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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Blockchain in Healthcare: Bridging Trust in response to COVID-19

Blockchain in Healthcare: Bridging Trust in response to COVID-19
Link to our article: https://block.co/blockchain-in-healthcare/
There’s never been a better time to provide proof-of-health solutions in the healthcare system globally. While it’s difficult to comprehend the significance of the role that technology may offer in such difficult times, essentially it can be nailed down to its basic concept of simplifying work and coordinating activities, which could have helped avoid the worst crisis people have experienced in their lifetime. If the healthcare system would adopt technological innovations in the early stages, it could have benefited and saved many lives.
Although the healthcare system has traditionally been slow in embracing the latest digital solutions, just like many other industries, we’ve observed in a previous article how the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies on a global scale in several industries, including healthcare.
The latest webcast brought to the audience by Block.co hosted some high profile experts from the industry. They illustrated how blockchain especially, together with other technologies such as IoT, and AI could in the future help elevate prompt responses, and provide more secure and efficient storage of data, something that has been missed in the recent pandemic.
Ahmed Abdulla from Digipharm, Dr. Alice Loveys from EY, and Dimitrios Neocleous from VeChain were hosted by Georgina Kyriakoudes, one of the first in the world to hold an MSc in Digital Currency, founder of Dcentric.Health and creator of the permissioned blockchain ecosystem app called Aria, which aims to transform the patient healthcare experience by giving individuals full control of their medical records.
Blockchain’s benefits in healthcare are primarily identified by efficiency, specifically on the transfer of data, facilitation of goods transport via the supply chain, prevention of counterfeit medicines sale, secure storage, and exchange of data around ID management. The impressive projects all the webcast guests have developed in the industry enable just these features, from the digitization of patient records to storage and exchange of medical data as well as easier processing of funds.
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Ahmed Abdulla founded Digipharm with the idea of issuing tokens to allow patients to be in control of their medical records at all times. Moreover, tokens are issued to be paid for anonymously sharing personal medical data to help research; pay for healthcare based on how it has improved quality of life.
We have experienced a disparity in Covid-19 tests costs around the world. For instance, getting tested in Cyprus costs around €60 while in the US it may add up to a few thousand dollars. This is due to the way countries arrange payment setups from payers to providers. Blockchain empowers people to take ownership of their records and funds while providing transparency of processes. This is where blockchain can be robust, by increasing transparency and allowing the patient to secure money transfer and hold their own records”, stated Ahmed.
His work as blockchain advisor at the UN Economic Commission for Europe is helping set up standards for the blockchain ecosystem, namely how the system should be used safely, and in a way that benefits all stakeholders.
“I lead the blockchain and healthcare team at the UN center for trade facilitation and e-business where we developed a blockchain and trade facilitation white paper; the second phase will soon provide an advanced technology advisory board to advise private or public stakeholders on what’s the best technology to use. It might not always be blockchain, hence we first understand and then advise if the tech is right for them or not. Blockchain is clunky, expensive, and not always proper for the organization we work with”, continued the blockchain expert.
Most people may prefer public and permissionless blockchain because it has major advantages over a private and permissioned one. Transparency stands out for the way the ledger is shared and for due diligence becoming unnecessary as a result. This means costs are also cheaper, in the range of 100% lower. On the other hand, a public decentralized blockchain has a major disadvantage since no legal framework is laid out. This means uncertainty as there is still a grey area in the legal field that might create confusion.
Dimitrios Neocleous is Ecosystem Manager at VeChain Tech and directly supported digital and technological solutions provider I-DANTE with the creation of the E-NewHealthLife and the E-HCert for the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus. Both apps give patients control over their health records, improve medical data sharing, and increase hospital operational efficiencies by simplifying the process of visiting a hospital.
E-NewHealthLife is a complex ecosystem solution that starts from a patient’s visit to an emergency room. A card with the reason for a patient’s visit is issued; it gets time-stamped; the patient is sent to the waiting room; once the patient’s turn comes and the medical check is completed, the card is scanned and the visit is closed. Patients can digitally access all diagnoses that took place anytime at the hospital.
“The platform produces a digital health passport, which is an encrypted non-fungible card that patients can use to identify themselves automatically when registering at the hospital’s emergency room. The passport is stored within a mobile app called E-HCert, which keeps track of each patient’s medical data and can be shared as needed”, announced Dimitrios.
E-HCert App is a Covid-19 lab test electronic wallet and pushes up the results of a patient who’s been tested for COVID. It has been proven to be very successful so far; currently, 2000 people who transited through the Larnaca airport in Cyprus have downloaded the app. With time-stamped records, it’s able to provide data such as the day and time when the sample was collected, it offers immutability, security, and integrity of data.
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“Covid-19 showed a deficiency in healthcare. The spread of the virus could have been prevented if we had digitization of processes and transparency of data through blockchain, and transfer of data through an authorized share of records. An open permissionless decentralized blockchain helps bring ownership of medical records back to the patient, and that is not possible in a centralized system”, continued the VeChain representative.
Dr. Alice Loveys is EY ‘s healthcare blockchain leader in the US and has been at the forefront of emerging healthcare technologies for her entire career including being a pioneer in electronic health record adoption, health information exchange, and privacy and security.
She believes that “blockchain technology is like a plumbing system that brings clean and transparent trusted data that can be used. It’s not proper for a track and trace system as it invades privacy unless there is the consent from patients, in that case, blockchain transparent share of data would be extremely useful for medical research and testing”.
One problem we experienced during the crisis is the confusion that arose with divulged information and the frustration that comes with it. People do not understand anymore which information can be trusted; at first, it looked like COVID-19 symptoms were not dangerous, then it came out that they actually were. Masks were not useful at the beginning, then they suddenly became necessary.
