Founder of Astral Crypto.

Bitcoin’s Downtrend Reversal Ceilings

Bitcoin is in a downward trend at the moment. Each day that goes by, Bitcoin’s trend reversal ceiling moves down slightly – about $122 per day. When Bitcoin breaks through the downtrend ceiling (green line), we will hopefully begin to see more growth and a strong market recovery. At Bitcoin’s current price (about $9,650), the downtrend reversal would occur on March 9, 2018. For Bitcoin to begin an upward reversal today, it would need to break about $11,258 and hold there for some time. The other daily ceiling reversal limits are listed on the chart.

Cryptocurrency Laws and Regulations by Country

This article details cryptocurrency laws and regulations, sorted by country. I give each government a rating: Friendly, Neutral, or Hostile. Each section is divided by global region. Because government laws and regulations often change, I plan to release updates to this article every 2-3 months.

Findings: 15 of the 22 listed governments regulate cryptocurrency in a relatively friendly manner. 5 of the 22 governments were relatively neutral. 2 of the 22 governments were hostile. The overall outlook for cryptocurrency trading becoming a legitimate global institution looks good.

Other resources for information on this topic: Perkins Coie Law Firm, Wikipedia, Bitcoin Bans


North America

United States – Friendly

The U.S. has been taking an approach to foster innovation and growth of blockchain and cryptocurrency while protecting investors from high risks and fraud.

On February 6, 2018, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) spoke about cryptocurrency in front of Congress. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman for the CFTC, took the position that “we owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm for virtual currencies, with a thoughtful and balanced response, and not a dismissive one.” Now we will have to wait for the U.S. Congress to make a move on how to regulate Cryptocurrency.

The CFTC recently released a statement against “pump-and-dump” schemes that are currently prevalent in the cryptocurrency community. The CFTC will pay bounty rewards for people who provide original information that leads to successful enforcement actions of pump-and-dump schemes.

A couple months earlier, in December 2017, the SEC released a statement on Cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The SEC took the position that ICOs are subject to U.S. Securities regulations, meaning only accredited investors may participate in ICOs that are not (and almost never are) registered with the SEC. The SEC’s policy is intended to mitigate risk to investors, protect investors from fraud, and hold cryptocurrency projects potentially liable for selling non-registered securities to U.S. investors.

Back to February 2018, Wyoming’s House of Representatives unanimously passed two favorable blockchain bills. HB 70 defines utility tokens (cryptocurrency) as neither traditional money nor a security if it meets certain conditions: it cannot be marketed as an investment opportunity, it is exchangeable for goods or services, and the developers do not enter into an agreement to repurchase the tokens with the intent to manipulate the price. HB 19 will allow cryptocurrency exchanges to re-open in Wyoming after the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act created difficulties for exchanges to operate in Wyoming. Wyoming is also considering other bills that will reduce cryptocurrency taxes, and authorize the state government to use blockchain technology to store records and utilize smart contracts.

Also in February 2018, the Arizona Senate passed a bill that would allow residents to pay income taxes with Bitcoin and other state-recognized cryptocurrencies. Arizona and Wyoming are both creating policies that will spur technological innovation and cryptocurrency trade within their states.

Currently, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats cryptocurrency as property, which subjects it to many taxable trading events. Trading cryptocurrency to fiat, trading cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency, and spending cryptocurrency are all taxable events that may moderately burden cryptocurrency trading.

Canada – Friendly

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCA) publishes online information regarding digital and cryptocurrencies. The FCA explains aspects of decentralization, peer-to-peer transactions, digital wallets, wallet security, and the risks of using digital currency. They further maintain that digital currencies are not legal tender, and that profits made from digital currencies are subject to Canada’s Income Tax Act. Goods and services exchanges for cryptocurrency must be reported as income for tax purposes, and transactions between cryptocurrencies are considered commodity transactions, and must be reported.


China – Hostile

China is notorious for some of the world’s largest bitcoin mines. In 2017, China banned cryptocurrency trading on Chinese exchanges and made ICO fundraising illegal, curving market demand, and causing a large overall downtrend in the cryptocurrency markets. Many Chinese residents turned to using foreign exchanges to trade cryptocurrency instead. Now, news is circulating from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) that China may block all access to domestic and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and ICO websites. It is unclear how much of an effect further Chinese cryptocurrency bans would have, but it could possibly continue to fuel negativity in the market.

Despite China’s harsh stance towards private cryptocurrency trading, the PBOC has been conducting research into issuing its own state-run cryptocurrency.

South Korea – Neutral

The cryptocurrency market’s all-time highs in January 2018 were quickly silenced, in part from fears that South Korea may ban cryptocurrency trading in a manner similar to China. News sites published articles mistakenly claiming there would be a total trading Ban in Korea, causing havoc in the cryptocurrency markets. The reports of a total ban were later discredited when more facts surfaced that the South Korean Ministry of Justice announced plans to ban cryptocurrency trading without the consent of other government agencies involved in regulations.

Later in January, South Korea proposed new rules to prevent anonymous trading and impose penalties for failing to comply. South Korean lawmakers also increased pressure on exchanges to pay corporate and local income taxes. Foreigners were also banned from trading on South Korean exchanges.

In February 2018, South Korea began to lighten its stance on cryptocurrency trading. Government representatives have pledged their support for regulated cryptocurrency trading. Exchange representatives said that the government will encourage banks to work with exchanges. It appears that South Korea is moving forward to permit regulated cryptocurrency trading.

Japan – Friendly

Currently, Japanese Yen accounts for over 36% of Bitcoin’s trading volume, more than every other currency. USD is second at just over 31%. Japan’s high demand for cryptocurrency is supported by a well-regulated legal system that supports the industry in a way that builds credibility among investors and creates familiarity with securities trading as it relates to cryptocurrency. According to Midori Kanemitsu, the CFO of bitFlyer Inc., one of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, “Japan is the first and only country that has a proper legal system regulating cryptocurrency trading.” Kanemitsu criticizes New York State’s “BitLicense” that regulates cryptocurrency exchanges too strictly. Japan’s Payment Services Act was the first national registration system for cryptocurrency exchanges.

In January 2018, hackers stole $534 million worth of NEM from Coincheck, one of Japan’s 36 cryptocurrency exchanges. Coincheck was in the process of obtaining official recognition from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). The FSA warned Coincheck that it had poor cybersecurity that required dramatic improvements. Coincheck announced it would refund $430 million of lost funds to the 260,000 affected users.

In response to security issues, Japan’s cryptocurrency exchanges will establish a single self-regulatory body of only FSA-approved exchanges in an attempt to regain public trust. The regulatory body will work to create fair trade rules and self-regulations to plug legal loopholes. The body will also discuss cryptocurrency policy and legislation with the government, and create policies on insider trading, advertising and security. Members of the regulatory body that fail to follow the policies will be subject to penalties.

Singapore – Friendly

Singapore is often considered one of the more hospitable governments toward cryptocurrencies. In October 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published a clarifying document on cryptocurrency regulation. The document states that MAS does not directly regulate cryptocurrency, but regulates fraudulent and dangerous financial activities such as money laundering and terrorism. The MAS also requires that ICOs structured as securities comply with securities laws to protect investors, however, ICOs that are not structured as securities will only be subject to anti-fraud and anti-terrorism legislation. Singapore’s relaxed regulations and tax laws have sparked numerous ICOs in their territory.

In November 2017, the MAS also announced that it would partner with R3, a blockchain technology company and group of financial institutions to create Project Ubin; a project to conduct inter-bank payments with blockchain technology. Project Ubin’s advisors and partners include Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank Ltd., HSBC Limited, J.P. Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, OCBC Bank, Singapore Exchange (SGX), Standard Chartered Bank, and Unite Overseas Bank. Collaborators on the technological aspects of the project include: Accenture, R3, IBM, ConsenSys, Microsoft, and Azure Blockchain. Project Ubin developed three software prototypes for decentralized inter-bank payments and settlements with liquidity savings mechanisms. The prototypes inspired two spin-off projects. The first is an SGX driven project focused on increasing fixed income securities trading and settlement cycles through distributed ledger technology (DLT). The second focuses on methods of conducting cross-border payments with central bank currency.

Thailand – Neutral

Thailand expects to clarify its stance on how to regulate digital currencies within the coming months. The government aims to protect against fraudulent activities and deceitful investments, while maintaining the benefits of using blockchain technology.

The Central Bank of Thailand (BOT) banned Thailand banks from five cryptocurrency related activities: investing or trading in cryptocurrency, exchanging cryptocurrencies, creating platforms for cryptocurrency trading, allowing clients to use credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, and advising customers on cryptocurrency investing and trading.

The Thai government is also in talks with Cryptocurrency project OmiseGo (OMG) to create a national digital identification platform that provides consumer protection and security against fraud. OMG would also help provide online privacy, and provide a convenient, transparent, and fast way to make payments.

