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Best Cryptocurrency to Mine in 2021: How to Make a Profit from Crypto Mining Among All The Competition?

Best Cryptocurrency to Mine in 2021: How to Make a Profit from Crypto Mining Among All The Competition?

June Katz 22 min read
What Is Cryptocurrency Mining ? Cryptocurrency mining is one of the ways in which crypto’s circulating supply gets expanded. Although there are other ways like ICOs, mining is the oldest of them. It was introduced together with the first crypto — Bitcoin , and is a part of Bitcoin’s reputation of being “digital gold”: it’s bound to remind the public of scarce and precious metals. As in the Gold Rush, the prospector looking to get rich from mining needs to get some equipment and join the ranks of thousands – or millions – of dreamers like him, to compete with them for rewards, which is as much a game of skill as it is the one of luck and chance. So, what is it exactly? Cryptocurrency mining usually requires solving complex computational puzzles. This process has a double purpose: the puzzles are there not just to confound miners: they are needed to verify blocks (consisting of multiple transactions) so that they can be added to the blockchain; miners who keep the network secure by solving the puzzles get rewarded for their work. In fact, the oldest software protocol used in the blockchain networks is called Proof-of-Work, because to get the reward, the work done by the first miner to solve the puzzle has to be accepted by all the other nodes in the network. The puzzles involve the cryptographic challenge — hence the name, cryptocurrency — with a brute force mechanism which is usually called hashing . The chance to be that first person who can claim the reward gets lower when many people with the ability to solve the puzzles join the network — the speed with which different solutions can be computed across the network is called its hashrate . So, the prospective miner has to be just a little bit luckier than others — as well as have the fast-enough hardware. The types of hardware used for this are called CPUs (Central Processing Units), GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit), and ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits). Things to Consider When Choosing a Cryptocurrency to Mine in 2021 As you may already know, or maybe have noticed just now, the process described above just says “cryptocurrency mining” without specifying which one. This is because there is a wide selection of cryptocurrencies to mine today. Here are some things to look at when choosing the best currency to mine for you personally. Cryptocurrency Features The most important factors are, of course, the ones inherent to the chosen currency itself: Different coins are designed to contain different numbers of transactions in one block, meaning that the frequencies with which block rewards are minted can differ across networks too; Block rewards differ not only in frequency but in size. Make note of the block reward for a coin, as well as whether there are halvings and if so, when; Different blockchain networks may use different variations of the hashing algorithm or employ different levels of puzzle difficulty. This can translate into differences in energy consumption volume across coins; The currency’s popularity is also a factor since it affects the network size: the more competition there is, the more taxing mining would be. This can affect — again — electricity consumption, accelerate wear and tear on equipment, as well as require upgrading and expanding mining rig regularly just to keep up; Another obvious factor affecting mining profitability in 2021 is the coin’s price: easily mineable but cheap coin may not bring as much profit as you’d like. Cryptocurrency price predictions are also important to consider: a coin with great prospects is probably a good choice for mining. Your Location The next group of factors that can influence the choice of a cryptocurrency to mine concerns where in the world you are, or rather where your mining rig is. Since electricity is one of the main resources used to mine crypto, you need to consider not only its consumption volume, which we already looked at, but also its price. Electricity costs are very regionally dependent so do your research. For example, generally, if you live somewhere with prices above $0.14/KWh, it’s not worth it; The regional regulations may also affect the choice of the cryptocurrency to mine: if a country hasn’t banned all crypto outright, it may still heavily regulate some particular currency mining or its subsequent trading; Hardware costs and accessibility may differ from location to location, so you may be limited in your choice in this way too. Mining Hardware This is probably the most obvious factor of all when thinking what is profitable to mine among mineable cryptocurrencies. The initial costs of the mining setup, including taxes, shipping, and installation; Or, for solutions like cloud mining, renting costs. Is Cryptocurrency Mining Profitable in 2021? Despite all the associated costs described above and other possible difficulties, overall, cryptocurrency mining is still profitable — otherwise, nobody would do it. For example, with the coins whose price predictions are good, one of the profitable strategies is mining and holding until they grow in price. Consider that the growth in electricity prices is often limited to 1–2% a year — far from the typical crypto price growth rate in a bullish year. A good rule of thumb is to note the coin halving date if there is one: despite the diminishing reward, as this process cuts the inflation rate and increases scarcity, the price often surges after a delay. For example, Bitcoin price grew more than 6x within the year after the last halving, which took place in the spring of 2020. Since one of the biggest costs to consider while calculating crypto mining profitability is the hardware cost, let’s take a closer look at the different mining setups. Types of Mining: What Hardware to Use? CPU CPU mining is the oldest method, requiring the least specialized hardware: there is a CPU literally in any computer. So, if the network has a small hashrate, meaning a small competition pool, it’s possible to mine a cryptocurrency on a home PC. So, on one hand, this way demands the least investment, but on the other hand, as soon as the value of the crypto starts to grow, CPU mining very quickly becomes obsolete: there’s basically no chance to compete with another miner with the average CPU speeds. GPU GPU mining is the “next generation” after CPU mining. Due to their primary function — graphic processing — GPUs are good at performing some specific calculations, and they turned out to include calculations used in mining, thus giving miners using them an edge. Some cryptocurrencies can still be mined effectively using GPUs, although current GPU mining setups are a far cry from the ordinary (albeit powerful) video cards which could be enough in the early days. Now, those miners who don’t use ASICs usually have many GPUs bundled together for that purpose. One unintended negative consequence of GPU mining is that it has been seriously driving up GPU prices, which affects everybody who needs a computer with decent graphic performance: artists, designers, video content producers, gamers, and many more. ASIC The newest generation of mining software is called ASICs. Those are computer chips used for one purpose only — cryptocurrency mining. Most of the cryptocurrency mining now is done with ASICs, since they are the only things still allowing users operating them to be competitive in most cases. ASICs, however, are quite expensive and require some special skills in setting up. Ways to Mine Crypto in 2021: Best Practices Besides differences in the ways to mine crypto based on the hardware used, there are also different approaches to crypto mining based on the method. There are three main ways: solo, pool, and cloud mining. Solo Mining Solo mining is the first and most obvious approach. To do it, a miner has to buy the equipment, set up specialized mining software, and start mining. The main advantage of this approach is that the miner is completely independent — there’s no need to share the hardware or split the mining rewards with anybody. Also, this way can be satisfying on the “ideological” level: solo mining equals decentralization, just the way crypto was intended to be. Most of the disadvantages of solo mining stem from the fact that by 2021 crypto mining has gotten seriously competitive, which means that to mine most cryptocurrencies profitably, one needs a serious setup, which can run up to $10,000 — otherwise, the chances of getting any kind of rewards are very slim. Pool Mining Pool mining entails buying the mining equipment and, as the name suggests, joining a pool — a setup made out of many such contributions, essentially functioning as a single mining entity. A pool has more computing power than any one person can usually afford, which means more chances to win a mining reward, even if the individual setup is not so expensive. So, this is the main advantage of pool mining compared to doing it solo. On the other hand, mining rewards are split between all the miners in the pool, which may not feel good to the miners who feel that they could scrounge enough power to be competitive on their own. Secondly, mining pools are usually managed by so-called mining pool operators, who take their cut of the profits. Besides the obvious losses, this may also be uncomfortable for many people since it means essentially letting the third party into the mining process — the very thing that crypto set out to destroy. Lastly, although the equipment needed to join a pool may not be very expensive, the miner still has to buy it. Cloud Mining Cloud mining can be seen as an evolution of pool mining. The difference is that instead of buying equipment to join, a miner can lease or rent a part of the existing mining farm, or cloud. The miners get part of the reward proportional to their contribution. The advantages and disadvantages of this method are pretty much the same as with pool mining, although cloud mining doesn’t require an initial investment and therefore may be more attractive to the miners who are just starting out. What Are the Best Cryptocurrencies to Mine? 10 Most Profitable Coins for Mining Zcash Zcash is a fork of Bitcoin with improved anonymity — there are no addresses or other identifying info in the transaction record. Zcash is hard to mine solo in 2021, as the network’s hash rate is very high now, so the best bet would be to join a mining pool. Consider in your calculations that, as usual, pool mining requires an initial investment — for example, ASICs cost $900+. Block reward: 3.125 ZEC Block time: ~75 seconds ZEC price: ~$153 Next ZEC halving date: 2024 Ravencoin Ravencoin network is designed to