“Blockchain could have prevented lockdown and economic crisis through data management in that a much faster response would have been provided to tackle misinformation because blockchain can help manage data from different sources”, continues Dr. Loveys. “Moreover, it’s a great way to protect the database. Instead of moving any private sensitive medical data through the more traditional digital systems, blockchain simply allows us to send an algorithm, encrypted data that safeguards the information. It’s not a great use as a database as it does not scale, therefore we would not be able to store information for billions of people in it. But for the data that is in the blockchain, using algorithms, makes it very convenient and secure”.
Another topic discussed during the webcast was the GDPR compliance for blockchain. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was created before blockchain therefore it doesn’t account for decentralized technologies. Generally speaking, it all comes down to how the technology is used and what kind of data is incorporated in it. Timestamping data without invading anyone’s privacy, or timestamp of consented data, should determine no issue at all. This is what privacy by design stands for, taking human values into account in a well-defined manner throughout the whole process.
Block.co, powered by the University of Nicosia, is establishing itself as a global leader in the issuance of digital immutable and secure certificates timestamped on the Bitcoin blockchain. In the field of healthcare, it could include medical records, prescription issuance, insurance disputes, supply chain documentation, and any type of verifiable certificate that requires authenticity at its core.
For more info, contact Block.co directly or email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
Tel +357 70007828
Get the latest from Block.co, like and follow us on social media:
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submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

Regulation on Fake Credentials and the Growing Role of the Blockchain

Regulation on Fake Credentials and the Growing Role of the Blockchain
[The original article appeared on https://block.co/blog/]
Fake credential production can be traced back to the Middle Ages in France and Italy, while nowadays it is punishable by misrepresentation and anti-fraudulent laws pretty much everywhere globally, with prison sentences of up to ten years.
Although the type of crime and punishment differs from country to country, our research found that often there isn’t a specific regulation related to the submission of fake credentials and in that instance, authorities rely on existing rules linked to fraud, forgery, and misrepresentation.
In the case of institutions faking academic qualifications, a concept is known as “diploma mill” or “degree mill”, a fraudulent organization that appears as an educational institution and grants worthless degrees for a fee.
One of the most shocking examples of a reputable academic institution being involved in such illicit activity is the University of Wales, a 120-year old institution and the second largest in the country. Due to a series of fraudulent credential episodes linked to overseas partner colleges, that irreversibly ruined the reputation of the university, it had to cease to exist in 2011.
Surely, credential fraud is becoming more common and sophisticated, especially after the rise of the internet. But so are laws and regulations that are trying to crack down on such offenses.
One striking example in the bitcoin and blockchain sphere is the case of Craig Stephen Wright, who has repeatedly presented forged documents and credentials in order to appear as Satoshi Nakamoto to the world.
His case is still ongoing and it’s still unclear if, and to what extent, he will be convicted but it gives us an idea of the impact credential frauds can have on any given field.

https://preview.redd.it/hhqab1jokg451.jpg?width=800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=702249c316c53167a541396b9b85453f6be11df3
In the USA a series of separate investigations conducted by the FBI and other United States agencies in the ’80s led to the infamous Operation Dipscam (Operation Diploma Scam) which resulted in more than 20 convictions and the closing of 39 diploma mills.
Fraudulent activity in the US dropped massively in the aftermath of the investigation. However, lack of further action by the government, dissimilar state laws, and the rise of the internet have unfortunately invalidated some of the outcomes obtained during the operations.
As laws on submission of fake credentials differ from state to state in the US, let’s look at some examples.
In North Dakota, since 2003 it is illegal to issue or produce fraudulent academic credentials and punishable with up to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
Also, submitting fake credentials to obtain a job or admission to the education system could result in a one-year term of imprisonment and/or a $2,000 fine.
In Virginia since 2008 anyone who issues, manufactures, or knowingly uses fraudulent academic credentials can be found guilty of a crime and punishable by a maximum one-year jail sentence and fines up to $2,500.
In New Jersey, the use of a fraudulent degree is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each offense.
In other countries, the state of affairs is quite diversified too, from lack of specific regulation to tough laws or jurisdictions that focus on prevention activities.
Most recently, in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has passed a law to toughen up the submission of fake credentials. Anyone presenting fraudulent academic qualifications or misleading curriculum might face up to 5 years in jail and/or unspecified fines according to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Act 2019. Similarly, the regulation applies to educational institutions that award fraudulent qualifications.
In the rest of the African continent, laws and regulations on the matter are more uncertain and at times nonexistent. Higher education and corruption are strictly linked to a lack of access to universities. According to UNESCO, although enrollment in higher education has grown faster in Sub-Saharan Africa than in any other region of the world, still only around 7% of the population was enrolled in 2010.
Subsequently, in order to gain admission to a degree program of choice, the bribing practice has increased in most universities in the region.
In Saudi Arabia, presenting fake credentials may result in a fine of up to €170,000 and imprisonment from one to seven years, and in the case of non-nationals deportation and a life ban from entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may apply.
In the UAE the convicted shall be sentenced to up to ten years of imprisonment.
Also in Qatar authorities have started to take the issue very seriously. Dr. Khalid Al Jaber, former Editor-in-Chief of the national newspaper Peninsula, suggested that “fraudulent engineers, doctors, and accountants be publicly named and shamed.”
One of the first tough sentences in the country, saw an Indian ex-pat facing up to three years in jail for faking a degree to get a promotion at work.
Alongside new regulations, everywhere there is an increasing debate on how to prevent forgery in education and other fields.
