Energy Web Foundation Launches Public, Open-source, Enterprise-grade Blockchain Tailored to the Energy Sector

Zug, Switzerland, 19 June 2019 – The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) today announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than 10 EWF Affiliates—including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers—are hosting validator nodes for the live network. In addition, EWF is currently tracking 17 decentralized applications (dApps) running on Energy Web test networks that are expected to transition to the live network over the coming weeks. This first wave of dApps focuses on making it easier for individuals and companies to buy renewable energy, enabling customer-owned devices like batteries or air conditioning units to balance the grid (and be paid for doing so), and simplifying the way electric vehicles are charged.

“We started Energy Web Foundation in 2017 with a promise: a production version of Energy Web Chain by Q2 2019. We are proud to announce that we kept our promise. Energy Web Chain is now running in production mode,” said Hervé Touati, co-founder and chief executive officer for EWF. “Our next target, to be reached latest by Q4 2019, is to fully decentralize the chain. At that point, it will no longer be ‘our’ chain; it will be the energy sector’s blockchain—the first public blockchain where blocks are validated by energy sector companies.”

“EW token holders are alongside our worldwide EWF Affiliate community, supporting a platform capable of underpinning hundreds of different dApps that can fundamentally transform the energy sector,” added Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer of EWF. “Global energy sector investment last year totaled $1.8 trillion. And the Energy Web Chain—with its 100+ network of supporting Affiliates—boasts an unprecedented pathway to blockchain solution adoption and global scale across that massive industry.”

Over ten organizations are hosting validator nodes for the Energy Web Chain. These organizations are the foundation of the Energy Web chain’s public Proof-of-Authority (PoA) network design: a publicly accessible, ethereum-based network with permissioned validators. The chain itself is public; any company, individual, or internet-connected device can transact across the network without permission. This dramatically increases network interoperability and reduces solution development cost. At the same time, the chain’s validators are permissioned—they are known energy market participants identified and affiliated with EWF, and who has in essence “staked their brand” to help stand up this energy-specific blockchain. This PoA-based design comes with three additional benefits for the energy sector: scalability, energy efficiency (which also equates to low transaction costs for energy market participants using the network), and increased regulatory compliance.

“The Energy Web is essentially a new operating system—a new digital DNA—for the electricity grid,” explained EWF’s Morris. “Other token-based energy blockchain projects are focused on delivering singular decentralized applications. By contrast, the Energy Web is a blockchain infrastructure project focused on supporting all blockchain developers looking to accelerate the global transition away from fossil fuels toward efficiency and renewables. That’s a huge and exciting distinction.”

Today’s EW Chain launch represents the latest major milestone in the Energy Web’s fast-growing ecosystem. EWF formed in early 2017 with support from co-founders Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, as well as a cohort of ~12 initial Affiliates. By early 2018 EWF had surpassed 40 Affiliates and by early 2019 had crossed the 100-Affiliate threshold. Meanwhile, a growing list of respected utilities and grid operators have launched demonstrations, pilots, and even pre-commercial deployments on Energy Web test networks, including PJM-EIS, SP Group, Acciona, Iberdrola, Elia, and Stedin, among many others.

Like most public blockchains, the Energy Web Chain uses a native token to pay transaction costs and reward validators. But organizations are already experimenting across the Energy Web test networks and mainnet with additional uses of the token including: a) token staking to enhance data reputation and quality from internet-connected devices (e.g., electric vehicles, solar farms), b) directly using EW Tokens to pay prosumers and others for participating in the energy market, and c) decentralized finance for energy (e.g., stablecoins produced via EWT staking).

Beyond novel uses of the token, an expanding set of open-source software development toolkits (SDKs) help speed the time to commercial dApps, while the EW Link protocol allows everything from utility SCADA systems to smart meters to edge devices (e.g., inverters, EVs, thermostats) to connect to the EW Chain and transact via their digital identities. With billions of connected energy devices forecasted in the years just ahead, enabling them to easily transact on the Energy Web Chain is paramount.

