Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Although other cryptocurrencies have come before, Bitcoin is the first decentralized cryptocurrency – Its reputation has spawned copies and evolution in the space.
With the largest variety of markets and the biggest value – having reached a peak of 18 billion USD – Bitcoin is here to stay. As with any new invention, there can be improvements or flaws in the initial model however the community and a team of dedicated developers are pushing to overcome any obstacle they come across. It is also the most traded cryptocurrency and one of the main entry points for all the other cryptocurrencies. The price is as unstable as always and it can go up or down by 10%-20% in a single day.
Bitcoin is an SHA-256 POW coin with 21,000,000 total minable coins. The block time is 10 minutes. See below for a full range of Bitcoin markets where you can trade US Dollars for Bitcoin, crypto to Bitcoin and many other fiat currencies too.
Learn about the history of Bitcoin here and check out 50 crazy-fun facts about Bitcoin here!
Mobile payments made easy Bitcoin on mobiles allows you to pay with a simple two step scan-and-pay. No need to sign up, swipe your card, type a PIN, or sign anything. All you need to receive Bitcoin payments is to display the QR code in your Bitcoin wallet app and let your friend scan your mobile, or touch the two phones together (using NFC radio technology).
Security and control over your money Bitcoin transactions are secured by military grade cryptography. Nobody can charge you money or make a payment on your behalf. So long as you take the required steps to protect your wallet, Bitcoin can give you control over your money and a strong level of protection against many types of fraud.
Works everywhere, anytime Just like with email, you don’t need to ask your family to use the same software or the same service providers. Just let them stick to their own favorites. No problem there; they are all compatible as they use the same open technology. The Bitcoin network never sleeps, even on holidays!
Fast international payments Sending bitcoins across borders is as easy as sending them across the street. There are no banks to make you wait three business days, no extra fees for making an international transfer, and no special limitations on the minimum or maximum amount you can send.
Choose your own fees There is no fee to receive bitcoins, and many wallets let you control how large a fee to pay when spending. Most wallets have reasonable default fees, and higher fees can encourage faster confirmation of your transactions. Fees are unrelated to the amount transferred, so it’s possible to send 100,000 bitcoins for the same fee it costs to send 1 bitcoin.
Protect your identity With Bitcoin, there is no credit card number that some malicious actor can collect in order to impersonate you. In fact, it is even possible to send a payment without revealing your identity, almost just like with physical money. You should however take note that some effort can be required to protect your privacy.
Balances – block chain The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain. This way, Bitcoin wallets can calculate their spendable balance and new transactions can be verified to be spending bitcoins that are actually owned by the spender. The integrity and the chronological order of the block chain are enforced with cryptography.
Transactions – private keys A transaction is a transfer of value between Bitcoin wallets that gets included in the block chain. Bitcoin wallets keep a secret piece of data called a private key or seed, which is used to sign transactions, providing a mathematical proof that they have come from the owner of the wallet. The signature also prevents the transaction from being altered by anybody once it has been issued. All transactions are broadcast between users and usually begin to be confirmed by the network in the following 10 minutes, through a process called mining.
Processing – mining Mining is a distributed consensus system that is used to confirm waiting transactions by including them in the block chain. It enforces a chronological order in the block chain, protects the neutrality of the network, and allows different computers to agree on the state of the system. To be confirmed, transactions must be packed in a block that fits very strict cryptographic rules that will be verified by the network. These rules prevent previous blocks from being modified because doing so would invalidate all following blocks. Mining also creates the equivalent of a competitive lottery that prevents any individual from easily adding new blocks consecutively in the block chain. This way, no individuals can control what is included in the block chain or replace parts of the block chain to roll back their own spend.
Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. In the Ethereum protocol and blockchain there is a price for each operation. The general idea is, in order to have things transferred or executed by the network, you have to consume or burn Gas. The cryptocurrency is called Ether and is used to pay for computation time and for transaction fees.
