Coin Skim - Issue #3

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Welcome to Issue #3! Share our cryptocurrency newsletter with friends and colleagues. Don’t leave the
 

Coin Skim

August 30 · Issue #3 · View online
The Daily Coin Skim

Welcome to Issue #3! Share our cryptocurrency newsletter with friends and colleagues. Don’t leave them behind. Too busy to read multiple articles and research regarding the state of Cryptocurrency? We got you covered. Get up to speed in 5 minutes or so!

What is a hard/soft fork in cryptocurrency?
Source: phneep.com
A hard fork is an update to the blockchain protocol that will force its users and nodes to update if they want to continue to be part of the ecosystem.  A soft fork is an update in the protocol that does not conflict with the current version. This type of fork is not mandatory within its users. It is very tricky to conduct a fork within a decentralized system since those connected to the ecosystem such as miners would have to unanimously agree with the upcoming update. 
On August 1st, Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a hard fork which created a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The differences between the developers and miners were purely technical. 
Upcoming Ethereum Hard Fork
The “Metropolis” hard fork of Ethereum (ETH) is anticipated towards the end of September 2017. This will bring more anonymity to the blockchain, increase security, easier smart contract programming (more application adoption) but more importantly transition from proof of work to proof of stake on the network. This being said, there are no immediate concerns of alternate Ethereum (ETH) based coin being created. There is a consensus among the community towards this update. As far as price changes, it is unknown as to the potential effects. Less mining could drive down the price but an improved ecosystem can bring more investment. If you possess ETH, make sure to keep them in a hardware wallet to mitigate any potential security issues. 
Security, Security, Security
Source: GIPHY.com
One of the most common issues in the community is exchange accounts getting easily hacked. The solution to immediately enhance security is by enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on every account where you store digital currencies. This acts as an extra layer of security in addition to your username/password to ensure the person logging in is truly the owner of the account. Most of the reputable exchanges utilize the Google Authentication mobile application or Duo Mobile. These services are free to use and can be setup instantly. 
ICO Security
If you are planning to participate in any future initial coin offerings (ICO’s) please consider the vulnerability of being scammed or hacked during the process. Recently, the Enigma project was hacked and many interested investors were misled to transfer 500k worth of ETH to the hacker’s address. Be aware of the dates set forth by the project team, if something abruptly changes please be very skeptical. Research social media accounts and forums such as Bitcointalk/Reddit. Numerous ICO’s are pre-signing up investors on “whitelists”. These lists depending on where they are stored can be compromised. Make sure your email password is different to other highly sensitive accounts (bank, exchanges etc.). This sounds very basic and “common sense” but it was the catalyst for the Enigma scam. 
Quickies
-China is planning to ban Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) until regulations are put in place. 
-Another record high for Bitcoin (BTC). 
-OmiseGO (OMG) officializes partnership with Thailand McDonalds. 
-NEO drops in price amid regulation talk in China. 
-The rising TenX joins Ethereum Alliance.  
Litecoin reaches an all-time high
Litecoin for so long has been known in the cryptocurrency community as the silver to BTC gold. It’s one of the first alternative coins and has lived under BTC’s shadow for many years until 2017. It reached an all-time high recently at $62 (USD). It had already reached a previous all-time high value earlier this summer. But what is it? As defined on Litecoin’s website “Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world.” This sounds a lot like Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of objective but there has to be a distinction? Litecoin is meant to be a lot faster than Bitcoin. Litecoin is designed so that a new block is discovered every 2.5 minutes vs. Bitcoin’s 10-minute blocks. This increases the speed of transaction processing and increases the maximum number of transactions per second. Litecoin uses Scrypt instead of SHA256 as its cryptographic hashing algorithm.  Mining is more democratized with Litecoin than with BTC. You don’t have to own ASIC (owned by a few) but instead, you can mine with a more memory intensive system. 
As far as merchants/companies utilizing Litecoin, there are some significant names already accepting Litecoin as payment. Recently, Overstock.com become one of the bigger names to add Litecoin. 
Cool tool to track cryptocurrencies on to go
Source: Blockfolio
Most of us don’t have access to desktops for the most part of the day due to travel, work, and other commitments. It seems that there is a mobile app for anything these days and rightfully so. I utilize Blockfolio mobile app on iOS (It’s also available on Android) to keep track of my coin holdings in real time (faster than Coinmarketcap.com). I can’t recommend this enough, It enables you to see your monetary gains/losses from your holdings across all compatible exchanges. A smooth user interface is something lacking in comparison to Coin Base’s app but once you get past that, it’s a pretty useful app. Hopefully, soon you will have an app with the same capabilities where you can trade instantly across the different exchanges. 
Condensed Research Reports
If you are interested in receiving unbiased condensed research reports regarding cryptocurrencies, please reach out to hello@coinskim.com. There will be a monthly subscription charge that has yet to be determined.
Disclosure
Coin Skim does not provide nor intends personal investment advice regarding cryptocurrencies. Please conduct your own personal research and reach your own conclusions regarding cryptocurrency trading and investing. This newsletter does not provide individual or customized legal, tax, accounting, or investment services.
Feedback
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I will probably do twice a week, once in the middle of the week and another on the weekend. 
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