bitcoin-halving-timer

Bitcoin Three Months from Having Its Supply Halved

In a little less than 100 days, Bitcoin’s long-awaited halving will finally happen, making the digital twice as scarce as it is now. The halving which is considered to be one of the most anticipated events in the world of crypto is expected to happen on May 12. In addition to being a lot scarcer, the digital currency is set to be even more valuable. Mining it will be much more expensive once that happens simply because the rewards have now been cut in half.

What This Means for The Future

The topic of the upcoming halving has been subject to a lot of debate over the past several months. One of the most debated issues is whether the expected price increase will occur before or after the halving. None of the speculations made in this regard are verifiable and this majorly because despite the complexity of the data presented, they are dependent on simplistic comparisons from previous events in the bitcoin space.

Even so, we do not intend to invalidate the significance of the occurrences related to past halvings and how they may give us some insight into the possibilities. It will be an interesting year for bitcoin enthusiasts. That is for sure.

Another thing that is also assured is some serious volatility. The halving is quite important but we have to agree that what comes after is probably what needs more focus. We will just have to wait and see if the digital currency can pick up a fresh round of momentum in the course of the year.

Ambitious Long-Term Projections

According to renowned Wealth Manager Andy Edstrom, the Bitcoin economy is going to reach $8 Trillion in market value within the next decade. Speaking during a recent interview on the Citizen Bitcoin podcast, the wealth manager references a multi-faceted approach that took a number of factors into accounts. These factors included the devaluation of traditional or fiat currencies, speculations, and geopolitics, all of which have affected the global financial systems in one way or the other.

“…I think the total valuation on 10 years that I use is about $8 trillion and that comes from various buckets, whether it’s taking share from gold, or taking share from fiat, or taking share from offshore assets, or slightly demonetizing other stores of value like real estate or new uses that we haven’t thought of or are still under construction,” he said.

As it stands, Bitcoin’s market value sits at about $170 billion – this is rather small especially when compared to other stores of value such as gold and real estate. However, the uptrend of the cryptocurrency has given a number of pro-crypto analysts some optimism about the future of the sector. Bitcoin’s value is expected to skyrocket after the halving and this is perhaps the first step towards its $8 trillion valuation.

crypto-gambling-chips

Crypto Gambling in 2020: What Should We Expect?

Happy new year everyone! 2020 is finally here and all you crypto, gambling and technology enthusiasts are definitely on the lookout for some huge developments. Twelve months is, of course, a very long time and a lot could happen in that period especially considering how dynamic everything about those sectors can be. Still, it will be a very interesting journey.

The Rise of Crypto Gambling

Digital currency-based gambling did not kick off in 2019 but the year did see to a number of neat developments in that space. This was fueled by the increasing numbers of mobile and internet users. Moreover, the world seems to be finally warming up to digital currencies. Awareness about the technology is the highest it has ever been. That is the recipe for the growing number of crypto-based gambling platform providers.

While the gambling industry is known for toying with new and innovative technologies from time to time, they may have just hit the jackpot with crypto. Lots of people have begun to understand that crypto payments are secure and extremely fast which makes them great options for gamers. There are hundreds of digital currencies currently available and each of them offers something unique and different. That is just the start though.

Is It Mature Enough?

Gamblers already have access to a number of new crypto-based casinos and they are quite popular among players from all over the world. Now, this has been an eye-opener of sorts to other online gambling operators and they have begun to integrate digital currencies. In 2020, this trend should be even more prominent. Soon your favorite online casino will have a digital currency option for deposits and withdrawals.  A few have already gotten on board with this trend.

Payments and banking aside, crypto-based technologies including the blockchain and smart contracts have also evolved tremendously. Most of the efforts in this regard were rather experimental or still in the nascent stages of their implementation. That said, a number of industry experts have confirmed that the technologies are mature enough to be rolled out on wider scales. In the past, the laxity was a little justified since gaming companies were not willing to overhaul their systems and replace it with experimental technology. Not anymore. The ones that hold out too long may even lose out in the long run.

The growth rate of crypto-based gambling solutions is very impressive, to say the least. Improvements will, of course, be necessary but that is a universal law of service delivery. We have already come far enough and there is still a long way to go.

future-gambling-cards

Crypto to Have More Impact on the Future of Online Gambling

Over the past decade, cryptocurrencies have, without a doubt, been one of the most influential technologies on the planet. Even though most people may only be aware of a couple of cryptocurrencies and a few rather mainstream applications, there is much more that underlies the industry. These are mostly in niche sectors but they have been significantly impacted nonetheless.

