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The Constantinople upgrade for Ethereum that was to take place on the 16th of January 2019 at block #7080000, has been delayed again due to security vulnerabilities in one of its software update. In view of this hard fork update that might occur soon, here’s what to expect.

Ethereum, the leading platform for Smart Contracts is designed mainly for the development of complex DApps (Decentralized Applications). It is designed with four main updates with the ultimate goal to move from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) protocol and solve the problems related to mining and scalability.

The Constantinople hard fork system upgrade   

Constantinople is Ethereum’s next hard fork system upgrade, a part of its journey to the ultimate Serenity upgrade which implements the revolutionary Proof of Stake protocol. Although the upgrades were planned at the time of Ethereum development, the Constantinople upgrade was delayed due to a consensus issue.

However, on 6th December 2018, the core developers at Ethereum voted to proceed with the upgrade, to be implemented at block #7080000. With the average block time clocked at 14.5 seconds approximately, the estimated date of the Constantinople hard fork implementation was to fall on 16th January 2019. The upgrade has been delayed yet again as security researchers identified a potential vulnerability in one of its software upgrades.

The Ethereum Improvement Proposals

The Constantinople hard fork upgrade incorporates five different Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) to level the transition of protocols from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. Once released, they are expected to fundamentally change the Ethereum blockchain with a series of new updates that do not provide backward compatibility.

The lack of backward compatibility will mean that the nodes should either update synchronously with the entire system or will continue running as a separate blockchain entity. The Ethereum Improvement Proposals is also expected to tackle cost, functionality, speed and miner issues. The different proposals are as detailed below.

EIP 145: Bitwise Shifting Instructions [For speed and Efficiency]

EIP 145 appends Bitwise Shifting Instructions to the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) for improved speed and efficiency. The instructions allow for the shifting of bits in binary information. This enhancement provides for the execution of shifts in smart contracts at ten times the cheaper rate. 

EIP 1014: CREATE2 [For Scalability]

EIP 1014, also known as CREATE2, is developed by Vitalik Buterin to improve scalability. The CREATE2 upgrade enhances the working of State Channels, an Ethereum scaling solution based on off chain transactions.

 EIP 1052: Smart Contract Verification [For Speed and Energy]

EIP 1052 allows smart contracts verification by simply pulling the hash of the other contract. Before Constantinople update, a smart contract had to pull the complete code to verify another contract, which took a lot of time and energy to perform.   

EIP 1283: SSTORE [For reducing cost]

This Ethereum Improvement Proposal, also known as Net Gas Metering for SSTORE without Dirty Maps is developed to reduce the gas cost for SSTORE operation. The reduction in gas cost will enable the processing of multiple transactions at a cheaper cost.

EIP 1234: Block Rewards & Difficulty Bomb Delay

The EIP 1234 proposal is one of the most widely discussed Constantinople upgrade. This is mainly due to the two main components included in the proposal namely Difficulty Bomb Delay and Block Reward Reduction, which are discussed in detail below.

Block Reward Reduction

With the implementation of Constantinople hard fork, block reward will be reduced to 2 ETH per block from the previous 3 ETH. This is the second block reward reduction in Ethereum history. The Byzantium hard fork conducted in 2017 reduced the block rewards from 5 ETH to 3 ETH.

The reduction in rewards is a part of the efforts to reduce Ether inflation in basic supply and demand economics. Although the supply of Ether is not based on any pre-established limit, a reduction in the inflation rate will help in ensuring scarcity. Ethereum is not the only network to use this strategy. Bitcoin automatically halves its block rewards after every 210,000 blocks to conform to its eventual 21 million Bitcoin cap.

Difficulty Bomb Delay

Difficulty Bomb was originally included in the Ethereum network in September 2015, with the purpose of supporting the transition from PoW to PoS. The mechanism, when activated, will increase the energy required in mining a new block until it becomes impossible to mine a new block. When no new blocks can be mined, the Ethereum network will become frozen.

The Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1234 of Constantinople delays the implementation of this mechanism for the next twelve month, after which it will be voted on again.

The Technical Aspects of EIP Implementation

The Constantinople upgrade is a hard fork that will create a new, second Ethereum blockchain with the EIP implementation. This is not expected to be a contentious hard fork and the miners are likely to switch to the new chain. The current smart contracts on the present Ethereum blockchain will be replicated on the new chain.

The implementation of Constantinople upgrade is expected to bring about the following changes.

Transaction/confirmation time

The transaction time of Ethereum is expected to be approximately 15 seconds. The complete implementation of PoS is likely to ensure faster transactions with increased reliability.

Cost of transaction

The cost factor mainly depends on the quantity of transactions. However, with some of the EIP’s expected to optimize smart contract interactions, the transaction costs are to decrease.

Number of transactions per second

The optimization of state channels with EIP-1024 could bring about some changes in the average number of transactions per second.

PoS instead of PoW

Constantinople upgrade is one step towards the realization of the PoS protocol. A lot of testing and research is going on. Eventually, the sharding and beacon chain will be added with subsequent updates.

After the upgrade implementation, the old ETH blockchain may hold some value till the time miners completely switch to the new chain. However, there wouldn’t be any more planned updates for it, which will push the original Ethereum blockchain close to $0.

Thirdening

As mentioned before, Constantinople upgrade will implement the EIP 1234 which includes the implementation of block reward reduction. This reduction of block rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per block is termed as Thirdening. This reduction is a reward adjustment of -33% and hence the name Thirdening.

The Block Reward Projections- post thirdening

From the average data collected by Etherscan over the past year, the supply of ether increases by 20,300 Ether per day. When the rewards are reduced to 2 ETH/block by the upgrade, there will be a reduction of 33% ETH in the reward for every regular block mined. In short, after the Constantinople hard fork, the total new Ether supply will reduce from 20,300 ETH/day to 13,400 ETH/day.