In China, for instance, the CDGDC (China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center) has provided a free China degree verification service since July 2018. The service, other than free, is also extremely simple to use with a report that can be downloaded, printed, and cross-checked online and the electronic degree verification report issued in Chinese.
Soon there will be no need for a third-party verification; wide adoption of the blockchain will result in accurate, unforgeable, immutable, and time-stamped documents that will save time and money to governments and institutions alike.

https://preview.redd.it/dn5iqveykg451.jpg?width=800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3db785f7b312071ac0b719ea05b8ebadcc273a8c
The University of Nicosia and Block.co can help provide the necessary technical expertise to follow the whole process from creation to publication on the blockchain where the document will be safely stored for life and where it can be independently verified by any third party. They were the first ones to do it globally as early as 2014.
For more info, contact [Block.co](mailto:Block.co) directly or email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
Tel +357 70007828
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submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

Daily Updated Table List of Blockchain based Games

Reworked and styled list of games with personal recommendations

Follow me on Twitter to stay tuned. Please vote for MAX price you're gonna spend on blockchain game here: https://redd.it/7pb4yb
# Game Description Channels Status Should I Join?
1. Cryptokitties Pioneer in blockchain gaming. Currently has biggest auditory and market turnover per day. But since no new functionality has been added by developers(you could only breed, buy and sell), market is dropping prices each day. Hard to enter for newbies and earn something. On other hand has interesting science side to breed new cats. Honestly think it will be one of the longest projects, however it is hard earn there right now, HODLers very rare cats might win at the end of 2018(Gen0 cats will no appear). It is just very short description about project, more details coming soon. With current prices and price of breeding there are very little kittyfans right now Twitter Reddit Discord Released promising
2. Etheremon One of the most potentially best blockchain games with battle mechanic(will be working from 8th Jan but is already implemented in smart contracts) and design looks like Pokemons. Started as ponzi-like scheme, but developers turned it into amazing solution as gen0 holders which might moon just in next few weeks. Those who hadn't returned their ROI received eggs which will turn into additional gen0 mons. Moreover project leader nakasatoshi has opened weekly thread about current status and seems to be very positive and hardworking guy. Personally I'm very excited about Etheremons and waiting starting trade/lease/battle functionality. Project spend 0(ZERO) dollars on marketing and have already huge community. Medium Twitter Reddit Discord(NO) Deviantart Beta Promising
3 CryptoPets Another cool projects with solid White Paper and smart contracts which will start very soon. Early adopters are already defined(1500 persons), but still project has very big potential. I'm recommending subscribe to their channels and start playing as soon as they'll start, should be very good. They have announced cooperation with Decentraland Twitter Discord WhitePaper Reddit Whitepaper Promising
4 EtherArmy Previously EtherTanks. Official SCAM Telegram Beta Ponzi Scam
5 Pandarium Promising game to be released very soon, with unique competition system. Highly recommend to subscribe. Twitter Facebook Discord Announced Promising
6 Ethermon Official SCAM Gmail Beta Scam
7 Fishbank Collecting userbase via referral system. After 3 referrals you're going get 1 x Common Fish, after 15 - 1 Rare Fish, 100 - Legendary, 1000 - Epic. Release of Alpha is planned january 18th. Telegram Twitter Discord WhitePaper Whitepaper Maybe
8 CryptoPunks Oldest strange project of Larva Labs, there is nothing to do just buy or cell one of 10000 punks. But game already has their own auditory Discord Released Maybe
9 SubPrime Crypto Upcoming project with blockchain real estate trading Twitter Announced Maybe
10 CryptoPuppies Another pet adoption game, will be released in near future, seems to be much cuter than Cryptokitties. Twitter Telegram Discord Announced Maybe
11 CryptoFighters Interesting and potentially very attractive project. Join now to have possibility to win gen0 fighters which might have some good value quite soon. Twitter Facebook Telegram Released Promising
12 HashPupies Currently only one based not on ETH network, but on NEO. Airdrop is already finished and beta test of project is planned on early March of 2018. Twitter Facebook Reddit Discord Announced Maybe
13 EtherRock Totally strange project, similar to Punks but only 100 rocks. Hm ... really?!!! :) Discord NO Released Maybe
14 Cryptodrome Interesting project, will be starting very soon, now with Horses, not only siring/breeding, but competition game, where you can compete in horseracing with your own champion and win Ethers. Join now to get chance win Gen 0. Telegram Announced Promising
15 Parsec Frontiers Absolutely another subject (no more pets) of blockchain but seems very perspective - space economic strategy, ICO has not been started, so if you're interested, try to rush into whitelist. Twitter Facebook Medium Discord Reddit Whitepaper Whitepaper Promising
16 Decentraland Not a game originally but based on their own cryptocurrency MANA and will join blockchain with AR. Had finished parcels sale Whitepaper Twitter Reddit Whitepaper Promising
17 Nova Blitz Potentially one of the hugest TCG on blockchain. They're are starting initial coin sell in couple of hours. Whitepaper looks very solid at least right now. Only one project with user agreement during buying tokens. Telegram BitcoinTalk Whitepaper Whitepaper Promising
18 Pray 4 Prey Don't know if it is true game, or just a gambling one, cause no rules and FAQs working on site. It seems the mechanics is as follows: you buy a fish, it stays in aquarium until some shark attacks (1 time per 24 hrs?), if your fish survives it gains additional ether in its price. Twitter Reddit Beta Not really
