What Is Musicoin and What Makes It Special?

Musicoin vs. Tradition            Musicoin (traded under the symbol MUSIC on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bittrex and Cryptopia) is a project within the cryptocurrency realm that is striving to better

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Musicoin vs. Tradition           

musicoin cryptocurrency reviewMusicoin (traded under the symbol MUSIC on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bittrex and Cryptopia) is a project within the cryptocurrency realm that is striving to better allow music creators and artists to connect to their fans and listeners.

It is touted as “The World’s First Smart Cryptocurrency For Music”.

Traditionally, but still popular today, an artist or producer would connect to their fans by sharing their media and recordings online through popular social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – where people can not only follow and see what their favorite artists are up to, but also listen to their favorite music as well.

Current Price Of Musicoin

Tradition vs. Artist                 

The unfortunate downside to using music sharing sites like Spotify, iTunes, and Youtube  is that the sites receive the majority of profits per stream/track-play and an artist would give up or share their licensing rights to these popular sites in hopes of gaining popularity.

While this is an effective means to promoting one’s music, the artists themselves are usually last in line to see any profits made off of their recordings – between what their fans pay for subscriptions to these sites, and to whom they are actually listening to.

Artist vs. Blockchain

How Does Musicoin Work?          

Musicoin works by allowing musicians to license their work as a Smart Contract, or coded contract, to a Blockchain – a decentralized, public (open) record.

These contracts work as a middle-man; automating the distribution and collection of ‘royalty’ payments to the artist directly.

An artist may take their recording and upload it to Musicoin’s site, musicoin.org, and fans can search and listen on their network similar to other common methods/sites today.

Artists then receive these credits, through what is called a Pay-Per-Play (PPP) method, deposited directly to the artist’s “wallet,” or account. The more popular any given song is, the more credit the artist/uploader would naturally receive.

Blockchain vs. P2P                 

Other previous methods such as Napster, Limewire, (P2P torrent, Peer-to-Peer sharing) although beneficial to an artists’ material being promoted and becoming known, does not give credit in the form of royalties for a producer’s hard work at all.

By connecting artist and user directly, and keeping record of popularity by track-counting through a PPP network, both are rewarded in a sound matter.

More On How Musicoin Works            

As the Musicoin project was first started, the initial issue of who would be supplying these credits to the artists was a question in large; as with any Blockchain, blocks need to be mined, and this requires processing power by a “miner” to validate what can be seen as a “transaction” when any given song is played.

Regardless, as with any cryptocurrency, popularity is what creates value. What better environment for popularity, where the nature of music and music-sharing is focused on exactly that?

How To Publish Your Work With Musicoin

Why Musicoin Works            

Referring a post from one of the developers:

“We will make the entry barrier as low as possible for musicians and listeners alike, to avoid the risk of becoming yet another echo chamber of blockchain enthusiasts […] We aim to be generally useful and accessible to the general population from day 1.”

“To those ends there will be a global music catalog, which enables musicians to create and publish their licenses and also funds playbacks out of its own account, as long as we can mine them fast enough, so that listeners can test the system without needing to acquire coins.” – hackermoon.com/

How Musicoin Is Different    

More directly to other ‘blockchain enthusiasts’ and coin creators, an issue in large part is the idea of “pre-mined” coins, as it has been seen necessary for initial interest to gain start-up users, does not continue to hold value for any given ‘-Coin’ in the long-run.

Although not necessarily always true, it is popularly viewed as un-sound with any given digital currency (blockchain).

Musicoin differentiates with another point-of-interest:

“We will not allocate any coins at the genesis of the blockchain to anyone. This means there will not be a so called ICO (“Initial Coin Offering”) and no coins will be allocated as payment to the creators.”

Ideals surrounding Musicoin in its creation, making what it seems a sound investment in itself, by the developers.

Opportunity for Large Stakeholder Groups?

Current record labels in the music industry would very much be able to adapt to this system of a PPP network, and benefit from it as well.

This is made possible by the enlargement of MC’s “market scale” by nature – as the greater volume of coins become to be.

