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Blockchains vs centralized databases

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Four key differences between blockchains and regular databases

If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you will know by now that blockchains are simply a new type of database. That is, a database which can be directly shared, in a write sense, by a group of non-trusting parties, without requiring a central administrator. This contrasts with traditional (SQL or NoSQL) databases that are controlled by a single entity, even if some kind of distributed architecture is used within its walls.

I recently gave a talk about blockchains from the perspective of information security, in which I concluded that blockchains are more secure than regular databases in some ways, and less secure in others. Considering the leading role that centralized databases play in today’s technology stack, this got me thinking more broadly about the trade-offs between these two technologies. Indeed, whenever someone asks me if MultiChain can be used for a particular purpose, my first response is always: “Could you do that with a regular database?” In more cases than you might think, the answer is yes, for the following simple reason:

If trust and robustness aren’t an issue, there’s nothing a blockchain can do that a regular database cannot.

This is a key point on which there is so much misunderstanding. In terms of the types of data that can be stored, and the transactions that can be performed on that data, blockchains don’t do anything new. And just to be clear, this observation extends to “smart contracts” as well, despite their sexy name and image. A smart contract is nothing more than a piece of computer code which runs on every node in a blockchain – a decades-old technology called stored procedures does the same for centralized databases. (You also cannot use a blockchain if this code needs to initiate interactions with the outside world.)

The truth about blockchains is that, while they have some advantages, they also have their downsides. In other words, like most technology decisions, the choice between a blockchain and a regular database comes down to a series of trade-offs. If you’re blinded by the hype and deafened by the noise, you’re unlikely to make that choice objectively. So I hope the following guide might help.

Disintermediation: advantage blockchains

The core value of a blockchain is enabling a database to be directly shared across boundaries of trust, without requiring a central administrator. This is possible because blockchain transactions contain their own proof of validity and their own proof of authorization, instead of requiring some centralized application logic to enforce those constraints. Transactions can therefore be verified and processed independently by multiple “nodes”, with the blockchain acting as a consensus mechanism to ensure those nodes stay in sync.

Why is there value in this disintermediation? Because even though a database is just bits and bytes, it is also a tangible thing. The contents of a database are stored in the memory and disk of a particular computer system, and anybody with sufficient access to that system can destroy or corrupt the data within. As a result, the moment you entrust your data to a regular database, you also become dependent on the human organization in which that database resides.

Now, the world is filled with organizations which have earned this trust – governments and banks (mostly), universities, trade associations, and even private companies like Google and Facebook. In most cases, especially in the developed world, these work extremely well. I believe my vote has always been counted, no bank has ever stolen my money, and I’m yet to find a way to pay for better grades. So what’s the problem? If an organization controls an important database, it also needs a bunch of people and processes in place to prevent that database being tampered with. People need hiring, processes need to be designed, and all this takes a great deal of time and money.

So blockchains offer a way to replace these organizations with a distributed database, locked down by clever cryptography. Like so much that has come before, they leverage the ever-increasing capacity of computer systems to provide a new way of replacing humans with code. And once it’s been written and debugged, code tends to be an awful lot cheaper.

Confidentiality: advantage centralized databases

As I mentioned, every node in a blockchain independently verifies and processes every transaction. A node can do this because it has full visibility into: (a) the database’s current state, (b) the modification requested by a transaction, and (c) a digital signature which proves the transaction’s origin. This is undoubtedly a clever new way to architect a database, and it really works. So where’s the catch? For many applications, especially financial, the full transparency enjoyed by every node is an absolute deal-killer.

How do systems built on regular databases avoid this problem? Just like blockchains, they restrict the transactions that particular users can perform, but these restrictions are imposed in one central location. As a result, the full database contents need only be visible at that location, rather than in multiple nodes. Requests to read data also go through this central authority, which can accept or reject those requests as it sees fit. In other words, if a regular database is read-controlled and write-controlled, a blockchain can be write-controlled only.

To be fair, many strategies are available for mitigating this problem. These range from simple ideas like transacting under multiple blockchain addresses, to advanced cryptographic techniques such as confidential transactions and zero-knowledge proofs (now being developed). Nonetheless, the more information you want to hide on a blockchain, the heavier a computational burden you pay to generate and verify transactions. And no matter how these techniques develop, they will never beat the simple and straightforward method of hiding data completely.

