Swap Tracker
The Most Interesting NFT Examples: May 2022 Edition

The Most Interesting NFT Examples: May 2022 Edition

Ruth Kise 4 min read
NFT collections are digital objects created according to a single principle. These can be art, virtual land plots, music, and in general everything that can be stored in digital format. We have collected five (actually more) NFT collections of digital art that make up the top among the number of buyers on OpenSea and Looksrare NFT marketplaces. In the article, you will find out about what is in these collections, who their creators are, and how much the lots cost. Prices are relevant in mid-May, 2022. 1. Otherdeed for Otherside Otherdeed is the key to claiming land in Otherside - a 3D metaverse in the spirit of Dungeons and Dragons, that appears to offer a gaming format for Bored Ape or Mutants NFT holders. Each plot of land has a unique blend of environment and sediment — some with resources, some home to powerful artifacts. And on a very few, a Koda roams. As it’s claimed on the platform, there will be 200,000 Otherdeeds in total. The first 100,000 were available on April 30, 2022. The second 100,000 will be exclusively awarded to Voyagers who hold Otherdeeds and contribute to the development of Otherside. For those with Bored Apes or Mutants, Otherdeeds await their claim. For other adventures, it will be available for sale with ApeCoin . Creator: Yuga Labs Items: 97.9 K Owners: 34.4 K Floor price: 2.78 ETH Volume traded: 255.1 K 2. Azuki / BEANZ official Azuki starts with a collection of 10,000 avatars that give you membership access to The Garden - a corner of the internet where digital and physical worlds are blurred. Artists, builders, and web3 enthusiasts are creating this metaverse brand. By choosing one of the avatars, you choose your identity and get access to exclusive streetwear collabs, additional NFT drops, eventual live events, and much more.  Creator: TeamAzuki Items: 10.1 K Owners: 5.2 K Floor price: 8.66 ETH Volume traded: 231.1 K BEANZ (also created by TeamAzuki) are small species that sprout from the dirt in the Garden. Minted as a great friend to an Azuki, they're earnestly driven by the desire to help. However, peas are self-contained to a full degree and ready to pave their own path... Creator: TeamAzuki Items: 20.0 K Owners: 7.5 K Floor price: 1.05 ETH Volume traded: 57.5 K 3. PXN: Ghost Division One of these NFTs would be your login to the new dark side world, where every holder is a ghost. 100 Ghosts comprise one of 100 Regiments under the Phantom’s charge. All members are called to stand side by side to make a revolution and resist the shadow.   The collection of PXN (the underbelly of web3) counts 10,000 avatars and gives access to exclusive clubrooms for onboard NFT communities, and unique ways to interact with the community in web3. Creator: PhantomNetwork Items: 10.0 K Owners: 6.3 K Floor price: 3.59 ETH Volume traded: 25.5 K 4. Bored Ape Yacht Club/ Mutant Ape Yacht Club One of the most famous NFT collections of 10,000 unique Bored Apes— unique digital collectibles living on the Otherside, Ethereum blockchain. Your Bored Ape doubles as your Yacht Club membership card and grants access to members-only benefits, the first of which is the access to THE BATHROOM, a collaborative graffiti board. Future areas and perks can be unlocked by the community through roadmap activation. Creator: BoredApeYachtClub Items: 10.0 K Owners: 6.3 K Floor price: 92 ETH Volume traded: 565.5 K The MUTANT APE YACHT CLUB is a collection of up to 20,000 Mutant Apes that can only be created by exposing an existing Bored Ape to a vial of MUTANT SERUM or by minting a Mutant Ape in the public sale. Creator: MutantApeYachtClub Items: 19.1 K Owners: 12.4 K Floor price: 19 ETH Volume traded: 395.3 K 5. Doodles Doodles are a collection of exciting hand-drawn designs by Burnt Toast. The Doodles universe is ever-expanding and new experiences like Space Doodles are only now available to collectors. Each Doodle allows its owner to vote for experiences and map activations paid for by the Doodles Community Treasury - Doodlebank with $5 million USD. Creator: Doodles_LLC Items: 10.0 K Owners: 5.0 K Floor price: 14.5 ETH Volume traded: 127.2 K Of course, these are not all popular collections. Today there are many interesting offers of NFT tokens of very different formats, whether it's art objects, music, clothes, lands, or the opportunity to book a table in a secluded restaurant. Despite all the ups and downs, the great idea of being a member of Metaverse and the ability to convert literally everything to NFT continues to arouse audience interest and increase market demand. Choose what you like, join like-minded communities, or be the first in the worldwide implementation of the Metaverse.
Read more ❯
The Drawbacks of Centralized Crypto Exchanges: Binance Russia Case

