Wikicoin Alex Morris

Why Does Bitcoin Have Any Value?

📚 Wikicoin
Some naysayers believe that Bitcoin doesn’t have any value since it’s “just data,” but they seem to forget that we live in the era of digitalization
Why Does Bitcoin Have Any Value?

Back in 2013, when a famed American economist Paul Krugman wrote his infamous op-ed article “Bitcoin Is Evil” for the New York Times, it sparked a debate about whether Bitcoin has any value. In 2018, he wrote another article entitled “Bubble, Bubble, Fraud and Trouble” which states that Bitcoin fell by over 40 percent in merely weeks. Therefore, let’s figure out why Bitcoin has any value and what major factors determine it.

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Economics 101

So, why does Bitcoin have value? In order to determine why anything is valuable, it’s worth mentioning such basic economic terms as utility and scarcity. If there is something that is not commonly found (and it can be useful), it will create demand for this specific product, which would eventually push its price.

Gold, the best performing asset of the 21st century, is probably a textbook example of a valuable product since it has high scarcity (gold is not the rarest metal, but it is still hard to find and extract) and, yes, it is shiny, which drives consumer satisfaction.  

Bitcoin scarcity

It’s now clear that anything that has any value should check the following two boxes (scarcity and utility). Bitcoin naysayers claim that Bitcoin doesn’t have any value, but they are almost certainly wrong. Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 mln coins. In fact, Bitcoin seems to be the most desirable asset. If compared to gold, there won’t be another gold rush, which would enhance its supply and the market crash.

“There are potentially millions of times more gold underground than actually has been extracted," said Fundstrat’s Tom Lee.

Bitcoin scarcity

Bitcoin utility

Once we’ve figured out that Bitcoin is actually scarce, let’s get down to Bitcoin’s utility. Of course, Bitcoin’s utility lies in its decentralized nature since not a single person can preside over the network, unlike centralized banking institutions. Another important feature of Bitcoin is that it can be used for making practically any kinds of transactions– from buying candies to purchasing real estate since the coin is trivially divisible. Earlier, U.Today reported about Australian homeowners selling their houses for Bitcoin.

However, now we get down to another popular talking point of Bitcoin critics who claim that Bitcoin doesn’t have intrinsic value. Yes, gold is shiny and appealing to people who want to feel the sense of wealth, but one should not forget that it is also a metal that is commonly used in numerous industries (dentistry, electronic and so on). On top of that, some individuals assume that paper money has intrinsic value as well because you can do plenty of things with banknotes (kindling, making notes and so on). However, if you dig deeper, you will realize that jewelry accounts for more than 50 percent of global gold demand, according to the statistical data provided by the World Gold Council. Meanwhile, barely 15 percent of gold is used in other industries, including electronics and dentistry.

Bitcoin utility

As U.Today reported earlier, Krugman, a vocal Bitcoin skeptic, said that Bitcoin may overtake gold since he thinks that the former has much more potential in the long run.   

It gets even worse when with paper money. The Federal Reserve states that it takes only 13.2 cents to produce a $100 bill, which represents the intrinsic value of this banknote. The remaining $99.87 depending on how much trust people put in the US dollar.

Bitcoin utility

Global IT behemoths in the likes of Facebook, Apple and other companies purely rely on digital trust. Not long time ago, one wouldn’t believe that Amazon could be worth more than $1 tln.

Bitcoin is not wealth

Many people fail to understand the concept of Bitcoin because they have no idea how money works. Money just serves as a facilitator for exchanging wealth, but it does not have any value per se. People do not actually like digital coins or paper banknotes– people like things that they can buy with them.

What gives Bitcoin value? Yes, Bitcoin is just data, but that’s all money is about– transferring information. At the same time, Bitcoin has numerous advantages over ordinarily fiat currencies because of its decentralized nature:

  1. It eliminates the possibility of inflation since a centralized body cannot control the issuance of the coins.

  2. Your bank account cannot be frozen. Earlier, UK cycling merchant complained that his private and business bank accounts had been suspended due to the fact that he would engage in cryptocurrency trading.     

