DigixDAO (DGD)

It seems like volatility and cryptocurrencies go hand in hand lately. Though, the decentraliSed nature of altcoins is very attractive, it does bring a certain amount of instability with it as baggage.

Buy DigixDAO (DGD)

There is currently no way to buy DGD directly. So the only way to buy DGD is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to Bitshares.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

DigixDAO DGD Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY DGD

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some DGD.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the DGD/BTC trade.

Once on the DGD/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy DGD. Here you can decide how much DGD you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy DGD your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of DGD on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of DigixDAO.

Traditional investors get spooked easily, which keeps many from entering the world of cryptocurrencies.

DigixDAO is making an attempt to solve the volatility issue of cryptocurrencies by using the Ethereum blockchain to create smart contracts for gold certificates.

Having a token tied to a stable asset as a way to store value will hopefully create a system that sees less fluctuations in the market. This could very well be an attractive platform for investors unwilling to brave the Wild West of crypto trading.

What is DigixDAO?

DigixDAO is a Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO) located on the Ethereum blockchain. A DAO is simply a company that operates through rules encoded in smart contracts. A decentralized corporation, basically where the financial ledgers are tracked and time stamped on the blockchain.

DigixDAO works on a Proof of Asset protocol, so the tokens are backed by a physical asset.

There are two tokens issued by DigixDAO. The DGX and DGD.

Using an ERC-20 token, a user can buy a DGX coin which equals 1 gram of gold. Once a user has purchased the token a gram of gold is allocated to them on the blockchain in a smart contract. The DGX is a token to perform transactions, transactions as the aforementioned

The gold is bullion from LBMA refineries with accompanying Assay Certificates from refiners ranging from Valcambi, PAMP Suisse, Nadir Bullion

It’s not exactly an exchange then, as it is decentralized and there is no third party requiring any trust. Sort of.

Since gold is a physical asset and has to be stored, DigixDAO has storehouses where the gold will physically be located. That requires trust. You don’t have to trust the ledger on the blockchain, but you do have to trust that the gold is where it says it is and that there is enough to cover the tokens that have been bought.

DigixDAO employs Inspectorate Bureau Veritas to run quarterly audits of the gold in their storehouses. Established in 1828, they have been a trusted auditor for a long time. So, if you need to trust a third party, then one with a long history and track record is a good start.

DGD, then, is the token distributed to investors who aren’t looking to buy gold. The DGD token acts the same way other crypto coins are used. DGD token holders will receive DGX tokens gained through fees collected on the platform. The more users and transactions performed on the blockchain the higher the value of the DGD.

Why Gold?

It seems to go against the cypherpunk ethos to tie a cryptocurrency to an asset like gold. Going against the trustless formula many tokens require is a calculated move by DigixDAO to offer a secure place to store your funds.

What is the benefit of using DGX to buy gold?

Let’s suppose that you have a crystal ball and can predict a drop or dip in the crypto markets before they happen. Usually when a drop happens, it affects coins across the board in the same way. Gold, however is not so affected.

So, if you want to hold your funds securely without cashing them out, you wouldn’t want to buy up other tokens that will drop as well. Buying gold shares, then keeps your funds secure with a commodity that won’t fluctuate so much during a bear market.

You then can ride out the volatile market until you feel like you are ready to buy back in. All without ever divesting and paying taxes on your gains while you’re waiting it out.

This has obvious benefits for both the die hard crypto traders that want a hedge on their investments and for the traditional investors that are not used to the new world financial order being ushered in by the rise of altcoins.

Relative to other cryptocurrencies, DigixDAO is moving rather slowly. They have been around longer than most altcoins, but still have a ways to go before they are a fully fleshed out platform. This isn’t a bad thing. Though things change quickly in crypto markets, DigixDAO is not likely to be left behind. Though the Gold Standard was abandoned long ago by fiat currency, it may be the ticket to entry into the crypto market many have been looking for thanks to DigixDAO.

Bitshares (BTS)

If you have spent any amount of time in the crypto world, you no doubt have heard about the hacking of Mt. Gox.

Buy Bitshares (BTS)

There is currently no way to buy BTS directly. So the only way to buy BTS is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to Bitshares.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

Bitshares BTS Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY BTS

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some BTS.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the BTS/BTC trade.

Once on the BTS/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy BTS. Here you can decide how much BTS you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy BTS your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of BTS on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of Bitshares.

What is Bitshares?

After the hacking and subsequent loss of roughly 450 million USD, Dan Larimer understood that exchanges were the weak link in the blockchain.

He developed BitShares as the first decentralized exchange where you can use BitAssets to trade currency in a trustless way.

What makes exchanges the weak link in the blockchain system is the fact that they are centralized. When you buy crypto in an exchange, either with fiat or another cryptocoin, you are essentially buying an IOU towards a future redemption of your coin. You don’t actually own the coin until you withdraw it into your own wallet.

This leaves the possibility open to be exploited very easily.

BitShares is a truly decentralized exchange that is completely on the blockchain. It even has a user friendly wallet that you can name rather than relying on a string of random numbers and letters.

How Does BitShares Work?

BitShares is a peer to peer distributed ledger. It works with a Delegated Proof of Stake protocol.

Working the exchange on a blockchain rather than a central server means that the block transactions need to be verified and agreed upon. The Bitcoin blockchain uses a Proof of Work protocol, so blocks need to be mined, which takes time to verify a block and is expensive.

Bitshares, instead works by voting for delegates or Witnesses, so the validation process is streamlined. A BTS token holder can vote for 120 delegates. The top 101 delegates validate the blocks. The token then pays the delegates for their work.

Not only is this more efficient but it’s also safer since there is no incentive to try to game the system. Since taking down the blockchain will undermine the value of their own tokens.

By using the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), transactions can be done quickly. Though it has yet to be tested, in theory BitShares can handle 100,000 transactions per second compared to Bitcoin’s 5 per second.

Transaction fees will be paid by the BTS token. To bypass the IOU nature of current currency exchanges, BitShares uses BTS tokens as collateral for an exchange. This results in the token being used more as an equity than as an altcoin.

The transaction fees, which will amount to fractions of cents instead of dollars, will be paid by these tokens.

Then there are payments which are done by use of Smartcoins. Since markets are volatile and to get more people using the platform they need to trust the value of it, there are coins tied to fiat that does not fluctuate. For example, there is a bitUSD that is always going to be 1 bitUSD per fiat USD. 1 week, 1 month 1 year from now it will still be 1 bitUSD to 1 fiat USD.

You can invest in the USD, or other Smartcoins like bit EUR, bitGold, etc, and know that it will trade at the same value as other traditional exchanges. This difference makes it very stable compared to other crypto exchanges.

There are also digital assets, called User Issued Assets. These can be literally anything of value, with the value determined by the issuer. Something as small as loyalty points from an issuers rewards cards to property deeds can be registered with a smart contract and placed on the blockchain.

