Yuri Molchan

Bank of Romania: Digital Coins Cannot Replace Real Money Yet But Blockchain is Worth Exploring

The National Bank of Romania goes against the major trend
Bank of Romania: Digital Coins Cannot Replace Real Money Yet But Blockchain is Worth Exploring

These days, banks of central European and Asian countries are considering over cryptocurrencies, suggesting various approaches. Overall European regulators feel more or less optimistic regarding this area.

All the more surprising comes the opinion of the National Bank of Romania (NBR).

NBR speaks out

The NBR governor, Mugur Isarescu, has publicly spoken against digital assets, claiming that in his view they cannot be adopted as currency for one simple reason– they fail to perform functions of regular fiat money.

Besides, Isarescu is certain that virtual coins are not issued by any trusted institution, they are often created by anonymous personalities and can bring up security issues and worries.

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He also emphasized that there are very few places where one may spend Bitcoin and that the number of BTC transactions is not large enough. The governor believes that payments with crypto take longer than the existing payment services and mechanisms.

Blockchain but not crypto

Seeming to follow the line of China and Russia, the NBR chief said that the Blockchain technology that powers digital coins is well worth studying and adopting.

However, the governor did mention that overall the Bank of Romania is not against cryptocurrencies but they require more changes and development before their integration into the economy can be realistic.

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Possible prospects

Since the head of NBR admitted that Blockchain has deep potential, then, who knows, maybe the bank will decide to create its own cryptocurrency, fiat-backed one, to use on the territory of the country.

Perhaps the example of President Maduro and Venezuela will serve as inspiration for them. Except for the fact that the Petro is banned in the US and is actively opposed by President Trump.

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Yuri Molchan

Blockchain and AI Combination to Push Travel Industry Forward

As DLT and AI join their efforts, a lot of current issues are going to get a new solution, including the travel industry
Blockchain and AI Combination to Push Travel Industry Forward

Blockchain keeps changing the existing many spheres of everyday life. After Bitcoin’s appearance ten years ago, open ledger technology (DLT) has become a tremendous breakthrough and is now turning into something more or less regular, even though a lot of people still fail to understand how it works. It was first used in the finance industry but now it has leaked into real estate, gambling, education, medicine and other fields, too.

Blockchain and tourism

Blockchain allows data to be strongly protected and ensure its transparency without any intermediaries. Besides, it makes not only data but also various transactions on the DLT more efficient and cheap.

Among the areas that are being impacted by blockchain is the travel industry and tourism. These areas produce almost 10 percent of the global GDP, having millions of tourists travelling around the globe every year. Moreover, the scale of these areas is growing, currently being at a historical high.

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Currently, the industry can be improved by bringing down costs and making the general customer experience better and more enjoyable. In addition, blockchain can be the answer to travellers’ prayers when it comes to numerous awful experiences regarding booking plane tickets and actual flying.

Experts believe that in the future blockchain can be applied to four main areas of the industry. Those are customer reward programs, luggage tracking, I.D. systems and the secure transaction of payments.

Luggage tracking

Luggage tracking is especially important, since even now, in the 21 century, baggage is often lost or arrives late. Luggage goes from one point to another when its owner is travelling with just a light bag. It goes from the airport to the plane, transport services, then to the hotel where you are going to stay. It goes through plenty of stopovers and transferring points.

Blockchain can be used to ensure that every unit of luggage that passes all the stages from the start to the finish point. Should any baggage be lost or delayed, DLT will be able to trace it, even if it requires getting multiple companies involved.

Payment services

Payment operations are the most frequent and practical way to use blockchain, though many disagree on that point. DLT-based systems can definitely make life easier for travel companies when it comes to payment transactions. Crypto coins that are used with them can be sent to any country, independently of local and international banks, and there is no hassle with exchanging numerous currencies and using foreign exchange platforms when you go abroad.

ID procedures

Blockchain, when implemented into ID systems at an airport/train station, makes things much easier for travellers. It allows avoiding queueing at an airport security and waiting in long lines at check-in and immigration desks, even though these are obligatory procedures. Open ledger technology can solve this problem, too. Travellers’ data on it can be easily traced and shared if necessary. This would speed up the screening procedures at airports, since DLT allows one to confirm anyone’s identity by simply leaving a fingerprint or performing a retina scan. Checking the personal documents of a traveller will no longer be necessary.

