ZCash Mining Pools (2018)

zcash mining pools

Zcash, a cryptocurrency launched in 2016, has been specifically developed to create an environment which protects the privacy of the users and their transactions.  Where traditional cryptocurrencies show all the transaction details to the public, zCash uses zero-edge cryptography to keep the transactions of the parties involved private.zcash mining pools

zCash was developed on the same basic software as Bitcoin and so, in the same way as all Bitcoin transactions need to be solved, all zcash transactions need to be authenticated and as with Bitcoins, rewards are given for this work – known as mining. 

If you are new to this topic, you may want to consider taking a crypto currency course to get up to speed quickly. 

Many miners choose to join a mining pool, rather than working solo, where their processing power is combined to identify and solve transactions faster and by default generate rewards quicker. However there are many possibilities when it comes to choosing a mining pool and ensuring you have the right information to choose a pool that suits your requirements and expectations is  critical for success. 

ZCash Mining Pools

Currently the most popular mining pools for zCash are:

  • Nanopool – one of the biggest mining pools in existence, Nanopool is a multi-currency pool that offers zCash as one of the mining currency options. The Zcash pool on Nanopool has more than 15 000 active miners and 30 000 workers. Payouts happen a intervals during the day, calculated on a PPLNS payout method and the transaction fee is 1% (https://zec.nanopool.org)
  • Flypool (https://zcash.flypool.org) is a zCAsh only mining pool with about 54 000 miners and 140 000 workers. What sets Flypool apart is that miners can remain anonymous (which is inline with zCAsh privacy policy). Flypool offers instant cash payouts calculated on the PPLNS scheme and also charge a 1% transaction fee. 
  • Slushpool, the first Bitcoin mining pool, is another multi-currency pool that offers zCash as an alternative to Bitcoin mining. Accessible at www.slushpool.com, with more than 20 000 active miners and 200 000 workers, Slushpool is a stable long standing mining pool. Rewards are calculate don a Scoring hash rate and the pool fee is 2%.
  • Dwarfpool (https://dwarfpool.com) offers miners four different currencies to choose from of which zcash is one. Payments are based on the RBPPS method and payments happen every hour. Dwarfpool guarantees 100% uptime and allows anonymous mining.  The pool fee is 1.5% (previously 2%) and miners pay a set amount on a transaction, which is re-calculated weekly, and the difference refunded or deducted. Zcash is new to dwarfpool and currently there are only 270 workers. 
  • Coinotron is also a multi-currency pool that offers a choice of 16 different currencies and calculates the payouts using a combination of the different payout calculations. 

Zcash is considered to be the 17th most popular Cryptocurrency available at the moment with a market capitalisation of $500 million. As zCAsh is not as popular as Bitcoin or ethereum, it is more profitable to mine than many of the other Cryptocurrencies. 

Although we have discussed some the mining pools that offer zCash as an option, there are many more pools available. Miners are advised to investigate the options and reputations of the pools before making decision to ensure they are not disappointed.  Happy Mining.

Bitcoin Trading Course – Top 6 Revealed

There is a lot of hype surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and if you are serious about trading, and making a profit, you may find it valuable to enroll on a bitcoin trading course that can help you increase your effectiveness.

Bitcoin Trading Course

There are a number of institutions that offer courses in Bitcoin Trading as well as altcoin trading. In this article, we are going to look at some of the courses available, the cost and the manner in which the material is presented.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the courses available, but a highlight of some of the more popular ones.