“The electricity sector is on a clear pathway: more renewables, more distributed energy, more electric vehicles. According to industry forecasts, by 2030 consumers would invest more money in distribution-edge devices—solar PV, batteries, charging stations, electric vehicles, smart controls—than electric utilities would invest in power generation and electricity grids. This is a massive and unprecedented shift,” observed EWF’s Touati. “That shift will put enormous pressure on utilities to integrate all these investments and make good use of them. Customers will not want to pay twice. For that, utilities need new kinds of software technology, like the Energy Web Chain—distributed, open source, run by the industry—allowing low cost interoperability and trust between millions of devices and retailers or grid operators. Energy Web is bringing energy—if not power—back to the people.”

About Energy Web Foundation

Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and decentralized technologies. EWF focuses on technology integration and development, fostering market innovation, speeding adoption, and building community. 

In mid-2019, EWF launched the Energy Web Chain, the world’s first enterprise-grade, open-source blockchain platform tailored to the sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs. EWF also fostered the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem, comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, and others.

The Energy Web has become the industry’s leading energy blockchain partner and most-respected voice of authority on energy blockchain. 

For more, visit https://energyweb.org

Tokenized Hives with Honey Payouts, Beehive: what’s not to like!

Tokenized Hives

It’s a simple idea. Build an apiary by selling tokens, each of which denotes ownership of part of a hive. When a buyer has enough tokens, they actually ‘own’ a hive – based in Romania – that is fully managed for them. Hive owners receive periodic payouts of honey, posted to their home address, all paid for by the profit margins the beekeepers enjoy, thanks to being able to operate at scale. (Alternatively, token holders can receive a cash equivalent in crypto.) Tokens trade on the open market and so hives can be transferred to new owners, with administration through the Beehive platform. This kind of use case would be virtually impossible without blockchain and an internet community underpinning it.

Tokenized Honey

It’s a fun but serious project, since these are professional beekeepers with an eye to the long term. The driving force behind Beehive is that bees are under threat from human pollution and farming methods, but they are absolutely essential to our environment and current way of life. The team are tech-savvy, using all kinds of sensors and software, not only to ensure the wellbeing of their hives but to report to their token holders and provide the maximum possible transparency. 

The Beehive team are expanding their project, with applications for EU grants and new features being added to the platform. At this point, they are targeting 2,000 hives.

Beehive is one of those rare gems in crypto: a legitimate case for tokenized  that delivered immediately, and is run with competence and transparency. At present, crypto adoption is driven by the big platforms and speculation so we wanted to take a moment to focus on this little known use case. The returns are far more tangible and enjoyable than many other projects. As crypto matures, we can only hope to see more like this.

UPS uses blockchain to ease e-commerce

Setting up, selling and shipping products online is getting easier for B2B merchants thanks to a new alliance between UPS (NYSE: UPS) and e-commerce technology company Inxeption. Today, the two companies announced a platform integration called Inxeption Zippy that helps businesses market and distribute their products on multiple online channels, from one secure place.

Inxeption’s e-commerce platform and online product catalog enable manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to easily set up a company-branded online site to conduct e-commerce transactions. Inxeption then helps them list, market and sell their products to their business customers. Its blockchain-backed technology helps ensure that sensitive information such as contract-specific pricing and negotiated rates are only shared between the buyer and seller.

The integration of UPS as the shipper of choice creates a seamless, end-to-end experience where merchants can view their entire supply chain from product listing to delivery. Merchants can now receive competitive UPS® global shipping, tracking and logistics services with a suite of sales and supply-chain management capabilities for:

  • Building a webpage and uploading product information
  • Scheduling orders and shipments and monitoring returns
  • Managing purchase orders, bulk orders and multimodal shipments
  • Processing transactions by credit card, purchase orders, or financing
  • Conducting search engine marketing
  • Reviewing sales and marketing analytics

 “The growth of e-commerce is driving B2B buyers to expect the same fast and convenient shopping experiences that consumers enjoy,” said Kevin Warren, chief marketing officer for UPS. “Working with Inxeption is another way we’re creating innovative solutions that helps small businesses deliver quality service for their customers and succeed in e-commerce.”

B2B e-commerce is evolving fast, with Forrester projecting the market to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023; yet B2B merchants have been slow to adopt online commerce. Most B2B products are still sold through direct sales, third-party distribution, or both.

By integrating advanced technology with global logistics, UPS and Inxeption are turning more B2B merchants into digital sellers and equipping them to drive online sales and grow their top line revenue. In turn, their customers can easily order and receive their products with trusted shipping from UPS.

