“We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertaiethereum founder predictionnment, and commerce,” said Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, in a company blog post. Visa wanted to “signal our support” for people involved in the NFT market, Sheffield said.
In voting to accept the funds raised since August, the Miami City Commission did not vote to spend them–yet. Instead, it accepted the USD equivalent of the proceeds and will hold them in reserve for future municipal spending. Conversion into fiat currency ensures that the city does not custody cryptocurrency directly. In his Fox interview, Suarez said of the initiative:“It’s interesting because it’s not an involuntary tax, it’s not philanthropy, it’s something that is completely different and could revolutionize the way governments are funded in the future.”eos crypto originHe added, “It’s theoretically possible that the city could generate enough taxes through MiamiCoin so that our residents don’t have to pay one cent in tax.”
Other metrics appear to indicate that Miami has been attracting more tech job postings over the summer, according to data shared by Antonio Delgado, the Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College:In line with Mayor Suarez’s numerous pro-crypto initiatives, a Miami-Dade County commissioner backed a resolution this spring aiming to allow residents to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to pay local taxes. The mayor had proposed an official resolution that would see Bitcoin become an acceptable payment instrument in various parts of the city's administration in February. The commission agreed to study the proposal's feasibility, rather than to take immediate steps to implement it.Decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Vee Finance reported $35 million losses in the latest exploit, just a few days after launching the mainnet on the Avalanche network.After pausing services due to suspicious activity on Sept. 20, Vee Finance confirmed that its platform was under an attack resulting in a loss of 8,804 Ether (ETH) and around 214 Bitcoin (BTC). The total amount is worth more than $35 million at the time of writing.According to the official incident announcement, the suspected attacker has collected stolen assets on one address after exploiting the VEE Finance trade contract address. In order to prevent further losses, the VEE Finance team suspended the platform’s contracts alongside deposits and borrow function.
Vee Finance did not elaborate on the specifics and possible causes behind the latest exploit at the time of publication. “The VEE team is actively working to further clarify the incident and will continue to try to contact the attacker to recover the assets. We are taking and handling this incident seriously and will do our best to protect the interests of VEE Finance users,” the announcement noted.Vee Finance is a DeFi lending platform focused on supporting multiple mining mechanisms including liquidity mining, transaction mining, and leveraged mining. The platform officially launched its mainnet on Avalanche on Sept. 14 alongside a liquidity mining launch. After integrating Chainlink price feeds as an oracle network solution, Vee Finance broke $300 million in total value locked on its platform on Sept. 19.Chainlink’s blog details a number of use cases for its system. One of the many use cases that are explained would be to monitor water supplies for pollution or illegal siphoning going on in certain cities. Sensors could be set up to monitor corporate consumption, water tables, and the levels of local bodies of water.19 A Chainlink oracle could track this data and feed it directly into a smart contract. The smart contract could be set up to execute fines, release flood warnings to cities, or invoice companies using too much of a city’s water with the incoming data from the oracle.
Chainlink was developed by Sergey Nazarov along with Steve Ellis. As of September 2021, Chainlink’s market capitalization is $13.5 billion and one LINK is valued at $30.50.208. Binance Coin (BNB)Binance Coin is a utility cryptocurrency that operates as a payment method for the fees associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. Those who use the token as a means of payment for the exchange can trade at a discount. Binance Coin’s blockchain is also the platform that Binance’s decentralized exchange operates on. The Binance exchange was founded by Changpeng Zhao and is one of the most widely used exchanges in the world based on trading volumes.Binance Coin was initially an ERC-20 token that operated on the Ethereum blockchain. It eventually had its own mainnet launch. The network uses a proof-of-stake consensus model. As of September 2021, Binance Coin has a $71 billion market capitalization with one BNB having a value of $426.21
9. Tether (USDT)Tether was one of the first and most popular of a group of so-called stablecoins, cryptocurrencies that aim to peg their market value to a currency or other external reference point to reduce volatility. Because most digital currencies, even major ones like Bitcoin, have experienced frequent periods of dramatic volatility, Tether and other stablecoins attempt to smooth out price fluctuations to attract users who may otherwise be cautious. Tether’s price is tied directly to the price of the U.S. dollar. The system allows users to more easily make transfers from other cryptocurrencies back to U.S. dollars in a more timely manner than actually converting to normal currency.
