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7 Altcoins You Should Be Aware Of

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Altcoins You Should Be Aware Of

The word altcoin describes every cryptocurrency that is not bitcoin. Altcoins are referred to as bitcoin alternatives because, at least to some extent, most altcoins aim to either replace or improve upon at least one bitcoin component. There are hundreds of altcoins (CoinMarketCap lists over 700 at the time this guide was written), and more appear each month. Most altcoins are little more than bitcoin clones, changing only minor characteristics such as its transactions speed, distribution method, or hashing algorithm. Most of these coins do not survive for very long. In this post, however, you will be introduced to seven altcoins you should be aware of as they have the potential to turn into major global cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum

What is EthereumEthereum is a blockchain-based platform that lets anyone build and use decentralized applications that run on blockchain technology. Unlike the Bitcoin protocol, Ethereum was designed to be adaptable and flexible. It is easy to create new applications on the Ethereum platform, and with the Homestead release, it is now safe for anyone to use those applications. Rather than give users a set of pre-defined operations (e.g. bitcoin transactions), Ethereum allows users to create their own operations of any complexity they wish as it is a programmable blockchain in the form of so-called “smart contracts”. In this way, it serves as a platform for many different types of decentralized blockchain applications. Ethereum’s cryptocurrency is called ether (ETH).

Steem

opportunity for African writersSteemIt is a social media platform where users get paid to post information online. It is powered by blockchain technology and rewards users that upload articles, images, commentary, and blogs while paying users for sourcing and up-voting popular content. The earlier a person up-votes a post that becomes popular, the more they are rewarded. Users are paid half in “Steem Power,” a vesting currency that supercharges voting power, and half with Steem Dollars (SBD), which can be exchanged for USD. SteemIt, therefore, creates a great opportunity for African writers to monetize their content.

Siacoin

SiacoinSia is a totally new approach to cloud storage platforms where you put data into cloud and still retain control. The token used in the smart contracts to pay the host is what is called the siacoin.  Both the host and the renter put siacons into the contract once the file is created.  The only time the host gets siacoins is if they have the data at the expiry of the contract. If you decide to put up your data on cloud, it is usually one company that will have control of all your data such as Dropbox. In the case of Sia, you are still able to have control over your own data. When you upload a file to Sia, it is encrypted and then uploaded to many hosts, of which none of these hosts can manipulate your data, tamper with your privacy, or hinder you from accessing your data at any given time. The smart contract protects renters by ensuring that no payment is made to the host until the renter’s data is stored.

Monero

MoneroMonero (XMR) is an open source secure, private and untraceable cryptocurrency created in April 2014. Unlike many cryptocurrencies that are derivatives of bitcoin, monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol and possesses significant algorithmic differences relating to blockchain infrastructure. With Monero, you are your own anonymous bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds, and your accounts and transactions are kept private from prying eyes. Monero has become a very popular currency used in the dark web in the last 12 months.

Lisk

Link

 

Lisk is a blockchain application and sidechain platform that provides a full stack solution for the most widespread programming language in the world – JavaScript. Creating one of the best cryptocurrency user experiences with its easily controllable user interface and its integrated App Directory, Lisk is aiming to become the standard for blockchain apps and custom blockchains developed in JavaScript. Lisk (LSK) aims to be the first (successful) of its kind as a modular cryptocurrency. The idea is that every blockchain app is on its own sidechain, separate from the main blockchain. This should help with scalability issues that many cryptocurrencies are facing, such as bitcoin.

HEAT

HEAT

H.E.A.T. Ledger is an acronym for Heuristically Enhanced Asynchronous Transactions Ledger.  It is completely a new way of structuring cryptocurrency and a peer-to-peer decentralized asset ledger. It is optimized for speed and architected in enterprise friendly Java for custom private chains, HEAT slices the currently used blockchain database technology to modular components and provides flexible scalable server-side technology for corporate needs of any size.

