Nxt: The Original Bitcoin 2.0 Platform With Smart Contracts, Decentralized Crowdfunding, Open Source and 18 Months of Development

Bitcoin Magazine
Nxt: The Original Bitcoin 2.0 Platform With Smart Contracts, Decentralized Crowdfunding, Open Source and 18 Months of Development
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Bitcoin Press Release: With over 18 months of development, The non-profit Nxt Foundation is pleased to announce many disruptive business and financial applications of Nxt’s blockchain technology: including trustless smart contracts, decentralized crowdfunding, a strong open source ethos and more.

Nxt is different. While there are many players in the cryptocurrency 2.0 field, Nxt has several key elements that set it apart from the others.

First and foremost, Nxt is a self-sufficient system. Many other projects depend on a blockchain implemented and maintained by an external party, usually Bitcoin. Nxt is a complete and self-contained system in itself. As any business owner knows, being dependent on a third party for an essential part of their business model introduces unnecessary risk.

This is why Nxt chose not to piggyback on an external blockchain over which it has no control, but has built all of its features onto its own blockchain. This also means that Nxt developers can quickly and easily create new features while maintaining a coherent system, without needing to consult with an external blockchain provider.

Secondly, Nxt has a solid and secure track record. The Nxt blockchain has been in continuous operation and use for 18 months, proving to be a stable system that can scale to handle an increasing load. Additionally, new features have been added on an incremental release basis after thorough evaluation on Nxt’s testnet. Many applications have already been built on top of Nxt, using its diverse features to create decentralised companies and software and to leverage the benefits of its strong community and network.

Thirdly, Nxt is open source and free! Nxt is not under development by a central authority. This may at first appear to be a weakness, but a glance at the extremely successful operating system Linux shows that central development is not needed to create a valuable and working architecture. Nxt has seen fast and dedicated development since its inception and is continuing to evolve with the input of many talented coders. As there is no barrier to entry to the Nxt ecosystem, it is a perfect environment for blue-sky crypto developments.

Just plug it in

The Nxt Cryptocurrency platform is modular by design. Nxt uses a variety of different transaction types that can be combined to perform more complex functions. In order to take full advantage of Nxt’s versatility, its developers have created a plug-in system that allows people to build applications and to share them with other Nxt users.

The plug-in system will go live with the release of version 1.5 of the Nxt Reference Software (NRS), Nxt’s native client. This release will also introduce blockchain Voting and Enhanced Multisignature Transactions (Phasing) to the Nxt core functionality. Developers on the Nxt Testnet are already experimenting with use cases, such as a crowdfunding plug-in, an e-commerce plug-in and several others.

The plug-in system is an example of the philosophy of flexibility and versatility that is at the heart of Nxt.

What it means for Nxt users

Nxt is eminently suitable for both business and non-commercial use. All of Nxt’s features can be accessed separately or in combination, using a simple but comprehensive API structure.

Nxt is fast, with an average block time of around 90 seconds. It is powerful, giving users access to such diverse features as asset creation and trading, separate currencies, data transfer and storage, blockchain voting and multisignature transactions.

Nxt is easy to build for, and those who want more information about how to use Nxt, or who need support on the more technical aspects of the Nxt systems, can contact the Nxt Foundation.

The Nxt Foundation is a non-profit organisation which can answer questions on Nxt, offer support, and connect businesses with the developers and advisors they need to take advantage of the unprecedented opportunities offered by the Nxt platform. Contact Nxt Foundation today atinfo@nxtfoundation.org.

For more information please go to: www.nxt.org

To trade Nxt with Bitcoin please go to: https://poloniex.com/exchange#btc_nxt

Media Contact:

Name: Bas Wisselink, Nxt Foundation Director

Email: bas@nxtfoundation.org

Phone: +31 (0)6 13937762

 

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Bloomberg Special Report Highlights Current Trends and Issues in the Bitcoin Space
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Bloomberg Brief has published a Special Report about Bitcoin. Written as an introduction for financial professionals and busy investors with little previous knowledge of Bitcoin, the report gives far too much space to marginal aspects such as price swings, scams and bankruptcies. However, while the depth of the analysis doesn’t match that of recent reports by Goldman Sachs and other top financial institutions, the Bloomberg report offers interesting insights and opinions that highlight current trends and issues in the Bitcoin space.

Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of the Digital Currency Group and creator of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, the first Bitcoin investment vehicle publicly traded in the United States, focuses on the price of bitcoin and hopes it will increase. “People will get excited about bitcoin when they believe its price will rise, which will create a flywheel effect of increased adoption, velocity, trading, etc.,” he says. “Bitcoin can live up to its promise, but it will only be possible if the price and liquidity are a lot higher than they are today.”

Taking the opposite view is Stony Brook University finance professor and Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith, who is persuaded that bitcoin becomes more useful as a currency the more its price drops. Currencies and investment vehicles like stocks and gold are very different, and Smith considers the currency aspects of bitcoin as more promising and important than the investment aspects.

“The sooner people give up the hope that bitcoin will skyrocket in price, the sooner they will be willing to spend bitcoins in everyday life, the way they now spend dollars,” he says, and adds that the quicker bitcoin as an investment dies, the quicker bitcoin as currency can come to life.

Jerry Brito, Executive Director of Coin Center, argues that utility will be the best barometer of success. As examples of useful applications, he mentions both new applications to micropayments and the Internet of Things (IoT) and new, cheaper and more agile business models for existing applications.

Ron Hose, co-founder and CEO of Philippines-headquartered Coins.ph, focuses on the impact of cheap and efficient bitcoin remittances.

