Author Archives: Nika
Author Archives: Nika
The blockchain technology is constantly evolving, and so are cryptocurrencies. If you have ever been interested in the news and changes in the crypto market, a specialized blog with regular uploads should keep you informed at all times.
Every day, the prices of cryptocurrencies oscillate, the protocols change, hacker attacks happen, and new technologies are implemented in every field of the cryptocurrency niche. To follow up to all of the facts and causes, you can check some of the blogs listed below.
The blog was created about 5 years ago, and the feed is supplied by many blockchain enthusiasts and journalists, who have been active in the crypto community for a long time. You can find the latest news about diverse events in the cryptocurrency niche. The articles also contain opinionated explanations from many crypto experts.
On Bitcoin News, you’ll find much more than just articles about daily occurrences in the crypto world. Besides that, the site teaches you how to secure a Bitcoin wallet, find a good exchange, and not get scammed when trading cryptocurrencies. The site was initiated by Roger Ver, who is one of Bitcoin’s earliest enthusiasts, and is behind multiple startup companies in Silicon Valley.
This site focuses more on the educational content than on the actual news. You can find the exact exchange rate of several cryptocurrencies at the top of the front page. Besides that, there is a video section with interesting courses that cover a big number of crypto-related topics.
If you are looking for a website to expand your knowledge about Ethereum, Ethnews is the right place. The blog focuses on Ethereum’s technology and the news about it. There are also other sections on ETH News where you can find educational content, such as guides on how to correctly invest in Ethereum. The blog also runs mobile apps, that are available for Android and iOS.
Bitcoin Magazine is similar to ETH News, in the way that it focuses predominantly only one cryptocurrency, and in this case, it’s Bitcoin. This is a good place if you need any information about Bitcoin, as having it all on one website will save you a lot of time. The blog has a huge community, and despite that there are some ads, the website was designed to make it easy for people to understand the main and most relevant principles of the blockchain technology.
NEWSBTC brings you the latest news about cryptocurrencies. A lot of their articles focus on the analysis of crypto trade and its development in the near future. If you want to make an investment, but you might be in doubt considering the hardly predictable price oscillations, the blog could give you some advice about the further fate of the cryptocurrencies.
On their page, you can also find educational content, as well as reviews about diverse businesses involved in the crypto industry.
If you need a blog with less focus on news, and more educational content, 99 Bitcoins might be your best choice. They have reviews about ICO’s, diverse cryptocurrencies, exchanges, and wallets. They publish a lot of videos, so you can also scroll through and find a quick, and easy comprehensible tutorial about a topic in the cryptocurrency sphere.
CoinDesk is a neat blog that contains a lot of technical content related to cryptocurrencies. If you are new to the topic, it would be better to start off somewhere else, however, if you want to get a little more geeky about it, CoinDesk is a nice place for that.
Here, you can find articles that focus on the most relevant stories in the crypto world. The writers of this blog are very selective with their content, which is a plus if you are in need of trustworthy information related to cryptocurrencies.
Naturally, you can also stop by Cryptocomparison for the latest news in the cryptocurrency world. Our news section covers the latest prices, protocol changes, and breaking news you should be aware of as a cryptocurrency investor.
Truth be told, there are few good anonymous Bitcoin wallets on the network, but you can still find some that can offer you what you’re looking for. Bitcoin was created to initiate quicker, more secure financial transactions with a layer of privacy for the user – but it was never intended to be completely anonymous.
Bitcoins is hands-down the most convenient and easy to use digital currency. However, don’t forget it was constructed for keeping the user pseudonymous rather than anonymous. Like many other currencies, it won’t allow you stay fully anonymous, as all transactions are stored publicly in the blockchain. The user can still stay anonymous until there are no special circumstances that call for revealing the identity. Most modern ASIC miners can fairly easily decrypt the data down to the IP and location of a Bitcoin transaction. Thus, if uttermost anonymity is what you’re after, you would most likely need to only use a wallet address once, or move to other cryptocurrencies that were created with anonymity in mind, such as Monero.
Back to Bitcoin – wallets are important tools for keeping your funds safe from malicious hacker attacks that happen fairly often on exchanges. However, many of them still require you to go through a long and thorough identity verification process, which kind of contradicts one of the basic premises of cryptocurrencies – anonymity. Below, we introduce you to some of the best anonymous wallets for Bitcoins, which can help you conceal your identity better than other options on the Internet.
