Darryn Pollock

Blockchain Education Becoming More Accessible and Attainable

Blockchain courses, and education in the new technology is getting more accessible as the London School of Economics makes it an online course
Blockchain Education Becoming More Accessible and Attainable

Recent news from the London School of Economics (LSE) is suggesting that an education in Blockchain technology is becoming more attainable as people hurry to pick up on the burgeoning and revolutionary technology.

Online Blockchain courses from the LSE, as well as a host other independent courses, are now readily available for any aspiring Blockchain developers with the demand for people educated in this new sector at a premium.

Importance of educating in Blockchain

As Blockchain technology makes it deeper and deeper into mainstream society, there is more interested in owning cryptocurrencies, but also added interest in building and understanding Blockchains for a number of different sectors.

Blockchains have been growing in sectors that are as large as banking, government, and major corporations- such as Amazon and Microsoft. To this end, the companies involving themselves in blockchain technology need educated employees who understand the space.

However, because the first Blockchain only came out 10 years ago, and in small circles with limited interest, there are hardly any seasoned veterans who are available for hire. This means that education is one way of upskilling Blockchain students in order for them to add value to their companies, but also to the space.

The Blockchain space is still plagued with teething problems, such as hacks, scams, and badly built projects on Blockchain, and thus, it is important for the space to get professionals who know what they are doing to advance the Blockchain ecosystem.

Spreading globally

It is unsurprising to see that Blockchain courses are coming up in all different forms, not just from the LSE in their online offering. There is news of IBM even offering free Blockchain courses to Indian students, as well as five Spanish speaking universities holding Blockchain courses for their students.

Of course, it is also business for those offering the courses at universities and business schools are in their own race to offer such courses. There is a real hunger to work in the Blockchain space with reports stating that Blockchain developers in the US earn almost $130,000 yearly.

Taking advantage

However, although there is a demand for learned Blockchain developers there has also been instances where companies are looking to take advantage of the situation. A job fair in Korea proved this as Ivy-League educated Blockchain developers were turned away from wealthy companies for demanding too much money.

In the end though, Blockchain technology is set to play a bigger role in the future of this planet, and thus, it is good for students to be at the forefront of the future. Learned Blockchain professionals will not only help boost businesses, they will build better Blockchains.

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Stavros Georgiadis

Ethereum Price Prediction for December: An Upward Retracement Is Underway

November 2018 was a tough month for Ethereum as the sharp decline in the Bitcoin price was a general one for the major cryptocurrencies
Ethereum Price Prediction for December: An Upward Retracement Is Underway

November 2018 was a tough month for Ethereum as the sharp decline in the Bitcoin price was a general one for the major cryptocurrencies, and ETH fell from the price of $208.88 on Nov. 5 to $104.40 on Nov. 27. Ever since in December 2018, there is a retracement already underway.

We will focus on a price prediction for Ethereum, especially for December, and also make an ETH price prediction for today​​ based on technical analysis. Can this 50% decline from November 2018 reverse and pause, or will there be a continuation of the downtrend?

As always, any Ethereum price predictions have the element of uncertainty and risk, and they are not investment recommendations, but rather the result of financial analysis.

Ethereum price forecast

Here are some Ethereum predictions and Ethereum forecasts by experts:

Bobby Ullery, CTO of Waysay:

“I think Bitcoin and Ethereum will share a $4.5 trillion market cap by 2020. How much could one Ether be worth? This is a little harder to calculate due to the somewhat unknown supply of Ether in the future, how Proof-of-Stake might change new Ether issuance, and the impact that the Ice Age will have on time between new ETH issuance. The original 2014 issuance model, stated a projection of ~162M ETH in circulation in 2020, however /u/manly_ pointed out that Vitalik has said it would be closer to 100M, so for our rough math we’ll use 100M ETH.$1,137,500,000,000 divided by 100,000,000 = $11,375 per coin, ~+4,000% from today.”  

Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group:

The price of Ethereum is predicted to increase significantly this year, and could hit $2,500 by the end of 2018 with a further increase by 2019 and 2020.This general upswing will be fueled by 3 main drivers. First, more and more platforms are using Ethereum as a means of trading. Second, the increased use of smart contracts by Ethereum. And third, the decentralization of cloud computing.”

Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit:

“I’m most bullish about Ethereum simply because people are actually building on it. It’s still early days, but you know, we’ve got a few CryptoKitties.
It’s easy to laugh at, but I think the first version of so many things looks like a toy and often has something to do with cats. It’s because the Internet loves cats. At the end of the year, Ethereum will be at $1,500. Great, now people can call me out if I’m wrong.”

