Bitcoinโ€™s low privacy almost fixed with these five coins

Anonymity was one of the important values of Bitcoin during its ascend. Later on, it became clear that there are some flaws in the system, giving rise to the privacy coins boom.

It’s all relative, so let’s define the rules first: there are dozens of Bitcoin forks, but not all of them are remarkable privacy coins. There are also plenty of privacy coins, but not all of them are based on the Bitcoin source code (for instance, Monero).

In the following list, we’ve tried to include only the most advanced privacy coins based on original Bitcoin code. We used this comprehensive Privacy Coin Matrix as the basis for defining “advancement”. The matrix is a publicly available and constantly updated document. It’s the result of the collaboration of initiative developers that originally emerged on Reddit and went viral in May 2018. 

We also used CryptoMiso in order to identify initial source code of the privacy coins mentioned in the matrix. Interestingly enough, Bitcoin itself is also mentioned in the list and it flops badly when it comes to almost everything related to privacy.

Bitcoin-based privacy coin №5: Dash  

Dash (DASH) is an open-source, decentralized, digital cryptocurrency forked from Litecoin back in January 2014. Since the source code for Litecoin was Bitcoin, we are back to the roots. Although Dash’s privacy is far higher than Bitcoin’s, it still performs poorly in comparison to all the other coins analyzed in the Matrix.

Bitcoin-based privacy coin №4: Bitcoin Private

Bitcoin Private is an actual Bitcoin’s hard fork, with some enhanced features like cryptographic, and added sender and receiver privacy. It’s way better to solve the anonymity pickle, but it’s not very scalable and quite slow, e.g. private transactions computation time takes minutes.

Bitcoin-based privacy coins №3 and №2: Phore and PIVX

PIVX (PIVX) (previously known as DarkNet (DNET)) is an open-source, decentralized, cryptocurrency appeared in January 2016 (and rebranded as PIVX in February 2017) as a fork of Dash (and we remember that Dash’s source code is Bitcoin’s code).  As its original name proposed, the coin focus is anonymity of transactions and privacy, and it was designed to run on anonymous networks (like I2P or Tor).

Phore is a fork of PIVX with pretty much the same privacy and scalability features, with the theoretical max of 154 transactions per second (which comes close to PayPal average of 193 transactions per second). However, PIVX has a plan proposed for scalability: Bulletproof’s author Jonathan Bootle has joined project’s team and expects 90 to 95% private transaction’s size reduction.

Bitcoin-based privacy coin №1: Particl

Particl is an “open-source and decentralized privacy platform built on the blockchain specifically designed to work with any cryptocurrency”. The company’s mission is to encourage private and democratic economy supported by its native currency (PART).

This coin provides a great combination of privacy features and speed. Project’s team also has a clear plan on scaling, including utilizing the lightning network, Segwit, and bulletproofs.

The only downside is that top 100 addresses own 53.1% of a total coin’s supply.  But to be fair, the true decentralization (or the lack of it) is still the major problem of all cryptos.

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Charlie Lee on Bitcoin: โ€œItโ€™s always good to buy on the way downโ€

In a new interview with CNBC, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has gone to elaborate that Bitcoin remains a good buy for interested investors – noting that the recent market downtrend had created a new investment opportunity for long-term prize-seekers.

Speaking on air, Lee quipped that “It’s always good to buy on the way down to dollar-cost average your buy-in… As long as you don’t spend money that you can’t afford to lose, I think that’s fine.”

Cautioning users against using borrowed funds to invest in Bitcoin, Lee noted that “It’s hard to predict prices. I’ve been in this space for seven years now. I think sometimes it comes back within six months to a year, and sometimes it takes three or four years.”

Lee expressed that Bitcoin’s price movements – and the general price movements of the cryptocurrency market itself – was largely driven by speculation and that, in future, prices would generally reflect the success and adoption of a particular cryptocurrency itself.

Speaking on his own creation – Litecoin – Lee noted that he would not seek to re-invest in the cryptocurrency any time soon.

Earlier this year, Lee publicly sold his Litecoin holdings to avoid any allegations of a conflict of interest – and later expressed his intent to move away from the cryptocurrency entirely in the interest of decentralization.

At the time, Lee explained that “Litecoin is more centralized because I am around, so it has a more centralized development team, has more centralized foundation.”

