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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Feathercoin ( FTC ) – What You Need To Know

Ever since the launch of the first digital currency the cryptocurrency space has witnessed a massive expansion and Feathercoin has been a part of it. Contrary to some people’s perception

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feathercoin cryptocurrency imageEver since the launch of the first digital currency the cryptocurrency space has witnessed a massive expansion and Feathercoin has been a part of it.

Contrary to some people’s perception these digital currencies do not compete against each other, but rather complement one another.

It is worth noting that no single cryptocurrency is 100 % perfect in terms of providing anonymity and security (yet), and that is why a myriad of digital currencies are coming up often with the aim of improving these shortcomings.

One digital currency that is fast gaining popularity is Feathercoin.

WHAT IS FEATHERCOIN?

Shortened as FTC, the Feathercoin is a secure and unique cryptocurrency that uses the proof of work system to facilitate transactions. It was created and launched in 2 0 1 3 by Peter Bushnell, making it one of the oldest digital currencies.

Feathercoin is an upgrade of both the Bitcoin and the Litecoin with most of its features borrowing heavily from the Litecoin. However, it has numerous features in comparison to other cryptocurrencies, making it more reliable.

WHY THE FEATHERCOIN CRYPTOCURRENCY?

Just like its predecessor the Litecoin, FTC is open source, meaning that anyone can audit the system.

Previous money systems were prone to attacks. To address the issue of security, the Feathercoin uses a powerful NeoScrypt algorithm to facilitate secure digital transactions.  This coin is A S I C resistant, allowing users to mine via conventional CPUs and GPUs.

Despite the fact that it uses the proof of work system, which was regarded as time-consuming, FTC transactions are predominantly fast, scaleable and secure. A block transaction takes an average of 60 seconds.

HOW FEATHERCOIN WORKS

The Feathercoin system is built on the backbone of a swift and highly secure distributed network. The essence of this network is its advanced functionality.

Using the NeoScrypt algorithm, any user can generate Feathercoins through the process of mining, along as he or she has a CPU or GPU. Mining using the NeoScrypt is extremely rewarding, in comparison to other digital currencies. Miners get high rewards of 80 coins per block.

How to Mine Feathercoin

WHAT IS GREAT ABOUT FEATHERCOIN?

Digital currencies are great, but few of them beat the Feathercoin in terms of features.

Apart from its NeoScrypt algorithm, the system has a user – friendly Multisignature ( multisig ) with graphic user interface ( GUI ).  A Multisig is a security technique that requires several users to sign a transaction before it can be released onto the blockchain.  The Feathercoin multisig feature allows users to make comments in blockchain transactions.

What makes the Feathercoin standout is its In-wallet plugins for third party services. These plugins include the Coinnector, Shapeshift and Bitmessage, among others.

Coinnector is a real-time service that lists FTC on the Alternate coin exchanges. On the other hand, the Shapeshift plugin is a service similar to Coinnector, but with more advanced features. Users can trade their cryptocurrencies without having an account.

The Bitmessage plugin is a peer to peer messaging system that allows users to pass invoices and addresses in an anonymous manner. This plugin is open source and does not pass through any central server.

The Feathercoin system allows users to generate, manage and search stealth addresses, which are essential in carrying out secure and anonymous currency transactions. Additionally, the fact that the system is open source means that users can obtain transaction reports whenever the need for them arises.

Its advanced check – pointing system ( ACP ) prevents malicious people from duping genuine users into double spending. This feature ensures that clients can only accept blockchains that have corresponding block numbers.

HOW MUCH IS AVAILABLE?

The Feathercoin cryptocurrency has a total of 336 million coins.  This is 4 times more than its predecessor the Litecoin and a staggering 16 times more than the Bitcoin.

WHERE TO TRADE

Buying and selling of the Feathercoin is available on several exchanges including:

Users can also use the Coinnector and Shapeshift services to trade in their digital coins

DOWNSIDES

Feathercoin uses the proof of work system which by some is considered to be relatively slow. Despite the fact that Feathercoin transactions are fast, confirmation might take a considerable amount of time.

Orphaned blockchains pose a security threat in that if a hacker can create orphan blocks in a blockchain then the attacker can cast doubt on the authority of the original blockchain. However, the FTC developers have made tremendous gains in improving security, with features such as ACP playing a critical role.

TAKE AWAY

The Feathercoin’s well balanced production model and development support makes it one of the most secure and reliable digital currency. The fact that it works towards complementing the features of other digital currencies makes it more appealing. Sooner or later Feathercoin is set to take its place among the leading digital coins.

Written by: stroebel

Cryptolix Trader Notes On Feathercoin

Feathercoin like many other cryptocurrencies made a solid bottom (BTC wise) on or around March 1st, 2106 and has had a solid uptrend since then, rising more than 400%.

market cap and price chart of feathercoin cryptocurrency

After solid accumulation in March and April, Cryptolix trader continues to buy along the uprising trend line.

Trading cryptocurrencies requires nerves of steel in these fast moving markets with the willingness to withstand 50% drawdowns (or more) in price at times in order to stay with the trend to maximize profits longer term.

feathercoin price chart on Bittrex cryptocurrency exchange

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