Bitcoin Trading Course – The Top 6

  • ICE3x, (https://ice3x.co.za/bitcoin-trading-school/), iceCUBED Bitcoin Trading Schoolis a Bitcoin Trading School that offers courses from Beginner to Advanced, each level building on the knowledge gained from the previous level. “Pre-school” covers the basics of what Bitcoin is, why to trade in Bitcoin and the mechanics of how to trade. “Kindergarten” covers charts, data and indicators and “Elementary School” covers more complex topics such as Japanese Candlesticks and Fibonacci Trading. The training is free of charge, online and each module is presented as an article with graphics.
  •  

  • The Bitcoin-Blackbook, can be downloaded online for about $10 or purchased at stores such as Amazon in Kindle or Hardcopy format. The book is a step-by-step guide on everything Bitcoin, including how to buy and sell, how to mine, using wallets and how to trade. Click here for more info.
  •  

  • The Bitcoin University, provides information, amongst others, on the history of Bitcoin, wallets and how to open and use them, depositing and withdrawing Bitcoins, Charts, Trading Rules, Money management and Trading examples in a video and pdf Format, for an admin fee of $47. Click here for more info.
  •  

  • Crypto Blueprint, for $47 dollars offers a blueprint for Crypto-trading, a unique system to help you identify opportunities in the market and help you to be successful. The site also offers a 60-day money back guarantee. Click here for more info.
  •  

  • The Crypto Training Academy (https://www.cryptotradeacademy.com/course/),Crypto Trade Academy
    is an extensive Video training course for trading in Bitcoins and Altcoins. Covering topics such as how cryptocurrencies work, how to store then, defining entry and stop-loss points, analysis of data and finding information and more. Students can choose between a beginner and advanced course (the one building on the other) and can learn at their own pace through 24 Modules. Enrolling for the course costs 99 Euro for the beginner course (10 modules) and 399 Euro for the advanced (24 Modules).
  •  

  • Udemy, (https://www.udemy.com/cryptocurrencytrading/)
    Udemyoffers an online course for about $200 (although it is offered at a special discounted rate of $1.30 at the time of this article). This course focuses on short-term trading and making a profit. The course will cover topics such as the tools needed for trading, how to maximize your profit and minimize your losses and how to read charts and indicators and apply them to your trading for the best results. The Udemy course is presented as a 3.5-hour on-demand video and an article to read. On completion, you will receive a certificate. The course also offers lifetime access, so you can come back for a refresher at any time.

Bitcoin Trading Course: Final Thoughts

Investing and trading in Cryptocurrency can be complex and confusing, especially for the beginner. By increasing your knowledge and learning from the experience of others, you can increase your chances of success and profit substantially.

For further reading, check out our post on crypto currency trading courses.

Kraken vs Coinbase: All You Need to Know

Cryptocurrency is big news and trading in it is becoming highly popular and, more importantly, incredibly lucrative. Entering into not just a new currency, but a complete re-imagining of what currency is, however, is certainly a little intimidating. Thankfully, help is at hand through a number of cryptocurrency exchanges, the most popular of which are Kraken and Coinbase.

Kraken-vs-Coinbase

To help you understand each of these digital platforms a little more clearly, we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of each. And, by the end of it, you should have a better idea of where you’re going to buy, sell and store your cryptocurrencies.

Kraken vs Coinbase

Kraken

Kraken

Founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell, Kraken is located in San Francisco and was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges to launch on the Bloomberg Terminal. Here are the pros and cons that you need to be aware of when using Kraken:

PROS

  • Wide range of currencies available: Kraken is able to boast 14 different currencies on their exchange and these include the three most popular in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin
  • Low fees: Trading fees on Kraken are some of the lowest you can find among crypto-exchanges
  • High limits: Kraken allows you to deposit and withdraw up to $25,000 per day
  • Simple verification: Users are able to start trading in both digital and fiat (issued by a government) currencies by providing just a few personal details

CONS

  • No credit/debit card facilities: The only method for withdrawing and selling on Kraken is through bank transfers and cryptocurrency
  • Not user friendly: The Kraken interface has been criticised for being unfriendly to users and causing beginners to make numerous errors

Coinbase

Coinbase

Coinbase was founded in San

Francisco by Brian Armstrong in 2012 and now has a user base of around 13.3 million users. If you’re interested in trading on Coinbase then these are the pros and cons of the platform:

