Sunday, 9 October 2016

Bitcoin Users Can Now Pay Electricity Bills with Bitcoin in Japan

Bitcoin Users Can Now Pay Electricity Bills with Bitcoin in Japan
Bitcoin users in Japan can now pay their electric bills with their favourite cryptocurrency and save money as well.
The mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin is growing with time and in Japan, where Bitcoin has official currency status, Bitcoin has just taken another great leap. ResuPress Inc. the company which operates Coincheck, a Bitcoin payment service, has partnered with Mitsuwa Industry Co. Ltd to allow Japanese users to pay utility bills with Bitcoin.
Coincheck Denki (electricity) will be launching in November 2016 and will enable users to pay electric bills with Bitcoin.

Heavy Bitcoin users to save 4-6% on electric bill

Coincheck Denki has two plans on offer for customers. One plan is for light users and the other for heavy users.
We talked to Kagayaki Kawabata, the Business Development Lead at Coincheck about how they plan to classify users.
He says to CoinTelegraph:
“Light users are people who are not still familiar with Bitcoin. With the light user plan, a customer will pay bills with traditional payment methods but will earn Bitcoins every time they make a payment. Heavy users are users who already know about Bitcoins and use Bitcoin as a occasional payment already. With the heavy user plan, people can pay bills with Bitcoin and save 4%~6%.”

Service will roll out in phases

The supplier of Coincheck Denki, E-net Systems, has partnered with Marubeni Power Retail Corporation which has power plants in 17 Japanese locations and a background of operating electrical businesses in more than 22 nations.
We asked about where in Japan the Coincheck Denki service will be available and learnt from Kagayaki Kawabata that currently it will only be in the Kanto, Kansai and Chibu regions. It is noteworthy that Kanto and Kansai are the major centers of population in Japan and include key cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

Potential user base can expand

One of the key questions of interest is actually who will use this service and why? In Japan there is a culture of high cash usage and people often pay bills at convenience stores rather than doing so online or by other means.
However Kagayaki Kawabata exudes confidence that there is a potential for the user base to increase.
He notes:
“We are planning to attain 10,000 users in the first year. Considering there are more than 35,000 users just in Coincheck, we believe this number is achievable. Also, there was a demand from expats in Japan wishing to pay their  utility bills with Bitcoin.”

More utilities will accept Bitcoin in Japan

While it will now soon be possible to pay your electric bill with Bitcoin in Japan, there is hope that in the future Bitcoin users will be also be able to pay their gas, water and mobile bills using the cryptocurrency.
This is great news as it showcases that Bitcoin is as good, if not better, than using conventional cash and also that if mainstream companies want they can give people the choice to use a payment method of their choosing.
Hopefully, very soon you will be able to pay your utility bills with Bitcoins in the country where you live as well.

By Tomorrow Ethereum Classic Can Be Third Top Crypto

By Tomorrow Ethereum Classic Can Be Third Top Crypto
Going by the figures the market is churning out, newly-split Ethereum Classic is likely to be third on the list of the world’s top cryptocurrencies just behind Bitcoin and Ethereum by tomorrow.
According to Coinmarketcap who do cryptocurrency market capitalizations, ETC is on the fourth spot as at the time of this publication. It has a market cap of over $ 213 million and a 24-hour trading volume of $90 million. That is about a $6 million shy of the market cap of the third spot holder Steem which currently has $219 million. A downside to Steem’s current status is its 24-hour trading volume which stands at around $651,520.

24-hour percentage change

Another factor which could work in ETC’s favour in the next day or so is its 24-hour percentage change. At the time of writing, ETC is the only cryptocurrency among the top ten list with a positive +19.13% % Change (24h). Others, including Steem which has a negative -5.54%, are in the red.     
ETC started being traded on Poloniex, one of the biggest Altcoin exchanges, almost immediately after its split from ETH following a hard fork on the platform. Afterwards, it was actively traded on a number of other exchanges. About a day ago, a major Chinese ETH exchange started listing ETC.