Ethereum is now the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization
Ethereum Image

All these experts appear to be bullish and optimistic about ETH’s price prediction for 2018 and beyond, up to the year 2020. Next we will analyze our Ethereum forecast for the rest of 2018.

Ethereum price prediction December

In November 2018, the price of Ethereum most likely fell due to the selloff from ICOs. The majority of analysts in the cryptocurrency sector have attributed the decline in the price of ETH to the selloff of ERC20 blockchain projects that have raised millions of dollars in ETH in their token sales.

As the price of ETH started to fall and the cryptocurrency market entered a major bear market, analysts said that ERC20 projects started to sell their ETH holdings, causing ETH to experience a more intense downtrend than other major cryptocurrencies. Thus, it is very evident that the decision of ERC20 projects on Ethereum to sell large amounts of ETH in panic largely contributed to the downtrend of ETH. What are our own ETH predictions? Our technical analysis will be based on the price action for the past month.

Ethereum infographic on blockchain
Ethereum and decentralized networks

Ethereum price prediction end year

Before our technical analysis section about Ethereum prediction 2018, a few business arguments in favor of the price increase in the future are as follows:

The reasons behind the rise of Ethereum are plenty. Ethereum is used as a platform these days by a wide variety of ICOs as well as other cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, there are quite a few companies which are solely working on the Ethereum blockchain rather than the Bitcoin-based blockchain.

The underlying technology seems to be strong as well. This is the reason why the Ethereum predictions for 2018 as well as thereafter are positive. So, let’s explore this question further.

Ethereum price prediction 2019

Long-term price Ethereum forecast chart
Ethereum forecast for 2018 and 2019

As seen from the chart above, it is not easy to make any Ethereum projection about its future price. Any ETH forecast entails a very large degree of error. An Ether price prediction can be based, however, on more conservative price levels that are supported by business news and developments such as the arguments mentioned above. In our technical analysis section below, our Ethereum price projection will be a very conservative one.

Ethereum forecast today

Ethereum forecast 2018
Ethereum weekly chart

This weekly chart shows that anybody who would have been bullish about the Ethereum in 2018 would have been proven wrong, as the price collapsed from $1390 in January 2018 to $107.23 in November 2018, a decline of 92.30%. What is the forecast for next year?

Ethereum price prediction
Ethereum daily chart

As with Bitcoin price prediction today, any price prediction is very difficult, as news that may have a large impact on cryptocurrency prices is very hard to predict. Still, here is our Ethereum forecast for December 2018.

Ethereum technical analysis for December 2018

The daily chart of Ethereum (ETHUSD) does not seem very bullish, as there is a very strong downtrend in place, supported by the high values of the ADX/DMI indicator. The value of the ADX line is above 43, signaling a very strong trend. Usually, values above the 25 level indicate a strong trend. These are some of the key points in our technical analysis on Ethereum.

·    Stochastic indicator (14,3,3) is at oversold levels below the 20 level, but still shows no signs of trend reversal. In fact, a few days ago it made a bullish crossover as price bounced from $104 to $126, but it was a short-term bounce as price is now trading at $108.

·    MACD indicator is still at negative values, and although its histogram diminishes, pointing to a possible trend pause, it has not made any bullish crossover yet.

·    Daily Bollinger bands are at $191.72 and $82.30 for the upper and lower band respectively, having expanded significantly. This high volatility may be followed by less volatility and a mean reversion to the 20-period daily moving average at $138.

·    The price is below the daily 20-period and 50-period exponential moving averages respectively at $136.55 and $170.87. Both moving averages are pointing down indicative of a strong downtrend.

·    There are no obvious levels of support other than the recent low price at $102.10.

·    Former levels of support will act as resistance, and one important level is near $172.50, where 50-period daily EMA is now at $165.70 and at $188.40.

·    Fibonacci analysis is taken as a high price of $225.56 and a low price of $102.09 from November 7, 2018 to November 25, 2018, showing that the 0.5 and 0.618 retracement levels are $163.07 and $177.46 respectively.

·    Given the strong downtrend we estimate that a bounce is possible up to the price level of $125.00-$150.00.

·    If the support of $102.00 is breached, then there are no previous support levels and the price can move significantly lower.

·    Another factor to consider is that December is typically a month with reduced liquidity as it is a holiday season, and potential spikes in price could occur.

