Alex Morris

Blockchain Has Potential to Tackle Biggest Problems of Agribusiness: Report

The food industry is still plagued by unsafe products and disruptions in supply chain, but Blockchain can easily fix that
Blockchain Has Potential to Tackle Biggest Problems of Agribusiness: Report

The Dutch government has recently conducted a study that was aimed to determine the potential of implementing Blockchain industry, according to a Forbes report. The researchers conclude that Blockchain could increase consumer trust and even lower the cost of food products by cutting out an intermediary.

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The issues that have to be addressed

There is still a problem of consumer trust when it comes to food products. If you go to a grocery store to buy chicken, you basically have no idea about the origin of your evening meal. It might have come straight from a slaughterhouse in Shanghai with poor sanitary conditions. Your chicken might have also been raised on a US poultry farm (and later injected with steroids to increase its value).

Yes, hormones and steroids in poultry have been banned by the USDA since 1950, but there is always an ounce of uncertainty. There have been numerous food safety scandals in recent years (for example, undeclared horse meat was marketed as beef in Europe in 2013, which caused a huge uproar).

Blockchain poses a solution  

Cryptocurrencies remain the most popular use case of Blockchain, but there are numerous industries that start dipping their toes in this technology as well. As U.Today reported earlier, Blockchain is already being utilized as a solution for increasing voting transparency, eliminating fake diplomas and tackling delivery problems.

The aforementioned Dutch research states that there are multifold benefits of using Blockchain in agriculture. Consumers would know exactly the origin of their food at any point in the supply chain. The technology would lower the prices and increase the overall trust in the food suppliers, leaving fake labeling in the past. Lastly, Blockchain will significantly enhance the efficiency of the global supply chain.

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Yuri Molchan

TRON Has Largest Number of Coin Hodlers Among Top 20 Ethereum-Based Projects: Study

Top 20 Ethereum-based coins are very similar to top 20 market tokens regarding their utility
TRON Has Largest Number of Coin Hodlers Among Top 20 Ethereum-Based Projects: Study

Prosphero.io analysts have conducted a research in which ERC20 tokens with the largest numbers of addresses were defined. The table below shows the top 20 projects based on the amount of wallet addresses created.

TRON takes the first place concerning token holders and is followed by OmiseGo with twice as fewer investors.

The most popular currently are Ethereum-powered projects that develop their own platforms.

An interesting fact, the top 20 ERC20 tokens are largely similar to the top 20 coins in the cryptocurrency market regarding their utility.

Infographics

TRON (TRX) and Co.

As you can see, TRON social Blockchain possesses the biggest number of addresses. This is largely thanks to its CEO and founder Justin Sun. He succeeds in promoting his project, besides, he often come up with compromising news pegs.

The coin has recently launched its mainnet and exchange of ERC20 Ethereum tokens to its own TRX coins.

The same is happening to EOS now, although, there are certain problems to do with electing block producers.

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Besides, TRON was founded in the Asian region, where people generally favor Blockchain-based social networks (e.g. STEEM). These factors have allowed it and its coin TRX to take quite a stable first place.

Coins that host own platforms

Judging by the table above, the first line of the rating based on the amount of wallet addresses is taken by the projects that are developing their own platforms (like, TRON, EOS, Golem and Bytom). Together they amount to ~40 percent of the total body of addresses.

Besides, quite popular are the projects dealing with the financial sphere (OmiseGo, 0x, TenX, SALT, Bytom)– those are around 21 percent of all the wallet addresses.

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Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT projects should be mentioned separately. In the table, you may find three such platforms- Streamr DATAcoin, Nucleus Vision and VeChain. They make around 15 percent of all the hodlers’ addresses.

ERC20 vs crypto market coins

The above-mentioned survey shows only Ethereum-powered projects. However, there are clear similarities between those and the cryptocurrency market on the whole.

In the latter, the top 20 Blockchain networks contain mostly platform projects, and then come payment systems, followed by IoT coins.

NAME

Hodlers

Category

TRON

1097828

Platforms, social networking sites

OmiseGO

597103

Foreign exchange

Streamr DATAcoin

434798

Internet of Things

EOS

330687

Platforms

Binance Coin

299746

Crypto exchange-based coins

Storj

243386

Cloud solutions

Gifto

116528

Social networks

Golem

99135

Platforms, data processing

eosDAC

97095

Decentralized autonomous communities

Nucleus Vision

75522

Internet of Things

VeChain

70495

Internet of Things, logistics networks

Loopring

69015

Cross-Blockchain operations, crypto exchange-based coins

Status

67236

Marketplaces

Basic Atten...

