🤷 Opinions Alexander Goborov

Starting a Blockchain Business: DLT 101

🤷 Opinions
While some bemoan the pains of the bear market, some see it as a big opportunity: here is our short guide on what to consider when starting a Blockchain business
Starting a Blockchain Business: DLT 101
Contents

With the market still down, some less experienced crypto folks may see it as a sign to pack up and head home. We’re done here, they say... In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. To reuse one of John D. Rockefeller’s most famous quotes:

“The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.”

Now is as good a time as any, or perhaps even better, to invest. And bear in mind (no pun intended) that Blockchain and DLT are not the same as cryptocurrencies. Granted, digital coins are based on the Blockchain technology, but that is not to say you must become a crypto trader in order to become a Blockchain/DLT business owner. One can have a lot to do with the Blockchain and have virtually nothing to do with Bitcoin.

Understand the Technology

The importance of this initial step on one’s journey to success cannot be underestimated. The very first rule of investment is not to invest into anything you don’t know, so before leaping ahead make sure you fully understand what you are getting yourself, your partners, and your customers into.

And remember, just because you happen to own some digital cash, which your friends probably talked you into buying, does not mean you understand the actual technology behind it. One needs to be diligent and do their homework first, only then will there be a feasible chance of success.

Here are some basics to get you started:

Centralized vs. Decentralized network

The image above published in 1964 by American engineer Paul Baran in a research paper which examined distributed communications is probably the first depiction of the decentralized nature of Blockchain/DLT networks. Incidentally, also note that, while some computer scientists may disagree, here we are treating Blockchain and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) as being interchangeable terms for simplicity purposes.

In a nutshell, Blockchain/DLT is basically the storing of data in a block which is then linked or “chained” to another block, thereby forming a chain, which becomes almost like a digital conga line. The key feature of this type of technology is that there is no one center as such, and, hence, the network is ”scattered” or “distributed”.

What we have in Blockchain today is the result of three pivotal concepts with their original authors listed in parenthesis:

  1. Public-key, i.e. asymmetric, cryptography (James Ellis, 1970)

  2. Cryptographic hash function, i.e. data mapping (Ralph Merkle, 1979)

  3. Proof-of-work protocol (Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor, 1993)

All three were synthesized by Satoshi Nakamoto in his groundbreaking 2008 paper, which paved way to Bitcoin. The new payment system proposed to use a digital ledger of records arranged into chunks, i.e. blocks, which would be verified by those involved through proof of work and linked together using crypto validation. And since hash functions are used, any input of data can be represented via an arbitrary 256 character output.

This may be puzzling to a non-computer scientist. But if there is one lesson that should be learnt by everyone here is that Blockchain is not a business model but rather a pioneering method of exchanging and storing data, nothing more.

Recognize What It Can and Cannot Do

What Blockchain/DLT has is this: data are not stored in any one place since there is no network center as such. The whole mechanism thus becomes arguably more transparent and efficient. While some are claiming that Blockchain/DLT is the future of mankind, which in some ways it might be, it is certainly not a universal answer to all of today’s technological obstacles, let alone commercial ones. Nevertheless, surely this technology can be useful in the following ways:

  1. Storage, ease of exchange, and protection of data:

Vast amounts of data can be stored securely, in pretty much any format, and shared only when necessary, only with selected parties, whether a company or individual. Applications can range from filling out and notarizing forms to setting up user accounts. Digital signatures and public/private keys are used to access this information. As a user, you get protection. As a business, you get that, plus you save a great deal of time.

If, for example, some important document gets misplaced along the way, say in an international cargo transportation scenario, it can delay the whole process enormously in a traditional commercial setting. In contrast, this would not pose a problem in a Blockchain setting, as every transaction and contract would have a permanent record, instantly accessible by everyone concerned. Furthermore, because of the aforementioned hashing, the fact that a document has not been tampered with in any way can also be easily verified.  

    2. Payment systems and financial management:

While obviously they have a lot to do with the first notion as well, this is where crypto coins really come in. Paying bills, making exchanges, buying, selling, investing, saving for retirement, you name it, all of that is possible through a tokenized system of altcoins (made by the network itself, with their own value) or stablecoins (which are a pegged in value against fiat currencies, e.g. USD).

