Blockchain and DLT Crypto

Top 7 Courses for Blockchain Developers

Decade-old Blockchain technology has gained high popularity in recent years. It was created to keep records of digital currencies like Bitcoin, but due to its evolution over the years today, this technology serves as a decentralized system for businesses.

It is all because of the Blockchain technology that the digital world of today has reached far beyond finance. Now, advertising, manufacturing, utility, and healthcare, including other governmental and business sectors, use Blockchain-based applications for processing their transactions.

Are you eager to grow your blockchain specialization? Are you willing to acquire blockchain skills and knowledge? Fortunately, there are several blockchain course options related to the subject. This article includes the details of the most popular, highly rated blockchain training programs ideal for individuals looking forward to pursuing a professional career in this field.

Let’s get into the details of:

10 Best Blockchain Courses 2021

1. Blockchain: Foundations and Use Cases

This Coursera program is ideal for both non-developers and developers who want to thorough themselves with the fundamentals of Blockchain. The program isn’t limited to technology teaching. It will also introduce to the philosophical concepts of decentralization and how its connection with Blockchain.

The initial modules of this program introduce the students to blockchain fundamentals and the technology used for it. Module four delves deeper into Ethereum and Bitcoin while introducing the learners to the importance of next-generation blockchains.

This learning program features several significant topics, such as:

  • Blockchain Foundations
  • Hash Functions and Cryptography
  • Blockchain and Blocks
  • Public Key Signing and Cryptography
  • The Chain, Network, and Nodes
  • Consensus and Trust Framework
  • Cryptocurrency Tokens,
  • Smart Contracts,
  • Asset tracking, Supply chain, and more

The best part is that the concepts are explained with the help of real examples. This means you’ll get a good idea of the business problems related to Blockchain. This course uniquely presents the behind-the-scenes of the companies working space so that the students get a good understanding of various business verticals.

Prerequisites: The course assumes that learners have zero knowledge of Blockchain technology.

Level: Beginner
Rating: 4.7
Duration: 16 hours (approximately)

You can signup here.

2. Blockchain Specialization

The best thing about this specialization is that it covers almost every vital blockchain concept needed to become a pro in the subject. Informative and well-structured the course is ideal for programmers who want to learn the secrets of designing, deploying, coding, and executing smart contracts.

You can easily build a strong foundation, Remix IDE, and Solidity. The authors provide a detailed overview of the two topics through this course. You’ll have plenty of practical exercises and assignments to test your capabilities gained through the learning process.

Highlights of this program:

  • Blockchain Basics
  • Smart contracts
  • Solidity, Cryptography, Bitcoin, and Ethereum
  • Remix IDE
  • MetaMask Client
  • Truffle IDE
  • Decentralized Applications

You’ll be benefitted with clear instructions for Dapp design and behaviour and Truffle commands and development process. The program also features a detailed overview of the blockchain ecosystem, covering the various challenges and blockchain platforms in a broader prospect. Additionally, you’ll also acquire in-depth knowledge of other decentralization models such as Hashgraph and IPFS.

Prerequisites: Prior knowledge, one of the programming languages, is mandatory. Plus, learners should have a basic idea of object-oriented designs, command-line interfaces, HTMLjavascript, and web applications before when enrolling for this course.

Level: Intermediate
Rating: 4.6
Duration: 4 months (approximately)

You can signup here.

3. Python And The Blockchain Technology

Featuring the combination of Python and Blockchain, with this practical course, you’ll dive deep into the concepts related to these two topics. You’ll learn the proven ways of building your Cryptocurrency and Blockchain with Python use. The specialization includes a bundle of lessons covering every topic right from the basics. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of working on a real-world assignment to enrich your portfolio.

The following concepts are covered under this program:

  • Blockchain Introduction
  • Python introduction
  • Data Types and REPL
  • Variables, Strings, and Lists
  • Loops and Conditionals
  • Complex Data Structures
  • OOPs
  • Handling Errors and Http requests
  • Debugging, and more.

This program will solidify your basics in the featured topics and make you capable enough to handle relevant complex issues. Moreover, you’ll get guidance for performing all the configurations and setup. Get best practice assignments, lectures, articles, and a lot of downloadable resources on signing up.

Prerequisites: This tutorial is designed with the assumption that learners do not know a programming language.

Level: Beginner
Rating: 4.6
Duration: 17.5 hours (approximately)

You can signup here.

 Berkeley’s Blockchain Fundamentals Professional Certificate

From exploring ecosystems to central ideas and technologies about blockchains, this certification will help you learn about both non-technical and technical aspects of this subject. It will offer you an in-depth understanding of blockchain systems and distributed ledger technology. Additionally, you’ll also know about the mechanism for blockchain technology functioning that will help you formulate different hypotheses and informed models.

Key topics covered under this program:

  • Bitcoin
  • Crypto Currencies
  • Blockchain Technology
  • Blockchain Architecture
  • Decentralized Applications
  • Bitcoin Alternatives

The topics are elaborated interactively. Plus, there are practical exercises in this course that allow learners to scale up their potential and knowledge in the subject. Through this course, you will also get to learn about cryptocurrency regulations, future scope, and implication in the field of Blockchain.

Prerequisites: You don’t need to have any technical background to sign up for this program.

Level: Beginner-Advanced
Rating: 4.6
Duration: 3 months (approximately)

You can signup here.

5. Blockchain A-Z™: Learn How To Build Your First Blockchain

Do you want to become an ace blockchain programmer? If yes, then sign up for this training program now. From theoretical knowledge in Blockchain to create a smart contract or cryptocurrency, this course covers all basic to advance level topics. Moreover, you’ll learn to create advanced applications using Blockchain technology along with the ways of leveraging the power of the current solutions.

Key topics covered under this program:

  • Blockchain Reaction
  • Cryptocurrency Transactions
  • Smart Contracts Creation

This tutorial is best for learning the tricks and techniques of building intuitions while gaining practical experience of speeding up things using Blockchain and crypto. If your primary concern is gaining hands-on skills, then this Udemy learning program is one of the best options for the purpose.

The instructors Kirill Eremenko, Haelin de Ponteves, and SuperDataScience Team guide the learners at every step of coding and during currency creation processes. It is a fantastic course for newbies, Cryptos, Blockchain, and Bitcoin enthusiasts.

Prerequisites: Proficiency in Python and basic mathematics is required.

Level: Beginners
Rating: 4.5
Duration: 14.5 Hours (approximately)

You can signup here.

Blockchain and DLT Crypto

Security in Blockchain: Myths and Truths

Around security in blockchain some interesting myths have been created that make this technology look like a total panacea and something almost surreal, for that reason, we dedicate this article to break these myths and make see the truth about this technology.

Safety is certainly one of the main, or perhaps the main, requirement for blockchain technology. In fact, in a way, security has become the first bastion of defense of this technology that now conquers more and more spaces. And it is not for less, the security in the blockchain is excellent, but reaching it takes a lot of work. In addition, it is not a magic solution, because as in any computer system always reigns the premise of cybersecurity:

“There is no 100% secure computer system.”

That is the harsh reality of the computer world, and blockchain, being a computer technology, is not exempt from this rule. So why our confidence in your safety? Why have so many myths been created around this technology? What is the truth? Let’s try to show that several of the myths that have been created around blockchain technology.

Myth 1: Blockchain is unhackable.

One of the first myths we see in the blockchain world is about the inability of blockchain technology. The truth is that this is not 100% true. Certainly, blockchain technology presents a high level of security, and more if we compare it with any type of sector that is based on centralized technologies.

Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, has shown us several times that it has errors that can be dangerous for everyone. So what protects us from the blockchain catastrophe? Simple, the assurance that the community will detect and correct those errors, as it has always done. And in the worst-case scenario, in the event of an error that has not been detected early, the network can always agree to return to a block where that has not happened.

This is in addition to the continuous work to develop security measures that avoid serious problems, and the always reliable decentralization, which will allow us to rebuild everything in case the worst comes to pass. But we can also be sure of something, that a project like Bitcoin has accumulated 46 serious errors, is an incredible achievement, because in contrast Windows 10 (developed by one of the corporations that dominate the world) in just a period of 4 years accumulates more than 8100 errors.

Myth 2: Blockchain is absolutely immutable.

Another common myth in the blockchain world is the “absolute immutability” of the blockchain. Something that is not true. The truth is that the blockchain can be rectified or modified under very specific conditions, and we know that from those who have read about the 51% Attack. This attack has the ability to modify the blockchain significantly despite the attempts we make to avoid it, and all within the parameters allowed by the protocol because after all, most of the nodes (51%) have decided to do so.

The attack we have already seen in action, Ethereum Classic (ETC) recently suffered another attack of this type. Bitcoin Gold was another recent victim of such attacks, and other cryptocurrencies are constantly suffering it today. But isn’t Blockchain supposed to be immutable? The answer to this is: It is under certain circumstances. If a blockchain network has its power distributed among its nodes so that none of them has the most power in their hands, then that network will be secure. Otherwise, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Myth 3: All blockchain is highly decentralized.

Decentralization may be the worst myth of all, and it is because decentralization in blockchain projects is misunderstood (or misused). And many projects, and companies, use the word “Blockchain” to confuse, trying to convey that they are a decentralized network when they are not.

For example, Bitcoin is a fairly decentralized network, but there’s still a long way to reach a “safe zone of decentralization”, that area where Bitcoin users turn to their own nodes instead of third parties to perform their operations. The latter may sound utopian, but it would be the perfect example of absolute decentralization. Still, Bitcoin is a good example of decentralization.

However, if we choose other projects such as Ripple, Stellar, Tether, Bitcoin SV, Tron, UNUS, IOTA, Compound, BAT, Theta,… that decentralization is lost. Yes, these projects are blockchain, some with great renown and great economic level, but each and every one of them have of decentralized what of decentralized has a Bank.

In short, they are projects that use the words “blockchain” and “decentralization” to disguise an almost absolute centralization existing over their systems. And we are not talking about centralization at the level of development, but also at the level of nodes, miners, and other structures that make it possible to function. In this sense, this myth falls for the clear evidence that a “blockchain project” is not automatically decentralized because it is blockchain.

Myth 4: Cryptography makes Blockchain secure.

This myth, surely, is one of the most difficult of all to understand. The reason for this is because it is a half-truth. Cryptography is certainly the basis of blockchain security, but cryptography is constantly broken.

An example that breaks this myth can be seen in IOTA. This cryptocurrency is based on DAG (Directed Acyclic Graphs) technology and uses a cryptographic function that was considered secure. However, a hacker managed to break that algorithm and as a result, thousands of users were affected, with theft of funds and access to the seeds of their purses. A serious problem where cryptography was not enough to maintain security. As a negative result, the IOTA network was out of service for 14 days until the problem was fixed.

However, the operating model of Bitcoin, the management of its development, and its active community is a successful formula to combat the problems that could come along this line.

Myth 5: Smart contracts are the ultimate programming tool.

Smart contracts are often seen as the biggest breakthrough achieved thanks to blockchain, and that vision is correct. However, smart contracts are not inherently secure by running on a blockchain, as many show, on the contrary, a public smart contract is subject to public scrutiny, and if there are malicious actors in that audience who can see a vulnerability, they’ll exploit it for a profit.

Yes, smart contracts are very powerful, but their security is far from perfect, in fact, we could say that it is still a work in progress, as we can see to platforms like Ethereum, where they seek to constantly improve their language to enable the most secure development of such tools.

Computer security has always been a space where the impossible always ends up being possible. There are many systems that claim to be “ineligible” and always end up giving in to some error in their systems sooner or later. It is something that reaches even the big ones, such as OpenBSD, the most secure operating system in the world, and that in all its history (23 years) has only had two errors in its installation by default.

That being said, blockchain although it is a very secure system, perhaps one of the safest to handle our money, is not an all-powerful and perfect solution. We are certainly far from that, and that, however illogical, is a good thing. 

In this sense, the future of blockchain security will always be positive, it will always go in the interest of being able to improve what we currently have, to face the challenges of the future. That way we can stay calm, blockchain security will improve, and with it, our impression of a technology that is changing the world.

Blockchain and DLT Crypto Daily Topic

5 Portals That Rate And Rank DeFi 

There’s never a dull moment in the Defi sector. Continuous innovation in the space affords us products and solutions that ease our transactions. Additionally, the thriving Defi sector provides alternative investment avenues. Further, the investments attract better returns compared to those from conventional finance. It isn’t a wonder that investors in their droves keep boarding the Defi juggernaut.

In a sense, the ballooning of Defi is both a blessing and curse, A blessing in that it expands our choices and gives us greater say over our funds. On the other hand, many competing products could cause us headaches in product choices. The fact that genuine and fake projects dot Defi’s landscape further exacerbates this dilemma.

Luckily though, we’ve portals whose mission is to take the difficulty out of Defi investments. These scour the Defi sector, analyzing projects and trends for our consumption. In them, we have crucial allies for navigating the Defi maze. This article examines five portals that rate and rank Defi to our gain. We shall proceed to explore the features that make them a must-have tool in our investment journey.

1. DeFi Pulse

DeFi Pulse site enables you to find analysis and rankings of Defi protocols. Its salient features include:

Total Value Locked

This metric shows the amount of funds locked up in various DeFi contracts. A high TVL is indicative of a thriving economy. Defi Pulse uses a graph to capture the daily TVL progression.

Market dominance

This standard ranks projects according to their liquidity levels. Projects with higher liquidity are a stable and attractive investment option.

The Market Leader Share Metric

The Market leader share metric gives you a glimpse of the Defi categories available on Defi Pulse’s site. Major types include Lending, DEX’s, Derivatives, Payments, and Assets.

DeFi Pulse Farmer

The DeFi Pulse Farmer is the site’s newsletter. It covers the latest news and opportunities in the Defi space.

DeFi Lending

The Defi lending feature shows the interest that these protocols generate per year. Through this ranking, you can determine the most profitable investments. The platform also has a calculator that shows you how much interest you’d draw per month by locking a given amount of an asset.

DeFi Pulse Token List

The Token list is a directory of the legitimate tokens trading on Ethereum.  It serves to reassure users that they are dealing with a genuine project.

2. CoinMarketCap DeFi page

CoinMarketCap (CMC) has distinguished itself to be a trustworthy platform. Its Defi page lists tokens simply and conveniently, allowing for faster searches. Its other standout features are:

Cryptoasset Ranking

Here you find all the assets that CMC lists. You get to see the asset’s market cap, price changes within a day or week, its volume, and circulating supply.

Coin Details Pages

These provide in-depth information regarding a coin. The “market pairs” tab features prominently on these pages. Market pairs have unique confidence indicators that aid you in picking an exchange to trade. This confidence score mirrors the exchange’s liquidity.


Here you get to compare how the different exchanges fare. The exchanges fall into different categories, including spot exchanges, derivatives exchanges, and decentralized exchanges.

CMC’s Watchlist

The watchlist feature allows you to mark your favorite cryptos. In this way, you can easily track their performance.


Keep abreast of the happenings in the crypto and blockchain space with this tool. The embedded Signals feature sends you news directly from a project or a given crypto protocol.

3. Etherscan

Etherscan is an Ethereum based platform providing analyses of the Defi sector. It debuted in 2015 and one of the longest-running independent projects built on the network. Its mission is to provide fair access to blockchain data. Some of its key features are:

DeFi Leaderboard

Through Etherscan’s leaderboard feature, you get to find up to date analytics and rankings of DeFi protocols. The rankings take into account the total value locked into the smart contracts. From the leaderboard, one can skim the following information:

  • The project’s rank
  • The project’s name
  • Its category
  • TVL in USD
  • Price changes in a day
  • Price changes over a week
  • The project’s market capitalization
  • The market cap to TVL ratio

Token Tracker

Etherscan tracks and ranks two kinds of tokens. First is the ERC 20 token, and secondly, the ERC 721 token, also known as the Non-Fungible Token.

ERC 20 token Tracker

In ranking the ERC 20 token, Etherscan identifies the project by name, states its trading price, and changes in 24 hours. Additionally, it indicates the token volume within a day, the token’s market cap, and its total number of holders.

Non-fungible Tokens Tracker

This tracker ranks the top ERC 721 tokens. It identifies the project and its volume first within a day and finally in a week.

Yield Farms Tracker

Yield farming is an essential component of Defi. Accordingly, Etherscan has provided a rank for the top yield farming ventures. You’ll find the project’s name, its start date, addresses, trading prices, and market cap in this ranking.

4. Loanscan

Loanscan is your go-to platform in matters of Defi lending. It gives you access to financial information and analysis for credit issued on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform supports loans from Compound, dYdX, Dharma, and Maker DAO protocols. However, it plans to introduce additional protocols and blockchains in the future. Minimalist in nature, it has two significant features:

Earn Yield

Here you get to know the amount of interest you’ll earn investing in a given platform. Besides showing the earning in terms of USD, Loanscan also compares the yield across cryptos. 


This feature enables you to determine the cheapest platforms to seek credit. Again it lists the platforms and their lending rates for different cryptos. 

5. DeFiprime

DefiPrime is a feature-rich portal offering comprehensive information on different Defi projects. On this site, you’ll find news and blog articles relating to Defi. Additionally, you can conveniently search for projects under several categories. Some of the main categories include  Alternative savings, Daos, Payments, and Staking. The site eases the process of finding projects as it arranges them in niches. Thus, it saves you time.

Final Thoughts

The growth of Defi has placed us in a quandary. On the one hand, we celebrate the convenience of transactions, expansion of financial options, and notably, the financial freedom Defi affords us. That said, their proliferation introduces challenges in determining which products to choose. As the sector has its fair share of legit and fraudulent projects, this difficulty gains in significance. All is not lost, though. Some portals undertake analysis of the Defi market to keep us in the know. Using these portals takes the guesswork out of investing, guaranteeing us fruitful experiences in the space. 

Blockchain and DLT Cryptocurrencies

Introducing Fetch.AI (FET): What’s Is It

Blockchain has been touted as a solution to countless modern-day problems. But what if it could be seen as a catalyst for innovation? You know, innovation that brings us products and services that we simply hadn’t fathomed about before. is an intelligence lab that wants to harness blockchain to power a decentralized digital economy. The platform will enable the sharing and connection of data globally and driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. will be open-source, allowing anyone from anywhere to connect to the network and carry out safe and secure tasks in a modern economy. 

