Tag Archives: blockchain technology and cryptocurrency

What Is Staking in Cryptocurrency?

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Many people may consider staking an easier alternative to mining—one that is less resource-intensive. It can be defined as holding funds in your cryptocurrency wallet in order to support the operations and security of a blockchain network. In simple terms, staking is holding cryptocurrencies so you can earn rewards.

In many cases, you can stake your coins from your cryptocurrency wallet directly. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the staking services offered by exchanges. With Binance Staking, for instance, you can earn rewards by simply having your crypto-coins on the exchange.

You will need to first understand Proof of Stake (PoS) and how it works if you want to better understand staking. Proof of Stake is a consensus mechanism that lets blockchains operate in a more energy-efficient manner while maintaining some degree of decentralization. 

Take a closer look.

What Is PoS (Proof of Stake)?

You might already know about PoW (Proof of Work) if you know about Bitcoin and how it works. It is the process through which transactions are gathered into blocks. These blocks are then connected to make the blockchain. Miners typically compete to find a solution for a difficult mathematical puzzle. The miner that solves it first gets to add the next blockchain block. 

PoW is a robust mechanism but it involves too much arbitrary computation. The only purpose of the puzzle that miners solve is to ensure the network is secure. It has no other purpose. Some people could argue that this alone justifies the excess of computation. 

But someone else may wonder: is the high computational cost really necessary in maintaining decentralized consensus? 

That is where Proof of Stake comes in. Participants can hold their “stake” or coins. The protocol will then randomly assign one participant the right to add the next block. The amount of coins one has determines the probability of being picked. So if one has more coins, their chances are higher. 

Unlike with PoW, participants are not chosen depending on their ability to find the solution to a complex challenge. It will depend on the amount of staking coins one is holding.

Some may say that using staking to produce blocks may facilitate a high degree of scalability. The Ethereum network is set to shift to PoS from PoW, this being one of the reasons. 

Who Came Up with Proof of Stake?

PoS may have first appeared on Scott Nadal and Sunny King’s Peercoin 2021 paper. It was described as a peer-to-peer crypto design deduced from Bitcoin. 

The Peercoin network, initially, began with a PoS/PoW hybrid mechanism. Proof of Work was for minting the initial supply. The network, however, didn’t need it for long-term sustainability. So its importance was gradually reduced. The security of the network actually relied mainly on PoS. 

Delegated Proof of Stake: What Is It?

Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) is an alternative version developed by Daniel Larimer in 2014. At first, it was a section of BitShares blockchain but the model was adopted by other networks. They include EOS and Steem, also creations of Larimer. 

With DPoS, coin balances are committed as votes and the number of coins is proportional to the voting power. Delegates are elected using these votes. They manage the blockchain, ensuring consensus and security on behalf of the voters. The elected delegates receive staking rewards and, in turn, distribute these rewards to the electors based on their contributions.

With this model, a consensus is achieved with less validating nodes and the network performance is improved. 

However, it could also reduce the degree of decentralization seeing as the network depends on fewer validating nodes. The validating nodes are in charge of operations of the blockchain. They define major governance parameters. 

How Staking Works

PoW blockchains involve mining in order to add more blocks. PoS, on the other hand, uses staking to create blocks. 

With staking, validators hold their coins so they can be picked randomly to produce a block. Participants holding more coins are more likely to be chosen as block validators. 

This way, blocks are created without depending on special mining hardware like ASICs. Great investment in hardware is necessary for ASIC mining while one has to invest in cryptocurrency for staking. So for the next block, one doesn’t have to compete with computational work. Instead, one stakes coins. Network security is maintained by using stake to incentivize validators.

Every PoS blockchain uses their own staking currency. Others, however, have a two-token system. They pay the rewards in a second token.

Calculating Staking Rewards

The method of calculating may vary from one network to another. Others depend on various factors and are changed on a block-by-block basis. Some of the factors include:

  • Inflation rate
  • Total coins staked on the network
  • The period of time that a validator has been staking actively
  • The number of coins a validator is staking
  • Other factors

Other networks determine the rewards using a fixed percentage. They then distribute the rewards to validators to compensate for inflation. With inflation, users tend to spend coins instead of staking them. This model, however, allows validators to calculate the staking reward that is in store for them.