19 CryptoMons Looks like TCG battle game. I like the design, let's see what shall it be. Telegram Beta Maybe
20 Realms of Ether 8-bit blockchain game. The game is promissing however more information on rules is needed. Believe me, there are oldschool gamers which will be fans of it. BitcoinTalk Beta Maybe
21 Puppy Planet No info currently, just follow twitter to get some free stuff. Twitter Announced Maybe
22 Tron Dogs Site is currently without English customization, but dogs look amazing (similar to cryptokitties). Could be next hype, but based on TRON network. Twitter Beta Maybe
23 Ether Racing Official SCAM Gmail Beta Ponzi Scam
24 Kryptowars Totally new project, with at least some working mechanics, only 100 armies exists, you are selecting country and try to get more wins. Internal Blog Released Maybe
25 CryptoStamps Interesting project from small San Francisco team with collectible stamps. Subscribe to their channel and get chance win Initial Stamp Twitter Facebook Reddit Released Promising
26 Etherions New project with 3D Web-GL browser graphics with which looks like not bad as for start Reddit Discord Beta Maybe
27 Steam Punk The first MMORPG announced on blockhain, check wheir whitepaper if you're interested Discord Whitepaper Whitepaper Maybe
28 Mooncat Rescue Another 8-bit project, now with kitties Twitter Beta Maybe
29 Etherpoly Monopoly game on Ether network? Why not No Announced Maybe
30 Own A Number Selling numbers on Eth network, what's next? Facebook Beta Not really
31 Crypto Battle Start of project has been postponed due to developing smart contract, developers had redunf to all persons who had bought monster and didnt know about smart contract absence. Seems pretty fair. Gen0 sales will start on Jan 09 Gmail Announced Maybe
32 SnapCity SnapCity is the latest geo-location adventure game built on the blockchain and coming to Android and iOS soon. Reddit Telegram Whitepaper Whitepaper Maybe
33 Costume First Play-to-Earn Blockchain Based MMO Video-Game with a Self-Sustaining Economic Loop Twitter Facebook Medium Whitepaper Promising
34 Crypto Zombies Actually not a game in commons sense, is a free, interactive code school that teaches you to build games on Ethereum. Twitter Released Promising
35 Ledger Legends Brand new game in style of Heartstone, very early beta now Discord Beta Promising
36 EthBabies Censored version of Crypto-pussies from the same author, now with lingerie on, currently nothing to do excepet breeding Discord Beta Maybe
37 CryptoHunt A healthy and educational augmented reality game with earning potential Twitter Discord Telegram Whitepaper Whitepaper Maybe
38 CryptoBots Another Cryptokitties clone with nothing to do, just buy and breed No Beta Not really
39 EtherSpace EtherTanks-like ponzi cryptogame now in space Twitter Beta Ponzi Not really
40 EtherCraft First 8-bit blockchain RPG. Contains ponzi scheme, but provides free items as well. Might be interesting. Twitter Telegram Discord Reddit Medium Beta Ponzi Promising
41 EtherRacing Yeah, you don't mix-up, another ponzi game with same! name Twitter Discord Reddit Beta Ponzi Scam
42 EtherRocket Brand new space game with working space rockets missions - you have to reach certain planet. Seems quite fresh and finally some with working functionality Twitter Beta Not Really
43 CryptoCelebrities Simple collectible game, where you could buy token with your favourite celebrity (only 1 token of each celebrity exists). You're owner of token until someone decides double your price (so you'll get x2 you'd paid) Twitter Facebook Instagram Beta Scam
44 EtherTulips Currently only buy seeds and get flowers with certain probability: Very Common (50.9%), Common (20.5%), Uncommon (12.7%), Rare (6.4%), Very Rare(3.2%), Epic (0.8%), Legendary (0.4%), and an exceedingly exclusive Secret Tulip (0.1%)! Twitter Reddit Medium Beta Scam
45 CryptoAlpaka Decentralized pet-rising crypto game with rewards Twitter Telegram Medium Announced Maybe
46 Etherbots Interesting idea, constructor-like robots war on blockchain, will be more details after official launch Twitter Reddit Discord Medium Beta Promising
47 EtherLambos 1st producer of digital high-end luxury vehicles on the Ethereum blockchain. Etherlambos are tokens of craftsmanship dedicated to collect the desire of people to possess unique items of value. Etherlambos can be collected, traded, and tuned. All Etherlambos come in a limited edition. Twitter Facebook Reddit Beta Maybe
48 Beyond the Void Description Beyond the Void is a 1v1 MOBA game with decisive features from RTS games. The gameplay is a unique mix of genres. It takes place in a universe of sci-fi and fantasy. It’s powered by blockchain as the in-game items are available to purchase only in Nexium (NXC) - the dedicated cryptocurrency. The objective is to offer a new game experience for players as they will truly own their in-game items, be able to use their cross-gaming items in feature Nexarium games and, to trade or sell them on the Beyond the Void’s shop Twitter Facebook Discord Early Access Promising
49 Cryptosaga New decentralized RPG from Korean development studio with amazing animation and very promising gameplay Twitter Discord Medium Presale Promising
50 CryptoCountries CryptoCelebrities - like game, at least for now. Developers promised add gaming elements and not just trading. As for now it is not recommended for newbies, as you could stuck with expensive country card Discord Twitter Facebook Medium Beta Promising
51 Ether Dungeon Ether Dungeon is a real ethereum blockchain based game in which players can explore the depth of dungeons, collecting & upgrading epic heroes, powerful items, challenge fierce enemies, and finally become the Dungeon Master! Discord Twitter Reddit Medium Beta Maybe
52 ÐWorld ÐWorld is a game centered around owning and trading parts of the world. We call them plots. Each plot is owned by you: no one else can claim it or take it from you, unless they pay you more than you did. You can customize your plots for everyone to see. Discord Beta Maybe
53 Cryptocities.net Cryptocities - brand new blockchain game with possibility to discover new cities each 12-14 hours, and sell/rent them. Aim is to discover most valuable cities. More details could be found on site or on Discord. I like their idea and 'no rushing' cooldown before each new action. Long term project for sure Discord Beta Promising