CHBTC announcement

On its website, China Bitcoin or CHBTC announced it had started listing the new digital currency after its continued observation of the stability of the newly-split ETC. CHBTC is mostly known for Bitcoin trading in China. It is ranked right after Huobi and OKcoin, on par with BTCC.
CHBTC touts itself as having ETH transactions which account for about 50% of the total global transaction volumes and daily trading volumes of up to 480 million yuan.
ETC creators claim they split because they believe in decentralized, censorship-resistant, permissionless Blockchains and the original vision of Ethereum as a world computer which can't shut down but runs irreversible smart contracts.

CryptoNote Offers More Anonymity For The Future Of Cryptocurrencies

CryptoNote Offers More Anonymity For The Future Of Cryptocurrencies
The cryptocurrency space is innovating at a breakneck pace, trying to chase the always-increasing requirements of users. The invention of new technologies makes older designs obsolete, and this may very well be what’s happening with Bitcoin right now. As it is really hard to make any substantial changes to its code now, second- or third-movers gain a significant advantage by virtue of being able to implement breakthrough developments that are inapplicable to Bitcoin right now, but should have, in hindsight, been a part of it since the start.
One of the principal points of Bitcoin was to provide its adopters with the ability to conduct any transactions they want, without fear of having their identity exposed. The emergence of those who accomplish that more effectively may one day challenge bitcoin for the top of the cryptocurrency heap.
While the Bitcoin Foundation and its Core Development Team continue to add what they feel are the most significant and easily implemented changes; other technologies, such as CryptoNotecan provide a possible look into the next generation of cryptocurrencies themselves, it enables the coins that use it a few significant features that Bitcoin and the more traditional altcoins cannot perform at a fundamental level. We can't say if Bitcoin will be challenged by CryptoNote or not, but it has all the tools necessary to give it a real run.
Bitcoin is ironically, both anonymous and traceable. As you likely know, every transaction can be tracked on the blockchain and be linked to the public keys involved in the transaction. In this way, researchers, law enforcement or anyone else determined enough can follow coins through the system and link them to the wallets that held them. Wallets themselves are anonymous in theory and there are plenty of places where a wallet can be created without any link to the physical world, but if any wallet gets linked back to a user (through an email or bank account for an example) it is relatively easy to track every transaction made by that user.
There is plenty of innovation in this space, with Dark Wallet and Coinjoin getting the most attention and working by mixing bitcoins of various users before distributing them back to them or passing them on to the desired account, and they already work with existing Bitcoin technology. But, CryptoNote has another, more radical way to do it. It is a new technology and it could not be easily implemented into the existing Bitcoin blockchain, but does provide an interesting way forward for cryptocurrencies in general.
In simple terms, CryptoNote's ring signatures work not by mixing up various users’ coins, but by signing each transaction with multiple keys. When transactions take place using CryptoNote technology, the sender's and recipient’s public key is mixed with a group of other users' keys. The other keys serve no function other than to mask which key sent the coins. Because of this, anyone trying to look at the ledger and figure out who was involved in a transaction would be able to determine that one of a group of people sent and someone received coins, but would be unable to figure out which individual in the first group sent the coins.
It is a little like giving a five man firing squad one bullet. Only one person actually shot the condemned, but no one knows exactly who. Here, only one wallet was on each end of a transaction, but it is impossible to figure out which one.
