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Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017

DIGI Token & Platform to Revolutionize Multi-billion Dollar Digital Market

DIGI Token & Platform to Revolutionize Multi-billion Dollar Digital Market

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.
The current state of cryptocurrency prices has left the world in a frenzy. With billions lost on market capitalization in a matter of hours the crypto world is in a place of “FUD”. Announcements from Governments and prominent financial figures cause markets to collapse but also gain unheard traction depending on views. This trepidation in the crypto markets gives investors a difficult time in deciding if they should buy or sell their crypto assets.
Few people would dispute the notion that future commerce will be digital. But at the present time, digital goods cannot be bought in many countries due to restrictions by processing merchants such as PayPal and high commissions imposed by existing digital marketplaces.
The DIGI Token, a new cryptocurrency, marks an attempt to change this using blockchain technology. Founders of the DIGI Token envision a future of easily downloadable digital goods and services.
DIGI is an upcoming blockchain service for digital goods and services who are hoping to disrupt the multi-billion dollar industry. The focus is on building the worlds largest platform for these services and they feel that a steady growth period will dismiss periods of FUD within their platform, as the larger their platform grows the higher the value of their token. This follows the rules of simple supply and demand, which will work across their platform as DIGI has a limited supply of 98M tokens.
Market research pegs the digital market at over $500 billion, which is more than almost four times the current cryptocurrency market. The increasing number of tablets, smartphones and Internet users has resulted in a high demand for digital content. There are presently more than 3.5 billion Internet users worldwide.
By creating a digital marketplace that is readily accessible to buyers of digital content and profitable for sellers, DIGI will make it possible for digital products to be bought and sold quickly and easily.
What Makes DIGI Different
Some existing digital platforms now take up to 60% of content contributors’ earnings and invoke tier systems where the more the contributor earns, the less commission they receive.
DIGI, by contrast, will create an ecosystem that will not deny content creators their rightful earnings.
The DIGI distributed ledger will also address copyright infringement issues which currently undermine the use of digital platforms. DIGI’s main revenue generation will not be based on commissions from content creators, but from promotional revenue streams of the DIGI Token.
DIGI will focus on what market researchers have identified as the 10 fastest growing digital products: e-books, stock photography, courses, subscriptions, services, apps, themes and templates, digital/gift vouchers, audio and video.
By focusing on these markets, DIGI will allow a scalable marketplace. As digital sectors evolve, the DIGI marketplace will become the platform of choice thanks to its moderated and high quality products.
The DIGI Token
Holders of the DIGI Token, an ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain, will use these tokens within trading and exchange platforms. They will also be able to use the tokens to purchase digital goods or services from the DIGI marketplace.
The fixed supply of 98 million DIGI Tokens ensures that early contributors to the platform will receive a great return of tokens on their contribution.
The DIGI fixed token supply holds an estimated 60% open for distribution within the token sale.
DIGI Token holders will use a DIGI wallet to transfer tokens securely.
The DIGI UI design has already begun and will be completed within the next few months. There will be both web and mobile versions of the DIGI wallet. The full front end and back end UI/UX platforms will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Development of the DIGI wallet, platform and token will all be completed in the first quarter of 2018. The platform will integrate the DIGI coin, while the token will be added to various cryptocurrency exchanges.
The wallet’s main launch will commence in the second quarter of 2018, following feedback from the alpha release. The main marketplace will also launch at that time with a fully functioning DIGI token and a marketplace APP strategy.
By the third quarter of 2018, strategic marketing will promote the token’s use, including additional cryptocurrency exchange partnerships and the launch of the DIGI Marketplace app.
Token Sale has begun
The token sale began in September and will end on October 19, 2017.
DIGI will only accept ETH for the token sale. Users can exchange other cryptocurrencies for ETH on ShapeShift.io or Changelly.com. Token buyers must send ETH funds from their personal Ethereum wallets such as MyEtherWallet, Metamask, Mist or Ledger, rather than cryptocurrency exchanges that offer ETH.
Citizens of the U.S. and China cannot purchase DIGI Tokens due to challenges associated with different regulations in U.S. states and new regulations imposed by China.
DIGI Tokens are not designed for speculative or investment purchases.
About 64% of the tokens will be available during the token sale period. Half the funds raised will support DIGI development. A quarter will go to marketing,10% to operations, 7% to legal and regulation compliance, and 8% will be earmarked for a contingency fund.
Early contributors will receive a 40% bonus, which means 1 ETH will give 840 DIGI tokens. This bonus ends in the next few days.
Visit digitoken.tech to contribute today.
September 18, 2017

