Trivia Thursday: Quirky Things About Bitcoin

Trivia Thursday: Quirky Things About Bitcoin

Did you know that Bitcoin mining consumes more power than it is used to power the whole of Argentina? Well, with Bitcoin breaching the $51,000 mark, and cryptocurrencies like DogeCoin soaring at all-time highs, in this week’s Trivia Thursday, let’s have a look at some interesting trivia like that around the “King of Cryptos” Bitcoin.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at quirky things about Bitcoin.

Let’ start by taking a look at the market cap of Bitcoin in comparison with a Nation’s GDP and companies:

Power Consumption
Mining for cryptocurrency is a power-hungry affair, involving heavy computer calculations to verify transactions. Cambridge researchers say it consumes around 121.36 Terawatt-hour (TWh) a year. And is unlikely to fall unless the value of the currency slumps. 

Bitcoin is now among the world’s top 30 energy users. It consumes more energy than used to power whole of Argentina.

Lost Bitcoins
Research shows that at least 60% of all Bitcoin addresses are ghosts, which means a huge chunk of the people using Bitcoins have lost their addresses and have no way to access their wallets. 

Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has 2 guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million. And this is one of many such cases.

National Currency

  • Liberland, officially the Free Republic of Liberland, is a micronation claiming an uninhabited parcel of disputed land on the western bank of the Danube, between Croatia and Serbia. 
  • It was proclaimed on 13 April 2015 by Czech right-libertarian politician and activist Vít Jedlička. The official currency of Liberland is Bitcoin.
  • The govt believes that blockchain provides a secure and transparent method for recording electronic, financial, and physical assets.

Unit Of Bitcoin
As a sign of respect for Bitcoin’s creator(s), the smallest unit of a bitcoin is known as a satoshi. The satoshi to bitcoin ratio is 100 million satoshis to one bitcoin.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Iconic Super Bowl Advertisements.

Memelord Musk Gets Meme Crypto Dogecoin Soaring

Memelord Musk Gets Meme Crypto Dogecoin Soaring

Elon Musk can never be not in news. This time, his series of tweets on cryptocurrency Dogecoin has sent the crypto rate soaring. Let us dive deep into the matter.

Crux of the Matter

Musk’s tweets on Dogecoin are given below.

Here’s what happened to the Dogecoin price.

What Is Doge Though?
Doge is a meme that became popular in 2013. It consists of a picture of a Shiba Inu dog accompanied by multi-colored text. It represents an internal monologue, which is deliberately written in broken English.

What More Can Happen?
The rally was further fueled by rapper Snoop Dogg who tweeted an image that said “Snoop Doge”, referring to the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

Neither First Nor The Last
Dogecoin isn’t the first thing that ‘Musk’eteers were frenzied about after Musk’s tweet.

During WhatsApp privacy policy row, Musk tweeted “Use Signal.” It sent the stock price of the wrong company soaring.

Some time back Musk changed his Twitter bio to “#bitcoin”, which sent Bitcoin soaring. Tesla has bought Bitcoins worth $1.5 bn and will also accept payments in Bitcoin. This news sent the cryptocurrency soaring to an all-time high of $44,000.

What Is Blockchain And Blockchain-Powered Driving License?

Blockchain Powered Driving License?

South Korea has become blockchain friendly with 3% of its driving population opting for digital driving licenses. So how does the technology work? What are its benefits? Have other nations realised it’s true potential yet?

Crux of the Matter

What Happened In South Korea?
1 million South Koreans i.e 3% of the driving population there has started using a blockchain-powered digital alternative to the physical driving licensees. The first authorized digital ID Card had received approval by the nation’s Ministry of Science and ICT in September last year.

Launched in May in partnership with the National Police Agency and the Korea Road Traffic Authority, 27 of South Korea’s driver’s license testing centres are now using the PASS smartphone app to renew and reissue digital drivers licenses.

It can also be used for identification and proof-of-age requirements at convenience stores selling cigarettes and alcohol. Users show their licenses via a QR code/barcode on the app.

Future Plans With Blockchain?
Now rental car and shared rides services are also researching for a replacement of face-to-face verification checks. In fact, their KEB Hana Bank has partnered with the Korea Expressway Corporation to implement a blockchain-based toll system for the nation’s highways.

So What’s Blockchain?
At the basic level, blockchain is just a chain of digital information blocks. When a block stores new data, it is then added to the blockchain.