The ledger is built on Java and based on NXT, HEAT is capable of handling over 1000 transactions per second while supporting “unlimited scaling.” A press release for the project stated that 20 second or lower blocks generation times, combined with both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work, are what make HEAT so fast.

DASH

DASHDash (which stands for ‘digital cash’) is an open source and privacy-centric digital currency that offers instant transactions. It allows you to keep your finances private as you make transactions without having to wait for your transaction to complete. The other advantage is that the transaction fees are much lower than banks or credit cards and are often even free. Payments are received instantly by the other party thanks to InstantX and the cryptocurrency uses a decentralized network, so no centralized third party to trust. Advanced encryption and a 2-tier network are implemented for complete security and it allows you t send money to anywhere in the world.

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Akon to Launch Cryptocurrency Akoin to Build “Real-Life Wakanda”

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Akoin
By U.S. Embassy Nairobi [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Senegal-born singer and philanthropist Akon is set to launch a cryptocurrency called Akoin. The cryptocurrency will be available for sale in two weeks.

“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the saviour for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency system and also allows the people to utilise it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down,” he said during a panel discussion at Cannes Lion 2018.

The singer has powered 18 countries in Africa using solar energy through his project Akon Lighting Africa. The project has impacted African communities through the creation of jobs and the installation of 100,000 street lamps, 200,000 household electric systems, and 1,000 solar micro-generators.

Akoin will be the foundation of the Akoin Ecosystem, a universal project that offers real-life platforms and opportunities for youth entrepreneurs by enabling them to purchase, spend, and hold cryptocurrency.

Akon’s Crypto Wakanda

According to Akoin’s website, the cryptocurrency will also be used in an entirely new way when consumers visit the real-life Wakanda of Akon Crypto City.

The city will be constructed on 2,000 acres of land gifted to him by the Senegalese President. The city will be a blend of “leading Smart City planning designs with a blank canvas for cryptonising our daily human and business exchanges, with the goal of inventing a radical new way of existence.”

When asked technical questions about blockchain technology, Akon said:

“I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.”

Akon has joined the list of celebrities embracing cryptocurrencies and the blockchain such as Lionel Messi and Ashton Kutcher.

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South African Ekasi Bucks Plans To Launch “World’s First Crypto-Mall and On-Demand Taxi Service for Townships”

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Ekasi-bucks
Image by Ekasi Bucks

Ekasi Bucks, a South African-based blockchain startup, is planning to launch what the company calls “the world’s first crypto-mall and on-demand transport service for townships” in Soweto, Soshanguve, and Mabopane.

This launch by Ekasi Bucks comes several months after the startup tried to raise R50 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) that was meant to finance a rewards programme that is blockchain-based for township residents who shop from specific township businesses. However, the ICO was only able to raise R500,000, falling short of their R50 million target. As a result, a large percentage of the money was given back to investors.

The co-founder and president of Ekasi Bucks, Lucky Kgwadi, told Ventureburn in an interview that “the startup had intended to use much of the R50-million to buy land and pay for the initial building of a physical mall — but after the failed ICO the company has now opted to therefore go digital”.

The Online Crypto-Mall

The digital crypto-mall will enable township businesses to sell their products via an online portal and in exchange, they will receive the Ekasi Bucks token.

Ekasi Bucks

The past six weeks have seen Ekasi Bucks run campaigns to create awareness and recruit vendors to the crypto-mall with 800 township entrepreneurs having so far submitted their applications to sell products such as clothing or food from local restaurants that will be delivered.

“We are trying to allow residents to shop from their own townships and to shop from their own home,” said Kgwadi. The co-founder of Ekasi Bucks believes that given an opportunity, township residents will easily buy from their local retailers. According to him: “It’s not a matter of products and markups — people just don’t know where to find the product.”

On-Demand Taxis for Townships

The operations of the on-demand taxi services will be similar to that of Uber or Taxify. However, instead of customers paying with credit cards or cash, they will make payments using Ekasi Bucks. To start, Ekasi Bucks plans to source for their token users from their already existing rewards programme that they have been managing since 2016. The programme is active across South Africa and has more than 20,000 card users and 4,000 merchants.