Speaking to CNBC, Lee expressed the same sentiment – saying “I sold because of conflict of interest, so I’m not going to buy my litecoins back anytime soon — or at all.”

Bitcoin itself is down by -0.70% to trade at $7,009.06 USD, while Litecoin itself is down by -1.67%, and trades at $60.77 USD at press time.

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Xapo president claims that 90% of cryptocurrencies will disappear

Ted Rogers, the president of Xapo – a Hong Kong-based company dealing with Bitcoin wallets – has claimed that a shocking portion of the cryptocurrencies currently listed will be wiped out.

Rogers believes that 90% of the tokens currently listed on CoinMarketCap are facing “extinction” if they are not the heavyweight cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Rogers further stated that now, when the market is down, is a good time to invest in more Bitcoin before it starts peaking again.

In response, Erik Voorhees of Shapesift.io, a company which offers global trading in digital assets, suggested that perhaps the market movements have more to do with the “extinction”.

The idea of Bitcoin dominance – whereby Bitcoin holds more than 50% of the cryptocurrency market trading volume –  has been a topic that investors are not shy about. Tom Lee, CEO of Fundstrat, believes that Bitcoin dominance will make a huge improvement in the cryptocurrency space, saying that “Bitcoin is the best house in a tough neighborhood” and suggesting that investors should focus on the original cryptocurrency and ignore other altcoins.

At the time of writing, almost half of the 15 leading cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Cardano, IOTA, TRON, Dash, NEO, and NEM while Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Monero have seen 80% or more dips.

Whether Bitcoin will naturally emerge as dominant over falling altcoins will be evident quickly within the market movers and we can only wait to see what will happen.

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Technical Analysis โ€“ Buy when there is blood in the streets

After a strong rally peaking at $8500 during the month of July, Bitcoin fell over 30% to a low of $6250 on Tuesday this week. As brutal as this sell-off was for Bitcoin, major altcoins were punished even more severely over the same period.

Approximate return from 24 Jul – 14 Aug for major Alts:

Bitcoin

Ethereum

Bitcoin Cash

XRP

Bitcoin’s relative resilience in this latest crypto market bloodbath has shown without a doubt that Bitcoin is still the boss! Whilst all major alts have broken below their previous low points for the year, the Bitcoin support level at $5825 has held firm. Furthermore, for the first time this year Bitcoin market dominance is back over 50% (i.e. the value of Bitcoin is greater than the value of all the altcoins combined).

Looking forward, it is critical that the support zone (orange area) between $6020 and $5750 holds. If there is a clean break of this level then it is likely that Bitcoin will suffer the same fate as the rest of the altcoins. There is a support trendline (blue line) which may offer some respite on the way down, but on the back up the recovery will likely be halted by the previous support zone (orange area) which will now act as resistance. This is the bearish scenario (red arrows).



Crypto Bloodbath – Buy When There Is blood In The Streets by tennant.graeme on TradingView.com

The bullish scenario (green arrows) would see the price hold above the support zone and form a reversal pattern of some kind. It is possible we may see an inverse head-and-shoulders forming as indicated on the chart. Should it develop further it could signal the beginning of some sort of recovery. I will be waiting for confirmation of either a break below support (bearish scenario) or a reversal pattern above support (bullish scenario) before placing any trades.

Whilst it is tempting to apply the adage “Buy when there is blood in the streets” and load up on Bitcoin and some unloved Alts, I feel it is prudent to wait until there is reason to believe that the bleeding has stopped before jumping back into the market.

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Where are 2015โ€™s top cryptocurrencies by market cap today?

With cryptocurrency markets enduring an ongoing bloodbath in 2018, 2015 might seem like a distant memory – and a better one at that.

At a time when Bitcoin had only orbited $200 USD figures, the landscape of the wider cryptocurrency market was vastly different – with several players that might be considered obscure today taking pre-eminency then.

In this article, we’ll compare historical data from cryptocurrency price indices as recorded on January 4th of 2015 to today. It is important to note, however, that different prices may list differently according to different sources at the time.

Bitcoin

Position today: 1

In 2015, Bitcoin traded for $281.79 USD and bore a total market cap of $3,856,201,593 USD. At the time, Bitcoin held a circulating supply of 13,684,794 BTC.

Today, Bitcoin trades at $6,054.60 USD and bears a total market cap of $5,312,938,501 USD. With a circulating supply of 17,209,025 

The cryptocurrency itself has endured numerous scaling debates and a division that resulted in Bitcoin Cash, and is now in second-layer development as programmers continue to build the Lightning Network.

