Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Blockchain Technology Makes You Fly

Russia's biggest airline is now issuing passenger tickets on a blockchain with support from the country's largest private bank.
According to a local report by the media outlet Kommersant, the airline S7 and its ticketing agent S7 Ticket reportedly began the sales on the ethereum blockchain this week. Lending support is Alfa-Bank, Russia's biggest private banking institution.
The report notes that the platform is designed to reduce settlement times between between the airline and the agent, which today take around two weeks. It further strives to streamline the payment process by deducting the agent commission automatically after ticket sales to reflect the final receipt.
As such, the collaboration can be seen as an early attempt in the industry to use ethereum technology in simplifying the airline ticketing process, though this has long been suggested as a possible blockchain use case.
The report does not specify whether the platform is built on a private or public version of ethereum.
Previously, S7 Airlines and Alfa-Bank were reported to be exploring the use of smart contracts in tracking letters of credit.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cryptocurrency Is The Future!!

There’s a number of reasons why cryptocurrencies are so inherently popular. They are safe, anonymous and utterly decentralized. Unlike conventional currency, they are not controlled or regulated by some singular authority, their flow is determined entirely by market demand. They are also nigh impossible to counterfeit, thanks to the paranoidly complicated code system that encrypts each and every transfer, ensuring complete anonymity and utter safety to each and every user. They even make for a genuinely rewarding, if risky, investment endeavor, despite the fact that any financial advisor in their right mind will caution you against them. Therefore, despite the admittedly high stakes that this sort of dealing entails, not to mention the lack of any government agency to lend credence to them, cryptocurrencies can only thrive and multiply.

If I were to tell you of the history of cryptocurrencies, I would have to begin with cryptographer David Chaum, who in the 1980s devised an extraordinarily secure algorithm that allowed for the kind of encryption required in electronic fund transfers. Chaum’s “blinding algorithm” laid the groundwork for the future development of all types of digitalized currency transactions, be it alternative currencies like Bitcoin or just plain old digitalized cash transfers.

“I am personally excited for the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general. Current innovations such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others are just the beginning for this technology that can help revamp many industries. There is plenty of opportunity in this space.” - Chalmers Brown, Forbes

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why are Indian bitcoin prices higher than international prices?

As you might have noticed, Indian bitcoin prices are higher than international prices. I would like to clear out a few misconceptions.
  • There is no single international price. Prices vary significantly between exchanges in different countries. As you will see from below screenshot taken at 11:30am today, prices range from $2,232 (~ Rs 1,43,500) to $2,546 (~ Rs 1,63,600). That’s a difference of Rs 20,000. And we have seen higher differences also. And this is just a sample. Exchanges in many countries are not listed here.
USD Prices of bitcoin across different exchanges (Tradeblock)
  • Our prices are not higher because we are fleecing our users. The price on Zebpay as on 11:30am is Rs 1,88,000 to buy bitcoins and Rs 179,800 to sell. The sell price is also Rs 16,200 higher than the highest price on an exchange above. And it is a whopping Rs 36,300 higher than the lowest price. However, we still don’t have sellers in India willing to sell at this price. So we have two options. We keep increasing the sell price till we have sellers. And we keep the buy prices very high to discourage buyers. If we don’t do this, we will have no stock left to sell.
  • The other thing you will notice is that difference between our buy and sell prices increases when prices are volatile. We have to do this as explained above to manage buy and sell demand. When prices are relatively stable, we can manage our stocks better and we reduce the spread.
Our goal is to provide our users with bitcoins at prices which are close to international prices. And you can help us do that by selling bitcoins and not buying bitcoins when Indian prices are higher and putting a downward pressure on the price :).
Blog By: Zebpay

Monday, July 10, 2017

Why is stability so important?

The need for stability is not unique to cryptocurrency. Any currency needs to be stable in order to be used as a trusted medium of exchange. The more that prices rise and fall, the more ordinary people will shy away from using the coins for everyday transactions.

Whether they hoard the coins in the hope that prices will rise sharply soon, or they avoid using them altogether for fear that they will lose all of their value, people are not yet accustomed to seeing cryptocurrency as real money.

Patience is a virtue

Human nature gets in the way, as it tends to do. It is difficult to stabilize prices in a world where people would rather play the market and get instant gratification by re-selling their coins for as high a price as possible. Without careful planning from the very onset of a cryptocurrency’s existence, it’s hard to recover from the effects of speculation.

Stable prices don’t just happen by accident. They are not a miracle of the market — they require a carefully constructed foundation. A stable currency needs a stable ecosystem first.

While it’s tempting to market the currency too soon because capital injection can do a lot to raise prices in those critical early periods, it’s better to wait. Advertising is like opening up Pandora’s box and inviting the world to look inside. Some of those users will be interested in the actual currency, but others will be undesirable speculators that just leech off the system. For a currency to be stable, it needs to be used by “the 99%,” not just a handful of investors.

A currency needs to grow with the people, not past them. Look at the state of Bitcoin and its inflated prices. The everyday person can no longer either mine the coin or expect to use the coin in everyday transactions without high fees or risk. It has been given up to the speculators.

With a truly stable currency, on the other hand, you can have currency conversion, remittance, ATM withdrawals and other financial services with lower fees than fiat systems. In other words, it can be used as intended — as money. This is what will ultimately attract a mainstream audience and will actually incentivize them to make the switch to cryptocurrency.