The Drawbacks of Centralized Crypto Exchanges: Binance Russia Case

June Katz 4 min read
On April 21, Binance released an official statement according to which it will restrict access to its services for users who live in Russia and have assets worth more than $10 thousand. Such clients will no longer be able to deposit additional funds to their accounts or trade on the exchange. They will only be able to withdraw funds. In March, Binance denied that it was preparing to freeze the accounts of Russians, as this contradicts the concept of the cryptocurrency industry. The company said it was not going to impose restrictions on Russian bidders with the words: "Cryptocurrencies are designed to provide greater financial freedom to people all over the world. A decision to unilaterally ban consumers from accessing their cryptocurrencies would be contrary to what this industry exists for". It is worth saying that in the current situation, cryptocurrency is the only financial instrument that allows Russians to try to protect their savings from inflation. A few weeks ago, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation persistently convinced Russians that the cryptocurrency market is extremely risky for private investors and that the only way to save and increase their savings is through the Russian stock market and the national currency. Such news reminds us that one of the biggest problems of cryptocurrencies at the moment is the centralization of services. Blockchain processing requires a lot of computing resources and time. Therefore, ordinary users who just want to transfer a few coins prefer to use centralized services for this. Most Bitcoin users trust blockchain.info, Ethereum users trust myetherwallet, etc. If these popular wallets are compromised, the funds of a huge number of users will be stolen.. Trust in centralized services leads to the appearance of a single point of failure in cryptocurrencies, allows censorship, and endangers user coins. As another example, we can cite the protests of truckers in Canada, when the court froze the protesters' funds in cryptocurrency for millions of dollars. These events have shown us that the state has leverage to carry out censorship in the sphere of cryptocurrencies, which seemed to many before, was beyond their control. Unfortunately, any centralized financial institution can block access of their clients and users to funds: payment systems, banks, classic or crypto exchanges. The problem with crypto exchanges is that they operate based on issued licenses, they have services that are responsive to the regulator and the competent authorities of the countries that issued the license, up to criminal liability. Therefore, at the request of the regulator, a centralized exchange must restrict access or seize its client's funds. Centralization as solution Centralization is increasingly seen as a solution to problems. A large network is slowly synchronized, so many cryptocurrencies offer to use a limited number of trusted "master nodes", "witnesses", etc. to "solve the problem" of too many nodes in the network. The number of these trusted nodes may be different, but by using this method to solve scalability problems, developers are also destroying the decentralized nature of the blockchain, since the result of this will be the formation of a cryptocurrency with one functioning node that processes transactions very efficiently, without delays, confirmations, and forks, but in this case, the blockchain becomes unnecessary. Today, most users do not understand the technical details, so such centralized blockchains will continue to attract them, because centralized services will always be easier to develop and more convenient for the user. Decentralized Exchanges : an Alternative Decentralized exchanges (English Decentralized Exchanges, or DEX) are an alternative to CEX. Here you don't have to trust your assets to someone else. Unlike traditional CEX, transactions and trades on such platforms are automated using smart contracts and decentralized applications, and DEX acts only as a platform that only connects the buyer with the seller who wants to sell their tokens. DEX cannot be closed by any government and regulators, since no organization is responsible for them. But such decentralization has its price. This is a low trading volume, low liquidity, lower transaction speed, and a poor UI, as a result of which it is more difficult to work with such exchanges. Also, the differences between decentralized and centralized exchanges include the fact that some DEX bet on experienced users. For example, they do not have support services, and they also do not use fiat gateways, unlike CEX. Decentralized exchanges are aimed at more experienced users who work only with their wallets and want to fully control their digital assets. At the same time, they sacrifice other benefits provided by centralized exchanges. This is an easier user experience, a large trading volume, and higher liquidity. Examples of DEX’es are Binance DEX, Uniswap , and SwapSpace . Summary We have already written that although governments can't ban blockchain use they can marginalize it and slow down its growth until the necessary tools for control will appear.  If a few years ago the marginalization of cryptocurrencies was facilitated by its widespread use on the black market and opacity , now users' fears of simply losing access to funds due to belonging to any social group or nationality have been added to this. Of course, the listed risks do not outweigh the convenience of CEX for everyone, but it is important to understand that the original essence of cryptocurrency was that an ordinary user could be outside countries, governments, and banks, so attempts to take it away are very alarming.
Read more ❯
Mining Cryptocurrency on a Phone: How Does It Work?

Mining Cryptocurrency on a Phone: How Does It Work?

June Katz 4 min read
Cryptocurrency is distinguished from fiat money by the absence of a single digital bank and control over transactions and payments. It is stored and maintained in a decentralized manner, that is, on the wallets of millions of users around the world. If the bank is responsible for accounting for ordinary money, then in the case of, for example, Bitcoin , the blockchain is responsible for this, which contains records of all transactions ever made. Miners are rewarded for supporting the network, that is, combining transactions into blocks and calculating the key (hash) for the block. That is, people generate keys and try them until one fits. If earlier it could be done using a regular home PC, now it requires much more power. Mining Bitcoins using the SHA-256 algorithm requires so much performance from the equipment that even the most powerful processors are far from the past. And with the advent of ASIC chips, video cards are slowly starting to lose ground. Nowadays people practically do not let mobile gadgets out of their hands, so despite the growing difficulty of obtaining cryptocurrencies, developers have come up with how to mine crypto on phones. In this regard, the question arises, is it really possible to mine cryptocurrency on a smartphone? In principle, this is possible, although we can only talk about coins that differ significantly from "digital gold" in terms of the characteristics of their production. First of all, we are talking about mining on Android-based CryptoNight algorithm ( derived from CryptoNote). These include Monero (XMR), Bytecoin (BCN), and Digital Note (XDN). You can also try mining currencies such as Dash (DASH), Aeon (AEON), QuazarCoin (QCN), Fantom (FTM), MonetaVerde (MCN), or new little-known coins on your Android phone after they are added to applications. Popular apps for mobile crypto mining MinerGate This miner is a specialized pool that gives a chance to earn some crypto on a PC, tablet or mobile phone. The pool program distributes tasks between participants to combine their computing capabilities into a single network. Mining can be done via Wi-Fi or a mobile network. In the settings, you should set that mining can only be done via Wi-Fi or only when the phone is recharging. It is also possible to set the number of cores used for mining and prohibit operation if the battery charge is low. The device does not heat much during the extraction process. The calculation speed is low. It depends on the power of the smartphone and can vary quite widely, for example, on one (budget) gadget you can get 9 H/s, and on another (more expensive) – 17 H/s. But in any case, this is 10-20 times less than the average hand of a personal computer. You can earn about 10-12 BCN per day — 0.0015 USD. ARM Mineral This is one of the best mining apps for Android/IOS in 2022. Not bolted to a specific pool, very simple interface. In the free version, the user is shown a video advertisement of a binary options resource in full-screen format, it is impossible to disable it. The ad-free version is paid. The mining speed is 2.8 kH/s on 4 cores, 3.2 kH/s on 8 cores. The SHA256 and Scrypt algorithms do not run, the earnings for the rest are too small. At the same time, there is noticeable heating and unstable operation of the device under load. Is it worth it? Before mining on an iPhone or Android, you should ask yourself how appropriate it is to do this. Calculating the hashes of cryptocurrency blocks requires a serious and long-term load on the device, for which smartphones are not designed at all. The fact is that the phones do not have an active cooling system, and passive cooling does not provide a normal heat sink. This leads to rapid wear of the device. It should be noted that all the tests did not take into account the cost of used electrical energy and the wear and tear of equipment. If we take into account these factors, the income from mobile mining will not be comparable with the costs.
Read more ❯
What Is a DAO And How Does It Work?

What Is a DAO And How Does It Work?