Robustness: advantage blockchains

A second benefit of blockchain-powered databases is extreme fault tolerance, which stems from their built-in redundancy. Every node processes every transaction, so no individual node is crucial to the database as a whole. Similarly, nodes connect to each other in a dense peer-to-peer fashion, so many communication links can fail before things grind to a halt. The blockchain ensures that nodes which went down can always catch up on transactions they missed.

So while it’s true that regular databases offer many techniques for replication, blockchains take this to a whole new level. For a start, no configuration is required – simply connect some blockchain nodes together, and they automatically keep themselves in sync. In addition, nodes can be freely added or removed from a network, without any preparation or consequences. Lastly, external users can send their transactions to any node, or to multiple nodes simultaneously, and these transactions propagate automatically and seamlessly to everyone else.

This robustness transforms the economics of database availability. With regular databases, high availability is achieved through a combination of expensive infrastructure and disaster recovery. A primary database runs on high-end hardware which is monitored closely for problems, with transactions replicated to a backup system in a different physical location. If the primary database fails (e.g. due to a power cut or catastrophic hardware failure), activity is automatically moved over to the backup, which becomes the new primary. Once the failed system is fixed, it’s lined up to act as the new backup if and when necessary. While all this is doable, it’s expensive and notoriously difficult to get right.

Instead, what if we had 10 blockchain nodes running in different parts of the world, all on commodity hardware? These nodes would be densely connected to each other, sharing transactions on a peer-to-peer basis and using a blockchain to ensure consensus. End users generating the transactions connect to (say) 5 of these nodes, so it doesn’t matter if a few communication links go down. And if one or two nodes fail completely on any given day, nobody feels a thing, because there are still more than enough copies to go round. As it happens, this combination of low cost systems and high redundancy is exactly how Google built its search engine so cheaply. Blockchains can do the same thing for databases.

Performance: advantage centralized databases

Blockchains will always be slower than centralized databases. It’s not just that today’s blockchains are slow because the technology is new and unoptimized, but it’s a result of the nature of blockchains themselves. You see, when processing transactions, a blockchain has to do all the same things as a regular database, but it carries three additional burdens:

  1. Signature verification. Every blockchain transaction must be digitally signed using a public-private cryptography scheme such as ECDSA. This is necessary because transactions propagate between nodes in a peer-to-peer fashion, so their source cannot otherwise be proven. The generation and verification of these signatures is computationally complex, and constitutes the primary bottleneck in products like ours. By contrast, in centralized databases, once a connection has been established, there is no need to individually verify every request that comes over it.
  2. Consensus mechanisms. In a distributed database such as a blockchain, effort must be expended in ensuring that nodes in the network reach consensus. Depending on the consensus mechanism used, this might involve significant back-and-forth communication and/or dealing with forks and their consequent rollbacks. While it’s true that centralized databases must also contend with conflicting and aborted transactions, these are far less likely where transactions are queued and processed in a single location.
  3. Redundancy. This isn’t about the performance of an individual node, but the total amount of computation that a blockchain requires. Whereas centralized databases process transactions once (or twice), in a blockchain they must be processed independently by every node in the network. So lots more work is being done for the same end result.

The bottom line

Naturally there are other ways in which blockchains and regular databases can be compared. We could talk about codebase maturity, developer attractiveness, ecosystem breadth and more. But none of these issues are inherent to the technology itself. So when it comes to a long-term decision on using a blockchain, the question to ask is this: What’s more important for my use case? Disintermediation and robustness? Or confidentiality and performance?

When examined in this simple light, many of the use cases currently under discussion do not make sense. The biggest problem tends to be confidentiality. The participants in a fiercely competitive marketplace will naturally prefer the privacy of a centralized database, rather than reveal their activities to each other. This is especially true if a trusted central party already exists and can provide the neutral territory in which that database can reside. Even though there may be some cost associated with this central provider, this is more than justified by the value of the privacy retained. The only motivation for a shift to blockchains would be aggressive new regulation.

