Tag: ripple

Cryptocurrency Is Alive and Better Than Ever

By Max Bibeau | United States

With the prices of cryptocurrencies continuing to plummet across the board, some have been quick to assume that the “crypto wave” has passed and that its time in the spotlight is over. Some articles even go so far as to claim that the Bitcoin bubble has popped and that the technology may not recover for some time, if ever.

These claims could not be farther from the truth.

What Drives Markets?

To understand why cryptocurrency’s price is so far down in the first place, we must first understand that the prices of all cryptocurrencies are driven by FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). Through the second half of 2017, crypto experienced a surge of FOMO, with Bitcoin being in the headlines day after day with incredible price jumps. FOMO breeds more FOMO – until it doesn’t. A series of events occurring in a very short time in January of 2018 broke the FOMO and entered the market into a period of FUD. A combination of a regular dip in the market, the exposure of Bitconnect as a scam, FUD surrounding crypto being banned in countries such as China and India, and a series of highly publicized cryptocurrency thefts drove price dips, increasing FUD even more.

Price Is Irrelevant To Developers

Now that we understand how exactly we got to this point, we can explore why crypto is not dead. The key thing to remember is that price doesn’t affect developers. Sure, many of them hold a significant amount of their own cryptocurrency, and the crash has affected their personal holdings – but very few, if any developers are solely reliant on cryptocurrency, and can be supported by grants, jobs, donations, or other factors.

Since developers work independently of price, innovation has continued at breakneck speed, even though the market appears to have crashed. Almost every single major cryptocurrency continues to develop and grow, some of them at an even faster pace than during the FOMO.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin has finally started to deliver on its long-awaited lightning network, expanding the technology and resolving some major bugs that caused problems on the new network. The technology is continually being developed, with hundreds of developers working on Bitcoin regularly.

Fees are also down drastically from their peak last year, due in part to fewer transactions occurring, but also in part to the lightning network paired with other developments in the technology’s efficiency. Bitcoin Core has also been successfully able to solve the famed coffee example, with the lightning network being utilized commercially in a Swiss cafe just a few days ago.

Ethereum

Ethereum, while it may seem quiet, has been booming. The whole point of Ethereum is to support decentralized applications, or dapps, and it has been extremely successful in recent months. Thousands of new Ethereum dapps have been put on the blockchain since 2017, and more are being added daily.

After the unprecedented success of the dapp game “CryptoKitties,” which led to users paying up to $100,000 for a single digital cat, countless other games and dapps have sprouted up in recent months. New games, such as Etheremon, are attracting hundreds of users daily and can be played for free. While no huge breakthroughs have been seen in Ethereum recently, there’s no doubt that its blockchain is becoming more and more filled out with dapps, ranging from gambling to gaming.

Stellar

Stellar, often seen as Ripple’s primary competitor, has seen radically increased adoption, specifically among banks. The coin’s list of partners is also continually growing, including big names like IBM. The two have committed to environmental efforts, by using a blockchain solution to create a carbon credit program.

While Stellar may not be seeing strides as great as some other cryptocurrencies I’ve discussed, it’s slowly but surely becoming more and more influential in financial markets, and is increasing its credibility through a plethora of partnerships and improvements.

VeChain

Arguably the most well-maintained on this list, VeChain has undergone an entire rebrand, transitioning from VeChain (VEN) to VeChain Thor (VET). VeChain also added a token to be paired with their main coin called THOR. The token is obtained by simply holding VeChain, similar to how one can obtain GAS from holding NEO.

Along with their new token, VeChain has launched a new wallet in the form of an iOS/Android app that can be downloaded on the app store. With a simple UI and automatic flow of THOR for holding VET in the app, the wallet is one of the most user-friendly programs out there. The VeChain team has clearly been busy with a new wallet and token, not to mention their new partnerships with big names like BMW.

Crypto Lives

Clearly, after examining only four of the top cryptocurrencies on the market, we can see that while prices have fallen dramatically, the technology behind cryptocurrency surely lives on. Developer teams are still working hard to improve their technologies, and partnerships between mainstream companies and cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more common.

Nobody can fully predict when the market will rise again – it will undoubtedly take a series of important and “good news” events to break out of the current FUD in the market – but the technology is there, even if the prices remain low. While crypto is largely out of the mainstream media due to the loss of FOMO, that hasn’t stopped innovation and partnerships from occurring throughout the entire market.