This means incredible liquidity on any assets. Somebody could put up their assets in gold, stocks, property etc and then use it to borrow or exchange for fiat, or other crypto currencies. You could then withdraw that to be able to make payments or put in your mattress if you are so inclined.

What is Bitshares, then, is not such an easy question to answer.

Everything about it is decentralized. The software it uses is open source. In theory anybody can take that software and create their own decentralized blockchain exchange.

Even the way they pay their workers is decentralized. Anybody can propose a project to start on the blockchain and the delegates vote on it. If they get approved, they get paid in tokens to work on their project. The token holders, then are the company.

It started out trying to be a decentralized NYSE sort of crypto exchange, but has morphed into something more utopian than that even.

One thing it isn’t is a currency.

Though they issue their own token, BTS, the token is just for ease of use and to pay it’s witnesses and make payments. The value of BTS of course rises and falls. But, that is the nature of a token. It isn’t mean to be used as a currency. That is what the Smartcoins and User Issued Assets are for. The BTS token is equity or collateral to represent the coins or currency being traded.

Just like in most airplane crashes, user error is almost always the case for crypto currencies getting hacked or stolen. Though it remains to be seen if Bitshares will end up the top dog in the decentralized exchange realm, it definitely has signaled that centralized exchanges can be replaced.

If crypto is going to have a future of an actual currency, then it has to be indeed trustless. If current exchanges continue to erode that trust then we may be seeing more exchanges based off of the example of Bitshares.

Salt (SALT)

What happens when a crypto millionaire walks into a bank looking for a loan?

Usually, nothing.

Most banks won’t issue a loan with digital assets as collateral. SALT lending has stepped in to fill that gap. As long as you have some crypto, you can secure a loan.

Seeing how inefficient traditional lending is in this digital age, Shawn Owens, CEO of SALT, decided to start a platform on the blockchain that would give crypto holders access to loans based on the collateral of their crypto currency.

With no credit scores to worry about and instant access, it has become a very attractive way for people to secure lending. Not least of whom are the unbanked.

Buy Salt (SALT)

There is currently no way to buy SALT directly. So the only way to buy SALT is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to Salt.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

Salt Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY SALT

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some SALT.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the SALT/BTC trade.

Once on the SALT/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy SALT. Here you can decide how much SALT you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy SALT your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of SALT on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of Salt.

What is SALT Lending?

SALT, Secured Automated Lending Platform, is as mentioned a collateral based lending platform that lets you put up your digital assets, ie, crypto currency, in exchange for fiat cash.

The platform is tethered to ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

Using the blockchain, loans are made via smart contracts. The SALT Platform is automated, efficient, and cryptographically secure.

Traditional lending is sometimes difficult to secure, always expensive and slow and sometimes unsafe as central servers can be hacked. Sending personal information into nefarious hands.

By utilizing the blockchain, SALT makes access to capital inexpensive to transfer, store, and liquidate. And the trustless system of the blockchain means you won’t have to wonder how secure the lending institutions servers are. All the transactions are on the chain, validated and immutable.

What are the Benefits of SALT Lending?

Using a system that requires no credits checks means that there is really no barrier to entry when it comes to securing a loan. If you have the collateral, you will get the loan.

Lenders post what the terms and interest rate they are looking and users can shop around to find the loan that best suits their needs. This puts a lot of power in the hands of the person getting the loan.

There is also no need to even announce what the loan is going to be used for. In a traditional lending scenario you have to apply for a special loan for auto, mortgage or other types. On the blockchain nobody cares what you want the money for.

What is probably the most attractive reason to get a loan from SALT, is for arbitrage if you’re looking to buy more crypto currency.

It would be very sad to have to cash out your bitcoin, for example, to buy another coin and watch as Bitcoin has a rally and you no longer have any. In this case, you can put up the Bitcoin as collateral, secure a loan instantly and buy the tokens you want. Even better is that during the time of the loan terms, if the value of your digital asset collateral rises, you are making money on that, too.

With the volatility of the crypto exchange market, hours count. If you have to waste an entire day at the bank trying to get a loan to buy coins, then have to wait days for the funds, you will likely miss out on a prime buying opportunity. SALT gets you cash instantly and directly into your bank account.

There are no penalties for paying off a loan early, unlike with most banks.

And with many tangible assets, such as land, jewelry and intellectual property making their way onto the blockchain becoming digital assets, it means easier liquidation of just about anything.

How Does SALT Lending Work?

To use the SALT lending platform, you first need to pay to become a member.

There are three different membership types. For small loans up to $10,000 and terms of 3 to 24 months there is the Base membership which costs 1 SALT token per year (more about the tokens later). The Premium membership costs 10 SALT tokens per year and gives you access to up to $100,000 and a line of credit. Fiat currency is available in USD, EUR, JPY, RMB and GBP. Terms are 1 hour to 36 months. The Enterprise membership costs 100 SALT tokens. Including access to 1 million USD, with ad hoc currency selection and metered terms.

To create an account you only need to give your first and last name and email address.

As a borrower, you get matched automatically with some of the capital from SALT’s extensive network filled with lenders.

Throughout the term of your loan, your digital assets remain in an ultra-secure architecture that is fully audited.

To secure a loan you have to put up as collateral 125% of the loan. If you need $1,000, then you’ll need to offer $1,250. If somehow you are unable to repay the loan, then your collateral is deducted from the unpaid remainder and given to the lender.

This is important to remember, since with a traditional loan it doesn’t matter how much you have already repaid. Whatever collateral you used to secure the loan will be repossessed. This is another outstanding benefit of a SALT loan. If you borrowed $1,000 and only managed to repay $750, then you lose $750 and that’s it.

If the value of the assets used as collateral increases, the borrower can decide to add to the principal of the value of the loan, or withdraw some of the collateral.

What happens if the value of the collateral decreases? Addition collateral will be required to be provided or the monthly loan payment will need to be increased. The SALT Oracle smart contract issues a notice to the borrower alerting them to this so there are no surprises. If the borrower fails to do either of these then the smart contract issues a liquidation of the collateral automatically.

What is the SALT Token?

A SALT token is simply called a Salt.

How will Salt be used? The Salt token will be used for membership to the platform. It’s a fee for a loan in essence depending on what tier you want to be in for loan access.

So, unlike many new altcoins, it is not being used as a way to crowdfund the development of the platform.

There is a fixed supply of 120 million Salt tokens. As more borrowers buy memberships the value of the token will rise. Once a token is bought for membership, it is essentially given back to SALT to be then sold to somebody else for their membership and so on.

There are a few other crypto lending platforms, most notable EthLend. Which one will win the biggest market share? Well, nobody knows of course.

One thing is for sure, SALT and Ethlend and others will not be the last to offer digital asset collateral backed lending via smart contracts. The unbanked, crypto traders and anybody else looking to take advantage of this Brave New World emerging thanks to the innovations of blockchain technology will soon have an easier way to gain access to cash, no matter who comes out ahead.

