ruletheworld

Sep 122018
 

CryptoKitties, the popular gaming and collectible app where players breed cats on the Ethereum blockchain has reached the one million cat milestone – less than a year after launch. The game became hugely popular in December 2017, coinciding with the peak of the crypto bubble. It has subsequently lost over 90% of the players active at the peak. However, a set of core players continue to breed and collect CryptoKitties.

On the back of its December success, the company behind CryptoKitties, Axiom Zen, raised a $12 million round led by the famed venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. During the same time, the game’s popularity led to a significant increase in fees on Ethereum.

Beyond the Hype

Although interest in the game has waned since the peak, the game continues to attract new users. Just last week, collectors bid up the prices of #1 fancy cats in the game to as high as 30 ETH per cat. CryptoKitties was one of the first blockchain games to master the correct use for ERC721 non-fungible tokens. Since its launch, many copycats have launched without much success.

Axiom Zen encouraged players to breed more to reach the one million cat milestone. This was done via a giveaway of 20 exclusive cats. Exclusive cats have a custom artwork on the frontend instead of the appearance of the cat being determined by the genes. These are generally valued by collectors due to their rarity. ‘Kitten Mittens’, the most prolific breeder in the game, won the first exclusive during this giveaway.

Vulcant exclusive cryptokitties

Leading the Way

CryptoKitties continues to be one of the most popular applications built on Ethereum. The success of CryptoKitties has encouraged many other entrepreneurs to work on gaming products on the blockchain. The advantage of using the blockchain is that players are in control of their in-game assets. How much of a game changer this is for traditional online games remains to be seen. The trade-off is the cost. For example, in CryptoKitties, it takes 0.008 ETH to breed a single cat.

Other games are exploring ways to minimize the cost of gameplay by handling more of the interactions off-chain. Even though the ‘genetic’ data of the cats in CryptoKitties is stored on the blockchain, the actual image of the cat isn’t and the ‘owners’ don’t actually have the rights to that image.

Gaming vs. Collectables

CryptoKitties has tried to balance the collecting aspects with the gaming aspects from the beginning. Most of the high value transactions on CryptoKitties tend to be from collectors or speculators. Axiom Zen has introduced ‘fancies’ in the game as a way to encourage continued breeding. ‘Fancies’ are cats with a specific pre-determined trait combination, as determined by the company. This information is not decentralized or stored on the blockchain, however. These fancy cats have their special custom artwork.

These fancy cats also tend to be one of the most expensive set of cats to be traded. This is because of their special artwork and also because the number of fancies of each type are limited.

As CryptoKitties continues to gain traction, there are third-party applications being built on top that help players with the game or for the collecting aspect of it.

Aug 292018
 

CryptoKitties, the popular game of breeding and collecting cats on the Ethereum blockchain, has seen a huge surge of sales over the last couple of days, driven by demand for its ‘fancies’. According to the community created website Kitty Explorer, over 693 fancy cats changed hands within the last week, with the maximum price of 20 ETH.

Fancy cats are special cats created in the CryptoKitties app that can be bred using a specific combination of genes until a limit is reached (limit can be time-based or total number of fancy cats based). Fancy cat recipes are created by Axiom Zen, the creator of CryptoKitties, and is not recorded on the blockchain per se. The actual ownership of the cats in CryptoKitties is recorded on the blockchain, and players use third-party extensions like Metamask to buy, sell, and breed the digital cats.

CryptoKitties received a lot of press in December 2017 when a single cat sold for over $100,000. For a while, its popularity caused significant delays on the Ethereum blockchain and increased the gas price. Since those days, however, the activity on the game has dropped precipitously.

Fancy Cat Craze

Over the last two days, even though the number of players measured by unique addresses hasn’t gone up much, the total sales volume has exploded. This has mostly been due to a few CryptoKitties players valuing specific ‘fancies’ – the ones that were the earliest created. Axiom Zen marks the fancies in the order in which they were bred. The first created fancies of each type are suddenly being valued at significant amounts.

Players have sold the #1 fancy cats for over 20 ETH over the last two days – over $5000 per cat. This may seem like a far cry from its heyday. However, many ordinary players have participated in these fancy sales over the last few days. At least when it comes to the fancy market, CryptoKitties may just be bucking the broader crypto bear market.