One of the growing numbers of areas where digital currencies and the blockchain are making a wave is in the gambling sector. This is especially true for the online gambling sector. For this piece, we are interested in breaking down some recent developments involving two digital currencies.

BlockchainTRON (TRX) Revolutionary Technology

On online gambling websites, bitcoin still reigns supreme but it has been receiving massive competition from BlockchainTRON (TRX) which is viewed by many to be a viable alternative. That said, as hard it may seem, there is a chance that the digital currency could potentially match up to or even dethrone bitcoin in the online gambling space.

Right off the bat, the TRX project is mainly aimed at ensuring the provision of a decentralized global digital gambling and entertainment system. In its quest to achieve that, it has managed to outshine bitcoin and some other digital currencies in a number of ways including its ability to provide simple and cost-effective sharing of digital content.

Perhaps the biggest advantage that TRX has is the fact that the platform already boasts of having a number of decentralized apps (dApps) on its network. Most of these ones are online casinos with a plethora of casino games that players can dive into.

As such, the future of online gambling will certainly be tied to crypto and blockchain technologies in one way or the other. TRX will definitely be a part of that thanks to its decentralized TRON blockchain platform.

The Rise of Tether

A year ago, Tether was not a very recognizable name, especially among mainstream users. However, things have changed dramatically with some digital currency payment processors revealing that they were recording up to 30 times the number Tether transactions they were processing last year.

Despite the controversies surrounding its use – there are speculations that it is being used to manipulate the prices of other digital assets – Tether actually has so much to offer. Its main selling point is its stability, that is, it was built on the principle of stability with its price being kept at a 1 to 1 ratio with the US Dollar. This is achieved through the use of reserves. It is this feature that has made it so popular among hundreds of merchants including a number of popular online gambling platforms.

In fact, it is being used in place of many other cryptocurrencies which is definitely proof that it might just be here to stay.

currency-china

China’s Digital Currency to Launch Soon

The central bank of China is reportedly ready to launch its state-backed digital currency and once launched, it will be initially issued to seven institutions over the next months. According Paul Schulte, an independent researcher and formers employee of one of the institutions, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency. There are also reports that there is an eighth institution that will receive the central bank’s currency when it finally launches.

While the institutions have not officially released any information pertaining to the plans for the digital currency, the country’s government has previously confirmed that the technology that will be powering the currency has been ready since 2018 and it could launch as soon as November 11.

Once it is launched, the institutions that will be issued with the digital currency will be responsible for dispersing it to China’s 1.3 billion citizens as well as to people doing business using China’s fiat currency. Furthermore, the Chinese central bank has hopes that the currency will eventually be availed to users in other parts of the world through relationships with corresponding banks in those jurisdictions – the United State is one of the prime candidates for these plans.

Why Is China Launching Its Own Digital Currency?

China has one of the biggest informal or black economies on the planet and this makes the collection of taxes very difficult.

“The major business for most underground banks is now contra payments, leading to huge capital outflows and great damage to society. It’s the major target of our crackdown,” reveals a recent notice issued by China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) believes that the introduction of a state-backed digital currency will help it take back control of certain aspects of the economy and crack-down on the black economy. The currency is intended to offer “controllable privacy” which will allow users to transact without having to give away personal information. To achieve this, the currency will be “loosely coupled’ with an account. However, for the sake of mitigating against tax evasion and other illegal activities, the People’s Bank of China will be able to view the transactions.

“…there will be variable transaction fees, as well as daily and annual transaction limits to give the central bank more tools to control the velocity of money and its supply when interest rates cease to be a viable channel for intervention,” the Vice Governor of the bank said.

Lowering the cost of transactions is another aspect that the bank hopes to achieve in its bid to make financial services more widely available. Needless to say, this will be a huge development for the country since a significant portion of the population is unbanked.

libra

Facebook’s Libra and the Future of Digital Currencies

A few weeks ago, Facebook Inc. announced it plans to launch Libra, a blockchain-based payment system that the company has described as a new “global currency”. This term may seem very familiar and this is because it has been thrown around especially when describing other digital currencies. However, unlike most, if not all other cryptocurrencies, Libra is actually backed by real assets and is pegged to stable government securities.