CryptoNote's ring signature
Zerocoin is another similar technology that does the same thing, but instead of using a group, it uses the entire population of users by allowing them to exchange their bitcoins for zerocoins and then back again. This could provide even more anonymity but from a technological standpoint it implies that private keys are centralized in the hands of the coin’s developers, which eliminates any sense of anonymity. To further this point, it doesn't appear that Zerocoin has taken off like its creators hoped. It is also going through some changes right now, it was originally meant to run parallel into Bitcoin itself, but reports indicate that the creators may be turning it into a standalone cryptocurrency, so its future is uncertain at this point.
The resulting anonymity of CryptoNote has its advantages and faults, depending on your view of things and what you are trying to accomplish. First and foremost, the CryptoNote fulfills the early promise of cryptocurrencies: providing a completely anonymous way to exchange value between people.
Speaking to Bitcoin Barbie, The director of communication at CryptoNote, Catherine Erwin summed it up:
“[CryptoNote Allows for] [t]otally anonymous and untraceable transactions for individual users. Our ring signatures and one time addresses mark a whole new page in development of cryptocurrencies.”
But, one could argue that it also eliminates the accountability inherent in Bitcoin. Consider for a moment the Mt. Gox situation. Hundreds of thousands of bitcoins went missing – while it is unlikely Gox users will ever recoup their coins, the traceability in Bitcoin offers their best (and perhaps only) hope.
When users noticed that 200,000 bitcoins were being moved in and out of Mt. Gox's wallets, the authorities were immediately notified, causing former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karples to acknowledge that they had the funds (Mr. Karples told authorities that he had “forgotten” about the wallet containing over 200,000 bitcoins). But, it seems that traceability isn't likely going to end with Gox users recouping much of their losses. Certainly, plenty of people will choose privacy over that alleged security, especially as exchanges become a smaller part of the cryptocurrency landscape thanks to things like multi-signature wallets and decentralized exchanges.
CryptoNote also takes a unique approach on the double spending problem. By giving each transaction a mathematical version of an image that fits a private key. The image can't be used to determine what the private key is, but since every user keeps a copy of every used image, their machines will reject any keys used more than once. (The “images” only exist in math and take up an insignificant amount of storage)
CryptoNote, it should be stressed, is not a currency but a technology used to create them;Bytecoin was the first CryptoNote based coin launched back in 2012. One of the more exciting breakthroughs, which was introduced in Bytecoin, is what’s called by the CryptoNote creators, rather ambitiously,  Egalitarian proof of work. It is certainly not the first attempt at trying to exclude the owners of ASIC designs from mining process, but unlike the Scrypt algorithm (which has been the most successful in this matter so far) the CryptoNight (the hashing algorithm that is used by CryptoNote to achieve miners’ equality), albeit as well relying on memory-intensive calculations, makes every new block dependent on all previous ones. This way, anyone who tries to increase their mining capacity through stockpiling RAM will also have to increase the calculation speed exponentially, which makes ASIC mining impossible as of now.
The technology behind CryptoNote is unique and seems to have a few features that Bitcoin and the other big cryptocurrencies lack. Because of this, it and the coins based on its technology, stand a legitimate chance at making a headway into the increasingly competitive and crowded digital currency space. We will be covering major coins that are built upon CryptoNote soon, so stay tuned.