facilitate light and easy instant payments. It has been forked off of Bitcoin and launched in 2018. Ravencoin is one of the most beginner-friendly coins to mine: it’s enough to use consumer-grade equipment to get results. The project’s team is actively working against the possibility to mine their coin with ASICs, changing the algorithm several times to cut those miners off. The current algorithm is called KAWPOW, and it works best with GPU pool mining. Best hardware to use: GPU Block reward: 5,000 RVN Block time: ~1 minute RVN price: ~$0.15 Next RVN halving date: early 2022 Best for: new miners Ethereum Classic Ethereum Classic is a result of a fork in the Ethereum blockchain, intended to keep the original chain alive. The advantage of this coin for a new miner is that it can be mined using GPU, i.e. not just high-powered ASICs. Note that Ethereum itself is planning to change its protocol to Proof-of-Stake in 2021–2022. This may mean an interesting future for Ethereum Classic since the current Ethereum miners could decide not to waste their mining setups and switch to ETC. If this is the case, it may become harder for the new miner to get into Ethereum Classic mining in the future. Note that instead of halving, ETC goes through a reduction: block rewards are not cut in half but instead get 20% lower every 4 years. Best hardware to use: ASIC Block reward: 3.2 ETC Block time: 13 seconds ETC price: ~$70 Next ETC reduction date: early 2022 Best for: the miners who cut their teeth on Ethereum Dash Dash is a currency with a focus on instant payments. It’s also one of the best cryptocurrencies to mine in 2021 considering its investment/rewards ratio. It uses X11 hashing protocol, which is, like Ravencoin’s protocol, a development aimed to deter ASIC miners and keep mining decentralized as long as possible. Dash mining is mostly done with GPUs and as such, this currency is considered to have a low barrier for entry. Best hardware to use: GPU Block reward: ~2.7 DASH Block time: 2.5 minutes DASH price: ~$241 Next DASH reduction date: early 2022 Best for: new miners Monero Monero is another privacy coin that’s great to mine in 2021. Monero is one of the better-known privacy coins. It doesn’t require an ASIC to mine and instead can be mined using CPU or GPU. Monero doesn’t have halvings, but the block reward is going to be gradually reduced to 0.6 XMR, which it’s going to hit around May 2022. After that, it’s going to stay at this level. Best hardware to use: GPU Block reward: ~0.88 XMR Block time: ~2 minutes XMR price: ~$305 Best for: new miners Dogecoin Despite being a meme coin, Dogecoin is still one of the most lucrative cryptocurrencies to mine. Dogecoin gets a lot of attention, so its price can surge very quickly sometimes, although it’s not always predictable. This helps DOGE miners turn a hefty profit from time to time. On the other hand, Dogecoin uses the Scrypt mining algorithm, which means that it’s best to use ASICs to mine it, preferably in pools. Note that Dogecoin hasn’t had a halving since 2015. Best hardware to use: ASIC Block reward: ~ 10,000 DOGE Block time: ~1 minute DOGE price: ~$0.3 Best for: miners with low risk aversion levels Verge Verge is a cryptocurrency designed to combine good user experience with security in day-to-day transactions. Verge supports five hashing algorithms: Namely, Scrypt, X17, Lyra2rev2, myr-groestl, and blake2s. This means that this coin can be mined using many different setups, including GPU/CPU mining accessible for beginners. Best hardware to use: ASIC Block reward: 50 XVG Block time: ~34 seconds XVG price: ~$0.03 Next XVG halving date: early 2022 Best for: miners who are not afraid to dive into technical details Peercoin Peercoin is a sustainability-focused cryptocurrency. It was the first cryptocurrency using a hybrid Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake consensus to reduce energy consumption. Peercoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm, same as Bitcoin, and can be mined using any hardware that can be used to mine BTC. Nowadays Peercoin is not so popular anymore, but it works well as a starting point, for example, for a miner wanting to get into BTC. Best hardware to use: ASIC Block reward: 55 PPC Block time: 10 minutes PPC price: ~$0.92 Best for: new miners with a great setup but needing “training wheels” Vertcoin Vertcoin was modeled on Litecoin as another ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency. It uses the Lyra2REv3 hashing algorithm. As opposed to Litecoin, which eventually switched to primarily ASIC mining, Vertcoin still can be mined using GPU, with pool mining being a recommended way. Best hardware to use: GPU Block reward: 25 VTC Block time: 2.5 minutes VTC price: ~$0.6 Next VTC halving date: late 2021 Best for: new miners Decred Decred is another one of the mineable coins founded in 2016 that started making waves recently. It’s heavily community-oriented. As it’s relatively obscure, it's still one of the most profitable crypto coins and can be considered one of the new coins to mine. This currency is using Blake256R14 algorithm and requires an ASIC miner. Best hardware to use: ASIC Block reward: ~7.27 DCR Block time: 3 minutes 41 second DCR price: ~$178 Best for: new miners not minding unknown coins Mining Profitability Calculators To make things easier for a new miner trying to decide which cryptocurrency to mine in 2021, there are numerous profitability calculators online where one can plug in the necessary parameters such as electricity costs, hardware type and model, hashing algorithm, and others, and see how profitable crypto mining will be for him or her. Mining Bitcoin in 2021: Is It a Good Idea? Bitcoin mining in 2021 is a far cry from the times when you could just do it on your home PC bought for pennies and get 50 BTC block rewards. In other words, it's not the best coin to mine in 2021. However, you still can mine BTC and even get a good profit – it depends on your investment abilities, i.e. whether you can buy good hardware. If you can’t afford a high-quality mining rig, you can also join a pool or a cloud. There are also some external circumstances to watch for. For example, there was an unexpected advantage for western miners in 2021: China clamped down on mining. As a result, the number of miners in the network has fallen to about half as much as it has been, which makes mining easier and more profitable. The difficulty of the puzzles has already been adjusted, but the results still ripple through the community. Still, it might be best to look into what altcoin to mine, as listed above. Advantages and Disadvantages of Mining Cryptocurrency in 2021 Pros If you can afford the investment in equipment and are not very risk-averse, cryptocurrency mining is a great passive income source; One can choose the currency to mine, make necessary calculations, and do their own research to determine whether it’s worth it: for example, there are cryptocurrencies with the hard cap, i.e. only the predetermined amount will be mined, and you can use it in your calculations. Cons Crypto mining used to be a very lucrative venture, but now there’s a lot of people doing it so a single miner gets fewer rewards; Energy consumption: many people consider crypto mining a “dirty” process, so for environmentally-conscious people, it’s not a great look. Crypto Mining VS DeFi: Passing Fad or a Revolution in Making Profits on Crypto? Is Mining Alive and Profitable after the DeFi F arming Boom? DeFi is another way of making profits on crypto but it’s not clear whether the two should be compared. There is an interesting dynamic: to yield farm, one obviously should already have crypto, so yield farmer basically should watch both peaks and troughs in prices: buy low, stake high. Another thing is that while farming one can’t use the bulk of his crypto, so (to avoid FOMO) the farmer should make up his mind to hold. On the other hand, miners are free to sell their crypto as soon as they get it, so there’s less pressure to plan long-term; obviously the higher the price, the better. The best thing would probably be to hedge one with another: focus on mining new coins while the price is high and on buying them while the price is low, while continuously yield farming. Final Words Cryptocurrency mining can still be very profitable in 2021. However, there is a lot of factors to consider, including the features of the coin itself, where you are, and what hardware you can afford. The best bet for a new crypto miner in 2021 is probably using a mining pool or cloud, as the field has become quite competitive. There is a lot of information to help a beginner in crypto mining to choose the right coin, hardware, and method to start, so as always you are welcome to do your own research. If chosen well, crypto mining can become a good source of passive income for a long time. Frequently Asked Questions Which cryptocurrency is the easiest to mine in 2021? The easiest cryptocurrencies to mine in 2021 are probably the ones that are ASIC-resistant — Monero, Dash, Vertcoin. They don’t require specialized hardware, instead making use of GPU chips that are in many home computers. This makes it easier for a new miner to start making sense of the crypto mining process. Note that the easiest coin to mine doesn't equal the best coin to mine, or even the most profitable cryptocurrency to mine. What is the best crypto to mine right now? The best crypto to mine in 2021 — right now — is probably different for every miner, as you have to consider all the details like electricity costs, hardware affordability, etc. You are advised to do your own research to decide for yourself what is the top currency to mine. What is the best cryptocurrency for cloud mining? The best cryptocurrencies for cloud mining are those that require investment-heavy setups and are sufficiently stable so that the investor doesn’t lose money during his contract. For example, Bitcoin mining can be worth it, since mining it efficiently solo or even in a pool requires a lot of money in equipment costs. Try to play around with mining profitability calculators to find out more. Is it worth mining Ethereum in 2021? It may still be worth it to mine Ethereum in 2021, but you should consider what setup you can afford as it's not the easiest coin to mine. Also you should note that with rising difficulty in mining, even if the coin goes to the moon, your profits might be steady but probably not in the millions of dollars anymore. Is mining pool more profitable than solo mining? Mining pools probably should be considered more profitable than solo mining in 2021, when the competition is that high. Mining pools offer less profits at a time than solo mining, but more opportunities to get profits — individual miners have less chance to add blocks nowadays, especially to large chains.
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What is IDO?

What is IDO?