This article explores the network in-depth, from how it works to use cases, right down to its native token and where to purchase it. 

Understanding is an artificial lab that wants to bring together tools and develop an infrastructure to power a decentralized digital economy. Based in Cambridge, intends to create a distributed ledger platform to facilitate secure and safe sharing connection and data transfer on a global scale. 

Fetch wants to automate countless markets that currently require a lot of manual intervention. The goal is to have frictionless transactions at digital speeds. The team imagines an evolved world where everybody has numerous economic agents on the platform, each operating to provide solutions for some of the most challenging today and tomorrow’s problems. 

Some of the highlights of the platform include: 

  • A near-autonomous integration for various components of complex systems
  • Frictionless integration and the deployment of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) in decision making without necessarily understanding how the two technologies work
  • Combining machine intelligence and human intelligence model to optimize decision-making processes

Key Features of

Some of the notable features of include: 

  • A digital infrastructure optimized for multi-agent systems.
  • A scalable ledger to power massive transaction volumes 
  • Synergetic computing to support ‘intelligent’ smart contract contracts 
  • An economic infrastructure to support dynamic market places
  • Navigation based on semantics and geography, and through which autonomous agents can oversee the smooth solving of problems

Key Products of

#1. Consensus Mechanism: utilizes a combination of proof of stake consensus and other protocols that oversee the delivery of the consensus. New blocks are produced via the PoS protocol, with the transaction verified through the work put in between every two blocks. The work is then recorded on a directed acyclic graph (DAG) created between the two blocks. The DAG is ‘stamped’ by the blockchain, removing the need for a supervisor. 

#2. Fees and Rewards runs a fees and rewards program, whereby processing nodes are incentivized with system incentives. Processing nodes are also in charge of data mining – the process through which transactions are produced and confirmed. 

Performance of the Network

The ledger is designed to scale, and its performance will differ depending on the current configured resources at the given moment. However, the network claims to have achieved speeds of up to 30,000+ transactions per second (TPS). The network is expected to increase configured resources as demand balloons. 

Open Economic Framework

The Open Economic Framework (OEF) is a second-layer protocol that provides services to participants (agents). Agents connect to the framework to connect with other agents to do business together. OEF is created to show the semantic, geographic, and economic views of that time to participants. 

Network nodes can either be just blockchain nodes or be both blockchain/OEF nodes. Initially, the OEF nodes will be either “trusted” or “trustless.” The “trustless” nodes can support the network anonymously, as can the pure blockchain nodes. However, the “trusted” nodes are eligible for access to agents’ information so they can render their intelligence and discovery capabilities to the network. Operators of trusted nodes must submit a legitimate public and legal identity and be accredited by the Foundation.

Example Use Cases of could potentially revolutionize a lot of industries, helping to improve efficiency and optimize processes. The project wants to increase efficiency and enhance solutions to daily problems via intelligent data sharing, ML, and AI. 

#1. Decentralized marketplace and decentralized finance will be used for decentralized commodity exchange, an innovative platform that will support improved liquidity in the trading of base metals and other commodities. will assist market participants in circumventing barriers to entry via innovative technology. It will facilitate the digitalized trading of various materials, enabling market players to have at their disposal new risk management tools. 

#2. Transportation

Current transportation systems are mainly self-service, with commuters having to do so much just to move from one point to another. will feature Autonomous Economic Agents who will do the heavy lifting on behalf of individuals. The Autonomous Economic Agents will be able to adjust to individuals’ preferences as they go, and they’ll be able to react in real-time to any unforeseen scenarios. 

#3. Smart parking and congestion solution’s autonomous agents can search and inform you about the available parking space and book it for you in advance. When you come back to your car, the system calculates the bill for you and completes the payment. This not only saves time, but it also removes the hassle of a manual process. And it can greatly help reduce congestion in cities. 

#4. Powering electric cars wants to be at the forefront of powering the next generation of cars, which are likely to take on in the near future like never before. For the technology to advance, major changes will have to be made.’s intelligent ecosystem will enable the autonomous agent in your car to scour for the nearest charging system, book a space and direct you there, instead of having to go and wait at a filling station. As smart vehicles become more popular, more users will be flocking at recharge points. Smart optimization tech powered by will ensure that increased demand is met by the nearest possible charging point. The system will also guide users to charging points near a coffee shop or playground, making their charging stop more enjoyable. 

#5. Supply chain supply chains will allow businesses to study future patterns, which will enable them to plan for potential disruptions for months while responding appropriately to changing customer behavior. 

Both AI and blockchain tech will assist companies in achieving more efficiency. For instance, AI can use real-time info to enable a company to choose the best trading partner for their current business situation.

The FET Token

FET tokens will be the native tokens of the system and will play many roles, including the following: 

  • Connect participants and nodes to the ecosystem: agents and network nodes will have to stake in FET to demonstrate their goodwill and intention to maintain good behavior. As the cost of joining the network escalates, it will be more difficult for undesirable elements to attempt to join the network. 
  • As a value exchange mechanism: FET tokens will be required to exchange value between and among agents, no matter their location. FET will be infinitely divisible, which means it can support very low-value transactions.
  • Facilitate access to the search engine: Network users will have to stake in FET to assess search and discovery capabilities of the perform. 
  • Facilitate access to’s multi-dimensional space: Agents on will need agents to interact with its digital world geographically, semantically, and economically. 

FET Token Allocation

As of October 15, 2020, traded at $0.047499, with a market cap of $35,439,353, which placed it at #175 in the market. The token’s 24-hour volume was $4,706,418. It had a circulating supply of 746,113,681, a total and maximum supply of 1,152,997,575. FET had an all-time high of $0.0432695 (Mar 03, 2019) and an all-time high of $0.008270 (Mar 23, 2020), according to Coinmarketcap. 

Buying and Storing FET 

The FET token is currently listed on quite a variety of exchanges, including Binance, BitMax, MXC, HotBit, Bitfinex, Folgory, KuCoin, WazirX, BiKi, CoinDCX, Omgfin, IDEX, Bitsonic, Coinall, Fatbtc, Giotus, and Bitbns. 

FET tokens are compatible with the ERC-20 standard and hence can be kept in any wallet supporting Ethereum. Great options include Trust Wallet, MetaMask, Ledger, ethaddress, Parity, and more. Once migrates to its mainnet, token users will be able to “easily convert ERC20 FET into native FET tokens and back again.” 

Blockchain and DLT Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin, Blockchain and Its Use in the Financial World

In this post, we will explain a new payment method and also a new way of making transfers that is simpler and safer than the SWIFT that is currently used. We are talking about Bitcoin and the Blockchain that have already been in use for several years, although it has not yet been generalized so that it can change our lives. Specialists say that both can have the effect that had Internet or mobile phones at the time, eventually, we’ll figure out if this prediction is fulfilled or not.

What is Bitcoin?

To know what the Blockchain is, we start with the definition of what Bitcoin is: it is the decentralized virtual currency that is traded through the internet. The key aspect is that issuer and receiver trade directly, without going through a bank or intermediary entity, so costs are reduced. They are currently used to buy any type of daily products; in addition, you can exchange bitcoins for real currencies.

Due to the complexity of the algorithm that uses Bitcoin cannot be falsified. Its founder Satoshi Nakamoto did it in such a way that the more people use it, the more complicated the algorithm is. Therefore, you do not need any competent authority to regulate Bitcoins.

To sum up, you can say that Bitcoin resembles cash, with similar characteristics. It also allows us to maintain control over the funds at all times because it is we who have them, not a bank or fund. And because it is done by digital means, it also highlights the immediacy it offers.

What is the Blockchain?

Also, we have the Blockchain that can resemble a public accounting book, a database, in which each block of information is connected to another block of information. In this kind of book where they write down all the movements that take place with bitcoin being in continuous growth. These annotations are inscribed in what is known as a block and are added in a linear and chronological manner. Therefore, in the blockchain, the information cannot be modified unless all the component parties agree.

The difference with other methods is that the information cannot be changed once recorded and cannot be erased. It is transparent because the transactions are public but at the same time are anonymous since the information contained in each block cannot be associated with any of the parties involved in the operation.

Mining in the Blockchain

As you are commenting above it works by blocks where all operations are packaged and have to be confirmed by mining. Mining is a mechanism with mathematical calculations that confirm all transactions safely. Some users may be miners and receive some remuneration for the work they are doing.

Mining is a mechanism in which a user puts their computer to work to create new blocks and authorize transactions and operations. You would have to run a software that connects to the P2P network of the currency that uses much of the processing power of the miner’s computer, thus obtaining a commission for the service performed.

The Blockchain Today

The appeal is that the transmission of data via the Blockchain is done by cryptography not by real data as SWIFT does. Recall that the latter is the acronym of the Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a company formed by banks mainly on which it relies on trust for carrying out transactions. The Blockchain is based on cryptography that makes it much safer, plus it is more economical.

As every new financial product has certain disadvantages, with the Blockchain there is some controversy as banks are likely to lose an important role in the financial world and that is to be intermediaries. On the other hand, as it is still in its infancy, usability is still reduced due to the number of users who use Bitcoin on a recurring basis. Security is an important issue as it may be exposed to attacks because it is open-source; there are many users who support its operation but at the same time can misuse the system.

The main global banks, of which Santander, BBVA, JP Morgan, ING, BNP Paribas are part of a group called R3 that develops applications with Blockchain technology. This new technology works like the Blockchain but with a private blockchain.

These financial giants want to transform the current banking structure by speeding up payments and stock market operations. We are working from three of the most powerful spotlights such as Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the City.

The largest multinationals are adopting these new technologies; Citigroup is creating Citicoin, a digital currency of its own. Goldman Sachs funded a company that uses bitcoins to manage payments, called Circle Internet Financial. PwC states that around 300 startups are dedicated to improving the blockchain so that it can be used effectively and safely in the financial world. Therefore, its use is likely to spread widely in the coming years.

Startups and the Blockchain

Several startups were acquired by the main banks to develop their presence in the online world. BBVA acquired 29% of Atom to be a leader in online banking. The president of the second Spanish bank said that digitalisation is key today and that anyone who is not able to adapt to the current situation will be left behind.

Santander, in turn, created its own venture capital fund by investing $100 million in two years to catch up with competitors. iZettle will allow Santander to improve payments via mobile and táblet; on the other hand, Ripple that develops solutions for the Blockchain.

Currently, there are companies that are dedicated to developing products using Bitcoin. Blockstream develops Bitcoin for companies that use them. One of the novelties is the fact of performing simple operations in bitcoins that can be done more quickly with an even lower cost. Another startup is OpenBazaar that aims to compete with eBay. A decentralized buying and selling platform with lower costs than eBay currently has. A company that carries out the mining of which we have spoken is BitFury; carrying out the necessary mining for the correct functioning of the blockchain.

Blockchain and DLT

What Exactly is the Blockchain?

All cryptocurrencies operate using blockchain technology or Blockchain (BC). If you are considering a long-term investment in a cryptocurrency, we recommend that you first try to have basic knowledge about the blockchain technology, as well as about the technological platform on which your chosen cryptocurrency works. Even if you’re just poking around in short-term speculation or trade and not long-term investments, it’s an excellent idea to understand the basics of how blockchain technology works.

Blockchain’s technology is an encrypted, decentralized, peer-to-peer database. Its virtue lies in the fact that it is decentralized. For example, let us say that a stock exchange has a single database with all the owners of each share that is exchanged in it, and that is constantly updated. The entire database is stored in a single physical location: a server. What happens if the database is hacked, destroyed, or corrupted by a computer virus or a natural disaster? Of course, the database is likely to be at least backed up at another location, but it remains relatively vulnerable and can be easily manipulated.

Block strings, however, are decentralized databases “peer-to-peer” (Peer-to-Peer or P2P), where content files are divided, encrypt and store differentially on thousands of nodes around the world that communicate with each other to produce a seamless array. This makes fraud or piracy extremely difficult, as changes in transaction and ownership records must be agreed by a majority of all parts (blocks) to be valid. This is why cryptocurrency transactions take some time to process, as any changes to the Ledger or Ledger, which is publicly distributed, must be agreed upon and verified on all sides. This solves the problem of “double spending” which could naturally affect any digital currency. There is not a single central authority or server that can manipulate this.

Blockchain technology is considered a potentially “disruptive” technology, with the power to change the world. It has many potential applications and, if implemented, should replace the power of any central authority with rules that cannot be ignored: there will be a government, but a government where abuse, embezzlement, or bribery cannot be accommodated. There may be “forks” (forks), an issue that we will see a little later. They actually change the rules, but at least they are open and transparent to everyone.

Exciting Cryptocurrencies Why Should I Get Excited About Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies, cryptodivisas, or simply cryptos (and blockchain technology in general) is new and has the potential to significantly change the way the world works economically. Early investors or speculators in new, successful, and disruptive technology can get spectacular returns, but not without risk. For example, $10,000 invested in Microsoft shares in 1986 would have been worth more than $3 million in 25 years. The same amount invested in Apple shares in 1980 would now be worth approximately 4 million. Then, in the medium to long term, even relatively small investments could yield significant sums that could change our lives.

Looking at a shorter time frame, the most important cryptocurrencies fluctuate dramatically in value, as they are subject to an enormous amount of speculative short-term interest. There has been considerable buying and selling by investors during 2017, maintaining high price volatility in cryptocurrency markets. It is statistically likely that, if a financial asset has gone up a lot, it will soon continue to rise or fall by a similar amount due to “clusters” or clusters of volatility. If today’s volatility is high, It’s also very likely to be bigger tomorrow. This means for sure that there is likely to be opportunities to speculate on cryptocurrencies during 2020, either by purchase or by sale.

At the beginning of this section, we have said that cryptocurrency is something new and potentially disturbing. The disturbing potential lies in the fact that cryptocurrency could completely replace national currencies, such as the euro and the dollar, as cornerstones of the global financial system. Central banks and governments have the capacity to devalue, thereby reducing our savings, eliminating their ability to act as a “reserve of value” and forcing us to become speculators until we are old. If cryptocurrency is safe and fully interchangeable, who wouldn’t rather save money on cryptocurrencies?

Politically, cryptodivisa is a libertarian and monetarist dream, so if you like those political philosophies, you’ll surely appreciate what cryptocurrencies can offer. If national governments cannot or do not want to stop cryptocurrencies, it seems likely that the global financial system will change back to something like the gold standard, which would probably eliminate the worst excesses of inflation and manipulation. However, many economists argue that the gold standard caused its own problems of excessive deflation, unnecessarily prolonging economic depressions.

You may have heard of the War on Cash, which refers to the growing shift away from cash to debit and credit cards, which has been promoted by many governments because restricting or replacing cash transactions makes life difficult for criminals and terrorists. Governments must also see another potential advantage: without cash, it will be easy to force negative interest rates on their populations, if they so desire, either openly (as in Switzerland and Japan now) or covertly, through bank charges. As cryptocurrency is truly private, its full acceptance should eliminate the concept of negative interest rates.

By now, you will probably understand why cryptocurrencies are highly controversial and why their widespread adoption as a means of change will face severe opposition from governments (as we see now in China). It is possible that governments try to take control of the dominant cryptocurrencies, or even create their own versions! Governments are likely to say that they need to maintain control over currencies in order to prevent tax evasion and crime, which, realistically, are valid concerns.

The best question remains whether governments will have the ability to stop or block the use of cryptocurrencies within their borders. If they can’t, then this is likely to be a large long-term investment. If the world’s governments can find how to block or restrict the use of cryptocurrencies, in that case, the investment potential, of course, decreases. 

Blockchain and DLT

What is Everipedia (IQ)?

In the internet age, information ought to be free. But this is not what we get in a world of censorship and autocratic regimes. Take Wikipedia, a free information and knowledge site. The site is far from perfect (read writer bias, no quality checker, and other flaws). But still, it provides internet users worldwide with a wealth of information on countless topics. 

The problem, however, is that it’s possible for governments to ban the network and prevent their citizens from accessing it.

What if there was a decentralized Wikipedia of sorts? Well, we already do. Everipedia is “a universe of knowledge” that’s “owned by everyone.” Everipedia is a blend of the words “everything” and “encyclopedia.” Since the site is powered by the blockchain, it cannot be restricted or blocked by anyone. Countries cannot block its content. 

Understanding Everipedia

Everypedia is a blockchain-based version of Wikipedia. It runs on top of the EOS blockchain. On Everipedia, anyone anywhere can share information and knowledge, as long as it’s verifiable, neutral, and backed by a true source. 

Everipedia operates on a 3 module system consisting of a token module, governance module, and submission module. Moreover, Everipedia features PredIQt, a prediction market where users can predict the future outcome of events. 

On Everipedia, users can stake the platform’s native cryptocurrency, IQ tokens, and the right to propose and vote on edits and proposals for the future direction of the network. 

In the next section, we’ll break down the most important components of the Everipedia platform. 


PredIQt is a prediction market protocol that allows users to speculate on future events and also earn from shares on their outcomes. The PredIQt platform features three types of users: 

Participants: these are parties who purchase and trade shares based on the outcome of a variety of events – whether it’s game matches, political elections, natural occurrences, and so on.

Resolvers: parties who review markets by providing the outcomes of events. To become a resolver, network users must stake IQ tokens. Resolvers are rewarded ‘resolution’ fees. 

Creators: parties who create new markets for others to trade on. Creators must first stake IQ tokens as a market creation fee. The fee acts as a check against spam. It ensures creators don’t create frivolous or unresolvable markets. 

Future Products 

The Everipedia platform is planning to unveil several projects in the near future. Let’s look at PrediQt Earn and PredIQt Smart Assets, two key products. 

i) PredIQt Earn

This is a DeFi money lending protocol that enables users to earn interest from staking various tokens. Similarly, users can borrow funds and pay back with interest. 

ii) PredIQt Smart Assets

It is a protocol on which anyone can put IQ tokens as collateral and generate synthetic assets in return. Synthetic assets will be based on IQ tokens and will be denominated as follows: iqUSD,iqBTC, iqETH, iqOIL, etc. Users can then trade, lend, borrow, and even hold onto them for market exposure to earn a tidy profit in the long run. 

#1.Token Module

As the name suggests, the token module deals with all things tokens, from transferring tokens to generating new tokens, to facilitating the staking process, to overseeing the payment of transaction fees, etc. The token module generates new tokens every 30 minutes via an editing and curating process. 