Value in the Eyes of the Beholder

CryptoKitties has several dimensions of rarity for the cats. Collectors value different things in the cats, from generation to genes. Fancy cats have a unique appearance on the CryptoKitties app and are therefore valued higher by collectors.

Up until now, most of the fancy cats were valued based on generation and condition. A lower generation was usually valued higher, and cats in mint condition, i.e. cats that hadn’t bred, were valued higher. Over the last few days, however, collectors began swooping up lower numbered fancies irrespective of their generation and condition. Part of the reason may be due to a leader-board created at cryptokitties.city website, managed by a community member.

Whether the trend can last remains to be seen. For one, new fancy cats are minted at the discretion of Axiom Zen, and therefore there is no limit per se to the number of #1 fancies. This is unlike the fancy cats themselves that have a limit. For example, the rarest fancy cat in the game is Schrodinger Cat – only 73 of those exist and can ever be created.

There may also be a rebalancing of value within the game. Factors like generation and condition may once again become more important in valuing fancy cats. At the end of the day, however, cats are as valuable as collectors and speculators are willing to pay for them. If collectors value specific attributes more than others, the market will follow. Right now, it seems like that is lower numbered fancies.

Aug 252018
 

This is a sponsored post

If you were to question a group of random people on their views on what makes a cryptocurrency successful, you are likely to receive a ton of different ambiguous answers. Now more than ever, especially with the current upsurge of new cryptocurrencies, this question demands a more conclusive answer.

Currently, there are nearly more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies, and crypto success stories are becoming less and less frequent. You might be wondering what the characteristics of a successful crypto-coin are, and what makes them attractive to investors, some of these factors include  

  1. Demand 

The demand for a cryptocurrency may depend on various factors, but for a crypto to be successful, it should be able to generate enough demand for itself. While the rest of the elements on this list are all crucial in determining the success of a cryptocurrency, its demand is the backbone required for a cryptocurrency’s success.

  1. Usability

The more usable a cryptocurrency is, the more likely people will invest in it. The more investors willing to purchase a cryptocurrency, drive up the demand, hence increasing the likelihood of its success.  A cryptocurrency should be versatile, for example, we have crypto coins such as bitcoin that can be used during transactions in online casinos and gambling

  1. Transfers

If cryptocurrency is effortlessly and swiftly transferred between users and exchange platforms, more investors will prefer it over other cryptos which may be more difficult or slower to transact with.  Also, a successful crypto coin should be able to allow investors to convert it into currency easily.

  1. Ease Of Acquisition

A successful crypto must also be easy to acquire through the three primary methods of crypto acquisition

  • Mining
  • Purchasing and trading
  • Faucets and other reward systems
  1. Community

The community involved in creating and managing the cryptocurrency has a considerable impact on the coins growth and overall success. A cryptocurrency requires a large team of dedicated members and investors to guarantee a quick rise to stardom.

Following the immense success of bitcoin, many successful cryptocurrencies were created in its image and likeliness.  This resulted in a handful of highly successful cryptos with many unique strongholds. These strongholds include attributes such as speed, privacy, and anonymity. An example is Litecoin, set up in 2011, it was similar to bitcoin but featured more qualities that made it very successful. Litecoin had more effective mining protocols and superior processing speeds. Due to its amazing attributes, Litecoin is the 5th most successful cryptocurrency following Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Ether(regarding market valuation). Another example of a successful crypto coin is Monero, although its similarity to bitcoin, it features more improvements in privacy and scalability. Other successful cryptocurrencies include Anoncoin, which prides itself with high levels of anonymity and Stablecoin which features military-grade encryption

From the above information it is evident that for a cryptocurrency to be successful, there must be enough traders to invest in the coin. The cryptocurrency must also have enough people in its blockchain.

The main reasons that may cause a cryptocurrency to fail include

1.    Low availability of miners caused by poor marketing and multiple technical anomalies.

2.    Slow and inefficient methods of transactions due to poor privacy systems and inadequate financing

3.    Feeble blockchain mechanism.

The worst of these cryptocurrency failures begin with high hopes, and most of them generate lots of hype and end up raising vast amounts of starting capital. Unfortunately, most of them flop and end up crashing spectacularly disappointing many investors.

