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From its appearance, Bitcoin had to be "mined". At the beginning, it was simple mining - the action of generating the next block. For that, you only used the computational potential for solving certain mathematic problems. And the miner received compensation in crypto-currency - Bitcoin.
However, with time the complexity of problems has been increasing, which leads to greater efforts spent for Bitcoin mining. At the beginning, a PC was enough for this purpose, but now more serious power is needed. These days, mining is conducted on the ultramodern game video cards or even on specialized devices for Bitcoin mining.
Just imagine, the capacity of one video card RadeonHD 7990 has been 1.2 mehahesh per second, and it consumed hundreds of watts. The system ASICRedFury, used today, can product 2.5 mehahesh per second, consuming only 2.5 watts!
With time, groups of miners, called "pools", appear. Users share the capacity of their own computers with each other, and every member receives the reward according to his contribution to the common goal.
The next step was the creation of the so called Bitcoin-farms, the biggest one is located in Hong-Kong. In the time of launching it was mining 26 Bitcoins per day.
As a result, the reward for every new block is gradually decreasing.
But is it possible to get crypto-currency and Bitcoin in particular in some other way? Yes, it is. It's crypto-currency or Bitcoin paw - passive and free way to receive crypto-currency. So how does it happen? You visit a certain website and make a certain action. It can be entering captcha, playing a game or lottery. For that, you receive a certain amount of “Satoshi” – the smallest part of Bitcoin which costs 0,00000001 ВТС.
To earn on Bitcoin paw you must have a Bitcoin wallet, or another wallet, if you’re mining another crypto-currency. When you’ve got a wallet, you can start earning Satoshi. Just go to the website with Bitcoin paw, enter your Bitcoin wallet, enter a captcha, and go on...
If you follow the crypto-currency capitalization market, you would see that Ripple takes second or third place (fighting with brand-new founding Ethereum) after Bitcoin with a market cap of about $273 million. So what is so interesting about Ripple?
First of all, we should admit that Ripple stands apart all altcoins (which are based on Bitcoin). Actually, Ripple in no way is based on Bitcoin system – it is totally created from scratch and uses totally different decisions and conceptions. On the first place Ripple is not crypto-currency, it is gross settlement system and exchange, which is used for any currencies or goods, virtual and real.
Ripple creators say that the idea is older, than Bitcoin system - it existed as early as 2004 in a form of individual project of Ryan Fugger. The project was thought to create a new system of transactions – peer-to-peer system based on the principles of mutual trust. However, the idea was quite innovative and requiring a lot of investments, which were not found by Ripple creator.
The next comeback of Ripple happened in 2011, when the crypto-currency community was ready to assess the possibilities Ripple was suggesting. Ripple was suggesting the global and fast exchange of whatever among any peer-to-peer networks by means of a universal algorithm of consensus (RPCA).
One of the richest Bitcoin-users Jed McCaleb (creator of the file sharing network eDonkey and the biggest Bitcoin-exchange Mt.Gox) was so impressed by Ripple possibilities that he engaged the world-famous investors (one of which is Google ventures) and they together founded Ripple Labs. This was the second, more successful, introduction of Ripple.
Ripple creators say that Ripple goes further than Bitcoin: when the second exists parallel with the traditional financial scheme, then the first integrates the offline financial system into itself, creating new hybrid digital system, based on peer-to-peer technologies and network calculations.
It is not a secret that Ethereum is a center cut of the crypto-currency pie at the moment, and everyone wants to bite as much as possible. Bitcoin is striving to make it by its own way, integrating some Ethereum technologies.
The biggest Bitcoin corporations such as Digital Currency Group, which owns CoinDesk, BitMap, one of the biggest Bitcoin mining companies, and Coinsilium, one of the most powerful blockchain projects investors, have invested $1 000 000 in Rootstock – the company that is going to develop the possibility of using smart contracts on the basis of Bitcoin blockchain.
Rootstock promises to implement multiple innovations. The main one will be the full compatibility with Ethereum. It will allow to run Ethereum contracts on Rootstock as well. The platform will be directed to the block generation every 20 seconds and 300 tps (transactions per second) as a first step, and with the next scaling to 1000 tps. The biggest Rootstock advantage against other platforms, which use personal blockchain, will be the joined mining with Bitcoin, which puts its safety automatically on the level of Bitcoin safety.
Rootstock will be a sidechain of Bitcoin. Sidechain is a blockchain which exists separately from the main chain of blocks, but the funds can be transacted in both directions. This fact allows to easily implement changes and not to be afraid that these innovations go up in smoke, as it happened with hundreds of altcoins. By virtue of such approach the developers don’t need to create a new currency. Instead of this, the accounting unit RTC, which will be used for the Rootstock transactions, will be pegged to BTC.
Rootstock looks like a quite perspective platform for smart-contracts. It promises the Ethereum possibilities and Bitcoin safety. The connection of its accounting unit to Bitcoin will be supported by the federation of trustworthy Bitcoin-companies. The company itself is working upon micro-crediting. RSK platform brings in smart-contracts to the Bitcoin eco-system and expects to increase the income of miners, letting them take a commission for the transactions on RSK contracts.
Rootstock will start the testing period during the month with the help of the group of miners, partners and users. During this summer RST will start implementing wallets and research unit, and plans to further improve the network. It expects to introduce a public beta-version in September, 2016.
When crypto-currencies appeared, it became clear that sooner or later venture investing funds would turn their attention to this field. First their attention was drawn by Bitcoin, then the accents have moved to the side of blockchain technologies and gradually concentrated on Ethereum.
Venture investment in this field is very perspective, and since the priorities of funds have jumped to blockchain, here Ethereum takes the lead. Bitcoin haven’t lost its popularity, but Ethereum has much wider possibilities, not only as crypto-currency only. Blockchain-technologies can be used for the creation of autonomous corporations, and smart-contracts turn heads from the various perspectives of their using.
If we take into consideration the amount of venture capital entered Bitcoin and Ethereum startups in 2015, then this year we will see several quite interesting projects. There are significant reasons to think this way, because despite the fact that many ideas are still on the stage of projecting and developing and one needs a lot of time to adjust and test everything, the feedback from investments is expected to be fast.
Venture capital watches closely Ethereum, since its project declares the tools for app development not only in financial sphere. Evolution in the blockchain world means for venture funds that they must diversify their asset portfolio and change the investing strategies. Except this, the list of correcting elements exists, and it is constantly broadening regardless the investment.
For instance, such projects as Augur have positively influenced on the Ethereum reputation. It claims to the title of the blockchain industry giant and it has the potential to shake the world. The project hasn’t yet started, but the team of developers has perfectly worked and what is already made is made excellently.
So, venture capital, together with Bitcoin-oriented projects, pays more and more attention to Ethereum. Using its blockchain as the basis for various perspective projects can increase competition in the crypto-currency ecosystem, which certainly will work for its favor. It cannot but cheer those who are interested in the crypto-currency news.
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