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Bitcoin Prosper attends All things Blockchain at Googles Startup Grind Event

Bitocin Prosper was excited to attend this event hosted by top members in the blockchain space

Throughout the month of August in cities across the world, Startup Grind is featuring leading experts in all things cryptocurrency and blockchain.

This month we’ll host Tanya Knowles, Mpho Dagada, and Tumelo Ramaphosa.

Topics that were covered were -:

  • The difference between Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
  • A breakdown of Blockchain
  • Why do we need decentralized systems?
  • Benefits of Blockchain Technology?
  • Why we need Blockchain
  • Current Blockchains
  • Current and futuristic use cases
  • The power of decentralization
  • Examples of use cases within corporate South Africa

 

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. We host monthly events in more than 400 cities and 200 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators, and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies.

Our monthly fireside chat provides ample opportunities to connect with amazing startups and the people behind them, tap into a strong support network, form meaningful connections and gain inspiration for the startup journey ahead.

Panelists

Tanya Knowles

Tanya Knowles

FRACTAL SOLUTIONS

Managing Executive

See Bio

Mpho Dagada

Mpho Dagada

MPHOD

Founder

See Bio

Tumelo Ramaphosa

Tumelo Ramaphosa

STUDEX WILDLIFE

Founder

See Bio

Moderator

Beth Malatji

Beth Malatji

REBETH WINES

Founder
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Bitcoin Prosper competes in the Blockchain and fintech hackathon | Johannesburg | 18/10/2018

Blockchain and fintech hackathon | Johannesburg | 18/10/2018

24 hours | 15 pitches | 4 winners

This past weekend marks one of the biggest blockchain and fintech hackathons attended in South Africa to date. Developers, entrepreneurs and designers flocked to BCX’s head office in Centurion on Saturday morning to show what the local talent has to offer. We’d like to congratulate and commend every participant for sticking out a gruelling race against time whilst having to overcome the obstacles of bugs, API integrations and sleep depravation.

I was very impressed with the amount of energy and effort that all the participants put into the solutions that were presented at the end of the Hackathon. We saw a number of commercially viable solutions that we would like to explore with the innovators/entrepreneurs. The teams achieved so much in such a short space of time! — Frank Rizzo, Managing Executive, BCX

What made this particular fintech hackathon unique was the focus on solving problems in Africa by leveraging blockchain technology. Rehive was used by several teams as an application layer on Stellar for issuing assets, hot wallet management, account creation etc. Read more about Rehive’s Stellar Service here.

There was also a focus on education and rapid learning. Participants were awed by Blockchain Academy’s 2-hour deep dive session in which a broad spectrum of knowledge was shared and consumed in a short space of time. Rehive then presented both a fintech and crypto workshop which equipped participants with a platform and toolkit for making development on a complex underlying technology both simple and possible. (Not to mention fun!)

Featured Guests

In order to keep things local and encourage aspiring developers and entrepreneurs, we had Ndabenhle Ngulube and Matthew Smith, co-founders of Pineapple as featured judges to share their story, learnings and knowledge of growing a startup.

Pineapple is a technology company that has created the first decentralised peer-to-peer insurance platform in South Africa.

Mandla Magagula from RMB’s Foundery as well as Jacques Booyens and Keru Naidoo from BCX completed the judge panel, making for a serious pool of knowledge and expertise.

Winners

Of the ±80 participants, 15 teams pitched their products on Sunday morning. The criteria was split between 33% product, 33% tech and 33% pitch — requiring a well rounded delivery of all 3 in a mere 5 minutes. The following teams featured in the top spots.

(1) Usizo | First place | R20k

Usizo meaning help in Zulu is a donations marketplace for connecting patients who are suffering from a range of conditions, with donors wishing to make a difference in the lives of others in a transparent and auditable way.

Team Usizo walks away with first prize.
Usizo’s mobile application

Usizo presented both a web and mobile application. Check out their product here.

(2) Skoloto | Second place | R15k

Skoloto is a P2P lending platform targeting informal markets where it’s super hard obtaining a loan from FSPs without a credit record. Millions of South Africans remain unbanked and as such, P2P lending happens in cash between individuals whose credit score is based on relationship or a word-of-mouth synopsis.

Team Skoloto taking second prize.
Skoloto’s web app

Skoloto presented a mobile application where some of the key features of their solution includes a rating system for users wishing to lend or borrow from individuals outside their existing ecosystem as well as transaction record keeping. Over time, their profile on Skoloto may serve as valid transactional data for an informal but factual credit score for these unbanked individuals to obtain loans.