Some people may prefer a reward schedule they can predict instead of relying on a probabilistic chance. 

A Staking Pool: What Is It?

It is a group formed by coin holders to merge their resources and raise their chances of receiving rewards and validating blocks.

A lot of time and know-how is required to create and maintain a staking pool. Staking pools are typically successful on networks with a high barrier of entry (financial or technical). A fee is usually charged from the staking reward by the pool providers. 

Individual stakers may enjoy added flexibility from the pools. The stake is normally locked for a set period. The protocol sets a withdrawal time. There is also a high minimum balance requirement for staking.

Pools don’t have a high minimum balance requirement and they don’t add additional withdrawal times. For new users, a staking pool makes more sense.

Cold Staking

This is defined as staking on an offline wallet, that is, one that is not connected to the internet. One can use a hardware wallet or an air-gapped software wallet. 

Users can stake while holding their coins securely offline. One should know that moving coins from cold storage will stop the rewards.

Cold staking is more suited for major stakeholders who would like to support the network while ensuring maximum security of their coins.

Staking on Binance

Holding coins on Binance is like having them in a staking pool. You enjoy numerous benefits without fees. You only need to hold your funds on Binance and everything else will be sorted out for you. The rewards are distributed at the beginning of every month. 

Closing Thoughts

PoS is ideal for anyone who is looking to be a part of the governance and consensus of blockchains and also earn passive income. 

One should know that staking has its risks such as bugs. 

Dogecoin: Everything You Need to Know About the Crypto

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Dogecoin began as a joke. However, it has grown to become one of the most popular online currencies.

Many Dogecoin or DOGE fans buy and hold it until they can sell it at a huge profit.

But is that all? Is becoming rich with Dogecoin that simple?

You are about to find out.

History of Dogecoin

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was open source. Everyone was free to copy it—and people did. Clones like Peercoin and Litecoin popped up all over.

Dogecoin was created in 2013 by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. It is a copy of Litecoin which is very similar to Bitcoin.

People always refer to Dogecoin using silly language relating to the moon and dogs. (The coin features the Shiba Inu dog).

From the beginning, Dogecoin gained a devoted fanbase. Its fans are mainly people who like dogs and those who want to participate in crypto trading without being serious about it.

Most people don’t get it. One of Dogecoin founders, Palmer, even washed his hands. He said that the cryptocurrency market is overheated and that the crazy rise of Dogecoin was a clear indication of that. The Crypto market crashed several days after that statement.

Dogecoin, however, survived.

Is Dogecoin Technically Sound?

Not exactly. Dogecoin copied Litecoin which is technically sound.

One user can send and receive DOGE in a permissionless way on the cryptographically protected network.

It works but it is not as decentralized or as secure as Bitcoin—not even close.

Dogecoin is not innovative, it has never been from the beginning. Its block time may be shorter than Litecoin’s and its supply unlimited, unlike Bitcoin; but Dogecoin is not regularly updated. Sometimes it takes years for a new version to be launched.

Dogecoin is like Bitcoin’s carefree and silly cousin.

Elon Musk Loves Dogecoin

Elon Musk is a fan of silly stuff. So, his love for Dogecoin doesn’t come as a surprise. He tweets about the cryptocurrency occasionally on Twitter—which causes the price to rise dramatically.

In an interview, Musk said that it would be ironic and entertaining to see Dogecoin become Earth’s currency in the future.

But Musk seems to prefer Bitcoin when it comes to business. Tesla bought about $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin recently.

Other celebrities like Gene Simmons and Snoop Dog have also endorsed Dogecoin.

Should You Buy Dogecoin? If Yes, How Do You Buy It?

Most major exchanges like Binance support Dogecoin.

DOGE works like any other online currency. You can transfer the coins to your wallet or keep them on the exchange.

Will Dogecoin Get to $1?

Dogecoin may have the support of rich celebrities and a dedicated fanbase but it is not technically interesting.