PROS

  • User friendly: Simplicity is the name of the game with Coinbase and it ensures that beginners are able to get up and running with the minimum of fuss
  • Good buy/deposit methods: Coinbase allows its users to use either credit/debit card, bank transfers and cryptocurrency to facilitate withdrawals/deposits
  • Safe Limits: Rather than allow new users to lose huge amounts of money immediately, Coinbase sets purchase limits based on account age, buying history and verification status
  • Easy verification: Bank details can be linked to your account almost instantly to allow you to start trading

CONS

  • Limited cryptocurrencies: Coinbase only supports Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, so the choice of available cryptocurrencies is limited
  • Medium fees: Purchase fees on Coinbase are higher than their rivals with 1.49% and 3.99% fees for bank transfer and credit card transactions respectively

Final Thoughts: Kraken vs Coinbase

No matter what people tell you, the cryptocurrency bubble is not going to burst. And that’s why there’s no better time to get involved with cryptocurrency.

Kraken and Coinbase both represent fantastic options for getting to grips with the complexities of cryptocurrency, but with a significant difference in the services on offer. Kraken, of course, provides a wide range of different cryptocurrencies to work with, but offers limited options when it comes to withdrawing/depositing funds. Coinbase, meanwhile, may offer slightly higher transaction fees, but it’s a platform which is intuitive and offers superior buy/deposit methods.

Deciding on which platform is entirely down to your circumstances, but if you choose carefully then you stand to make the whole process easier and more financially rewarding.

Where Can I Buy Ether?

If you’re interested in purchasing crypto currency as opposed to mining for it, you may find yourself asking ‘where can I buy ether’ and that is the key question we’ll cover in this article.

But first a quick recap…

What is Ether?

As a quick recap, Ether, ETH, is the currency that powers the Ethereum network. Ether is one of the most popular virtual currencies at the moment, generally considered to be second only to Bitcoin.

Many people think that Ethereum, and the Ethereum Virtual Machine will have a more important long-term future than other currencies like Bitcoin, as it can be used for other things like smart contracts.

Ether is the currency that is used to reward nodes on the Ethereum network that ultimately makes all these things possible.

Ethereum

When people talk about buying Ether, ETH or Ethereum they are all different names for the same thing.

So, where can you buy it?

Where Can I Buy Ether?

The safest way to buy Ethereum tokens is through a reputable crypto currency exchange. There are a handful of exchanges that are simple enough to use and will let you buy Ether in a short space of time.

With most exchanges you will need to open an account and verify your identity. You will then be able to deposit funds and make your first purchase of Ether.

  1. If this is your first time buying Ether you can open an account with someone like Coinbase as this is one of the best known exchanges and only has a limited number of currencies available. This makes it simpler to use. 
  2. You will be asked to upload identity documents such as a driving license.
  3. There are different deposit limits and withdrawal limits depending on the payment method you use, i.e. credit card vs. PayPal.
  4. If you are new to Coinbase, you can sign up with this link to get $10 worth or free Bitcoin. 

If you already hold other crypto currencies, you can use these to buy Ether, for example you could exchange Bitcoin to Ethereum.

The best crypto currency exchange will depend on your specific circumstances and what you are looking for. Some are more sophisticated that others, or only work in certain jurisdictions.

How else can you get you hands on Ether?

get you hands on Ether

There are a couple of other ways that you could get Ether other than buying it.

  1. Accept it as payment – If you run a business, you could accept payment in Ether
  2. Mine for it – If you care technically minded you could mine for Ether.

Crypto Currency Course

If you’re new to this space it is worth educating yourself before you make any investment. There are several good crypto currency trading courses available that will give you a good grounding in the concepts and help you make informed decisions.

These types of courses will almost certainly be of use once you move past your initial question of “where can I buy Ether?”. 

Cryptocurrency Trading

The high gains experienced by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum over the past year have created much interest and hype in this space. Even major investment banks that previously spoke negatively of the crypto movement have opened trading desks to address demand from their clients.

