A guide to understanding cryptography in blockchain technology

The creation of Bitcoin in 2009 marked the birth of the first digital currency to achieve widespread adoption across the globe. However, the concept of a secure digital currency has been around since the 1980s and there have been many previous attempts that directly inspired Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation of Bitcoin.

  • Encryption: Encoding text into an unreadable format.
  • Decryption: Reserving encryption – converting a jumbled message into its original form.
  • Cipher: An algorithm for performing encryption or decryption, usually a well-defined set of steps that can be followed.

Cryptography before the modern age was synonymous to encryption – the process of converting information from a readable format to something that makes no sense. Encryption techniques date back as far as the ancient Egyptians, and have roots spanning all throughout history.

For example, the Caesar Cipher is a famous cipher used by Julius Caesar to securely communicate with his generals. The cipher “shifts” each letter in a message by a certain amount – with a shift of 2, A would become C, B would become D, and so on.

Blockchain technology makes use of cryptography in multiple different ways – for wallets, transactions, security, and privacy-preserving protocols. This article will cover some important cryptography topics that relate to blockchain technology including public-key cryptography, hashing, and Merkle trees.

Public-key cryptography (also called asymmetric cryptography) is a cryptographic system that uses a pair of keys – a public key and a private key. The public key may be widely distributed, but the private key is meant to be known only by its owner. Keys are always created in a pair – every public key must have a corresponding private key.

Public-key cryptography is most often used for encrypting messages between two people or two computers in a secure way. Anyone can use someone’s public key to encrypt a message, but once encrypted, the only way to decrypt that message is by using the corresponding private key.

Let’s say Alice wants to send an encrypted message to Bob. It would work like this:

  • Alice uses Bob’s public key to encrypt the message.
  • Alice sends the encrypted message to Bob – if a third party intercepted it, all they would see is random numbers and letters.
  • Bob uses his private key to decrypt and read the message.

A diagram illustrating this process is shown below:

cryptography 01

Public-key cryptography is a fundamental element of blockchain technology – it is the underlying technology for wallets and transactions. When a user creates a wallet on a blockchain, they are generating a public-private key pair.

The address of that wallet, or how it’s represented on the blockchain, is a string of numbers and letters generated from the public key. Due to the nature of blockchain technology, this address is public to everyone and can be used to check the balance in that wallet or send coins to it.

The private key associated with a wallet is how to prove ownership and control the wallet. It is the only way to send coins out of it, and a lost private key means the coins inside will be stuck there forever.

A transaction on the blockchain is nothing more than a broadcasted message that essentially says, “Take X coins from my wallet and credit X coins into another wallet”. Once confirmed, the transaction is immutably written into the ledger, and the balances are updated.

However, this transaction message requires a signature from the private key of the sending wallet to be valid. After broadcasting, anyone can use that wallet’s public key to ensure the digital signature coming from the private key is authentic. This is one role of block validators before they add any transaction (i.e. message) to the blockchain.

Cryptographic hashing is another fundamental piece of blockchain technology and is directly responsible for producing immutability – one of blockchain’s most...

 


TRON Showing Bullish Trading Signs

TRON Symbol TRX | Decentralize The Web

The TRON Protocol, one of the largest blockchain based operating systems in the world, offers ... TRX consistently handles 2,000 transactions per second, 24x7.

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TRON (TRX/USD) closed 2018 with strength relative to the last couple of months. It is currently trading around $0.0208. At this price level, the market is up more than 90% from its 2018 low of $0.0111 on November 25.

This huge surge in less than one month is more than enough reason for many traders to be bullish on TRON. However, one must also consider that when the market bottomed out, it lost close to 90% of its value from the 2018 peak of $0.10041. Thus, it would also make sense to say that the recent bounce is nothing more than a relief rally.

That is why it is important to examine the market closely to see whether TRON has more upside potential. We did that for you and what we saw was promising. In this article, we reveal how TRON is showing bullish signs.

Structure Resembles Market Leader

In any asset class, whether it be equities or cryptocurrencies, there are some instances when a market leader emerges and then everyone else follows its direction. For example, Apple Inc. was down big yesterday, January 3. Notice how many tech stocks followed suit.

As for cryptocurrencies, the clear market leader right now is Ethereum (ETH/USD). It is currently trading around $160 to put the market up by over 95% from its 2018 low of $83. More importantly, Ethereum has taken out firm resistance of $145. This triggered the breakout from the cup and handle pattern.

ETH/USD daily chart

TRON appears to be following the same pattern. It established...

