Hacker Noon

Ethereum just got easier to develop on

Ethereum just got easier to develop on

Starting out as a group of blockchain developers, around before the Ethereum genesis block, we’ve amassed hundreds of the foremost experts in every blockchain sub-discipline. As a result, these engineers have gone on to work at ConsenSys and gather ext…

Why Bitcoin is Going Up?

Why Bitcoin is Going Up?

This is Why Bitcoin is Going Up

A finite supply, the halvening, institutional investors, and a coin that rhymes with “Reba”.

Bitcoin (BTC) has a finite supply. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin in existence. This is a key factor in the value of Bitcoin and is crucial to understanding why Bitcoin is rising in value today.

I’m not a prophet, I don’t own any magical crystal balls, I don’t even own any magic 8 balls — I don’t claim to know every factor that contributed to the price of BTC going up.

I do know, however, that all the factors below are contributing to its’ next parabolic run.

So, let’s talk about why Bitcoin is going up in 2019.

Chart courtesy of Unchained Capital

A Shrinking Supply

The chart above plots the price of Bitcoin (the black line) over time, compared against the colored bands, which represent the % of Bitcoins supply that has not been spent within a certain time frame. The blue bands at the top represent the % of Bitcoin in existence that hasn’t been spent in over 5 years. The red bands at the bottom represent the percentage of Bitcoin that hasn’t been spent in less than 1 day.

What does this all mean?

There are more HODL’ers

You’ll notice that while the total supply of Bitcoin is rising, the liquid supply of Bitcoin is decreasing. This is represented by the growth of the blue bands in the top right corner of the chart. As mentioned, these bands represent the % of Bitcoin in circulation that hasn’t been moved or spent in over 5 years, it represents the HODL’ers.

Right now, around 20% of the total supply of Bitcoin hasn’t been spent in over 5 years, meaning 20% of the supply is currently being held for the long term, or maybe even lost due to forgotten keys and passphrases.

Regardless, it shows that the liquid supply (amount of coins available to be spent) of BTC is shrinking, while the total supply (amount of coins in existence) grows.

The Halvening

In approximately 330 days, the Bitcoin mining reward will be cut in half. Let’s take a few steps back so we can better understand what that means, and what it will do to the value of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is minted when a miner or group of miners finish validating a block of transactions (think of a block of transactions like one page in a financial ledger). Miners are like blockchain accountants, they set their computers to validate the transactions occurring on the Bitcoin ledger, and whenever they mine a new block they are paid 10.4 Bitcoin. That 10.4 Bitcoin is newly minted cryptocurrency that didn’t exist until a new block was mined- this is how the supply of Bitcoin increases.

Actual footage of Bitcoin mining rewards being cut in half.

The mining rewards are also meant to cover the basic costs of mining, electricity bills and such. What this means, is that every time a new block is mined and new Bitcoin is generated, miners will usually sell this new BTC to cover their costs, releasing new BTC into the greater ecosystem to be bought, sold, and HODL’d.

The supply will continue to increase in this fashion until there are 21 million Bitcoin in existence. The halvening is an anti-inflationary function that Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of Bitcoin) put in place to make sure the value of Bitcoin was never pushed down by the supply increasing too fast. He describes the function in the Bitcoin white paper.

“The fact that new coins are produced means the money supply increases by a planned amount, but this does not necessarily result in inflation. If the supply of money increases at the same rate that the number of people using it increases, prices remain stable. If it does not increase as fast as demand, there will be deflation and early holders of money will see its value increase

Coins have to get initially distributed somehow, and a constant rate seems like the best formula.”

The halvening is a very positive catalyst for Bitcoin, not only does it represent a decrease in the rate of supply growth, it also represents a smaller amount of BTC being sold on a regular basis by miners. This decrease means less downward pressure on the price of Bitcoin over time.

It’s been a while since I took Economics, but I’m pretty sure that decreasing supply coupled with an increasing demand is a good thing?

Now that we’ve examined the supply, let’s take a look at the current demand for Bitcoin.

Institutional Investors

Hedge Funds, Banks, Pensions, and other financial institutions have been quick to speak negatively about Bitcoin in the pass. The CEO of JP Morgan notoriously called Bitcoin a scam, right before announcing that he had loaded up on Bitcoin himself and that JP Morgan would be launching their own cryptocurrency…

[RELATED READ: The Case(s) for Cryptocurrency in 2019]

People tend to hate what they don’t understand, and up until recently, institutional players didn’t really understand Bitcoin. Bitcoins value is a result of the growing number of people who understand its utility, and it seems like institutional investors are starting to catch onto that utility.

