Alexander Goborov

Interest in Cryptocurrency Leaders Drops: New Players Likely on the Rise

Major cryptocurrencies are seemingly less fashionable on Google and Telegram, but that might just indicate a hidden rise in popularity for the other crypto players
Interest in Cryptocurrency Leaders Drops: New Players Likely on the Rise

Many crypto proponents argue that cryptocurrency is here to stay. On the contrary, some critics claim that cryptocurrency is a has-been of the financial world and on the way out. Whichever side of the fence you happen to be sitting on, there is no doubt that since the December 2017 crypto bubble, during which Bitcoin reached the record high of almost $20 000 USD, all major cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin included, have been dwindling in value.

image

Concurrently, as the graph above illustrates, the crypto market’s indisputable leader both by market cap and unit price (standing at almost 6500 USD), Bitcoin, has seen a dramatic decline in its searches on Google. Having come down sharply in the winter of this year after last year’s bubble, the search figure continued to fall relative to the previous months, as measured by Google Trends, gradually declining even further, first in the summer and subsequently in the autumn. At present, Bitcoin’s popularity wave appears to have reached its trough.

image

As the second graph shows, this bearish trend is also present in this year’s cryptocurrency mentions on Telegram. Here again, the four leaders by market cap, Bitcoin (~112 billion USD), Ethereum (~21 billion USD), Ripple (~18 billion USD), and EOS (~5 billion USD) have all been but plummeting in their talkability power. Bitcoin fell from 20000 mentions in January to 3000 mentions right now, while the other three all fell from 1000-5000 mentions in January to under 1000 in October.

Nevertheless, this apparently negative trajectory might not necessarily be indicative of a general disinterest in cryptocurrency, but rather of a move away from the unipolar dominance of the major crypto players. In other words, we may be experiencing a period of rapid expansion of the crypto market, in which complexification is not a vertical one, but rather a horizontal one, i.e. an across the board cryptocurrency diversification.

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In terms of this year’s Telegram mentions, there could be yet another, less obvious reason for this decline. Cryptocurrency aside, it would not be implausible to suppose that Telegram itself has become less popular this year, since the end of the 2017 crypto bubble coincided with the Russian government's crackdown on Telegram. Accordingly, there may simply be fewer interactions and mentions on Telegram of any kind, including those that pertain to the crypto world. Be that as it may, it still wouldn’t explain Bitcoin’s decreasing search statistic on Google, which makes the first explanation we offer here more parsimonious.

Whatever the reason for the market leaders’ forced retreat, it is clear that, speaking overall, this crypto year has been on the wane so far. We may yet see some changes brought about by the appearance of the merry-faced Santa in the upcoming holiday season. What is self-evident regardless is that more and more newly established crypto players are joining the race every day with their own agendas and cryptocurrencies, which may well give the public less time to pay heed exclusively to the leaders, as was the case until somewhat recently.

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David Dinkins

US Government One of World’s Biggest Sellers of Bitcoin

It turns out that the US government has a substantial hoard of Bitcoins, and over the years has become one of the biggest sellers of the digital currency.
US Government One of World’s Biggest Sellers of Bitcoin
Contents

The identity of the top Bitcoin seller in the world might just surprise you: it’s likely the U.S. Marshals Service. Following a number of raids and seizures in the past year, the U.S. government is currently sitting on well over $1 bln in Bitcoins. In fact, just one seizure alone — 100,000 Bitcoins from the alleged head of Infraud — accounts for over a billion dollars.

Government records show scores of other Bitcoin seizures, including the currency belonging to the deceased head of AlphaBay, who committed suicide following his arrest. His seized wallet is one of many — small and large — controlled by the US government. Other seizures include 222 Bitcoins from a Texas drug dealer, 50.44 Bitcoins from a couple that ran a drug selling website, 99 Bitcoins seized from a criminal in Salt Lake City and many more.