Electrum has been in business since 2011 and is one of the most trusted crypto wallets. The only thing that might impede you to use it is that you’ll have to get a tad geeky about it.
The Electrum community claims that the wallet does its job well, however, for optimal performance, you must use it with Tails. Tails is an operating system that runs on the Debian distribution of Linux.
Of course, if you know what you are doing, you might be comfortable running it with other software, but otherwise, you would most likely want to get another wallet that is more user-friendly. In its concept, the Tails system is designed to maintain the anonymity of the user, routing all of the internet traffic through the Tor browser.
If you are fine with it, you can go on setting up your wallet. You don’t need to input any of your private information to start using it. The wallet will generate you new addresses for each transaction until you reach 20. You can generate more addresses as well, but you will need to go through some verification steps.
You can still install the wallet on Windows and OS X, but you will still need to use the command line. Either way, if you are comfortable with it, you can get it for free and stay in tune with their updates, as there is hardly any other free crypto wallet that could beat Electrum at the moment. If you need a simpler solution, some of the following might be better for you:
BitLox is a great option if you need a simple and easy to use anonymous wallet. However, it is also one of the most expensive ones. It is a hardware wallet that can hold up to about 100 virtual wallets, where you can create millions of addresses, which should be enough for a lifetime.
Bitlox has some unique privacy features that no other wallet on the market can offer. You can use hidden wallets, set up a data auto-destruction pin, or secure the signature of each transaction with a special generator. If you want to go hard with your Bitcoin privacy, Bitlox is probably the best solution. Though it costs as much as $200 for the whole set, you get all the needed tools pre-installed with the included Tails system.
JAXX is one of the easiest manageable wallets available on all platforms. One of its great features is that it supports more than a dozen different cryptocurrencies.
The security is generated from the user’s side, so all your funds exist only in JAXX. Even if it will go down, you can still export your keys and lose none of your currencies.
Some users have complained that the system is buggy sometimes, but despite that, JAXX seems to give everybody exactly what they want from a crypto wallet. While it’s probably not as anonymous as Electrum and Bitlox, your identity is still not revealed during the setup process, and you can create as many unique addresses as you wish. The wallet doesn’t encrypt the traffic by itself, but for keeping several cryptocurrencies and achieving a basic layer of anonymity, JAXX is a good option.
Samourai is an interesting Bitcoin wallet project, available only for Android devices right now. The wallet is easy to use and it has some nice features. For example, it produces new wallets each time you get new Bitcoins and notifies you when you interact with an address too often, to prevent your purchasing habits from being discovered. You can set up a stealth mode, which will hide the app from the screen and make it accessible only via a special pin code. Additionally, it offers VPN support, Tor, and even blockchain obfuscation to add a privacy layer to your transactions.
A lot of features are in the works right now, and if Samourai continues to expand with interesting features, it could even become the best anonymous Bitcoin wallet sometime in the future.
Each of the wallets has its advantages and disadvantages, but hopefully, the list above will put you on the right track in choosing an optimal anonymous Bitcoin wallet.
Since the rise of Bitcoin’s popularity, many people started investing in it and other cryptocurrencies. There are many reasons to why people prefer cryptocurrencies over fiat currencies. The most important one is probably the fact that cryptocurrencies run on the blockchain system, which focuses on decentralized networking and doesn’t involve third parties, such as central banks or governmental institutions. This minimizes the fees and transaction processing times, which is what most people are looking for in a payment system. While people are keen to invest in cryptocurrencies as soon as possible, it is important to consider the best methods and the most trustworthy businesses to deal with before putting your money down.
The easiest way to invest in cryptocurrencies is to find a suitable centralized exchange. A centralized exchange is a business that allows clients to trade different currencies. When choosing one, you should do your research on their policies, accepted payment methods and countries, how are their fees calculated, and, of course, the history of the exchange. In our times, crypto exchanges are still pretty hard to trust, especially if they aren’t licensed, so it would be best to gather as much information as possible in order to get some basic guarantee that your actions are secured.