June Katz 4 min read
What is an IDO? IDO or Initial DEX offering is a way of amassing financing, a relatively new fundraising model that follows the success of the DeFi. IDO is the initial offer of coins on decentralized exchanges (DEX). This is an alternative to ICOs and IEOs, but fundraising takes place through liquidity pools. Unlike ICO and IEO, where investors first buy coins of the project, and then it is listed on the exchange, in IDO, the initial sale of coins and their listing occur almost simultaneously. The main difference between these models of fundraising is that in IDO, projects do not need to pass verification by the crypto exchange. It’s worth learning how IDOs work and what the advantages, disadvantages, and prospects for the future are, which we will cover in this article.  How it works Funds are raised using smart contracts of liquidity pools that work as automated market makers. They allow traders to exchange assets directly from the pool, without waiting for buyers or sellers. The specific exchange price is set by a complex pricing algorithm called Bonding Curves. It is based on the ratio of assets in the pool: when coins are bought, their price increases, and when they are sold, it falls. The price balance is maintained at the expense of traders. They "freeze" their assets in the pool, providing liquidity, receiving remuneration for this. At the same time, the asset price in the pool may differ from the prices on centralized exchanges. Formally, any DEX user can conduct an IDO so the sites select projects which end up on launchpad platforms. When launching an IDO, developers need to follow multiple steps: One needs to determine the options for using the token and the system for distributing it to users.  Next, you need to set the token issue and the number of coins for IDO.  Then you turn to the auditors who will analyze the smart contract.  To participate in most IDOs, participants need to register in advance and enroll in the white list via social media or a website. More important websites to keep in mind when dealing with IDOs are Coinspaid, Coinlist, and Uniswap. High fees on the Ethereum network have led to projects choosing other blockchains to conduct IDOs. For example, such as Binance Smart Chain or Polkastarter. The Solana platform also introduced its own launcher. Other options are Chainlink and Thorchain. Examples of IDOs The first-ever IDO is known to have happened in June 2019 on Binance DEX by Raven developers. The most profitable IDO at the moment is Flow from the Dapper Labs project. There has been growing public interest in IDOs ever since.  Among other major IDOs, there are Compound , bZx Protocol , mStable, SushiSwap , Shift, and ExeedMe. The coins of these projects have grown tenfold after the tokensale. Advantages and disadvantages of IDOs + IDO’s advantages include immediate token liquidity, instant start of trading and lower costs for conducting it. IDOs are also suitable for new small projects and start-ups. It is decentralized and has no high fees. IDO can be used not only by companies from the DeFi sector, but also by centralized ones. Due to lower costs than ICO and IEO, the new method of attracting funding is suitable for small crypto projects. In case the IDO token is a governance token, it gives its holders the right to vote and control the direction of development of the basic protocol. If it is a native token on a DEX exchange, for example, users can also get discounts on making transactions on the platform. - Even though projects issue tokens that are already backed by DEX liquidity pools and the tokens are guaranteed to be on the crypto market without the need to wait for listings, this doesn't necessarily mean that the token will be successful. Before taking part in any IDO, one needs to study the project and be prepared for all the risks since sometimes participating in IDOs can cause serious losses. The trading volumes of decentralized crypto exchanges are actively growing, but they are still significantly inferior to classical platforms. At the same time, DEX is more difficult to use, which makes them accessible to a limited number of technologically advanced users. Conclusion Overall, IDO is a new way of attracting financing to cryptocurrency projects that focuses on transparency and being easy to use. They majorly depend on DeFi and its success. In comparison with ICO and IEO, IDO projects do not have to pay hefty sums for listing on the stock exchange and conduct lengthy discussions with regulators in different countries. Some claim that IDO is the optimal option for entering the DeFi space and gaining trust of the DeFi market participants. This can be illustrated by already existing examples like Compound, bZx Protocol, mStable, SushiSwap, Shift, and ExeedMe. Undoubtedly, IDO should go down in the history of the crypto economy and will launch new opportunities in the DeFi sector.
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Crypto for Free: Top 3 Bitcoin Faucets

Crypto for Free: Top 3 Bitcoin Faucets

June Katz 3 min read
What is a Bitcoin Faucet? Bitcoin Faucets are websites or apps where you can get a certain portion of BTC for free. In the past, when the main goal was promoting digital cryptocurrency among ordinary people, users could get up to 5 BTC for each claim. Nowadays, instead of Bitcoin, faucets give away Satoshi — its smallest indivisible unit equal to 1/100 millionth of BTC, for completing tasks ranging from playing games to watching ads or entering a captcha. It might not be clear from the get-go why there would be many websites giving crypto entirely for free, as it seems. Nowadays, these faucets collaborate with businesses and stay afloat as long as they make enough profit in ads. Since many people use such faucets and some of them can potentially be scams , find below a list of trustworthy Bitcoin faucets.  Best Bitcoin faucets Freebitcoin This is probably the most well-known Bitcoin faucet and it has more than 42 million users. There’s the traditional way of getting BTC when you get coins every now and then and the website also holds things like games, online casinos, and weekly lotteries. They even advertise winning a Lamborghini on the main page. The website claims that one can win up to the 200-dollar value of BTC playing the games or up to 1 BTC playing HI-LO. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s less likely to win the maximum amount offered and these big numbers are used as a way to attract users. The website says one can deposit coins with an interest rate of 4.08%. The referral program is quite generous since it guarantees the user about 50 percent of what their friends are winning on the platform, and it also shows the current price of BTC. The website has a premium version and its own token. Even though the website is famous, it resembles an online casino by design and has too many distractions. Cointiply Founded in 2018, this faucet offers you to watch ads and videos, and play games. The website possesses loyalty and referral features, as well as expert support. Compared to the previous one, it has a more pleasant design and doesn’t resemble a gimmick. It has almost 2 million users and is available on Google Play. Given that one can claim 200 Satoshi approximately every hour, one can withdraw 35 thousand Satoshi to a built-in wallet and 100 thousand directly to your Bitcoin wallet. This website is less generous in terms of the referral program since it only offers 25% for claims and 10% for the earnings. There’s a loyalty program where under the condition that the user logs in daily, one can get up to 100% in bonuses. Once the user possesses 35 thousand coins, a 5% interest rate is guaranteed. The website also has a FAQ where one can find answers about the platform, as well as tips on how to use it more effectively. Firefaucet What stands out for this particular platform is that it is multi-currency. If BTC is not necessarily your coin of choice, you can get Tether, Ethereum , Dogecoin , Litecoin , Dash , Tron , DigiByte , and ZCash on this website. It also has quite a minimalistic design which stands out from other ones where there are luring ads and such. It has a little bit more than 600 thousand users and the coins can be stored on the built-in wallet or your own without any fees. It claims it has the highest rates but one can’t find any exact percentage on the main page. A nice feature is that the website has no pop-up ads.Conclusion Such faucets are suitable for beginners as a good way to acquire some cryptocurrency with little effort and no financial loss. Many of them require your wallet information and have referral programs where you get bonuses for inviting people to the platform. Since possessing BTC, even as little as such websites offer, is a dream for many, we advise you to be careful and use critical thinking when visiting such places. There’s always a chance for the website to turn out to be a scam or use your personal information. If you feel hesitant about a certain website or an action it asks you to perform, do your research and read public reviews on it. Since some faucets use techniques similar to gambling, don’t forget to be responsible for how you spend your time there. It’s worth paying attention to the number of coins for each claim, how much you can withdraw and with which method, and how big the fees are. A good tactic is registering on multiple faucets, comparing them to each other, and multiplying your gains. It’s also important to keep in mind that the terms and conditions of a particular Bitcoin faucet can change over time.
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What Is 1inch and How to Buy It?

What Is 1inch and How to Buy It?

