Ep204: NXT & Ardor’s Proof of Stake, Spotify Goes Blockchain, DASH Commerce with CryptoWoo & BitCart

Neocash Radio celebrates 4 years of podcasting! Darren and JJ discuss the changing crypto evolution over the last 4 years. A review of NXT and Ardor Proof of Stake platforms. What happened to last year’s Mycelium Crowdsale? Bitfinex, Poloniex and the Bitcoin Price disparity. Litecoin activates SegWit and what happens next. Spotify acquires Mediachain to deliver royalties directly to the artists on a blockchain. Bank of America works with Microsoft on a blockchain project based on Ethereum. Darren talks about DASH news with CryptoWoo, BitCart, and Venezuelan exchange Cryptobuyer adding DASH to their Crypto options. Enterprise Ethereum Alliance brings businesses to the blockchain. Pedro talks about the reaction to the launch of the Ethereum IRA.

All this and more on the Neocash Radio podcast, episode 204 — Wednesday, April 26th, 2017!

We’ve written out short overviews of the topics discussed on today’s show below! Be sure to listen in to the whole podcast to get more information, insights, and thoughts on each of them from JJ, Darren, Randy, and Pedro!

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Traditional Financial Markets Cryptocurrency Markets
Gold $1,269 Bitcoin (BTC) $1,282
Silver $17.47 Ethereum (ETH) $53.15
Oil $49.26 DASH $71.24
Dow Jones 20,975 points Zcash (ZEC) $71.93
30Y UST Yield 2.963% Monero (XMR) $19.44
Litecoin (LTC) $14.98

NXT: a Proof-Of-Stake Open Source Blockchain

NXT cryptocurrency proof-of-stake blockchainNXT was created by Bitcointalk.org member BCNext in 2013. The genesis block was forged on the 24th of November 2013 with 1 Billion coins distributed among 73 initial donors. BCNext helped move development along for several months but then departed from the scene… not to be heard from again, similar to the anonymous inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakomoto.

NXT uses Proof-Of-Stake to forge new blocks. The larger your NXT holdings the more likely you are to forge a block. Rather than creating new coins with each block the node that forges the block collects all the fees from transactions. Currently the fees per block averages at about 2.8 NXT, though currently there are many blocks that are empty. Blocks are forged every minute.

The NXT client has many additional features including an asset exchange, marketplace, messaging, even cloud hosting.

Since 2014, the NXT Foundation has developed the platform and has recently branched out. Jelurida has been created by the NXT core developers to bring both the NXT blockchain and the yet to be released Ardor platform.

Ardor "Blockchain as a service" crypto coin on NXT proof-of-stake blockchainThe Ardor platform is referred to as NXT version 2.0. The platform is built around the idea of “blockchain as a service”—child chains that resolve on one secure mainchain: The Ardor Main Chain. Child chains will be able to craft their own environment and issue their own tokens or currencies. Ostensibly, a child chain user could never have any interaction with the Ardor Main Chain.

Child chains are resolved at some frequency by attaching a block to the Ardor Main Chain through Bundle contracts. Say I have a child chain that has issued Neocash Radio Tokens. I would put up an offer to pay someone in Neocash Radio Tokens to add my child chain block to the Ardor Main Chain. That someone would then spend Ardor tokens to add my block onto the Ardor Main Chain. I don’t know why I couldn’t fulfill that bundle contract myself.

As a side effect you have the native currencies of the child chains being used to pay for the security of the Ardor Main Chain. Once my Neocash Radio block has been added to the Ardor main chain I can prune my child chain as there is reference point saved elsewhere.  I could also elect to hire or implement an archival node to key a full copy of my Neocash Radio child blockchain. The potential value of this child chain system could be found in mobile devices and the internet of things.

One more item to note: The NXT client generates brain wallets based off a pass-phrase. You can log into your wallet from any NXT client in the world! With the upcoming release of Ardor the NXT platform is going to be marketed as a Private Blockchain solution where end users will license and run their own version of the NXT Blockchain.

As of this episode NXT is trading for 2.7 cents and ARDR is trading for 4 cents.

You can donate NXT or Ardor to Neocash Radio at this address: NXT-TT49-WV65-HZJA-5EJF9

Why are cryptocurrency prices on Bitfinex & Poloniex so much higher than other exchanges?

We discuss the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DASH pricing disparity on Bitfinex and Poloniex, and again reference the ideas of Twitter user @bitfinexed, who believes that something akin to the MtGox crash is happening behind the scenes with Bitfinex and Tether. We spoke more about some of Bitfinex’s recent troubles on last week’s podcast.

What Happened to Last Year’s Mycelium Crowdsale?

What happened with Mycelium Wallet's ICO token sale?Popular cryptocurrency wallet Mycelium held an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) last year, promising revamped versions of its mobile wallets, but Mycelium Wallet product manager Dmitry “Rassah” Murashchik told Bitsonline that the 5,131.445 BTC raised in Mycelium’s ICO had largely been spent “mostly on salaries for managers, developers and other support staff. […] Financially separating wallet development from the rest of the company required Mycelium to form new corporations,” which also reportedly drained funds.

