Author: changehero
December 25, 2019

Holidays are here! It’s the best opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends. There is a misconception that crypto is just used for trading or hodling but ChangeHero is here to bust them all. Blockchain has evolved so much over the years that it is much more accessible and offers a wide range of […]

Things To Do With Crypto This Holiday Season by ChangeHero

Holidays are here! It’s the best opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends. There is a misconception that crypto is just used for trading or hodling but ChangeHero is here to bust them all. Blockchain has evolved so much over the years that it is much more accessible and offers a wide range of things to do for the crypto savvy.

There are a ton of things that you can do this holiday with cryptocurrency and we’ve shortlisted the best for you.

Binge-watch

BInge Watching
Source: Freepik

Grab some popcorn and pick a movie that suits your mood with blockchain-based streaming service Cinezen. To draw an analogy, it is like the Netflix but decentralized and the first-ever Video-On-Demand platform running completely on blockchain. The Swedish startup was founded in 2017 with aims to revolutionize the model of film distribution by bringing rich content directly to the doorstep of the consumers at economical prices. The project is currently in the beta stage and consists of a wide range of film content ranging from documentaries, soviet classics to action-thriller flicks. You can rent the movie of choice by simply paying with Ether(ETH). LBRY is another streaming which allows users to watch content for free.

Munching

Peace of mind

Jazz it up

People enjoying a concert
Photo by William White on Unsplash

For some cool beats to complement the reading or to lit-up the party, there are plenty of music services that let you stream with crypto. Musicoin takes the top place in our opinion as it offers users to stream music for free, but don’t forget to support the community by tipping the musicians. Ujomusic is another similar streaming service which offers listening to the music without any signups. Audius, Emusic, Voise are worth mentioning in this category as well. If you are looking for live concerts, Viberate is arguably the most popular and the largest live music database with hundreds of thousands of artists signed up already. You can pick the one that suits you this holiday and hop on a plane to the venue.

Take off

Shop till you drop

Shopping bags
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Isn’t it the right time to gift your loved ones and one selves too :p? We would say yes. To everyone’s surprise, Microsoft is one of the earlier adopters of crypto which started accepting Bitcoin in 2014. You can get your family games, movies and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores. Then there is Gyft where you can buy gift cards from over 200 retailers with bitcoin.

End on a good note

On a final note, there are a plethora of things that you can be doing this holiday season with your crypto assets. All the mentioned projects not only bring services or things to your door-step but also aims to create a fair economy and fuels the mass adoption of blockchain and crypto. ChangeHero pledges its support to all such projects which are working relentlessly to make crypto and blockchain a better place.

This holiday season, gift your loved ones with crypto. You can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and other popular cryptocurrencies simply with a credit card on ChangeHero.

Be sure to subscribe to ChangeHero Blog and follow us on Twitter, Medium, Telegram  and Facebook to get notified for more such interesting articles and exciting offers.


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Author: changehero
December 19, 2019

Whether you are a veteran hodler or a newcomer to the exciting world of cryptocurrencies, we all are looking for the same things in wallets: security and usability. This week, we want to introduce you to Atomic Wallet that efficiently covers these aspects. Originally a desktop application, Atomic Wallet is available on Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, Debian and […]

How to exchange cryptocurrency on ChangeHero with Atomic wallet?

Whether you are a veteran hodler or a newcomer to the exciting world of cryptocurrencies, we all are looking for the same things in wallets: security and usability. This week, we want to introduce you to Atomic Wallet that efficiently covers these aspects.

Originally a desktop application, Atomic Wallet is available on Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora as well as on mobile devices on Android and iOS. It supports 300+ coins and tokens: BTC, ETH & all ERC-20 tokens, XRP, Cardano, DASH, TRX, LTC, EOS, DOGE, XLM, DGB, BCH, VET, ONG, BNB and so on… As well as native AWC.

The wallet also has in-app exchange and you can perform a peer-to-peer atomic swap. Though right now it only supports BTC, LTC and QTUM, atomic swaps are gaining more attention, so keeping an eye on products that support this technology might be a good idea.

Last but not least, Atomic Wallet is very easy to use thanks to its clean interface.

