Bitcoin Vs Ethereum: Here’s What You Need to Know 7 2348

bitcoin vs ethereum

While Bitcoin hogged the headlines last year, Ethereum is entering the mainstream consciousness as well. Although it was established in 2015, the wider public is only recently starting to hear it used more often. But, what’s the difference between Bitcoin vs Ethereum? Here’s what you need to know:

Let’s Start with Bitcoin

In what many say was a response to the financial crisis of 2008, Bitcoin emerged as a way to allow people to control their own wealth. They were open to transact freely, without the intervention or permission of any centralized institution (at a time when trust in banks was at an all-time low).

Bitcoin’s creator is widely believed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of a white paper explaining the goals and purposes of the currency. He has denied being the creator, however.

What are the main objectives of Bitcoin? To offer lower transaction fees, remove the need for currency conversion, therefore allowing for global transactions in near real time, and removing the need for any centralized governing body. You will never hold a Bitcoin in your hand. It exists in digital form only.

The debate over the legality and legitimacy of Bitcoin rages on, with some countries banning it, and others allowing it. But its galloping volatility has rendered its use as a currency impractical, to say the least.

Moreover, because of its sudden surge in value last year, many people started to see it as an alternative investment vehicle. They started buying Bitcoin in the hope of it rising further in value and then cashing out later.

So, can you pay for things with Bitcoin? In some places, yes, but the list is shorter every day, since its price is so unstable.

Now for Ethereum

Bitcoin is produced by authorized miners though a technology called the blockchain. Lately people across all industries are awakening to the possibilities of the blockchain due to its immutability (somewhat debated), decentralization, and possibilities for greater efficiency in all areas.

Using cryptography, once a Bitcoin or a transaction is carried out on blockchain, it cannot be tampered with, unlike a real dollar that can be forged.

Ethereum is now the second largest and well-known cryptocurrency running on its own software platform. It has several improvements over Bitcoin. One of which is the invention of “smart contracts,” that enable transactions to happen automatically, improving on the speed of Bitcoin transactions, and reducing the need for middlemen at many points in the supply chain. No human interaction is needed.

In fact, Ethereum is both a platform and a programming language that, like Bitcoin, runs on a blockchain.

Bitcoin Vs Ethereum – Why Should You Care?

Bitcoin vs Ethereum serve two different purposes. Ethereum is mainly traded and used as a digital currency, but it is also used inside the Ethereum platform to run applications. According to Ethereum, it can be used to “codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything.”

While both digital currencies use cryptography, Bitcoin and Ether use two different programming languages. Ethereum transactions can be confirmed in seconds, whereas Bitcoin transactions can take several minutes. The main difference however is their purpose.

Bitcoin was created as an alternative to fiat currency, as a store of value, or means of payment. Ether exists to facilitate peer to peer contracts and applications. Ether’s primary purpose is not to be used as a payment alternative, but to enable developers to build and run distributed apps.

Still Confused?

Think of it this way. Ethereum takes the basic design and principal of Bitcoin and improves it in some ways, without competing directly, since the two exist for different reasons. That said, with the popularity of Ether on the rise and the wider public beginning to see it as an investment vehicle as well, Ethereum is giving Bitcoin a run for its (digital) money.

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.

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Freelance Terrorist Carried Out Hundreds of Bomb Threats in Exchange For Bitcoin 41 312

An American-Israeli teen is sentenced to a decade in prison after a Tel Aviv court convicted him for a series of fake bomb threats he carried out in exchange for Bitcoin.

The 19 year old began making threats professionally at the age of 16. He is convicted only for crimes committed while over the age of 18. These include making false threats and reports, extortion, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

While the Israeli courts withheld the defendant’s identity because some of his alleged crimes occurred while he was a minor, the Guardian identified him as Michael Kadar at the time of his arrest. He was originally indicted for over 2,000 bomb threats, carried out between 2015 and 2017.

Kadar Targeted Children and Jewish Community Centers

The targets of Kadar’s threats included Jewish community centers, the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, elementary schools, shopping centers, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, airports and airlines.

A threat to an El-Al flight resulted in the deployment of fighter jets for an escorted emergency landing; another threat to a Canadian airport left six people injured during emergency disembarkment; a Virgin flight dumped eight tons of fuel before landing because of a threat; and another threat went to a plane carrying the Boston Celtics.

Kadar also targeted Republican Delaware state senator Ernesto Lopez, who he threatened with blackmail and the murder of his daughter. After Lopez ignored the demands, Kadar ordered drugs to have sent to Lopez’s residence.

Dealing Terror From Mom and Dad’s Apartment

His reign of terror operated from his parent’s fifth floor apartment near the beach in a posh neighborhood in Ashkelon, about 30 miles south of Tel Aviv. But his threats landed in over a dozen countries, including Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Argentina, Israel, the United States, and Canada.