OmiseGo (OMG)

For decades now people have been talking about the future of a cashless society.

It was always the stuff of science fiction since the reality of having no cash faced too many hurdles. Between banks, currencies and borders, it didn’t really have a feasible way to be done.

With blockchain technology, suddenly those barriers are starting to fall.

Moving away from cash is not only achievable but it is starting to seem inevitable.

In fact, OmiseGO, a Thai, Japanese and Singaporean company, is already using the blockchain to that effect. It’s still early, but it seems to have the foundation laid for a system that works between blockchains. Enabling transactions for B2B applications right down to ordering your morning cup of coffee without needing everybody to operate on the same system or application.

Buy OmiseGo (OMG)

There is currently no way to buy OMG directly. So the only way to buy OMG is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to Nano.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

OmiseGo OMG Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY OMG

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some OMG.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the OMG/BTC trade.

Once on the OMG/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy OMG. Here you can decide how much OMG you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy OMG your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of OMG on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of OmiseGo.

What is OmiseGo?

OmiseGo started in 2013 in Asia as a Stripe-like payment system. Working mainly as a mobile app, people have been using it as an easy way to make payments or buy goods.

As they transition from a centralized database system to the blockchain, the way to look at it is not as an altcoin, but as a financial platform that unites many different platforms.

To become a mainstream application, OmiseGO realizes that they need people and businesses to use it without realizing they are using the blockchain, or need to know how a blockchain works.

The real beauty of that premise is that it will enable different blockchains to communicate with each other so you won’t need people to all be on the same platform. If people with a OmiseGO wallet could only transact with other users with the same wallet, you can see how limiting that would be. With OmiseGO, it doesn’t matter what app or platform they use to be able to make a transaction.

OmiseGO describes itself as:

The answer to a fundamental coordination problem amongst payment processors, gateways and financial institutions.

In other words, to act like an exchange without needing to be an exchange.

There are tens of millions, if not more people, in Asia right now that don’t use banks and want an easier way to use cash. Whether it’s to make payments, buy something or even transfer money to friends or family, even across borders. Right now many are using OmiseGO as their bank. They fill their wallet with whatever currency they want and use it to buy things, make payments and even send currency across borders to friends and family.

How does OmiseGO differ from an exchange?

OmiseGO is currency agnostic. That means that it is not tied to any one currency over another. In a typical exchange of Bitcoin to Ethereum for example, you would have to buy BTC with cash, then find an exchange that converts BTC and ETH, then send the BTC from your wallet to the exchange, then convert the BTC back to fiat, then finally to ETH. With a lot of transaction fees and time required to complete what should be a simple transaction.

OmiseGO is an application that allows different blockchains to operate with each other. (Interoperability is a word that you will hear often when discussing blockchain potential) Since it is currency agnostic, it doesn’t matter what type of currency is in your ewallet, you don’t need to go to an exchange to get another currency. The wallet will communicate across blockchains. Sort of a liaison that links different chains without needing to be on the same platform.

Streamlining this process of exchanges opens up a huge swath of the financial market that paves the way for the phasing out of cash and makes digital currency, or even digital assets, a mainstream currency.

How Can OmiseGO Be Used?

There are infinite ways for this system to work, but for the sake of brevity and simplicity I will give just a few real world examples of how this will be implemented.

Let’s say you are businessman or tourist from the UK. You will be going to a few different countries with different currencies. As you exit the airport at your destination, you can pass right by the currency exchange windows as you won’t be needing any local currency.

You go to a restaurant and pay with your OmiseGO wallet that has BTC, the restaurant only takes Swiss Francs. Not a problem. The wallet takes the BTC out of your wallet and sends the exchange in Francs to the restaurants bank account.

In another example, you need to pay your electricity bill. You don’t have a bank account, either because you are trying to live off the grid, don’t like how unsafe your information is in a central database, or you simply don’t qualify for a bank account. You now can use your wallet with whatever the currency of your choice is and make payments to other institutions.

You go to a restaurant and pay with your OmiseGO wallet that has BTC, the restaurant only takes Swiss Francs. Not a problem.

Let’s say that you are a loyalty member on many different stores. Rather than keep a dozen loyalty cards on you to accumulate points as you shop at those stores, you can have them all linked into your wallet. When you use your wallet, it updates whatever the relevant loyalty program is.

Then, there is the possibility of loans when you don’t have a bank. With platforms like EthLend and SALT, you don’t need a bank to get a loan. You can use your cryptocurrency in your wallet as collateral to secure a loan that can be used for anything you want. And since you can use your wallet for non crypto transactions, it doesn’t matter what currency you take your loan out in.

As I said, these are just a small fraction of the possible use cases of OmiseGO. And they only represent consumers. There are infinite applications for B2B transactions and foreign exchange markets, to name only a couple.

How Does the OMG Token Work?

OmiseGO is a proof of stake concept, so tokens buy the right to validate transactions.

OMG tokens will be the token to pay the transaction fees for things like making payments, currency exchange, etc.

The value is in the stake of the blockchain. The more transactions the more tokens distributed, the more value they have.

Ignoring the silly name of the OMG token, it is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain until OmiseGO has finished its own blockchain. Right now the ICO sale of the tokens is being used to develop the platform. It may take a while before it is complete and may see many iterations before it feels completed.

The value is in the stake of the blockchain. The more transactions the more tokens distributed, the more value they have.

Using tokens as incentive rather than a currency is becoming the easiest way to fund a huge project like this one without needing to go for venture capital.

As more and more aspects of finance are being disrupted, the more likely we are to see cashless societies come to fruition. OmesiGO is in an enviable position to be the company leading the way to this future.

LISK (LSK)

There’s a new kid on the Dapp blockchain called Lisk.

Buy Lisk (LSK)

There is currently no way to buy LSK directly. So the only way to buy LSK is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to Nano.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

LISK LSK Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY LSK

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some LSK.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the LSK/BTC trade.

Once on the LSK/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy LSK. Here you can decide how much LSK you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy LSK your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of LSK on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of Lisk.

What is Lisk?

If you have heard anything at all about Lisk, then you have probably seen many comparisons to Ethereum. It’s a logical comparison because both blockchains allow for decentralized applications, aka Dapp, to be built upon the blockchain.

That’s where the similarities end, however.

Lisk is a blockchain in which a sidechain is developed where decentralized applications can be built. Further separating Lisk from Ethereum is the fact that these apps can be coded with javascript.

What Problems Does Lisk Solve?

As usual, scalability of the blockchain is the main problem that Lisk is trying to solve.

There are things that work very well on the Ethereum blockchain, but it also has its limitations.

For example, Ethereum built Proof of Stake consensus protocol to validate blocks. This takes far less time and costs less resources than the Bitcoin blockchain. It also uses smart contracts so that applications could be built on it. That means that enterprises could build, say, a database on the chain rather than on a central server.

