Blockchain and Crypto Blog

Ivan on Tech Academy provides latest insights and reports about the blockchain industry.

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - zk-SNARKS and zk-Rollups

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 25, 2020

Image Source: Przemysław Thomann

Ethereum 2.0 will trigger a seismic shift in the crypto space. Some of the changes that this upgrade is going to trigger are:

  • The transition to Casper protocol
  • Sharding
  • Raiden state channels
  • Plasma

Raiden and Plasma are layer-2 protocols that allow Ethereum to conduct thousands of transactions off-chain in the form of state channels and side chains. Plasma, in particular, can theoretically allow a side chain to process thousands of transactions and commit just one single hash to the main Ethereum blockchain. While this sounds pretty amazing on paper, there is a significant problem here. If there is some dispute in one of these side plasma chains, there isn’t a proper mechanism that the users can use to exit the protocol efficiently.

Achieving layer-2 scalability and availability with zk-Rollups

This is where a technique called “ZK-Rollups” comes in. With the smart integration of zk-SNARKS, a privacy protocol, it will be...

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Examining Blockchain, The Velocity of Trust and Reification

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 24, 2020

The emergence of the blockchain is, by now, known in the broader global society, far beyond merely the developer communities. Due to various advances in technology, media attention, and fundamental social interest related to money and wealth. The current economic crisis, perhaps the greatest in history, has made the issue all the more relevant, in fact crucial, for us to build out Web 3.0 and its integral layer of trust that will make way for an open-source economy. 

Blockchain Technology and the Velocity of Trust

Even working in conjunction with the current economic system, blockchain technology has been seen as valuable to meet various needs. For instance, on March 5th, 2020, the Financial Times (FT), perhaps one of the most well-known economic news sources and one that is generally unfavorable to the blockchain, ran a special report "How digital technologies are transforming the supply chain." 

This report mentions explicitly small farmers in Africa and how they can...

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Exploring The Case for Crypto Investments Over Gold

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 23, 2020

Wondering whether to invest in gold vs. doing so in Bitcoin has long been a well-known debate. While the former yellow precious metal has a far greater tenure as a highly secure asset investment, the latter came about back in 2009 and has a very volatile trading history. However, the returns that Bitcoin witnessed in just the past ten years have changed the perception of what can actually be thought of as an asset. 

Is Crypto or Gold the Better Investment?

To preface, the writer of this article is the daughter of a typical Indian mother who looks at gold as a precious and practical investment, especially to make her daughter look more beautiful with a bunch of jewelry on her wedding day. This is also nothing new. Predominantly older generations tend to view gold as an extremely safe asset haven class.

While my mom is a gold advocate, I am a die-hard fan of bitcoin. Well, I love my mom and never go against her decision. Knowing that she asked me to invest in a gold scheme a year...

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - Ethereum Layer-2 and Scalability Explained

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 22, 2020

As you are probably aware, we are on the verge of an Ethereum revolution, colloquially known as ETH 2.0. This upgrade is going to bring in a lot of innovations to the popular Ethereum protocol.

We have covered two of the most significant changes - Casper and Sharding - in detail before. In this guide, let's cover another exciting innovation that is going to give the overall scalability a significant boost - Ethereum layer-2 scaling.

Ethereum layer-2: Solving the scalability problem

Numerous sources have very extensively documented Ethereum's scalability problems. Decentralized cryptocurrencies are inherently non-scalable due to their design issues. Ethereum does around 25 transactions per second, which is pretty abysmal but still marginally better than Bitcoin, which can only do seven transactions per second. 

This low transaction throughput happens because of the amount of time it takes to validate and put in a transaction within the block. 

Design problems of...

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Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Blockchain

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 21, 2020

DLT, which is short for ”distributed ledger technology”, and blockchain are two similar terms. Their similarities make them confusing to separate, and in some cases, some are using them as synonyms. Although they are similar in a lot of ways and share features, they are still not exactly the same. 

In essence, blockchain is a kind of distributed ledger technology, or DLT, which might explain why people are confusing the two terms with one another. This means that DLT is the umbrella expression that blockchain falls under. This means that the term blockchain was coined after distributed ledger technology. Nonetheless, the more familiar word is that of blockchain. This is one of those instances when the name of a “product”, much like rollerblades, yo-yo or aspirin, takes over and becomes the word for a whole phenomenon. In this case, blockchain is always one kind of DLT, but all DLTs are not always blockchains. 