There has been a rise in the number of institutions actively investing (or considering to investment) in cryptocurrency. Fidelity opened a cryptocurrency custody service in early 2019, they conducted a survey amongst institutional investors and found that 43% of them want to add cryptocurrencies to their portfolios.

This is big because the demographic that allows institutional investors to control their money is the same demographic that has shown resistance in entering crypto markets. If institutional investors decide to move their Assets Under Management from bonds, or gold, to Bitcoin — the growth would be astonishing.

A lot of the recent growth we’ve seen in Bitcoin has come as a result of Institutional investors entering the space with large amounts of capital. The market cap of the entire crypto market is around $300 billion at the moment, the last time it was at $300 billion Bitcoin hit all time highs, as well as Ethereum, Litecoin, and several other top coins. This is important because a lack of liquidity was cited as one of the main reasons institutional investors stayed clear of cryptocurrency in the past. They were afraid that there wouldn’t be enough buyers to liquidate large orders when it came time to sell.

It seems like the market is starting to provide this liquidity organically (let’s not talk about market makers). Just in time for platforms like BAKKT to launch in July, providing an on-ramp for another wave of investment.

“Institutional demand for bitcoin has soared. As of June 17, open interest at CME Group saw 5,311 contracts totaling 26,555 BTC, or approximately $246 million — dwarfing the volumes during the 2017 price peak.” — Yahoo Finance

Project Libra

I’ve read and written so much about Facebook’s cryptocurrency in the past few weeks that I’m sick of it. So I’m not going to go into too much detail here. I won’t go into whether or not the coin will be truly decentralized, or if its a worrying sign of a future where corporations have sovereignty over all.

Let’s throw aside any thoughts of whether or not Libra will be managed effectively.

[RELATED READ: Everything You Need to Know About Project Libra]

What I want to focus on here is what this piece of news has done, and will continue to do for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Facebook has the attention of the media, it’s one of the worlds largest corporations, and has more money than several countries.

For the past week news about Project Libra has been all over my Twitter feed, Medium, and even traditional media outlets. Forbes, Fast Money, Financial Times; everyone is covering Facebook’s entrance into crypto markets.

This is amazing for Bitcoin. The retail investor wave hasn’t begun even begun. I don’t have old friends from school calling me asking me about Bitcoin just yet, we haven’t hit critical mass.

The search volume on Google for “Bitcoin” is still at relatively low levels compared to the last time the price saw this much growth. As the retail market catches on, we’ll see that search volume rise, and FOMO will kick in.

What’s Next?

Several traders have been quite vocal about Bitcoin never dropping below $10,000 again. I don’t know how confident I am in that. I could see Bitcoin dropping to around $6,000 before resuming its trip upward. However, if we blast through the resistance around the $13,000 level, the momentum might be enough to carry us beyond $20,000 to set new highs.

https://medium.com/media/3c851dac986ab6dbb2d1aaa91205a8eb/href


Why Bitcoin is Going Up? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Founders, Entrepreneurs: Y U NO Learn Code?

Founders, Entrepreneurs: Y U NO Learn Code?

If you own a business, or dream of one day owning your own business, it’s crucial that you know the basic coding languages of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. What’s the worst that will happen if you don’t?Here are 5 ways business owners waste money not know…

Cryptocurrencies in the real economy

Cryptocurrencies in the real economy

Many officials and representatives of large and international business look down on cryptocurrencies — supposedly digital assets will never achieve comparable capitalization with the securities market. Many of the skeptics are even convinced that crypt…

How Close Are We to a New Dot-com Bubble?

How Close Are We to a New Dot-com Bubble?