“One can easily imagine the terror, the fear and the horror that gripped the airplane passengers who were forced to make an emergency landing, some of whom were injured while evacuating the plane,” read the verdict by judge Zvi Gurfinkel, “and the terrified panic caused when there was a need to evacuate pupils from schools because of fake bomb threats.”

The Judge also divulged Kadar’s fees for his services: $40 for a threatening phone call to a private residence, $80 for a bomb threat to a school, and $500 for an airplane scare. Kadar operated on the dark net and disguised his IP address, using a powerful self-installed antenna to tap into remote networks, and software to mask his voice. According to an indictment filed against him in Florida, he spent some of his calls going into graphic detail threatening the deaths of children in American Jewish centers.

A Small Fortune in Bitcoins

At the time of his arrest, Kadar had amassed around 184 Bitcoins for such services—about half a million dollars at the time, and closer to $680,000 today. He also dealt in bomb making manuals, drugs, and child pornography.

Kadar is the son of an American mother, and his father is an Israeli engineer, and has dual citizenship. The US Department of Justice has also indicted Kadar for 32 crimes, including hate crimes, cyberstalking, giving false information to the police, and making threatening phone calls to around 200 institutions. A separate indictment also accuses Kadar of threatening the children of a former CIA and Pentagon official with kidnapping and murder, and links him to over 245 threatening calls.

When Kadar was arrested, he tried to escape by grabbing a pistol from a police officer, but was wrestled to the ground. Thursday’s conviction follows a cooperative investigation by the FBI and Israeli authorities, who have not been able to recover Kadar’s Bitcoins.

Teen’s Mother Calls Conviction ‘Cruel’

Kadar’s mother spoke outside the courtroom after her son’s sentencing, saying “This is the most cruel, cruel thing in the world. I’m very sorry, but I am ashamed that the country acts this way.” She insisted that her son needed treatment, not prison.

In an earlier interview she told Israeli TV her sun was suffering from a brain tumor, which made school difficult for him. Because of this and his autism, Kadar was homeschooled.

Defense lawyer Shira Nir said these conditions made Kadar unfit to stand trial, as he could not distinguish right from wrong. A medical panel confirmed the defendant’s autistic condition, but concluded he was capable of understanding the consequences of his actions. Judge Gurfinkel said Kadar’s conditions were taken into account, lessening the sentence from 17 years in prison to 10.

Kenya Looks to Blockchain for Affordable Housing Project 8 259

The “Silicon Savannah” is moving deeper in direction of tech. The Kenyan government has announced a plan to manage the property allocation and funding of 500,000 affordable housing units with blockchain technology.

The units, which the government aims to build by 2022, will be set aside for households with an annual income below 100,000 Kenyan Shillings, about $990 USD. The World Bank estimates Kenya’s gross national income per capita at $1,290, according to Business Daily.

Blockchain will help ensure that the affordable housing is in fact going to those who fall below the average income bracket. Land title fraud has caused problems for Kenyans, as land grabbers target homes and even schools for illegal sales and development. Blockchain’s ability to store verifiable proof of title could help safeguard against fraudsters.

“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government funded housing projects,” said Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga, speaking with the World Bank on Monday.

Hinga said the plan will be financed by the National Housing Fund, which will raise over $59.5 million per month to get the project underway. But Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia said it will take $31.7 billion to build a million homes, each of which will cost between $3,000 and $30,000. Macharia called for support from private sector financing.

Under the financing plan, working Kenyans will contribute 1.5 percent of their salary, which will be matched by their employers. “On affordable housing one should not spend more than 30% of their disposable income for housing,” Hinga tweeted yesterday. “Anything above 30% is not affordable.”

A Trustless Relationship Between People and Government

The initiative represents a considerable push to solve housing and title problems for the nation’s lower income families. But how will the government decide to whom the housing units will go? With so much talk about financing underway, people are already calling on the government to outline a plan for how they’ll distribute the affordable housing units.

The government will need to deliver the housing projects in a time when, Hinga acknowledges, the public is skeptical. Earlier this year $78 million went missing in a corruption scandal involving the National Youth Services. Where there is little trust between the people and their government, Kenya hopes to establish transparency through the blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Kenya’s Move Toward Tech

In March, Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology appointed a blockchain taskforce to explore the ways the nation could use blockchain technology in the public and private sectors. They called it the Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence taskforce, and by September its chairman, Bitange Ndemo, was calling on the government to tokenize the economy.

Ndemo also proposed government implementation of blockchain to certify the authenticity of retail goods, so consumers can be sure of where their food is coming from, for example.

Governor of Kenya’s central bank Patrick Njoroge has also voiced support for the use of blockchain technology to strengthen service delivery, although he’s opposed the use of tokens and digital currencies.

But the affordable housing initiative could be the Kenyan government’s first real world implementation of the blockchain.

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