Bitfinex, Poloinex and Cex.io are exchanges that are known for good reputation and liability on the market. After your registration on one of them, and your first transaction, don’t forget to store your cryptocurrencies on a crypto wallet, as any of exchanges themselves are a dangerous place for that, due to possible external hacks.
Another easy way to invest is trading platforms. Here, you can make other investments with your cryptocurrencies, which is a safe way to avoid fees, or the intervention of third parties. A couple of them are WhaleClub and Cryptopia. If you want to expand your cryptocurrency investments, it is a good idea to start with these two and explore the possibilities they offer.
This might be a more complex, but also an effective way of getting your hands on cryptocurrencies. Cloud mining is executed through powerful hardware that decodes hashes, earning you crypto coins as rewards. Not every currency can be mined, but there are still plenty of them that can, including the most popular ones, Bitcoin and Ethereum. You don’t necessarily need your own hardware to mine. There are companies that sell their own computing power for a fee, and this is what is known as cloud mining. You can check out Hashflare and Genesis Mining for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a few other cloud mining contracts.
Before making an investment, do as much research as you can about the method you choose, and the services of the business you’re planning to buy or mine through. Even if something appears to be trustworthy at the first glance, don’t forget that idiosyncrasies aren’t uncommon in the crypto world. For example, in the case of the fall of one of the biggest exchanges, Bitconnect, there weren’t many people who saw it coming. Before making an investment, be well prepared and never forget to not invest more than you can afford to lose. At the end of the day, it’s those who planned everything efficiently who can make it big in the cryptocurrency world.
There are two main ways of obtaining crypto coins. The first and most obvious one is purchasing them – be it directly from an exchange, or from another person selling in on a P2P platform. The second one is mining, which means using your computer’s power to contribute to the blockchain and be rewarded in the process. Today, we’re focusing on mining, and specifically cloud mining, which is a great option for those who are not very technically minded.
Traditional mining requires quite a bit of money and effort. Depending on what currency you’re planning to mine, you will need to invest in specific hardware – and that can be either ASIC processors, CPUs, or GPUs. ASIC computers, which are used for Bitcoin mining, are particularly expensive, but a couple of powerful GPUs could break the bank for some people as well. Then, you need to build your rig on your own and ensure that it does not overheat, by adding a cooling system. For profitable mining, you will need to run your computer 24 hours a day – and that means extra dollars on your electricity bill. On top of all that, mining rigs produce a lot of heat (even when properly ventilated) and noise. That’s why many people recommend keeping it in the basement or garage, and not everyone has the space for that. Bottom line is that traditional mining is much harder than purchasing coins, but that should not discourage you from trying it out.
What you can do instead is get a could mining contract from a reputable company that does traditional mining. These companies take all the responsibility of building the rigs and maintaining them and let people from all over the world rent a portion of their computing power from a distance. In other words, cloud mining companies are websites that let you mine Bitcoins or altcoins using their rigs, without worrying about the side effects of having a miner in your own house. You pay a small fee (usually per hashing power unit), and sometimes a maintenance fee, and you’re ready to start mining without any extra effort.
That’s basically how cloud mining works. Piece of cake, right? Not exactly. Thea real challenge is to choose the right contractor, as the cloud mining niche is oversaturated with scammy websites and Ponzi schemes. We recommend going with a reputable company like Hashflare, but you can also find a few other trusty websites on the Internet. Here is a small checklist of things to make sure of when you’re searching for the perfect cloud mining contractor:
If the company has been active for several years, it’s usually a good indicator.
It’s best to go to non-biased websites like Yelp and Trustpilot for this, but remember that not even those reviews are to be trusted 100%. Some can be fake accounts created by the company itself, or by the competitors. A rule of thumb is to not go for a company that has 100% positive feedback, as no money-related business can ever have a completely satisfied customer base. Something with a lot of reviews that leans more towards the ‘good’ end of the spectrum is what you’re looking for.
Forums are usually filtered of any affiliate/paid publicity posts, so you can definitely find some reliable information on cloud mining there.
Although it doesn’t seem like much, a company that posts pictures of their team and rigs on social media, like Hashflare, is more credible than one that doesn’t.
The contract fees should be available on the website, and they shouldn’t ask for any personal data before informing you about the fees.
A good cloud mining contractor will always let you choose your own mining pool, and pay you according to the pool’s policies. Websites that are shady about their pool policies are not to be trusted.