 


Top 8 Women Entrepreneurs In Cryptocurrency

Nowadays, cryptocurrency and the blockchain is on the minds of many entrepreneurs and investors across the globe.

Cryptocurrencies came into existence in the year 2009 with the creation of the blockchain as a secure decentralized distributed ledger to serve as the public transaction ledger of the world's first cryptocurrency Bitcoin, that was conceived and presented by a pseudonymous individual or organization called Satoshi Nakamoto.

The blockchain that enables the building of digital assets is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptographyEach block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, timestamp, and transaction data.

Cryptocurrency can be described as digital money that people can use as a medium of exchange without the restriction of borders or any central control.

This digital currency system is decentralized, yet highly secure as it uses the state of the art blockchain cryptography. The term decentralized implies that cryptocurrencies don’t rely on any centralized bank or monetary system to exist.

Furthermore, its digital nature enables users to buy things or to exchange it to and from anywhere across the globe without the worry of any kind of interruption from the banks.

The currency is operated and maintained by the network of users [cryptocurrency miners] instead of any central body.

The mining process is complex but it’s essential to understand that there is a limit to how much cryptocurrency can be created and there is currently no way to exceed that limit. Making it impossible to devalue cryptocurrency as it’s possible to do for paper dollars by banks or governments printing more paper currency.

There are 1500 plus different cryptocurrencies in the crypto market like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin which all have their own distinct properties and characteristics but they all follow some of the most basic cryptocurrency principle.

The bitcoin design has inspired a new significant global digital transformation layer, and opportunity for female entrepreneurs to develop applications, and blockchains which are readable by the public, and widely used by cryptocurrencies. Here is a list of the top women who are leading the cryptocurrency startup economy including Joyce Kim, Perianne Boring, Amber Baldet, Jinglan Wang, Jen Greyson, Fahima Anwar, Meltom Demirors, Raine Revere.

 

crypto women
Courtesy of: MrBTC.org MrBTC Bitcoin Guide

The best blockchain conferences and events to attend in 2019

2019 is a big year for the blockchain and cryptocurrency markets. Here is a curated list of the events you should look at attending. The next wave of post-2018 scale is coming into the markets. The contraction created the opening for big companies to enter the markets.

2019 is going to be an exciting year for the blockchain community. After a very volatile 2018, we are all looking for a brighter future for our cutting-edge blockchain technology and wide community to emerge back.

The event listed below are sorted by dates, from the beginning of 2019, all the way to the end of the year.

If you would like to add your event, please feel free to contact me directly:
Telegram: https://t.me/fybish
Email: asaf@guerrillabuzz.com
Linkedin:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/asafybish/

The event will gather the most authoritative Blockchain professors around the world, the public chain projects with the most advanced technology, and technical experts, to discuss the most cutting-edge Blockchain academic research, problems, and solutions. By including keynote speeches and panels covering topics from research to application, the conference will explore the next big opportunity in the Blockchain industry.

Date: Jan. 11, 2019.
Location: San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
Keynote Speakers: Vitalik Buterin, David Chaum, Jun Li, Dawn Song, Mic Bowman and more!

Come with DAIBC series congress, at the World Digital Asset and Blockchain Congress in Dubai. We will create a social networking experience for connecting global investors and entrepreneurs together in Dubai. Meanwhile, we’ll discuss the future of global Blockchain technology, as well as the innovative application of Blockchain technology in different Industries. 30 hot topics will bring you with the most comprehensive case study of innovation project showcases and help you foresee the development trend of Blockchain in the next few years.

Date: Jan 16–18, 2019.
Location: Downtown Miami, James L. Knight Center.
Keynote Speakers: Shiv Madan, Ben Swann, Nebil Ben Aissa, Jhon Harris and more!

The Crypto Finance Conference is offering conference attendants educational keynotes by industry experts, insightful panel discussions about current and future trends as well as unique networking opportunities with other hand-picked participants in a remote and private setting. Additionally, investors get the opportunity to learn more about new crypto businesses. The Crypto Finance Conference is a place to learn, connect and invest with the best.

Date: Jan 16–18, 2019.
Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Keynote Speakers: Charles Hoskinson, Eva Kaili, Helen Hai, Andy Bromberg and more!

Join the entrepreneurs, developers, industry leaders and investors at The Blockchain Event. Learn everything how Blockchain business models will take this distributed ledger technology to disrupt every market imaginable from shipping to commerce. Hear real-life case studies from companies across industries and learn from their successes and failures. Industry experts and cutting-edge global startups will discuss everything from the advertising implications to potential regulation to security concerns. Finally, we will focus on what the future holds for Blockchain and how your company can benefit now.