Japan’s FSA Approves Coincheck’s Bitcoin Exchange License

Just recently the Japanese exchange Coincheck announced they have become a fully licensed exchange in Japan after being approved by the country’s Finance Bureau Director.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency Approves Coincheck’s  Cryptocurrency Trading Platform Registration

On September 13 the Japanese bitcoin trading platform and payment processor, Coincheck, announced the firm had been approved to be a licensed “virtual currency exchange.” The exchange registration approval follows the provisions of Article 63-3 of the country’s fund settlement law. After bitcoin was legalized as a form of payment on April 1, 2017, all domestic exchanges in Japan must receive authorization from the treasury department and Financial Services Agency (FSA) to operate a virtual currency exchange business.
At the time Coincheck was extremely pleased to see the Japanese statutes pass and said the “newly made law and regulations on bitcoin are going be enormous.” Further, the exchange revealed at the time that all exchange providers must be approved by the FSA.
“In order to make the exchanges more secure, cryptocurrency has been handed over to the authority of the FSA,” explains the Coincheck blog this past June.
All the exchange providers and other companies that deal with virtual currency will need to be registered by the FSA before they can start operation. It will help to make cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan tighter, more secure, have scrupulous control.

Coincheck Expands as Japanese Bitcoin Enthusiasm Continues to Grow

Japan has often captured the number one spot in global bitcoin trade volume. Coincheck handles a lot of bitcoin trade volume as the trading platform swapped 97,502 BTC over the past 24-hours. Further back in May the firm announced the creation of interest-bearing bitcoin savings accounts, if the FSA would allow the concept. This past August Coincheck launched a new investment sandbox that tends to crypto-startups and organizations running initial coin offerings (ICO).  
The Japanese trading platform’s new licensure approval follows the demise of the country’s infamous bitcoin exchange Mt Gox and reveals that officials are more comfortable with exchange operations. Moreover, the positive news comes at a time when Chinese bitcoin trading platforms have been forced to close most of its operations.
What do you think about Coincheck getting approved as a licensed bitcoin exchange in Japan? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, and Coincheck. 

Have you seen our new widget service? It allows anyone to embed informativeBitcoin.com widgets on their website. They’re pretty cool and you can customize by size and color. The widgets include price-only, price and graph, price and news, forum threads. There’s also a widget dedicated to our mining pool, displaying our hash power. Bitcoin.com has also ramped up our tools section with a variety of useful Bitcoin-related applications. There’s a price converter, paper wallet generator, a faucet, and a verifier to validate messages using the Bitcoin blockchain.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 13, 2017

Minexcoin status update and news !!!

Hello, dear Minex community!
We apologize for the delay and for not providing you explanations of this situation.
We know that missing our deadline was a disappointment for you, but be sure: the reasons are objective.
Our goal is our common success. Our goal is creating stable, secure, and reliable coin. We can not allow apply to stock market before being sure that MinexCoin will meet all our high internal requirements and your high expectations.
The delay is caused by coin code update: eliminating several minor and two major backdoors; and fixing one bug with Equihash algorithm implementation.
Two major backdoors we eliminated:
  1. Possibility of changing the address of deductions
  2. Possibility of manual setting of a reward for a block less than 2.5 MNX
These backdoors could allow perpetrators to trick the Minex Bank system and by doing so destabilize unfairly the coin. Many thanks to you — our community! — for helping and detecting these and other backdoors! We can proudly state that our community is great and honest. It is an honor for us to have you.
The bug we fixing: the problem of the nodes failure after the failure of the validation by Equihash algorithm.
We chose Equihash algorithm as it meets the needs of MinexCoin better, but while implementing we faced the problem described above.
Now we’re almost done with all the works so it will make MinexCoin more stable, secure, and fair for all participants.
Now to the news you’ve been waiting for:
We are planning to apply to the stock market in two weeks so MinexCoin will be able to trade on exchanges approximately in three-four weeks.
From this moment we will keep you informed and updated permanently. Fortunately, we have a lot of news upcoming: our team upgrade, MinexBank v 2.0, MinexExplorer update, Android version, and many many more.
Please accept our sincere apology for the delay.
Thank you for believing in us!
Yours Faithfully,
MinexSystems Team
September 13, 2017

UK Regulator Delivers Modest Caution On ‘Very High-Risk’ ICOs

UK Regulator Delivers Modest Caution On ‘Very High-Risk’ ICOs

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released new guidance on ICOs, urging consumers to be “conscious of the risks.”
In one of the more moderate responses to the growing investment phenomenon, the FCA refrained from any suggestion that specific schemes may face legal difficulties.
Certain businesses may be “conducting regulated activities” as part of their ICO, but this would be decided on a “case by case basis.”
“Many ICOs will fall outside the regulated space,” a bulletin on the Authority’s website reads.
“However, depending on how they are structured, some ICOs may involve regulated investments, and firms involved in an ICO may be conducting regulated activities.”
In holding off on blanket legislation for token sales, the FCA follows the example of the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), which also advised it would consider each ICO scheme on its own merits.
Hong Kong has also followed suit in this respect, while markets continue to feel the pressure of China’s all-out ban on ICOs enacted last week.