There’s no right or wrong payment policy – some websites will pay you on a daily basis, some every week, and some every month. However, you should look for one that is very transparent about their payment system: the website should tell you how often you will get paid, when will the first payment come in, and in what currency will they pay you.
It can be frustrating to see that the Bitcoin mining contracts are sold out at one point, but that is actually a good sign – it means that the company doesn’t intend to sell unlimited amounts of (inexistent) hashing power. It’s best to go for a website that knows exactly how much computing power they have and are able to sell.
Lifetime contracts were extremely popular in the past years, but many of the companies offering them ended up being Ponzi schemes. That’s why you will mostly find limited time contracts right now – most are on a yearly basis, but you can also find monthly and quarterly contracts. You can sometimes come across lifetime contract relics, but it’s probably best to avoid them.
Merged mining refers to mining multiple cryptocurrencies based on the same algorithm. For instance, Bitcoin and Namecoin are based on the same SHA-256 algorithm. However, as the difficulty of Namecoin blocks is much lower, there’s a greater chance of finding one of those and earning more.
This is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s much more to what a cloud mining service can offer. However, it’s a good place to start your research before you give your money to a company, but you definitely shouldn’t stop here. Always invest responsibly and keep an eye on Cloudminers for more cloud mining guides.
Whether you’ve just bought some Bitcoin, or you’re just planning to do that, it’s crucial to think of a place where you can safely store them. Most exchanges will provide you with a temporary wallet, but you probably shouldn’t rely on it for too long. Storing cryptocurrencies online is one of the least safe options – what if the website is hacked and you lose access to your money?
That’s why it’s important to look for a safe crypto wallet to store your Bitcoin. But what exactly is a Bitcoin wallet and how does it work? As Bitcoin is a virtual currency, you cannot keep it in a regular wallet or a safe. However, what you can keep to prove your ownership of the funds is the private key – which is nothing but an array of characters that give you access to your currency address. Think of it like keeping a written track of a password or PIN, but with some extra levels of security.
There are three main types of crypto wallets to choose from: software, hardware, and paper wallets. In this article, we’re going to look at each of them, discuss advantages and disadvantages, and hopefully help you make the right choice.
Software wallets are the cheapest (actually, most of them are free to download and use) and most widely used type of crypto wallet. They are available in three different forms: desktop clients, mobile apps, and web-based wallets.
A desktop client is a software you can download to your computer, and run it in offline mode for extra security. With desktop clients, you can have complete control over your funds and not worry about keeping your money on a website that could be hacked. On the other hand, this type of wallet is susceptible to computer malware, or any kind of software or hardware failure. To put it simply, if your computer crashes while you’re running the client, your Bitcoins will disappear into the void.
The opposite of a desktop client is the web-based wallet. It’s probably the easiest and most convenient option for most people – you register an account on a website, run through some verification procedures, and you’re ready to deposit your Bitcoins. However, online wallets are not as safe as desktop ones. The reason is simple: your private keys or your ‘passwords’ are stored in the website’s database rather than on your device. If the website is hacked, or if the owners themselves want to have a peek at your data, you can’t really do much about it.
Mobile Bitcoin wallets are great for people on the go, who need to have access to their wallet on their portable devices. There are two types of mobile wallets – ones that store your coins on the actual mobile device (much like a desktop client), and ones that are just there to facilitate the access to your online wallet. And they do have the same advantages and disadvantages as their desktop counterparts – there really isn’t much science behind this.
Next come the hardware wallets, which are still considered the safest method of storing your Bitcoins. Although it is extremely safe, it’s more of a hassle to access your coins from it, so we would only recommend investing in a hardware wallet if you want to put your money on ice. Yes, we said invest, as hardware wallets do cost a bit of money – between $50 and $100 at the time of writing. They come in different shapes – some look like USB memory sticks (particularly the Ledger Nano S), others resemble a tiny remote control (Trezor), and some are card-shaped (CoolWallet), which makes it convenient to carry it in a card holder, or your actual wallet.
Hardware wallets will require you set up one or more PIN codes, and sometimes passphrases bound to the PIN (think of it as the security questions to your account passwords.) In addition to that, the wallet will generate a unique combination of words or numbers when you turn it on (the so-called ‘seed’) which can be used to recover your wallet in case the hardware is destroyed or stolen. Make sure you write down the seed when the wallet displays it – you won’t get a second chance!
