General Crypto Overview
A short overview of the public blockchain crypto industry
What is blockchain technology?
Blockchain is a distributed ledger of transactions that can record not only financial transactions but virtually anything of value. Each block consists of a series of transactions managed by an infrastructure of distributed computers on a decentralized network. Each computer (node) holds a copy of the ledger in order to verify transactions. Each node is connected to each other while there is a constant exchange of blockchain data ensuring every node is up to date. There is no central governing authority controlling the network. Since the blockchain data is shared over an immutable ledger, the information contained is completely transparent and open for everyone to see.
Why ‘block-chain’? A block consists of a group of recorded transactions in the form of hashes — a string of numbers and letters. Each hash consists of information from current and past transactions. This creates an immutable ‘chain’ of transactions. Each node verifies transactions across the network before they are added to the ledger through a consensus mechanism allowing all nodes to cross-verify transactions with each other. This keeps blockchain decentralized and autonomous.
What makes blockchain technology so unique is the ability to keep all ledgers in the network accessible by the public, yet completely tamperproof. Every block in the network is cryptographically linked to two adjacent blocks which means in order to tamper with the network, it would require every single block in the network to be modified. Since blockchains are distributed across a decentralized network, security is a strong point.
A brief history of the crypto industry
Let's take a look at the relatively short history of public blockchain and cryptocurrencies over the past 10 years.
2008 The domain name bitcoin.org gets registered in August and later that year a paper is published by the “Satoshi Nakamoto”: Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System.
2009 On January 3rd, Nakamoto mines the genesis block of bitcoin (the first block) which held a reward of 50 BTC.
2010 Bitcoin gets hacked which exposes a major vulnerability in the network, resulting in a soft fork in order to fix the problem. One of the first notable transactions took place where 10,000BTC was used indirectly for the purchase of two pizzas.
2011 The spotlight is on bitcoin for being used on the ‘dark web’ for illegal activities. Rival cryptocurrencies begin to emerge such as Litecoin, Namecoin, and Swiftcoin. Many consumer services began to emerge. Bitpay was launched which allowed merchants to accept bitcoin as payment using mobile devices. Satoshi Nakamoto wrote his final verifiably email and then disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again.
2012 Bitcoin was becoming a popular target for hackers. Satoshi Dice was launched which flooded the network. The Bitcoin Foundation was established to fund core development and expand awareness. Bitcoin featured in an episode of the US drama show “The Good Wife” titled “Bitcoin for Dummies” where a man claims to represent the creator of the new online currency during a fictionalized trial.
2013 Bitcoin “forks” as a result of holders failing to come to an agreement on a new rule for transactions, meaning the network is split into two versions with different transaction histories leading to a drop in value. Bitcoin is banned in Thailand and China prohibits financial institutions from using bitcoin, leading to another drop in value. The first bitcoin ATM is launched in Canada. The Silk Road, an online black market best known for selling illegal drugs, is shut down and the founder is arrested. The price of bitcoin surged and many new “altcoins” began to emerge.
2014 Mt Gox, a bitcoin exchange based in Japan which handled over 70% of all transactions, files for bankruptcy after a major hack leaving investors at a complete loss. Governments began to pass regulation and the dream of unregulated currency was fading away fast. The world began to realize that the underlying blockchain technology could be used for many other things. Factom was launched and aimed to create a faster, cheaper, bloat-free way to develop applications based on blockchain.
2015 Many new cryptos begin to emerge such as Ethereum and Bitstamp falls victim to a hack. The founder of The Silk Road is sentenced to life in prison. It was an important year for blockchain as a whole as many industry executives began exploring blockchain technology.
2016 Crypto continued to become more and more mainstream. Many new bitcoin ATMs were emerging around the world. Steam, an online game platform, began to accept bitcoin as a payment method, as well as Uber in Argentina. Ethereum forks which splits it into two, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
2017 & 2018 The rise and fall of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) craze. 2017 marked a major year for the ICO market with a total of $11.4 billion raised throughout the year. The first half of 2018 showed the highest point of growth for ICOs since 2017, while the second half of the year showed a major downturn and marked the beginning of “crypto winter”.
Wanchain & RiveX
What is Wanchain and why is RiveX building on Wanchain? Let's take a look.
What is Wanchain?
Wanchain is a public blockchain with support for the development of smart contracts using Solidity. Wanchain supports ring signature-based private transactions and decentralized cross-chain functionality. Wanchain’s Storeman node system uniquely combines secure multiparty computation, atomic swaps, threshold secret sharing, and decentralized account management to implement a decentralized cross-chain solution. A developer can write smart contracts, build a DAPP or issue a fungible/non-fungible token on Wanchain.
Through Wanchain’s cross-chain features, it is possible for any blockchain’s assets to be connected with and circulate on Wanchain. This includes assets from public, private, as well as consortium chains.
Why is RiveX building on Wanchain?
Building on Wanchain’s private chain known as Lanchain will allow dApps to seamlessly connect to Wanchain’s public chain anytime they need. This will enable cross-chain communication with other blockchain protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as Wanchain’s upcoming integration, EOS, which is scheduled for Q4 2019. Below are some of the key features of Wanchain’s private chain.
- Privacy Protection
- Cross Chain Capabilities
- Rapid Deployment
- High Performance
- Highly Customizable
RiveX will also be integrating and operating WRDEX. Wanchain is currently working on the cross-chain DEX prototype, featuring cross-chain transactions using WETH and WBTC WRC20 tokens.
Some features which RiveX will integrate into the DEX include:
- An intuitive UI
- Ability to wrap or unwrap assets from within the RiveX desktop wallet
- RVX token trading pairs