One of the limitations of that is that a developer would need to learn Ethereum’s programming language called Solidity to build out an app.

The other big issue is transaction speed. Since things happen in a linear fashion on the chain, this can cause bottlenecks. Hard forks have to happen if there is a bad block or changes need to be made to the blockchain.

There are things that work very well on the Ethereum blockchain, but it also has its limitations.

Lisk has solved these main issues, first by using javascript as the programming language for the blocks. And, secondly by using a sidechain where the applications will be formed. This sidechain will run parallel to the parent chain making processing speeds much faster.

How Does Lisk Work?

Lisk is a Delegated Proof of Stake protocol, so token holders will vote on delegates to validate blocks and create consensus that way. This is a much faster process then Proof of Work and even works better that simple Proof of Stake.

Not only is this more democratic than POS, it is also more efficient. Transaction times are much lower and more transactions can happen at the same time. It’s also safer since any attack on the system will result in a stakeholder losing their tokens. That’s a big incentive to play fair.

There will always be 101 delegates that approve transactions. Competition will be high to become a delegate as they will get paid in LSK tokens for this. There will always be people waiting in standby mode to become a delegate so there will always be somebody online.

The parent blockchain for Lisk will connect to a sidechain by way of nodes. So the sidechain is where the applications will work, freeing up the parent chain.

This is great, because it acts like a parallel blockchain keeping the traffic moving on the parent chain. Each app on the sidechain is effectively its own blockchain. All the transactions for each app is stored on its own blockchain rather than in a block on the parent chain.

A developer has free reign to create any kind of application they want since it is their own chain. Including even developing and distributing their own cryptocurrency.

There will always be 101 delegates that approve transactions. Competition will be high to become a delegate as they will get paid in LSK tokens for this.

Lisk has provided a Software Development Kit to help programmers get started. Since Lisk doesn’t have to write the core software themselves, the network is very lean and flexible.

How Can Lisk Applications be Used?

Since we are talking about apps, it seems that the most obvious way to implement the Lisk blockchain is to be a sort of app store, similar to Itunes or Google Play.

Since the platform is open to anybody, a developer can create a game, social network, messenger, ecommerce shop etc etc. There is no limit as long as the application can be programmed in javascript.

An example of a real world application is for car purchases. You could build an app that stores transaction information about a car. From who bought it and when to what, when and how it got serviced. That doesn’t sound revolutionary as with the Internet of Things, this is already happening, but the blockchain, especially the sidechain, takes this to another level.

Imagine that information stored in a central server that gets hacked. Now not only is personal information compromised, but you may not trust the information about the transactions. This effectively eliminates any need to trust the information.

Another point is that a traditional blockchain might slow that app down. A sidechain acting independently from the parent chain will make the system much faster.

But, you may ask yourself, Isn’t javascript slow and easy to hack? It can be for sure, but the language is being tweaked all the time to make it faster and any weakness in the language is due to bad code. Besides, the sidechain can’t be hacked since it is a Delegated Proof of Stake protocol.

For any blockchain to see mainstream use from regular users, it has to work well. It needs to be fast, inexpensive and user friendly.

The list of use cases goes on and on. Any app that can be developed now can be done on Lisk and the result will be more efficiency, and more control from the developers over their application. Everything can be done on their block including processing payments, eliminating so many weak points in the logistics of using a central server.

How Does the LSK Token Work?

The main function of the token is to pay for the development of Lisk and the blockchain.

The transactions on the blockchain will be paid by LSK tokens. As well as, votes for a delegate, setting up accounts on the blockchain and registering an app. Any transaction that sends a token to a sidechain will also be charged a fee.

So, the value of the token comes from the strength of the platform. The more apps there are, the more users there will be thus, more transactions. The value of the token will increase as users see the value of the platform.

The sidechain based applications can also charge LSk if they wish which will also increase the value, though they are under no obligation. They can use whatever currency they like.

For any blockchain to see mainstream use from regular users, it has to work well. It needs to be fast, inexpensive and user friendly.

The sidechain is a major innovation on blockchain technology that leaps over several hurdles that slows down traditional blockchains. Taking what works from other blockchains and solving the problems of what doesn’t is essential.

Blockchain technology will continue to evolve, and the sidechain will allow Lisk to react to changes without needing to hard fork.

These are exciting times as we see more and more uses of the blockchain that makes the internet more democratic and decentralised.

Nano (XRB/NANO)

With more and more cryptocurrencies emerging to get a piece of the market cake. Developers have found restrictions within the blockchain and have started to develop new, similar technologies. Nano is no different.

*Note* Nano is the re-branded name of Raiblocks (XRB)

Buy Nano (XRB/NANO)

There is currently no way to buy XRB directly. So the only way to buy XRB is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to Nano.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

NANO XRB Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY XRB

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some XRB.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the XRB/BTC trade.

Once on the NANO/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy NANO. Here you can decide how much NANO you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy NANO your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of NANO on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of Nano.

What is Nano?

As maintaining a huge, unwieldy blockchain becomes more expensive, slow and non eco friendly, an alternative cryptocurrency has come on the scene.

Colin LeMahieu, the founder of Nano, decided to create a new kind of blockchain that would enable feeless, fast and efficient transactions.

Since the block lattice creates blocks asynchronously by transaction, it also has limitless scalability.

Though Satoshi’s blockchain was revolutionary, LeMahieu saw it as unscalable. Because each transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain has to reference a previous transaction as proof, it has become so big that transaction times can take hours to complete.

Nano uses a block lattice instead. Still using blockchain technology, each transaction is its own blockchain between the sender and the receiver of XRB, the Nano coin. Each block is just one transaction and the global register of transactions is stored in their ledger.

Since the block lattice creates blocks asynchronously by transaction, it also has limitless scalability.

It can run on low power hardware, so is also more eco friendly than a traditional blockchain based currency.

How Does Nano Work?

Each user has his/her own account which includes a public and private key. The public-key, also referred to as the address, is shared with other network participants while the private-key is kept secret.

When a transaction is started, a block on the lattice is made. It’s then signed by the private key. Other users can’t see the information of the private key, but the block can be verified by the information within it, including the digital signature.

The blockchain only extends as far as that accounts history. With no other transactions to store, the blockchain is lean and lightweight. All these transactions are then stored on the global ledger to be viewed and verified by other account holders.

Each account chain, however, can only be added upon by the account holder. Because of this, updates to the chain happen immediately and asynchronously to the rest of the block-lattice, resulting in quick transactions.

This means that there is no need for miners to verify the transaction. The only thing that needs verifying is a possible double spend showing on the chain. But, since each spend requires a reference to a previous block with the digital signature, a double spend would only occur if someone tried to reference the same previous block in two seperate send transactions.

So, how do Nano transactions get verified then?