The Miner Response to Thirdening

A natural reaction towards the reduction in rewards would be a decline in the number of miners in the network. However miner response is not easily measurable. It depends on a number of factors such as the price of electricity, hash rates, the difficulty of mining and price of Ether.

Conclusion

The Constantinople upgrade and thirdening are exciting developments for the Ethereum network.  The global community of Blockchain enthusiasts are awaiting to see what’s there in the more planned updates for the first Ethereum blockchain, which should eventually push the original ETH blockchain close to $0.

Would you like to know more about our blockchain services? Read More About Our Blockchain Services Further Reading

The post Constantinople Hard Fork and Thirdening – the transition from PoW to PoS appeared first on PrimaFelicitas.

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Another year has emerged and so has the latest trends in digital design. Trends are not set out of just anywhere. They evolve as a response of the changing needs and tastes of the consumers. Staying on the same page with the design trends is however crucial for the success of our websites!

A lot of changes can occur in design trends in terms of algorithm updates, visuals and best practices over a short period of time. A website that looks sleek and modern today could become outdated in a few months’ time. The vast and saturated online world of today, demands a creative design and an amazing user experience to stay ahead in the competition.

2019 is expected to concentrate more on the aspect of user experience where trends in web design will prioritize the speed, eye-catching and simple designs with asymmetrical layouts, mobile designs and more. A good web design aims to draw user attention and to keep the visitor on the page for longer periods of time.

The first impression

According to certain studies, we have less than 3 seconds to make a good impression with a customer, when interacting with them online. We, humans, tend to be impatient and flighty. About 50% of our users expect a website to open within two seconds of clicking on it. They are found to abandon the site if it takes over 3 seconds to load!

As seen from the experience of having dealt with hundreds of websites, a beautiful website is an important component of ensuring user satisfaction. However, if the design is data heavy, such that it takes a long time to download, you lose a lot of revenue as people won’t wait long for your site to load.

In addition to this, the recent Google Speed Update, which went online in July 2018 implicates a new policy. With this update, Google has started the prioritizing of websites which loads faster than the others. This policy is expected to be soon followed by other search engines as well. Web designs are thus expected to focus better on its speed during the process design.

The clean and minimalistic

Clean and minimalist designs are expected to be a trendsetter in 2019. In fact, these designs are already preferred by designers and developers for creating quick loading websites for desktop and mobile browsers. They are also known to hold a high value for SEO. They satisfy a number of speed requirements that certain search engines are beginning to require.

Flat or minimalist design does not mean that everything is reduced to 2D. It is more about usability and minimalism. It can be thought of as more of a design aesthetic which gets rid of clutter, focussing only on the important aspects of the website. The use of bright colours, crisp and clean edged and lots of open space, offers a refreshing change, distracting it from the high- resolution image based designs.

The freshness of asymmetry

The fresh look of broken and asymmetrical layouts are making it big in the world of design trends. The grid system associated with these layouts help the designers maintain consistency and alignment when adding content like headlines, images, copy and call to actions.

The asymmetric layouts are growing popular probably due to their ability to impart a novelty to web designing. They help capture the user focus to the important aspects of the page without being distracting or sloppy. These designs are striking not due to the presence of rote or established design patterns but for the creative use of a visual hierarchy that directs the eye towards the focal point.

The use of different shapes, textures, colours and dynamic imagery help the designer direct the user’s attention in a new and engaging manner towards the content that the users want to find. The presence of unusual placements, layering with various textures and colours, the use of white space, creative use of typography and the repeated use of irregular patterns enables the creation of a sense of depth that is not usually found in grid-based layouts. 

The trendy shapes

The geometric shapes lay a middle ground between the flat, minimalist design and the controlled chaos of asymmetric design. The simple Euclidean shapes like triangles, rectangles and hexagons are proving to be a major design trend in 2019. Shapes can easily bridge the gap between the broken and flat grids, making them easy to integrate into a design.

The simple shapes with bright colours are able to create interesting edges that can be quickly loaded. They can help in the creation of dynamism with the creation of repeating patterns formed with the help of shapes. This versatility is one of the primary reasons why shapes have become an avoidable trend of 2019.

In addition to these, there is a whole new side of chatbots and video backgrounds that could make a remarkable transformation in graphic and web designs, this year. Some major graphics and web design trends are represented in the infographic given below.

With the new advancements in technology laying the foundation for practical and beautiful design patterns, the industry is set to change. Staying on top of these changes is inevitable to keep your websites fresh and attractive.

Further Reading

Want to know more about the latest design trends? Here’s a reading list for you.

The post Top Digital and Graphic Design Trends of 2019 appeared first on PrimaFelicitas.

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The use of digital currency has witnessed a considerable increase in the last few years. The initial apathy that had clouded the crypto world has finally shifted and given way to curiosity and recognition of the currency as a brilliant investment option.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and many others have finally hit the mainstream, with more and more people getting into the trade. However, cryptocurrency built with the power of the underlying blockchain technology varies vastly from the conventional currency in almost all ways.

The Blockchain Technology

Although the blockchain technology first emerged in conjunction with Bitcoin and other digital currency, it is now used in a wider range of applications. The potential of Blockchain technology is yet to be tapped in full!

The concept of Blockchain technology had very humble beginnings in the realms of data structures and cryptography. In the 1990s, Merkle trees, a secured chain of blocks, which are basically data records connected to its previous record were created which resembled the present day blockchain.

The distributed blockchain came into existence in 2008. The blockchain allowed autonomous working without the control of a central authority, could store the data of every transaction carried out and utilised the P2P network to timestamp each transaction.

Key features of Blockchain
  • Transaction data storage – Blockchain stores every transaction carried out in the system in a ledger. These transactions are verified and stored as the blocks in a Blockchain.
  • Verification with a distributed system – each transaction is verified by P2P network of nodes.
  • Unalterable – once a transaction is signed, verified and added to a Blockchain, it cannot be altered.

Read more about the working of Blockchain here.

What is mining?