Date: January 30 — February 1, 2019.
Location: Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center.
Keynote Speakers: Andey Zanovskiy, Pramod Achanta, Gary Davis, Chong Li and more!

Netherlands-based banking giant ING published a customer report recently where it was declared...


Cryptocurrency Performers: Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, NEO, IOTA, Binance Coin, Stratis

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

While 2017 was a raging bull market in cryptocurrencies, 2018 turned out to be a massive bear market that wiped out more than $720 billion in total crypto market capitalization. We believe that 2019 will bring back the focus on the fundamentals and the true potential of virtual currencies.

With the arrival of traditional investors, digital currencies will at times behave similar to the traditional markets. The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out that the correlation between Bitcoin trading and gold reached as high as 0.84 over a short period of time. Similarly, it has traded at a 0.77 correlation to the Chicago Board of Options Exchange’s Volatility Index (VIX).

As the market matures, it will carve out a niche for itself. We believe that cryptocurrencies are currently in a bottoming process and might signal a bottom within the next few weeks.

ETH/USD

After surrendering its position as the top altcoin to Ripple (XRP) a few weeks ago, Ethereum (ETH) is attempting a comeback. It has made giant strides last week and has emerged as the top performer among the major cryptocurrencies.

BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes believes that the dead ICO market will spring back into action next year and will prove to be positive for Ethereum. He expects the cryptocurrency to rise to $200. Some are hoping that the network will get a boost from the upcoming Constantinople upgrade. However, it is always difficult to predict the market’s reaction to such a major event.

ETH

The long-term trend in Ethereum is down. It has lost a lot of money for its investors this year. However, after the fall, can the ETH/USD pair start a new uptrend in 2019?

After every rise and after every fall, the digital currency has a tendency to consolidate in a range. We have highlighted these periods with ellipses on our chart. In 2018, all the ranges have resolved to the downside.

Currently, the bulls are attempting a pullback after hitting a low of $83. The support line of the former range will now act as a stiff resistance. Because of that, we anticipate selling close to $167.32. If the bears succeed in defending this level, a range bound trading action might ensue.

On the other hand, if the bulls climb above $167.32, a rally to $249.93 is probable. The traders can wait for a close above $167.32 to establish long positions with a close stop loss.

Our neutral-to-bullish view will be invalidated if the price turns down and sinks below $83. We shall confirm the start of a long-term uptrend if the pair forms a large basing pattern and then breaks out of it. Until then, the traders should aim for small targets and book profits periodically.

ETC/USD

Ethereum Classic (ETC) turned out to be the second-best performer among the top cryptocurrencies. The market participants are bullish on the upcoming cohort slated for Jan. 14. 11 startups have been selected to get access to the shared office space, developer support and funding. Can the bull run continue? Let’s find out.

ETC

The long-term trend in the ETC/USD pair is down. Currently, the bulls are attempting to break out of the downtrend line that has capped all recovery attempts since May of this year.

A break out of the downtrend line will be the first indication that the momentum on the downside is waning. It can result in a rally to the next overhead resistance...

 


TRON has 50+ dApps, reaching 100M transactions in 173 Days - Justin Sun

Justin Sun - Founder & CEO - Tron Foundation | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

On Thursday, Justin Sun, the founder of TRON, said that the network supports more than 50 decentralized applications (dApps) and is on track to reach 80 dApps in the short-term.

#TRON now has more than 50+ Dapps. 80+ we are coming! #TRX $TRX

— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) December 21, 2018

The statement of Sun follows a major milestone achieved by the blockchain network earlier this month, achieving 100 million transactions in 173 days, averaging 578,034 transaction per day.

Usage of TRON DApps

In August, Martin Köppelmann, the founder of Ethereum-based prediction market platform Gnosis.ph, said that an important statistic to reference in measuring the rate of growth of a smart contract protocol is the usage of dApps and the number of dApps that interact with each other.

Köppelmann said:

The numbers we care about is the usage of decentralized applications. And as a next step, the number to look out for is DAPPs that seemlessly interact with each other and draw a benefit from being on the same platform. As a side effect, ultimately the price of ETH will then be a function of the demand for the use of applications in this reliable, open, and interlinked environment.

Like Ethereum, TRON is a smart contract protocol and its value comes from its ecosystem of...

 


Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Commits His Digital Currency Fortune to Charity

Brian Armstrong Coinbase CEO | Twitter | LinkedIn

Having launched GiveCrypto.org earlier this year to make direct cryptocurrency transfers to people living in poverty, Brian Armstrong — CEO of US crypto exchange giant Coinbase — has now promised to give a huge chunk of his fortune away to charitable causes.