When you create a Nano account, you select another account to act as your proxy and vote on transactions. When an apparent double spend occurs, one of these accounts votes on which transaction is the right one. There are so many of these accounts that vote, that there is always one online.

The Nano protocol is extremely light-weight and can be sent within the required minimum UDP (User Datagram Protocol) packet size for being transmitted over the internet. Hardware requirements are small, as well. All this adds up to a fast, cheap and scalable system.

The coin, the XRB, is founded on a Genesis Balance which is a fixed quantity and can never be increased. It was funded in October 2017.

How Can Nano Prevent Attacks?

Since Nano does not use a traditional blockchain, it seems like it could be susceptible to attacks.

The simplicity of the system is what actually prevents the known attack scenarios.

Since nodes that set up the block are pruned, there are few historical blocks to exploit.

For example, in some cases a block that is not properly transmitted could be exploited in most situations. In the block lattice, a bad block would be ignored, or a request for a resync with the node happens. The increase in traffic this causes a denial of service. Before it can connect a vote happens, in which case it is deemed junk data. Attack averted!

With transaction floods, Sybil attacks and penny attacks, the way the block lattice operates makes it not just impossible, but not worth the effort or expanse. Voting by accounts can see these as they happen and deny the transactions. Since nodes that set up the block are pruned, there are few historical blocks to exploit.

Another stop gap is the fact that votes are account balance weighted. The bigger the balance on an account, the more weight the vote has. If somebody wanted to rig the vote, they would need to have over 50% of the voting power. This is only possible by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on XRB. Theoretically a foreign country could try this (I’m looking at you, China!), it is highly unlikely.

Nano vs Iota

What makes Iota and Nano similar?

These two crytpos were the first to figure out a fast, free and minerless system to make their crypto work more like fiat currency. They both use DAG, directed-acyclic-graph data structure.

Though, Proof of Work is lower cost than the Bitcoin blockchain to operate, there is still some cost since there is computing that needs to be done.

It’s just the ways they implement their systems are different.

Nano uses Proof of Scale with the block lattice. A transaction is run through the ledger to ensure that the signatures are authentic. Once it syncs with the node, the node reads the signature and it is confirmed instantly

Iota works on Proof of Work. This means that a block gets confirmed once it is surrounded or stacked by other blocks. The time it takes to confirm, then, is reliant on how many users there are in the system.

Though, Proof of Work is lower cost than the Bitcoin blockchain to operate, there is still some cost since there is computing that needs to be done.

Besides the differences being in how they enable transactions, the biggest separator is what they each hope to achieve.

Iota is looking to dominate the protocol for the Internet of Things devices. They are not exactly decentralized as they require a coordinator to manage transactions. Big corporations like Volkswagen and Bosch like that and have signed on as partners.

Nano, on the other hand is looking to become a daily peer to peer payment system for arbitrage through quick transactions, or to simply buy your morning cup of coffee.

At the end of the day, it is becoming clearer that for cryptocurrency to be used in place of fiat, it has to be instant and free. Otherwise it can never replace cash.

Now, there are many who could not care less about replacing fiat currency. They are either unbanking and want a safe place to hold their wealth, they are looking to invest by trading crypto or whatever personal reasons they have to buy up coins.

But, the people behind Nano and many other believers in decentralising finance and currency are looking forward to a day when they can uncouple from government monetary policies and decide for themselves which currency they want to use. A coin like NANO could be just the thing they are looking for.

ICON Republic (ICX)

Scalability. If you have been keeping up to date with blockchain technology then you have heard this word a lot. It is the major obstacle that everybody involved in blockchain development is trying to solve.

The most ambitious among the groups trying to find a way to best scale the blockchain has to be ICON Republic. The group behind ICON believe the best way forward is to go big and make a huge network that can bring together the various blockchains in a way that they can integrate with each other.

In their own words they want to Hyperconnect the World.

Buy ICON Republic (ICX)

There is currently no way to buy ICX directly. So the only way to buy ICX is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to ICX.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

ICON Republic ICX Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY ICX

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some ICX.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the ICX/BTC trade.

Once on the ICX/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy ICX. Here you can decide how much ICX you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy ICX your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of ICX on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of ICX.

What is ICON Republic?

ICON is a South Korean group that is trying to implement a network that can connect various blockchains together.

By using smart contracts and a loopchain, different blockchains will be able to communicate with each other. A network of communities is how they describe it.

Calling it a Republic belies the fact that there is no central authority. The way the network is set up is simple.

There are groups of nodes on a blockchain called Communities or C Nodes. Each Community can govern itself any way it sees fit. However they wish to validate blocks and create consensus is totally up to them. ICON Republic won’t be telling them how to do it.

A community can be made of of different institutions like banks, insurance companies, hospitals, etc. They can work together in the community or even individually. But, the main point being connectivity means that it is hoped that nodes will be occupied by institutions that need to streamline how they communicate.

A C-rep is a representative that is voted on by the Community to represent that blockchain within the Republic. That representative can vote on governance of the network within the Republic.

The Republic, then, is the group of representatives from the different communities. The ICON Republic functions as a communication channel between communities, and does

not affect the governance of the communities. So, again, the name Republic implies that it is a central authority, but the reality is that is is totally decentralized.

Why Form a Network of Blockchains?

The way things work right now with a central server that needs to connect with other servers to communicate between institutions is becoming unwieldy.

Blockchain technology is developing at just the right time for these transactions to become more streamlined and efficient. That works for the institutions themselves to save money and manpower and for the consumers and users of the institutions, as well.

Let’s take an example from the ICON whitepaper on how things work now and how it may look later.

They made the example of somebody buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks with their credit card. Once a card is swiped, it has to go through many different channels for the money to transfer from your bank to Starbucks. Passing through many different servers, communicating and sharing information to make that simple transaction insanely complicated.

What ICON envisions is that same transaction happening within a network of blockchains. With the bank, your credit card company and Starbucks communicating with smart contracts, this takes all of the complication of different servers needing to transact with each other. Cutting out the middleman is efficient, economical and safe.

Can this type of network work?

Well, it already is. It is being implemented with the Korean healthcare industry, for example. A patient can have their entire health history including DNA stored in their own smart contract. This sensitive information can only be shared with others that have access to the contract. This makes for a secure distribution of medical information through blockchain.

In addition, banks, insurance companies and universities are already on the network and able to seamlessly communicate with each other.

On a level that is interesting especially to cryptocurrency investors and traders is the Decentralized Exchange, aka DEX. This exchange can take the wait out of trading crypto for crypto currency as different blockchains will be able to communicate with each other. Bitsquare and Bitshares work within the same principle, but since they require somebody to always be online they have limitations that DEX won’t. All transactions can be processed in real time.

How will the ICX coin work?

As is the case with other blockchains that are looking to enable more real world applications, ICX tokens will be used to pay for transactions and incentivize voting and governance of the network.

In other words, ICON is a Delegated Proof Of Stake network.