Ripple

Position today: 3

The second most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, Ripple traded for $0.0211 USD and bore a total market cap of $656,661,649. At the time, XRP held a circulating supply of 30,978,075,200 XRP.

Fast forward three years, and Ripple trades at $0.263213 USD and bears a total market cap of $10,363,330,664 USD. With a circulating supply of 39,372,399,467 XRP

While Ripple has endured regulatory pressure, several banking institutions have partnered with the company to trial cross-border transfers.

Litecoin

Position today: 7

Formerly the third most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, Litecoin traded for just $2.12 USD and bore a total market cap of $74,761,847. At the time, Litecoin held a circulating supply of 35,294,322 LTC.

Litecoin presently trades at $51.32 USD and bears a total market cap of $2,968,235,787 USD. With a circulating supply of 57,840,509

Litecoin has enjoyed great press over the years, with founder Charlie Lee most notably advocating that he would step aside from the project in coming years in the interests of ‘decentralization’.

PayCoin

Position today: not within the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap

How the mighty have fallen.

PayCoin, formerly the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, has endured a difficult history. In 2015, PayCoin traded for just $3.20 USD and bore a total market cap of $39,464,544 USD. Paycoin held a circulating supply of 12,327,048 XPY.

Today, Paycoin trades at $0.015152 USD and bears a total market cap of $180,801 USD. The project now bears a lonely circulating supply of 11,932,159 XPY.

Paycoin ultimately derailed after Mississippi Power Company (MPC) sued GAW Miners (the hands behind PayCoin) for $350,000 USD for ‘failure to make payment for services provided.’

PayCoin was ultimately handed over to a ‘consortium of organizations’, where the PayCoin Foundation elaborated that “the fate of Paycoin is now in the hands of every person and organization that hold coins. With this newfound freedom, we want to exercise our rights to make Paycoin the people’s money and do what is necessary to help the coin thrive”.

Ultimately, that didn’t happen.

BitShares

Position today: 29

BitShares was the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, and at the time traded for $0.014471 USD and bore a total market cap of $39,464,544 USD. BitShares held a circulating supply of 2,497,973,773 BTS.

Today, BitShares remains the 29th most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap, and trades at $$0.097384 USD with a total market cap of $258,122,142 USD . The project now has circulating supply of 2,650,550,000 BTS.

While BitShares offers financial services including exchange support and blockchain-based banking, the cryptocurrency has been overtaken by the likes of other tokens, such as Binance Coin.

MaidSafeCoin

Position today: 59

MaidSafeCoin was once the sixth valuable cryptocurrency, and in 2015 traded for $0.046897 USD. The project bore a total market cap of $21,223,340 USD, and held a circulating supply of 452,552,412 MAID.

Charting today at 59, MaidSafeCoin trades at $0.212688 USD with a total market cap of $96,252,597 USD. The project retains its circulating supply.

MaidSafeCoin serves as a token for token for Safecoin, a decentralized currency network. Ultimately, Safecoin will serve as the currency for the ‘SAFE network’, a ‘network made up of the extra hard disk space, processing power, and data connectivity of its users’.

While MaidSafeCoin has appreciate, time has not been especially kind to the cryptocurrency – earlier this year, Bittrex officially moved to delist the asset.

Nxt

Position today: 81

Despite a long drop from 7 to 81, Nxt is still in the game.

In 2015, Nxt traded for $0.017362 USD. The project bore a total market cap of $17,361,750 USD, and held a circulating supply of 999,997,096 NXT.

Today, NXT trades at $0.065251 USD with a total market cap of $65,185,738 USD, with a circulating supply of 998,999,942

A proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, NXT was launched by BCNet and serves as a ‘flexible platform around which to build applications and financial services’.

Dogecoin

Position today: 30

You can’t keep a good DOGE down. Back in 2015, Dogecoin was hot to trot – trading at prices of $0.000165 USD, with a market cap of $16,084,147 USD, and a circulating supply of 97,268,423,164 DOGE.

Today, DOGE trades at $0.002184 USD, has a market cap of $252,717,366 USD, and a circulating supply of 115,711,020,675

Not bad for a ‘joke’.

Dogecoin’s community has gone on to be one of the most lively spheres in crypto – funding the likes of the Jamaican bobsled team and more.