Image Source: Hello I’m Nik on UnsplashThe dot-com bubble, the dot-com boom, dot-com crash, tech bubble or internet bubble.You can call it however you like.I prefer the “dot-com crash,” so I’ll use it for this story.Let me Take you Back in 1999In Novem…

Applications of Deep Learning

Applications of Deep Learning

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/428686458277973221/Deep Learning has taken a crucial role in society in different verticle sector. For complex problems with high dimensionality. Deep learning has emerged at the forefront of nearly every major computation…

Blockchain Applications and Its Future

Blockchain Applications and Its Future

The technology that has brought a ray of hope in small business (struggling to reduce their costs) to large business (struggling to increase the speed of their business operations) is Blockchain technology!In this blog, we will discuss some application…

Living On the Digital Edge of Innovation — A Q&A With Dmitry Volkov of SDVentures

Living On the Digital Edge of Innovation — A Q&A With Dmitry Volkov of SDVentures

Living On the Digital Edge of Innovation — A Q&A With Dmitry Volkov of SDVentures

Social Discovery Ventures (SDVentures), is an international Internet holding group that has been around since 1998. With offices located in New York, Hong Kong, Minsk, Riga, and Moscow, the company is always on the prowl for new investment and development opportunities when it comes to projects involving joint travel, language learning, dating, games, and leisure.

Last year, the company invested $900,000 in the U.S. femtech market leader, Flo Health, a digital fertility predictor for women.

In speaking with SDVentures, I learned that they are structured around the theory of social consciousness, supporting many scientific and art initiatives, including the Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies. Cooperating with various Russian and European artists, collectors, critics and musicians, including Dmitry Gutov, Oleg Kilik, Pierre-Christian Brochet, Mikhail Pyatigorsky, and Polina Osetinskaya.

I spoke with Dmitry Volkov, the founder of SDVentures and an entrepreneur who has been hustling since he was in high school, now serving as a limited partner in over ten international investment projects, which include major Fortune-500 companies.

Andrew Rossow: How do the theories of ‘freedom and moral responsibility’ impact a business’ decision to invest in other corporate opportunities?

Dmitry Volkov: I believe implementing a philosophical approach can be very useful in business. It allows you to doubt the established social and economic practices and teaches a person to doubt that the current situation will remain the same tomorrow.

AR: For you specifically, how has the implementation and utilization of philosophy helped you in your journey as an entrepreneur?

DV: My success in negotiating is largely based on the experience of philosophical debate. Philosophy has allowed me to see positive elements in crises. There is a skill in observing things globally, from a bird’s eye view.

I managed to avoid focusing in on specific problems, and rather, on opening the doors to new opportunities. I think this is also the result of philosophical approach. Philosophers do not experiment in laboratories, but they imagine certain situations. I work like this all the time and have taught myself to think in detail about future situations and evaluate a situation from various perspectives.

AR: You started your first business as a teenager. Let’s talk about its genesis and how that experience has changed your entrepreneurial approach over the years.

DV: I was still at school when I launched my first business — while I was still 14. A friend asked me to find work for our contemporaries, so we opened a kind of employment center for kids. We found jobs for kids, working as couriers, or as promoters — and we kept commission from what they were paid. Unfortunately, there came a point when our school grades took a dive, and we didn’t have enough time for our studies, so we had to close the business.

By the 1990’s I’d become one of the activists on the Fido network, a kind of proto-Internet. Then I began studying at the history faculty of Moscow State University. There was one guy, an American, who asked if I could maybe find him some programmers who’d be able to translate some stuff from ColdFusion to ASP. I said yes, of course.

First, I found one good programmer, and then I found another. After four years, we had 200 of them altogether. That’s how IT-Online came into being, in 1998. Over time it turned into the international internet holding company, which is now known as SDVentures.

AR: Since SDVenture’s inception, entrepreneurship and investment has shifted into a digital age. How has this digitization impacted the company’s direction and funding approach?

DV: There’s a lot of fear and skepticism about the rapid technological changes we’ve seen in recent years — concerns about privacy, surveillance, and so on. Yet technology’s tremendous power can be used for things that are overwhelmingly beneficial to mankind too. It’s important we don’t forget that. It’s just a matter of unveiling and understanding the most promising technologies (like blockchain, artificial intelligence) and applying them to the same core mission we’ve had all along.

My overall focus was on looking for growth opportunities for the company, and for venture capital investors. We ourselves invest in innovation companies. Frequently these companies act as test-beds for us — and we gain access to cutting-edge technologies through them.

AR: How has your experience as an entrepreneur and partner with a number of investment projects been affected by this transformation?

DV: My experience as a general partner in the Gagarin Capital fund and having been a limited partner to over ten international investment projects, most of which include Fortune-500 startups, iTech Capital, and Blockchain Capital. However, these projects have illuminated one major drawback — the tempo for inventions and implementing innovative solutions.