As a matter of fact, the project has already partnered with several corporate partners who include global financial companies such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and Coinbase among others – each of these companies has contributed at least $10 million for the initiative and Facebook plans to partner with as many as 100 companies and accumulate $1 billion in assets by the time Libra goes live in the first half of 2020.

The Goal

Needless to say, Facebook’s announcement was not like any other digital currency unveiling. This was not just another blockchain and there is a very good reason why. So, unlike other digital currency offerings, Facebook’s new venture aims to bank the unbanked population (1.7 billion people) and this is what makes it such a big deal.

Obviously, providing financial services to such as a scale using relatively new financial technology is definitely no easy task but this is where Facebook’s resources and the members of the Libra Association come in. Putting those into consideration, it is pretty clear that the project was well thought out which is expected of any company that hopes to break the ground on new and innovative ideas.

How It Works

Libra is expected to allow people to purchase goods and services as well as send me to others with almost no fees. Users will also be able to use pseudonyms to buy or cash out their Libra on a number of online platforms or at exchange points such as grocery stores. They will also be able to spend the currency using third-party wallets or Facebook’s Calibra wallet that will be offered using a standalone app and will also be built into WhatsApp and Messenger.

Fortunately, the digital currency and platform offer some form of decentralization since Facebook will not have full control of Libra – just like the other members of the Libra Association such as Uber and Visa, the behemoth tech company will only get a single vote in the governance of the new currency. The Libra association as a whole will be tasked with promoting the open-source Libra Blockchain as well as the currency’s developer platform with its own Move programming language.

Moreover, Calibra, a subsidiary company, is also being launched by Facebook and it will be tasked with handling crypto dealings and protecting the users especially from targeted advertising. To achieve this, the company will ensure that the users’ real identities are not tied to their publicly visible  Libra transactions.

DAO.Casino-Mixbytes-partnership

DAO.Casino, MixBytes Partner for Gambling 3.0 Blockchain

Global blockchain adoption has been a trend for the past several months, a very positive development that will hopefully help the industry to recover after the ruin that the crypto market went through because of the bearish trends of the last year. Investment in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) startups increased significantly as venture capitals and many other investors put on more than $5 billion in the space, with the hopes that it will deliver on the promised blockchain-powered future.

Fortunately, the industry is slowly taking shape and until now, there have been a number of industries that have moved to adopt the innovative technology and more are expected to join the bandwagon sometime in the near future.

Some of the most notable developments include the increased number of crypto-powered online casinos or gambling platforms that have come up in the recent past. While this comes as a little of a surprise especially because the gaming industry is known to be one of the earliest adopters of emerging technologies, it is great news for the global crypto and blockchain communities as it represents a huge leap forward in the bid to have both sectors go mainstream.

As the blockchain and crypto gambling industries continue to blossom, DAO.Casino has inked a partnership with Mixbytes to build a brand-new Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) platform that will capitalize on the growth of the online crypto/blockchain gaming segment.

Unified Blockchain Solution for the Gaming Industry

Some of the biggest issues that have plagued the online gaming industry include the lack of trust and the security of players’ funds. Various blockchain and crypto technologies have been able to address these issues but the new gambling 3.o blockchain platform is set to things a notch higher – according to a DAO.Casino tweet, the intention of the partnership is to build a platform that will “provide unified blockchain solutions for the gambling industry”.

The partnership is a strategic move for both companies as it will ensure that there are more high-level experts taking part in the creation of the new platform, which will hopefully define the future of the online gambling industry and blockchain applications.

“MixBytes are to provide DAO.Casino with thorough consulting and collaborate to create the DAO.Casino Blockchain, featuring all the necessary technologies to ensure the future prosperity of decentralized gambling, as finality, random number generator, high throughput, low latency and more,” DAO.Casino officials said.

The new blockchain will put major emphasis on the reduction of transaction times as well as the improvement of existing security features. DAO.Casino’s plan is likely to go very smoothly especially now that it has already established itself as a prominent name in the world of crypto-powered online gaming.

Crypto-Gambling

Can Crypto Replace Credit Cards for UK Online Gambling?

The UK Gambling Commission, in March 2018, announced that it was mulling over a possible ban on the use of credit cards on online gambling sites. This consideration came up following the commission’s report on responsible gambling measures where it was found that the availability of credit card payment options at online casinos was a viable cause of harmful gambling tendencies among a considerably large number of people.