After every slew of the transaction is carried out in a Blockchain, it is amassed into a block, which is then appended onto the Blockchain. Since there is no central authority involved in a Blockchain, the transactions are loaded into blocks by the network nodes. These network nodes are dubbed as miners.

Every time a bulk of transactions is added to the blockchain, some cryptocurrency is received as the reward. This has the potential to lead to a situation where miners create many blocks leading to a devaluation of cryptocurrency. In order to avoid this, the techniques of block creation are made tougher to conduct by making the miners solve complicated mathematical problems.

Know more about cryptocurrency mining here.

How is mining conducted?

Mining is the process of creating new cryptocurrency by adding new blocks on a Blockchain.  For the successful creation of a block, it must be accompanied by a hash function that fulfils certain requirements necessary for carrying out mining.

The best possible method of finding the most feasible hash would be to calculate the hash value continuously till the matching hash value is derived. On finding the right hash, a new block will be added to the blockchain and the miner who arrived at the right hash and created it is rewarded with certain units of cryptocurrency.

This means that miners are in constant competition with each other to calculate and identify the correct hash value, build a new block and to receive their pay-out of cryptocurrency. However, with the increasing blocks, the complexity of the calculations required for the hash values also increases.

The technique limits the number of blocks created. Many functions have a preset limit of the blocks to be created. Bitcoin is an ideal example with its generation to completely stop as it reaches 21 million. Beyond this limit, the generation of new blocks will not create bitcoins.

What are the requirements for mining?

Cryptocurrency mining is not as simple and easy to conduct now as before. The standard PC isn’t a viable option anymore, with the requirements of quality and quantity in hardware requirements seeing an undeniable rise, to increase the volume of mining.

From a reasonably good processor and a high-end GPU to several GPUs working in conjunction and specialised chips configured for the purpose of crypto mining, the requirements have grown. Coupled with the cost of power given the continuous running of machines, mining of cryptocurrency is a very costly affair.

 Buying Cryptocurrency

Investments in cryptocurrency have grown considerably over the years after the initial reservations on the technology died down. Today, there are many options available in buying cryptocurrency. Before we get into that, let us analyse the various features that need to address before going ahead.

  • Location

Cryptocurrency trade is illegal or regularised in many countries even now. Hence before you plan to buy the currency be aware of the laws governing the place.

  • Type of cryptocurrency

All cryptocurrencies are not available for sale in all websites. Depending on the type of cryptocurrency you would like to buy, find a website that sells the particular currency at a price.

  • Payment Method

Cryptocurrency is usually bought with credit cards, cash or even bank deposit as a payment method.

  • The fees involved

The fees of different website differ from one another. Hence, before selecting a website, do a comparison study of the fees before getting registered and verified at a particular exchange.

Cryptocurrency wallets

Cryptocurrency wallets are an essential addition in trading of cryptocurrency. They are similar to banks in that they help in the secure and safe storage of digital currency. While banks store money, cryptocurrency wallets stores and ensure the security of passwords that represent the digital currency.

Cryptocurrency wallets may differ depending on the cryptocurrency to be stored. For example, you may need one type of wallet to store a Litecoin while another to store a Bitcoin. With the popularity of cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, multi-coin wallets that can store different types of currencies are now available. Though costly, they provide many safe and easy to use options to choose from.

Security is one of the prime attributes that need to be taken care of when buying a cryptocurrency wallet. This is because once the digital money is stolen it cannot be retrieved. Wallets are of different types such as:-

Online wallets – these wallets are available online and are the easiest to set up. They are also the least safe of the lot.

Software wallets – they are similar to an app that can be downloaded and used. They are safer than the online wallets.

Hardware wallets – these wallets are portable devices that can be operated by plugging into the USB of the computer. They are the safest cryptocurrency wallets.

Trading cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency trading has seen a significant rise recently. To initiate a cryptocurrency trade, it is essential to have two major components namely a cryptocurrency wallet, to store the cryptocurrency and a cryptocurrency exchange that is chosen wisely to trade on. This is similar to trading on the stock exchange where you need a bank account to access the stock exchange.

Before trading cryptocurrency

If you are getting into cryptocurrency trade for the first time, there are some points to be kept in mind before entering the trade. Although cryptocurrency exchanges follow the general mechanics of stock exchanges, they differ in the specifics being totally different entities. Hence it is important to learn about it on a deep level before proceeding to trade.

Would you like to know more about our blockchain services? Read More About Our Blockchain Services

Further Reading

Want to learn more about cryptocurrency? Here’s a reading list for you.

The post How to mine, buy and trade digital currency? appeared first on PrimaFelicitas.

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With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to be enforced from 25 May 2018, organisations are in a haste to satisfy all the rules mentioned in the regulation. However, doubts regarding some of the guidelines persist.

In this blog, we aim to address one of these main concerns, ‘when do you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer’?

What entails to personal data in GDPR?

GDPR is all set to be enforced in a few days and organisations are busy with tasks to ensure GDPR compliance. Personal data forms the foundation of GDPR, given the main aim of its implementation resting with the need for data protection and privacy. Although it’s not possible to find a definitive classification for personal data, it is possible to identify the data based on the definitions of GDPR.

Personal data refers to information relating to an identifiable or identified natural person, termed as data subject in GDPR regulations. An identifiable person is one who can be identified by a reference such as a name, location data, and identification number or by referring to physical, mental, economic, physiological, social or cultural identity, or through an online reference. Even information such as IP address, political affiliation or hair colour can be considered as personal data, based on the context in which it is used.

 The scope of personal data

Ascertaining the scope of personal data, as in specifying what is considered as the ‘risk-prone’ data, is a difficult process. For example, collecting the occupation of users for the purpose of the survey cannot be considered harmful. However, when this is combined with more information, such as location, the name of the company or name of the person, it can be identity revealing.

While it is difficult to classify personal data, here is a broad list of things that could come under its classification.

