MelonPort Releases Test Version of its Digital Asset Management Platform

Switzerland-based blockchain startup Melonport has announced Version 0.1.0 of its digital asset management platform. The portal is built on the Ethereum blockchain and is now operating within the Kovan testnet.

Melonport is developing a digital asset management protocol that allows users to create their own portfolios composed of digital assets. The startup is led by former Goldman Sachs banker Mona El Isa, who believes the blockchain holds immense promise in revamping the financial services industry, especially in the fund management sector.

“Literally every other industry I can think of has been heavily disrupted by technology, except finance. Instead, we have built new technology on top of old technology for years and years and years making processes slow, inefficient and expensive. It’s time to reinvent the space from scratch and get rid of all these inefficiencies” says El Isa.

Traditional hedge fund businesses have many barriers to entry, which limit both portfolio managers and investors from participating in the sector. For personal funds, there are minimum asset requirements and higher fees, which dissuades participation. To manage other people’s’ assets, a regulatory license is required, which is time-consuming and expensive to acquire. Operational support, office space, analytical research, risk management technology, and auditors are other start-up costs that are very expensive and more often than not sink a hedge fund in its first year of existence.

For investors, the barriers to entry include the high management fees that hedge fund managers charge in order to offset the costs they incur while running the business. Also, it is not easy to find well-performing funds as there is no public directory. Most customers have to go with the most visible funds, though they may not be the best. Lastly, the best performing funds have a minimum investment requirement that can be difficult for the

Sia: The Future of Decentralised Cloud Storage

Crypto-coins have seen an explosive growth over the past year, each altcoin coming up with innovative methods of coin generation and unique services for its users. An example of such a currency is Sia, which aims to revolutionize the way digital cloud storage works.

According to its founders, Sia aims to be a “completely private, affordable and redundant medium” for storing files on the internet, utilizing the power of blockchain technologies along with sharing data servers. Unlike mining in other cryptocurrencies, Sia uses data sharing as a medium to generate new coins. The process is straightforward: install the Sia application on your computer, select how much storage you want to share on the network, and get paid for every GB utilized. At its core, Sia reduces the chance of a catastrophic server failure by distributing your data across several ‘nodes’ or computers, each keeping an encrypted copy of your files. That means that even if one of the nodes goes offline, you still have access to your files.

Figure 1: Price Comparison for 1TB of storage on different cloud services

What’s really exciting about Sia’s proposition is its pricing. At just $2 you can obtain 1 Terabyte of redundant storage. And it’s already up and running, so you can purchase storage today!

Sia has its own cryptocurrency (called Sia coin), which recently surpassed the $0.01 mark, a commendable achievement when you compare it to other established currencies like Dogecoin, which are still well below the 1 cent/coin threshold.

Figure 2: Valuation of Sia Coin has soared over the past month

Data farms have already expressed their approval of the new cloud company. Sia has partnered with Poloniex for exchange and wallet services, resulting in a recent spike in Sia blockchain transactions. The increased volume was unlike anything the company had

ZCash, Ether, and Monero Miners Can Now Use Nvidia Pascal GPUs

The impressive rally in digital currencies in the past three months has given the cryptocurrency mining industry a boost. Demand for mining equipment is higher than ever as individuals and companies are looking to profit from the increased value of many cryptocurrencies through mining.

As BTCManager reported on June 9, the shares of the semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have skyrocketed due to a surge in demand for its graphics cards, which cryptocurrency miners are increasingly using to  bring more digital currency into existence.  

AMD, however, is not the only publicly-traded technology firm that has benefited from the boom in cryptocurrency mining.

Nvidia Pascal GPUs More Efficient Than AMD’s

California-based Nvidia produces graphics processing units (GPUs) that are primarily using in the gaming space. Recently, however, cryptocurrency miners have increasingly started to purchase Nvidia’s GPUs to boost their mining productivity. More specifically, Nvidia’s Pascal-based GPUs.

Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs, such as the GTX 1060 and the GTX 1070, have demonstrated to be more efficient than their counterparts produced by AMD. According to research conducted by RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mitch Steeves, who compared the cryptocurrency mining performance of Nvidia’s GTX 1070 with AMD’s RX 580 GPU for the digital currency ether, Nvidia’s GPU required 33 percent less power consumption and is, therefore, a much more efficient graphics card for mining than the popular RX 580.

“If we switch to building a full Data Center environment, electrical costs become increasingly more important (Bitcoin environment), and the older NVIDIA GPUs outperform AMD over the course of a year,” Steeves stated.

Nvidia’s Pascal-Based Mining Hardware

To profit from the crypto mining boom, Nvidia has launched mining hardware built using eight Pascal GP106-100 GPUs, which are being referred to as “mining cards.” The mining hardware is targeted at ether, zcash, and monero miners

Is Ethereum Classic (ETC) a Good Investment?

Ethereum classic has emerged as one of the most popular altcoins since its big brother ether executed a hard fork on the blockchain after the DAO hack in July 2016. During a little under a year of its existence, ethereum classic, which carries the ticker ETC, has managed to rally from under $1 to over $20 and has positioned itself within the top five largest cryptocurrencies in the market.