“We’re revolutionizing B2B e-commerce and bringing companies and their customers together online in a trusted manner,” said Farzad Dibachi, CEO of Inxeption. “This relationship creates simplified pricing solutions for B2B merchants with limited digital marketing and IT resources to easily manage all aspects of selling and shipping from one secure place.”

For more information, visit https://www.inxeption.com/zippy.html.

From $2.9 Billion in a Month to Hundreds Dead: Trends of the Rollercoaster ICO Market in 18 Months

Stats on where ICOs are mostly coming from, and what they are mostly about, paint an interesting insight into the ecosystem. As does the data on how the ICO market has changed into 2018. The biggest month for ICO investment was just four months ago, and 2018 has also seen the time taken to complete and ICO, and success of these projects, shift significantly since 2017.

Around 1000 cryptocurrencies have been considered deceased recently. It was attached to Bitcoin’s drop in value and was hinting toward a total cryptocurrency bubble.

However, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is a little more complex than that, and one of the most interesting and staggering facets of it all has to do with the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) marketplace. It is seen as an area of cryptocurrency that is aimed at both disrupting traditional venture capitalism as well as expanding the broadness of cryptocurrency beyond that of just Bitcoin.

This rambunctious side of cryptocurrencies has a lot of telling statistics that are worth delving into — especially over the last 18 months, which have seen a massive boom in new coins as well as a steady growth in capital raised for new cryptocurrency projects.

ICO countries and categories

ICOs are indeed a global phenomenon. However, some countries and markets have taken to them far better than others. In the latest trends, it is still the United States that leads the way, followed by Great Britain and Russia.

Chart

Source: icowatchlist.com

When it comes to the sectors that these ICOs are targeting, it is unsurprising that  finance is at the top, due to the cryptocurrency nature of the projects. But what is surprising is that finance is not where the most money is going — that belongs to blockchain technology itself.

Chart

Source: icowatchlist.com

Finance comprises 13 percent of ICOs, then goes to payments/wallets with 6.6 percent, while third is commerce/retail at 6.3 percent.

Then, looking at token sale results based on funds raised, we can see a big chunk going to blockchain platforms with 38 percent, followed by network/communications at 16.6 percent and then Finance at 9.5 percent.

Chart

Source: icowatchlist.com

The evolving trends of ICOs in 2018

It would not be hard to estimate that a good time for ICOs would have been in 2017, especially toward the end of the year. Cryptocurrencies were the talk of the entire globe and interest in them was being picked up in terms of Google searches — as well as in the price of things like Bitcoin in what has been called a ‘Satoshi Cycle.’

However, while there was indeed a boost toward the latter months of 2017 and into 2018, March 2018 has been by far the best month on record for funds raised by ICOs. As much as $2.94 billion was raised in March alone, which is more than the next two best months (Dec. 2017 and Jan. 2018) combined.

This however did have a lot to do with two specific ICOs, the Telegram ICO — raising $1.8 billion in total, including $850 million in its second round of ICO on March 30 — as well as the Petro of Venezuela — which raised $5 billion with its presale beginning on February 20.

Chart

Source: Coinschedule

However, the worrying trend with these ICOs and the money they are raising is that not enough of the projects are leading to success. ICOs have picked up a bad rap in recent times, with some major names hitting major difficulties — such as Tezos, which suffered a slew of lawsuits after infighting between the members shattered its progress.

Data collected over 2017 saw 913 projects with tokensales with 435 (48%) a success, raising $5.6 billion. 131 (14%) didn’t survive this stage and as many as 347 (38%) stayed unreported, with no data displayed. Some even had their websites and all traces of them disappear.

This puts forward a very negative perception of the ICO space, and thus also flows over to other major cryptocurrencies and even blockchain technology itself. Much like the Dot Com bubble, businesses flocked to ICOs, but many found out that they were, perhaps, unnecessary for their projects.

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

2018 emerges, and the hype has somewhat died down. Regulations are also tightening up and more protection is being afforded to investors, but at the same time, project teams are getting a more powerful foothold for development.

Still though, ICOs — even with increased pressure from laws and regulations — are struggling to deliver on their promises in 2018, as they are held to more scrutiny.