Vietnam – Neutral/Hostile

Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice and State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) are quickly preparing a report to present to the Council of Ministers. Currently, the scope of regulations are still unknown. In 2017, Vietnamese tax authorities lost a lawsuit against a local citizen who made a fortune trading Bitcoin. Under Vietnamese law, Bitcoin is not considered an asset, so the court ruled that authorities could not tax him for his gains. In late 2017, the SBV ruled that Cryptocurrency is not a legal means of payment, and effectively outlawed the supply and use in the marketplace. Violators could face fines up to 200 million Dong ($9,000). In January 2018, the Vietnamese State Securities Commission (SSC) requested that Vietnamese security trading firms refrain from providing cryptocurrency related services.

India – Neutral/Friendly

On February 1, 2018, Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister noted that cryptocurrency is not legal tender and promised to crackdown on illegitimate activities relating to cryptocurrency. Many media sources interpreted his statements as a cryptocurrency ban, however, those media interpretations were incorrect. Although India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) does not allow the use of cryptocurrency as forms of payments, the RBI supports the growth of Blockchain technology behind cryptocurrency. Jaitley took the stance that “the government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in the digital economy.”

Iran – Friendly

Recent statements from Iran’s central bank suggest that Iran is developing a state-run cryptocurrency. On February 21, 2018, MJ Azari Jahromi, the Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology announced discussing cryptocurrency and blockchain at a meeting with the Iranian central bank’s board of directors. He also announced that they decided to implement the country’s first cloud-based cryptocurrency using the capacity of Iran’s elite. In November 2017, Iran’s High Council of Cyberspace (HCC) said it would welcome bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading, subject to regulations.


Russia – Friendly

In January 2018, the Russian Finance Ministry drafted a bill that would legalize “digital financial assets” stored on blockchain networks as electronic securities. The bill would define the scope of regulations on cryptocurrency, and would not prohibit trading. The bill would further define bitcoin mining as an entrepreneurial activity, which could require Russian bitcoin miners to register with the government. It may also create a 50,000 ruble ($900) ICO investment limit for residents who are not registered as qualified investors. There are plans to pass the bill to Russian Parliament for amendments and voting later this year.

At the end of January 2018, Sberbank, Russia’s largest state bank, announced its plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in Europe through its Swiss branch. The bank is planned for Switzerland, because cryptocurrency operations are not currently permitted to be run out of Russia, while cryptocurrency exchanges are legal in Switzerland. Sberbank is currently developing its trading infrastructure, and plans to offer services only to legalized institutional investors.

In February 2018, Russia held meetings with Venezuela to discuss potential collaboration between governments on Venezuela’s new state-run cryptocurrency, Petro.

Switzerland – Friendly

During 2017, Swiss ICOs raised about $550 million in funding, totaling about 14% of the global $4 billion ICO market. As a response, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published ICO guidelines on February 16, 2018, under the Swiss anti-money laundering and securities laws. Switzerland considers many ICOs as securities, with some exceptions. The guidelines create three categories of tokens: payment tokens, utility tokens, and asset tokens. Payment tokens and tokens used to access an already running blockchain platform would not be regulated as securities.

FINMA’s CEO, Mark Branson said the regulations are a “balanced approach to handling ICO projects and inquiries [to allow] legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system.” Many tokens are also subject to Switzerland’s favorable tax laws, which are partly responsible for the high demand for blockchain companies to base their ICOs there.

Britain – Neutral

On February 22, 2018, the U.K. Treasury announced that it will begin looking into issues surrounding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The investigation will look into the role of cryptocurrencies in Britain, including both opportunities and risks for consumers, businesses, and government. The Treasury Committee will look at the potential risks that cryptocurrency could pose, such as price volatility, money laundering, and cyber crimes. The Treasury Committee will also look at the potential technological and economic benefits, and how cryptocurrency can create innovative opportunities and disrupt traditional economies.

France – Neutral

In January 2018, Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy, announced the creation of a group to develop cryptocurrency regulations. The group will be responsible for proposing guidelines and drafting regulations to prevent tax evasion, money laundering, financial crimes, and terrorist activities. Le Maire’s stated, “We want a stable economy. We reject the risks of speculation and the possible financial diversions linked to Bitcoin.”

Germany – Friendly/Neutral

Joachim Wuermeling, the Director of German’s Central Bank (Bundesbank), is pushing for bitcoin and cryptocurrency to be regulated through an international set of rules, rather than solely national rules. He believes cryptocurrencies are difficult to regulate within a specific region or country. At the G20 summit this March, Germany and France are planning to release a joint statement proposing regulations, and analyzing the risks linked to bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

In Germany, cryptocurrency is not considered a commodity, stock, or currency. It is classified as private money, similar to foreign currency. Thus, trading cryptocurrency in Germany is tax free for short-term gains under 600 EUR, and tax free for long-term capital gains of over one year.

Italy – Friendly

The Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy (MEF) recently finished public consultations regarding new regulations for cryptocurrency in Italy. The MEF will aim to improve anti-money laundering laws by holding exchanges responsible to prevent illegal cryptocurrency transactions and money laundering. The MEF will also recognize cryptocurrency as a means of exchange, separate from legal tender, for purchases of goods and services, that is not issued by a public authority or central bank.  Aside from the MEF’s newly proposed regulations, Italy does not regulate cryptocurrency heavily. Most cryptocurrency gains and holdings are exempt from taxation. However, the Italian parliament introduced a new law that would require identities of parties in cryptocurrency transaction.

Poland – Friendly/Neutral

Poland has often promoted cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Poland is working with The Polish Blockchain Technology Accelerator, which is subsidized by the Ministry of Digitalization, to create a national cryptocurrency called Digital PLN (dPLN). However, in an odd twist, Poland’s Central Bank, the National Polish Bank (NPB) recently admitted to paying YouTubers thousands of dollars to dissuade Polish Citizens from trading cryptocurrency. The NPB called it an “educational campaign.”

Central and South America

Venezuela – Friendly

In December 2017, the Venezuelan government announced Petro, its state-run, oil-backed token as a form of legal tender to pay for taxes, fees, and public necessities. The cryptocurrency entered the pre-sale phase on February 20, 2018. Initially, 100 million Petros will be issued at an initial value of $6 billion. The Venezuelan government will allow exchanges of Petros for hard currencies (less vulnerable to inflation) and cryptocurrencies, but not for the Venezuelan Bolivar.

The Petro has quickly become controversial. The Venezuelan opposition-run congress denounced the Petro as illegal and unconstitutional, because it would be effectively borrowing against the country’s oil reserves. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R – FL) and Robert Menendez (D – NJ) also denounced the Petro in an open letter the the U.S. Treasury Secretary. The Senators believe it may be possible for Venezuela to use the Petro to bypass American sanctions. Harry Colvin, director and senior economist at Longview Economics expressed his doubts about the Petro’s success, saying “Venezuela has been known for misappropriation of assets in the past and the central bank has just created hyperinflation so I imagine there’ll be trust and transparency issues.”

Brazil – Hostile

In May 2017, Brazil set up a commission to discuss regulation of cryptocurrency. It has since held seven public hearings. In December, Brazil announced it would take the stance to prohibit the issuance of cryptocurrency in national territory, prevent its commercialization, intermediation, and acceptance as a means of payments and settlement of debts. The CVM and Central Bank of Brazil also announced that “The Bitcoin is a financial asset with no ballast that people buy because they believe it will appreciate. That is a typical bubble or pyramid… The Central Bank is not interested in bubbles or illicit payments.” In January 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil (CVM) announced that cryptocurrency is not considered a financial asset, further hindering direct investments.

The Brazilian state of São Paulo is rumored to be looking into using cryptocurrency to help solve its infrastructure problems. Hélcio Tokeshi, the Secretary of Treasury for São Paulo, said, “We like innovation in São Paulo, and blockchain and cryptocurrencies are being followed as extremely interesting innovations that we had to start experimenting with.”

Mexico – Friendly

Mexico is one of the leaders in cryptocurrency exchange trading in Latin America, and has one of the largest financial technology (fintech) markets in the region. Mexico is planning to pass a bill to regulate fintech and cryptocurrency markets within the next few weeks. The bill establishes regulations that classify cryptocurrency as non-legal tender, but still gives permission to use it to pay for goods and services. Under the bill, financial institutions will be permitted to operate with virtual assets and invest in fintech institutions encompassing ITFs (both collective financing institutions and electronic payment fund institutions). The bill may create massive change to the Mexican financial ecosystem. ITFs could be considered just as important as banks, and all trade finance companies may soon be operating with ITFs.

Mexico’s Central Bank, The Bank of Mexico (BOM) plans to take a stance to support new technologies and strengthen the economy while maintaining control. The BOM will likely require licenses for cryptocurrency exchanges and enforce penalties for non-compliance.