If We Can’t Use PayPal 100%, What Is the Purpose Then?” – Ronny Boesing, CEO CCEDK

If We Can’t Use PayPal 100%, What Is the Purpose Then?” – Ronny Boesing, CEO CCEDK
Prior to the cryptocurrency revolution, Ronny Boesing worked as a sales executive and general manager within the music industry for over 25 years. The Internet disrupted his music publishing business but the silver lining was that these events inspired him to continue researching and innovating.
At the beginning of 2014, Ronny Boesing was approached by an international investment group – a member of which was a good friend of his from back in the 90’s. The group had long had its eyes on Denmark due to the liberal and open regulatory framework.
Boesing readily embraced this opportunity, creating Crypto Coins Exchange Denmark ApS (CCEDK ApS) on March 20, 2014. Boesing became the founder of the very first cryptocurrency exchange of its kind in Denmark, which went live on May 26 2014.
Choosing not to focus on Bitcoin alone, CEO Ronny Boesing researched other cryptocurrencies,selecting NXT and a handful of others to trade on his platform. In addition to the recently added Blackcoin and Nubits, Boesing plans to keep adding other promising coins, which he gauges by the level of community support, to CCEDK by the end of this year.
CCEDK is the first Danish online exchange for digital currencies such as Bitcoin as well as for altcoins including Peercoin and Litecoin and second generation crytpocurrencies such as NXT and Blackcoin.
- Ronny Boesing, CEO CCEDK ApS
“I would characterise myself as a realistic optimist. I tend to say yes, when others decline. I also believe in the good in people, but once let down, I do have a tendency not to forgive that easily,” says Boesing. “I don’t see myself as naive, as I stay away from any projects I don’t have a gut instinct about.”
We got a chance to ask Ronny about the recent launch of Nubits, his forward-thinking approach to altcoins and 2.0 cryptocurrencies, and the state of Bitcoin in one of the most prosperous and progressive countries in the world, Denmark.
CoinTelegraph: Your exchange CCEDK just introduced NuBits for trading. Could you explain what are NuBits and how did the first day of trading go?
Ronny Boesing: Nubits is a lot more than just a cryptocurrency. Provided all works out as head developer Jordan Lee is expecting, as mentioned in his interview, this currency could well turn out to be the world’s first stable digital cryptocurrency. I could explain a lot about the various possibilities Nubits offers, however, it does seem to be a lot to bring to the table in a short interview.
I guess for any of us using crypto as part of a long term business plan considering cryptocurrencies a potential alternative to real money, the simple knowledge that one Nubit equals 1 USD is all you really need to remember.
Based on this information, suddenly the whole world is open, as who doesn’t want speedy ways of transferring money at literally no cost. I am thinking [the] great possibilities for expatriates needing to send money home to their loved ones is a major breakthrough, or go down to nearest coffee house or café to buy a cup of coffee paying for this cup of coffee the same as you did yesterday, as the day before and so on… One cup of coffee would be 1.57 NBT, and only inflation might change this to 1.58 NBT the year after! What a great world that could be!
[Any further info can be found at following link: https://nubits.com/about/faqs]
My first day with Nubits trading on September 23 went beyond expectations. I had hoped for high figures, but not knowing really what to expect, it turned out to be one of those crazy days you will remember with great pleasure.
We did the equivalent to some US$200,000 within 24 hours of trading, bringing us right up among the big exchanges worldwide, and Nubits placed 7th as the best selling currency, so it was really a great first 24 hours. We have in the first 3 days done more than 500K in volume when it comes to Nubits, which as you know is equivalent to some US$500,000.
It is really an interesting start for this currency, and I would call it the first days of a baby born, and the next months [are] of great importance in terms of making sure it is growing up in the right environment!
- Screenshot first week currency pair NBT/PPC
CT: You have also recently launched Blackcoin on your exchange. In addition with other 2.0 coins such as NXT, why are you embracing next generation currencies while many other exchanges are mostly focusing on BTC? What other altcoins are you considering to add?   
RB: With the addition of Blackcoin to CCEDK exchange I feel I have managed to add a complementary competitor to NXT, and I liked the way you guys wrote this previous article called Race to the Moon, which made me think it could be a great step to invite the two for another race on our exchange.
What was important to me also was the way their community is built and organized in order to make things happen, when you decide it’s time, and the fact that both currencies believe in the saying “action speaks louder than words.” I consider both of them very important players in the future cryptocurrency landscape and see them both as potential contenders to the crown of 2.0 Generation cryptocurrencies.
With Nubits and Blackcoin added this month, I have still some 4 coins to go to reach my goal of 10 currencies within the first 6 months active as an exchange, and I do have another two in the works for launch in October, and considering some 6 alternatives for the additional two for launch in November.
I have made out a criteria sheet for selecting the right currencies for my exchange; it is therefore not the necessary top 10 currencies on Coinmarketcap I am aiming at, but rather a combination of well established currencies, runner ups, newcomers with great potential as well as bubbles. What they all have in common, and what is a must if I should take them onto the exchange, is a well formed community being able to back up the efforts for constant development internally as well as externally.
What is a must if I should take them onto the exchange, is a well formed community being able to back up the efforts for constant development internally as well as externally.”
- Ronny Boesing, CEO CCEDK