Some of the cryptocurrencies that gave us high hope but failed miserably include

  • Spacebit
  • Gems
  • Dogecoin
  • Paycoin
  • DAO

Conclusion

There is a myriad of factors that contribute to a cryptocurrency’s success. The factors discussed in this article are just the tip of the iceberg and do not provide an exhaustive list. There are many more small factors such as market saturation, global factors and proper timing of launch that also contribute to a crypto-coin’s success. There is no assurance that a crypto-coin will be successful once launched, but the aforementioned factors drastically increase its chances of being successful.

Aug 242018
 

This is a sponsored post

For many years the words ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ were used interchangeably to mean the same thing. That’s because cryptocurrency really started with Bitcoin and for some time cryptocurrency was Bitcoin. But it was a subdued start, to say the least since Bitcoin wasn’t worth that much at the beginning. Instead, people preferred more lucrative investments in the stock market. So while it might be hard nowadays to imagine the financial world without Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, less than a decade ago BTC practically only existed on the hard drives of a handful of programmers. Back then digital currency and Paypal’s online money transfer were considered revolutionary concepts. So much has changed in a decade.

The Humble Beginnings Of Bitcoin

Before Bitcoin made its muted debut in early 2009 with the publishing of a paper called “Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System”, there have been other attempts at making cryptocurrency. The technology has been around since the 1990s. Blockchain, in a nutshell, is about distributed ledgers using a peer-to-peer network to record all transactions on the network with the help of secure encryption. Each transaction creates a new block in the ledger which is why it’s called blockchain. In 1998 two cryptocurrencies called B-Money and Bit Gold were built on the blockchain technology. Neither of them, however, made it past the development stage. So when a mysterious person using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin code to the public officially starting the mining of the cryptocurrency, not many people took notice.  For one thing, the newly minted Bitcoin had no value. For the first year of its existence, BTC was being mined with zero trading whatsoever. Without trading a currency’s value is unknown just like Mr. Nakamoto’s identity. But in 2010, a miner decided to trade their stash of Bitcoins (about 10,000) for two pizzas. It’s not clear which of the two considered themselves the winner in this little trade, the hungry miner or the pizza guy. But that little transaction, paltry as it was, gave Bitcoin a real market value for the first time. And by November of the same year, the market cap of Bitcoin had reached $1,000,000. 

More Cryptocurrencies Emerge

Between 2009 and 2011 Bitcoin continued to operate on the fringes of the financial world; mainly on forums such as the Bitcointalk forum. During that period, the enigmatic Nakamoto managed to mine about 1 million Bitcoins before disappearing never to be heard from again. By the way, those one million Bitcoins remain unused to this day. But in 2011 change sure was coming. The first major event was a Gawker article in June 2011 about Bitcoin being the sole method of payment on the Silk Road, a website specializing in trading of illicit materials. It was the first time the mainstream media mentioned Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency, grateful for the publicity, peaked at $30 that same month. 

The other big event in the history of cryptocurrency was the emergence of the altcoins. These alternative cryptocurrencies used the same open source code upon which Bitcoin was built but aimed with forking to improve on the security, speed, and anonymity of the original digital currency. Rival as they were, cryptocurrencies such as Namecoin, Litecoin, and Swiftcoin took advantage of the growing popularity of Bitcoin to quickly establish themselves in the market. From that point on, cryptocurrency no longer just meant ‘Bitcoin’ even if BTC was still the dominant coin in the crypto world.

Not All That Glitters Is Cryptocurrency

During those 9 years that is the lifespan of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, there have been turmoils and upheavals as one would expect from a landmark event still in its infancy. Price peaks and crashes were common. More cryptocurrencies emerged, flashed and faded while others continued a steady march of success. And as cryptocurrency exchanges sprouted everywhere to facilitate the trading and holding of Bitcoin and altcoins alike, this flourishing market attracted all kinds of people. From the good to the bad and ugly. One such very ugly incident occurred in January 20014 when a major cryptocurrency exchange in Japan known as Mt Gox went offline. It took with it over 850,000 Bitcoins that belonged to the users of the exchange. But neither Mt Gox filing for bankruptcy nor the massive hack that happened that same month and cost investors millions in losses managed to dampen the popularity of cryptocurrency. A year before the Mt Gox debacle Canada had launched its first cryptocurrency ATM in Vancouver. Then Microsoft announced that it was accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for its games.  