Six risks

In the West, Canada most recently caused a stir when a planned $125 mln ICO from social media platform Kik, opted to exclude its citizens due to legal uncertainties.
In turn, the FCA highlighted six “risks” which served to make ICOs “very high-risk, speculative investments.”
“You are extremely unlikely to have access to UK regulatory protections like the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service,” the bulletin explained about the level of investor protection offered in the UK for victims of fraudulent schemes.
The Authority also encouraged consumers to report “scam” ICOs directly.

source : https://cointelegraph.com
September 13, 2017

Developer Earn money ( TRENDING.ME )




TRENDS ICO schedule : 15th Sept 2017 8 AM UTC - 20th Oct 2017 8 PM UTC
(Token Distribution on 22 Oct 2017)
Regular Price : 1 ETH = 3000 TRENDS (Excluding Bonus)
Bonus TRENDS
Early Phase : 15th Sept 8 AM UTC - 17th Sept 8 AM UTC - 40% Bonus
Phase 1 : 17th Sept 8 AM UTC - 28th Sept 8 AM UTC - 25% Bonus
Phase 2 : 28th Sept 8 AM UTC - 05th Oct 8 AM UTC - 10% Bonus
Phase 3 : 05th Oct 8 AM UTC - 12th Oct 8 AM UTC - 5% Bonus
Phase 4 : 12th Oct 8 AM UTC - 20th Oct - Regular Price
Total amount we are looking to raise : 5000 ETH (~$1.5 Million Value)
Amount we need to consider ICO a success : 1250 ETH - 2000ETH (25% - 40%)
ROAD MAP
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Introduction of the project
  • Premium name Trending.me acquired
  • Team formed and incubated
  • ICO and Token Distribution
  • Hiring and expanding the trending.me
    Technology and Marketing Teams
  • Releasing an invite only Alpha Version where
    we onboard style ambassadors
    Q2 - Q3 2017
    Trending.me BETA release
  • Release Beta version of Trending.me
  • Execute marketing plan to on board 10,000
    users
  • Work on scale issues during this time
  • Prepare plan for release of Marketplace and
    onboard 3 Trend stores
    Q4 2017
    (January 2018)
    E Commerce Expansion
  • On board 5 more TREND stores to the
    Marketplace
    Q4 2017
    (Feb - March 2018)
    Trending.me v1.0 Release
    ● Release v1.0 version of Trending.me, will
    contain scale and bug fixes from alpha and
    beta versions.
    ● Execute Marketing plan to on board 50,000
    users.
    Q1 2018
    Trending.me v1.1 Release
    ● Release v1.1 version of Trending.me
    ● Introduce features such as video uploads and
    style blogs (BETA)
    ● On board 10 more stores in a popular user
    location
    Q2 2018
    Trending.me v1.2 Release
    ● v1.2 will contain a stable and scalable style
    blogging functionality
    ● Execute plan to invite celebrity style-bloggers
    to the platform
    Q3 2018
FEATURES
-Trendsetters
  • Merchants
-Advertisers
-Service Providers
-Investors
CLICK HERE TO JOIN ICO ! >http://www.trending.me/ICO/

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 12, 2017

SWARM- Altcoin Token ( Cooperative ownership platform for real assets ) Presale !!










The Swarm Fund team plans to help the
crypto world grow to $1 trillion by bringing
tokenized real-world assets through partner
funds.
The Swarm Fund team has managed $10B in
portfolios and built platforms which handle
$25B of monthly deal flow and already has
several pre-selected funds which generate
30+% IRR through scalable models powered
by artificial intelligence LEARN MORE >


>VISION 
Swarm vision is to allow anyone, anywhere in the world, to participate in value creation in the crypto asset category and to seize opportunities in new asset token types, anything from depressed real estate to solar installations to rainforest conservation projects and many again. Swarm transforms financial opportunities from exclusive to inclusive. We provide empowerment, access and exchange capabilities so everyone can take part and earn their crypto funds for them. 
With Swarm we will: 


1) Make it very simple for hands-offs, or beginner crypto investors to participate in the combined wealth creation resulting from the use of crypto space.
2) Create viable frameworks and hubs for crypto investors to invest into alternative asset-based opportunity opportunities, to avoid market volatility. 
3) Introduce a new alternative liquidity center for project owners with an attractive basic economy to find capital and engage with the investor community 


The Swarm Fund team plans to help the crypto world grow to $ 1 trillion by bringing real-world assets through partner funds. 
The Swarm Fund team managed to manage a $ 10 billion portfolio and built a platform that handles monthly transaction flows of $ 25 billion and already has some pre-selected funds that generate 30% IRR per year through a measurable model supported by artificial intelligence.
Token tos holder will set the platform where all this will happen and receive additional tokens on personal blockchain. This will allow them to participate in all subfunds. The 
system is designed to be tailored for full regulatory compliance in multiple jurisdictions. Corridors between public and private blockchain tokens are also designed to conform to AML / KYC completely and follow the existing model of exchanges. 