IQ token holders will vote on any proposed edits, and if they go through, the proposing party (editor) is rewarded with IQ tokens. After every 30 minutes, editors are given rewards based on the worth of their contributions.

The new tokens will usually be re-allocated for the future development of the protocol, bounties (whether it’s community giveaways, bug bounties, etc.), and various other use cases. IQ tokens are not rewarded for 30-minute durations when no votes or curating is carried out. 

#2. Governance Module 

This module is responsible for modifying provisions in all three modules. It facilitates the submission of proposed changes to voters (token holders) and then relays those changes to the system after their approval. In this way, the community gets to participate in the running of the network. This ensures Everipedia stays true to the tenet of decentralization. Community members can discuss desired changes off-chain on social media and other forums, while deployments of changes will happen on-chain. 

#3. Article Module

This module is responsible for proposing edits that will go to the database. The edits are tuple objects that contain IPFS hashes – with some pointing to the parent version and others to the new version. Articles are stored in gzip HTML file format. 

The use of HTML allows any developer from anywhere to create articles in a customizable fashion, submit proposals, and analyze data.

Recent TidBits of Everipedia

June 2020: IQ becomes the first EOS token to be listed as a market pair with Binance Coin (BNB) on Binance

May 2020: Everipedia and PredIQt partner with TokenPocket wallet 

April 2020: PredIQt 2.0 goes live

January 2020: Everipedia is awarded the Soonicorn (Soon to be Unicorn) award by Traxcn

January 2020: PredIQt details 2020 roadmap

October 2019: Everipedia partners with Brave, a privacy browser 

Use Cases of IQ Token

  • Staking – for access to edit, vote for, and curate articles
  • Staking – so as to earn from PrediQt-Earn
  • As payment for market-creating fees on PrediQt
  • As a voting mechanism for proposed future upgrades and products
  • As collateral for synthetic assets on the platform

Tokenomics of Everipedia

Are you interested in buying the IQ token? If so, it’s important to see how it’s doing in the market. As of September 1, 2020, IQ traded at $0.002126, with a market cap of $20,083,084 that placed it at #381 in the market. It had a 24-hour volume of $1,208,243, and a total supply of 10,012,931,901. IQ has an all-time high and an all-time low of $0.076530 (July 16, 2018) and $0.000624 (March 13, 2020).  

Buying and Storing IQ

The IQ token is listed on quite a number of popular exchanges. You’ll find it as a market pair with BUSD, USD, USDT, BNB, EOS, BTC, BNT, and ETH at these exchanges Binance, DigiFinex, ATOMARS, DragonEX, MXC, Hoo, CoinTiger, Bancor Network, BigONE, Upbit, OKEx, CoinDCX, and more.

For storage, Everipedia Everipedia recommends the following wallets: Scatter, Greymass wallet, SimplEOS, Token Pockets, HyperPay, More in One, and EOSLynx. 

Closing Thoughts

Everipedia is a bold proposition for freedom of access to information. It’s a decentralized version Wikipedia – meaning anyone anywhere can contribute to the site, and no single person or country can restrict its access. It will be interesting to watch how the project evolves.

Blockchain and DLT

What makes Cardano blockchain unique?

Cardano is a promising smart contracts development platform that is built on a Proof-of-Stake blockchain protocol. The platform was launched in 2017 by its founder, Charles Hoskinson, who is also the co-founder of Ethereum. 

ADA is the native digital currency of the Cardano blockchain used to pay smart contracts developers and other participants on the blockchain network. As such, its value is tied to the participants’ activities on the platform. As more developers build solutions on the platform, the demand and value of the ADA coin increases. Besides acting as an asset, ADA is also used as a medium of transferring and receiving funds instantly at an affordable fee. Since the platform was launched, Cardano’s ADA crypto has seen an increase in the value of up to 1,520%, with a current market cap of over $3 billion. 

What’s Unique about Cardano blockchain 

There are two main attributes of Cardano’s blockchain that sets it apart from the rest of the blockchain networks. First is its academic and mathematical framework, which is committed to maintaining a provably secure blockchain that is less prone to security attacks. 

Building on its academic approach, Cardano blockchain also aims to solve the scalability and interoperability problems facing the blockchain ecosystem. Additionally, the platform seeks to offer financial services without thwarting global regulators, which isn’t the case with other competing blockchain networks. 

Given its ambitious objectives, Cardano describes itself as the third generation blockchain. 

Essentially, this means that the platform is improving on the shortcomings of the previous blockchain generations. Let’s look at each of the two generations for a better understanding: 

i. First blockchain generation

The first blockchain generation started with the conception of Bitcoin. At this time, Proof-of-Work was the only known algorithm that facilitated the mining of new cryptos – in this case, Bitcoin. However, with time the protocol’s underlying issue, scalability, became apparent as Bitcoin transactions increased. This gave birth to the second Bitcoin generation.

ii. Second blockchain generation

The scalability problem resulted in slow Bitcoin transaction speed, which the second blockchain generation managed to solve through the introduction of the Ethereum blockchain that is expected to run on the Proof-of-Stake algorithm. Usually, Bitcoin’s block time takes almost 12 minutes while that of Ethereum takes less than 14 seconds. Moreover, Ethereum managed to prove that blockchain technology can be used for more than just cryptocurrency transactions, as evident from the introduction of smart contracts. 

Despite the success, transactions on Ethereum blockchain are relatively slow compared to those of traditional systems such as Visa. Also, the governance systems of the two blockchains proved to be unstable after both Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptos hard forked. It is at this point where Cardano blockchain comes in. 

iii. Third blockchain generation

As a third blockchain generation, Cardano is built as a comprehensive set of tools that allow for greater scalability and interoperability of existing cryptocurrencies and blockchain concepts. Also, unlike other blockchain networks, Cardano doesn’t attempt to replace global regulators. Instead, the platform has placed much emphasis on accommodating financial regulators to increase the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. Further, the non-profit foundation that maintains Cardano has partnered with researchers to ensure all development concepts on the platform are of the highest quality. 

Cardano’s Architecture 

Cardano’s blockchain architecture is multifaceted to achieve its three main objectives: increased scalability, interoperability, and sustainability. To start with, the blockchain itself is designed as an open-source project written in a security-focused programming language, Haskell. Unlike other coding languages, Haskell is compiled ‘ahead-of-time,’ making it ideal for high-throughput data processing. 

Besides the secure coding language, Cardano’s blockchain runs on a unique Proof-of-Stake protocol known as Ouroboros. This protocol defines the way nodes reach a consensus on the state of the ledger. Additionally, the Ouroboros protocol facilitates the secure transfer of the native ADA coin while also maintaining the safety of smart contracts on the blockchain. 

How the Ouroboros supports mining of new blocks

Similar to a typical Proof-of-Stake algorithm, the Ouroboros rewards token holders who stake their ADA on the network. From this pool of token holders, block miners are randomly selected using a mathematical model that guarantees all holders have a fair chance of mining a block and receiving the associated reward. 

Once a token holder is selected, they are assigned the role of a ‘slot leader.’ With this role, the leader has the power to publish a new block, which is then validated by the rest of the network participants. After validation, the slot leader receives an ADA token as a reward for mining a new block.

Cardano Layered design

As part of its architecture, Cardano’s blockchain network consists of two main layers – the Cardano settlement layer (CSL) and Cardano computational layer (CCL). The (CSL) is the primary layer that manages the staking of ADA cryptocurrency under the Proof-of-Stake algorithm. It also facilitates the transfer of ADA from one wallet to another and enables participants to create their assets. Just the same way, Ethereum blockchain actors can create ERC-20 tokens. 

The CCL, on the other hand, allows users to create rules for evaluating transactions before they pass to the CSL. This gives Cardano the ability to compute and evaluate transaction settlements on different layers, unlike in Ethereum blockchain, where it all happens on the same network. 

Solving inherent Blockchain problems

Having understood Cardano’s architecture, here’s how the integrated design works to solve the three main blockchain challenges; 

1. Scalability

As mentioned earlier, Cardano runs on the Proof-of-Stake algorithm, Ouroboros, which, unlike Proof-of-Work, doesn’t require all nodes to keep a copy of the entire blockchain. This approach enables faster transaction processing while reducing the energy cost needed to publish a new block. Moreover, the Cardano blockchain can split into slots, which are basically sub-blockchains. These slots are known as epochs from which the mining node is given the aforementioned ‘slot leader’ role.  

A single epoch can be partitioned infinitely, meaning that Cardano blockchain is, in theory, infinitely scalable. As such, it is possible to run as many transactions as needed without hitting a snag. 

2. Interoperability

Interoperability, in the blockchain’s context, refers to the ability of different blockchain networks to exchange data. With this in mind, Cardano aims to establish interoperability between blockchains and legacy systems of the financial industry. Think of transferring money from Ethereum ICOs, for instance, to a bank account via SWIFT. 

To achieve an ecosystem of connected networks, Cardano is exploring the concept of side chains. The concept works by linking both off-chain and on-chain networks via a two-way peg. Cardano is also exploring ways for individuals and financial institutions to selectively broadcast transactions metadata in compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies. 

3. Sustainability

Cardano’s sustainability seeks to promote the future development of the blockchain network by ensuring the project is under sound management and has access to sufficient funds. 

While ICOs and patronage are the most common models for raising funds and managing a blockchain project, they pose a risk of centralization. This risk arises when a well-endowed company invests a huge amount of grant to a project and thus has authoritarian control over the development of a project. For this reason, Cardano has adopted a long-term financing model similar to the one created by Dash cryptocurrency. 

In this model, there is an entity known as the Treasury that holds grants. Every time a new block is added to the chain, part of that block’s reward goes to this entity – the Treasury. 

So, when developers want to contribute to the Cardano blockchain’s growth, they’re required to submit their proposal to the Treasury to ask them for grants. The Cardano ecosystem stakeholders will then vote on the viability of the proposal and decide whether to give the developer grants. If approved, the developer will be awarded the grant for development. 

Using this financing model, the control and development of the entire Cardano blockchain is left at the hands of the participants, thereby eliminating bureaucracy. This also goes a long way in preventing forking since changes/development of the network are implemented if only a majority of the voters approve it. 


Cardano can be described as a futuristic project committed to driving mass adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Its academic and research-driven approach to blockchain advancement is indeed a noble and worthy cause to solve the problems hindering blockchain adoption. However, the project’s feasibility remains theoretical; therefore, its success depends largely on the execution of the development plans. 

Blockchain and DLT

Can GDPR and Blockchain Coexist? 

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect more than two years ago. The law gives residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), power over their personal data and how it is used by organizations. This includes the right to ask for its erasure, the mandate for informed consent, and right over whom that information is shared with. The law applies not just to organizations based in (EEA), but also those based in other countries while serving European residents. 

With this in mind, it is clear that there is a direct clash of intentions between the GDPR Law and Blockchain – an emerging technology that is increasingly winning the attention of many organizations across the world. At what point exactly do the two collide, you ask? 

Well, by definition, Blockchain is a distributed and immutable ledger. This means that once the data is recorded on the network, it is impossible to alter it, let alone delete it. But, with respect to the GDPR Law, individuals have the right to revoke consent or ask for their personal data to be deleted. This puts organizations at crossroads, especially if they are looking to use Blockchain in the future to serve European clients. Now let’s examine the incompatibilities of these two entities: 

Personal Data

Personal data is a broad term used to define any information that can be linked to an individual. The same definition is used in the context of GDPR, where data consist of a variety of personal details from email addresses, health details, IP addresses, to device identifiers. This extends even to pseudonymized data that can be attributed to a specific individual by the use of additional information.

In the case of Blockchain, the technology uses anonymized data to record events associated with an individual. This is made possible by the use of public cryptographic keys that link a participant to a particular transaction. Even so, the mere use of an identifier — in this case, cryptographic keys — doesn’t mean that the data on the Blockchain is outside the scope of personal data as defined by the GDPR Law. Moreover, if an organization was to use blockchain solutions to establish customers’ identity under Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies, it becomes even more subject to the GDPR Privacy Law. What causes even more friction between the two entities is that Blockchain is a permanent system of records. As such, the stored data, whether anonymized or not, can’t be erased even if the cryptographic key is destroyed. 

Data Controller and processor dilemma 

The GDP Law was first proposed by the European Commission long before blockchain technology was a trend. It is, therefore, not surprising that the law follows a centralized logic where the focus is entirely on data collectors who also play the role of processors. Articulating this logic in the case of Blockchain — a decentralized technology — definitely, there will be discrepancies. Here’s is why, in a decentralized system, anyone who joins the peer-to-peer network becomes what is called a ‘node.’ 

The nodes keep a local copy of the Blockchain and connect with others on the same network to verify each entry. Simply put, nodes take over the role of a data processor as defined by the GDPR Law. Yet, the nodes don’t have control over how the entire system works. In a similar fashion, the party that designed the blockchain network can’t really fit into the data controller description, since they are merely platform providers. Without a clear definition of who’s playing the controller’s role, the parties can’t enter into a ‘controller-processor’ agreement as mandated by the law. 

Additionally, the data on the network is made public for all nodes to see and verify. This goes against the principle of “data protection by default” under GDPR, which states that data shouldn’t be accessible to an indefinite number of persons without the subject’s intervention. Further, if the data is recorded in a public blockchain, it becomes even harder for data subjects (i.e., individuals) to exercise their right to revoke the consent of their data. 

Compliance with the privacy law can only be maintained in a private blockchain where the network is owned by one specific party. The party assumes the role of a data controller as the nodes take their place as processors. However, a private blockchain is less secure compared to its public counterpart, which, as a result, puts users’ data at risk. 

Storage limitation

Under the principle of storage limit, GDPR law stands for the proposition that personal data cannot be stored for an unlimited time. Therefore, a data retention period must be defined according to the purpose of data processing. In contrast, one of the core characteristics of Blockchain is that once the data is recorded on the network, it cannot be altered or deleted. As such, the data will be stored for an infinite period of time, which is clearly against the GDPR Law.

One of the viable solutions to this problem is to store data in an alternative database. Consequently, Blockchain will then be used to store data that doesn’t necessarily point to an individual e.g., the hash generated from a keyed hash function. Also, organizations can use permissioned Blockchain to store the data and later incentivize all the nodes to ‘delete’ it by forking the network. Admittedly, doing so will break the hash pointers between blocks. However, it is possible to re-harsh the blocks since permissioned blockchains do not need Proof-of-work, and thus the process wouldn’t require much computational power. 

Using Blockchain to ensure compliance with GDPR Law

In an ironic twist, blockchain technology can be used to maintain compliance with the GDPR Law. This can happen in two main instances: 

Data accuracy 

One of the principles of GDPR Law is the emphasis on data accuracy. All organizations operating or serving clients in EEA are required to maintain an accurate record of their clients’ data. They are also required to have sound procedures to check and verify the accuracy of the data. Blockchain technology, with its virtually incorruptible trail, can be used by these organizations to guarantee the accuracy of the recorded data.

Data integrity 

Under the principle of data protection by design and default, organizations are required to protect clients’ data from manipulation or unauthorized access. In this case, Blockchain is the perfect tool for safeguarding data from third-party party intrusion while ensuring no single node alters what is already recorded. 


Clearly, there is a direct clash between the newly imposed GDPR Law and blockchain technology. But on ideological grounds, the two entities share the same goal, which is the protection of data. By virtue of sharing a common ground, Blockchain can be used to enhance compliance with the GDPR data law. This will help organizations within and outside EEA embrace this revolutionary technology while still respecting the privacy of their clients. 

Blockchain and DLT

Top 4 Blockchain Trends to Look Out for in 2020

Blockchain technology has been around for about ten years now. But it was not until 2017 during the crypto-market bull run that this disruptive technology gained attention beyond crypto-space circles and into modern-day businesses. But even as of today, a good number of the general public and organizations have not yet fully understood what blockchain is all about. Those with a rough idea about this technology know it as just an underlying protocol that supports cryptocurrencies.

As much as this idea is true, blockchain has a lot more to offer, as evident from innovators and developers who are constantly pushing its capabilities by designing blockchain solutions for enterprises. In fact, it’s through the efforts of these developers and innovators that new blockchain trends or rather solutions are emerging every other year. 

Nonetheless, the journey to creating efficient blockchain solutions hasn’t been quite a smooth task. For the better part of the journey, it has been all about experimenting and trying to come up with solutions that fit the market. However, judging from last year (2019), it seems that businesses and institutions have had enough of ‘finger-dipping-exercises’ and now want to incorporate blockchain solutions into their processes. This spiked growth and interest in blockchain can be attributed to Facebook announcing that it’s working on a digital currency dubbed Libra. This incentivized organizations to experiment with blockchain solutions, especially after blue-chip companies such as Uber and Visa announced their support for the Libra coin. 

That said, the common sentiments expressed by the crypto-space is that this year, 2020, business and developers will design new and novel solutions giving rise to new blockchain trends. Some of these trends include: 

Use of Blockchain as a service (BaaS) 

The use of blockchain as service (Bass) had already gained traction spearheaded by Microsoft Azure with its partnership with ConsenSys – a reputable blockchain software company. Around April last year, Amazon, through its cloud service, Amazon Web Services (AWS), opened up its blockchain-enabled cloud service to the public – joining the likes of IBM, HP, and Oracle, who offer the same.

Essentially, Baas is designed to enable businesses and developers to create and deploy their own blockchain applications. This eliminates the need for expensive hardware infrastructure as a necessity for developing blockchain solutions. Now, with the tech giants offering a Baas platform, it creates an opportunity for small enterprises to experiment with blockchain and design solutions that fit perfectly into their needs.

Also, with AWS offering its Baas to the public, it’s anticipated that there will be an increase of lone developers designing blockchain applications on the cloud for use by the public as well as enterprises. So, this year the industry can expect several digital products such as novel smart contracts, decentralized apps (dApps), and other systems that don’t necessarily need blockchain-based infrastructure to function. This will lead to the maturation of blockchain technology prompting adoption in all major pillars of the economy. 

Rise of blockchain experts 

The availability of a platform where the public can develop blockchain solutions will incentivize an increase in the number of blockchain developers and investors. This is because Baas removes the infrastructure barrier making it affordable for innovative developers to create solutions.