Cryptocurrency Trading

This article will explore why cryptocurrency trading is so popular, the difficulties involved and how to get started.

The growth of crypto

Interest in cryptocurrencies is being driven by two main factors:

  • Long term growth – The value of crypto currencies has grown astronomically over the past 18 months, and this makes it very attractive to investors who speculate that it will continue to rise over the long term. People also hope to identify new coin offerings that will have the same explosive growth of bitcoin and ethereum.
  • Volatility – While the value of cryptocurrencies is increasing, it is by no means a sure thing, and prices are incredibly volatile. Traders hope to use this volatility to make money in the short term, buying and selling to take advantage of the peaks and troughs.

Many see the potential of bitcoin in particular as a store of value, in the same way that gold is used today.

Cryptocurrency trading challenges

Cryptocurrency trading challenges

There are several reasons why cryptocurrency trading is an uncertain and volatile business:

  • Complicated space – while it is not essential to have an understanding of blockchain and the specifics of how cryptocurrencies work in order to trade them, it is still beneficial to have a broad understanding of the concepts. Even at a high level, cryptocurrencies can be very complex, and the economics of how coins function differs from one coin to the next.
  • Signals are not the same as stocks and shares – many of the traditional measures that traders use to assess the value of stocks and shares don’t apply to cryptocurrencies. This means that people are having to invent new ways to determine whether a coin is a good investment.
  • Don’t have the historical data – Further to the fact that we don’t have good tools and measures, we also don’t have good historical data to tell us how cryptocurrencies react to different events. This makes it difficult to predict how their value fluctuates relative to geopolitical and economic inputs.
  • Regulatory landscape is immature – as much of the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies is new and relatively unproven, regulators are understandably nervous. In some jurisdictions they have sought to limit trading of crypto currencies by blocking exchanges and imposing new regulation. You wouldn’t want to be holding a large amount of cryptocurrency in a country where it suddenly became very difficult to sell.

Exchanges

In order to buy or sell crypto currencies you will first need to register with an exchange or cryptocurrency trading platform. The best cryptocurrency exchange for you will depend on what exactly you are looking to buy and how sophisticated you need it to be.

Coinbase is generally seen as a good entry point, but you can get more advanced trading features on other exchanges.

Cryptocurrency trading Courses

If you’re new to this space, there are a number of crypto currency trading courses available that will have you get up to speed quickly and save you lots of time researching the topic.

You should view purchasing an online course as an investment in helping you to make longer term trading decisions further down the line.

Cryptocurrency Trading: final thoughts

The future of currencies like bitcoin and ethereum is far from certain, and it is even less clear for the multitude of altcoins that are now available on the market.

That being said, the huge gains that these currencies have seen over the past year will no doubt continue to draw attention to the space.

If you’re serious about investing, make sure you take steps to educate yourself before you get started, and be wary of the the commentators who think that this could turn out to be a bubble waiting to burst.

Best Crypto Currency Exchange

The crypto currency market has many people excited, with the explosive growth over the past few years leading to some media outlets to refer to it as a modern day gold rush.

We have covered in previous posts how you go about mining for crypto assets, but what if you just want buy them?

In this post we’ll look at how to find the best crypto currency exchange to help you get up and trading as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

Coinbase

Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the most popular and best well known exchanges, and for good reason.

What’s great about coinbase?

  • Simple to use – The user interface is simple and intuitive to use, much like other modern web services that you’ll be familiar with. 
  • Fast time to get registered – coinbase uses an automated verification process which scans your drivers license via your webcam or camera phone. This is simple to use and means that most users can be registered, verified and trading within a few minutes.
  • Backed by reputable companies – Coinbase lists Andreessen Horowitz among its investors, the same venture capital firm behind companies like … and …
  • Based in the US – While there are currency exchanges based all over the world, for those that are concerned about where their money is going, Coinbase is located in the US.

