Virtual Machines and The Future of Smart Contracts

There’s a lot of hype about smart contracts. And that’s understandable. Trustless agreements enforced by a global computer? It sounds like a concept plucked straight out of a sci-fi novel.

The term itself was first coined by Nick Szabo in the mid-90s, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that advances in decentralized ledger technology brought the abstraction to life.

To an extent, Bitcoin ushered in the first smart contracts – due to its Turing-incomplete nature and fairly restrictive Script language, however, its application remains limited to currency-related use cases. Ethereum made much larger strides with the creation of the EVM, which was set to open up a world of possibilities for developers to write their own programs, contracts, and decentralized applications.

The EVM is far from perfect, though. There are some issues that need to be addressed with the architecture of the virtual machine that forms an integral part of the Ethereum protocol. One that springs to mind straight off the bat is the language it uses Solidity, purpose-built for the platform and relatively simple to use.

The issue with Solidity is unfamiliarity. It’s a new language and has nowhere near the sort of track record and extensive testing that traditional programming languages have. On one hand, people are hailing such a system as the ideal storage platform for all of their most sensitive information, from medical to financial records. On the other, it’s clearly riddled with flaws that result in disaster (such as the DAO and Parity exploits) if not used properly.

Programming on the decentralized plane should really be done using languages we know to be secure. Moreover, developers shouldn’t be limited to just one. I’ve stated before that I’m a big believer in Rust’s forgiving and security-oriented framework, and firmly hold that it should become the go-to language for smart contract scripting. That said, the ideal compiler would support the classics – Java, C, C++ and Go, to name a few.

The EVM relies on a processor using an integer size of 256. For scale, the average home PC uses either a 32 or 64-bit processor. Supposedly, the large size offers better values for cryptographic computations, but as of yet, there remain to be any Solidity projects leveraging this feature – most likely due to the gas cost, which would be extortionate.

I’m of the opinion that there’s a gap to be filled for smart contract engines – why not simply use an x86 virtual machine? Its architecture is extensively used in the computers of today. There’s so many tried and tested tools for it, which would be trivial to port over to a VM on a distributed ledger.

To top it off, there’s the familiarity aspect. Developers know how to write effective code on an x86 system. At the moment, they’re having to dive into programming decentralized applications, without a deep understanding of what they’re programming them with. There’s no need to overcomplicate things that don’t require overcomplication. We’re perfectly capable of building on top of blockchains with the resources we’ve had for decades.

VC firm Venrock partners with crypto asset company CoinFund

CoinFund, a crypto asset investment fund started back in 2015 has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the team at Venrock, a venture capital firm founded by Laurence Rockefeller in 1969.

Venrock has a strong history of helping entrepreneurs build great products and technologies, including early investments in legendary companies such as Intel, Apple, Dollar Shave Club, and Nest. As a proponent of net neutrality and the enabling features of technology, Venrock will continue to work towards building the next era of decentralized infrastructure and applications.

The partnership deal will help to support CoinFund’s growth and expand its network to the greater technology markets.

The CoinFund team says that this partnership reinforces its mandate to continue building out a technology-focused and scientific approach to investment in decentralized networks and new business models enabled by blockchain technology.

By leveraging each other’s domain expertise, the two teams will be able to “mentor, advice, and support projects in the space more effectively than ever before.” CoinFund and Venrock are both backers of YouNow’s PROPS Project and have worked together to help founder Adi Sideman realize his vision of a blockchain-based ecosystem of participatory video applications, starting with its flagship application Rize. The application specifications include crypto integration to incentivize and build an economy where creators can broadcast and earn.

CoinFund, founded nearly three years ago as CoinFund LLC became one of the world’s first diversified portfolios of crypto assets, regarding cryptocurrencies and tokens. The CoinFund team brings together a strong and multidisciplinary background across the fields of technology, computer science, finance, economics, quantitative research, psychology, and law to apply to the growing blockchain space.

The founding partners and team members of CoinFund combine experience from Goldman Sachs, Amazon.com, American Capital, Kirkland & Ellis, and the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, among others. At inception, CoinFund’s foundational thesis was that blockchain-based digital assets would capture the value of decentralized networks and are poised to transform the way we transact with digital finances, online infrastructure, social media, marketplaces, organizations, and consumer services.

