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Blockstack Primer: Introduction to the Decentralized Browser

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Every company is founded based on a change they would like to bring to the world. Facebook was about networking many individuals together under one domain, and Amazon was about making it possible to buy anything from anywhere. But what has happened along the way is users and their information have become a tradable commodity.

Blockstack’s Ideals and Goals

One of the core ideas of the start-up Blockstack is we should all be able to retain our data. Rather than hand over all your data, you would just be able to use it as an identifier to gain access, much like an ID to get into a secure location.

If you wanted to distill Blockstack down to a single idea, it is that of a decentralized browser. You have all the same features of a regular browser, but the storage, identity, and other features are all decentralized. What this means for developers is they no longer have to worry about certain aspects of their creations, as the Blockstack platform handles those. This frees them up to work on building applications on top of the Blockstack platform to help the users.

High Profile Investors

One of the best signs in an early stage start-up is the quality of the investors. They signal a value to the idea and possibility of execution that would be hard to verify without conducting close-quarters interviews and research, which isn’t always possible for users.

The vision of a free and open Internet is one that most of the top investors share for the future of technology. Based on recent debates about net neutrality and how the protocols should be run, it seems like we are in dire need of a more democratic system of running the Internet.

The beauty of something like Blockstack is that it has huge social value, as well as economic value. Thinking of users in restricted countries like China or North Korea, Blockstack could be helpful for freeing them from the oppression they currently face by opening up the Internet.

Most investors look for situations where there is a possibility of innovating an old business model and disrupting the industry as a whole. It seems like major Internet players have much too much power and Blockstack is a potential way of changing that.

OpenBazaar, Tierion, and ConsenSys are three of the most prominent companies which have been building their product on the Blockstack platform. Tierion’s main use is in the verification of data and files, and OpenBazaar is an e-commerce company aiming to connect buyers and sellers using a DAO.

Successful ICO

A recent trend in the blockchain community has been belated releases of tokens. For some companies, there is not an obvious use case of a token, and it doesn’t make sense to release one for pure fundraising, since regulators might perceive that unfavourably.

On October 10th, 2017, Blockstack announced the debut of their token and released a white paper. The token, Stack, is centred around spam control and creating proper incentive structures on the Blockstack platform. Between November 1st and December 1st, the registration and sale of the tokens occurred.

The ICO was extremely successful, and raised money from nearly every big investor in the game, including Union Square Ventures, Foundation Capital, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group.

Future of Decentralized Apps

With 12,000+ developers currently active in the development of decentralized applications that work with identity, storage, and tokens that work in applications which are user controlled, the future of Blockstack seems bright.

The token ICO received a lot of attention because of the high-quality investors who showed an interest in it, but this is also a platform that has clear promise. Much like Ethereum’s use case, Blockstack stands to benefit from the fact that value can actually be captured in this protocol, which wasn’t possible when the Internet first debuted.

Blockstack’s power is in its ability to ride some major economic and social trends, and the combination of high profile investors and its quickly scaling platform is a positive indicator for its 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. DeadDuckWalking

    March 7, 2018 at 1:09 pm

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Altcoins

Stellar Lumens Quietly Leads Crypto Market Recovery as Fidelity Rumors Circulate

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Stellar Lumens has put up double-digit gains over the past week, buoyed by improving fundamentals and rumors of a potential partnership with Fidelity Investments.

XLM/USD Update

The XLM price experienced little movement on Sunday, as the overall market made tepid gains. At the time of writing, XLM was down 0.8% at $0.2415. Against bitcoin, the cryptocurrency was down 2%, according to CoinMarketCap.

Compared with seven days ago, XLM has gained more than 13%. Lumens peaked near $0.2500 on Saturday. Over the same period, the broader cryptocurrency market rose 4%. Bitcoin is up just 3.4% over the same period while Ethereum gained 3.7%.

At current values, the Stellar blockchain has a total market capitalization of $4.6 billion. Trade volumes in the last 24 hours reached $48.1 million. Binance, BitMart and BCEX are the largest markets for XLM trades, according to the latest available data.

This isn’t the first time XLM has outperformed the broader market. Lumens managed to hold its ground during the mid-August slump, a period that was associated with a 21% drop in Ethereum and a nearly 40% plunge in IOTA.

Fidelity Rumors Circulate

The latest upsurge in Stellar’s price follows speculation that Fidelity Investments may consider adopting the XLM blockchain for its digital asset business. The speculation is tied to Tom Jessop, a Fidelity executive who used to run a promising blockchain startup by the name of Chain. The Chain project was recently acquired by the Stellar Development Corporation. Following the merger, the Stellar Development Corporation re-branded as Interstellar.

From an institutional standpoint, Fidelity is considered an early adopter of cryptocurrency. The asset manager has been mining cryptocurrency for the past four years and recently announced plans to develop a new suite of blockchain-focused products.

Stellar has been subject to other positive speculation in recent months as large corporations seek entry into the blockchain arena. In August, Business Insider speculated that Facebook was eyeing a potential partnership with Stellar. Although Facebook denied the rumors, there’s strong reason to believe that the social media network will soon enter the blockchain arena, which makes Stellar a prime candidate for adoption.