Meanwhile, more and more currencies kept emerging. Ethereum and NEO made their debut with totally different platforms from the Bitcoin one. These new platforms paved the way for more advances in the digital currency and the integration and acceptance of the cryptocurrency by the mainstream financial institutions around the world.

Smart Contracts 

One of the main advantages of the new platforms was the development of smart contracts. These are pieces of code on the blockchain that are self-executing and can be replicated and monitored by the network running the blockchain. The applications of this technology in the real world are varied and far-reaching at the same time. By doing away with the middleman you can exchange in a transparent way anything of value from money to shares and property. Another exciting application in the world of bitcoin betting and online casinos is the transparent use of Bitcoin to ensure anonymity and security both for the user and the platform. Smart contracts verify the transactions and enforce the rules included in the contract with no room for conflict. 

The history of cryptocurrency, brief as it is, has had its full share of dramatic events. It saw the obscure Bitcoin enter the mainstream. Cryptocurrency ATMs are in the thousands and more and more banks and financial institutions are either accepting Bitcoin and the altcoins or applying the underlying technologies of the blockchain in their daily operations. The future of cryptocurrency is looking brighter every day.

Aug 122018
 

This is a guest post by Mike McCormick

Investors venturing into cryptocurrencies are currently facing a significantly volatile market. The crypto trading market, which includes Bitcoin among other coins, almost crumbled on June 22 when most coin prices dropped by up to 10% after two exchanges in Japan were hacked within 11 days.

Losses in billions of dollars are not quite uncommon in the cryptocurrency market cap. In December of 2017, Bitcoin hit a high of $20,000 only to drop to $8,500 by mid-March 2018. Cryptocurrencies have seen significant losses mainly due to hacker activities and other security concerns. Investors seeking to dip their feet in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, should have a good understanding of the volatile nature of the crypto market and how to manage this volatility.

If you trade in crypto coins, expect volatility, in fact lots of it. For instance, while a 5% movement in a single day in other traditional equities such as stocks is quite a big deal, a 20% movement in the cryptocurrency market in a day is practically normal. That’s the nature of cryptocurrency trading. You can check the exact price of different coins at different times or days in a good online cryptocurrency converter to understand the volatile nature of this market. Keep in mind that blockchain technology is still at an experimental stage so the possibility of a digital asset rising or dropping value considerably should not come as a surprise.

Understanding Cryptocurrency Volatility

Volatility is one of the most common measures of investment risk. It is basically a dispersion of both upside and downside return of an investment. Without going into more complicated mathematical equations involving daily standard deviations and square roots, let’s just say that the higher the volatility, the higher the potential to make gains or losses in a trade. Most cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin have a volatility of 100%, some as high as 200% or more. The risk of high volatility can be beneficial in determining the success or failure of your cryptocurrency trades.

When you’re analyzing the expected direction of conventional assets such as ETFs and stocks, you can always rely on technical analysis and past behavior to base your decision on. However, technical analysis functions are somehow limited when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Fluctuating prices of Bitcoin this year so far have proven that the cryptocurrency market does not behave in a predictable logical manner. So how does an investor manage market volatility when dealing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

Here are a few tips and insights to guide help you manage volatility:

Do Your Due Diligence Before Investing

While analyzing cryptocurrencies, you won’t find as much fundamental key selling points in websites, whitepapers, and other publications. The direction and momentum of the market are influenced by FUD and FOMO sentiments. FUD refers to the spread of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) mostly through the media while FOMO is basically Fear of Missing Out on a lucrative deal. These are fear-based factors that should not be your friend in cryptocurrency trading. Given the significant influence of FOMO and FUD sentiments, market analysis in cryptocurrency trading is only meant to give you a basic idea of the direction and momentum of different coins so you don’t dive into the market blindly like a headless chicken.

It is therefore important to conduct your due diligence beyond the current hype on cryptocurrencies to make sound investment decisions. With due diligence, you’ll know if a coin has viable functionalities, usage, and demand to justify its survival on the market. You’ll also understand the reasons for its current volatility and whether or not it has long-term prospects.

