Bře 11

Ledger Nano X Review: A Beautiful Piece of Kit

It feels like a long time since CES in January when Ledger unveiled its latest hardware wallet, the Nano X. I was lucky enough to receive a review device and have been dutifully putting it through its paces since then. With the first units shipping next week, its high time to get excited all over again with a full review. 


Getting Started

Let’s get this out of the way first — the Ledger Nano X is a beautiful piece of kit. It comes nicely packaged with Apple-level attention to detail.

In the box, you get the device itself, a keychain attachment, and tough-looking braided USB cable — plus instruction sheet, recovery cards, and Ledger stickers — if you’re into that kind of thing.

The device looks very similar to the Nano S, although the buttons have moved to be either side of the larger and flush screen. The two buttons scroll through menu options while pressing both simultaneously selects the highlighted option.

The set-up is a simple affair, although I would recommend doing it in one session. In my excitement, I started up the device whilst still in Vegas, then realized I should be taking notes… and of course, Vegas doesn’t allow notes. It took a bit of fiddling to get back to the set-up process once I was back home, but it wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d just waited.

Bizarrely, I managed to change the device name on my device, but Ledger Live still sees it as the default name. Now, I can’t seem to alter it at all — but it’s not a huge deal.

Ledger Live

Most of your interaction with the Nano X will occur via the Ledger Live app, for Android and iOS. I mean, you could use it through the desktop version, but there’s no reason why you would – and, in fact, one good reason why you wouldn’t… but more on that later.

The device connects to the mobile app via Bluetooth, which has sparked security concerns from some quarters. However, private keys remain safely stored in the secure chip on the device, which has been updated and has a higher rating than that of the Nano S.

The Nano X supports all 1100+ cryptocurrencies of the earlier model, but you can install 100 different token accounts on a single Nano X — compared to 18 on the S. Installing accounts is a breeze, although there is no way to change the default account name until after you have created it. Again, not a massive problem, but I don’t see why this shouldn’t be possible.

More of an issue is the fact that, if you do at any point decide to use the desktop version of the software, you have to manually add all the accounts again… and the accounts again take the default name. Why it doesn’t sync accounts (or at least account names) with the device/mobile app is a mystery. To be honest, though, the desktop app has no extra functionality, so you might as well just stick to the mobile app.

This works just like any software wallet, allowing you to send and receive tokens, monitor your portfolio, and even buy tokens through selected partner exchanges. Every transaction is confirmed through Nano X, and this is its strength.

The Bottom Line

The combination of hardware-wallet security with the mobility and ease-of-use of a software wallet makes this a pretty compelling purchase. Niggles aside, what’s not to like about that?

The Ledger Nano X costs $119, with free shipping, and orders placed today should be shipped in early April.

What do you think of the Ledger Nano X? Will you upgrade from the Ledger Nano S? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Bluewallet Lets You Send Bitcoin Lightning Payments from Your iPhone

Bluewallet appears to be setting the bar for the next generation of Bitcoin wallets. Available for both Android and iOS, it is the first to integrate the Lightning Network (LN) for super-quick and “unfairly cheap” transactions.


First Bitcoin Lightning Wallet on iOS

It should be mentioned that this review is largely aimed at users who are either not tech-savvy enough or don’t have have the time or both (like me) to set up their own Lightning nodes.

I’ve used a few iOS Bitcoin wallet apps over the years and all of these have their pros and cons. However, as far as simplicity, ease-of-use, and security are concerned, I can confidently say that Bluewallet is the best iOS Bitcoin wallet app I ever used. 

It combines the latest Bitcoin technology (SegWit, LN, Replace-by-fee etc.) with some nifty security features (plausible deniability) alongside the simplest user experience to date.

Note: Bluewallet did not pay me for this review and never contacted me.

I recently found out about this app, which was launched in early December, on Twitter. The wallet caught my attention since this is the first open-source Bitcoin wallet for iOS that supports Lightning Network so I decided to check it out.