54 Dragonereum Built on Ethereum blockchain, Dragonereum is a cryptocollectible player vs. player game, allowing users to collect, breed and battle unique dragons. As for me project seems to be very promising with very cool design and idea. Telegram Twitter Facebook Discord Whitepaper Beta Promising
55 Augmentors Augmentors Game will be for all mobile devices when launching in Q4 2018. The game features Augmented Reality. The creatures are AR and can battle anywhere in the world. There are collectible Creature that are in limited supply as they were part of the ICO nearly a year ago. These creatures are unlike most games seen today, you can use them in real battles in real AR all over the world. Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Telegram Medium Reddit Announced Promising
56 KimJongCrypto CryptoPunks like collectibles developed by BushidoLab, with really fun design, I was laughing a lot when saw this first time. If you're loved with collecting you should try it for sure Facebook Twitter Beta Maybe
57 CryptoLandmarks Collect unique cards, which represent real recognizable natural or artificial landmark existing on our planet. There is only one card of each landmark. Facebook Twitter Discord Released Maybe
58 CryptoArts CryptoArts is a Blockchain based Virtual Gallery where players can invest into masterpieces and earn, art lovers can browse virtual gallery via mobile app in AVR. Galleries and individual artists can host exhibitions. Very ambitious and promising project. I really like and idea! Twitter Discord Beta Promising
59 Cryptociti.es It is blockchain place where you could buy and trade your own Cryptocity. Countries, Continents and Subcontinents are ongoing. Discord Reddit Twitter Facebook Beta Maybe
60 Cryptopoliticians CryptoPoliticians is a game that allows anyone to own and trade one-of-a-kind politicians. Buy politicians and play politics with other politicians around the world. Discord Beta Scam
61 EtherQuest New fantasy game with RPG elements where you can battle your heroes against other players on arena or challenge on big tournament. Current prices for arena battles are high, but overall concept and design is very good Discord Twitter Telegram Medium Beta Maybe
62 Rabona New promising and first on blockchain Football Manager. Join a team or create your own, play together with friends in the pursuit to climb the top and claim the biggest share. Train your own champions and sell them for Ether or enroll them to your own dream team! Reddit Twitter Medium Instagram Telegram Released Maybe
63 Infect the World Pandemic reborn on blockchain. Funny viruses mutation game with pyramid scheme. Create your own virus and try to infect as much as possible people. Read FAQ carefully to understand how to play properly BitcoinTalk Beta Not really
64 Etherwaifu Etherwaifu (do not mix up with scam Ethwaifus) is fresh crafting collectible game with amazing artworks from two raising talents Jubi and Agro. Each of this fantastic artwork has thousands of unique variations, and you can craft a new one by combining traits of other artworks you own. See the magic yourself. Discord Twitter Reddit Telegram Medium Contract Beta Promising
submitted by Hecatonquiro to BlockchainGame [link] [comments]

Reasons to believe Julian Assange is in CIA custody and WikiLeaks under duress.

UPDATE (11/01/2017 - UK Date Format): Julian Assange is alive and still in the Embassy. He confirms WikiLeaks has not been compromised. Julian took questions from the Reddit AmA but answered them via live, current and interactive video. He did this very intentionally, and by so doing, was true to his word. Watch a recording of the live event here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC2EjKYMCeg
On the 26th of September 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry (self admitted Skull and Bones member) visited Colombia. WikiLeaks reported that inside sources had confirmed that John Kerry also met with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in Ecuador to personally ask Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing documents about Clinton. This was initially fervently denied in the press only later to be confirmed by the Ecuadorian embassy who admitted cutting off Julian’s internet due to pressure from the US. Ecuador wanted to appear impartial.
For over four years, the Ecuadorian embassy has been under surveillance and Julian's human rights violated as he has been unlawfully detained termed "illegal arbitrary detention" by a recent UN ruling. During that time, it has been possible for intelligence agencies to gather critical information and build a detailed profile and plan to circumvent Julian's dead man's switch.
Both John Kerry and US intelligence agencies know perfectly well that cutting off Julian's internet would have no impact on the release of the leaked emails that are damaging to Hillary's campaign. It has been very clear for a long time that many US officials wanted Julian Assange dead, Hillary Clinton even has remarked, "can't we just drone the guy".
The cutting off of Julian's internet access was not for the purpose of preventing the leaks of the Podesta and Hillary emails. Unless intelligence agencies are truly inept, they know that media organisations already have the entire leaked email database and a schedule for release, they also know WikiLeaks staff would continue to leak regardless of Julian's ability to communicate.
Removing Assange would not be enough, they would need to circumvent his dead man's switch and then tarnish WikiLeaks reputation. Removing Assange's internet could have the effect of causing Assange to take steps that can be followed to prevent the automatic triggering of his DMS.
From the day Julian's internet was cut off, a series of peculiar and uncharacteristic events started to take place. The same day that Julian's internet was cut off, CBS reported that Pamela Anderson visited Assange and had "Tortured" him with a vegan sandwich. A few days before on the 14th, John Podesta tweeted "I bet the lobster risotto is better than the food at the Ecuadorian Embassy". Then on October the 16th the SHA-256 prerelease keys were issued on WikiLeaks twitter feed, although these events are odd and seemingly inconsequential, combined with John Kerry being in the UK from the 16th to the 17th sparked concern among the community for Julian's safety.