In a year, the price of Dogecoin has risen 13000% and its market cap is currently at $34.5 billion. Proponents seem positive that the coin will hit $1 one day. It is not impossible, but you also do not know how far the joke can go.

Tread carefully, especially if you are not a seasoned trader.

Cardano’s Upcoming Alonzo Update Pushes ADA Price

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In a short period, Cardano (ADA) has made it to the list of top 10 online currencies by market capitalization. It is currently at number seven and has a market capitalization of more than $41 billion. It represents about 2% of the cryptocurrency market globally. It attained an all-time high ($1.5) on April 14, according to CoinGecko.

Charles Hokinson, co-founder of Ethereum blockchain and founder of Cardano leads the IOHK. He posted a video on his YouTube channel titled “Some Musings About the Roadmap”. In the video, he talked about Cardano’s roadmap over the coming four years.

He said that Cardano developers are busy trying to find a solution for the scalability issue as well as Cardano’s approach. However, he will start focusing on the issue when the Alonzo update is complete. After the Goguen update is done, the Cardano roadmap scalability phase will follow. The name of the phase is Basho, named after a Japanese haiku master of the 17th century.

The Deadalus and Alonzo Upgrade

The Deadalus update was released by Cardano on April 1. It marks the start of native tokens support on the blockchain and the Project Catalyst Fund3 voter registration. With this update began the countdown to the cryptocurrency becoming a totally decentralized blockchain.

The countdown has already reached its realization. A representative from the Cardano Foundation discussed the Deadalus update with Cointelegraph.

They said that a Deadalus user’s wallet can now be used as one unified interface to accept both ADA, in addition to many other tokens on the blockchain. They also talked about Cardano’s journey to becoming a decentralized blockchain.

According to Cardano, the decentralization event has put it on the map as one of the most decentralized blockchains globally. The next and last phase of Goguen is the Alonzo update. This upgrade is expected to provide smart contract functionality. The Plutus platform is responsible for enabling this upgrade’s development.

Additionally, Cardano developers have come up with a method of minting and selling NFT collectibles without the smart contract functionality.

ADA Could Hit $2 Because of DeFi Growth

Over the past 14 days, Cardano’s gains have grown nearly 10%. The important $2 mark is only $0.6 away. Given its current growth rate, the ADA will pass this $2 mark soon.

Something else that could promote growth is another DeFi summer. Going by the 2020 DeFi summer, the DeFi markets may reach new highs this year. As a matter of fact, ADA’s one-year gains are currently at 3,490.8%.

One expert believes that the Goguen phase’s final stages will introduce a number of existing DeFi trends onto the network. These include automated market makers as well as lending market.

With Cardano’s use cases and its Alonzo update, the cryptocurrency may well become an alternative platform to Ethereum. Ethereum has always been the king in the DeFi ecosystem. Cardano is choosing to take a positive approach as far as this narrative is concerned. They say they are more interested in offering world-class components and less interested in market share competition.

10 Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest in for 2021

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Cryptocurrency is an online currency not regulated by a central system. It is instead based on blockchain technology. Bitcoin is currently the most popular cryptocurrency.

Digital currency is becoming more common on Wall Street and this has led to the availability of more options. Now, there are over 5,000 cryptocurrencies.

You can use digital currency to buy stuff; but for most people, it is a long-term investment.

Cryptocurrency investing can be risky, especially if you don’t have enough information.

So here are the 10 best cryptocurrencies that you can invest in.

How the Top 10 Cryptocurrencies Were Picked

Longevity

Has the cryptocurrency been around for long? This is not to say that new digital currencies are bad. But historical data helps you analyze the performance.

Track Record

The performance of the company over the years is important. If the prices have had some stability, that’s good. A promising currency is one that is gaining value over time.

Technology

Is the platform usable and secure? Transactions should be handled smoothly.

You also don’t want to lose your investment because of an insecure platform.

Adoption Rate

A high adoption level usually means that the digital currency has great liquidity. It will be easier to spend, sell or trade in the future.

The Top 10 Cryptocurrency Investments in 2021

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency. Its volume, market cap and price are higher than those of the other options. It represents 40 percent of the market cap.

