Urvashi Verma

Bitmain, China’s Bitcoin Mining Giant, Considers IPO

The Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant may launch an initial public offering soon
 Bitmain, China’s Bitcoin Mining Giant, Considers IPO

Bitmain, the cryptocurrency mining giant, may launch an initial public offering (IPO) soon, according to reports by Bloomberg.

Jihan Wu, CEO of Bitmain, told Bloomberg:

“I’m open to a listing in Hong Kong -- or in an overseas market with U.S. dollar-denominated shares – because it would give early investors including Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital a chance to cash out.”

Wu said he believes the China-based firm, which dominates 80 percent of the manufacturing market of ASIC mining devices, is worth $12 bln, or 25 percent more than the company’s market valuation of $8.8 bln.

Bitmain raked in more than $2.5 bln in revenue last year, Wu told Bloomberg.

Bitmain owns two of the largest mining pools in the world, Antpool and BTC.com, which make up nearly 50 percent of the Bitcoin mining power.

The mining company also owns Hashnest – a “cloud mining” service which allows anyone to rent mining hardware from Bitmain, similar to renting storage from Dropbox or server-space from Amazon. These rented miners are maintained and operated by Bitmain on behalf of the renters and mine as part of Antpool.

💼 Related Article
Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum Scalable to Millions of Transactions Per Second
🔥 Hot
6 months 1 week
256
Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum Scalable to Millions of Transactions Per Second


With competitors like publicly traded Nvidia Corp,  MediaTek and GMO’s recent foray into cryptomining, a Bitmain IPO would not be unwarranted.

Canaan Creative, a competitor of Bitmain, which accounts for roughly 15 percent of the ASIC market, has already filed for IPO and expected to raise $1 bln in the upcoming year.

Nvidia, another leading competitor, has launched full scale plans to develop its Artificial Intelligence technologies.

Bitmain has also been aggressively expanding its product line beyond crypto mining into artificial intelligence (AI) and is poised to dominate China’s artificial intelligence markets after the nation’s blockade on Google, experts say.

views
📈 Pricewise Vaido Veek

Crypto Market Analysis: October 12, 2018

Pricewise
Bitcoin has found some sort of support, NEO can start to approach the 2018 low level, TRON is the strongest coin on the market
Crypto Market Analysis: October 12,  2018

*** Please note the analysis below is not investment advice. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of U.Today. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Looks like Bitcoin has found some sort of support

After yesterday's downwards movement the market has been silent. There were some movements downwards in the night (UTC+3) but nothing remarkable, and now, the prices are the same as they were in yesterday's evening.

Looks like Bitcoin has found some sort of support

Currently, BTC has found a support area from $6,250. It made several attempts to go through this but only 15-minute candles are closed below the mentioned level. Higher and important time frames are all rejected upwards from $6,250. So, the chart has collected some data and the support is confirmed.

The last four-hour candle was very bullish and we can see a bullish candlestick pattern which is called "Engulfing". The Engulfing pattern consists of two candles and the last bullish candle 'eats' the previous low candle completely. Those candlestick patterns are usually very good when they are on the strong support or resistance area. Currently, it is a confirmed support area and let's see how it plays out.

To see a bullish BTC we need to witness a Bart move — a quick move downwards, a little consolidation and a quick move upwards. On the other hand, in order to confirm a bear trap, we need to see an upward movement today. Postponement to the weekend will bring a low percentage due to very low volume on weekends.

At the moment the price has formed a Bullish Engulfing pattern and the reason to go higher is solid. However, if we get a one-hour or a four-hour candle close below the $6,235-$6,250 then it is a bearish confirmation and we could see another 'leg' downwards.

NEO (NEO/USD) could start to approach the 2018 low level

Almost all the altcoins have made a breakout below the major counter-trendline which indicates bearishness and at the moment NEO is 13 percent down from the yesterday's crash and it trades below the mentioned trendline and below the support levels.

NEO (NEO/USD) could start to approach the 2018 low level

It has broken all the important support levels and the only one that is left is an August low level which is also 2018 lowest point at $13.68. If the market doesn't show us a power which will guide us to the higher prices then NEO will start approaching the 2018 low level.