As far as I can tell, it is the first wallet that allows you to:

  • Refill the LN wallet with an on-chain transaction without closing/opening a new one
  • Backup (export) the LN wallet with a QR code/URL
  • Use the same LN wallet across multiple devices

It should also be mentioned that while you control the BTC wallet’s private keys, the LN part is custodial by default running Bluewallet’s LNHUB+LND. But, if you already have your own LND node, you can run LNHUB software yourself (it’s open-source) by entering your URL in the Lightning wallet settings.

Not Many Options for iOS

Just like many other people, my first ever Bitcoin wallet experience was with Blockchain wallet in 2014. It was one of the first Bitcoin wallets available for both Android and iOS mobile platforms.

Currently, I’ve been using Edge wallet (formerly known as Airbitz) for the sole reasons that it is ‘secure’ (you control the private keys) and one of the few that supports SegWit (cheaper transactions) along with many altcoins like Monero and Ethereum.

While I believe Edge is one of the best wallets available for iOS today, I miss the watch-only address feature that Blockchain wallet always had — so there were always tradeoffs.

Watch-only addresses let you — as the name implies — only see the balance of your cold-storage wallets. So even if your Ledger Nano S is buried in a nuclear bunker, you could still safely monitor its balance from afar.

However, security should be paramount to every Bitcoin user. Thus, controlling your own private keys is a must and since there weren’t a lot of options for iOS – Edge wallet it was. (I’ve also tried the popular BRD wallet but I wasn’t a fan).

Blown Away By Simplicity

Setting up a wallet in Bluewallet took less than 20 seconds and you have a choice between a regular HD (hierarchical deterministic) wallet or SegWit. You can also import an existing wallet using your seed.

Done. Creating the Lightning wallet is just as quick.

You then have an option to encrypt (recommended) your wallet’s privet keys with a single password. This makes the experience similar to signing up for a new Gmail account — which makes the entire process very easy and familiar, particularly for those new to Bitcoin.

There’s also a genius feature against $5 wrench attacks called Plausible Deniability.

Next, you’ll need some coin to play with. So refill your Bluewallet by sending an on-chain transaction with some BTC from another wallet. If you don’t have any — it’s possible to buy bitcoin (from Changelly) right from the Options menu.

The whole interface is the cleanest and most intuitive I’ve used to date. The wallet also lets you set a custom transaction fee when sending bitcoin.

Replace-by-fee is another useful feature. If you ever set a fee that is too low — you now have the option to set a higher fee (after you already clicked ‘send’) and speed up the transaction. 

Lightning Network Works But…

So I sent about $4 to my new BTC wallet. About 20 minutes lates after all the confirmations (at least 2), I sent about a few bucks in bitcoin to ‘refill’ my new Lightning address.

Bluewallet notes that your LN wallet is intended for day-to-day transactions because they’re faster and “unfairly cheap.”

After about five confirmations, the LN wallet had satoshis in it and was ready to strike. However, since only one LN wallet can be set up in the app (for now), it was impossible for me to try sending sats back and forth within the app.

So I told my friend to try it. Unfortunately, the LN wallet doesn’t yet support receiving (invoicing) lightning payments yet, so we were unable to send any Satoshis between each other.

Luckily, I did manage to send an LN payment of six cents to read a full article on Yalls.org. This went through instantly and without a problem as clicking ‘check payment’ on Yalls immediately showed that the payment has been sent.

A Glimpse into the Future of LN Payments

Using this wallet gives a glimpse into the future of paying with Bitcoin as LN grows and all the software issues are ironed out. Once LN payments will become seamless, using it should become second nature as transactions are literally instant at almost zero cost.

This should provide a great solution for merchants and in-store payments (e.g. Starbucks) as it eliminates the problem of having to wait for on-chain confirmations – a common criticism of using Bitcoin at brick-n-mortar locations.

Moreover, legacy digital payments (credit cards, Venmo etc.) are already instant and ‘cheap’ for users so the breakthrough will not come from speed. However, LN is not only “unfairly cheap” but also allows sending less than a satoshi – the smallest unit in Bitcoin. This means users are already sending tiny fractions of a penny, as recently reported by Bitcoinist.

Therefore, I believe, this technology will create new opportunities for online micro-payments and monetization of digital content, which could be a game-changer in the Information Age. In the meantime, however, this wallet will make it possible to ride a Lightning scooter.