“Think of how Skype lowered the cost of calling overseas a decade ago,” he says. “Bitcoin can have the same effect on the remittance market.“

Gil Luria, managing director for financial technology research at Wedbush Securities, mentions cross-border remittances and micropayments as “obvious places where the [bitcoin] technology can radically reduce friction,” and notes that the provision of banking-like services to underbanked populations around the world is likely to have a high impact.

However, Luria thinks that Bitcoin is still a research area, and not ready yet for widespread operational use in mainstream finance. More technical and especially operational development is needed, and traditional payment operators have a role to play, he believes.

“The legacy service providers are not asleep,” notes Luria. “They will undoubtedly come up with their own ways to utilize digital currency and the blockchain.”

In recent news that support Luria’s take, MasterCard Introduced fast bitcoin-like personal payments

The Bloomberg report includes a summary of Goldman Sachs’ recent report on the future of finance, focused on emerging electronic payments. As online and mobile banking evolves, bitcoin and other online currencies could gain more traction.

Most contributors to the Bloomberg report consider regulations in the Bitcoin space a positive trend.

“[Bitcoin] is an experiment being done outside of the controlled environment of a laboratory,” says Boston University’s Mark T. Williams. “As a result, there need to be controls around it, which means stronger regulation. There are many risks still to be addressed.”

Williams is persuaded that the pseudo-anonymous nature of Bitcoin must “go away.” On the other hand, Luria thinks that Bitcoin will actually make it harder for bad actors to hide. “[E]very transaction in bitcoin is tracked and, eventually, traceable,” he says. “It seems counterintuitive, but using bitcoin actually makes it much easier to catch the bad guys.”

 

Image via the Bloomberg Bitcoin Report.

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Plug and Play Tech Center Hosts Retail and Fintech Expo for Startups
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Bringing together more than 40 startup pitches on both the retail and fintech verticals at the consortium, the Plug and Play Tech Center Expo day included three keynotes from the founder of Plug and Play Tech Center Saeed Amidi, Managing Director of Citi Ventures Debra Brackeen and founder of the Lending Club Renaud Laplanche.

Saeed Amidi started the day off with remarks summing up the mission of Plug and Play to bring together software for two industries and create a matchmaking haven where corporations could come to find solutions to their vexing technological problems, understand emerging markets and nurture and mentor the next generation of technological advancement.

Debbie Brackeen was excited to describe Citi Ventures fund as a proving ground for startups for early validation of their models. Startups benefit from Citi’s treasure of data and knowledge every step of their growth while Citi strives to “bring the outside in” in integrated value chains.

Citi Ventures is focusing on being an internal acceleration fund that manages funding alongside the incubator as an integrated network. Her remarks touched on Citi Ventures exploration of blockchain technology in its nascent stages to test the potential for solving problems for their partners.

Citigroup has been focused on financial technology that puts consumer experience first in security, analytics, commerce and payments.

Renaud Laplanche focused on how Lending Club innovated on the existing financial framework by bringing together the lending and the banking side and employing network effects to give investors confidence in their model. Remarkably, he said his company’s biggest turning point was becoming a Facebook app which allowed them to get series A funding and hire top executives: “People are your greatest asset and your founding team has to be top notch.”

Scott Robinson who heads the financial technology vertical for Plug and Play described the marriage between retail and financial software as one born out of necessity as distribution rails turn to mobile and security issues need to be addressed.

Security was the common denominator on both sets of pitches. Notable startups such as Sparkling Logic give actionable advice on fraud prevention, Behaviosec logs and analyzes data such as keystrokes to run real-time authenticity tests, with the U.S. government already as a paying customer, and Debitforward (also known as Pinn) allows users to use a mix of social media data, GPS and the Internet of Things to seamlessly pay for their purchases without ever pulling out a wallet.

Funding is exploding as large companies seek to partner with fledgling startups to innovate in the rapidly changing Fintech atmosphere. Startups along the spectrum of growth face remarkable challenges proving their business model, finding partnerships, proving value to gain funding and getting their big break.

Organizations such as Citi Ventures allow companies to survive in the “lean startup” world by validating the commercial models, consumer pain points and solutions with data and coaching. Plug and Play has produced one “unicorn” with Lending Club and this next wave of startups is looking for their big break, too.

The next round of applications for startups to join Plug and Play are due June 15th.

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Bitfinex Hot Wallets Hacked, More Than 1,400 Bitcoin May Be Stolen
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Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex announced around 5 a.m. EDT today the startup’s hot wallets were compromised and some bitcoin were stolen. The exchange also advised its users to immediately stop depositing bitcoin to old addresses in their Bitfinex account.

It is unclear how much has been lost in the hack, but according to a company statement, the hot wallets held only 0.05 percent of the exchange’s bitcoin holdings. Though still unconfirmed, Redditor gowithBTC followed a string of transactions on the blockchain to what he believes is Bitfinex’s hot wallet. If correct, it would put the amount of bitcoin lost in the hack just more than 1,400 or around 0.06 percent of the company’s total holdings.

Bitfinex said that any losses experienced by users would “be fully absorbed” by the exchange but did not give any specific timing as to when they would be reimbursed or how victims could notify the startup of their damages. The company currently is creating a new hot wallet and will update the public on the situation within the next several hours.

BitcoinTalk hacked as well

Yesterday, the popular Bitcoin forum went offline due to a social engineering attack, which led to website’s servers being compromised. Targeted at the forum’s ISP, NFOrce, the attacker tricked the ISP into handing over passwords, emails, and other security sensitive information.

The owner and operator of BitcoinTalk, who goes by the pseudonym Theymos, said the hacker got access to the website’s servers for 12 minutes, “so he probably wasn’t able to get a complete dump of the database.” He also advised users to consider that their email and passwords were compromised and act accordingly.

It is unclear whether the two incidents are related, and how Bitfinex was hacked is unknown as well.

 We will update this developing story as we learn more.

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