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Ethereum Crash Course

We wanted to provide a simple introduction to the Ethereum blockchain and explain its purpose, value, and potential.

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Ethereum Crash Course

With BitPay’s launch of Ethereum support, we wanted to provide a simple introduction to this blockchain and explain its purpose, value, and potential. We have a list of resources at the end for anyone wanting to dive deeper into Ethereum.

What is Ethereum For?

Think about traditional money. If you’re buying a donut, you just need some cash. But if you’re buying a house or renting an apartment or setting up an annual subscription for your internet, it’s not as simple as paying with cash, a check, or a credit card. You have to sign an agreement and trust a third party to honor the terms of that agreement whether that’s a law firm handling your escrow, a landlord handling your rental agreement, or a company handling your annual subscription.

Ethereum Crash Course
For a list of places to spend your cryptocurrency, check out the BitPay directory

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work well as digital currencies to buy goods and services online. But they have the same limitations as cash when it comes to more complicated transactions like mortgages and apartment leases.

You could build different blockchains for each of these types of purchases. You could have a blockchain just for mortgages, a blockchain just for renting apartments, a blockchain just for subscriptions to Netflix, and so on.

But that creates a problem. Every blockchain needs to be maintained and ones that are too small are vulnerable to attacks.

So what if you made a blockchain that was flexible and powerful enough to build all these kinds of things on top of? Well, Vitalik Buterein had exactly that idea back in 2013 and got to work with Gavin Wood, Joseph Lubin, and others to create the Ethereum we know and love today.

How Does Ethereum Work?

Another way to explain the Ethereum blockchain is as a world computer. Think about your computer or smartphone. You can make changes on it, but those changes only are on your machine. For Ethereum, every change is made to this global, public machine (a transaction from A to B updates the blockchain ledger and counts as a change made to the machine).

But Ethereum isn’t just any old machine. It allows for Turing complete programming. If you want, you can take a deep dive into Turing completeness and Turing machines, but, simply put, it means that something that is Turing complete can solve any computational problem on a computing machine. In plainer English, it means you can build any and all kinds of applications on top of Ethereum just like you can build all kinds of software on top of Mac and Windows and Linux.

Ethereum Crash Course
Alan Turing, depicted on the £50 note, aided the Allies in cracking Nazi codes and is one of the fathers of Computer Science.

How do you build stuff for Ethereum? The same way you build smartphone apps or video games or operating systems: with a blockchain programming language. You use a blockchain programming language like Solidity or Vyper to program smart contracts. Smart contracts are computer programs run on the Ethereum network. They will run the same way every time and they can’t be changed (if you want to stop them from running, you have to run a SELFDESTRUCT code, but even that won’t erase their history from the Ethereum blockchain, it’ll just make sure they stop running).

Potential Dangers

If Ethereum can do so much, why wouldn’t other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have the same flexibility and functionality? Why aren’t all blockchains Turing complete? To see why, you can read through a list of things that are Turing complete by accident. Here are some fun examples. First, you can, with the right series of movements, turn Super Mario World

Ethereum Crash Course

into Flappy Bird.

Ethereum Crash Course

As another example, someone else figured out how to beat a Pokemon game in 90 seconds by modifying the code (see the full video here)

In the first case, someone was able to change the entire game into something it wasn’t intended to do. In the second, the player was able to win the game in a way the creators didn’t intend. This stops being all fun and games when the code or software or app you’re using is managing your money. In fact, this amount of freedom offered by Ethereum’s Turing complete design has already affected the community. This is why developers have to be careful when building DApps on Ethereum.

Bright Future

Cryptocurrency is a decade old and Ethereum has hardly been around for half that time. Much like people in the early days of the Internet, PCs, and Smartphones couldn’t have predicted their impact, we can’t even imagine the full impact Ethereum and Web 3.0 will have on the world. Even right now, Stablecoins show that these smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain have amazing potential for businesses making cross-border payments (we’ve already talked about that in a past blog post).

Resources and Additional Reading

Resources for Learning More About Ethereum

Resources about DApps and How to Build Smart Contracts and DApps

Stablecoin Resources

Source: https://bitpay.com/blog/ethereum-crash-course/

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Bitcoin Dominance at 2-Month High: Disaster for Altcoins

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August was a bullish month for altcoin traders as they ranked in profits, forcing Bitcoin dominance to drop below 60% for the first time since the start of the year. However, the altcoin euphoria was shortlived as September brought along the bears.

The end of Q3 wasn’t great for Bitcoin traders, but that was expected as September is usually not a profitable month for Bitcoin. In fact, data shows that Bitcoin has lost more in September than in any other month.

As expected, the Bitcoin effect was seen across boards in the market. Altcoins suffered the most, shredding almost all of the profits accumulated in the previous month.

Bitcoin Eyes $12K

Bitcoin is pushing hard towards the $12k mark. It traded as high as $11,942 for the first time since mid-August.

Analysts believe the trend is the start of a new bull cycle for the leading cryptocurrency considering the coin shielded itself and recovered quickly from the recent negative news, including BitMEX’s charges and OKEx’s withdrawal saga.

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Although October has been impressive for Bitcoin, and the coin has since recovered from the bearish move in September, altcoins continue to live in the terrible nightmare from the past month.

October: Another Nightmare For Altcoins

Bitcoin dominance started rising in mid-September after it went as low as 55%. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency maintains a 60.3% dominance of the entire crypto market while the altcoins struggle with 39.7%.

btc_dominance
Bitcoin Dominance. Source: CoinMarketCap

Even Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, was not spared. In August, the coin traded near the $500 mark, reaching $485 for the first time in two years. In the last two months, Ether lost over 20% of its value, and market dominance dropped from above 15% to 11%.