·    Due to the correlation that exists with Bitcoin price collapse, and in general the decline of major cryptocurrencies in November, any Bitcoin bounce to higher levels could also drive higher the price of Ethereum in December 2018. The current price of Ethereum as of December 3, 2018 is $108.18.

Conclusion

The crypto market has been suffering a severe decline in the last quarter of 2018. But the last month of the year looks bright for Ethereum, as the HTC Blockchain Phone Exodus 1 is getting ready to ship in December, which is only accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum enables developers to build smart contracts, and this is a positive factor as it has plenty of business potential. Will Ethereum rise or fall in December 2018? It’s a hard answer to give and prediction to make. The recent downtrend is strong. Still, it is too early to make a call for the bottom price of Ethereum as the year ends. But a moderate uptrend during the remainder of 2018 is probable.

We estimate that, due to the liquidity diminishing as we get closer to the Christmas holiday season, a moderate move up to the price level of $125-$150 is possible. The cryptocurrency has fallen significantly, and while we favor trading with the trend, a dominant downtrend with the possibility of a moderate move up is our basic scenario for the rest of December 2018.

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Wikicoin Alex Morris

Will Mining Cryptocurrency Damage My GPU?

📚 Wikicoin
Efficient mining requires permanently running GPUs at full power, so miners are obviously curious whether it can damage the card’s performance
Will Mining Cryptocurrency Damage My GPU?

Despite the rising popularity of ASIC chips, which even managed to elbow Nvidia out of the crypto market, GPU mining remains fairly popular, especially with regard to altcoins. However, there are still many doubts about whether mining puts a graphics card at risk.

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There is a common belief that hardware becomes disposable after a certain period of time. However, there is no evidence to prove that long-term use at full load will affect the lifespan of a graphics card. GPUs are usually replaced because they are no longer efficient.

Does mining damage your GPU? Short answer– no, but only if you use it properly. Some miners tend to run graphics cards at full power without proper ventilation, especially when it comes to large mining rigs. Eventually, it leads to overheating. Among other things that can damage the card one can mention overclocking and physical damage. Therefore, it is important to understand how to prolong the life of your graphics card.   

Dealing with heat


High temperature temps to be the main GPU killer, so it is important to know how to avoid overheating. GPUs normally have a high level of heat tolerance, reaching 80C range or even higher, but we still recommend you to constantly check the temperature of your graphics cards in order to see how hot it gets.

Here’s a table that vividly shows what mining temperature you should stick to (beware of the fact that different GPUs still have different safe ranges).
 

Temperature range

Exposure

30C - 49C

You miner must not be working!

50C - 59C

Either your GPU is still not working or you need to do some overclocking.

60C - 69C

GPU is running at a normal temperature.

70C - 75C

This is usually the most optimal solution.

75C - 79C

Such a temperature range is still ok-ish for the majority of GPUs.

80C - 89C

You are now entering a danger zone. As mentioned above, some graphics cards can handle this, but it may cause a damage to your PC.

90C

Anything above this point will almost definitely cause a damage to your GPU, so don’t be surprised if you can suddenly smell burning plastic.     


Fans can be a problem
It’s advisable to replace your mining fans that are usually running at the same rate since they are the only GPU component that tends to wear out pretty quick. If fans stop functioning properly, other GPU components are at risk as well.   

Make sure that fans cool your power components– even if you keep the overall GPU temperature low, the overheating of power components will lead to a disastrous outcome.
 

What damage does mining cause your GPU?

Running your GPU at high temperatures (in the 90C range) for a prolonged period of time can definitely affect the lifespan of the some of the card’s components. However, MOSFET, along with other VRM components, can handle incredibly high temperatures (up to 120C).   

If you do not want to bother with fans, you can also consider liquid cooling as a proper replacement.  
 

Other ways to damage your GPU  


Does Bitcoin mining damage your GPU? Plugging in a smaller gauge wire can actually cause an overdraw, which can potentially lead to the burning out of GPU. Even though this scenario is highly unlikely, there have been some cases when thermal throttling simply didn’t work.  If you do not want your card to burn up, we also recommend lowering your power target.
image
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Overclocking is an essential part of mining crypto. The good thing is that it cannot actually damage modern GPUs, since it has an inbuilt protection mechanism that shuts down the card every time you get the setting wrong. You have to actually try very hard in order to cause any physical damage to your card by overclocking since it doesn’t have even remotely the same impact on power draw and temperature as CPU clock.
 