Yet, you must bear in mind the size of the company, and a certain degree of inertia arising from that size, it’s often hard for us to compete with start-ups.

AR: Every entrepreneur has a tale of defeat. What keeps your engine running?

DV: When people ask why I keep on going, and developing, I say that I don’t have an indifferent attitude to life. I’m driven by passion. Every peak has a plateau behind it, every achievement is followed by a lull of monotony and routine. I’ve learned how to deal with these plateaus. There are many people who just come to a halt on such plateaus — whereas I pick up speed. It’s already become a habit of mine — to start thinking of something unsettling and take off. Or I just head off faster anyhow, without having to think of anything.


Living On the Digital Edge of Innovation — A Q&A With Dmitry Volkov of SDVentures was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Understanding #LIBRA and the upcoming implications in the Bank, Crypto and Payment industries

Understanding #LIBRA and the upcoming implications in the Bank, Crypto and Payment industries

https://medium.com/media/a70d392506c9386d6cbbfa298a71d503/href

On June 18 Mark Zuckerberg and Libra team shared the White Paper of the Libra Project with some fundamental information, the first bunch of partnered companies and the code repo.

“Libra’s mission is to create a simple global financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people around the world. It’s powered by blockchain technology and the plan is to launch it in 2020. You can read more about the association here: https://libra.org

The internet exploded like never before, all crypto, startups and financial world have shared their views about it, even the EU and US parliaments. And as always happens, the memes world exploded too, and this meme explains 100% my point of view:

This article is about:

1) Understanding the investors and people around this project

2) Understanding the technology of Libra

3) Some possible future implications in Bank, Crypto and Financial industries

Understanding the investors and people around this project

Facebook started to be interesting in Blockchain since 2017 when Mark announced that Facebook was chatting with some Coinbase managers and employees about that…

  • Facebook forming a new blockchain group, headed by Coinbase board member built by David Marcus

Facebook forming a new blockchain group, headed by Coinbase board member

  • David Marcus, a vice president of Facebook, entered in the Coinbase Board, learning there for one year to build the Facebook strategy about Blockchain in August 2018.

Facebook’s Marcus Steps Down From Coinbase Board – CoinDesk

  • Facebook Onboards Two Former Coinbase Compliance Experts. Mikheil Moucharrafie: Four years of working at Coinbase to support analyst and quality assurance tester, anti-money laundering (AML)/bank secrecy investigator, compliance manager, and risk manager.). Jeff Cartwright: Compliance Manager at Coinbase, involved in AML consultancy at Big Four firm KPMG and AML compliance investigations at Goldman Sachs

Facebook Onboards Two Former Coinbase Compliance Experts

  • In May 2019 Facebook registered Libra Networks LLC in Geneva, Switzerland.

Facebook registers Libra Networks in Geneva in latest blockchain move – The Block

  • On June 14 Libra Foundation released the list of the initial backers of the Libra Association:

Investment firms: Andreessen Horowitz, Creative Destruction Lab, Thrive Capital, Ribbit Capital, Union Square Ventures.

Blockchain firms: Coinbase, Xapo, Anchorage, Bison Trails.

Social Media: Facebook and Calibra (The Official Wallet)

Telecommunication firms: Iliad and Vodafone

E-Commerce firms: Ebay, Farfetch, Mercado Libre.

Ride Sharing firms: Uber and Lift.

Music firm: Spotify.

Travel Firm: Booking Holdings

Non-Profit firms: Women’s World Banking, Kiva and Mercy Corps.

Payment firms: Visa, Mastercard, PayU, Pay Pal and Stripe

  • On June 18 Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Facebook Profile:

Today, Facebook is coming together with 27 organizations around the world to start the non-profit Libra Association and create a new currency called Libra. Libra’s mission is to create a simple global financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people around the world. It’s powered by blockchain technology and the plan is to launch it in 2020. You can read more about the association here: https://libra.org

Companies that are in the first backers of the Libra Association aren’t talking so much about this project in these early days; the most relevant statement is from Andreessen Horowitz:

Andreessen Horowitz Statement written by Katie Haun:

Today marks the first day in the Libra story. Given the project’s scale and ambition there are a still a number of open questions about how it will work — some technical, some financial, and some governance-related. Over the coming months we plan to take part in discussions within the Libra Association to help answer these questions. We hope to contribute in a way that both stays true to the original crypto ethos and also makes the technology accessible to mainstream users, such that crypto is ultimately in the hands of billions around the world. We are excited to join Libra and help make the internet of value a reality.