Africa and Australia

South Africa – Friendly

In July 2017, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) selected blockchain company Bankymoon to test digital currency regulations. The project has served as an experiment to help SARB decide on how best to regulate cryptocurrency. In February 2018, SARB announced it would begin testing Ethereum’s blockchain for smart contracts.

UBU, the first South African cryptocurrency project launched recently. UBU is a Universal Basic Income project that aims to significantly reduce poverty in Africa through decentralized distribution of digital currency to the poor. Projects such as UBU would provide digital currency to help people invest and earn money in nations that often suffer from poverty and hyper-inflated national currencies.

Australia – Friendly

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) treats financial gains from trading cryptocurrency as property subject to capital gains taxes. An ATO spokesperson said, “Any financial gains made from the selling of bitcoin will generally be subject to capital gains tax and must be reported to the ATO.” However, reports say this policy has yet to be tested in court.

The Australian government does not stringently regulate cryptocurrencies. The relaxed regulations have caused Australian banks to opt out of cryptocurrency trading. CoinSpot, one of Australia’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges has said that Australian banks were not cooperating with exchanges, placing strict limits on accounts, and frequently closing them. Analysts are predicting the high demand for cryptocurrencies will force Australian authorities to begin regulating the industry soon.

Updated February 25, 2018 to reflect more accurate information about India.

Effect of Binance Trading Competitions on Cryptocurrency Price

Hi everyone. Today I saw Gifto’s (GTO) price exploding as a result of it being announced for Binance’s next trading competition (another possible reason for Gifto’s price increase is the announcement that it will be featured on Kyber Network’s decentralized exchange, and is available for use in the beta version of their exchange). I wanted to publish some raw data of the past effects of Binance trading competitions on cryptocurrency price. Usually, but not always, there is a large price bump on the day of the trading competition announcement.  The price bumps happened with: ENJ, BCPT, ARN, BTS, MANA, WAVES, TRIG, and GTO. The price bumps are then usually followed by a price decrease during and/or after the competition ends. Check out the data for yourself.

So if you are considering buying Gifto today, be careful. There is a good chance the price increase was caused by the announcement of Binance’s trading competition. Could GTO’s price continue increasing? Yes. GTO is a strong cryptocurrency with a bright future, but be wary of GTO’s sharp price increase today, as past data shows that there may be a downward correction soon.

Uses for Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency, Vol. 1

This article details the many possible uses for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. It features 8 use cases and 36 specific projects, and will serve as an outline for Astral Crypto’s cryptocurrency database. Since thousands of unique blockchain projects exist, I will write this article in multiple volumes to cover the expansiveness of the market. If you would like me to mention a specific project in a future volume, please contact us with your request.

I strongly believe that blockchain technology will revolutionize modern economic and social interactions for the benefit of humanity. The numerous innovative uses for the technology will drive the value of many of these projects as they become more widely discovered and adopted. Learn more about these exciting projects and their use-cases here.

Use cases featured in the Vol. 1 article:

  1. Digital Currency
  2. Private Digital Currency
  3. Platform for Decentralized Application Development
  4. Supply Chain Management
  5. Financial Services and Payment Protocols
  6. Blockchain Scalability, Security, and Privacy
  7. Entertainment
  8. Advertising

Use cases to be featured in future volumes: Voting systems and security, social media, gold purchases, decentralized trading exchanges, market forecast tools, charities, virtual world and society creation, decentralized messaging, net neutrality, distributed autonomous companies, cross-platform communication, mobile cryptocurrency, cannabis markets, digital asset management, fiat and value backed cryptocurrency, decentralized cloud computing, decentralized data storage, sustainable energy, and many more. We may also revisit past use cases to highlight other specific projects that were previously left out.

1. Digital Currency – Payment for Goods and Services

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency’s first uses were as a form of digital currency to pay for goods and services. Payment remains one of the most popular and well-known uses for cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin currently holds a legendary status as the cryptocurrency and blockchain king. Its whitepaper describes it as a peer-to-peer, decentralized version of electronic cash that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Bitcoin seeks to completely remove reliance on third-party financial institutions to process electronic payments. Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, constructed the network to preserve the identity and security of the transacting parties with revolutionary blockchain technology. provides a list of over eighty commonly used companies that accept bitcoin as currency for payments

Bitcoin has undoubtedly achieved success as a digital currency since its creation in 2009. However, as wide-scale adoption and trading of Bitcoin increases, it begins to encounter issues with volatility, slow transaction speeds, high fees, slow scalability, and high energy costs. These issues create challenges to Bitcoin’s global adoption as a currency. Economically, a currency generally must act as: 1) a medium of exchange; 2) a standard of value/unit of accounting and; 3) a store of value. It is important to keep these three economic principles in mind when looking at cryptocurrencies as payment for goods and services.

Medium of Exchange

A digital medium of exchange is most efficient when it is fast, low cost, and easy to use. As Bitcoin’s network usage increases, low scalability, slow transaction speeds, and high energy costs may create problems in using Bitcoin as an efficient medium of exchange. Bitcoin users are working to solve these issues through the implementation of the Lightning Network, however, the Lightning Network remains in early stages of development and implementation. It is a long way from mass adoption on Bitcoin’s network.

Standard of Value/Unit of Accounting

A standard of value makes it easy to determine how much something in the market is worth. High volatility may create problems for Bitcoin to act as a standard of value. When Bitcoin’s price fluctuates rapidly and unpredictably, it is hard to determine its true value at any one moment. The most widely used currencies have a relatively stable standard of value. In early 2017, bitcoin was trading around $1,000. On December 17, 2017, bitcoin was trading for over $19,500. And today, in February 2018, Bitcoin was trading around $8,000 when I started writing this article, and is now around $8,800 upon finishing it. In one year, the value of Bitcoin has fluctuated wildly, making it difficult to measure, and risky to exchange for goods and services. Currently Bitcoin is too volatile to act as a stable standard of value, but its price may yet stabilize as time goes on and the cryptocurrency market matures.

Store of Value

A store of value ensures that something in the market will remain valuable. Many people compare Bitcoin to gold. It is becoming hard to imagine a world where 1 Bitcoin is worth anything less than hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. As demand for cryptocurrencies increase, Bitcoin’s value has a strong chance to increase as well. At the very least, Bitcoin will probably retain value as a relic of being the first and most legendary cryptocurrency – much like how gold retains its value to this day.

In the years since Bitcoin’s creation, we have started to see a slow rise of alternate cryptocurrencies functioning as digital currencies. Many of these cryptocurrencies have not reached the legendary status of Bitcoin, but offer strong competition compared to Bitcoin. Here are some other popular cryptocurrencies that function as payments for goods and services

Litecoin (LTC)

Charlie Lee, world-famous and well-respected cryptocurrency enthusiast, founded Litecoin in 2011 to offer a more lightweight alternative to Bitcoin. Litecoin provides for faster transactions by using smaller interval times between adding new blocks to its blockchain. It also uses a Scrypt algorithm for its mining governance, as opposed to Bitcoin’s SHA 256, which allows for more efficient mining processes that can be more easily accomplished through less expensive computing hardware. Like the other digital currencies, Litecoin also offers a list of merchants to exchange goods and services. Litecoin has long been a strong project in the cryptocurrency market, and holds a top ten spot in market capitalization.

Dash (DASH)

People use Dash as “digital cash” to make instant, private payments online or in-stores through their open-source platform. Dash offers many merchants who will exchange DASH for a large list of goods and services, including: debit cards, business services, web stores, precious metals, gift cards, games, online casinos, web hosting, email providers, VPN providers, and bill payments.

 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) & (BCC)

Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork of Bitcoin that also acts as peer-to-peer, decentralized electronic cash that does not require third parties. Bitcoin Cash uses an upgraded consensus that allows further growth and scalability that bitcoin has struggled to offer. Bitcoin Cash also offers a wealth of merchants and services that the digital currency can be used for.

Iota (MIOTA)

Iota uses a technology often considered innovative within the cryptocurrency community. Iota operates with a “Tangle” ledger rather than a blockchain. The Tangle has the potential to compete directly with, or even surpass blockchain technology in the future. The Tangle is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) that stores transactions in a way that enables feeless transactions. Users will be able to send and receive feeless micropayments with Iota, which is often impossible with many other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies because of relatively high transaction fees. Iota is designed specifically for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) marketplace, but also offers possibilities in use for data transfer, voting systems, masked messaging, and other creative solutions that can benefit from its unique structure.

Iota’s innovation has secured it a top 15 spot in the cryptocurrency market, and is often thought of as a strong long-term hold because of its potential to disrupt blockchain technology, however, it has also faced a lot of scrutiny for potential security flaws and difficulties with storage in its current state.