June Katz 4 min read
What is 1inch 1inch is the native token on an eponymous aggregator for decentralized marketplaces. 1inch exchange allows its users to track multiple exchanges from a single platform. The protocol collects liquidity from DEXs, using smart contract technology for this purpose, splitting one transaction between several exchanges, which gives users the opportunity to optimize their transactions and get the best possible rates. How it works The 1inch ERC-20 token is a control and utility token on the platform. It is used to control all 1inch network protocols through various modules, as well as a voting mechanism. It possesses the Instant Governance structure where the token holders and key protocol stakeholders can directly vote on protocol and configuration parameters. One of the key features of instant control is that bidders can continuously and dynamically vote to change protocol settings without waiting for bids to be submitted or completed. Each 1inch token holder can stake their tokens, as well as participate in the management of liquidity pools. The weight of each user's vote is in direct correlation with the number of tokens supplied.Advantages and disadvantages of 1inch + The 1inch token takes the management capabilities of the DeFi space to the next level. It enables the most efficient and transparent way to vote on certain protocol settings. With such a model, the voice of each user matters. Moreover, the token currently holds a position towards the end of the top-100 currencies. It has had valuable investors from its inception like Binance Labs, Galaxy Digital, Greenfield One, Libertus Capital, Dragonfly Capital, FTX, IOSG, LAUNCHub Ventures и Divergence Ventures. The project is also receiving much approval from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who believes these are the protocols that are fueling the rise of DeFi. These factors indicate that there has always been interest towards the platform and its native token in the crypto circles. The technology was also tested by independent audit companies. - Despite the token’s success in 2020, the developers themselves have said it’s not an investment tool but rather a tool to use on the native platform or be implemented by third parties. This is further proven by the fact that, according to CoinMarketCap, no one stores 1inch for over a year, so the functions and value of the token are limited to the native ecosystem it belongs to. This poses a risk for the token since it’s in close correlation with the success of the eponymous platform. 98 percent of the token is also concentrated in the hands of large holders. Where to buy 1inch During the inception of the token, users could acquire it if they adhered to certain criteria, as well as with the help of liquidity mining. Currently, 1inch is traded on most popular exchanges like Binance , KuCoin , FTX , Coinone , Huobi Global , OKEx , Uniswap , and CoinTiger . The trading usually happens in pairs with BTC, USDT, ETH, WETH, USDC, and such.How to exchange 1inch on SwapSpace? On  SwapSpace homepage , select 1inch in “You send” section and the cryptocurrency you would like to receive in “You get” section. Enter the amount of 1inch you want to exchange. Choose the instant exchange service that suits you most. Specify the recipient address and check if all the data is correct. Send your 1inch coins to the address you will see on the screen. Wait until the exchange is complete. Where to store 1inch Since 1inch has the ERC-20 standard, it can be stored on any suitable wallet like Trust Wallet , Atomic Wallet , MyEtherWallet , Exodus , Coinomi , imToken , MetaMask , and Ledger . The platform itself also supports any Ethereum-based wallets which are securely integrated into the platform, namely 0x Relay, Uniswap, Oasis, and Kyber Network.
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Top 5 Bitcoin Myths Debunked

Top 5 Bitcoin Myths Debunked

June Katz 4 min read
Despite the fact that Bitcoin has been around for over eleven years and has gained numerous supporters over the course of its existence, there are still multiple misconceptions associated with it, further endorsed even by notorious financial institutions like Golden Sachs. They are based on faulty analysis, irrelevant arguments, and outdatedinformation. The ultimate goal of understanding Bitcoin can be achieved by providing every one of such questionable statements with facts and explanations. Myth #1: Bitcoin’s volatility obstructs it to be a trustworthy financial asset In reality: It actually proves the credibility of its monetary policy People criticize Bitcoin for its fluctuations in price and see this as an obstacle to being stable or a favorable unit for storing and investing. There’s a microeconomic politics trilemma called The Impossible Trinity which explains why it can’t be any other way. Simplified, you can only have two of the three factors in a monetary unit: fixed exchange rate, independent monetary policy, and free capital movement. Any one of these factors would contradict the other two. For Bitcoin, the odd one is the fixed exchange rate. Fiat money follows the principle as well and Bitcoin’s volatility is nothing but the logical outcome based on this trilemma. Moreover, Bitcoin’s volatility declines over time. The more it is adapted, the less the fluctuations in price will be in their amplitude. Bitcoin’s purchasing power, as a result, has also shown growth despite all the volatility. Its price has been increasing by roughly 200 percent every year since 2011 despite the fluctuations within the year itself. Since 2014 it has also shown growth as demonstrated by the lowest price each year. Myth #2: Bitcoin is an isolated form of payment that is used by a small number of people In reality: Bitcoin has full potential to become the payment instrument of the future People question Bitcoin’s capabilities of being a proper investment active that won’t disappear and lose its worth one day. Another argument is that it doesn’t hold any value in it. Contrary to these arguments, Bitcoin possesses positive characteristics which can make it the equivalent of gold but in the digital world. It is transparent, divisible, safe to use, and verifiable. Experts expect continuous growing demand for Bitcoin. Currently, its market capitalization is 2 percent of that of gold.  Myth #3: Continuous forks and copies will eventually lead Bitcoin to lose its value In reality: Bitcoin’s value can’t be duplicated by software alone Bitcoin’s software is free and open-code and technically, anyone could copy it, just like users can make copies of digital files. However, this won’t necessarily increase the number of Bitcoins themselves in circulation and the new networks still comply with the same sets of rules and principles. Instead, it stimulates the market and gives the opportunity to create new projects and coins. Bitcoin still stays deficit and the number of new coins created doesn't equal in value to the original Bitcoins. It was proven that forks still couldn’t influence Bitcoin’s number of active users, hashpower, and liquidity. Myth #4: Bitcoin is mainly used for performing criminal and illegal operations In reality: It is against any form of censorship Everything that people don’t completely understand they generally label as bad or dangerous. This is the case with Bitcoin which is criticized for financing criminal and illegal operations. At its inception, it was accused of hosting a black market platform. In reality, Bitcoin is negative towards any case of censorship and puts this principle among its core values. The platform itself is as helpful to criminals as any asset in the real world, be it the Internet or mobile phones. The percentage of Bitcoin operations connected to illegal activity is actually less than 1 percent, so it is surely not used exclusively to fund crimes. Moreover, most illicit activity still happens with fiat as demonstrated by both absolute and relative terms. Myth #5: Bitcoin is a waste of energy In reality: It uses more resources than gold or banks but for the sake of safer transactions The hefty sums of money accumulated as a result of mining Bitcoin are posed as a guarantee that the transaction was made. Bitcoin’s supporters see this as its fundamental difference of the cryptocurrency from other forms of using energy. They claim that there’s a balance between the calculations made and the safety of the transaction. While Bitcoin spends more in one place, it uses less in other aspects. The estimated dollar cost of Bitcoin mining per GJ spent is 40 times more efficient than traditional banking, and 10 times more efficient than gold mining. It also uses renewable energy and has the intention to solve the problem of regions that have unused power.  Conclusion While Bitcoin is relatively complicated and new, it shouldn’t discourage its critics from doing proper research based on facts and logic rather than indulging in urban legends about it. There should be a constructive debate between its supporters and protestors. So far, Bitcoin has proven to be a good candidate for the role of the digital money of the future, to use power effectively, to have credible monetary policy, to be censorship-resistant, and independent of fork and copies.
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How to Create an NFT Token?

How to Create an NFT Token?

June Katz 5 min read
The NFT craze There probably isn’t a hotter trend in crypto right now than the NFT surge of the last few weeks. Just like in many other trends, a significant amount of celebrities and billionaires have jumped on the boat that’s taken it to the mainstream, driving overall sales by over 55% with respect to last year. This might be the new crypto gold rush, as it turns out to be an asset that can be created by anyone regardless of their following community or income level. But, what exactly is an NFT, and why should you care about it?Let’s talk about fungibility first. If I have $10 in quarter-dollar coins in my pockets, I can comfortably go to the market and get a $10 bill in exchange for my quarters, because fiat currency is very fungible. By the same token, if I have a portrait from Picasso sitting in my living room, I cannot go to the market and have it exchanged by any other item, because Picassos, unlike fiat currency, are each unique and irreplaceable, and therefore non-fungible. Around this concept, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are created as the tokenization of a collectible digital object or art piece. All of us can google Banksy and freely download virtually all of his artwork because the Internet is flooded with pictures of his creations. These, however, are gonna be as unique as the quarters in your pocket. A very different thing is to have Banksy sign each of his paintings and mint them onto the blockchain so that there can only be one authentic copy for every piece of art that he has ever produced. That’s exactly how NFTs work. Everyone can create a piece of digital art, mint it, and sell it as the unique creation that it is. These creations are held in wallets, which also happen to be unique. Every token ID is associated with a wallet on the publicly available blockchain, meaning digital ownership is verifiable, and the authenticity of the NFT is strictly not replicable.  How to create your own NFT There are different blockchains that support different NFT token standards, with Ethereum being the largest one by far. It is important to note that there are other options like the Binance Smart Chain and Polkadot , which have their own wallet services and marketplaces that are increasing in popularity. However, the tokens you create will only be sold on the blockchain that they were minted at. The largest marketplaces at the time of writing are OpenSea , Rarible , and Mintable , all of them Ethereum-based. Since OpenSea is currently the largest, let’s use it as an example to dissect the process of creating and selling your first NFT.The first thing you’ll need to do is setting up an Ethereum wallet that supports ERC-721 standard tokens, which can be easily made at Coinbase , MetaMask , or Trust Wallet at no cost. Once you’re there, you will need to fund your wallet with around $100 worth of Ethereum that will be later required for gas fees. While Coinbase allows you to transfer fiat money to your wallet and then exchange it for Ethereum, MetaMask and Trust Wallet will both require you to transfer your ETH directly from another cryptocurrency exchange. As your wallet is connected to OpenSea and your Ethereum funds have successfully made it there, you’ll be ready to create your NFT. To do so, you’ll first need to go to the top right corner of OpenSea and click on the “Create” option, which will directly ask you to connect your wallet. After that, you’ll be requested to digitally sign a proof of ownership over your wallet, which is merely a transactional requirement that doesn’t incur any fees. That marks the end of the bureaucratic part of the process and the very beginning of your own creative digital business.Next, you should go to the “Create” option once again and click on the “My Collections” button. You’ll be shown a window where you can name your NFT collection and it will give you access to uploading your creations with their corresponding names and descriptions. This is the part of the process where you can include special features of your NFT that can increase its scarcity and make it more attractive for buyers. After that, you can proceed to determine the number of copies you want to issue and the retail price at which you want to sell.  How to list and sell your NFT The next step is to take your creation to the marketplace. It is important to know that while creating an NFT is free of charge, OpenSea and other platforms will charge you with a gas fee to list your creations on the marketplace. This is why you needed some Ethereum on your wallet, to begin with. Once you’ve decided your selling conditions, that is, whether you’d like to sell it at a fixed price or you’d prefer to run an auction, you’ll be asked to establish a seller’s fee, otherwise known as a royalty. This will give you a percentage of each sale that involves your NFT in the secondary markets, creating an attractive source of passive income that you’ll be able to enjoy all your life thanks to the self-executing nature of smart contracts.The first time you list an article on the marketplace, the gas fee will likely be high. That is because you’ll be establishing a personal trading smart contract for your wallet, which is a step of the process that only needs to be done once. Everything you want to sell after your first creation will be free of charge unless you decide to list your items in a different currency than ETH. In that case, there will be much smaller gas fees than the one you’ll have to pay on your first listing.  Is it a good time to enter the NFT market? The hype around the NFT space is real, as every day more and more artists and celebrities decide to take part in what might be the future of art and collectibles. NBA’s Topshot has made over $230 million in gross sales of highlight videos of their top stars. Grimes has sold over $6 million among images and short videos related to her music. Beeple had never sold a piece of his artwork for more than $100, until he sold $69 million worth of art over the last weeks. While it does help to have a large community of followers or a large audience that you can easily target, the price to pay as an artist is simply the initial gas fee and the amount of time it takes you to create the next work of art. So, now that you know how to sell your creations, are you ready to see how much your creativity can be worth?
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Which Cryptocurrencies Have the Lowest Transaction Fees?

