Top 100 crypto 2015
The future of blockchain is near and banking isn't the only industry affected. See how law enforcement, ride-hailing, and others could also be impacted. What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology — essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions — is now spreading across a wave of industries. Industries from insurance to gaming to cannabis are seeing blockchain applications.
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Top 100 crypto 2015
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- Bitcoin or Ethereum: What New Crypto Investors Should Know About Both Before They Buy
- Special Report: Cryptos on the rise
- Crypto tax firm CoinTracker raises $100 million for expansion
- It’s Official: Bitcoin was the Top Performing Currency of 2015
- Demystifying Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and ICOs
- Ethereum Classic
- Electricity needed to mine bitcoin is more than used by 'entire countries'
- How the top 5 cryptocurrencies fared in 2020
Bitcoin or Ethereum: What New Crypto Investors Should Know About Both Before They Buy
Help us translate the latest version. Page last updated : January 26, This introductory paper was originally published in by Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum , before the project's launch in It's worth noting that Ethereum, like many community-driven, open-source software projects, has evolved since its initial inception.
While several years old, we maintain this paper because it continues to serve as a useful reference and an accurate representation of Ethereum and its vision. To learn about the latest developments of Ethereum, and how changes to the protocol are made, we recommend this guide.
Satoshi Nakamoto's development of Bitcoin in has often been hailed as a radical development in money and currency, being the first example of a digital asset which simultaneously has no backing or " intrinsic value " and no centralized issuer or controller.
However, another, arguably more important, part of the Bitcoin experiment is the underlying blockchain technology as a tool of distributed consensus, and attention is rapidly starting to shift to this other aspect of Bitcoin. Commonly cited alternative applications of blockchain technology include using on-blockchain digital assets to represent custom currencies and financial instruments "colored coins" , the ownership of an underlying physical device "smart property" , non-fungible assets such as domain names "Namecoin" , as well as more complex applications involving having digital assets being directly controlled by a piece of code implementing arbitrary rules "smart contracts" or even blockchain-based " decentralized autonomous organizations " DAOs.
What Ethereum intends to provide is a blockchain with a built-in fully fledged Turing-complete programming language that can be used to create "contracts" that can be used to encode arbitrary state transition functions, allowing users to create any of the systems described above, as well as many others that we have not yet imagined, simply by writing up the logic in a few lines of code. The concept of decentralized digital currency, as well as alternative applications like property registries, has been around for decades.
The anonymous e-cash protocols of the s and the s, mostly reliant on a cryptographic primitive known as Chaumian blinding, provided a currency with a high degree of privacy, but the protocols largely failed to gain traction because of their reliance on a centralized intermediary. In , Wei Dai's b-money became the first proposal to introduce the idea of creating money through solving computational puzzles as well as decentralized consensus, but the proposal was scant on details as to how decentralized consensus could actually be implemented.
In , Hal Finney introduced a concept of " reusable proofs of work ", a system which uses ideas from b-money together with Adam Back's computationally difficult Hashcash puzzles to create a concept for a cryptocurrency, but once again fell short of the ideal by relying on trusted computing as a backend. In , a decentralized currency was for the first time implemented in practice by Satoshi Nakamoto, combining established primitives for managing ownership through public key cryptography with a consensus algorithm for keeping track of who owns coins, known as "proof-of-work".
The mechanism behind proof-of-work was a breakthrough in the space because it simultaneously solved two problems. First, it provided a simple and moderately effective consensus algorithm, allowing nodes in the network to collectively agree on a set of canonical updates to the state of the Bitcoin ledger.
Second, it provided a mechanism for allowing free entry into the consensus process, solving the political problem of deciding who gets to influence the consensus, while simultaneously preventing sybil attacks. It does this by substituting a formal barrier to participation, such as the requirement to be registered as a unique entity on a particular list, with an economic barrier - the weight of a single node in the consensus voting process is directly proportional to the computing power that the node brings.
Since then, an alternative approach has been proposed called proof-of-stake , calculating the weight of a node as being proportional to its currency holdings and not computational resources; the discussion of the relative merits of the two approaches is beyond the scope of this paper but it should be noted that both approaches can be used to serve as the backbone of a cryptocurrency.
From a technical standpoint, the ledger of a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin can be thought of as a state transition system, where there is a "state" consisting of the ownership status of all existing bitcoins and a "state transition function" that takes a state and a transaction and outputs a new state which is the result. Hence, one can formally define:. In the banking system defined above:. The "state" in Bitcoin is the collection of all coins technically, "unspent transaction outputs" or UTXO that have been minted and not yet spent, with each UTXO having a denomination and an owner defined by a byte address which is essentially a cryptographic public key fn.