Buying a used GPU miner


As the price of crypto is falling and GPU mining becomes less profitable, there is an obvious question whether you should buy a used miner. Due to the fact that many miners sell off their graphics cards, their prices are quite reasonable.

If you buy a used miner, you have to choose a safe marketplace for these purposes. Both Amazon and eBay protect buyers from potential scams. There are plenty of miners out there who want to pass off burned out graphics cards as good. If the used GPU turns out to be broken, you can still get a refund and write a negative review.
image
On top of that, make sure to check:

  • the brand of the card;

  • the warranty;

  • the company’s return policy.
     

Conclusion
 

So, how much damage does GPU mining cause your graphics card? As you can see, very little. However, you have to avoid high temperatures and make sure that you have proper power supply- there are the main precautionary measures to make sure that your GPU miner will be working seamlessly for years. In general, heat is the main concern when it comes to shortening your graphics card’s lifespan.  

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Darryn Pollock

HODL Being Explained in Senate Shows Just How Far Bitcoin Has Come

The way in which Bitcoin has permeated the mainstream is nearly unbelievable.
HODL Being Explained in Senate Shows Just How Far Bitcoin Has Come

There was an incredible moment that happened at a serious meeting of the Senate in the US on Tuesday. Not only was Bitcoin’s direction further clarified by the heads of the CFTC and the SEC, adding a level of positivity, but the inner workings of Bitcoin were laid bare.

Christopher Giancarlo, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the key regulators who can make or break the legality of Bitcoin in the US, was questioned on what he believed Bitcoin actually was.

The Chairman said it displayed features of multiple asset classes. But when viewed as a store of value like gold, Bitcoin behaves “very much like a commodity,” he added.

He then went on to expand on this point, showing off his knowledge of the Bitcoin community who have been ingrained by this notion of HODL- especially in recent weeks.

”If you go on to the Bitcoin Twitter universe, you will see the phrase ‘H-O-D-L,’ meaning hold on for dear life, meaning they buy it and hold it,” he explained. He also revealed that his niece is a Bitcoin Hodl-er.

A massive step

The news was that came out of the Senate was heralded as it pointed towards positive steps being made by US regulators who predominantly have been painted as menaces to the cryptocurrency universe.

But the fact that Giancarlo went as far as to explain the term HODL, and to admit that his niece, as well as his children, were au fait with cryptocurrencies just shows how far the coin has come and evolved.

People often stress when regulators start to get involved in things like Bitcoin. The digital currency is supposed to be decentralized and untouchable by those who dictate terms of control. However, because Bitcoin is tickling the interest of these leaders of countries means it is worth a look in.

From whence it came

Bitcoin really first hit the mainstream headlines when Silk Road came tumbling down and it emerged that there was this odd digital currency that was fueling this illicit economy. It was seen as dark and dangerous, and a tool of drug lords and criminals.

Now, it has moved along so much that it is considered an investment tool for almost anyone with access to a smartphone, which is great, but more impressive is that regulators are viewing it as more than just a threat.

A deep understanding

It can be argued that Clayton and Giancarlo have an obligation and a job to do when it comes to delving into Bitcoin. However, the fact that they have gone above and beyond proclaiming that they need to understand it all first.

Giancarlo, whether he’d admit it or not, is a participate in the cryptocurrency community on a personal level. His decision can, of course, shape the future of the coin, but because he has decided to learn more than just the nuts and bolts, going into the culture and understanding why it exists, shows a fresh understanding.

Regulators need to truly understand Bitcoin and other Blockchain applications to be able to pass fair judgment; they need to give it every chance, and give every chance to seeing the light.

China and others may slap blanket bans on everything crypto, but that is indicative of pure ignorance.

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Bitcoin’s Value Shouldn’t Be Quantified as an Investment- That’s Gold's Job

Gold has become a perfect definition of an investable asset, whereas Bitcoin has come close, but probably should not be regarded as in the same light
Bitcoin’s Value Shouldn’t Be Quantified as an Investment- That’s Gold's Job

Ever since Bitcoin made the transition from being a peer-to-peer electronic cash system to more of an investable, digital gold, it has drawn comparisons with the precious metal as a commodity that accrues value.

Bitcoin had its heyday, when it was rallying like nothing ever seen, and those who invested early were making a killing that not even gold could compare with. However, that does not necessarily mean that Bitcoin, or cryptocurrencies in general, should be seen purely as an investment.

Cryptocurrencies have many different facets to them, and are able to be applicable in a host of different sectors in society, from technology, finance, politics, economics and trade. The underlying Blockchain is the true star, and that needs to become more obvious.