System of rewards

Another thing blockchain can be helpful in is making reward programs in the travel industry work more effectively. This field, just like others, such as hotels and airlines, prefers to attract customers with rewards for using its services. DLT can get this process to work better and more efficiently, and let clients receive their personal points in a way that is transparent and traceable.

For this purpose, crypto tokens can be used, which would also facilitate buying tickets and similar things, like paying for a hotel room afterwards.

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To sum up

Travelling still remains a problem. However, blockchain and artificial intelligence combined together promise a solution. When this system is decentralized, various entities and companies that are part of the travel industry will be able to exchange and share data easily on the blockchain. This would make things easier, more efficient and secure.

Smart, AI-based technologies would improve the overall user experience and cut down expenses. If these two technologies put together can change the travel industry for the better, they will probably revolutionize other areas as well.

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🎤 Interviews Katya Michaels

Charles Hoskinson: Shifting the Blockchain Tradeoff Profile for the Entire Industry

🎤 Interviews
What’s happening with Cardano? Charles Hoskinson talks about the Cardano Foundation conflict, the importance of research, and resilience through community.
 Charles Hoskinson: Shifting the Blockchain Tradeoff Profile for the Entire Industry
Contents

With over two thousand altcoins on the cryptocurrency market, it can be difficult to determine what distinguishes them from each other. As an investor, looking into the teams, technology, product and culture behind each coin is a daunting proposition, although that’s the best way to go about crypto investment. Even among the top 10 coins, some enjoy – or rely on – a certain degree of hype, while others maintain their impressive market caps and continue building their products in relative media obscurity.

Although Cardano is usually one of such “un-hyped” projects, quietly focused on extensive research and dedicated engineering, the platform has been in the spotlight recently. In the past month, Cardano’s community Guardians of Cardano and the two companies working on the platform’s development, IOHK and Emurgo, have published open letters expressing concerns about the governance and operations of the Cardano Foundation.

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, the engineering company responsible for building the Cardano Blockchain, sat down with U.Today at the StartEngine Summit in Santa Monica to talk about what happened with the Cardano Foundation, the significance of original research and the main purpose underneath it all – providing access to the global financial market for the billions of people who don’t have it.

Leadership in crypto communities

U.Today (Katya Michaels): In the crypto space, often there is an ideological leader associated with a cryptocurrency – Satoshi Nakamoto, Vitalik Buterin, Charlie Lee, Roger Ver. How do you feel about being the person to fill that role for Cardano, and how do you think this kind of idolatry affects the Blockchain community?

Charles Hoskinson: It can be a good thing if there is proper balance of powers and the people at the top use their influence to move the currency along. When you start something, you’re very small, very fragile and you need to have a lot of consensus to be able to get things where they need to go. As you get larger over time, you lose your ability to influence the ecosystem unilaterally.

There is no greater example than Microsoft. It was a monarchy under a king with absolute power – Bill Gates. Throughout the decades, Gates’s influence waned year by year, and eventually got to a reduced role within the company, until he stepped down from the chairmanship of Microsoft.

Cryptocurrencies are no different. People don’t like complicated systems, they are too hard to understand, so what they do is compress a very complicated ecosystem to a single person or a simple idea. When you get bigger, as happened with Bitcoin and Ethereum, eventually that can lead to conflict, and you end up with things like Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum Classic. It’s the great governance challenge in the space – how do you deal with these big personalities, but at the same not allow them to overcome the ecosystem.

Another thing is – I’m not perfect, no one is. Eventually, you’re going to let people down. If your entire reason to participate in the cryptocurrency is not its philosophy or its utility, but rather your liking of a person, then at some point that person will say or do something that will disappoint you. So, people leave the space for emotional reasons and create volatility in the currency.

Governance challenges

UT: Let’s talk about the open letter and the Cardano Foundation. Despite the precautions taken to avoid governance conflicts, you find yourself in this predicament. Was there a better way to do it, in hindsight?

CH: I think the checks and balances that were put in place are working properly. The whole reason we build redundant systems is that somewhere along the line one of your systems will fail. So, it’s nice to have at least two, and in our case we had three – IOHK, Emurgo and Cardano Foundation.

The issue with the Cardano Foundation is a problem of inaction. For over two years, there were no meaningful investments into community management, into regulatory outreach, into trying to engage the community and build a community-based governance system. We realized that if this trend continued, there was no way to effectively put Blockchain-based governance, the treasury system and the Cardano improvement proposal process in place.

