investment

Binance Announces Decentralized Exchange, Bounty On Hacker

Submitted by Seth Goldfarb on Wed, 03/14/2018 - 17:15
03/14/2018
Binance Announces Decentralized Exchange, Bounty On Hacker

Binance, one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges by trading volume, will be launching a decentralized exchange called Binance Chain. In their announcement, the company expressed their belief that the future will have a place for both centralized and decentralized exchanges and their intention to improve the trading experience for users of decentralized exchanged. Binance Coin (BNB), the native token on the Binance platform offering discounted trading fees, will be transferred to its own blockchain and incorporated for use on Binance Chain in addition to Binance.

The exchange also announced a bounty of $250,000 for information leading to the lawful arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the hack that disrupted trading on March 7th. A phishing scheme allowed the hackers to collect login information from unsuspecting victims who saw their accounts drained to purchase VIA/BTC while other accounts created by the attackers sold pre-purchased VIA/BTC at the top of the market. Binance’s risk management system caught the irregular trades and temporarily closed withdrawals on the platform. Engineers then successfully managed to reverse the illicit trades, returning funds to users while keeping the funds pre-purchased by the hackers.

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What is Nexus (NXS)? | Beginner’s Guide

Submitted by Seth Goldfarb on Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:45
03/02/2018
What is Nexus (NXS)? | Beginner’s Guide

This article was originally published on CoinCentral

What is Nexus?

Nexus is a peer-to-peer network that improves on the speed, scalability, security, and accessibility of current blockchain protocols. The project mainly accomplishes this through the use of a quantum-resistant 3D blockchain in combination with communication satellites in space. With this, Nexus founder Colin Cantrell is aiming to “decentralize the decentralization”, by taking it out of reach of any government control or mining pool monopolies.

Hold on to your hats, folks. This is one of the more ambitious projects out there, so let’s get right into it.

In this Nexus guide, we’re going to go over:

Three Dimensional Chain (3DC)

Nexus uses, not one, not two, but three consensus mechanisms to form a three-dimensional blockchain. The team argues that having three different mechanisms in place reduces miner centralization and enables more efficient on-chain scaling.

Prime Channel

The Prime Channel is a Proof-of-Work channel. In this channel, miners search for 308-digit dense prime clusters through trial-and-error. Dense prime cluster mining is more ASIC-resistant than traditional hash mining. Therefore, even if you have just a CPU, you can mine on this channel.

Outside of cryptocurrency, the mining on the Prime Channel produces data that can be further used in prime number research for quantum physics.

Hashing Channel

The Hashing Channel is also Proof-of-Work but uses Hashcash instead of dense prime clusters. This is similar to Bitcoin’s mining algorithm except that miners search for SHA-3 (with Skein) hashes while Bitcoin miners find SHA-256 ones. The Nexus block hashes are 4x the size of Bitcoin block hashes.

You should use a GPU when mining on this channel.

Proof-of-Holdings

The third and final channel uses Proof-of-Holdings to secure the network. This is essentially the same as the Proof-of-Stake consensus method used by coins like NEO. You earn newly minted Nexus coins (NXS) just by holding the ones you already have.

Four attributes determine what your return will be when you stake your coins:

  • Interest Rate – An annual percentage of your balance, this is the rate at which you receive new coins. This starts at 0.5% annually and increases to a 3.0% annual maximum after 12 months.
  • Trust Weight – This is an indicator of your node’s trust. It starts at 5% but quickly reaches its 100% maximum after just one month.
  • Block Weight – This attribute resets to 0% each time you receive a staking transaction. It then slowly climbs to 100% over 24-hours. If your block weight ever reaches 100%, your Trust Key expires and all your attributes reset. The reset trigger ensures that you’re continually working to maintain the network.
  • Stake Weight – The value of this is roughly determined by the average of your trust weight and block weight. The higher this is, the more likely you are to receive a transaction.

Nexus Hardware

Nexus has a three-pronged distributed telecommunications system to further decentralize the network.

