While Bitcoin is the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency, investors should keep in mind that there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies to consider.
The second-largest crypto by market cap is Ethereum (ETH), and its goal is to enable individuals to use digital money without the need for banks. It’s also programmable so it provides a rich marketplace for financial services, games, and applications built on a sensor-less internet.
While ETH isn’t in the news as often as Bitcoin, that doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy of an investment.
In this article, we’ll discuss five reasons to consider investing in Ethereum for your portfolio. If you’re new to the crypto space, or you’re someone that is looking to invest in Ethereum, then some of these reasons might surprise you.
1. Ability to Earn Interest with Staking
Ethereum’s recent upgrade to Ethereum 2.0 has moved the platform to a proof-of-stake network.
This requires users to stake their Ethereum to the network to help validate transactions. For your services, you’ll earn ETH as rewards, similar to earning interest. The more you stake, the more you earn with current participants earning about 10% annual yield on their staked ETH as a reward. This will fluctuate slightly depending on the number of stakers currently on the network.
2. Robust Use Case
Ethereum is often described as “digital oil” by providing a technology that enables new applications to be built on top of it such as digital art, decentralized gaming, crowdfunding through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Stablecoins, and more.
One of the biggest use cases has been decentralized finance (“DeFi”). DeFi allows seamless peer-to-peer borrowing and lending without middlemen, thus stripping out the costly and time-consuming traditional banks.
These collateralized loans are enabled through Ethereum’s powerful smart contracts and don’t require any background checks or lengthy borrower contracts to set up. It’s instant and the interest rates are generally far better for the lender and borrower. Over $20 Billion is locked in DeFi contracts today.
3. High-Growth Possibilities
Today, Ethereum’s transaction volumes are at record numbers, showing just how useful the network has become. Ethereum is also known as the “world computer” and its core philosophy is to provide disruptive peer-to-peer applications. If successful, its scope is rather endless, with the potential to power as many applications as the mind can create.
Also, Ethereum futures contracts will start trading on the CME exchange in February 2021. This highly regulated US-based exchange can enable new, large institutions to invest in the project that may not have to be comfortable doing so with current spot market exchanges.
4. Portfolio Diversification
Diversification is the concept of spreading your investments around so that your exposure to any single type of asset is limited. This practice is designed to help reduce the volatility and balance the risk and reward of your portfolio over time.
Cryptocurrencies can be seen as a diversification asset because they may provide a hedge against inflation due to the government’s increasing money supply and mounting debt. Even among cryptocurrencies, an individual can diversity further with Ethereum and other cryptos, such as Litecoin and Bitcoin.
5. The Place for Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Decentralized finance is the act of removing traditional banking institutions between two parties and enabling direct, peer-to-peer financial transactions to occur.
Today, with DeFi, consumers can seamlessly lend and borrow loans peer-to-peer without middlemen. These collateralized loans are enabled through Ethereum’s powerful smart contracts and don’t require any background checks or lengthy borrower contracts to set up. It’s instant and the interest rates are generally far better for the lender and borrower without the middleman.
Recommended article: What is Ethereum?
Coinbase Targets Direct Nasdaq Listing of its Class A Common Stock
After the confidential submission of a draft registration statement to become a publicly-traded company announced last year, Coinbase has taken a major step to be listed on the giant US stock exchange – Nasdaq.
- CryptoPotato reported earlier that Coinbase had submitted a confidential draft registration statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to go public via a direct listing instead of an IPO. Initial estimations suggested that the potential valuation was at about $28 billion.
- Earlier today, the company announced that it had filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Commission “relating to a proposed public direct listing of its Class A common stock.”
- This signifies a vital step towards becoming a publicly-traded company. Coinbase plans to list its Class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “COIN.”
- It’s worth noting, though, that while the registration statement has been filed, it has yet to become effective. As the company explained it:
“These securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted, prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.”
- Furthermore, Coinbase asserted that its filing doesn’t “constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.”
- The company reported that its net revenue results for 2020 were substantially larger than the 2019 numbers – $1.1 billion against $483 million. The expenses had also increased from $580 million in 2019 to nearly $870 million last year.