Around this area are also Fibonacci extension levels, at $14.27 there is a 141 percent extension and at $13.33 there is a 161 percent extension.

To invest into the NEO is a bit risky because the current bounce came from nowhere and we don't have a clear picture of what it could do next and currently NEO price movement depends very strongly on Bitcoin movement.

TRON (TRX/USD) is the strongest coin on the market

One of the strongest coins on the market is TRON. Yes, it also came down pretty sharply as all altcoins did but the price action is wise and technically Tron has a very good shape. Some altcoins printed new 2018 low (ETC) and some of them are approaching the 2018 low levels, but not TRON. It is far from the 2018 low point and it has multiple strong supports before that level.

TRON (TRX/USD) is the strongest coin on the market

It can sound unbelievable but the current bounce came from the new higher low (HL) area. This is a big statement and shows that Tron is 'healthy'. Besides that the bounce came from the new HL area, there is also other criteria: the golden Fibonacci retracement level 62 percent and the trendline since June 19, which worked nicely as a support after a breakout above the trendline on Oct. 4. We can say that this was a retest.

If the bounce momentum continues then the next resistance is the March low, the counter-trendline and the 200 EMA crossing area at $0.0228. If the price manages to push through from the mentioned levels then it is out of the danger zone and back above the 200 EMA and above the major counter-trendline which will indicate that the momentum will continue and we go and retest the green area above the current price.

Here are dangers also, the resistance — crossing area — is pretty strong and if the market doesn't show the power to go upwards then it can mean that we go and test the lower levels and the major supports which are marked with red boxes.

📈 Pricewise
views
Wikicoin Vera Thornpike

How to Buy Cryptocurrency: All Possible Ways For Beginners

📚 Wikicoin
Guide to purchasing cryptocurrency online and for cash
How to Buy Cryptocurrency: All Possible Ways For Beginners

 

With Bitcoin and other coins still soaring in price, millions of people jump in the bandwagon and join the rows of happy cryptocurrency owners. Want to be the next? It’s not as difficult as it seems. However, being a newcomer in the world of crypto, you must wonder how and where to buy cryptocurrency.

To help you out, we have prepared a definitive guide on how to invest in cryptocurrency and make your first steps to becoming a trader. You will find out which exchanges are worth consideration, and what other ways to obtain virtual coins are. Please, mind the golden rule: you should never invest money you can’t live without.   

All the ways to buy cryptocurrency

A couple of years ago, you could hardly find a place for buying cryptocurrency online– Bitcoin and virtual currencies alike were supposed to be mined mostly. Today, the situation has changed, and there are many places to obtain the precious coins. Let’s observe them.

  1. Cryptocurrency exchanges. These are websites where you can exchange your local fiat currency for a cryptocurrency. This is the most widespread way of making investments. Newbies are highly recommended to use such platforms because they are easy to set up and navigate– there’s no need to get into the technical nitty-gritty.

  2. Bitcoin ATM. Although is sound hilarious, such ATM do exist! There are not so many of them, but many countries start adopting and installing the units. How does it work? In fact, just like a regular ATM with one difference: instead of withdrawing money, you can make a deposit in your local fiat currency to buy Bitcoins.

  3. P2P purchases with cash. Wonder how to buy cryptocurrency in real life? In fact, there are decentralized sites allowing users to meet in person and perform transactions. Bitcoins price is agreed beforehand, so it’s not as unsafe as it seems. Despite the fact that such service involves meeting with strangers, this is still a popular way of buying cryptocurrency. Why people go for it? It doesn’t involve middlemen, such as exchange platforms, so the fee is minimal.

All the ways to buy cryptocurrency

Desc: Summary of ways to buy cryptocurrency

Alt: How to buy and pay for cryptocurrency?

How to buy cryptocurrency in exchanges

As it has been mentioned, investing in cryptocurrency with exchanges is the easiest and fastest way to purchase virtual coins. There are tens of platforms that offer such an opportunity, but not all of them are equally reliable and beneficial. Let’s observe the best ones.

Coinbase

If you’re a US, Europe or Australia resident, Coinbase would be the simplest option to obtain Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin or Ethereum. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support other coins yet. As soon as you verify your account with documents, you can select preferable payments methods (debit or credit cards, PayPal, bank accounts, wire transfer).