Additionally, as the developers continue to create more solutions, it creates a demand for experts who are knowledgeable about implementing those solutions into their specific industry. This demand will be more prevalent in the financial industry, especially the accounting niche, where the role of accountants and auditors will be transformed into advisors who will guide institutions in integrating blockchain solutions into everyday operations. 

Indeed, new professionals joining the accounting and auditing sector may be required by their employer to pursue certification showing their expertise in working with blockchain solutions. Those who are already employed may be required to upgrade their skill set to keep up with blockchain’s entry in their respective field of work.

Interoperability of blockchain networks 

Currently, there exist several blockchain networks, including public, private, and consortium blockchains. Each of these networks has its own set of unique benefits that makes it more suitable for one use case than the other. For instance, a private blockchain is more affordable and faster than public blockchain. However, transactions on a private blockchain can be monitored by the custodians of the network, whereas a public blockchain completely eliminates the role of a custodian keeping all transactions secure. 

As the use of these networks accelerates, there will be a need for them to work in harmony to create an ultimate network that combines all advantages under one platform. With this interoperability, there will be efficient data sharing and easier execution of smart contracts across different blockchain networks.

Blockchain regulations will be reviewed 

In 2020, it’s expected that there will be an increase in the use of blockchain. As such, countries with discriminatory restrictions against the use of blockchain and digital assets will be forced to ease the regulations to accommodate the increased usage of blockchain. 

An ideal example is the European Blockchain Observatory Forum that was formed to accelerate blockchain development in Europe. The forum works by bringing European legislators and entrepreneurs together to help position Europe as a leader of this disruptive technology. At the end of last year, the European Commission chose a new partner, INTRASOFT, to head the operations of the forum. INTRASOFT is a leading information technology and communication provider with concrete expertise in blockchain technology. The company will work in collaboration with the University of Nicosia, which has made major strides in researching digital currencies and blockchain systems. Having been established in 2018, the forum has managed to create a vibrant community through workshops and events. As of 2020, the EU Blockchain Observatory Forum has garnered more than 9,000 followers on Twitter. Its community will only get bigger throughout this year as the forum continues to reinvent itself and organize more workshops. 


Although it’s quite hard to accurately anticipate trends that will set the pace for technological advancements, blockchain technology sure does have a promising future not just for the remaining part of 2020 but also for years to come. Ultimately, the technology will live up to its hype, especially given its increasing adoption in various industries.

Blockchain and DLT Crypto Daily Topic

Why Asia Pacific region is on a path to becoming a Blockchain Hub

Every revolutionary technology in the history of mankind goes through four distinct stages before achieving widespread penetration. Looking at blockchain through the lens of technological development, the technology can be said to be at its early adoption stage – more than ten years after its invention. That is to say, blockchain has begun taking root, and it’s set to spread exponentially though it’s still far from full adoption. 

The global blockchain market is expected to grow from $3.0 billion in 2020 to $39.7 billion, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 67.3%, in the next five years. While innovations in and around blockchain have been largely concentrated in the U.S and Europe, the application of the technology is quickly spreading over the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. In fact, the blockchain market in this region alone is predicted to grow to a whopping $16 billion by 2024, which represents an 87% CAGR during the forecast period. As a result, many industry experts believe the region is quickly becoming a blockchain hub that will perhaps take over the global economy sooner than expected. This accelerated growth in blockchain can be attributed to the following factors: 

Favorable regulatory environment 

Governments in the APAC region are generally blockchain-friendly with some, for example, China, explicitly advocating for the use of blockchain technology in driving economic development. Recently, the Beijing government released to the public a blockchain development plan, whose aim is to promote the growth and utilize the technology in government services and across various sectors of the economy. This comes barely a year after Xi Jinping, China’s president, gave a speech saying that the country needs to “seize the opportunities” presented by blockchain, in what appeared to be the first instance in which a significant world leader backs the technology. 

In Thailand, the government is proactively supporting the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain by licensing exchanges and ICOs. Moreover, clear guidelines have stipulated to regulate blockchain companies in the country, which has consequently attracted foreign blockchain businesses. On its part, the government of Thailand, in partnership with a private venture firm, is working on its own central bank digital currency that will be made public as soon as it’s feasibility is ascertained. 

Singapore, the financial hub of Southeast Asia, introduced a regulatory sandbox that allows businesses to experiment with blockchain solutions while safeguarding them from the potential risks and failures of integrating blockchain. The national government of Singapore has also partnered with a consortium of banks and tech companies to explore the use of blockchain for payments with the ultimate goal of digitizing the Singapore dollar. Other governments that have shown interest in blockchain include South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan. With their simultaneous investment into the technology, the APAC governments encourage the use and development of blockchain in private and public sectors, which increases its adoption. 

Large consumer market

Asia Pacific region is widely known for its enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, as evident from the likes of Japan and Singapore. The same can be said about China that is on a race to control the global economy hence its heavy reliance on technology. Moreover, the entire APAC region is largely made of a middle class who are tech-savvy. According to recent data, the middle class in this region has been on the rise and is even much higher compared to Europe, North America, Central, and South America, as well as the Middle East. 

The combination of these factors creates an ideal consumer market that is willing to invest in, or rather experiment with blockchain. As such, in the four stages of the technology life cycle, it can be said that the larger APAC population is primed to be the early adopters of blockchain technology, with the rest of the world expected to fall in the early and late majority adoption stages. 

Additionally, the region’s interest in the wider crypto ecosystem is evident from its firm grip on digital asset trading. Fuelled by the young and the tech curious population, Asia-based exchanges account for about 40% of all trading volume, which is the highest from a single region. Even in mainland China where the government banned domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto traders have resorted to Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore-based exchanges. 

Blockchain Job boom 

A blend of blockchain-friendly laws and a ready market in the APAC region has created a fertile ground for blockchain start-ups and businesses to thrive. As a result, the region has experienced a rapid increase in blockchain-related job openings and an accompanying rise in those seeking blockchain-related positions. More so, as well-established companies looking to improve their operations by leveraging blockchain’s potential, it further increases the demand for blockchain-savvy professionals who will be tasked with integrating this new technology into an organization’s operations. 

Currently, the fact that the demand for skilled blockchain professionals is higher than the supply has delayed the success of several crypto projects in the region. For the few that have succeeded in launching and jumping from the innovation stage, they have been forced to draw talent from a wider professional background to enable the pilot projects to mature into fully-fledged businesses. 

Industry hotspots 

The Asia Pacific region is home to some of the world’s largest industries, thanks to its relatively stable economy. These industries are therefore expected to be among the first to fully integrate blockchain solutions and lead innovations in the same field. For instance, in China, where the economy is highly fragmented, the supply chain industry can leverage blockchain technology to decrease bureaucracy and enhance transparency in addition to maintaining accurate transaction records. 

In the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFS) sector, blockchain can support a wide range of applications from cross-border payments and wallets to digital identification systems. This can especially be helpful to the many individuals across APAC who are working outside their home country and are looking for efficient and affordable means to send money back home. 

As is the case with any part of the world, APAC is also actively experimenting with blockchain solutions for the healthcare industry. Usually, this industry is segmented into clinical data exchange, interoperability, supply chain management, and bills settlement. So far, the supply chain management segment and data exchange are set to benefit first from the integration of blockchain as more solutions are being developed for other segments. 


For quite some time now, the APAC region has been a trendsetter in the digital innovation field. Once more, the region is positioned to play a pioneering role in the imminent age of blockchain, thanks to its vast and especially keen consumer market. Also, endorsements from the national governments and the positive job trends centered around blockchain technology have only catalyzed the adoption of this technology by businesses as well as the general public. With that in mind, if indeed blockchain is on the cusp of widespread adoption, then the Asia Pacific region is on the vanguard. 

Blockchain and DLT

Reinventing ERP Systems with Blockchain

An Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a software used by organizations to manage their operations. From accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, to supply chain operations, ERP systems are indeed the fiber holding all business operations. 

Usually, the software comes as a suite that includes performance analysis, budgeting, planning, and reporting tools to help boost a company’s performance. For industry-specific companies, ERP providers can design customized software to fit the specific needs of that particular company. 

But as business model dynamics keep evolving, the current ERP systems are struggling to maintain their functionality. An immediate solution would be to build new and improved systems to scale up existing ones. Although doable, building new systems will drain an organization’s resources in addition to compromising other key operational areas. Alternatively, amalgamating the current infrastructure with new-generation technologies is not only affordable but also an ideal way of keeping businesses up to date with technological trends. 

In this case, blockchain technology is the most compelling option, given its core record-keeping capabilities. To see the blockchain’s entry point into ERP systems, it helps to understand the inherent problems ailing the latter. 

ERP Systems Limitations 

First, it’s important to note that ERP systems function more like solutions and less like a product. So, it’s not a generic software that can be shopped right off the shelf and used immediately. That said, the systems come with a predefined functionality – meaning you can’t just add any feature when you need at will. This denies companies the flexibility of continually updating their systems to meet the dynamic needs of their business operations. If a business can’t upgrade its systems, it means that it can’t be competitive enough to offer a superior customer experience. 

Now, upgrading ERP systems isn’t entirely impossible. But as is always the case with updating in-house infrastructure, scaling ERP systems translates to extended downtimes in addition to the expensive costs of this undertaking. So, only large and well-endowed companies can afford to upgrade their ERP systems, which give them a competitive advantage over small and medium businesses. It becomes even more expensive when you factor in the regular maintenance costs required to keep the systems functional. 

On top of it all, ERP systems lack interoperability, meaning they can’t work in collaboration with other systems. This can be detrimental to an organization as it disintegrates its operations. For instance, an organization may have isolated systems for its supply chain operations, accounting process, and inventory management. Yet, these two operations need to work in harmony to minimize operational costs that go into maintaining these systems. Also, as they work in isolation, there is less transparency among the involved parties. In a supply chain, this would mean that the manufacturer, the wholesaler, and retailer operate on different software. Each stakeholder will have to trust the other party will maintain integrity. 

Why integrate blockchain into ERP systems? 

The benefits of integrating blockchain into ERP systems are derived from the fundamental properties of the technology; 

1. Strengthening data security and preventing authorized access 

ERP systems hold confidential data – which, if altered, may result in operational inefficiencies. For instance, ERP systems for accounting need to be secured from manipulation for auditing purposes. To safeguard all data entries, there is a need to integrate enterprise blockchain in ERP systems. 

Each record fed into the blockchain network will be validated and secured from third-party intrusion. The network generates digital signatures based on public-key cryptography. Only those who own these keys will access the data on the chain. 

2. Automation of processes 

Blockchain for ERP systems offers an opportunity for the implementation of smart contracts. The supply chain segment of an organization would benefit immensely from the use of smart contracts as it would mean less paperwork and more secure payments. The smart contracts can be programmed to initiate payments once goods are delivered and even track them throughout the shipping trail. Besides managing invoices, smart contracts can be used to verify inter-company, especially those involving a parent company and its subsidiaries. The transactions will be executed by smart contracts within the pre-set terms and conditions, which eliminate the need for third parties to oversee the transactions. 

3. Promote trust and transparency

Traditional ERP systems have failed to create a collaborative space within an organization or even between two related businesses. As such, when working together on a project, integrity is staked on the participants who, in most cases, fail to honor their end of the bargain. With blockchain ERP, integrity is shifted from the participants and placed on a tamper-proof system that makes it impossible for participants to be bad actors. 

In this case, blockchain works by removing the barriers between various ERP systems, bringing them together to form a single functional unit. For an organization, this would mean that different departments can work collaboratively, increasing the overall productivity of the company. Thanks to the newfound transparency, business owners can trust the credibility of the auditing reports. This is because all accounting data is recorded on an immutable network where any changes to the data are made public for all to verify. 

4. Freedom of customization 

As mentioned earlier, the current ERP systems are designed to function in a predetermined manner. For an ERP system to meet the emerging needs of a business, it has to be customized or designed entirely from scratch. Blockchain, on the other hand, is pretty customizable, especially now that there are a good number of platforms that support building decentralized applications. So, it’s easy to design new and improved blockchain solutions that meet the modern needs of a business. 

Integrating blockchain into ERP systems would, therefore, render them customizable as they are powered by dynamic technology. More so, blockchain is still in its maturation stages – meaning that there’s room for newer solutions as the business models change. As such, ERP systems that are powered by blockchain will not only give businesses a competitive edge but also improve their operations to meet customers’ needs. 


ERP systems act as the backbone of any business and must process immense amounts of data transparently to guarantee streamlined operations. As businesses aim at increasing productivity, it becomes necessary to upgrade their ERP systems by pairing them with blockchain technology, which provides data security while enabling frictionless execution of business operations. 

Blockchain and DLT

Is it Game-over for Ethereum as we usher in Radix smart contracts?

Imagine a utopian world without lawyers. A world where two people can enter into an agreement with absolutely no worries that one party may breach it and get away with it. A world run by digital contracts written in computer code. Yes, it is possible, and it is already happening, thanks to the invention of smart contracts.

What is a smart contract?

A smart contract is a piece of technology that may eventually do away with intermediaries. This is because it is a trusted agreement between two people written in computer code. It does not need a third-party to ‘witness’ or even enforce.

The smart contracts you have heard of are probably those that run on Ethereum’s blockchain platform. After all, the platform that was developed especially for developers to write smart contracts on and run on them. While it is not the only decentralized ledger to implement a general-purpose smart contracts feature, it was among the first.

Some experts argue that new decentralized ledger platforms, in particular Radix, have come up with better ways to implement smart contracts. Smart contracts on such platforms offer both the developers and users more than the blockchain platforms have to offer.

History of smart contracts

The idea of a smart contract was first conceptualized by legal scholar and cryptographer Nick Szabo back in 1994. He discovered that a self-executing contract was a possibility if there was a way to implement a decentralized ledger. This idea was way ahead of its time, and the invention of blockchain, the first kind of distributed ledger technology or DLT, is what made its implementation possible. 

A smart contract is an agreement converted into computer code, run and stored on a distributed system, and supervised by a network of computers, also referred to as nodes. Such a contract is ‘smart’ for two main reasons:

☑️It contains ledger feedback that makes it practical for use in transferring funds and receiving products and services.

☑️The contract is trusted by both parties that enter into it. It is therefore executed transparently and without the need for a middleman to oversee it.

The problem with current smart contracts

Smart contracts are one of the most utilized applications of decentralized ledger technology. Bitcoin was the first DLT to support smart contracts. It used them in payment channels, time locks, multisig accounts, and escrows. However, the limitations of the underlying blockchain technology greatly hinder its application.

Ethereum was developed with smart contracts in mind. The developers understood the limitations of the Bitcoin platform and chose to design a new platform that replaces the restrictive Bitcoin’s script with another that is more versatile. This would allow developers to build their own applications that use the platform’s smart contracts capability.

Ethereum’s smart contracts application platform may be the most popular today, but it has glaring weaknesses that it may never be able to overcome. This is because of the limiting factors of the blockchain platform and not the platform design or development. The most notable are:

☑️Blockchain does not scale very well. The concept of a ‘chain of blocks’ is a very powerful one, not only because it guarantees data integrity and necessitates trust between parties in the contract, but also because it has proven to have the capability to disrupt industries.

However, blockchain-based systems are slow and get even more sluggish as the chain grows longer with more blocks of transactions added to the chain.

☑️The consensus protocols used by blockchain systems are at a high risk of centralization.  Blockchains use either Proof-of-Work (PoW) or Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocols which carry certain degrees of different potential dangers.

It would be justifiable to say that even today, no blockchain system is absolutely decentralized.

☑️Blockchain-based smart contracts place a lot of burden on the developer. Creating an app on the Ethereum platform, for instance, involves creating the basic rules for how the app should behave and implementing its security features in the code. Even building a simple token system on Ethereum is still a very complicated affair.

For a technology that is intended for transactional systems, blockchain-based smart contract platforms are very unappealing to developers.

The future of smart contracts

The world has had a taste of the benefits of smart contracts built and run on decentralized systems, and there is no going back. Since blockchain, and its consensus protocols will never allow for global scalability and 100% decentralization, the world will have to adopt something better for smart contracts. The good news is that it is already here!

The ideal decentralized ledger (DLT) would have all the benefits that blockchain has to offer, and without scalability and consensus problems plaguing blockchain. Radix is such a platform. It is highly efficient and fast, but most importantly, it is scalable.

Radix is designed to have two layers: the Radix Ledger, the base platform that implements DLT, and the Radix Engine, which is the application layer on which transactional rules of the DLT are enforced. The Radix Ledger combines a distributed database ledger (which rakes in all the benefits of blockchain) and a one-of-a-kind consensus called Tempo.

Unlike blockchain, Radix leverages the causal relationships of events in the distributed ledger to create an absolute order of events using logical clocks to partially order events and vector clocks. This design ensures that the distributed system is faster and more efficient than any other DLT in existence. It also detects and prevents protocol violations with greater accuracy.

Why is Radix the future of smart contracts?

Bitcoin was a huge success as digital cash for the simple reason that it was modeled after real-world money, and it enforces its contracts the way cash works. The developers of Radix, not wanting to reinvent the wheel, modeled their revolutionary DLT after real-world business assets and transactions to make it easier for developers to work on, but without compromising its two primary features: trust and security.

The Radix smart contract platform makes it easy for a developer to map out business assets on the already-built Radix components. The platform will offer a wide range of easily customizable components that developers can use to define the assets to meet their applications’ transactional requirements.

Since development is greatly simplified on Radix, the developer will get to invest more effort in modeling the behavior of the business processes to be enforced rather than wasting time creating it from scratch using a different language. This is so because Radix Engine Library comes with a ton of models to create almost any common asset transactional system. It also takes a shorter time and less effort even for new developers to learn and create smart contracts on the platform

Blockchain and DLT

What Are The 5 Key Challenges Facing Blockchain Today?

Blockchain is one of the most disruptive technologies of the last decade, from powering cryptocurrencies to dizzying heights of success to industry after industry racing to incorporate it into their processes.

It would be ideal if blockchain was a problem-free technology providing problem-free solutions. But this is not the case.

These are the core five issues that are the bane of blockchain’s current existence: unsatisfactory privacy and security; and regulatory, legal, and ethical issues.