Cryptocurrency has been out of the spotlight for months now, and it may be a long time yet before the FOMO catches back on. However, when the FOMO returns, the technology will be ready and waiting.

 


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Cryptocurrency is Taking the Next Step into the Mainstream

By Nick Hamilton | United States

Cryptocurrency is about to become much more accessible when making purchases in public.

Square, a major digital payment service that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leads, has won the patent to allow merchants to accept crypto payments, such as Bitcoin. The service would then transfer the payment into the local currency.

Cryptocurrency: Payment of the Future

Dorsey has said that he believes cryptocurrency will be the leading method of payment in ten years. Adding Bitcoin to this service that already supports many major credit cards is a way to make this a reality. This system also eliminates latency in these transactions, meaning approval on purchases will occur much faster. They’ll be able to do this via a blockchain that records Square-managed wallets in real time.

Tackling Major Obstacles

This, of course, means that cryptocurrency payments will process at the same speed of credit card payments. Previously, one of the big drawbacks of crypto was the increased transaction time. Another key issue was a very low accessibility, but Square is tackling both of these issues.

It’s not often that companies who do blockchain research have such an enthusiastic CEO when it comes to cryptocurrency. However, due to this patent, and Dorsey being so invested in cryptocurrency, we could see cryptocurrency emerge more in the mainstream. At the very least, it now will be considerably easier to use. This could mean that Bitcoin’s demand will rise, thus raising its price.

A Bright Outlook

The patent may affect the backbone of the future economy, at least according to Dorsey, who tweeted earlier this year that Bitcoin would become a path towards financial success for all.

As the price of Bitcoin continues to rise, Dorsey’s dream of seeing crypto thrive in the future may be coming true.


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Ripple And Bill Clinton Are A Match Made In Heaven

By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

This week, the cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP) announced plans to host former President Bill Clinton as its keynote speaker at this year’s “Swell: The Future is Here.” The conference, which will feature “the world’s leaders in policy, payments, and technology connect” is scheduled for Toronto in October.

Touting Clinton as a forward-thinking politician who “helped usher in a period of extreme growth and adoption of the Internet,” Ripple also pointed to the former President’s track record in bridging the ‘digital divide’ to bring new technologies to underprivileged people around the world. If you turn your brain off for just long enough, this is the sort of dimwitted stuff you start believing because someone parades it as truth.

I can already here that old rickety Arkansas drawl counting off the merits of Ripple in between poorly timed anecdotes about inhaling marijuana before it was cool. Anything to steer the conversation clear of the women, the lies & the obvious ties to the sort of people who wish to regulate crypto currency into another rudderless weapon of the state.

Mr. Clinton, who oversaw continued war, used the oval office as a private brothel, expanded the for-profit prison model, and consistently represented the interests of big, centralized banking and wall street cronyism, is exactly the type of post-American figure that Ripple would crown as their champion. Why would Ripple want Bill Clinton as its keynote speaker? In the still simmering #metoo era, The Democratic Party can’t distance itself quickly enough from the Clinton’s. What does it say about the corporatist ideology of the lab coats in charge of Ripple that they would believe Clinton to be an appropriate “thought leader in the blockchain space” as suggested in Swell’s marketing campaign? If cryptocurrency was initially built with an inherent distrust of modern banking and with the hopes of promoting a decentralization of power, money, and culture, then what kind of cryptocurrency makes the living symbol of neoliberal globalism the keynote speaker of their convention?

Ripple, as many in the world of anonymous, peer to peer, government-free, decentralized cryptocurrency will gladly tell you, is the enemy. Clinton, stumbling around in the waning light of his former fame, is just happy to grab whatever cash comes his way and Ripple Gateways has plenty of it. Clinton will sit and smile and act interested but he is the man in the cloak. Let us not dream for a second that this exposure is ‘good’ for the crypto community or signals a coming tide of mass adoption. This has nothing to do with advancing the civil liberties of the common man. This isn’t about sticking it to the centralized banking apparatus that has paid for and instructed war after unended war. This is not a voice ringing true the concerns of an American people who have been run ragged by the Federal Reserve and its unnatural cycles of boom and bust. Clinton knows one modus operandi and it is that of a professional grifter and in Ripple he has found his cryptocurrency match.

Further cementing its legacy as perhaps the most corporate minded cryptocurrency in existence, the announcement comes after a string of high profile public outreach campaigns for Ripple that have included Ashton Kutcher gifting day talk show host Ellen DeGeneres four million dollars worth of Ripple on her show.