Internet of Coins cryptocurrency wallet beta launches

Internet of Coins (IoC), an Amsterdam-based not-for-profit blockchain agnostic project which last year held a token generation event on OpenLedger has now launched the beta for its unique cryptocurrency wallet platform.

Last year, the team raised over $1 million dollars in their crowdfunding. Since this time, the group has been hard at work to develop the wallet from alpha into the present beta version.

On beta launch, the wallet supports 17 blockchains and over 380 tokens. The team commented on the progress as “a big step towards its goal to support all cryptocurrencies on their open platform. In recent months IoC also worked on its new website to make it faster, clearer and to provide easy access to the wallet.”

IoC wallet features

The Internet of Coins wallet is deterministic and runs locally on user devices. The application does not store any keys or account data on Internet of Coins servers. Users will remain in complete control over their wallet and keys. The wallet can be used to make transfers and in the future on the IoC exchange for peer-to-peer trading. The wallet runs in the browser and works on any device.

The wallet employs a fully decentralized storage system that retains data based on Proof of Work delivered by the browser. This makes it possible to store wallet preferences encrypted and decentralized. These processes occur automatically and in the background while using the wallet.

United Kindom Launches Bitcoin Futures via CoinfloorEX

CoinfloorEX

Despite the cryptocurrency market taking a serious beating the past few months, the U.K has just announced some big news. Coinfloor, a London-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it would be starting its own bitcoin futures exchanged named CoinfloorEX. This new exchange will offer bitcoin futures “at scale” through their own specific contracts and operational controls. The futures contracts are available to traders, hedge funds, and miners.

CoinfloorEX claims they will offer the first “physically delivered cryptocurrency futures contracts”, designed specifically to protect investors from price slippage on positions at the time of settlement. The settlements made by CoinfloorEX will be based on physical delivery rather than the index price that’s across all other exchanges, which in turn provides true pricing transparency.

>> Day One of Crypto Madness

The company goes into further details in the official statement saying:

Access to Coinfloor’s spot exchange enables investors to easily convert Bitcoin to Fiat currency post-physical delivery, creating opportunities for longer-term currency appreciation or through meeting Bitcoin-denominated obligations.”

The development team behind this project is taking security as a top priority, which is necessary given the number of hacks that have occurred as of late. The security of the exchange is underscored by a 100 percent multi-signature cold storage cryptocurrency custody facility. This aims at completely safeguarding client portfolios from theft and other security issues that occur when storage assets are held partially or fully online. An additional feature they are adding monthly audits of the Bitcoin balances, which gives ease to the investors to assure CoinfloorEX has enough Bitcoin liquidity to manage the high market fluctuations.

These futures will be launching sometime next month, despite the downward price of Bitcoin currently. Will the announcement and spread of the news, help drive up the price of Bitcoin like it did when the U.S announced their futures?

Whatever happens, this is still great news for the cryptocurrency market, despite its recent slaughtering due to Google banning crypto relative ads.

Featured Image: Krypto

Why John McAfee’s Bullish Bet on Bitcoin Price Won’t Succeed

The anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee has presented bullish assumptions in favor of Bitcoin price (BTC) – John McAfee thinks BTC could hit $1 million level by 2020. Though the anti-virus software pioneer had several reasons to support his bet, he also suggests investors invest only the money they can afford to lose – which signifies that he isn’t too confident in its price prediction strategy.

John has based its price target estimate on four key factors:

  • The limited number of bitcoins, almost a total of 21 million
  • Higher bitcoin adoption.
  • A room for growth, expansion, and demand.
  • Its market cap is short of the market cap of other traditional asset classes.

He further believes BTC price to increase at the rate of 0.4840957034310259% per day to attain the price target of $1 million. John McAfee assumes the price will rise daily at this rate, and calculating a compounded rate for the remaining number of days until December 31, 2020.