From a security point of view, Atomic Wallet is a non-custodial HD wallet. Let’s take this definition apart.

Non-custodial means that the private keys belong to the wallet’s user. Only you will have access to all your funds, and the wallet will show what you have but not store or access your assets. What this also means is that backing up the wallet is entirely on you. If you lose your mnemonic seed phrase, your funds become inaccessible, and no one can be held accountable for that. If you keep it though, even if you lose your device, the wallet can be restored from backup using the recovery phrase.

HD, which stands for hierarchical deterministic, means that the wallet generates all the addresses for incoming and outgoing transactions based on one main private key. Thanks to this, only the seed phrase is needed to gain access to user’s funds on different blockchains. However, this also means that if someone gets your seed phrase, they gain access to all your funds stored in a wallet.

In addition, Atomic Wallet uses different kinds of encryption to protect stored and transferred data. Data on your device is encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protocol, and the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol takes care of the data you send or receive.

If you enjoy this wallet’s simplicity and security, you will surely find ChangeHero to be the most appropriate service to exchange your cryptocurrency. And if you’re thinking of trying the wallet out, we can also help you with that! This will take you just a few minutes and very little effort. You can choose the standard rate or go for a fixed rate exchange — we will find the best possible rate regardless. Either way, your transaction will be super fast, and in an unlikely scenario, our support heroes are available round the clock.

How to exchange crypto in ChangeHero with Atomic Wallet?

1. Choose your assets: Go to changehero.io and choose currencies, input the amount you wish to exchange. Check if you chose a fixed or standard rate. ChangeHero will instantly display the estimated amount.

ChangeHero - Instant Cryptocurrency Exchange

2. Provide an address: Generate a recipient address in your Atomic Wallet. Copy the address of the currency you are going to receive and paste it in the next step on the ChangeHero platform.

Atomic wallet interface

Changehero exchange interface

3. Double-check and confirm: In the following step check transaction details and accept Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and KYC Policy before confirming the transaction.

Cofirm transaction - ChangeHero

4. Send the assets: Copy ChangeHero deposit address or scan the QR-code and transfer the necessary amount from your Atomic Wallet.

Exchange process on ChangeHero

Sending crypto on Atomic Wallet

5. Wait… (for the transaction to be confirmed and then for the delivery of your assets) This should take you from just 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the currency.

Exchanging crypto on ChangeHero

Crypto exchanging on ChangeHero

6. Presto! And just like that, we are done! Your funds are now safe with Atomic Wallet.

Transaction complete page on ChangeHero

XRP in atomic wallet

Not too complicated, is it? With the user-friendliness of both services, even a novice can easily exchange crypto on ChangHero with Atomic wallet. You can also add up to your crypto funds in Atomic Wallet by buying them on ChangeHero the same way.

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Author: changehero
December 16, 2019

China is big in many senses of the word. It is the world’s most populous country and a major global economy. The same applies to the context of the crypto industry: China is one of the largest players in the cryptocurrency market. It is no wonder that news from China often attract a lot of […]

The Curious Case of China and Cryptocurrencies by ChangeHero

China is big in many senses of the word. It is the world’s most populous country and a major global economy. The same applies to the context of the crypto industry: China is one of the largest players in the cryptocurrency market. It is no wonder that news from China often attract a lot of attention and sometimes even shake the market up. Why is that? ChangeHero tried looking into this question.

Status quo

On October 24th, President Xi Jinping underscored the importance of developing financial technologies and blockchain — which was followed by a further crackdown on crypto businesses. On a first glance, it might look like a paradox but in the context of the history of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in China, this makes complete sense.

During the last few years, China has had quite a complicated relationship with the nascent crypto industry. The country is the top blockchain adopter in the entire world, a massive amount of cryptocurrency is being mined, stored and circulated within its borders. At the same time, officially they want nothing to do with cryptocurrency which they themselves have made synonymous with “scam” after failing to provide regulation.

Residents and experts alike assure that, while not as massive as before, the trading and usage of cryptocurrency in China is still at large. It is not like using cryptocurrency is unlawful — there is no explicit prohibition on holding coins and tokens or trading currencies. Mining is not illegal, quite the opposite — it is widespread in a few provinces, especially where electricity is subsidized. It is a real, tangible industry with its own practices.

