Led 17

Japan Rises to Become 2nd Biggest Bitcoin Trader in the World

· January 17, 2017 · 5:00 am

Counterparty Foundation Community Director Koji Higashi has agreed that Japan’s future in Bitcoin is an “upward trend” and could challenge China in trading volume.


Japan: World’s #2 Bitcoin Trader

His comments follow mainstream media alleging the number of Japanese outlets accepting Bitcoin had quadrupled to over 4,000 in 2016 alone.

In a blog post Monday, Higashi said that in contrast to China’s falling trading volumes due to exchange inspections and uncertainty over legislation, Japan’s legal setup was fostering increased crypto adoption.

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“…It seems to me few people are aware of what’s happening in Japan now, especially its ever increasing bitcoin trading volume and signs of wider bitcoin adoption,” he wrote.

In terms of trading volume, in fact, yen is already the second biggest currency after Chinese yuan.

The figures Higashi highlights make for surprising reading. Data from Cryptocompare supports his findings, with Japan’s volume just a hair above the US at present. It should be noted, however, that not all exchanges are accounted for in the charts available.

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Japan’s daily trading volumes are now between 120,000 and 150,000 BTC (excluding OTC and P2P trading) – still only around 15% of China, yet enough to support a solid trend, he states.

“Japan is not quite there to challenge the China’s spot yet but it’s notable that about 10% of the bitcoin trading in the world comes from Japan now,” he continued.

Future Uncertain… But Better Than China

A recent Bitcoinist article highlighting purportedly huge increases in merchant adoption in the country meanwhile met with criticism from locals, who said that despite the claims made by Japanese media outlet NHK, the reality remained that using Bitcoin even in Tokyo was next to impossible.

However, a list of where you can spend your bits in Tokyo was compiled by Japanese exchange Coincheck here.

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Still, Higashi too errs on the side of caution, adding that the current status quo did not necessarily signal a flood of adoption – and could ultimately mean the opposite.

“I think the new virtual currency law in Japan will turn out worse than Bitlicense in some aspects contrary to popular media narratives,” he said about the latest Japanese legislation which should come into effect in Spring.

Under this legislation, businesses getting into the cryptocurrency sphere will have the “entry barrier lowered,” Higashi said, leading to increased participation and trading. He predicts that,

At the end of this year, Japan may end up becoming the Number 1 country for Bitcoin trading officially.

Bitcoin Business Gets Ready

Meanwhile, the country’s Bitcoin ecosystem is wasting no time in grabbing the public’s attention amid a more favorable climate.

Tech company GMO Internet announced Tuesday that it would enter the Japanese Bitcoin market with a wallet and exchange service specifically due to the regulatory changes.

Extant exchange BitFlyer is even advertising on major television networks, producing a pitch which is decidedly Japanese in nature, complete with a jingle users have been translating on Reddit.

What do you think about Higashi’s forecasts and the future of Bitcoin in Japan? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, cryptocompare.com, counterparty foundation

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Kvě 17

BitHope Foundation Partners With Counterparty For HOPECOIN Token

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Counterparty

The BitHope Foundation has partnered with Counterparty, which means the charitable organisation has created their token. HOPECOIN, as this token is called, will be sent to anyone who makes a donation through the IndieSquare button.

Also read: Bitland Puts Land Titles on the Blockchain in Ghana

Introducing The HOPECOIN Token Through Counterparty

Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts will have heard of the Counterparty platform before, as it stores extra data in standard Bitcoin transactions. As a result, every Counterparty transactions is a Bitcoin transaction in a smaller size. Transactions on this network are verified by Bitcoin miners and are recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain.

This concept has caught the attention of the BitHope Foundation, as they partnered with the Counterparty team to create their token on the platform. HOPECOIN, as this initiative is called, is a new token which will be issued to anyone who makes a financial contribution to this charitable organisation.