Libra

Katie Haun was interviewed by Fortune about Libra and its governance; basically she said that all of the members of the Association have the same voting rights, but during the conversation, the Fortune interviewer asked her about the traceability of people if a Court of a country will ask for it, she responded:

“This is a very important conversation,” said Haun, who set up the U.S. government’s first cryptocurrency task force in 2012. “There will be debates because there are very different points of view, even now at the Libra Association.”

Andreessen Horowitz: How Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Libra Will Be Governed

Andreessen Horowitz, the most active investor firm in the Libra ecosystem, has a huge economic incentive to support the crypto world, because since 2016–17 it has been one of the most bullish and active Silicon Valley-based firms in crypto, in fact, they invested in:

The Fund is optimistic in Censorship-Resistant Smart Contract-based applications and Stable Coins, in fact, they invested in Ethereum, Ethereum based Dapps and Maker DAO, holding some BTC too.

This is an amazing conversation with Ben Horowitz, one of the founders of the fund about Blockchain on Tech Crunch explaining his vision:

https://medium.com/media/1b9f2c3665c4f242c10e4f2d1ac4d117/href

On the other side, Hasif Hirji, COO at Coinbase and involved in Andreessen Horowitz too as a general partner, was interviewed during the Money2020 event of 2018, explaining his vision about Blockchain and his bull vision about Smart Contracts and Stablecoins:

When are we going to have that iPhone moment?” asks @rhhackett of @FortuneMagazine to President and COO of @coinbase and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz #money2020 #crypto @katie_haun @AsiffHirji https://t.co/eRJAQENxdH

 — @money2020

If we connect these points of view, the project Libra connect the vision of trust from Andreessen Horowitz, the bull vision of stable coins from Coinbase and the financially more connected ambition and power of Mark Zuckerberg.

Understanding the technology of Libra

In the Official White Paper https://libra.org/en-US/white-paper/ Libra aims to be a boarder-less stable coin, without fees backed by stable assets with earning for investors based on interests from these assets. Libra will have his own Blockchain starting with a BTF permissioned to a POS permisionless:

Interest on the reserve assets will be used to cover the costs of the system, ensure low transaction fees, pay dividends to investors who provided capital to jumpstart the ecosystem, and support further growth and adoption. The rules for allocating interest on the reserve will be set in advance and will be overseen by the Libra Association. Users of Libra do not receive a return from the reserve.

With this mission, Libra is explained to be a better version of existing centralized Stable Coins, like Theter and Gemini Dollar.

Theter, for example, is a Stable Coin on top of Omni Layer on top of Bitcoin, that is a more centralized way to build a Cryptocurrency rather than a new Blockchain or a Smart Contract. To maintain the value of $1, Tether works like a central bank with 1–1 reserve of USD for every USDT emitted, owned by a Hong Kong Company with offices in Switzerland and some issues about a lack of information (who and how manage the reserve).

Basically, Tether is maintaining the $1 exchange value with a complex system that works a little like this: every time demand for Tether would cause it to go above the equivalent value of U$ 1 in equivalent Bitcoin, more USDT is minted against Bitcoin. Whenever the value of Tether tends to go down in relation to U$, in the equivalent Bitcoin amount, Tether is bought off the markets and drained. Essentially, Tether works just like real-world central banks.

More info about how Theter USDT works here:

What is Tether: Most Comprehensive Real Story

Libra aims to do the same thing but a more regulated and trusted way with a Blockchain technology that is more stable and decentralized. Libra in terms of $1 stable value is in the middle from USDT and the 100% decentralized DAI and its DAO that maintain the value of DAI 1–1 with dollars, using ETH and without any centralized authority.

More info about DAI (Maker DAO) here:

Intro to MakerDAO: Understanding Stablecoins (Part 1)

Let’s go deeper into the technology reading the Tech White Paper: https://developers.libra.org/docs/assets/papers/the-libra-blockchain.pdf

First of all, the Libra Blockchain will have all of the standard features that every Blockchain already has, but not the blocks! In fact, Libra completely changes the concept of Blockchain by not having blocks as the core data structure in its architecture.