CT: Are fiat deposits already available? What currencies will be supported?
For Nubits, we have already the pairs NBT/PPC, NBT/BTC and NBT/USD available for trading, and a possible EUR pair is seriously considered as well. For Blackcoin, we offer BC ready for trading on BTC, EUR, USD and DKK. Apart from that, we offer cryptocurrencies BTC/PPC/NXT/LTC as pairs in any constellation, and all of them paired again to some 9 fiat currencies like EUR, USD, GBP, DKK, SEK, NOK, CHF, RUR and UAH.
CT: You have stated previously that you would welcome any legislation from the government. What kind of regulations, if any, would you like to see in the future? What do you expect to see?
RB: Honestly, I think it is always nice to know what the rules are to follow rather than trying to work according to what could be expected in the future. However, this is the way it is done in Denmark, and I try to work accordingly.
I can’t really say that I would like to see any regulations as such. I would prefer if our government came clean and said we will never regulate digital currencies, however, you don’t have success by being naïve, but rather by being proactive, and that is what we are trying to do.
In the end I expect Denmark to follow any final decision made by the EU, so I also feel that it is really not an issue for Denmark alone but for all EU and we will, of course, follow what is finally voted on.
CT: In March 2014, the Danish Tax Board declared that personal profits and losses from Bitcoin trading would not be taxed, although Bitcoin trading businesses would be taxed. Have you been satisfied with this stance and do you think it’s sufficient in fostering Bitcoin growth in Denmark?  
RB: I think it’s okay to tax any kind of business, as long as it is clear what is being taxed and in which way, and this is something which I feel is still not really clear with that decision. Like any successful business, we will find solutions to any problem and keep up the pace towards something close to perfection. 
CT: You previously noted that your exchange is exploring “many alternative ways of payment through integrated payment service providers.” Could we expect to see something like PayPal being used toward this end in light of their big announcement?
RB: Paypal has been a pain to many merchants, and impossible for exchanges due to the allowed chargebacks, and I am sure this will continue, so we will try to see if we can get Paypal for our withdrawal procedures and forget all about deposit, similar to credit cards, as they are also accepting chargebacks which is a potential killer for business. Everybody considers Paypal a big player in the market, and they are of course. It’s just that if we can’t use [it] 100%, and the fact that they have shown before that they are ready to freeze accounts if they deem it necessary, what is the purpose then?
Our hope is to make agreement with someone offering prepaid credit cards to give to users containing their withdrawals, we are planning to add Egopay, Payeer,  and similar payment systems as well, as long as they provide the need we are looking for on behalf of the users of our exchange.
It’s just that if we can’t use [Paypal] 100%, and the fact that they have shown before that they are ready to freeze accounts if they deem it necessary, what is the purpose then?”
- Ronny Boesing, CEO CCEDK
CT: CCEDK was one of the first exchanges to begin offering direct deposits from more than 1000 banks in 10 Euro-zone countries via Sofort Banking. How has the response been so far and are you planning to add more banks?
RB: We had to drop Sofort as a partner, as they did not deliver up to expectations. Partly they could not offer UK, Spain, Italy, and France anyway. We have instead in the works a partnership with Skrill Direct, which is basically working similar to Sofort.
The major differences are, however, that Skrill Direct is able to support instant payment in EUR from more than 3,600 (compared to Sofort’s 800) banks in the countries Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, and Austria so it’s a much better offer than what we had from Sofort, and we are very happy for this agreement to take place sometime in October.
CT: You take pride in basing your business on Danish values such as honesty, transparency and trust. How is this transparency achieved at CCEDK and do you have any plans to conduct an audit of your own in light of the recent audits conducted by several exchanges?
RB: I believe that being able to provide people with a face to go with the business and to present the exchange with passion and lots of energy would be the first step. The second step to document being registered in a stable country like Denmark and not being afraid of being out there representing the exchange just like any other business, makes me feel fully transparent.
In regards to an audit of course there will not be any problems with that. We do feel however, that we need to have some size of sales before it seems of any use really, so who knows? Maybe a good time is when we present our results for the first 6 months, expecting to prepare for future investors to join, which means end of November, start of December. A great way to make a nice Christmas present this year!
[Editor’s note: We have also received confirmation from CCEDK in regards to the expected list of cryptocurrencies to be added to the CCEDK exchange]
The cryptocurrencies that will be added include the following:
  • BitsharesX (BTSX)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE) 
  • Reddcoin (RDD)  
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Bitmark (BTM)
  • FimKrypto (FimK)
Meanwhile, the following coins are being seriously considered:
  • Exclusivecoin
  • Noblecoin
  • Vericoin
  • Counterparty
  • Mastercoin
  • Storjcoin

