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Stellar, What Is It Good For?

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Stellar, XLM, Lumens, whatever you want to call it.

Stellar has flown of late, hitting comfortable prices and becoming the markets favourite alternative to XRP, a cryptocurrency with a diminished reputation and a grim outlook. Whilst XLM and XRP aren’t direct competitors as such, comparing XRP and XLM is a great way to show off the growth of XLM.

The growth of XLM however is not down to a demise in XRP, rather, the growth in XLM is a direct result of Stellar and the team at Stellar making incredible progression over the past few weeks and months. Stellar is a project to be excited about. Here’s why-

There are a number of exciting projects going on within Stellar, these projects may be long games, but, as they materialise and grow, we can only expect Stellar to do the same. Patience will pay off with this one.

Stellar x SmartLands

Here’s one example of Stellars versatility, SmartLands, a project that aims to tokenize the agriculture industry within the Stellar Network. In essence, this will see Stellar facilitate the purchase and payments of land and property within rural settings. Land is valuable, once this project grows it could well see millions of dollars flood into the Stellar network.

Stellar x TillBilly

Point of sale technology rules our shopping experience. Tills and cashiers are a key point of contact between shopping brands and customers and therefore, a good experience at the till point can improve customer experience on the whole. TillBilly uses the Stellar network to host a faster point of sale experience, giving customers access to a blockchain payment system in stores, that can also be used to balance loyalty points and remove the need for paper receipts.

Stellar x IBM

It’s no secret that tech giants IBM have a huge interest in the Stellar Network. Between the two, huge movements are going to be made on an industrial scale, using a combination of Stellar and IBM blockchain technologies. It goes without saying that the IBM project certainly has the most potential in terms of Stellar growth and expansion.

Stellar x Stellar X

This is less a partnership, and more a project. Backed by Stellar, Stellar X is a design for a Decentralised Exchange (DEX) that promises to provide more transparency and more security within crypto exchange services. Stellar X, through its native integration with Stellar, could well become a leading DEX in the future, therefore this is one to watch.

These projects and partnerships are just some of the waves being made by Stellar. There’s a hell of a lot more going on here. With each and every partnership promising to do great things for the network and for XLM, Stellar remains one to watch. It’s okay to be excited about Stellar, we are anyway.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) Dominance Faces Resistance While Altcoins All Set To Take Off

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Bitcoin Chart With Values

Bitcoin (BTC) has run into a historical dominance resistance. The chart above shows that Bitcoin (BTC)’s dominance is in a constant downtrend since January 2017, the month when altcoins first began to challenge Bitcoin (BTC)’s dominance. Bitcoin (BTC) has shown strength the past few days but recent events, particularly ETF rejections and delays have made it abundantly clear that this time will be no different and that Bitcoin (BTC) will do what it has done over the years, that is follow a cycle of decline against altcoins followed by a cycle of rise against altcoins.

Bitcoin Chart With Values

The chart above for total market cap of cryptocurrencies excluding Bitcoin (BTC) shows that altcoins have done well in times of declining Bitcoin (BTC) dominance. For instance, during Dec 2017 and January 2018, when Bitcoin (BTC) reached a new dominance low, altcoins reached a new high. Most cryptocurrencies made more than 10x gains and debates of flippening (Ethereum overtaking Bitcoin in market cap) became common in the crypto community. The market cap difference between Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) was so low that many actually believed that a flippening could happen. Websites to calculate flippening were created and crypto enthusiast would track then on a daily basis to see when Ethereum (ETH) might overtake Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of market cap.

During that time, Bitcoin (BTC) was compared to Myspace and Ethereum (ETH) to Facebook, with many arguing that Ethereum (ETH) is a lot better than Bitcoin (BTC) as you can create Dapps and smart contracts on it in addition to using it for exchange of value. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently at a similar point. Its market dominance I about to go down again and similar debates will surface again. Bitcoin (BTC)’s dominance will most likely continue to remain in a downtrend till the next halvening in 2020.

Bitcoin Chart With Values

The monthly chart above for BTC/USD shows how Bitcoin (BTC) has traded in periods of falling dominance. Bitcoin (BTC) has continued to climb in periods of low dominance, unlike altcoins which have lost most of their gains as their dominance fell. The chart above shows that Bitcoin (BTC)’s dominance falls before each halvening.