These digital pieces of info have 3 parts:
1. Transactions like the date, time, and amount of your most recent purchase on a shopping site, like say Flipkart or Amazon.
2. A digital signature like a username instead of using your actual name, to record your purchase.

What’s The Third Part?
Blocks store information that separates them from other blocks via a unique code called a hash. Hashes are cryptographic codes created via algorithms, that make each of your transaction of the same product distinguishable.

Are These Blocks Securely Stored?
Let’s say a hacker attempts to edit your purchase. As soon as they edit the amount, the block’s hash will change.

Since the next block in the chain will still contain the old hash, the hacker would need to update that block in order to cover his/her tracks. Doing so would change that block’s hash and the process would continue.

All these recalculations would take an enormous amount of computing power. To further strengthen security, blockchain networks have implemented tests for computers that want to join and add blocks to the chain. Thus, it’s main goal is to allow digital information to be recorded and distributed, but not edited.

Blockchain And Bitcoin (₿)
Blockchain technology was discovered in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta, who wanted to create secure document timestamps. Though only with the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, it gained popularity.

The Bitcoin protocol is built on the blockchain principal. The former’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto referred to it as “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”

How Do They Work Together?
Printed money is verified by a central authority, like a bank or government but cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is decentralised i.e not controlled by anyone but verified by a network of computers.

When one person pays another using bitcoin, computers on the Bitcoin network verify the purchase. Once completed, it is publicly recorded and stored as a block on the blockchain, making it unalterable.

Worldwide Realisation Of Blockchain’s Potential?
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently filed a patent application to use blockchain to secure its mail-in voting, that would be a key player in 2020 US Elections.

Australia has already implemented a blockchain-based land registry system last year, in order to eliminate paper-based registration of property transactions.

Curiopedia
  • Trusted timestamping is the process of securely keeping track of the creation and modification time of a document. Security here means that no one—not even the owner of the document—should be able to change it.
  • Double-spending is a potential flaw in a digital cash scheme in which the same single digital token can be spent more than once. This diminishes user trust as well as the circulation and retention of the currency. Blockchain was first introduced to bitcoins as a solution to this problem.
  • A sidechain is a designation for a blockchain ledger that runs in parallel to a primary blockchain. Entries from the primary blockchain can be linked to and from the sidechain; this allows the sidechain to otherwise operate independently of the primary blockchain.

Indian bitcoin community rejoices as SC lifts ban on cryptocurrency trading

bitcoin

In a move that is being considered iconic by many, India’s Supreme Court (SC) overrode a two-year-old ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country this week. This verdict comes two years after The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had imposed a ban that barred banks and other financial institutions from facilitating any service in relation to virtual currencies. In the ruling, the bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman overruled central bank’s 2018 circular on the grounds of disproportionality.

Crux of the Matter

Cryptocurrency: The Vault of Electronic Currency
Alternatively known as a virtual currency, it is an internet-based medium of exchange which uses codes and tokens to conduct safe financial transactions. It’s most important feature is that it is not controlled by any central authority i.e it has a decentralized nature which makes it theoretically immune to the old ways of government interference.

Popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoins and litecoins can be sent directly from one party to another via the use of private and public keys. These transfers are done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by traditional financial institutions, which in turn leverages blockchain technology to gain decentralization, transparency, and immutability.

Why did RBI Hide this Crypt from Citizens ?
In April 2018, RBI reportedly wanted to curb ring-fencing” of the country’s financial system. It had also argued that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot be treated as currencies as they are not made of metal or exist in physical form, nor were they stamped by the government.

The central bank notice had sent several local startups and companies into panic mode as they were actively offering services to trade in cryptocurrency. A group of petitioners including a trade body, the Internet and Mobile Association of India, had challenged this decision. They argued back then how this move would put a brake on the nation’s digital progress when countries like US and China were not only involved in cryptocurrency trading but also launching their own virtual currencies.

Now that Virtual Laxmi is Back, Is She Welcomed?
Even if many startups have had to shut shop since the RBI ban, others survived the storm to even attract M&A interest. Now they are planning to restart work with the regulators in order to create a better framework and improve the presentation in the draft cryptocurrency bill.

Nischal Shetty, founder and chief executive of Bitcoin exchange platform WazirX, is overjoyed as his twitter handle reads, “Crypto has won in India. We can now innovate. The entire country can participate in the Blockchain revolution.” He adds that India will now see 100 crypto new startups in the next few months, along with VC investments, better jobs and a real contribution to the economy.

Curiopedia

Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open-source software. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Research produced by University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. More Info