Instead, their system is more like a distributed, programmable database. The transactions in Libra will form a sequence (numbered with ever-increasing integers) which will be stored in Merkle Trees.

In Libra, the root of their Merkle Tree will have an authenticator value which is similar to the block hash in a normal blockchain. The authenticator of the transaction will depend on the authenticator of the previous transaction.

An infographic from Blockgeecks explains well the data structure. In the diagram shown, Hash 0–0 and Hash 0–1 are children of Hash 0, which is known as the parent. You can derive the children from the parent hash. The Top Hash is also known as the Root and you can derive the whole tree through the root.

The Libra Association in the first phase of the project will run a Byzantine-Fault-Tolerant Consensus developed as a fork of the HotStuff Consensus model.

In the first phase of Libra, the most critical part is how the technology will pay validators to make the network running and secure. Based on what is written in the WP, Libra Association has a plan to use a model to build some disincentives for validators to go offline, and lose trust. The validators in the first phase are the same companies that hold Libra investment tokens, so, the economic incentives are based on the interests of the backed assets.

Every transaction in Libra will have a fee with a GAS system similar to ETH and the same data structure:

  • The account address of the transaction sender.
  • The public key that corresponds to the private key used to sign the transaction.
  • A script coded in Move to execute the transaction along with the arguments (if needed).
  • The gas price or the fees associated with the transaction.
  • The gas limit of the transaction. This is the maximum amount of gas that the transaction can consume before it halts.
  • An unsigned integer that must be equal to the sequence number from the sender’s LibraAccount.T resource. After this transaction executes, the sequence number is incremented by one.

As it’s wrotten in the tech WP, there is already some working code here: https://developers.libra.org and everyone can clone Libra and play with its core.

In the Phase 1 Libra is a centralized Stable Crypto, a little bit more “decentralized oriented” rather than USDT, and with more trustable people in the Leadership. But in this phase the problem of choosing a permissioned model is to loose the Censorship-resistant features that permissionless Blockchains have, because with non-anonymous validators, the network could be shot down or blocked by Countries.

The most interesting part of the project is how they will achieve the Phase 2, to build a Permissionless Proof Of Stake and become more decentralized and, I hope, Censorship-Resistant. The unanswered question in this WP is how Libra could pay Validators of POS if the Libra supply is dependent from the staked assets of the Association (to be compliant with regulators) and the promised fees for on-chain transactions are = 0. So how will they be sure that the network will have the right incentives to be maintained in the long run and the economic disincentives not to be manipulated by nodes or atackers? Nobody knows! But, the Libra Association will be working closely with the Libra community to research ways to implement the transition from permissioned to permissionless. This research will begin within five years of Libra’s launch.

In this article, I only analyzed the basic and more understandable features of the Libra Blockchain, but you can find a more detailed and technical guide about Libra here:

What is Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency? [The Most Comprehensive Guide]

There is another interesting question that I found from the BTC community.

How the applications on top of Libra will manage the offchain and onchain transactions? Facebook or Paypal will act like Coinbase/Binance or will run transaction in a more decentralized way?

In the WP I found this answer about for that:

So Libra is designed to act as a regular main net with wallets not directly connected to people, maintaining anonymity, so in the future, external applications could run their businesses in the WEB 3.0. But as far as we know, it’s all about how applications on top of Libra will interact with the protocol:

Case 1 (Centralized): Facebook will accept only KYC-based wallets related and will centralize transaction maintaining the data of all the purchases connected with buyers and sellers (Like a centralized exchange), so if you’ll try to interact and pay with Libra with some Libra bought in external Exchanges you could be blocked.

Case 2 (Decentralized): Facebook will act in a privacy-oriented way and work as a Browser 3.0 without storing any information or Private keys.

Case 3 (Hybrid): The more rational and smart approach (Based on the Facebook’s Business Model) is that Facebook will act as in the case 2 but it’ll be able to store the data from every transaction-based information in their database connected to the transaction’s hash.

What does it mean for the Crypto community? How. will Libra affect Banks and Financial Institutions?

