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October 2015

What are Masternodes? How to Invest

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masternodes

masternodes

Unsure what a masternode is or how you can benefit from one? Read this guide to find out.

masternodes

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is made up of tons of computers from all over the world. What’s special about how blockchains work is that every single one of those computers has the same records from a shared database. So, everything that’s ever happened on that database is in what is known as blocks. These blocks store the records, and this shared database is what we call the blockchain.

How to Create Your Own Blockchain

masternodes

If you want to add a new block to the blockchain, you need to convince every single computer on the network that you’ve got a valid transaction. You can’t edit previous data; you can only add to the blockchain, and that’s called being “immutable” and “append-only.” It’s what makes a blockchain a blockchain, so, personal immutable shared data is pretty rare and special.

Consensus is the process of getting every computer and node to agree on what can be added to the end of the blockchain. What method of consensus those nodes use is dependent on the coin they’re helping to secure or, in other words, the nodes are what make the blockchain able to process, so that transactions stay secure from attackers.

The more nodes there are, the harder it is to disrupt the network because of node loss or 51% attacks. A 51% attack is when one node or group of nodes controls over half the network, which lets them dictate what gets added to the blockchain and makes the network centralized, defeating the purpose of a decentralized currency.

To summarize, nodes are a bunch of computers that make the blockchain work and stay secure through a process called “consensus.”

What method or algorithm of consensus is used depends on the coin. For example, Bitcoin uses a technique known as proof-of-work, otherwise known as mining (proof-of-work = mining).

>> NetCents Signs 40th Partnership Agreement, Accelerates Market Adoption

The Cost of Mining

masternodes

Effectively mining Bitcoin these days requires specialized computers that cost a lot of money, and if you want to maximize profits, you need a lot of them. You need to get cheap electricity and a lot of it. In fact, mining uses so much power that people started getting concerned about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin mining alone used more electricity than 159 different countries. That’s thirty times more than all Tesla cars combined.

Some people do argue, however, that it’s not a waste, because mining turns power resource power into monetary value.

Some people saw this massive amount of electricity use that crypto mining incurs, and thought there should be an alternative consensus algorithm to proof-of-work. This is how proof-of-stake, or staking, came to be a thing. All you need to know with staking is that the more coins you have, the better staking rewards you get.

Think of it as a savings account. The coin’s team determines the average staking reward percentage, sort of like the interest percentage. You get paid at the bank, and in turn, you get rewarded for not touching your money. The more you lock up, or stake, the more you hypothetically get paid.

Proof-of-stake is cool because of coins like NEO. I’m getting paid several hundred dollars worth in dividends every month for literally doing nothing with the money except keeping it locked away. Even when the market is down, I’m still making money because of dividend-yielding proof-of-stake coins. So when it comes to mining versus staking, I’m not necessarily in favor of one method of consensus over the other.

There are, however, significant, mostly hypothetical, drawbacks to both staking and mining. I believe the future will belong to coins that can marry both.

One way people criticize staking is that you could literally buy 51% of the supply and dominate the coin to your benefit. However, my rebuttal to that is that in order to acquire that much of a coin, you would need to erode the supply, which would shoot up price and demand to the roof. If people sense that a coin has become centralized, they will jump ship, and the price would crash.

So, this brings us to masternodes. They’re a trendy aspect of cryptocurrency right now.

Quite simply, masternodes require a huge, set amount of a coin, and can grant even better dividend rewards than typical rewards earned through mining or staking.

Most people think that masternodes are an extension of proof-of-stake coins exclusively, but that’s not quite true. There are coins out there that use mining to make use of masternodes. So these kinds of nodes aren’t exclusive to staking or mining alone.

With that being said, running a masternode is just like staking. In a sense, you generate passive income through a masternode only by having your coins in a wallet and not moving them.

You can make a passive income with a masternode just like you could with staking a cryptocurrency. However, the rewards will be much higher on average, especially since the release of the Dash. Many coins have released their own variant of the system. The overarching feature of masternodes appears to be the locking of a minimum amount of coins and performing or gaining the ability to do a particular task within the blockchain or ecosystem and receiving a reward.

>> Altcoin Season? Bull Run Continues While Bitcoin Stalls

How Much Money Can You Earn with Masternodes?

Probably the most important thing is that your coin, and therefore the team behind it, needs to be in it for the long term. If the team, for example, stops working on the project five years down the road, you’re going to be hurting because your long-term investment is suddenly not worth as much.

The problem is that there’s no magic bullet here because no one can see the future. So that’s why you need to learn how to evaluate a team. Look into the leaders of the project. Have they had experience with this kind of project or sector before? What happened to their last project? The most important thing is to make sure you’re not in a pump and dump.

