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A Primer on Filecoin – The Utility Token Everyone Will Need

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Cryptocurrencies have blown up so fast that most people haven’t stopped to consider the varying levels of utility in the various protocols. If you speak to people about cryptocurrencies, they usually get focused on the use case as a digital world currency.

Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency for this reason. Its use case is as a digital currency that allows for borderless commerce, which means there is a massive audience. At the same time, it means there are a lot of people competing in the same space.

But when you get past the conception of cryptocurrencies having the pure utility of buying goods, the idea of utility tokens becomes possible. The same way that euros are good for buying goods in Europe and Canadian dollars are good for buying goods in Canada, each coin has a certain utility it permits access to.

Utility Tokens Are Aimed at Certain Niches

Ethereum is one such example of a utility token (ether) which is then exchanged for computation, rather than goods. Another token that has received a lot of publicity is Filecoin. In short, Filecoin is an opensource cryptocurrency that was designed to facilitate the sharing of computer storage. You pay in Filecoin for the right to store your data on someone else’s computer.

The idea is so simple, as it is essentially an extension of Uber or Airbnb in that users are able to maximize the utilization rate of their storage systems by renting it out. And once you are in possession of Filecoin, it is easily converable into USD, BTC, or ETH.

At the same time, a marketplace for storage space is created, which results in competition pushing the prices down to make them more affordable.

By creating a market for data storage which is scalable enough to bring a lot of vendors and users to the market, Filecoin has a chance to capitalize on a complex problem with an elegant solution.

Background on Filecoin

The company was founded by Protocol Labs and raised $52 million in its Pre-ICO, followed by $200 million during the full ICO. Protocol Labs is a research, development, and deployment lab that creates network protocols like the ones that support Filecoin.

The ICO was executed in early August and raised money from 2,100+ investors. 30% of the tokens went to the genesis group, and the other 70% went to Filecoin miners. The genesis group was split up between Protocol Labs, investors, and the Filecoin Foundation. The first two parties are self-explanatory, but the 5% that went to Filecoin Foundation can be explained as money that is set aside for the long-term governance of the protocol, as well as community building and partner support.

The Filecoin token, FIL, is used to pay for storage, retrieval, and any other transactions on the network. Like many other tokens, the monetary policy is defined by having a limited supply that is set by the token sale. Just like with Bitcoin, you have minting earning block rewards in order to incentivize miners to maintain the network.

Filecoin’s Competitive Advantage

There are obvious security issues that must be faced. Most people have enough issues putting their data in the cloud, let alone on the computer of someone who is looking to make extra cash. This is why a protocol like Filecoin is necessary.

Centralized applications like Evernote and Dropbox have their own vulnerabilities that have come out over the past few years, and Filecoin can hopefully create a solution that transcends these issues.

By using strong end-to-end encryption, Filecoin makes it impossible for your data to ever be read while it is on another user’s computer. Additionally, you can be assured that none of your data is being stored on Filecoin’s servers, lest they be compromised.

When you deal with hosts on Airbnb, they are still a big part of the process. They set things up and make sure you get the keys and the place is clean. Filecoin works differently than that by handling all the file transfer and payment transactions. In this sense, it is not only decentralized away from there being company error, but also from vendor error or malpractice.

Filecoin Solves a Problem

In conclusion, Filecoin is enabling the reliable storage of data at hypercompetitive prices, by creating a scalable market for storage. Unlike mass cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, utility tokens have specific uses, which is where all their value comes from.

The result is a coin that is scarce and can be used to purchase storage on others’ computers – a valuable resource in its own right. Filecoin has the right backing and seems to be building towards its goal in a sustainable manner, which makes it a token to watch in the near future.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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  1. tray2002

    February 27, 2018 at 2:23 am

    What are the differences between Filecoin and Siacoin?

  2. ebanhataa

    February 27, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Great article, but why you don’t even mention SiaCoin or Storj? They were there long before Filecoin and nothing you write about is unique for Filecoin. So is Filecoin nothing but a new copy of the firstmovers in decentralized Storage?

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Altcoins

Selling Pressure Hits Bitcoin, Altcoins Following Large Rally

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Cryptocurrencies declined across the board on Monday, as the market returned to a defensive posture following a $38 billion inflow over the past six days. Losses affected all major assets but were largely concentrated in altcoins and tokens.

Market Update

From a peak of around $230 billion on Friday, the cryptocurrency market cap has fallen back to $218.4 billion. The brisk selloff began around 00:00 UTC on Monday; the market would go on to lose roughly $8 billion over the span of six hours.

Trading volumes have held steady over the last 24 hours with $13.7 billion transacted on virtual currency exchanges.

All major assets were down on Monday, with XRP and Stellar XLM each declining more than 11%. Both currencies were the top performers last week. XRP is currently trading at $0.517 and XLM is sitting at $0.2556.

Ethereum slipped 5.1% to $232. Bitcoin cash was down 7.3% at 464. EOS, which was briefly overtaken by Stellar in the market cap rankings, declined 6.6% to $5.67.

Losses in bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, were more contained. BTC is down 2.1% over 24 hours to $6,607. Bitcoin’s price crossed the 50-day moving average on Friday and is currently testing that key level.

Pullback Expected

A pullback was expected for the leading altcoins after demonstrating spectacular growth over a short period. XRP posted a three-fold increase in price last week while Stellar XLM added a third to its value in roughly the same period. Cardano was also among the top performers a ADA began its long recovery from a 96% retracement.