In May 2018, there were 195 ongoing ICOs listed on ICObazaar that were planning to close sales. However, only 91 public sales were closed, with total of $2.57 billion raised.

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

This statistic shows that either ICOs are not delivering at all on their promised timelines or that their ICO stage of the project is purposely taking longer. Comparable data from 2017 suggests that, indeed, more time is being taken across the board to complete ICOs in 2018, indicating that they are not as rushed or poorly formulated.

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

From the data above, one can see that 2017 had ICOs that predominantly planned to last between 10-30 days. However, in 2018, there was a broader division, with longer periods of time being prefered. In fact, where a 150 day ICO was unheard of in 2017, five percent of them in 2018 have chosen this route.

This has a lot to do with ICOs that are run in different stages becoming more popular. These teams initially have a pre-ICO, and then three or more stages of sales. In the current conditions of substantially increased competition, the duration of marketing preparations also increases.

There are also case studies that show that these elongated ICOs can be more successful — a project like EOS showing how it managed to accrue $4 billion over a year-long ICO.

Private over public

Another trend that has come about in 2018 is the idea of first launching a private ICO and then opening it up to the public. Nearly 30-35 percent of tokens with large discounts — of up to 50 percent — will go to funds and angel investors. Projects use the money to fund pre-ICO campaigns, including marketing and social media advertising.

A good example of this is the Telegram ICO, which was so successful in its private ICO that it decided to cancel its public ICO due to the abundance in funds it raised initially.

Some others include Kodak Coin, which also went the private ICO route, raising $10 million in the presale. Coinlist collected over $9.2 million from some of the finance industry’s most prominent investment firms in its attempt to keep regulation friendly.

In fact, there have been reports that suggest 84 percent of all ICO fundraising this year has come from private and presales.

An evolving form of raising capital

Already — even though it is barely a few years old — we are seeing a change in the trend for fundraising through blockchain technology. Part of it has to do with the belief that the ICO space is in its own bubble and part of it is a general evolution in a fast-paced space.

The terminology is changing, as is the way in which these offerings are made. Companies as big as Overstock are leaning toward Security Token Offerings (STO), while other major crypto players, such as Vitalik Buterin, are proposing new forms of crypto crowd sales like DAICO, Interactive Coin Offerings or Continuous Token Models.

The STO is a token is backed by a real asset, profits or company revenue. Prime examples of this include the Venezuelan government’s oil-backed Petro coin. These coins are meant to operate more like traditional securities and to meet all the requirements of the SEC.

These STO tokens are seen as a step in the right direction because of their regulatory compliance at the start, and there is already a belief that they will be the dominant force in the near future when it comes to Initial Coin Offerings.

Security Token Offering (STO) is held when token is backed by real assets or profits or company revenue. These tokens are protected from speculations and scammers, more like a traditional security, but in electronic form. Moreover, such a token meets all requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which allows it to completely legally implement the token sale in the USA. The first security token platform Polymath data shows that STO will prevail on the market by 2020 and will be more than $10 trl.

Chart

Source: Polymath

Then there’s DAICO, which is a hybrid solution of ICO and DAO — a decentralized, autonomous organization, which is a form of a management management model based on blockchain technology. It allows a company to attract a solid investment, but at the same time provide investors with certain levers of management. It was Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin who suggested this modification in order to improve ICO processing.

Interactive Coin Offerings are another option — which offer a protocol from creators Jason Teutsch and Vitalik Buterin — that suggests a different model of a crowdsale that ensures the certainty of valuation and participation at the same time.

Then there are Continuous Token Models. This model assumes that, “instead of pre-selling tokens during a launch phase, the tokens are minted as needed through various means. The tokens are then dispensed for services rendered in the network,” a Medium post describes.

Sorting out the scams

The data indicates that there are a few big problems with the ICO space in terms of not delivering on projects after investors have taken part in ICOs. This partly comes down to failed ICOs, but also down to a number of scams.

ICObazaar has a system of rating ICO projects that consists of a weight-adjusted formula with five factors — a sixth factor consisting of the actual score — which is all correlated by their blockchain and finance professionals. Their data shows some interesting trends. Firstly, they state that, in their rating system, only 7 percent of projects are rated above 4.5 out of 5.