Or maybe a Lightning beer?

Shortfalls

There are admittedly some shortfalls with Bluewallet. Though most of these gaps are expected to be filled later.

For example, the biggest problem right now is the inability to receive LN payments and make withdrawals from the LN wallet back to the BTC wallet. Therefore, you should only test the LN wallet with a small sum since you will not be able to get the satoshis back to your on-chain Bitcoin wallet (for now).

Software developer Irek Zielinski explains that upcoming versions of Bluewallet will support invoicing, which means bidirectional LN transactions.

Another issue is the lack of PIN or Touch-ID/Face-ID support. Though understandably, a lack of PIN code make it easier to use for the average joe, I’d like to at least have the option to set up a PIN code for accessing the app or some kind of 2-factor authentication for extra security.

Other features in the pipeline include:

  • Batch TX – the ability to pay multiple addresses with a single transaction, saving on fees and optimizing blockspace usage.
  • MultiSig TX – enhanced security as each transaction requires M of N signatures (with keys stored on different physical devices with BlueWallet).
  • Plugging in your Bitcoin Core node for “maximum sovereignty.”

These additions should make Bluewallet, hand down, the best wallet for both iOS and Android users and Bitcoin businesses, in particular. In whole, this is a great wallet if you’re looking to have the latest security features, ease-of-use, Lightning payments, and tired of waiting for Samourai Wallet to be released for iOS.

Have you tried Bluewallet? Share your experience below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Kvě 08

3Commas Continues to Impress with Automated Trading Bots, More Crypto Exchanges

· May 8, 2018 · 6:00 pm

Back in December, I reviewed a suite of ‘smart tools’ designed to help cryptocurrency traders minimize risks and maximize profits. Five months later I decided to revisit the platform to see if they had anything new to offer…


If You’re Not Innovating, You’re Stagnating

When it comes to crypto, few things are as disappointing to me as when a really promising project launches and comes out of the gate really strong, only to fizzle out a few months or a year down the road.

3Commas, which launched in September 2017, has managed to avoid that pitfall and just continues to get better and better. The platform boasts more than 22,000 active crypto traders and a daily trade volume of more than $6 million.

Speaking about the platform’s spectacular growth, 3Commas CMO Mike Goryunov said:

We continue to build win-win collaboration with our customers and as I can see it’s the main reason of our success.

The reason for the platform’s growing popularity, of course, is the wealth of tools and features it offers that has resulted in active traders making an average monthly profit of more than 15%.

More Exchanges Than Ever Before

More Exchanges Than Ever Before

When I previously reviewed 3Commas, the platform integrated with Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Binance, and any Ethereum wallet. Since then, the developers have added integration with:

  • Bitstamp
  • CEX
  • Kucoin
  • YoBit

The team is in the process of adding support for Huobi as well, and a little bird told me that support for HitBTC and Bitmex will be coming online soon after.

Automated Trading Bots

Automated Trading Bots

The best trading tools are the ones you don’t have to babysit 24/7 and 3Commas has rolled out a new tool that makes my little guppy-sized crypto trader heart sing with joy. After much anticipation, the team has released its Automated Trading Bot tool and the reaction from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, a trading bot is a piece of computer software that executes trades over and over again based on pre-determined parameters that the trader configures.

The problem with most trading bots is that they are either difficult to use – especially for new traders – or they just plain don’t work the way we expect them to. 3Commas has solved both problems with a trading bot that is both easy to use and reliable in its performance. Results may vary, of course, but on average the trading bot generates a daily profit of around 1.5%. Detailed analytics on the bots’ performance are available on the 3Commas website.

Moomin Papa has created a terrific video explaining how 3Commas’ Automated Trading Bot works, but here it is in a nutshell:

3Commas Automated Trading Bot Step 1

3Commas Automated Trading Bot Steps 2-4

Step 1: Choose which type of bot you are creating

3Commas supports two types of trading bots – simple and complex. A simple trading bot only involves one trading pair while a complex trading bot involves multiple trading pairs. For the purposes of this article, I am only focusing on simple trading bot creation.