Lastly, we have paper wallets. Paper wallets are the best of both worlds – they store your wallet information remotely, away from the Internet, like hardware wallets, and are free, like software ones! Here’s how they work: you use a website to generate a unique set of public and private keys, as well as a QR code for easy access to your wallet. All of this data is sent directly to your home printer, and printed on paper. No hackers, malware, hardware crashes, or viruses can affect your wallet anymore. However, something as trivial as water could cause you lose your Bitcoins forever. So be extra careful, and store the paper wallet away from water and prying eyes.
These are the three types of Bitcoins wallets you can get at the moment. As you can see, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, but none is 100% safe. Your best bet would be to split your Bitcoins and keep multiple wallets. This way, if one is compromised and cannot be recovered in any way, at least the rest will be safe. Keep an eye on Cloudminers for more guides on how to safely store your Bitcoin!
Bitcoin is no longer the only cryptocurrency under the spotlight. Ethereum is now the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world, and it’s a pretty tough competitor for Bitcoin. But what exactly is Ethereum, how is it different from Bitcoin, and why do so many people support it? In this article, we’re going to give answers to all of these questions.
The first and most important thing that sets Ethereum apart from Bitcoin is that it has a real team of developers behind it. Ethereum was developed by Vitalik Buterin, a young programming prodigy from Toronto. Bitcoin, on the other hand, was developed by a certain Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity is unknown to this day. Bitcoin has multiple teams that work on improving and maintaining the network throughout the world, but there’s no real connection the actual developers – which makes people wonder what exactly was the purpose of creating it in the first place. Ethereum appeared as a reaction to Bitcoin, or rather, as an attempt to cover the blind spots in the Bitcoin technology. Vitalik Buterin worked on several Bitcoin projects before coming up with Ethereum as an improved version of Bitcoin.
While the Bitcoin blockchain is just a P2P payment processing system, Ethereum is a decentralized platform that allows developers to build independent applications upon it. Many people like the analogy of Ether being a ‘world computer,’ or a global and decentralized platform for executing peer-to-peer contracts. This means that the Ethereum blockchain allows you to trade more than just money – but also property, stock, goods, or services, using a feature called smart contracts. Smart contracts are also the reason why it is so popular with corporations, as many big and small businesses have started running their apps on the Ethereum blockchain.
Some like to think of them as vending machine protocols – you feed the machine a dollar, you enter an input to indicate the drink you want to get, and the machine will run through a set of operations to bring it to you. The same principle applies to Ethereum smart contracts, but instead, you have to fuel the transaction using Ether, Ethereum’s own crypto token.
Ether is one of the highest ranking cryptocurrencies right now, due to many developers building decentralized apps based on the Ethereum blockchain. These decentralized apps, or Dapps, for short, can be anything from payment networks like Bitcoin to voting systems, bank loans and more. Any system that is currently centralized can be decentralized by creating a Dapp on the Ethereum blockchain – meaning so many middleman fees and processing times would be cut out of the picture.
These are the main reasons why Ether is gaining more and more popularity as a cryptocurrency. The other ones are pretty obvious if you look at a growth report. Ether has been growing at breakneck speed, way faster than Bitcoin and most other altcoins. In December 2017, the price of Ether has grown from $400 to $700, and it has already hit the $1000 landmark at the time of writing, in early January 2018. It’s still very volatile, and it can easily drop down as much as 25% in just a few hours, but that doesn’t discourage firm believers from investing and keeping their Ether.
Ether can also be mined using regular GPUs, which makes it an attractive niche for beginner miners that don’t have the money for an ASIC processor for mining Bitcoins. As long as you have enough RAM memory to support the Ethash mining process, you should be able to mine Ether on a regular desktop. However, Ethash will shift from a Proof of Work (POW) mining protocol to a Proof of Stake (POS) one in 2018, so it might be better to keep in touch with the news for now and start testing the waters after the change.
This is everything you should know about Ethereum as a beginner investor. To sum it up, Ethereum is an open-source and decentralized platform that allows developers to build apps upon it. It also allows people to trade more than just money using the smart contracts feature. Lastly, it can be either purchased or mined, but the mining protocol will shift from POW to POS in 2018.