The majority of the rest of the projects — up to 58 percent — score less than 4 out of 5. The reason for this, according to the site, is because of a “lack of information about the company and it’s team, as well as an unsatisfactory description of the product in the Whitepaper.”

“This usually happens when the team hurries to get listed on ICO trackers but doesn’t pay enough attention to their documentation, social media or the size and quality of community supporting the project.”

On the up

There is also data that shows better results in terms of ranking ICOs in 2018, as compared with last year.

Projects with ratings lower than 4 were even higher in 2017, with a large portion of projects having scores of 3–3.4. Thus, it shows that the share of high-quality projects has increased into 2018, ICObazaar’s data explained.  

Chart

Source: ICObazaar

Still early days

We need to remember that ICOs, cryptocurrencies and the entire blockchain space is still very much in its infancy. And, just like we have seen things like Bitcoin evolve, with Segwit and even the emergence of Bitcoin Cash, ICOs will evolve too.

The changes will be geared toward security, transparency, and reliability, and a lot of that will be driven by harder regulations intended to protect investors. However, it will also continue to be a competitive space, and that competition will also drive the necessity for well-built projects.

ICOs may have become a bit of a dirty word, but the process still has a lot to offer. After a bit of tweaking and growing, there will be a lot that can be done in the ecosystem once it is functioning well.

This article originally appeared at: https://cointelegraph.com/news/from-2-9-billion-in-a-month-to-hundreds-dead-trends-of-the-rollercoaster-ico-market-in-18-months.

Alibaba Seeks to Eliminate Middlemen in Blockchain Payments Patent

There’s basically two ways incumbents can react to newer technologies.
  1. Find a way to disrupt themselves and stay relevant
  2. Seek to block others from innovating.

Which way do you think Alibaba wants to go?


Alibaba Seeks to Eliminate Middlemen in Blockchain Payments Patent

From CoinDesk

Jun 29, 2018 at 11:00 UTC

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been exploring the use of blockchain technology to speed up international payments, according to a new patent filing.

The patent application – “A System and Method That Adjusts Account Balance on a Blockchain” – was filed with the China State Intellectual Property Office in January of this year and was revealed on Friday.

Aimed to tackle the broad concept of adjusting account balances over a blockchain, the company explained how the system could be used to facilitate cross-border transactions that specifically involve a third-party payment vendor.

For instance, the document said that third-party payment services and their banking partners in different regions will all function as nodes to form the envisioned blockchain. Subsequently each node will maintain a ledger of user balances, reflecting accounts in third-party payment vendors’ mobile wallets.

When a transaction request is initiated, the nodes would verify the user’s account balance, taking into account any legal compliance procedures that must be followed – a process enforced by triggering smart contracts encoded to the blockchain, the patent says.

The nodes would then update the balance of the users sending and receiving the transacted amount in a decentralized way, thus eliminating the need for an intermediary and avoiding the resultant delays in transaction time, according to the document.

Although Alibaba didn’t explain how or if it intends to apply the system commercially, the document was published just days after the company’s payment affiliate Ant Financial announced the launch of a blockchain-based remittance service.

As reported by CoinDesk, Ant Financial said it is now using a blockchain-based system to allow Alipay users in Hong Kong to send money to residents in the Philippines via a third-party payment vendor, and with Standard Chartered as the banking partner.

Read the full patent application below:

Alibaba cross-border payments patent filing by CoinDesk on Scribd

Mobile Mining is SO COOL. – Ivan Likov of Phoneum.io

CoinHash.co Blockchain interview.

Ivan Likov explains to .Warren Whitlock of Coinhash how Phoneum.io allows billions of mobile users to participate in a mobile-only mining system.

Use a free app called Phoneum to mine crypto on a mobile device. Cryptocurrencies are no longer limited to high power machines with expensive energy requirement. Phoneum brings mining to the masses.

Phoneum is set to launch their mobile-only cryptocurrency and bring mining to the masses, utilizing their proprietary algorithm to monitor and regulate mobile device sensors while ensuring low power consumption easy-to-use mining, and transparent e-transactions

AI Personal PERSONAL Assistant – Meet Peter Voss of Aigo.ai

We know AI is improving. So let’s look at where an investment in AI and Blockchain technology might pay off big.