Which Cryptocurrencies Have the Lowest Transaction Fees?

June Katz 7 min read
While cryptocurrencies have been around for a long time, they are still confusing for many people. The less obvious and common concern about cryptocurrencies is the so-called transaction fees that differ from one coin to another and how to find the cheapest of them.  What is a crypto transaction fee? A crypto transaction fee is essentially a fee that is charged to users when transferring coins from one account to another. In order for the transaction to pass and be recorded in the blockchain, a certain transaction fee is taken. It varies from coin to coin and depends on multiple factors which we will analyze in this article. The main purpose of a transaction fee is to make sure the transaction is validated to keep the corresponding platform running and developing – thus, to secure transactions.  Types of transaction fees While we usually think of a transaction fee as the network commission of a certain cryptocurrency, that is, one operational transfer of its coins to another address, it’s also worth considering other types of fees that currently exist.  Blockchain transaction fee, or network fee Blockchain transaction fee is a kind of fee used as an incentive for the miners on the network. Mining (and staking as well) commissions or transaction fees are small amounts of cryptocurrencies assigned to miners to process a transaction. These small payments reward the miners and stakers for the work done. All new transactions on the blockchain are recorded in blocks at regular intervals. The first record of all new transactions is made by the miner who managed to get the next coin. In addition, he also receives a reward for this operation.  Crypto exchange fees Apart from mining commissions, there are also exchange fees. All cryptocurrency exchanges charge fees from their users, it’s one of the ways they make money along with selling advertising space and charging listing fees from ICO teams that want to see their token at an exchange.  Wallet fees Another kind of commission is wallet fees that are charged for using a particular wallet. The money goes towards software development and maintenance of a digital wallet. There can also be withdrawal fees for when you want to take out a certain amount of coins.Notably, the more confirmations there are by most crypto wallets and exchanges, the better. This follows the general logic, according to which, with such a number of confirmations, the probability of this transaction being fake becomes rather low. Due to safety purposes, this number can be further extended in cases of network overload and 51% attacks. Cryptocurrency with lowest transaction fees Naturally, people are interested in finding the lowest fees. Cryptocurrencies are already tricky and complicated enough, so a common concern is not losing money due to the fluctuations in the market and the hefty fees as well. Generally, the medium crypto transaction fee on the market is about $0.15-0.25 (and up to $25 for Bitcoin and Ethereum in a busy time like now). Here’s a list of the cheapest cryptocurrency transaction fees of the most popular coins according to the data of BitInfoCharts (March 2021). This data is approximate and can change after the time of the article being published so it’s worth double-checking on the official sources before making transactions. The list goes as follows: Ethereum Classic : transaction fee is so low that starts from $0.00023 Bitcoin SV : has an average transaction fee starting from $0.0005 Bitcoin Gold : at the moment, the cheapest transaction fee for BTG coin is about $0.00063 Reddcoin : RDD's transaction fee is $0.00089 Vertcoin : 0.002 dollars fee in average Bitcoin Cash : 0.0025 USD fee per transaction Dash : exchange fee equals $0.0051 Litecoin's fee is $0.042 DOGE : while Doge itself costs less than a dollar, its transaction fee of $0.242 remains extremely low. What are the lowest fee cryptocurrencies? Zero-fee cryptocurrencies Nano : cryptocurrency without transaction fees Surprisingly, zero-fee cryptocurrency exists, and this is Nano. Except the lowest crypto fee in our list, the coin masters claim near-instant transactions. Nano works by utilizing Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism with a block lattice architecture where accounts have their own blockchains. It essentially means no need to incentivize miners for keeping the network secure using selected representatives instead. It ensures the cheapest transaction fee comparing to a traditional blockchain. Dash: cryptocurrency almost without fees Well, almost zero-fee, though it’s usually called feeless. The very point of Dash cryptocurrency is to be a fast and near feeless means of payment among people and businesses. On the official website, it is promised that with the help of Dash you can “say goodbye to chargebacks” – indeed, it’s quite profitable compared to other money transfer methods. Just check, any size transaction’s fee is less than $0.01, let alone they will remain anonymous!  IOTA : tech novelty to ensure transactions without fees One more cryptocurrency without blockchain in the list! IOTA literally charges no fee, demanding to validate two more transactions while creating one instead. You don’t need to incentivize miners if you as a user are a small miner yourself, huh? Parameters that influence cryptocurrency fees? While deciding on such parameters, it’s important to consider several factors. The amount of the fee charged can depend on how busy the native network of the coin is . For example, Ethereum currently has an average transaction value of 0.011 ETH equal to 19.41 USD which is much bigger than the average transaction value. This can also be explained by the fact that the system needs to run complicated decentralized apps. Following the previous example, a good rule of thumb when analyzing the peculiarities of the coins that influence their fees is also calculating how much is charged compared to the current value of the coin or token on the market. For example, Dash trades at $161.66, while its average transaction value is $0.0051. Transaction speed also influences the transaction fee. It can be standard, which is currently the most relevant case for the networks, and you can also set a custom option if you want your transaction to go faster. Bitcoin is a good example of this since its volatility results in exchange rate fluctuations and time becomes the defining factor in this case. Traders are willing to pay an increased commission so they don’t lose on such fluctuations.The fees charged also depend on the amount of crypto you are intended to transfer, how abundant it is, how much of the total amount of the coins is currently in circulation. The amount of the fee also depends on its native network. For example, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV all have different transaction values. On several blockchains like Ethereum and in the case of Ethereum-based coins, the amount of the transaction can also depend on how busy the network is. In some cases, no transaction fees are charged, as is the case of IOTA. You need to take multiple factors into account when analyzing the fees. When in doubt, it’s also worth comparing the fees to those of other cryptocurrencies, similar in price, purpose, and popularity. Where can you find current low cryptocurrency fees? When you want to find the lowest cryptocurrency fees, consider that such fees change dramatically over time. You can get this info online: check the websites like Bitinfocharts to find current network fees for old but gold cryptocurrencies and keep an eye on the brand new developments – probably one day it will be possible to invest without fees entirely. To find the data about exchange or wallet fees, just check the FAQs of the exchange service you use. It won’t be complicated to imagine the final numbers since you know the difference we described above. Check the compilations of exchanges with the lowest fees if you are interested in trading as well – for example, on SwapSpace you can see the difference in various exchanges’ rates onscreen, and this helps to find a good deal. Exchange crypto with best rates SwapSpace provides exchange options for more than 420 cryptocurrencies and tokens and 150,000 exchange pairs, including zero and low-fee coins. Here you can find the rates based on 12 different exchanges and choose the lowest-fee cryptocurrency exchange. Exchange Nano and Dash and without extra fee added.
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What Is NFT? Non-fungible Tokens Explained