Dash is one of the most popular digital currencies in the world right now. As opposed to Bitcoin, which is leading the popularity (and price) rankings, Dash is a more convenient currency, especially when it comes to daily use. In this article, we take a look at Dash – from who developed it, its advantages and disadvantages, and what is the best way to get your hands on some.
Dash was developed by a certain Evan Duffield, and currently has a team of over 50 developers and engineers working to improve the system. It was formerly known as DarkCoin or Xcoin, but what not many people know is that Dash actually evolved from a Litecoin hard fork, namely litecoin v0.8.6.2, which was, in its turn, a hard fork of Bitcoin. Dash and Bitcoin share the same DNA, and while they are not based on the same algorithm, both aimed to make cryptocurrencies more accessible to the public. However, the high market price and steady growth of Bitcoin over the last year caused it to become more of a long-term investment vehicle, rather than a usable currency. Dash, on the other hand, has a lower market price, as well as several features that make it easier to use for day-to-day needs. Some people like to refer to Dash as the ultimate digital currency, while Bitcoin is more of a ‘digital gold’ or an investment vehicle. Even the name of the currency is an acronym of the words ‘digital’ and ‘cash’.
For once, Dash can be used to send instant and private transactions to both online and offline businesses, on a platform supported by millions of users. Bitcoin’s slow transaction times are infamous in the cryptocurrency community, and that tends to turn a lot of people away from using Bitcoin for daily transactions. However, Dash has a unique feature called the Instant Send, which empowers people to send money in a matter of seconds. Another drawback of the Bitcoin network is the relative lack of privacy. Bitcoin started off as a more or less anonymous currency – as in people using it were not required to give their real name and address in order to purchase or transfer Bitcoin. However, in the last year, mining pools are able to trace back to the people behind Bitcoin transactions pretty easily. On the other hand, Dash’s Private end features breaks down a single transaction into several different ones and mixes it with other transactions so that it’s hard to tell where the money came from.
The Private Send and Instant Send features are what makes Dash different and somewhat better than Bitcoin. Both of these are possible grace to some protocol differences between the two currencies. Much like Bitcoin, Dash can be mined using proof of work. However, unlike Bitcoin, Dash also uses proof-of-stake mining to enable features like the Private Send and Insta Send. They achieved this by implementing masternodes – computers that take on the heavy network duties such as these two features. One has to pay 1000 Dash to run a masternode, but are also generously rewarded – 45% of each mined block reward. Grace to the existence of masternodes, people using Dash can access these ‘Premium’ features, protect their privacy, and cut on waiting times.
As you might have guessed already, you can get your hands on some Dash by either mining or purchasing it. Dash is based on an algorithm called X11, which is said to be ASIC-resistant and relies on large amounts of RAM memory. This makes it easy to mine Dash from home, especially if you have enough RAM and a strong enough GPU to support the process. You can also get Dash cloud mining contracts from websites like Hashflare, especially if you’re not fond of the idea of opening up your computer. Lastly, you can purchase Dash from an exchange. It’s much easier to buy it using Bitcoin, but you can also come across exchanges that sell Dash and take traditional payment methods. BitPanda is one good example, and so is CEX.io.
To sum up, all you need to know about Dash is: it aims to be the ultimate digital form of cash, offers convenient features like Private Send and Instant Send, and can be both mined and purchased from an exchange. All in all, Dash is a great coin to add to your cryptocurrency portfolio, as its growth trends show that it might become one of the Top 5 cryptocurrencies in terms of price in 2018.
ZCash is a decentralized digital currency that emphasizes on transaction privacy. In this day and age when altcoins are fiercely battling each other in hope to top off Bitcoin, ZCash is definitely one of the most promising candidates. ZCash aims to increase transaction privacy, which is a current issue of the Bitcoin protocol. Whereas Bitcoin transactions are not linked to real names and addresses, they can be traced back to the location and the person they originate from. This is not the case with ZCash, as the developers implemented a unique feature called zero-knowledge cryptography. Grace to this, transactions can be approved and added to the blockchain in their encrypted format, so that no one can trace back to where the money came from.