    Downside

  • Lack of available currencies – You can only trade a handful of currencies on coinbase, like Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin. 

You can get a special offer when you sign up to Coinbase using this link.

$10 worth of free bitcoin.

Other Exchanges

Other Exchanges

There are a plethora of other exchanges and some of the best known include Kraken, Bitpanda and Bitstamp. 

The positives of these exchanges are varied:

  • Wide range of currency pairs – while Coinbase is limited to a very small subset of the crypto currencies available today, on other exchanges the possibilities are virtually limitless. You can purchase Ripple with ETH, or Doge with dollars.
  • More functionality – many of these exchanges offer functionally more akin to a trading platform and allow you to do things such as set up advanced automated buy and sell orders set at different trigger points. This is particularly useful if you want to take advantage of the volatility of certain currencies, but are not able to actively trade throughout the day.

Some of the things to be wary of when choosing an exchange include.

  • Long time to verify – reputable crypto currency exchanges now require users to complete KYC checks before they can pay in fiat currency. This typically involves users sending photo of a drivers license or passport. Particularly during peak periods (e.g. at the end of 2017) this can take a long time. Some people reported delays of over 2 weeks waiting to be verified, which obviously is no good if you’re looking to get in at the start of a run.
  • Security – there have been several high profile hacks of crypto currency exchanges over the past few years, with customers losing most or in some cases all of the money they had online. You should seriously consider transferring you keys to a hardware wallet where they are more secure.
  • Ease of use – while Coinbase is designed to look and feel like most modern web interfaces and is therefore simple and intuitive to use, the same cannot often be said for some of the alternatives. The increased functionality and options in terms of currency pairs brings complexity. In some cases even figuring out how to transfer money into the exchange can be difficult.
  • Hidden fees – some exchanges will change a fee when you transfer crypto currency in and this is t always immediately obvious in the fees. Check the small print so that you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Many of the most popular exchanges are based in countries like South Korea and China and have suffered over the past year as governments have sought to impose regulation on the crypto currency trading space.

In the long run it is widely expected that the regulators will relax these rules once the hype around crypto currencies subsided and the space is better understood.

If you are serious about investing in crypto currency you should think about enrolling in crypto currency trading course, this will help you to get a broad understanding of the crypto space and help you to make more informed decisions.

Best crypto currency exchange: final thoughts

There are many options available if you want to trade crypto currencies, but if you’re just starting out, Coinbase is the simplest and easiest to use. If you want more advanced trading features, or access to a wider range of currencies, you should consider some of the other options like Kracken or …

Ethermine vs Nanopool (2018)

Mining pools are protocols where multiple miners combine their resources to maximise the number of blocks that can be solved and then split the earnings based on their contribution. The greatest advantage of mining via a pool rather than solo mining is that the combined power of multiple mining rigs increases the chances of finding blocks.

Mining pools also offer greater redundancy and up-time as the pools run on multiple servers, which are often located on different continents. There are many mining pools available for miners to join, some focusing on a specific currency and some allowing miners to mine for multiple currencies.

In this article we are going to look at two mining pools, Ethermine vs Nanopool, to understand their differences and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Ethermine vs Nanopool

Ethermine vs Nanopool (2018)

Currencies

Nanopool is a multi-currency pool where miners can choose which currency they wish to mine, including Ethereum, Monero, Bitcoin and Z-Cash. Ethermine as the name suggests is a single currency pool focusing on the mining of Ether.  Both pools offer Ethereum and Ethereum Classic mining. To ensure we are comparing like with like, we will focus on only the Ethereum pool within Nanopool for the rest of this discussion.

Payment method

Both Ethermine and Nanopool pay miners based on the PPLNS reward system (Pay Per Last N Shares) which includes a luck factor in the calculations but on average pays out 5% more than rewards calculated on the PPS system. Ethermine pays out on all rewards, including uncles and payments are done instantly based on a minimum account balance. Nanopool pays out several times a day based on a minimum balance and also pays for uncles. Both Ethermine and Nanopool charge a fee of 1% for being a part of the pool.