  3. Bitcoin is not the first decentralized currency since we already have gold, but physical gold is extremely inefficient in making day-to-day transactions.

Bitcoin is unique in a sense that this is the first digital currency that is not issued by a centralized governing body. As mentioned above, Bitcoin is rarer than gold because of its finite supply. On top of that, the flagship currency offers more flexibility and privacy than modern banking systems.   

Where does Bitcoin get its value? Once we have already figured out that Bitcoin does have value, it is essential to figure out what exactly determined it. It is worth mentioning that Bitcoin value shouldn’t be confused with Bitcoin price (the momentary cost of the currency). Bitcoin value can be:

  • scientific (Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto has managed to solve the double-spending problem),

  • technological (Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, and this technology cannot be reversed),

  • social (Bitcoin changes the way separate individuals deal with money because they don’t have to be trusted anymore).

Why is Bitcoin price so volatile?

Bitcoin price is determined by the current market sentiment. The demand for the coin– the higher price. Just like with any goods at your local supermarket or a bar of gold. Bitcoin is known for its huge fluctuations. Even though the currency’s volatility has recently reached its two-year low, Bitcoin price is still wont to erratically move up and down.  

Why is Bitcoin price so volatile?
(Source: Fortune)

Speaking of volatility, it is important to mention that stocks, oil and other commodities are volatile as well. However, Bitcoin (along with other cryptocurrencies) have more dramatic price swings because the scope of the cryptocurrency industry is still small compared to other huge industries, so it is still prone to market manipulations.  

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Can Bitcoin price go to zero?

While it’s clear why cryptocurrencies have value, there are plenty of speculations of whether the biggest cryptocurrency in the world can become completely worthless. Back in December 2017 (during the Bitcoin’s peak), Morgan Stanley’s James Faucette came up with a prediction that Bitcoin price could eventually go zero.  

“If nobody accepts the technology for payment then the value would be 0,” Faucette said in his analysis.

Over the course of history, there have been numerous currencies that would become completely worthless. The German Mark is one of the salient examples. The Zimbabwean dollar is considered to be a modern example of such a currency. Bitcoin, with its slew of innovative features, is really looking like a disruptive force, but no currency is safe from going underwater. On the flip side, Bitcoin enthusiasts will soon celebrate the currency’s ten anniversary, which is a rather extensive period of time to say that Bitcoin is here to stay.  

As a basic rule of thumb, no currency is considered completely safe. Sure, Bitcoin is more volatile than the majority of fiat currencies, but no one can definitively state what is going to happen to the coin in the nearest future. If you want to see what the industry’s top experts have to say about, check out our top Bitcoin price predictions.

If Bitcoin adoption grows, there is a practical limit on where its price may go. The US dollar is the only currency that accepted by the government in order to pay taxes, “intrinsic value” and it is widely used in commerce, so it may take decades for Bitcoin to get on this level of adoption.      

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Past-ICO Review: Finney, the Blockchain Phone Ahead of its Time?

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The Blockchain-powered phone is here, but is the world ready for it?
Past-ICO Review: Finney, the Blockchain Phone Ahead of its Time?

Sirin labs have used Finney as an ICO to raise some massive funding to run a project on Blockchain-powered devices such as smartphones and computers, citing that traditional operating systems are vulnerable to hacking and leave users exposed to risk.

Finney is the name of the smartphone that is currently in development, and in April 2018, it was announced that electronics manufacturer Foxconn will work with Sirin to produce the phone.

There is another Blockchain enabled phone called Solarin and ultra-secure Blockchain phone and Sirin labs have an all-in-one Blockchain computer.

For the purpose of this article, we will stick to Finney only.

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By the numbers

The Finney ICO raised some $158 mln during the massive buying fest that was in December 2017; Dec. 12-25 to be precise. The Sirin Labs’ token (SRN) debuted at $0.90 and subsequently plunged to $0.32 per token, a loss of 64 percent of value.

