The Daily Decrypt is a daily weekday video broadcast covering a wide variety of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology topics and news stories. At CORE Media we’ve found the broadcast to be an invaluable and entertaining resource in cryptocurrency news and provide a weekly summary of The Daily Decrypt episodes. Welcome to the Weekly Decrypt!
While most cryptocurrencies focus on functioning as a currency, a small sub-sector of cryptocurrencies, cause coins, appeal to cryptocurrency fans who wish to support a specific cause.
GridCoin, launched in late 2013, currently has a market capitalization of 2.7 million USD and functions through something its developers call Proof-of-Research, a rendition of Proof-of-Stake through which stakers provide computational power for the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) and are paid in newly-minted GridCoin generated each block. BOINC provides computational power to universities and institutes who use it for their research in fields such as astrophysics, astronomy, and chemistry.
SolarCoin, launched in early 2014, currently has a market capitalization of 700,000 USD and operates via a Proof-of-Stake protocol with a .5% reserve set aside to pay those running its node infrastructure. The SolarCoin Foundation once every six months pays out SolarCoins to any organization who can prove they are generating solar energy at a rate of 1 SolarCoin per 1 megawatt hour (Mwh) of solar energy generated.
CureCoin, launched in mid-2014, currently has a market capitalization of 260,000 USD and operates via a Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake hybrid protocol. Miners are paid for their hashing power and stakers are paid for the computational power they contribute to Stanford University’s Folding@home program. Folding@home is software that applies the computational power of CPUs and GPUs towards generating simulations of human protein folds. Stanford believes the program can lead to a better understanding of human proteins and eventually better treatment protocols for various afflictions like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and some forms of cancer.
Cause coins with smaller market capitalizations seeking to break into these same markets include EverGreenCoin and FoldingCoin.
The current cumulative market capitalization for cause coins is over 4 million USD. Because cause coins have some pretty significant advantages over traditional methods of funding such causes, namely the ease with which funding can be audited and the voluntary and incentivized participation, the potential for growth within this sub-sector of cryptocurrency is actually quite substantial.
There are two main ways through which one can exchange one cryptocurrency for another. One way is through an exchange requiring an account and the other is through a conversion service which does not require an account.
The most popular and reliable exchange is Poloniex. Poloniex offers a range of tools and features useful to both novice and advanced traders such as charts and charting tools, limit orders, stop-loss orders and margin trading.
In order to use Poloniex, one must first sign up for an account using an email address. A verification email containing a verification link will be sent to the email address specified. After clicking on the link, you will be able to log in to your account.
After you log in to your account for the first time, you will need to complete your profile before Poloniex will allow any withdrawals to be made from your account. Click on the little person icon in the upper right hand corner and select ‘My Profile’ from the dropdown menu. Providing your first and last name and country of residence will be enough to allow you to withdraw up to 2,000 USD equivalent value of cryptocurrency per 24 hour period.
It is also a great idea to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. By default, Poloniex requires withdrawals to be confirmed via an email sent to the email address associated with your account. Additional 2FA required in order to both log in to your account and make withdrawals is available through the use of the Google Authenticator app. To do this go to the tool icon in the upper right hand corner and select ‘Two Factor Authentication’ from the dropdown menu. Here you will find instructions on how to set up 2FA on your account and enhance its security.
Once your account is set up and secure, you are ready to make a deposit. You may do this by going to the ‘Balances’ tab in the upper right and selecting ‘Deposits & Withdrawals’ from the dropdown menu. On this page you will find a list of all cryptocurrencies available for exchange on Poloniex. Although Poloniex does offer Monero (XMR) and Tether (USDT) as base pairs, most likely the cryptocurrency you seek is paired with Bitcoin (BTC). Scroll down the list until you find BTC and click ‘Generate Address’. A BTC deposit address for your account will appear and this is the address to which you should send the BTC you wish to exchange for another cryptocurrency.
Once you’ve sent BTC to your Poloniex account, it will appear under the ‘Deposit History’ section of the page. It will not be credited to your account until the transaction has at least 1 confirmation. When your BTC has confirmed and been credited to your account, click on the ‘Exchange’ tab in the upper left corner of the screen. On the right hand side of this interface you will see a list of available markets. Find the market for the cryptocurrency you desire using the search feature if necessary and click it to open up the exchange interface for that particular cryptocurrency.