Mesh Networks

Because the network provides three distinct mining opportunities, almost anyone around the world can run a node and participate in network security. All nodes in a mesh network work together to solve a block rather than compete against each other. This serves to distribute network data more so than other systems.

To take things further, Nexus may produce specialized antennas for you to purchase to operate locally based networks as well.

Cube Satellites

Nexus has partnered with Vector Space Systems (Vector) to create a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Network of nodes. The satellites, in combination with the ground mesh network, will host the Nexus network as well as any decentralized apps (dapps) built on top of it. Even more outstanding, the satellite network will provide a worldwide decentralized Internet giving service to those previously unable to access their own.

Ground Stations

The Nexus ground stations connect the mesh networks on the ground to the satellite network in space. They run the uplink/downlink operations including address endpoint route defining and ground-based caching. They also run their own instance of Daemon, the software component of the Nexus system.

Nexus Coin (NXS)

The Nexus coin (NXS) is the currency of the network. There’s no cap on the amount of NXS that will be minted. Instead, the coin has a 10-year distribution period in which 78 million NXS will be distributed until September 23rd, 2024. After this time, the supply will inflate each year by a maximum of 3% through the holding channel and 1% through the prime and hashing channels.

Nodes create blocks, on average, every 50 seconds, and an NXS transaction requires 6 confirmations. Currently, most transactions cost 0.01 NXS. However, once the 3DC is built and 10-year distribution is complete, transaction fees will disappear. Instead, the system will absorb the fees through inflation.

Nexus didn’t hold an ICO. Instead, the project has a Developer Fund that takes a small commission from mining rewards. This commission starts at 1.5% and increases to 2.5% over 10 years. Additionally, 20% of the block rewards are slotted for marketing as well as the production and launch of the Nexus satellite network.

Nexus Team & Progress

Colin Cantrell, also known as Videlicet, is the founder and lead developer of Nexus. He first named the project Coinshield (CSD) when starting in September 2014. The original code only contained the prime channel; the team added the hash channel in October 2014. In April 2015, the team rebranded to Nexus, and they added Proof-of-Holdings in July 2015.

Besides partnering with Vector on the satellite network, Nexus has also joined forces with SingularityNET to provide their 3DC architecture to the project’s decentralized AI network.

Moving forward, Nexus is releasing major updates following their TAO (Tritium, Amine, Obsidian) roadmap strategy. The releases include the 3DC, mobile wallets, quantum resistance, and the satellite network, among many other things.

Nexus is one the most ambitious, if not the most ambitious, projects in the cryptocurrency space. First and foremost, the project is attempting to dethrone Bitcoin as the top peer-to-peer currency. With the decentralized internet produced from its space mesh network of satellites, Nexus is also competing with Substratum.

Trading

Like most of the crypto market, Nexus was relatively quiet until 2017. During that year, the price rose from $0.026 (~0.000027 BTC) to $3.34 (~0.00087 BTC) by September. Shortly after, the price fell back down to about $1 before skyrocketing up to an all-time high of $13.33 (~0.0008 BTC) in January 2018.

This significant rise in price can most likely be attributed to the Vector partnership announcement in combination with the success of the entire market at that time. Since then, the price has drastically fallen, sitting at $1.75 (~0.00018 BTC) at the time of this writing. News of the SingularityNET partnership seems to have had no effect on the price.

The team hasn’t published a roadmap with exact dates, so it’s hard to make any price predictions for the immediate future. As with most cryptocurrency projects, though, important development releases should have a positive impact on the price. With the scope of this project, you should probably consider it a long-term hold.

Where to Buy NXS

You can purchase NXS on either Bittrex or Upbit with BTC. If you don’t currently own any BTC, check out our guide on how to buy some.

As mentioned early, you can also earn NXS through mining. Check out the Nexus mining page to download the miner that fits best with your strategy. As a reminder, you should mine with the Prime Channel if you’re using a normal CPU, and you should check out the Hashing Channel if you plan to use a dedicated mining rig like an ASIC.