Once a part of the MC blockchain, their copyrighted content and works further provide value to this up-scaled music ‘consumption’ – and value is immediately returned to the stakeholder group. Much like a drummer, guitarist, and vocalist as a part of a band for example split ‘royalties’ for any given song (Smart Contract “copyrighted” work), stakeholder’s split profit per their media play shares.

Opportunity for the Individual

Musicoin offers something much different than the traditional way of ‘vast profit margin’ between artist and listener while keeping the very much relevant way people use and share music intact. The profit of one’s hard-invested work is going somewhere, why not directly into the wallets of those who deserve it most?

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How Smart Contracts Work

Smart Contracts and their use are defined as a process where any given input of data is computed, processed, and an output is returned or received. How Do they Work?

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Smart Contracts and their use are defined as a process where any given input of data is computed, processed, and an output is returned or received.

How Do they Work?

ethereum image smart contractsSmart Contracts work just like a regular written contract – for example a lease, documented agreement, stipulation, etc. – between two parties.

Ethereum utilizes this technique of writing and defining an ‘agreement’ by making it easier to develop what they call ‘autonomous agents’ – Smart Contracts, as they’re used within the Ethereum network.

Ethereum is a platform that makes it easy for developers to write and implement Contracts using code written onto a Blockchain creating a sound environment for whatever they choose to use them for.

Smart Contract Examples

  • Execute a Constitution-like command – ie: decision on monetary spending, bet on tomorrow’s weather, what to eat for dinner, etc. – only once the majority of multiple parties involved ‘sign’ or agree to it.
  • Transfer of a Deed or Automobile Title between two people for record keeping and archiving.
  • Family records or databases of a family ancestry tree itself.
  • Fundraising – The idea is similar to the idea of Kickstarter, where people can choose to contribute money to an invention or idea, and once a funding goal is reached the idea becomes possible.

In the case of the first example (Constitution), the block of code that is a Smart Contract per ‘signature’ would collect Ether – the cryptocurrency behind Ethereum – based on how much processing power necessary to execute it, which is determined by the Ethereum network.

Once this par is reached, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) processes the Contract in ‘bytecode’ and the Contract then becomes a part of the Ethereum Blockchain.

This is somewhat like compiling and implementing code is to a Software Engineer; in this case eliminating the need of a middle-man.

Smart Contracts On A Blockchain For Dummies

More About Blockchains

As mentioned before, these specific agreements are stored in a public Blockchain.  Anyone, or even another Smart Contract may reference one another so long as it has the right ‘keys’ or commands to do so.

This referencing is highly encouraged and is part of what gives value to Ethereum (represented by the Ether coin).

These sorts of things help to make Ether sound in value as it is a real-world representation of the physical resources and processing power required per computational execution.

What Makes Smart Contracts Appealing?

One of the greatest appeals of the use of Smart Contracts is the solidarity of enforcement; once agreed upon (signed) between all involved parties – outlined by the writers/developers of the code within the contract – explicitly, as a Contract may only be executed as written by its creator.

In other words, users know exactly what to expect per agreement and eliminates the need for further encryption when it comes to more private/sensitive matters.  This creates efficiency and better utilization within a network when it comes to real world implications.

Decentralization Is Better?

Unlike some of today’s popular apps, ie: Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, the concept of decentralizing and setting-in-stone archiving is brought to life by Ethereum and its Smart Contract.

The less steps needed between agreements in a network, the faster a  network can function and the further a network’s possibilities expand.

This is a new concept Ethereum creates, and they explain the basics on their website for both developers and users very well at Ethereum.org.  Their site is not limited to those familiar in coding, but also intended for the average-Joe with an idea or concept as well as investors interested in the cryptocurrency market.

What About Dapps?

Dapps.ethercasts.com is somewhat of the GitHub (open, crowd-sourced) site for developers in the Ethereum world.

Similar to Smart Contracts, Dapps – ‘Decentralized Applications’ – are created for other specific uses within and reinforced by the Blockchain network.  Users may post their concepts, prototypes, processes, or even their source code itself and work with one another to create and develop applications.