Ruth Kise 10 min read
Until recently, the concept of blockchain was only known in the context of cryptocurrencies, but today this technology is actively used in business. What's more, the new acronym DAO is entering the mainstream. So the "untraditional" business model appears along with JSC and attracts the attention of business enthusiasts more and more. DAO Definition and Key Features DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) is a company that is based on blockchain technology, managed using smart contacts. It does not have owners in the traditional sense, as well as controlling and governing bodies like the board of directors. In other words, decentralized autonomous organizations lack a hierarchical structure, and all participants in the ecosystem have the same rights and can vote for changes in the protocol on an equal basis with other participants. strong >Main features of DAO: In contrast to JSC, the «command and control» structure in formal union of groups of people is not applicable in this case. There are no executive boards and the company is managed by the community by voting on any relevant matter relating to the activities of the organization; Instead of traditional hiring, a person receives a smart contract based on the project. After that, the members of the community discuss the offer and vote. After its adoption, the work of the executive begins directly; Quitting is also becoming a consensual issue. So, if a person does not cope with the tasks set for him, token owners who voted to hire him can withdraw their votes, leaving the employee "overboard." Thus, possible conflicts are excluded in the DAO due to lobbying for the interests of certain persons; Agility and flexibility to innovate. This is due to the fact that companies are organized not around people, but around values​ and smart contracts . In a peer-to-peer system, much faster. In a "flat" organization, the community can rally faster and "fund" the best and most promising idea. As noted above, decisions are made by vote; Absence of meetings and colleagues in the traditional sense. DAO organizational policy Note that DAO is also characterized by the presence of internal company policies, but it has a number of differences. In classic business, in particular, management determines the actions of the entire organization. In the case of DAO, the value is the main factor on which all efforts will be focused. Therefore, every community member, who decides the future of the compound protocol, is motivated to bring the maximum benefit without looking back at the leader’s wishes. Since the DAO model does not involve a centralized hierarchy, it relies on alternative approaches, such as token-based memberships. Typically, such governance tokens can be freely purchased and filed on decentralized exchanges , or earned by providing liquidity or computing power for mining or staking. In any case, by holding governance tokens, you become a kind of shareholder and gain access to voting, which determines the organization's development strategy. Managing the DAO: What Are Governance Tokens? Governance token — a token that allows its owner to take part in the management of an organization. Thanks to governance tokens, users can propose, discuss and make changes to the project, and they do not need to rely on the project team or require its participation. "DAO is an organization that can operate on its own, using code, without anyone's responsibility for decision-making," explains blockchain enthusiast Travis Miller. "Imagine a corporation without a CEO." In addition, participants can use tokens to delegate voting rights to other users and monitor the distribution of funds allocated to support the project. DAO in Crypto: Examples The first thing you should note is that the meaning of the DAO economy is to attract users to actively manage and develop the ecosystem of a particular platform. As a rule, users who participate in voting can receive a reward. Thanks to Ethereum , the built on smart contracts infrastructure of DAO has appeared in the crypto industry. There are few examples of DAO including Maker, Compound, Forth ( Ampleforth ). DAO Maker DAO Maker — is a decentralized platform based on Ethereum. It was the first who made it possible to create DAI stablecoins , and various other cryptocurrency assets are accepted as collateral. One of the main features of the DAO Maker platform is that the DAI stablecoin is always equal to US $ 1 per 1 DAI unit.  Since this is DAO on the platform uses governance tokens — MKR, a million of which were distributed between the first users of the platform. In the DAO Maker ecosystem, MKR tokens are used as the "fuel" of the entire system, just as gas is used in Ethereum. As soon as the commission is paid, the received MKR tokens are destroyed (burned). New MKR tokens are released as needed, so the system is constantly in a certain balance. Compound Another of the largest credit protocols in the DeFi. In addition to interest on issued loans secured by cryptocurrency, it charges creditors COMP tokens to motivate the community to issue more crypto loans. COMP tokens allow their owners to make decisions about changes to the Compound protocol. When the user enters tokens into the Compound pool, in return he receives cTokens. These cTokens represent the depositor's share of the pool and can be used at any time to redeem the underlying cryptocurrency originally deposited in the pool. For example, when deposited in an ETH pool, in return you will receive a cETH. Over time, the exchange rate of cTokens of the underlying asset increases, which means that you can exchange them for a larger amount of the underlying asset than you originally invested - this is how the interest distribution occurs. Ampleforth This is an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency with an algorithmically regulated number of tokens in the circulating offering. It is intended for use as the base currency of the new decentralized economy and is an asset that is not subject to demand inflation and remains independent of the price movement of other cryptocurrencies, in particular bitcoin (BTC). Besides AMPL the platform has governance tokens FORTH. Ampleforth has a 6-step protocol change process. When the proposal successfully passes the first five stages, the FORTH holders vote for the proposed change. If a majority is reached during voting, then the change is automatically made to the protocol. DAO Pros and Cons Pros: There is no hierarchical ladder, so a separate group or control center cannot make decisions that ignore the interests of the rest of the participants. Decentralized management system. With this approach, the actual power passes into the hands of only those persons who are really interested in this and are ready to develop the project. All rules, requirements and conditions for working with the DAO platform are known in advance and can only be changed with the approval of most owners of control tokens. As a result, only really useful offers "pass." All transaction records are publicly available, eliminating asset fraud. Cons: Slow response to threats. If something atypical happens, you need to vote among all governance token holders to solve the problem. At the same time, the decision must first be prepared by someone, which also requires certain costs. As a result, the reaction is very slow, which threatens potential problems. The development also requires a vote. Moreover, you need not only to offer a further way of development, but also to find an executor who will be ready to do the work. It slows down the development of the DAO platform. Despite the high potential of blockchain in managing systems, it hides many risks associated with protocol security. And history knows the hard chapter with the first DAO case in 2016, when the platform was hacked . But it connected with the organization of decentralized and open platforms. Anyway DAO attracts a lot of enthusiasts from different business areas, and has been already realized in such spheres as art, culture, gaming, automatizing and so on.
Read more ❯
How to Avoid Losing Your Crypto in Cross-Chain Swaps: a Detailed Guide