If you want to earn block rewards from the network, you can join the network as a miner. Follow the link for a guide on how to mine Ethereum on a Windows Pc. The much easier but a bit more expensive way is to buy an Ethereum mining contract.
Ethereum is how the Internet was supposed to work. As long as you have enough funds to pay for your code to be run by the network, your contacts will always be up and running.
It was crowdfunded during August 2014 by fans all around the world. It is developed and maintained by ETHDEV with contributions from great minds across the globe. There is also an Ethereum foundation and there are multiple startups working with the Ethereum blockchain.
Ethereum is currently on the “Homestead” stage and all its related software is still considered Beta until the release of the next stage “Metropolis”.
If you are looking for a GUI interface for your wallet, try the Ethereum Wallet DApp. It’s still in beta so be careful when you use it.
Our block explorer data bellow is freely provided by etherchain.org and etherscan.io.
Ethereum is a platform that is intended to allow people to easily write decentralized applications (Đapps) using blockchain technology. A decentralized application is an application which serves some specific purpose to its users, but which has the important property that the application itself does not depend on any specific party existing. Rather than serving as a front-end for selling or providing a specific party’s services, a Đapp is a tool for people and organizations on different sides of an interaction use to come together without any centralized intermediary.
Contracts generally serve four purposes:
– Maintain a data store representing something which is useful to either other contracts or to the outside world; one example of this is a contract that simulates a currency, and another is a contract that records membership in a particular organization.
– Serve as a sort of externally owned account with a more complicated access policy; this is called a “forwarding contract” and typically involves simply resending incoming messages to some desired destination only if certain conditions are met; for example, one can have a forwarding contract that waits until two out of a given three private keys have confirmed a particular message before resending it (ie. multisig). More complex forwarding contracts have different conditions based on the nature of the message sent; the simplest use case for this functionality is a withdrawal limit that is overrideable via some more complicated access procedure.
– Manage an ongoing contract or relationship between multiple users. Examples of this include a financial contract, an escrow with some particular set of mediators, or some kind of insurance. One can also have an open contract that one party leaves open for any other party to engage with at any time; one example of this is a contract that automatically pays a bounty to whoever submits a valid solution to some mathematical problem, or proves that it is providing some computational resource.
– Provide functions to other contracts; essentially serving as a software library.
Contracts interact with each other through an activity that is alternately called either “calling” or “sending messages”. A “message” is an object containing some quantity of ether (a special internal currency used in Ethereum with the primary purpose of paying transaction fees), a byte-array of data of any size, the addresses of a sender and a recipient. When a contract receives a message it has the option of returning some data, which the original sender of the message can then immediately use. In this way, sending a message is exactly like calling a function.
Sandwich complexity model: the bottom level architecture of Ethereum should be as simple as possible, and the interfaces to Ethereum (including high level programming languages for developers and the user interface for users) should be as easy to understand as possible. Where complexity is inevitable, it should be pushed into the “middle layers” of the protocol, that are not part of the core consensus but are also not seen by end users – high-level-language compilers, argument serialization and deserialization scripts, storage data structure models, the leveldb storage interface and the wire protocol, etc. However, this preference is not absolute.
Freedom: users should not be restricted in what they use the Ethereum protocol for, and we should not attempt to preferentially favor or disfavor certain kinds of Ethereum contracts or transactions based on the nature of their purpose. This is similar to the guiding principle behind the concept of “net neutrality”. One example of this principle not being followed is the situation in the Bitcoin transaction protocol where use of the blockchain for “off-label” purposes (eg. data storage, meta-protocols) is discouraged, and in some cases explicit quasi-protocol changes (eg. OP_RETURN restriction to 40 bytes) are made to attempt to attack applications using the blockchain in “unauthorized” ways. In Ethereum, we instead strongly favor the approach of setting up transaction fees in such a way as to be roughly incentive-compatible, such that users that use the blockchain in bloat-producing ways internalize the cost of their activities (ie. Pigovian taxation).