Nonetheless blockchains do have strong use cases, where disintermediation and robustness are more important than confidentiality and performance. I’ll write more about these in a subsequent post, but the most promising areas we’ve seen so far are: (a) inter-company audit trails, (b) provenance tracking, and (c) lightweight financial systems. In all three cases, we’ve found people building on MultiChain with a clear view to deployment, rather than just curiosity and experimentation. So if you’re looking for ways in which blockchains can add genuine value to your business, they might be a good place to start.

Please post any comments on LinkedIn.

Source: https://www.multichain.com/blog/2016/03/blockchains-vs-centralized-databases/

Blockchain

Bitcoin Preis erreicht neues Allzeithoch bei 64.800 USD

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Am 13. April 20201 ist der Bitcoin Kurs über das vorletzte Allzeithoch ausgebrochen.

Heute, am 14. April 2021 ist der Bitcoin Preis auf ein neues Allzeithoch (64.854 USD) angestiegen.

Bitcoin Kurs Tageschartanalyse

Der Bitcoin Preis ist gestern nach längerer Zeit über das Widerstandslevel bei 61.500 USD angestiegen, das seit dem letzten Allzeithoch vom 13. März 2021 intakt war. Heute, am 14. April 2021, erreichte der Bitcoin Kurs ein neues Allzeithoch bei 64.854 USD.

Das nächste Widerstandslevel liegt wahrscheinlich bei dem externen 1.61-Fib-Retracement-Level des letzten Drops (68.724 USD). Die technischen Indikatoren liefern uns eindeutig bullische Signale. Der MACD steigt wieder an, nachdem er ein Plateau erreicht hat. Der RSI und der „Stochastic Oscillator“ steigen ebenfalls weiter an. Darum wird Bitcoin Kurs wohl bald das gerade erwähnte Widerstandslevel erreichen.

Bitcoin Kurs Tageschart 14.04.2021
Bitcoin Kurs Tageschart By TradingView

Bitcoin Preis kurzfristiger Ausblick

Auf dem 2-Stunden-Chart siehst du, dass der Bitcoin Kurs über eine ansteigende Trendlinie angestiegen ist. Danach erreichte er das letzte Allzeithoch.

Weder der MACD noch der RSI signalisieren, dass die letzte Aufwärtsbewegung bereits wirklich an Fahrt verloren hat. Der RSI befindet sich zwar seit kurzem im überbewerteten Bereich. Allerdings kann der Kurs eines Assets trotzdem noch eine Zeit lang weiter steigen, während er im überbewerteten Bereich bleibt. Darum wird der Bitcoin Preis wohl kurzfristig insgesamt weiter ansteigen, auch wenn wir kleine Korrekturbewegungen sehen könnten.

Der Bitcoin Preis wird wohl bald wieder auf die zuvor erwähnte Trendlinie fallen. Diese ehemalige Widerstandslinie fungiert jetzt wahrscheinlich als Support.

Bitcoin Preis 14.04.2021
Chart By TradingView

Bitcoin Kurs Wellenanalyse

Laut unserer Wellenanalyse befindet sich der Bitcoin Kurs gerade in der dritten kleineren Teilwelle (Schwarz) er letzten Teilelle eines bullischen Impulses. Der Hochpunkt der letzten beiden Teilwellen wird voraussichtlich zwischen 83.000 USD und 90.423 USD liegen. Sobald die letzte, Orange Teilwelle vorbei ist, werden wir wahrscheinlich eine Korrekturphase sehen.

Hier geht es zu unserer Langzeitwellenanalyse.

Bitcoin Kurs Wellenanalyse 14.04.2021
Bitcoin Preis Chart By TradingView

Fazit

Der Bitcoin Preis wird wohl kurzfristig zumindest auf das Widerstandslevel bei 68.724 USD ansteigen. Mittelfristig wird der Bitcoin Kurs höchstwahrscheinlich ein neues Hoch zwischen 83.000 USD und 90.000 USD erzielen.

Hier geht es zur letzten Bitcoin-Analyse von BeInCrypto!

Eine interessante Krypto-Exchange für das Krypto-Trading und Investment in die verschiedenen Kryptowährungen: Stormgain.