Step 2: Name your bot

Naming your trading bot will help you remember which bot is trading which pairs. This is especially useful if you will be creating and running several trading bots.

Step 3: Choose your exchange

Tell your trading bot which exchange it will be trading on. It can be any exchange that you have added to your My Exchanges dashboard.

Step 4: Choose your trading pair

Select the trading pair you want your bot to buy and sell from the drop-down menu.

3Commas Automated Trading Bot Steps 5-8

Step 5: Set your base trade size

This is where you tell your trading bot how much BTC, ETH, etc… you will be using in your initial trade.

Step 6: Set your safety trade size

This step is completely optional, but it lets traders ‘buy the dip’ in a safer, more controlled way. For example, let’s say my trading pair is XRP/BTC and I buy Ripple for $0.82 per token. If the price drops below my original purchase price, safety trades will let me buy more XRP with whatever amount of BTC I have my safety trade size set for.

Step 7: Set your target profit

This tells the trading bot when to sell and is set in percentages. Let’s say I set my target profit for 2%. If my trading bot initially purchased Ripple at $0.82 per token, when the price hits $0.8364, the bot will automatically execute a sell order.

Step 8: Choose your Take Profit Type

The trading bots support two Take Profit types – percentage from base trade and percentage from total volume.

 3Commas Automated Trading Bot Steps 9-11

Step 9: Max safety trades count

This step is optional (unless you have set a safety trade size) and tells the trading bot how many safety trades it is allowed to make before stopping.

Step 10: Max active safety trades count

Similar to Step 9, this step tells the trading bot how many active safety trades it can have in progress at any given time.

Step 11: Price deviation to open safety trades

Set as a percentage, this step tells the trading bot when it can start executing safety trades. For example, if I set it to 2, then when the price of Ripple drops 2% below my initial trade price the trading bot will begin executing safety trades.

3Commas Automated Trading Bot Step 12

Step 12: Trade Start Conditions

This step tells the trading bot when to make that initial trade. You can choose from TradingView Signal Buy or Strong Buy, TradingView Signal Strong Buy, Manually, or Open New Trade ASAP.

That’s all there is to it. Twelve steps may seem like a lot, but in reality, you can configure your first trading bot in just a few minutes – even if you’ve never set one up before. That’s the beauty of this tool – it’s easy enough for beginning traders but still robust enough to satisfy more experienced traders as well.

Are you ready to test drive 3Commas’ Automated Trading Bots for yourself? Visit 3commas.io and sign up today.

Are you a 3Commas user? Have you checked out their Automated Trading Bot? How does it compare to other trading bots? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of 3Commas

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

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Srp 22

A ‘Brave’ New Benchmark: Putting the Browser’s Hype to the Test

Source: bitcoin

benchmark

We previously tested a very early build of Brave to see what kind of performance the new browser was packing. The thing is, that build wasn’t feature-complete or optimized for release. Now that it’s out in the wild (users are still waiting on the promised Bitcoin-centric features mind you) with all of its bells and whistles we thought we’d revisit our initial tests, and cast a wider net to give you a good metric for Brave’s real-world performance as it stands. 

Also read: Mycelum Gets P2P Tumbling

Is it as fast as it was before release? Is the responsiveness a nice bonus to their browsing experience, or is it just placebo compounded by novelty? We’ve rounded up six modern browsers, including a peek at the still-in-infancy Mozilla Servo, and tested them rigorously in an attempt to answer these questions.

Brave Benchmark Data

Each Browser is the latest version available, stock standard with no customization whatsoever, with the exception of Firefox, which is heavily extended and in use as my daily driver. I included it in testing to give a baseline for performance after long-term use and customization.