You also need to make sure the project you’re looking at has masternodes supported. Now, this is a double-edged sword because of several reasons. If a coin goes into an ICO advertising masternodes, that coin is going to get a lot of attention initially. If the project announces masternodes after it’s already started trading, that’s going to shoot up the prices, and people are going to clamor to scoop up enough of the coin to run the masternode. I’ve seen coins such as V Chain and Walton Chain increase in price massively because they revealed that they’d be adding masternodes. The secret here is finding coins that might or probably will be offering a masternode in the future. But that’s sort of akin to finding a needle in the haystack.

You also need to know how the coin facilitates the masternode. For example, masternodes for Walton Chain can receive decent rewards. If you actively mine a coin, you can use a masternode to secure a better mining yield than if you were mining without a masternode. Masternodes can give you benefits in different forms, and it all comes down to your money making you more money. The crypto rich get even richer.

To give an example, my Walton masternode currently earns me X amount at Y percentage. But if Walton’s price goes five times the current price of Z, I’m also going to make five times the X amount. That’s where things get interesting. Generally, I’ve seen masternode yield percentages decrease over time, but that can easily be mitigated with an increase in the price of the underlying coin.

How to Find Masternodes to Invest In

masternodes

Masternodes are great, but the crux is finding out about a coin before it’s big and the masternodes are too expensive for most people. Honestly, there’s very little strategy here other than being always on the hunt for these gems.

The most famous is Dash coin. The term masternode originated within the blockchain industry by the startup Dash. In the Dash ecosystem, a masternode is a computer or a node that runs Dash wallets, adding in the decision tree of the dash blockchain consensus. The masternodes within Dash help lock transactions with instant send redistribute.

Within the Dash ecosystem, you needed to have a minimum of 1000 Dash to participate as a masternode when Dash announced masternodes in June of 2015. The going price per a thousand Dash was roughly three thousand dollars at the time. Today, buying a Dash masternode will cost approximately $620,000. The payoff is that the node yields at the current valuation of Dash, which is $47,000 per year in dividends. For some people, that’s enough to live off of and never have to work again.

The best way to find masternodes is by being very good at research and analysis. If you do your research, maybe soon you’ll have an excellent portfolio with masternodes.

This article was curated through CryptoCurrencyNews’ Contributor Program. If you would like to write for us, send us your submission!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © monsit

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Bitcoin Tumbles Below $10K Mark as Crypto Market Turns Bearish

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin

The crypto market had an excellent first half of the year with an impressively strong run, led by Bitcoin (BTC) and some altcoins. However, the month of July has brought with it its fair share of chaos and prices have fluctuated wildly.

Today, the crypto market lost a significant portion of its value, falling below $300 billion, as both Bitcoin and many altcoins plunged on the various exchanges across the world. The total loss of valuation was $22 billion at one point, and experts believe it could continue.

Bitcoin Breaks Below $10K

In the same way that it leads the rallies, the sharp decline today was also led by Bitcoin as it dropped below a critical level to $10,000. However, the drop in the BTC price also instigated a bloodbath among altcoins, many of which also lost a significant amount of value.

However, once the updates about the accidental Tether creation came through, the price of Bitcoin recovered significantly and touched $11,500. It remains to be seen how the crypto sphere fares over the next few hours. Based on the technical chart, the next support levels for Bitcoin are $10,100 and $9,800.

In other areas of the crypto world, Ethereum (ETH) slumped to $223, XRP to $0.306, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) crashed to $302.

>> Bitpoint Hacked for $32 Million, Another Example of Crypto’s Volatility

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $10,129, down by 3.20%. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has lost 25% from its 52-week high since early July.

However, amidst all the doom and gloom that has currently pervaded the cryptocurrency community, it is interesting to note that crypto fund manager Timothy Peterson has made a highly bullish prediction. He stated that according to his model, the price of Bitcoin could be as much as $40,000 each by the end of 2019 and if that actually comes to pass, then one of the biggest rallies in crypto history is probably coming up.

What do you think?

Featured image: DepositPhotos © SectoR_2010

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Bitcoin (BTC) Price Falls Below $8,000 On Panic Selling

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) is pulling lower after doubling in value following a massive surge from 2018 lows. The flagship cryptocurrency remains under immense bearish pressure after a 130% plus rally since the start of the year.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

A rally past the $8,000 mark had for the first time, in months, reinvigorated investor interest on cryptocurrencies, as it came after a harrowing plunge in 2018. A 14% plus drop has since taken the cryptocurrency back to the $7,700 level, waiting to see if short sellers have what it takes to continue piling pressure.