1. Security Issues

One of the defining features of public blockchains is their decentralization. This means that they are not controlled, nor can they be shut down by anyone. Decentralization helps keep the blockchain secure since thousands of computers from the globe are participating in maintaining and securing the network. Even if someone managed to shut down some of the computers, the rest would carry on operating the network.

Bitcoin decentralization_Forex Academy

But it is still this decentralization that’s potentially an Achilles heel for the blockchain. While it’s safer than a centralized network, which has a single point of control – and hence a single point of attack, the decentralized model is not perfectly secure. A public blockchain is vulnerable to a 51% attack.

A 51% attack describes an occasion when an entity or a group of people manages to take control of over 50% of a blockchain’s computing power. This would allow them to tilt the blockchain’s operations in their favor. For instance, they could double-spend coins, block transactions, or stop miners.

Smaller blockchains, in particular, are more susceptible to attacks. This is because they have fewer miners securing the blockchain, making it easier for an entity to take control of a bigger percentage of the network’s computing power. For instance, for the IOTA blockchain, a bad actor would only need to take control of 34% of the total network’s hash power.

Luckily, such an attack is extremely rare and unlikely. It is prohibitively expensive for someone to attempt to take control of over 51% of a blockchain network. The sheer financial and time resources needed to pull it off are enough to make one perish the thought.

2. Privacy Issues 

Transparency is another defining feature of public blockchains. The history of transactions is available for everyone to see. While your personal credentials are not made public (or even required for you to conduct a transaction), your public address can be used to link back to you. This state is known as pseudonymity.

In an era of ubiquitous internet when privacy is highly valued, pseudonymous transactions do not exactly fly with many users. To address this problem, several privacy-oriented blockchains have sprung up to fill the gap. Examples include Monero, ZCash, Komodo, and DASH.

3. Legal Issues

While blockchain technology has increased in popularity and is being embraced across industries, its legal standing is still very much grey. Some of the legal issues are as follows:

  • Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs): these are organizations that are much like traditional organizations in terms of function, except they are governed by computer code, and commands are executed by computers without the intervention of humans or central authorities. But let’s say, for example, in the event of a conflict, how will it be resolved? Who bears responsibility?
  • Smart contracts: Blockchain-based smart contracts are a new kind of contract that is self-verifying and self-executing. This removes the need for costly intermediaries and saves time. Given that smart contracts are pure lines of code, it’s debatable whether they can really be considered as complete contracts, at least in the traditional sense. It’s all well and good if all parties meet their end of the bargain. But in the event of a dispute, would a smart contract be legitimate in the eyes of the law? At the very least, ensure that you have a conflict resolution procedure encoded in the smart contract.
  • Leaving a blockchain: Let’s imagine you’ve been using a blockchain to record sensitive data such as your company’s financial records or employee data. What happens if you stop using the service, and you do not possess copies of the ledger? Before you sign up for a blockchain service, ensure there are provisions in place to ensure that a blockchain service provider surrenders your records back to you at the end of the contract.

4. Regulatory issues

Cryptocurrencies were the first application of blockchain. They are defined by features such as decentralization, distributed, and immutability. This decentralized feature does not particularly fly with the majority of governments and regulators all over the world. This creates a state of regulatory uncertainty.

Bitcoin Regulation | Forex Academy

Governments have taken different approaches to this. Some governments such as Bolivia, Colombia, Iran, Algeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Ecuador have entirely banned cryptocurrencies. Other countries, such as the United States, the UK, Canada, Slovenia, and South Africa, have accepted them. Acceptance can mean anything from cryptocurrencies being accepted as means of payment but not as legal tender, to them actually being used as legal tender – like is the case in the Marshall Islands.

Too strict regulation can stifle innovation. On the other hand, a total lack of regulation could create undesirable circumstances such as market manipulation and unlawful use.

5. Ethical Issues 

Blockchain gives rise to some ethical issues, with the most problematic ones being 1) its environmental impact and 2) criminals taking advantage of it.

Blockchain networks utilize cryptography to maintain security and process transactions. The amount of power that goes into this is jaw-droppingly enormous.

Check out the statistics:

  • If bitcoin was a country, it would be the 41st highest electricity-consuming country in the world.
  • Every year bitcoin produces 34.76 megatonnes of carbon dioxide, similar to that of Denmark.
  • Just one bitcoin transaction consumes more energy than 100, 000 Visa transactions, and as much as a US household consumes in 22 days.
  • The estimated global mining costs for Bitcoin is $1.5 billion.
  • Bitcoin mining uses more power than 12 states (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming).

In an era when environmental concerns are more relevant than ever, the staggering use of energy is alarming. For this reason, crypto developers need to come up with more environmentally friendly ways of releasing new coins and processing transactions.

Then there is the issue of blockchain enabling criminal activities such as drug peddling, child trafficking, sex trafficking, tax evasion, money laundering, and so on. Cybercriminals take advantage of the pseudonymous and anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies to engage in such activities. Even cyber attackers want to be paid in cryptocurrency and not other types of money.

Final Words

Blockchain is a powerful technology that has revolutionized certain facets of our society. However, at this stage, the world has to contend with its less-than-perfect implications. While some of the issues require a shift in attitude, others are inherently blockchain’s own. Whether any of these is set to change in the future is anyone’s guess.

Blockchain and DLT

Ethereum Virtual Machine: Everything you’ll ever need to know

Many people acquainting themselves with the Ethereum ecosystem tend to overlook the Ethereum Virtual Machine, yet it provides really interesting tidbits into how the Ethereum ecosystem works.

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is the core innovation of Ethereum. It is a Turing complete software that enables anyone to run any program, provided they have enough memory space. The EVM helps developers build blockchain applications faster, more easily, and more efficiently. It provides the platform for creating countless blockchain applications in one single place, instead of having to create a new blockchain for every new application.

The EVM also prevents denial of service attacks – which are attacks targeted at making a network unavailable to users. It also ensures programs running on the blockchain do not have access to each other’s state, thus eliminating any potential interference.

Turing Complete

EVM is a quasi-Turing complete software. Turing complete is named after Alan Turing, the innovator of the Turing machine. A Turing complete machine can solve any problem fed into it, as long as there are enough time and memory space.

EVM is quasi-Turing complete because its computations are bound by gas – which in effect limits the number of calculations that it can solve.

Gas and EVM Bytecode

On Ethereum, transactions are powered by ‘gas,’ which in essence is the fee that users pay. The concept of gas can be seen in two ways: gas and gas price. 

Gas is the measuring tool of how much fee is needed for a particular transaction, while gas price is how much Ether you’re willing to spend to purchase a unit of gas. Gas price is measured in ‘Wei.’

Wei is the smallest unit of Ether – with one Ether comprising 10^18 Wei.  

If an individual wishes to conduct a transaction on Ethereum, they must set the gas limit and gas price attached to that transaction. If they don’t possess the required gas for that transaction, it will ‘run out of gas’ and hence be invalid. 

Gas can limit the number of transactions on the EVM, in this way:

  • Blocks on the Ethereum blockchain have a gas limit, meaning the gas spend on any transaction cannot exceed a particular amount
  • The gas is attached to the gas price, even if the gas limit was removed, it would be impractical to solve just any problem fed into it. 

EVM has its own programming language called the ‘EVM bytecode.’ When a code is written in a higher-concept programming language like Ethereum’s own Solidity, it is compiled in the bytecode so that EVM can interpret it. 

Transaction-based State Machine 

The EVM is a crucial part of the Ethereum infrastructure since it handles internal state and computations, account information pertaining to addresses, balances, gas price, and so on. The EVM must always keep track of the numerous network components so it can support transactions. 

A state machine is a term in computer science that refers to a machine that can read inputs fed into it and then, upon interpreting those inputs, produce certain outputs. This is how transactions on the EVM are carried out. At the start, there is a blank slate. When transactions are occurring, any point in that duration describes the current state of Ethereum. For a state transaction to occur, the ‘inputs’ entered must be valid. A transaction is validated once it successfully goes through the mining process. 

This mining process is referred to as proof-of-work (PoW) and takes place when certain network participants expend computing power so as to verify a block of transactions and add those transactions on the blockchain. Successfully completing a block gets a miner rewarded with Ether – the native token of the Ethereum blockchain. 

Now, onto the components that the EVM must continually keep track of: the Account State, World State, Storage State, Block Information, and Runtime Environment Information. 

Account State

The Ethereum platform comprises many small accounts that can interact with each other, thanks to its message-passing infrastructure. These accounts can be divided into two types: externally owned accounts and contract accounts. Externally owned accounts are controlled by their owners via private keys, while contract accounts are controlled by the contract code.

An externally owned account can send messages to other externally owned accounts and also contract accounts via the use of a private key. Communication between these types of accounts can be considered as just value transfer.

However, passing between an externally owned account and a contract account triggers the execution of the contract account code. This causes the contract account to execute the instructions in the code, for example, transferring or creating new tokens.

Unlike externally owned accounts, contract accounts cannot initiate new transactions by themselves. 

Instead, they are reactive – meaning they can only engage in transactions in response to other transactions that have been passed to them either from externally owned accounts or other contract accounts.

Three elements characterize the account state, and these are as below:

Nonce – For externally owned accounts, this is the value of how many transactions were sent from the account’s address. For contract accounts, this is how many contracts were created by the account.

Balance – This is how many Weis are owned by the account address

CodeHash – This is the immutable hash value of the EVM code for the corresponding account.

World State

This is a ‘global’ state that comprises a mapping between 160-bit address identifiers and the account state. The mapping is maintained in a data framework called the Merkle Patricia Tree – which in turn consists of nodes with:

  • Numerous leaf nodes at the bottom of the tree that houses the underlying data
  • A set of intermediate nodes with each node consisting of two child nodes
  • A single root hash born from the hash of the previous child nodes, representing the top of the tree structure

Storage State

The storage state is state information for specific accounts. This information is maintained on the EVM at runtime.

Block Information

These are state values that enable transactions to take place, and they comprise: 

  • Block hash – which is the hash of the youngest validated block
  • Coinbase – the recipient’s address
  • Timestamp – the current block’s timestamp
  • Number – the number or position of the current block
  • Difficulty – the difficulty value of the current block 
  • Gas limit – the maximum gas that can be spent on the current block 

Runtime Environment Information

This is information that allows for transactions to be executed. It includes the following: 

  • Gas Price – Current gas attached to a transaction 
  • Codesize – The size of transactions’ source code 
  • Caller – The address of the account that is conducting the transaction
  • Origin – The address of the transaction’s initiator   

Outside the Network

The EVM is situated outside the main Ethereum network, making it a perfect testing environment. Individuals and companies that wish to create smart contracts can do so on the platform, and this will not any way affect normal blockchain operations. They can also use the platform to hone their smart contract creation skills so they can eventually create more robust and applicable smart contracts.

Closing Thoughts

Smart contracts are central to a decentralized world – and the EVM is an excellent platform for developers to curate smart contracts that will make the world a better place. Being a free and highly developed tool for this process, we can’t think of a better platform where people can perfect – and ultimately showcase their coding smarts.


Blockchain and DLT

Enterprise Blockchains: Everything you will ever need to know

A quick search on the internet about the most popular technologies will almost inevitably yield blockchain as one. Brought into existence by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, blockchain was once dismissed as a fleeting fad, but now it’s one of the most talked-about and valued technologies. So much that industry after industry is exploring to see how it can help them accomplish tasks in faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more accurate fashions. 

In this article, we’ll be looking at the application of blockchain in enterprises, types of blockchain, and which ones are suitable for enterprises, challenges facing full-scale adoption of enterprise blockchain, and more, but first, what is enterprise blockchain?

What is Enterprise Blockchain?

Enterprise blockchain is a blockchain system that can be used to drive or support enterprise-level processes.

Blockchain will soon positively disrupt the enterprise sector thanks to its revolutionary qualities of immutability, transparency, and decentralization.

Different Types of Blockchains for Blockchain Enterprises

Let’s take a look at the blockchain options available for enterprise blockchains today, namely public and private blockchains.  

We’ll look at their similarities as well as what sets them apart, and why one type is more suitable than the other for enterprise-level use.


  • They offer a decentralized, peer-to-peer platform
  • Each network participant has a copy of the blockchain
  • They both guarantee immutability – or inalterability of records  

Public Blockchains

When you think of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, etc. you’re thinking of public blockchains. Public blockchains are open ecosystems in which anyone and everyone can participate. But public chains are impractical for enterprise use. This is because:

  • Block sizes found in these chains are simply inadequate to store the massive data handled in enterprises
  • There are scalability and throughput issues. For example, Bitcoin can process just seven transactions per second. Its confirmation time for blocks is 10 minutes – which is an unacceptable latency for the millions of transactions that enterprises need to put out.
  • They require massive amounts of computational energy – rendering them unsuitable for long-term and massive scale use
  • Their openness, while good for transparency, is also a problem because it compromises on privacy

Private Blockchains

Private blockchains, also called permissioned blockchains are just that – private. Unlike public chains, access to a private blockchain requires authorization. Access could be given through either:

  • Being an existing participant
  • Being given access by an authorized person
  • Being part of a consortium

Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric is a good example of a permissioned blockchain network. This blockchain is designed specifically for enterprise applications. 

Required Features of Enterprise-level Blockchains

i) High Performance

For blockchains to be able to be adopted for enterprise use, they need to demonstrate strong and fast performances. This means:

  • The ability to compartmentalize tasks
  • The ability to effect asynchronous communication between elements
  • Faster consensus protocols
  • The ability to carry out varied computations simultaneously
  • Ability to self-execute

ii) High Resilience

High resilience means blockchains must have the ability to bounce back fast from downtimes and failure. It also means that the blockchains must be able to avoid these instances in the first place.

iii) Privacy and Security

Privacy is non-negotiable when it comes to enterprise blockchains. This means they must be able to support secure communications and storage as well as the integrity of a company’s data and profile.

Examples of Enterprise Blockchains in Use

Some companies have already jumped on the enterprise blockchain bandwagon.

Let’s look at examples in various categories:

Finance: Santander, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Canada, Goldman Sachs, and First Bank of America are just a few of the hundreds of banks that are deploying blockchain technology. Such banks are either involved with the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, Hyperledger, or the R3 Corda project.

Payments: American Express and Visa are examples of payment companies that are using blockchain to implement various payment procedures.

Automobiles: Volkswagen, Renault, and Lamborghini are examples of vehicle companies that are employing blockchain tech to enhance accuracy, better telematics and mileage tracking, and so on.

Aviation: Airbus, Lufthansa, and Air France are exploring blockchain for purposes such as jet plane part tracking, registration of components, record-keeping of maintenance schedules, flight conditions, and so on.

Features of Blockchain Technology

In this section, we are going to look at the features of blockchain that businesses would want to exploit.


Decentralization means having a peer-to-peer distributed network. This structure has no central authority; neither is it subject to the idealistic whims of one particular person or entity. On the other hand, a centralized system has a single point of failure. This makes it vulnerable to hacking, downtimes, and other vulnerabilities. It is also subject to censorship from authorities.


This means once information is stored on the blockchain, it is inalterable. This reduces the chances of corruption, fraud, and meddling. 


Blockchain puts up everything for everyone in the network to see. A great example is a transparency in the food industry. Blockchain can help track food from farm to table. This not only boosts consumer confidence but also saves money for suppliers and farmers since when a certain batch of food is infected, it’s easy to trace the exact source of that food.

☑️Blockchain is Cheaper

This point can be best illustrated by banks – which use millions of dollars to conduct Know Your Customer and Customer Due Diligence procedures. With blockchain, customers would simply need to upload their credentials on the site, and banks would access it from there, as opposed to investing in staff and machines to do so – a costly process in terms of time and money.

☑️Blockchain is Faster

To illustrate this, consider the case for SAP collaborating with ATB Financial and Ripple to send a blockchain payment from Alberta, Canada, to Reisebank in Germany. The €667 transaction took 10 seconds – and this would have taken 2 to 6 business days in a traditional payment channel. Ten seconds compared to 2-6 business days is worth paying attention to. 

Implementation Challenges

While blockchain is a revolutionary idea for enterprises, it can be harder implementing it than you imagine. Let’s look at the challenges impeding wide-scale adoption of blockchain in the business world:

Lack of interoperability: If we’re to have blockchains supporting enterprise processes in every sector of our lives, we need blockchains to be interoperable – that means having the ability to interact with each other and having the knowledge of what’s going on in the other chains. That would facilitate more streamlined processes.

Legacy Networks: Let’s be realistic; the current systems run on legacy; that is, legacy networks that are supported by old technology. Changing this infrastructure from the ground up would require a massive investment of time and money – which is not exactly a priority for many businesses.

Skillset: Blockchain is not the easiest skill to master. If you’re to integrate blockchain solutions in your company, you would need to hire people with blockchain skills. It can be not only daunting looking for one but also prohibitively expensive.

Final Thoughts

Enterprise blockchains could help businesses streamline processes and, in the process, realize more profits and build confidence in customers. Multiple companies from a diverse range of platforms have already onboarded the technology, while others are in the exploration stage. Given the positive transformation that blockchain is capable of ushering in, the technology has yet to see its best days in terms of adoption and even wider recognition, its current obstacles notwithstanding.

Blockchain and DLT

Introducing Cosmos, the Internet of Blockchains

When Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin to the world, he likely did not see the extent to which the technology would be adopted in the coming years. The Ethereum blockchain entered a few years later and demonstrated to everyone that blockchain is a versatile technology. Right now, these are the two most dominant blockchains in terms of market cap and public awareness. But they are also the foster children for the shortcomings of blockchain tech.

Every week we hear of another blockchain project that’s going to be better than Bitcoin and Ethereum. Some projects have gone on to be a roaring success in this regard – while others fall by the wayside.

Cosmos is one of the latest projects to make bold claims about being able to fix two of the biggest blockchain flaws: lack of interoperability and scalability. This article is going to lay bare every relevant thing you need to know about Cosmos: how it works, its core components, and its potential use cases. But first, let’s get a brief understanding of the scalability and interoperability problem.

The Scalability and Interoperability Problem of the Blockchain

The existing blockchain model is, to say the least, flawed. Consider, for instance, Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have transactions per second speeds of 7 and 15, respectively. Compare that with Visa, which processes around 1,700 transactions per second. This speaks to the scalability problem of these blockchains. 