64650

Web browser

0x

61576

Foreign exchange

FunFair

59627

Lotteries and casinos

TenX

58987

Foreign exchange

SALT

56961

Loans

Bytom

56792

Platforms, finance

Augur

56240

Market forecasts

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Wikicoin Darryn Pollock

WikiCoin: NEO

📚 Wikicoin
NEO is so similar to the number two cryptocurrency that it’s been called the “Chinese Ethereum.” But NEO is perhaps even more ambitious than Ethereum.
WikiCoin: NEO

NEO has taken aim at one of the biggest and most useful of all cryptocurrencies: Ethereum. NEO aims to use the power of the Blockchain, as well as digital identity, to digitize assets.

While many coins are out there trying to improve on Bitcoin, NEO is trying to improve on Ethereum and make advances in the world of smart contracts. NEO differs from Ethereum in that it is not using its smart contracts as a platform for development. Rather it wants to realize a ‘smart economy’ within a distributed network.

From Antshares to the moon

NEO is still heavily in development, having recently been rebranded from Antshare in June 2017. This name change, along with aggressive marketing, has helped it secure a position in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The smart economy NEO aims to develop, involving the digitalizing of assets and will involve proof of ownership. The Chinese government is even looking at NEO to establish its pre-eminence on the Blockchain and be a leader in the space.

NEO has exactly 100 mln tokens, and all of these tokens were created in the genesis block and then distributed according to a mechanism outlined in the NEO white paper. Unlike most cryptocurrencies which are infinitely divisible, NEO tokens cannot be divided and thus the smallest possible transaction size is one NEO.

Well regarded

NEO’s founder, who founded the coin under the name Antshares, is Da Hongfei. He is well respected in Asia as a cryptocurrency pioneer, and apart from founding NEO, he is also the founder and CEO of Onchain, a Blockchain development company for enterprise and institutions.

A boom in NEO

While Antshares was launched in 2014, it didn’t really begin to gain prominence until after the rebranding. Beginning June 16 last year, the coin started to rise, hitting its first peak at $9.75, it continued to spike to $47.58 in the middle of August before dropping away like many coins to the end of the year.

However, since that low, NEO has been one of the better performing cryptocurrencies through January, hitting a recent all-time high on Jan. 30 of $162.

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Darryn Pollock

There’s Still a Lack of Trust in Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Trust, even in the decentralized space of cryptocurrency is still vital, especially when it comes to exchanges
There’s Still a Lack of Trust in Cryptocurrency Exchanges

One of the draw cards of cryptocurrencies has always been the trustless nature of them. They are anonymous, transparent, and do not require a third-party to operate, thus making mathematics the only thing that needs to be trusted.

But, the trustless nature is almost a smokescreen for the everyday user of cryptocurrencies as many people operate their day-to-day cryptocurrency wallet through a centralized exchange. In fact, some of the biggest exchanges in the world are centralized.

This means that there is indeed still a need for trust, but that trust has not wholly been earned by the major cryptocurrencies that are still prone to attacks, hacks, scams and other malicious situations which in general paints the space in a negative light.

Thus, the biggest barrier to entry for new adopters of cryptocurrency is the fear they have of an untrusted and unregulated cryptocurrency market as it is based around a network of major centralized exchanges.

Understanding the centralized vs decentralized

The problem that the cryptocurrency space faces is that it is operating as a false-decentralized entity. This is something that Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is against, as well as many powerful cryptocurrency people.

However, the everyday user is more prone to use a decentralized exchange, and without delving too much into the differences, the key one is the ability to turn fiat into crypto and vice-versa. Every day traders want the ability to buy and sell crypto easily for currency, and this means using a decentralized exchange.

This means that the exchange, rather than being a decentralized peer-to-peer trading platform, is actually operating much like a traditional bank.

Unregulated banking

So, despite the fact that many people have entered the cryptocurrency space to escape the banking hegemony, they will still use these centralized exchanges. But, they will use them knowing that they are not regulated, and thus not very liable if things go wrong.

Many believe that part of the reason that people are being kept away from cryptocurrencies is the fact that there is no real set regulation. Countries are starting to come forward and do their bit, especially in places like Korea and Japan, and this is shoring up the exchanges, but they are still full of holes.

Hacking high-jinx

The biggest concern is the fact that major exchanges are still being targeted and successfully hacked. Exchanges like Mt. Gox and Coincheck have provided the two biggest hacks, and they are both based in Japan. Even recently in Korea, Bithumb was hacked and has only just started resuming normal operations.

These hacks are highly publicised, and the fact that a lot of the exchanges are unregulated means there is no compensation for the affected victims. The Mt. Gox scandal still proves that people are hoping for repayments still to this day.

Trustworthy ecosystem

Until a time where these centralized exchanges are held liable as if they were banks, which is what Korea is aiming to do, or they do enough to make the ecosystem safe, there will be massive trust issues with new and emerging cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

The talk of a Bitcoin revolution and a digital currency wave is faltering as the exchanges struggle to keep up with demands made on them to be safe and trustworthy.