The fees are based on the user’s location and payment option with the highest charge 3.75 percent for card payment. What makes this platform popular among users? First, it is considered to be highly reliable and easy to use (you can download Coinbase app that makes crypto purchases a matter of a few seconds). Secondly, it shows you the charts showing the fall and rise of popular cryptocurrencies and allows for both small and big purchases.

How to buy cryptocurrency in exchanges

Desc: Coinbase is the most popular and convenient exchange platform for users from Europe and the US

Alt: How Coinbase exchange works

Bitstamp

Being established in 2011, Bitstamp appears to be one of the oldest exchanges of its kind. It allows you to buy a larger range of coins than Coinbase:

  • Ethereum,

  • Litecoin,

  • Bitcoin Cash,

  • Bitcoin,

  • Ripple.

The website accepts payments in EUR and USD from bank transfers and credit/debit cards. However, the charge fee for small payments is too high. Thus, the fee is two percent when you make a deposit over $1,000, but is $10 when you deposit less than $1,000. It’s the place for those who play big.

How to buy cryptocurrency in exchanges

Desc: This is how you can buy Bitcoin using Bitstamp website

Alt: Bitstamp website navigation

Kraken

Just like Bitstamp, Kraken is a bit more complicated in navigation and can be used via a website only (there’s no smartphone application). To get registered, you’ll need to provide your phone number, name and address, as well as the ID photo and the proof of residence. Sounds complicated, but at least that guarantees that your funds are safe and secure. The transaction fees are surprisingly low– that’s what appeals to users.

How to buy cryptocurrency in exchanges

Desc: Kraken provides detailed charts showing cryptocurrency fluctuations

Alt: Graphs on Kraken website

CoinMama

How to invest in Ethereum without problems? Try CoinMama– this platform is open for users from all countries, but allows trading Ethereum and Bitcoin only. The website is well-established: it appeared in 2013 and has become one of the most popular exchanges so far.

CoinMama lets you use a credit card to buy crypto, but charges as much as six percent for that! The deal is sweetened by the fact that it accepts every local currency. If you’re a beginner, this website can become a nice option just to understand what is what and get the general idea of how cryptocurrency trading works.

How to buy cryptocurrency in exchanges

Desc: Coinmama interface is convenient in use

Alt: CoinMama website interface

How to choose a cryptocurrency exchange

The choice of cryptocurrency exchange should be based on many factors, especially, your location. To make an informed decision, take into consideration the following:

  • For how long has the website been around? It’s always better to work with reputable platforms.

  • Read the reviews of exchange platforms (better find them on forums and independent websites).

  • Which cryptocurrencies are you going to buy? While Bitcoins are supported by every platform, different altcoins are present on different websites– you need to find out where exactly.

  • What’s your location? First, you need to make sure that clients from your country are allowed to use the services. Secondly, the local currency you will use should also be supported.

  • What is the level of security provided? Ideally, together with identity verification, an exchange platform should also feature two-step authentication, encryption, SSL certificate and other protection options.

  • The last but not the least is the fee charged for transactions. Mind that it can depend on your location, sums involved, and the payment method.

Let’s compare fees on different platforms:

Exchange platform

Fees

Binance

0.1%

Bitfinex

0.25% (the higher the sum – the less)

Kucoin

0.1%

GDAX

0.25% taker & 0% maker

Kraken

0.16% for BTC-fiat exchange

Poloniex

0.25%

COBINHOOD

0%

CoinMama

Up to 6%

BitStamp

2% or $10

CoinBase

Up to 3.75%

As you can see, a cryptocurrency investment can be made with minimal fees, but some of the platforms mentioned above are hard in use, and cannot be accessed by users from all over the world.

How to buy cryptocurrency with cash

As a rule, it’s done with the help of P2P platforms. This option is often chosen by people who don’t want to disclose their identity and pay fees to middlemen. To use the service, you’ll need to register on an exchange platform, select the payment methods, and either create a request for buying crypto or make a deal with some user offering the sum you want to buy.

The list of offers and requests usually includes the amount of currency, payment method, ID request (optionally). After that, you can either meet with a buyer face-to-face or have funds transferred online. In the second case, you’ll need to make the payment in cash using a cash deposit machine, then get a reference number from the receiver. As soon as he/she accepts receiving the payment from you, the funds will be automatically released from the escrow to your account.