Make Good Use of Stop Loss Orders

A stop-loss order is a setting found in some trading exchanges or platforms such as Coinbase. The setting tells the exchange to sell a pre-set maximum amount of Bitcoin from your account when the price reaches a specific level. You only need to specify the price level and amount of Bitcoin to sell from your account then activate the setting. The downside of stop-loss orders is that you will miss out on profits when the price rises again. However, it protects you from significant losses when prices fluctuate drastically.

Holding For Long-Term Benefits

If you are in the cryptocurrency market for the long haul, the daily price movements should not be a cause for concern or alarm. You’ll be able to easily check the upward or downward movement and make the right decisions along the way. For example, you could see a gradual upward movement in the past three months despite the prices looking shaky every day. You’ll be able to comfortably judge the trend according to a long-term analysis, unlike the trader who is constantly worried by fluctuating daily movements.

Use the Available Tools              

There are many traders who base their decisions on gut feelings and later wonder why things didn’t go their way despite their best efforts to judge the market. You can easily get the guesswork out of your trading activities by taking advantage of the available tools. The tools help you to make data-based decisions and even measure the performance of each decision you make. Use tools to set the limit of orders to minimize losses or even get a notification on your mobile phone when a given cryptocurrency goes higher or lower than your pre-set price threshold.

Conclusion

Volatility is inescapable in cryptocurrency markets. It is the nature of the beast. You can capitalize on volatility to make successful trades if you stay on top of the game. Avoid greed, the number one cause for failed cryptocurrency failures. The market is extremely fast paced where the price of a coin can go as high as 5 to 10 times in a few hours then drop considerably. It’s quite easy to get caught in a high-chase and end up making impulsive decisions in search of a high payout. Don’t forget that a quick reversal trend that could lead to outsized losses is possible as well. The important thing in managing volatility is to understand your risk appetite and manage it by treading the waters with caution.

Mike McCormick is the founder of CoinChiefs. He studies Business and Economic Reporting at New York University. He has a very good experience in crypto mining and loves to analyze anything crypto-related which makes him sit up and pay attention.

Photo Credit: CreditDebitPro

Aug 112018
 

Bitcoin Dominance

In a recurrence of history not repeating but rhyming, as the crypto bear market of 2018 deepens, the Bitcoin dominance index has been on the rise. Today, for the first time in 2018, it has passed the 50% mark. Based on historical trends, during the exuberance of a bull market, ‘altcoins’ rally relative to Bitcoin. During the bear markets, however, Bitcoin takes away what it gives during the bull markets, i.e. the relative ‘altcoin’ prices fall with respect to Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin dominance index, which measures the relative weight of Bitcoin in the full tradable basket of cryptocurrencies, has crossed the 50% mark, an important psychological level but otherwise without fundamental merit. It should also be noted that today there are an order of magnitude more cryptos in the market than even 2 years ago, so Bitcoin retaining 50% of the entire market even as new entrants enter this market is impressive.

Dominance History

Bitcoin dominance peaked around 80% before the bull market of 2017, when it dropped to as low as 35%, before recovering. This has usually been the case with Bitcoin and the crypto markets when the relative weight of Bitcoin falls during a bull market. The altcoins tend to be more volatile than Bitcoin.

This was also the time of the ‘flippening‘ narrative put forth by the Ethereum community that the Ether market capitalization would exceed that of Ethereum very soon. That was not to come in 2017. Even prominent venture capitalists who have invested in the space for a few years, like Fred Wilson, were completely wrong on their prediction of the flippening. It is a common human bias to project a recent trend into the future, and recency bias makes us weigh recent data more than older data. Needless to say, even prominent investors are not immune to these, and seldom correct their world view distorted by these biases.

Different Value Sources

The other thing for crypto investors to keep in mind is that the value of different ‘altcoins’ today come from very different sources, and thus it is not always fair to compare Bitcoin to them. For example, the value of a coin like Golem primarily comes from the usage of its network for compute resources. This is not true for Bitcoin. Bitcoin is more of a true store of value that is converting to a convenient medium of exchange via innovations like the lightning network.