Hashrate

Ethermine had a higher hashrate than Nanopool at 69.9 Th./s versus 41.8 Th./s.  The hashrate of the pool is the amount of power it is using to find blocks and solve them so the higher the hashrate of the pool, the more blocks it is finding to be solved, which is evident in the average number of blocks each pool solves per hour (Ethermine: 79 and Nanopool: 45). At the time of writing, the number of active miners in the Ethermine pool is 141,614 and eth.nanopool has 96,782.

Location

Ethermine has servers in East and West USA, France and Singapore ensuring 24-hour uptime and full backup and redundancy. Nanopool also offers full backup and uptime and has servers in Japan, Australia, Asia, East and West USA and in two locations in Europe.

The support offered by both these mining pools is good and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Statistics on the network hashrate, blocks mined and number of miners as well as individual statistics per miner is available on both sites.

Ethermine vs. Nanopool: Final Thoughts

The most important criteria when deciding which mining pool to join is to identify what is important to you and what your expectations are. Do you want to mine only one currency, what payment method is best for you and how much are you prepared to pay in fees? It is beneficial to look at all the options before making an informed decision.

Monero vs. Bitcoin

This article, originally published on CoinCentral, explores the key differences between Monero vs. Bitcoin

Bitcoin gave the world digital cash. The ability to transact large sums of money across the globe, without needing to ask permission, and without the need to use middlemen is truly groundbreaking. But for all its advantages over national fiat currencies, Bitcoin now only seems to serve a limited set of use cases. It is not very private, transactions are generally slow and becoming costly. It’s becoming harder to upgrade and add new features to the protocol making it resistant to new innovations and technologies.

Then came Monero – private by default with untraceable transactions. It has an adaptive block size. It has its own codebase and is not simply another Bitcoin clone. Even its developers are mainly anonymous. Monero ticks most the permissionless digital cash boxes – is it all too good to be true?

In this Monero vs Bitcoin comparison, we’ll take a deeper look at Monero’s features that have helped it grow to a top 10 cryptocurrency.

Why Bitcoin lacks privacy and What Monero does about it

Bitcoin vs Monero

Bitcoin is pseudonymous, meaning that users can transact without providing their identities. Instead of using real world identities as banks do, Bitcoin uses addresses to make transactions possible between wallets.

The problem is that the addresses, along with the transaction information, all get stored on a public ledger. Although users can make transactions without attaching their personal identity, it is now widely known that the Bitcoin blockchain is being data mined by blockchain analysis companies. These companies are able to de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions with a high degree of accuracy.

Unlike Bitcoin, where you need to take extra steps to achieve anonymity, Monero has privacy turned on as a default setting. Untraceable transactions and anonymity are baked into the protocol.

As a side effect of anonymous and untraceable transactions, Monero is more fungible than Bitcoin. Fungible simply means that you can’t tell apart one coin from the next. Bitcoins are subject to being tainted. For instance, if a particular exchange has been hacked, or funds are stolen, the hacked or stolen Bitcoins can be tracked and subsequently blacklisted by exchanges or vendors. This can make a percentage of Bitcoins unspendable, which is not ideal for a digital representation of cash. Monero’s inherent untraceability makes this a non-issue.

How exactly does Monero achieve privacy?

Monero uses three different privacy innovations, namely, ring signatures, Ring Confidential transactions, and stealth addresses.

Ring signatures hide information about the sender, using a technique where a group of users sign the transaction. This obscures who the actual sender was.

Next, by using a technique known as RingCT, which stands for Ring Confidential Transactions, Alice can send Bob some Monero, and the only people that will ever know the amount sent will be Alice and Bob. Although the transaction is visible on the blockchain, there is no way to determine the amount transacted.