For the crypto community, Libra will be exchangeable in centralized exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, etc. If exchanges will list Libra, and if Applications on top of Libra will act as Case 2 or Case 3, this will be awesome for the crypto community and even for the old school financial world; because more than 1 Billion of unbanked people will be able to buy financial and crypto products (Today It’s difficult to buy Bitcoin if you don’t have a Credit Card). Every banked person that has an account on Facebook, Uber, Lift, eBay, Paypal, etc. will be incentivized to enter in the crypto ecosystem. Libra could simplify every part of purchasing crypto and especially every issues correlated with withdrawing funds into the FIAT-based old school banking system.

If the Libra project succeeds, this could be a sign that the old school vision on Crypto as currencies is not the future of this field, because people are more comfortable to pay with USD related stable values rather than fluctuant BTC or ETH values. This could be interesting and will secure the position of BTC as a store of value like a commodity rather than a currency and ETH or other Smart Contract based computers as an Utility to run censorship-resistant scripts.

In every case the only industry that will have some problems from the Libra Project will be traditional banks, because as it is in the White Paper, Libra is a border-less currency that has all of the features to compete and win with Banks and FIAT currencies, solving every problem for crypto enthusiast to FIAT payments stagnations. My personal feelings about that are that Libra will accelerate the transition from FIAT to crypto-based banks.


Understanding #LIBRA and the upcoming implications in the Bank, Crypto and Payment industries was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

KYC Does Not Harm the Crypto Industry — It Actually Does the Complete Opposite

KYC Does Not Harm the Crypto Industry — It Actually Does the Complete Opposite

KYC Does Not Harm the Crypto Industry — It Actually Does the Complete Opposite

KYC (know your customer) is by no means an enemy of the crypto space. In fact, it is much needed if the goal is for cryptocurrency to be taken seriously on the world stage.

Image source | Shutterstock

When cryptocurrency was in its infancy, it was an almost entirely unregulated industry. There were very few measures put in place to check who was trading what, how much of a particular cryptocurrency they owned, or whether they could be considered trustworthy.

While this might sound reckless today, many people viewed it as a perk of cryptocurrency as a whole. There were those who would even claim that anonymity is a necessary aspect of the industry, the same as decentralization.

Is this idea entirely accurate, though?

KYC (know your customer) is by no means an enemy of the crypto space. It is much needed if the goal is for cryptocurrency to be taken seriously on the world stage.

KYC makes cryptocurrency friendlier to use

Many crypto users may never run into KYC barriers, depending on what they do. For instance, people who only trade coins outside of centralized exchanges will probably never need to declare their identity.

What KYC is really about is installing a level of trust between both buyers and sellers. It helps business owners to build a relationship with their customers. Without KYC, sellers are entirely in the dark about who their clientele is, meaning that they are left unable to protect themselves from malicious activity.

The payment merchant BitPay seems to have something of a handle on this. In an interview with their Compliance Team, they explained the significance of both KYC and AML (anti-money laundering) tools:

“Prior to signing up a new business to our platform, we want to make sure that we have identified and verified their business. The reason for this is not because the regulators tell us to do so, but because we want to make sure we keep criminals off our platform. By identifying the businesses and making sure that we fully understand their business model, we ensure that the businesses we sign up are legitimate and the products or services they offer are in line with our Terms of Use.”

BitPay is undoubtedly not the only cryptocurrency-related business to share this sentiment. The Gemini crypto exchange is lauded for its tight financial surveillance programs used to:

“establish… robust internal policies, procedures, and controls that combat any attempted use of Gemini for illegal or illicit purposes and that are designed to ensure our customer’s basic protections under consumer protection laws.”

Other exchanges such as Binance and Huobi have employed outside help for their KYC and AML needs from IdentityMind, a business dedicated to offering tools for monitoring cryptocurrency users. In an article, the organization explained that they “help companies reduce client onboarding fraud and transaction fraud, and improve AML compliance, sanctions screening, and KYC compliance”

BitPay hasn’t shied away from compliance | Image source Shutterstock

KYC and Decentralization

There is a common misconception among crypto users that when KYC measures are used decentralization is diminished, but this is not accurate.

While KYC tools are often built and used by centralized organizations, in the case of crypto, they are being applied to decentralized ecosystems. It doesn’t matter who is monitoring the blockchain; the mere act of monitoring does not suddenly make the ecosystem centralized.

In fact, one of the reasons why KYC and AML can be conducted on most blockchains is primarily because those blockchains are decentralized and open.