Polkadot, Ethereum Classic, IOST Price Analysis: 25 February
Polkadot saw a bounce to $36 after touching $28 over the past few days, but it has once again sunk beneath the $34 mark. Ethereum Classic also found some resistance at the $12 mark, and IOST showed rising bearish pressure.
The Supertrend indicator showed a sell signal for DOT after it slipped beneath the descending channel (cyan) and plunged to $28. However, since then it has made a recovery toward $34-but whether this is more of a bounce rather than a recovery is a pertinent question.
At the time of writing, trading volume did not really back the recent price rise, indicating that it was indeed a bounce. The Awesome Oscillator showed bearish momentum, but no real strength over the past few hours.
Key levels to watch out for are $34.5 and $36 above it. A rejection would indicate bearish strength, while a flip to support can be used to enter a long position on a retest.
Ethereum Classic [ETC]
Using the Fibonacci retracement tool for ETC’s drop from $18 to $9, some levels of importance are highlighted. The RSI showed bears were in control of the market over the past couple of days, as the RSI stayed beneath the neutral 50 value.
The Parabolic SAR climbed into overbought territory even as the price slipped beneath the 38.2% retracement level- which was not an encouraging sign for the bulls.
It is likely that ETC would continue to move lower, toward the $10.75 mark once more.
IOST was in a steady short-term decline. It attempted a recovery, on strong trading volume, to $0.059 from the depths of $0.039. However, bears were able to force the price lower once more.
An interesting aspect is a lack of buying strength when IOST began to slip after a rejection at $0.059. This showed that bears were in control. The levels that bulls would try to defend are the $0.044 and $0.039 levels.
A defense of either of these levels over the next couple of days would point toward weakening bearish pressure in the short-term, and another possible recovery back toward $0.059.
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Inside the blockchain developer’s mind: Koinos approaches testnet
Cointelegraph is following the development of an entirely new blockchain from inception to mainnet and beyond through its series, Inside the Blockchain Developer’s Mind. In Part Four, Andrew Levine of Koinos Group discusses some of the challenges the team has faced since identifying the key issues they intend to solve.
In this post I will summarize the solutions we’ve developed to these problems, which we will be showcasing in the upcoming Koinos testnet planned for the second quarter of 2021.
Since that series Koinos Group has successfully launched a token, KOIN, as a proof of work mineable token on Ethereum. By using proof of work to distribute the initial token supply we were able make the token accessible to early adopters and forgo an ICO.
Assessing the ICO model
ICOs and similar token sale tools, while not without their use cases, have created their own crisis within the space by misaligning incentives before development even begins. The issue is not with the ICO as a tool, but what happens when a team is financially rewarded before they have even shipped a product.
While so many projects have followed in the footsteps of Bitcoin, it’s surprising how few have replicated arguably the most successful aspect of its launch; a token distribution exclusively through proof of work.
The benefit of this approach is that it ensures with algorithmic certainty that the people behind the blockchain have no advantage in acquiring the token. In short, everyone, no matter who they are, has to make a financial sacrifice in order to acquire that token and the scale of that sacrifice is determined by some neutral third party. In the case of proof of work, that neutral third party is the manufacturer of hardware.
For Koinos Group, that means we had to spend money to acquire our token just like everyone else. In fact, because we have to spend most of our time developing the product, we are even at a disadvantage relative to professional miners. So we have to keep working to add value to the protocol if we’d like to get a return on our investment.
Proof of work algorithms are not without their problems, but we mitigated those in a few ways.
- First, the mainnet will be governed by a totally different consensus algorithm that won’t be proof of work or proof of stake, so any attempt to develop an ASIC would be a waste of resources.
- Second, we made the algorithm GPU resistant.
- Third, we released this token long before releasing our mainnet. In fact, we released the token long before we had even completed development of our framework. Without a functional product, this token becomes a way for people who believe in our team and who share our vision for a fee-less smart contract platform to acquire the token at a reasonable cost.
Rapid rate of improvement
Part of what makes this launch strategy work is the innovative property set of Koinos. We built Koinos totally from scratch, not around any single feature like transactions per second or sharding, but with the goal of creating a blockchain that would improve at a much more rapid rate than any other blockchain out there.