Lastly, Monero uses stealth addresses which adds privacy to the receiver of a transaction. Stealth addresses use ‘spend keys’ to obscure the receiver’s address. A sender is required to generate a spend key address for the receiver and send the Monero through this address. A ‘view key’ is then used by the receiver to display incoming transactions. This method means that while a transaction is recorded on the blockchain, only the sender and the receiver can determine where the payment was actually sent.

Monero vs Bitcoin: Other Key Differences

Monero-vs-Bitcoin

Released in early 2014, it is understandable that Monero still has some catching up to do compared to Bitcoin which has been around since 2009. This is reflected in the two coin’s market cap differences, with Monero sitting in 9th place at the time of writing.

Bitcoin had a lot more time to build out its network, and it won’t be giving up its first mover advantage that easily. With Monero, however, the market cap comparison does not reflect the fact that Monero has a different use case than Bitcoin, a use case built around its privacy. Monero is now establishing itself as the ‘coin of choice’ for people that want privacy in their transactions or that want to use Dark Markets. Bitcoin lost flavor with Dark Market users who quickly switched loyalty when they realized that Monero took privacy a few steps further than Bitcoin ever could.

Monero is not a one-trick-pony either. Privacy aside, the Monero developers have been addressing some key issues that Bitcoin has found challenging.

Hard forks have proved dangerous in Bitcoin as they show major rifts in consensus and make protocol upgrades contentious. When it comes to upgrading the protocol, Monero has a policy of hard forking every 6 months. All users are given fair warning and are expected to upgrade their software, making upgrading a breeze.

Monero has a dynamic block size which can adapt to the network’s requirements, unlike Bitcoin’s hard capped limited block size. With dynamic block sizes, you also get dynamic fees. It takes an average of 2-minutes for the average Monero block to be mined, and for transactions to be confirmed – a clear advantage for retail like scenarios.

Miner centralization, due to the use of ASIC chips, is a problem that Bitcoin has not been able to avoid. Short of a contentious fork to change the Proof of Work algorithm, it looks like mining centralization is here to stay in Bitcoin. Monero uses mining algorithms that are ASIC resistant, meaning it can be mined using standard CPUs and GPUs, which keeps the mining decentralized.

How has the Market received Monero?

Monero saw incredible growth in 2016, where it was the best performing crypto for the year. It has a growing legion of fans. Many were originally Bitcoiners that became frustrated with Bitcoin’s inability to achieve consensus to add improvements. As data analysis firms started de-anonymizing Bitcoin users, privacy oriented coins became all the more appealing.

Eager to grow their community and see their currency gain use, Monero fans have organized and have even set up their own LocalBitcoins style exchange for Monero called LocalMonero.co where buyers can find local sellers for one-on-one trades.

The bottom line

Since its inception, Monero has forged ahead and carved its own path in cryptocurrency privacy innovation. When compared to Bitcoin, and despite early setbacks and engineering challenges, it clearly leads the way in terms of anonymity and untraceability. But it is not alone in the privacy niche. Hot on its heels are other privacy focused coins, like Dash, Zcash, PIVX and Verge among others.

But competition is good in the cryptocurrency space because a coin can adopt new and innovative techniques that other developers have found to be successful. It is more about keeping the protocol agile so it can implement improvements and upgrades. Monero devs have shown that this is something they consider to be very important.

Bitcoin has gone through its own upgrade recently with the activation of SegWit, providing the oldest blockchain with some much needed new capabilities. SegWit allows for second layer innovations to be built on top of Bitcoin’s protocol layer. The SegWit upgrade was hotly contested for a couple of years. This had the effect of stalling innovations like the Lightning Network for fast transactions, and Confidential Transactions which offer enhancements in user privacy.

Other innovations are also in the pipeline, like MimbleWimbe and Atomic swaps, that can make cross-chain transactions possible, meaning you can send someone Monero, and they get the value in Bitcoin – or vice versa. Such developments can foster a sense of blockchains cooperating instead of directly competing to eat each other’s lunch. With that in mind, it is probably less about picking a winner between Monero and Bitcoin, and more about both coins growing independently and serving distinct use cases and markets.