ICX tokens entitle its holder to cast one vote for the delegate of their choice. Transactions will be confirmed and rewarded with ICX tokens and delegates will have more weighted votes based on how many tokens they possess.

How much value the token has will rise with the number of users in the network. The more users, or C-Nodes, the more transactions, the more transactions, the more ICX gets spent and the more ICX that gets spent, the higher the value of the tokens.

With blockchain development happening rapidly, it will be interesting to see how this Republic can grow. It seems to have tackled the issue of scalability by allowing blockchains to communicate and connect. It is already a proven model at the stage where it is now. But, as we have seen time and time again, there are always unforeseen circumstances that develop, and develop quickly, that can sidetrack a blockchain’s development.

But, isn’t that what makes it so interesting?

EOS (EOS)

As blockchain technology advances and new ideas towards its applications pop up a mile a minute, there is one constant refrain.

Scalability.

The limits of how scalable a blockchain may be is most evident in the case of Bitcoin. With transaction fees over $20 and response times in the hours instead of seconds, it became clear to many that future blockchain applications needed to be different.

EOS is trying to tackle the scalability issue by creating a blockchain that has no transaction fees and can handle millions of transactions per second.

These are lofty goals, but worth pursuing if the blockchain is going to stand a chance at decentralizing the internet.

Buy EOS (EOS)

There is currently no way to buy EOS directly. So the only way to buy EOS is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to EOS.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

EOS Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY EOS

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some EOS.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the EOS/BTC trade.

Once on the EOS/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy EOS. Here you can decide how much EOS you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy EOS your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of EOS on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of EOS.

What is EOS?

The easiest way to conceptualise what EOS is, is to imagine it as a next generation operating system.

The people behind EOS see the possibility of a blockchain whose purpose is to enable decentralised applications (Dapps) on a blockchain rather than in a central location.

Where EOS and Ethereum are different is in the implementation of how consensus is achieved and how smart contracts are made and the ideology behind them.

In an operating system, a user has to communicate with the software that runs the computer without needing to know how to speak the programming language. So, a blockchain that enables Dapps also has to do the same thing. There has to be a process where the programming machine language gets “translated” so that it can be run.

EOS, then, is the way to communicate between the application and the operating system, in this case, the blockchain.

This solves the scalability issue inherent in many blockchains and still gives users the same experience as they are used to. No app developers want their users to have to pay every time they interact with it

At first blush, this sounds a lot like the Ethereum blockchain. And in many ways they are similar.

Where EOS and Ethereum are different is in the implementation of how consensus is achieved and how smart contracts are made and the ideology behind them.

Ethereum wants to use immutable, decentralized smart contracts mainly for financial transactions, but in a more robust way than the Bitcoin blockchain.

EOS wants to replace centralized servers and build out more mainstream applications.

Ethereum uses Proof Of Work to validate a block, currently. And EOS uses Delegated Proof of Stake, instead.

Proof of Work in theory is decentralized and scalable, however it has become apparent that there still requires a lot of GAS and computing power to achieve consensus through a Proof of Work protocol, which is hard to scale. Not only that, but mining pools have developed which is putting the validation of blocks in fewer hands, which then starts to seem like a more centralized system.

Delegated Proof of Stake, on the other hand, though it seems to be more centralized, is proving to be a more efficient way to validate blocks. Diverging from a simple Proof of Stake protocol, in which a token holder is able to validate a block and it is his financial stake in the process as motivation to stay honest, this protocol makes a stake holder a voter.

These stake holders vote on a witness to validate the block according to how much currency in tokens they have. In other words they delegate the responsibility. But only the top 21 witnesses can validate a block, and thus, get tokens, so that creates competition which helps keep any malicious intent to a minimum. Since they have a stake in the platform, nobody would want to undermine it.

It also creates a sort of centralization in which there are only a few witnesses that validate the blocks. These people could always be changing so the power is spread out, but a similar scenario to mining pools could evolve where witnesses converge into data centers. However, since there will always be 21 witnesses, even if those witnesses become data center mining pools, there will still be more of them than what is happening in Ethereum where there are 5 mining pools operating.

The other big difference is in the smart contracts. Ethereum’s smart contracts requires a specialized language to form a contract. That requires a steep learning curve. Building an app on the Ethereum blockchain means transferring the script of an app to a new language which limits how usable it is to host apps.

The smart contracts on the EOS blockchain can read any programming language. When a company or app developer wants to start a smart contract and build an app on the blockchain, they can use the language they want. This has big implications on scalability of decentralized apps on the chain.

How does EOS work?

You can think of the EOS blockchain as being like a highway with no speed limit and no tolls.

An app developer can set up on the chain without needing to charge users to use the app. Much like Facebook doesn’t charge people for using it.

To date, that has been the major challenge with blockchains that allow decentralized applications. It costs too much to produce the GAS necessary to validate the blocks to eliminate transaction fees.

EOS plans for the fees to be paid with the 5% inflation of the tokens. As the value of the tokens rises, the costs of operating the chain will come out of that.

And that is very important.

The EOS token is never consumed, so there are no fees. It requires no GAS to be mined.

EOS hopes to be the place where the next Facebook, Uber, Airbnb etc will want to set up shop. Understanding that the people who use those apps don’t really care much about decentralization and democratizing the way apps work, they want to replicate how a centralized server works with those apps. With the bonus being that they are cost effective, i.e. no central server costs, and with a super fast, low latency implementation.

To see how this can work once it is implemented we can take a look at the Steemit social network, which is built on the Steem blockchain. This blockchain works exactly the way the EOS blockchain will function. The witnesses validate the block and 90% of the Steem, the currency of the blockchain, gets paid to them for “mining” the block with the other 10% going to the content creators. More about the content creators in a moment.

The Steem blockchain was built by Dan Laremur who is the founder of Blockone, the company behind EOS. Steem was built as a proof of concept to see if the idea could work in the real world. Once he saw it could, he left to form Blockone and put a new blockchain together.

Steemit is very similar to Reddit, a place where users can post discussions about just about anything. News, information, pictures of your cute cat, etc. On a social media platform like Reddit, or even Facebook, people can like or upvote the content they like. In the case of Reddit, these upvotes are called karma. Karma has no value and is useless in the real world. Actually, it’s even useless on Reddit.

On Steemit, the likes or karma is actually paid out in Steem. So, users who post popular content actually profit with currency that they can cash out and use. The more blocks that get validated, the more Steem is produced and the more popular your content is the more money you make.

The whole system is built on a blockchain exactly as how EOS hopes to operate. The users of Steemit don’t need to pay to use the platform and likes and shares are also not paid for by the user. There is no software to download and no knowledge of how the blockchain works to be able to use it.

The biggest benefit to being on the blockchain means that there is no middle man, aka a central server.