Daily Altcoin Price Analysis: Reaching New Tops

Daily Altcoin Price Analysis: Reaching New Tops

Litecoin

Litecoin continues to entertain support at the level of ~$3.60. Consequently, LTC/BTC exchange rates reached 0.081 BTC and isn't going to grow. From the point of technical analysis of the chart, we can see a "flag" with entry from above, which means that a following downward exit is more probable. Nevertheless, one more splash in the course of Bitcoin can spoil the whole game again.  

DASH

DASH doesn't cease to surprise - it has grown from 0.06 till 0.07 in one single day! Now its price is 0.063, as the sharp movement up demanded future corrections. It seems that buy orders should be rearranged to the level slightly lower than 0.06. However, traders don’t want to sell their coins so cheap.

Dogecoin

Dogecoin decided to stand away from sharp movements and can be traded for 30-31 Satoshi so far. However, last night’s Dogecoin price was 29 Satoshi again, which was a great time to close orders with profit.

ETH

ETH continues to develop its movement within an uptrend. When the price goes lower than 0.02 it is worth looking for opportunities to place buy orders.

Peercoin

Peercoin is trending down. If Bitcoin falls even a little we will see the Peercoin price below the level of $0.40 due to the PPC/BTC exchange rates going lower than 0.001 (and even as low as 0.0094 - 0.0095).
It seems that traders were bothered by Peercoin, but of course when the price falls, more people consider placing buy orders, so builds interest in this cryptocurrency. Unfortunately today's level of $0.41 - $0.42 doesn't seem a good price for buyers at all.

Neucoin

Neucoin reaches all time highs as it reached $12 for 1000 Neucoin yesterday, while it was $11 for 1000 Neucoin only one day before. It might be that $10 will become a resistance level soon.
The analysis and prognosis are the personal views of the author and are not a recommendation to buy or sell Bitcoins.

Did you know that you can compare altcoins in our top of cryptocurrencies and help our readers to choose the best one? Learn more in our ratings.

Ethereum Classic Now 3rd Most Traded Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin and Ethereum

Ethereum Classic Now 3rd Most Traded Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin and Ethereum
According to coinmarketcap.com who does cryptocurrency market capitalizations, newly-split Ethereum Classic is now trading third, just behind Bitcoin and Ethereum on the list of the world’s top cryptocurrencies.
This new entrant, which currently stands in sixth position on the list of cryptocurrencies with the largest market cap after Bitcoin, Ethereum, Steem, Ripple and Litecoin, is worth $76m selling at $0.926285 per unit and has recorded $14.1m in trading within 24 hours (as at the time of publication). Dash has also moved from the eighth to the seventh position, though with a small margin with NEM.
Whether this pace will be sustained is yet indeterminate as it is too early to judge. Also, coinmartketcap.com has yet to provide its 24-hour percentage change and plot its price graph.
However, if the trading continues in this fashion, ETC could become the third largest cryptocurrency in the market sooner than could be imagined to beat Steem, Ripple and Litecoin whose 24-hour trading were pegged at $499,437, $357,329 and $1,539,310 respectively.     
Ethereum Classic noted on its website:    
“ The most important question for traders is 'will ETC have market price'? There are many reasons to believe that it will. Essentially, ETC is an Ethereum 'spinoff coin' with a wide user base of all current ETH users. Some of them will see the value of transacting on a censorship-resistant chain, some won't. This creates interesting arbitrage opportunities for smart traders. Additional reasoning why EHTC is very unlikely to be 'worthless'.”
Its creators claim that they believe in decentralized, censorship-resistant, permissionless Blockchains and the original vision of Ethereum as a world computer which can't shut down but runs irreversible smart contracts.
They cite Ethereum Foundation’s response to the DAO debacle to be a bailout hardfork against ‘principled opposition of a significant economic minority of Ethereum stakeholders’ - 19% of ETH holders who oppose the hardfork and about 22% of Ethereum miners who voted against the previous 'DAO softfork' and would logically oppose hardfork as well.
They say such a significant minority of stakeholders should not be silenced or intimidated into submission - they should be given a clear choice.