Below the chart you will see a box for buying, selling and stop-limit orders for your chosen cryptocurrency. Below those boxes you will see the bid and ask offers available at that time. In the ‘Buy’ box, enter the price you wish to pay for your desired cryptocurrency and the amount of it you wish to purchase. If you wish to purchase the maximum amount you can with the BTC you’ve deposited into your account, simply enter the price you wish to pay and then click the quantity of BTC listed next to ‘You have:’ in the ‘Buy’ box and the amount will automatically populate for you. You will see that Poloniex will take a .2% commission on the trade.
Once you’re sure that the information you’ve entered is correct, click the ‘Buy’ button. If there is a matching sell order on the books at that time, your buy order will be processed immediately. If there is no matching order, your order will be placed into the bid order book until a seller comes along and fills it.
Because storing your cryptocurrency on a centralized exchange can be risky, it is good practice to withdraw your coins after you’re done trading them for the time being. In order to do this, point your cursor towards the ‘Balances’ tab in the upper right and select ‘Deposits & Withdrawals’ from the dropdown menu. In the right hand column of this page you will see an ‘amount’ and ‘address’ field. If you click your balance of the coin you wish to withdraw in the left hand column, it will automatically populate the ‘amount’ field in the right hand column with your full balance. Once you’ve entered the amount you wish to withdraw and the address to which you’d like your coins to be sent, click the ‘withdraw’ button. If you have 2FA enabled, you will need to enter the six-digit code from your Google Authenticator app at this time. You will also need to confirm the withdrawal from the email address associated with your account.
Instant conversion services which do not require an account include ShapeShift, MetaExchange and BlockTrades. At ShapeShift, for example, you select the coin you already have and wish to deposit alongside the coin you wish to receive in exchange for your deposit. Select the ‘precise’ conversion method for the best exchange rate and click ‘continue’. On the following screen, enter the amount of BTC you wish to deposit and ShapeShift will tell you how much of the coin to which you are converting that you will receive.
You then enter the address at which you’d like to receive the coin to which you are converting your BTC as well as your BTC address so that ShapeShift may refund you if something happens to go wrong. Click ‘I agree to terms’ and then ‘start transaction’. On the next screen ShapeShift will display the BTC address to which you should send the specified amount of BTC and the amount of time you have to do so. When ShapeShift receives your BTC, it will send the coin to which you’re converting your BTC to the address you specified as soon as its liquidity allows it to do so, which usually only takes a few minutes.
Although the exchanges Amanda mentions in this episode are the most reputable, they are centralized services and do pose a certain degree of risk so it is important to keep up to date with your chosen exchange’s current status and reputation. For a complete list of cryptocurrency exchanges and current information about them, visit CryptoCoinCharts.info.
Amanda sat down for an interview with Jonathan Baha’i who recently deployed a BitShares witness node in a nuclear-proof bunker located in Nova Scotia in Canada. The bunker, which Baha’i now owns, was originally built as a data center and nuclear-proof emergency bunker capable of housing up to 350 people during an emergency.
Baha’i speaks of the possibility of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) rendering our electronic devices useless. An EMP can occur both naturally from the solar radiation or from man-made events such as the deployment of a nuclear weapon. In deploying his node in his bunker, Baha’i hopes that the BitShares blockchain will survive any such catastrophic event.
After some conversation regarding BitShares, its infrastructure and how he got involved, Baha’i makes a surprise announcement regarding an initiative called Blockchain Bunker which aims to utilize the infrastructure at his bunker alongside sidechain technology to help ensure that other blockchains would continue to exist and remain operable in the event of an EMP or other global catastrophe.
If you’ve recently visited NodeCounter.com, a website which tracks the distribution of nodes running each of the various Bitcoin codebases, you’ve probably seen a message detailing the effect that private company Blockstream continues to have on Bitcoin development.
Because the Bitcoin network and its users have never paid Bitcoin developers, the door has been left open for private company Blockstream to come in and finance Bitcoin development, guiding it in such a way that suits its financial aspirations and neglects the wishes of Bitcoin’s user base.
This situation has seriously compromised Bitcoin’s ability to act as the peer-to-peer digital cash system it was intended to be as outlined in Satoshi’s original whitepaper and has left the door open for other cryptocurrencies to emerge with better systems of governance and development funding through various forms of blockchain payouts that ensure the blockchain is working for its users and not subject to excessive oversight by private corporate interests like Blockstream.
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