Nano (XRB) (formerly Raiblocks)

Nano describes itself as a new way of thinking about money. Nano is a trustless, low-latency cryptocurrency that uses a unique DAG block-lattice architecture with Proof of Stake consensus. Its structure allows for feeless, instant transactions with high scalability and low resource use compared to current blockchain projects. Nano has risen quickly from obscurity in cryptocurrency markets to claim a top 25 spot as a high potential project because of its low costs, fast transactions, and ease of access.

2. Private Digital Currency – Anonymous Payments for Goods and Services

Many cryptocurrencies acting as digital currency maintain public records of wallets and transactions. Some cryptocurrencies have strayed away from publicizing transaction and storage data. These Private digital currencies operate to keep transactions confidential and wallet addresses secret. They also obfuscate origins, amounts, and destinations of transactions to keep them from public view. DASH, as mentioned previously, has a PrivateSend feature to ensure privacy of activity history and account balances. Currently, Monero (XMR) is the most popular privacy currency that operates specifically to be private and untraceable. Other popular private digital currencies include: Zcash (ZEC), Verge (XVG), and PIVX (PIVX).

3. Platform for Decentralized Application (DApp) Development

Many blockchain projects function as a secure platform for the development and implementation of fascinating and valuable decentralized computer applications (dapps, apps) while providing smart contract execution. These dapps are built on top of decentralized blockchain platforms that serve as the foundation for many of the cryptocurrency uses discussed in this article. This section highlights some of the blockchain projects that serve as a structural foundation for application development and smart contract execution.

Ethereum (ETH)

As it stands, Ethereum is the second strongest player in the cryptocurrency market. In 2013, at age 19, Vitalik Buterin, famed cryptocurrency developer, proposed the Ethereum project. The project began crowd-sourced fundraising and development in 2014, and on July 30, 2015, Ethereum went live to become one of the most creative and innovate blockchain projects to be imagined at the time.

Ethereum is a decentralized network that runs smart contracts and provides an application platform that functions without downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference. Currently, Ethereum hosts over 36,000 applications (often referred to as ERC-20 tokens) on its platform. Just five months ago, that number was around 7,000. Many of the apps built on top of Ethereum provide innovative and valuable uses for blockchain technology. Many budding blockchain projects use Ethereum’s network as a jumping-off point into the cryptocurrency market through initial coin offerings (ICO). The tokens that run on Ethereum’s structure are also often traded on exchanges as cryptocurrency.

Ethereum is set to maintain a strong cryptocurrency market presence for a long time. The wide volume and proliferation of cryptocurrency and blockchain apps built on its platform currently reigns far supreme to that of any other project.


NEO was founded by a Shanghai based blockchain company “OnChain.” NEO began development in 2014 and published its real-time open source code on GitHub in June 2015. NEO is a non-profit community-based blockchain project that focuses on hosting digital assets through the use of digital identities stored on a blockchain. NEO automates management of digital assets using smart contracts to create a “smart economy” with a distributed network.

Digital assets are programmable assets that exist electronically on NEO’s blockchain network. They allow users to register, trade, and circulate many types of assets, registered through digital identities, protected by law, and secured with blockchain technology. NEO uses electronic, digital identities for its users – individuals, entities, and other organizations. NEO then uses these digital assets and digital identities to execute smart contracts for its users. The system will allow millions of developers around the world to quickly carry out the development of smart contracts.

An added benefit to owning NEO is that it allows users who store it on their wallet to generate the cryptocurrency GAS, which acts as fuel to NEO’s network. GAS can also be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges. Currently, NEO has about 30 DApps building on its infrastructure. NEO is often plugged as the “Chinese Ethereum,” and has recently found an enormous amount of success in the cryptocurrency market.

Cardano (ADA)

Cardano is a decentralized, open source blockchain project with smart contracts. It runs decentralized financial applications for use by individuals, organizations, and governments around the world. The Cardano team prides itself on its platform evolving out of scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach and features a wide range of brilliant engineers, academics, and researchers. Cardano will also function as a means to send and receive digital currency, aiming to provide open access to fair financial services to anyone. Cardano’s mainnet released on September 29, 2017, and is currently continuing research, development, and marketing in many project areas in offices around the world. Cardano has recently solidified itself as a top ten player in the cryptocurrency market.


EOS is a newer dapp blockchain platform still in early development. EOS claims it will be the most powerful infrastructure for decentralized applications – and if EOS releases with its targeted specifications – it may be just that. EOS uses a unique architecture and a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus to achieve high speeds, low costs, and high scaling of up to one million transactions per second. EOS’ technical capacity is currently on another level than almost every other blockchain project. EOS plans for a June 2018 release. For a project yet to complete a working product, EOS has achieved a remarkable amount of hype and valuation in the cryptocurrency market. This year, EOS has staked out a top ten spot in the cryptocurrency market and shows no sign of slowing down.


NEM provides powerful performance and high versatility for application development. Its vast application potential includes: financial payments, cryptocurrencies, mobile payments, equity markets, escrow services, liquid assets, payment apps, automatic accounting, customer information databases, loyalty reward points, shipping and inspections, supply chain management, encrypted messaging, authentication and notarization, anti-counterfeiting, certificate issuance, corporate compliance, land registry, access control, voting, crowdfunding, stock ownership, and ICOs.

NEM runs on a unique Proof of Importance (POI) consensus, developed specifically for NEM’s network. POI is a unique algorithm that uses network theory to assign a rating of each account’s importance in the network. This essentially cuts down on power consumption compared to Proof of Work consensus (PoW) and provides greater incentives for network decentralization than Proof of Stake consensus (PoS) by rewarding users who make frequent important transactions with others in the network. With POI, users cannot manipulate the network by trading back and forth between a few accounts.


ICON is a new and exciting project emerging from South Korea that released its mainnet 1.0 in late January 2018. ICON is creating a societal network of financial institutions, banks, insurance companies, hospitals, universities, and more. ICON’s goal to “hyperconnect the world” begins by heavily integrating its network into Korean society to drive its innovation as a benefit to the Korean public. ICON will also feature DEX, a decentralized exchange where communities can exchange valuable assets in real time through ICON’s network.

ICON uses a unique LFT (Loopchain Fault Tolerance) consensus algorithm to achieve high speeds, low fees, and low costs compared to many older projects. Unlike Ethereum (which currently limits smart contract development languages), ICON allows development of smart contracts on a platform called SCORE, which provides for contract source code in Python language, and will eventually support Java, and Go, among other coding languages. ICON’s future will continue to brighten this year as more partners and cryptocurrency exchanges continue to adopt ICON.

Qtum (QTUM)

Qtum is a blockchain project focused for business that is able to execute smart contracts and host decentralized applications. It combines a modified Bitcoin Core infrastructure with the Ethereum Virtual Machine to merge the reliability of Bitcoin’s blockchain with the possibility and functionality that smart contracts and dapps provide. Qtum also offers native support for mobile devices and IoT (Internet of Things) applications to further increase Qtum’s value and accessibility for businesses interested in using blockchain technology. Qtum aims to offer the potential for uses in supply chain management, telecommunications, IoT, social networking, and many more.

Lisk (LSK)

Lisk is a blockchain application platform with a focus on decentralization and accessibility. Since May 2016, Lisk has been working to release its Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK is a JavaScript framework that will allow anyone to create and deploy their own custom-built blockchain networks next to Lisk’s main network.  Once deployed, anyone can then build decentralized applications on top of the custom-built blockchain network. The option to create your own blockchain network and subsequently build dapps on top of your own network provides endless possibilities for creative content without facing the challenges of developing your own consensus algorithms and peer-to-peer network protocols. Lisk handles the heavy lifting for you. Examples of creative projects include platform independent social networks, messengers, games, and more.

Other projects focusing on decentralized application development

As there are many other dapp blockchain projects, I will list a handful of them here and expand further on these projects in another article volume: Stratis (STRAT), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Steem (STEEM), Aeternity (AE), Ardor (ARDR), RChain (RHOC), Komodo (KMD), Dragonchain (DRGN), ARK (ARK), Credits (CS) and more.

4. Supply Chain Management

Many projects are leveraging blockchain technology to more effectively manage the chain of goods as they are manufactured, sold, distributed, and purchased through local and global economies. Supply chain management blockchain projects reduce costs in all stages of the supply chain while drawing on blockchain technology’s strengths to ensure the authenticity and quality of marketable goods.

VeChain (VEN)

Vechain is working towards building a self-circulating, scalable, distributed business ecosystem. They have successfully used blockchain technology to provide businesses supply chain solutions in the industries of luxury goods, liquor, agriculture, retail, automobiles, and logistics.

Liquor: Vechain uses a tracking and authentication platform for wine bottles. The platform collects data of wine during production and tracks it from distribution to retail.

