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Why Investors Should Keep an Eye on Zilliqa (ZIL)

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Zilliqa (ZIL) launched in January of 2018 without much fanfare. The token’s immediate arrival in the market cap top one-hundred was sudden, yet also somewhat subtle given the team’s focus on tech and consequent neglect of marketing.

Led by former University of Singapore senior research fellow, Xinshu Dong, Zilliqa advertises itself as a high throughput, fast, secure blockchain host for dApps and smart contracts. There’s nothing necessarily new in that, and 99% of coin websites feature the same language.

But with that said, Zilliqa does offer up a few features worthy of attention.

Speed

The first thing you’ll see on the Zilliqa website is a bar chart displaying their achievement of 2,828 blockchain transactions per second. Many blockchains have been stress-tested to such levels, but only for brief periods.

Zilliqa’s claims will ultimately be put to the test when they migrate from Ethereum to their own mainnet, scheduled for early 2019. Yet such high speeds might be possible if the underlying technology turns out to be as promising as its fanfare suggests.

Shards

Zilliqa’s shards differ slightly from the shards currently being researched by Ethereum. The ‘state sharding’ of Ethereum is seen as a way to reduce the storage weight of the network’s transactions.

Zilliqa’s ‘transaction sharding’, however, instead divides nodes up into smaller groups (shards), and then allows them all to run in parallel. So a thousand nodes on the network could conceivably be split up into ten shards of a hundred nodes, effectively giving ten times the transaction throughput.

Byzantine Era

Zilliqa uses the practical byzantine fault tolerance (pBFT) protocol in its consensus mechanism, while keeping Proof-of-Work (PoW)in place in a reduced role to protect the network from Sybil attacks.

The pBFT protocol works best in groups of small numbers, and operates on the assumption that one third of the actors in a given group will be corrupt. For this reason, pBFT requires the consensus of two thirds of the nodes in a group – in this case, one of Zilliqa’s shards.

On the face of it, pBFT appears to have some benefits over traditional Nakamoto-style consensus, specifically in the lack of block confirmations required to finalize transactions. The initial pBFT process in the shard authenticates transactions by the time they reach the block, meaning no confirmations are needed to finalize them.

Proof-of-Work

Zilliqa does use Proof-of-Work to an extent, specifically to ward off Sybil attacks, and to confirm network identities after a given length of time. A gap of one hundred blocks has been quoted as the length of time between every PoW session, meaning the Zilliqa blockchain would benefit from PoW security but with reduced energy consumption.

But pBFT isn’t a sure thing just yet. Its combination with sharding can be effective only if shard groups are big enough to be secure (around 600 nodes), but small enough to make pBFT workable (around 50 in a group).

The Zilliqa team also has plans to explore adding private transactions in the future with the implementation of ZK-Snarks, and aims to open up cross-chain capabilities.

Partnerships

Zilliqa were announced as working partners of Japanese software and media firm Infoteria at the start of August, as announced here on the firm’s website (Japanese).

Meanwhile, in July the creators of the blockchain based Etheremon game announced they would be departing Ethereum to explore what Zilliqa’s blockchain had to offer. The move was in direct response to Ethereum network slowdowns of late, which have seen transaction fees spike to unmanageable levels.

Recent Performance

Zilliqa reached its ATH in early May, climbing to a token price of $0.22 and a market cap of over $1.4 billion.

Since then it’s been as expected – ZIL tokens have sunk month on month towards a current price of $0.04 – an 81% drop in value in just under three months. Following the market dip off the back of the VanEck ETF delay, ZIL tokens fell to a price of $0.396 – a price not seen since early April, right before ZIL soared to the tune of 400%.

There’s no reason to expect a similar surge in the near future, but for now Zilliqa could be one to keep an eye on as we move forward; especially if scalability becomes as big a pressure point as is predicted.

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 79 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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Qtum Announced as Amazon’s Partner in China; Coin Price Surges 12%

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Public blockchain project, Qtum (QTUM), has been announced as a new partner of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the company’s Chinese division.

Qtum has a history with Amazon Web Services, and became available as an Amazon AMI (Amazon Machine Image) back in July of this year.