Silk Road

The most famous Bitcoin seizure of all is, of course, the personal fortune of Silk Road kingpin Russ Ulbricht, the so-called “Dread Pirate Roberts.” Ulbricht founded and ran the Dark Web site specializing in drug sales and other illicit offers. Secret Service officers tracked him down to a university library, staged a fight behind him to distract him, then seized Ulbricht’s open and unlocked laptop. In doing so, they confiscated 175,000 Bitcoins.

The Marshals Service auctioned off the Bitcoins in several large lots, selling them for an average price of $379 each. One of the buyers of the auctioned coins is Bitcoin magnate Tim Draper, who has no plans to sell them any time soon. The Marshals Service must feel a twang of regret; had they HODLED and sold last December, they would have netted over $2 bln, enough to cover their entire annual budget.

Black eye

Of course, federal law enforcement agencies were embarrassed, to say the least, when they discovered Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges and DEA agent Carl Force had become criminals themselves. During the investigation of Ulbricht, they had stolen some of his Bitcoins and had attempted to extort more out of him. When that didn’t work, the two posed as hitment and staged a fake execution to scare Ulbricht. Both agents pled guilty in 2015.

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Wikicoin David Dinkins

WikiCoin: Proof of Stake

📚 Wikicoin
Proof of Stake is an alternative to mining that’s been getting a lot of attention and could be much more energy efficient.
WikiCoin: Proof of Stake

Proof of Stake (POS) is a consensus mechanism that requires proof of ownership of the network’s coins before a person can add blocks to the Blockchain. Proof of Stake networks probabilistically select a user to “validate” or “forge” the next block, adding it to the Blockchain. Users can only be selected to add to the Blockchain if their coins are “staked” using the network’s wallet. Users are incentivized to stake their coins by being rewarded with new tokens each time they successfully forge a block.

Proof of Stake comes in a number of different forms, but generally speaking, the more coins a person owns, the more likely they are to be chosen to add to the Blockchain. This promotes some network centralization. However, Proof of Work suffers from the same deficiency, since miners with more mining computers and thus more hash power are able to subject the network to centralization risk as well.

Proof of Stake suffers from a key weakness, called the “nothing at stake” problem. If the network is attacked by a bad actor, the economically rational thing to do is for each forger to forge on both the legitimate and the illegitimate Blockchain. This enables them to hedge their bets, by ensuring they are rewarded for their work no matter who “wins.” Proof of Work isn’t subject to this problem, since it’s only possible to mine on one Blockchain at a time. Since Proof of Stake doesn’t require the expenditure of resources (like electricity), there is no cost to forging on multiple versions of the network’s Blockchain.

Ethereum is currently trying to solve the “nothing at stake” problem with a system called Casper. In this Proof of Stake implementation, validators “stake” their coins, but if the network determines they are acting maliciously (trying to mine on the legitimate Blockchain and an attacker’s Blockchain, for instance), they will suffer a penalty. Some of the coins they put up as stake are taken from them by the network. One weakness of this system is that validators who go offline, even accidentally, are punished.

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Past-ICO Review: Mobius

👁 ICO Watch
Stellar Lumens powered DApps that can integrate Blockchain ecosystems, is an anomaly and similar among many other projects out there
Past-ICO Review: Mobius

ERC20, ERC20, ERC20, that’s pretty much all you hear these days when you are looking at altcoins. It seems as if 90 percent of all new altcoins are built on Ethereum. It makes sense when you get down to the bottom of it; smart contracts are the way to go, you can do so much with them, why would you build on anything else? Right? Well, Mobius is taking a different approach: it is built on Stellar Lumens, the “non-profit” rival to Ripple also known as XRP.  The overall goal of Mobius is to integrate the Blockchain ecosystem into DApps and has three major product offerings: DApps, Oracles, and Smart Markets. Let’s dive into the financials before going deeper.

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Financials

Mobius raised $39 mln in 24 hours between Jan. 18 and 19, 2018 with a token price of $0.16 USD per MOBI. MOBI entered the public market at $0.38 on Jan. 19, 2018. It hit it’s all-time high of $0.45 two days later before entering into a slide down the current all-time-low of $0.03. The market cap has sunk down to $11.8 mln and daily trade volumes are around $105,000. It has a circulating supply of more than 330 mln with a total supply of 887 mln tokens.