We told the foundation there have to be some material changes, and for 15 months they kept saying “we are going to do something” and it never materialized. It really came to a head when the community as a whole, Guardians of Cardano, decided to publish an open letter. At that point, we thought it wouldn’t be too destructive to the Cardano ecosystem if we also wrote an open letter saying that we’re moving on without them. We have already been paid, Emurgo already has its funds, so we can execute autonomously without them – that was the whole point of checks and balances and the foresight of the way we constructed the system.

Would we have done things differently? We probably would have been more proactive in the initial setup of the foundation if we got a do over. To be fair to us, though, there were four people on the board from the beginning and there was an understanding that it would be replaced gradually over time with a board of seven people and a strong executive director.

The governance crisis got worse because of attrition. The people who were there in the beginning gradually retired and were not replaced, and the people that we thought were going to lead the Foundation were terminated. At IOHK we thought – it’s a big ecosystem, the foundation is not a necessity for the system to be successful, so we’re just going to go ahead and hire our own community managers, our own lobbyists and we’ll do what the foundation was supposed to do.

Resilience through community

UT: In the letter, you place a lot of emphasis on community. How important is community involvement for Blockchain adoption at this point? Does the public really have to care? Can’t they just be plugged in when the technology is ready, as happened with the Internet?

CH: The reason why community is so powerful is that it ultimately gives you a level of resilience that technology can’t. If you take a skin cell, you can replicate its DNA. Structures are resilient if one member of the system can independently go and replicate, rebuilding the entire system, its culture and its technology.

It’s super important that people in the community understand the philosophy behind the structure and how it is accomplished, as well as have the skill set necessary to do their own variant in the event that the system becomes ossified and no longer effective. That means sometimes you can have splits, but that also means that you don’t have the 2008 financial crisis which was brought on by over-centralization and over-optimization around concepts that were wrong.

It is essential to have people understand decentralization, decentralized control, checks and balances, resilient systems, the ability to replicate a system in the event that most of the nodes die. That means you have to educate people, you have to write great documentation, you have to have infographics, podcasts, do AMAs, often do interviews, conferences, debates, and you have to see people face to face and have conversations with them. That’s how they system propagates. It’s what’s allowed Bitcoin to grow from one person to the massive multinational movement that we have.

Rational ignorance and adoption

UT: Even in the community that has adopted cryptocurrency to a certain degree, there seems to be a misbalance in terms of people owning crypto and people running nodes. This technology depends on not just adoption, but active community participation, a new kind of citizenship. How do you mobilize the public to take control of their data, become aware of privacy issues, become a part of the Blockchain fabric?

CH: It’s a very difficult task. You’re never going to get people to read the end user license agreement. You have to understand this concept of rational ignorance – the idea that the cost of acquiring knowledge is more than the value of having that knowledge.

Right now, there is absolutely no incentive for running a node, so most people don’t do that. If the system is resilient, just a small group of motivated people can ensure its survival. There is actually good evidence that cryptocurrencies have that property. Even if 1 percent of the total user base are running nodes, there is still enough nodes that it would be insanely hard to take the network down.

But you can use economic incentives to sculpt consumer behavior – mechanism design – and we have a whole group at IOHK that does nothing but that. Over the next 5-10 years mechanism design will be applied to create monetary incentives for people to run nodes. A great example is the Brave browser. Just by changing from one system to another, the user can make part of the advertising share and have more control over their data and their privacy, and we’ve seen user numbers spike up for Brave as a result.

If that model is successful, we’ll observe a sea change in people’s perceptions about why they should own their data, how to host their own nodes, how to take control of their user experience. Some people are very tightly knit into behavior patterns, but you start with early adopters, you create the incentives in a way that they can find sustainable ways of using the system, and eventually those people onboard their friends and family and that becomes the dominant consumer behavior.

There is a big democratic experiment occurring right now with Blockchain and treasuries. A Blockchain prints money, and right now we give all that money to the consensus nodes. What if have a decentralized bank account and people can submit ballots to get funding? Dash has done this, PIVX has done this, and we are going to do this with Cardano. The value of having a treasury system is that now people have incentives to stay informed and think about what the best direction for the cryptocurrency is. That’s the new economy and the lessons we learn there can be ported to democracy as a whole.

Blockchain pluralism

UT: With regulations coming in, there is a move from the “wild wild west” feeling in the space to a more practical approach. Solutions like going off the chain or regulating token offerings may not reflect the pure ideology of cryptocurrency. Is there a sense in the community that this is a betrayal of Blockchain’s original principles?