Fundamentals were a major catalyst behind last week’s rally but appear to be absent from the recent reversal, reinforcing the view that technical re-positioning was largely responsible. Sharp corrections are common for cryptocurrencies after a large run-up in prices.

With the pullback, bitcoin’s share of the overall market has returned above 52%. Bitcoin’s dominance rate approached six-week lows on Sunday as altcoins and tokens outpaced the leading digital currency.

BTC trade volumes are holding above $4 billion, a figure that is generally consistent with rising prices. Bitcoin’s price action this week could be influenced by expiring CME futures contracts. The September futures contract is set to expire on Friday.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 610 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Cardano Price Surges Following 96% Retracement

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After a long and brutal correction, Cardano is finally showing signs of recovery. The platform’s native token emerged as one of the biggest winners on Sunday, joining Stellar’s XLM at the top of the leader board.

ADA Price Update

Cardano’s ADA rose by as much as 12% on Sunday to reach a high of $0.093, its best in six days. At the time of writing, ADA was up 7.7% at $0.089, according to CoinMarketCap.

ADA’s daily trade volume has spiked 370% over the past seven days. On Sunday, daily turnover on digital currency exchanges reached $145.9 million. Binance was the biggest spot market for ADA trades, with roughly 40% of transactions taking place on the exchange. Upbit processed nearly a third of the daily turnover.

At current values, ADA has a market capitalization of $2.3 billion, up more than 27% from last week.

Extremely Oversold

While no asset has been spared from the yearlong market downturn, Cardano’s ADA was among the hardest hit. As Weiss Ratings highlighted last week, ADA is among four top-25 coins to have experienced a 90% retracement from its peak. ADA was down a staggering 96% from peak-to-trough, worse than XRP, NEO and IOTA.

Despite experiencing oversized losses relative to the majors, Cardano has been labeled one of the most promising blockchain projects since bitcoin. Founded by Charles Hoskinson, the influential co-founder of Ethereum, Cardano plans to use proof of stake to solve scalability and interoperability challenges. Ouroboros, the proof of stake algorithm employed by Cardano, achieved a significant security breakthrough earlier this year and is now considered “scientifically secure” by the blockchain community.

XRP Factor?

XRP’s three-fold increase since Thursday appears to have paved the way for other cryptocurrencies to follow suit. The market’s total capitalization reached a high near $229 billion on Sunday after XRP briefly overtook Ethereum as the world’s second-largest blockchain.

The market experienced another “flippening” on Sunday after Stellar’s XLM leapfrogged EOS for fifth spot in the value rankings. XLM is back in the no. 6 slot with a market cap of nearly $5.3 billion, but has gained more than 17% over the past 24 hours.

XRP’s price is sometimes considered a bellwether of institutional adoption in blockchain technology. The coin’s sharp and sudden upswing is in direct response to growing institutional adoption of Ripple’s underlying technology as well as the company’s plans to commercialize its cross-border payment platform.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 610 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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UNICEF and Goldman-Sachs Backed Investors Adopt Stellar; XLM Overtakes EOS

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Stellar (XLM) was the beneficiary of two promising pieces of news over the weekend; first that Goldman-Sachs backed financial platform, Circle, has added XLM to its array of investable assets. And secondly that world aid organization UNICEF has expanded its breadth of donatable currencies to include Stellar (XLM).

Just like with XRP a couple of days ago, two big pieces of news was enough to trigger a flurry of buys for the coin in question. While XRP’s flurry cascaded into 115% growth and an influx of $5 billion to daily trade volumes, XLM’s performance has been a little more understated, but still significant.

Stellar (XLM) Displaces EOS

As sentiment began to turn for XLM last night it’s coin price went on a run that eventually resulted in 28% growth by 10:30 UTC Sunday morning. Stellar’s market cap jumped from $4.3 billion to $5.6 billion in that time, displacing EOS as the fifth most capitalized cryptocurrency in the process.

The overnight surge saw XLM trade at a near two-month high of $0.299126 during this morning’s peak – that’s up from Saturday’s low of $0.233491. And just like we saw with the majority of altcoins during the market surge of the last few days, a significant chunk of the action is coming from the eastern markets.

Over 25% of the day’s trades have come in the form of the XLM/KRW (Korean won) pair, based on the Upbit exchange. Likewise today, Cardano (ADA) can also attribute the majority of its 13% to Upbit’s ADA/KRW pair.

Upbit and Bithumb were the source of the majority of the recent market surge, and even today as the XRP hype dies down, Upbit’s XRP/KRW trades still represent the highest concentration of daily action.

XLM Making Moves

The Circle team announced the addition of XLM to their investment platform via this blog post, in which they detail the addition of EOS (EOS), Qtum (QTUM) and Ox (ZRX) as well as Stellar. The post states:

“These 4 assets were selected specifically based on their potential to contribute powerful infrastructure to the broader crypto ecosystem.”

Details on how Circle decide which assets are beneficial to the broader ecosystem can be read here. XLM, along with the other cryptos mentioned, will be available for individual investment or as part of a pre-packaged array of assets.

Over the weekend the Stellar team also took to Twitter to announce that the French division of UNICEF will now be accepting donations in XLM. The announcement by UNICEF  (French language) details the addition of Stellar as well as XRP in the last few days, taking the organization’s list of acceptable cryptocurrencies to nine.

The current batch of cryptocurrencies is now made up of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Monero, EOS, Litecoin and Stellar.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 61 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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