Last month, IBM announced it had officially launched its new money transfer business on the Stellar protocol in a move that could springboard digital currency adoption across the globe. IBM Blockchain World Wire, as the system is known, utilizes Stellar to settle cross-border transactions in a matter of seconds.

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 649 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Altcoins

Ravencoin (RVN) Arrives With 118% Weekly Growth Ahead of Mainnet Launch

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Ravencoin (RVN) made its entry into the market cap top one-hundred on Sunday, propelled by a Binance listing, and 118% sustained growth over the course of the week.

Trade volumes for the asset-creation coin hit all-time highs on Thursday, rising an incredible 23,000% from $212,000 to $49 million within the space of ten days.

Ravencoin has been around since 2017, and the upcoming mainnet launch on October 31st marks the one year anniversary of the coin’s creation. It also marks the ten year anniversary of the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto.

RVN Rising

Ravencoin was going relatively unnoticed until it gained a Binance listing on October 11th. As you can see from the chart below, the Binance listing completely changed the coin’s fortunes.

Indeed, if we look at the source of today’s $49 million worth of trades we see that Binance has housed just under 85% of the total.

In the past week the coin rose 118% in value, climbing from $0.017300 up to Sunday’s peak of $0.037732. Since the date of the Binance listing the coin is up 172% in value, and finds itself among the market cap top-eighty.

What Is Ravencoin?

The Ravencoin protocol is open-source and available to the public, and focuses on the creation of digital assets on its Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain.

The blockchain itself is secured by sixteen different hashing algorithms, all of which are rotated on a non-patterned basis. The algorithm changes depending on the final digits in the preceding block hash, making it impossible to predict by ASIC mining machines.

As stated in the initial release notes last year:

“The core developers are currently focused on building the asset layer which will allow Ravencoin to facilitate the transfer of assets.  There is a hard-fork planned for the network to implement this additional asset layer in around October/November 2018 time frame.”

The devs appear to have held true to that time frame, and the mainnet upgrade is expected to go ahead as planned on October 31st.

The release notes state that no premine was used, nor are there any developer rewards. The blockchain is intended to be a Bitcoin for digital asset creation, and according to the official documentation:

“Assets can come in a variety of types, such as financial instruments such as security tokens/stocks/bonds/deeds/etc as well as gaming items (ex. a sword)/conventional asset management/managing  distributions for co-ops/digital art. There are a lot of real-world applications that this blockchain is intended to disrupt and improve.”

More can be read about the coin’s unique hashing algorithm, known as X16R, in the dedicated whitepaper provided in the Ravencoin release.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 82 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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Minor Bounce Lifts Crypto Market Cap Above $211 Billion; Tether Circulation Plummets

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Crypto prices traded modestly higher on Sunday, as bitcoin regained its footing above $6,500 and major altcoins avoided further losses.

Market Update

The cryptocurrency market capitalization on Sunday peaked at $212 billion, the highest in five days. At the time of writing, the market was valued at $211.5 billion.

Most assets ranked in the top-20 had reported minor gains over the last 24 hours, a period marked by lower trade volumes. The bitcoin price has returned above $6,500 on trade volumes of just $3.2 billion. The leading digital currency continues to trade at a premium on Bitfinex.

Meanwhile, Ethereum rose half a percent to $206. XRP also climbed 0.5% to $0.459. Bitcoin cash was last seen trading above $449 for a gain of 1.6%.

Stellar XLM was the only top-ten coin not to report gains at the time of writing. However, the no. 6 coin by market cap has returned more than 13% over the past week, far outpacing the broader market.

Trade volumes have declined steadily over the past week, as markets re-balanced following a sudden spike on Oct. 15. Digital exchange volumes have fallen to $9.7 billion on Sunday, according to CoinMarketCap.

Tether Market Cap Plunges

Since the start of October, Tether has pulled more than $600 million worth of USDT out of circulation, leading to a sharp drop in the stablecoin’s market cap. Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which is run by the same executive in charge of Tether Limited, appears to be leading in the offload of USDT tokens. As CCN recently reported, Bitfinex has initiated six transfers of USDT funds to the Tether Treasury this month. The latest transfer was initiated on Wednesday when Bitfinex sent 50 million USDT to the Treasury.

Most of the outflows from Bitfinex occurred long before USDT lost its peg to the dollar in a single-day crash on Oct. 15. USDT briefly fell below $0.90 that day before quickly recovering around $0.94. Currently, one USDT is equivalent to $0.984 U.S., according to CoinMarketCap. Some exchanges are quoting USDT as low as $0.96 on Sunday.

The sudden decline in Tether’s circulation comes at a time when the company is facing heightened scrutiny over its dollar-backed reserves. An influx of alternative stablecoins offering greater transparency and regulatory oversight may also be undercutting demand for USDT.

Case in point: the Gemini Exchange’s GUSD stablecoin reached a high of $1.19 on Tuesday before settling around parity against the dollar. Unlike USDT, the Gemini Dollar has obtained regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Services. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Tether has been subpoenaed by federal regulators over its connection with Bitfinex and failure to prove its dollar reserves.

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 649 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

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