Now, ETH is exchanging hands at $369 with a 2% loss on the daily chart. However, speculation in the market is that the upcoming ETH 2.0 Phase 0 could provide the needed boost for Ether bulls.

Looking at the top 100, a handful of altcoins have shredded at least 15% of their value on today’s trading session. Some of the most significant losers include Uniswap (-17%), Crypto.com (-25%), Balancer (-19%). Meanwhile, Flexacoin saw a big boost with over 258.11% gains in the last 24 hours.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-dominance-at-2-month-high-disaster-for-altcoins/

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Crypto.com Integrates PayID Offering 5M Users an Easy and Unique Way to Send & Receive Crypto

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[PRESS RELEASE]

HONG KONG, October 19, 2020 — Crypto.com today announced PayID, a universal payment identity developed by the Open Payments Coalition, is now available on the Crypto.com App.

Crypto.com’s 5M+ users can register for a PayID from the Crypto.com app, consolidating complex wallet addresses and accounts into a simple ID that works across any payment network and currency. Users who register for their unique PayID will get an exclusive Crypto.com-branded, easy-to-read ID — such as “yourname$payid.crypto.com — that enables users to send/receive crypto payments from other compatible wallets with just a single ID, easing their ability to connect to 100M+ crypto users worldwide.

cryptocom_PR

PayID solves a key pain point in the crypto payments world, which consists of many closed and complex networks. Participants must manage multiple long and random wallet addresses, increasing the likelihood of erroneous transactions. PayID creates a free, open and common protocol that allows for interoperability between any payment network or currency.

Starting today, Crypto.com is offering early access for select customers to register their unique Crypto.com PayID. To be eligible:

  • Stake 10,000 CRO or more in Crypto.com Exchange; or
  • Stake 10,000 CRO or more in Crypto.com App

On 2 November 2020 all Crypto.com App users can register their own Crypto.com PayID within the Crypto.com App.

Once registered, users can send crypto from other compatible wallets to the Crypto.com App with just their PayID, instead of a full-length crypto address. At launch, supported cryptocurrencies include CRO, ETH, BTC, XRP and many more ERC20 tokens. Users can also send crypto to other compatible wallets using PayID hosted by other members in the Open Payments Coalition.

About Crypto.com

Crypto.com was founded in 2016 on a simple belief: it’s a basic human right for everyone to control their money, data and identity. Crypto.com serves over 5 million customers today, providing them with a powerful alternative to traditional financial services through the Crypto.com App, the Crypto.com Card, the Crypto.com Exchange and Crypto.com DeFi Wallet. Crypto.com is built on a solid foundation of security, privacy and compliance and is the first cryptocurrency company in the world to have ISO/IEC 27701:2019, CCSS Level 3, ISO27001:2013 and PCI:DSS 3.2.1, Level 1 compliance. Crypto.com is headquartered in Hong Kong with a 600+ strong team. Find out more by visiting https://crypto.com

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/crypto-com-integrates-payid-offering-5m-users-an-easy-and-unique-way-to-send-receive-crypto/

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Crypto More Popular Than Gold Among Russian Investors: Report

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A survey among over 2,000 Russian investors has placed cryptocurrency next to gold in terms of popularity. Moreover, younger investors aged below 30 have displayed significant favoritism towards digital assets.

Crypto Ranks Above Gold Among Russian Investors

According to the study published by the World Gold Council, investors from the world’s largest country by landmass have allocated the most funds into generally accepted as safer instruments such as savings accounts, foreign currencies, real estate, and life insurance.

When asked what sorts of investment tools they had invested in the past 12 months, they placed cryptocurrencies as the fifth most popular asset with 17%. Interestingly, gold came next with 16%.

Investments Made In Russia 12 Months Back. Source: World Gold Council
Investments Made In Russia 12 Months Back. Source: World Gold Council

World Gold Council Director of Central Banks and Public Policy, Dr. Tatiana Fic, commented that gold had been a valuable part of Russia’s history. She explained that the development of the gold mining industry began in 1745 with the discovery of gold in the Urals. In the next 100 years, more than half of the global gold production came from Siberia.

However, she noted that the investment market has declined in interest lately. Dr. Fic reasoned that there’s an evident lack of education, resulting in people steering clear from the bullion. She also claimed that investors fear buying fake or counterfeit gold products.

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It’s worth noting that Russia seized purchasing gold earlier this year following half of decade of increased accumulation.

Younger Generations Keen To Experiment With Crypto

WGC’s report confirmed previous narratives that younger generations prefer allocating funds into riskier investment instruments such as digital assets.

“18-to-24-year-olds are much more willing to take risks to get exponential growth, rather than take a long-term view. For example, they are the least likely to have invested in a savings account but are the most likely to have invested in collectibles – and around two-thirds are considering investing in cryptocurrencies.” – the report reads.

The paper highlighted that the growing role of mobile apps linked to investment accounts have made it easier for tech-savvy youth to purchase their preferred assets. Cryptocurrencies lead the way “with nearly 80% being bought exclusively online.”

Although physical gold has been bought mostly offline, the report noted that online investments in gold-backed ETFs and vaulted gold have jumped in the past few years as well.

Investment Assets Purchases In Russia. Source: WorldGoldCouncil
Investment Assets Purchases In Russia. Source: WorldGoldCouncil
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/crypto-more-popular-than-gold-among-russian-investors-report/

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