Monero’s clear efforts in being distinctly different from Bitcoin are already paying off as it is clearly the leader in the privacy niche, and it is certainly here to stay.

This is  article was written by Theo Tsihitas and originally published on CoinCentral . Read the full article here.

Crypto Mining Mastermind

At the request of our readers we are looking at forming a small, virtual crypto mining group. 

This will most likely be by invitation only, with members being accepted based on their level of experience and specific areas of interest. It will also be limited to 8-12 members initially.

Crypto Mining Mastermind

This will ensure that the conversation is focused on things that people will get the most value from and that people’s voices will be heard.

We envisage that the group will include:

  • Fortnightly call to discuss all things crypto
    • Rough agenda agreed with participants beforehand
    • Occasional guest / expert speakers
    • Typed up minutes from the meetings shared afterwards
  • Access to closed Facebook group for ongoing conversations

We are still in the planning stages and would very much appreciate your input on what this group could look like.

If this sounds like it could be of interest to you and you’d like to be kept in the loop as the group evolves, please register your interest using the form on our contact page, with “Mastermind” as the subject.

 

Monero Exchange – Top 3 Places to Buy Monero (XMR)

Monero is a cryptocurrency launched in 2014 that has become extremely popular amongst users who wish to keep the details of their transaction private as well as with miners who do not want to compete with the ASIC miners of the likes of Bitcoin.

Monero mining (or XMR mining) is easy and affordable and can be done solo, with a monero mining pool or via a cloud mining provider.

Top 3 Places to Buy Monero (XMR)

This article is for investors who do not want to go through the hassle of mining but are interested in buying and trading in the currency on a Monero exchange.

How to buy Monero

Monero is being hailed by some as one as one of the cryptocurrency investments for 2018. The fast-rising popularity of this coin has see its value grow exponentially over the last four years, in particular in 2017 when it was listed on one of the major Korean exchanges.  Buying Monero is simple, you need to:

  1. Find an exchange that trades in Monero
  2. Get yourself verified
  3. Download a Monero wallet
  4. Buy your coins

Monero Exchange

The following exchanges are trading in Monero and are recommended on the official Monero site (http://monero.org/services/exchange/). Due to the anonymity of Monero, you will receive an id with which to trade.

  • Poloniex (https://poloniex.com/exchange#btc_xrp)

    Poloniex

    trades in almost all cryptocurrencies available, including XMR.  Fees are charged to Makers (those who have orders on the books before the trade) and Takers (those who place an order to match the Makers orders and effectively take it) depending on the size of the transactions. Fees are calculated on the average trading over the last 30 days.  Deposits are stored offline and the site is monitored and audited 24 hours a day for suspicious behaviour to keep hackers out. Poloniex claims to be the most active digital exchange in operation. They exchange however does not have a mobile app for trading.

  • Shapeshift (https://shapeshift.io/#/coins)

    Shapeshift 

    , allows you to buy currencies with your credit card as well as exchanging one cryptocurrency for another. Unlike other exchanges, you do not need to create an account to trade on Shapeshift and the funds are transferred directly into your wallet.  Shapeshift advertises that there are no fees for trading on their platform and the exchange rate you see is the rate you get, however they do deduct a “miner fee”. Shapeshift also offers exchanges on Monero, Bitcoin and other altcoins. Shapeshift offers a mobile App.

  • Bithumb (https://www.bithumb.com/)

    Bithumb

    is one of the largest exchanges based on trading volume. Based in Korea, Bithumb offers an extra service know as Bithumb Cash, which is a wallet that can be loaded on your mobile device and offers instant trading and makes trading faster and easier.

The above list is only a small percentage of the exchanges that can be used for buying and trading in XMR and are amongst the biggest and most popular. It is advisable to investigate the exchange before you start trading as the there have been reports of hacked exchanges and unverified transactions that can cause loss of your investment.  Happy trading!