CH: No, it’s not a betrayal of the original principles. People tend to take a particular application of a broad concept and say, “this is the only way to do it” like “this is the only true religion.” That’s a really bad deal. You have every right to have a different view – frankly, you should, because you are a sane thinking human being, and sane thinking human beings have the ability to disagree with each other and often do.

Now we have over a thousand altcoins; we have permission ledgers like Hyperledger Fabric. We have a lot of philosophies that are completely contrary to what Bitcoin is all about.

The STO revolution is about saying, “look, there are billions of people in the world who lost the geographic lottery and as a consequence, although they have the ability to create value, they can’t get access to capital.” But that person could issue a token, sell that token and use it to capitalize their idea on US markets.

The problem with ICOs is that they only cover a certain class of unregulated products. So, what happened was everybody contorting themselves in bizarre ways to try to cram regulated ideas into unregulated products.

There is no greater example than EOS. They raised $4 billion dollars and they say we have no fiduciary obligations, we owe you nothing, you could do whatever you want to do, and we could do whatever we want to do with the money. No reasonable person would think that’s ok. The STO makes sure that if you’re actually going to raise money and have fiduciary obligations to people, there’s a regulatory framework what works for both sides.

The reason why people aren’t doing traditional IPOs is that they were built in the 20th century. The regulatory framework is too cumbersome, too expensive, the reporting requirements are too high, and they are divorced from any of this technology that we’ve created over the last eight years. There needs to be a middle ground. There were some good ideas in securities regulations – insider trading provisions, proper disclosures of information, conflict of interest. Those checks and balances are good ideas, but all this bureaucratic, cumbersome mess that comes along with it is a bad idea.

With STOs, we can automate the bureaucracy so that it costs very little but gives access to capital on a global scale. That’s why I think there is so much excitement. ICOs were super exciting last year because people were getting rich, that always happens with a gold rush, but it’s not sustainable. STOs are sustainable because they are backed by real things – revenue flows, gold, stock, bonds. I think that’s a good step in the right direction. It’s philosophically a bit different from Bitcoin and will require different types of systems than Bitcoin, but in no way invalidates the whole notion that decentralization is good.

Shifting the tradeoff profile for the industry

UT: There is a Blockchain triangle of speed, decentralization and security – like the fast, reliable, cheap triangle where you can only choose two. Where does Cardano fall in that tradeoff? Or are you finding a way not to make that tradeoff at all?

CH: The tradeoff profile of any protocol lives within original research. Only original research can move that triangle a little in a direction that will be better at all of those dimensions. You can make it operate at less of a cost, get higher security and better throughput.

What we’ve done over the last three years for Cardano is engage academia and use an almost Dartmouth-sized research budget to move the tradeoff profile. First, we defined what exactly we are doing – what is a Blockchain, what is a network, what is a transaction, what is a programming language with respect to cryptocurrencies. Then, once we’ve defined them in a very rigorous way, we wrote a lot of papers.

The first step was saying, can proof of work and proof of stake ever have the same security model, or are they so different that you’d give up something when you go to proof of stake? What we discovered with our research is that proof of stake achieves the same security as proof of work. What does that mean? You can do everything proof of work does, but you don’t have to pay the electricity cost. That’s a huge tradeoff enhancement and we’ve been able to do that.

In terms of scalability, instead of it being a replicated system where everybody does the same work, make it a distributed system where the work is broken up among people. What’s the tradeoff of that? It’s availability. When you go from a single replicated notion to a group of people doing something, there’s always a possibility that one of your shards doesn’t show up and that basket of work is missing. But there are things you can do – like erasure codes – to chop it up in just the right way to make that tradeoff go down. There is a lot of great research trying to model this – RapidChain by Visa Research and Dfinity, what we’re doing with Ouroboros Hydra, OmniLedger, ELASTICO.

At IOHK, instead of taking a position on the matter, we said let’s have a dense research agenda. We will study how to do things off chain and on chain, and study how to shard the chain and be very neutral about different possibilities, and then look at which one will have the best tradeoff profile for what we want to accomplish. If it lives within the amount of decentralization that we want to have and the speed we want to have, then that’s the way we’re going to go and that’s what we’ve done so far.

It’s very expensive and time consuming, millions of dollars and 3 years, but we’ve published over 21 papers and I think we have another dozen that are in peer review at the moment. We’ve been moving the science of the entire field along, and we’ve seen a lot of people cite our papers. Real researchers, real conferences, real scientists are now all collectively working on this. Compared to where we are today and where we were 5 years ago, the tradeoff profile has been moved substantially, so we can do these things better and not give up as much.