Luxury Goods: Vechain creates unique digital IDs to ensure authenticity of luxury goods throughout all stages of the economic process. These IDs are used alongside VeChain’s automated smart contract enabled platform to monitor luxury goods operations during manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, distribution, retailing, and quality-checks. Finally, VeChain uses a universal mobile application that enables consumers to uniquely interact with luxury products and brands to validate authenticity and claim ownership.

Automobile: VeChain creates digital profiles for each automobile based on a unique ID to collect immutable and authentic data on automobiles throughout their lifetime. The platform allows car workshops to update the repair and maintenance status of the vehicles, and helps to facilitate transfers in ownership, insurance operations, and financing for automobiles.

Retail: VeChain allows products distributed through retail to maintain its brand, history, craftsmanship, and sustainable practices on VeChain’s platform to help educate customers on products and build brand loyalty.

Agriculture: VeChain tracks agricultural products to certify that they are environmentally friendly and organic. The platform uses IoT sensors and mobile devices to monitor climate and soil conditions under encrypted data that is accessible only with proper authorization. VeChain’s data collection process helps agriculture companies improve decisions, methods, quality, and quantity of crops to increase product margins while minimizing the negative impact of fertilizer and pesticides on the environment.

Logistics: VeChain installs smart sensors on transportation vehicles that are capable of monitoring temperature, humidity, and steadiness during the logistical process. Brands and consumers can easily check and trace transportation conditions, increasing brand credibility, and lowering operation costs for third-party logistics providers. VeChain’s logistical technology also helps logistics service providers manage goods at the granularity of single units, helping to innovate new logistics and business models that will reduce logistical costs.

Walton (WTC)

Waltonchain attempts to solve supply management problems in four phases.

Phase 1: Research and development of RFID beacon chip to work in accordance with IoT and blockchain technology in the clothing industry. The RFID chip will solve problems in storage, retail shops, after-sale and services while demonstrating Walton’s value for expansion into other industries.

Phase 2: Mass production of RFID beacon chip to be used in clothing, buyer-to-retail, and logistics industries. The process seeks to use its technology to link store pickup, pricing, order placing, packing and storage, sorting and distribution, store management, dispatching, customer signature, and customer assessment and feedback. The RFID beacon will build safe and reliable point-to-point logistics information for customers and businesses, helping to prevent loss, delay, and incorrect orders.

Phase 3: Manufacturers will achieve traceable customization of intelligent packaging. Walton’s blockchain structure will allow traceability, protect authenticity, and guarantee reliability based on RFID identity verification. The process will cover material purchasing, production, assembly operation, packaging and inventory management, and material source and production quality verification. Walton will also provide low-cost data information solutions to help achieve intelligent product management.

Phase 4: Walton will upgrade asset information collection hardware and upgrade block chain data structure so any assets can be registered in Waltonchain. Waltonchain’s upgrades will help to further resolve problems in asset ownership, article traceability, and transaction receipts, in order to further increase production efficiency.

Ambrosus (AMB)

Ambrosus combines high-tech sensors, blockchain protocol, and smart contracts to build a global community-driven ecosystem that assures the quality, safety, and origins of products. Ambrosus will focus on improving life-essential food and medicine markets by controlling supply chain processes, quality, and tracing. They will use customized combinations of robust sensors, biosensors, and food tracers to assess and monitor products’ real-time physical attributes and surroundings of singular units. These sensors and tracers will be coupled with unique IDs that provide smart-tags and anti-tampering mechanisms.

Modum (MOD)

Modum combines IoT sensors with blockchain technology to provide data integrity for transactions of physical products, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. Modum offers a passive monitoring solution to streamline supply chain processors in many sectors. Modum’s sensors record environmental conditions of goods in transit, and verifies transactions of goods through smart contracts. The smart contracts instantly and securely validate that the product’s conditions meet all of the requirements of the sender, their clients, or regulators, and triggers potential actions that will notify senders and receivers, initiate payments, and release goods.

5. Financial Services and Payment Protocols

Cryptocurrencies have innate value in providing a platform for financial services and payment protocols. They allow users to directly and instantly transfer money between two parties with relatively low costs. Traditionally, large-scale, global financial transactions and services were impossible without intermediary banking systems or financial institutions. These banks and institutions charge high fees for transactions and often require wait times before funds became available for use. Cryptocurrencies solve many problems that banks and financial institutions could not by providing direct, instant, secure, and low-cost financial services.

Ripple (XRP)

Ripple initially released in 2012 and has continued improving its code and network since its inception. Ripple connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges, and corporations through its “RippleNet” blockchain to provide easy and instant global money transfers. RippleNet transfers also allow for real-time traceability of funds on its network, while maintaining low operational and liquidity costs. Ripple offers services to banks, payment providers, and businesses to process global payments for customers, source on-demand liquidity, and send payments. RippleNet transactions make up about 89% of transactions between Ripple and its partners. The other 11% uses Ripple’s cryptocurrency, XRP.

Ripple users can use XRP as a way for institutions to send funds across borders without paying foreign exchange rates. Institutions can use any currency to purchase XRP, and instantly send the XRP to other institutions anywhere in the world in about 4 seconds. XRP is also traded publicly as a cryptocurrency on exchanges, and currently retains the third highest cryptocurrency market capitalization behind Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Ripple is partnered with many of the world’s largest financial institutions and banks. Among these partners are many multi-billion dollar institutions such as: American Express, Yes Bank, CGI Group, Lian Lian International, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, National Australia Bank, UBS, among many, many more.

Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Stellar Lumens was created by one of Ripple’s co-founders, Jed McCaleb, and academic super-hero, Joyce Kim, as an open-source decentralized protocol for exchanging money. Stellar is a non-profit organization with similar functionality to Ripple’s XRP, yet a much different focus. Stellar focuses first on creating a secure decentralized network. Next, Stellar aims to expand access to low-cost financial services to fight poverty and maximize individual potential throughout global society. Stellar also offers a platform for instant and low-cost financial transactions without third-party interference, allowing its users to send and receive any currency throughout the world without paying exchange rates.

Several businesses, banks, financial institutions, and nonprofit organizations have partnered with Stellar to use its network to implement financial infrastructure in both the developed and developing world. In October 2017, Stellar and IBM announced a partnership with the goal of improving the speed, cost, and accuracy of banks settling and clearing payments. Stellar Lumens rose quickly to popularity in late 2017 and early 2018, and has recently solidified itself a top ten spot in the cryptocurrency market.

OmiseGO (OMG)

OmiseGO is a decentralized financial technology that enables instant peer-to-peer financial exchanges and payment services across global jurisdictions and organizational structures, to be used with both fiat money and numerous decentralized currencies. OmiseGO attempts to solve fundamental coordination problems amongst payment processors, gateways, and financial institutions. They will support a decentralized exchange on Ethereum’s blockchain to enable high volume and low cost value transfer services that operate across currencies and asset types.

Anyone will be able to use OmiseGO’s decentralized and inexpensive product for financial transactions such as payments, remittances, payroll deposit, buyer-to-buyer commerce, supply-chain finance, loyalty programs, asset management and trading, among other services. Furthermore, it will facilitate mainstream economies to begin transitioning from fiat money to decentralized currencies, if they so choose.

Populous (PPT)

Populous provides invoice financing services through the security and transparency of blockchain technology.

For Sellers: Populous allows businesses to receive immediate funding from invoices waiting to be settled by customers so users can obtain faster payments in order to maintain and expand businesses more efficiently. Populous confirms funding decisions within minutes and provides access to funds within 24 hours. Users can directly buy and sell invoices through auctions, without using third parties. Populous uses an internal token stabilized through global currencies to initiate transactions.

For Buyers: Populous enables invoice buyers from around to the world to participate in the global invoice marketplace without investment limits or intermediaries. Invoice buyers can compete to buy invoices with interest rates. Successful bids will collect both principal and interest when the invoice is settled by the invoice seller. Buyers maintain low risks due to Populous’ uses of XBRL data and Altman Z-Score formulas that analyze business information and credit of borrowers.

Request Network (REQ)

Request Network is currently in development as a global payment service for individuals and businesses that will allow anyone, anywhere to request and send payments.

Online payments: Request Network seeks to disrupt current third-party payment services like PayPal and credit card companies by using blockchain technology to remove third-party interference for processing of payments. Payment requests are saved on Ethereum’s blockchain network that maintains authenticity and initiates instant smart contracts, preventing payment fraud. Furthermore, payments will be less expensive with Request Network, as third parties will not take commissions for payments.

Invoicing: Request Network will feature invoicing capabilities for its users to create and share invoices on its immutable ledger. These invoices allow for accounting in real time, advanced payment conditions such as late fees, down payments, escrow, and taxes. Request Network will also remove third parties from taking commissions for services.

Request further plans to provide services for auditing, accounting, IoT transactions, and budget transparency for governments and NGOs.