Assange supporters started to gather at the embassy to keep Assange safe and witness any foul play, some of these witnesses have claimed that a very swift police armed raid took place that lasted only 5 minutes while the crowd was kept under control and prevented from approaching, there have also been reports that they were prevented from taking photographs and that their phones were confiscated. A live periscope feed was also cut off. There have also been some reports of the presence of a mobile jamming van.
If Assange has been seized, any recognition by mainstream media would be detrimental to Hillary's campaign. A covert operation with media blackout would be the only effective way of seizing him at this time. On October the 18th Fox News said that Julian Assange would be "arrested soon, maybe in a matter of hours.". The was video was then promptly removed and articles relating to it have disappeared. However, one reddit user was able to find an alternative source and now the video can be found again on YouTube.
Although Julian's primary DMS (the release of insurance file encryption keys) did not activate, on October the 18th one of Julian's contingencies did activate, a script was activated that made https://file.wikileaks.org/file publicly visible and set all the file date and time stamps to 01/01/1984 (Orwell reference). This file repository contains many documents that had not been released prior.
Staffers Kristinn Hrafnsson and Sarah Harrison, have gone silent while the Ecuadorian embassy is refusing to provide any updates on Assange’s fate. There is a recorded call made to the embassy by a journalist where the receptionist refused to confirm that Julian was at the embassy, she also refused to confirm that Julian was even alive. Julian has not made an appearance at the window of the embassy since being cut off.
WikiLeaks suggested in a tweet that its supporters were responsible for the DDOS attacks on the 21st. Neither Assange or WikiLeaks would ever insinuate such a thing. WikiLeaks deceptively tweeted a video of Michael Moore that was actually recorded in June. The video was posted on the 24th of October giving the impression that Michael Moore had been speaking with Assange in the embassy. Why would WikiLeaks do this when they know they are already under suspicion?
WikiLeaks have been using their Twitter account to give the appearance of his safety while providing no concrete evidence of his safety. They issued a poll asking what proof would satisfy the public that Julian was safe. WikiLeaks have yet to follow up on the conclusive result of a video or window appearance.
Julian Assange is known for his attention to detail and his consistently good spelling and grammar. Currently the twitter feed has very poor spelling, there are numerous uncharacteristic spelling errors, for example, an accomplished cryptographer knows how to correctly spell algorithm and so do WikiLeaks staff.
On the 21st of October, there was a massive widespread DDOS attack that disrupted US and EU internet. Also on the 21st of October London City Airport was evacuated. The next day (the 22nd), Gavin MacFayden is reported dead. WikiLeaks made a further blunder by stating his death as the 23rd.
There has been a number of high level WikiLeaks deaths recently too. John Jones QC - WikiLeaks U.N. lawyer died on April 16th 2016. Michael Ratner - WikiLeaks chief counsel died on May 11th 2016. Seth Rich - Employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was fatally shot on July 10th 2016 and Gavin MacFadyen - WikiLeaks director died October 22nd 2016.
If WikiLeaks has been compromised, it is already preparing the scene for future discrepancy to seriously tarnish WikiLeaks reputation. Nothing WikiLeaks has shared since the 15th of October 2016 should be trusted until Julian has been fully verified as alive.
My speculative fears are that Julian has been seized and removed from the Embassy. His internet being cut not being related to the release of the emails, but rather as a component of a plan of 4 years in the making to as secretly as possible remove Assange from the embassy, circumvent his DMS and hijack WikiLeaks with the key team members silenced or under duress.
My fears would be confirmed by no future public (mass witnessing and recorded/televised) appearance of Julian Assange discussing recent topics. His death by whatever means after the US presidential election would be extremely suspect. Until proof of life, assume the following compromised:
SHA-256 verification Keys posted after the 15th. WikiLeaks submission process and/or platform. WikiLeaks twitter feed. Any WikiLeaks leaks after the 15th October 2016.
EDIT: (01/11/2016 - 17:18GMT) URL and spelling corrections.
EDIT: Update 16/12/2016
Why demanding proof that WikiLeaks is not compromised is necessary:
https://www.facebook.com/events/309760466089922/ (PoL Event @ Ecuadorian Embassy London 17th December 2016) – If you live in the UK please come and let’s get REAL PoL. Please circulate.
1) Still no PGP (GPG) signed short message from WikiLeaks. 2) RiseUp’s warning canary may be dead (RiseUp is believed to host WL Twitter email account) 3) Julian’s internet hasn’t been restored as promised 4) The pre-commitment file hashes released in October do not match the released insurance files 5) Julian’s Swedish defense lawyer Per Samuelson was denied access during case questioning. No one actually saw Julian through the whole process.
Additional points:
-UK disregard for international law -Capabilities of combined intelligence agencies -WikiLeaks down on October 17th -Mass censorship -WikiLeaks reposting old stuff -See timelines below
Various timelines, some with minor errors: https://www.reddit.com/WikileaksTimeline/wiki/index https://www.reddit.com/WhereIsAssange/comments/5dmr57/timeline_of_events_regarding_julian_assange_and/ https://regated.com/2016/11/julian-assange-missing/
[Still no PGP (GPG) signed short message from WikiLeaks] Watch this https://youtu.be/GSIDS_lvRv4 video for a simple and good explanation of public/private key cryptography. Here https://riseup.net/en/canary is an example of how a legitimate cryptographically capable organisation uses PGP to sign a message and prove authenticity. WikiLeaks has this setup too. Why do they not use it and prove they are not compromised?