Some exchanges, like Huobi and OKCoin, complied with the official stance and switched to trading currencies on an “over-the-counter” basis. Huobi also thrived thanks to expanding abroad. The new regulations gave an advantage to overseas platforms who targeted Chinese traders — and that is how Binance became one of the largest exchanges in a span of time so short traditional exchanges could only dream about. However, smaller Chinese-based exchanges, like Biss, made headlines for another reason: police investigations.

Divorce from crypto

Blockchain
Photo by Launchpresso on Unsplash

The cryptocurrency boom of 2017 has started an ICO craze in China. Needless to say, fraudsters have seized the opportunity and lots of investors lost their savings permanently. With no legal framework for this new sort of finance, Chinese authorities could not possibly prevent further financial losses or provide victims with returns, and so the crackdown began. State media has adopted a rhetoric, according to which cryptocurrencies are a risky investition at best and an outright scam at worst, and uses it to this day.

Content about cryptocurrencies and blockchain in one post on Weibo (a social media platform massively used in China) is restricted by the service’s guidelines, and existing posts that mentioned both have been taken down. This is also the part of official efforts to support a positive image for the latter and condemn the former. However, with the fact that China still has a large presence on the crypto market, it is obvious that some of its citizens do not restrict their sources of information to the channels that are controlled by the state.

The Chinese policy of separation of blockchain from cryptocurrencies does not affect China only. Official statements from Chinese authorities have caused many a shakeup on the exchanges: September 2017 Announcement caused BTC to drop significantly and its price gained traction after President Xi called for the adoption of blockchain.

Good artists borrow

Some experts claim that separating blockchain technology from its cryptocurrency origins may have actually paved the way for wider adoption of the former in China. In the first half of 2019, a cryptography law was adopted there, which should become the framework for government-backed blockchain applications and — most importantly — the centralized national digital currency.

Since cryptocurrencies do not have “real” value according to the Chinese law, the state has proposed to create their own currency based on blockchain but also provide legal tender for it. In addition to that, this currency will be pegged one-to-one to RMB, just like a stablecoin. CBDC — central bank digital currency — is to be tested in a few select regions by the end of the year and employed more widely in 2020.

Unfortunately for China, their digital currency remaining centralized means that it is compromisable, so the world has yet to see what wonders of cybersecurity the state will have to invent to deter hacking and fraud.

So why should we care about Digital Yuan?

For the same reasons, you would care about digitalization or any currency. Don’t worry, China is unlikely to try and invade the cryptocurrency industry — their goals are different.

Provision of algorithms of CBDC by an authority — in this case, People’s Bank of China — would mean that the state will have easier access to transactions in the network, which facilitates monitoring, but also the expansion of services and lower operational costs. This might set a precedent for other countries. Digital RMB will be more accessible abroad, which is not unimportant to those who wish to partner with Chinese enterprises.

At the same time, the West is watching China with cautious curiosity. Some USA officials and experts are concerned that digital yuan might dethrone the dollar in the global financial system by eliminating the leverage provided by USD and sanctions. The centralized nature of CBDC raises concerns over civil rights with some experts since anonymity and control over one’s finances are not guaranteed at all.

Nonetheless, a few influencers on Twitter have expressed their hopes in the light of President Xi’s endorsement of blockchain. Misha Lederman and Gabor Gurbacs openly praised Chinese policy of technology advancement and noted that the States should follow suit. Lederman also pointed at the largest companies who would see great benefits in this political situation — Tron Network, Binance, the VeChain platform and blockchain project NEO.

With all this in mind, can we really say that China welcomes blockchain? Their vision is obviously different from the original idea of this technology, which is decentralization. Nevertheless, China is not going to miss out on the advantages of digital currency and they are going to do it in their own way. Only time will tell if their initiative becomes a success and gains traction or not. Who knows if the Chinese vision of blockchain influences the technology worldwide? Luckily, we will not have to wait for too long because it all will start really soon.

Now, you’ve seen how the cryptocurrency is regulated in China. Also, check how the countries around the world are regulating crypto.