Click here to join !!! REGISTER

Apply to be a member under the following terms:
>Receive tokens which will translate to a tradable ERC20 token and allow you to use our liquid democracy platform
>Access to private in person events, including our crypto-investment seminars which provide tips from top traders and investment managers
>Access to an exclusive crypto related private communication channel for more frequent communication
>Early and privileged access to funds we are setting up, including our crypto-hedge fund
>Number of tokens purchased will be based on the Ethereum Swarm exchange rate at the time of the transaction


Swarm Token Distribution


Swarm has been a community from the very beginning, with a $1 million token sale that set in motion a whole new legal and governmental framework. Today those past contributors are joined by a new team that have pledged to take this from $1 million to $1 trillion worth of value. Every area of contribution is awarded equally.




>Easily deploy capital into real assets using the power of blockchain.
>Real Estate
Hassle free investment opportunities you can deploy in minutes.

>SaaS and Tech Corporations
Invest as little or as much capital you want without tying up your resources.

>Renewables and Preservation
Make a real impact towards restoring global health.




Can Swarm Fund Help The Cryptocurrency Market Finally Enter The Mainstream? As a consultant to startups and the organizations that support them, read more>,


Thursday, September 7, 2017

September 07, 2017

Russian Hackers Used 9000 computers to Mine Monero, Zcash, Other Cryptocurrencies

Russian Hackers Used 9000 computers to Mine Monero, Zcash, Other Cryptocurrencies


A group of hackers installed cryptocurrency mining malware on 9000 computers over two years, antivirus company Kaspersky Lab claims.
In new research reported by Russia Today, the provider said it had unearthed two Russian hacker groups which were hijacking machines to mine Monero and Zcash, among other cryptocurrencies.
The hackers controlled one batch of 4000, and another of 5000 computers.
"According to analysts, the hacker mining network brings its owners up to $30,000 per month," the publication quotes a Kaspersky source as saying.
Total earnings are estimated to be $209,000 so far for Monero alone, while the total income is harder to determine.
Cryptocurrency hacking is currently a topic of interest in Russia’s ongoing battle with regulation.
In July, the country’s Internet advisor to Vladimir Putin suggested up to an astonishing 30 percent of domestic devices were infected with a mining virus, comments which even fellow minister Dmitry Marinichev soon denied were true.
“In regions with lower bandwidth instances are reduced, but we’re looking at 20 to 30 percent of devices being infected - iPhones and Macs are less prone,” Klimenko had said.
Kaspersky has meanwhile warned about more legitimate threats affecting consumers, including August’s Trojan banker malware known as ‘Jimmy.

Friday, September 1, 2017

September 01, 2017

Is John Cena Wrestling Bitcoin Price Towards The Moon

Bitcoin has recently hit another rally after moving sideways at about $4,300 for a week or so, but the recent spike has been hard to explain - so perhaps it was wrestler John Cena?
The WWE super star posted a cryptic picture of a bunch of physical novelty Bitcoin coin to his seven mln followers, and two hours later Bitcoin spiked to a new all time high, one that has since been overtaken again, and again.

You can’t see me

Cena’s Instagram is a collection of emotive pictures without captions or explanation, leaving it up to his seven mln strong fans to decide, His bio reads: “Welcome to my Instagram. These images will be posted without explanation, for your interpretation. Enjoy.”
Thus, when Cena posted the image (below), many were taken aback as Bitcoin once again pops up unexpectedly in the mainstream devoid of the usual tech and monetary fields.

Other sporting personalities have shown their interest in cryptocurrencies, and even ICOs, as boxer Floyd Mayweather and footballer Luis Suarez also posted Instagram images about Stox, a prediction market ICO. Although, those have been seen as publicity stunts.

A Cena spike

Cena’s post came at 7:39 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday and two hours following that Bitcoin reached a new all time high.
Of course, this is all highly speculative, and coincidental and there is not a big enough caveat we can throw out here to say that correlation doesn’t equal causation.
Bitcoin’s movement and volatility is such that any number of factors can cause it to spike and drop.