The falling dominance of Bitcoin (BTC) in 2016 led to a sluggish climb that extended over a period of 456 days until Bitcoin (BTC)’s halvening in July 2016 when the price started to rise sharply. The same is likely this time, as Bitcoin (BTC) has once again run into a dominance resistance just before its 2020 halvening. The price can be expected to continue a sluggish climb from here for the next 457 days that is till November 2019, until the halvening in 2020, after which the price can be expected to rise aggressively.

Bitcoin Chart With Values

The above chart for altcoins shows that unlike Bitcoin (BTC), altcoins have broken out of the downtrend resistance. The market cap is above the downtrend line and can be expected to bounce off it in order to begin a new cycle in the weeks ahead. The altcoin rally that is likely to kick off before September is expected to last till mid 2019 during which time the altcoin market will reach its peak and most top 20 altcoins can be expected to make astronomical gains.

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These Are The Stellar Partnerships That Will Send XLM To The Moon

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Stellar (XLM) is currently most referred to as a right away contender to Ripple and XRP. once it involves cross border remittal payments, Stellar are operating terribly arduous to pip Ripple to the post, and indeed, over recent weeks it appears that Stellar extremely square measure going the correct manner regarding it.

Not solely has XLM shot up in market cap and overtaken Litecoin (to currently sit in 6th place), Stellar have sealed a major variety of partnerships and deals that would eventually result in an enormous surge within the value of XLM and most significantly, the general quality of the Stellar project.

The following has been impressed by a report by Ethereum World News, that you’ll notice here.

IBM

IBM square measure presently operating aboard Stellar, with what appearance to be the assembly of a stable coin thanks to be bound to the United States of America dollar. A full integration of IBM within the Stellar project would facilitate to envision a surge within the quality of Stellar, with such an enormous name on board, this also offers the prospect of adoption for XLM an enormous boost too.

Satoshi Pay

Satoshi Pay is previous news currently, however it’s still a operating progress and another example of however Stellars skillfulness permits it to be engineered into a variety of various applications. Moreover, this partnership conjointly sees the introduction of Tempo, a Europe primarily based cash transfer company that currently uses the Stellar network for cross border payments.

Slice

Real estate could be a game, and has real implications for cryptocurrency too. Slice aim to whole tokenize the $64000 estate trade and offers investors the possibility to access opportunities that will be otherwise unobtainable with cryptocurrency payments. As Slice grows, it may well dominate the United States of America realty market.

Chynge

Chynge takes the conception of a remittal payment and makes it free. This uses Stellar technology to make sure that payments square measure quick and secure. like the aforesaid comes grow, Chynge is just too seemingly to bring some be converted into the Stellar system, permitting each the project and XLM to grow.

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Blockchain

What is IOTA ? (MIOTA)

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OTA Coin Review

The IoT Token with No Transaction Fees

Introduction

IOTA is currently ranked 7th largest cryptocurrency by Market Cap at $11B (twice as much as all ICOs at launch as of now), making IOTA one of the most exciting platforms of 2018. This article will explain what makes IOTA so special, and describe its market, value proposition, and the details of their token.

2018 will be the most important year yet for Cryptocurrencies. A lot of the newest platforms are trying to solve the greatest problems with the Blockchain technology, and IOTA is one of them. Their ICO occurred in November of 2015. IOTA’s team decided to create their own Cryptocurrency technology instead of using or patching the Blockchain.

The Idea

IOTA is a cryptocurrency that has no transaction fees and requires no miners in order to process transactions. It does, however, require some computational power to submit a transaction, making it perfect for machines to use as a currency and distributed communication protocol for the Internet of Things “IoT”.

The main purpose of IOTA is to solve some of the major problems with Blockchain technology, the main one being that the bigger the Blockchain (such as Bitcoin), the slower, more expensive, and also more restricting it is to actually transfer funds.

Another issue with the Blockchain is size, as more and more Blocks are added, the longer the Blockchain gets, and therefore the less amount of computers are able to mine it. Right now BTC is over 150GB long, and so is ETH. If this size increased tenfold, very few computers would be able to mine it at all. Making them relatively centralized (the top 2 Bitcoin mining pools own about 56% of hashing power).