Bookmark ChangeHero Blog, we publish interesting content on crypto and blockchain. Follow us on TwitterFacebookReddit, Telegram and be the first to get notified.


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Author: changehero
December 4, 2019

Ethereum revolutionized crypto sphere by unleashing the full potential of blockchain. It gave a major breakthrough by enabling developers to build DApps on-chain and laid the foundation to the second generation of the Blockchain. The network has been upgraded over and over again but its scalability is still an issue. Ethereum’s Istanbul Hardfork is going to […]

Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork by ChangeHero

Ethereum revolutionized crypto sphere by unleashing the full potential of blockchain. It gave a major breakthrough by enabling developers to build DApps on-chain and laid the foundation to the second generation of the Blockchain. The network has been upgraded over and over again but its scalability is still an issue.

Ethereum’s Istanbul Hardfork is going to take place on 7th of December. Though the term “Hard fork” sounds scary to some, there isn’t much to be worried. In this post, ChangeHero attempts to clear up things regarding the upcoming Ethereum Hardfork.

What the Fork!

A hard fork is often misinterpreted as a process of blockchain parting ways but it can also be used for upgrading the current network. In the past, there were few instances of creation of new chains from the existing ones due to a hard fork like Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic also came into existence after the infamous DAO hack. Istanbul event is a planned fork and will be focused on upgrading a few aspects of the blockchain to improve the performance and efficiency. The 8th network upgrade will take place at the block number 9069000 and expected this week.

Ethereum has previously succeeded in pushing updates to the platform in batches. Byzantium and Constantinople — sub-sections of the massive Metropolis upgrade is an impressive example of such. Ethereum has decided to take the same approach and divided the fork into two parts. Istanbul Hard Fork is Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) driven. For starters, EIPs are the design documents that provide information about new features including core protocol specifications, client APIs and contract standards.

The first part will include six EIPs related to code modifications that will be upgraded this December.

  • EIP-152: Adds Equihash PoW to the contract and enables Ethereum to conduct relay and atomic-swap transactions with Zcash.
  • EIP-1108: Brings down the expensive zk-SNARKs price, reduces the gas costs and enables cheaper scaling and building privacy-oriented applications.
  • EIP-1344: Adds ChainID opcode for contracts to track the correct chain of state and plasma. It also prevents replay attacks between different chains.
  • EIP-1884: Adjusts the price of EVM opcodes to match with the computation required for a specific operation. It also prevents spamming attacks and balances blocks.
  • EIP-2028: Makes zk-SNARKs and zk-STARKS cheaper by bringing down the prices of gas required for calling data in the transactions.
  • EIP-2200: Restructures calculation of the cost of storage in EVM. Reduces the cost of gas and add news features like re-entry locks and same-contract multi-send.

The initial edition of the event would not have a significant impact on the Ether. Users need not take any additional measures to store or trade Ether. Node runners will have to update their software to a fork-ready version.

Much-awaited sequel

The second part of Istanbul is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2020. Around 8 EIPs have been accepted so far for the second part of the fork including the most anticipated shift to PoS consensus. This results in fixing the problem of scaling and process more transactions per second.

Furthermore, ProgPoW is also expected to be launched during the second instalment of the fork. By introducing this new protocol, Ethereum reduces the effectiveness of the AISCs and enables the traditional GPUS to be utilized in mining. It would ensure that everybody has an equal opportunity to mine Ether.

Road to Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum gave the necessary breakthrough in the world of blockchain. It is the second most valuable and popular cryptocurrency trailing behind the Bitcoin. Though Ethereum is comfortably leading the altcoin pack, other projects are catching up with technological advancements. Ethereum 2.0 can be expected to launch in 2020 powered with a new token and PoS consensus protocol. It would fine-tune the protocol with higher scalability, stability and security. Istanbul Hard Fork is the much-needed upgrade for Ethereum to keep them in the race with others.

On ChangeHero you can buy Ethereum by simply swapping it with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Also, you can buy Ethereum with your Visa or Mastercard in a matter of minutes.

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Author: changehero
December 3, 2019

Derived from Proof-of-Stake, staking is a viable alternative to mining and a passive source of income. It sounds good but has some pitfalls.