Because of the nature of the chain, i.e. each block numerically referencing a previous one, all of the transactions are set in stone with records kept all throughout the network, so the same unit of digital cash can never be spent repeatedly. In other words, you can never send or receive the same digital dollar twice, which makes transactions both fast and secure, and, crucially, without any intermediary looking on, e.g. a bank.

    3. Smart contracts:

These are basically automated business processes, which are currently being developed and fine-tuned. Rather than having to follow through every step by hand, as it were, you let the process run itself completely.

For example, you as a business want to buy 10 tons of blood oranges from Spain. The other party claims that they can find the product and deliver it. You agree on the sum, which has been reserved on the Blockchain, and on the conditions that have to be met in order for them to receive the payment, e.g. exact species of fruit, the weight of each one, form of delivery, due date, etc. The rest is pretty much code. Now the contract does the work. If the conditions are met, the payment is sent; if not, the contract is void.

This is, no doubt, a more efficient way of doing business, which becomes yet more apparent when you consider that many companies have to deal with thousands of such contracts simultaneously.

Find the Right Team

This may come as a surprise to you, but according to one fintech executive:

“The number one issue facing the Blockchain industry today is a lack of talent.”

While salaries offered to developers are going up as these individuals are much sought after, the professionalism of output does not always follow. The reason being is that businesses, especially smaller ones, often hire freelancers or sometimes simply friends of friends to write code for them. So, whereas lucrative offers and individuals willing to take them up are in abundance, at the same time, the number of those who can execute Blockchain type programming truly well is, in fact, comparatively low.

If your business, for example, wants to develop a smart contract to be run on Ethereum or perhaps a dApp (decentralized app), then your programmer must be Solidity literate. While this programming language is syntactically similar to the now ubiquitous JavaScript (i.e. in terms of symbols and commands), it differs from the latter in important ways, in that the architecture of the system itself is different, and the programmers need to be well familiar and experienced with what that difference entails.

According to some experts, in order to get a solid dApp ready―clean, dependable, and fool-proof―a business would need to hire at least two teams (or more) of at least five programmers in each one (or more). That’s already 10 individuals, as an absolute minimum, who must know a whole lot not just about programming but about the Blockchain technology. Finding those can often be a huge challenge, especially on a limited budget.

Take Your Time

If you’ve done a substantial amount of thinking and are now ready to start your Blockchain business, you should not rush. The first thing to do now is to go back and double check that you actually have a clear picture in your mind of what you are going to do, how, and, importantly, why. Another concurrent thing is staying up-to-date: this field is modern and not at all static, so you constantly need to keep your eyes peeled for where the latest developments are being assembled.

At the same time, remember that not everyone in your camp, be they partners or customers, may be on the same page with you, which is especially true of incorporating DLT into existing businesses. What you should absolutely not do is pressurize people. They will come around soon enough, once the picture in their heads is as clear as it is in yours. And if they don’t, perhaps they have their reasons; after all, not every business needs this type of technology. You should be honest with yourself and those around you about your goals and intentions.

Tenacity and patience are also crucial when it comes to executing your goals technologically. Not only should you not trust any third-party software whose origin or indeed true function you can’t distinctly verify, but also, if you are building something of your own, you need to test and retest many a time before proceeding with a launch. And of course, even before that, the team itself has to be put together first, as mentioned earlier, which can take a while. Haste makes waste, no doubt about it. And the repercussions of rushing to drive an underbuilt, three-wheeled car can be very serious.

Conclusion

If you want to start a Blockchain business or re-frame an existing one, you need to understand which processes exactly you want to position onto the Blockchain. This understanding can only come as a result of your understanding of the underlying technology itself. Once you’ve understood what this technology is capable of and which of your business processes can be DLT-based, you need to work out precisely what benefits will be supposedly brought to your business, new or old, in the aftermath of this decision, as opposed to having the whole thing run “traditionally”.