There’s a video explaining how P2P exchange platforms work on the example of Koinex Loop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fKoBGjB-qg

How to buy cryptocurrency in an ATM

This is another way to use cash to buy cryptocurrency. It works like a usual ATM, but instead of withdrawing money you deposit it. Such ATMs are usually present in big cities– they are not so much widespread yet (check maps to find the one near you).

In this case, you don’t have to register an account– just go to an ATM with your cash and provide your wallet address. If you don’t have a crypto wallet yet, the ATM will create it for you. Keep in mind that some ATMs require identity verification or a phone number to send you a code.

As soon as you deposit the money, ATM will send crypto to your wallet and print a receipt for you. If you’ve just created a wallet, save the receipt: it will have your login credentials.

Although ATM is a convenient way of buying cryptocurrency, it’s not devoid of drawbacks. These include:

  • There’s a low number of machines, and they’re mostly installed in big cities. Therefore, it would be more convenient for you to perform a transaction online in an exchange platform.

  • Most ATM charge five to 10 percent. It’s too much!

Therefore, an ATM is a way out only when you need a fast purchase and don’t want to reveal your identity.

How to buy cryptocurrency in an ATM

Desc: Cryptocurrency ATM installed in Asia

Alt: Cryptocurrency ATM

What’s the best cryptocurrency to invest in?

It depends on your financial opportunities and patience. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to start your experiment with Bitcoin and Ethereum– these are well-established currencies, but their value is far from stable.

If you’re ready to wait long enough (means, at least a year), select cheaper currencies with a high amount of potential. Litecoin, Ripple, Cardano– there’s a huge list of altcoins at the stage of active development, and their price can soar one day. Don’t opt for the cheapest and least known currencies: most probably, they don’t have enough potential to develop and gain value.

Conclusion

Although recently cryptocurrencies hold almost zero value, today, they can be used in both real and virtual world– the paradigm of electronic money shifts, and people start realizing that virtual coins can buy us products and services. However, if you’re completely new to this industry, you need to start with something. Buy a few coins and see what it’s like to own crypto.

”Virtual Currencies may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.” - Ben Bernanke

With the help of exchange platforms, P2P services, and new ATMs, this task isn’t challenging anymore. Just find a suitable way of trading– the choice is comprehensible.

Wikicoin
views
🤷 Opinions Aliya Prokofieva

Сreative Сommunities in Space and Crypto Give Shape to Future Social System

Opinions
Equality based on trust and mutual respect is a viable prototype of democracy 2.0
Сreative Сommunities in Space and Crypto Give Shape to Future Social System

Aliya Prokofieva is founder of the international space company “Galaktika,” space exploration visionary and active public speaker. She writes for U.Today on the cutting edge tech and disruptive projects that may change the life of billions of people.

Whatever sociologists say about the growing popularity of individualism in the modern world, man was, is and will be a social being. Without denying the importance of individual genii, it is necessary to recognize: it is collective actions that ensure the progressive development of our civilization.

A notable phenomenon of modern social life is communities, the new forms of social groups that Thomas Hobbes defined as "a certain number of people united by a common interest or common cause." Compared with formal teams, they are much more effective and mobile, more focused on the outcome, and reveal the individual capabilities of participants better. It is communities that have all the chances to become a link between the traditional forms of social order that prevail today and those that will replace them in the future.

Working in various projects, I was able to observe the activities of such communities and identify the criteria that they must meet in order to become successful.

image

What makes communities effective

Here are the conclusions I came to:

1. The community needs a goal.

It does not matter what it will be: taking care of homeless animals or finding solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations. The main thing is that

a) it is clear and concrete,

b) it had high value for a certain circle of people.

Communities without a goal or with unclear targets are not viable- this is easily seen from the example of today's Internet. Instead of interested participants, they attract a crowd of trolls, ready to kill any idea. The exchange of views on such sites quickly gets sidetracked from the means of achieving the goal itself. The result is a massive outflow of capable members and the sudden end of the community.