WikiLeaks could easily do this. They have their private key. The public has WikiLeaks public key. Even if Julian isn’t in possession of the key, WL most certainly is, no excuse for WL not to prove themselves. This has been heavily requested of WikiLeaks. I’d like to hear from the individuals who claim that their requests were removed (please leave comments). Of all the red flags, not posting a PGP signed message is by far the most damming. If we are to believe that the person in the audio recording at the FCM 2016 is Julian Assange, then what he says about the keys is missing the point. If he himself is not in possession of the key, then WikiLeaks will be. If WikiLeaks use the key to prove themselves, then we know they are not compromised. By extension, we will also be assured that Julian is safe as an uncompromised WikiLeaks would be in a position to confirm his safety and be believed. This audio file includes everything that he says regarding PGP keys: http://picosong.com/UyVw/ (I am not convinced this is Julian).
[RiseUp’s warning canary may be dead (RiseUp is believed to host WL Twitter email account)] RiseUp is an activist ISP providing secure services to activists. Its mission is to support liberatory social change via fighting social control and mass surveillance through distribution of secure tools (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riseup). RiseUp use a warrant canary as a means to protect their users in case RiseUp are ever issued with a NSL or gag order etc (https://riseup.net/en/canary). This is renewed quarterly, assuming no warrant has been issued. However, this is now considerably overdue so the assumption is that the canary is dead, and just like the canaries used in coal mines, everyone should get the hell out of there when it dies. https://theintercept.com/2016/11/29/something-happened-to-activist-email-provider-riseup-but-it-hasnt-been-compromised/. I would be grateful if someone could provide a source for the WikiLeaks twitter email account being hosted by RiseUp.
[Julian’s internet hasn’t been restored as promised] https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/787889195507417088 https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/788099178832420865 On the 26th of September 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry visited Colombia. WikiLeaks reported that inside sources had confirmed that John Kerry also met with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in Ecuador to personally ask Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing documents about Clinton. This was initially fervently denied in the press only later to be confirmed by the Ecuadorian Embassy who admitted cutting off Julian’s internet due to pressure from the US. Ecuador wanted to appear impartial.
Both John Kerry and US intelligence agencies knew perfectly well that cutting off Julian's internet would have no impact on the release of the leaked emails that were damaging to Hillary's campaign. The cutting off of Julian's internet access was not for the purpose of preventing the leaks of the Podesta and Hillary emails. Unless intelligence agencies are truly inept, they knew that media organisations already have the entire leaked email database and a schedule for release, they also knew WikiLeaks staff would continue to leak regardless of Julian's ability to communicate.
Now it is long after the election and Ecuador have still not restored Julian’s internet. Ecuador have no grounds to continue to restrict Julian’s internet. It does nothing apart from increase tensions and raise suspicion. Ecuador have always been supportive of Julian. However, after John Kerry applied pressure on Ecuador, that whole dynamic changed. Ecuador cut Julian's Internet. He then essentially threatened Ecuador, the UK and John Kerry by submitting those pre-commitment file hashes on Twitter. Since then we have only seen hostility towards Julian from all three parties. Ecuador didn't restore his internet and didn't let his lawyer interview him and no one actually saw him. The U.K. Denied him access to Gavin's funeral and denied him access to medical treatment. The UK also continually disregard the UN. The dynamic now is totally different. He has no political friends. It seems that both the UK and Ecuador are now working against Julian and Wikileaks. An environment where a collaborated siege would be feasible.
Finally, many have speculated about mobile signals being blocked at the Embassy. I can confirm that there is 4G signal right outside the Embassy door. I was there, with my phone, and tested it. There is no reason to think Julian cannot use a MiFi device (or similar) connected to a cellular network.
[The pre-commitment file hashes released in October do not match the released insurance files] Here are the October tweets with the file hashes:
https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/787777344740163584 https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/787781046519693316 https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/787781519951720449
These 3 pre-commitment Twitter posts are SHA-256 file hashes. SHA-256 file hashes are 64 characters long. They are not encryption keys for insurance files. They simply are a mathematical formula for verifying that later released files are genuine and have not been altered.
These hashes were released because Julian felt threatened and in increased danger. They specifically targeted the UK FCO, Ecuador and John Kerry. All of whom are key players in his current predicament. On November 7th, WikiLeaks released 3 new insurance files. These files names match the names given in the pre-commitment hash tweets:
2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_EC.aes256 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_UK.aes256 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_US.aes256
EC = Ecuador, UK = UK FCO, US = John Kerry. Soon after these files were released, the 3 files hashes were compared to the 3 hashes posted on the 16th of October. They did not match. When this was brought to WikiLeaks attention, WikiLeaks released the following statement in a tweet: https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/798997378552299521
“NOTE: When we release pre-commitment hashes they are for decrypted files (obviously). Mr. Assange appreciates the concern.”
This firstly proved that the hashes and the insurance files were related (a fact that was already clear). Secondly, it was a lie, as it implied historical use of pre-commitment hashes in this manner. Thirdly, the (obviously) comment was also a deception and an insult to supporters. It was not obvious to anyone, not even to our crypto guys in /cryptography/, on the contrary, they thought it highly suspicious. Additionally, what they suggest would be absolutely pointless. Pointless as a threat, as the UK, Ecuador and John Kerry would have no practical way of identifying the documents to confirm the threat. There's absolutely no scenario where an uncompromised WikiLeaks would either post bad file hashes or altered insurance files.
[Julian’s Swedish defense lawyer Per Samuelson was denied access during case questioning] This is highly unusual and very suspicious. Also, Jennifer Robinson was not in the room with Assange. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYR0Pw9LfUQ&feature=youtu.be&t=9m55s and neither was the chief prosecutor http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37972528 “Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren will not speak to Mr Assange directly”.