Wanchain (WAN)

Wanchain aims to build a decentralized banking infrastructure for use with digital assets. Wanchain uses a distributed ledger capable of recording cross-chain and intra-chain transactions, allowing for storage and management of large volumes of digital assets. Any blockchain network, public or private, can integrate with Wanchain to connect between different ledgers to perform low cost inter-ledger asset transfers. Wanchain not only supports smart contract platforms, but also integrates a privacy protection system for digital asset exchanges.

Wanchain will increase access to financial services in the digital marketplace. Any institution or individual can use Wanchain to set up their own virtual “bank account” and provide services such as loan origination, asset exchanges, credit payments, and transaction settlements, all with digital assets. Wanchain is currently engaging in its post-ICO tokenswap, and plans to release on exchanges within the next couple months.

6. Blockchain Scalability, Security, and Privacy

Certain projects will solve issues that blockchain encounters in scalability, security, and privacy. Currently, many blockchain platforms are facing problems with scaling as adoption and use becomes more widespread. Some projects have created solutions to increase the scale and efficiency of older blockchain platforms that were not initially built to sustain a rapid flood of mass adoption. Other projects are creating solutions to maintain the security and integrity of smart contract systems. And others seek to provide privacy and secrecy to the use of smart contracts, protecting user identity and furthering options for blockchain’s potential uses.

Aion (AION)

Aion is a multi-tier blockchain system designed to address blockchain network scalability, privacy, and interoperability. Aion works by seamlessly integrating into blockchain systems in a “hub-and-spoke” model to provide its solutions. It facilitates inter-blockchain communication, allowing for seamless data and value to transfer between the chains. It also facilitates scalability and performance of blockchain systems by using a high-performance virtual machine that enables applications to operate across multiple chains. Finally, Aion operates with custom blockchain designs containing different consensus algorithms and virtual machines without sacrificing interoperability between blockchains. The Aion network will help blockchain networks both scale and communicate with each other.

Aion is part of the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance alongside ICON and Wanchain, to facilitate blockchain communication and collaboration. Aion also maintains a partnership with Enigma, with the goal of expanding blockchain scalability while preserving privacy.

Enigma (ENG)

Enigma is a project created by a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates and researchers that aims to solve issues with blockchain scalability and privacy. The Enigma protocol operates as a second-layer, off-chain network that helps blockchain networks maintain scalable decentralized systems while preserving smart contract privacy. Enigma is also working to create a decentralized network of data computation and exchange to help analyze and innovate blockchain technology in the cryptocurrency market.

Scalability and Security: Enigma seeks to solve scalability and security issues that prevent expensive and sensitive data from being stored on blockchain networks, causing the need for most data to be stored off-chain in centralized databases. Enigma’s goal is to enable truly decentralized applications to inexpensively store information without the vulnerabilities of centralized applications.

Secret Contracts: Enigma will also allow smart contracts to become secret contracts. Currently, most smart contracts are stored publicly on blockchain networks, hindering privacy of smart contract execution. Enigma nodes will not see data they compute over, yet will publicly prove that they run a computation correctly, thus enabling secret smart contracts. The underlying data processed in the contract will remain encrypted at all times.

Data Marketplace: The first major application impacted by the Engima protocol is Enigma’s decentralized, open, secure data-marketplace. The Enigma Data Marketplace will serve Catalyst, Engima’s professional platform for data-driven crypto-asset trading and investment. Crypto traders, investors, data curators, and contributors will be able to participate in Enigma’s data marketplace to further drive analysis and innovation in the cryptocurrency market.

Quantumstamp (QSP)

Quantumstamp is a direct solution to hacking attempts that were successful in stealing millions of dollars of Ethereum coins due to bugs in the smart contract code. Quantumstamp’s protocol enables a scalable and cost-effective system to audit all smart contracts on Ethereum’s network, with the long-term goal being for Quantumstamp to perform security audits on every Ethereum smart contract. The protocol operates in two parts: 1) an automated and upgradeable software verification system that checks Solidity programs in order to catch increasingly sophisticated attacks over time, and; 2) An automated bounty payout system that rewards people for finding errors in smart contracts. The payout system will bridge gaps in Quantumstamp’s protocol as the system moves towards full automation.

7. Entertainment

Blockchain projects and cryptocurrency are beginning to enter the entertainment industry. The uses for cryptocurrency and blockchain in entertainment are wide and versatile. Many projects provide platforms for user-created content to excel in virtual economies.

Tron (TRX)

Tron is developing a decentralized content entertainment protocol based on blockchain technology. Its goal is to create a global, free content entertainment system on a blockchain network. Tron would allow users to freely publish, store, and own their own data. Tron is currently the most hyped and highest capitalized entertainment-based cryptocurrency. Its founder, Justin Sun has achieved great notoriety within the cryptocurrency world. He is often a figure of both great reverence and great controversy. Tron has been accused of plagiarizing its whitepaper, and Justin Sun has been accused by the cryptocurrency community of selling hundreds of millions of dollars of TRX after dishonestly generating intense hype around the project to drive up its value. The ideas and ambitions of Tron will be incredible if realized, but the project has recently been flooded by doubt and uncertainty by Tron’s questionable actions.

FunFair (FUN)

FunFair uses Ethereum’s blockchain technology to create an online casino industry. FunFair allows anyone, anywhere to run their own casino by simplifying casino setup and reducing operating costs. FunFair also offers high transparency and player protections that will help unlock global gaming potential. FunFair brings casino operators, game developers, and players together in an open, efficient, and entertaining way. (POE) provides a decentralized and secure platform to register creative works through blockchain. The platform provides a verifiable and immutable network for content creators to publish their work with timestamped titles to preserve and register creative works. builds a bridge between creators and publishers in a space traditionally controlled by third parties. Users can discover new content and verify authenticity of existing content through its system of attribution. also gives both publishers and content creators tools to automate creative licensing processes without relying on third parties. Users can choose from preexisting licenses, or create their own terms and automate payments, transfers, and issuances of licenses.

Dogecoin (DOGE)

1 DOGE = 1 DOGE. Dogecoin is an open source peer-to-peer digital currency, favored by Shiba Inus across the world. Dogecoin leverages the popular Doge meme and injects it into a cryptocurrency. Dogecoin’s popularity has soard since its release in 2013. Many fear an impending crash and devaluation of the cryptocurrency market, but what they fail to realize is that 1 DOGE always equals 1 DOGE.

Enjin (ENJ)

Enjin acts as a cryptocurrency and smart contract platform that gives game developers, content creators, and the gaming community tools for implementing and managing virtual goods with a value-backed cryptocurrency. Enjin is developing its own framework to use open-source software development kits (SDKs), wallets, game plugins, virtual item management apps, and a payment gateway platform for use within video game community. This project can transform gaming experiences by creating value for virtual assets in online games, allowing gamers to trade value-backed digital assets from game to game, and community to community. Enjin provides a solution to virtual item purchases rampant with fraud and high transaction fees.

Enjin is also upgrading their Minecraft plugin that will link players’ Minecraft accounts with their Enjin wallet, allowing players to transfer items for tokens, or transfer and receive items to any player using Enjin’s game servers. The current Enjin Minecraft plugin has over 5.2 million downloads since its release in 2012, and plans to release its Enjin coin backed version to thousands of Minecraft servers and millions of players in early 2018.

SingularDTV (SNGLS)

SingularDTV is a blockchain entertainment studio laying the foundation for a decentralized entertainment industry that allows content creators to retain full control of their work. SingularDTV allows for rights management, project funding, and peer-to-peer distribution of content. Its platform gives artists and creators powerful tools to manage projects from development stages to distribution. Music producer Gramatik, actor Joe Morton, and director Kushnuda Shukurova are featured content creators on SingularDTV.

Gifto (GTO)

Gifto is a decentralized universal gifting protocol to be used initially for the streaming service, Uplive. Uplive generated $100 million USD revenue in 2017 through its virtual gifting platform, and plans to allow users to send and receive customized virtual gifts that will be backed by real value GIFTO tokens stored on a decentralized blockchain network. Viewers and content creators can send and receive GIFTO tokens as a way to support content creators and fans. Gifto can be used to send and receive GIFTO tokens on any social media platform, including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Gifto plans to release its fully functional virtual gifting platform by Q3 2018.

8. Advertising

Online advertising is quickly becoming corrupted with disruptive and fraudulent ads, privacy violations due to web-trackers, ad-blockers, and greedy third parties that strain ad industry revenues. Some projects aim to use the transparency and security of blockchain technology to solve the issues in online advertising to create more efficient and trustworthy advertising services, thus reducing advertising costs, protecting user privacy, increasing user enjoyment of ads, and allowing advertisers to generate more revenue and clearer data.