Finally, remember that Blockchain isn't going to solve all your business problems. Some (or even many) issues this technology simply cannot tackle. DLT isn’t some sort of digital magic serum that cures all. At the same time, this technology also has its drawbacks. In certain cases, cyber attacks are actually more likely to penetrate decentralized systems with its smaller digital fortresses compared to one giant fortress of a centralized system with its thicker and taller walls. So, while some types of security are definitely there with the DLT, this technology is not immune to breaches and violations either. Nothing is ever absolute.  

Be that as it may, DLT/Blockchain can certainly be a giant game changer for some businesses and even whole industries, so if you are up to the task, find the right people and the right tools, and go for it.

💼 Related Article
Bureaucracy as an Indicator of Unsustainable Vertical Complexity
🔥 Hot
4 months
256
Bureaucracy as an Indicator of Unsustainable Vertical Complexity

In this Telegram channel you’ll find fresh news, interviews, infographics, forecasts & other helpful stuff. Join U.Today's channel.
🤷 Opinions
245 views views
👓 Recommended articles
something-wide
something-wide
🤷 Opinions Jack Thomas

Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

🤷 Opinions
After a week or so of good price growth, Ripple looks as if it could be in for a short bear run, so maybe it's time to take profit
Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

A look over the charts for XRP shows some good growth since last week. However, there has been a bit of a flattening out, and even an inability to hold key support levels. This is key in trying to predict the next steps of XRP’s price, and technical analysis suggests that a small bear run could be imminent.

Ripple’s price failed to stay above the $0.3250 and $0.3200 support levels and declined against the US dollar. The price also failed to hold gains and declined recently against Bitcoin. XRP/USD could slide towards the $0.3050 support before starting a fresh upward move.

Because of these predictions, it might be time for some smart trading, selling some tokens for profit taking before looking for the bottom again and buying back in.

A look at the charts

Over the last five days, XRP peaked at $0.354 on Wednesday before correcting down and rebounding to $0.352; however, it has since fallen back to $0.342. There was some fight back from the XRP token to try and pick up those gains again over the last few days, but overall it has fallen twice, unable to maintain those support numbers.

Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

After a period of trading relatively flat, and with indications showing it is struggling to hold its gains, the prediction would be that the price of the coin will face bearish tendencies in the short term.

More small drops can be expected, with undulating rises that fail to stick. It is not gloom and doom for the cryptocurrency, rather a period of correction after a good rise that set off the market growth earlier in the week.

For investors or traders, this is actually good news given that if the prediction is correct, there will be a chance for profit taking as people sell off tokens after the bull run, only to ride out the bearish run in order to buy back.

Subscribe to U.Today on Twitter, and get involved in all top daily crypto news, stories and price predictions!
🤷 Opinions
833 views views
👓 Recommended articles
something-wide
something-wide
🤷 Opinions Vera Thornpike

Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230

🤷 Opinions
Litecoin price forecast 2019: The coin has the chance to reach the value of $230. What are the factors contributing to LTC growth?
Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230
Contents

Following Bitcoin’s path, Litecoin seems to be on the rise: it’s becoming quite popular among investors and is slowly gaining in price. There’s a very high probability that it will trade higher than $30 all year long, but what about its highest points?

Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230

Focus on numbers: Litecoin’s future in 2019

Although the bearish period seems to be over, the crypto market is still highly volatile. That’s why making any short-term predictions is quite hard. However, it doesn’t discourage analytical websites and people from making their own forecasts.

Thus, according to publications on various crypto websites, Litecoin has enough potential to reach the $1,000 edge. Some articles mention the number $2,000 – it seems to be far from reality. What are these suggestions based on? It’s not clear.

However, these forecasts are on par with predictions from some experts. For example, George Tung, a cryptocurrency analyst, claims that Litecoin will reach $1,500 towards the end of 2019. Brian Kelly, the head of BK Capital Management (LLC), is sure we might witness an LTC price of $500 or even $600 by the end of this year. Though conservative, this approach seems to be close to reality.

In November 2017, Litecoin was traded at $100 and investors managed to enjoy 25x ROI. If the market is hit by the bullish wave again, the scenario can repeat: LTC might jump from its current $48 to $1,200. But what if that won’t happen?