This was different when the best known altcoins were similar to Bitcoin, such as Litecoin. Today, the crypto market is much more diverse in its offerings.

The value of Bitcoin is affected also by the broader economy and market, such as providing shelter to ordinary people in countries like Venezuela, Iran, and Turkey where inflation is rampant. Bitcoin provides a way for these people to store their wealth in a non-depretiating asset or work for foreign entities and capture some of the value they create.

Aug 062018
 

Mobu is a new crypto project that takes aim squarely on the security token space. This of course means it is different from many other ICOs you might be familiar with. Mobu offers a suite of comprehensive tools and standards for compliant security tokens. These tokens are issued on the blockchain as ERC20 tokens. However, unlike many other tokens that you might be familiar with, the tokens issued on Mobu are security tokens.

So what exactly is a security token? A security token is a token that investors buy for the expectation of profit. Simply put, the SEC could consider a security token, well, a security. Unlike many other ‘utility tokens’, security tokens imply profit from operations. However, like utility tokens, they are created on the blockchain and can therefore be traded in an easier manner than traditional securities. These security tokens also leverage all the infrastructure built on existing blockchain platforms.

Compliant ICOs

There is a lot of ongoing debate about crypto tokens and whether they are securities. As you might expect, different jurisdictions treat this differently. It is very hard for ICOs to successfully raise money and be in compliance with all rules and regulations. This is a huge problem for innovation. Innovators cannot seek to wait for permission from all government bodies before working on a project. That would never get off the ground.

So what should ICO projects do that wait to raise capital by issuing tokens? Go the security token route. This means the tokens follow all appropriate securities laws. Sure, this would limit some of its use for crypto investors, but it also has some benefits.

What MOBU Provides

Now that you want to issue a security token, how do you go about doing it? The compliance is not easy. There are many possibilities for investment structures as well. Someone starting new would find it overwhelming what choices to make. This is where the MOBU platform comes in. It provides a suite of smart contracts to make this an easy job. In addition, to has created certain standards, dubbed the ‘MOB20’ standards. If you believe that the Mobu team has done their research and the standards are solid, then you can simply adopt them. This saves you the headache of doing it all by yourself, after all.

Such industry standards are bound to be the future especially for security tokens. Whether Mobu can take the lead and become that beacon remains to be seen.

To give you an example of the standards, Mobu has an escrow system that is tied to reaching project milestones. This means if the project founders fail to meet their goals, investors can claw some of the ICO money back. This builds investor trust.

Mobu also helps projects and investors with all the logistics of an ICO. This can be anything from banking relationships to regulatory compliance. KYC/AML is also a big part of compliance. If you need help with all these issues, Mobu might make the job easier for you. You can simply fund your project through Mobu. Some examples of projects that might find this interesting are real estate crowdfunding tokens or another asset backed tokenization project.

If you want to learn more about the project, check out the website. If you want even more information, here’s the whitepaper. Mobu itself is undergoing an ICO to raise money and distribute its tokens. If you’re interested in participating, remember that token sales and ICOs can be extremely risky and you can lose all your money. Never invest more than you’re willing to lose.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Aug 022018
 

This is a guest post by Anupam Varshney

“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen” – Benjamin Disraeli

We all love to travel. Some prefer a weekend getaway, others go out for a few weeks and then there are avid travellers who have been travelling for years. One thing all international travellers can agree on is the hassle of currency conversion when you visit another country.

My friend visited Vietnam a few months ago and this is how his $500 in Vietnamese Dong looked like:

Travel Digital Currencies

“I’d have been screwed in Vietnam if it wasn’t for Bitcoin” – Vibhor Jain

As it turns out, 1 USD is equivalent to 23,042 Vietnamese Dong!

The worst part is, you don’t even know where to get the best rates for converting to local currencies. Is it the airport or somewhere in the city? Your guess is as good as mine.

And what happens when you’re left with the local currency after your trip is done? Well, they usually stay with you. I’m sure my friend still has some Dong lying around.

Let’s not even get started on how much ATMs charge when you withdraw cash internationally using your card. It’s anywhere between $5 to $25 for each withdrawal. Swiping your credit card at stores will cost you even more.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a global currency that eliminates the hassle of high fees and carrying a lot of cash?

Digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and others allow you to do so.

Five years ago it may have been slightly difficult to travel using just cryptocurrencies, but blockchain space has evolved so fast that you can pretty much use cryptocurrencies in all aspects of travelling and replace it with fiat.

Before you travel

Planning phase of travelling is probably the most exciting part for some people, however, entire process can be very tedious. On average, a traveller spends 30 hours and browses 38 websites before finally booking a trip.

If you’re a DIY kind, you can still do everything with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies one by one.

Flights

Accommodation

  • Expedia is one of the largest travel booking websites. It accepts Bitcoin for hotel bookings.
  • Gyft.com allows you to buy gift cards in Bitcoin that can be used on Hotels.com, which offers 150,000 hotels worldwide

Watch out for Beenest, a platform to book Airbnb like homes using their native BEE tokens.

Car Travel

  • CheapAir and Destinia allow users to rent a car and pay in Bitcoin
  • There are decentralised carpooling apps: Lazooz and ArcadeCity
  • Many local travel agents now accept payments in digital currencies who’d happy to rent you a car

While you travel

When you’re travelling in a different country, use digital mapping tool CoinMap to locate stores and restaurants where Bitcoin is accepted.

A few companies offer their native cards just like Visa and Mastercard, which are filled with digital currencies and can be used at any store where Visa or Mastercard are accepted. So you pay in the local currency but Bitcoin (or some other supported digital currency) equivalent of that amount is deducted from your personal wallet.

The most popular project working on this is Monaco. They support BTC, ETH, MCO, BNB, and fiat, whereas TenX supports BTC, ETH, and LTC. Bitpay is another company that offers this service, but for US residents only. It supports Bitcoin and charges 3% for international transactions.

If carrying another card is not your thing, you can simply use Bitcoin ATM Map to locate a Bitcoin ATM nearest to you and fill your digital wallet with Bitcoins!

Conclusion

The tourism industry is one of the earliest adopters of digital currencies because it perfectly fits a traveller’s needs – a currency that is safe to carry around and accepted internationally. So the next time you decide to go to another country, try leaving your credit and debit cards at home.

This is a guest post by Anupam Varshney of Please.com. With Please.com you can book your travel in minutes. The platform provides a list of pre-designed trips created by the locals of the city you’re visiting. All you need to do is say, “Please, book me a romantic dinner in Paris” – that’s all.

Jul 272018
 

Ovrium

Ovrium is a new blockchain project aimed at helping the scientific community better manage the entire process of publishing scientific journals and papers. Although science per se has never been more popular today, the scientific process is constantly under review and scrutiny. The scientific community may be working on breakthrough projects and research, but the process of publishing these and letting the world find your work is anything but revolutionary. Ovrium is geared at the community to better manage that process.

Ovrium Changes the Current Opaque System

If you’re involved in the scientific community, you would likely be aware of the raging debate going on between open access and central closed journals. Unfortunately, as a historic accident, the likes of Elsevier control the entire scientific publishing process. They charge ungodly sums of money for access to this research, which should be open for all of humanity to read but isn’t. Many scientists are pushing back against the entrenched system that harms the entire scientific community by closing off access to knowledge.

Fighting this battle is going to be a very uphill battle for anyone, especially a startup. However, we need better solutions in the arena, which is used to better the lot of the entire human population.

How Ovrium Works

Ovrium is building an open access, decentralized scientific publishing method using the blockchain. Of course, a lot more than blockchain goes on behind the scenes at Ovrium.

Publications on Ovrium are available immediately, i.e. there is no delay between publication and making it public. All the metadata, such as peer review, edits, changes, etc. are tracked on the blockchain to ensure the highest integrity of changes and audit to any published work.

In addition, there is a big change in the process as well. Ovrium has a way for scientists to not just publish the final results in a paper, but also make it easy to share and collaborate on the data behind the results. In an increasingly computerized and data hungry world, this is an essential component. Without the data, there is no real audit of the process and it also makes it harder to replicate. The replication crisis in science is the story of a whole new post.

The licensing terms of Ovrium are also flexible and something that the scientists and researchers can set themselves. This gives them much more freedom over their work than other methods.