Once you hold at least 1,000 NXS, you can stake to earn additional coins.   

Where to Store NXS

Nexus has an official wallet for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. Although you can keep your NXS on an exchange it’s highly recommended that you move them to a wallet. You’re only able to stake your coins if they’re in a Nexus wallet.

Conclusion

Nexus is building a new type of blockchain with three separate mechanisms for securing the network. On top of that, the team is sending node satellites into space to create a decentralized Internet and network outside the control of any one entity. The overall mission is to create an improved Bitcoin with faster transactions, lower fees, and less miner centralization.

Nexus is one of the few projects truly addressing quantum resistance and other potential future issues. If these problems become as large as the team believes they will, and they can accomplish their lofty mission, Nexus may just be one of the few projects still in action 20 years down the road.

Additional Nexus Resources

Twitter

Slack

Telegram

Reddit

Discord

Github

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DeHedge: Hedging Products for Cryptocurrency Investments

Submitted by Seth Goldfarb on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 04:16
02/07/2018
DeHedge: Hedging Products for Cryptocurrency Investments

As demonstrated by the recent market correction in both cryptocurrency and stock markets, hedging your bets should be considered a critical part in the development of a sturdy portfolio. DeHedge wants to make hedging investments in digital assets easier with a platform offering tools that allow users to hedge against various events ranging from dips in the spot price to hacked or cancelled ICO’s. Investors will be able to purchase hedging coverage using the DeHedge token, which will also be used to raise the funds to serve as collateral for the products offered by DeHedge.

    DeHedge uses their own scoring model incorporating data analytics to determine the amount of tokens required to purchase hedging coverage. The ICO hedging platform has been under development with release planned for March, 2018. Hedging products available to investors will include ICO cancellation, fluctuations in the spot price of tokens, wallet or ICO hacks, and volatility affecting mining and mining farms. Cofounded by CEO Mikhail Chernov, CCO Bogdan Leonov, and COO Dmitry Ansimov, the DeHedge, advisors to the project include wealth fund manager Jack Hunter, Senior Editor of Irish Tech News FinTech Specialist Simon Cocking, and Taras Yakovenko, a Risk and Business Management professional with over fifteen years of experience. 

The DeHedge ICO has been scheduled for March, 2018 but a specific date has not been set. Eighty percent of the tokens will be reserved as collateral for hedging products with fifteen percent going to the team and, two percent each for the bounty program and advisors and one percent for marketing. Of the amount allocated to the hedging reserve, eighty percent will be reinvested in cryptocurrency assets while the remaining twenty percent will be held for unplanned payouts. 
    Reinvesting eighty percent of the assets allocated to the hedging reserve in cryptocurrencies could expose DeHedge to a significant degree of risk but the availability of financial instruments like hedging products also helps decrease the volatility of digital asset markets. A number of projects in the cryptocurrency space aim to offer derivatives or other financial instruments of interest to traders but hedging products represent a relatively unexplored niche. No matter what the markets do for the rest of the year, demand for these products that allow investors to hedge will not be likely to go away. To learn more about DeHedge please visit their website at https://dehedge.com/

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CryptoProperties (CPROP) ICO: A Workflow Management Platform for Real Estate Investments

Submitted by Seth Goldfarb on Wed, 01/17/2018 - 15:41
01/17/2018
CryptoProperties (CPROP) ICO: A Workflow Management Platform for Real Estate Investments

CryptoProperties (CPROP) offers a workflow management platform to help users close real estate deals. In addition to creating more efficient transactions, the software also allows users to pay for deals with cryptocurrency. The project aims to increase standardization, automation, and validation of the data necessary to complete real estate transactions. CPROP tokens will enable real estate agents and service providers to acquire tokens in exchange for a membership fee, allowing them to list their services on CPROP. When buyers complete a transaction they can earn CPROP tokens by providing a review of their agent or service provider and have the option of receiving extra CPROP tokens for allowing CPROP to manage their property.