Another push into the mainstream

One takeaway from this is Bitcoin, which was estimated to be used by around 10 mln people worldwide at the start of this year, could have been introduced to many who have only a passing interest in the digital currency.
Cena’s target market is not typified by innovative investors or necessarily tech fanatics either, however, by reaching seven mln people, Cena could have made a small dent in an easily manipulated market





source : cointelegraph
September 01, 2017

Guides about Bitcoin Cash ( Cryptocurrency - Money Digital )



Bitcoin is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible innovations in the recent past. However, it has also come under a lot of criticism for its scalability issues which has given rise to a lot of debates which are politically as well as ideologically motivated. Finally, on August 1, 2017, bitcoin went through a hard fork which gave birth to Bitcoin Cash. We are not going to be telling you which side is right and which side is wrong, that is totally up to you.


How do bitcoin transactions work?

Bitcoin was introduced by an unknown man/woman/group going by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto in their, now legendary, research paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. What bitcoin provided was a peer-to-peer decentralized, digital currency system. The entire system of bitcoin functions due to the work was done by a group of people called “miners”.

So what do these miners do? The two biggest activities that they do are:
  • Mining for blocks.
  • Adding transactions to the blocks.

Mining for blocks
All the miners use their computing power to look for new blocks to add to the blockchain. The process follows the “proof of work” protocol and once a new block has been discovered, the miners responsible for the discovery get a reward, currently set at 12.5 bitcoins (it is halved after every 210,000 blocks), however, this isn’t the only incentive that the miners have.

Adding transactions to the blocks
When a group of miners discovers and mine a new a new block, they become temporary dictators of that block. Suppose Alice has to send 5 bitcoins to Bob, she isn’t physically sending him any money, the miners have to actually add this transaction to the blocks in the chain and only then is this transaction deemed complete. In order to add these transactions to the blocks, the miners can charge a fee. If you want your transaction to be added quickly to these blocks, then you can give the miners a higher fee to “cut in line” so to speak.

For a transaction to be valid, it must be added to a block in the chain. However, this is when a problem arises, a block in the chain has a size limit of 1 MB and there are only so many transactions that can go at once. This was manageable before, but then something happened which made this a huge problem, bitcoin became famous!

The bitcoin scalability problem aka does size matter?


Yes, Bitcoin became popular and with that came its own series of problems.
In this graph you can see the number of transactions happening per month:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image source: Wikipedia

As you can see, the number of monthly transactions is only increasing and with the current 1mb block size limit, bitcoin can only handle 4.4 transactions per second. When Bitcoin was first created, the developers put the 1mb size limit by design because they wanted to cut down on the spam transactions which may clog up the entire Bitcoin network.

However, as the number of transactions increased by leaps and bounds, the rate at which the blocks filled up were increasing as well. More often than not, people actually had to wait till new blocks were created so that their transactions would go through. This created a backlog of transactions, in fact, the only way to get your transactions prioritized is to pay a high enough transaction fee to attract and incentivize the miners to prioritize your transactions.

This introduced the “replace-by-fee” system. Basically, this is how it works. Suppose Alice is sending 5 bitcoins to Bob, but the transaction is not going through because of a backlog. She can’t “delete” the transaction because bitcoins once spent can never come back. However, she can do another transaction of 5 bitcoins with Bob but this time with transaction fees which are high enough to incentivize the miners. As the miners put her transaction in the block, it will also overwrite the previous transaction and make it null and void.

While the “replace-by-fee” system is profitable for the miners, it is pretty inconvenient for users who may not be that well to do. In fact, here is a graph of the waiting time that a user will have to go through if they paid the minimum possible transaction fees:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image courtesy: Business Insider.

If you pay the lowest possible transaction fees, then you will have to wait for a median time of 13 mins for your transaction to go through.
To repair this inconvenience, it was suggested that the block size should be increased from 1mb to 2mb. As simple as that suggestion sounds, it is not that easy to implement, and this has given rise to numerous debates and conflicts with team 1mb and team 2mb ready to go at each other with pitchforks. As already mentioned, we want to take a neutral stance in this whole debate and we would like to present the arguments made by both sides.

Arguments against block size increase

  • Miners will lose incentive because transaction fees will decrease: Since the block sizes will increase transactions will be easily inserted, which will significantly lower the transaction fees. There are fears that this may disincentivize the miners and they may move on to greener pastures. If the number of miners decreases then this will decrease the overall hashrate of bitcoin.

  • Bitcoins shouldn’t be used for everyday purposes: Some members of the community don’t want bitcoin to be used for regular everyday transactions. These people feel that bitcoins have a higher purpose than just being regular everyday currency.