Generalization: protocol features and opcodes in Ethereum should embody maximally low-level concepts, so that they can be combined in arbitrary ways including ways that may not seem useful today but which may become useful later, and so that a bundle of low-level concepts can be made more efficient by stripping out some of its functionality when it is not necessary. An example of this principle being followed is our choice of a LOG opcode as a way of feeding information to (particularly light client) dapps, as opposed to simply logging all transactions and messages as was internally suggested earlier – the concept of “message” is really the agglomeration of multiple concepts, including “function call” and “event interesting to outside watchers”, and it is worth separating the two.
Have No Features: as a corollary to generalization, the dev team often refuses to build in even very common high-level use cases as intrinsic parts of the protocol, with the understanding that if people really want to do it they can always create a sub-protocol (eg. ether-backed subcurrency, bitcoin/litecoin/dogecoin sidechain, etc) inside of a contract. An example of this is the lack of a Bitcoin-like “locktime” feature in Ethereum, as such a feature can be simulated via a protocol where users send “signed data packets” and those data packets can be fed into a specialized contract that processes them and performs some corresponding function if the data packet is in some contract-specific sense valid.
Non-risk-aversion: the dev team is okay with higher degrees of risk if a risk-increasing change provides very substantial benefits (eg. generalized state transitions, 50x faster block times, consensus efficiency, etc)
Ripple positions itself as a complement to, rather than a competitor with, Bitcoin – the site has a page dedicated to Ripple for bitcoiners. Ripple is a distributed network which means transactions occur immediately across the network – and as it is peer to peer – the network is resilient to systemic risk. Ripples aren’t mined – unlike bitcoin and its peers – but each transaction destroys a small amount of XRP which adds a deflationary measure into the system. There are 100 billion XRP at present.
A math-based currency, also referred to as a cryptocurrency, is a digital asset with verifiable mathematical properties, similar to how we can reliably verify gold as a substance made of atoms with 79 protons. Math-based currencies exist as digital assets in their own right and can be transferred directly between users (as fiat cash can be) without relying on a centralized protocol operator. XRP exists as a math-based currency on the Ripple protocol.
The primary function of XRP is to protect the Ripple protocol against denial-of-service (DoS) spam attacks. Since the Ripple protocol is based around a shared ledger of accounts, a malicious attacker could create large amounts of “ledger spam” (such as fake accounts) and “transaction spam” (such as fake transactions) in an attempt to overload the protocol. This could cause the size of the ledger to become unmanageable and interfere with the protocol’s ability to quickly settle legitimate transactions.
XRP has great value as a bridge currency. Because each gateway’s balances trade as distinct assets within Ripple, the number of potential currency pairings can become quite large. Instead of quoting every possible currency/gateway combination, XRP can serve as a useful bridge currency to enable these transfers. This is possible because if every currency is liquid to XRP, then every currency is liquid to every other currency:
The Ledger and Consensus
The Ripple protocol is, at its core, a shared public database. This database includes a ledger, which serves to track accounts and the balances associated with them. The ledger is a distributed database — a perfect, shared record of accounts, balances, and transactions in the Ripple protocol. It is continually and automatically updated by the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) so that an identical ledger exists on thousands of servers around the world. At any time, anybody can review the ledger and see a record of all activity on the Ripple protocol. When changes are made to the ledger, computers connected to the Ripple protocol will mutually agree to the changes via a process called consensus. The Ripple protocol reaches consensus globally within seconds of a change being made. The consensus finding process is the engineering breakthrough that allows for fast, secure, and decentralized transaction settlement on the Ripple protocol.
The World’s First Distributed Exchange
No one owns or controls the Ripple protocol. It runs on computers around the world, all working together to continually maintain a perfect, shared record of accounts, balances, and transactions. Distributed networks offer many efficiencies over centralized networks. Because the network is “self-clearing”, it eliminates the need for a centralized network operator (and gets rid of the associated layer of fees). Because there is no single point of failure, distributed networks are more reliable. They also tend to be more secure, due to their open source nature.
Ripple connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates via RippleNet to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally.