Third place was shared between two teams, as the competition was simply too rife for the judges to make a call on only one team to take the podium stand.

(3) Sequoia | Third place (1/2) | R5k

Sequoia is financial management application that teaches users to budget and rewards them for reaching their goals. Sequoia embodies Warren Buffet’s quote, “If you can’t buy it cash you probably shouldn’t” by encouraging users to save and not spend and reward them by doing so based on milestones reached.

Team Sequoia claiming 3rd prize.

(3) Sigma | Third place (2/2) | R5k

Sigma built a marketplace for crowd-purchasing goods in bulk. Their model encourages the public to collectively purchase products that are offered by merchants or retailers in bulk volumeThis helps the retailers sell large amounts of product at a price that’s cheaper for the group who collectivelypurchased the stock than if they had to purchase their desired units of that stock individually.

Buy bulk and save .. as a group
Team Sigma claiming 3rd place with Team Sequoia

Two additional teams featured as top teams although they just missed the podium. These are;

(1) Grapevine | USSD service for sending money via a blockchain.

(2) AssetWise | Upload, track and manage assets on a blockchain.

Well done to all teams who participated, the competition was tough but everyone who pitched showed tenacity and perseverance and we are sure that everyone learned a bit more about solving problems in Africa using fintech.

Sponsors

We’d like to thank BCX who sponsored this event as well as the warm up hackathon earlier this year. BCX continue to play an instrumental role in incubating talent and new technology innovation as the largest IT company in South Africa.

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Can you profit off Bitcoin Mining in 2018?

Lots of people are asking the question, “Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable in 2018?“ The answer is a complex one, because it depends on various factors. If you wonder whether it can be profitable, the answer is yes. However, it requires careful research, painstaking investment, and a great amount of effort. Let’s look into a few latest processors and check how profitable they are in 2018

Antminer S9

Let’s take a look at a the Antminer S9 mining rig. We previously looked at this ASIC mining rig.  It has a mining rate of 14 TH/s, and 1372W in power. As we previously saw, with this processing rate, you will be looking at mining around Ƀ 0.001070 per day. This would be around 120.47 South African Rand per day, at current exchange rates. The power cost for this would be around 32.91 Rand per day, and could be even lower, depending on your tariff.

This would net you around 2632 Rand per month. In an year, you’re looking at a profit of 31,584, once you factor in the electricity payments you would have to make. If you get a cheap Antminer at around 43000 Rand, you’d break even in around 16 months, which is about a little more than an year.

However, with the value of Bitcoin rising 20 times in the past year, you’re looking at closer to 6 months, rather than 18 months

NVIDIA P-106 GPU

You can use these to mine Ethereum. This is slightly different from Bitcoin Mining.  The hashrate of these cards, when tested by our team, came out to about 20 MegaHash/s, and each card only took about 75W. If you use a rig consisting of eight of these, then the total Hashrate will be around 160 MegaHash/s for only 600W.

We calculated that we will have mined 0.01189 Ethereum per day and 0.3567 ethereum per month. That comes up to around 2900 Rand per month. The cost of the power to run this is around 400 Rand per month.

So we are left with a net profit of around 2500 Rand per month. If we add a few extra cards, we can easily increase our profit margin even more

Again, with Ethereum, rising in value, this is an excellent profit

Altcoins

Mining Altcoins in an alternative to mining Bitcoin in 2018. Today there are hundreds of Altcoins available on the market and some of them are still real easy to mine. The problem is that because there are so many Altcoins it’s hard to tell which ones are worth investing your time in. Some good examples for Altcoins are Litecoin, Dogecoin and Peercoin.

Conclusion

Bitcoin Mining is still profitable in 2018 in South Africa, and will continue to be. If you have money to invest, then the future of Crypto Currency is bright.

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Trading Crypto Currency you mined in 2018

Once you’ve mined your Crypto Currency, you can either hold on it in the same form it is in. Or you could exchange it for a newer currency. Here is a strategy that will help you trade whatever you mine. This will help increase your profit.

Strategy

Before you develop your investing strategy, you need to learn how to evaluate a given Coin.

When buying cryptocurrencies, specifically altcoins, it is important to know a few details about them. A major thing to note when deciding whether to buy a coin, are it’s functional use cases. Most coins will have a mission statement on their homepage. By understanding what purpose a coin serves in the real world, we will have a better idea of how to evaluate it further. For example,  Litecoin has the same goal as Bitcoin. In this case, it would be a good idea to compare its market capitalization with Bitcoin.

If you notice a large shift in market cap on a certain date, it may be worth it to check for any news that day to see what may have caused it. This can be extremely useful as positive and negative press can really affect Crypto Currency.

