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Cardano: Blockchain 3.0 (Introductory article; Not a piece of investment advice)

Cardano: Blockchain 3.0 (Introductory article; Not a piece of investment advice)
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We have compiled an article about Cardano. The main motto of this post is to give a quick summary of Cardano to the users. Please feel free to comment your opinions, views and spark a discussion. It would help us in delivering better content. Thanks in advance.

Cardano: Blockchain 3.0
Cryptocurrencies came into existence to eliminate the need for middlemen while transacting value from one to another. Satoshi Nakamoto was able to achieve this with the help of Blockchain technology. Though it gave the world Bitcoin, it was confined just to payments and hasn’t evolved to a greater extent. Ethereum exploited the blockchain technology and introduced the revolutionary smart contracts. Though this marked the beginning of the second generation of the blockchain, some challenges were left unsettled. Cardano took a distinctive approach in fixing the persisting issues by building on the already existing things that made sense and adding sustainable features with the help of new technology and innovation. In this post, ChangeHero will introduce give you a quick summary of Cardano.
Cardano is a decentralized blockchain aiming to build a platform for the development of DApps and verifiable smart contracts. Dubbed as the third generation of the blockchain, Cardano aims to fix the pestering problems like scalability, interoperability and sustainability. Charles Hoskinson, Ethereum’s co-founder launched Cardano in the year 2015. Additionally, three organizations support and contribute to the development of the ecosystem. Cardano Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland, oversees and supervises the development of the ecosystem. Input Output HK (IOHK) is an independent firm contracted to carry out the designing and building of the network. Finally, Emurgo is employed to boost adoption through its commercial ventures.
It is the first blockchain which is based on scientific philosophy and developed by academics and engineers around the world. Unlike the traditional cryptocurrency projects, Cardano did not start with a whitepaper, instead, it began with a set of principles. Cardano is a multi-layered protocol — Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) used to settle transactions of ADA and functions similar to other networks for recording the transactions. The second one is called Cardano Control Layer (CCL) and used for smart contracts. This strategy of using different layers enables storing of metadata separately and strengthens the security of the network. The platform uses Haskell coding language and the smart contracts to be coded in Plutus. In addition, Marlowe, a new language, designed specifically for the freshmen in development to build financial instruments like smart contracts. These are functional programming languages which strengthen the security and accommodates for quick changes in case of future updates.
Scaling with Ouroboros
Scalability is a baffling issue that all the cryptocurrencies face. Cardano network itself was built in a layered structure to cope with the scalability issues. As explained earlier, transactions and smart contracts take place on different layers and the information will not be shared from one to another. In addition, Cardano tackles this with a modified version of Proof-of-Stake consensus called Ouroboros, a Provably Secure Proof of Stake. Unlike Bitcoin, all the nodes in Cardano are not required to have a full copy of the blockchain. Instead, a slot leader brings all these nodes together in the process of reaching a consensus. Though full nodes like Daedalus wallets can reach consensus, only slot leaders are capable of creating and adding a block to the chain. In Ouroboros, time is divided into Epochs which further sectioned into slots. These slots are short periods of time which usually last for 20 seconds. Each slot will have its own slot leader who works similar to miners and responsible for confirming the transaction and adding blocks to the chain. They can create not more than one block per slot and the transaction fees along with the block rewards of the epoch will be pooled together and distributed to these leaders and further to the stakeholders.
Theoretically, even a user holding 1 ADA can become a slot leader but the probability is quite low. At the moment, there is no accurate figure of ADA to be staked to get a chance to add the block. We’ve also been hearing that it would be somewhere between a million and two million ADA to become a slot leader. But it's clear that the higher the stake, the higher the chances of becoming a slot leader. These qualified candidates are considered electors for the next epochs. Elections will be held by a random number generation method and the owner of the coin becomes a slot leader for the next epoch. Cardano has also adopted the RINA (Recursive Inter-Network Architecture) to improve the scaling. On top of this, the team is inclined towards Partitioning in which users can have only a chunk of blockchain and aiming to achieve this through side chains.
Interoperability with Side Chains
Even in 2020, it is difficult for different blockchains to understand each other and even tougher to communicate with traditional financial services. Though cryptocurrency exchanges bridge the gap, they are vulnerable to attacks and can be influenced by regulatory policies. Cardano envisions to build the Internet of blockchain and enable users to perform cross-chain transactions with the help of side chains. Cardano supports the Kiayias, Miller and Zindros (KMZ) proofs of proofs of work to allow for the movement of funds from the CSL to CCL and other blockchains as well. Moreover, Cardano is also working on a mechanism to incorporate the Metadata into the transaction in an encrypted manner.
There are a ton of projects in the blockchain space. To stay alive in this red ocean, continuous innovation and a robust governance system are a must. Sustainability lies right in the core of Cardano. The ecosystem has a grants fund called Treasury. Whenever a block is added to the chain, a part of the reward will be added to the Treasury. Someone who intends to develop the platform can submit a ballot for a grant which will be decided by the stakeholders through voting. As the network grows and the transactions increase, and the funds in the treasury keeps on filling up. This results in the availability of funds all the time for the development of the network.
In addition, the network will use Liquid Democracy for governance providing more room for the stakeholders. Furthermore, the team aims to build a constitution for the protocol to avoid any unintentional hard forks. Cardano follows a timeline in the form of eras to deploy vital upgrades to the platform. On February 20, the team has successfully completed the OBFT hard fork, a pre-planned one. It is a development over the already existing consensus mechanism, Ouroboros Classic. With this planned upgrade, Cardano has begun the transition to the Shelley era which focuses on the community and decentralization.
ADA is the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano network. The sole purpose of the Cardano is to enable a true peer-to-peer payment with the help of the ADA digital currency. Simply put, ADA can be used to transact value across individuals without any middlemen. It does allow the developers to create smart contracts and also provides voting rights to the holders for governance. Furthermore, the team specifically designed the Daedalus wallet for holding and transacting ADA. Nope, not going to discuss pricing here)
Blockchain 3.0
Despite the criticism for its consensus mechanism and delays in the network upgrades, Cardano is delivering on what it promised. With all being said, Cardano is a unique project which is delivering the best by fusing in the essentials from the existing chains and adding sustainable features through innovation in a scientific approach. For the Blockchain 3.0, the best bet would be to wait for the future upgrades and witness how things unfold.
Finally, a big shoutout to the Cardano community on Reddit for their comments and feedback on the article.
Upvote and comment if you have enjoyed the article. As always, follow ChangeHero here for more of such informative and interesting articles on crypto.
Edit: Made changes as per the feedback to make the content more accurate. Edited the original article published on Medium as well. A big thanks to all of you guys.
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The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Payment Networks