John McAfee Ignored Key Factors That Could Result in Complete Losses

While John has highlighted several relevant facts that could support the price, he has neglected regulators role in crypto markets along with several other aspects, such as underlying value, criticism on its usage from criminals and the adaptation as an alternative currency.  

Regulators will play a key role in settling the price for cryptocurrencies; they are taking steps that could wipe off billions of dollars from crypto markets. Based on research reports, criminals are accounting for almost half of the trading volume – which is at risk following regulators strategy to play a meddler role.

Major players had rejected to adopt currencies due to its lack of underlying value; they consider digital currencies as speculative investments. Bitcoin, Ripple and other cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by real cash assets such as gold or foreign exchange; these coins mined through specific techniques and distributed to the general public. The market opinion is divided on the behavior of digital currencies and the time will tell how accurate John was in creating bullish bet.

Featured Image: Twitter

  • This article is probably the most clownish article of all time.

    Simply stupid.

    Cryptos are growing exponentially, and only 2% of the world knows about BTC. There is EXTREME amount of room for BTC to grow from here. The dotcom boom busted when the market cap of all .com stocks on Nasdaq hit 6.7 Trillion. We barely reached 0.8 trillion late december, and now at the time of writing, we are only at 0.3 trillion.

    You obviously dont know your shit.

Bitcoin Strategist Tom Lee Creates the Bitcoin Misery Index and it says you should buy Bitcoins right now

Bitcoin Misery Index

Bitcoin Strategist Tom Lee Creates the Bitcoin Misery Index and it says you should buy Bitcoins right now

Cryptocurrency trading is an emerging market that has been growing and capitalizing at a breakneck pace, but it has atypical behavior when compared to traditional markets. It is not uncommon for currency traders to use adopted ForEx market indicators such as MACD, RSI, Bollinger Bands, Stochastic Indicators or Fibonacci’s Retracements, but the truth is that many of these methodologies were created for traditional markets and may not be entirely right for crypto-trading. This has led many economists and “old-school” investors to see investments in cryptocurrencies more as a gamble rather than a real capital investment.

Bitcoin Misery Index

However, this seems to be changing, with the emergence of specialized studies, which have led to improved trading strategies. One that has emerged recently in blogs and news sites is the one created by the well-known Bitcoin Strategist and strong bullish investor Thomas Lee: the Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI)

Although the methodology applied or the mathematical formula for its determination has not been disclosed, the indicator seeks to explain the market’s feeling regarding bitcoins ownership and how motivated a person would be to sell what he has. According to MarketWatch:

“The Bitcoin Misery Index is a measure of consistency in the price of the No. 1 digital asset, bitcoin BTCUSD, +7.07% over the past 90 days, using the end of day performance (up-day or down-day) and volatility. In other words, it is a measure of momentum in the asset, equivalent to an oversold-overbought indicator. Market technicians often gauge “overbought” or “oversold” conditions based on measures of price momentum.”

The results are given on a scale of 0 – 100, where 0 is “absolutely miserable” (bitcoin holders are “absolutely” willing to give away all their bitcoin) and 100 is “absolutely happy” (where no price in the world would be enough to motivate bitcoin holders to sell their coins). Of course in economics, the “absolute” signs indicators do not exist, but it’s easy to conclude that in general terms, Tom Lee developed an indicator, which analyzes the behavior and characteristics of the bitcoin to produce a more accurate result than other similar indexes.

The indicator created by FondStrat’s owner shows a negative result. That is to say, the lower the number, the bigger the misery /, The bigger the number, the lower the misery)

In the world of trading there are already other similar indicators such as the RSI (Relative Strength Index) which, as stated by Investopedia “compares the magnitude of recent gains and losses over a specified time period to measure speed and change of price movements of a security” , and the MACD which is “a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between two moving averages of prices”.

Investors often use these indicators in an attempt to find areas where trend shifts allow them to raise money, either by buying cheaply and then selling expensive in front of a bullish trend or by selling at the start of a bearish trend to buy more goods with the same amount of money.

A good time to buy

“When the bitcoin misery index is at’ misery’ (below 27), bitcoin sees the best 12-month performance,” Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Thomas Lee said in an interview with CNBC “A signal is generated about every year.”