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Valdrin ist ein Kryptowährungs-Enthusiast und Finanzhändler. Nach seinem Master-Abschluss in Finanzmärkten an der Barcelona Graduate School of Economics begann er im Ministerium für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung in seinem Heimatland Kosovo zu arbeiten. Im Jahr 2019 beschloss er, sich ganz auf Kryptowährungen und den Handel zu konzentrieren.

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Source: https://de.beincrypto.com/bitcoin-preis-neues-allzeithoch-64-800-usd/

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Tech firm unveils Australian first initiative to help charities access blockchain funding

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In an Australian first, social enterprise Little Phil is partnering with a cryptocurrency provider to provide local charities access to alternative and sustainable fundraising streams.

To deliver this groundbreaking initiative it is working with Netherlands-headquartered firm Legends of Crypto (LOC) – a non-fungible token trading card game – to implement a trial that will see 10% of all sales go towards directly funding selected causes on the Little Phil platform.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a special class of digital assets that cannot be exchanged with one another for equal value, or broken down into smaller bits, that often operate as a type of collectors’ item and cannot be duplicated. These represent the next phase in the application of cryptocurrency technology with LOC itself receiving significant support from leading industry heavyweights such as the CEO of bitcoin.com.

This initiative is designed to provide not-for-profits access to alternative streams of fundraising outside of traditional avenues and aid them in diversifying their revenue raising activities.

According to Little Phil Co-founder and CEO, Josh Murchie this trial is designed to test the efficacy of alternative funding streams as it seeks to empower charities to diversify how they raise revenue for their causes.

“This is a really exciting trial for Little Phil and Legends of Crypto as we seek to test this groundbreaking fundraising trial,” said Mr Murchie.

“Although awareness among the public about crypto currency is generally around Bitcoin and maybe Ethereum, the reality is that this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the technology explosion in this space. What we are seeking to do here is to trial the efficacy of utilising NFT’s to create a recurring revenue stream for charities and see if we can free them up from continually asking for donors to donate.”

Founded in 2017, Little Phil is a total giving ecosystem that connects donors, businesses, and brands more directly with charities and beneficiaries through its Blockchain inspired Fintech technology platform that allows users to select a cause that they care about and directly give to that specific initiative – allowing them to track their impact in real-time.

Its technology provides donors full transparency around where their donations go, while providing charities the ability to showcase the difference every dollar makes as it provides not-for-profits the ability to give updates on the impact each gift has – ensuring transparent giving.

Some of its clients and partners include Greenpeace, mental health charity LIVIN, and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary located on the Gold Coast.

That is why it is trialing the partnership within LOC’s marketplace that sees users buy and sell uniquely designed NFTs only available via its marketplace – as it adheres to this philosophy of directly allowing donors to connect via the causes they care about.

In this instance the 10 per cent of the funds raised will go directly towards cancer survivors requiring funding for their treatment.

For Josh Murchie, this initiative is all about ensuring that Little Phil is providing the charity sector access to funding and technology that might otherwise not be available to them.

“Last year we ran a national survey – the State of COVID report into Australia’s not-for-profit sector – that unearthed some of the biggest issues facing the industry as a result not just of the pandemic but broader micro and macro trends,” Mr Murchie said.

“One of the critical elements we unearthed from the data is that the sector is beset by two key issues, the giving behavior of Gen Z’s and millennials, along with digital transformation and technology usage. This trial, allows us to test the ability of charities to raise funds using the latest digital currency technology to hopefully better engage these demographic cohorts by creating greater connectivity with causes they care about using these new financial assets.”

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Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/tech-firm-unveils-australian-first-initiative-to-help-charities-access-blockchain-funding/

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COPA verklagt Craig Wright wegen Bitcoin-Copyright

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Die gemeinnützige COPA-Organisation hat eine Klage gegen Craig Wright eingereicht und fordert von dem Gericht eine einstweilige Verfügung sowie eine Bestätigung, dass er keine Copyright-Ansprüche auf das Bitcoin-Whitepaper hat.

Die gemeinnützige Krypto-Organisation Cryptocurrency COPA (Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance) hat eine Klage gegen Craig Wright wegen seines Copyright-Anspruchs bzgl. des Bitcoin-Whitepapers eingereicht.