2. Community members should be associated with joint activities.

Groups, united by the exchange of information or the discussion of common interests, have the right to exist, but they look like blank cartridges: from what they are, the surrounding world is neither hot nor cold. Here everything is simple: if nothing is done, nothing will happen.

💼 Related Article
Blockchain in Space 2: Fear is the Path to the Dark Side
🔥 Hot
8 months
256
Blockchain in Space 2: Fear is the Path to the Dark Side

3. Community activities should be of public benefit, i.e. not limited to solving the personal problems of its participants, but to project the result into an external society.

The more people outside the community that feel the positive effect of his work, the higher is his social value.

For example, the social significance of a group of volunteers who decided to equip the courtyard of an apartment building will be limited to the circle of its tenants. However, if after this, volunteers take care of neighboring yards, attract new participants, embrace other areas, they will soon become a significant public force citywide.

💼 Related Article
Piglet’s Big Brother: How AI Changes Agriculture
🔥 Hot
8 months 3 weeks
256
Piglet’s Big Brother: How AI Changes Agriculture

4. The task of a result-oriented community is not to suppress, but to promote the individuality of participants.

Equalization in such social groups is similar to death: it sharply reduces the level of responsibility of members of the collective. As a consequence, the effectiveness of joint activities will be zero. The maximum benefit to the community will come from a participant who can say to himself: this is mine, here I will be able to realize my abilities to the maximum and get a worthy reward (not necessarily material).

5. Full participation in decision-making is a distinctive feature of a properly organized community.

Social groups built on a tight vertical of power have no future. In the modern world, fewer people are ready to be content with the role of a pawn in another's game. A joint search for the right solution; the ability to listen and adequately assess points of view that are different from one's own; the willingness to accept a collective verdict, even if it does not agree with their ideals, is a consistent step on the road to a new type of democracy.

6. Trust is the ultimate catalyst for any community.

Communities in the past had to live, and many still do, on platforms that are not transparent in how they operate and the commoditization is obfuscated. Decentralization and the Blockchain technology are changing that. Blockchain transparency is what will shoot communities to the next level. The essence of the immutable ledger is that your every action is always yours. The Blockchain is for you, the individual. This forms trust. There are projects like U°Community that build a transparent community platform with dynamic reputation.

💼 Related Article
Future of State: From Asgardia to AI-Ruled Space Cities
🔥 Hot
3 months 2 weeks
256
Future of State: From Asgardia to AI-Ruled Space Cities

The "Ether" orbital city

These considerations were fully taken into account when forming a group of like-minded people united by the idea of ​​creating the orbital city "Ether.” The result was a project that met all the criteria of a successful community, which could well become the prototype of a new model of social structure.

First, it has a well-defined goal, understandable to the participants and having a significant value for them. The idea of ​​creating a city in orbit with a population of several tens of thousands, equipped with an autonomous life support system and its own biosphere, is a powerful unifying force.

Secondly, the "ethereal" community is capable: it includes many high-level professionals competent with various fields of knowledge. But even more enthusiasts, keen on the grandiosity of the goal and ready to learn in the process of achieving it, improve themselves and make a feasible contribution to the common cause.

💼 Related Article
3 Major Paradigm Shifts in Crypto Space: Bitcoin, Smart Contracts, Social Layer
🔥 Hot
3 months 2 weeks
256
3 Major Paradigm Shifts in Crypto Space: Bitcoin, Smart Contracts, Social Layer

Thirdly, the community's activities have a high social value: its result will be a breakthrough not only for the participants but for the entire population of the Earth. The engineering and social technologies obtained in the process of working on the project will become the property of not a narrow group of people, but all of mankind, and will bring the day when we begin to consider outer space as our second home closer.

Fourth, the scale and level of complexity of the tasks to be solved are such that there is space for self-realization for everyone. The theoretical physicist and engineer-designer, power engineer and biotechnologist, space designer and city manager- practically any professional experience multiplied by the ability to generate non-trivial ideas, will be in demand and appreciated.

And, finally, at all stages of joint activities, from the development of the concept to the full settlement of the station, key decisions affecting the future of the "Ether" are done collectively. Each member of the community has the right to vote, and every voice will be heard. Equality based on trust and mutual respect is a viable prototype of democracy 2.0.