ZCash is a fairly recent currency. Although the project started off in 2014, under the name Zerocoin, the branded ZCash project was launched in 2016. ZCash has a fairly impressive list of names behind it, including big corporations and famous Bitcoin developers. The protocol is based on a Bitcoin hard fork, namely Bitcoin Core, so you can think of ZCash as a distant relative of Bitcoin. ZCash also has a limited supply of 21 million units, and about 1/10 of that number is currently in circulation. Much like all the other big altcoins, ZCash’s purpose is of creating solutions and alternatives to Bitcoin’s problems. Their main contribution is the implementing of zero knowledge cryptography, which allows people to send fully anonymous transactions.
Let’s take a look at this whole zero-knowledge cryptography protocol. When a ZCash transaction is made, it is encrypted based on a certain algorithm. Normally, miners would have to decrypt the information in order to confirm it and add it to the blockchain. However, the team behind ZCash has developed an innovative cryptographic method known as zk-SNARK, which can validate transactions without disclosing the information on the blockchain. In other words, zk-SNARK confirms that the transaction can take place, meaning the sender has enough ZEC to fund it, but without it linking back to previous transactions. This is a function called fungibility, in which every existing coin has to be linked to a previous array of transactions so as to confirm its origin and existence. Bitcoin uses fungibility to demonstrate the ownership of the coins, but ZCash doesn’t – ZEC is completely unlinked from its history, and no one in the network can trace back to how the sender got their hands on the coin.
ZCash offers both private and public sending options. If you opt for public sending, from a transparent address to another transparent address, everybody in the network will know where the money came from, and who received it. Naturally, the public transactions are much faster than private ones. However, if you need the privacy more than immediate confirmation, you can opt for private sending.
So much for ZCash’s history and features – it’s time to find out how you can get your hands on some ZEC. ZCash can be obtained via mining or buying from an exchange. As far as mining is concerned, ZCash is based on an algorithm called Equihash, which is another advantage compared to Bitcoin. Equihash relies on high RAM requirements, which makes it ASIC-resistant – meaning the ZCash mining niche will not be controlled by ASIC computer manufacturers anytime soon. Instead, you can mine ZCash using regular CPUs and GPUs, but you might have to invest in a generous amount of RAM. If you’re not that fond of the idea of mining ZCash from home, you can also get an Equihash cloud mining contract. Companies like Hashflare have very reasonable prices and will let you mine ZEC without the side effects of having a miner rig in your house.
Another option is buying the coins from an exchange. Naturally, ZCash is not as widely supported as Bitcoin or Ethereum, so it will be harder to find an exchange that lets you purchase ZEC with fiat money. It’s easier to purchase Bitcoin first and convert them to ZEC, as most exchanges allow you to do that. However, there are also a few exchanges that let you purchase ZCash directly – including Poloniex and Bittrex.
As far as storage goes, ZCash is supported by software, paper, and even hardware wallets. Yes, even hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor have special ZCash apps that allow you to store your ZEC on them. This is definitely an advantage compared to most altcoins, that can be hard to store safely.
In conclusion, ZCash is a promising altcoin that aims to solve some of the problems in the current Bitcoin protocol. With the implementation of zero knowledge cryptography, ZCash ensures that their transactions are completely anonymous, and the coins are unlinked from their past history. Lastly, ZCash can be mined and purchased rather easily and is even compatible with popular hardware wallets. This makes it one of the most accessible coins to add to your cryptocurrency portfolio in the year to come.
Dogecoin is probably one of the most famous cryptocurrencies in the world – and it’s not because of its spectacular growth or ingenious underlying technology. It’s because Dogecoin is the only cryptocurrency that started of as a joke and even bears the name of a popular Internet meme – a funny Shiba Inu dog face known as Doge. The developer himself poked fun at the cryptocurrency industry and tweeted ‘Investing in Dogecoin, pretty sure it’s the next big thing’ on his social media. He was immediately contacted by a software developer that suggested they make Dogecoin into an actual cryptocurrency. One month later, Dogecoin was actually brought into existence. But what makes Dogecoin one of the most popular and talked about cryptocurrencies in the world? We’re here to paint the full picture for you.
