Since the unleashing of the bitcoin code onto the world as an open source digital asset, many have tried to fork the code and do much more with the with the underlining technology known as blockchain. While many have simply forked and the SHA256 algorithm with competing products based on other algorithms such as scrypt nscrypt and now dagger.
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin envisioned a sort of a programmable blockchain. Based on smart contracts its a very powerful tool. In this Article I will try to cover the basics of ethereum so that you get clear picture of what it is and why its important. I think the best words of what ethereum is are on its website “Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.” Similar to bitcoin blockchain the ethereum blockchain requires ether to make or setup contracts and build decentralized apps based on those contracts. It is important to note that ether or ehterium being used directly will be very costly, but using it as contract based setup makes it cheap, fast, secure and unstoppable.
Mining ether is one topic being googled alot recently since it has risen in price while bitcoin price has fallen of a bit. This is even more visible when the rates of bitcoins start to rise we see the fall of price in eth or ether the fuel of ethereum blockchain. Mining is done through a program called geth which is a communicator between ether network and your system. Block generation time is very small so mining is not that difficult since there are no ASICs available for this algorithm you can look into mining it with cpu or gpu. A full tutorial on how to mine eth the fuel of ethereum can be found here.
Is ethereum the new bitcoin, most certainly not. Its a reprogrammable blockchain which can be used with contracts based programming to improve and build decentralized apps with incentives.
In 2015 we saw numerous banks turning to blockchain the underlining technology of bitcoin to drive customer base away from btc and improve their own system in the process. An example was laid out where it was stated that Bank Of America alone uses more electricity then the entire bitcoin network combined. It was popular believe that the “beauty of bitcoin lies in blockchain”, I for one was sold on this. But the more you understand bitcoin the more you realize thats not the case, and the more you fall in love with the whole concept of bitcoin.
Many might disagree with me on this statement. While I am not saying that blockchain and bitcoin are revolutionary, all I am saying is that its not just the tech that makes bitcoin or btc special, its the underlining principle of the bitcoin that makes it the most disruptive tech in the fintech space.
The idea as purposed by satoshi nakamoto was loosely based on on torrent software where you would share your bitcoin via peer to peer system where you would not require central auditing or confirming authority. Now lets think about this for a minute. Decentralization and the open source nature of bitcoin is what make it so special. An example is the recent development disagreement by the core developers where 2 developers purposed a fork of bitcoin XT. That saw the prices of bitcoin plunge to lows of around $150. While many thought that proposal was destroying bitcoin, I believed it was making btc stronger by displaying that no one has control over bitcoin. In the end it will be the people who will decide what is good for the network and not any one entity.
The banking sector was of the belief that its the blockchain tech that drives bitcoin, and without understanding the true nature of why decentralization is important they jumped on the blockchain wagon releasing their own chains and coins in the process. I think bitcoin and banks can live in harmony, how you may ask is very hard to answer. For one I think banks can use bitcoin as a settlement product within their networks. Think of bitcoin as Mastercard or Visacard. When the concept was brought forward banks went a head started incorporating these into their systems rather then coming up with their own individual cards. There is alot to cover of how btc and bank can live in peace then this one article, but the idea can be be implemented in ways that banks haven’t imagined yet. I think time will only improve our understanding of what bitcoin is and how it will shape the future of fintech.
Idea of online earning is not an old one. We have seen many websites launched that are now selling “adpacks” or “advertisement upgrades” promising you to earn by working online. While there are many of these that make you invest upfront there are few that are completely free. The reason I wanted to write about this is because many people call us and ask how do we make money online.
Earning online, or earning bitcoin or btc is not a simple task. I tell people you have to work hard and the best way to earn especially bitcoins in Pakistan is to go to sites like fiver or my personal favorite xbtfreelancer (well they pay in bitcoin ;)) is the way to go. These are freelancing websites that offer you payments for your skills. Pakistan is now the 3rd largest freelancing producer in the world. And with recent news coming out about how freelancers are working to earn online in Pakistan the standings will only improve while providing job opportunities.