[UK disregard for international law] The UK threat is very real. Back in August 2012 the UK was poised to break international law citing the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987 as a basis for entering the Embassy and arresting Assange (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19259623). It all became very public, very quickly and fortunately never happened (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/ecuado9488996/Ecuadors-president-raiding-embassy-to-snatch-Julian-Assange-suicidal.html). I expressed my concern at the time that the UK shouldn’t have even been contemplating such action, let alone threatening it in writing to Ecuador. More recently, the UK disregarded the UN ruling that Julian Assange was being arbitrarily detained (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/feb/04/julian-assange-wikileaks-arrest-friday-un-investigation). The UK appealed, and then finally lost their appeal in November (https://www.rt.com/news/368746-un-ruling-free-assange/). Julian has also been refused to leave the Embassy with a police escort for medical treatment as well as denied to attend Gavin MacFadyen’s funeral. The UK’s behaviour is appalling and clearly has no respect for international law. The reported raid on the Embassy during the latter part of October seems more plausible when taken in the context of past behavior.
This is the Britain I now live in: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/investigatory-powers-bill-act-snoopers-charter-browsing-history-what-does-it-mean-a7436251.html. I never used to be ashamed to be British.
[Combined capabilities of intelligence agencies] We know much about the combined powers of the intelligence agencies. We know what they are capable of, thanks to the leaks of Edward Snowden. The combined powers of the NSA, CIA and the UK’s GCHQ are capable of pulling off such a massive takeover of Wikileaks. We know the NSA works with other US intelligence agencies, we know that the NSA works with GCHQ.
We know about Tempora, we know about JTRIG, we know about PRISM, we know about HAVOK. We know that websites can be altered on the fly, we know that real-time voice profiling is trivial for these agencies. We know that censorship is happening.
https://usnewsghost.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/new-july-14-edward-snowden-nsa-leaks-gchq-attacks-and-censors-internet-nsa-leaks-recent/ http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/gchqs-favourite-memes-and-sexual-slang-reveals-a-shared-culture-with-trolls-and-hackers-9608065.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempora https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program)
The NSA has a remit to be 10 years ahead of the curve. We have commercial products that can be purchased off the shelf today that can easily manipulate audio and video. Just imagine what the NSA and the military are capable of.
Real time facial manipulation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohmajJTcpNk Signs of editing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O9t_TEE1aw. Both Julian Assange and John Pilger are not filmed together at any time during the interview. There is also no establishing shot. It is also claimed that Assange’s audio is spliced and edited. No recent events mentioned by Assange, only Pilger. Unfortunately, this interview is not sufficient proof of life.
What the NSA can’t do, is that they cannot break PGP encryption. This has been expressed by Glenn Greenwald who was one of the journalists that Edward Snowden leaked to. He commented that he knows how secure PGP is because the NSA keep moaning about not being able to crack it in their documents he is reading. This is another reason why a signed PGP message can be the only true proof that WL isn’t compromised. Mathematics cannot lie, people can and do. A compromised WL can’t sign a message without the private key. Edward Snowden revealed that in 2013 the NSA were capable of 3 trillion password attempts per second. As it is now almost 2017, that number will likely be multiple times higher (anywhere between 9 to 15 trillion attempts per second would be my guess based on Moore’s law).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Threat_Research_Intelligence_Group https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempora https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program) https://www.schneier.com/gchq-catalog/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Communications_Headquarters
[WikiLeaks down on October 17th] The alleged raid on the Embassy supposedly took place on the 17th just after 1am GMT. On Monday the 17th of October 2016 WikiLeaks website was reported down (http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/wikileaks.org.html expand the comments) https://postimg.org/image/6t68fe4kj/. The internet was alive with reports of mass censorship around this time. This all coincides with when the alleged WikiLeaks takeover occurred. It also coincides with John Kerry being in the UK.
[Christine Assange audio only radio interview] Julian's family had their identities changed quite a few years ago after receiving death threats. It is odd that his mother has now revealed herself to a news agency. If you do a YouTube search for Christine Assange (her original name), you'll find all the videos are older than 3 years. She's in hiding, not openly talking on radio shows (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange scroll down to the personal life section).
[WikiLeaks bitcoin account was emptied on the 18th of November] Interestingly it was after the bitcoin account was emptied that the encoded message in the blockchain was left. Why would WikiLeaks go to all that trouble when they could just sign a message with their PGP key? Is it because bitcoin accounts can be cracked and the PGP keys can’t?
[Mass censorship] Facebook is censoring this event (https://www.facebook.com/events/309760466089922/). It has been advertised for weeks now any only a handful of people are attending. Recently Wikileaks was live on FB. 50% of the viewers (roughly 2.5k) were commenting #PoL, #Whereisassange, RIP etc. The live event was only a prerecorded video being played in loop. Once it concluded, the whole Live event along with all the comments including the comments asking for PoL and PGP signed message were deleted. It was as if it never took place. When Julian’s DMS had supposedly been activated, I saw posts in threads being deleted within minutes. Supposedly with encryption keys, but it all happened too fast for anyone to collate. I took PDF printouts of the pages and then later noticed that posts and entire links were taken down. I have PDF's of pages that now no longer exist. I've been following this since mid-October and seen the censorship first hand. I know many people here on reddit witnessed the same (please comment with your experiences).
[WikiLeaks reposting old stuff] There are many examples of this already mentioned in the timelines. One for example is the Palantir Technologies report. Palantir Technologies prepared a report on how to destroy WikiLeaks that was leaked in 2011. The proposal was submitted to Bank of America through its outside law firm, Hunton & Williams. Palantir later apologised for their involvement. But WikiLeaks has recently regurgitated it as if it was new. There are many examples of this. I have watched as WikiLeaks have increasingly destroyed their credibility.
submitted by neonnexus to conspiracy [link] [comments]

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