Risks

Bitcoin fluctuates a lot. It is also quite expensive for people who want to purchase whole shares.

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is both a cryptocurrency and a network, making it unique. It may be cheaper than Bitcoin but it is well ahead of the other online currencies.

Risks

Transactions can take long to process.

3. Binance Coin

Binance has grown slowly but consistently. This has made it a stable investment option with fewer risks.

Risks

Many people are skeptical when it comes to security.

4. Tether (USDT)

Tether is extremely stable because it is connected to the US dollar.

Risks

There have been doubts about the actual reserve stock.

5. Cardano

Investors love Cardano because transactions are cheaper and faster. It has also proven to be quite secure.

Risks

The low adoption rate makes investors hesitant.

6. Polkadot (DOT)

The creators of Polkadot are former Ethereum leaders. They wanted to create an online currency with a much better network.

Risks

Polkadot has a short history so it’s hard to assess its track record.

7. Ripple (XRP)

Ripple offers international transactions and the transactions only take seconds.

Risks

The growth rate is not that impressive.

8. Litecoin

Litecoin completes transactions much faster than Bitcoin. If the fast transaction rate continues, it could grow dramatically.

Risks

It is closely tied to Bitcoin so its value fluctuates a lot.

9. Chainlink

This cryptocurrency has an appealing price and it is easily accessible. It has also shown promise when it comes to growth.

Risks

Its low market cap doesn’t make it attractive.

10. Stellar (XLM)

This cryptocurrency acts as a bridge between blockchain networks and banks. It serves a niche need.

Risks

If it faces stiff competition its value could drop.

Understanding Blockchain Technology

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As the use of blockchain gains popularity, the system has seen its fair share of hype over the years, and more research has been directed at looking into the appropriateness of this technology. Thanks to the creation of authorization and authentication of different processes in the digital world, it has ruled out the need for the use of centralized administrators.

This efficiency has eventually created an upsurge of digital relationships, hence leading layers of the internet ideal for the performance interactions and transactions of values. The new tech, also known as the “internet of value” is apparently overriding the “internet of information” that has been in place for the last few decades.

However, this new internet layer does come with several downsides as well, which will make cryptographic keys, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies an unfavorable option eventually. So where is the line between which of the two models is the best? 

Well, the use of paper has been efficient, thanks to the fact that it is hard to counterfeit with all the seals and appearances among other factors. But this can be a difficult approach when you consider a constant and regular flow of transactions, since the method may not be ideal if someone wants to keep up the pace. Besides, manual data entry comes with its challenges as well.

The flexibility of blockchain, as well as the ability to cater to the wide range of parties writing entries, can be beneficial. In most cases, third-party participants play a vital role in taking care of authorizations and authentication of transactions. This can be useful if security is the focus, but when the privacy of the data outweighs all else, there is no need for connecting it to any network for security reasons.

This is where blockchain come into play, offering the ideal security for the digital identity that would otherwise be impossible.  In case a database has to support lightweight financial transactions, blockchain can be rather useful.

Another inevitable consideration is the transaction speed. If speed is the key, in which case transaction should be carried out in milliseconds and yet with high performance, a centralized system will be the way to go. The drawback for blockchain is relatively slow and storing the data comes with a cost. But with the centralized data systems that feature a client-server operation, speed is attainable, and they are not expensive.

This gives the centralized models an upper hand over blockchain. The bottom line is that as much as the potential of blockchain is yet to be fully unveiled, it is clear that most of the areas that have been confirmed to be useful so far include the aspect of securing as well as managing digital-based relationships.

This can benefit as a system record, but slightly fails when it comes to the performance and speed in carrying out transactions. But with these systems developing by the day, only time can tell when they will become a cutting-edge solution. For now, only the participant can decide on what is best for them in carrying out such transactions.

Better yet, the tech is also packing enough potential up its sleeve to transform the conventional business model in multiple sectors. Essentially, these chains work in a similar idea with large digital spreadsheets that all members in a decentralized network can access. The great thing about blockchain is that although it is well known for its use in bitcoin transactions, this technology has other uses as well.