Spotify acquires Mediachain to develop blockchain technology that matches royalties with rightsholders

Spotify acquires Mediachain to use blockchain technology for music digital rights management and royalties paymentsPopular music-streaming service Spotify has acquired Mediachain, an “open source peer-to-peer database and protocol for registering, identifying, and tracking creative works across the internet.” Mediachain uses blockchain technology to enable creators and rightsholders to prove they are the owner of a piece of music and receive payment.

The problem that can arise for companies like Spotify is that they sometimes don’t know who to pay (or how much) when all the royalties agreements aren’t clearly spelled out, common with smaller artists or indie labels. Swedish-based Spotify recently passed 50 million paid users (over 100 million total users) and last month, they paid a $30 million settlement to the National Music Publishers’ Association over unpaid royalties and agreed to establish best practices that would help match music streams with the artists and rightsholders.

Litecoin (LTC) will activate SegWit


The Litecoin network has signaled that Segregated Witness (SegWit) will be activated, since more than 75% of the blocks mined over the past two weeks signaled support for it. While the contentious SegWit vs. Bitcoin Unlimited block size debate rages on for Bitcoin, Litecoin will be a testnet of sorts for SegWit adoption, which could also allow for testing other potential off-chain scaling solutions like the Lightning Network and sidechains.

Bank of America’s New Microsoft-Powered Blockchain Project

Letters of credit are what banks give clients when they’re dealing with new customers who may not know their client well. It’s a payment of last resort in which the bank agrees to pay the tab in case the client is unable to do so.

On average, Microsoft says it uses about two letters of credit per week, but that figure increases dramatically on a seasonal basis.

To build a prototype blockchain solution, Marley Gray (the MS lead blockchain engineer) and his team worked alongside several Bank of America team members to calculate the number of steps the counterparties in a standby letter of credit transaction need to conduct, everything from handwritten notes to phone calls and faxes.

In total there are 15 steps that would need to be conducted by four counterparties, including a customer, a beneficiary and each of the counterparty banks.

The application process takes about five business days, and the team identified an error rate as high as a 50% due to factors like poor data entry and illegible handwriting.

The resulting cost per letter of credit is between $2,500 and $15,000 depending on the number of errors.

Built on a multi-node, private installation of the ethereum blockchain, the prototype simplifies the standby letter for credit process from 15 to four steps. And with a 0% error rate, it cuts the time down from five days to between five and 10 minutes.

The benefits of such a streamlining include not only helping Microsoft and Bank of America save time by reducing errors, but increasing transparency, resulting in a more efficient means to manage cash flow and working capital.  Work continues to productionalize this blockchain based process.

Enterprise Ethereum & The Future of Blockchains

A panel discussion is taking place tonight in New York called “Enterprise Ethereum & The Future of Blockchains.”

“The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. Together, we will learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production – Ethereum – to define enterprise-grade software capable of handling the most complex, highly demanding applications at the speed of business.”

The discussion will be posted to YouTube, and will feature representatives from JP Morgan, ConsenSys, Monax, BlockApps and BNY Mellon discussing:

  • The relationship between Enterprise Ethereum and the public Ethereum blockchain
  • How the private side supports the public chain and vice versa
  • The technologies currently being built and their use cases
  • Their vision for the future and how they’ll get there

DASH partners with e-commerce firms Bitcart & Cryptowoo, plus Venezuelan exchange Cryptobuyer

DASH (Digital Cash) cryptocurrency with instant send & private send features like coin mixingDASH announced today that they’ve teamed up with Irish-based discount gift card platform BitCart to allow users to buy gift cards for Amazon.com (and hotels.com soon) using DASH, often at a discount of up to 20%.

It was also announced today that CryptoWoo has also integrated DASH, allowing e-commerce websites and companies to accept DASH as a method of payment (along with the other cryptocurrencies supported by Cryptowoo: Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin).

And Venezuela-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptobuyer has finalized its integration of DASH. Venezuelans can now use Cryptobuyer to access DASH and Bitcoin and exchanged them for Bolivars, the Venezuelan currency which is suffering massive hyperinflation, as we’ve discussed numerous times here on the Neocash Radio cryptocurrency podcast. As the Bolivar continues to sink in value, Venezuelans are looking for any type of currency which might hold its value more steadily than their failing fiat.

Related reading: General Motors says Venezuela has seized its car plant

Ether IRA Hailed As ‘Game-Changer’ For Mainstream Adoption

We discussed the Ethereum IRA briefly on last week’s podcast, but Pedro brought along some additional facts from a recent article on ETHnews.com discussing the company behind the BitcoinIRA and EtherIRA:

“The firm, based in Los Angeles, has evolved from its 2012 roots in self-directed IRAs. There are now about 15 employees. Since it began selling bitcoins in June, investors have purchased about $10 million worth of the virtual currency. The average investment in cryptocurrency has been $45,000. The company services customers who have accounts ranging from less than $10,000 to those who have rolled over $400,000 at once.”

Did you catch our latest special bonus episode?

Swarm City decentralized sharing economy on the Ethereum blockchain with SWT tokensOur friend Matt Carano stopped by Neocash Radio HQ to talk with us on how Swarm City and its Ethereum-based SWT tokens are looking at ways to create peer-to-peer communities without any intermediaries. Decentralized ridesharing is the first use case—picture Uber and Lyft without the middleman taking a big cut—but Matt tells us how else Swarm City is looking to connect users directly.

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