Almost every blockchain enthusiast on Earth has encountered the feline frenzy called CryptoKitties in the past week or so. All the fun and games pretty much brought the Ethereum network on which it runs to a crawl.
Most commonly asked question seems to be, unsurprisingly, “What is it and how does it work?” I still wonder too, but find the whole thing fascinating. In a nutshell, you can buy, breed and sell these kitties. Oh yeah, they’re adorable.
How to get yourself an adorable cryptokitty?
Continue reading “cryptokitties FTW!”
People ask about this a lot these days. Here’s my take on a quick, high-level comparison between these two blockchains.
Bitcoin was designed to be a digital money. Bitcoin has a huge address space, some of which have balances associated with them. These addresses are modified public keys, and the matching private keys are the one and only way to spend whatever Bitcoin there is. Note that “spend” means sending unspent outputs to some other address.
Ethereum was designed to be a full computer, all the nodes of which reach consensus about the state. Since this complexity exists already to save computational state, it saves account balances too. The token is issued in great quantities, which ensures the utility of these tokens but may not make them great stores of value. That utility I referenced is the ability to execute program logic on the network by sending tokens to contracts that cause them to execute code.
Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million tokens, over 16 million of which have been issued. Ethereum does not have a fixed supply; the money supply inflates by around 10% a year currently.
I hinted at it before, but for 95% of the people asking this question are considering whether to invest. They really want to know about the relative strengths of these two as stores of value. Bitcoin is that high-risk, high-upside potential investment they’re looking for, and Ethereum is not as good a fit for their purposes.
I decided to go digital dumpster diving into the list of top 1000 cryptocurrencies by market cap to see how many Bitcoins I could find. And look how many Bitcoin knockoffs, wannabes, Bitcoin forks, and tricksters there are. Talk about brand dilution!
The whole spectrum is represented here; from early altcoins trying to tinker with basic assumptions about consensus mechanisms or block discovery times, all the way to some that are simply intended to confuse unwary investors.
Here’s the list, sorted by market cap, along with a bit of commentary. They might be sorted in terms of appeal as well, as there are some real stinkers in this bunch!
Continue reading “Knockoff tokens, soundalike forks and a few scamcoins”
Will Bitcoin scale up to be a serious method of exchange? Will younger, nimbler competitors seize control of not only the non-currency blockchain applications but even the functioning as the digital currency that Bitcoin creators envisioned?
Roger Ver and Jihan Wu took their best shot at forcing change to Bitcoin this past week. After the faction arguing for larger blocks decided not to fork, these two guys coordinated pulling lots of Ver’s money out of BTC and into Bitcoin Cash / Bcash (BCH) in a short time frame, along with pulling lots of Wu’s mining power. This has become the norm.
Bitcoin Cash price shot up, briefly passing ETH in total market capitalization, and having an impact on Bitcoin proper.
BTC saw a corresponding sharp drop in price along with a huge backlog of transactions, but quickly recovered to resume making new all-time highs. BCH seems to have settled into a stable trading range, and now Bitcoin Gold has made a run up, making the top half dozen with a market cap exceeding 5 billion USD.
How to make sense of this fragmented crypto market?
Continue reading “blockchain specialization is driven by the diverse markets served”
Want to invest in the crypto markets but not sure how to have a plan? Need a DIY investment account or vacation fund? Well if you must invest in this asset class, I’d look at any examples available, like this one of mine:
- 50% Bitcoin
- 25% privacy focused blockchains
- 15% specialized blockchain architectures
- 10% nextgen ethereums
This is a growth portfolio recipe based on beliefs I hold – feel free to substitute your own. I’ll go into a lot more detail about why I hold these beliefs and more in future, but for now here’s a quick rundown – without naming any specific investments except Bitcoin, which is obvious!
Continue reading “An example cryptocurrency portfolio”