💼 Related Article
What Technology Proposals NASA is Going to Invest to in Near Future
🔥 Hot
8 months 1 week
256
What Technology Proposals NASA is Going to Invest to in Near Future

🤷 Opinions
views
Wikicoin Alex Morris

How to Buy Bitcoin with Prepaid Cards: Beginner’s Guide

📚 Wikicoin
U.Today has reviewed the best ways to buy Bitcoins with your stack of prepaid cards
How to Buy Bitcoin with Prepaid Cards: Beginner’s Guide

The major difference between an ordinary debit card and a prepaid card is that the former is not pegged to a checking account in a bank. The funds are loaded on such cards in advance so that you can spend them. Case in point: reloadable MyVanilla prepaid cards that can be easily bought in your local Walmart store. The card’s current balance can be checked on the official website of its issuer.          
In most cases, prepaid cards are used as gifts — it is a very convenient way of sending money to a specific person if cash is not an appropriate option. Subsequently, it gives much more flexibility to a person who receives the gift since VISA prepaid cards are accepted all over the globe. One can buy clothes, electronic devices or...Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.  

💼 Related Article
How to Buy Substratum (SUB) with Credit Card: A Step-by-Step Guide
🔥 Hot
5 months 3 weeks
256
How to Buy Substratum (SUB) with Credit Card: A Step-by-Step Guide

Can you buy Bitcoin with gift cards on Coinbase?

Of course, Coinbase is the most obvious choice. The $8 bln startup, which is spearheaded by Brian Armstrong, is among the world’s most famous exchanges. Even with the recent listing spree, Coinbase still has a very meager choice of assets, but Bitcoin is on the list. However, prepaid cards are not accepted there despite some websites claiming otherwise.   
image
US customers are able to make instantaneous purchases with their debit/credit cards, but Coinbase requires everyone to complete ID verification before adding a card. It is safe to say that the Armstrong-led exchange will never accept prepaid cards due to security concerns.

In July, however, the exchange launched its own Coinbase VISA gift card for European customers. These Coinbase prepaid VISA cards are accepted to propel the merchant adoption of cryptocurrencies. As of now, there is a huge gap between people investing in Bitcoin and people buying their Starbucks coffee with it. To tackle this issue, Crypto.com has already introduced the first crypto debit card.  

How to use Paxful?

After obtaining your prepaid card, you have to look for an exchange that actually accepts it. It is worth mentioning that buying Bitcoin with a prepaid VISA card is not an easy feat since exchanges are afraid of opening a Pandora’s box of financial manipulations. However, we’ve still managed to find some ways of purchasing crypto with practically any prepaid card.

First, we are going to cover a fairly popular website called Paxful. The website allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin while using a myriad of payment options (up to 300). Paxful accepts gift cards issued by VISA/Mastercard (the aforementioned MyVanilla prepaid cards), Walmart, Amazon, and so on.
image
For more options, you can click the “Buy Bitcoin” button in order to open a new page with a search bar where you can manually find any payment method after choosing the suitable currency.
image
This is the long list of all open offers that are sorted accordingly to the exchange rate. The seamless process of purchasing Bitcoin with gift cards comes with draconian fees. For example, if you want to buy Bitcoin with an iTunes gift card, you would have to pay a hefty commission that may go as high as 60 percent — for every dollar you spend, you get only $0.40 worth of Bitcoin. Usually, sellers offer the highest exchange rates (you lose less than 10 percent) if you meet them in person. In order to buy BTC with a prepaid card, simply click the green button on the right.
image
Paxful also allows you selling Bitcoins. Simply choose the “Sell Bitcoin” option and decide what kind of payment method you would like to accept (whether these would be gift cards, cash deposits or online transfers).  

Paxful Pros and Cons  

Pros  

Cons

A beginner-friendly exchange

Different exchange rates

An enormous number of payment methods  

A lot of scammers

Buyers are not charged with any fees

A one-percent fee for sellers

Remember about safety


How safe is it? Paxful claims that their sellers’ Bitcoins are held in a secure escrow until the transaction is completed, which eliminates the possibility of a fraud. The peer-to-peer exchange creates a temporary Bitcoin wallet in your personal account. In order to enhance their security, users are recommended to enable 2FA.