  • Information on the current living situation or biographical information

This constitutes details such as address, email addresses, phone numbers, social security number, date of births and so on.

  • Description of looks, appearance or behaviour

Information such as eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, skin tone or character traits.

  • Information about education or workplace data

Details of education such as student number, place or subject of study, tax details, salary or workplace name and addresses.

  • Private, subjective data

Details such as political opinions, religion or geo-tracking of data.

  • Information regarding health and genetics

Data regarding medical history, sick leaves or genetics

Who is a Data Protection Officer?

A Data Protection Officer in an organisation acts as an independent advocate for the enforcement of customer’s data security. The officer keeps track of the various laws and regulations of data protection while conducting internal privacy assessments. This helps them to ascertain if all the data protection policies followed by the organisation are up to date.

A DPO’s scope of work includes the following

  • Setting up of defendable personal data retention periods
  • Authorizing specific workflows to ensure proper data access
  • Outlining the procedure for keeping retained data anonymous
  • Constant monitoring of the systems to ensure data security of the customers
  • Inform and advise employees and the organisation management regarding their obligations of data protection.
  • Serve as the point of contact between the organisation and data protection authorities
  • Serve as the point of contact for users on privacy matters

Which organisations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer under GDPR?

This question has been doing the rounds ever since the decision to adopt GDPR was made by the European Union. Article 37 of GDPR rightly addresses this query.

According to Article 37, a Data Protection Officer needs to be appointed if,

  • The organisation is a public authority, other than courts
  • The core activities of the organisation are centred on regular, systematic and large-scale monitoring of individuals within the EU region, like tracking of online behaviour.
  • The core activities of the organisation involve large-scale processing of special or sensitive data such as data of criminal activities, offences or convictions.
Public Authority

The definition of public authority is clearly provided in the Freedom of Information Act 2000(FOIA). This applies to GDPR as well until any act or amendment points to otherwise.

Core activities

The core activities of an organisation imply to the primary business activities conducted in the organisation. Hence if the processing of personal data is a prerequisite to achieving the primary objective of the business, then it is considered as the core activity and the organisation needs to appoint a DPO for GDPR compliance. On the other hand, using personal data for activities such as HR and payroll processing are all considered secondary activity.

Regular and systematic monitoring

Regular and systematic monitoring refers to all forms of profiling and tracking, through offline and online methods. The extent of monitoring is identified by taking into account the count of data subjects concerned, the personal data volume that is processed, the range of data items processed, the duration of the activity and its geographical extent.

Appointing the DPO

The DPO need not necessarily be a new employee. It is possible to select an existing employee if they are compatible with the scope of work. It is also possible to externally contract a DPO based on a well-prepared service contract. The contact details of the DPO needs to be published and submitted to the ICO.

What are consumer rights?

How to handle personal data in GDPR compliance?

The first task of ensuring that you maintain GDPR compliance is to identify if the collected data can be classified as personal data. If you are not sure regarding its nature, it is better to classify it as personal data rather than taking a risk.

Once collected personal data should be encrypted and pseudonymised. The process of pseudonymisation involves replacing the identifiers with artificial identifiers. This process is an important part of GDPR and is mentioned about 15 times in its document. Although it helps in ensuring data protection and privacy, data pseudonymisation has its limitations. Hence GDPR suggests encryption alongside this process.

Encryption is similar to pseudonymisation in that it replaces the identifiers with a false set. But then again, when in pseudonymisation the dataset is visible to everyone, encryption allows access to only authenticated users. Both these processes can be used separately or simultaneously. Simultaneous use of these would ensure better data security.

With only a few days to go till the deadline for GDPR compliance, it’s high time, these specifications are met with, to avoid the brunt of GDPR penalty!

The post When do you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer? appeared first on PrimaFelicitas.

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The use of digital currency has witnessed a considerable increase in the last few years. The initial apathy that had clouded the crypto world has finally shifted and given way to curiosity and recognition of the currency as a brilliant investment option.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and many others have finally hit the mainstream, with more and more people getting into the trade. However, cryptocurrency built with the power of the underlying blockchain technology varies vastly from the conventional currency in almost all ways.

The Blockchain Technology

Although the blockchain technology first emerged in conjunction with Bitcoin and other digital currency, it is now used in a wider range of applications. The potential of Blockchain technology is yet to be tapped in full!

The concept of Blockchain technology had very humble beginnings in the realms of data structures and cryptography. In the 1990s, Merkle trees, a secured chain of blocks, which are basically data records connected to its previous record were created which resembled the present day blockchain.

The distributed blockchain came into existence in 2008. The blockchain allowed autonomous working without the control of a central authority, could store the data of every transaction carried out and utilised the P2P network to timestamp each transaction.

Key features of Blockchain
  • Transaction data storage – Blockchain stores every transaction carried out in the system in a ledger. These transactions are verified and stored as the blocks in a Blockchain.
  • Verification with a distributed system – each transaction is verified by P2P network of nodes.
  • Unalterable – once a transaction is signed, verified and added to a Blockchain, it cannot be altered.

Read more about the working of Blockchain here.

What is mining?

After every slew of the transaction is carried out in a Blockchain, it is amassed into a block, which is then appended onto the Blockchain. Since there is no central authority involved in a Blockchain, the transactions are loaded into blocks by the network nodes. These network nodes are dubbed as miners.

Every time a bulk of transactions is added to the blockchain, some cryptocurrency is received as the reward. This has the potential to lead to a situation where miners create many blocks leading to a devaluation of cryptocurrency. In order to avoid this, the techniques of block creation are made tougher to conduct by making the miners solve complicated mathematical problems.

Know more about cryptocurrency mining here.

How is mining conducted?

Mining is the process of creating new cryptocurrency by adding new blocks on a Blockchain.  For the successful creation of a block, it must be accompanied by a hash function that fulfils certain requirements necessary for carrying out mining.