Right now the indicator has a result of 18.8, its lowest since Sept. 6, 2011. And according to an interview with Thomas Lee,“The last four times this was below 27… there was not a single instance with bitcoin not up 12 months later.”

Bitcoin Misery Index

When comparing the results with the traditional indicators, you can see that right now is an excellent time to invest in Bitcoins. All signs point to the same results. After the price manipulation resulting from an atypical selling of 400 Million Dollars by Mt. Gox Bankruptcy Trustee, Mr. Nobuaki Kobayashi, prices should return to their natural behavior.

According to a report published by Forbes

“Lee’s Bitcoin Misery Index may be more useful than the traditional RSI and MACD indicators for Bitcoin since he has compiled some additional information to go along with his analysis. Also, Bitcoin’s price was relatively low until 2017, so RSI and MACD may not have enough historical data to be as accurate vs. when they are applied to securities having a longer track record. That being said both the RSI, the top portion of the graph below, and the MACD, the bottom portion, indicate that Bitcoin is in a bit of an oversold condition.”

Bitcoin Misery Index

>>Mt.Gox Bankruptcy Trustee sells $400million USD in BTC; Causes Market To Drop Almost 40%

So remember: “Do not invest more than you can afford to lose” but in case you do have money to invest, check out the Bitcoin Misery Index and take advantage of the ‘misery’ of bitcoin holders now and (very likely) profit by the end of the year.

Featured Image: Facebook

Mt.Gox Bankrupcy Trustee sells $400 Million USD In BTC; Causes A Drop In Markets Of Almost 40%

Mt.Gox

Those who have been into crypto trading for some time must already be familiar with the constant fluctuation in token prices. The price variation of Bitcoin in the last three months alone is a virtual roller coaster; the price was $8k in November, 20k in December (19898.8$ to be more accurate) but then back to $9k in January. Such level of risk has generated a universal mantra in the community: “Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose”.

However, since the crypto market is still a growing niche, with a constant number of new adopters every day, it is still difficult to make predictions although for now, the future looks promising. It is precisely this accelerated growth that has made it possible for so many people to make a profit uncomparable with any other investment. Some early adopters have even become millionaires without doing absolutely nothing more than waiting (or HODL).

These people who for one reason or another have large amounts of money (or some token as the case may be) are known as “whales” and have the power to manipulate the market. Have you ever tried to buy a token and come across a “wall” that prevents you from buying it at a reasonable price because someone has placed an enormous purchase order for a price lower than yours?…  Did you see the order magically vanishing shortly afterward? This is known as a buy/sell wall. Equally, the actions taken by these whales affect traders globally, since when they sell or buy orders as a result of their massive operations, prices can skyrocket or plummet in a matter of minutes.

In February someone bought almost 400 Million in Bitcoin, generating an increase of nearly 50% in its overall price.  His operations stored on an address which today has more than 92000 Bitcoins, had a positive result for the WHOLE market, thanks to a rebound in the price trend.

On March 6, 2018, the Bitcoin reached a historic low, touching the $6000 mark. No one knew the apparent reason, but with the publication of an official report by Mr. Nobuaki Kobayashi, Bankruptcy Trustee of the now-defunct Mt. Gox, clear explanation arose for those who could make the figures:

“Between the 9th creditors’ (September 27, 2017) meeting and this creditors’ meeting (On March 7, 2018), with the permission of the court, I sold a certain amount of BTC and bitcoin cash (“BCC”) that belonged to the bankruptcy estate. The quantities sold and the amount paid into the bankrupt trustee’s account are shown below”

These operations totaled approximately U. S. 402,797975 million dollars according to the Google Exchange Rate of 1 Japanese yen = 0.00937 U.S. dollars

The report concludes with a few words that explain the speculative behavior of every trader and the influence that a whale can have on the markets.

“I made efforts to sell BTC and BCC at as high a price as possible in light of the market price of BTC and BCC at the time of the sale.”

A Reddit user was able to track the movements made with the conclusion that the selling was not “gradual” but very quick instead. This led to an abrupt drop in Bitcoin prices that were reflected in a bearish trend for most of the other altcoins. Twitter user Matt Odell correlated the movements with bitcoin behavior. Results speak for themselves.