Connectivity across payments networks
Instant, on-demand settlement
Real-time traceability of funds
Low operational and liquidity costs
Stellar is public infrastructure for money.
Supported by a nonprofit, Stellar brings the world together by increasing interoperability between diverse financial systems and currencies.
Stellar is a technology that enables money to move directly between people, companies and financial institutions as easily as email. This means more access for individuals, lower costs for banks, and more revenue for businesses. Help better the world’s financial infrastructure by participating in our community or by building on Stellar.
Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payments systems, and people. Integrate to move money quickly, reliably, and at almost no cost.
Cardano is a decentralised public blockchain and cryptocurrency project and is fully open source.
Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach.
The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers
0x (ZRX) is an open-source protocol that provides smart contract infrastructure and liquidity to enable the peer-to-peer exchange of tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. ZRX is the token that allows 0x users to vote on Improvement Proposals that evolve the system over time. ZRX token holders can also delegate ZRX to market maker staking pools to earn protocol liquidity rewards (in ETH).
For the first time ever true micro and even nano-transactions are enabled due to the unique IOTA Tangle architecture, providing developers with a brand new set of tools for their applications in both IoT and Web. This nurtures brand new business opportunities for companies that prohibitive fees has kept in the realm of the impossible until now.
Core feature of IOTA is the ability to transfer data through the Tangle. IOTA gives you several options to do so, making it possible to establish secure and authenticated communication channels between devices. All data which is transferred through IOTA is fully authenticated and tamper-proof – making attacks impossible.
Although IOTA is uniquely suited for the Internet-of-Things, the Tangle enables a variety of different use cases that involve secure data transmission, especially for eGovernance. An important part of this sector is e-Voting. The exploration into this field of use-cases has already begun by several companies and academics.
As the first extensible module of the IOTA core, MAM enables nodes to exchange data through the Tangle, fully authenticated and encrypted. This means that your devices can transmit valuable and sensitive data with quantum-proof security through the Tangle, ready to be analyzed later. MAM makes it possible to share data with multiple parties easily, similar to a radio, multiple parties can simply tune in on your frequency and get the broadcast data.
Leasing anything with a Chip
While the whole world has adopted the ‘Sharing Economy’ in areas like driving and accommodation, IOTA enables a whole new realm where anything with a chip in it can be leased in real time. Most of our belongings stay idle for the vast majority of time that we possess ownership of it, but through IOTA a lot of these things like Appliances, Tools, Drones, eBikes etc. and resources such as computer storage, computational power, WiFi bandwidth etc. can be turned into leasing-services effortlessly.
Ontology describes itself as a provider of high-performance public blockchains, which includes distributed ledger and smart contract systems.
The Ontology blockchain framework reportedly supports public blockchain systems that can be customized for different applications. Ontology supports collaboration among chain networks with its various protocol groups.
Ontology aims to constantly provide common modules on the underlying infrastructure for different kinds of distributed scenarios, such as those for the distributed digital identity framework and distributed data exchange protocol. Ontology intends to continue developing new common modules based on specific scenario requirements.
Ontology uses a dual token (ONT and ONG) model. ONT is a coin and can be used for staking in consensus, whereas ONG is a utility token used for on-chain services. ONT releases ONG periodically.
Wanchain (WAN) aims to build a ‘super financial market’ by connecting distinct digital assets. Its key features are cross-chain interoperability, privacy, and smart contract functionality. Wanchain connects and facilitates the transfer of value between different blockchains in a distributed fashion. Public or private blockchains can integrate with Wanchain to establish connections between different ledgers and perform inter-ledger asset transfers. The Wanchain ledger supports not only smart contracts, but also token exchange privacy protection. Use cases of the Wanchain include asset transfers, loan origination, and credit payments. Wanchain is part of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and Blockchain Interoperability Alliance (BIA). The latter comprises ICON, Aion, and Wanchain and has the shared goal of promoting interconnectivity between isolated blockchain networks.
Hedera describes itself as a decentralized public network that aims to allow anyone to transact, play, and socialize in a secure, trusted environment.