According to the commission’s report, approximately 10 to 20 percent of all the deposits that were made to online gambling sites in the country were made using credit cards. In essence, this implies that close to a fifth of all the online gambling that was carried out in the United Kingdom was facilitated by borrowed money. This even becomes a much bigger problem when we factor in the fact that most, if not all, of the involved credit card companies treat these transactions in the same exact way that they treat cash advances – that is, they do not come with an interest-free period, may entail exorbitantly higher interest rates and often incur varying amounts of handling fees. Combined, these are the ultimate ingredients for problem gambling and never-ending financial woes for given groups of people – problem gamblers.

The UK Gambling Commission has taken a more proactive approach in the way it handles its activities of late and thus if things keep going the way they are, it is possible that it will indeed proceed to regulate a credit card ban of some kind.

What Next?

Naturally, if it so happens that the use of credit cards for making online casino payments is banned, both the consumers and operators will need to find viable alternatives. Some of the ones that have already been floated around include e-wallets and bank transfers both of which are actually quite reasonable. However, by far the most revolutionary and perhaps the most appealing is blockchain technology and the associated digital currencies.

Needless to say, cryptocurrencies have grown immensely popular over the past few years and within that time a number of online gambling sites have adopted their use in a number of different ways. This implies that there is already a sense of direction and thus it should not be so hard to have digital currencies completely replace credit cards as a payment option on online gambling websites.

There are a number of advantages that a crypto-powered gambling service would have but it is important to note that there will equally be a unique set of challenges. Still, with the looming ban on credit card use on online gambling websites, it will definitely be a great time to advance the agenda for mainstream adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

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More Institutional Investors to Venture into Crypto in 2019

The price of a number of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, which is considered to be the mother of all cryptocurrencies, took big hits in 2018 amid the prolonged Crypto Winter. Even though there is no guarantee that it cannot get any worse than it did in the just concluded year, many investment analysts and financial market experts are expecting the volatility to subside significantly this year largely due to the entry of institutional investors. In fact, according to a report the Australian Financial Review some analysts even believe that bitcoin may make a comeback that will be fueled by the momentum created by institutional investors.

Over the summer of 2018, Wall Street was stunned by the news that some multi-billion-dollar endowments of Harvard, Yale and Stanford had decided to invest in digital currencies. Analysts believe that due to the herd mentality of most institutions, the move is likely to trigger a chain reaction of sorts among other institutional investors like pension funds. This influx of institutional investors was expected to pick up in a major way in late 2018 but the harsh bear market that affected nearly all digital currencies stalled most of the efforts – a number of the institutions were reportedly scared off by the protracted downturn of the crypto market which is an understandable move especially for organizations operating within that particular space.

Financial analysts have projected that, as Wall Street appears to be poised to even more turbulence in 2019, organizations may begin to consider crypto assets even more seriously – these assets are not buoyed since they have no correlation to the regular stock market and this makes a pretty good investment, especially during volatile periods.

Will Crypto Finally be Legitimized?

Well, many observers believe that, as it stands, mainstream adoption hinges on regulatory clarity to help legitimize the market. Regulation is already a big deal and has been defined by the move by US lawmakers in December 2018 to propose legislation that was designed to prevent bitcoin price manipulation and position the United States as a market leader in the crypto space. The US is being encouraged not to ignore the “profound potential” of crypto to bolster the country’s economy and this might just be what is needed to have digital currencies legitimized. The industry is putting a lot of effort into advancing the agenda of mainstream adoption of crypto most by greasing the wheels of Congress.

Unfortunately, there are some setbacks that may still impede the growth of the sector and one of the most serious ones is the scalability. As it stands, most platforms would need about a year to figure out concrete solutions to scaling, but until then let’s hope that the Lightning Network grows further and, hopefully, achieves its full potential.

blockchain-speed

Conflux Raises $35 Million into New Blockchain Protocol

The cryptocurrency industry, despite having existed for well over a decade and culminated into several innovations, is still in its nascent stage. Needless to say, there have been some very high moments for the industry as well as some very low lows, but cryptocurrency enthusiasts are in no mood to give up their optimism for a bullish future.

Still, we have to acknowledge the fact that the crypto market has been on a downward slope for a better part of this years, a bearish trend that is still going on. One of the major factors that go against digital currencies, more specifically bitcoin which is the flag bearer of the cryptocurrency world, is the sluggish nature of the underlying blockchain technology which makes its an infeasible choice for a real-world ledger. Even though developers have been working round the clock to solve this problem, it remains to be one of the most significant stumbling blocks to the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Well, things, in this regard, are about to change for the better.