To address this problem, several proposals have been advanced, including SegWit and the Lightning Network. And while these offer ingenious solutions, they have their weaknesses that render them useful only for a limited period of time. Segwit, for example, will eventually lead to massive consumption of resources as everything, including transactions and bandwidth, increases. For its part, the Lightning Network can currently only handle microtransactions.

The other issue with the blockchain is the lack of interoperability. Today, cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, etc. have no way of interacting with others. This makes each blockchain a ‘silo’ that cannot share information with the other. The lack of interoperability also means banks have no way to interact with blockchains – a fact that has given rise to crypto exchanges.

But again, that right there is another problem. Exchanges are centralized – which does not just contravene the principles of cryptocurrencies but also renders them susceptible to hacking and other malicious attacks. Also, they’re prone to downtimes during spikes in demand and blackouts when the system is undergoing upgrades.

What is Cosmos?

Cosmos is a blockchain project with the ambition to be the “internet of blockchains.” The Cosmos architecture comprises multiple parallel blockchains called ‘Zones’ connected to a central blockchain referred to as ‘Hub.’

Zones can exchange value i.e., tokens with each other and generally interact with each other without impinging in each other’s sovereignty.

Who’s Behind Cosmos?

Cosmos is the idea of the Interchain Foundation (ICF), a foundation that funds and collaborates with projects in research, engineering, social good, and community. ICF has contracted the Tendermint team to work on Cosmos.

Tendermint is the team behind the Tendermint consensus algorithm.

The Tendermint team comprises three chief players: Jae Kwon, Ethan Buchman, and Peng Zhong. Kwon is the co-founder of “I done this,” a productivity app for work teams. He has also made contributions to projects like, Flywheel networks, and Yelp. Buchman has 2+ years of experience in science research and blockchain. Zhong is the founder of Nylira, a web development firm.

How the Cosmos Blockchain Works

Tendermint is the basis of the Cosmos infrastructure.

It is a customizable platform on which to build blockchain applications. First, you need to know any blockchain protocol has the three main layers: network, consensus, and the application layer. Tendermint prepackages the first two layers so that developers can fully concentrate on applications by saving a ton of time on complex code. Tendermint has the following benefits:

  • It can handle 10,000 transactions per second
  • It is a simple light client, making it suitable for mobile and IoT
  • It has fork-accountability which helps prevent attacks such as attempts at double-spending

What is IBC and Hubs and Zones?

IBC (Inter-Blockchain Communications protocol) is another important player in the Cosmos ecosystem. IBC is a software that connects the ‘zones’ and ‘hubs’ in the network to allow the exchange of coins among various chains.

In Cosmos speak, varying chains are referred to as heterogeneous chains. This is because each chain is sovereign and features its own architecture.

Now let’s get into hubs and zones.

The Cosmos architecture follows what’s called a Hubs and Zones model. The Hub is a central blockchain on which multiple independent blockchains, called Zones, are connected. The Zones can communicate with each other via the Hub by utilizing IBC.

Now obviously, the Hub occupies a very important role in the Cosmos ecosystem, and for this reason, it’s very important that it’s highly secured. This is achieved by having a globally distributed and decentralized cluster of validators. This cushions it against would-be attacks such as censorships or attempts at splitting the network.

The Atom Token

 Atom is the native token for the Cosmos network. It is neither a store of value nor a medium of exchange, but rather for staking coins. To become a validator for the Zones, participants must stake a certain number of coins. Upon validation of blocks, validators earn Atom block rewards and a fraction of transaction fees.

As of March 5, 2020, the following were the tokenomics for the Atom token. Atom traded at $3.85 with a market capitalization of 735m. It ranked at #23 in the market, with a 24-hour volume of $150, 596,824, a circulating supply of 190, 688, 439, and a total supply of 237, 928, 231. Its all-time high was $.8.31 on March 16, 2019, while its all-time low was $1.91 on September 5, 2019.

Governance of the Blockchain Ecosystem

The Cosmos blockchain has a strict governance model and rightfully so – given its crucial role. Validators are tasked with preserving the well-being of the system and approving changes to the protocol via a vote. For this to happen, the following conditions must be met:

  • Validators commit a certain value of tokens – either Atom or any other
  • If validators fail to vote for a proposal within a given timeframe, they receive the punishment of temporary suspension

For proposals, validators may answer with either of the following:

  • Yea
  • YeaWithForce
  • Nay
  • NayWithForce
  • Abstain

Based on the result, the following scenarios may emerge:

  • If a strict majority votes Yea or YeaWithForce, the proposal is passed
  • If a strict majority votes Nay of NayWithForce, the proposal is dropped
  • More than a third of validators can, however, veto a majority decision “with force.”
  • When a strict majority decision is vetoed, everyone involved is punished by losing a day’s worth of block fees

Some Use Cases for Cosmos Blockchain

The Cosmos blockchain could potentially improve the blockchain space in these interesting ways:

  • Decentralized exchanges: Since Cosmos excels at connecting multiple chains, it can obviously link many other ecosystems together. This includes decentralized (authorization-less, peer-to-peer) exchanges.
  • Cross-chain transactions: Perhaps the most obvious use case, chains in the Cosmos network can easily avail services of each other through the Hub
  • Ethereum Scaling: Any Ethereum-based chain connected to the Hub will also be supported by the Tendermint system, allowing it to scale faster

Final Thoughts

Cosmos’ selling point is impressive, but it’s not the only blockchain proposal promising to be the panacea of blockchain problems. However, its integration of the Tendermint core is certainly a highlight and will be critical to improving the scaling and interoperability of blockchain. Cosmos’ success hinges heavily on its adoption by a big number of blockchains – especially the big names. Can Cosmos pull this off, is it worth the fanfare? We can only watch.

Blockchain and DLT

Why One Bitcoin Analyst’s Prediction Went Viral 

2020 promises to be an exciting year for the crypto community, a year when most cryptocurrencies and their backers make major moves and further their undying quest to establish dominance and woo in more users. And we aren’t just talking about Facebook’s Libra – though we expect its eventual entry into the blockchain and cryptocurrency world to rattle the markets. We are talking about the near-silent moves that the popular cryptocurrencies have been involved in and some of which will materialize early in the year.

From Bitcoin to Ethereum to Ripple, we expect each of these major coins to embrace significant structural or operational changes in the coming months. And in this article, we will be detailing these changes and their significance to the coin itself and the crypto community.

We start by looking at Bitcoin halving and why one man’s prediction of its price after the halving has gone viral.

Bitcoin halving

In May 2020 – that’s less than four and a half months away – Bitcoin will undergo its third halving process. This basically means that the amount of the Bitcoin cryptocurrencies being rewarded to miners for contributing to the blockchain will be slashed in half. Why is this significant, you might ask? Because it not only has a direct impact on the price of the most popular and most valuable cryptocurrency but also impacts bitcoin transaction costs. To understand the impact that this year’s halving will have on the price of the lead crypto, however, we look back at its last two halving processes.

Bitcoin halving takes place every four years, and the first took place in 2012, with the most recent coming in 2016. In its premier stage, Bitcoin miners received 50 BTC for every block contributed to the blockchain. Granted, the November 2012 halving didn’t have much impact on the price of Bitcoin that was going for $11 at the time. After the July 2016 halving, however, the coin price would sway between $580 and $700. 

Interestingly, the most significant Bitcoin price movements for the two halving stages would manifest within the 18 months following the process. After the 2012 halving, for instance, Bitcoin price rallied to hit $1100 by the end of 2013. And following the 2016 halving, the pioneer digital currency soared to its highest ever price yet of over $20,000 by Jan 2018.

In an ideal market structure, you would expect the halving to inspire significant value rise rallies that would possibly take it through to the next four years.

Nothing ideal about Bitcoin market

But there is nothing ideal about the bitcoin pricing and the larger crypto market. These markets and the digital currencies traded therein have time and again defied the conventional economy laws. And this is evidenced by their huge and persistent volatilities. These plus the relatively slow response to the halving process has become a major cause of division on different bitcoin and crypto analyst’s predictions of the coin’s price after halving. While most believe that it will ultimately go up – albeit sluggishly – a significant portion of these is adamant that the Bitcoins price increase has nothing to do with halving.

The Canfield hypothesis

Jacob Canfield is a long-time crypto analyst and his end of the year commentary about the Bitcoin’s price trajectory going into 2020 has gone viral. And with regards to the expected halving, Canfield believes that it will have significant impacts on the price of Bitcoin. But it’s his opinion on why most people don’t associate the bitcoin value rise with the halving that caught the attention of the crypto community. In a tweet sent out three days to the New Year, Jacob Canfield argued that:

“The halving is priced in so much that it’s actually not priced in and no one is buying bitcoin except the smart money who knows it’s not priced in who has convinced everyone else it is priced in so when the halving occurs and price is skyrocketing no one will be holding bitcoin.”

These sentiments – that have been regarded by some quarters as an extremely meta prediction of Bitcoin – were nonetheless echoed and interpreted by Willy Woo – an Adaptive Capital analyst. Who mentioned that:

“Translation: While the public believe in efficient market theory and that markets perfectly price in all available information. Market traders know the price chart is a war of strategy and fuckery designed to make the most money for the best players.”

Woo reckons how naive it would be for any crypto enthusiast to imagine that market prices are always a reflection of the available market data.

Any crypto analyst worth their salt will also tell you that in the periods leading to both bitcoin halving processes, the coin witnessed declining prices. Canfield was quick to observe this and put it down in a tweet expressing his confidence in Bitcoin’s price dip before the end of January. He argues that he is:

“Longing $6700-6800 in January will be a good deal. I was hoping for $5500, but not sure we get there. Not sure we see much lower for a while after that. Will revise if the context of the market changes, but that’s what I’m seeing so far.”

Ethereum and its new hard fork

On 2nd January, Ethereum completed the Muir Glacier hard fork upgrade.

What you probably do not know is that this is the second major upgrade to the blockchain in a month after a similar upgrade – the Istanbul Upgrade – in late November. The upgrade effectively holds back the kicking in of the “difficulty bomb,” also referred to as “ice age,” that will mark a transition to Ethereum 2.0. It was effected after the mining of block 9,000,000 and is expected to hold back Ethereum’s transition to a Proof-of-Stake model by about 4,000,000 blocks – or more than 600 days.

The difficulty bomb mode algorithm was embedded onto the Ethereum blockchain network in 2015 with the aim of increasing hashing difficulty and push the network towards a PoS concept. The proof of stake model adopted by Ethereum 2.0 will, however, be dissimilar to that of Bitcoin blockchain in one primary way. While bitcoin blockchain reduces the reward to miners, Ethreum’s difficulty bomb increases the time it takes to mine a block by between 10 and 20 seconds.

However, both approaches have similar side effects as they contribute to high transaction costs and demotivate miners. By delaying the difficulty bomb and the transition to the proof of stake, Ethereum will be looking for different ways of continually incentivizing their miners to ensure that they remain within the platform during and after the switch.

Ripple and XRP at the ATM

Following in the footsteps of Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple would also start the year with an ATM partnership that will see General Bytes dispense XRP tokens.

General Bytes is a Crypto ATM Company with a network of over 3000 machines across the United States. The XRP partnership means that virtually anyone using their machines now has the option of loading and withdrawing ripple coins from their ATMs. The company, however, mentions that this is not a default feature with their ATMs, but it is up to the ATM operator’s discretion to chose whether to enable the XRP feature or not.

While making this Ripple news public, General Bytes stated that:

“Owners can now enable XRP as it is backported to all machines sold to date. Of course, an ATM operator needs to enable it as they are the ones who own the machines, wallets, etc.”

The move confirms Ripple’s continued chase for dominance within the retail crypto space. It should particularly be noted that this isn’t the first time the blockchain developers are partnering with crypto ATM companies. In the months leading to the end of the year 2019, for instance, Xpring – Ripple’s fundraising and crypto development arm – invested over $1.5 million in CoinMe, a Seattle-based Crypto ATM company.


Blockchain and DLT

Distributed Ledgers – The Technology That Could Revolutionize Industries 

If you’re regularly tuned to cryptocurrency subject, no doubt you’ve heard the term ‘distributed ledger’ or DLT, thrown around once or twice. You’ve probably also heard some people use the phrase to refer to blockchain – the technology underlying everyone’s most familiar cryptocurrency. But does a distributed ledger and blockchain mean the same? And what is this distributed ledger thingy anyway?

In this guide, we dive full form into the world of DLTS: some of their popular examples, how they can be integrated into real life, and that burning question – whether they are the same thing with blockchain. But first, a little background is in order. 

What Are “Distributed Ledgers”? 

A distributed ledger is simply a database that is shared and replicated across multiple locations or institutions and among multiple participants. No central authority or third party is involved. Every entry in a distributed ledger is immutable – that is, it cannot be changed, and every participant in the network has an identical copy of it. 

We can think of a distributed ledger in terms of its opposite – a centralized ledger. A centralized ledger has one point of control and has a single point of failure. On the contrary, it’s hard to attack a distributed ledger because all the distributed copies would have to be attacked simultaneously for the attack to be successful. 

Ledgers have existed for centuries. People in the early days would record transactions on clay or papyrus. Over time, these were replaced by paper, and then computers, and now we’re entering into the realm of distributed ledger technology. 

In the past, the word ledger referred to financial records. Distributed ledgers are used to refer to the database, without any specific inference for the contents. Nowadays, the uses cases of distributed ledgers are numerous and varied. 

How Do Distributed Ledgers Work?

Distributed ledgers function via nodes – which, in simple terms, are connection points within the network that can receive, store, share, or synchronize data. The connection points allow users within the network to be linked to each other – facilitating peer-to-peer, decentralized transactions between individuals on the network. 

All updates to the ledger are first agreed upon by the nodes via a voting process known as consensus. Once consensus has been reached, the distributed ledger automatically updates this, and the latest version of the ledger is saved on every single node. 

Blockchain vs. DLT

A lot of people use the terms ‘blockchain’ and ‘distributed ledger’ as if they meant one and the same thing. However, it helps to remember something simple: all blockchains are distributed ledgers, but not all distributed ledgers are blockchains. Any database that’s shared across multiple sites and participants, decentralized, and that needs consensus among nodes can be described as a distributed ledger.

A blockchain is simply a subset of DLTs. It’s a series of blocks of data chunks known as ‘blocks,’ which are encrypted after every transaction. ‘’Miners’ validate transactions and ensure they are accurate – that is, ensuring a coin is not being double-spent. Miners then get rewarded with coins of the native cryptocurrency or a fraction of the transaction fees.

On the other hand, DLTs do not feature or require such a chain, nor are there miners to validate transactions. DLTs also do not need to have a data structure in the form of blocks.

Suffice it to say, many DLTS today were designed to circumvent the shortcomings of blockchain – issues like scalability, processing time, massive computational power, transaction fees, and so on.

Types of Distributed Ledger Technologies

There are a few types of distributed ledger technologies today, with some being more popular than others. We’ll look at four of these – specifically blockchain, Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), Holochain and Hashgraph.

Each of these DLTs has their strong and weak points, but they all aspire to offer the same solution – a decentralized, transparent, fast, and safe avenue for relaying transactions and/or data. Let’s take a look at each, starting with the most familiar one – blockchain.

1. Blockchain

Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, noted that a network would collect and record information in blocks – which would be linked to each other, hence blockchain. Each block in the blockchain is identified by a unique hash generated by the SHA256 cryptographic hash algorithm. Due to the uniqueness of each block, it’s impossible to alter a transaction since that would result in the creation of a new block – indicating an invalid transaction.

In addition, transactions are added on a public ledger and are accessible to every participant in the network. This distributed and transparent nature of the ledger makes it even more difficult for any actor to modify the details of a transaction.

These qualities of immutability (unchangeable, and hence tamper-proof) and transparency are the major factors that make the blockchain so revolutionary. Its ability to inject integrity and transparency in processes and data storage is the chief reason blockchain is disrupting entire industries.

2. Hashgraph

Hedera hashgraph is a type of distributed ledger that works like blockchain but uses a different kind of consensus mechanism that relies on the concept of gossip, gossip about gossip, and virtual voting. Gossip here means that information is relayed by each participant repeatedly to another randomly selected member – informing him everything about the transaction.

This “gossip protocol” utilizes this mechanism for building network consensus as more and more people become aware of the information, whether in full or partially. In hashgraph, transactions are arrived at fully by consensus. As such, unlike blockchain, nodes or members do not have to validate transactions that are conducted on the network, and service requesters do not have to submit “proof of work.”

With the blockchain, proof of work causes transactions to be bulky, leading to very low transactions per second (transactions take place every 10 minutes.) By contrast, the gossip protocol enables hashgraph to support up to 10.000 transactions per second.

Hashgraph’s creators claim that it has overall efficiency than blockchain, “making it suitable for enterprises and commerce.” The CEO maintains that “…it’s a different data structure, different technology and looks nothing like blockchain, but solves the same kind of problems with better security and better performance.”

3. Directed Acyclic Graphs

Directed acyclic graphs are a type of distributed ledger that requires newly added data to be validated previously entered data. Usually, every new transaction involves the confirmation of at least two previous transactions before it is added onto the network. As more transactions are submitted, more are validated and recorded, and we end up with a mesh of doubly-confirmed transactions.

Directed acyclic graphs are by no means a new concept. In Mathematics, a DAG is a graph that has no cycles connecting to the other edges. As such, it’s impossible to navigate through the entire graph by starting from one point.

In a DAG ledger, all transactions are linked to at least one transaction in the following way: 

  • Directed – all links are in the same order and point in the same direction, with previous transactions linked to subsequent ones
  • Acyclic – A ‘cycle’ or loop is not possible. A transaction cannot circle back on itself after being linked to another transaction
  • Graph – the connected transactions can be represented on a graph, with nodes being linked to each other by links.

DAGs do not require miners to validate the authenticity of transactions since each transaction is automatically verified by at least two earlier transactions. The result of this process is that transactions are confirmed almost instantaneously, and it also removes the need for miner’s fees, helping to keep transaction fees at a minimum. 

DAG is commonly applied to processes dealing with data processing, scheduling, navigation, and data compression. ByteBall, Nano, and Fantom are some of the cryptocurrency projects utilizing the technology. 