DeGeneres looked stunned and rightfully so. What good is a cryptocurrency to the entrenched elite? With U2 bursting through the speakers, a rockstar Hollywood celeb and his sidekick tech buddy were all smiles as they publicly endorsed Ripple with all the sort of ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ buzziness you’d expect to find plastered on a Sex Pistols T-Shirt at Hot Topic. These are the sort of James Corden, pub stunts that emaciate an already culturally bulimic American public. The ride goes on and on, each stop grinding further and further back into the cave of shadows and doubt. Before you know it, we will all happily one a few hundred XRP and not know why.

DeGeneres, the slow driving goofy clown car of never-ending post-absurdity, is right at home as she drives asleep at the wheel Americans to their safe destination of centralized, prescriptive thinking. Her mum, deer in the headlights, blank look at Kutcher upon hearing the money would be donated through XRP is exactly what you would want from the American public. The fewer questions the better.

Blockchain analysts were quick to cry foul as many pointed to the anti-crypto fundamentals of Ripple. Unlike Bitcoin & Ethereum, Ripple is a pre-mined coin that uses a centralized network to transact and verify. Many inside the crypto community have questioned how much of the total supply Ripple Gateways owns and have warned against the possibility of assets being frozen or reversed. In February, Bitmex ran a scathing critique of Ripple that suggested the cryptocurrency was unstable while questioning the long-term efficacy of the network.

Bigger issues lie at the core of how Ripple, or better yet its currency XRP, is classified by regulators in the future. Coinbase has thus far steered clear of XRP over its concerns that Ripple could be seen as a security. CEO Brad Garlinghouse is at the center of decision making and his strategy, from the start, has been a banking play that allows for banks to use XRP as a low cost, speed efficient medium for international transactions. This stated interest in working within current financial institutions has led to many critics in the crypto community to label Ripple as the “banker’s coin.”

In the world of ultra volatile cryptocurrency, it can be difficult to tell truth from fiction and hype from dust. Ripple has proven to be one of the most attractive entryways into the sector for a reason and it continues to hold its spot as one of the most reliable asset propositions in the early years of cryptocurrency. None of that changes the fact that their approach from a cultural and political standpoint that sits at glaring odds with the original intent of Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper.

In Yasmina Reza‘s “Art,” a friendship is torn apart over of a blank white painting. Premiering in 1994 at Comédie des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the narrative follows Serge, a well off Dermatologist who buys a $200,000 painting that is as white and plain as the fallen snow. Serge’s friend Marc is outraged by the price tag and it eats at their every conversation. For Marc, the painting represents a false construct, a purchased hierarchy, a false letter of authentication. He knows, full well in his heart, that money does not buy the revolution. It can not buy the singing heart. It can not buy a dancing mind. It can not buy you a fulfilling wisdom or furnish you with a well kept soul.

It makes sense that Bill Clinton will headline the Swell event. A politician like him and a cryptocurrency like Ripple were made for each other.


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Cryptocurrency Market Shows Life, Adds $40 Billion in 2 Days

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Over the past several months, the cryptocurrency market has slowed. Its peak market cap of $830 billion has fallen dramatically, losing over two thirds of its value.

However, over the past several days, it is beginning to show life again.

On July 2, Bitcoin finally saw growth after it reached a 12 month low in value. As of June 29, the cryptocurrency had fallen as low as just over $5800 USD. Yet, the value, as of July 3, has soared back to $6658 USD.

This shows nearly a 15% increase in Bitcoin in just four days, which averages to slightly under 4% a day.

Of course, since the cryptocurrency’s fall from a January high of nearly $20000 USD, it has jumped up by these percentages a number of times. Despite this, some investors believe that this rally is longer term.

Sustainable Cryptocurrency Market Gains

As Bitcoin rose, the cryptocurrency market as a whole also saw considerable gains in volume. In the past 48 hours, it has added $40 billion dollars in total volume. As part of this, Bitcoin’s volume rose to $4.6 billion.

Other coins, such as Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, and Ripple, have also risen in value and volume over the same span. Ethereum also showed strong recovery, bouncing from $400 to $467 USD.

Because of the increase in both volume and value, many expect this growth to continue. Some market estimates place a short-term value of Bitcoin at slightly over $7000 USD. If this occurs, it will represent a 21% payout since the cryptocurrency reached its low.

Smaller cryptocurrencies have yet to see the same rebound and uptick in volume. Yet, the market trend suggests that they may soon see similar looking gains, as demand for crypto increases.