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Basic Attention Token was founded by the creator of JavaScript, and the co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox. Basic Attention Token uses Ethereum’s blockchain network to radically improve the efficiency of digital advertising by using BAT tokens that can be exchanged between publishers, advertisers, and users. The BAT token can be used to obtain a variety of advertising and attention-based services on its Brave platform. Basic Attention Token focuses on solving advertising industry problems by removing third parties and trackers, and reducing fraud.

BAT will help reduce users’ mobile data used for ads and trackers, which can cost up to 50% of a user’s data and as much as $23 a month. It will reduce advertisement load times, help prevent phone battery life drain from ads, protect privacy by removing trackers, and work to prevent the proliferation of malware.

BAT will help to revitalize the advertising industry by protecting publishers. Social media sites often take a large majority of ad revenue while hundreds of millions of internet users run ad-blockers, and bots commit unchecked advertisement fraud, causing a negative strain on the industry.

BAT introduces the Brave web-browser. It is a fast, open sourced, and privacy focused browser that blocks malvertisements, trackers, and contains a ledger system that anonymously captures user attention to accurately reward ad publishers. The BAT token can be used to obtain advertising and attention based services on the Brave platform through exchanges between publishers, advertisers, and users. The token’s utility is derived from user attention focused in this case on advertisements.

Users who opt in to the Brave browser’s advertising system receive fewer, but better targeted ads that are less prone to malware while publishers receive more revenue from reduced third party interference and fraud. Advertisers will also be able to receive better data on ad spending, which will helps to more effectively promote their products.

AdEx (ADX)

AdEx is a blockchain-based advertisement agency that aims to disrupt the existing advertising landscape by solving advertising fraud and privacy issues in the online advertising industry. The AdEx network uses a smart contract ad exchange built with Ethereum’s network. The ad exchange facilitates relationships between publishers, advertisers, and end users, which will replace the usual network of multiple exchanges, supply-side platforms (SSPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), and all the complexity, inaccuracy, and inefficiency that comes with it. Along with the ad exchange, AdEx is building dapps for publishers, advertisers, and end users. These dapps will be browser based apps accessible online and hosted by AdEx. AdEx plans to release its beta version in February 2018.

End of volume 1.

This concludes volume 1 of Astral Crypto’s Cryptocurrency and Blockchain uses article. Thanks for reading. If you would like to request a specific use case or project for us to review in our next volume, please contact us with your request. If you would like updates on our latest articles and the ability to participate in our growing community, please register here, or follow us on Twitter. And if you like our content, please consider supporting us.

Credits – A third generation, high speed, high scaling, low fee blockchain project.

This article details the upcoming Credits blockchain project, compares it to existing projects, and mentions potential challenges the project may face.

Technical Whitepaper


Credits is an open and decentralized blockchain platform featuring autonomous smart contracts and its own cryptocurrency. The platform will be capable of performing more than 1 million transactions per second at execution speeds of less than one second, with fees that cost only a fraction of a cent. Credits platform is targeted towards financial institutions and the Internet of Things (IoT). It can be used for financial transactions, loan services, supply chain logistics, and provides a platform for many more creative and imaginative applications. Credits is a registered company in Singapore, and operates in accordance with Singapore’s Ministry of Finance under Singapore law. Credits plans to release the alpha version of their product by the end of January, and begins their ICO on February 1st.

Edit: Credits ICO has recently been delayed until Feb 15 to give partners and community members more time to test their alpha product.

To read more about the alpha version capabilities, look here:


Credits is headed by CEO and founder Igor Chugunov. He has over ten years of experience in business, financial technology, banking, and marketing. He started the Credits project with CTO and Co-Founder Evgeniy Butyaev in 2016. Evgeniy Butyaev has over ten years of experience in software development, and has worked with blockchain technology for over three of those years. Their team also features more than thirty experienced engineers, developers, marketers, partnership managers, and support staff. Many of these team members are well-educated and experienced in their respective fields.

I have exchanged messages with the CEO Igor Chugunov, COO David Kolmakhidze, Head of Marketing Lera Myazitova, and Community Bounty Manager Evgeny Romanov. From my communication with their team, I have learned that they are working hard to create a successful project that they care deeply about. Many of the team members are from Russia, Poland, and Europe.


Credits features advisors from the United States and Europe. One advisor, Nitin Gaur, is the director at IBM Blockchain Labs in Austin, Texas. Another advisor is a Senior Consultant at IBM in Business Development and Blockchain technology. This opens speculation that Credits may eventually find a partnership with IBM. We have already seen huge success with projects like Stellar Lumens (XLM) partnering with IBM. Advisors from IBM provide important momentum for an emerging technology like Credits.

Credits’ remaining advisors are mostly European cryptocurrency and blockchain specialists. Overall, Credits advisors have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and connections in education, investment, and technology sectors throughout the U.S. and Europe.


Recently, Russia has announced that it is preparing to pass a bill legalizing cryptocurrency trading. Credits could easily become a popular Russian product. Many of Credits founders and marketers are Russian, and have numerous connections to the Russian financial industry. But it does not stop there. Credits team has marketing managers focusing on Korea, China, and Japan. Credits’ head of strategic partnerships is Dutch, and has years of experience in European financial and blockchain industries. Credits is setting up to have a strong presence all across the world, with a strong advantage in Russia’s emerging cryptocurrency industry.

Credits head of marketing, Lera Myazitova, has said Credits’ marketing strategy will consist of online marketing through banner ads, published articles on targeted crypto sites, youtube bloggers, crypto forums, community chats, and more. She went on to say that offline marketing will include roadshows, conferences, meetups, and more. The Credits team has been scheduled and attended Blockchain and Crypto events in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Use cases

Credits is being targeted towards financial institutions and IoT. The project will focus on creating fast and secure financial and data transfers. These are two industries where blockchain technology will likely hold immense value. As the value of blockchain technology becomes realized and adopted in financial and IoT sectors, the value of Credits will rise, so long as the team can find success in an already highly competitive atmosphere.

Credits will have the capability to allow large financial institutions to engage in transactions at speeds much faster than most other blockchain projects available, with fees comparable or lower than most other projects. Through the use of smart contracts, Credits platform can instantly facilitate and verify the performance of contracts between parties. Credits will also preserve the stability and security of the transactions using a combination of Delegated Proof of Stake and Byzantine Fault Tolerance blockchain consensus. The speed and security of this project is nearly unmatched, and will provide large benefits to financial institutions that adopt this technology. It will help reduce financial costs, while improving security and stability of transactions through the safety of a blockchain that can initiate smart contracts at lightning fast speeds, all while maintaining low fees.

Credits can also be used as a tool to develop and create applications within the Credits platform, similar to Ethereum, NEO, and many other blockchain platforms in the industry. Developers will be able to use the Credits platform for products that improve supply chain logistics, IoT connections and exchanges, and potentially many more possibilities that have yet to be envisioned.


High Speed, Low Cost, High Scaling

As mentioned before, Credits will be capable of more than 1 million transactions per second, capable of speeds at .001 seconds. Transactions will likely cost fractions of a cent. These speeds are made possible by the Credits platform correcting past issues and barriers that are common in older blockchain platforms. Credits will use a new, extended application programming interface (API) that uses a Turing system, which is capable of creating services using cycles, schedules, and unique functions. Credits’ platform will offer smart contract execution speeds vastly faster than most other blockchain platforms.

For context, Bitcoin (currently, without scaling) can do 7 transactions per second with a 10 minute execution speed and fees as high as $10 per transaction. Ethereum can do 300 transactions per second with an execution speed of 30 seconds-5minutes, costing many cents, or even dollars for a transaction. Ripple can scale to over 50,000 transactions per second, with a speed of around 4 seconds, with relatively low fees. Finally, one of Credits’ main technological competitors, EOS, will boast similar capabilities to Credits. EOS will be able to handle millions of transactions per second with low fees and fast transaction time, along with a DPoS consensus. However, EOS has yet to release a working product. Credits is scheduled to release its alpha version of its project by the end of January 2018, before their ICO begins on February 1, 2018.

Network Security – Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) + Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)

Bitcoin and Ethereum currently use a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus, though Ethereum’s hardfork Casper will attempt to shift Ether from PoW to PoS.  PoW is costly and uses a lot of energy.  Many other projects use a more efficient and more secure, Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus. Credits will use a newer consensus called Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). DPoS consensus is being implemented by many of the newer, faster, more secure blockchain platforms. Essentially, DPoS provides a greater democratic process for the blockchain network than PoW and PoS. DPoS thus provides for greater decentralization and increased security by reducing the ability to attack the network.

Credits will also implement a Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) system of consensus, alongside its DPoS. Overall, this will even further increase the network trust and reliability. Credits appears to be developing a truly unique network that will provide long-term security and stability.

For more information on how Credits compares to other similar blockchain platforms, see here: and consult their whitepaper and technical whitepaper (posted at the beginning of the article).