Stellar

Position today: 5

Stellar’s fortunes have improved over time. In 2015, Lumens traded at $0.004513 USD, with a market cap of $16,060,639 USD and a circulating supply of 3,558,618,775 XLM.

Today, those figures stand at $0.218107 USD, $16,060,639 USD, and 18,771,735,150

Stellar has racked up numerous achievements in the intervening years – gaining certification as Shari’a compliant, and even partnering with Facebook for a mystery project.

Peercoin

Position today: not within the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap

Once the tenth most valuable cryptocurrency, Peercoin traded for $0.503996 USD in 2015. The project, at the time, bore a total market cap of $$11,080,850 USD, and held a circulating supply of 21,985,977 PPC.

Presently, Peercoin trades for $1.04 USD, and bears a total market cap of $25,847,369 USD. The project enjoys a circulating supply of 24,908,466 PPC.

Peercoin continues to leverage both proof-of-stake and proof-of-work systems, and does not possess a hard cap.

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Vietnam strictly ceases imports on all cryptocurrency mining equipment

According to Vietnamese customs departments, the country has stopped allowing the importation of cryptocurrency mining equipment.

Yesterday Viet Nam News reported that importing of equipment for cryptocurrency mining had been ceased at the beginning of July and since then, local businesses and independent cryptocurrency miners were unable to bring any mining hardware into the country, as claimed by the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department.

Viet Nam News stated:

“The department said firms and individuals imported more than 3,664 cryptocurrency mining rigs in the first six months of the year, most of which were ‘Antminer’ branded models from China. Four enterprises imported more than 3,000 machines this year, while the rest were imported by individuals and organisations, which do not have import tax codes. Last year, HCM City Customs Department completed customs clearance for more than 7,000 Bitcoin and Litecoin miners. Meanwhile, the Hanoi Customs Department approved import of 190 Bitcoin miners and 350 Litecoin miners.”

Vietnam cracked down on cryptocurrency regulations towards the end of last year and remain one of the countries still against Bitcoin with the government declaring that virtual currency does not constitute a “lawful means of payment”, while explicitly saying that the “issuance, supply, use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited.” Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been forbidden as a means of payment by law and failure to comply can result in criminal prosecution and those using cryptocurrency can be fined up to $9,000 USD.

Now, the country is strictly restricting the mining of cryptocurrency, following a scam by Bitcoin.vn, a cryptocurrency trade exchange which was seized by the government for conducting the illicit business.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance initially presented a prohibition on importing equipment in June following the scam, and the Minister has since said that State management is required for “agencies to take strict control measures with the import and use of this [crypto mining] commodity’.

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How the biggest proof-of-work algorithms for cryptocurrencies compare

Not all coins are created equal.

Some cryptocurrencies require the equivalent of hours of computing time and energy to mine, while others are produced in a matter of minutes.

The term “mining” in cryptocurrencies refers to a collection of techniques to validate transactions known as proof of work (PoW). This is when a computer performs many calculations to try and solve a mathematical puzzle.

These puzzles use are typically based on cryptographic hash functions, which are designed to be one-way. The nature of these functions is exploited so that a miner must make many millions or even trillions of guesses per second to find a solution. It is then usually possible for any other computer to easily check that the solution is true.

In the case of distributed ledger systems like Bitcoin, other computers on the network can easily check someone else’s calculation, and must then build upon it to generate solutions for the next block of transactions.

Each block of transactions is its own mathematically difficult puzzle to solve, and becomes part of the puzzle for the next block of transactions, creating a chain. Hence the term “blockchain”.

By building the next block of transactions on one which came before, a network is able to come to a consensus of which transactions are valid. Proof-of-work algorithms are therefore also referred to as a consensus mechanism.

Other examples of consensus mechanisms is proof-of-stake and Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance, but this article is only going to look only at proof-of-work algorithms, and how they compare.

Among the factors mentioned below will be resistance to mining hardware based on application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

Application-specific integrated circuits, as the name implies, are chips designed for a specific use, as opposed to general-purpose computers. In the case of blockchains, they are chips designed to perform the calculations of a particular proof-of-work algorithm as efficiently as possible.

Criticism of ASICs is that they are expensive and make it difficult for people to participate in mining a blockchain without a significant capital investment. They also skew the ability mine a particular coin in favour of companies who can develop their own ASICs.