It can’t be shut down since the servers are the nodes validated by the witnesses so the hard drives are located all over the world. It can’t really be hacked because of the way the validation of the blocks work. It can’t be throttled or slowed down by any hostile corporation or government.

Those are some big reasons to use the blockchain over a central server or traditional operating system.

With the issue of the internet being in the hands of monopolies in the US eliminating net neutrality, and governments like China shutting down access to certain cryptocurrencies, it is more important than ever to have a decentralized system that lets the market decide how it will function rather than one actor.

How does the EOS token work?

The EOS token is never consumed, so there are no fees. It requires no GAS to be mined.

The tokens are used to access a portion of the network. For example, if you have 1% of the available tokens, you then have access to 1% of the available bandwidth of the network. Rather than burning the coin when you use your storage, it is held. You get your tokens back when you release the storage.

So, tokens shouldn’t be seen as a share of a company or platform. The tokens are meant to be used as access to the bandwidth of the platform.

It is a leap of faith on your part to buy in with the promise that something great will come out of this.

The currency is a way to develop and use the software necessary to build out a viable platform. Once the apps are built on the blockchain, the users of an app won’t have any use for the currency or even need to know there is a tradable token associated with it.

App developers or hosters will need the tokens to use the platform and the value of the currency will rise and fall based on how many players there are on the platform. The higher the demand for bandwidth the higher the value of the token.

Then the tokens will pay for the witnesses to validate the blocks, but that will come with an already agreed upon inflation of up to 5%.

As of right now, there are no EOS tokens. To buy in, you need to buy ERC-20 and at a later time they will be converted to EOS.

Also, there still is no actual EOS blockchain. The developers are hoping to use the funds generated from the ICO to build out the platform. What kind of guarantee do you have that when you buy the ERC-20 that you will ever receive the tokens or that the platform will be built?

In a word, none. It is a leap of faith on your part to buy in with the promise that something great will come out of this.

This may not seem as scary as it sounds, since there is already proof that this type of blockchain will work as I noted in the section about Steem. But, there is a big red Buyer Beware signs hung up on this blockchain’s door. Be aware of that, and do your due diligence before buying in.

Vechain (VEN)

Blockchain technology is revolutionising how industries operate in record speed.

Enabling decentralised systems means that large companies can work more efficiently. This not only saves them money, but it also fosters an environment where manufacturers, retailers and ultimately, consumers are able to come together as partners.

The Vechain Foundation has set up a blockchain for enterprises which is changing the game within many industries.

Much like Bitcoin shook up the financial industry, Vechain has taken blockchain technology and applied it in a way that is changing how industries use the Internet of Things to streamline their supply chain logistics.

Buy Vechain (VEN)

There is currently no way to buy VEN directly. So the only way to buy VEN is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to VEN.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

Vechain VEN Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY VEN

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some VEN.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the VEN/BTC trade.

Once on the VEN/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy VEN. Here you can decide how much VEN you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy VEN your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of VEN on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of VEN.

What Does Vechain Do?

Vechain has made a mashup between blockchain, Internet of Things, RFID and cryptocurrency.

Its purpose is to streamline how large enterprises operate.

If it’s a shipping company, they help the company and its consumers track all the information about a product or shipment from its inception to the point of sale via smart contracts and hashes on the chain.

A winery can authenticate the wine’s pedigree from the purchase of a vine cutting, to the fermentation process, all the way to the moment a consumer has the bottle in his hand. Fraudulent wines and other luxury items will have a harder time replacing the real deal thanks to blockchain technology.

A food distributor can certify food as organic more easily and when it is being shipped that the temperature and other factors are meeting the safety requirements.

Providing greater market transparency helps everybody within the supply chain. A manufacturer can be sure they are getting the exact parts or material they need, the shipper can track and monitor the conditions the product during shipping and the consumer can be assured that the product they bought is not only authentic, but if it is a perishable, that it was maintained safely.

With the Internet of Things currently needing to work within the cloud, a centralized database is necessary. The blockchain eradicates that need.

Without a gatekeeper, anybody can access the information from the chain. This is not only efficient, but it is much safer.

Think of all the data breaches that have been happening lately. That simply does not happen within the blockchain. Once a hash is changed, anybody can see the changes made and determine if it is spam , or worse, been hacked.

How Does Vechain Work?

A product, or even a service in some cases, is assigned a unique ID. This ID can be assigned to an RFID or QR code depending on what that ID is required to do.

The platform relies on nodes to maintain the blockchain ecosystem.

A smart contract is set up on a hash on the chain and the node enables public and private keys.

Each smart contract can be tailored specifically to each users needs. A Dapp, or decentralized application, for instance can be programmed so that a company has their own way of interacting with the platform.

The hash stores all the data necessary to the function of the either the Dapp, digital files really anything relevant to the product or service that is needed.

Examples of How Vechain is Used

The sky really is the limit with what is possible using blockchain technology. Here are just a few real world examples to demonstrate how Vechain works.

Wine and Liquor

Every step of the process of making wine or other liquors is stored in a unique ID. By scanning the ID, the user can see where the grapes were grown, when they were harvested, how they fermented and the entire bottling process.

By linking that to the shipper of the wine, even how the wine was shipped and even the temperature of the container can be seen.

The RFID or QR code is attached to the opening of the bottle. If that tag is altered in any way, it will be immediately apparent. This prevents an expensive bottle of wine being swapped with an inferior wine.

Supply Chain Logistics

Transparency is key when it comes to shipping goods internationally. Vechain blockchain enables every step of the shipping process to be immediately seen and authenticated by any user.

Efficiency is also much greater by using the blockchain technology combined with RFID technology. Imagine a warehouse or distribution center that tracks and stores all the information about that shipment as soon as it passes into the warehouse. A scanner can read the RFID tags from a distance so it can be entered into the system immediately and accurately at a much lower cost.

Automotive Industry

Renault has partnered with Vechain after seeing the obvious possibilities of using the blockchain.

The entire manufacturing process of an vehicle can be stored on a hash in the chain. Then, all the information about each part used can be accessed, including when the part needs to be changed.

Driving habits can also be transmitted to the hash which can then be accessed by one’s insurance company so the user can potentially pay a lower premium for good driving.

Government Affairs

The Chinese government has bought into the Vechain system and is using it to streamline the processes needed to power their smart cities.

Taxing commodities is also made much easier and cheaper to conduct by the government, which can help reduce waste and save resources. Resources both financial and in terms of manpower needed to do these types of tasks.

Food Safety

Transporting perishable items is now much safer thanks to linking the Internet of Things and the blockchain.

A container filled with food can transmit the storage conditions, how long it took to ship and any other information to the blockchain, rather than a database. If there was some problem along the way, it can be seen immediately and any issues can be solved before that food gets eaten. Recalls of massive amounts of contaminated food will be seen less often since potential problems will be seen long before the food gets consumed.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how creatively Vechain’s blockchain can solve real world issues that businesses face.

How Does the Vechain Token VEN Work?