However, there is one requirement, as users have to use the BitHope IndieSquare payment button to receive the tokens. Given the multi-purpose wallet nature of IndieSquare and the fact they are the world’s first Counterparty wallet built for mobile devices, this partnership can bring a lot of positive attention to all parties involved in this partnership.

To put this token into perspective, every Bitcoin donation worth US$1 will reward the contributor with 50 HOPECOINS. While these new tokens have no intrinsic value as of yet, they can be exchanged for goods and services in the future. BitHope Foundation hopes other projects will utilise the Counterparty platform in the future, and offer their goods and services in exchange for these tokens.

For users who have never used the IndieSquare wallet before, it is important to note the user is in full control of their wallet at any given time. During the signup process, there is a 12-word seed that needs to be written down by the user, as they are the only ones who have access to the funds. No other party will ever access one’s funds.

Will you donate to BitHope Foundation to experiment with HOPECOINS on Counterparty? Let us know in the comments below!

Source; Bithope

Images courtesy of BitHope, Counterparty

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BitHope Foundation Partners With Counterparty For HOPECOIN Token

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Úno 03

Six Ethereum Projects and its Five Competitors

Source: bitcoin

Six Ethereum Projects and its Five Competitors

A lot of 2.0 projects have fallen by the wayside, but currently, Ethereum (ETH) development has continued to show its decentralized blockchain platform wants to stick around for the long run. Startups, legacy institutions, and developers using the programmable currency are popping up left and right. Below is a list of six projects using the ETH blockchain to try and conquer many different 2.0 tasks. Then we discuss a few competitors in the crypto-environment going after some the same goals. As time progresses in this world of decentralized distributed ledgers, the race for 2.0 technology continues.

Also Read: Crawling The Deep Web For Art

IBM & Samsung’s Adept  

In January of 2015, IBM revealed its ADEPT proof of concept in a paper called “Device Democracy Saving the future of the Internet of Things.” The report explains the importance of the blockchain and its use case scenarios within the IoT environment becoming “revolutionary as a transaction processing tool.” ADEPT has chosen to use a fork of the Ethereum code for its mission and the use of autonomous telemetry. IBM’s paper describes how they envision the project saying,

“In our vision of a decentralized IoT, the blockchain is the framework facilitating transaction processing and coordination among interacting devices. Each manages its own roles and behavior, resulting in an “Internet of Decentralized, Autonomous Things” – and thus the democratization of the digital world.”

Airlock Project

The Ethereum powered Airlock is called “the next generation keyless protocol.” The platform uses two primary users lockmasters and keyholders which can lock or unlock a lockbox mechanism. Airlock states on its website, “Lockmasters seamlessly grant permission to Keyholders who can access a property or lockbox under specified conditions.” The advantage of using Ethereum’s smart contracts allows Airlock’s DApp (Decentralized Application) to create a programmable environment that can operate device automation the developers say.

Microsoft Azure

Last year Microsoft announced its new cloud-based Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform Azure. The company has announced many different types of distributed ledgers within the projects research and development. Blockchains such as Ripple, Factom, and Emercoin have been introduced to the system, but the media has focused its attention on Ethereum. Just recently R3 CEV told the world it was using the Ethereum protocol through Azure to connect 11 banks together for a Bank-to-Bank (B2B) platform. The Microsoft cloud platform has also revealed its first Technical Preview of Azure Stack, which shows the public the projects manifestation.  

Algorythmix

Algorythmix is a blockchain based credit rating and KYC platform that just won the first prize in the Citi Mobile Challenge. The platform “Cetas” is a decentralized prototype that uses blockchain technology to bifurcate the traditional way credit ratings are handled. Algorythmix gave a statement to IBTimes UK saying, “Cetas is a decentralized platform which enables sharing of the KYC data using blockchain. The platform has an added a layer of decentralized credit rating function and advanced functionalities to address the problem of scale.” The blockchain service also has other projects which have not been conceived yet. One is Basil that can calculate cyber security risk for cyber insurance, and Hermes a platform for sensor networks for industrial IoT application.