Third-parties can still build journals on top of the Ovirum ecosystem, but it would be decentralized and much more cost-competitive than existing journal systems. This will encourage more people to contribute to science in general. This is an important point because as much as people seem to hate the business models of publishers, journal publishers do need to make money and exist in the system. Building a journal from open access and on top of such an open system is much better and easier to last, while providing the most benefits to everyone.

Ovrium has its task cut out, but is working on an important industry that needs attention.

If you want to learn more, check out the Ovrium site and whitepaper. Ovrium is undergoing a token sale. Token sales are extremely risky. Make sure to do your research and never invest more than you’re willing to lose.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Jul 262018
 

This is a sponsored post from Trilliant.

The cryptocurrency sector has remained an elusive proposition for seasoned financial investors for more than a decade. Despite the potential to achieve a highly favourable rate of return (provided that educated investments are made), market complexity and perceived precariousness of investing have long dampened investor enthusiasm.

Additional contributing factors which, historically, have contributed to a less than stellar investor opinion of the market have included the unregulated nature of the sector and evolving vehicles of valuation. However, all that is set to change with the launch of Trilliant’s Fractional Ownership Program.

Trilliant – a cryptocurrency business that focuses its operations not on creating blockchain platforms but creating a viable global cryptocurrency ecosystem – is due to launch their revolutionary cryptocurrency ATM terminals by the end of 2018, with more than 500 promised to be in-place around the world by 2019.

Although there are approximately 2,700 cryptocurrency ATMs in the world, these ATMs are only capable of facilitating one-way transactions. Trilliant’s ATM terminals represents the first time in history that the cryptocurrency sector will have a dedicated ATM physical presence in the world, one with the functionality to rival traditional currency banking facilities. 

The first batch or terminals are scheduled to be shipped sometime in the fall of 2018. They will be installed in pre-determined locations across Europe and will provide casual and seasoned investors unprecedented access to their cryptocurrency assets.

Further cementing the promise of Trilliant’s ATM terminals is their Fractional Ownership program, which is set to run parallel to the installation of their ATMs. This profit-sharing scheme affords customers the opportunity to own a partial share of Trilliant’s network of ATM terminals.

The Fractional Ownership Program is simple to understand. Each of Trilliant’s ATM terminals is divided into 100 accounting units. Trilliant has made these units for sale on their website. Anyone can purchase a stake in Trilliant’s network of ATM terminals – and receive a monthly dividend calculated at 2% of the transaction fees recouped by Trilliant’s network of terminals. 

Already at a high demand, the Fractional Units can be bought using Trilliant’s unique TRIL token. The token pre-sale was launched on July 10th, 2018 and is set to be run for one month. Due to the high demand for the tokens, Trilliant has advised investors that all TRIL tokens will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Trilliant Founder and CEO, Sebastian Korbach anticipates well-positioned ATMs to handle a revenue stream of between $20,000 – $30,000 per month, of which 2% will go directly to shareholders. This represents a handsome profit for any investors. 

More than that, Trilliant’s ATM’s represent a tangible investment. Traditional cryptocurrency trading could be viewed as ‘mirage investing.’ All too reliant on a volatile and, unless significant knowledge and expertise was employed, indiscernible form of investment, the risk of not achieving a favourable rate of return piqued, not held investor attention. 

This is something that Trilliant investors need not worry about. Fractional Ownership is immune from the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, nor is affected by evolving vehicles of valuation – investor confidence is firmly rooted in the superiority of the product – Trilliant’s ATM terminals.

Herein lies the true reason to invest in Trilliant’s Fractional Ownership program: Trilliant’s ATMs represent the pinnacle of cryptocurrency hardware innovation. They allow users direct access to ICOs, facilitate two-way transactions (pay-in and pay-out) and feature innovative touch screen technology and comprehensive security features, including a front-facing camera for optimal customer identification known as KYC – know your customer.

Is Trilliant’s Fractional Ownership Program to future of cryptocurrency investment? At this point in time, it’s hard to judge – however, there is little reason to suspect not. Given the accessibility to all, an unrivalled product and the accessibility to all, there is no reason to doubt that Trilliant may well be on the brink of revolutionising cryptocurrency investment. 

Learn more about Trilliant by clicking the link here and reading their Whitepaper.