How to Avoid Losing Your Crypto in Cross-Chain Swaps: a Detailed Guide

June Katz 13 min read
As you must know, there are many types of cryptocurrency operating on different networks and using different protocols. Although bitcoin still dominates the cryptocurrency market, this dominance has been declining in the past few years amid growing interest in DeFi cryptocurrencies and as this happens, the demand for Bitcoin's interaction with DeFi is also growing. The growth of numerous independent blockchain ecosystems with different specifics and geographical niches has led to the fact that the world is becoming more and more multi-blockchain. The ability to freely use the advantages of each of these blockchains and their unique assets within a single application would cause a powerful wave of development of new cross-chain smart contracts - as with the spread of DeFi, NFT , and on-chain gaming economies, when decentralized oracle services for obtaining real data and secure computing outside the blockchain appeared. We could compare the exchange of DeFi and Bitcoin with the exchange of one fiat currency for another, but an analogy would be more accurate, in which one group of people uses Coca-Cola caps for calculations, and the other uses shells, - that's how much the principles of their work differ. What Do Different Blockchain Networks Mean? To understand this difference, we need to touch on the question of how does blockchain work. Blockchain is a continuous chain of blocks that contains all records of transactions.  The chain of blocks is unbreakable since each block contains a link to the previous one. As a result, it is impossible to forge a registry with data on the owners of assets in the blockchain. The addition of new blocks is artificially restricted. If this is not done, the blocks will be added randomly and a reliable sequential chain will not work. For the appearance of a new block to become possible, it must be checked - this is what the miners are doing. First, there was the bitcoin network, with which the cryptocurrency revolution began. ERC-20 ( Ethereum ) network was the next truly big development in this sphere, from which DeFi technology and the use of smart contracts originate. Then other networks using different algorithms appeared. Ethereum uses one blockchain, and Bitcoin uses another, and they are not interconnected. You can't just send tokens between networks. Therefore, to exchange within this exchange pair, you will need other tools and methods Today, there are already dozens or even hundreds of first- and second-level blockchains. Each blockchain is unique in its way and has its advantages and disadvantages. If the world of cryptocurrencies, in which there was only Bitcoin, can be compared with the city where the railway was built, then today there are many types of transport in this city: from bicycles and helicopters to personal cars, trams, and boats.  Each of them has its advantages for the user. At the same time, the user is not obliged to use only a bicycle or a car during the day and has the opportunity to "transfer" between them when he wants. But how? ERC-20 Standard Tokens Before the advent of Ethereum, each token had a separate intelligent contract and, as a result, there were many compliance problems. As a solution for it, a standard protocol ERC-20 (or Ethereum Request For Comments) was created.  The peculiarity of the ERC-20 standard is in several requirements that need to be met to accept a token and its network interaction with other tokens. Assets in the blockchain can be valuable, they can be received and sent, like all cryptocurrencies. The ERC-20 standard is technically easy to apply. This allows specialists to easily develop new tokens. There are a large number of ERC-20 compatible tokens. For example, Maker (MKR), Tether (USB), Fantom (FTM), Dai (DAI), and others. Since any ERC-20 token can be stored in any ETH-compatible wallet, we can switch from one ERC-20 token to another without much risk and difficulties. When transferring Ethereum's assets to an EVM-incompatible chain such as Solana , the bridge connecting the two networks uses two different wallet addresses and token standards. This means that users need to connect a wallet compatible with Ethereum and Solana, such as Meta Mask and Phantom. Other Token Standards There are other technical standards of tokens that serve different purposes: the best-known ones among them are BEP-20, OMNI, and TRC-20, which you will find in the I/O section on a variety of cryptocurrency exchanges. If you transfer an ERC-20 token to the wallet of one of these networks, you will lose it, because when you send it, you will specify a similar address, existing on another network, - as if you came to visit your friend on a street with the same name, but in a different city. Luckily, there are crypto sites that support multiple blockchains, such as Binance or Coinbase. When you deposit or withdraw any of the different blockchain coins, you will be asked to choose the type of network. After entering the wallet address or the recipient's address for withdrawal, Binance will automatically select the network based on the entered address. How to Cross-Chain There are 2 ways to cross-chain exchange: On a Centralized Exchange, like Binance which we've already mentioned , where you can simply exchange bitcoin for ether, Solana for Near, etc. Here large internal pools and algorithms of centralized exchanges are responsible for exchanges. The exchange's developers control these processes, and all this happens nominally on the exchange's wallets, and not in the blockchain itself.  Platforms that provide cross-chain services do not work for free. It is necessary to pay the cost of the operation for the deposit and withdrawal of funds, which is sometimes quite high. In addition, most centralized exchanges (CEX) require KYC procedures (providing copies of documents, photos/videos of the user), which does not always satisfy users.  Decentralized Trading Platforms, such as UniSwap , do not collect personal data about their users, nor do they require complex registration/login procedures. On decentralized platforms, special smart contracts are used to achieve a high level of trust. They allow interaction between different networks and, in case of compliance with the terms of the contract specified by users, to perform automatic exchange (conversion) of assets. However, you need to be prepared for the fact that the exchange pair you need may not be on DEX. When choosing an exchange, it is important to take into account the number of trading pairs. The more of them, the higher the opportunities for trading and investing. To begin with, you need to decide on the choice of an exchange. Then carefully approach the study of trading pairs. It is necessary to work on large platforms with liquid pairs in order to reduce risks. There are also aggregators like SwapSpace , which is designed to make choosing a bit easier by gathering offers from different exchanges in one place. There’s also using blockchain bridges. If we go beyond centralized exchanges into the world of decentralized finance , then, in fact, we go into the blockchain itself. And only bridges will allow you to make a cross whose new exchange is in the blockchain itself. Cross-Chain Bridges Cross-chain solutions, cross-chain bridges, compatibility, or interoperability solutions are a technology that allows you to transfer tokens from one blockchain to another. Blockchains, like islands or individual states, exist in their ecosystems according to their own rules, and initially, the developers did not bother with the standardization and compatibility of networks. With the growing number of projects in the decentralized space, this issue has become acute. The bridge most often refers to the use of managing smart contracts and an oracle service that monitors transactions and listens for events in the managing smart contract. The bridge can be one-way, receiving information via other communication channels . The most important thing is that the bridge is a cryptographic verification of the authenticity of the information. Cross-chain solutions can transfer assets within the same network — from L1 to L2, for example. But bridges do not transfer tokens in the classical sense, - bridges have certain pools of liquidity for pairs of assets. Tokens are blocked in one network and minted again in another For example, to transfer tokens from blockchain A to blockchain B, the bridge temporarily freezes assets in blockchain A (the sender's funds). Then the required tokens are unblocked (minting) in blockchain B (the recipient has access to funds in the addressee blockchain). If the user decides to get his funds back, the reverse process is performed: blockchain B tokens are burned and access to blockchain A tokens is unlocked. You can use various cross-chain bridges. they are built based on burning algorithms (mint-and-burn) or using the process of freezing and reissuing synthetic tokens. It is implied that when a token leaves its blockchain, it is frozen, and at the same time, a synthetic version of this token is released on another platform. Often (but not always) the process is based on the presence of intermediaries (oracles) in the systems to transfer information from one blockchain to another. The burning protocol, as the name suggests, does not freeze, but burns tokens. Cross-chain solutions can be centralized (requiring full trust), federated (federated), and trustless. These characteristics can vary to varying degrees - it all depends on the level of decentralization. Centralized bridges imply full control by any institution/team/company/project. Users transfer their information/funds to the management of the central authority that controls the operation of the blockchain. There is no decentralization, but such solutions are easily and quickly implemented. At the same time, no one guarantees the safety of funds, therefore, this technology does not differ in security. The federated bridge works by analogy with a private blockchain. Nodes must comply with a number of strict rules to become part of the management network and gain control over the movement of tokens. Specialized nodes are called keepers. There are such, for example, in a cross-chain solution between Ethereum and Wanchain . Custodians block tokens in Ethereum and issue tokens in Wanchain. If the user needs to transfer tokens back, he submits a request to the keepers, who send part of the secret key. When a full key is generated, it removes the lock from the tokens. There may be various options for voting mechanisms with partial control. Trustless-bridge is a full-fledged decentralized system that any network participant can join to perform the functions of an agent or validator. He verifies the validity of transactions and receives a commission for it. The Syscoin bridge works according to this algorithm. Nodes here can challenge the work of other agents and report a violation. If the check is successful, then 3 ETH is withdrawn from the violator, but in the opposite case, 3 ETH is lost by the person who reported the violation. Another vivid example of such a bridge is Wormhole, connecting the Solana network and Ethereum. It allows you to convert ERC-20 tokens into native SPL tokens of the Solana blockchain. Examples of cross-chain bridges can be projects such as the AnySwap , BTC Relay, POLKADOT , BLOCKNET, AION , WANCHAIN, etc Advantages of Cross-Chain Bridges Bridges can accelerate the transfer of digital assets in a trustless environment. Interoperability can also contribute to high confidentiality, for example, data is recorded in sidechains accessible only to the parties involved in each specific transaction. Bridges can also provide greater speed and scalability using sharding (segmentation). Individual operations can be recorded in a network segment, while the result of processing a group of operations is recorded in the main registry. Bridges reduce network traffic by distributing between less loaded blockchains, which also contributes to greater scalability. Disadvantages of Cross-Chain Bridges This is still an experimental technology that needs to be honed for mass use. Cross-chain solutions have not yet become sufficiently universal and so far act as a kind of crutches, another add-on, or a level above blockchains, which makes the entire system more cumbersome. Errors and obstacles between the work of various networks are not excluded, because these are complex distributed registries, and not every computer can process such an amount of information. That is, cross-chain bridges are quite resource-intensive, in the sense that they require a lot of human resources and time. There are also questions about security. The more bridges an asset passes, the riskier it becomes, moving further away from the original asset. Since new tokens with new tickers are minted every time they pass through the bridge, this creates inconvenience for users. Now it is necessary to look for a unique approach to each case and each pair of blockchains, and this requires time, money, and serious efforts of developers.
Read more ❯
What Are Stablecoins - And How You Could Use Them