Trust is the main commodity with the blockchain. In this way the VEN currency is a way to place value on that trust.

The tokens will be used as GAS to execute the smart contracts.

The VEN token will also be used as an incentive mechanism, in that they will be awarded to network nodes that help facilitate the ecosystem via their operation.

Mainly, however, it will be the currency used to pay for the goods or services being offered by companies in the blockchain as a service, or BaaS.

We are seeing blockchain technology quickly take hold of everyday processes. It is changing commerce as we know it and Vechain is ready to become a leader in how the Internet of Things functions.

The fact that Vechain has partnered with such big names as Price Cooper Waterhouse, Renault, Microsoft and even the Chinese government shows that there is a lot of belief in this technology being the way forward to solving so many problems. Problems that always come with a cost of time, money or both.

Po.et – (POE)

In the world of cryptocurrency, proof of existence protocol seems to have taken a backseat with many people focused on ICOs, dips and other shiny objects.

Yet, many problems can be solved through its use.

The Po.et Foundation saw a way within the Proof of Existence protocol to set up a universal ledger that can shake up the publishing industry in the same way that cryptocurrency has disrupted the banking and financial sectors.

Buy Po.et (POE)

There is currently no way to buy POE directly. So the only way to buy POE is to purchase BTC to use on an exchange, and then switch it to POE.

Step 1: Choose Your Trading Platform

Firstly you will need to decide on your cryptocurrency trading platform and create an account there. The choice of platform isn’t very important as a beginner, what really matters is a trading platform that you are comfortable using..

Choose one of these platforms and complete the follow steps to get started:

Binance

Go to Binance and create a new account if you do not already have one.

Once your account has been confirmed, log in to your Binance account and click on funds at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawal”.

Poet POE Binance Deposit Address

Select and copy your bitcoin address.

Look in the “Bitcoin” list and click the Bitcoin deposit button. Then a series of numbers appears in the “BTC Deposit Address:” field. You must copy this series for the next step. This is your bitcoin wallet address.

STEP 2: BUY BTC

The second step is to get your Bitcoin, you can do that at a broker such as BTCdirect .

If you’re buying BTC for the first time from these brokers, you will be asked to confirm your bank account.

Upon payment you will be asked to enter a bitcoin address. You must fill in the address that you have copied at Binance.

STEP 3: WAIT UNTIL YOUR BTC HAS ARRIVED

Once you have purchased Bitcoin and entered the correct BTC deposit address with the payment, you have to wait until the BTC arrives in your wallet.

This process can take up to ½ hour, so don’t worry if it’s not immediately visible on the exchange.

STEP 4: BUY POE

Once your Bitcoin has arrived at your trading platform, it’s time to buy some POE.

Binance

Go to the Binance trading exchange (click the top left on exchange and choose Basic) and use the search function within BTC Markets to find the POE/BTC trade.

Once on the POE/BTC trade page you can look in the left box marked with Buy POE. Here you can decide how much POE you want to buy using your Bitcoin.

If you then press Buy POE your order will be placed. When the order is filled you will see your number of POE on the right-hand box or on your balance page.

Congratulations you’re now the proud owner of POE.

What is Po.et?

Po.et is an open source platform found on the Bitcoin blockchain that shares an open, universal ledger that records ownership metadata on a hash. They are hoping to build a globally-verifiable record of digital media assets that will enable content creators, publishers and editors a way to manage their intellectual property.

By simplifying the processes for publishing, licensing and authenticating digital creative assets, new models of financial exchange, collaboration and sharing can be achieved. This means that writers, artists, journalists and many other creatives can have a universally accepted way to share their work, get paid fairly for their creations and lastly, to prevent intellectual theft.

How does Po.et work?

Using the blockchain, a hash is created with a metadata framework that will enable smart media applications to be built on top. With Proof of Existence, users with an original file, (an article, a photograph, a dissertation, etc.) can already verify a hash and timestamp. Po.et shared ledgers will enable both the original file and the metadata to be discoverable.

First, Po.et integrated a standardised metadata schema for creative works. This metadata includes vital information like the original URL, word count, author, and publication, as well as any custom attributes added by publishers.

Next, the ledger provides an accurate log of edits to assets and an identity management

system to prove who amended a document. With a Po.et profile, users can create private keys secured cryptographically. This forms a log which can be defended against cyberattacks and manipulation of assets by allowing attribution of every change to its authorised source.

The last item Po.et addresses is authenticating a digital work. They created an authentication Badge for every digital asset registered on Po.et. By following the link users can discover the metadata and originating information about the asset, authentication and how its use is authorised by the owner.

By setting up ledgers in this way, content creators can set clear licensing fees and accept payment directly within the platform. Publishers can then work together with the creators of the digital asset and create licensed links from within their websites. This allows publishers to tap into new revenue streams made possible by proper attribution and time-licensing terms.

To break this all down, the process of licensing, finding content and then monetising it is made so much simpler by having a platform that handles every step of the transaction. Po.et’s network will facilitate this whole exchange efficiently all within its own ecosystem.

For a profit, of course, which is where the implementation of the POE token comes into play.

How does the POE token work?

Initially, the POE token was used as a way to raise capital to build a viable product. Buyers of the token were, in essence, more like shareholders.

With that stake in the company, token holders will share in the profits the Po.et Foundation makes.

How will your POE tokens make you money?

Fees are collected from content creators for validating license payments and processing payments on the ledger. A token, then, represents a share of those profits. As the company’s assets grow, so does the value of the POE token.

  1. According to the Po.et whitepaper, citizens of the United States and The Republic of Singapore are not allowed to buy POE tokens. However, there have been no reported issues with anybody from the US buying tokens, at least.

Who will use Po.et?

Publishers

Any person or entity that disseminates digital content, including articles, e-books, digital images, digital videos, etc. for a profit.

Editors

Any person or entity that curates, compiles or selects digital content, including articles, e-books, digital images, digital videos, etc. for a profit.

Content Creators

Any person or entity that produces any form of digital content, including articles, e-books, digital images, digital videos, etc.

Within this new, open marketplace there are myriad ways for all users to make money. And, all without intermediaries to slow the process down making it easier for content creators and publishers to make money.

Content creators can make money from easy to understand licensing fees for use of their intellectual property, editors can charge for archived content and publishers can generate advertising revenue. While all of these things were possible before, Po.et has made it a frictionless, transparent and immutable market for this to take place.

Beyond profit, there is also a big possibility to save money. Imagine a company finding its intellectual property stolen and how much it would cost in lawyers and court costs to make a challenge. With Proof of Existence, they could have a ledger with timestamps and metadata with irrefutable proof of who is actually the rights holder.

This is already being instituted with states like Vermont allowing for blockchain-registered digital records to be admissible in court.

As with most things related to blockchain technology, the case uses are being seen to be utilised in unexpected but very beneficial ways aside from financial transactions.