  • It will split the community: A block size increase will inevitably cause a fork in the system which will make two parallel bitcoins and hence split the community in the process. This may destroy the harmony in the community.

  • It will cause increased centralization: Since the network size will increase, the amount of processing power required to mine will increase as well. This will take out all the small mining pools and give mining powers exclusively to the large scale pools. This will in turn increase centralization which goes against the very essence of bitcoins.

Arguments for the block size increase

  • Block size increase actually works to the miner’s benefit: Increased block size will mean increase transactions per block which will, in turn, increase a number of transaction fees that a miner may make from mining a block.

  • Bitcoin needs to grow more and be more accessible for the “common man”. If the block size doesn’t change then there is a very real possibility that the transactions fees will go higher and higher. When that happens, the common man will never be able to use it and it will be used exclusively only by the rich and big corporations. That has never been the purpose of bitcoin.

  • The changes won’t happen all at once, they will gradually happen over time. The biggest fear that people have when it comes to the block size change is that too many things are going to be affected at the same time and that will cause major disruption. However, people who are “pro block size increase” think that that’s an unfounded fear as most of the changes will be dealt with over a period of time.

  • There is a lot of support for block size increase already and people who don’t get with the times may get left behind.

In order to solve the scalability issues there were two suggestions made:

Before we go into any of them, however, let’s understand the fundamental difference between a soft fork and a hard fork. A fork is a condition whereby the state of the blockchain diverges into chains were a part of the network has a different perspective on the history of transactions than a different part of the network. That is basically what a fork is, it is a divergence in the perspective of the state of the blockchain.

What Is A Soft Fork?

Whenever a chain needs to be updated there are two ways of doing that: a soft fork or a hard fork. Think of soft fork as an update in the software which is backwards compatible. What does that mean? Suppose you are running MS Excel 2005 in your laptop and you want to open a spreadsheet built in MS Excel 2015, you can still open it because MS Excel 2015 is backwards compatible.

BUT, having said that there is a difference. All the updates that you can enjoy in the newer version won’t be visible to you in the older version. Going back to our MS excel analogy again, suppose there is a feature which allows to put in GIFs in the spreadsheet in the 2015 version, you won’t see those GIFs in the 2005 version. So basically, you will see all text but won’t see the GIF.

What Is A Hard Fork?

The primary difference between a soft fork and hardfork is that it is not backward compatible. Once it is utilized there is absolutely no going back whatsoever. If you do not join the upgraded version of the blockchain then you do not get access to any of the new updates or interact with users of the new system whatsoever. Think PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. You can’t play PS3 games on PS4 and you can’t play PS4 games on PS3.

What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide

Andreas Antonopoulos describes the difference between hard and soft fork like this:
If a vegetarian restaurant would choose to add pork to their menu it would be considered to be a hard fork. if they would decide to add vegan dishes, everyone who is vegetarian could still eat vegan, you don’t have to be vegan to eat there, you could still be vegetarian to eat there and meat eaters could eat there too so that’s a soft fork.

However, for any major changes to happen in bitcoin, the system needs to come to a consensus. So, how does a decentralized economy come to an agreement on anything?
Right now the two biggest ways that are achieved are:
  • Miner Activated: Basically changes that are voted on by miners.
  • User Activated.: Changes that are voted on by people with active nodes.

Before we go on any further, we need to understand what Segwit is.

What is segwit?

We won’t go very deep into what segwit is but, in order to get why bitcoin cash came about, it is important to have an idea of what it is. Just to reiterate what we have mentioned before, we won’t be taking any side in this debate, we will simply be educating you about it.

When you closely examine a block, this is what it looks like:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image Courtesy: Riaz Faride

There is the block header of course which has 6 elements in it, namely:
  • Version.
  • Previous block hash.
  • Transaction Merkle roots.
  • Epoch time stamp.
  • Difficulty target.
  • Nonce.
And along with the block header, there is the body, and the body is full of transactions details.
So, what does a bitcoin transaction consist of? Any transaction consists of 3 elements:
  • The sender details which is the input.
  • The receiver details i.e. the output.
  • The digital signature.

The digital signature is extremely important because it is what verifies whether the sender actually has the required amount of funds needed to get the transaction done or not. As you can see in the diagram above, it is part of the input data.  Now, while this is all very important data there is a big big problem with it. It takes up way too much space. Space that already is in limited availability thanks to the 1 MB block size. In fact, the signature accounts for nearly 65% of the space taken by a transaction!

Dr. Peter Wuille has come up with a solution for this, he calls it Segregated Witness aka Segwit.
This is what will happen once segwit is activated, all the sender and receiver details will go inside the main block, however, the signatures will go into a new block called the “Extended Block”.

What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
So what this will do is that it will create more space in the blocks for more transactions. Now that you have a very basic understanding of what segwit is, let’s check out its pros and cons.