Team

Cyrus S. Khajvandi- COO & Founder

Khajvandi has a background in development and working with data via Python. He briefly worked at Oracle on Middleware before setting his sights on opening his own companies Incentru and then Mobius.

David S. Gobaud

A developer at heart, Gobaud has more than 15 years of experience working at many high-profile companies such as Google. His formal education spans computer science, business and law.

Monis Rahman-  Head Research Scientist

Rahman is also a developer with much academic experience at Stanford. He has a PhD in Computational Mathematics from Stanford and spends much of his work time in research and development.

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Tech talk

The Mobius API provides a universal interface for accepting any Blockchain token. The Mobius API simplifies the current token developer process by providing a modern and easy to use REST API that returns JSON and uses secure webhooks to alert developers of incoming token transfers.

Risks and concerns

At first glance, it appears as if Mobius is trying to do everything all at one time. The roadmap includes an off-chain token scaling solution, proof of stake Oracle protocol, DApp store, and cross chain connectivity. Each of these projects is a huge undertaking and there are projects that deal specifically in that one area. The lack of focus on one particular element is going to divert the team’s attention. Another odd bit is that the project runs on the Stellar Blockchain, which is an anomaly among altcoins.

Since Mobius has a rather very broad scope, it competes with many other Blockchain projects in some way, such as Status, Decentraland, and District0x for the DApp store; Chainlink and Gnosis and others on the Oracle side. As mentioned before, competition is growing and it’s fierce to compete with others and competing for token holders money.  

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Exchanges Guide George Shnurenko

Coinex Guide

🎓 Exchanges Guide
CoinEx has been on the market for less than a year, but it already made some buzz in the cryptocurrency world because of heavy emphasis on Bitcoin Cash from the beginning
Coinex Guide
Contents

What is CoinEx?

Choosing a new cryptocurrency exchange often comes with big advantages in the form of lower fees and numerous altcoins that are not featured on any big and reputable platforms. However, you should be also aware of the risks that are associated with new exchanges, so do not make haste and weight all pros and cons before depositing your money.
CoinEx is a UK-based exchange that appeared in late 2017. It is available all over the world 24/7. While currently being an underdog, this exchange can potentially elbow out some of the biggest sharks in the business because of its innovative features. As of July 2018, it is currently the 25
th biggest exchange on the market (according to coinmarketcap.com) with daily a trading volume that has recently reached $62,5 million. Hopefully, CoinEx will be more successful than its namesake CoinEX.pw which hasn’t recovered after a major hack back in 2014.

Is this a trustworthy platform or just another honeypot like Coinex.pro? CoinEx is inextricably connected to the Chinese mining pool ViaBTC (the 6
th largest mining pool in the world). It was launched by ViaBTC last December following the China’s infamous crypto crackdown that obfuscated the fate of many local exchanges. ViaBTC was forced to adhere to the new law and close its exchange, but in a couple of months, the company made a comeback with CoinEx. In an attempt to circumvent the ban issued by the Chinese government, the new exchange was founded in the UK while being currently based in Hong Kong. There is also Coinex Pallavaram exchange (India) which offers Coinex Forex services.

CoinEx Review

The platform is suitable both for beginners and advanced users, but the fact that you can only trade here without leverage may be disappointing for some active traders who are looking for big gains. Still, while going through this CoinEx review, let’s point out some of its main advantages:

Fast Transactions

Its multi-process matching engine is considered to be one of CoinEx’s major advantages, since it is able to process thousands of transactions in a blink of an eye. Thus, it helps to avoid one of the main issues which is currently associated with Bitcoin (BTC) – long and pricy transactions.

Protection of Funds

CoinEx offers an 100% assurance of each client’s funds. Basically, it means that all the assets can be withdrawn at any time when a user makes such a request while it is impossible to use them somewhere else.

Top-tier Security

CoinEx is able to provide top-notch protection by implementing numerous security protocols (including advanced SSL protocols). The user’s safety is also enhanced by the usage of cold multisig wallets and enabling 2FA. While all exchanges tenaciously make an emphasis on security issues, it is important to remember that hacking attacks are still quite mundane, so extreme safety should be a top priority while choosing an exchange.