Paxful and LocalBitcoins are both well-known peer-to-peer exchanges with a huge user base, but they cannot ensure that every seller is reliable. Hence, we recommend you to pay attention to the following rules:

  1. The system features feedback rating of a certain seller (any negative comments would obviously be concerning).
  2. We recommend you to make sure that you take a screenshot of every transaction.
  3. Also, protect your personal data — any private information shouldn’t be disclosed. You don’t want to lose your money, right?


Things may get even way worse than wasting your $20 gift card — as U.Today reported earlier, a man from Norway was brutally murdered during a LocalBitcoins meet-up. This is why it is important to have at least a quick live chat before having a direct contact with this person.      

Transaction cancellation is another point that has to be covered in order to prevent financial losses. Do not reveal any gift card details to the seller if you are not 100 percent sure whether the transaction has to take place. While it’s possible to call off the purchase, the seller will certainly be tempted to get access to your gift card.    
    

Alternatives to Paxful


Paxful isn’t the only option on the table if you want to buy Bitcoin with a gift card. You are also able to do this on LocalBitcoins.
image
LocalBitcoins is the most well-known peer-to-peer exchange whose modus operandi is very similar to that of Paxful. The popularity of this exchange is skyrocketing in Russia as well as in some Latin American countries. With that being said, popularity is not necessarily a good thing because it brings more sketchy frauds, so follow all the above-mentioned safety measures.

Cointal is yet another peer-to-peer exchange for those who have no idea what to do with their gift cards, but it has a very questionable reputation with some users accusing it of being a fraud.

The bottom line

There are only two reputed exchanges that allow purchasing Bitcoin with a prepaid card. Despite the draconian exchange rates, it’s an excellent way to get rid of your stack of old cards.

💼 Related Article
New Crypto Payment App Aims to Replace Visa, Mastercard Services
🔥 Hot
6 months 3 weeks
256
New Crypto Payment App Aims to Replace Visa, Mastercard Services

Wikicoin
views
Joseph Young

How Blockchain and dApps Can Achieve True Decentralization and Massive Adoption

Public Blockchain networks need decentralized governance systems and interconnected network of dApps to reach adoption
How Blockchain and dApps Can Achieve True Decentralization and Massive Adoption
Contents

Public Blockchain networks and decentralized applications (dApps) launched on top of the Blockchain are often described as completely peer-to-peer systems that rely on a distributed network of users and developers to remain functional.

But, the emergence of high-performance Blockchain networks and dApps have led users and investors to raise the question, to what extent are Blockchain networks decentralized and how do dApps reach true decentralization through adoption?

💼 Related Article
Ready Products Key to Blockchain Adoption by Small and Medium Enterprises: Opinion
🔥 Hot
4 months 1 week
256
Ready Products Key to Blockchain Adoption by Small and Medium Enterprises: Opinion

Gnosis founder on how Ethereum can reach mainstream adoption

Major public Blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum are capable of operating without the existence of central authorities and intermediaries. As such, on the Bitcoin and Ethereum protocols, users can freely send and receive data without restrictions.

Since its launch in 2015, Ethereum has been designed to function as the base protocol for dApps, supporting the facilitation of large amounts of data on the Blockchain. As of August, Ethereum is processing around one million transactions per day while Bitcoin is processing merely 20 percent of the volume of Ethereum.

Throughout the past 24 months, the Ethereum ecosystem experienced an abrupt increase in the number of dApps and Blockchain projects, primarily due to the exponential growth of the initial coin offering (ICO) market.

Consequently, thousands of Blockchain projects have launched on the smart contract protocol with sufficient capital to finance their operations for over a decade without depending on their Ether reserves.

While the vast majority of projects and dApps have failed, some including Augur, Gnosis, 0x, Aragon and Maker have created base protocols and platforms which other dApps can utilize to offer unique services.

For instance, 0x offers a decentralized digital asset exchange protocol which enables dApps to launch on top of it to process peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trades. Most decentralized exchanges including Paradex, the digital asset relay acquired by Coinbase, have launched on the 0x protocol.

Martin Köppelmann, the creator of decentralized marketplace Gnosis, said that blockchain technology and dApps can only reach mainstream adoption if the interconnectedness and network effect of dApps can significantly improve. To put it simply, Köppelmann emphasized that blockchains and dApps can only prosper if they rely on and support each other to improve the ecosystem.