What is Ethereum?

You cannot talk about Ethereum Classic without talking about Ethereum first. Ethereum is a public open-source blockchain network that allows for the creation of smart contracts and decentralized apps (DApps). It was first proposed in 2013 by its founder Vitalik Buterin and went live in July 2015 after a successful ether token sale in July/August 2014.

Ethereum’s digital token ether (ETH) has emerged as the second most popular cryptocurrency after bitcoin with a market capitalization of over $35 billion. The price of ether stands $370 at the time of writing, which also makes it the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin, Zcash, and Byteball.

The Hard Fork That Created Ethereum Classic

In April 2016, the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) was launched to act as a decentralized venture capital fund for cryptocurrency projects. It was built as a complex smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain and was meant to allow investors to vote on proposed projects that would then receive funding through the DAO.

During its 28-day crowdfunding campaign, the DAO managed to raise $168 million dollars worth of ether and became the most successful cryptocurrency crowdsale to this day. However, there was a vulnerability in the DAO smart contract, which allowed a hacker to steal a substantial amount of the DAO’s ether holdings on June 18, 2016. The hacker was able to steal around 3.6 million ether, which

The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

Cannabis has been legalized in numerous states across the United States. However, the cannabis industry is still plagued with limited access to banking services as traditional banks want to avoid dealing with businesses that engage in business activities that are still largely illegal under federal law. That is where cryptocurrencies could offer a solution.

Due to the loosening of anti-cannabis laws across America, the legal weed retail industry has grown quickly over the years and is expected to keep growing rapidly as more states debate and decide on its legality. Both the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and the District of Columbia, while the medical use of cannabis has also been legalized in an additional 20 states across the US.

In late 2016, leading investment bank Cowen and Company published a report on the Cannabis industry titled, “The Cannabis Compendium: Cross-Sector Views on a Budding Industry” which postulates that the industry would grow to $50 billion by the year 2026.

However, because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, most legal dispensaries are having to conduct purely cash-based business, given most banks and other financial institutions will not allow them access to financial services as a result of regulatory constrictions. This leaves weed retailers vulnerable to theft, which criminals have exploited, as evidenced by statistics on dispensary robberies.

The blockchain industry is looking to remedy this. Due to the decentralized nature and inherent security of the blockchain, it offers a unique selling proposition as a payments solution for the cannabis industry.

Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

PotCoin was created in 2014 to cater to the needs of the unbanked cannabis industry. The coin works on a proof of stake system with an Annual Percentage Interest

Fallling Prices, Bitcoin Accompanied by Ethereum and Tech Stocks

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency with record breaking performance until last week has started down a downhill slope. The cryptocurrency’s price has fallen from the record $3000 to less than $2500 as the cryptocurrency exchanges continue to struggle with technical issues. Also, the ongoing scalability debate has caused significant uncertainty among the community members as well.

Making matters worse are the cyber-attacks currently being faced by few exchanges. Earlier this week, two well-known cryptocurrency platforms, Bitfinex and BTC-e came under sustained DDoS attacks, which affected the latter’s service for some time. Yesterday Coinbase also ended up facing an outage, yet again, which made the platform go completely offline for several hours.

The technology issues have also caused fluctuations in Ethereum price as the cryptocurrency is supported by most of the affected exchange platforms. Apart from the technical issues faced by centralized exchange platforms, negative comments about Bitcoin by some well-known personalities have also ended up creating pressure on the cryptocurrency price.

The change in Bitcoin price has reignited the discussion about the volatile nature of the popular cryptocurrency and how it is not suitable for use as a mainstream payment instrument. However, given the rate of growth of the cryptocurrency community and upcoming cryptocurrency legislations in many countries, the value of Bitcoin is expected to rebound in the coming days.

It is not just Bitcoin that saw a downward trend in the recent days. Even technology stocks have registered a fall this week. The fall in tech stocks is said to be unsustainable levels of growth in the technology segment, which sounds quite similar to the scalability issues currently being faced by the cryptocurrency community.

The cryptocurrency market, driven by speculations has overshot the actual growth, making it unsustainable during short-term. However, long-term investments are expected to stay profitable. Meanwhile, the

Stockholm will Host the First Large Conference on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

On September 7, for the first time, the Swedish capital will host a large conference dedicated to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency – Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Stockholm.

The event is a part of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference, which is the first and the largest network of crypto conferences in Europe. Organizer is Smile-Expo that holds similar events in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine.

Key topics include implementation of blockchain technology in business, legal regulation of cryptocurrencies (practices of various jurisdictions), increase of living standards using new technologies, development of smart contracts in the decentralized economy.

Special attention will be paid to the blockchain development in FinTech. Participants will analyze already existing blockchain-based projects in the banking sector; there will be a lot of analytics and discussions.

In autumn 2016, the Central Bank of the country announced its plans for the development of a national crypto currency. These plans may be implemented in two years. The Swedes use traditional money more rarely; since 2009 the amount of coins and cash in Sweden was reduced by 40 percent.