“This year, I started my first philanthropic effort, GiveCrypto.org, which makes direct cash transfers to people living in poverty. I’m excited about the potential for this organization to help people, but I’m still early on my journey of discovering how to have the most impact via philanthropy.”

Per a report on CNBC, Armstrong signed the Giving Pledge, becoming the first cryptocurrency entrepreneur to pledge to donate the majority of his wealth for the greater good.

The Giving Pledge is a campaign started in 2010 by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, which seeks to encourage the world’s wealthiest to use their fortune to help make the world...

 


Facebook is planning to launch its own stablecoin digital currency

The United States-based global social tech giant would be the largest entrant to the consumer blockchain, and cryptocurrency space.

Facebook's blockchain boss, David Marcus. WSJD

Facebook could become the most important company in Crypto.

News broke yesterday that Facebook is building a stablecoin (crypto coin) that will be launched to allow WhatsApp users in India to transfer money. Of course, the immediate reaction of those in the space was to start yelling. Many people were excited, others were upset about the company’s recent privacy issues, and some felt that a Facebook stablecoin didn’t fit the authentic ethos of the crypto industry.

All of these reactions missed the mark though.

Zuckerberg and the Facebook team have never been interested in playing it safe. The highly talented team consistently looks to invent and/or grow products that change the world. If Facebook is building a stablecoin for WhatsApp, this is less about crypto and more about building a globally dominant product that changes the way billions of people live their lives.

David Marcus who leads the blockchain team is the former President of PayPal. Kevin Weil is the VP of Blockchain Product, previously served as the VP of Product at Instagram, and was once the SVP of Product at Twitter. Evan Cheng is the Director of Blockchain Engineering and was a former senior manager at Apple. And finally, Morgan Beller is the unsung hero of the group — the woman who leads blockchain strategy, but worked solo on the project for a period of time before she was able to build internal support and recruit some of the company’s best talent.

Couple these individuals with Facebook’s notorious "Growth Team" and you have a recipe for success. The Growth team is the company’s secret weapon. They are brought in like a SWAT team to solve the hardest problems by leveraging immense amounts of data and the proprietary analytical tools that have been built over the years. This team has helped four separate Facebook product teams scale their offerings to over a billion users each (Facebook main app, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp).

So what exactly is the potential for this team?

The holy grail would be to build the world’s dominant payment system. This would be a direct competitor to Visa and Mastercard, but it is more likely to happen than you may think. Facebook has billions of users and tens of millions of merchants. This gives the company a leg up on competitors as they bootstrap the network effects needed to lock in both sides of a marketplace.

If Facebook could successfully build the product and drive adoption, they will have a chance to transition from a social network to one of the largest financial services companies in the world. This move would allow them to take a small percentage on each transaction and reduce the dependency on their advertising-based model.

This won’t happen overnight though. Facebook needs to

(1) create a viable stablecoin (not that easy)

(2) launch the product in India’s large market (significant opposition from government and financial institutions)

(3) drive sustainable adoption,

(4) expand to other jurisdictions and other digital currencies, and then

(5) build out additional financial services to serve their customers.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Facebook back their way into becoming a new-age bank for digital natives outside the United States.

Facebook could be the most important company in crypto. They have 2+ billion people who use their services daily. Anything they launch will quickly become the most popular product in the industry….maybe even one of the most popular products in the world.

Mark Zuckerberg has dedicated his life to changing the world. Most people in tech don't trust him and would love to see him fall. Many people no longer trust him ... and still, get your popcorn ready — I wouldn’t bet against this team (and in most cases, it boils down to the team)

TechCrunch Covered The Breaking News

Jon Russell For TechCrunch

Facebook looks to be jumping on the blockchain wagon with plans to introduce its own stablecoin, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The social network company — under fire for a seemingly constant stream of privacy snafus of late — created an internal blockchain divisionin May and, while there has been plenty of speculation, the exact nature of its work is unclear.

The Bloomberg report is a first solid suggestion at what will come from the new division and, according to the publication, it’ll be a stablecoin that “let[s] users transfer money on its WhatsApp messaging app, focusing first on the remittances market in India.”

Facebook  offered a non-committal response.

“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share,” it told Bloomberg in a statement.

If the U.S. giant does carry out the plan that Bloomberg is reporting it would (easily) be the largest company to embrace consumer blockchain service. That’s both in terms of the size of the business — a $376 billion market cap and annual revenue of more than $40 billion — and the user base it touches. Facebook reaches more than 2.2 billion people for its core social network, 1.5 billion for WhatsApp, 1.3 billion for Messenger and a further one billion via Instagram.