The new move sees Qtum move beyond merely being a tool available to users of AWS, and becoming an active part of Amazon’s development. It is thought that Qtum will be used to provide blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions for Amazon and its customers.

QTUM/USD

The news of Qtum’s partnership with Amazon made itself felt in the QTUM coin price on Wednesday, with the valuation jumping from $3.62 to $4.08 within less than twenty-four hours.

The majority of those gains came within a three hour window between 12:00 and 15:00 UTC, and the 12.7% surge was enough to push QTUM to a new weekly high, while also coming close to the monthly high of $4.19.

Qtum trade volumes are uncharacteristically high for a coin ranked down the high twenties of CoinMarketCap’s rankings. Even throughout the bear market of 2018, QTUM has averaged daily volumes of over $100 million.

Today’s $195 million volume is nothing new for QTUM, and isn’t even the first time this month that volumes have surged so high. Trades are split fairly evenly between the QTUM/KRW, QTUM/BTC and QTUM/ETH trades, with the Coinbit and LBank exchanges hosting most of the action.

Qtum & Amazon Partner Up

As far as partnerships go, having your name associated with a firm the size of Amazon is a pretty big coup – especially for one of the less publicized altcoins like Qtum.

The news was announced on Wednesday, and Qtum’s chief information officer, Mike Palencia, confirmed that the partnership would see Qtum offer technical solutions to companies and developers already under the Amazon umbrella. Palencia was quoted as saying:

“We are going to work together [with Amazon] to contact different customers and clients. We’re looking into use cases, and the best way to do it is to have a contact with companies who have those use cases. Some clients have their own ideas and their own developers, and some of them want more support from us, want to talk to us directly.”

Qtum has been making a lot of big moves recently, and September saw the coin made available for investment on a host of exchanges and platforms, including Poloniex, Circle Invest and Kraken.

Qtum has made a big push towards making blockchain more accessible to developers, and publishes its entire library of code to the public for free use. The project was founded by China’s Patrik Dai.

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 79 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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Why Would Anyone Have Faith In Tether?

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I don’t want to get sued for slander so let me explain the reasoning beyond today’s title. After all of the turmoil surrounding Tether on Monday, how can the price be anywhere near the $1 parity level with the US dollar?  After more than a year, how can anyone have confidence in Tether and their common law partners Bitfinex when, for example, Circle, backed be the highly respected Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs offers an alternative?  We should also mention that Circle is just one of many so called stable coins.

It isn’t hard to find a list. Exchanges are feverishly adding stable coins. Singapore based Houbi is adding Paxos Standard Token (PAX), True USD (TUSD), Circle (USDC) and Gemini (GUSD).  

When Stable Coins Cause Instability

Well, the evidence is mounting as the months move along that so called stable coins can have the power of creating anything but stability.  This week’s experience with Tether, Bitfinex and the price explosion of Bitcoin demonstrates that there are still dangers lurking. This is why trust is important.

Monday’s gyrations were not the first questionable moment for Tether.  The coin, which gains its intended stability by being tied on a one for one basis with the US dollar, has been the subject of questionable behavior all year.  

As far back as January trade sources were expressing concern the Tether was responsible for last December’s major price bubble in Bitcoin.  The frenzy over Bitcoin set off speculation across the entire crypto spectrum. But that was just the beginning.

In June Bloomberg reported on a paper by John Griffin, a finance professor at the University of Texas, that among other things claimed 60% of last year’s price move in Bitcoin was the result of manipulation surrounding Bitfinex. That directly implicates Tether.

Using algorithms to analyze the blockchain data, Griffin’s team found that purchases with Tether were timed following market downturns and result in sizable increases in Bitcoin prices. Less than 1% of hours with such heavy Tether transactions are associated with 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies.

These findings prompted the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to step in with a series of subpoenas.

Tether’s coins had become a popular substitute for dollars on cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, and for good reason. They are anonymous, closely tied to the value of the US dollar and can be used in exchange for Bitcoin, Ether or about 10 other cryptocurrencies.  Tether is closely associated with Bitfinex, with whom they share common shareholders and management.