🎤 Interviews
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Darryn Pollock

The Sleeping Giants of Crypto-Enhanced Payment Apps Will Lead the Way

Payment apps like Robinhood, Circle, and Square are clear disruptive forces, and they are enhancing their claim with a growing crypto presence.
The Sleeping Giants of Crypto-Enhanced Payment Apps Will Lead the Way

When Bitcoin, and by extension blockchain, burst onto the scene and made a mainstream splash, a lot of people touted it as the next big technological wave that will change the world. This is probably still the case, but the wave is a slow-moving one — relatively.

Blockchain technology has been aimed at a multitude of different sectors, some more important than others, and some more receptive. However, it is clear that the area where the most progress has been made is in finance, on the back of Bitcoin.

However, in the progress of adoption as an alternative digital currency, Bitcoin has slowed as the price surge has decelerated, regulators have stepped in, and institutional investors have been coy to jump straight in.

At the same time, there is a sleeping giant that is probably more ahead of the technology wave than Bitcoin, but is also incorporating the digital currency and helping it along with adoption and normalization.

Cash payment apps can comfortably be called currently one of the strongest disruptive elements in finance. They are custom built for millenials who are entering the payment market in a big way, leaving outdated methods like card, and cash, in their wake.

Companies such Goldman Sachs-backed Circle, Square — with its CEO also heading up Twitter — and Robinhood, are apps that are leading the way, and are also all benefiting from incorporating cryptocurrencies.

Square Cashing in on Crypto

Recently, Square released their third-quarter shareholder report, and it includes $43 million in Bitcoin revenue. But, before even looking at the impact of Bitcoin on their revenue, which equates to about five percent, Square’s general growth is indicative of the mobile payment app movement.

Overall, they’ve made 51 percent more than they did last year up to this point, and revenue is 68 percent better than they did during the same quarter of last year. Bitcoin sales are not massive, but they still represent a decent portion of total revenue.

That $43 million revenue did not represent much profit, equating to about $500,000 because of a deduction of Bitcoin transaction costs. However, it has also become clear that these payment apps that incorporate cryptocurrencies are not looking for profit just yet.

Robinhood is the biggest proof of this, as they announced that there would be zero-fee transfers on their cryptocurrency trades in certain areas.

Looking to the future

It is clear that these payment apps understand their role in revolutionizing the finance system, and are looking to the future with a number of clever initiatives, not to mention the integration of cryptocurrencies as they continue to be a factor.

In fact, Circle has even gone so far as to integrate its own version of a Stablecoin, which is also becoming an important feature of the cryptocurrency space. Circle offers USDC for the more traditional investor to use in order to mitigate the infamous volatility of cryptocurrencies; although currently, that is not the case.

As these payment apps continue to try and lead the financial revolution, at the forefront of a critical tipping point, their actions will be influential in the eventual adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Hand in hand

The way in which payment apps and cryptocurrencies are working together could be a key and mutual partnership. There is no doubt that cryptocurrencies are aiding in making payment apps a bit of money, but also helping aid their popularity, but on a bigger level, these apps are helping digital currency.

The cryptocurrency space is still finding its feet and trying to reach more adoption, but this will only really come with more normalization and use-cases for them. Through these payment apps, cryptocurrencies have a platform where they can act as easy currencies for anyone to use.

The best use-case currently for blockchain and these cryptocurrencies is as a digital currency. So, as these payment apps operate with digital forms of currency — as in digital money forms of fiat — there is an easy transition there.

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Wikicoin Vera Thornpike

10 Best Penny Cryptocurrency to Invest Right Now in 2018

📚 Wikicoin
10 best penny cryptocurrency to buy in 2018
10 Best Penny Cryptocurrency to Invest Right Now in 2018

Practice shows that the best cryptocurrency investments were the ones when people got 10x, 50x and even 100x returns. Although the vast majority of projects do not guarantee such rewards for investors, there are still some gems covered by a pile of stones.

Some people still wonder whether it’s worth to buy penny cryptocurrency and if these investments can bring some returns. After combing through a long list of cryptocurrency penny stocks, we have gathered ten most promising coins that can skyrocket in 2018. Let’s check them out.