CubeSpawn

CubeSpawn is an FMS (flexible manufacturing system) that enables big factory automation. The website states the initiative is an “open source project to build cost sensitive, high quality, modular manufacturing machines, mostly from repurposed industrial cast-offs.” The project wants to bring technical advances to everyone so the world can best allocate its resources. It believes “local high-tech manufacturing” is the answer to many global issues the world is faced with. The positives the projects could produce include reduction in long distance shipping, reducing fuel costs, encourage recycling, and ending labor inequalities.

Augur

Augur is a prediction market built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. The concept is a tool that allows users to forecast events by using software that understands the odds of basically any probability better than you do. This could make betting on sports games, elections, and future events easier because the protocol is meant to be more consistent. Augur uses a token within its system called REP (reputation) that gives a user more trust in the network. After an event occurs those who use the system more truthfully get rewarded REP. The startup just recently finished a crowd sale and also created the first contract on Ethereums Frontier.  

What’s Next in the 2.0 Race?

The Ethereum project is seeing a lot of developers messing around with the code and people are finding use cases. Despite all this the programmable currency has competition in its radar with organizations who also want to achieve the same goals. Maidsafe, Tau Chain, and Counterparty are other projects that aim to do some similar objectives that Ethereum wants to encompass. In November of 2014, Counterparty sparked controversy by porting the ETH software to its platform. The project says that it uses Bitcoin’s ledger within its network stating on its website, “Counterparty is a free and open platform that puts powerful financial tools in the hands of everyone with an Internet connection. By harnessing the power of the Bitcoin network, Counterparty creates a robust and secure marketplace directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

Another contender or friend is Rootstock. The platform uses Bitcoin’s blockchain as opposed to an alternative token. Rootstock is said to have the same abilities as Ethereum, and its developer says that they could compliment each other. Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar co-founder of Rootstock says in a reddit post:

The good thing is Rootstock VM is fully compatible with Ethereum VM so now you will have two platforms to run your application with two different security models and user bases. We are actually empowering the Ethereum development community not threatening it.”

 

Tau Chain is another project that claims it also will be able to take the 2.0 game to the next level. The developers of Tau believes that Ethereum’s Turing completeness is not necessarily the right direction. Ohad Asor of the Tau teams also says that its platform doesn’t need a token like ETH to operate saying, Ethereum’s model requires a coin (“fuel”). Tau doesn’t need a coin: the users can agree on the economic characteristic of the network and define any kind of incentive they find adequate, whether globally over the whole network or over their local Tau client.”

 

Maidsafe is a project that has been said it could be a friend of foe to ETH as well. The project aims to be a decentralized peer-to-peer internet platform and has similar attributes to Ethereum. Some say that Maidsafe can be considered a decentralized storage layer with a multitude of applications. Maidsafe, stands for “Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access For Everyone” and wants to change the landscape of the web with its 2.0 platform.

Ethereum does have its competitors and developers are gearing up their platforms to operate with similar goals in mind. Most of these different networks have been in the top ten cryptocurrency market capitalization at one time or another and are shooting to be right below Bitcoin. There are other projects that do not have as much attention on them right now like Hivemind, which also works with prediction markets like the Augur platform. The project says it is “a Peer-to-Peer Oracle Protocol which absorbs accurate data into a blockchain” and also will incorporate similar 2.0 features to its system. The Ethereum project is definitely not alone in this landscape of smart contract technology, and highly developed blockchains as we’ve seen in the past it will have to continue strides of its own to gain a network effect.

What do you think about these Ethereum projects and the turing complete protocols competitors? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclosure: Bitcoinist is not associated with any of the above-named projects. 


 

Images courtesy of Pixbay, Twitter, and Wiki Commons 

 

The post Six Ethereum Projects and its Five Competitors appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Six Ethereum Projects and its Five Competitors

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