Our guess is that Litecoin can reach the range of $150-$230 by the end of 2019. How can it crawl to such numbers? First, in August 2019, the block reward for miners will be cut by 50%, which might provoke the growth of demand for LTC.

What will kick-start Litecoin growth?

Here’s the whole gamut of factors that can make Litecoin soar separately or altogether:

  • The rate of accepting Litecoin on exchanges and online websites will gradually increase. One of the adoption examples is the Surf Air store that started accepting LTC payments.

  • Of course, Litecoin’s growth is partially defined by Bitcoin’s performance. At the moment, BTC is on the rise. However, Litecoin seems to recover from the bearish period much faster and better.

  • At the same time, while Bitcoin’s gaining in traffic, users start complaining about growing transaction fees and slow performance. That’s when their attention switches to Litecoin, with its lower commissions and better speed.

  • A big influx of traffic on Coinbase is expected – it backs three major crypto assets, including LTC.

Thus, Litecoin is getting more and more media attention, which only contributes to its growth. Some Internet users are sure that it has to reach the $50 mark to get back on track and start gaining in value. This event is definitely around the corner!

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here is not investment advice – it is provided for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of U.Today. Every investment and all trading involves risk, so you should always perform your own research prior to making decisions. We do not recommend investing money you cannot afford to lose.

In this Telegram channel you’ll find fresh news, interviews, infographics, forecasts & other helpful stuff. Join U.Today's channel.
🤷 Opinions
4174 views views
👓 Recommended articles
something-wide
something-wide
🤷 Opinions Darryn Pollock

EOS Price Expected to Keep Rising After Doubling in Value Since December Lows

🤷 Opinions
EOS is one coin that has shrugged off its lows to double in value since December, with more growth expected
EOS Price Expected to Keep Rising After Doubling in Value Since December Lows

In the current climate, there is optimism returning to the market with Bitcoin pushing the $4,000 mark. However, a lot of this positivity has come from an altcoin rush of late. Coins such as Tron, Ethereum, Ripple and Stellar have played their part in boosting the market, but one particular coin has been striving since its lows in December last year.

EOS, a cryptocurrency that is currently ranked fourth by market cap, has quietly been going about its business, growing not only in price but also value as a blockchain company. It is showing some medium to long term bullish tendencies, outperforming many others.

The coin reached a low of $1.54 on December 7th, 2018, but at the moment, it is heading beyond the $4 mark, having doubled in value since that late last year low. It currently sits at $3.38.

Many are expecting the coin to keep growing, with its highest point touching $4.05. This move represents a 161% gain in only 74 trading days. If the bullish tendencies can continue across the markets, there is no doubt that EOS will cash in.

EOS Charts

More to come

EOS is seen as a rival to Ethereum, and because its intention is to improve upon the original smart contract blockchain, it will feel it has an edge in terms of adoption in the coming months.

It is a double-edged sword, as added adoption of the blockchain platform will help increase its reputation, which in turn will boost its price. Then, because EOS’ price is already starting to grow substantially, it will bring the platform to the fore for future blockchain applications.

If EOS can continue to offer a good blockchain service and the market keeps positive, there is every reason to believe that the coin’s price will continue to grow — and also outperform many of its rivals and other altcoins.

Subscribe to the official U.Today Telegram channel. Get news first!
🤷 Opinions
197 views views
👓 Recommended articles
something-wide
something-wide
🤷 Opinions Jack Thomas

Ripple XRP Price Prediction: Major Financial Services Group Sees XRP Exceeding Bitcoin’s Market Cap

🤷 Opinions
The president of SBI Holdings in Japan believes that Ripple will dominate global expansion and soon have a bigger market cap than Bitcoin
Ripple XRP Price Prediction: Major Financial Services Group Sees XRP Exceeding Bitcoin’s Market Cap
Contents

The SBI Group, a Japan-based financial services giant as well as a keen partner with Ripple for their bank settlement cryptocurrency, are bullish on the XRP token overtaking the current head of the market cap standings, Bitcoin.