4. Holochain

Holochain, according to the project’s white paper, is an amalgamation of blockchain, BitTorrent, and Github. With the DLT, each node runs on a chain of its own. It has a feature known as distributed hash table (DHT) where users can store data using certain keys. However, the data stays in actual locations “distributed” globally.

The distribution of locations around the globe decongests the network – rendering it a good candidate for scalability and poising it to achieve even millions of transactions per second.

Scalability is an issue that’s been dogging the traditional blockchain – since developers need validation from a majority of the network participants. On the other hand, a developer only needs confirmation from the single chain that makes up the whole Holochain network, dramatically reducing the wait time that is associated with the traditional blockchain.

Use Cases of Distributed Ledgers

Distributed ledgers can be applied across many industries – both as the driver of processes or to improve existing processes.

Blockchain, thanks to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, is the mostly applied DLT today. The most obvious application of blockchain is Bitcoin. The technology is also being applied in finance to reduce duplication of information that creates delays and confusion in many aspects of financial services.

The blockchain is also helping to reduce intermediaries in international remittances who not only prolong waiting times but are also expensive. Furthermore, blockchain allows securities trades to be settled within minutes – instead of the traditional several days.

DLT networks are also being used in supply chains to increase transparency and enhance accountability by tracking and logging details, flow, and payment of goods in real-time.

They can also be used to prevent fraud in financial transactions by providing immutable – and hence unchangeable audit trails and demanding more transparency and a higher standard of data integrity than the existing system.

DLTs could also be used in the food industry to prevent food fraud. Food can be tracked ‘from farm to plate’ so that customers can see the origin and handling of food.

Smart contracts – which are pieces of code on a DLT are another case of use of DLTs. Smart contracts define the terms of the agreement between parties – with the agreement unalterable and available for every party to see and refer to. They can be used in such cases as invoicing, shipping, procurement systems, quality assurance, compliance, and so on.

Benefits of DLTs

  • The immutability, i.e., permanent nature of DLTs records, leads to improved transparency, improved speed of processes, reduced costs, and so on. Also, it removes the need for paper trails that are not only labor-intensive but are vulnerable to damage, theft, or loss.
  • DLTs consensus mechanisms allow processes to be more consistent – facilitating reduced errors, real-time data, and flexibility for network participants to take part in decision making
  • Decentralization of DLTs removes the need for a central authority which means increased trust and integrity and multiple sources of authentication
  • Their distributed nature removes the single point of failure since the data is backed up by every node in the network – multiple participants
  • DLTS are less complex to build and operate, and they need very minimal work to maintain – which makes them less costly than many current systems
  • Distributed ledgers can manage real-time data across varying scenarios, places and contexts, eliminating the clutter that is associated with managing multiple centralized ledgers

The Future of DLTs

DLTs are still a nascent technology. However, they present a fundamentally new way to run processes, conduct business, and carry out transactions. For now, it remains to be seen if they will gain mainstream traction and change how businesses, institutions, and industries operate. 

As of now, academic and financial experts question whether DLTs – in their current form, are reliable enough to be adopted for full-scale use. Still, influential finance institutions such as the World Bank recognize their potential to transform various sectors such as manufacturing, government financial management systems, and clean energy.” 

What’s clear, though – their incorporation into systems will likely be done incrementally – by first replacing redundant and manual procedures and activities. They could come handy in areas such as record-keeping in payment and settlement processes, tracking agricultural systems, syndicated loans, and so on.


DLTs hold vast potential for changing the way we organize our lives and societies – thanks to their radically transparent, unalterable, and democratic nature. From food to finance to supply to negotiations – incorporating DLTs could transform our very lives and societies. This, however, is entirely contingent on whether they will transcend the current scalability issues, or whether they will gain widespread acceptance across industries.

Blockchain and DLT Crypto Daily Topic

Smart Contracts: A new phase of contracts

When the first cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, came into existence, it brought with it more than a digital medium of exchange. Blockchain, the technology underlying it, has brought with it more possibilities that can revolutionize entire industries and even society itself.

Smart contracts are one of the most interesting and explored applications of blockchain technology. Today, Ethereum is almost synonymous with smart contracts – and that’s because it’s the most successful blockchain in providing a platform for people to create smart contacts. In this article, we discover what exactly smart contracts are, their current standing in today’s world, their strong and weak points, and more. But first, where did this whole concept of smart contracts emanate from?

The History of Smart Contracts

The concept of “smart contracts” originated in 1996 with Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, legal scholar, and cryptographer. He defined smart contracts as “a set of promises, specified in digital form, including protocols within which the parties perform on these promises.” As for why “smart,” he explained: “I call these new contracts “smart” because they are far more functional than their inanimate paper-based ancestors.”

Szabo went on and refined the concept over several years – releasing new literature on the subject. He described the concept of establishing contract laws via e-commerce protocols between strangers on the internet.

But the idea of smart contracts remained that – just an idea, until 2009, when Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency emerged, along with blockchain technology. Blockchain provided the environment where smart contracts could now be implemented.

Nowadays, smart contracts are mostly associated with cryptocurrencies, whose underlying technology is blockchain. And although Bitcoin broke the ground for smart contracts, it has limited support for the function. Today, the Ethereum blockchain is the most popular platform for creating smart contracts.

What Are Smart Contracts?

A smart contract is a protocol that allows you to exchange anything of value in a transparent, self-executing, and undeniable way without the need for a middle man. Smart contracts are indeed the reason why the blockchain is referred to as decentralized because they allow us to execute trackable, unalterable, and safe transactions without the involvement of a central authority.

Smart contracts have all the information about a transaction, and they self-verify and self-execute once all the conditions have been met. Unlike traditional contracts, smart contracts are purely computer-generated. A programmed code delineates the obligations, rules, and penalties of the involved parties – the parties involved can even be people who have never met but who are nevertheless bound by the agreement.

With smart contracts, a party cannot deny their involvement at a later date. 

Jeff Garzik, the owner of blockchain technology company Bloq, describes smart contracts as such: “Smart contracts guarantee a very, very specific set of outcomes. There’s never any confusion, and there’s never any need for litigation.”

Objects of Smart Contracts 

Any smart contract has three integral parts to it. Also known as objects, the three integral parties are as follows:

  • Signatories – who are parties subject to the contract and who agree or disagree with the terms set out – using digital signatures
  • Subject of agreement – this object has to exist within the smart contract’s environment.
  • Specific terms – these are the obligations expected of all parties and the rules, rewards, and penalties associated with those terms. The terms must be mathematically described using a programming language suitable for the particular contract’s environment.

How Do Smart Contracts Work?

Smart contracts are essentially deterministic processes – which means their end behavior is entirely dependent on initial input. They execute agreements if and when certain conditions are fulfilled. As such, smart contracts work on the “if…then” premise. It’s important to note that smart contracts are not legal contracts, but pieces of code running on a blockchain.

Smart contracts running on the majority of blockchains are akin to a vending machine. You simply input your cryptocoin into the vending machine (in this case, the blockchain ledger). If your input satisfies the code within the smart contract, the smart contract executes the terms of the agreements set out in it.

For instance, “If Person A completes task 1, then payment from Person B is delivered to Person A.” Based on this protocol, smart contracts allow for the exchange of any kind of value, with each contract duplicated many times over and stored on publicly distributed ledgers. Once that happens, data encryption is employed to ensure the full anonymity of the participants.

Features of Smart Contracts

Smart contracts have inherent characteristics that are unique to them, and that set them apart from conventional contracts. These characteristics are as follows: 

Distributed. Smart contracts are replicated and distributed across all the nodes in a blockchain network 

Deterministic. Smart contracts only execute the actions they were instructed to, provided the conditions are met. Also, the outcome is the same, no matter who executes it

Autonomous. Smart contracts self-execute themselves by automating all sorts of tasks

Immutable. Smart contracts are unchangeable after being executed. As such, we can say they’re tamper-proof

Customizable. Before they’re deployed, smart contracts can be coded to suit specific preferences and needs

Trustless. Thanks to their automated process, parties can transact via smart contracts without knowing or trusting each other

Transparent. Smart contracts take place on a publicly available ledger. So, anyone can verify the details of a transaction

Potential Applications of Smart Contracts

Smart contracts can be used to improve and streamline processes across a wide chain of industries. Here are some examples:  

☑️ Elections

Since they are publicly verifiable, trackable, and irreversible, smart contracts would provide a fool-proof, secure system, allaying all concerns about elections rigging. Also, smart contracts would enable voters to vote online, allowing them to make their voice heard from whatever location they’re in. 

☑️ Management

Today’s business operations are riddled with back-and-forth verification and approval processes that slow down productivity. A blockchain ledger acts as a single source of trust as well as streamlines communication and work processes thanks to its accuracy, transparency, and autonomy.

☑️ Automobile

By using smart contracts, it could be easier to determine whose fault it was in an accident – the sensor or the driver, in self-driving cars. Also, automobile insurers could know how to charge rates depending on where, and under which conditions customers were operating their vehicles.

☑️ Real Estate

Smart contracts would help real estate agents cut on advertising costs. Since the blockchain is publicly available, all you would need to do is pay with cryptocurrency and encode your contract on the ledger. On the ledger, your services are open for everyone can see, helping you cut on advertising costs and so on.

☑️ Healthcare

Smart contracts could improve the healthcare industry in so many ways. Firstly, personal health records could be encoded and stored on the blockchain with a private key available to only the relevant parties. Receipts of delivered services could be stored on the blockchain and sent to insurers as proof of delivery. Smart contracts would also make it inherently easier to perform general healthcare management tasks such as regulation compliance, result testing, and managing health care supply inventories.

☑️ Insurance

With smart contracts, it would be easier to fulfill insurance claims when certain conditions are met as per the client-company terms of agreement. Also, smart contracts would come in useful in times of disaster by allowing people to claim their money in a timely fashion. Details like the degree of damage or loss can be recorded on the blockchain and compensation decided upon accordingly. 

☑️ Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT technology enables everyday devices to be connected to the internet in order to improve their usefulness to us. These devices could be connected to the blockchain to track all the products and processes in action.

And in e-commerce, Blockchain technology combined with IoT would enable the location and possession of products so that the right product gets delivered to the right person.

☑️ Mortgaging

Smart contracts would eliminate the need for middlemen and lengthy processing usually involved in mortgage agreements. Also, all details and information could be stored in a location where anyone can verify at all times.

☑️ Employment Contracts 

Smart contracts could help reinforce employer-employee contracts. The terms, conditions, and expectations on either side would be made clear, helping to improve fairness. Moreover, smart contracts can be used to streamline salary processing and avoid delays. They can also be used to improve transparency by preventing companies from altering an employee’s contract once they’re hired. 

☑️ Supply chains

The supply chain – the flow of goods from production to the final user is a central part of many industries, and it involves a lot of work verifying and tracking products. Smart contracts can remove the need for this as every detail is available on the blockchain, where everyone can track the location of commodities at any time. And if an item is lost in the process, smart contracts can be used to identify its exact location.

Besides, smart contracts bring transparency to the whole supply chain so that no party can default or breach the contract terms.

Blockchain platforms That Support Smart Contracts

The following blockchains are some of the most popular platforms facilitating the creation of smart contracts. Of course, Ethereum is the most recognized of them all because it was built almost solely as a smart contract platform. NEM, the blockchain supporting the cryptocurrency XEM, is also popular because it allows users to create smart contracts with Java, one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. These are the go-to blockchains for smart contracts in 2019:

Pros and cons of Smart Contracts

Smart contracts provide several benefits to users. From watertight security to saving on costs to accuracy, the following are the advantages of using smart contracts:

Pros of smart contracts:


Smart contracts allow you to eliminate the need for third parties, e.g., lawyers, facilitators, guarantors, etc. – granting you full control of the agreement process.


Smart contracts remove the need for intermediaries and the lengthy processes involved in traditional contracts. Everything is executed in a timely fashion, which avoids delays.


The code that is the smart contract is written in a detailed manner outlining the obligations, rules, and penalties pertaining to the agreement. As such, the smart contract becomes a comprehensive agreement that accomplishes everything upon execution. This precision helps ensure there can be no room for miscommunication or misinterpretation. And in case of any error, it’s easy to track exactly where it occurred.


Smart contracts are protected with high-level cryptography, which provides the highest safety standards. It’s extremely difficult to hack smart contracts – so users can be sure their documents are safe and secure. 


Owing to their accuracy, security, and time-saving qualities, smart contracts provide a high level of efficiency that helps the parties involved realize more value-generating transactions.


Since smart contracts use computer codes, the use of paper is eradicated. This saves on stationery costs and also helps companies reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to environmental protection.

Storage and Backup

Smart contracts are accurate to the tiniest of details. All the details of any transaction are stored on a public ledger, and any of the signees can access them at any time. And in case of any dispute regarding the terms of agreement, the parties can refer to the public ledger.

Saves money

As smart contracts only involve the signatories to the agreement, there’s no need for intermediaries and third parties like lawyers, witnesses, etc. Thus, the money that would have been used to pay these third parties is removed from the equation.


The properties of transparency, autonomy, and security of smart contracts generate confidence in their execution. They eliminate any chance for manipulation, bias, or manual errors. Also, their undeniable nature significantly removes the need for litigations since every detail is clear on the blockchain.


Smart contracts run on computer codes and exist on the internet. There is no need to process or verify documents manually or correct every little detail. As a result, they can complete transactions very fast. 

Cons of Smart Contracts:

Smart contracts also have their own share of challenges. Most of these challenges arise from the fact that they are still an evolving technology. Some of the challenges are:

They Are Vulnerable

Smart contracts are still a young technology. For example, the code that makes up the contract has to be perfect and bug-free. However, mistakes can still be made that would allow bugs into the network – which would be exploited by scammers.

Government Regulation

The novelty of smart contract technology leaves a lot of questions unanswered. How will governments regulate these contracts? How will they be taxed? What happens when the contract can’t get to the subject of agreement?


The unchangeable nature of smart contracts can be advantageous in some situations, but not so much in others. For instance, hackers made away with millions of ether (ETH) after they hacked a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in 2016. This was possible partly because developers were unable to fix the code. This is what eventually led a hard fork that gave rise to a second Ethereum chain – Ethereum Classic. Had it been possible to fix the code, this situation would have been mitigated.

Uncertain Legal Status 

Smart contracts do not fit into the current legal framework in many countries. Most contracts today require parties to be at least a certain age and be properly identified. The anonymity and lack of intermediaries make those requirements a challenge.  

Limited Use

For now, smart contracts can only be used to agree on assets of digital value. This poses a challenge when it comes to transacting in real-life assets.  

Examples of Real-life Uses of Smart Contracts

While most governments and the banking establishment have an ambivalent attitude to cryptocurrencies, the technology behind – blockchain, and smart contracts have had a more welcoming reception. Smart contracts are now being implemented across various industries. The following are examples of real-life applications of smart contracts:

Inmusik is a streaming platform that uses smart contracts to decentralize revenues and properly allocate revenues to the rightful contributors. Powered by blockchain technology, the company can facilitate fair and lucrative payouts for artists, collaborators, labels, and also incentivize music listeners by offering rewards to music listeners.

Ascribe is a digital platform that uses smart contracts to facilitate secure ownership of digital work by the rightful artists. The blockchain technology enabling this allows artists to track where their work is published on the web so that they can claim their rightful publication fee.

Tracr is a blockchain-based project that helps improve the diamond industry’s supply chain by monitoring the production and traceability of diamonds, reducing compliance costs, and improving visibility in the chain. It also helps to enhance privacy and security in regards to handling sensitive data in the chain.

Applicature is an agency that uses smart contracts to protect patients’ privacy, reduce healthcare transaction costs, and improve healthcare protocols. Patients have access to a secure and transparent record of their health information, and practitioners get rid of go-betweens and red tape in data conservation and compliance procedures.

The Future of Smart Contracts 

Smart contracts are still an evolving technology. Their future lies in detangling some of the issues that have held smart contracts from achieving mainstream acceptance. Some of these are the question of their legal status, regulation, and the ‘final’ nature of their transactions. 

Still, blockchain enthusiasts see the technology making a significant impact on law, the merchant industry, credit, accounting, etc. It’s possible that we’ll begin seeing smart contract templates – which are legally enforceable smart contracts. We’ll also start seeing accountants utilize smart contracts for real-time auditing as well as the merging of smart contracts into a hybrid of paper and digital content where transactions are verified on the blockchain and corroborated by physical copy.  


Smart contracts have the potential to change how we carry out daily transactions. They can help increase trust, save money, and revolutionize entire industries by introducing more transparency and facilitating accountability. For now, crypto and blockchain enthusiasts are keenly watching smart contract technology evolve further, and if after all, the technology will manage to transcend the current barriers to its full-scale adoption across different facets of businesses and society.

Blockchain and DLT

Avoid the Hype Surrounding Blockchain and Consider Alternatives

For some people, the words blockchain and bitcoin (BTC) are so thoroughly intertwined that the mention of one brings to mind the other. This association is almost natural, considering that it’s the BTC that gave prominence to the term. Yet the fact is that blockchain technology had been researched many years before the advent of bitcoin in 2009. 

The enthusiasm with which the blockchain technology has been received by the business world is easy to appreciate. First, bitcoin has enjoyed great success over the years and, though other cryptocurrencies could only be playing catch up, they too have something to show for their efforts, and this success is attributed to the adoption of the blockchain technology. Secondly, it has been established that the blockchain technology can be adopted in other financial institutions and, in fact, can be greatly useful in many diverse industries.

Proponents of the blockchain technology give the impression that it is infallible and totally secure and that it would provide safeguards against many problems that bedevil many industries today. Its famed data storage potential could, therefore, be exploited by players in many industries, including property rights records, healthcare services, legal services, and supply chain services, among many others.

Blockchain’s Main Selling Points

There are many things that make blockchain attractive to the business community, and one of the things that make business owners enthuse over it is the fact that it allows for the creation of immutable records which can be relied on in the event of a contractual dispute. Such a system, therefore, makes it possible for parties in a dispute to solve their disputes in a transparent and amicable manner without having to involve any third parties. Other people find the technology attractive because data stored there is decentralized, which some people consider a huge positive because such data cannot be manipulated, and this is a further aid to transparency. 

Counter Arguments

While blockchain proponents find the technology attractive for the above reasons, those opposed to it find fertile grounds to counter it for the very same reasons. First, where decentralization is supposed to be positive, most organizations will be averse to it because it makes the company’s private records available to the prying eyes of people from whom it should be kept away. In this category could be people you keep your company’s secrets away from, such as your competitors. 