What Are Stablecoins - And How You Could Use Them

June Katz 5 min read
The cryptocurrency market is growing rapidly. The turnover on the exchanges is trillions of dollars. The value of individual digital assets exceeds the value of large companies. Investor interest is increasing. However, the risks remain. One tool for reducing risks is the so-called stablecoins. Their main strength is the same as that of recognized fiat currencies, - relative stability. It is possible to make predictable calculations using them. The most popular stablecoins are: USD Tether (USDT) Binance BUSD (BUSD) True USD (TUSD) Paxos Standard (PAX) USD Coin (USDC) Now there are several types of stablecoins, the most common of which group them by the type of the underlying asset, i.e. the asset to which the cryptocurrency is linked: to fiat money, for example, USDT (Tether, pegged to the dollar) and bitCNY (to the yuan); to goods traded on the stock exchange, for example, precious metals and gas or it could be even crypto-backed stablecoins. What are stablecoins used for? Stablecoins are most often used to fix profits, and to preserve the balance from drawdowns during jumps in the value of the main trading cryptocurrency. Large investors sometimes transfer their profits "overnight" to a stablecoin to continue trading without losses in the morning. In addition to the protective function, this type of digital currency is used for: Everyday transactions Optimized recurrent payments and transfers from card to card Cheap international transfers, for example, for foreign workers Guarding against hyperinflation of the local currency Increasing the speed and quality of cryptocurrency exchanges to reduce dependence on bitcoin . On some exchanges, it is already faster and cheaper to trade through a stablecoin. And it takes time and additional checks to enter fiat money into the system. Also, this type of digital asset allows you to diversify risks: while the price of bitcoin is changing a lot, you can store funds practically in euros or dollars. The presence of stablecoins ensures the trust and acceptance of cryptocurrencies in general. Institutional investors use stablecoins, increasing the turnover of the industry as a whole, and increasing profitability for smaller investors. Plus, the more trust in cryptocurrencies, the easier it is to use them in the real world when buying goods /services. So, which stablecoin will suit you the most depends primarily on your goals. Often people who need to transfer money from one state to another in a quick transit (in a day or two), use Tether (USDT) because it has the best liquidity. The main thing here is not to keep large amounts of money in it for a longer time. For the longer-term storage of a backup crypto cushion for a rainy day, it might be a good choice to collect a diversified portfolio from USDC, BUSD, and DAI . Terra USD (UST) is not a reliable stablecoin for storage. It makes sense to go to it only if you are going to make money on staking. Challenges and risks of stablecoins Despite all the advantages, stablecoins have several risks to be reckoned with. Firstly, not all of them are stable enough, despite the name – new projects appear, but do not always survive. It is reasonable to use well-established stablecoins and gradually diversify into others. Secondly, by linking to other assets, they receive the following risks - the collapse of guaranteeing currency (if linked to it) and legal restrictions: linking to fiat currencies increases not only trust but also the number of requirements for mandatory execution. For example, Facebook decided to launch its cryptocurrency, which is based on different fiat currencies – and got mired in bureaucratic problems. Thirdly, the owner of the stablecoin in most cases is one company with centralized management. In such cases maintaining trust and stability requires constant monitoring, audits, and inspections , as concentrating power in the hands of just a few people makes it easy to abuse . Even the popular Tether at some point (according to rumors) began to offer a larger volume of cryptocurrency than there were real assets. An investigation by the US Department of Justice has begun. To sum up , stablecoins allow payments to be made quickly and at a low cost, which requires effective financial, organizational, and technical conditions. However, in the absence of a proper regulatory system, various risks may appear, which may cause undesirable consequences.
Read more ❯
The State of Play-to-Earn Crypto Games in 2022: Metaverse NFT’s