The President and Representative Director of SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao, has come out and said XRP is dominating international expansion and will become global in the future. This global domination, based on XRP’s propensity to partner with major financial institutions across the globe, means Kitao sees it overtaking Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has stood at the head of the market cap standings in relation to cryptocurrency ever since it was invented some 10 years ago. Other coins have come close to knocking it off, but the decentralised coin has stood firm. But, if Kitao is right, XRP could overtake the market cap with a huge growth in price from global adoption.

International adoption

Ripple’s XRP token is as a cryptocurrency global and borderless, just as Bitcoin, because of its decentralised nature. However, Ripple has been looking to run XRP like a business with its xRapid product.

Thus, its growth is based on its adoption by financial institutions around the globe, and as this adoption grows, the worth and interest in XRP will increase, and thus its market cap will begin to rise.

“Because XRP is already beginning to become international, xRapid will be used for fund transfers in 2019. By increasing the so-called XRP’s plastic use, we anticipate that the [Ripple] market capitalization will easily exceed the market capitalization of Bitcoin,” Kiato said.

Ripple has already shown its power in growth as opposed to other major cryptocurrencies, often stealing second spot from Ethereum in the recent past. Ethereum was once a coin that was almost overtaking Bitcoin, but it is now under threat by a much more compliant and potential-full XRP token.

Better use cases

Because Ripple is trying to build XRP’s use cases for financial institutions, it has an advantage over other tokens in that it will be useful rather than just a cryptocurrency experiment. It is highly believed that once crypto finds its killer application, the price of it will skyrocket as people flock in demand.

If XRP does become more globally adopted, there will be an influx of interest in the coin and thus its price will shoot up, allowing it to overtake Bitcoin’s market cap in no time.

Subscribe to U.Today on Facebook, and get involved in all top daily cryptocurrency news, stories and price predictions!
🤷 Opinions
3946 views views
👓 Recommended articles
something-wide
something-wide
🤷 Opinions Jack Thomas

EOS Price Jumps 25% as Market Flattens Out: Is There More to Come?

🤷 Opinions
The cryptocurrency market’s best performer in the last 24 hours has been EOS as the rest of the growth plateaus – what’s next?
EOS Price Jumps 25% as Market Flattens Out: Is There More to Come?
Contents

Ever since last week Friday, where there were small indications that a rally could happen, the cryptocurrency market has shown some good growth, with Bitcoin, the head of the market, topping off at just under $4,000.

What has been typical of this small rally has been the effect of some of the major altcoins in pushing the cryptocurrency market. It began with the likes of Binance Coin, Stellar and Tron, and then saw Ethereum take over, but now EOS has shown a huge 25% growth spike in the last 24 hours.

It would seem that this rally has flattened out for the moment, with a lot of the coins levelling out. It is now important to see what comes next as another rally following this levelling could be massive for the medium to long term growth of the entire market.

EOS Drive

The now-fourth biggest cryptocurrency based on market cap has advanced nearly 25 percent in the last day to reach $3.47 and is currently neck-and-neck with Litecoin, whose own value has also ballooned 11 percent since year-end 2018.

Today’s gains reflect support from the EOS community and could have something to do with Block.one, the creator of EOS, recently providing greater clarity on the roadmap.

Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer addressed some of the community concerns on social media, reminding them in a message entitled “Great Things Take Time” that there is more ahead than meets the eye.

Of course what is important to note in regards to this kind of reaction is that these altcoin projects are putting out positive news, and that is having an effect not only on the coin, but the market in general.

There is positive news being met with results which are driving the market, and this has not been seen for a long period. The bullish market tendencies being seen could be indicative of a change in the sentiment.

What next?

It is still early to call, and quite tentative, but it certainly feels like a bull run could be developing. It may be based off the altcoin news and sentiment, but Bitcoin will play a important role. The major cryptocurrency came $30 short of cracking the $4,000 mark.

If Bitcoin is able to breach that resistance, even if it is through the drive of another altcoin, it could open up a whole new level of potential gains across the market and could possibly start a new bull run.

Subscribe to U.Today on Twitter, and get involved in all top daily crypto news, stories and price predictions!
🤷 Opinions
310 views views
👓 Recommended articles
something-wide
something-wide