When it comes to investing in something, Gold, or any other asset which is far better suited to it should be the answer, not only for the sake of the investor but also for the advancement of the entire cryptocurrency space.

Escaping the digital gold label

The stories of miners from 2012 and the early days of Bitcoin, pulling out hundreds of coins off their home PCs and then suddenly finding themselves millionaire by becoming accidental long-term holding investors are all but gone.

Bitcoin’s price is feeling the effects of going parabolic and it has left it in a very big bear market where a lot of the players are new entrants who bought at the highest point. This situation that many people find themselves in- who came to Bitcoin to invest in the hopes of a get-rich-quick fix- is problematic for the investors, and for cryptocurrencies.

Bad sentiment follows the market currently as investors get fed up on unfulfilled promises, pulling bigger and bigger losses as the price keeps falling. It sounds like doom and gloom, and it is, but only for one sector of the cryptocurrency space.

Bitcoin is a store of value, but currently, it is not a very good one, and as such, the digital gold label needs to be divorced from it.

Other cryptocurrencies have tried to find their way as a currency, or as Blockchain solutions, some even as a digital version of the US Dollar, and really, this is where the technology and the cryptocurrency space should be focusing in its energies.

Reasons why Gold is a better store of value

Bitcoiners and newer investors have laughed at Gold as an investment opportunity as it does not have the same headlines as Bitcoin has had in the past. But as a commodity, it is something that should be invested in while Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are left to advance the technology space.

Gold is of course well established in terms of a market, it has things like ETFs advancing its liquidity, and it is primarily used simply for value. There are applications such as in dentistry and circuits, but predominantly, it is a precious metal which grows in value.

Bitcoin, Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and the entire new wave of technology surrounding this space has a big future that is still being unpacked, and it almost feels as if the investment side of things is a pure distraction.

There is no doubt that the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin came in part because of its exponential growth, which circled back, enticing more users in, but that time is gone. It must now be left to grow organically, with the value surmounting from its application as a new revolution in technology.

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Blockchain Market Watch: Which Startups Are Top VC Firms Investing In?

VC firms are acutely aware of the potential of Blockchain to transform our world. While many companies will build solutions; which ones will succeed?
Blockchain Market Watch: Which Startups Are Top VC Firms Investing In?

VC firms are acutely aware of the potential of Blockchain to transform our world. While many companies will build solutions; which ones will succeed?

Two venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz (Andreessen) and Union Square Venture (USV) may have cracked the formula of how to make future bets on Blockchain.  Both have been investing in blockchain-based technologies and cryptocurrencies since 2013, according to CB Insights.

Factors Fueling Growth in Blockchain Market Cap

The demand for blockchain technology solutions is expected to increase rapidly due to the growing adoption of its distributed ledger technology. Global blockchain market size is expected to grow to 7.6 bln by 2022 from 411.5 mln last year, according to a report from Research and Markets.

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Factors fueling the exponential growth of the Blockchain market have been the rising cryptocurrency market capitalization rates and initial coin offerings combined with the benefits of processing transactions, the report says.

VC Investment Trends To Watch: Decentralized Apps

Investors have been pouring funds into decentralized applications (dApps).  

CryptoKitties, a decentralized app crypto-collectible digital cats raised $12 mln Series A at the end of March.  CryptoKitties, built using Ethereum, are digital pieces of content that are unique, have a fixed number that someone can own, buy, sell, trade.  USV described CryptoKitties, as digital collectibles that could not have existed before the emergence of Blockchain.

The company said in its blog post:

“We think digital collectibles and all of the games they enable will be one of the, if not the first, big consumer use cases for blockchain technologies.”

Andreessen recently invested in Dfinity a startup that plans to create a decentralized cloud capable of competing with Ethereum and other smart contract platforms. The company received  $61 mln in Feb. and intends to use them to incentivize developers to build on its cloud, according to CB Insights.

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Startups Taking on Bitcoin

USV’s 2018 investments target cryptocurrency startups like Algorand and Chia that are capable of building products that take direct aim at the existing limitations of Bitcoin. Algorand, a startup which is building a high-speed blockchain-based payments protocol raised $4 mln in its seed funding round in Feb.

Chia is a new cryptocurrency, which garnered $3.4 mln in seed funding at the end of March. The company says it uses a more energy-efficient mechanism than Bitcoin’s Proof of Work. While Bitcoin has a much more substantial market presence at this time; these companies are poised to challenge Bitcoin’s new Lightning Network, experts say.

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