The State of Play-to-Earn Crypto Games in 2022: Metaverse NFT’s

Ruth Kise 5 min read
The concept of the virtual world is hardly new. Online and offline games with their infinite worlds are its dramatic confirmation. However, the metaverse is bursting in popularity today. Why? Blockchain mainstreaming and... cryptocurrency! The idea of ​a virtual world existence cannot be without the presence of virtual currency in it. Because, as in reality, any participant wants to have value, identity, and so on. This means, there is the popularity of the NFTs. NFT – non-fungible tokens, they can represent ownership of practically anything, video, art, sports, virtual real estate, and even gaming. They cannot be exchanged from one to the other. Hence, each is unique and accrues value independently. By the way, Mark Zuckerberg took up metaverse realization and renamed Facebook to Meta . The company is working on merging digital and physical worlds within a single platform, an ecosystem of blockchain, and has already created VR glasses, for example, for a virtual meeting with friends or colleagues. Your avatar, which will be present there, can be created and owned as NFT. While we are at an early stage in the generalized metaverse development, local virtual worlds are gaining traction — crypto games. They are a blockchain, decentralized, open-source platform with smart contract functionality, whose task is to transform the gaming experience of users by giving players true ownership of their in-game items through the use of NFT. Their gamers can claim, buy, sell, and trade all assets as NFTs and, thereby – earn.  There are different options on which blockchain crypto game is the best, but judging by their rates in 2021 and 2022, there are 3 at the moment. Let's overview these top ones: All are based on the Ethereum blockchain and are partnering with Polygon (fitting Ethereum second-level blockchain) to solve issues around scalability, speed, and transaction costs. All have similar opportunities and exciting worlds that you can create. And if you're going to dive in, you should get any Ethereum compatible wallet to store all your crypto. Still, there are some gaps between these three. Decentraland   • Runs on PC and Mac. There is no mobile version yet, but it’s in progress. • Crypto: MANA ($2.15), LAND. • You can convert your MANA assets from the Ethereum blockchain to Polygon’s Matic Network. • Plenty of games to enjoy. Some need you to pay according to the creator’s design, but lots are free of charge. • The navigation is as usable as it could be. Just move your avatar around a terrain of adjoining games to see your experiences. Sandbox • Runs on PC and Mac, Android and iOS. OS support coming soon. • Crypto: SAND ($2.81). • SAND can be staked on Polygon. • All games are user-created, and anyone can make them for free. Also, you can create assets as NFTs and sell them to other users. If you want to build metaverse experiences, you need to buy the limited LAND resource.   • Both free and paid games where you can earn SAND and use it to enter paid experiences. GALA Games • Runs on PC and Mac. The mobile version isn’t even planned. • Crypto: GALA ($0.2021). • Main position — "Fun first". There are 5 simple to play games in various stages of development, and no need for Blockchain pro to enjoy them. • Free-to-play games with play-to-earn mechanics allow you to unlock real rewards and start making money. Looking at the market cap growth of cryptocurrency of these play-to-earn games is hard to imagine something that could bring down an investment interest in the crypto-economic sector.  Taking on the psychological human desire to escape from external reality, to have fun, and find a better world, where you are a creator, not a ponce, it is difficult to refuse the opportunity to be in a metaverse. And if in addition to creating and entertaining, you can earn money – it is a win-win long-lasting ecosystem.
Read more ❯
How to Buy And Trade Crypto (And Why)

How to Buy And Trade Crypto (And Why)