While the idea of a Blockchain-powered phone is novel, will there be mass adoption of the technology that fast?

The Finney phone is sold via Sirin Labs’ website for $999, which is rather expensive, but the newer iPhones are in a similar price range. However, its advanced big brother, Solarin, is selling for a whopping $13,200! That is not a typo: Thirteen-thousand two-hundred dollars.  

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Phone features

Finney, Solarin and the all-in-one computer will all be powered by IOTA’s Tangle technology. The following are features that will be found on the Blockchain-based phone.

Blockchain Features

  • Shield OS:

  • Secure P2P resource sharing

  • Built-in cold-storage crypto wallet

  • Distributed Ledger Consensus

Sirin Labs Cyber Protection suite

  • Behavioral-based Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

  • Blockchain-based, full tampering proof

  • Physical security switch (for wallet protection)

  • Secured communications (VoIP, text, email)

  • Three-factor authentication: Biometric, Lock Pattern, Behavioral

Phone specs

  • 5.2-inch QHD Display

  • 256GB of internal memory storage

  • 8GB RAM

  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac

  • BT 5.0

  • 16MP Main camera

  • 12MP Wide-Angle selfie camera

Furthermore, Sirin Labs plans to deliver a “decentralized app store run by the community” where “cost-bearing apps are based on a secure P2P resource-sharing system, which distributes fees between users and developers.”

However, which community are they talking about? This leaves a lot of questions to be answered.

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Lofty sales goals

While the media has been relatively quiet about the Finny phone, it was announced in April that the Switzerland-based company said that it’s already received more than 25,000 pre-orders, and hopes to sell between 100,000 and a few million units in 2018.

Further down the line, the plan is to license its tech to other hardware brands; Sirin is said to have been in talks with Huawei about that. Foxconn is the manufacturer of Apple’s iPhone and Sirin Labs had stated that the phones should be shipping out in October of this year, putting them well within striking distance of hitting the goal of selling almost a few million units.  

The Blockchain phone ahead of its time?

While it is hard to say whether the world is ready for a Blockchain-based phone, many people think Blockchain is only Bitcoin, it does have some unique uses.

Should the company be able to achieve their goal of selling more than one mln units, then there could be some support for the phone and the continued manufacture of it. But if Sirin Labs does not sell their intended number of phones to reach their goal, then the phone was ahead of its time and the market was not there.

This will be a continuing story as we await the release of the phone in October and see if a Blockchain phone is really something the masses want to buy.

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How to Mine Ethereum at Home on PC

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Mining Ethereum at home on a PC was unheard of a short while ago
How to Mine Ethereum at Home on PC

Introduction to Ethereum mining

When you talk about mining Ethereum, most people imagine you need supercomputers with multitudes of computational power to pull it off. Well, that is not entirely misguided; however, unlike a few years back, mining cryptocurrency is a lot easier now. This is due to the milestone developments that the cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies have experienced over the time.

Mining Ethereum at home on a PC was unheard of a short while ago; you needed a mainframe with the processing power and speed to download over 20+ GBs of the blockchain and manage chunky command line miners with physical guidelines. Such is no longer the case; however, you can quickly get started with your mining activities using your personal computer within the comforts of your home. If done systematically, you can set up your work environment within 10 minutes.

This article is going to take you through the systematic approach on how to set up your workstation and start mining Ethereum.

Download and Install GETH

Geth is an application that enables you to interact with the Ethereum network. It links your computer and its computers to the Ethereum platform thus allowing you to communicate effectively.

Download and save it somewhere easy to access such as your desktop. Then decompress the file and replicate the application to your C: drive. By now, you should be able to access the command prompt, traverse to the C: drive and launch GETH.

The above strokes will enable you to open a new GETH account. Once this account is ready, you will be prompted to input a passphrase. This passphrase protects your account and private keys; therefore you guard it. Losing it is similar to losing your entire portfolio.

Entering and confirming this passphrase will automatically create a new wallet for you. You will be presented with its address, which should write down and store well as it will come in handy later.