A transaction contains one or more inputs, with each input containing a reference to an existing UTXO and a cryptographic signature produced by the private key associated with the owner's address, and one or more outputs, with each output containing a new UTXO to be added to the state.
The first half of the first step prevents transaction senders from spending coins that do not exist, the second half of the first step prevents transaction senders from spending other people's coins, and the second step enforces conservation of value.
In order to use this for payment, the protocol is as follows. Suppose Alice wants to send Realistically, Alice will not be able to get exactly She then creates a transaction with those three inputs and two outputs. The first output will be If we had access to a trustworthy centralized service, this system would be trivial to implement; it could simply be coded exactly as described, using a centralized server's hard drive to keep track of the state.
However, with Bitcoin we are trying to build a decentralized currency system, so we will need to combine the state transaction system with a consensus system in order to ensure that everyone agrees on the order of transactions. Bitcoin's decentralized consensus process requires nodes in the network to continuously attempt to produce packages of transactions called "blocks".
The network is intended to produce roughly one block every ten minutes, with each block containing a timestamp, a nonce, a reference to ie. Over time, this creates a persistent, ever-growing, "blockchain" that constantly updates to represent the latest state of the Bitcoin ledger.
The algorithm for checking if a block is valid, expressed in this paradigm, is as follows:. Essentially, each transaction in the block must provide a valid state transition from what was the canonical state before the transaction was executed to some new state. Note that the state is not encoded in the block in any way; it is purely an abstraction to be remembered by the validating node and can only be securely computed for any block by starting from the genesis state and sequentially applying every transaction in every block.
Additionally, note that the order in which the miner includes transactions into the block matters; if there are two transactions A and B in a block such that B spends a UTXO created by A, then the block will be valid if A comes before B but not otherwise.
The one validity condition present in the above list that is not found in other systems is the requirement for "proof-of-work". The precise condition is that the double-SHA hash of every block, treated as a bit number, must be less than a dynamically adjusted target, which as of the time of this writing is approximately 2 The purpose of this is to make block creation computationally "hard", thereby preventing sybil attackers from remaking the entire blockchain in their favor.
Because SHA is designed to be a completely unpredictable pseudorandom function, the only way to create a valid block is simply trial and error, repeatedly incrementing the nonce and seeing if the new hash matches.
In order to compensate miners for this computational work, the miner of every block is entitled to include a transaction giving themselves 25 BTC out of nowhere. Additionally, if any transaction has a higher total denomination in its inputs than in its outputs, the difference also goes to the miner as a "transaction fee". Incidentally, this is also the only mechanism by which BTC are issued; the genesis state contained no coins at all.
In order to better understand the purpose of mining, let us examine what happens in the event of a malicious attacker. Since Bitcoin's underlying cryptography is known to be secure, the attacker will target the one part of the Bitcoin system that is not protected by cryptography directly: the order of transactions. The attacker's strategy is simple:. Once step 1 has taken place, after a few minutes some miner will include the transaction in a block, say block number After about one hour, five more blocks will have been added to the chain after that block, with each of those blocks indirectly pointing to the transaction and thus "confirming" it.
At this point, the merchant will accept the payment as finalized and deliver the product; since we are assuming this is a digital good, delivery is instant. Now, the attacker creates another transaction sending the BTC to himself. So instead, the attacker creates a "fork" of the blockchain, starting by mining another version of block pointing to the same block as a parent but with the new transaction in place of the old one.
Because the block data is different, this requires redoing the proof-of-work. Furthermore, the attacker's new version of block has a different hash, so the original blocks to do not "point" to it; thus, the original chain and the attacker's new chain are completely separate. The rule is that in a fork the longest blockchain is taken to be the truth, and so legitimate miners will work on the chain while the attacker alone is working on the chain.
Left: it suffices to present only a small number of nodes in a Merkle tree to give a proof of the validity of a branch. Right: any attempt to change any part of the Merkle tree will eventually lead to an inconsistency somewhere up the chain.
An important scalability feature of Bitcoin is that the block is stored in a multi-level data structure. The "hash" of a block is actually only the hash of the block header, a roughly byte piece of data that contains the timestamp, nonce, previous block hash and the root hash of a data structure called the Merkle tree storing all transactions in the block. A Merkle tree is a type of binary tree, composed of a set of nodes with a large number of leaf nodes at the bottom of the tree containing the underlying data, a set of intermediate nodes where each node is the hash of its two children, and finally a single root node, also formed from the hash of its two children, representing the "top" of the tree.