The word blockchain is also trendy to...

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Decentralized Money Markets and MakerDAO

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 20, 2020

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is all about creating an open-source, permissionless, transparent, financial ecosystem available to anyone with an internet connection. 

DeFi offers a set of products and services similar to that of the conventional financial world except they’re built on a blockchain—notably Ethereum (ETH). And one of the most popular and fastest-growing sectors of DeFi is the money markets. 

What are Decentralized Money Markets?

Traditional money markets exist for the borrowing and lending of assets—likewise, for decentralized money markets. However, the assets involved can be cryptocurrencies and it is smart contracts (not middlemen bankers) that dispense the interest payments and enforce the terms of the loan. No middleman means higher returns for the lenders.

Another big difference is that when you participate in DeFi you can make money off interest payments—unlike the current financial system that’s been operating on zero or...

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financial freedom

Could Crypto Be An Exit Plan Towards Financial Freedom?

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 19, 2020

Many investors understand the significance of having an exit plan if they partake on any investment in hopes of large capital gains. The objective is relatively the same: never needing to back to work! However, could crypto be an exit plan towards financial freedom? The blockchain education platform Ivan on Tech Academy has numerous blockchain courses for anyone looking to learn more about crypto. However, this article takes an in-depth look into what many are afraid to ask. Can crypto be an exit plan towards financial freedom?

What is Financial Freedom?

As an investor, one can often wonder, what is the right exit plan? What is the goal? At least from a low and middle-class perspective, in my opinion, the end-goal should be financial freedom!

But what really is financial freedom? And most importantly, how does a graduate investor who just gained new money through investments, get there?

Great, undisputable authors such as Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, all teach us...

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How Blockchain Technology Changes M&A Transactions – The Disruptive Power of Smart Contracts

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 18, 2020

The application of smart contracts will disrupt the mergers and acquisitions, or M&A, industry. In the process of an M&A transaction, many different parties are involved, like investment bankers, lawyers, and auditors. Those intermediates become at least reduced through the blockchain technology. Furthermore, smart contracts make the transaction programmable and offer many other benefits like accuracy, automation, speed, and cost reduction. How a cost reduction could affect the M&A market is challenging to predict.

One possible outcome is that investors have more capital available for other transactions. This would possibly increase the number of M&A transactions overall. Another likely scenario is that through a cheaper process, investors with smaller capital try to get into the market and increase competition. Eventually, smart contracts reduce the risk for investors because they can build trust beforehand. Finally, smart contracts automate the transactions...

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - Sharding Explained

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 17, 2020

Over the past few days, we gave you a general overview of how Ethereum 2.0, or ETH 2.0, works and then showed you ETH 2.0 Staking and the Casper Protocol’s nuances. In this one, we are going to look into another massive feature of ETH 2.0 – Sharding.

Layer 1 vs Layer 2 Scalability

One common criticism of various cryptocurrency and altcoin systems is that of scalability. Put simply, if cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is going to drive the DeFi world of tomorrow, it needs to be able to support billions of people. This is something our comprehensive DeFi guide goes into in-depth, but there are already many solutions. Scalability techniques mainly fall into the following categories - layer 2 and layer 1.

Layer-2 scalability

These are off-chain scalability solutions built on top of the blockchain. The idea here is to leave the base layer alone and put on extra architecture on top of it. This layer deals with complex computations which mitigates the architectural...

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Bitcoin Safety and Security: 9 Steps to Keeping Your Cryptocurrency Safe and Sound

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 16, 2020

Many true cryptocurrency enthusiasts are self-taught. Although this process of learning by oneself, such as through reading and watching videos online and making mistakes on the way gives investors a great degree of understanding for the crypto markets. However, it is not a time-effective way to learn about crypto. This article is written to help you avoid the mistakes that cost investors thousands of dollars every year. Moreover, it involves nine clears steps towards keeping one’s cryptocurrency safe and sound. The writer of this article, Piotr, lost money twice when an exchange he kept money on got in trouble. 

Bitcoin Safety

Remember the case of Quadriga’s Founder Gerald William Cotten? The only person in hold of all the private keys (controlling around $150 million of clients cryptocurrencies) died in strange circumstances while in India. Or the Cryptopia Hack that ended the short story of this exchange? I (Piotr) kept digital assets on both of these...

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