With your wallet set, you can now begin initiating communication with the Ethereum network with GETH. Prompt GETH by entering ‘geth-rpc’ and it should commence with blockchain downloading and synchronizing your platform with the rest.

Mining Software Installation

Ethminer is an integral part of your network. Through your GPU, Ethminer runs the hashing algorithm, which uses proof of work protocols to secure the Ethereum network. Therefore, you should download, run and install the latest and most up-to-date version.

Just like with GETH previously, you will need to create another command prompt. Right-click the existing command prompt and scroll down to the command prompt menu on your taskbar. By clicking that menu, you should be able to open a new command prompt for the installed Ethminer.

Once you have GETH, Ethminer and your wallet ready, the mining can now begin. You may be tempted to work alone as in solo mining, but that is not recommended.

Pool and Cloud Mining

It takes a lot of hash power to pull off a solo mining venture. Plus, building a mining rig and getting it to crank is not an easy task. Therefore, it is recommended that you find a suitable pool and join. Working in a pool makes finding solutions easier and a lot more frequent; thus you get to benefit more often. Apart from pool mining, you can also try out cloud mining as an alternative to solo mining.

 

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The Choice Was Clear ????

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📈 Pricewise Andrew Strogoff

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple Correction Over, Bulls Ready for Run: Price Analysis, July 23

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Bitcoin and other cryptos seem to be preparing for bull run
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple Correction Over, Bulls Ready for Run: Price Analysis, July 23

Hey everybody. This is Andrew Strogoff and we are going to make a brief review of what is happening with the crypto market today. The whole top 20 is green, but the gains are small. There was a correction as I have expected on Friday, but it was even deeper than predicted. Currently, cryptocurrencies seem to be preparing for a bullish run.

As for the news, there is still nothing to influence prices significantly. However, I want you to pay attention to some interesting facts. You probably know that India has recently banned cryptocurrencies. The local cryptocurrency community has turned to the court in order to solve the issue. Hearings were planned for summer, but they were postponed according to the latest news.

Another interesting event comes from Italy. One of the universities in this country is going to issue degrees on Ethereum Blockchain. This news is important for the community as this is one of the first steps to adopt the technology in this country.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) ready to develop the uptrend, price analysis, July 23

Bitcoin has small gains on Monday as the currency pair has added around three percent. However, I think that the most interesting is on the way as BTC/USD is close to my targets again. The currency pair has reached them on Friday already but retreated. I think that Bitcoin is ready to develop the uptrend.

BTC/USD 4H chart

Bitcoin has reached the resistance area at $7,734 on Friday, but as I have already mentioned, bulls were unable to develop their progress. BTC price retreated to the support area at $7,341 and then went upwards to $7,565.

I think that the main scenario for today is bullish. My idea is the following: BTC/USD is going to reach the resistance area at $7,734 on Monday and will continue to grow even higher. Bitcoin looks very promising at the moment and bulls seem to gain momentum again.

Ethereum (ETH/USD) same targets different day, price analysis, July 23

Ethereum makes small gains on Monday but I think that the show is just beginning. There was a correction during the weekend according to my expectations, but it was even a bit deeper as it supposed to be. However, I think that bears enjoyed it enough as the current situation indicates the probability of further growth.

ETH/USD 4H Chart

I still have the same targets on the four-hour chart as I think that ETH price will reach my green rocket before going higher. Ethereum has reached the support area at $453.24 as I predicted, but the correction was even a bit deeper. However, the currency pair is currently above this level and I think Ethereum is going to run higher in the nearest future.

My target is at the resistance area at $500.36. The currency pair will have to break through the closest resistance at $473.39 in order to get it. However, I have even better plans for Ethereum once the currency pair reaches my main target.

Ripple (XRP/USD) the currency pair stopped its correction, price analysis, July 23

Ripple follows Ethereum and other allies as the currency pair had a correction during the weekend but seems to stop it already and reverse targeting my green rocket. The correction was deeper than expected, but I think it is time for XRP/USD to regain momentum.