The Tangle

Blockchain vs IOTA

One of the main differentiators of this technology versus the Blockchain is what IOTA calls “The Tangle”. It’s a new method of storing transactions through a mechanism called Directed Acyclic Graph or “DAG”.

As a Blockchain network grows, the amount of transactions per second does not. Which leads to congestion. The other issue is that the more miners (computers) are on the network, the more expensive it is to cover the transaction fees associated to the electricity bill of those miners.

This means that if 10 or a million people transact BTC or ETH, the network will be able to process only a specific amount of transactions per Block. This is a natural limitation because BTC fundamental property is that the difficulty to solve a block has to remain stable at 10 minutes per Block (1 hour on the original BTC white paper). If you add more computers to the system, the algorithm makes the problem harder to enable the complete computational power to solve it in 10 minutes. The reason for this is that if the block can be solved too quickly, it is vulnerable to attacks and hacks, if it is solved too slowly then very few transactions are authorized minute or hour.

As more computers mine BTC, it becomes increasingly expensive to transfer funds, since computers need to be rewarded more than their electricity bill. Each BTC transaction currently consumes over 250kWh, and as much as 32TWh for the whole network, enough to power the households of over of 5 million people every day.

Bitcoin solved this through transaction fees. Due to the amount of computer power that Bitcoin is consuming, the transaction fees have grown considerably. The current average transaction fee for Bitcoin is $25 USD. So if you were planning on sending $50 USD in BTC to a friend, your friend will likely receive less than half of this amount of BTC on their end. These fees act as an incentive to keep the network growing, and miners honest.

IOTA — In Theory

In IOTA every user is both submitting and verifying transactions. So every user contributes both to verification, and security. Transactions are verified multiple times by different users, as it keeps getting approvals, the degree of confidence for that transaction increases.

Another interesting aspect of the Tangle is that, instead of being deterministic like the Blockchain (X amount of transactions per second) it is instead probabilistic. This means that some transactions may be confirmed faster than others, since the network picks two random transactions to be verified. Instead of Bitcoin, which always takes ~10 minutes (plus congestion).

IOTA — In Practice

No Cryptocurrency delivers perfectly in what it promises. IOTA is not different. In order for IOTA to work as a decentralized cryptocurrency it still has to solve a lot of challenges and technical difficulties that still are yet to be demonstrated will work.

IOTA currently faces criticisms in:

  • Conflict Resolution Vulnerabilities
  • Malicious Attackers (Majority attack)
  • The Coordinator
  • Parasitic Chains
  • Cryptography Best Practices
  • Ternary Processor concerns

Note: We elaborated on all of these issues on the “Technical Details” section of this article after the conclusion.

The Token

All of the tokens for IOTA were generated at the same time through a “genesis” address. These tokens were originally given to a founder address. No tokens will be generated in the future, and no reward will be given through mining (details for this on our The Tangle section above). In a sense, all IOTA tokens have already generated (all 2.779 x 10¹⁵ of them). Many exchanges trade IOTA, which is as of January 2nd, 2018 is valued at about $4 USD per token.

This is a 10 fold increase in price in the last 4 months.

IoT

IOTA is not designed to come equipped with a Turing complete programming language, like ETH and therefore does not have smart contracts, nor will it be likely that other startups create ICOs based completely off their platform.

The idea is that due to the fact that IOTA is ”transaction-free” (explained below), machines can use their computing power + connection to the internet to be able to use IOTA as a decentralized communication system. On top of that machines could use that as a currency to transfer funds for goods or services that they are distributing, such as sensor data, control, or management of machines. Thus IOTA is specialized for low-power cpus that are primarily used to run IoT hardware.

Free Transactions

From the perspective of a node, a transaction looks like the following:

  1. Node chooses 2 other transactions that it will verify (every node approves 2 transactions)
  2. The node verifies both transactions after demonstrating there are no conflicts
  3. Nodes have to solve a cryptographic problem, similar to BTC in order to verify transactions (Finding some nonce to get the right hash)

Essentially the transaction “fee” is verifying other transactions, thus the system guarantees everyone has an incentive to verify, since its needed to transfer. The system also makes sure there’s always computers verifying transactions, since each node has to verify twice as many transactions as its requesting. So there’s always twice as many verifications as there are transactions.