Mt.Gox

However, we have to wait. The crypto trading system must be taken very objectively in order not to make hasty decisions. Weak-handers usually lose, this is something to take into consideration after identifying three critical points of Mr. Nobuaki’s report:

1) Nobuaki Kobayashi’s power of decision and resource management

“Unless the court makes a new decision, the bankruptcy proceedings will proceed as before, and I, as the bankruptcy trustee, continue to have the right to administer and dispose of the bankruptcy estate as before.”

2) The number of resources he manages. If with 35000 BTC an adverse reaction was generated, it is essential to be aware that he has the resources to do it again, producing more significant results.

“The amount of BTC managed by the bankruptcy estate as of March 5, 2018, is 166,344.35827254 BTC… The amount of BCC managed by the bankruptcy estate as of March 5, 2018, is 168,177.35927254 BCC.”

3) The expressed willingness to do so again when deemed appropriate

“I plan to consult with the court and determine further sale of BTC and BCC.”

>>Ripple CEO: Cryptocurrencies Must Work With Government Regulations

So far there has not been an official statement from Mr. Nobuaki Kobayashi or the courts of law, but social networks have been on fire since the information came out. Mainly because there is a conflict of interest between the users of the platform and Kobayashi as Mt.Gox representative since the number of bitcoins and altcoins that the users deposited in the exchange house have revalued a lot after Mt.Gox initiated the bankruptcy legal proceeding. Therefore, they expect to be reimbursed for their investment in cryptocurrency and not in FIAT money as Mr. Nobuaki’s strategy seems to pretend.

Mt.Gox

Featured Image: Twitter

  • Crime does pay in a big way. The dev team should destroy those bitcoin nad in turn the BCH and any other forked coin or lock them down. Giving $480.00 in return for coins valued at over $10,000.00 is an inside job by the courts and others. Something MUST be done NOW. Today. The BTC dev team and others have the ability to lock down the address that holds these coins till the global community can weigh in! Do not allow them to destroy our community!

Bitcoin Investors Should Prepare for Risks; U.K. Could Weigh on Prices

Bitcoin investors

Bitcoin investors should be careful; Bitcoin price (BTC) continues to make the sideways movement as the global investment communities are still unsure about the future of cryptocurrencies. The debate for its utilization as an alternative currency and medium of exchange has been going on for years. Bitcoin price was hammered from the $20,000 mark at the beginning of the year to only $6,000. This was after intellectuals, regulators and global leaders stressed on the need for regulating cryptocurrencies during the World Economic Forum.

Regulators and senior market analysts have turned significantly bearish on digital currencies. They don’t appreciate investments in bitcoin and other digital currencies – indeed they are predicting an instant crash and massive risk of losing the investment.

Bitcoin’s trading volume has decreased substantially in the last few weeks following bearish comments from key players. The reports show that bitcoin transactions dropped to the lowest level in two years, while Google trends-data indicated a drop of 80% in searches for bitcoin.

U.K. Could Take Stronger Action against Cryptocurrencies

The U.K Prime Minister Theresa May had promised to carefully look at bitcoin and other digital currencies to avoid the illegal movement of wealth. The regulators from U.K. aren’t sending positive signals, suggesting strict regulatory actions from the one of the significant cryptocurrency market.

While Bangladesh, India, China and several other countries have already banned cryptocurrency trading, amid the threat of money laundering and tax evasion – poor response from European and British regulators poses a risk for the possible crash in prices.

Bitcoin investors should now take steps to protect their investment from risks that could result in complete losses, the Bank of England’s Chief Economist has warned.

>>Apple Co-Founder Falls Victim To Bitcoin Scam

Followed by harsh remarks from the Bank of England’s governor, the Chief Economist Andy Haldane warned for the immediate price crash.

He said: “There are lots of potential risks there. One of which is the danger to the consumer from buying into this stuff. If you want to invest in bitcoin, be prepared to lose all your money. That would be my serious warning.”