These are the normalized scores for each benchmark we ran. It’s hard to see a clear performance champ, but Brave initially looks healthy. Note that Vivaldi, Chromium and Brave are all based on Chrome, so we can reasonably expect them to perform similarly, though Brave is anecdotally supposed to be more performant. Speedometer seems heavily skewed towards Chrome optimization as well:

Here we see memory consumption with a large amount of tabs open. Brave consumes the second highest amount of memory out of all the browsers tested. Something to consider, as it may not run as well on systems with less than 8GB of RAM:

Interesting side note: I attempted to benchmark a release optimized build of Servo to see how far the project had progressed, and I very quickly got my answer — not very. The only thing I could get to run was Mozilla’s Dromaeo JS suite, which puts Servo’s performance at a little below a customized Firefox:

Here are the Peacekeeper Platform-Neutral Benchmark scores, relative to Brave’s performance. The picture starts to get a little clearer here:

And the aggregate normalized scores from every benchmark used in our tests:

Benchmark Conclusions and Recommendations

Brave is disappointingly slow, performing the worst out of the box, and only beating my extended and abused installation of Firefox. It even underperforms the aggregate average that includes Firefox as a negative outlier.

It also comes in second to last on system resources, and given the lack of promised bitcoin integration and the abysmal privacy situation hidden under a veneer of ad-blocking, I see little to no reason to use this new browser. It might be an upgrade if you’re moving from Internet Explorer or Safari, (or a really dirty install of Firefox) but the UX feels like a portal into the mid-2000’s, and any performance increase you’ll feel is an almost guaranteed placebo.

If you want a pretty, clean, user experience, try out Vivaldi. It performs similarly, and there’s a lot of thought put into the UX. Need privacy or just hate web advertising? Install a few add-ons in Chromium or Firefox.

Want to get paid BTC to view ads? Try getting in early on an MLM scheme, because there’s no word on when that’ll be coming to mainline Brave. Given time, and assuming the devs make good on all proposed features, this browser may become attractive, if not blazing fast. Until then, stick with what you’ve got, or try one of the other perfectly serviceable browsers represented in the benchmarks.

Questions about the browsers covered here? Leave them in the comments!


 

The post A ‘Brave’ New Benchmark: Putting the Browser’s Hype to the Test appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

A ‘Brave’ New Benchmark: Putting the Browser’s Hype to the Test

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Čvc 30

Radeon Overview: Aftermarket Polaris Cards Shaking up GPU Mining?

Source: bitcoin

Polaris

The Radeon RX 480 was released onto the GPU market without much fanfare, sold as a mid-range card at a low price – which is exactly how it performs. Despite the excitement in the gaming press about AMD’s Polaris architecture and the RX (and upcoming Pro WX) line of GPUs, particularly about the card’s price point, it seems to have been glossed over by the crypto mining community. 

Also read: The Bitcoinist Podcast is Back

The 480 boasts 26-27 MH/s when put to the task of ETH mining, around 85 percent of what its older brother, the 390X, can put out at around half of the launch price. Despite the card’s promise as an efficient and inexpensive piece of mining hardware, the first batch of reference models had power delivery issues, mediocre cooling, and a lack of raw performance that raised concerns for those looking to put them to work in 24/7 mining operations.

Impressive Hashpower at a Good Price

Miners on the fence about Polaris will be happy to know that the AIB partner cards, as well as the cut-down RX 470 and 460, are coming to market in the next few days. These cards come with superior cooling and beefed up power delivery that makes them more desirable for mining and other intensive uses.

With a lot of the initial red flags thrown up around this GPU about to become non-issues, we’ve decided to revisit the Polaris architecture and explore just how efficient and powerful the RX 480 is when it comes to GPU mining.

We’ll be comparing cards utilizing the RX 200, 300 and 400 series GPUs to analyze how each generation of GCN stacks up against the next when it comes to mining Ethereum. I’ve left nVidia’s Pascal and Maxwell cards out of the benchmarks because, despite their improved hashing performance, comparisons across the manufacturers, and from OpenCL to Cuda optimized mining, is beyond the scope of this article.

When looking at AMD GPU mining performance, it helps to understand the incongruity between their GPU architectures and their branding. Cards in the previous generation’s 300 series are primarily refreshes of older chips, with higher clocks and more/better memory. The 390X, a mining favorite, for example, is essentially a memory extended, overclocked 290X. The 380 is a souped-up 285 (which is the newest design from them outside of the Fury series’ Fiji Chip and the newer Polaris architecture), and the 370 is working with the same chips put into the now four-year-old HD 7000 series cards.