What are peer to peer transactions?

Peer-to-peer transactions (P2P) are the electronic transfer of money from one person to another often aided by a P2P payment application. P2P Payments can be sent and received via smart devices and offer a convenient alternative to traditional payment methods.
Since the likes of PayPal which popularized P2P transfers into the mainstream, the industry has grown at phenomenal rates; Statista reported $139 billion worth of payment volume in Q2 for the company, up 29% from the same period the year prior. Zelle, another leading player in the industry, expect to hit 27.4 million U.S. users this year which is a massive 73% increase.
The industries growth can largely be attributed to the prevalence of smartphones which allows people to use their phone as a wallet; up until this relatively recent technological transition people had to rely on banks or hard cash to store and transfer wealth.
The P2P payments sector has now entered yet another revolutionary wave by becoming decentralized, sparked by the likes of digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The former COO of PayPal describes cryptocurrencies as “fulfilling the company’s original vision of a global currency” due to their use of shared ledgers rather than a centralized one.

How does it work?

Jennifer is looking to transfer £100 to her friend James in France.
Similarly, Linda is looking to send £100 worth of Euros to her friend Luke in the UK.
If they are all participants of the same P2P platform, the system will match everyone and ensure the funds are transferred smoothly. In essence, Jennifer’s £100 goes to Luke and Linda’s £100 worth of Euros goes to James. This effectively means if enough people participated, money would never have to leave the system. A payment would become just a database entry, crediting one account and debiting another. This system comes with a huge number of benefits over traditional transaction methods.

What are the benefits?

Low Fees

People can experience several types of fees transferring money internationally, the largest being transfer fees and exchange rates.
Low transfer fees are a massively attractive proposition for users. Traditional international payments involve expensive processing and service costs due to the number of intermediary banks, brokers and middle men involved. A peer-to-peer infrastructure however avoids all of this as the payments are made directly between two users. While banks typically charge an extortionate rate of around 5%, P2P service applications cut this down to between 0.5% and 1.5%. Cryptocurrency rates vary but are generally even cheaper with the proceeds going towards miners for validating the transaction.
Users can save further as money transfer services usually offer better exchange rates than banks who save their best rates for high spending customers such as large corporations, governments and institutions.