Founded by Sanus Connect Co-founder Luke Sestito,1 DotLoop Co-founder Adam Koehler,2 and Co-founder of Sanus Connect and the Asia West Environment Fund Sanford Selman,3 CPROP appears to have a strong team of real estate professionals behind it. Advisors include the Peercoin project, head of DotLoop marketing strategy Alex Allison, and Co-founder/CEO of The Crypto Realty Group Piper Moretti. Peercoin has been working on blockchain-agnostic protocols facilitating peer-to-peer transactions that could be of significant help to CPROP in facilitating more efficient real estate transactions.

An ICO date has not been announced at time of writing but includes a presale cap of $10 million and a total cap of $35 million, reflecting a more realistic sense of valuation than some other ICO's. Token allocation will include 80% for members, 15% to the team and founders, and 5% for translations, bounties, and consultants. To learn more about CPROP, please visit their website at https://cprop.io/.

1https://www.linkedin.com/in/luke-sestito-33867711/

2https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamkoehler/

3https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandyselman/

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Why on Earth Do People Use Bitcoin?

Abstract
Bitcoin is making near-daily headlines, whether about its volatile exchange rate, the regulatory issues is raises, or its criminal associations. As the public becomes familiar with the idea of virtual currencies, many people struggle to understand why users exchange government-backed (“real”) currencies for Bitcoin. This paper explores the appeal and danger of investing in Bitcoin for speculative gain, for moral purposes, for its spending power, and for its criminal applications.

Trading Bitcoin

Abstract
Bitcoin was designed as a means of exchange. Currently, over 90 percent of bitcoin accounts are in a buy-and-hold mode. The profitability in buying and selling bitcoin will differ, depending on the strength and weakness of different currencies. Bitcoin and similar digital currencies are likely to be considered part of the legitimate alternative asset classes. Its price will fluctuate, but it won't go away and forex traders might have new opportunities for trading. This chapter explains how to get started in bitcoin. Individuals will first have to download a wallet to store the coins directly to the computer or mobile device. Next, the trader is ready to buy some bitcoins. The benefits of buying from an exchange are that you are buying the coins at the market rate rather than at an inflated price set by a seller. The final method of acquiring bitcoin is by mining.

Accounting Issues Related to Bitcoins

Abstract
Despite the frequent mention of Bitcoin in recent years in the press and business publications, many people are still uncertain what this cryptocurrency is or how it works. And although bitcoins (BTCs) are now an accepted medium of exchange for some businesses and not-for-profit organizations, no specific accounting guidance has been issued for these transactions. This article provides some basic information about BTCs and addresses six specific financial accounting issues: asset classification, mining activity, investment holdings, exchanges, merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, and disclosure.

Bitcoin: Risks and Controls

Abstract
Proponents hype the benefits of Bitcoin transactions as being faster and cheaper than traditional methods; however, concerns around the lack of a central governing agency, lack of controls over Bitcoin exchanges, and the volatility of the virtual currency persist. Therefore, a company's use of Bitcoin, as a medium of exchange or as an investment, involves risks and internal control concerns that merit careful consideration. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Bitcoin-Based Decentralized Carbon Emissions Trading Infrastructure Model

Abstract
This paper presents a system-of-systems architecture model for a Decentralized Carbon Emissions Trading Infrastructure (D-CETI) with focus on privacy and system security goals. The structure and behavior are implemented as a solution to the problem of trading carbon emissions anonymously among the trading agents. Privacy and security of the trading agents and their carbon credits are the main requirements behind the architecture of D-CETI. The decentralized structure of multiple systems and distributed behavior are the two main features of D-CETI that distinguish it from the traditional carbon trading schemes and protocols. D-CETI is based on Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency with no central authority, and Open Transactions, a system that simplifies the use of cryptography in financial transactions. The architecture of D-CETI is evaluated and compared with the architecture of five other carbon emissions trading platforms.