The best possible method of finding the most feasible hash would be to calculate the hash value continuously till the matching hash value is derived. On finding the right hash, a new block will be added to the blockchain and the miner who arrived at the right hash and created it is rewarded with certain units of cryptocurrency.

This means that miners are in constant competition with each other to calculate and identify the correct hash value, build a new block and to receive their pay-out of cryptocurrency. However, with the increasing blocks, the complexity of the calculations required for the hash values also increases.

The technique limits the number of blocks created. Many functions have a preset limit of the blocks to be created. Bitcoin is an ideal example with its generation to completely stop as it reaches 21 million. Beyond this limit, the generation of new blocks will not create bitcoins.

What are the requirements for mining?

Cryptocurrency mining is not as simple and easy to conduct now as before. The standard PC isn’t a viable option anymore, with the requirements of quality and quantity in hardware requirements seeing an undeniable rise, to increase the volume of mining.

From a reasonably good processor and a high-end GPU to several GPUs working in conjunction and specialised chips configured for the purpose of crypto mining, the requirements have grown. Coupled with the cost of power given the continuous running of machines, mining of cryptocurrency is a very costly affair.

 Buying Cryptocurrency

Investments in cryptocurrency have grown considerably over the years after the initial reservations on the technology died down. Today, there are many options available in buying cryptocurrency. Before we get into that, let us analyse the various features that need to address before going ahead.

  • Location

Cryptocurrency trade is illegal or regularised in many countries even now. Hence before you plan to buy the currency be aware of the laws governing the place.

  • Type of cryptocurrency

All cryptocurrencies are not available for sale in all websites. Depending on the type of cryptocurrency you would like to buy, find a website that sells the particular currency at a price.

  • Payment Method

Cryptocurrency is usually bought with credit cards, cash or even bank deposit as a payment method.

  • The fees involved

The fees of different website differ from one another. Hence, before selecting a website, do a comparison study of the fees before getting registered and verified at a particular exchange.

Cryptocurrency wallets

Cryptocurrency wallets are an essential addition in trading of cryptocurrency. They are similar to banks in that they help in the secure and safe storage of digital currency. While banks store money, cryptocurrency wallets stores and ensure the security of passwords that represent the digital currency.

Cryptocurrency wallets may differ depending on the cryptocurrency to be stored. For example, you may need one type of wallet to store a Litecoin while another to store a Bitcoin. With the popularity of cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, multi-coin wallets that can store different types of currencies are now available. Though costly, they provide many safe and easy to use options to choose from.

Security is one of the prime attributes that need to be taken care of when buying a cryptocurrency wallet. This is because once the digital money is stolen it cannot be retrieved. Wallets are of different types such as:-

Online wallets – these wallets are available online and are the easiest to set up. They are also the least safe of the lot.

Software wallets – they are similar to an app that can be downloaded and used. They are safer than the online wallets.

Hardware wallets – these wallets are portable devices that can be operated by plugging into the USB of the computer. They are the safest cryptocurrency wallets.

Trading cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency trading has seen a significant rise recently. To initiate a cryptocurrency trade, it is essential to have two major components namely a cryptocurrency wallet, to store the cryptocurrency and a cryptocurrency exchange that is chosen wisely to trade on. This is similar to trading on the stock exchange where you need a bank account to access the stock exchange.

Before trading cryptocurrency

If you are getting into cryptocurrency trade for the first time, there are some points to be kept in mind before entering the trade. Although cryptocurrency exchanges follow the general mechanics of stock exchanges, they differ in the specifics being totally different entities. Hence it is important to learn about it on a deep level before proceeding to trade.

Would you like to know more about our blockchain services? Read More About Our Blockchain Services

Further Reading

Want to learn more about cryptocurrency? Here’s a reading list for you.

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Blockchain technology has managed to influence every walks of our life in a very short period of time. While the benefits of the technology far outnumber the mixed reaction it has received from the crowd, blockchain technology offers a lot of scope for innovative applications. Subscription economy and recurring payment systems are some of them.

The 8x Protocol is a new concept ensuring a leading standard in the management of recurring payments with the help of blockchain technology. The protocol combines the subscription economy with the blockchain technology creating unique opportunities as well as challenges that are utilized by it.

Recurring Payments

Recurring Payments also called Auto Pay can be defined as mechanisms where a business concern or say a bank is authorized by the customer to automatically collect a certain amount during a particular period. For example, banks are authorized to automatically deduct credit card charges, at the beginning of every month. This helps in avoiding the issues of late fees or fine.

The Main Issues with Recurrent payments

Recurrent payments while a convenient mode of payment in most cases has its limitations as well. Some of the most common issues of recurrent payments are: –

  • The instability or volatility of payments made
  • A push-based system which complicates the payment procedure
  • Lack of scheduling option to smart contracts to schedule payment at a later phase

These issues of recurrent payments can be addressed well with the help of 8x protocol.

What is 8x protocol?

8x protocol is a protocol which enables decentralized recurring payments with a technology built on Ethereum. With this protocol, it is possible to authorize businesses to automatically deduct an approved amount from the account in a prescribed period, eliminating the need for constant manual payment.

 Why 8x Protocol?

8x Protocol brings about a remarkable improvement in the way recurrent payments are conducted today. Some of the prime features of the protocol are as follows.

Direct debit

The 8x protocol allows the entity to take the tokens directly from the user’s wallet. With this protocol, the need for an escrow account can be eliminated. It also eliminates the need for advanced upfront payments.

Zero Volatility

The protocol eliminates volatility with the use of stable coins, Dai, on its collaboration with MakerDAO. This helps in the elimination of volatility for both users as well as businesses. 8x is an ERC20 algorithm.

Execution

On time collection of payments are ensured with the help of a network of distributed services nodes that are run by token holders.

The working of 8x protocol

Businesses create a subscription plan specifying the frequency, amount and fee. The subscription with a dynamic fee helps in conveying the importance of payment on time. Customers subscribe to the subscriptions offered by the business. If they do not have the necessary token at hand, they can conduct an atomic swap (to convert Dai to ETH).