Because each price range of card uses a different architecture, with various design time frames and iterations, you’ll see dramatic jumps between each step in their lineup, and only marginal gains from generation to generation. The newest RX 400 series is unique in that it is the first non-iterative jump in design in nearly five years for AMD, and, as you’ll soon see, it certainly shows:

Polaris: New Efficiency King

AMD’s Polaris 2.0 architecture shows an appreciable 28 percent raw performance improvement over the last gen 380, and an even more dramatic 51 percent improvement over the previous iteration’s 285.

Of course, it’s not as simple as looking at raw hash power when evaluating mining equipment. Otherwise, the RX 480 would take a lackluster backseat to the current king in GPU mining, the 390X. What’s remarkable about the 480 is that it achieves this high level of compute performance while drawing less than half of what the 390X does at the outlet. With the latest drivers, the card only draws 159 Watts under full load, and under-volting the card further can increase its performance by stabilizing its maximum “boost” frequency. That’s right, the 480 holds the unique position of performing better with less power than the default settings.

So what does this drastic reduction in power draw mean? Well, the RX 480 blows every other card in the lineup out of the water regarding efficiency. It only draws 6 watts, compared to the 390X’s 11.5 or the 285’s godawful 12.3 watts, per mega-hash, per second. The 400 series’ Polaris GPUs are as much as 104.38 percent, or 85.16 percent on average, more efficient hash-for-hash than the GCN 1.X cards of the 300 and 200 series:

At the average cost of power in the US, around 10 cents per kilowatt-hour as of May 2016, you could expect to pay $440 in electricity per month for a 1 GH/s mining rig using 480s, where a similar setup using 390Xs would cost around $842 per month (this figure excludes the power draw of the other components in the system, but all things equal that’s still a $400 a month difference per GHash).

With aftermarket RX 480s hitting the shelves right about now, the Polaris line of GPUs has become an incredibly attractive piece of mining hardware. It’ll be interesting to see the effects Polaris will have on large-scale operations, as well as what the 470 and 460 will bring in terms of Hashpower per watt.

Questions or comments on the performance of Polaris or Pascal GPUs? Leave them in the comments!


Detailed power draw data courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.

The post Radeon Overview: Aftermarket Polaris Cards Shaking up GPU Mining? appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Radeon Overview: Aftermarket Polaris Cards Shaking up GPU Mining?

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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 

 

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Six Ethereum Projects and its Five Competitors

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Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review

Source: bitcoin

Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review

The Cheero Power Plus 3 (PP3) is a standard lithium ion battery external power bank. It comes in a classic white that hasn’t managed to attract any scuffs despite regular use. Cheero is a Japanese company that is avidly penetrating many niche areas of the technology hardware industry. Bitcoinist.net will make sure to stop by Cheero’s stand at CES 2016 in our continued effort to expand our coverage. While we are traditionally a fintech, Bitcoinist.net is now bringing our world-renowned review skills to all hardware.

Cheero Power Plus 3 Power Bank Hardware Specifications

– 13400 mAh

– DC 5v/2A Micro USB Input

– DC 5V/1A  and DC 5V/2.4A

– ~500 usage times

Cheero PP3 Power Bank Review

As a frequent traveler, I often find myself needing to recharge my phone when I am attending Bitcoin meetups and Bitcoin conferences around the country. Having all the different Bitcoin wallet apps open to show new users the width and breadth of Bitcoin wallet functionality is very taxing on my battery. Given that my phone is a few generations old, even an extended battery case doesn’t keep it truly competitive. Without this power bank (and the other one I use to keep this one topped off), I’d be just a nomad instead of a digital nomad. The 3.8×3.1×0.9 inch body bulges slightly wider than other ~10000mAh external power banks. Importantly, the Cheero doesn’t charge your gear if you don’t push the power button. This is a feature not a bug.

Pros: Two USB output ports

Cons: Only comes in white
The product is available on Amazon, but of course you should consider using Purse.io (Bitcoinist referral link) to save a few bits/bucks on Amazon instead and be able to pay in Bitcoin. It has 5 stars on Amazon and it gets 5 stars from us!

Images from Juwan Li.

Test unit provided by Cheero USA.

The post Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review

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