That makes this a thread worth pulling, so let us get into it.

Former PayPal CEO David Marcus heads up Facebook’s blockchain division — Marcus is also a former board member at crypto exchange Coinbase

Yet another stablecoin

Stablecoins have become all the rage in the blockchain space during the second half of this year, with scores of projects popping up to provide solutions — but let’s start with why.

The concept is simple: a cryptocurrency that is pegged to a fiat currency and therefore immune to the often wild valuation swings.

Blockchain as programmable and border-less money has potential, but stability is a huge concern. Bitcoin, for example, hit a record high of nearly $20,000 one year ago; today its price is just over $4,000 but, symbolically, it fell below that figure in recent months. The ride for “altcoins” has been even bumpier.

Stablecoins offer a way to deposit money ahead of buying into Bitcoin, Ethereum or other tokens more quickly than a bank account. They also allow profits to be moved from volatile tokens and, among other things, are a more stable way of sending crypto to another person (or business) without being subject to moving prices.

Yet, despite a simple premise, there are no current examples of a proven and successful stablecoin, despite the many who have thrown their hats into the ring.

Tether, the highest-profile project, is dogged by concerns around its financial backing. The organization behind it has never shown that it has the required fiat currency to back the tokens in the market, while its value has previously slipped below $1.....

READ MORE

 


Bitcoin Is a Declaration of Monetary Independence - Nick Spanos

OPINION

Op Ed: Bitcoin Is a Declaration of Our Monetary Independence

Nick Spanos is an early adopter and innovator in the blockchain space. He is best known for launching Bitcoin Center NYC, the world’s first live cryptocurrency exchange, in 2013, right next to the New York Stock Exchange — as immortalized in the Netflix documentary “Banking on Bitcoin.” As part of Bitcoin Magazine’s series of interviews and op eds leading up to the 10th Anniversary of Bitcoin, Nick shares his thoughts an early Bitcoin adopter.

Nick Spanos - Founder - Bitcoin Center NYC Twitter | @nickspanos | LinkedIn

Before Bitcoin, I worked tirelessly for liberty-minded political candidates for many years. These candidates, the most prominent of whom was Dr. Ron Paul, spoke out against the Federal Reserve Bank because of its role in inflating the money supply which devalued the life savings of hard-working people. In almost every case, the mass media would sharply (and often unfairly) attack the image of the candidate with half-truths and misinformation, decimating our poll numbers, until they were sure that we would be defeated on Election Day. No matter how hard we worked or how much money we raised, we were no match for what I call the political bosses of today, the mainstream media.

After two decades of struggle, I thought I had wasted my life fighting unwinnable battles. Then one day, I read the Bitcoin white paper. I read it half a dozen times and I thought, “Finally, I have a weapon that cannot be destroyed on Election Day.”

Bitcoin for me is not an instrument for financial investment. Bitcoin for me is a declaration of our monetary independence.

When I started the Bitcoin Center in 2013, I had a flourishing real estate business in downtown New York. I had an established career in developing technologies for political campaigns. Because of bitcoin’s reputation in the mainstream media back then, I knew that many of my relationships would be destroyed if I emerged as a public figure in the cryptocurrency space.

When I launched the center, a press release was sent out revealing me as the founder even though I never wanted that information to go public. Immediately, concerned friends and family started calling me, asking me what I was getting myself into and wondering if I had lost my mind. Bitcoin was for illicit activities on the internet, they told me. This is nothing but video game money, said others.

My life mission of personal freedom was more powerful than anything anyone could ever say to me.

I knew I had to bring Bitcoin out of the back alleys and onto Wall Street for...

 


Coinbase Cryptocurrency Exchange Adds Cash Withdrawals to PayPal

Big news for the digital currency economy with Paypal payments integrating with CoinBase. Growing the bridge between cryptocurrency and digital payments for consumers.

Major US Crypto Exchange Coinbase Adds Cash Withdrawals to PayPal

Major American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has introduced free of charge cash withdrawals to online payment system PayPal, according to an announcement published Dec. 14.

From now on, Coinbase’s United States-based customers are able to withdraw their cash balances to Paypal. The service for other countries will reportedly be rolled out some time in 2019.

Coinbase and PayPal previously integrated in 2016, when Coinbase added support for the payment platform in addition to major credit cards. At the time, Coinbase users were able to sell Bitcoin (BTC) and have their fiat funds deposited to a PayPal wallet. The integration was subsequently terminated due to technical difficulties.

With this move, Coinbase has enhanced its range of services,...