Dogecoin is basically a clone of Litecoin – it’s based on the same algorithm (Scrypt), and all changes made to the Litecoin system will apply to Dogecoin as well. However, Dogecoin has its own team of developers that are supposed to work on the technology behind it, but the Internet hasn’t seen a single Dogecoin update in more than 2 years.
The original creator, Jackson Palmer, which is also the person behind the infamous Dogecoin tweet, is still skeptical about the future of the currency. Palmer has repeatedly stated that he is disappointed with the current trends in the cryptocurrency niche, particularly the fact that a currency with a meme on it and no updates in 2 years could reach a one-billion-dollar market cap. However, the community is still very positive about the coin, and it did grow a whole lot in the past year. Dogecoin only valued $0.001 when it was first released, and has recently hit an all-time high of $0.17.
It’s worth mentioning that Dogecoin never intended to become a serious cryptocurrency in the first place, so the developers are not particularly interested in attracting huge investments. That, and the fact that Dogecoin started off as a token for rewarding people on the Internet. Grace to the coin’s low price, people would usually use it to tip other Reddit or Twitter users who offered them useful answers or contributed to a discussion. If the coin were to grow at breakneck speed, like Bitcoin or Ether, the community will not be able to use it as easily. Think about it – it’s much easier to tip a person 5 DOGE than 0.000001 BTC, right? That is one of the reasons why we probably won’t live to see Dogecoin hit spectacular prices anytime soon.
In fact, Dogecoin is also the most popular cryptocurrency for charity and crowdfunding projects. The Dogecoin community has gathered money for bringing the Jamaican bobsled team to the Sochi Olympics (something the team couldn’t afford), and for building a well in a remote region of Kenya. As people who often got DOGE from tips on forums had a lot of them lying around, the community managed to fully fund all the projects they started. The best way to use Dogecoin is to get involved in the community, which is active on Reddit and other forums.
You’re probably wondering if there’s any other way of getting your hands on some DOGE except for becoming popular on the subreddit. You can also purchase it from an exchange, or mine it. The easiest way to buy it from an exchange is to get some Litecoin and convert them into DOGE, but you can also find websites that trade Dogecoin, such as Litebit. You can also mine the coins using a powerful CPU. As the Scrypt algorithm relies on large amounts of memory as opposed to hashing power, you can very well mine them from a home desktop. If you’re not very fond of purchasing and building your own rig, you can also find Dogecoin cloud mining contracts on websites like Hashflare – but most of them pay out in LTC or BTC instead of DOGE. As for storing Dogecoin, you will need a compatible wallet, such as the original Dogecoin client or Coinomi.
As a conclusion to all above said, Dogecoin is definitely not the currency you want to invest in if you’re looking for a competitive environment and significant growth. However, it’s a great coin for cryptocurrency beginners, especially if you’re willing to join the Dogecoin community and learn more about it. DOGE’s future is still vague, but one thing is certain – with such a supportive community, it is definitely here to stay.
You need not be a financial expert to realize that the cryptocurrency niche has not been up to a great start in 2018. What’s really alarming is the market crisis, as well as the number of hacks targeting big cryptocurrency exchanges, as was the case with the largest Japanese exchange Coincheck just a few days ago.
Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange worldwide by trading volume (as of January 18th), which used to host trading worth around $5bn per day in the first days of 2018. Binance has seen a huge spike in the number of registered users starting January 13th. The number of people signing up in a single hour reached 240 000, which caused the exchange to implement restrictions regarding new accounts. Although it seemed like everything was going smoothly for Binance, the exchange has unexpectedly halted all operations as of February 7th.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has claimed that the trading halt is temporary, and happened due to ‘a server issue on our replica database cluster’. He then stated that the problem should be solved in a couple of hours.
As CC investors are not in their best spirits now (due to the major crisis in crypto markets and the fear of a potential hack), the Binance situation created a bit of panic in the cryptocurrency community. Rumors of a supposed hack started going around on Twitter and Reddit, but Zhan kept assuring people that Binance would resume its normal activity as soon as the server issues are solved. He also repeatedly denied that the problem was caused by a third party hack.
Two days later, on February 9th, Binance has resumed trading. Indeed, no data has been lost, and the exchange is even offering special discounts on trading fees for a limited period of time. Binance users get 70% off their trading fees for two weeks starting February 9th, and all withdrawals and trading activity have been resumed.