This conversation with Peter Voss of Aigo.ai is a great place to start. A scientist who has founded a startup to make personal assistants personal.

Imaging Siri, Alexa, etc actually learning so they do what you want!  Every time I get a chance to chat with Peter, my mind expands with ideas about a future when artificial intelligence really works in our everyday lives.

And right now, there’s a token sale. Learn more at https://aigotoken.ai

BMW Completes First Pilot With DOVU Token Rewards to Track Mileage

DOVULab, a blockchain startup, has successfully completed its first pilot with BMW and Alphabet, BMW’s leasing and fleet vehicle division. DOVU’s applications platform was included in a ten-week program with BMW’s Innovation Lab in the UK, where start-ups had the opportunity to pilot their products at scale, with mentoring from senior members of the BMW Group UK management team, and funding provided by L Marks.

DOVU rewards people for data sharing in the transport and mobility sector, in a “circular economy.” The BMW program has been running for two years, with tech startups working directly with BMW to show proof of concept within a 10-week timeframe. DOVU was chosen to join the program, along with several other companies, including:

  • io, a location data platform
  • Ocasta, a mobile development studio for employee communications
  • Overfit Technologies, an employee retention and analytics platform
  • easyCar Club, a peer-to-peer vehicle rental service with 10,000 members, who earn money from their cars and vans

According to Mike Dennett, CEO at BMW Group Financial Services (GB) Ltd., “The auto industry will see more change in the next 10 years than it has seen in the last 20. We need to act now and go beyond the vehicle to ensure we deliver the best services for customers now and in the future. We’re excited about the possibilities new technologies offer; from geo-targeting data platforms to vehicle-sharing applications. The Lab is an opportunity for us to engage with start-ups and incorporate their proprietary technology into our own business, allowing us to cater for customer needs today, while ensuring services are future-proofed for the customer of tomorrow.”

Stakeholders within BMW chose which teams they wanted to sponsor. DOVU’s stakeholders included Nick Brownrigg, CEO of Alphabet; Simon Carr, Alphabet Chief Commercial Officer; and Leo Taylor, Alphabet Head of Product Management.

DOVU’s plan was to show the importance of maintaining residual value in vehicles that come back to market after a lease or fleet assignment. By reducing the amount of damage and miles over each vehicle’s mileage allowance, BMW would be able to maximize resale value.

During the program, sessions included introductions to sponsors, legal teams, branding and marketing teams, and the IT department. BMW’s CEO of financial services, Mike Dennett gave a presentation on the importance of Innovation Lab to the company overall. Then, the work began.

DOVU uses tokens to influence behavior, while collecting data that can be applied to BMW’s business overall. In order to capture relevant data in the short, 10-week timeframe, the company worked with stakeholders at BMW to identify pain points where user behavior would have the greatest impact on the car’s value.

One primary factor that could be measured was mileage, as it has a direct impact on the value of the vehicle. BMW’s current system to track mileage across a fleet is via a fuel card, where fuel stations track drivers as they refuel their vehicles at fuel stations. A potential problem here is the inaccurate recording of values, which costs the company overhead to reconcile numbers. In the trial, the DOVU wallet had a manual data collection method that triggered a reward to users each week when they used the app to take snapshots of their dashboards on a regular basis. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software then determined the mileage, with smart contracts checking that conditions were met before issuing the digital rewards.

With this trial complete, other divisions are looking at DOVU’s technology to see how tokenization might be used to improve other business areas for BMW.

Everything You Need To Know About Staking Coins

“Cryptocurrency currencies take the concept of money, and they take it native into computers, where everything is settled with computers and doesn’t require external institutions or trusted third parties to validate things.” – Naval Ravikant

Blockchain based cryptocurrencies provide an alternative way for people to make money. Digital currencies remove the need for relying on the stock exchange or traditional brokers. Millions of people around the world are making money through crypto trading, mining operations or staking coins.

What is Proof of Staking Coins?

Proof of staking (PoS) is a relatively new consensus algorithm for some digital currencies. It creates new blocks that are added to the blockchain. These blocks are staked by a person who is already holding some coins and helps in validating a new transaction on the platform.