The Cryptocurrency Market in U.S. Cities

Clearly, there has been a rapid increase of cryptocurrency market recognition since just one year ago. As this continues, demand not only rises for coin ownership, but for work opportunity. in fact, first quarter 2018 blockchain jobs on the freelance site upwork.com rose a staggering 6000%.

While some, like those on upwork.com, seek employment in blockchain, many others are finding another way to join the market.

Throughout U.S. cities, Bitcoin ATMs are beginning to appear. As of mid-June, over 2,000 of the machines existed in the United States, with almost 100 in the state of Michigan.

For a fee of 7 to 8 percent, consumers may purchase the cryptocurrency in order to hold, invest, or trade.

Generally, the machines exist in low income areas. Of course, many families with lower incomes do not have bank accounts. As an alternative, they may use these ATMs as a cheap alternative means of storing money.

Some even view the machines as an alternative to lottery tickets. With high levels of risk and reward, both are capable of bringing massive success for a small price.

Unlike a lottery, however, the cryptocurrency market shows trends that users can monitor for maximum gain. Detroit gas station owner Andy Attisha says that users of his Bitcoin ATM are doing exactly that.

“A lot of people do day trading on it,” Attisha remarked about his ATM. “I see people coming in here every day messing with the machine.”


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How Stellar Blows Ripple Out Of The Water

By Max Bibeau | USA

Many people in the cryptocurrency community aren’t exactly fond of Ripple, for a large variety of reasons. I already wrote an article about some of the many problems with Ripple, which you can read HERE.

So yes, Ripple has many problems. But it does aim to solve a pretty critical problem in the banking world, namely the high fees that bank transfers can incur. However, many critics argue that Ripple goes about solving that problem in an inefficient way that undermines the purpose and potential of the blockchain.

One member of the Ripple developer team saw the same problems that critics did. So in 2011, programmer Jed McCaleb left the Ripple developer team and used Ripple’s existing code to create Stellar. McCaleb hopes to use the blockchain to provide banks with the solution they need, all while staying true to his goals of decentralization.

The differences between Ripple and Stellar are small but critical. First, Stellar addresses one of the largest criticisms of Ripple – its centralization. While Ripple is a for-profit company, working with banks to achieve its goals, Stellar is a non-profit organization, that simply works on the Stellar network. Ripple owns XRP, while Stellar only works on developing the network that is XLM. Also, Stellar solves another big problem users saw within Ripple – frozen assets. McCaleb’s own $1 Million in Ripple assets were frozen as he left the company in 2011, so he knows firsthand the frustration that comes with not being able to control your funds. He made it a priority to build protections against this in the Stellar network he created.

Stellar, using Lumens (XLM) as its native asset, specifically serves as a method of quickly and cheaply sending value around the world, where it can be transferred into the local fiat money. For example, if I want to send $100 overseas, I could easily be charged upwards of 10% in banking fees. However, the Stellar network works around this masterfully. To simplify the process as much as possible, say I send $100 to the overseas bank, which then accepts the Stellar transaction. Then, my $100 is credited to a pool account while it searches for the best exchange rate through the Stellar network. Once my $100 is exchanged to the local currency, it is credited to the overseas bank which then transfers it to the specific account I wished to send money too. And the best part? This entire process takes place in 2-5 seconds, and costs around .00001 Stellar Lumens, currently valued at around $0.0000047.

Obviously Stellar has some incredible use cases, from everyday business transactions overseas to individuals sending remittances back home. It could be critical in financially connecting both economies and people around the world.

The cryptocurrency also has an inflation mechanism, built into the Stellar network. It works by adding Lumens to the network at a rate of 1% a year. Instead of injecting the inflated tokens into big banking partners like Ripple is doing, the Stellar network has a built-in voting system that injects the new tokens into the accounts with the highest number of votes. Every week, Lumens are distributed to every account that gets more than 0.05% of votes within the network. Everybody that holds Lumens potentially has a number of votes equivalent to the amount of Lumens they hold, at a 1:1 ratio. The Lumens from the inflation pool are distributed depending on the percentage of votes each account receives. For example, if an account receives 1% of overall votes, it receives 1% of the inflation pool. Lumens from transaction fees are included in the inflation pool. You can read more about the inflation mechanism of Stellar directly from the nonprofit’s page HERE.

For these many reasons, Stellar is superior to Ripple. It is currently valued at around $0.47 and can be bought on Binance.com or most other major exchanges. You can read more about Stellar from the organization’s website, Stellar.org.