XRP/USD 4H chart

Ripple has reached my correction level at $0.44095 on Friday and managed to cross it for a while, but then returned above. Yes, this correction was deeper, but now it has ended and I think bulls will have enough power to resume the uptrend.

My trading idea is the following: buyers are going to drive the currency pair towards the resistance area at $0.5088 in the nearest future. However, they have to break through the closest resistance at $0.4744. If they manage to do this, I expect bulls to meet my target on Monday-Tuesday.

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SciDex Review: Grand Ideas For Smart Contract Adoption and Data Sharing

SciDex presents a protocol that is able to facilitate data sharing on a mammoth-size scale. The question remains, will this groundbreaking project evolve beyond its white
SciDex Review: Grand Ideas For Smart Contract Adoption and Data Sharing

What is SciDex?

SciDex offers an innovative protocol that can be utilized for storing and disturbing scientific data. Consequently, there are two products– the SciDex protocol and the SciDex MarketSpace. The ambitious Blockchain-powered project was developed by a team of MIT graduates who have already succeeded in building other tech projects.

According to the company’s roadmap, the upcoming ICO is planned for Q3 of 2018.

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A new generation of smart contracts

What stops smart contracts from going into the mainstream?

Smart contracts could potentially revolutionize business relations, since they allow facilitating the enforcement of a contract without a middleman, thus eliminating the costs related to paperwork and lawyer services. They were described by a cryptographer Nick Szabo more than 20 years ago, but the technology hasn’t really taken off yet.

Despite the obvious advantages, there are still management and legal issues that prevent businesses from actively adopting smart contracts. On top of that, self-executing smart contracts are presented in a form of a code that can be only read by machines. That prompted the need for translating written contracts into smart contracts.

Ensuring readability and transparency

SciDex seized this opportunity and introduced Ricardian Adaptive Smart Contract (RASC) that can be read by both humans and machines. Unlike classic smart contracts, the new technology helps to fully reflect the intentions of both sides.

Furthermore, Ricardian contracts are very flexible and have an ability to adapt to the conditions that were initially specified in a written contract. The SciDex Contract Generator gives everyone an opportunity to create smart contracts even without any coding experience.

Facilitating the exchange of data

According to an IBM report, we produce a gargantuan amount of data that nears 2.5 quintillion bytes per day. However, most of the data, which can be valuable for research purposes, is simply stored in repositories while being isolated from the rest of the world. So, how can all this data be monetized?   

SciDex offers a unique solution in the form of a market space that simplifies the exchange of data. For that purpose, the company uses a three-pronged approach:

  • Blockchain-powered technologies,

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI),

  • Natural language processing (NLP).

No, companies do not have to sell their data for free– they can use the aforementioned Ricardian contracts to come to terms on selling and sharing the information without a third party involvement. SciDex’s search engine enables database indexing, which makes it easier to find the information you need.

Smart governing

There is a ranking system that effectively evaluates the contribution of each individual member to the SciDex ecosystem. Their activity corresponds to the number of SDX tokens they get (SciToken is the network’s native token).

Target audiences

SciDex is primarily a business-to-business company, but it focuses on business-to-consumer outreach as well. The new startup targets data curators as well as fledgling companies that may take advantage of its the SciDex marketplace. Data exchange can be beneficial for:

  • insurance companies (to determine risk factors based on the information about different accidents),

  • hedge funds (analyzing large chunks of data will result in more accurate investment predictions),

  • advertising companies (getting access to information could lead to a better understanding of the market).

Apart from that, SciDex is also planning to work with universities and government institutions.

The bottom line

The project could change the way research data is stored and distributed, promoting scientific progress. However, the real question is whether this brilliant idea could be implemented in real-life conditions.  While the project seems promising, it is unclear whether big companies would be willing to share their scientific data (even if there is a financial incentive involved), but SciDex claims that it creates a platform for sharing data only for research purposes with educational institutions. Therefore, it won’t have any competitive advantage.

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