The feature of volatility is not available in the presence of stable coin. Once the date is due, the service nodes are notified or kept on wait regarding the subscription to be processed. If the subscription meets with the criteria set by the service nodes, the transaction is executed and the funds are transferred from the user account to that of the business.

The 8x protocol facilitates recurring cryptocurrency payments without exposing businesses or consumers to the volatility of cryptocurrency.

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Over the last few years, the world of business has seen an explosion of crowdfunding, Token Generating Events (TGEs) and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). With Blockchain being the underlying technology in all these events, the demand for Blockchain developers has been off the charts! The shortage of professionals in this field, given the newness of the technology, has also added to the demand.

Blockchain technology has grown from its role of being a passion to one of the most sort after technologies today. Now that the various benefits of the technology have been analysed, big businesses are jumping the bandwagon to incorporate it for gainful use in their numerous platforms.

Planning to hire a blockchain developer?

Why the demand for Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology is the most sought-after technology today for the various features it imparts to an application. Some of the most significant features of Blockchain are described in detail below.

  • Decentralized Technology

The decentralized technology offers a peer to peer operation, making use of the security that is provided by the distributed nature of Blockchain. This makes it a prominent technology in the field of finance, stock exchange and the kind.

  • Robustness

In an application based on Blockchain technology, the data are stored in blocks that are synchronised chronologically. These blocks cannot be operated by any single individuals, making it one of the most robust and secure piece of technology.

  • Transparency

Any change to the information on a Blockchain can be made with a huge amount of computing power only.  Also, as the information is stored on the network, the majority should agree for the change to be reflected, making it a transparent system.

  • Accountability

Blockchain Technology is now considered to be synonymous with accountability today. Any transaction on a Blockchain can be changed only on agreement with the permission of the majority on the network, adding accountability to the operation.

While hiring a Blockchain developer…..

Blockchain developers are high in demand and the task of recruiting someone so sought after is no easy task. As Blockchain technology has had this enormous boost, in the recent times, you would need to have new tactics out to find the best.

Be sure of what you are looking for

Before you embark on the task to find the best blockchain professional for your project, have some of these basic facts straight.

  • What kind of blockchain developers would be suitable for your project?
  • The technology, length and nature of the project?
  • How many experts would you need on the project?

These factors are dependent on the type of your organisation, your company and project culture and the work for which you are hiring for. Depending on the nature and length of the project, you can opt for a collaboration, outsource the project, hire an expert or train your team to expertise on Blockchain.

Understand Blockchain Developers

Blockchain as a commercial interest is relatively new, hence the workforce in the technology has a majority of enthusiasts who are in it for the passion of developing unique and resourceful projects instead of money. They may focus more on the aspects of cryptography and decentralisation, in place of financial gains. Hence while hiring a developer, be sure to select a person who fits the company and project nature as well as culture.

Looking in the right places

Blockchain is a relatively new field of technology and finding the right candidate through a regular or traditional method of job ad posting would rarely work. As Blockchain is the hottest pick today and given the small number professionals in the field, they would be actively involved in multiple projects and seeking out work. Hence they need to be found from areas like blockchain forums, discussion platforms or conferences.

Offer what they are looking for

Before you drive a hard bargain, keep in mind that blockchain developers are few in number and too high in demand today. They are also different from usual developers with unique skills. Hence offer them the package they are looking for to get your project done on time with efficiency.

Searching for the right person to take your project on the right track can often be frustrating. Unfortunately, in a high demand field like Blockchain technology, you need to offer more to entice the right resource!

Identifying a great blockchain developer…

So, how do we identify between a good Blockchain developer and a great one? While a good Blockchain developer can get the task done for you, a great one can accomplish your task with credibility, ease and proficiency. So, it is imperative to have one as part of the core team.

Most developers proficient in Blockchain have strong ideological belief in the theory of decentralisation. They also have a mastery and deep fundamental understanding of game theory and economic principles. They have a true passion for technology and are inherently curious by nature.

Want to know more?

Conclusion

Hiring the right talent for your company is both critical as well as difficult. Get yourself aware of the various nuances of the technology to have an idea of what to look for in the candidates that you are planning to hire. A company dedicated to Blockchain technology and other functionalities, like PrimaFelicitas would be one of the best options to pursue to get your project done on time and in style!

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The term cryptoeconomics is one that creates a whole lot of confusion regarding its meaning. People often misunderstand the term for some crypto version of economics, which it definitely is not! Cryptoeconomics is a science that makes use of cryptography and incentives to design various applications, systems and networks. In more basic form, cryptoeconomics is about building things.

Considered to be a subfield of applied cryptography, cryptoeconomics take economic theory and economic incentives into account while building applications or technologies. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, zcash and ethereum are all built on this concept. Cryptoeconomics have led to the development of robust applications by combining the soundest technologies of economics, cryptography, networking theory and computer science.

Before we go into a detailed study of cryptoeconomics, let’s have a look at the dynamics of our current financial system and where cryptoeconomics fit into it right now.

Our financial system – the journey so far

The current financial system and economy have passed through quite an evolution to reach the stage it is in today. In the early years, our economy was based on the barter system, where some goods were exchanged for another. This led to a chaos as there were no fixed value or rules for exchange. Hence a unified value system in the form of currency was introduced.

Today our currency value is determined by boundaries. A unified value system does not exist in our global economy. Countries like Greece face huge difficulty due to an unstable currency value. This is where the idea of digital currency arouse from. However, digital currency failed to find a foothold in the economy due to their vulnerability to security attacks, mainly the double spend problem. Double spend problem refers to the safety issue where people are able to hack the digital currency, recreate it and spend it as they please, leading to the devaluation of the currency.