ICO Details

IOTA Raised $434,000 USD during their ICO which started on November 24th 2015 until December 20th 2015. Despite $434K USD looking like a small amount by today’s standards, this was an impressive achievement.

By late 2015 ICOs were still relatively new and people were not as confident about them as they are today. That said their current cap, as of January 2nd 2018 is over $11B USD. Almost doubling over the last 4 months, so the currency is definitely doing well. It is also the 7th largest Cryptocurrency by Market Cap, which is calculated by multiplying the number of tokens by the value of each token. This shows the total amount of money that has been spent in USD buying the currency.

Use of Funds

Their white paper (v1.3) does not mention Use of Funds. This is mostly due to the fact that in 2015 this was a much less common practice, but in exchange we get 28 pages of a much more technical white paper.

However, we can assume, from the relatively small amount of money raised (~$420K USD) that the funds allocated from the platform went directly into the formation and development of the IOTA Foundation and IOTA cryptocurrency.

Token Distribution

As previously mentioned, the total amount of IOTA tokens is always stable. This means that the owners were able to choose how many tokens would be sold and how many they would be able to keep.

The owners of IOTA are thought to own roughly 50% of all the available tokens. This is a controversial topic, since this means they roughly own about $5 Billion USD. Which is an incredibly high amount of pay for any one group of people on a new and relatively unproven technology.

Traction

The IOTA has been officially traded by different exchanges for over a year (depending on the exchange, some started trading it much more recently). Since its inception the price and excitement for the currency have both grown exponentially. There’s also been over one hundred million transactions on the network already. The volume is expected to continue growing exponentially.

That said, there are a lot of challenges as mentioned in the section about deploying IOTA in practice. How they transition away from the coordinator and the ways of mitigating the probabilistic attacks that require the coordinator in the first place are all still pending technical and social issues before IOTA can begin to think of successful deployment. Furthermore, IOTA’s success is closely tied to the IoT industry’s adoption of it, and that is not an insignificant business challenge on its own.

Team

IOTA is designed and maintained by the IOTA foundation. Its founders are David Sønstebø, and mathematician Serguei Popov. David a Norwegian national who has experience in IoT through a processor manufacturing company he started in 2014. Dr. Popov is a mathematician at Moscow University. The rest of the team from IOTA has a wide range of skills in Software and Investment. The pictures found on the foundation’s website have a lot of consistency issues (resolution, color, type of picture, etc.) which makes it look much less legitimate, specially for a foundation worth over $6B USD.

The team at the IOTA Foundation also has a series of veterans that have worked in building projects on top of cryptocurrencies since 2011, they also have a Harvard professor, some Mathematicians, and an increasing series of high profile professors vouching for the network. This project has a very robust team.

How to Buy IOTA

Not all exchanges trade IOTA, and many only taken BTC or ETH in exchange of it, so you may have to use multiple exchanges in order to get some. The following are the only exchanges that take IOTA:

  • Bitfine(BTC, ETH; USD)
  • Binance (BTC, ETH)
  • CoinSpot (AUD)
  • bit520 (CNY)

IOTA’s price is around $4 USD per token at the moment. Different jurisdictions may have different requirements about where and how to purchase the token.

How to hold IOTA

Detailed instructions to hold IOTA on a cold wallet can be found on their Github.

Holding IOTA for cold storage requires the user to download NodeJS, the Electron Framework, and Web Package Manager, Bower.

Conclusion

IOTA is an incredibly ambitious and interesting project. If it’s successful, it would be one of the first cryptocurrencies to not only lower the price of Bitcoin, but maybe to render it useless. Due to a large amount of question marks, in technical feasibility, vulnerabilities, and the lack of an open-source coordinator, and that’s a big IF.

The IoT aspect of IOTA is also quite interesting. Giving machines the ability to trade information, services, and goods for income is an interesting proposition using a transaction-free network.

We also have some reservations about the ternary processor system of IOTA. Why not choose a system based on binary? Could this be due to the fact that their CEO,David Sønstebø, HAS experience developing this type of processors, and therefore some bias may exist? We are not sure.

This is still one of the most interesting cryptocurrencies of today, with an almost limitless potential. We wish IOTA token and their team best of luck as they continue to dominate the increasingly-competitive cryptocurrency market.


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