The startup has received 20 applications for its on-demand taxi service from drivers after running several Facebook ads for the said service. The initial batch of the vetted drivers will become the first pilot for the on-demand taxi service, said Kgwadi. He went on to say that for each token transacted, Ekasi Bucks will charge a ten percent commission to the drivers, which makes their rates significantly lower compared to the fee charges that Uber (15 percent to 20 percent) and Taxify (30 percent) debit from their drivers. In addition, the startup has partnered with Lion of Africa to provide white labelled life cover insurance to its drivers who will be part of the on-demand taxi service.

Kgwadi hopes that Ekasi Bucks’ new offering will appeal to more people and pick up considering that the startup was not so lucky last year in its ICO.

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Six Tips to Make Your Airdrop a Success

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Make Your Airdrop a Success

Airdrops are becoming increasingly frequent and are a common trend in the crypto space. With thousands of tokens currently in existence and a constant stream of more in development, the number of scam airdrops is also on the rise, therefore distinguishing between legitimate and fake airdrops is a big issue for potential airdrop participants.

With the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data privacy scandal still fresh in people’s minds, there is a heightened awareness around disclosing personal information and data protection — meaning existing mechanics such as Google forms (which require the input of personal details) may discourage potential involvement. Google form airdrops also require significant time and manpower to cross-reference Telegram users with registrants.

Enter the progressive airdrop: by enabling live syncing between platforms, this new kind of technology allows companies to bring more value to their communities, as well as monitor participant engagement.

So what can companies do to ensure a smooth and successful airdrop?

1. Use Telegram

By conducting everything in one place such as messaging app Telegram, it makes life easier for your users who won’t have to struggle with referral links, switching between multiple apps, or losing friends to drawn-out processes.

Instead of copying and pasting, the progressive airdrop model (like the one qiibee uses) will automatically detect when you add a new member to your Telegram group.

Having everything and everyone on Telegram also helps to build your community and encourages conversation starters.

2. Live sync across platforms

By implementing technology that enables live syncing between platforms, this back-end development can help resolve logistical issues, thus eliminating any scope for human error during the process and creating a more seamless system — bringing added value to both your users and your Telegram group.

3. Make it as user-friendly as possible

Consumers know the value of their data, and with ethics and regulation under the spotlight recently, it’s important to take the privacy of your participants into consideration. Airdrop registration should be a simple task with minimal input needed.

While existing mechanics like Google forms require the input of personal details, this can be off-putting to some people and discourages potential involvement. To encourage more involvement, keep things on a need-to-know basis.

4. Reward engagement

Unique to the progressive airdrop model, participants are provided with the opportunity to access more tokens through engagement. Giving control to participants and acknowledging their interactions and milestones is invaluable in building trust.

Recognising achievements with a badge system or leaderboard can motivate participants to be more active in your community channels. This forms a mutually beneficial relationship and further builds loyalty.

5. Monitor spam

Managing community channels such as Telegram during the airdrop process often means dealing with increased volumes of spam and trolling. This can be detrimental to your credibility and have a negative impact on engaged participants contributing to the conversation. Using anti-spam and anti-abuse policies in conjunction with sentiment detecting and text recognition technology are simple ways of maintaining high-quality discussions.

6. Utilise social media

Integrating follow features into your airdrop mechanic invites participants to continue the conversation across different channels. Spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube about a system like the progressive airdrop not only helps to reach new audiences but bolsters your own message on social media.

qiibee’s tiered achievement system-based airdrop will allow users to earn more QBX the more they participate, with 5,928,750 (or US$ 420,000) of QBX tokens up for grabs from this Monday, 21st May. For more information, visit airdrop.qiibee.com

This article was contributed by Gabriele Giancola, co-founder and CEO of blockchain-powered loyalty ecosystem qiibee

*Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company, product or service. Bitcoin Africa Ltd. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this guest post.*

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