On the other hand, some coins serve a very unique function in the real world. For example, Power Ledger is a fairly new and interesting cryptocurrency. The goal of this project is to provide a system for consumers to trade electricity with one another. If you believe in this idea and the technology around it, invest in it. If you feel it’s a far fetched idea, avoid it. The second thing you can do is read news surrounding the project. All of that information, along with a look at the coin’s market cap, is going to ultimately determine whether you think the technology might reach mainstream adoption, thus making an investment worth your while.

Different Exchanges

After some time using exchanges to buy and sell currency that you’ve mined, you’ll notice something huge. You will  notice that the price of a crypto currency is often not the exact same on each exchange. That means, you can buy a crypto currency on one exchange for a cheap rate, and sell it on another for a higher rate.  This is called Arbitage.

You need to be careful here though. It needs to be as close to real-time as possible. This is possibly one of the hardest things to get right, and also the most underestimated aspect of arbitrage in crypto currency. The markets, compared to ForEx trading, are ridiculously slow – at busy exchanges, there may be a couple of dozen trades executed. The difference of a few seconds can be the difference between a profit and a loss

Summary

In 2018, you need to not only mine Coins, but also trade them to maximise your profit and increase your own holdings. With this guide, you are well on your way to learning to do so

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AMD’s Radeon RX Vega for Mining

We’ve been looking at different GPU’s for mining Crypto Currencies. Now we’ll look at the AMD Radeon RX Vega, recently released, and extremely good for mining. It is not easily available in South Africa, however, it can be ordered online from different stores.

Features

  • Shatter the limitations of traditional GPU memory for more intense visual capabilities.
  • IP5X-Certified Fans for dust resistant and longer fan lifespan.

Advantages

This AMD Radeon is not an ASIC. It is a GPU. This means that not only can it mine Bitcoins, Ethereum and Altcoins. This means we will be able to mine any currency we want, including newer ones like Ethereum that are rising in value much more quicker than Bitcoins. After all, the greatest profit is to be made of Altcoins, not already established giants such as Bitcoins.

The dual bearing fans mean that this GPU is better secured against the hazards of heat and dust. It is resistant to heat

The price of this GPU is a bit on the high side, and it is hard to acquire in South Africa.

Potential Profit

The hashrate of these cards, when tested by our team, came out to about 30 MegaHash/s, and each card only took about 130W. If you use a rig consisting of eight of these, then the total Hashrate will be around 240 MegaHash/s for only 1040W.

So let’s assume we turn on our mining operation and leave it on for a month. We will have mined 0.01813 Ethereum per day and 0.5438 ethereum per month. That comes up to around 4,450 Rand per month. The cost of the power to run this is around 450 Rand per month.

So we are left with a net profit of around 4000 Rand per month. If we add a few extra cards, we can easily increase our profit margin even more

When you consider that the lifetime of the processor is double that of other GPU’s, and the power consumption is much lower, it seems like a good deal, despite the price.

Conclusion

The Antminer is the perfect card for mining Bitcoins. It seems the NVIDIA  P-106 is the card of choice to mine Altcoins. This is the GPU you should get if you have experience of mining, and have a lot of money. High Hash Rate, and a greater durability, combined with a very high starting investment means this is only for those who know what they’re doing.

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Litecoin Mining with NVIDIA P-106

We’ve been looking at different GPU’s for mining Crypto Currencies. Today, we’ll look at the NVIDIA P-106 GPU for mining Litecoin.

Specifications

The hashrate of these cards, when tested by our team, came out to about 20 MegaHash/s, and each card only took about 75W. If you use a rig consisting of eight of these, then the total Hashrate will be around 160 MegaHash/s for only 600W.

The price of this GPU is also very cheap. You can get a complete rig, consisting of 8 of these for  R55,574.

Why Litecoin?

Litecoins have quicker transaction times, and lower transaction fees. For this reason, you should invest in mining Litecoins

Profit?

So let’s assume we turn on our mining operation and leave it on for a month. We will have mined 0.01334 Litecoins per day and 0.4002 Litecoins per month. That comes up to around 800 Rand per month. The cost of the power to run this is around 400 Rand per month.

So we are left with a net profit of around 400 Rand per month. If we add a few extra cards, we can easily increase our profit margin even more

When you consider that the lifetime of the NVIDIA processor is double that of other GPU’s because of its fan, this is an excellent deal. With the value of Litecoins expected to increase around 10 times in 2018, that means you’ll net 48,000 Rand in one year.

That means you can pay off the value of the GPU in just over an year

Litecoins or Ethereum?