What Is NFT? Non-fungible Tokens Explained

June Katz 7 min read
Many call 2021 the year of NFT. We see the evidence of this even outside the crypto world when we hear news about NyanCat being sold or music artists promoting their work and using NFT to monetize it. Even though there’s an undoubtable influence of NFT on people and pop culture, many still don’t know what it is and whether it’s worth paying attention to. Let’s have a look at the definition of NFT, whether it has value and what projects are associated with it.  What is NFT? NFT is a so-called non-fungible token. Any item that is unique due to its characteristics and cannot be formally replaced with the exact same one is considered non-fungible. In contrast, any fiat currency is a classic example of an interchangeable, fungible asset since any dollar bill is equal to another dollar. In the crypto world, there are also fungible kinds of coins like Bitcoin or utility tokens, that can be exchanged one for another. NFT, on its own, is an indivisible token that represents a unique item, digital or existing in real life. It is typically used for digital art, games, and collectibles. Despite all the differences, NFT still runs on the blockchain network and there are two types of new standards created specifically for NFT: ERC-721 and ERC-1155. There are quite a lot of opinions about this type of token in the crypto community. Some say that NFT is the next big thing in the world of cryptocurrencies, but others say that the scale of the NFT market and its user base is limited and that the hype around NFT will eventually cease. Undoubtedly, 2021 has marked a boom in NFT so let’s analyze why exactly it is trending and what are the reasons behind people saying that it will soon overperform DeFi. Why are NFTs important? Fundamentally, an NFT is a digital certificate that represents a unique object. The token will already contain all the information about the given object, as well as an exclusive right to it. When we own, buy, sell, or exchange a token, we perform all these operations with the product itself. Since the tokens are stored in an open and distributed blockchain, information about this product, its owner, and the history of transactions with this product will always be available and reliable. We can always know who made what product and who it currently belongs to. NFT technology potentially allows you to tokenize, that is, transfer any product to the blockchain. One can attach NFT to any digital product like images, videos, audios, or GIFs. The tokens can also be used to prove the ownership of a given item like virtual land and to validate the authenticity of the crypto asset. NFT allows you to digitize the interaction with any virtual and physical goods like digital art, weapons, skins, characters. There are numerous NFT marketplaces, such as SuperRare, Nifty Gateway, Rarible, where users trade collectible items. Why do NFTs have value? Tokenization adds many useful properties to any digital product that increase the value of this product. Firstly, they present ownership and inviolability. When your digital asset is decentralized, it does not depend on the system in which it is located. This is especially true for game items. You buy them, but you own them as long as the developer company allows you to. With NFT, you have a certificate of ownership of a given product. During the transaction, all computers connected to the cryptocurrency network enter data about it in the general chain. Such public records serve as evidence of authenticity, and they cannot be changed or erased. The tokens are also unique and scarce which adds value to the product. On NFT-based platforms collectors can build a network and content creators can express themselves freely and find new audiences and markets. They can be sure that their art won’t be distributed illegally without their consent. The tokens also have liquidity. One can check the originality of a digital work which makes it easier to sell. Another advantage of the tokens is their interoperability. A given item can be used within different platforms, as long as the developers allow users to do that. The tokens are also programmable which means that the items can possess complicated characteristics within themselves.  NFT and digital art The history of NFT started mainly with digital art. On the Internet technically anyone can save a copy of your work and NFT solves the “right-click problem” associated with art. Thanks to the programmability of NFT, it allows the artists to have full control over what happens with their work. By making royalties automatic, for example, artists can receive a percentage of each resale of their work. The commission is registered in the smart contract and goes to the artist’s crypto wallet automatically. This ensures that they get credit for the work and doesn’t depend on the person reselling the work.  Best NFT artists and art projects Currently, these are the most famous and recognizable artists on the NFT network: Beeple, Coldie, MBSJQ, Muratpak, Hackatao, and Fewocius. Many of them operate on platforms for publishing and exploring digital art like SuperRare, Nifty Gateway, Rarible, OpenSea. Some artists like JOY and Josie have used their smart contracts to create real brands. Cent, a social network with a unique micropayment system, has become a relatively popular community where people can share and discuss crypto creations.  SuperRare is one of the first platforms used for rare editions of digital works. It has strict pre-moderation, as well as high quality of work and prices. Nifty Gateway as a popular platform for crypto art has mass drops when one work is sold in several copies. The largest sales in terms of revenue are organized on this platform. For example, Beeple sold $3.5 million worth of works on Nifty Gateway in one weekend. OpenSea is the largest marketplace for NFTs in general and crypto art in particular. Most secondary sales are made on OpenSea.  Rarible is the most democratic platform. Anyone can tokenize their work. In general terms, Rarible is not only for crypto-art but rather a marketplace for any NFT. Other popular NFT projects CryptoKitties Many attribute NFT’s popularity to CryptoKitties , a collectible blockchain game created by Canadian-American studio Axiom Zen. It has built a bridge between blockchain and entertainment. One can nurture a virtual kitten and cross it with another one in order to get a new pet with unique characteristics and sell it.Despite the simple idea, the platform possesses complicated technology. Information about animals is stored in the Ethereum network, and the rules of the game are spelled out in a smart contract. Being programmable, the items in the game possess different characteristics. Each crypto cat has a combination of different properties, such as age, breed, or color. After the crossing of two unique kittens, there is one new cat with a unique 256-bit DNA, derived from a mixture of the parents' DNA and from random mutations. The DNA of a new cat sets its appearance according to the rules defined by the developers. The game also has a commercial component. You can put kittens up for sale, offer them for mating for the desired price and get the money by giving the kitten, or buy one. The virtual animal can only be purchased for Ether. Now, 11% of all transactions in the Ethereum network account for the purchase of these pets. СryptoPunks CryptoPunks , another NFT token project, was launched even before CryptoKitties. Tokens represent the heads of punks made in pixel art. Each punk has different attributes, such as background color, accessories, or an unusual appearance of an alien or a zombie. There are currently 10,000 cryptopunks in circulation, all with unique features. At its inception, CryptoPunks weren't separate tokens, but rather a trading platform that could be used with wallets like Metamask. This certainly simplified interactions and lowered the NFT entry threshold. Moreover, these tokens are compatible with wallets and platforms on Ethereum, although they are based on the usual ERC20, and not on the more modern ERC721 and ERC1155. Сrypto Stamps  Crypto Stamps is another project connected to NFT. Essentially, these are stamps issued by the Austrian postal service. Like any others, they are used to mark postal items, but the main feature is that they are stored as digital images on the Ethereum blockchain, making them available for sale as digital collectibles. This project has connected the digital world with the real world. Conclusion NFT is called the main trend in the blockchain in 2021. There are many use cases for such tokens, and it is likely that many developers will soon offer new, exciting innovations for this promising technology.This technology has already revolutionized the art of the game in particular. There are quite a lot of advantages of blockchain gaming. For users, this is an opportunity to easily exchange in-game assets without the participation of intermediaries. Developers can use the blockchain to generate additional revenue from the sale of game items and tokens, as well as attract new users. The development of the NFT market allows content creators to sell works of art directly to the audience, without intermediaries. Digital collectibles are opening up blockchain technology to completely new industries beyond traditional financial management applications. Representing physical assets in the digital world, NFT tokens can become an important part not only of the blockchain ecosystem but also of the economy as a whole. NFTs have investment value as a popular area that can help blockchain technology achieve mass adoption.
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Top 6 DeFi Exchanges in 2021