An individual is only able to mine or validate new transactions for coins equal to the number of coins they have staked. The more coins a person stakes, the higher their power to validate transactions.

How Does the Process Work?

In a regular crypto network like Bitcoin, transactions are randomly processed by the mining node that is the first to solve a complex algorithm at the end of a timeframe. Investors holding Bitcoins have no say in which network operator validates the transaction.

In Proof of Staking protocol, miners are chosen randomly from a pool by holders of the digital coin. A miner can be added to the pool by staking a certain amount of coins in a bound wallet.

The chosen node stakes the coins in the bound wallet and creates a new block that is proportional to the percentage of coins staked. For example, if the number of coins staked is 5% of the total coins on the network, the node can mine 5% of transactions for new blocks.

Benefits of Staking Coins

Staking coins offers a number of benefits to mining operators.

The consensus mechanism removes the need for purchasing high-end computer hardware. When a mining node stakes bound coins from an e-wallet, it is guaranteed a fixed percentage of transactions on the network irrespective of its processing power. Investors with enough holdings in the coin can validate transactions on the network.

The value of assets staked through PoS does not depreciate with time unlike ASIC and other mining hardware. The value of the stake can only be affected by fluctuations in the currency prices.

Proof of stake is environmentally friendly and more energy efficient than proof of work mining used in Bitcoin. The threat of 51% attacks is reduced in a staking coins system.

The major benefit of staking coins is that it removes the need for purchasing expensive hardware. The system offers a guaranteed return and predictable source of income for miners unlike proof of work system where coins are randomly rewarded to the most high-level computing systems.

The Risks of Staking Coins Staking coins in a bound wallet has one drawback. The coins are locked up for a period of time and cannot be sold.

This may not be a problem while the value of the currency is rising, it can lead to losses when the price is falling. The amount earned through staking might not be enough to cover the price depreciation during a bearish run.

Popular Cryptocurrencies for Staking Coins Coin staking gives currency holders some power on the network. It gives them the ability to earn a regular income for their investments. This is quite similar to how someone would receive interest for holding money in a bank account.

The ability to stake coins to get mining preference has been seen received favorably by crypto investors. Many new currencies have built this model into their platform. Some of the popular currencies for coin staking are listed here.

DASH

DASH stands for Digital Cash. It was one of the first currencies to introduce the coin staking mechanism. The currency was built upon the core of Bitcoin. It made further improvements by implementing PrivateSend and InstantSend features.

The currency allows its investors to stake coins through a masternode. The minimum requirement to run a masternode is 1000 DASH units. DASH is currently priced at $320 which makes the cost of running a masternode somewhere close to $320,000.

NEO

The purpose behind NEO is to create a smart economy using the blockchain technology. NEO’s proof of stake algorithm uses the dBFT algorithm. Participants on the platform can stake their coins by binding coins in a NEON wallet. Stakeholders can expect to earn new coins at 5.5% annually for all the coins that they stake.

NEO is quite popular and the number one currency at Bitfinex, a Chinese virtual currency exchange based at Hong Kong. The coin is expected to rival Ethereum which has held the number two position in cryptocurrency markets for quite some time.

OkCash

This currency was launched in 2014. It is designed to be suitable for micro-transactions. It has a pretty good ROI on staking. The coins can earn an annual return of 10% the value of the stake. It is currently trading at $0.121 in the markets.

Source: Krohn Media

PayPal Is Seeking Faster Crypto Payments Tech – CoinDesk

Looks like PayPal wants to move crypto faster. 

An application for an “Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System” published on March 1 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a method by which private keys – the strings of numbers and letters used to transact or otherwise control one’s cryptocurrency holdings – are swapped from a buyer to a seller behind the scenes.

The aim of the concept is to narrow the amount of time it takes for payments to go through between a consumer and a merchant, avoiding the process of sending a transaction and waiting for it to be included in the next block on the network. To do this, PayPal proposed a way to create secondary wallets with their own unique private keys for buyers and sellers. The system would transfer private keys corresponding to an exact amount of any given cryptocurrency.

As the filing explains:

“The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction.”

The submission is a notable one, coming years after PayPal announced partnerships with several bitcoin payment processors that allowed merchants to accept the cryptocurrency through the company’s Payments Hub starting in 2014.

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