While some mining algorithms are designed with ASIC resistance in mind, it is worth keeping in mind the comments the lead developer of Sia made earlier this year: “At the end of the day, you will always be able to create custom hardware that can outperform general purpose hardware.”

SHA–256 — Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash

What better place to start with a comparison of algorithms than where the cryptocurrency craze all began — Bitcoin.

The Secure Hash Algorithms are a family of cryptographic hashing functions published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Short for Secure Hash Algorithm, the first variants of the SHA family, SHA–0, SHA–1 and SHA–2, were developed by the U.S. National Security Agency. SHA–256 and its bigger brother, SHA–512, are part of the SHA–2 family.

SHA–256 is not designed to be ASIC resistant, and ASICs to mine Bitcoin are readily available.

Scrypt — Litecoin, Dogecoin, Neo

Scrypt was designed to make it more difficult for specialised hardware like ASICs to be used to crack passwords that were hashed using the algorithm.

It did this by using a large amount of memory compared to similar functions, making it more expensive for an attacker to target.

However ASIC-based miners for cryptocurrencies which use Scrypt, like Litecoin, have been available since at least 2014.

Ethash — Ethereum, Ethereum Classic

Ethereum’s proof-of-work algorithm is a modified version of Dagger-Hashimoto, which was designed to be memory hard and ASIC resistant.

This means it tends to favour graphics cards with higher memory bandwidth, and has been the domain of people who want to mine a cryptocurrency with standard computer hardware (like high-end graphics cards) rather than specialised components.

Bitmain has produced a specialised Ethereum miner, but the creator of the platform, Vitalik Buterin, surmises that the “ASIC” is just an optimised regular computer with non-essential components stripped out.

Equihash — Zcash, ZenCash, Bitcoin Gold

Similar to Ethereum, the developers of Zcash created a memory-oriented proof-of-work algorithm for their cryptocurrency to make it ASIC resistant.

It uses Blake2b in the proof-of-work, and as a key-derivation function.

Bitmain has sold ASICs for Equihash, defeating its originally stated goal of democratising mining, rather than having it limited to only those who could afford specialised gear.

Blake, Blake2, and Blake2b — Siacoin, Decred

Blake was an entry into the competition by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology for a new SHA algorithm to complement its older SHA-1 and SHA-2 standards.

It made it to the final round, but ultimately lost to Keccak.

The algorithm is fast, and was not designed specifically with resistance to ASIC mining in mind.

Bitmain has released as ASIC miner for Blake2b-based coins. The developers of Siacoin themselves also launched an ASIC project called Obelisk about a year ago, and reported in detail about their findings of the state of the mining space.

Keccak — SmartCash, MaxCoin

Keccak won a competition in 2012 to become SHA–3, the next variant of the Secure Hash Algorithms family.

It proved to be faster than all other entrants to the competition, and faster than SHA–2 and SHA–1.

While Keccak was not designed to resist ASIC mining, it was built to resist cryptanalysis and brute-force attacks with specialised hardware like ASICs.

Keccak is therefore currently considered ASIC resistant, and there are no ASICs on the open market which target the algorithm.

CryptoNight — Monero, Bytecoin

CryptoNight was designed to be ASIC-resistant, and accessible. The aim was to close the gap between miners who only have access to consumer CPUs and can’t afford hardware like graphics cards and ASICs.

This is to foster more egalitarian mining, and greater decentralisation.

However, Bitmain announced in March that it developed an ASIC for the algorithm and was going to sell a specialised miner called the Antminer X3.

In response, the developers of Monero announced an emergency fork to update its hashing algorithm. They also announced that they will be forking Monero twice a year to try and ensure that it remains ASIC resistant for as long as possible.

X11 — Dash

X11 is an algorithm originally built for Dash which uses multiple rounds of 11 different hashes: Blake, BMW, Groestl, JH, Keccak, Skein, Luffa, Cubehash, Shavite, SIMD, Echo.

It was not designed to be ASIC resistant, and ASICs for X11 are available from several manufacturers including Bitmain, Baikal, iBelink, Innosilicon, and Pinidea.

Variants of this idea—in the form of X13, X15 and X17—are used by several other cryptocurrencies.

Multi-algorithm coins — Verge, Myriad

Where X11 uses multiple rounds of a number of different hashing algorithms to mine a coin, there are also coins which allow many different algorithms to be used to mine them.