Top 6 DeFi Exchanges in 2021

June Katz 5 min read
Introduction One of the most remarkable moments for the crypto industry in 2020 took place in August, when decentralized exchanges (DEXs) surprised the world with a trading volume growth of 247% with respect to the previous month, while centralized exchanges (CEXs) could “only” keep it up to the humble amount of an 85% growth. Fast developments in the DeFi space such as liquidity mining , yield farming, and governance tokens have mostly been the ones responsible for the huge increase in trading on DEXs. Let’s find out what makes them so attractive and which ones you should keep an eye on: Characteristics of DEXs Non-custodial: Popular CEXs like Binance or Coinbase have frequently been criticized for their ability to be the ultimate custodians of any user’s private keys , and therefore their assets. Some may argue that this allows them to manipulate funds as they see fit, just like banks hold their customers’ fiats and move them around all the time. At DEXs, this is no longer possible because irrevocable ownership of the assets is guaranteed to any user.Automated: Most DEXs use the Automated Market Maker (AMM) algorithm to facilitate trading, which allows fast transactions free of intermediaries and keeps liquidity at healthy levels. Low trading fees and intuitive interface: swapping digital assets without having to break down the trickiness of the process had never been so inexpensive as with DEXs.  A higher degree of anonymity: only a link to a wallet is required to start trading, no need to spend your time signing up and filling in your social security number and other personal data to be granted access. How do DEXs work?  Sellers and buyers are connected through a global liquidity pool, which instead of being centrally managed and organized, works on a series of self-executing smart contracts that include automated processes to bring each transaction to its best price. Usually, any user must connect their external wallet, where they can easily deposit their funds in fiat and convert them into cryptos so that they can operate at the DEX with the cryptocurrency of their choice.One of the main disadvantages that most DEXs present is the absence of an option to swap fiat for cryptocurrencies at their platforms. While there are a few DEXs that allow this possibility, most of them will require you to trade with a cryptocurrency that you will have to hold in your possession previously. Key DEXs features to ponder Slippage: this is usually the product of high volatility in the markets when large price fluctuations make the trade take place at a lower price than the one attempted for in the first place. Good protection against this can be applied by trying to avoid trading coin pairs with respectively low market cap, despite most DEXs will show you the expected slippage on their sites.  Trading volume: it’s no secret that exchanges with larger relative volume will reach a wider audience and therefore become a higher trusted place.  Audit record: Every reputable DEX will have to go through strict scrutiny before they’re allowed to be publicly available. Checking for audit history is never a bad idea when choosing to trade on a new platform. Beta mode: you may encounter a few exchange projects that have not yet been developed to their full potential. While some of them could perfectly be the next big thing, it is a riskier choice for newcomers who are looking for some first experience. Social media: surveying the social platforms of projects will show you how engaged their community is with them and among themselves, which is a good metric to decide your DEX of choice on. Best decentralized exchange: top picks Uniswap Probably the most popular DEX of the industry since August 2020, Uniswap was born to serve 2 purposes that have proven to be highly successful. The first one was to be an exchange within the Ethereum ecosystem, and the second one to use its own liquidity providing protocol, otherwise known as the automated market maker. It currently supports any pair of swapping with Ethereum assets and has low gas fees. Curve Curve is the place to go if you’re looking for one of the most efficient stablecoin trading exchanges at an incredibly low rate of slippage. With a simple interface and some of the safest smart contracts in the entire DeFi landscape, Curve is an excellent place to trade any of the most popular stablecoins like DAI , USDC, USDT, TUSD, BUSD, PAX, and sUSD. Kyber This on-chain liquidity protocol acts both as an Ethereum-based smart contract swapping platform, and as a liquidity aggregator that always uses the pool with the best exchange rate possible, regardless of where the orders have been placed from. Its liquidity-accessing interface can be integrated from: smart contracts and Dapps to wallets and vendors. They use their native token, Kyber Network Crystals ($KNC), for rewards in trading fees and governance.  Bisq Bisq is a simple and intuitive DeFi project where trading fiat for well over 120 cryptocurrencies is possible. Their degree of decentralization is such that there isn’t even an automated mechanism for finding the best matches between buyers and sellers. Instead, users must manually search for orders in their trading pair of choice, which Bisq argues to be the truest form of peer-to-peer trading. Operating as a client and not as a company, they guarantee that security, non-censorship, and transparency will never be taken away by anything or anyone.  1inch 1inch is one of the leading DEX aggregators of the market, which works by connecting users to the best and cheapest prices of different DEXs. Trading fees vary across different exchanges, and 1inch has found a way to automatically connect any user with the best deal they can get. On Christmas Day 2020, they launched their own 1INCH governance token, which users can buy and hold to vote on how the platform is run.  0x 0x is where tokenization happens. Literally. This revolutionary project believes in the possibility to create tokens for virtually any form of value, whether it be cryptocurrencies, bonds, real estate, or software licenses. They firmly believe that what the internet did to information, public blockchains can do to financial services. Their own token is ZRX, used to pay for transaction fees and since 2019, acting as a governance mechanism as well.  Conclusion DEXs’ popularity and usability are growing at a fast pace and it is highly supported by the significant progress made in their technology. There’s plenty of reasons to expect their presence to increase and to keep on gaining market share to CEXs, as DeFi continues to develop at high speed. There’s still room for improvement and disadvantages to be taken care of, but with a growing community of users rooting for decentralization, we expect DEXs to be a major player in the future. 
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Wrapped Tokens Explained: What Are Wrapped Tokens and How They Work

Wrapped Tokens Explained: What Are Wrapped Tokens and How They Work

June Katz 4 min read
Ever wondered whether you can perform operations with cryptocurrency outside of its native blockchain? Unfortunately, you can't, at least not directly. This inability to migrate crypto assets from one blockchain to another can be considered by some among the most frustrating problems facing the crypto community. And while there currently is no direct way that would allow using Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain, a wrapped crypto token is the next best thing to a completely seamless transition between blockchains. Wrapped tokens explained Wrapped tokens are designed to allow the use of cryptocurrencies across blockchains, without forcing users to resort to selling crypto assets when they wish to trade on a platform utilizing a different blockchain. Essentially, a wrapped crypto token is a special cryptocurrency the value of which is tied to the value of another currency (similarly to stablecoins , the value of which is tied to fiat money like USD). The token is best imagined as a stand-in for a currency that is non-native to some blockchain. Using wrapped tokens allows the holder to preserve their original assets by securing them in a special digital vault. The original asset, however, remains inaccessible to the original owner while the token is in circulation. Though one can still retrieve their original assets, this will require a special notification to be given, which would pull the token out of circulation and destroy it. After this is done, the original crypto asset is released from the vault and given back to the holder.To explain in more detail, let’s look at the process of how wrapped tokens operate. In order for a wrapped token to be created, it requires a custodian – someone or something holding a certain amount of crypto assets. The value of the created wrapped tokens needs to be equivalent to the value of these assets. A custodian is usually a merchant, a multisig wallet (a type of wallet that requires several signatures for access), a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization – an automated and crowd-sourced investment organization, which operates similarly to a venture fund), or a smart contract. A custodian receives a certain amount of crypto, let's say 1 BTC, from someone who wants to trade on an Ethereum-based platform. The transferred BTC is then placed to a digital vault, “wrapped”, while an equal amount – 1 WBTC – is minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The value of the WBTC is tied to the value of BTC and changes in real time accordingly thanks to a smart contract algorithm. In case the client wants to exchange WBTC back to BTC, or “unwrap” it, he or she issues a request to the custodian, who burns the WBTC and releases the BTC back from the vault. Proof of the transactions is stored on the blockchain. It is important to note that there is a fee ( gas ) involved in wrapping and unwrapping the cryptocurrency. Wrapped tokens on Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) You can use wrapped tokens on both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. In the case of Ethereum, such tokens can be utilized instead of non-native Ethereum assets – tokens that originate on other platforms – in order for them to be compatible with ERC-20 (the standard that is used on Ethereum to issue tokens). Similarly, on Binance Smart Chain various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), USDT, and others can be wrapped with the help of Binance Bridge into BEP-20 tokens. They can then be bought or sold, or used for different purposes, such as yield farming (lending your funds in exchange or fees in crypto).Interestingly enough, ETH (or Ether), which is needed to pay for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, predates the ERC-20 standard. This means that Ether needs to be converted into the ERC-20 token , despite being native to the blockchain. To do so, you need to wrap Ether (ETH) into wETH, thus creating a tokenized version of Ether. Pros and cons of using wrapped tokens The most obvious advantage of wrapped tokens is based on the fact that various standards differ across various blockchains, and these standards aren’t compatible with one another. Wrapped tokens help overcome this problem, allowing you to use tokens on a blockchain without them being originally non-native to it.Secondly, wrapped tokens help build connections and contribute to increasing liquidity. Capital efficiency is increased by the proliferation of wrapped tokens as idle and disconnected assets are “put to work”: tokens allow for more assets to potentially become traded and utilized in transactions, while also building bridges between different platforms.Finally, wrapped tokens can help avoid extra fees and increase transaction speed.However, as with everything else, wrapped tokens are not without disadvantages. Tokens do not allow genuine blockchain-to-blockchain migration, and therefore require the presence of a trustworthy third party. This, of course, means extra fees to pay for the user.Conclusively, while wrapped tokens are not ideal and do not allow for true blockchain-to-blockchain transactions, they nevertheless help connect different blockchains to one another bridging the gaps in decentralized finance and making crypto-capital more efficient.
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What Are DeFi Liquidity Pools and How Do They Work?

What Are DeFi Liquidity Pools and How Do They Work?