Third Party Audits

Credits has been audited by Entersoft, a prestigious financial technology, application, and IoT security firm. After a thorough evaluation of Credits platform transactions flow, block assignments, and different parameters that are distributed to the ledger, Entersoft concluded that the Credits platform appears secure. Entersoft also provided suggestions for platform scalability and considerations for securing applications to be written on top of the Credits platform.

Overall, this audit looks good for Credits. Now it is up to them to create a working product. We should see the alpha release soon.

Cryptocurrency and Fundraising

Credits Pre-Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraiser has already raised $3 million of ETH. Pre-ICO contributors will receive a 30% bonus, as they were willing to contribute at the earliest stages of the project, without assurances of a working code or platform. Credits team is set to raise up to $20 million dollars during their ICO beginning on February 1, 2018, and ending February 28, 2018, or when the hard cap goal is reached.

Credits has obtained an exemption as a securities token in the U.S., so citizens of the U.S. will be able to participate. Citizens of China, Singapore, and most other countries will also be able to participate. I have not seen any restrictions on who may participate in the ICO.

Credits features a limited supply of tokens and will sell up to 1 billion CS tokens. 60% of tokens sold will be sold during the ICO. 40% of unsold tokens will be reserved for operations and marketing (20%), bounty (2%), bug bounty (2%), advisors (1%), and founders (15%). Founder’s tokens will be frozen for one year after the ICO, meaning they cannot simply dump the CS tokens without delivering on their promises. If the project cannot find success, founder’s tokens will be worthless, giving them an incentive to drive the project forward.  Unused operations tokens will be frozen and released in January of 2019, and 2020. ETH raised will be locked in Escrow until the Credits team hits certain project goals.

You can trade 1 ETH for 5,000 CS. As Credits has a hard cap of $20 million, there will be an estimated 100 million to 150 million CS sold at ICO, depending on the price of ETH. These tokens will comprise 60% of total CS. The other 40% (estimated 66 million CS – 100 million CS) are reserved as mentioned above. These statistical estimates would put the maximum supply somewhere between 166 million CS to 250 million CS – potentially slightly lower or slightly higher depending on the price of ETH on February 1, 2018.  Based on these estimations, every $1 billion dollars of market capitalization that CS achieves will make each CS worth possibly $4-$7 per token. At the current price of ETH, 1 CS is selling for around $0.20. If the Credits team can manage a multi-billion dollar market cap, the value of the CS may increase dramatically in value.

Note: These are simply estimations, and are based only on opinion. None of this constitutes financial or investment advice. The Credits team has stated that they will not estimate CS token prices, and say simply that a successful product will create value for the token.

Credits (CS) is planned to list on exchanges after the end of their ICO in February 2018, or at latest in March 2018.


Credits roadmap is mainly technical, and does not feature a lot about marketing. Credits has shown a dedicated effort into marketing, but these goals are not listed on the roadmap. The team leaders appear highly focused on technological aspects of the project. Credits has an ambitious technological roadmap. The team is looking to release their alpha product before the ICO, which is rare and respectable in the crypto industry. Many crypto teams have no working product during ICO, and take many months or even years to release anything of working value. Credits is looking to have their mainnet released in June 2018. This is an ambitious goal for a new and relatively untested technology.

January 2018: Alpha release

February and March 2018: ICO and listing on exchanges

April 18: Beta release

June 2018: Main product release


One of the main challenges to Credits will be that they lack any sort of first mover advantage. The blockchain and crypto industry already contains numerous projects that have already found incredible success. Many of these platforms feature real working products with many partnerships. Developers are now beginning to build numerous applications on top of many of these blockchain networks, and Credits is still working on the alpha version of their product. Credits is many months, or in some cases, years behind many of the already-established blockchain projects.

The market may not be able to sustain the massive influx of new blockchain projects popping up, and Credits is late compared to many other projects. This may make it difficult for Credits to market its product, which will be vital to the success of Credits, as it is targeted toward financial institutions and IoT. Credits will need strong partnerships and real uses for the platform to retain any sort of value in the long term.

Credits will be relying heavily on its technological advantages compared to other products to pick up market share, which will require a strong showing from both the development team in reaching their technological goals, and the marketing team for conveying the value of the technology to their target industries. There is a lot of pressure coming into this crypto game late, and the Credits team must be clutch performers to achieve success.


Credits is a unique project with many technological superiorities to its competition. It features massive speeds, low costs, and unprecedented levels of scalability and security for a blockchain platform. The Credits team has ambitious goals, which they must achieve to compete in such a fast-moving industry. If Credits can meet their deadlines, provide the technology they promise, and successfully market their product, the Credits team could see a lot of success and potentially become another goliath in the blockchain industry. Any slip ups, and they may fall behind and possibly struggle to recover the momentum necessary to become a big name in the crypto industry. The Credits team has personally impressed me with their ambition, growth, responsiveness to the community, and technology driven focus.

Disclaimer: This article is purely opinion and constitutes no sort of financial advice, investment advice, legal advice, or any other type of advice. I do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided in this article, and I am not liable for any actions taken, or losses incurred as a result of this article, and the information contained herein.

If you would like notifications on new articles, and to participate in the community, please register to Astral Crypto. Thanks.

Initial Plans for Astral Crypto

Hi AC,

Here are our initial plans for Astral Crypto moving forward.

As a basic summary, this website will be used as a resource tool for news, research, analysis, and discussion about cryptocurrency and blockchain techonologies. Those who use CE will benefit from our community’s helpful specialized knowledge of emerging crypto technologies and economies.

These are the plans:

1. Continue basic updates and construction of our online presence.

In the short term (next 6 months) this includes: Creating a new banner and logo, creating and maintaining a forum space for discussion, writing terms and conditions, privacy policy, and comment policy, updating the website’s toolbar, providing more outside resources to news, tutorials, technolgy information, and economy, updating the website’s general appearance and layout, create twitter, facebook, youtube accounts, and other social media presence.

In the long term (6+ months) this includes: Display of an updating market price ticker, integration with blogs, articles, and other communities, upgrade website service capabilities for increasing website demand, discussion for marketing of cryptocurrency projects on site. More to come as ideas progress.

2. Find active and passionate community members to write, discuss, participate, and grow.

These members will become the backbone of AC and eventually may be promoted to administrator and moderator positions, as well as potential positions as bloggers, writers, researchers, analysts, coders, engineers, graphic designers, community servicers, marketers, etc. The community will drive this project.

3. Write articles, host articles, and link videos about cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects.

CE will be a resource for news and information. As such, I will personally be writing and publishing articles on AC, and I will also provide a space for the community to create and publish verified articles and videos about cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. These articles will provide our community with specific news and information related to cryptocurrency. I also plan to link to outside articles that are relevant and valuable to our community.

4. Create a databse with information on available cryptocurrencies, blockchain projects, and other similar technological projects.

This database can be used as a research resource to those looking to learn more about the vast number of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies available. In the short term (next 6 months), I would like to have a database with a summary and basic economic and technological information of the top (200 or more) cryptocurrencies. Eventually (6+ months) this database will expand to provide in depth information on market trends, partnerships, roadmap goals, etc. of every available cryptocurrency and blockchain project on the market.

5. Create a learning center for those interested in becoming a part of the cryptocurrency community, and for those who wish to continue their education within the community.

Learning center. The learning center will offer information on the basics of blockchain (and similar) technologies. It will offer information and tutorials on how to purchase, trade, store, and cash out cryptocurrency. It will provide users with basic summaries of technological and economic information, along with more in-depth information for crypto technologies and economies.

Economy. We will have a section explaining the intricacies of the cryptocurrency economy, how cryptocurrencies are valued through supply and demand, perception, use cases, news, partnerships, team members, marketing, etc. It will also explain the basics of how a cryptocurrency’s circulating supply is related to its coin price and market capitalization.

Technology. We will have a section explaining the technology, the value and use of blockchain and similar techonolgies in society. It will explain the basics and details of the code, networks, storage, etc. It will explain how the technology can be used to benefit internet security, financial transactions, supply chain logisitics, etc.

6. Outreach to society. Act as diplomats to common everday people, and influence governments to protect the crypto space.

As a united community, we will have the ability to bring this techonolgy to the world. Together we can achieve the power and influence in society to help people understand the revolutionary benefits of blockchain (and similar) technologies, and  to also understand the possible drawbacks this market may also bring. We can use the community as a space to organize and impact governmental relations, ensuring that they are made based on informed decisions that provide benefit to society, rather than out of fear or apprehension of a rapidly emerging technology.

7. Expand.

In the long term, this project may expand into other areas of cryptocurrency law, business, and technology.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this. I am excited for our first steps to create a wonderful community. Any questions or comments can be posted here after signing up.

– Guitar