the invisible, untouchable, shifty moneyCryptocurrencies and the Future of Finance
It has become a common thing – sitting in a coffee place or riding in public transport or even an Uber, and hearing people talking about mining various cryptocurrencies. Some of them have been unsuccessful, some have made certain profit, and some are still waiting for the right opportunity to cash in, but everyone seems to want to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon these days. In a matter of months or even just weeks, the "internet money" has become a global sensation.
Truly, 2017 was a year of cryptocurrencies. Transaction values in the first half of 2017 surpassed $325 billion, while in September cryptocurrency was typically seeing daily trades well in excess of $2 billion. Not everyone agrees what's in store for cryptocurrencies – some see them as the revolution of money, and some as a bubble ready to burst. Either way, cryptocurrencies are here to stay, but in what form remains to be seen.
HOW BITCOIN CONSUMES MORE ENERGY THAN 159 INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES
According to Big Think, every individual Bitcoin transaction eats up 275 kWh of electricity, and the latest estimate of Bitcoin's total annual energy consumption is in the vicinity of 29.05 TWh. That is the equivalent of 0.13% of the entire world's annual energy consumption, which is more than the individual energy consumption of 159 of the world's countries.
Why Is Everyone Talking About Ripple?
It's Ripple's turn to be in the spotlight. Or, to be more precise, XRP, the currency owned by Ripple. Many are saying that Ripple is the next Bitcoin, but the two have many significant differences. Unlike Bitcoin, XRP isn't mined by users. Its supply is largely controlled by just one company, San Francisco-based Ripple, which gives the company a large measure of control over XRP’s inner workings and has led many to argue that it’s not truly decentralized. Ripple's payment network also uses blockchain technology, however Ripple can settle 1,000 transactions per second, compared with Bitcoin’s 7, and its transaction fees are much lower. According to the company, more than 100 financial institutions are using its technology.
Source: MIT Technology Review
Many governments have recognized that cryptocurrencies are not a temporary phenomenon and have started developing "national cryptocurrencies".
In October of 2017, Russia announced that it would issue the CryptoRuble, which cannot be mined and will be controlled by the Russian government. China is working on a similar currency, while the Indian government is reportedly studying the introduction of a digital currency to replace the rupee in online transactions. Catalonia is considering of introducing its own digital currency if and when it achieves independence, which would be modeled after Estonia's Estcoin project. Remarkably, Venezuela announced it would begin to issue a national cryptocurrency called Petro, backed by the country’s oil, gold and gas reserves, while Kyrgyzstan is planning to launch a gold-backed cryptocurrency called GoldenRock.
Source: IQ Option
BLOCKCHAIN OUT OF THE BOX
Cryptocurrency-Themed Girl Band in Japan
According to the Verge, capitalizing on the recent hype surrounding bitcoin, a Japanese girl band named Kasotsuka Shojo is singing about cryptocurrencies.
The band's name translates as Virtual Currency Girls and each of the band's members represents a different cryptocurrency.
CryptoKitties: The First Game in the World Built On the Ethereum Network
In one of the world’s first games to be built on blockchain technology, users can collect and breed digital cats called CryptoKitties.
CryptoKitties are cryptocollectibles which you can buy, sell, or trade, but you can also breed two CryptoKitties to create a brand-new, genetically unique offspring.