June Katz 4 min read
Gone are the days where trading was exclusively done by the order book model, where someone willing to sell would have to find someone willing to buy at the same price for the trade to become successful. The presence of market makers willing to buy and sell at any given time would eliminate the liquidity problem. In a world with no transaction fees this would be the optimal solution, although that’s not particularly the case for crypto markets, where gas fees have been steadily increasing for the past months. DeFi liquidity pools have become the solution to this problem, and here’s exactly why.Let’s say you put a single pair of different tokens into a pool and you lock them in a smart contract. That single transaction creates a market at which the price of a token depends upon the price of the other, which is why the first liquidity provider (LP) sets the initial price of the assets. This incentivizes the LP to supply an equal value of the two tokens, given that if they decide to diverge from the current global price of any of the tokens, an opportunity for arbitrage will be created and the LP might suffer a capital loss. Consequently, all the following LPs that decide to add more tokens to a liquidity pool, must follow the rule of equal value among both tokens. Each token swap occurring in a liquidity pool is followed by a price adjustment set by an algorithm known as the Automated Market Maker (AMM), the mechanism through which the product of tokens can be held constant. For instance, if someone buys ETH from a DAI-ETH pool, the quantity of ETH will decrease, which will then push the price upwards. At the same time, the relative price of DAI will decrease as the AMM will force the quantity of DAI to increase to compensate for the loss of ETH on the pool. A large trade on a small pool will affect the relative prices significantly. Hence, the larger the pool, the bigger the size of trades it can accommodate without seeing big fluctuations in prices.  What are examples of major DeFi liquidity pools? Uniswap Uniswap is a decentralized token exchange that operates with a 50% reserve of Ethereum contracts, and another 50% reserve of ERC-20 tokens , such as Maker (MKR), or Tether (USDT). Trading ETH for any of the ERC-20 standard tokens can be done through this open-source platform, which also allows you to provide liquidity to the pool by simply depositing any pair of the supported tokens at a 50/50 ratio. In exchange, you’ll receive an equivalent amount of Uniswap tokens that will entitle you to collect the proportional amount of a 0.3% fee distributed among all Uniswap token holders, for every trade taking place at the pool. The most popular pools on Uniswap include DAI-ETH, ETH-USDT, and WBTC-ETH. Balancer  Initially a digital exchange platform, Balancer has transitioned into one of the most exciting DeFi liquidity pools of the moment. In this non-custodial portfolio manager, users create funds based on the cryptocurrencies in their portfolios. These do not need to follow the standard 50/50 proportion that helps keep the AMM constant, as Balancer supports pools with up to 8 different tokens. Moreover, providing liquidity to a Balancer pool is rewarded with their own BAL tokens and a portion of the trading fees whenever the network uses their liquidity to trade. MKR-WETH, BAL-WETH, and WETH-DAI-USDC are among the most popular pools of Balancer. Bancor Based on Ethereum, Bancor is a liquidity pool platform with some interesting features that make it stand out against other competitors. It uses similar AMM mechanisms as Uniswap or Balancer, although it has a varying transaction fee that usually oscillates between 0.1 and 0.5%. Furthermore, its pooling system allows Ethereum, EOS tokens, its own BNT token, and its stable coin USDB. The most popular pools on Bancor include USDT-BNT and USDC/BNT. What are the risks of DeFi liquidity pools?  One of the most common risks associated with DeFi liquidity pools is a phenomenon known as impermanent loss. When someone is holding a digital asset in their wallet, their market value may increase or decrease as the markets determine their price. However, when a digital asset held at a liquidity pool appreciates with respect to its pairing token, there is room for arbitrage. Outsiders may come to the pool and buy that same asset for a cheaper price, and then sell it in the global markets to gain a profit. If the liquidity provider decides to withdraw their assets at this point, their loss will become permanent, whereas if they leave it on the pool and wait for the prices to match again, their loss will have just been temporary, and therefore impermanent. Another risk that has been faced previously is smart contracts failure. This usually happens when the platforms are not audited or their coding security isn’t secure enough to resist data attacks.  What are the benefits of DeFi liquidity pools? Becoming a liquidity provider has proven to be a profitable activity that has led to the expansion of platforms like Uniswap. Easing the problem of liquidity for a rapidly growing community not only strengthens the network and facilitates trading, but it also allows liquidity providers to earn transaction fees from each trade that happens on their pool. Additionally, rewards in the form of platform tokens are a standard incentive for liquidity providers, as the platforms want their token pools to preserve their size and increase it more than anything else. These tokens usually increase their market value as the project unfolds successfully, which has happened over the last month with Uniswap and SushiSwap tokens. How can I join DeFi liquidity pools? Each platform keeps its own procedure to gain access to its pools, although, for the most part, a standard Ethereum wallet will need to be connected to your new account on the desired platform, and after the corresponding verification processes you will be able to start depositing tokens on the pool of your choice. While it is never a difficult procedure to carry out, it is important to keep an eye on the returns, transaction fees, and the exchange rates.
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Top 11 Crypto Movies You Need to Watch

Top 11 Crypto Movies You Need to Watch

June Katz 5 min read
Increased public attention to cryptocurrency and the rising popularity of blockchain technology has made crypto a feature of daily lives in the short span of several years. This has not gone unnoticed by filmmakers, who set out to explore the topic in serious, and sometimes comedic, ways. While crypto as the central plot point has mostly featured in documentaries, it is not unheard of for it to make an appearance in fiction, both live-action and animated. Bitcoin: Shape The Future (2017) A documentary film by Bitkan , a Bitcoin trading services provider, that offers a peek into the history of the decentralized blockchain from China’s perspective, while covering the worldwide Bitcoin community as well. The founders of some companies in the Chinese crypto space appear in the movie, such as Jihan Wu from Huobi. The Rise And Rise Of Bitcoin (2014) The film follows Daniel Mross, a computer programmer and a crypto-enthusiast, who got into Bitcoin in 2011. The documentary was intended to educate people about cryptocurrency and accelerate the development of blockchain technology. Filled with interviews with Bitcoin pioneers like Erik Voorhees, Charlie Shrem, and Mark Karpeles, the film introduces everymen to the world of cryptocurrency, by telling both success stories as well as downfalls. Deep Web (2015) Narrated by Keanu Reeves, this film follows the events surrounding Silk Road, Bitcoin, and the dark web. Centered around the trial of Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, the film features interviews with Wired writer Andy Greenberg and developer Amir Taaki. I am Satoshi (2014) "I am Satoshi", named after a mythical Bitcoin creator , is an argumentative project that discusses the advantages of using cryptocurrency over traditional currencies and payment systems. Similarly featuring interviews with the biggest personalities in the crypto world, the documentary presents a study of Bitcoin in relation to the global financial system. Bitcoin in Uganda (2014) Telling the story of Roland, a student from Uganda in the US, "Bitcoin in Uganda" serves as an example of how cryptocurrency can make a real positive change in people’s lives. Roland relies on his family to send him tuition money and traditional payment systems usually charge a substantial fee for money transfers in addition to taking days for the transfer to go through. Bitcoin came in as a game-changer for Ronald’s family, allowing them to avoid the slow and expensive payment system. Life on Bitcoin (2014) The documentary follows newlyweds Austin and Beccy who have set on a quest to live the first hundred days of their marriage relying exclusively on Bitcoin. "Life on Bitcoin" highlights the challenges of trying to use Bitcoin in small cities, demonstrated by the troubles the young spouses ran into while trying to convince local retailers to accept cryptocurrency and resorting to travel great distances just to be able to buy everyday essentials. Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It (2015) The film argues that Bitcoin, with its decentralized nature, can challenge the traditional banking systems. The documentary traces the history of money from the bartering societies to the financial trade hubs of our time. Criticizing the current practices of central banks and financial actors guilty of the 2008 crisis, the film points out the involvement of governments in the money creation process and the inflation that results from it. Banking on Bitcoin (2016) The film tells the stories of the pioneers of Bitcoin, analyzing both the successes and failures of the first cryptocurrency owners. It is an examination of the history of Bitcoin as well as its prospects for the future in the battle against traditional payment systems and fiat money. The documentary features interviews with Charlie Shrem, Eric Voorhees, and Gavin Andresen. The Blockchain and Us (2017) This award-winning film presents opportunities and challenges of Bitcoin and the blockchain in general in interviews with developers, cryptologists, researchers, venture capitalists, politicians, and futurists from both Europe and the US. This is not a film that only explains the technology, but also tells about its real-life application. Silicon Valley (2014 – present day) Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain feature prominently in Silicon Valley, a sitcom that explores the life of a group of young programmers attempting to launch their start-up while dealing with fierce competition and personal drama. Cryptocurrency and blockchain appear both in the background as something inherent to the contemporary world of IT, a topic of conversations, jokes, references, and even as the central plot point of the episode "Initial Coin Offering", where the gang engages in mining Bitcoin. The Simpsons (Season 31, Episode 13 – 2020) Having found its way into popular culture cryptocurrency was bound to appear sooner or later as a topic in "The Simpsons". In the recent episode “The Frinkcoin” Springfield’s professor Frink launches his own cryptocurrency thus becoming the richest man in town - something that the show’s frequent antagonist and old-school billionaire-caricature Mr. Burns cannot tolerate. The episode, as it is supposed to, ends with things returning to the way they were before in order to teach us the value of friendship and that money cannot buy happiness. With blockchain becoming increasingly integrated into daily life as new uses for it are being found every other day, in the last few months we have found ourselves in a situation where the public eye once again latches onto the price of Bitcoin. The short list above gives only a glimpse of the multiple references to crypto found on-screen, yet one can say with confidence that we will only see more of it as time goes by.
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