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Coins Guide George Shnurenko

How to buy NEM (XEM) in USA: A Step-by-Step Guide

🎓 Coins Guide
The majority of exchanges require verification because they have to comply with AML regulations.
How to buy NEM (XEM) in USA: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1. Choose any reputable exchange service on the market (Coinbase, Gemini, CEX, Binance, etc.) that would allow you trade the cryptocurrency of your choice. Coinbase is probably the most popular exchange platform, but it also has a significant drawback such as high transaction fees for any fiat currency. If you are looking for an exchange with lower charges, consider using BitStamp or CEX.

Step 2. Create an account. After choosing an exchange, you have to sign up and verify it by providing all the necessary documents (ID, the proof of your address, etc.). This is important for preventing different types of fraudulent activities. The verification procedure may take up to a week.

The majority of exchanges require verification because they have to comply with AML regulations. If you do not want to reveal your identity, you may consider using the exchanges that put an emphasis on anonymity (Localbitcoins, Wall of Coins, etc.).

Bitquick, for example, allows anonymous transactions that do not exceed $400. Localbitcoins, on the other hand, does not have verification requirements at all. Of course, this is a huge advantage for individuals who do not what to reveal their personal information to a third party that may be subjected to a data breach.

Some exchanges may routinely close their registration due to a high demand. There has recently been a trend of selling fully verified accounts on eBay and other platforms, because people who are willing to trade crypto simply are not able to sign in. Of course, it is just another red flag – the seller may easily get his account back.

Step 3. Choose a trading pair. There may be crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trading pairs. The particular number of available trading pairs depends on the exchange. Your choice of a particular exchange may depend on the niche cryptocurrency that you want to buy.

Step 4. Withdraw your money. No matter what exchange you choose, do not forget to withdraw all your money to a cold wallet after completing the transaction. Mt. Gox’s shutdown proves that even the most prominent exchanges may not recover from a big hacking attack.

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Darryn Pollock

What Will it Take to Make Bitcoin a Dominant Alternative Currency?

There are some firm believers that Bitcoin can become a dominant alternative currency, but many also believe it is a tool for market speculators
What Will it Take to Make Bitcoin a Dominant Alternative Currency?
Contents

Bitcoin has gone through many phases since its inception almost 10 years ago exactly this month. It was born of the 2008 financial crisis, intended to be a libertarian way to free oneself from the traditional banking sector, but as it has evolved, it has moved its goal posts a number of times.

From a pure currency, mostly of the dark web, to an ever increasing asset seen as digital gold, Bitcoin’s designation is still up for debate, but there is no doubting that it could be an alternative currency. Although, the problem with that is which side of the fence one stands on.

Some see Bitcoin as the unwanted additive to Blockchain, while others still believe it is the answer to a constrained economic system — then there are those who think the whole system is a waste of time.

Still, there is little doubting that the potential is there for Bitcoin to make a charge as an alternative currency, especially in the digital age, but it just needs a few things to go its way.

It begins with demand

Part of Bitcoin’s problems in 2018 has been around a lack of trading volume, which in terms indicates a lack of interest or demand for the digital currency. At its peak, and when demand was at its highest, Bitcoin was considered much more of an asset than a working currency and people were scrambling for it.

But, its demand as a currency is far less, and there are a number of reasons for that. What is actually needed is another economic crisis to reinforce the idea that fiat currencies are flawed and centralized governments can damage economies.

Data shows that 50 percent of the world’s population lives in one of 98 countries that have had at least one year in the past 10 when inflation was above 10 percent. It is an interesting statistic as this poor economic performance should be driving people to look for an alternative, but it is not strong enough yet.

Fixing the limitations

With Bitcoin only being 10 years old as of Oct. 31, it is still quite embryonic and has a lot of teething problems that need to be sorted out, despite what many minimalists believe.

1) Stability

One of the double-edged swords of Bitcoin is its volatility. It is something that made it famous and helped it reach a big swath of the population, but for it to be a real contender as a currency, there needs to be more stability.

It is the Bitcoin futures that were put into play in December last year from CBOE and CME that are helping with this. These options offer short selling of the digital currency, which is essential to reducing volatility over the long term.

2) Capacity

Scaling and capacity of the Bitcoin network have been a long and ongoing issue for the digital currency. It is often noted that the network processes only seven transactions a second, while the Visa network, for instance, does about 65,000.

However, this is something that is being worked upon, and there is an option to scale which could help, such as the Lightning network, and even alternative currencies aimed at being faster.

3) Hacks

The Blockchain network of Bitcoin has remained unshakeable and is at present unhackable; however, the security around exchanges and other services that offer Bitcoin and Blockchain access need to be sorted.

This is being looked into a lot more recently as a lot of governments, especially of Japan and South Korea, are stepping into making these businesses more secure.

4) Regulatory clarity

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as the underlying Blockchain, have reached a point with regulators where they are mostly accepted and allowed to operate. However, the framework in which they can operate remains very cloudy.

It is no longer the case that cryptocurrencies and their related businesses do not want regulator intervention, it is that they are seeking it in order to gain firm guidelines and areas of operation.

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