Launched in 2014, Tether describes itself as “a blockchain-enabled platform designed to facilitate the use of fiat currencies in a digital manner.”22 Effectively, this cryptocurrency allows individuals to utilize a blockchain network and related technologies to transact in traditional currencies while minimizing the volatility and complexity often associated with digital currencies. As of September 2021, Tether is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a total market cap of $68.3 billion and a per-token value of (you guessed it!) $1.2310. Monero (XMR)Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable currency. This open-source cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and soon garnered great interest among the cryptography community and enthusiasts. The development of this cryptocurrency is completely donation-based and community-driven.24 Monero has been launched with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability, and it enables complete privacy by using a special technique called “ring signatures.”25With this technique, a group of cryptographic signatures appears, including at least one real participant, but the real one cannot be isolated since they all appear valid. Because of exceptional security mechanisms like this, Monero has developed something of an unsavory reputation—it has been linked to criminal operations around the world.26 While this is a prime candidate for making criminal transactions anonymously, the privacy inherent in Monero is also helpful to dissidents of oppressive regimes around the world. As of September 2021, Monero has a market capitalization of $245 million and a per-token value of $265.27
Why are cryptocurrencies important?As decentralized platforms, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies allow individuals to engage in peer-to-peer financial transactions or enter into contracts. In either case, there is no need for some trusted third-party intermediary such as a bank, monetary authority, court, or judge. This has the potential to disrupt the existing financial order and democratize finance. The size of the cryptocurrency space has grown exponentially in the past decade, with new innovations and a collective market cap of nearly $2 trillion.1Why are there so many cryptocurrencies?The majority of cryptocurrencies today are derived in some form or another from Bitcoin, which uses open-source code and a censorship-resistant architecture. This means that anybody can copy and tweak the code and create their own new coin. It also means that anybody is free to join its network or transact in it.
What are some other important cryptocurrencies?Aside from the ten listed above, several other cryptocurrencies have gained importance or hold the promise to do so. Dogecoin, for instance, a meme-based joke coin reached fame when Tesla CEO Elon Musk promoted the token on social media. Other bitcoin forks also exist such as Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin SV. Other important coins include Ripple (XRP), Solana, USD Coin, and Tezos.
Why is Bitcoin still the most important cryptocurrency?Despite thousands of competitors that have sprung up, Bitcoin - the original cryptocurrency - remains the dominant player in terms of usage and economic value. Each coin is worth roughly $50,000 as of September 2021, with a market cap of nearly $1 trillion.
How exactly to categorize Bitcoin is a matter of controversy. Is it a type of currency, a store of value, a payment network, or an asset class?Fortunately, it's easier to define what Bitcoin actually is. It's software. Don't be fooled by stock images of shiny coins emblazoned with modified Thai baht symbols. Bitcoin is a purely digital phenomenon, a set of protocols and processes.It is also the most successful of hundreds of attempts to create virtual money through the use of cryptography, the science of making and breaking codes. Bitcoin has inspired hundreds of imitators, but it remains the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, a distinction it has held throughout its decade-plus history.(A general note: According to the Bitcoin Foundation, the word "Bitcoin" is capitalized when it refers to the cryptocurrency as an entity, and it is given as "bitcoin" when it refers to a quantity of the currency or the units themselves. Bitcoin is also abbreviated as BTC. Throughout this article, we will alternate between these usages.)KEY TAKEAWAYSBitcoin is a digital currency, a decentralized system that records transactions in a distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoin miners run complex computer rigs to solve complicated puzzles in an effort to confirm groups of transactions called blocks; upon success, these blocks are added to the blockchain record and the miners are rewarded with a small number of bitcoins.Other participants in the Bitcoin market can buy or sell tokens through cryptocurrency exchanges or peer-to-peer.
The Bitcoin ledger is protected against fraud via a trustless system; Bitcoin exchanges also work to defend themselves against potential theft, though high-profile thefts have occurred.The Blockchain
Bitcoin is a network that runs on a protocol known as the blockchain. A 2008 paper by a person or people calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto first described both the blockchain and Bitcoin, and for a while, the two terms were all but synonymous.The blockchain has since evolved into a separate concept, and thousands of blockchains have been created using similar cryptographic techniques. This history can make the nomenclature confusing. Blockchain sometimes refers to the original Bitcoin blockchain. At other times, it refers to blockchain technology in general, or to any other specific blockchain, such as the one that powers Ethereum.
The basics of blockchain technology are mercifully straightforward. Any given blockchain consists of a single chain of discrete blocks of information, arranged chronologically. In principle, this information can be any string of 1s and 0s, meaning it could include emails, contracts, land titles, marriage certificates, or bond trades. In theory, any type of contract between two parties can be established on a blockchain as long as both parties agree on the contract. This takes away any need for a third party to be involved in any contract. This opens up a world of possibilities including peer-to-peer financial products, such as loans or decentralized savings and checking accounts, wherein banks or any intermediary is irrelevant.Though Bitcoin's current goal is to be a store of value as well as a payment system, there is nothing to say that Bitcoin could not be used in such a way in the future, though consensus would need to be reached to add these systems to Bitcoin. The main goal of the Ethereum project is to have a platform where these "smart contracts" can occur, therefore creating a whole realm of decentralized financial products without any middlemen or the fees and potential data breaches that come along with them.This versatility has caught the eye of governments and private corporations; indeed, some analysts believe that blockchain technology will ultimately be the most impactful aspect of the cryptocurrency craze.In Bitcoin's case, though, the information on the blockchain is mostly transactions.