To add to this I have seen many people who do not have the skill set to work on these sites or find it very hard to compete against the set players in the field. For the later (while I dont promote these often I am telling people about this so they can give them a try) I suggest looking to something called ads viewing or clicking. These websites are pretty straight forward all you have to do is signup click on view ads or my advertisements and just click on ads and watch the ad for a few seconds. The ad window should be active for getting credited for the ad. These sites pay in multitude of payment methods with bitcoin being one of them. I would strongly suggest against buying any sort of upgrades etc from these websites and I dont run any of them. I have just been testing out a few sites such as ads4btc (video)and adfiver. You can also go on something like ifaucet and earn through faucets.
Please take note that I dont own or know about these websites. But I am testing these out just to let people know if they actually payout. I also recommend that dont buy and upgrades from these sites instead there are many sites offering this free and you can simply signup on multiple sites rather then buying adpacks or upgrades etc.
Its getting easier faster and better to use bitcoin in Pakistan. Now Paybill has gone live after the advent of topup24 going live with instant mobile topups or easyload to any mobile network in Pakistan. Paybill plans to make bill payments a breeze no matter where you are fast and instantly. Now you can simply enter your consumer number/account number and a mobile number to pay your bill instantly and receive instant sms for confirmation of bill payment by the bill payee company.
As I have mentioned before its very important for people to start using bitcoin and not just trading in it to realize the true potential of btc. With this vision, eCommerce sites such as http://www.yourstore.pk and http://www.sakamaonline.com also came online accepting bitcoin in Pakistan. We are on trying very hard to convince big name brand names to start accepting this and create a ripple effect in our ecosystem.
Pakistan is already the 3rd largest freelance work force producer in the world if they start accepting bitcoins with the absence of payment gateways such as Paypal. A Software with value such as btc can help them overtake a gap left by such service. While services such as Paynoeer and Perfect Money have tried their level best fill this gap but the issue is that these services are expensive and not easy. Hopefully one day we will see bitcoin raise to a level it was envisioned by Satoshsi Nakamoto.
With the problems and corruption in Pakistan going uncontrolled. The govt is trying to tax each and every bank transaction. There are alot of problems with current tax laws in Pakistan of which I am not going to get into much details. But bear in mind that each and every Pakistani is taxed through Cellphone home phones, electric bills, tv bills, gas bills etc. Most of this sector which is below the poverty line doesn’t even know that they are the ones that are suppose to receive a refunds. This in return causes the richer to get richer and divert taxes while the poor get poorer. With recommendations of the new tax law if implemented every banking transaction in Pakistan will be taxed hence causing more burden to existing taxpayers and causing double taxation. While this could be avoided if our systems worked properly then this wouldn’t be a problem but the returns are hardly paid and have to go through alot of problems before you actually receive the payments. This may even propel the use of Bitcoin In Pakistan.
As mentioned before btc or bitcoin is a peer to peer system that works like utorrent and hence is equivalent to digital cash. While the leading world countries are now starting to accept this crypto currency and realize its existence (now evident by the acceptance of big players such as Paypal, Microsoft, Expedia, Namescheap, Goldman Sachs and entities such as NYSE) Pakistan still remains far behind. But with the law as proposed by Mr Isaq Daar it may cause people to look for alternate ways to transact with one another in order to avoid this hefty tax. Bitcoin/btc/xbt maybe the answer here and propel people to actually start storing money in bitcoin. It is now clear that Pakistan is a growing economy in the bitcoin era as Urdubit trade volumes have reached 3 btc avg daily. Paybill which is still very new and still building has seen an increase in mobile topups. Paybill has been designed for payment of bills in Pakistan.
I do hope that this tax is not implemented, but at the same time this does show us how important a true p2p currency is. The fact that all the funds of any person in any country can be blocked or controlled by any sort of external force at will can just call shivers. I leave the readers of this blog to comment and share your thoughts on this.