Our impressions of Bitcoin Evolution

At the beginning of June the Blockchain Expo took place in Berlin, a conference about Blockchain technology. BTC-ECHO was of course there to report interesting exhibitors and presentations.

Bitcoin Evolution exhibition on artificial intelligence

The Blockchain Expo took place together with an exhibition on artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. Approximately 50 companies have set up stands on a large exhibitor area, so that representatives of Deloitte and PwC could be contacted as well as companies specified for certain Blockchain-based use cases such as Aeternity or Bitwala. The first venue was called Blockchain Technologies, the latter Blockchain for Industry. Accordingly, Bitcoin Evolution is a CFD cryptocurrency trading system at Blockchain Technologies a lot of young startups with new use cases could be heard in addition to presentations by investors, while at Blockchain for Industry it was more about general application possibilities and blockchain-based platforms.

Interledger – the bridge between blockchains
Stefan Thomas, CTO of Ripple, talked about Interledger. Interledger is a project that is ultimately intended to be a common denominator between different registers – Bitcoin Evolution both decentralized blockchains and centralized ones. He pointed out that there is currently a great need for action with regard to better, faster or better adapted implementations of classical applications. In his opinion, an implementation in the form of a blockchain alone will not solve the problem, as only one additional layer will be introduced. If not all processes convert to this layer, only one further compatibility obstacle will be introduced.

The term Interledger is used to circumvent these or at least to raise them to a standard. The reference to the term Internet is not accidental, as the project is oriented to the origin of the term: Internet comes from Internetwork and wanted to solve a similar problem and create a network between different computer systems.

In order to make this parallel more concrete, he contrasted the Internet architecture with the Interledger architecture. In both cases the architecture can be represented by four layers, whereby the two highest layers (application and transport) are to be found in both concepts. The lower layers are called Internetwork and Network for the Internet and contain protocols such as the IP protocol or WIFI or ETHERNET protocol. For the Interledger we speak of the layers Interledger and Ledger. These are characterized by the ILP protocol (also based on the IP protocol) and the various ledgers (blockchains, banks or mobile payment methods).

In a nutshell: The interledger is supposed to be a common interface on which application and transport layers can access without any further adjustments.

What has been said is not just grey theory: in the Ripple network, similar things are already being implemented via the gateways. Specifically, the Internledger protocol has already been used in the conversion of a large part of the existing XRP tokens into onlinebetrug an Ethereum-secured Smart Contract on 16 May.

Lisk – Applications on own sidechains
Max Kordek, CEO of Lisk, opened the lecture by explaining that the market capital of the S&P500, the stock exchange index of the 500 largest listed American companies, currently stands at 20 trillion US dollars. Even the current market capital of the crypto currencies of 100 billion US dollars still fits 200 times in here! So we still have plenty of room to move up.

In order to advance the blockchain adaptation, a certain discrepancy has been named: in the current web, most of the value is created by the application layer and not by the underlying protocol. In contrast to this, a high evaluation of different protocols is taking place at the moment, but there are few or rather thin applications on these.

In addition to the Internet of Things, Max mentioned the sale of digital goods as potentially important applications. In this application case, there is the problem that digital rights management (DRM) cannot do much against piracy, so that digital goods can be copied at will.

Here, of course, the blockchain can help by storing digital goods on the blockchain. This could lead to real trade and ownership, as the digital goods could not be copied at will.

Bitcoin credit card: The best of both worlds – fast & uncomplicated

The Bitcoin, Ethereum and other crypto currencies shine through speed should be clear to many by now. Within seconds or minutes we can confirm payments and overtake slow traditional transfers.

But since the adoption of digital currencies is not yet so widespread, you can use the speed of the blockchain in a different way: With Bitcoin credit cards, more precisely with Visa prepaid cards.

Background
Hardly have you been travelling in the world of digital currencies for a while, when you make your first payment. Carefully you might pay on the gaming platform Steam with Bitcoin, or use your smartphone wallet for the first time.

It takes a few minutes – quite simply and completely independent of where someone is in the world. With really little information that you have to reveal.

But that doesn’t happen everywhere. The king among the traditional payment methods is without question the credit card. What was then only an everyday term for business travellers and “well earners” is now accessible to almost everyone.

Sometimes the thought comes to mind these days: “But that cost something, isn’t it expensive? The fear of losing control, because money is money and everyone wants to have their sheep in the dry.

Both worlds
Only recently did I want to pay for a service on the Internet. The payment methods were relatively sparse, only credit cards were accepted. A bank transfer would not be accepted, I was told, it would take too long until the receipt was confirmed.

“Then get a Bitcoin payment service provider, like BitPay, or something like that…”, I thought to myself.

All well and good. So slowly a credit card has to be here. It should also help abroad. But I don’t want to completely renounce digital currencies either. So I thought to myself, “There must be a way to combine the broad acceptance of a credit card with the speed and security of a blockchain”.

And they exist!

Bitcoin Visa Card
Everyone probably knows prepaid cards. For the telephone, they are probably the most commonly known: I have credit on my card and can only spend that. If I want to spend more, I have to top up the credit first. Simple concept and full cost control.

In the midst of a forest of different credit card providers, there is a subgroup of prepaid Visa cards. The joke of the story: An application is usually confirmed within minutes, but it takes 1-2 weeks to send the actual card.

“That’s the future,” I thought ironically.

But there are two Bitco!
There are two Bitcoin Visa Card providers out there that I’d like to introduce to you today!

How long does it take them to send your card?

A few minutes! Because here you work with virtual Visa-Cards. Thus one can read the necessary information which one needs simply from the browser or from the App. Even paying at the card reader is possible as long as your smartphone and the terminal support NFC!

And if you still want a card you can have it sent to you and use the virtual card during this time! Simply load and use with Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dash. This is basically how you pay traditional companies with Bitcoin!

Tutorials
You’ve got two choices down below. There you can watch the video tutorials about Cryptopay or shakepay. Cryptopay* takes about 30 – 45 minutes from account opening to first payment. Shakepay takes about 20 – 30 minutes, but is still in beta, so the handling might be a bit bumpy. Cryptopay works mainly via the browser, while Shakepay is available with an Android app (which allows NFC payment at the card reader).