Cryptocurrency is the latest addition to our financial system that is yet to be accepted worldwide. An improved version of digital currency when it comes to security, cryptocurrency is built with what is considered as the best features of networking theory and cryptoeconomics. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins has managed to find success with a lot of application being built in its context.

The value of bitcoins is maintained by regulating its supply in the digital economy. By regulating the production of bitcoin, its value stays high.

What is cryptoeconomics?

Cryptoeconomics refers to the technology that employs both cryptography and economic incentives for the creation of robust decentralized applications or protocols. The reason for the success of bitcoin among various other decentralized protocols is widely acknowledged as the efficiency of cryptoeconomics that worked at the core of its protocol.

Cryptoeconomics aims to replicate this success in every field including transaction, storage, computation, power and prediction. With blockchain playing an important role in various applications today, the scope of employing cryptoeconomics and its various incentives are on the rise.

The design of Bitcoin is mainly based on the penalties and economic incentives in it. The economic incentives in a Bitcoin are gained through mining or creation of a block. If the user is able to create a block, he/she will be able to produce Bitcoins.

A Penalty is a part of the Bitcoin security model. The only way that the security of a bitcoin blockchain can be compromised is when an attacker is able to access the majority of the application’s hashing power. However, the cost required for this is quite high and the process is very difficult to get through. The hash function not only offers security but integrity as well by linking the previous blocks to one another. The public-private key cryptography ensures additional security and offers the users the access and control over their bitcoins. On a deeper note, cryptoeconomics is not limited to just computer science or network theory, it is interdisciplinary.

Want to know more about cryptoeconomics based applications?

Cryptoeconomics – the link with economics

The term cryptoeconomics is one that can misguide people to think of it as an application of some level of economics, which it is not. It is not either a microeconomic or macroeconomic application. The only link it has to mechanism design would be a type of game theory, where the best strategies are designed to obtain the best outcome. In cryptoeconomics, we employ the best economic theories to design a mechanism that would help produce an equilibrium outcome.

The theories used to design a mechanism in cryptoeconomics mainly involve software and cryptography in a decentralized and distributed system. Incentives could prove to be a good security model for some time but nothing can be said about the future. The success of a security model mainly depends on the ability to gauge how people would react to certain things.

Some applications of cryptoeconomics

Different systems in operation today employs cryptoeconomics at the heart of it. One such system is the consensus protocol. The consensus protocol in blockchain sets the platform for a reliable agreement without having to depend on a centralised trust party. In the case of bitcoin, this is known as proof of work consensus, as the miners are required to commit the work initially in terms of electricity and hardware before being allowed to participate in the mining process and seeking rewards.

Cryptoeconomic research is still on for designing a better alternative for the proof of work consensus. Proof of stake is an alternative that is being developed as an alternative to the current system with a number of improvements and variations.

State channels is another application of cryptoeconomics where small set interactions are designed between users. This helps in overcoming one of the biggest disadvantages of blockchain, the cost. Designing smaller interaction sets ensures that the blockchain is made more efficient by moving some of the process, off-chain while maintaining the trust factor with the help of cryptoeconomic design.

State channels can be used not just for payment transaction but for any update process. However, it can be easily explained in the context of a payment transaction. Consider that A and B want to conduct a number of transactions involving small payments. If A and B perform this via a blockchain, the cost involved increases with each transaction and also, the time taken to build the blocks increases.

With the help of state channels, these small transactions can be conducted off-chain. A and B signs off the transactions in a way that it can be conducted on the blockchain but is not done so. When that is done, only the last transaction is updated on the blockchain. The safety of transaction is not compromised as both it is performed in the same format as can be done on a blockchain.

The cryptoeconomic technology has been viewed in the context of bitcoins or blockchain technology till now. It’s time to widen up the scope of this promising branch of technology and use its benefits outside the scope of the finance system. The world has a lot to benefit from if cryptoeconomics stays to bring about what it promises to do!

Further reading list

Want to learn more about cryptoeconomics? Here are some links for a deeper understanding on it.

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Photography is a not just another job for most of you in the field today. You chose it out of passion, for the interest you have in capturing beauty, be it in portraits or landscapes. Doing something that you love for a means of life is one of the luckiest things to happen. Nevertheless, the problem arises when you start planning the business aspect of it.

Propel your photography business with the might of Social Media?

We live in a time where online presence is a prerequisite to stay in front. Quality of your picture, your eye for detail or your talent remains irrelevant if you are not able to reach out and convince your audience. So how do you stay relevant in your field? The most plausible answer, at this time, would be ‘through social media’.

Why Social Media?

With more than about 2.7 billion users, social media offers you a platform of maximum exposure as no other. It provides you with the opportunity to create acquaintances with not just your potential clients but with peers and experts in the field as well. Consequently, it is the best platform to receive better opportunities that aide the growth of your business.

So, how do we do this?

  • Choose the right platforms

Social media is a vast platform that is growing by the day. You have Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and so many more. Managing all of them together would be a dauntless task for you. So, choose those avenues that are relevant to your niche. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are the ones that focus more on the visual content and hence would be relevant to photographs. They also have a wider audience.

Find it difficult to manage on your own?

  • Choice of images

As photographers, images are your work. In a social media platform, they speak for you more than any premeditated content that you would have prepared for promotion. So, choose wisely before posting your work online. It is also important to analyse the platform well in advance to find the best way to showcase your images, to grab maximum attention.

  • Content matters

Studies conducted on various online platforms have reported that posts with content along with images have a better viewership and response in comparison to those with images alone. Longer posts, beautifully explaining a bit about the shooting experiences or some tips of photography will capture the user attention better than those without it.

  • Consistency is the key

Social media moves at a very fast pace. To catch up with it and to keep from losing your audience to other competitors, it is necessary to maintain a regular tempo with the posts. Remember, the more you post, the more you get noticed. However, if your business is just in the infancy stage and you have to don many hats to take it forward, ensuring consistency would be tough for you.

Don’t want to do it all alone?

