedrock for self-custody on their platform along with the Ethos Universal Wallet in their offerings. All this is done to enhance the Voyagers’ plans to launch their own mobile trading app in Q4.

“With this transformative partnership in place, we believe we are offering the first end-to-end, fully integrated solution in the crypto asset space,” commented the CEO of Voyager, Stephen Ehrlich.

And Shingo Lavine, the CEO of Ethos said that “Voyager gives our users the power of fast, commission free trading, using their smart order router and liquidity network. For Ethos Universal Wallet users, this means that a low-fee fiat gateway will be a future enhancement, first for our U.S. clients and then rolled out globally,” adding that “this partnership creates a true bridge between traditional and institutional finance within the crypto-asset market to create a dynamic and borderless financial ecosystem.”

The way how I see it.

Referring to a recent announcement by Coinbase, on their willingness to implement as many as possible assets to their platform, I believe that this was a strategic move done in the result of this already mentioned partnership. I think that when Coinbase found out about this partnering, they immediately understood that Ethos could become a major competitor. So they went out on CNBC Fast Money to announce their new “idea”, which Ethos has been promoting since the day they rebranded. Since Coinbase most definitely has more users than Ethos, Coinbase would grab the market with ease, while Ethos still has to gain trust in the hearts of its users since their app is currently pretty useless. All this also applies to the new Coinbase updates on educating their users with Informational Asset Pages and Coinbase Learn. Since Ethos is offering their users a similar service, all this is sort of coming together. Ethos is a serious competitor to Coinbase, and Coinbase just acknowledged it by their premature announcement, which a lot of users have been waiting since the beginning of this year.

Hopefully, these two platforms could co-exist in the future, and the fiat-to-crypto gateway goes as smoothly as planned.

Source:

https://goo.gl/gaHjEP

Monaco rebranding

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From a recent tweet from Monaco, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform announced a rebrand to CRYPTO.com in order to “accelerate the worlds transition to cryptocurrency.” 

Previously known as Monaco, this platform offers a wallet app, VISA payment cards and a portfolio of cryptocurrency products, now will be called MCO Crypto, thus aligning with the company’s token. They have updated their whitepaper as well, to recap their achievements thus far, highlighting their vision, strategy and new products to come.

“CRYPTO.com gives us a powerful new identity in line with our original vision to put cryptocurrency in every wallet. As the name we’re taking on is also representative of the entire space, it comes with a huge responsibility to carry the torch. We will strive to deliver impact worthy of the name and build infrastructure that enables growth of the ecosystem, delivering on the promise of a decentralized future” said the company’s CEO and Co-Founder Kris Marszalek. He also added that “Our rebrand to CRYPTO.com will not affect our MCO Visa Card rollout schedule”

Congratulations to Monaco or should I say MCO Crypto, for taking on such a big commitment on speeding up the cryptocurrency transition from fiat.

To read more about their rebranding, products and services, go to https://goo.gl/KS8RD2.

Source:

https://goo.gl/tXU1eL

Lawsuit against BitConnect: Youtube added as a defendant

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The lawsuit which was initiated in July 24th states that BitConnect issued crypto tokens that were unregistered securities, and obtained additional funds through a wide ranging Ponzi-scheme. The lawsuit was filed by 6 individuals who claim to have lost around $771,000. 

BitConnect and its affiliates used Youtube to spread their fraudulent investment scheme through videos. Youtube has failed to delist and demonetize the published videos. The top ten affiliates had posted more than 70,000 hours of unedited content which generated around 58 million views.

“This case is not about YouTube being the speaker or publisher of the content on its website. Instead, liability is predicated on YouTube’s failure to act after learning from content directly published on YouTube of the readily foreseeable harm posed by its advertising partners… As the old saying goes: Sometimes when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas” said David Silver of Silver Miller, the firm which represents the 6 individuals in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are sure that if Youtube had developed an appropriate search of its databases, it probably would have delisted the harmful activities of BitConnect videos.

The document which has been filed in court, concludes:

“YouTube failed as a gatekeeper to protect its users from, and warn its users of, the very harm YouTube set out to prevent with its advertising protocols and proprietary algorithms.”

Source:

https://goo.gl/ZY8sqm

https://goo.gl/d3aMw2 – court documents