The purpose of the Merkle tree is to allow the data in a block to be delivered piecemeal: a node can download only the header of a block from one source, the small part of the tree relevant to them from another source, and still be assured that all of the data is correct.
The reason why this works is that hashes propagate upward: if a malicious user attempts to swap in a fake transaction into the bottom of a Merkle tree, this change will cause a change in the node above, and then a change in the node above that, finally changing the root of the tree and therefore the hash of the block, causing the protocol to register it as a completely different block almost certainly with an invalid proof-of-work.
The Merkle tree protocol is arguably essential to long-term sustainability. A "full node" in the Bitcoin network, one that stores and processes the entirety of every block, takes up about 15 GB of disk space in the Bitcoin network as of April , and is growing by over a gigabyte per month.
Currently, this is viable for some desktop computers and not phones, and later on in the future only businesses and hobbyists will be able to participate. A protocol known as "simplified payment verification" SPV allows for another class of nodes to exist, called "light nodes", which download the block headers, verify the proof-of-work on the block headers, and then download only the "branches" associated with transactions that are relevant to them.
This allows light nodes to determine with a strong guarantee of security what the status of any Bitcoin transaction, and their current balance, is while downloading only a very small portion of the entire blockchain. The idea of taking the underlying blockchain idea and applying it to other concepts also has a long history. In , Nick Szabo came out with the concept of " secure property titles with owner authority ", a document describing how "new advances in replicated database technology" will allow for a blockchain-based system for storing a registry of who owns what land, creating an elaborate framework including concepts such as homesteading, adverse possession and Georgian land tax.
However, there was unfortunately no effective replicated database system available at the time, and so the protocol was never implemented in practice. After , however, once Bitcoin's decentralized consensus was developed a number of alternative applications rapidly began to emerge. Thus, in general, there are two approaches toward building a consensus protocol: building an independent network, and building a protocol on top of Bitcoin.
The former approach, while reasonably successful in the case of applications like Namecoin, is difficult to implement; each individual implementation needs to bootstrap an independent blockchain, as well as building and testing all of the necessary state transition and networking code.
Additionally, we predict that the set of applications for decentralized consensus technology will follow a power law distribution where the vast majority of applications would be too small to warrant their own blockchain, and we note that there exist large classes of decentralized applications, particularly decentralized autonomous organizations, that need to interact with each other.
The Bitcoin-based approach, on the other hand, has the flaw that it does not inherit the simplified payment verification features of Bitcoin. SPV works for Bitcoin because it can use blockchain depth as a proxy for validity; at some point, once the ancestors of a transaction go far enough back, it is safe to say that they were legitimately part of the state.
Blockchain-based meta-protocols, on the other hand, cannot force the blockchain not to include transactions that are not valid within the context of their own protocols.
Hence, a fully secure SPV meta-protocol implementation would need to backward scan all the way to the beginning of the Bitcoin blockchain to determine whether or not certain transactions are valid.
Currently, all "light" implementations of Bitcoin-based meta-protocols rely on a trusted server to provide the data, arguably a highly suboptimal result especially when one of the primary purposes of a cryptocurrency is to eliminate the need for trust. Even without any extensions, the Bitcoin protocol actually does facilitate a weak version of a concept of "smart contracts". UTXO in Bitcoin can be owned not just by a public key, but also by a more complicated script expressed in a simple stack-based programming language.
In this paradigm, a transaction spending that UTXO must provide data that satisfies the script. Indeed, even the basic public key ownership mechanism is implemented via a script: the script takes an elliptic curve signature as input, verifies it against the transaction and the address that owns the UTXO, and returns 1 if the verification is successful and 0 otherwise.
Other, more complicated, scripts exist for various additional use cases. For example, one can construct a script that requires signatures from two out of a given three private keys to validate "multisig" , a setup useful for corporate accounts, secure savings accounts and some merchant escrow situations. Scripts can also be used to pay bounties for solutions to computational problems, and one can even construct a script that says something like "this Bitcoin UTXO is yours if you can provide an SPV proof that you sent a Dogecoin transaction of this denomination to me", essentially allowing decentralized cross-cryptocurrency exchange.
However, the scripting language as implemented in Bitcoin has several important limitations:. Thus, we see three approaches to building advanced applications on top of cryptocurrency: building a new blockchain, using scripting on top of Bitcoin, and building a meta-protocol on top of Bitcoin. Building a new blockchain allows for unlimited freedom in building a feature set, but at the cost of development time, bootstrapping effort and security.