“The numbers we care about is the usage of decentralized applications. And as a next step, the number to look out for is dApps that seamlessly interact with each other and draw a benefit from being on the same platform. As a side effect, ultimately the price of ETH will then be a function of the demand for the use of applications in this reliable, open, and interlinked environment,” he said.

In a separate statement, Köppelmann added that the success of public Blockchain networks should be measured by the ability of dApps to use the services and products of other dApps on the Blockchain, ultimately creating an interconnected network of decentralized systems.

“The best metric of success for Ethereum is not how many dApps are deployed or how many transactions those dApps have. It is about how many dApps are created and used that use smart contracts from other dApps,” Köppelmann explained.

💼 Related Article
5 Major Blockchain Trends in 2018
🔥 Hot
3 months 3 weeks
256
5 Major Blockchain Trends in 2018

Governance and merit of a decentralized community

The second element that is necessary for the Blockchain to reach complete decentralization and Blockchain adoption alongside dApp network effect is open-source development. On a public Blockchain network, any user or developer should be able to contribute to the codebase of the Blockchain and have a say in its development roadmap.

On proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm-based blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, users, developers, and miners can reach consensus through soft and hard forks, to integrate changes or improvements in the Blockchain.

Segregated Witness (SegWit), a scaling solution integrated into the Bitcoin network last year, is an example of a soft fork implementation that needs majority consensus from users and node operators to officially integrate into the Blockchain.

Soft forks and hard forks allow the community to weigh in on the decision making of integrating certain solutions, creating a decentralized environment in which every individual on a Blockchain network has the incentive and motivation to contribute.

Last month, at TechCrunch Sessions held in Zug, Switzerland, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin noted that one way to prove the decentralized aspect of Ethereum governance is that if Buterin himself or any other core contributor were to be kidnapped and forced to write code, the community will have to first approve of the changes before they are integrated to the Blockchain.

Hence, it is not possible at the current stage, that a central authority takes over a public blockchain network and manipulate its codebase.

Buterin said:

“The thing with developers is that we are fairly fungible people. One developer goes down and someone else can keep on developing. If someone puts a gun to my head and tells me to write a hard fork patch, I’ll definitely write the hard fork patch. I’ll write the GitHub issue, I’ll write up the code, I’ll publish it, and I’ll do everything they say. If I do this and publish a hard fork patch to delete a bunch of accounts, how many people will be willing to download the update, install it and switch to that update? This is called decentralization.”

For high-performance Blockchains, those that claim to process a million transactions per second, it may be difficult to have a completely decentralized governance system in place to lead long-term development. If this is the case, the long-term adoption and growth of the Blockchain could be sacrificed for short-term gains in scalability.

Already, with Ethereum for instance, an open-source developer community is working on the development and implementation of Sharding and Plasma, two scaling solutions that are expected to increase the capacity of the Ethereum network to potentially one million transactions per second in the years to come.

0x protocol has integrated an onchain and offchain data processing solution of its own to reduce the burden on the Ethereum mainchain and Zilliqa, a high-performance Blockchain launched on top of Ethereum, has focused its development on Sharding. Status, a popular mobile client for Ethereum, has also introduced the first widely utilized Sharding client, allowing both dApps and users to benefit from efficient scaling.

Other projects aim for mass appeal— for example, ONO, which is building a social network as a dApp on EOS. And some projects even take it a step further and make the social network an integral component to their blockchain as in the case with U.Community and UOS with the idea of U.Community being the social interface to the UOS Blockchain, making the blockchain governance frictionless and accessible to every user.

The benefit of having a truly decentralized governance system in place is that it allows for the creation of a community that supports each other to produce dApps, scaling solutions, and other unique products that will be crucial for mainstream adoption in the long run.

With Blockchain networks that are restricted by some central parties and moderators, it is difficult for an open-source developer community to exist and contribute actively to the codebase.

💼 Related Article
The Dangers of Retiring on Bitcoin: High Risk on Important Investment
🔥 Hot
3 months 4 weeks
256
The Dangers of Retiring on Bitcoin: High Risk on Important Investment

views
👓 Recommended articles