Bitfinex has offices in Hong Kong but it is legally headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. In May they announced plans to move to Zug, Switzerland. Bitfinex has a sorted history of poor security, having lost nearly $100 million worth of Bitcoin from customer accounts. Moreover, while claiming to have total one for one US dollar backing for each Tether, real proof is absent.  

Further Evidence of Manipulation

Over the course of this year, as we have gathered digitally to witness the loss of nearly $600 billion in crypto value, everyone has been looking for the culprit. When I first read of some of the academic studies that blamed the advent of futures trading on the CBOE, I laughed. Honestly, I believed the real cause of the rise and fall of crypto were a well connected group of billionaires that together had the power to move markets.  

Well the folks at Chainalysis have just produced some surprising research results. Their Blockchain Intelligence Platform powers investigation software for some of  the world’s top institutions. These guys don’t do surveys, the have their hands on big data that is able to detect some interesting stuff.

Chainalysis released a new report last week showing that the so called Bitcoin whales are not responsible for price volatility. The study examined the 32 largest BTC wallets, which reportedly represent 1 million BTC, or around $6.3 billion. That is a pretty solid sample size.

The data revealed that the BTC whales are do not act in concert with one another. In fact not only are they a diverse group but about two thirds behave like longer term investors. Instead of being FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) types, on net they have traded against the heard buying on price weakness.

Putting The Pieces Together

The crypto world is bombarded with globally generated news on an hourly basis. But what does all of it mean anyway? Hopefully this article adds some perspective on what and who has been responsible for the direction of crypto prices over the past year.  As more of these weak players are identified and depleted of their business, real investors will have the confidence to return to the market.

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 113 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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EOS Price Forecast: EOS/USD Heading for Another 300% Move?

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  • EOS/USD price action via the 4-hour chart view has formed a bullish flag pattern.
  • The price is moving around levels seen back end of March to early April, before a bull run of over 300%.

The past six sessions for EOS/USD have been erratic to say the least. It has been subject to a high amount of volatility, swinging aggressively in both directions. There has been a lack of commitment from either the bear or bull camps of late. As the market continues to trade with such behavior, it appears to be trying to find its feet, ahead of a potential chunky firm trend.

EOS DApp Hacked Again

An EOS based gambling DApp, EOSBet has been hacked, with $338,000 being reported as stolen. This isn’t the first time; just back in September, hackers managed to get away with a reported 40,000 worth of EOS, which at the time had a value of $200,000. It has been said that they were able to exploit their smart contracts, having found security vulnerabilities.

Technical Review – 4-hour Chart View

EOS/USD 4-hour chart

EOS/USD price action has formed a bullish flag pattern, which began taking shape on 15th October, after the aggressive price behavior stabilized. The bulls at the time ran the price well up into $6 territory. Consequently, it then met the breached ascending trend line, failing to move back above this area. This followed the sharp breakthrough to the downside, which occurred on 11th October. As a result, a drop of over 15% was seen, forcing EOS/USD to retreat in a demand area, within the $5.0000 level proximity.

Looking to the upside, small near-term resistance is seen at around $5.6100, which is the upper trend line of the mentioned bull flag pattern. A breakout will likely open the doors to a retest of the broken ascending trend line, tracking around $6.1100. Support can be eyed at $5.4600, which marks the lower trend line of the flag. Furthermore, should this fail to hold, EOS/USD could likely fall back down to the serving demand area, within the lower $5.0000 territory.

April 2018 Bull Run

EOS/USD April bull run

In April of this year EOS/USD entered a chunky bull run, gaining over 300%. From the back end of March until 11th April, the price had been stuck within consolidation mode. Resulting in the price trading within a tight range, at levels of where the price is currently seen today.

Something quite astonishing started to unfold. Between the period of 11th April to the 29th April, a bull run of around 290% was seen. Over this time frame EOS/USD went from $5.9500 up to a high of around $23.0811. The price is currently demonstrating a similar behavior to that of what was seen during the mentioned period. It is interesting to note that the price did have historical levels to break through, as it had already run higher during the period of December 2017 and came back down. Finally, this is not to say EOS/USD will observe the same bull run. However, it is an interesting observation to be aware of.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 31 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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