Secondly, creating and maintaining the immutable records comes at an astronomical cost. Blockchains do not only consume incredible amounts of energy but do so performing simple but heavily duplicated tasks. Contrary to what people have been made to believe, a blockchain is not a distributed system in the true sense of the word. The impression that is created when we hear of a distributed computing system is that all the computers in the system could be performing different operations. The converse, however, is true – whether you have a thousand or even ten million computers in the system, they all perform the same identical task. What then, you might wonder, do you stand to gain by using such a huge capital outlay on machines that are only duplicating each other’s efforts? This is the kind of expense that many businesses cannot afford, and before joining the blockchain bandwagon, it’d be prudent to explore possible alternatives.

Possible and Easy Alternatives to Blockchain

Perhaps the first thing that every prudent business owner needs to think about before employing blockchain technology is its return on investment (ROI). The prohibitive costs we have alluded to above and the redundancy of the computers used means that getting an ROI could prove difficult. Yet there’s no reason why business owners should be in a hurry to invest in technology when there are tried and tested affordable alternatives available. Here are a few:

☑️Using a Centralized Database

Despite the hype surrounding decentralization, companies have nothing to lose (and actually have a lot to gain) by maintaining centralized databases. Such databases do not only maintain privacy but are easier to maintain and are affordable as they do not need to hold duplicate info, as is the case with a blockchain.

☑️Using a Backup Service

Contrary to what blockchain proponents might argue, there’s very little persuasion to back data up on multiple devices at the aforesaid prohibitive expenses. A company that desires to back its data up can do so by simply contracting one of the many contractors providing such services at very reasonable prices. Backup services have been around for some time, and we know they can be relied upon not only to store your data affordably but also safely. By encrypting your data before handing it over to the service providers, you are guaranteed that your company secrets are safe. And saying that such services are affordable is a huge understatement – the cost of storage with a backup service is completely insignificant when compared to the costs on a blockchain.

☑️Using a Distributed Ledger

An easy way to enjoy the benefits that people crave for when investing in blockchain technology is by investing in distributed ledgers. Unlike blockchains, distributed ledgers do not have scalability issues, yet they, too, are decentralized. On top of being transparent, such ledgers offer great security against the threats of cyber attacks as they could be distributed across various sites and locations. Where a blockchain consists of a chain of blocks, distributed ledgers never need to use such a chain, and this is what makes them capable of processing vast amounts of data in very little time and would, therefore, be a more meaningful substitute for blockchains.


Finally, are we arguing that companies should completely keep away from blockchain technology? Of course not! On the contrary, there are good enough reasons why every business owner should keep an eye out on the goings-on in the blockchain industry. By educating themselves on the latest trends and comparing their company needs with what the new technology has to offer, business owners will be in a great position to find out how their businesses could benefit from the technology. Ignoring such developments will ultimately mean that a company might fail to take advantage of them at the opportune time. What every company owner, however, needs to be aware of is that there’s too much hype surrounding the blockchain word, and most of it is driven by ignorance. Given that there are very serious financial implications behind the implementation of this technology, it’d be a grave mistake to invest in it simply to be seen “to be with it.” As with many other forms of technology, there are affordable, appropriate, and more practical options, and that’s what you might consider using.

Blockchain and DLT

What Problems Do Cryptocurrencies and blockchain Solve?

Most people have heard the term cryptocurrency. But while some are confused by it, most have no inkling about what it means, or what it’s all about.

Cryptocurrency is an internet-based digital currency that utilizes cryptography to secure and facilitate transactions. Cryptocurrencies, sometimes simply called cryptos, leverage a technology known as blockchain – which lends them features like decentralization, immutability, impermeable security, and transparency.

Decentralization means that all participants in the network have equal power to approve transactions without the need for a central authority. Their high degree of security is enabled by the fact that transactions are broadcast across thousands of nodes, which must confirm any change to the system. This makes it impossible for malicious parties to hack the system.

More and more cryptos are entering the space, each with improvement in certain aspects of their predecessor. But is there actual value beyond cryptocurrencies being a means of exchange? Is the technology that powers cryptos applicable outside the world of finance? In this article, we explore the different challenges in our world that cryptocurrency is solving or has the potential to solve – from borderless money transfers to real estate, to centralization, to data privacy, and more.

Intermediation Fees

Cryptocurrencies solve the problem of intermediation charges. In the current money transfer business, there are so many intermediaries involved in the process – all of which contribute to excessive amounts of fees for customers. Also, the current options for sending money are not only expensive but also take days. 

Cryptocurrency has the potential to solve these problems and is already being used in several applications to this end. Take BitPesa, a service currently operating in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This service uses a blockchain-based system to send money within a day, as opposed to the traditional methods which take days and at a much cheaper rate (1% to 3% cost of transactions).

Another case is the Monetha payment system – which is based on the Ethereum cryptocurrency protocol. The system can carry out transactions five times cheaper and 10,000 faster than conventional systems. 


 One of the most exciting aspects of the technology underlying cryptocurrency is that it’s entirely decentralized – meaning it is not dependent on any authority for control. This essentially removes the need for a central authority while preventing one entity from having too much power over the system. 

Centralized systems have certain inherent weaknesses that make them ineffective in the long run. Firstly, as it has a single point of data control, a centralized system is more susceptible to malicious attacks. Centralized systems are also prone to price manipulation – whose results benefit only those at the top.

Centralization also raises the question of privacy. As digitization becomes the norm in the average person’s life, so is the concern for the safety of their data. The sheer volumes of people’s private data associated with centralized systems, especially with their vulnerability to bad actors, is not a favorable idea for the average person. 

This is where cryptocurrency comes to the rescue. A decentralized structure levels the field for all participants in the network such that no one entity has too much power to manipulate the system. A decentralized, peer to peer network is also secure. This is enabled by the fact that for hackers to successfully gain access to the system, they would have to hack more than half the nodes in the network, which is nearly impossible. 


Traditional payment models like banks leave a trace of financial transactions. With cryptocurrency, it’s different. Cryptocurrencies are built with privacy and security that allow you to conceal your identity and transactions. Some like Dash, Monero, Zcash, Verge, Bytecoin, etc. have even been created to provide complete anonymity. 

There are several methods that cryptocurrencies use to conceal user information. Some use high-level encryption tools like The Invisible Internet Project and Tor, while others employ cryptography methods that provide proof of knowledge – without revealing that knowledge.

Double Spending 

Cryptocurrencies also solve the issue of double-spending. Double spending, as the term suggests, is spending the same money more than once – a potential flaw with digital currencies. With physical cash, it’s impossible to spend the same money twice. For example, you go to the ice cream stand and ask for an ice cream cone worth 1 dollar. You pay in cash and hand over the dollar to the cashier. As soon as you hand over the dollar, you can’t spend it again.  

On the other hand, a transaction with digital currency involves broadcasting to all the ‘nodes’ in the network. These nodes have to receive and confirm the transaction, and this takes time. This is where the concern of duplication arises. How can we be sure someone will not copy the transaction and rebroadcast it before it has been received and confirmed?

It’s hard to verify the real owner of a digital token – considering it can be cloned, duplicated, copied, or shared infinitely. Simply put, it’s difficult to confirm if a token has only been spent once.

Cryptocurrency solves this by ensuring users cannot double-spend coins. Blockchain – the technology underlying the currency, has a powerful mechanism that enables all nodes in the network to be aware of every transaction. And since the nodes show the history of the order in which they received a transaction, any attempts to double-spend are pointless.

Unbanked Populations 

Currently, 1.7 billion worldwide are unbanked – without access to financial services like insurance, investment, loans, money transfers, or deposit accounts. The lack of access to financial services makes it impossible for these people to escape the vortex of poverty. Meanwhile, traditional financial institutions like banks do not have the requisite structure to cater to this market segment without incurring losses. 

Blockchain-based solutions offer ways to provide financial services and still make a profit. They eliminate the need for expensive brick and mortar banking infrastructures. 

For example, blockchain technology can decrease the costs of providing microfinancing services. They also remove the need for the manual, multiple verifications that are associated with transferring money to emerging markets. This is made possible by smart contracts that radically cut costs and speed up local and international transfers. 

An example of crypto-based solutions changing lives by providing banking services happens in Venezuela. The collapse of the country’s Venezuela Bolivar currency has resulted in people using cryptocurrencies as an economic lifeline, making them more resilient in an unstable economy. 

Food Fraud

Cryptocurrency based technology also helps to prevent food fraud. One high profile case of food fraud was the horsemeat scandal in parts of Europe when meat advertised as beef in supermarkets was discovered to be horsemeat. 

Food fraud can occur in several forms – including adulteration, which is substituting an ingredient with a cheaper one, and misrepresentation – which includes fashioning a product as organic when it isn’t. These fraudulent practices not only pose health risks to consumers but also cost the food industry billions of dollars each year.  

While there are systems in place to curb food fraud, they aren’t completely tamper-proof, and it’s still very possible to play the system. Blockchain technology can be used to design systems that can track and authenticate every step of the food supply chain. This means that every party that handles food: from the farmer to the manufacturer to the store to the kitchen to your plate, becomes a block in the blockchain. The thing with blockchain is that it’s completely transparent, and its stringent verification process makes it impossible to misrepresent or forge a transaction. 

An example of cryptocurrency in action for food safety is Vietnam-based TE-FOOD, which has created a system in which every step of food production can be traced. Using the blockchain protocol, TE-FOOD provides a transparent and immutable (unchangeable) environment to track thousands of pigs, chickens, and eggs, increasing trust in the food ecosystem. 

Contract Conflicts

Traditional contracts are often the source of many business and legal conflicts arising from miscommunication, poor drafting, etc. It’s also a process that involves a coterie of lawyers, time-consuming negotiations, and a multitude of drafting phases. 

Enter smart contracts, the crypto-based technology that digitally facilitates, verifies, and enforces contract negotiations and performance. This type of contract enables trusted business agreements to happen without the need for third parties, a central authority, or lawyers.

Smart contracts work by self-execution of the negotiations between the parties. The contract is written in lines of code, after which both the code and the agreement are distributed across a blockchain network. This code controls the execution of the contract, and agreements are trackable and irreversible.

The decentralization and transparency of blockchain eliminate the need for an intermediary – saving time, money, and conflict. Besides, the technology is faster, cheaper, and secure, allowing for more reliable contracting. Where traditional contracts need long-winded verification procedures, smart contracts proceed with the utmost speed and efficiency. They set the stage for specific outcomes, removing any confusion or the potential of protracted litigation battles.

Election Fraud

In an era when the integrity of elections is increasingly under the microscope, blockchain can provide solutions for transparent and fair elections. Candidates who lose elections may launch legal battles that can delay the result and hold a country hostage. 

The blockchain digital ledger intrinsically creates an audit trail that not only simplifies the verification process but also minimizes the cost for expensive election apparatus. Furthermore, the process is wholly transparent so that anyone and everyone can verify the integrity of the results.

Crypto technology further provides an irrefutable record of the votes cast – eliminating the possibility for election rigging. Moreover, voters can cast their votes from the comfort of their mobile phones, enabling them to have a say in the process no matter their location.

Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept of creating a network of devices with the internet and each other, including vehicles, home appliances, communication devices, wearable devices, and pretty much everything you can think of. The idea is to make the things we interact with daily to be more valuable to us. For example, your coffee maker monitoring when you wake up and then making coffee, or your shower heating 20 minutes before you reach home. 

The Internet of Things promises increased productivity and enhanced asset utilization to improve our modern lifestyles. But a significant impediment to the adoption of IoT has been the closed ecosystem (a system in which one or two people control the system), which some manufacturers stipulate as a requirement. This locks out other vendors from availing products to consumers, while also being denied a choice to compare and use hardware from different manufacturers. 

Also, IoT raises a lot of security and data privacy concerns, seeing as these devices would be communicating with external networks, rendering them vulnerable to hackers. Cases of connected refrigerators or automobiles being hacked are well documented. Also, IoT devices contain enormous amounts of data, which can lead to massive security breaches.

Blockchain technology can help solve these problems by:  

  1. Decentralizing the IoT to enable devices to connect directly; without manufacturers locking consumers into any particular ecosystem. 
  2. Decentralizing the IoT to prevent attacks – as a hacker would have to target all nodes on the network to obtain data – which is highly improbable   

Lack of an Identity 

Currently, 1 billion people worldwide do not have an identity. A large fraction of this number is refugees. When refugees are forced to flee their homes, many leave behind essential documents such as ID cards, birth certificates, and passports. Being able to prove one’s identity is critical because, without it, it’s difficult to access services that help begin a new life, local integration, or self-sufficiency – like a bank account, healthcare, a SIM card, etc. 

Cryptocurrency technology can come in useful in these contexts. The technology can host and transact infinite amounts of data on its publicly available ledger. Furthermore, identities on the network cannot be falsified, tampered with, and are time stamped.

Governments and charity organizations can use blockchain-based technology to issue digital identification to refugees, which would enable them to prove their identity and that of their loved ones and access financial services, healthcare, and education.

One example of blockchain improving refugee’s life is that of Bitnation, a startup that utilizes the technology to help refugees obtain digitally-enabled ID documents. By verifying a person’s social media presence and linking it to their social security number, passport, and other documents, he/she can prove their identity to the host government.

Arbitrary Asset Freezing

Cryptocurrencies can help citizens living in autocratic jurisdictions retain financial independence in contexts where governments unfairly freeze their bank accounts and assets. When people living in these countries run afoul of powerful individuals, their assets can be frozen or their attempt at transactions in local currency barred. 

Unlike fiat currencies (government-issued currencies), cryptocurrencies are immune from tyrannical whims. Crypto funds and transactions are stored in numerous nodes around the world, rendering government control infeasible. 


The cryptocurrency protocol can be used to solve many problems in the real estate industry, among which are fraud, high fees, price barriers, etc. 

Firstly, a cryptocurrency protocol can remove the need for paper-based record trails that are susceptible to manipulation and falsification. Blockchain transactions are tamper-proof and transparent, ensuring all parties transact fairly.   

Secondly, blockchain transactions are time-stamped – allowing for a party to prove without a doubt that a particular transaction took place at a specific date and time. The decentralized and transparent nature of blockchain also means everyone involved can know – and verify ownership details. 

Furthermore, blockchain-enabled smart contracts can help cut costs by eliminating the need for middlemen like banks, lawyers, guarantors, etc.

Blockchain can also enable tokenization (turning things into digital, tradable assets) such that even low-income buyers can own part of the property – while also allowing the seller to at least get a fraction of the total payment on the spot. 

Accountability in Nonprofits

Public trust in charities has dwindled in recent years due to cases of embezzlement and mismanagement coming to light. Blockchain technology can help these organizations achieve financial transparency.

Crypto coins such as AidCoin are designed for this very purpose: to allow transparent donations to legitimate charities. This way, donors can monitor where their money is going, and charities are forced to channel donations to the right purposes. 

An exciting use of this application is by the World Food Programme (WFP) to securely provide thousands of people with cash assistance. In Jordan, refugees can enter a store and simply look at an iris scanner, which then verifies their identity and then expends a food voucher. This system is based on Ethereum, a cryptocurrency.


These uses are just some of the numerous applications of cryptocurrency technology in solving problems in our everyday life. Across the food industry, finance, technology, and other sectors, exciting and innovative uses of cryptocurrency are being discovered every day. Also, more cryptos with real-world applications will keep budding if the current landscape is anything to go by.  

Blockchain and DLT

How Is Distributed ledger Technology Different From Blockchain?

What is Distributed Ledger Technology, and how is it different from Blockchain?

Blockchain is becoming more and more accepted as a concept in the world of finance nowadays. The idea of blockchain has been explored by a greater audience every day, with even traditional centralized financial institutions are taking an interest in what blockchain can offer.
However, most of the traditional financial institutions have started to use another term alongside blockchain: the distributed ledger technology. Articles, as well as corporate statements, seem to use terms “blockchain” and “distributed ledger technology” interchangeably. This article will try to explain that there is a difference between the two terms as well as what the difference is exactly.

Distributed ledger technology
Distributed ledger technology, or DLT, as some people may call it, is a database of records that aren’t stored or confirmed by a central body. This database is then spread across several nodes. Each node saves an identical copy of the ledger, therefor making it decentralized. Each participant node of the network works independently from one another.


The distributed ledger technology ensures that each node updates independently. The nodes vote on each update to ensure that the majority of the nodes agree with the conclusion reached. This voting process is called consensus. Distributed ledger technology dramatically reduces the cost of trust.
With that being said, distributed ledger technology may sound just like blockchain, but it is not.

Distributed ledger technology offers the implementer to have more control over how it is, in fact, implemented. While distributed ledger technology is technologically decentralized and relies on similar consensus guidelines as blockchain, it offers its owner to dictate its structure, purpose, and function.
This technology can be considered the first step towards a blockchain, but they won’t necessarily make a chain of blocks. A distributed ledger can be stored across many servers, which then communicate to ensure the most accurate and up to date record of transactions is maintained, without the need to create blocks.
Blockchain is, in fact, a form of distributed ledger technology. However, blockchain has very specific technological features.

Blockchain ensures cryptographic signing and linking groups of records of transactions in the ledger.

This way, blockchain forms a chain, which is where it got the name from. Depending on the specifics of a certain blockchain, the public is given the opportunity to give their opinions on how it is structured and where it is headed.
Bitcoin can be considered a true example of a blockchain user. It shows how a blockchain should run. Bitcoin is completely open, and anyone can contribute to its code and give their opinion on how to improve it. Meanwhile, distributed ledger technology only has part of it decentralized. The governing portion of the ledger is completely centralized.
Distributed ledger technology and blockchain are not interchangeable
Even though every blockchain is a form of a distributed ledger, not every distributed ledger can be considered blockchain. The two terms cannot be used interchangeably as they represent similar, but not the same things.

With that said, some organizations, corporations, and institutions may prefer distributed ledger technology over blockchain. The Bank of England is considering distancing themselves from the volatility associated with blockchain by supporting distributed ledger technology. Many corporations also might prefer the idea of a decentralized ledger so they could keep matters in their hands while using the word blockchain to capitalize on the public’s interest.