Enter Conflux

In a bid to provide the much-needed solution to the problem, a group of university professors and researchers have raised a whopping $35 million for Conflux, a non-profit foundation that will support the development of a new and improved blockchain network. The Conflux project which is being backed by a Sequoia China and a number of Chinese Internet Companies claims to be able to overcome a key limitation of the existing blockchain – this limitation is rooted in the fact that protocols like bitcoin’s can only add a single block to the blockchain at any given time. The addition of multiple blocks at the same time results in the creation of a fork which leads to competing chains.

Conflux’s solution involves the utilization of a system that allows users to simultaneously work on blocks and put them in the chain. This new system will also be able to maintain a decentralized consensus method that prevents any entity from taking control of the blockchain. The general idea is to make the entire blockchain scalable.

In essence, Conflux serves to fulfill Etheruem’s promise of allowing the users to create an execute the so-called “intelligent contracts” in a distributed blockchain library. Unfortunately, even though Ethereum boasts of being a powerful technology, it still suffers from the same speed scaling issues that have hampered the growth of bitcoin up until now.

“Contrary to popular belief, true decentralization isn’t sacrificed to increase throughput, highlighting Conflux as the first example that achieves the best of both worlds. By weaving a Directed Acylic Graph data structure into Conflux’s Proof of Work consensus algorithm, tests on its testnet has achieved a throughput of at least 6,500 Transactions Per Second (TPS), while supporting at least 20,000 nodes,” said the foundation’ press release.

Private blockchains have been able to overcome the aforementioned scaling problems but this has been at the expense of decentralization since they were only able to do this by relying on central authority. Conflux, on the other hand, promises to offer the best of both worlds, that is, both speed and decentralization.

whirl

Socially Driven Crowdfunding Comes to the Blockchain

Following years of extensive research and one and a half more of development through legal vetting, an A-list team of blockchain, non-profit and crowdfunding experts is proud to launch WHIRL, the global market’s first ever blockchain-powered consumer crowdfunding platform. According to Roel Wolfert (Bancor, VISA) and Martijn Hekman (World Vision, United Nations), WHIRL aims to give the world a whole new way of financing dreams and obligations through the introduction of a revolutionary incentive system designed to maximize success and also encourage charity. Like other revolutionary blockchain-based projects, this one is expected to a great leap forward for the crypto community.

How Does It Work?

WHIRL has been described as a “what goes around comes around” kind of system owing to its unique karma-based model – in fact, the system’s reward concept is literally referred to as a Karma. The platform is not only socially driven but is also deeply rooted in traditional crowdfunding, that is, where individuals, groups organizations come together in a bid to pool resources towards their projects.

WHIRL can reportedly be used to finance any type of venture; ranging all the way from personal goals to medical bills, business ventures, and even scientific endeavors. People can, therefore, get funding by participating in charity instead of taking out loans or sourcing for funds from family and friends. While this makes it a cut above the rest since it is pegged onto the blockchain network, there is more to it than meets the eye.

The platform utilizes a fair and transparent queue system which limits the number of listed campaigns at any given time. Its blockchain is powered by WRL tokens and the concept of Karma, a reward system that supports and facilitates the giving economy within WHIRL. With these, it is able it is able to guarantee a 100 percent success rate to all projects listed under a campaign. However, only those with a history of contribution are allowed to create fundraising campaigns.

Contributions are tracked through the issuance of Karma points – 7 to 20 Karma points are awarded for every dollar contributed on any campaign listed on WHIRL. Consequently, there is a threshold number of points required to launch a campaign and based on the number of points accumulated, the size and duration of the campaign is determined. In addition to this, the campaigns also go into a transparent queue based on the order of submission.

So Many Birds, One Stone

WHIRL is poised to take care of a number of unattended needs in the crowdfunding market which has stagnated over the past decade due to fraud, oversaturation and, of course, the declining rate of success of crowdfunding campaigns. By listing only a limited number of campaigns at any given time and incentivizing backers with a fair and transparent system, the platform definitely takes care of most of these problems.

In addition to that, WHIRL supports 12 cryptocurrencies (including BTC, BCH, DASH, and ETH) at the moment, something that by itself already sets it apart from many other crowdfunding platforms – it also has plans to add more digital currencies in the future. This is great for the crypto community as a whole since it will aid further proliferation of digital currencies into the mainstream market.