Die Organisation twitterte am 12. April 2021, dass sie ein Gerichtsverfahren bei dem britischen High Court of Justice einreichen wird, um „festzustellen, dass Mr. Craig Wright nicht das Bitcoin White Paper-Copyright besitzt“.

„Heute hat die COPA eine Klage eingeleitet, bei der der UK High Court aufgefordert wird, zu erklären, dass Mr. Craig Wright nicht das Urheberrecht am Bitcoin Whitepaper besitzt. Wir stehen auf der Seite der Bitcoin-Entwickler-Community und den vielen anderen, die bedroht wurden, weil sie das Whitepaper veröffentlicht haben.“

Die COPA fordert unter anderem, dass Wright nicht als Autor des Bitcoin White Papers anerkannt wird. Außerdem bittet sie um eine einstweilige Verfügung, die Wright davon abhält, zu behaupten, er sei der Autor des Whitepapers.

Wer ist die COPA?

Die COPA ist eine Non-Profit-Organisation, die laut eigene Angaben „versucht, Patente und Rechtsstreitigkeiten, die ein Hindernis für das Wachstum der Kryptowährungen sind, zu beseitigen“. Sie wurde von dem Unternehmen Square, das von Jack Dorsey gegründet wurde, ins Leben gerufen.

Die Organisation möchte den unethischen Missbrauch von Rechtswegen, mit dem teilweise Konkurrenten aus dem Weg geräumt werden sollen oder bei dem ausschließlich eigennützige Interessen vertreten werden, verhindern. In der Kryptobranche war dies leider schon öfters der Fall.

Wrights Anwälte behaupteten im Januar 2021, dass er einfach nur sein Copyright durchsetzen wolle. Außerdem schickten sie angeblich eine Nachricht an Square, in der sie erklärten, dass sie klagen würden, wenn Square das Whitepaper nicht von ihrer Seite entfernen würde. Wrights Anwälte bedrohten auch Bitcoin.org und Bitcoincore.org mit ähnlichen Nachrichten.

Ist Craig Wright Satoshi Nakamoto?

Wright ist derzeit in mehrere Rechtsstreitigkeiten verwickelt. Die meisten davon startete er selbst. Als Grundlage benutzte er seine Behauptung, dass er der Schöpfer von Bitcoin ist. In dem aufsehenerregendsten dieser Fälle wurde er aufgefordert, die Eigentumsrechte an den privaten Schlüsseln zu Satoshis Einlagen zu beweisen.

Viele Mitglieder der Krypto-Community zweifeln Wrights Behauptungen an. Die Klage der COPA Klage könnten dem Ganzen ein Ende bereiten.

Wird Wright irgendwann aufhören?

Wright behauptet schon seit langem, dass er der Schöpfer von Bitcoin ist. Er sagte sogar, dass er die private Keys zu Satoshis geheimen Bitcoin Wallets besitzt. Diese Behauptung handelte ihm allerdings einige Probleme ein.

Kurz nachdem er diese Behauptung als Grundlage für einen Rechtsstreit benutzt hat, wurde eine Text-Nachricht veröffentlicht, in der Wright als Betrüger bezeichnet wurde. Die Text-Nachricht wurde mit einer der Bitcoin Adressen signiert, die mit dem Rechtsstreit zu tun hatten.

Wright hat auch mehrere andere Ansprüche erhoben bzw. Rechtsverfahren eingeleitet und sogar eine Klage gegen Bitcoin-Entwickler eingereicht. Die Imageschäden, die Wraight wegen seiner dubiosen Rechtsstreitigkeiten erlitten hat, stärken nicht gerade seine Position vor den Gerichten. Trotzdem hält Wright an seiner Behauptung fest

Faketoshi: Doktorarbeit von Craig Wright ein Plagiat?

Übersetzt von Maximilian M.

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Alle auf unserer Website enthaltenen Informationen werden nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen recherchiert. Die journalistischen Beiträge dienen nur allgemeinen Informationszwecken. Jede Handlung, die der Leser aufgrund der auf unserer Website gefundenen Informationen vornimmt, geschieht ausschließlich auf eigenes Risiko.