Ravencoin

This penny cryptocurrency was introduced to simplify P2P asset transfer (including different cryptocurrencies between holders) and ensure better privacy, user control, and censorship resistance. What makes its Blockchain technology special is the ability to assess who is the owner of which cryptocurrency.

Ravencoin is a hard fork of Bitcoin but has a faster block reward time. Note that RVN coins can only be mined, so there is no ICO. The current price of the coin is around $0.03, and many Bitcoin investors and Overstock Company have already expressed interest in it.

Dogecoin

Sounds like a joke, but this sub-penny cryptocurrency really exists! The platform behind Dogecoin is designed for open source peer-to-peer digital currency transfer. Although it doesn’t seem to offer anything special in terms of technology, this is one of the cheapest penny stock cryptocurrency– it can be bought for as low as $0.003236. Who knows, maybe the hype around it can trigger price growth?

image

Symbol of Dogecoin

Qlink

This is not just another diamond in our penny cryptocurrency list– Qlink is the first decentralized mobile network that’s aimed at P2P transfers. It is created to lower the cost of mobile services that are extremely overrated, according to Qlink team. Besides, Qlink will enable sharing of Wi-Fi network for QLC token rewards. Additionally, the platform will enable decentralized SMS service.

Qlink can be bought at different exchanges and stored in a NEO wallet (neotracker.io will display the coins). Taking into consideration the plans of the Qlink team, QLC promises to become one of the best penny cryptocurrency options.

Designing smart contracts is highly complex and therefore comes with a lot of risks regarding potential bugs and vulnerabilities. The team behind the Blockchain project Quantstamp is trying to make the process of creating and deploying smart contracts a lot safer through its security-audit protocol.

Quantstamp

This is a top penny cryptocurrency in the sphere of security. Quantstamp is a security-audit protocol that detects weaknesses in smart contracts before those are launched. Although it’s based on Ethereum, it can also be applied to NEO, Lisk or Waves platform.

As you can guess, QSP token is used as a reward for bug finders. Therefore, if you’re tech-savvy enough and specialize on Blockchain and smart contracts, this is your chance. Well, if not, QSP can be bought on different exchanges and stores on your MetaMask wallet.

image

How Quantstamp network works

Tron

This is the token of a Chinese based company Tronix. If you’re searching for the best sub-penny cryptocurrency, this one should be definitely considered. Tron, the decentralized trustworthy application, implements smart contracts and can be bought by any Internet user (current price is around $0.0077174). Since it’s said to open the gates for the new era of Web 4.0, TRX token has a lot of potential.

Funfair

Where to buy penny cryptocurrency, if you’re an online gambling amateur? Pay utmost attention to Funfair project: it offers FUN tokens that are aimed at being used in Blockchain-based online casinos.

It’s not a surprise that Internet users welcome Blockchain casinos so much– these projects represent a more transparent and fair approach to gambling, this is why many players switch from traditional platforms to new casinos. Funfair is one of the first platforms jumping in the bandwagon. You can purchase their coins for $0.035058, and either keep it or use for enjoying slots and poker.

Decentraland

If you are interested in platforms contributing to more efficient and fair content management, we recommend Decentraland. It is among the best penny cryptocurrency to invest 2018 because this Ethereum Blockchain-based virtual reality platform renders a lot of advantages. It allows users to create, publish and monetize their content and apps. Now, it can be purchased for $0.087330 only.

Bytecoin

This is one of the best cryptocurrency under a penny: you can buy it for $0.003301! Bytecoin was created to serve as a private untraceable cryptocurrency (in fact, this is the first coin of its kind).

image

Bytecoin price prediction

Polymath

Some traders and investors call Polymath the best penny cryptocurrency 2018 due to the fact that the platform underlying it helps ICO founders to overcome restrictions and comply with regulations. How? It combines traditional methods for raising capital with cryptocurrencies and even offers the new term- STO, an acronym for Security Token Offerings. With the help of Polymath, companies can easily deal with technical and legal issues when issuing their own tokens for raising capital.

Cardano

We also highly recommend you to your penny cryptocurrency stocks with Cardano. It is a Decentralized public Blockchain with an open source. Cardano coin is one of the top 10 currencies with a market cap of $3,043,063,285– it is very promising, and yet cheap (you can buy it for 11 cents only).

What else to invest in?

Other great offers on the market include:

  • OriginTrail,
  • Siacoin,
  • Stellar Lumens,
  • Status Network Token,
  • Kin,
  • ODEM,
  • ThetaToken,
  • TenX.

What NOT to invest in?