Ease of use & convenience

In addition to this, P2P payments are incredible easy to use. Money can be sent at the click of a button with minimal effort from the user. Standard payment methods are far more inconvenient often requiring a bank/ATM trip or tedious manual input of account details.


Transferring funds internationally can also take several days for completion through traditional methods, this is a ridiculously long time in comparison to P2P services and cryptocurrencies that can achieve the same in a matter of seconds.


For the most part P2P payment services are secure as the transactions are encrypted, as are bank account and credit card information. Different payment applications vary in terms of security strength but on the whole these applications are safe to use, just not to the same extent as bank transfers.


The primary reason 85% of international transactions are still made by banks is due to this lack of confidence against security and fraud; there is still a level of uncertainty when it comes to sending large volumes of money across a P2P payment service. Although not as secure as traditional methods, it is under great interest for P2P payment solutions to implement appropriate data security policies and procedures as without doing so the companies can experience massive fines. On top of this users can take personal measures to improve the security of their P2P applications such as two factor authentication and company research.
These newer cryptocurrency options however are actually even safer than bank transfers due to their use of blockchain technology which is renowned for being resistant to fraudulent activity. Additionally, the anonymity aspect means there is very little personal information that cyber-scammers can access.
The only negative associated is that on the rare occasion something may go wrong, such as sending money to an incorrect address, no one is in place to reimburse the funds. Due to their decentralized nature no middle men are in place to correct such mistakes, it is up to the recipient’s discretion to make any refunds which can be an uncomfortable prospect.

The bottom line…

Transactions have evolved from slow traditional banking payments, to centralized P2P payment services, to decentralized P2P networks. There is a reason these upcoming digital technologies are changing the landscape as the few risks associated are far outweighed by the benefits. The faster transactions, lower fees and high security of P2P systems are making for incredibly appealing alternative that the younger generations are fully embracing.

Plutus, assisting the transformation

Plutus are enabling users to instantly convert and spend their cryptocurrencies without experiencing any fees through the use of their decentralized P2P exchange known as PlutusDEX.
Unlike centralized exchanges, the users’ funds are at no point stored in a company wallet ensuring the users are in possession of their funds at all times which is a massive deal. “If you don’t own your private keys, you don’t own your bitcoin.” With centralized exchange wallets, you are not in possession of the private keys, the exchange is. This can be a shocking realisation for many people and it should be. In 2014 the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange service Mt. Gox, had 850,000 bitcoins belonging to both the company and customers stolen which makes the development of a peer-to-peer decentralized exchange such as PlutusDEX so advantageous.
On top of this they have wrapped it all into a user friendly Tap & Pay app which allows users to spend their converted crypto at any brick and mortar globally. Plutus is now in beta testing, take a look here:
submitted by Plutusit to plutus [link] [comments]