Ethereum's Missing Link: Oracles Provide Off-Blockchain Data for Smart Contracts

Ethereum's Missing Link: Oracles Provide Off-Blockchain Data for Smart Contracts
Fran Strajnar, CEO of BraveNewCoin, tells Cointelegraph about the development of oracles as Ethereum’s missing link to make smart contracts truly useful to the regular business world.

Bridging the gap

Ethereum promises a host of smart contract applications from gambling to ridesharing. The technology still is, however, very much in development, and much of its current use remains either speculative or hypothetical, with few day-to-day operations of regular businesses relying on smart contracts. This is because Ethereum smart contracts only have access to information on their own Blockchain, and need a way to communicate with the outside world to be truly effective.
To bridge this gap in Ethereum’s capabilities, middleware “oracles” can be employed to communicate data from the world outside of the Blockchain, permitting smart contracts to be truly useful. For example, a smart contract for recurring payment or salary in cryptocurrency would employ a price oracle to determine the exact amount to be distributed while adjusting for market fluctuations.
Cointelegraph spoke to Fran Strajnar about the development of oracles as Ethereum’s missing link to make smart contracts truly useful to the regular business world.
CoinTelegraph: There seems to be a relative lack of applications using Ethereum in a real-world use cases. Why do you think that is?
Fran Strajnar: The main reason there is a lack of commercial use for smart-contracts, is because of the lack of interoperability. Smart-Contracts need to communicate with the real-world to be useful. To achieve this, infrastructure, standards and protocols first need to be developed. Companies like Oracilze, Smartcontract.com and others building what is effectively middleware solutions, are going to play a key role in helping commercialize Blockchain applications by helping make smart-contracts useful in the real world.
CT: Would it be fair to say, then, that at this current stage Ethereum is over-hyped?
FS: I wouldn't say it's overhyped. It's relative. I personally think we should see 10x more research and development being dedicated to exploring tangible use of various Blockchain designs. At the same time, Ethereum is just one innovation and is taking up the lion's share of attention.
CT: You mentioned middleware being a crucial component to effective smart contract use. Does Ethereum need solutions like these in order to be useful?
FS: Absolutely. Without further tools to bridge machine to machine communications between legacy systems and a Blockchain, the functionality of a Blockchain will remain limited.
CT: In that sense, Ethereum as it now operates can be viewed as "unfinished"?
FS: Ethereum is still in beta mode to a large degree yes
CT: What would a hypothetical example be of a middleware solution for Ethereum? What kinds of information from the real world would need to be communicated?
FS: Middleware is simply a trusted Oracle which takes in data from external sources and makes it available to a smart contract. This is what we built with the Pricing Oracles.
It doesn't matter what application you are building, it will likely need some real world information.
Could be a financial application requiring interests rates. Or something non-financial like a content rights management platform, tracking the usage of creative content on various websites. Middleware comes in many different flavours.
CT: By and large, is the Ethereum community aware of this need, and taking steps to see that it is fulfilled? Or is this still a minority viewpoint?
FS: I think in general the realization that networks always end up demanding interoperability, is substantially growing among the ethereum community over the past couple of months. I also see many ethereum project open to collaboration with other Blockchains and enterprise users.
CT: How long until oracle use is completely mainstream by Ethereum projects?
FS: That will be measured project by project.