Here you can see the biggest losers among cheap currencies:

Coin

Current Price

Loss

Crave

$0.604

-91,3%

Safe Trade Coin

$0.0028

-86.9%

Magnet

$0.64

-52.8%

Vezt

$0.355

-52.5%

Flash

$0.04

-52.4%

Dovu

$0.29

-50.9%

Although sub-penny and penny cryptocurrencies may seem to be very tempting, you should always keep in mind that it’s not all gold that glitters. Some projects cut a sorry figure, so you should be able to distinguish between promising and worthless offers.

Wikicoin
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Coins Guide George Shnurenko

How to mine NEM (XEM): Profitable NEM Mining

🎓 Coins Guide
Decide what kind of mining hardware you would like to use. Your choice solely depends on the cryptocurrency you want to mine.
How to mine NEM (XEM): Profitable NEM Mining

Step 1. Decide what kind of mining hardware you would like to use. Your choice solely depends on the cryptocurrency you want to mine. Despite the constantly increasing level of difficulty, there are still some fdcryptocurrencies that can be mined with ordinary computer (Bytecoin, Monero or Zencash). Of course, it will not bring you any substantial profit now, but there is still a chance that at least one of these altcoins will significantly increase its value in the future.

You have to invest in ASIC chips in order to mine Bitcoins. Before purchasing a mining device, you have to take into account such factors as its price, electricity usage and hashing power. You can use any specifically designed online calculator to find out the profitability of the miner. As of now, the DragonMint T1 is the most efficient and the most powerful mining chip on the market with a hashing rate of 16.0 TH/s. At the same time, this is the most expensive mining chip as well – it will set you back $2,729.

The DragonMint T1 could potentially help with the decentralization aspect of Bitcoin, since most of the Bitcoin hashing is coming from Bitmain’s hardware. The Antminer S9, Bitcoin’s flagship product, is currently the most popular mining chip on the market. It costs $2,320 and offers hashing power of 13.5 TH/s. Another option is AvalonMiner 761 produced by Canaan: its price is fixed at $1,860, but it offers only 8.8 TH/s. With thousands of miners purchased every day, the competition between different manufacturers keeps escalating. There is no doubt that we will see more powerful miners in the nearest future. For example, it has recently been confirmed that Halong Mining is collaborating with Samsung to produce new chips.

If you are not ready to invest in ASIC hardware, you can buy or build your own mining rig. Before purchasing a pre-build mining rig or separate motherboards, pay attention to the fact that GPU rigs are not efficient for Bitcoin mining in 2018. There is a chance that you will not be able to cover the cost of GPU even when you do not have to pay for electricity. Bitcoin’s difficulty is steadily rising, so it is hard to profit from mining even with ASIC hardware (not to mention FPGAs or GPUs).

There is also another alternative such as cloud mining. When it comes to cloud mining, there are two options: renting a mining machine hosted by a company or simply ordering a specific amount of hashing power. The profitability of cloud mining is significantly lower due to the fees charged by a certain provider.

Genesis Mining is the most reputable cloud mining company that actually came up with this business model in 2013. The price of 10 GH is fixed at $1,5. If you use Hashing24 or Hashflare, 10 GH will cost you $2,6 and $1,25 respectively. If you are looking for an advantageous offer, Hashflare will be your obvious choice since they offer significantly cheaper contracts (you can save almost 50% if you decide to buy 100 GH). However, Hashflare sets significantly higher long-term charges than Genesis Mining. Therefore, the choice definitely depends on your investment strategy. Hashing24 stand outs among the other cloud mining services because of its close collaboration with the Bitfury Group, one of the biggest companies in the cryptocurrency business (that explains the high cost of hashing power).

You can make money off cloud mining by meticulously calculating the potential profit. As it gets more and more difficult to mine Bitcoins, it is not advisable to sign long-term contracts: cloud mining only tends to bring profit for a couple of months. You also have to be aware of the risks associated with cloud mining. There are numerous fake cloud-mining services which may lure users with cheap contracts.

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Step 2. Create a Bitcoin wallet. After choosing the most suitable way of mining, you can proceed with creating a Bitcoin wallet for storing your coins. Bitcoin wallets are divided into hot, semi-cold and cold. Hot or online wallets are not recommended due to security concerns, so it would be better to download a software wallet (semi-cold), buy a hardware wallet or print a paper wallet (both of these are considered cold wallets).