CARDANO - The New Generation Blockchain

CARDANO - The New Generation Blockchain
As we progress into a new era, we witness progress and new trends in the block-chain’s technology. These swings will bring about great changes in the pre-existing systems. The technological evolution we are bringing up in this article is “Cardano”.
Cardano is a public blockchain for wide adoption which not only makes Decentralized Application (Dapp) development easy but it is scalable, interoperable and sustainable. Cardano Core is written on Haskell programming language and enables writing smart contracts not only on Plutus but also on other languages including Solidity, C#, C++, Java, Python etc. It is an open source public blockchain project which conveys innovative features and capabilities better than any other blockchain platform. It is the first blockchain platform that has a Research driven approach and is constructed on Peer-Review Academic Research.
Generations of Blockchain
Blockchain can be divided into three generations. First one comprises of Bitcoin and all early coins, while the second generation of Ethereum evolved with smart contracts and tokens and now we have the third generation which is up-to-the-minute and this is where Cardano belongs.
The Bitcoin Generation
This is supposed to be the first generation of blockchain. It is a distributed ledger system based on Proof-Of-Work (PoW). A Proof-of-Work (PoW) system (or protocol, or function) is an economic measure to deter denial of service attacks and other service abuses such as spam on a network by solving difficult mathematical problem.
A reward is given to the miner who first solves each block problem. It is a frame work developed for peer to peer transaction that will only involve the sender and the receiver (no third-party interference). While it revolutionized the technological world, it has its drawbacks. Bitcoin framework is highly inefficient in its performance. For any transaction on the frame work a minimum of 10 minutes are required for a block to be developed and 3.5~ 7 transactions per second. This makes the system very slow and inefficient.
The Ethereum Generation
Ethereum is the second generation blockchain framework. It is Proof-Of-Work (PoW) based as well but it extends the blockchain for its use in other applications that will be completely automated. It commenced the idea of “Smart Contracts”. These are basically self-executing codes that do not require any 3rd party to moderate the contract. Smart Contracts are immutable which make them more robust. Ethereum uses Solidity as the core language and solidity compiler for running the smart contracts. It takes 2-3 minutes to create a new block and generates 15-20 transactions per second which is still not acceptable for any system.
All these inefficiencies engendered the need of an innovative and more efficient system. That’s when we entered the 3rd generation of blockchain framework.
The Cardano Generation
There are three companies working at the base of Cardano namely; IOHK, The Cardano Foundation and Emurgo. IOHK is the core organization involved in the advancement and establishment of Cardano.
Features of Cardano:
Before we move towards the specifics, here are some important terms to understand that define how Cardano works considering design philosophy of scalability, interoperability, and sustainability.
1. Coding Language: Cardano is written in Haskell which is a functional programming language. Cardano protocols are distributed and linked with cryptography which requires a high degree of fault tolerance and Haskell is here to justify the requirements.
2. Peer-Reviewed Research: Cardano is built upon the foundation of peer-Reviewed Research which is shaped by the collaboration of world’s leading university’s academic groups and capable developers who review a number of different research papers and verify their contribution to cryptography.
3. Proof of Stack (PoS) protocol: Ourobrus is the proof of stake algorithm, which is the first ever blockchain protocol based on proof of stake (PoS). It expresses how to reach consensus about the state of ledger in the nodes.
4. Layered Technology: Scalability and Security in Cardano is offered through the layered architecture, which includes the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) and Cardano Computation Layer (CCL). IOHK developers established the CSL layer cryptographic currency which acts as a ledger of accounts and balance, while the CCL layers are the keys that act as a source of information on why the transactions occurs.
5. Unique Governance Model: Cardano bring novelty by introducing unique on-chain governance model where the community proposes updates to the blockchain, while the suggested updates will be voted by the Ada coin holders. The updates having more approvals will be definite to encode in blockchain.
6. Cardano Monetary Policy: Cardano includes treasury in their monetary policy and the treasury will be endowed by the small fees from the transaction occurred by the Ada coin holders and the treasury will be governed by the da holders. Minimal transaction fee that will be endowed =0.155381 ADA + 0.000043946 (ADA/Byte) * size-of-transaction.
Selection of the Slot-Leader:
Numbers are assigned to nodes starting from the one with the most positive stakes. A coin toss, similar to a cricket match toss, decides the stake holder for a new slot every time. The stakeholder who is selected after the toss is assigned a slot for the block’s verification. This stakeholder becomes the Slot-Leader for a specified slot. Every slot has a different leader for its verification. If the slot-leader fails to verify the block within the given slot then he no more remains a stakeholder and waits until he again becomes stakeholder. To generate blocks in the blockchain, a stakeholder must be elected as a slot-leader. A slot-leader can interpret who receives transactions from other nodes and can make a block of that transactions and publish it on the network by signing the block with a secret key.
Slots and Epochs:
The Proof of Stake (PoS) ouroboros protocol divides the physical time into epochs and then the epochs are then further divided into slots (SL), slot (SL) is a short period of time and every slot has one slot leader (SL). Every Slot Leader (SL) can produce only one block (BL) during the assigned slot.
Cardano is Proof-Of-Stake centered. The Proof-of-stake is based on a stake system in which users use their coins as a stake. Users with the maximum stakes (i.e. coins) would have the authority to verify the transactions. The person with the most stakes would verify the next block and for their services there is no reward, but a transaction fee is paid for the transaction services. It resolves the concerns that occurred in PoW’s structure. Not only had the speed of transaction increased in Cardano, but also its security and decentralization. It focuses on the effective application performance. It enables inter-operability and uses Ouroboros PoS centered algorithm.
Cardano has an IELE compiler (which is variant of LLVM, modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies) for running its smart contracts. It is better than EVM as it identifies additional errors which might have occurred when the code of smart contact is deployed. EVM is a stack-based machine while IELE is registered based machine. IELE gas calculation is based on the philosophy of “no limitations but pay for what you consume”. The more registers an IELE program uses, the more gas it consumes. Hence it boosts the accuracy of the code for the smart contract and no neglected errors remain. It provides security and scalability through its layered architecture. It is built on a solid research base which increases its authenticity. Cardano’s smart contracts are in improved human readable form. Cardano have KEVM which is semantic of Ethereum Virtual machine and is available for use.
Comparison of Cardano with other Blockchain Platforms:
The time taken to make a new block in Cardano’s frame work is as low as 5-20 seconds. Currently Cardano is in its Byron (Bootstrap Era) that is its test phase, so it makes 5-7 transactions per second. After the new update, which uses the Shelley Protocol, the transaction speed will increase to 4000+ per second. Cardano can scale billion transactions per second, it means that Cardano’s scaling will increase as per the need.
Shelly Protocol
The main purpose of Shelley is to develop a full decentralized protocol in Cordano to upgrade the network node protocol in a decentralized way so that in future Cardano will not have to rely on IOHK or any other Governance to maintain its network. Shelly Workstreams consists of following:
  1. Delegation: This allows stakeholders to sign blocks to third party by delegation, by which stakeholders do not need to run their own nodes.
  2. Incentives: There is a monetary incentive for the stakeholders to run the system smoothly by following the protocol. It designed the incentives in such a way which makes the entire protocol stable.
  3. Networking: Networking will provide network infrastructure which will support the decentralization of Cardano blockchain. It will enable Cardano to be independent from any governance.
Cardano Consensus algorithm
Consensus algorithm of Cardano is introduced with increased features which could possibly drop the popularity of older cryptos like Bitcoin and ether. Cardano brought novelty in their consensus algorithm called ouroboros which is innovative and triggers a lot of security features. Cardano is the first ever bock chain platform which user unique and true Proof of Stake algorithm, which is never implemented by any other blockchain platform before. Ethereum is trying to gain it, while Bitcoin don’t show interest in Proof of Stake.
Plutus Programming Language
For writing smart contracts, Cardano supports plutus which is a pure functional programming language syntax like Haskel and higher level and simplified version of Haskell.
The syntax of plutus programming language has more similarity with mathematics then any programming language before. Below is the example of an additional function written in plutus:
add : Nat -> Nat -> Nat {
add Zero n = n ;
add (Suc m) n = Suc (add m n)
Cardano Test-nets Virtual Machines:
Up till now Cardano Launched two of their test-nets to increase the interaction of community, who will have opportunity to sense the real hands-on experience on Cardano’s Blockchain. Test-nets includes:
· KEVM Test-net
· IELE Test-net
KEVM is the Cardano’s first test-net based on Ethereum Virtual Machine with the K-Framework, this technology was produced with collaboration of IOHK. Developers can take any application that runs on EVM (Ethereum Virtaul Machine) and then execute on KEVM which will translate it into Cardano. IELE is the second Cardano test-net launch, a new virtual machine for Cardano using IELE. Developers will be able to write the smart contracts, compile and execute them with high security as compared to the initial test-net release of KEVM. For now the recommended language to write smart contract on test-nets is solidity, while the vision is to develop a cross-language platform by which developers will be able to write smart contracts in any high-level programming languages which will be translated to IELE ensuring the optimality of code.
Cardano Cryptocurreny Wallet
Daedalus is the open source cryptocurreny wallet for Ada (Cryptocurrency of Cardano). To use the Daedalus wallet, we must download it. It is a secure and multi-platform wallet for Ada Cryptocurrency. After downloading and installing daedalus wallet, you will be asked to sync the blocks from Cardano blockchain which may take some time. After the synchronization of blocks, create your wallet. This wallet will enable sending and receiving of Ada.
Cardano is presuming to enhance the blockchain system’s swiftness of transaction, speed of block creation, security, consistency, robustness and the most important of all decentralization. We are keeping our hopes high in believing that Cardano will achieve not only what it promises but much more as it will evolve over time and would not require any centralized party control.
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