The aim is to allow CPU, GPU, and ASIC miners a fair opportunity to mine the coin, and enhance the security of the cryptocurrency.

Essentially, multi-algorthm cryptocurrencies adjust the difficulty of mining their tokens for each algorithm independently to prevent one algorithm from becoming dominant.

In theory, this should also make “51% attacks” more difficult. Such attacks are possible when one person or group control the majority of the hashing power for a coin, allowing them to rewrite the blockchain as they see fit.

Verge supports Scrypt, X17, Lyra2rev2, Myr-Groestl, and Blake2s.

Myriad supports SHA256-D, Scrypt, Myr-Groestl, Skein, and Yescrypt.

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Circle Invest ropes Zcash into list of available cryptocurrencies

Circle has announced with excitement that  Zcash has been added to its list of cryptocurrencies offered on the investment app.

According to the announcement on the startup’s blog, that Zcash, a cryptocurrency which is becoming a pioneer for privacy advocacy, is joining the ranks of those available on the platform namely Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.

Circle Invest explains that users “will now be able to enjoy instant purchases, no minimums and a seamless investing experience”.

The company expressed that the “mission for Circle Invest is to democratize access to investing in crypto assets for every consumer. Making the wider breadth of assets available on Circle Invest will continue to be a part of this mission, and of course doing our best to ensure that we bring the crypto without the cryptic to everyone, anywhere.

The application which is still a youngling, having only seen its launch recently, was promoted as an “app that’s actually built around investing, not trends”, and punted itself as a way which is “cheap and simple to invest in crypto and digital assets”.

The announcement of the launch of the application came very soon after Circle – which itself is still a young five-year-old startup – confirmed its acquisition of Poloniex in February and, even then, the deal was suggested to increase the chances of future cryptocurrency-related efforts and platforms that might emerge.

Circle Invest senior product manager Rachel Mayer allegedly reported that “Circle has an established working group dedicated to finding the best crypto assets for our customers,” but did not explain why Zcash, in particular, was chosen to be added to the listed tokens. She continued that a requirement for coins to be listed is that they must be “consistent with [their] regulatory licensure”.

The startup also said that this will be the first a series of exciting announcements – so we can only expect more announcements on the horizon.

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The Blockchain Awakens: Imagining cryptocurrencies as Star Wars characters

When Star Wars (today retroactively titled A New Hope) first premiered in 1977, the emergence of what would become one of the most celebrated science fiction franchises of all time reignited not only a passion for fantasy, adventure, and mysticism, but further lead revolutions in both sound design, practical effects, and, more broadly speaking, the cultural adoption of film.

The paradigm shift Star Wars brought with it to cinema isn’t difficult to compare with the impact of cryptocurrencies on modern monetary systems. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology propose a shift in thinking that empowers a new generation of personal finance and peer-to-peer trade.

Like Star Wars, cryptocurrency hinges on an intersection where technology meets humanity, culture, and belief – and it’s not without a wry smile that we admit that like the story of a galaxy far, far away, the cryptocurrency world has brought with it its own slate of characters peppered with personas ranging from the heroic, the ominous, and at times, the plain silly.

Warning: If you haven’t watched the Star Wars saga, there may be some key spoilers in the content below.

Bitcoin: R2-D2

Though R2-D2 may be far from the most significant character in the Star Wars saga, everybody’s favorite trashcan-on-legs droid has witnessed the entirety of eight (and soon to be nine) feature films that comprise the core Star Wars story. There’s the argument to be made that Star Wars could be a story of R2-D2’s telling, given the plucky droid’s presence throughout the saga, his interaction with main characters, and his unwavering ability to save the day throughout many key moments in film.

Arriving on screen as the creation of an unknown creator, R2 succeeds in driving Star Wars’ plot forward – whether it be through acts as grand as saving starships or as simple as unlocking doors.

Bitcoin‘s emergence as the first decentralized, peer-to-peer money represents the genesis from which thousands of other cryptocurrencies have leaped forward – enabling a new belief in currency through reliance on cryptography, privacy, and technical soundness. Like R2-D2, had Bitcoin not existed, there may be no Star Wars story – or cryptocurrency ecosystem – to talk about.

Star Wars

Bitcoin Cash: C3-PO

R2-D2 needed a plucky companion with talents he didn’t possess, and George Lucas coupled the intrepid droid with C3-PO; the erstwhile protocol droid with talents in translation, functional modification, and incessant bickering with his partner.