Blockchain development in the country is supported by the government; in 2016, there was an experiment on transferring records on land ownership right in the digital format. The project involved the blockchain-based technology of smart contracts.

In addition, Nasdaq Stockholm exchange issued the first bitcoin-based security. The Bitcoin Tracker One asset received a certificate of the governmental financial regulator and was accepted for trading.

In June, the Swedish project on blockchain implementation in energy sector was launched. A department of government corporation Vattenfall together with 20 European companies started the development of a blockchain platform for electricity trading.

These and other blockchain projects will be discussed by the participants of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference.

According to the organizers, participation in the conference

5 Ways To Fund Your Blockchain Project

The success or failure of an entrepreneurial venture is closely tied to how much liquidity the startup has. That is no different in the bitcoin economy. You can be developing the most innovative world-changing technology but if you run out of funding you will have to close shop no matter what. Fortunately, nowadays, there are several ways to fund your blockchain project that does not involve begging your bank for a loan.

In this article, you will be introduced to five popular alternative ways to fund your blockchain venture that could make the difference between your project failing or succeeding.

Bootstrapping

The easiest and most hassle-free way to fund your startup venture is by bootstrapping it, if you and your team of developers are in the position to pool your own funds together to get the project off the ground. The benefits of funding your startup yourself is that you have no outside shareholders or private investors to answer to. Furthermore, by bootstrapping your project you are not diluting your share in the company, which may one day be worth a lot of money.

Venture Capital

One of the more traditional ways for startups to receive funding is to pitch their idea to venture capital funds that are looking to invest in promising startups. Access to venture capital funding for tech firms, especially fintech firms, has been relatively easy in the last few years. Not only because there has been in a boom in both tech and fintech, but also because investors are looking for higher returns than they can currently get in the stock and bond markets.

Venture capital funding from leading blockchain VCs such as the Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital, would not only give your project a financial boost but would

Ethereum Basics: A Starter Guide for Entrepreneurs and Investors

If you are familiar with the terms “Bitcoin” or “blockchain,” you’ve probably heard of Ethereum, as it has been one of the most widely covered projects in the media. This primer will provide a basic understanding of its viability and future prospects.

What Is Ethereum and How Does It Work

Ethereum is a decentralized, software platform based on blockchain technology that is layered on the Internet. The network functions as an ecosystem of computers, which facilitates the use of new applications. It utilizes a programming language similar to Javascript, which is what developers use to build Smart Contracts.

These “Smart Contracts” are applications that execute pre-programmed commands all while mitigating the likelihood of fraud, downtime, censorship, or third-party tampering. They have myriad applications to support functions like trade settlements and the management of real estate transactions.

This coding language and protocol in these smart contracts as a foundational element of Ethereum possess the intelligence to self-enforce and execute commands without human intervention. They can be utilized for multiple purposes involving such things as title registries, corporate entities, election result tabulations, and untold other applications. For this reason, many believe that these programs could replace lawyers, banks and other third-party intermediaries for many common legal and financial transactions.

Each participating stakeholder in the vast Ethereum system is rewarded for their investment in hardware, electricity and processing power used to help run the network. This reward to “miners” comes in the form of a newly created crypto-token known as ether.

Once received, computer owner have a couple of options in terms of the use of the ether. For starters, they can further monetize their work and then exchange the ether for fiat in the form of dollars for example. Or they can sell their ether to decentralized app (dApp) developers who

An Introduction to Cryptoeconomics

In this guide, you will be introduced to the concept of cryptoeconomics and how it has given birth to an entirely new digital multi-billion dollar industry.

What is Cryptoeconomics?

Cryptoeconomics is a concept as well as a new term and, hence, has no official definition yet.

According to Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir, cryptoeconomics is “a formal discipline that studies protocols that govern the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a decentralized digital economy. Cryptoeconomics is a practical science that focuses on the design and characterization of these protocols.”

The Ethereum Wiki defines cryptoeconomics as “the combinations of cryptography, computer networks and game theory which provide secure systems exhibiting some set of economic dis/incentives.”

While the founder of TheControl, Nick Tomaino, explains cryptoeconomics as “the study of economic interaction in adversarial environments. In decentralized P2P systems that do not give control to any third party, one must assume that there will be bad actors looking to disrupt the system. Cryptoeconomic approaches combine cryptography and economics to create robust decentralized P2P networks that thrive over time despite adversaries attempting to disrupt the network.”

In simple terms, cryptoeconomics is a new field of study that analyses economic interactions in the decentralized digital economy that was pioneered by bitcoin. It is the foundation on which cryptocurrencies and digital assets are built on.

How Cryptoeconomics Changed Peer-to-Peer Networks

The Bitcoin network was not the first decentralized peer-to-peer network. Before Bitcoin, we had peer-to-peer file sharing platforms such as Morpheus, and Kazaa, where users from across the world would share files with other members of the decentralized peer-to-peer network. However, what these file sharing platforms were missing was an economic incentive. Without economic incentives, there was little reason for users to keep seeding files that take space on their computers so that other