And with the increasing value of bitcoin and its dominance in several mainstream sectors, companies offering financial services are stepping into the action. One of the things that make cryptocurrency a darling for most people is the currency’s ability to cut back on the costs incurred in the transfer of funds especially when it comes to sending money across borders.

While some investors are opting to stockpile gold and wait for the value to skyrocket, you can take advantage of the potential increase in the price of bitcoin. Although bitcoin is not as tangible as gold, the investment principles for both are similar. The supply and demand balance is the key here, and with the two being rare, you can step in on the opportunity to invest. 

Pure blockchain tech play is gaining traction by the day, with numerous companies taking part in this sector becoming increasingly popular. One of the widely known companies, BTCS, is renowned as the premier “pure play” company in the US to focus on the use of blockchain technology. It works through unique verification services for transactions to make blockchain secure. Another company that is also gaining popularity is Global Arena Holding, which is enhancing blockchain technology in the potential of the tech for enabling voter verification.

Angel funding has been around for a while now, but the idea of using startups in blockchain is giving it a completely new outlook. Bitcoin has become popular, and everyone is looking into getting a share of the action, but this comes with funding.  Well, with angel funding, you can be able to venture into the technology and stand to benefit from the innovation that it has to offer in the future.

Another interesting idea for blockchain is with penny stocks, which include other types of cryptocurrency like Altcoins and Litecoin. Most of these coins were designed to help in ways where bitcoins are not applicable but were primarily meant to pose a healthy competition for the popular cryptocurrency.

If you are looking into raising capital for any investment, there is no better way to do so than with the use of crowdfunding, which has become the primarily used and popular method for this purpose. You can use this to invest in blockchain, thanks to the use of alternative coins, or altcoins, which are pre-mined and sold in an initial coin offering, also known as ICO.

This is carried out before the public launching of the network. Among the most popular methods is the use of bit shares. With these options at your disposal, only your choice matters now. However, it is worth to consider risk as well and make sure you minimize risks to the lowest levels possible.

If there is one certain thing about blockchain, it is the fact that these are revolutionized systems of records. Since the time it was invented as the world’s premier decentralized and permanent ledger-based records, entrepreneurs have understood its implications.  But blockchain have also seen its fair share of speculations as well, considering that the idea is applicable in virtually anything to do with records.

Not forgetting, this concept is ruling out the need for authorities to oversee transactions since cryptography gives individuals the power to do this all by themselves. The hype about these chains is centered on the probability of high-level use circumstances where blockchain tech can be applied. Digital identity can help as a system of records with the use of cryptographic keys, which allows individuals to have the right and means to form digital relationships with others.

This comes from the fact that the concept doesn’t rely on accounts or permissions related to accounts, the security in managing identity in the digital realm is relatively secure. And it is all thanks to the fact that one is not exposed to sharing excessive personal information that can be compromised.

Another means in which this technology proves valuable is when used as a platform. This usually comes down to some of its top-of-the-line aspects like its use for automated governance and smart contracting. Besides, it can also help with streamlining clearances and settlement in stock trading. Another area where this tech is applicable is in automation of regulatory compliance using the code form in governments’ legal systems.

Data management also plays a major role in gathering and collection of information for governments. This usefulness has seen governments develop an interest in three components of the technology. One of the things that make it ideal is the rights associated with ownership, generation, and revocation, replacing or losing the cryptographic keys.

There is also some interest associated with the aspect of who can participate in any chain, as well as interest in protocols based on blockchain when it comes to authorization of transactions. As such, many blockchain developers believe that regulatory compliance offers a potential business opportunity.

The use of paring items with their corresponding digital tokens also comes in quite handy for authentication of particular physical items. Therefore, tokens can be used to bridge both the physical as well as the digital sides. As such, tokens are used in the management of supply chains as well as control of intellectual property, fraud detection, and anti-counterfeiting detection.

Banks, as well as other financial institutions, usually rely on client-server infrastructure to run individual accounts. But keeping it secure from hackers can be a daunting task, especially with the risk of hacking at any given time. With blockchain technology, however, these institutions can create an automatically developed record of who can access records or information. Besides, they can also take control regarding permissions to access information.