Ruth Kise 14 min read
The world’s recent events are causing more and more people to think about the safety of their savings. More and more of them choose to invest in cryptocurrency. Here, for example, your wallet belongs to you only, and no one can freeze your assets; on the other hand , the responsibility of the safety and all operations rests only with you. Therefore, you should first understand the following points. What You Need to Know Before Going into Crypto Getting acquainted with the world of cryptocurrencies is better to start with a choice of strategy. Investing or trading are the main ones. The first implies the acquisition of an asset and long storage. The second is short-term speculation. A trader makes many transactions with digital assets, trying to benefit in a short period. Strategy 1: Investments There are a few types of investments in crypto: Buy and hodl You can buy Bitcoin , Ether, or any other coin for fiat and wait for its rate to increase. If handled properly, such an investment will bring a big profit after a certain time. However, no one canceled the negative scenario for cryptocurrencies, and their value can fall sharply, up to a complete depreciation. Besides, such an investment method means investing not even for months, but for several years or more. Put in a trust This way, you invest in a trader who makes transactions on a cryptocurrency exchange and receives your interest. But still, there is a high risk of loss of invested funds because no trader is secure from damages. ICO You can invest in a cryptocurrency company and become its “stockholder”. The disadvantage of this method of crypto investing is the choice of a valid company as well. Strategy 2: Exchange Trading Trading cryptocurrency is an extremely risky craft. The price of altcoins is volatile, on a day it can fluctuate by 10-20%, sometimes by 50% or more. For this reason, it is better to try trading cryptocurrency from a training account first. The largest cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance, Coinbase, Huobi, OKEx, and others, allow users to open demo accounts for transactions without making a deposit. This will allow you to get acquainted with the market and the structure of the trading platform, and practice. Then you can deposit a small amount on the exchange. This will help the user understand his psychology: is he able to suffer losses and not make panic, erroneous transactions, control himself and decide with a cold head. In addition, it is necessary to study the theory, listen to lectures on this topic, take courses, and get acquainted with technical and fundamental analysis. All this will help not only to see in the charts the ups and downs of assets but also to predict them. Other Considerations: Fees Transaction fees are an integral part of most blockchain systems. They perform two important functions. They reward miners or validators, who help confirm transactions, and protect the network from spam attacks. Depending on the activity of the network, the transaction fee can be small or high. Its size is also derived from market conditions. Getting Ready to Take Part in the Crypto Market When you are ready with the strategy, ‌choose the best altcoins to buy. Today there are 2290 coins. Some of them are junk, but some can be very advanced. To make the right decision first you must make an analysis of it validity. It is best to start with Coinmarketcap – there is a rating of all cryptocurrencies by capitalization and a lot of useful information. No matter how reliable the crypto is, you can't trust it with 100% of the investment. It is better to distribute money to several tools, so you can reduce the risks of loss. For long-term investments, experts often say that you should choose cryptocurrencies that are in the top 30 at least. They are more stable, traded on many exchanges, and the probability of a sudden scam is minimal. Less popular coins also can be considered for investment. But it is worth understanding that, besides the risks of the fall in rate, there is also a risk of the slip-off. Follow all social media and forums, and monitor its activity: the more useful news on the topic, the better. If you see the developers do nothing, there is no news, then this means that they have lost interest in their project. It's better not to buy such a coin. It is also important to know if there is activity from investors. Also, some coins can operate only on one blockchain, and some you can use on different. So if you are going to trade your funds, ‌keep it in mind and learn about the cross-chain process.   Storing Crypto When you are ready to buy crypto, you must choose the type of its storage. Cryptocurrency wallet – an app, program, or separate device for sending, receiving, or storing electronic money. They are also can be “hot” and “cold”. A hot wallet connects to the internet and could be vulnerable to online attacks, but it’s faster and makes it easier to trade or spend crypto. A cold wallet typically has no online connection, so while it may be more secure, it’s less convenient. Below there are five types, with a brief description of their advantages and disadvantages: Software Wallet (Bitcoin Core, Exodus). These wallets store crypto funds right on your computer. And you usually need quite a lot of space for this. For example, for a minimum installation of Bitcoin Core, you need at least 145 GB on your hard drive - and this is for only one currency; Online Wallet (Blockchain, Wirex). These wallets keep your coins in the cloud. You can use them from any device, even from your phone. But you need to choose the wallet carefully. If someone hacks it, you will lose all. Hardware/ Cold Wallet (Trezor, Ledger). These wallets are separate devices, so they are much more difficult to hack than a regular computer. But you need to carry them constantly, as well as remember the PIN. Mobile Application (MyCelium, Breadwallet). An IOS or Android app that allows you to manage your tools. Convenient, easy, and fast storage, but with low security. In addition, if your phone was lost, the finder will get full access to the wallet. Paper Wallet (WalletGenerator.net, MyEtherWallet.com).  A special site generates private and public keys, that can you can print or record. Also, remember that except for a sheet of paper on which the keys are recorded - they are nowhere else, so the loss is equivalent to the loss of all the money. For investment, cold wallets are better. Thus, you can keep cryptocurrency on a computer or flash drive. Plus - security, no one can steal funds without direct access to it. For trading, the exchanges are the best. Using it, the client can sell or buy crypto and use additional options. Crypto Exchanges When choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, a novice investor needs to focus on some indicators. Such as: Financial turnover of the crypto platform. Large financial turnover shows enough money in the closures of the exchange, meaning that many traders use such a platform. So, such an exchange is high quality and the trader will not have any problems with it. The reputation of crypto exchange. Fees, which are not the same everywhere. For residents of different countries, crypto exchanges can also set geographical limits. The number of trading pairs on the cryptocurrency platform and their market rate. Payment options: find out how and how quickly you can transfer money to a crypto exchange account, and then withdraw it to your account or card. All cryptocurrency exchanges are divided into: Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges (CEX): Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken Platforms, where users can trade cryptos and ordinary fiat. They coordinate cryptocurrency, trading on a large scale, using a similar business model to traditional stock exchanges. Centralized exchanges usually offer their customers support, various trading pairs, and gateways for receiving and withdrawing, as well as additional services, for example, stealing, storage capabilities, IEO or DeFi services. Decentralized Cryptocurrency Platforms (DEX): WavesDex, Bancor, Besk, Uniswap Unlike traditional CEX, on such platforms, transactions and trades are automated by using smart contracts and decentralized applications. This type of crypto exchange is much safer since a well-written smart contract will not allow hackers to hack it. There are also aggregators like SwapSpace, where you can look at several offers and choose the crypto exchange that suits you best.  Swapping Crypto If your end goal is not just to put the purchased crypto in a stash, then you can exchange it for another coin. Swapping is a similar process to trading but with more flexibility. You can exchange any cryptocurrency for another even if the pair is not live on-the-spot market. This eliminates paying transaction fees more than once. In most cases, if you’re only swapping a small amount, convenience is the bigger concern here. That said, crypto swapping applies to any level of volume. Buying Crypto with a Credit Card The fastest way to buy crypto is to use a credit card. The process for buying crypto with a credit card is fairly straightforward: Find an exchange that allows credit card transactions. Your first step is signing up for a crypto exchange that allows you to use a credit card. And be ready to pass the KYC . Double-check that your card issuer allows crypto purchases. Enter your payment method. Set up your transaction. Pay off your balance as soon as possible. Pros and Cons of Buying Crypto With a Credit Card Pros Investing without cash on hand. Potentially earning rewards on your investment. Cons Purchases are often treated like cash advances. Higher fees. Your credit score could take a hit. Even more risk. Bottom Line Digital asset trading needs to be taken seriously, calculated every step, and thought about possible negative consequences. The beginner should first decide whether to invest or trade. Then study the theory, take some courses, and practice with test mode. Then choose the cryptocurrency to buy and be ready to lose. There is no game of luck. Don’t neglect crypto education. Crypto trading is hard work. It may take years to understand how the price of assets behaves in a particular situation. Don’t trust anyone and don’t hurry – do your own research before deciding. Choose the proven platforms for transactions and do not fall for fraudsters' ploys.
Read more ❯
Crypto ATMs: Withdrawing Your Crypto Gains as Cold Hard Cash