  Featured Image: Twitter

Bitcoin Enthusiasm Tanked; Google Searches and Trading Volume Sink

Bitcoin Google Search

This week didn’t start off on the high for Bitcoin price (BTC) and its future fundamentals; BTC price is steadily moving downhill after hitting $11,500 during the weekend and in early trading on Monday. The downward trend was due to lower volume – which is a frustrating sign for bulls.

Bitcoin prices lost close to $1,000 from its Monday high, the price of bitcoin token was around $10,594 today. It seems that bulls are losing their grip on the crypto markets after the ruthless response from major regulators of European countries and the United Kingdom.

The entire crypto market has been under pressure over the last three days – Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and the rest of top ten digital currencies are declining at a mid-single-digit rate. Ethereum moves back below the $800 mark for the first time in the last fifteen days, while Ripple trades at around $0.90.

Lower Trading Volume And Lower Bitcoin Google Search Rate Spell Bearish Fundamentals

Trading volume always has substantial importance in settling the price whether its stock market or crypto market. Lower trading volume signifies declining trader’s confidence – which could have the negative impact on the price performance.  

Bitcoin has been experiencing a significant drop in trading volume and confirmed transactions over the last couple of weeks. The total confirmed transactions declined to the two year low of 180,000 on Feb 26.    

Bitcoin Google search trends are falling at a tremendous rate suggesting a declining interest for cryptocurrencies. Google trend data indicated a drop of 80% in searches for bitcoin to the lowest level in last five months.

But Why Have Investors Lost Confidence?

While the global markets and financial world has widely accepted blockchain technologies, they aren’t accepting the cryptocurrency phenomena as an alternative currency – and they have several factual reasons for their denouncement.

Regulators and business magnates are continually hammering trader’s sentiments by sending warning signals; the majority of them criticizing digital currencies due to its volatile nature, underlying value and its use for illegal purposes. The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Rogoff believes bitcoin isn’t worth more than $100 in his view, saying:

“I think Bitcoin will be worth a tiny fraction of what it is now if we’re headed out 10 years from now… I would see $100 as being a lot more likely than $100,000.”

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© gustavofrazao

  • Bitcoin has had its day…the blockchain is about to croak and all the idiots holding loads can hodl all the way down 🙂

Apple Co-Founder Falls Victim to Bitcoin Scam

The Economic Times of India’s Global Business Summit took place this week, and it was inevitable that the cryptocurrency sector was going to be one of the topics discussed at length. What wasn’t foreseen, however, was Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak coming forward and saying he was a victim of a bitcoin scam.

It’s been known for quite some that bitcoin, as well as every other virtual currency, holds a lot of risks. But when the co-founder of one of the largest technology companies in the world falls into its trap, then we know that anyone is susceptible to being duped by cryptocurrency scams.

The Bitcoin Scam

According to Wozniak, he had seven bitcoins stolen from him through fraud. Essentially what happened is this: an individual purchased the bitcoins from the 67-year old American entrepreneur and inventor through a credit card, and then proceeded to terminate the credit card payment. The scariest part of it all, according to Steve Wozniak, was just how easy it was to steal the bitcoins.

Sure, at first glance, seven bitcoins might not seem like a lot. However, it’s actually the opposite. At the time, Wozniak purchased the bitcoins back when it was valued at $700, but today, his loss is valued at roughly $71,400. Personally, this would have scared me off right away, but that wasn’t the case for the Apple co-founder.

>>India’s NASSCOM Partners With Blockchain Institute

Wozniak kept his bitcoin holdings until the end of 2017. When he did finally announce in January that he sold his bitcoin holdings, he didn’t cite the bitcoin scam. In fact, he said it was only because he had only moved into cryptocurrency solely for experimental purposes. He then added that he never wanted to become one of those individuals that constantly watch it and fret over the price. That is extremely justifiable. It seems every week I’m biting my nails to see the direction the cryptocurrency is heading in. One week it’s dropping below the $12,000 mark and the next its well above it.

Now that we know about Steve Wozniak’s experience with the digital currency, I think it will be interesting to see if people follow in his lead and sell their bitcoin holdings in fear of falling victim to a bitcoin scam.

Featured Image: Twitter