In our experience developing the Steem blockchain, the need to execute hard forks was the single biggest factor holding back progress. If we wanted to eliminate that bottleneck, we reasoned, moving as much of the system code as possible into smart contracts that could be upgraded in-band would do the trick.
That’s why the Koinos blockchain framework contains only the most basic blockchain features (called “thunks”) like contract input/input, getting parameters, and writing to the database. All of the more complex features that people are more familiar with (consensus algorithm, accounts, resource management, governance, etc.) have been moved into modular WASM smart contracts running in the virtual machine that can be upgraded without a hard fork.
Because all behaviors are now coded in distinct “modules” that can be individually “upgraded” we call this feature modular upgradeability.
As a result of modular upgradeability, any behavior can be added to the blockchain without a hard fork because individual upgrades can be distributed in blocks and transactions that are pushed to the network much like an operating system patch, but with the added benefit of an on-chain record of the entire upgrade path.
By moving nearly all of the system code of the blockchain to smart contract modules that can be upgraded without a hard fork we have made Koinos into a blockchain that derives its strength not from the features it is born with, but based on its ability to rapidly acquire new and better features faster than anything else out there.
This is why we call Koinos the first blockchain capable of evolution.
Modular upgradeability was just the first major technical innovation that we developed to make Koinos less monolithic and an order of magnitude more upgradeable. Just like there is code that does not need to be implemented natively (in the blockchain itself) but that can be implemented as smart contracts (most of it in fact), there is plenty of code that does not need to be implemented either natively or as smart contracts and can instead be implemented as microservices.
Microservice architectures have many benefits which is why this has become the industry standard for modern software development, but one major benefit is scalability because individual services can be scaled up without having to scale up the entire system. This can dramatically reduce the cost of running a network while improving both the speed and quality of improvements to that network. As a result of historical accidents, blockchain stacks appear to be the last to adopt this new standard as Koinos will be the first blockchain built on a microservice architecture.
This creates amazing new opportunities for developers who will be able to build application specific microservices for Koinos that will help them run their nodes, and their applications, more efficiently; and as a consequence deliver better user experiences. Best of all, this will make Koinos node operation more accessible, thereby improving decentralization, and enabling the network as a whole to run more efficiently so that developers and their end-users can get more out of their decentralized applications.
Another benefit of a microservice architecture is that individual microservices (basically small programs) can be written in the best (fastest, most secure, best libraries, etc.) programming language for the job, a capability we also wanted to offer for smart contract developers. But in order to take advantage of this trait we needed to develop a way for these small programs written in different languages to “talk” to one another in a way that conformed to the unique needs of a decentralized network. To solve this problem we created a cross-language serialization framework named Koinos Types.
Koinos Types is like the Rosetta Stone for blockchain data structures. It allows programs written in different languages to talk to one another in a simple and unified way by giving them access to the same objects (the “building blocks” of modern programming languages). Koinos Types allows for the interpretation of Koinos (i.e. blockchain) data structures in practically any programming language which will be extremely useful for the development of blockchain-related microservices, clients, and smart contracts.
Koinos Types solves a number of problems. It helps us add multi-language support to Koinos more generally (including for smart contracts), it enables microservices to communicate with one another, and it makes it far easier to develop and update client-libraries. While modular upgradeability and the microservices architecture alone make Koinos far more upgradeable than any other blockchain, Koinos Types takes that upgradeability to another level. That’s why we were so excited to make Koinos Types the first piece of Koinos that we open sourced.
As you can see, ensuring that Koinos can improve at a more rapid rate than any other blockchain isn’t about any one feature.
- It’s about getting the incentives right from the beginning.
- It’s about ensuring that the blockchain has modular upgradeability.
- It’s about modularizing the very architecture itself as microservices.
- And it’s about making sure that developers operating at every level of the stack (not just smart contracts) are able to use the programming languages they already know and love.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Andrew Levine is the CEO of Koinos Group, where he and the former development team behind the Steem blockchain build blockchain-based solutions that empower people to take ownership and control over their digital selves. Their foundational product is Koinos, a high-performance blockchain built on an entirely new framework architected to give developers the features they need in order to deliver the user experiences necessary to spread blockchain adoption to the masses.
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