Having been built by Anakin Skywalker, C3-PO serves the Star Wars saga as both a source of humor and context – extrapolating different dimensions to key plot scenes and bridging characters and audiences together.

That’s not to say we’re claiming that Roger Ver might be Anakin Skywalker in the world of cryptocurrency, but every hero needs a villain…

Bitcoin Cash, as the foremost hard fork to emerge from Bitcoin Core, is the scion of both love and scorn. Executing an alternate scaling path to the approach championed by Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash brings with it inter-operability, several notable use cases, and a refreshing reminder that sometimes cryptocurrency developers just don’t have all the answers – something that C3-PO has proved especially good at in the Star Wars saga.

Ethereum: Darth Vader

Anakin Skywalker’s story in Star Wars is one that marks hope, a fall from grace, and eventual redemption as the Chosen One; a title which several cryptocurrency investors tout when referring to the Ethereum platform.

Like Anakin Skywalker (and his darker half, Darth Vader), the concept of Ethereum has enabled a wider revolution in blockchain platforms that could feasibly intersect with everyday life in many ways. Just as Anakin Skywalker was prophesized to defeat the Sith and bring balance to the Force, so to might Ethereum be the lynchpin that decentralizes applications and, more broadly, the web.

Though not explicitly a moral debate, the character’s transition from man to machine brings with it interesting parallels to Ethereum’s planned change from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake mechanics.

XRP: Emperor Palpatine

Courting foundations on Julius Caesar and other dictators, Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine (in the prequels, Darth Sidious) represents one of film’s best-loved (and most-hated) machiavellian masterminds, whose scheme underpins both a galaxy-wide war and later a galaxy-wide despotic regime.

Ripple’s XRP is both loved and hated for similar reasons; rolling together the best and most applicable aspects of blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency ecosystem, yet meeting modern banking in a way that many cryptocurrency die-hards find abhorrent.

Palpatine’s ability to both play the likes of the Jedi, Republic, and later the Empire reflect just some of XRP’s utility and usability – where its speed and efficiency has rapidly found a home in several banking use-cases to the furor (and in some cases, admiration) of cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

EOS: Luke Skywalker

The principal hero of the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker is the son of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) – and the dynamic between the two is more than slightly reminiscent of that between Ethereum and EOS.

Similar in nature to Ethereum, EOS is a platform for decentralized applications that provides services like user authentication, server hosting, and cloud storage. 

If Star Wars’ original trilogy is the story of sons transcending their fathers, EOS’ relationship with Ethereum bears a close mirror – in perhaps the duo’s most remarkable difference, EOS already functions through proof-of-stake rather than through proof-of-work mechanics.

Like Luke Skywalker, EOS has quickly become a favorite among cryptocurrency investors – propelling the platform’s market cap to well over $15 billion USD.

Litecoin: Rey

Arriving on scene as a lovable scavenger with prodigious talents, Rey takes the role of the principal protagonist of the Star Wars sequel trilogy – rounding together Disney’s new take on the ethos of the original Star Wars trilogy and the technical vision of its prequels.

Litecoin launched and gained a loyal fanbase given its technical improvements over the Bitcoin Core network as well as its ability to maintain steadfast support and values despite tumultuous markets.

Rey’s quick ascension as the newest (and last?) Jedi closely mirrors Litecoin’s journey to becoming a fan-favourite cryptocurrency – with many touting the speed, efficiency, and integrity of ‘the silver to Bitcoin’s gold’ as leading reasons as to why the cryptocurrency may see many new adoption cases in the near future.

Dash: Princess Leia

The secret daughter of Anakin Skywalker and the adoptive daughter of royalty, Princess Leia continues to inspire a generation of strong female leads in cinema – a factor not dissimilar to Dash‘s debut in the cryptocurrency market space.

As a young senator and later leader of the Rebellion and Resistance, Leia counsels support from both the official, the vulnerable, and the brave at once – championing virtues of democracy and freedom.

Dash’s presence on the market – and its direction under the Dash Foundation – has seen the digital currency integrated as a solution for traders and investors alike in emerging markets under the direction of authoritative governments, such as Zimbabwe.

Dash’s employ of its Private Send feature carves a similar profile to the early double-life led by Leia as both a senator and leader of the Rebellion, while its use of masternodes derives strong support form its community in a manner not dissimilar to Leia’s command of the Resistance in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

NEO: Kylo Ren

If Ethereum were Darth Vader, it’d make sense that NEO took on the role of Kylo Ren – a fellow practitioner of the dark arts, aiming to emulate its forbear, all the while under the direction of a secretive and authoritative government.