What are the pros and cons of segwit?


Pros of segwit:
  • Increases a number of transactions that a block can take.
  • Decreases transaction fees.
  • Reduces the size of each individual transaction.
  • Transactions can now be confirmed faster because the waiting time will decrease.
  • Helps in the scalability of bitcoin.
  • Since the number of transactions in each block will increase, it may increase the total overall fees that a miner may collect.

Cons of segwit:
  • Miners will now get lesser transaction fees for each individual transaction.
  • The implementation is complex and all the wallets will need to implement segwit themselves. There is a big chance that they may not get it right the first time.
  • It will significantly increase the usage of resources since the capacity, transactions, bandwidth everything will increase.

When the developers built SegWit they added a special clause to it. It can only be activated when it has 95% approval from the miners. After all, it is a huge change in the system and they figured that getting a super majority was the way to go. However, this caused a disruption in the system. Most miners don’t want segwit to be activated. They are afraid that since the available block space will increase, it will drastically reduce the transaction fees that they can get. As a result, they stalled segwit which in turn infuriated the users and businesses who desperately want segwit to be activated.

Eventually, they came up with the idea of a UASF aka User Activated Soft Fork called BIP 148.

What is a BIP?

BIPs or Bitcoin Improvement Proposals is a design document which introduces various designs and improvements to the bitcoin network. There are three kinds of BIPs:

  • Standards Track BIPs: Changes to the network protocol, transaction, and blocks.
  • Informational BIPs: Dealing with design issues and general guidelines.
  • Process BIPs: Changes to the process.

So what is BIP 148?


The BIP 148 is a user activated soft fork i.e. a soft fork that has been activated by the users. What it states is that all the full nodes in the bitcoin networks will reject any and all blocks that are being created without segwit ingrained in it. The idea is to motivate the miners to put segwit activation in the blocks that they mine for it to be part of the system.

It is hoped that by encouraging more and more miners to come over to the BIP 148 side, eventually the 95% threshold limit will be crossed and segwit will be activated. There are legit fears of a chain split happening but that can be easily avoided if just 51% of the miners come over to the BIP 148 side. Have more than half of the miners to the other side will greatly reduce the hash rate of the legacy chain i.e. the original chain.

Going by the coordination game-theory, the miners will be compelled to come over to the other side with the majority. This however raised a serious concern. What if the change over doesn’t happen smoothly and what if it does cause a legitimate chain split? This could spell disaster and this is the exact issue raised by the mining company Bitmain. So, as a contingency plan for BIP 148, Bitmain proposed a UAHF aka User Activated Hard Fork.

What is the UAHF?


The User Activated Hard Fork is a proposal by Bitmain which will enable the construction of a whole new form of bitcoin and blocks with larger sizes. Since this is a hard fork, the chain will not be backwards compatible with the rest of the bitcoin blockchain. The biggest reason why this looks so appealing is that the hard fork does not require a majority of hashpower to be enforced. All nodes who accept these rule set changes will automatically follow this blockchain regardless of the support it gets. At the same time, many people just weren’t happy with the idea of signatures being kept separate from the rest of the transaction data, they considered it to be a hack.

Bitmain visualizes this as a voluntary escape for everyone who is not interested in following up with the BIP 148 proposal. If you don’t like it then jump ship and you can be a part of this new chain. At the “Future of Bitcoin” conference a developer named Amaury Séchet revealed the Bitcoin ABC (Adjustable Blocksize Cap) project and announced the upcoming hardfork. Following the announcement, and after Bitcoin ABC’s first client release, the project “Bitcoin Cash” (BCC) was announced which came into full effect on August 1.

What is Bitcoin Cash?


This is how Bitcoin Cash project website is defining itself: “Bitcoin Cash is peer-to-peer electronic cash for the Internet. It is fully decentralized, with no central bank and requires no trusted third parties to operate.” Did you notice the emphasis on the words “peer-to-peer electronic cash”? It is done by design because the primary motivation of bitcoin cash’s existence depends solely on carrying out more transactions as Jimmy Song points out in his Medium article.
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a lot like Bitcoin but has some very noticeable differences:

  • The blocksize is 8 MB.
  • It won’t have segwit.
  • It won’t have the “replace by fee” feature.
  • It will have replay and wipeout protection.
  • It offers a way to adjust the proof-of-work difficulty quicker than the normal 2016 block difficulty adjustment interval found in Bitcoin.

Since BCH is a result of a hardfork, anyone who possessed BTC got the equal amount of coins in BCH PROVIDED they didn’t have their BTC in exchanges and were in possession of their private keys at the time of the hardfork. So now let’s go through certain interesting features of Bitcoin Cash.