Given the magnitude of the drop, the cryptocurrency remains in a precarious position. Crypto investors and experts are of the opinion that the cryptocurrency could tank further should it fail to demonstrate a speedy recovery. A plunge to the $7,100–7,300 range could be in the future, according to the analysts.

The recent drop does not come as a surprise, as many expected it. Some speculate that certain Bitcoin whales decided to cash in on 2019’s massive climb, dumping their BTC when they had the chance.

>> Gartner Blockchain Study: 90% of Current Blockchains Obsolete By 2021

Bitcoin Sell-Off Trigger

Reports indicate that the sudden Bitcoin sell-off may be due to a so-called Bitcoin whale offloading their holdings due to an influx in supply. It has since emerged that the Bitcoin whale moved as much as 25,000 Bitcoin, worth more than $200 million, from an exchange wallet into the Coinbase crypto exchange.

The transaction is believed to have earned the mover a cool $15 million, having sold their BTC for $215 million before buying back $200 million worth of Bitcoin after the price dropped. The massive sell order is one of the triggers that fueled the downward movement, which appears to have had a ripple effect in the broader cryptocurrency sector.

According to cryptocurrency analyst, Josh Rager, Bitcoin struggling to find support above the $7,000 mark could trigger a bigger pullback. Failure to bounce back and take out the $8,200 resistance level could also give short sellers a reason to continue pushing the price lower.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © Thomaspajot

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6 Types of Crypto Assets You Need to Know About

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crypto assets

crypto assets

The cryptocurrency world is full of jargon; acronyms and futuristic words that could be straight out of the latest sci-fi flick.

Along with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, there are many other different types of crypto assets that can be found on the blockchain:

Stablecoins

As the name suggests, stablecoins are designed for stability. These are cryptocurrencies that are directly pegged to real-world assets. These assets could be precious metals like gold, oil, or silver, or national currencies like the dollar and euro. Regardless of the asset, the value of each individual stablecoin aims to remain the same as the asset it represents: A dollar-backed stablecoin, for example, should be worth one dollar.

By tapping into the relative stability of real-world assets, stablecoins are designed to bring consistency to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. When volatility hits, traders can quickly swap cryptocurrencies back to a stable currency without the bother of converting to fiat.

Blockchain Platforms

Although most people refer to Ethereum as a cryptocurrency, the actual currency powering the Ethereum network is called Ether. As a currency, Ether lets users pay for processing power to run smart contracts on the network, or buy products and services within Ethereum like ICO tokens.

As a blockchain platform, Ethereum is designed to run smart contracts that form the infrastructure for a range of projects, like Microsoft’s Ethereum on Azure, and the Amazon Web Services blockchain framework.

Privacy Coins

Newcomers to Bitcoin often mistakenly think that transactions with the cryptocurrency are private. But, Bitcoin only offers pseudonymity rather than anonymity. All Bitcoin transactions are recorded on a public ledger under a code that can be traced back to a real-world identity with a little detective work.

>> Why Goldman Sachs is Wrong About Bitcoin

Anonymous cryptocurrencies—like ZCash and Monero—aim to provide all the benefits of Bitcoin in a completely private package. This means that, theoretically, no record is kept of the transaction.

Utility Tokens

Basic Attention Token (BAT) is an example of another category of cryptocurrencies: Utility Tokens. These cryptocurrencies aim to fulfill a specific need within a blockchain platform.

Unlike security tokens, utility tokens are not intended as an investment. Instead, they are more similar to a coupon offered by a store to be used specifically for their products, or a pre-ordered token that promises access to a service that is still in development. BAT, for example, is used as payment within the Brave Browser.

Tokenized Assets

Similar to stablecoins, tokenized assets are digital representations of real-world assets on the blockchain.

These tokens represent ownership of the underlying asset. If the asset was an apartment, for example, each token might represent a room. Ownership rights to that specific room would be written into the token smart contract, and the tokens can then be traded on a crypto exchange.

This has the advantage of providing liquidity, making it easier to trade traditionally illiquid assets like real estate, and also immutability, with the blockchain guaranteeing that ownership information cannot be easily changed.

Security Tokens

Security tokens are traditional securities, transposed to the blockchain. Just like ordinary shares, these represent the purchase of a small percentage of a company and might pay holders a share of the company profits, and confer certain rights—like the ability to vote on the future direction of the company.

Unlike Initial Coin Offerings, which are unregistered, security tokens should be fully compliant with SEC regulations.

This article was curated through CryptoCurrencyNews’ Contributor Program. If you would like to write for us, send us your submission!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © maloha13

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