Like Kylo Ren, NEO is a newer figure that has managed to quickly develop a dedicated following. The blockchain platform, like Ethereum, serves to create a scalable network of decentralized applications, and as per Ethereum’s aspirations functions through proof-of-stake mechanics.

Though NEO might well lack Kylo Ren’s ferocity and volatile temper, the cryptocurrency has succeeded in quickly garnering acclaim as a favorable avenue for investors in a fashion that quietly resembles Kylo Ren’s reception with the Star Wars fanbase.

Zcash: Boba Fett

The last word in icy coolness, Boba Fett inspired a generation of Star Wars fans following his debut in The Empire Strikes Back. Despite facing a quick end at the hands (or tentacles?) of the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi, the character went on to meet an expanded telling in the saga’s prequel trilogy.

While Zcash may not be headed for a similar pit any time soon, the appeal of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency has echoed much of Boba Fett’s initial appeal – anonymity and mystery.

Leveraging zero-knowledge proofs to anonymize the relationship between providers, verifiers, as well as transacting parties, Zcash has quickly risen to prominence as one of the foremost privacy coins on the market – tussling with the likes of Monero.

The comparisons between Zcash and its bounty hunter likeness only increase when one considers the that the legions of forks that have arisen from the cryptocurrency aren’t too dissimilar from the pool of clones Boba Fett emerged from in the first instance.

Dogecoin: Jar Jar Binks

Alright, we couldn’t resist.

Dogecoin is, at times, the marveling factor and laughing stock of the cryptocurrency community – an erstwhile ‘joke’ coin that has somehow succeeded in developing a market cap worth more than half a billion US Dollars.

Jar Jar Binks, praised and reviled as The Phantom Menace‘s worst introduction, has similarly gone on to carve out an abrasive profile amongst Star Wars fans.

Met with skepticism and revulsion upon the release of the first of the Star Wars prequels, Binks has gone on to become the center of mystery – with several fans wondering if the character was not intended for a wider role than the non-stop barrage of infantile jokes that informed The Phantom Menace.

Dogecoin, similarly, has gone on to find an awkward place at the heart of the cryptocurrency community – with several ICOs moving to accept the digital currency as tender for the release of future tokens.

Star Wars, its characters, trademarks and licenses are the property of Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company.

The post The Blockchain Awakens: Imagining cryptocurrencies as Star Wars characters appeared first on Coin Insider.

Charlie Lee hints at moving away from Litecoin in the interest of decentralization

The creator of Litecoin Charlie Lee recently spoke with Dr Julian Hosp, a well-rounded cryptocurrency figure, in a TenX interview where he shed light on his envisioned future for his founded cryptocurrency’s future.

In the interview, Lee admitted that he intends to step away from Litecoin, since having no leader would be required in order to fulfill his vision of Litecoin becoming a fully global decentralized cryptocurrency.

He suggested that the decentralized aspect of Bitcoin is provided because it not led by anyone, owing to the fact that it has an anonymous creator. With Lee heading up Litecoin, it is missing this key element. Lee explained that “Litecoin is more centralized because [he is] around, so it has a more centralized development team, has more centralized foundation.”

He stressed that a real decentralized coin should not have a leader managing it and the two concepts can’t align. This would mean that the creator of Litecoin would eventually have to leave the virtual currency. Lee elucidated on this, saying that for “a currency to really be … a worldwide decentralized currency, you can’t have … a real leader who’s trying to control things, so to make it more decentralized, eventually I would step away.”

In December of last year, Lee had sold all his Litecoin assets, saying that holding onto the tokens would be a conflict of interest, but urging supporters that he was still going to be around. “I’m not quitting Litecoin. I will still spend all my time working on Litecoin. When Litecoin succeeds, I will still be rewarded in lots of different ways, just not directly via ownership of coins.”

Not quite a contradiction since he had never stated that he would never leave Litecoin, the creator seems to hold the growth of the coin in high priority – and whether stepping back from the development is the way in which he thinks the most growth would happen, he clearly wouldn’t be afraid to take that move when it might come.

However, it doesn’t seem to be a concern for the near future and Lee and Litecoin’s union will remain intact until then.

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