Using scripting is easy to implement and standardize, but is very limited in its capabilities, and meta-protocols, while easy, suffer from faults in scalability. With Ethereum, we intend to build an alternative framework that provides even larger gains in ease of development as well as even stronger light client properties, while at the same time allowing applications to share an economic environment and blockchain security.
The intent of Ethereum is to create an alternative protocol for building decentralized applications, providing a different set of tradeoffs that we believe will be very useful for a large class of decentralized applications, with particular emphasis on situations where rapid development time, security for small and rarely used applications, and the ability of different applications to very efficiently interact, are important.
Ethereum does this by building what is essentially the ultimate abstract foundational layer: a blockchain with a built-in Turing-complete programming language, allowing anyone to write smart contracts and decentralized applications where they can create their own arbitrary rules for ownership, transaction formats and state transition functions.
A bare-bones version of Namecoin can be written in two lines of code, and other protocols like currencies and reputation systems can be built in under twenty. Smart contracts, cryptographic "boxes" that contain value and only unlock it if certain conditions are met, can also be built on top of the platform, with vastly more power than that offered by Bitcoin scripting because of the added powers of Turing-completeness, value-awareness, blockchain-awareness and state.
In Ethereum, the state is made up of objects called "accounts", with each account having a byte address and state transitions being direct transfers of value and information between accounts.
Special Report: Cryptos on the rise
The Money Project is an ongoing collaboration between Visual Capitalist and Texas Precious Metals that seeks to use intuitive visualizations to explore the origins, nature, and use of money. For most investors, the major story of was the expectation and eventual fulfillment of a rate hike, signalling the start of tightening monetary policy in the United States. This policy is divergent to those of other major central banks, and this has translated into considerable strength and momentum for the U. Using the benchmark of the U. Dollar Index, a comparison against a basket of major currencies, the dollar gained 8. Despite this strength, the best performing currency in was not the dollar. In fact, the top currency of is likely to be considered the furthest thing from the greenback.
Crypto tax firm CoinTracker raises $100 million for expansion
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It’s Official: Bitcoin was the Top Performing Currency of 2015
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The dataset used in this study is public and can be found in Coin Market Cap [ 11 ]. Despite its increasing relevance in the financial world, a comprehensive analysis of the whole system is still lacking, as most studies have focused exclusively on the behaviour of one Bitcoin or few cryptocurrencies.
Demystifying Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and ICOs
Related stories Ethereum 2. Since then, it has twice more than doubled in price and then given up the gains. But holding cryptocurrency is an accounting hassle. In December, the Securities and Exchange Commission told MicroStrategy to revise how it reports the value of its hefty Bitcoin holdings. MicroStrategy argued that the crypto should be treated like other assets, with gains and losses recognized immediately. The SEC treats Bitcoin like intangibles, with losses reflected by impairments but gains recognized only upon a sale.
Bitcoin mining — the process in which a bitcoin is awarded to a computer that solves a complex series of algorithm — is a deeply energy intensive process. Bitcoin mining — the process in which a bitcoin is awarded to a computer that solves a complex series of algorithms — is a deeply energy-intensive process. Miners are rewarded in bitcoin. But the way bitcoin mining has been set up by its creator or creators — no one really knows for sure who created it is that there is a finite number of bitcoins that can be mined: 21m. The more bitcoin that is mined, the harder the algorithms that must be solved to get a bitcoin become. Now that over
Electricity needed to mine bitcoin is more than used by 'entire countries'
We want to give a special thanks to our sponsor, Crypto. Every year at CryptoWeekly we sort through our list of the leaders in crypto to chose the Crypto This list is our interpretation of the top most influential people in crypto.
How the top 5 cryptocurrencies fared in 2020
However, this year saw Apple give more attention to its other suite of products with a new generation of iPads, an overhaul to the iMac, and introduction of AirTags. Additionally, Apple knows the importance of being in tune with its customers for maintaining brand equity. Privacy and the environment are salient topics, and Apple bolstered its credentials on both fronts. Apple commands an amazing level of brand loyalty, largely thanks to its reputation for quality and innovation.
As the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization market cap , comparisons between Ether and bitcoin are only natural. Ether and bitcoin are similar in many ways: Each is a digital currency traded via online exchanges and stored in various types of cryptocurrency wallets. Both of these tokens are decentralized, meaning that they are not issued or regulated by a central bank or other authority. Both make use of the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain. However, there are also many crucial distinctions between the two most popular cryptocurrencies by market cap.