Crypto ATMs: Withdrawing Your Crypto Gains as Cold Hard Cash

June Katz 1 min read
For years, the crypto world has been developing mainly in the digital dimension. But the more widely the cryptocurrency is used, the more urgent the need for tools for cashing out becomes. The crypto ATMs allow people to exchange cash for cryptocurrency or withdraw crypto for cash. Operations are carried out quickly, in addition, they are usually not asked to provide documents — that is, transfers and deposits are anonymous. But there are also disadvantages: usually, the commissions for such operations are quite high. In addition to bitcoin ATMs, there are many machines for buying and selling Litecoin and Ethereum . The largest manufacturers of devices are Genesis Coin and General Bytes. According to the CoinATMRadar service, which also shows the location of devices in different cities, there are more than 36,000 crypto ATMs in the world at the moment. At the same time, almost 90% of the total number falls in the United States. Another 10% is almost entirely distributed between Canada and European countries. Whatever it was, the growth in the number of crypto ATMs is considered one of the indicators of mass adoption of digital assets. After all, the more opportunities there are to buy cryptocurrencies, the more people will eventually find out about them.
Read more ❯
Not a Cryptocurrency Exchange Aggregator Anymore: What’s the Next Step for SwapSpace?

Not a Cryptocurrency Exchange Aggregator Anymore: What’s the Next Step for SwapSpace?

June Katz 2 min read
Hey guys! We’ve been thinking about our future as a company for a while. As you know, crypto is a risky business, often demonized both by the governments and the wider public, with tightening regulations, slow adoption, and an uncertain future. Needless to say, this brings a lot of anxiety to those who choose to stay in this business. This made us think: if working with crypto became such a hassle — or if it’s even on its way out — what is always “in”? What — or who — keeps making us happy in any circumstances? And then it came to us! So, we’ve decided to make a 180 degree turn with our business.  Meet SwapZoo: the animal shelter aggregator ! 700+ species, 17 shelters, no cages: our spirit lives on. Stay with us — and join the worldwide community of animal supporters. Stay tuned and learn how to take proper care of animals, participate in the rescue movement, and more. In the meantime, you can help by using this referral link — we will donate a percentage of our profits from all the transactions made through this link to the Restoring Australia’s Habitats charity foundation. With love (for all the creatures AND you!), SwapZoo team
Read more ❯
Where Is the Crypto World Going: Crypto Censorship Resistance

Where Is the Crypto World Going: Crypto Censorship Resistance

June Katz 2 min read
Financial censorship or cutting off access to the global banking system is one of the most powerful tools that government has to punish their enemies. Whether financial censorship is used for the good cause or not the question is - does a global decentralized monetary system takes this weapon away from authorities? Tendencies For now, a government crackdown on crypto might look quite real: the Biden administration introduces a crypto bill and the Canadian court freezes millions in Convoy protestor funds — including Bitcoin . The situation in Canada also shows us methods of crypto tracing the government already has. Bitcoin may be uncensorable but it's also radically transparent and law enforcement has been remarkably successful at connecting bitcoin addresses to their users. Practice Bitcoin only solves the problem of financial censorship when individuals hold the keys to their own coins. When kept on an exchange the companies in charge maintain custody - just like any other bank.  That means that the government can put pressure on exchanges to freeze the bitcoin accounts which is exactly what happened in Canada where protesters' crypto assets were seized. Without an easy off-ramp into cash, spending the funds became a challenge for protesters. Concerns It should be noted that the anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin , Namecoin and others is understood as pseudonymity, in which a single violation of security measures (for example, the purchase of cryptocurrencies through a regular bank transfer) might lead to the disclosure of the owner's identity. Therefore, cryptocurrencies such as Dash and Zerocoin have been developed to enhance anonymity. Although governments can't ban blockchain use they can marginalize it and slow down its growth until the necessary tools for control will appear. The epicenters of the development of cryptocurrencies in the coming years may be some countries where the state and its financial institutions enjoy an extremely low credit of trust among the population.
Read more ❯
How the Crypto Cards Make Lives Easier (With a List of Them)

How the Crypto Cards Make Lives Easier (With a List of Them)

June Katz 1 min read
Spending crypto can be hard in the real life. Thankfully, we're starting to see new products pop up solving that - crypto cards. Today, cryptocurrency users can order and use debit or credit cards to quickly convert crypto assets into fiat currency and buy goods and services online, at points of sale, or to withdraw money from ATMs. Why Use the Crypto Cards But why complicate everything so much and why not just use your regular bank card? The fact is that crypto cards give their users some new features and bonuses. The use of crypto cards can protect you from nasty exchange rates when you're traveling; Some products also offer a virtual card instead of a physical one, making them ideal for online purchases; There's no credit check, so your credit score is not a factor when qualifying for a prepaid debit card; The fewer number of intermediaries, which simplifies and reduces the cost of transactions. Market Offers from Some of the Crypto Market Players  The number of crypto cards presented on the market is constantly increasing. The most popular crypto cards today include: Crypto.com Visa card - 100+ crypto and 20+ fiat currencies. Free to CRO holders. KYC verification is required. Binance Visa card - best card for cashback Coinbase card - no maintenance fees, 4% reward for use in the crypto Gemini credit card - 1-3% crypto rewards which deposit immediately Coinbase credit card - very high safety standards and no maintenance fees Given the fact that PayPal is entering the field of cryptocurrencies, and people’s interest in cryptocurrencies is constantly growing, these products can become much more widespread very soon. Hopefully, this short introduction to the topic will help some of you use your funds more wisely - including those you got through SwapSpace.
Read more ❯