Bitcoin is really just a list. Person A sent X bitcoin to person B, who sent Y bitcoin to person C, etc. By tallying these transactions up, everyone knows where individual users stand. It's important to note that these transactions do not necessarily need to take place between humans.Anything can access and use the Bitcoin network, and your ethnicity, gender, religion, species, or political leaning is completely irrelevant. This creates vast possibilities for the Internet of things. In the future, we could see systems in which self-driving taxis or Uber vehicles have their own blockchain wallets. The passenger would send cryptocurrency directly to the car, which would not move until the funds were received. The vehicle would be able to assess when it needs fuel and use its wallet to facilitate a refill.
Another name for a blockchain is a "distributed ledger," which emphasizes the key difference between this technology and a well-kept Word document. Bitcoin's blockchain is distributed, meaning that it is public. Anyone can download it in its entirety or go to any number of sites that parse it. This means that the record is publicly available, but it also means that there are complicated measures in place for updating the blockchain ledger. There is no central authority to keep tabs on all Bitcoin transactions, so the participants themselves do so by creating and verifying "blocks" of transaction data. See the section on mining below for more information.You can see, for example, that 15N3yGu3UFHeyUNdzQ5sS3aRFRzu5Ae7EZ sent 0.01718427 bitcoin to 1JHG2qjdk5Khiq7X5xQrr1wfigepJEK3t on Aug. 14, 2017, between 11:10 and 11:20 a.m. The long strings of numbers and letters are addresses, and if you were in law enforcement or just very well informed, you could probably figure out who controlled them. It is a misconception that Bitcoin's network is totally anonymous, although taking certain precautions can make it very hard to link individuals to transactions.
Post-TrustDespite being absolutely public, or rather because of that fact, Bitcoin is extremely resistant to tampering. A bitcoin has no physical presence, so you can't protect it by locking it in a safe or burying it in the woods.
In theory, all a thief would need to do to take it from you would be to add a line to the ledger that translates to "you paid me everything you have."A related worry is double-spending. If a bad actor could spend some bitcoin, then spend it again, confidence in the currency's value would quickly evaporate. To achieve a double-spend, the bad actor would need to make up 51% of the mining power of Bitcoin. The larger the Bitcoin network grows, the less realistic this becomes as the computing power required would be astronomical and extremely expensive.To further prevent either from happening, you need trust. In this case, the accustomed solution with traditional currency would be to transact through a central, neutral arbiter such as a bank. Bitcoin has made that unnecessary, however. (It is probably no coincidence that Nakamoto's original description was published in October 2008, when trust in banks was at a multigenerational low. This is a recurring theme in today's climate of the coronavirus pandemic and growing government debt.) Rather than having a reliable authority keep the ledger and preside over the network, the Bitcoin network is decentralized. Everyone keeps an eye on everyone else.No one needs to know or trust anyone in particular in order for the system to operate correctly. Assuming everything is working as intended, the cryptographic protocols ensure that each block of transactions is bolted onto the last in a long, transparent, and immutable chain.
MiningThe process that maintains this trustless public ledger is known as mining. Undergirding the network of Bitcoin users who trade the cryptocurrency among themselves is a network of miners, who record these transactions on the blockchain.
Recording a string of transactions is trivial for a modern computer, but mining is difficult because Bitcoin's software makes the process artificially time-consuming. Without the added difficulty, people could spoof transactions to enrich themselves or bankrupt other people. They could log a fraudulent transaction in the blockchain and pile so many trivial transactions on top of it that untangling the fraud would become impossible.By the same token, it would be easy to insert fraudulent transactions into past blocks. The network would become a sprawling, spammy mess of competing ledgers, and Bitcoin would be worthless.
Combining "proof of work" with other cryptographic techniques was Nakamoto's breakthrough. Bitcoin's software adjusts the difficulty miners face in order to limit the network to a new 1-megabyte block of transactions every 10 minutes. That way, the volume of transactions is digestible. The network has time to vet the new block and the ledger that precedes it, and everyone can reach a consensus about the status quo. Miners do not work to verify transactions by adding blocks to the distributed ledger purely out of a desire to see the Bitcoin network run smoothly; they are compensated for their work as well. We'll take a closer look at mining compensation below.Halving