 

Trading Opportunities

Despite the absence of leverage trading, CoinEx can still be considered a high-profile trading platform. TradingView powered chars provide traders with in-depth analysis of the current situation on the market.

 

Like the majority of other exchanges, CoinEx only hosts C2C trading while not allowing fiat currencies. What coins does CoinEx support? This exchange features a big number of altcoins like CoinEx Stellar (XLM) while it is particularly remarkable because it is considered to be the first exchange that made Bitcoin Cash (BCH) its bar currency, thus increasing the chances of potential slow flippening. A solid focus on Bitcoin Cash that despite going mainstream still remains in the shadow of its bigger brother helps to single out CoinEx among other new exchanges. Choosing Bitcoin Cash as their base currency allows the company to accelerate the speed of transactions and improve the overall performance.

CoinEx has also issued its own ERC20 token that is simply called CoinEx Token (CET). Users with CET get access to certain limited features along with other exclusive rights like a CoinEx vote. The value of CoinEx cryptocurrency is currency about $0,1.

How to Use CoinEx?

As of now, the CoinEx exchange is available for all traders at coinex.com. Here’s a quick guide on how to use it for absolute beginners:

  1. Obviously, the very first thing that you have to do is to click the ‘Sign Up’ button and fill out the following form.
     

    sign_Up form

     

  2. Now go to the ‘Trade’ section where you can see the list of all available assets in the top-left corner.
     

    the trade section


    Similarly to other exchanges, there is also a candlestick chart in the middle of the page. While there is an English version of the site, there is no available translation for some functioning texts like chart indicators that are not translated, so it might be quite challenging to use them for non-Chinese speakers.
    Below this chart you can place a limit order or a market order with the help of this corresponding form. Pay attention to the fact that there is a 50% discount for those who obtain CoinEx’s native token CET.

  3. If you want to engage in trade-driven mining, simply go to the ‘Mining’ section. Only those users who provide their ID scans are able to do this.
     

    mining

     

CoinEx Fees

As mentioned above, new exchanges try to attract customers by offering them low fees. In fact, CoinEx fees are extremely low. Only takers are charged with 0.1% fee while CoinEx is completely free for makers. However, there are still small withdrawals fees for all the currencies except for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Go to CoinEx website for additional information.

 

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Wikicoin George Shnurenko

EOS vs. Ethereum - Which Сoin is More Promising?

📚 Wikicoin
EOS and Ethereum are both promising platforms, but there are key differences to consider before investing
EOS vs. Ethereum - Which Сoin is More Promising?
Contents

Both EOS and Ethereum cryptocurrencies are predicted to be among the top three coins of the future, but which one is better? Let’s figure out how these cryptocurrencies and underlying Blockchain technologies differ.

The days of ultimate Bitcoin’s reigning are over, and new altcoins are competing for the top of the market cap. EOS and Ethereum are among the most promising of them. Let’s underline the difference EOS vs Ethereum and figure out which currency is better.

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What is Ethereum?

Being introduced by Russian-Canadian developer Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is a modern Blockchain that’s way more technologically advanced than the Blockchain underlying Bitcoin. It features a faster transaction processing speed and is Turing-complete, which means it allows for smart contract implementation. When the concept of Ethereum appeared, it didn’t gain much traction right from the start. However, after the release of the white paper, people recognized the potential of this Blockchain and started investing heavily and mining the coin.

Ethereum addressed the problems of slow transaction processing speed and some safety issues. Besides, it’s one of the first platforms for running decentralized applications (DAPPs) that can function exactly as programmed and won’t be interfered with by third parties. At the moment, Ethereum’s market cap is about $30 bln– it’s the second cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.

What is EOS?