How Bitcoin Cash prevents replay attacks?


One of the best features of Bitcoin Cash is how it circumnavigates one of the biggest problems that any cryptocurrency can face post-forking, the replay attack.

What is a replay attack?


A replay attack is data transmission that is maliciously repeated or delayed. In the context of a blockchain, it is taking a transaction that happens in one blockchain and maliciously repeating it in another blockchain. Eg. Alice is sending 5 BTC to Bob, under a replay attack she will send him 5 BCH as well, even though she never meant to do that.

So, how does Bitcoin cash prevent replay attacks? (data are taken from Andre Chow’s answer in stack exchange)

  • Using a redefined sighash algorithm. This sighash algorithm is only used when the sighash flag has bit 6 set. These transactions would be invalid on the non-UAHF chain as the different sighashing algorithm will result in invalid transactions.

  • Using OP_RETURN output which has the string “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” as data. Any transaction which contains this string will be considered invalid by bitcoin cash nodes until the 530,000th block.  Basically, before that block you can split your coins by transacting on the non-UAHF chain first with the OP_RETURN output, and then transacting on the UAHF chain second.

How does Bitcoin Cash attract miners?


Any cryptocurrency depends heavily on its miners to run smoothly. Lately, bitcoin cash has attracted a lot of miners which has significantly improved its hash rate. Here is how they did that. For this, we will take the brilliant Jimmy Song’s help again.

Bitcoin cash has a set rule as to when it decreases its difficulty. Before we see the rule it is important to understand what Median Time Past (MTP) is. It is the median of the last 11 blocks that have been mined in a blockchain.  Basically, line up the last 11 blocks one after another and the time at which the middle block is mined is the median time past of the set. The MTP helps us determine the time at which future blocks can be mined as well. Here is a chart of the MTP of various blocks:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image courtesy: Jimmy Song Medium article.

So, this is the rule for difficulty adjustment in bitcoin cash: If the Median Time Past of the current block and the Median Time Past of 6 blocks before is greater than 12 hours then the difficulty reduces by 20% i.e. it becomes 20% easier for miners to find newer blocks. This gives the miners some power to adjust difficulty, eg. checkout the 13-hour gap between blocks 478570 and 478571. The miners may have simply been doing this to make the blocks easier to mine.

Another interesting thing to note is how and when the difficulty rate can adjust in a cryptocurrency. This is a graph which tracks the difficulty rate of BCH:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image courtesy: Bitinfocharts.com

The difficulty rate adjusts according to a number of miners in the system. If there are fewer miners, then the difficulty rate goes down because the overall hashing power of the system goes down. When bitcoin cash first started it was struggling a bit to get miners, as a result, its difficulty dropped down drastically. This, in turn, attracted a lot of miners who found the opportunity to be very lucrative. This caused an exodus of miners from BTC so much so that the hashing power of BTC halved, decreasing the transaction time and increasing the fees. Reports on social media stated that BTC transaction was taking hours and even days to complete.
Here is the graph that shows the drop in hash rate of BTC:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image courtesy: Investopedia

The value of Bitcoin Cash

As of writing, BCH is the second most expensive cryptocurrency in the world behind BTC at $573.35 per BCH with a market cap of $9.4 billion (which is the third highest behind BTC and ETH). Its value once surged over $700. You can checkout the graph below for more details:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image Courtesy: Coin Market Cap.

So what is the driving force behind the value of bitcoin cash?


Reason #1:
More and more exchanges are agreeing to take up bitcoin cash. When it first started most exchanges were reluctant to take up BCH, but now more and more exchanges are accepting it. This, in turn, gives it credibility which increases its value.
The following are the wallets and exchanges which are supporting BCH:
What is Bitcoin Cash? A Basic Beginners Guide
Image courtesy: Coinsutra

Reason #2:
More and more miners are coming into it. As explained above, BCH currently is very lucrative for miners and many of them are coming in and giving their hashing power which in turn increases its value. At the same time, since the block size is 8 MB as well, it will enable more transactions within the block which will generate more transaction fees for the miners.

What is the future of Bitcoin Cash?


In short, we don’t know. We have no idea how bitcoin cash is going to turn out in the future nor do we know the long term repercussions that it will have on BTC. What we do know is that this is the first time that anyone has successfully hardforked from BTC whilst keeping the records of the existing transactions. What we have here is a very interesting experiment which will teach us a lot of lessons moving forward. At the same time, the 8 mb block size is definitely a very alluring aspect and it remains to be seen how this affects the miners in the long run. Can this really address all the scalability issues? Can BCH ever overtake BTC and become the primary chain? All these questions are mere speculations for now. What we can say for sure is that we have a very interesting future ahead.

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