Staking by ChangeHero

In the world of crypto, trading and mining are major sources of income. As the interest around crypto grew, competition for crypto mining has intensified. With the increased demand for electricity and computing power, it became cumbersome for enthusiasts to invest in it. This barrier gave rise to a new consensus protocol called Proof-of-Staking. PoS has been gaining traction with crypto investors as an alternative to mining and a source of passive income.

In this post, ChangeHero will give you a brief outline of staking process and how it evolved over time.

The Evolution of Cryptocurrency Staking

Though Proof-of-Work model existed way before 2009, it came into limelight with its application in the Bitcoin Blockchain. POW is used to verify transactions on the blockchain. In order to do this, miners needed serious computing power to solve difficult mathematical puzzles in return for a reward. In this kind of protocol, all the miners compete against each other to find the solution. Bitcoin and Ethereum are a couple of popular platforms which use this consensus mechanism.

However, the PoW protocol is often criticized for its outrageous electricity consumption and pricey hardware. Also, energy spent on finding the block goes in vain if the miner is unable to find one.

Staking by ChangeHero
Source: Tenor

In 2012, Sunny King and Scott Nadal came up with the Proof-of-Stake system as a replacement to the PoW protocol. The major difference of PoS from the former is that there is no competition for the block creation. Instead of miners performing calculations, in proof-of-stake blockchains a block producer gets nominated based on their crypto holdings. But it falls short in maintaining decentralized governance as more power is vested in the hands of token holders with large amounts of cryptocurrency.

Later in 2014, Daniel Larimer developed the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) mechanism. DPoS aimed to overcome the limitations of both the PoW and PoS systems. DPoS protocol involves a voting system in which the token holders elect representatives. These delegates confirm and validate transactions and maintain consensus. The delegate collects staking rewards and then proportionally distributes them to the voters. If the selected node is not efficient then it will be expelled and replaced with another one.

Staking

Staking is derived from the concept of PoS. Anyone can stake crypto to create a block or elect the delegates depending on the blockchain. In return, they will be able to earn staking rewards. Also staking crypto enables the user to contribute to the governance of the platform and participate in important decision making events.

In staking, a user has to lock their funds in a wallet for a fixed period of time. The more coins held and longer the duration, the higher the staking rewards a user will gain. User will not be able to spend those coins as long as they are participating in staking.

The locked funds act as collateral, and malicious actors will lose their funds and get suspended should they try to breach the system. A deterministic algorithm selects the validators through a randomization mechanism usually considering the stake size and age of coin inputs.

There is also Cold Staking. In this case, staked crypto is in a hardware wallet and the user receives rewards unless they move the coins from the wallet.

The Pool

The PoS protocol has gained the attention of people as an easy way of making passive income. But in order to maximize the odds of gaining rewards, a user must hold a huge amount of staking power.

Staking Pool offers a solution by collecting the staking power of a group of people to verify and validate blocks. An operator manages a pool, and users joining the pool must lock up funds in a particular address. Though staking pools offer a consistent flow of rewards, they are usually small as the participants split the rewards. In addition, they also levy a fee for the technical setup and maintenance which reduces the payouts even further.

Perks of Crypto Staking

  • Eliminates the need for purchasing expensive hardware to maximize the chances of finding the block.
  • Reduces power consumption and is more energy-efficient than mining.
  • Ensures a constant flow of rewards and acts as a reliable source of passive income.
  • Value of the crypto assets doesn’t depreciate with time unlike the computing hardware in the mining.

Risks of Staking

In crypto staking, a user has to lock the funds in a wallet, so it is vulnerable to the volatility. You can’t move locked tokens, which is fatal in a bearish run while price depreciates. Besides, the rewards earned from staking crypto are small and it takes fairly long to receive maximum returns.

The Alternative

All in all, staking is a viable alternative to mining and a passive source of income. It is relatively easy to stake crypto as many wallets embed the feature within the application. Bigger players like Binance and Coinbase support staking of popular cryptocurrencies, too.

Furthermore, Ethereum’s transition into PoS will significantly impact the crypto ecosystem and bring more people on board. Staking not only yields rewards to HODLers but also ensures decentralization by vesting the users with voting power to decide on the future of the blockchain.

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