In 2017, Block.One company announced the public sale of EOS coin and release of an EOS Blockchain operating system that allows for:

  • database storage and development

  • authentication

  • scheduling

  • communication with app developers via Internet applications

  • other features

It provides users with the whole gamut of tools for applications and ensures horizontal and vertical scalability. Why EOS is better than Ethereum? Some people kid that EOS stands for “Ethereum on Steroids” because it’s a better version of ETH Blockchain. EOS uses parallelization and allows for over 50,000 transactions a second with less than 200 milliseconds required for the transaction.

On the contrary with Ethereum, EOS has gained momentum right away– although the product hasn’t been launched fully, millions of tokens have already been sold, and the price of EOS coin has soared from initial $0.77 to $12 in May 2018.

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Detailed comparison Ethereum vs. EOS

Although technological ideas underlying EOS and Ethereum seem to be the same, there’s a dramatic difference between EOS coin vs Ethereum. Let’s underline them:

Ethereum vs. EOS

Ethereum

EOS

Based on Proof-of-Work protocol with the transition to Proof-of-Stake

Delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) protocol that solves some of Ethereum’s bottlenecks

Fees are taken for transactions which can be costly for corporate users and large organizations

No fees for transactions which makes EOS highly attractive for both individual and corporate users

Limited by the single-threaded performance of CPU

Allows for up to 100,000 transactions per second on a single thread

Denial-of-service attacks and flood of transactions can break down the entire network

An attack cannot freeze the entire system, and users are guaranteed to enjoy enough computational power

Rental economics model. Fees are required for calculations, storage and bandwidth use. The fees fluctuate and can get significantly higher for some transactions. Gas fees are burned throughout the process of development.

Ownership economics model. Owners of EOS tokens can get their share of storage, bandwidth and computational power. The network is predictable and reliable. No fees for transactions and data processing.

Ethereum platform doesn’t provide use cases and extra features– users can create sub-protocols inside the contracts.

There won’t be such phenomenon as EOS platform. Instead, the developers will use toolkits and instruments provided with self-describing interfaces and database schemes.

The design philosophy of EOS and Ethereum

Does the technical superiority of the second Blockchain mean that EOS better than Ethereum? It’s hard to say for sure. The design philosophy varies dramatically, which means they can be applied a bit differently.

The Ethereum platform is application-agnostic, which means it’s a neutral ecosystem for the creation of different potential applications. It doesn’t provide any specific features, but that reduces bloat in applications. Therefore, Ethereum is perfect for those who simply need its basic code as a foundation and are ready to complement it (which is pretty challenging from a technological standpoint).

EOS creators do recognize that there are many applications that require the same kinds of functionality, and they provide different cryptography implementations as well as app/Blockchain communication instruments. The role-based permissions, rich toolkits for interface developments and database schemes are efficient for simplifying management and avoiding security issues.

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A few words about mining

There’s one more significant difference between Ethereum and EOS– mining. In EOS infrastructure, the miner is called “block producer”. This person is incentivized to create blocks for the block rewards (amount of tokens for performed calculations). In Bitcoin and Ethereum, it works pretty much the same way, but while such miners increase transaction fees to make more money, how would EOS miners be motivated, if there are no transaction fees?

By voting. The block producers are voted by token holders, and the voting power is based on the number of tokens possessed. A token holder tries to perform as well as possible to get a decent payment for his work (EOS offers initial five percent annual inflation) and sustain perfect reputation.

The bottom line

Answering the question “Is EOS better than Ethereum?” we should consider one important thing: both Blockchain platforms have a lot of potential and there’s no certain leader yet. Therefore, if you want to invest in this or that coin, they’re both worth consideration.

Ethereum has reached the average price of $500-600 in 2018, and predictions concerning its growth are positive: it’s expected to hold a huge piece of the market cap in the following years. Meanwhile, the initiative by Block.One with EOS as the key token hasn’t been fully launched yet, and only time will show whether the coin and project justify the hype rising around them. Now, EOS currency costs around $12, and its price is expected to grow moderately reaching $30 in 2019 and $150 after 2023.

Therefore, your choice should depend on the investment policy you prefer. If you’re ready for long-term investments with slow but steady growth, try EOS. Ethereum investors have already managed to reap a considerable income from currency value soaring to $1,200 in the last year. However, the predictions about Ethereum price are vague.

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