Blockchains, Smart Contracts, Dapps, and more, are some of the new things that are bringing together many people working towards the common goal of changing and improving the world.

The increased interest in cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, decentralized applications, and more, shows that may people are feeling that they alone should have sole control over the data and other information they choose to share without having any sort of central authority watching over them.

written by: Jake Simula

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Litecoin and Segwit

A major change or improvement, depending on who you speak in the altcoin community has been activated on Litecoin. Segregated Witness or SegWit was originally supposed to be meant for

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A major change or improvement, depending on who you speak in the altcoin community has been activated on Litecoin.

litecoin and segwitSegregated Witness or SegWit was originally supposed to be meant for Bitcoin, however, that did not go through and has now been given a chance to come good on Litecoin.

So what exactly is SegWit and why is it important?

We attempt to answer some of the questions.

What is SegWit?

Think of SegWit as a major software update to Litecoin.

It was initially designed for Bitcoin, however, due to problems getting the Bitcoin core behind this change, those plans had to be shelved. Litecoin, which is basically a straight fork of Bitcoin but with a different mining algorithm, was perfect for adapting this solution.

What Are The Benefits of SegWit?

This is an upgrade to the Litecoin network that is designed to make the currency more immune to transaction malleability. This is a kind of attack on the system where the unique ID used for confirmation of transactions on the network can be changed before the confirmation actually takes place and then used to make double transactions or withdrawals.

Through the use of SegWit, Litecoin is attempting to separate the transaction data from the witness data, thus making transaction malleability almost impossible.

Segwit Isn’t Just One Improvement

Apart from making transaction more secure though SegWit will also allow the implementation of a number of other improvements such as reducing the time required for transactions to go through, solve the quadratic hashing problem and improve capacity.

The Lightning Network, first envisioned to expand bitcoin, is being tested on Litecoin and even though not too many people are sure that it is actually required on this network, it still serves as an important technological leap.

The most important benefit of rolling out SegWit is perhaps the fact that major Bitcoin developers have announced their intention to roll out support for Litecoin and even port their projects. The .NET Bitcoin library NBitcoin and the wallet mSigna are among such ports that are being put in place.

Litecoin could also become the altcoin where most technological innovations and advancements are rolled out first. Developers have been working on confidential transaction, TumbleBit and Schnorr signatures for bitcoin, which are now almost certainly going to be ported over to Litecoin and tested out here first.

Why Did Litecoin Implement SegWit?

Apart from the obvious technical improvements SegWit confers, Litecoin will also benefit from the publicity it will get by being the first major cryptocurrency from implementing this advancement.

The value of Litecoin has surged by almost 10 times as the news of the impending SegWit adoption started to break and there is a likelihood of further gains in the short term.

Implementation Is Easy?

Of course implementing SegWit was not very easy for Litecoin.

The inventer of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, was keen that this soft fork should have been activated last year but there were a lot of apprehensions in the miner community. It was only after the Global Litcoin Roundtable meeting where the biggest stakeholders in the currency got together that some sort of consensus on activation of this fork emerged.

So is everyone happy with Litecoin activating SegWit?

Not quite. There is a large section of the miner community that is not happy with this being rolled out as a soft fork.

What this means is that even people who do not choose to update their software will be able to continue using Litecoin. It sounds like a good thing at first and smaller changes are often desirable to be rolled out as a soft fork since it prevents sections of the community being locked out.

In this case though, SegWit is huge change and ideally should have been rolled out as a hard fork. Litecoin uses an extension block to put in place the soft fork which blocks out a lot of important information from older wallets.

Wallets that are using the older software will no longer be able to understand when it is being sent money or be able to spend it. This will put users at risk, something that is currently being ignored in the hype surrounding SegWit.

Conclusion

All in all, SegWit solves some very important problems but is maybe not the best engineered solution. It seems like a compromise, one that was maybe necessary, and will need to be evaluated closely over the next few months.

Written by: dhruvgupta

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