Perhaps the most notable thing KYC does is provide the crypto industry with some much-needed maturity. The fact that there are systems in place to track users and transactions means that it can now be used as a legitimate and professional alternative to fiat cash because it prevents criminal behavior from occurring.

For this reason, it is almost guaranteed that as crypto grows in the years to come, so will these regulatory tools, allowing the industry to flourish in the public eye.

https://medium.com/media/3c851dac986ab6dbb2d1aaa91205a8eb/href


KYC Does Not Harm the Crypto Industry — It Actually Does the Complete Opposite was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

How I Built the Fastest Online Store for a Home Decor Brand [Part 1]

How I Built the Fastest Online Store for a Home Decor Brand [Part 1]

THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

How I Built the Fastest Online Store for a Home Decor Brand [PART 1]

Scoring 100% in Google’s Performance, SEO and PWA Test

This is the first part of a series of exciting articles I will be writing about how I built the fastest online store for an artistic home decor brand named “Aprakrta”. The lessons I learned by building aprakrta.com are the reason why I want to share this project with all of you. I wish these articles should have been present on the internet when I started a year ago and now is the time it’s about to happen.

Like many young developers, I used to search relentlessly on how to begin building a web application, what boilerplate to use, how to deploy a web app and some simple-minded questions I laugh at now. These articles will answer such questions and will definitely save you a hell of a time. There were only a few progressive web applications deployed at that time and those were of Instagram, Facebook, Uber, Flipkart, etc. Safe to say only big players were developing it. I searched GitHub, StackOverflow but found nothing about developing an E-commerce store using Progressive Web App concepts. Basically, I was looking for something to give me an idea about how to start developing. Christian Nwamba’s articles on scotch.io did help me but it wasn’t enough.

So I stopped looking, took it on my own and let the mistakes teach me. This is the story of me playing the biggest gamble at an early stage of my professional career and successfully winning it.

We will divide this series into the following articles. Each article is reader-friendly and will assist you when you have to build a great application for yourself or for the client.

  • The Start [PART 1]– What you need to know before taking a contract and every important thing happened before writing the first line of code to create aprakrta.com
  • Choosing a Tech Stack [PART 2]- Choosing a suitable Javascript framework, Database Service and Hosting
  • Building Aprakrta.com [PART 3]– Complete Frontend and Backend Development lessons from start to finish in 7 Minutes
  • Finishing Touches and Deployment [PART 4]– Speed improvements and hacks to take your web application to the next level

In all the above articles, I will share interesting technical and non-technical details also each article will take only less than 8 minutes of your day and I will take care to deliver you the best return on investment.

The Start

It was exactly a year ago when I met Aprakrta’s founder Mrs. Nivedita Bacchav. I can recall the exact environment when I met her at Aprakrta’s office, It was well-decorated workspace by artistic stuff like a hanging garden, exquisite paintings, and beautiful plants I never saw before in my life. Let’s get technical now, at that time as a Web App developer I only knew these 3 things.

  1. Vanilla Javascript ( No Js Framework Knowledge )
  2. CRUD Operations
  3. MongoDB

Using the above stack I had created a website that I showed them as apart of my experience and what I can possibly do.

It was this- https://sheltered-lowlands-72560.herokuapp.com ( Have turned it into a PWA now with useful features, You can request for an updated version if you want )

Enter ‘idontknow’ as an access key on the homepage, you will see what I could do a year ago!

So, I convinced them that it would be better to build an online store of ‘Aprakrta’ as a Progressive Web App, not as a website. They loved the idea, We agreed on a fee and boom, that was it. Now I look back at it and I am proud of my choices. To be honest, I was nervous about whether I could do it or not because they were counting on me for the best possible online presence of their business venture.

Here are the top 5 things you should know before taking a project

  1. Know your current skillset, Don’t Fake it.
  2. Know what are you willing to learn to deliver best for your client, Might take a month or a year. Again, Don’t Fake it.
  3. Never say no to your first client. Return on Investment of such projects is unbelievable.
  4. Understand your customer more than you understand yourself.
  5. Your first project is never for money, It’s the investment you are making for yourself.

In the next part, I will share what stack I chose and what things you need to consider before choosing a tech stack for your project.

Official Aprakrta Progressive Web App

Thanks for your time, See you in the next part of this story!


How I Built the Fastest Online Store for a Home Decor Brand [Part 1] was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.