  • Engaging the audience

The foundation of your success, like most businesses, is not just in talent alone. A major portion of it is dependent on your audience. Hence, it is crucial that you engage with them. Now, how do you do it? Make yourself more human to them beyond the identity of a profile. Engage with them, reply to comments, ask for opinions, give pointers, and create discussions on feedbacks. This could help you get more shares, popularising your work among the millions of users on the platform.

What we do for you?

Being a company having decades of combined experience in providing end to end marketing solutions to start-ups and mid-sized concerns, we know what it takes to provide you with the exposure you are seeking for. We offer well planned and strategized social media management solutions to increase audience engagement. We take care of all nuances of marketing, leaving you free to concentrate on other important aspects for the growth and vitality of your business.

Want a social media marketing strategy for your photography business? Please contact us at hello@primafelicitas.com

Want to know more about social media campaigning? Follow the links below. Would you like to know more about our Social Media Marketing Services? Read More About Our Social Media Services
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With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to be enforced from 25 May 2018, organisations are in a haste to satisfy all the rules mentioned in the regulation. However, doubts regarding some of the guidelines persist.

In this blog, we aim to address one of these main concerns, ‘when do you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer’?

What entails to personal data in GDPR?

GDPR is all set to be enforced in a few days and organisations are busy with tasks to ensure GDPR compliance. Personal data forms the foundation of GDPR, given the main aim of its implementation resting with the need for data protection and privacy. Although it’s not possible to find a definitive classification for personal data, it is possible to identify the data based on the definitions of GDPR.

Personal data refers to information relating to an identifiable or identified natural person, termed as data subject in GDPR regulations. An identifiable person is one who can be identified by a reference such as a name, location data, and identification number or by referring to physical, mental, economic, physiological, social or cultural identity, or through an online reference. Even information such as IP address, political affiliation or hair colour can be considered as personal data, based on the context in which it is used.

 The scope of personal data

Ascertaining the scope of personal data, as in specifying what is considered as the ‘risk-prone’ data, is a difficult process. For example, collecting the occupation of users for the purpose of the survey cannot be considered harmful. However, when this is combined with more information, such as location, the name of the company or name of the person, it can be identity revealing.

While it is difficult to classify personal data, here is a broad list of things that could come under its classification.

  • Information on the current living situation or biographical information

This constitutes details such as address, email addresses, phone numbers, social security number, date of births and so on.

  • Description of looks, appearance or behaviour

Information such as eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, skin tone or character traits.

  • Information about education or workplace data

Details of education such as student number, place or subject of study, tax details, salary or workplace name and addresses.

  • Private, subjective data

Details such as political opinions, religion or geo-tracking of data.

  • Information regarding health and genetics

Data regarding medical history, sick leaves or genetics

Who is a Data Protection Officer?

A Data Protection Officer in an organisation acts as an independent advocate for the enforcement of customer’s data security. The officer keeps track of the various laws and regulations of data protection while conducting internal privacy assessments. This helps them to ascertain if all the data protection policies followed by the organisation are up to date.

A DPO’s scope of work includes the following

  • Setting up of defendable personal data retention periods
  • Authorizing specific workflows to ensure proper data access
  • Outlining the procedure for keeping retained data anonymous
  • Constant monitoring of the systems to ensure data security of the customers
  • Inform and advise employees and the organisation management regarding their obligations of data protection.
  • Serve as the point of contact between the organisation and data protection authorities
  • Serve as the point of contact for users on privacy matters

Which organisations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer under GDPR?

This question has been doing the rounds ever since the decision to adopt GDPR was made by the European Union. Article 37 of GDPR rightly addresses this query.

According to Article 37, a Data Protection Officer needs to be appointed if,

  • The organisation is a public authority, other than courts
  • The core activities of the organisation are centred on regular, systematic and large-scale monitoring of individuals within the EU region, like tracking of online behaviour.
  • The core activities of the organisation involve large-scale processing of special or sensitive data such as data of criminal activities, offences or convictions.
Public Authority

The definition of public authority is clearly provided in the Freedom of Information Act 2000(FOIA). This applies to GDPR as well until any act or amendment points to otherwise.

Core activities

The core activities of an organisation imply to the primary business activities conducted in the organisation. Hence if the processing of personal data is a prerequisite to achieving the primary objective of the business, then it is considered as the core activity and the organisation needs to appoint a DPO for GDPR compliance. On the other hand, using personal data for activities such as HR and payroll processing are all considered secondary activity.

Regular and systematic monitoring

Regular and systematic monitoring refers to all forms of profiling and tracking, through offline and online methods. The extent of monitoring is identified by taking into account the count of data subjects concerned, the personal data volume that is processed, the range of data items processed, the duration of the activity and its geographical extent.

Appointing the DPO

The DPO need not necessarily be a new employee. It is possible to select an existing employee if they are compatible with the scope of work. It is also possible to externally contract a DPO based on a well-prepared service contract. The contact details of the DPO needs to be published and submitted to the ICO.

What are consumer rights?

How to handle personal data in GDPR compliance?

The first task of ensuring that you maintain GDPR compliance is to identify if the collected data can be classified as personal data. If you are not sure regarding its nature, it is better to classify it as personal data rather than taking a risk.

Once collected personal data should be encrypted and pseudonymised. The process of pseudonymisation involves replacing the identifiers with artificial identifiers. This process is an important part of GDPR and is mentioned about 15 times in its document. Although it helps in ensuring data protection and privacy, data pseudonymisation has its limitations. Hence GDPR suggests encryption alongside this process.

Encryption is similar to pseudonymisation in that it replaces the identifiers with a false set. But then again, when in pseudonymisation the dataset is visible to everyone, encryption allows access to only authenticated users. Both these processes can be used separately or simultaneously. Simultaneous use of these would ensure better data security.

With only a few days to go till the deadline for GDPR compliance, it’s high time, these specifications are met with, to avoid the brunt of GDPR penalty!

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