LTC Hodlers: How to claim your free Litecoin Cash

Litecoin Cash is a fork of Litecoin, that began a few days back at Litecoin block 1371111. They will revert to SHA256 for their PoW algorithm in order to make their blockchain more appealing to the miners using those ASICs.

To existing Litecoin hodlers they’re offering 10 of the new token Litecoin Cash (LCC) for each Litecoin (LTC) held at that time – whether you agree with this change of consensus mechanism or not.

If you have a Litecoin when block 1371111 is published, you can claim 10 free LCC tokens, currently worth who knows. Imagine two chains sharing the same history in which you have 1 Litecoin at that address, but in the new blockchain it’s become 10 LCC instead. All you need to do is send the new tokens to yourself.
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NEM survives first disaster – 6% of tokens stolen

NEMThis project made headlines recently when a busy hub of trading was compromised and about 6% of the currency was stolen. Some fair weather investors along with many of the speculators got scared off.

Yet NEM seems to be weathering the worst of it and continues to hold the line. Perhaps those with a longer view may have seen their buying opportunity. I think this is the correct interpretation, tell ya why if you read on.
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Why did Litecoin double in value this week?

LitecoinLitecoin has shot up in value this week, up 50% due to a series of factors that are all bullish for Charlie Lee’s blockchain. The primary reason in my mind was the announcement of Litepay, a new payment processor to be launched Feb 26. Litepay is modeled after Bitpay, but obviously using Litecoin instead of Bitcoin.

Litepay plans to offer a variety of services including taking LTC payment in fiat. There is also a VISA-powered debit card planned, rumored to be offering 1% fees, so this actually seems a bit more ambitious. But this certainly wasn’t the only factor putting upward pressure on the LTC price – there was a barrage of announcements all of which were positive.
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malicious mining or opportunistic websites?

A growing trend on the web is using Monero mining to monetize websites. What started with fringe sites like Pirate Bay, is now going mainstream. This has raised alarm in some circles, but I think it’s a positive development.

To be clear, I’m not talking up the malware that persists on your machine and mines. What I’m bullish on is including Javascript in the website to mine while the visitor is on the site.
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blockchain scam of the week

Yes, it’s a fair point – BitConnect deserves to be the scam of the week for many weeks running. The only interesting thing about BitConnect at this point is that it still survives and has a market cap of over 75 million USD. Let’s pick on another easy target.

The Molecule Project is a project designed, from the looks of it, to con Chinese speculators. There is a website for the project, well at least there is for Chinese nationals. The project website is at https://mol.one but don’t get your hopes up. The empty page only loads some JS libs to check your IP address, load (but not render) the page content, and so on.
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weekly blockchain security roundup

More scams, hacks and exploits this week – starting the new year out with lots of activity! First up – the biggest theft of tokens ever reported.

Japanese exchange Coincheck got hacked a couple days ago for $533 million USD worth of NEM tokens. Apparently the exchange was overwhelmed with activity and never got around to fixing their system, which was simply to conduct all trades from an online “hot” wallet. This is one of the classic fail moves memorialized by MT Gox back in the day – not keeping most money offline in cold storage, then getting hacked.
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Intro to Quantstamp

Quantstamp is a company building a smart contract auditing platform. The Quantstamp network will consist of validator nodes running tests against smart contracts, reaching consensus about the results, and producing audit reports from those results.

Quantstamp is also a network protocol, and there’s an ERC-20 token associated with the project trading by the symbol QSP. This token is used in the system to initiate audits and to reward participants, but more on that later. Let’s take a look at the protocol first.

Quantstamp’s stated goal is to create a protocol that can someday be merged directly into the Ethereum codebase. This protocol is basically a meta-protocol riding on Ethereum. That is to say, Ethereum network handles the transaction detail and publishing of blocks, and Quantstamp handles all logic for the security audit function.
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lesser known tokens

Thought I’d showcase some of the lesser known tokens. They’re lesser known for good reason in many cases, yet entertaining.

Bit20 (BTWTY) is the Berkshire-Hathaway of the token world, with the price of one token over a million USD. A closer look however, reveals the supply in circulation to be exactly one token, with a market cap of over a million dollars USD for those who can’t do the arithmetic.

Bitconnect (BCC) meanwhile, still enjoys a market cap well over $100 million USD somehow, for some reason which defies logic. Just goes to show that some ponzi schemes are better than others eh? Who is hanging onto these tokens at $18.57 each?

Pizzacoin (PIZZA) is currently trading for just over $0.0025 USD at the time of writing, with a market cap of $3496 USD. Sound like a better deal than an all you can eat at the local brick oven pizzeria? Well probably not, judging by the website, which is simply a domain name pointed at a closed hosting account. The block explorer seems to be out of commission as well, which makes it all the more strange that blocks are getting mined somehow and transactions are happening. In fact, $628 worth of trades were included in blocks in the past 24 hours.

Monero – a bullish outlook for 2018

Monero is a blockchain focused on providing an useful, secure, and anonymous currency above all else. How well they do that, or the details about their decidedly unique blockchain will have to wait. This post is all about why Monero will thrive in 2018.

The most common use for Bitcoin is to hodl it, since BTC has proven to be a resillient store of value in recent years, but not so with Monero. Monero is a much younger blockchain, and it’s all about being a usable currency – a useful means of exchange.

One indicator that a blockchain is viable in the marketplace is that usage is stable or increasing over time.

So how can we really tell actual use apart from speculating and other activity?

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Hardware wallets: Digital Bitbox

I’ve tried most of the hardware wallets out there, and I’m passing along my experience with them – one by one. I recently purchased a Digital Bitbox, and I’m loving it, so let’s begin there.

This device is an USB mass storage device with a micro-SD card that is used to backup the private keys to your wallets. The industrial designers did some amazing work here – its form factor is basically that of a slimmed down USB thumb drive with a slot in the side for the micro-SD card slot, an LED and a corner hole to let you carry this on a keychain.

For me, the Bitbox’s form factor is the best of any hardware wallet. Having said that it’s larger than the Opendime product and it does not have the graphic display of Trezor and Keepkey, and the added security that enables. Lacking a display and the wider footprint that goes along with it means this is lean and probably more durable over time.
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