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Rahul Nambiampurath is an India-based Digital Marketer who got attracted to Bitcoin and the blockchain in 2014. Ever since, he’s been an active member of the community. He has a Masters degree in Finance. <a href=”mailto:editorinchief@beincrypto.com”>Email me!</a>

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Guide to Gambling with Ethereum Now and in the Future

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In recent years, online gambling with the use of cryptocurrency has been increasing in popularity. One of the widely recognized cryptocurrencies in online gambling is Ethereum. However, despite its abrupt rise in popularity, many interested people still have little or no knowledge at all regarding how to gamble online using this crypto.

 Ethereum Defined

 Ethereum is a decentralized and blockchain-based technology. Several machines amounting to millions support this platform which is used to form a blockchain of several transactions that are all secured since they are all stored in every machine at once.

 Similar to Bitcoin, which is another popular cryptocurrency, the blockchain of Ethereum is a ledger that is viewed publicly and contains every transaction of the currency it supports. The currency for Ethereum is called Ether. 

 Ethereum was launched in the year 2015. During the years since its launch, Ethereum has significantly grown in value and size. Just like other cryptocurrencies today, it is used for payments online and has a peer-to-peer format presentation.

 Ether and other cryptocurrencies have many similarities. For one, a lot of cryptocurrencies can be used in several online casinos. To date, there are already several sites that accept Ether, and we can expect this to grow in number in the following years. 

 Despite the many similarities of Ether and other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether has one major advantage which is the speed at which it processes its transactions. When you do a transaction using Bitcoin, the whole process usually takes 10 minutes more or less. Meanwhile, doing a transaction in Ethereum can be as fast as a mere 15 seconds.

 Gambling with Ethereum

 Now that we have a background on what Ethereum is, here’s how you can go and buy Ethereum so that you can use it for gambling in online casinos. 

  1. Register for a digital wallet

 A digital wallet or a cryptocurrency wallet is the one that holds all your cryptocurrencies. To buy Ether, you must first register or acquire a crypto wallet. There are many different types of digital wallets available today. Some of the most reliable and trusted are Coinbase, Bittrex, Gemini, Kraken, CoinMama, and many others. 

 A simple search for their official sites should do the trick. Visit their official sites and open an account. You may need to fill out a few personal information for this step. Generally, most digital wallets have a verification process through a phone call. Once you have successfully opened your digital wallet, you can then proceed to buy Ether. 

  1. Input your financial details

 Here is how digital wallets work. First, you need to put traditional money into it which may be done through the use of a credit card or a bank account. Take note that there may be some limitations to the method that you choose. After that, you will then need to enter your FIAT information. What this does is that allows you to move your cryptocurrency to and from your normal bank account.

  1. Buy Ether

 Your wallet will then allow you to buy many different cryptocurrencies available today. All you have to do is search for Ether and purchase your desired amount. Once the transaction is over, you should be able to see your Ether balance in your digital wallet.

  1. Start gambling

 Now that you have an Ethereum balance, you can now start gambling. There are many online casinos nowadays that accept Ether. If you are looking for a reliable and trusted Ethereum casino, you can visit Bitcoinbuster for a list of several online casinos that accepts Ethereum. 

 Once you have selected your desired online casino, the next thing that you need to do is connect your digital wallet to your gambling account. Simply choose Ether as your payment option then follow the steps until your funds will enter your gambling account.

 Ethereum Gambling Now and in the Future

 There are many advantages of using Ethereum in online gambling, one of which is security. Since every action you make is on the Ethereum blockchain, everything is encrypted and the online casino has no access to your personal information. Next is the speed of the transactions since Ethereum is known to be very fast and efficient in processing transactions.

 However, despite the several advantages, there are still many things on which Ethereum can improve upon.

 The first thing is the unpredictability of Ethereum’s value. Despite its upward trend in the world of cryptocurrency, Ethereum is still a fairly new cryptocurrency and its value fluctuates now and then. This means that you will not only be gambling on the online casino but also on the value of Ethereum itself.

 Apart from that, despite Ethereum’s growing popularity, there are still several online casinos that do not accept Ether.

 Shortly, however, it is safe to say that the value of Ethereum will stabilize or at least minimize that fluctuation rate. It could also mean that various sites will begin to adapt Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

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