Step 3. Choose a mining pool. As mentioned above, it did not require a lot of processing power to mine Bitcoins 5 years ago – practically any GPU could solve a hash puzzle. As Bitcoin grew more popular, its value increased along with the mining difficulty. Miners with weak hardware decided to unite in order to mine Bitcoins together by creating a so-called “mining pool”. Miners collectively solve a cryptographic problem and proportionally share the block reward taking into account the amount of computational resources they contribute.

You can still prefer solo mining, but you will need extremely powerful hardware to successfully mine Bitcoin alone. However, there is no need to pay any charges with solo-mining, and, in case of successfully solving a block, a miner gets 100% of the block reward (which is obvious because only his computing power was used). Solo mining also offers more security, but at the same time there is less stability – you may fail to earn a single coin for an extensive period of time.

Popular Pools

Among the most popular mining pools one can mention AntPool, BitMinter, BTC.com or Slush Pool. Slush Pool is the oldest mining pool that is also AsicBoost compatible. The AsicBoost technology increases the speed of mining by almost 20%. In order to start mining, simply create an account and set up a worker. As a rule, there is only one worker per one computer, but you may create more if there is such a necessity.

Money Withdrawal

Once you start earning BTC, you may want to withdraw them into your wallet. Just simply choose the 'Payouts' menu to add a new wallet by entering your public address. Each mining pool has a certain payout threshold.

Safety Measures

Since mining pools are often targeted by hackers, it is important to make sure that the miner establishes an encrypted connection with the help of SSL. If that’s the case, you will see a SSL indicator (a green padlock icon near a website's URL).

Slush Pool also allows its users to enable TFA. In order to login to your account, you will have to use the Google Authenticator mobile application or simply receive an SMS.

Step 4. Download mining software. GUIMiner is the most preferable option for inexperienced miners because of its user-friendly interface. Once you have installed the software, pay attention to the “Server” option. Simply click the dropout box to choose your mining pool (Slush Pool, for example). After that you will have to enter your username and password. The last thing that you have to do is to select your GUI miner and click “Start”.

Now pay attention to the bottom status bar. On the right side of the status bar, you can see the current hash rate while the number of shares is displayed on the left. The bigger amount of shares you contribute, the bigger reward you get.

If you want to boost the performance of your graphic card, you can add extra flags. These configurations allow users to enable vectors, reduce temperature, etc. Make sure that you choose only those flags that match your hardware in order to reach the maximum level of efficiency. Another good way to accelerate your GUI is overclocking. There are numerous graphic card overclocking utilities that you can use (MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision XOC and so on). Every graphic card should be overclocked separately. Check that the hashing rate wasn’t affected by the overclocking.

Step 5. Cold down your system. It is a commonly known fact that the performance of the mining hardware depends on its temperature. For example, the most powerful ASIC miner DragonMint T1 can reach its maximum hashing power (16.0 TH/s) only if the temperature doesn’t rise above 25°C.

Those miners who live in hot climate may consider installing an AC unit inside their mining room. Your AC system should be powerful enough to keep up with the heat output, but that comes with a big disadvantage – air conditioning adds at least 35% to your electricity bill.

Big mining companies usually use immersive cooling for rapid and efficient heat removal. The mining equipment is submerged in special non-corrosive and non-electrically conductive cooling liquid. Such an innovative technology was introduced by 3M Novec.

The excess heat that is being generated by Bitcoin miners can now be used for heating your home or even growing vegetables. A Czech exchange service has recently introduced a startup that combines cryptocurrencies and agriculture.

Step 6. Make sure that Bitcoin mining remains profitable. Nowadays, amateur miners can hardly make any significant profit without large initial investments in ASIC chips. Numerous data centers based in countries with inexpensive electricity (Iceland, Russia, China and so on) have established a big mining monopoly.

Bitcoin mining becomes less profitable due to its rising difficulty and proportionally rising electricity expenses. While there is no way to make Bitcoin mining easier in the ASIC-era, you can still try to reduce your electricity expenses. If mining is your major source of income, you may seriously consider moving to another country with low electricity prices. You can also try to build a solar-powered mining plant – solar panels will offset the energy consumption. However, the efficiency of solar energy for Bitcoin mining depends on a number of factors such as the amount of solar radiation, the surface, the angle and so on.

As of now, it is more advisable to invest small fractions of money in different altcoins, since most recent trends show that their value may significantly rise in the future. Of course, you may still buy Bitcoin mining hardware, but first you have to determine your potential income with the help of any mining profitability calculator.

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