Our previous article calculated the profitability of Ethereum via the same GPU. Quoting from it:

So let’s assume we turn on our mining operation and leave it on for a month. We will have mined 0.01189 Ethereum per day and 0.3567 ethereum per month. That comes up to around 2900 Rand per month. The cost of the power to run this is around 400 Rand per month.

So we are left with a net profit of around 2500 Rand per month. If we add a few extra cards, we can easily increase our profit margin even more

This shows that we should mine Ether, and note Litecoins, using this GPU. Ether can later be traded for Litecoins, depending on the growth of the currency.

Conclusion

It would be best to mine Ether with this GPU. However, Litecoins will still be extremely profitable, and it can be done via the same GPU. However, why would you leave potential profit?

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The Rise of Ethereum in 2018

Ethereum will rise in value to $2500 per ether by the end of 2018. By the end of 2019, it is expected that Ethereum would be somewhere around $ 14,000. Similarly, by the end of the year 2020, it is assumed that Ethereum would be around $ 31,000.

When you look at those raw figures you realise the potential of Etereum mining in 2018

Predictions for Ethereum

Here are a few predictions by Nerayoff, who created Bitcoins.

” Businesses in a wide variety of industries are starting to take note of what value Ether’s protocol could offer them.”

Nerayoff has said that the speed of transactions using Ether are why it has become so popular. He maintains increasing interest in crypto currency will increase the value for Ethereum in 2018. It might even overtake the more popular Bitcoin.

“What you’re seeing with Ether is quick increase in the number of projects — there are billions of dollars being poured into the ecosystem right now — maybe 10 times more projects this year than last year, which could easily lead to a doubling, probably a tripling in price by the end of the year,”

Bitcoin was designed to function as a peer to peer electronic payment system. Ether was designed for smart contracts that execute when specific conditions are met. Nerayoff helped craft token sales for the ethereum project. He now says  businesses are starting to take note of what value Ethereum’s protocol could offer them.

“You’re seeing a tremendous amount of growth across a wide variety of industries. Fintech is actually the natural area, but now you’re seeing it becoming increasingly more creative. You find projects in the oil and gas industry. You’re finding government using it in their applications. You’re seeing it in gaming, all kinds of different areas,” Nerayoff said.

Reasons for Increase

Nerayoff’s predictions are very positive. There are quite a few reasons for his optimism. After all, Ether is the fastest growing Crypto Currency. Reasons why Ether can still increase in value are:-

  • Increasing application uses.
  • More companies adopting decentralized cloud-based applications.
  • The increase in use of smart contracts.

This is why Ether is increasing in popularity. As more companies switch to Ether, the value of it will increase. With the world moving forwards, Ether will continue rising rapidly.

Ethereum will become the second most popular currency in 2018. It will overtake Litecoin easily. It might even overtake Bitcoins by 2020.

Therefore, you must look to invest in Ether. It has great application, and it also has great appreciation.

Conclusion on Ethereum

Ether will continue in value in 2018. Ether must be mined because it will continue to rise in value. As it rises, so too does your own cash.

 

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Guide to Bitcoin Mining in South Africa

Bitcoin mining is not only a way of earning money. What most people don’t realise, is that Bitcoin miners play a pivotal role in fueling the whole Bitcoin currency, keeping it secure and operating. The calculations are so intense that miners use specialized computers that run hot enough to keep homes or even office buildings warm through the winter.

When Bitcoin was first invented it was easy for users to merely operate from their home computers to mine a few Bitcoins daily. Now that it has grown in popularity, it’s become a means to profit, especially if you live in South Africa

Let’s break down how to set up to mine Bitcoins into a few steps

STEP 1: CALCULATE IF BITCOIN MINING WILL BE PROFITABLE

You need to buy some ASIC’s or GPU’s here. Realistically, you only start making a real profit after you have broken even. You still need to calculate whether you’re making a profit every month, however.

It is not possible to accurately calculate your profit upfront. You can still get a rough idea if the GPU you’ve chosen is correct or not/ The first 6 months for most miners run smoothly and their profits look fantastic.

Most computer hardware comes with a short warranty. It’s important to factor in the additional expenses for maintenance and spare parts. However, there’s another issue to fix:-

Bitcoin Difficulty Level

You calculate the time you need to mine coins via your hashrate. However, after some time, bitcoin difficulty increases. Thus more Hash is needed to solve the problem. So, in essence, the ‘Bitcoin Difficulty’ factor is constantly being adjusted to make it harder to mine bitcoins, which in turn decreases your profitability rate.

STEP 2: GET A BITCOIN WALLET

Once you’ve worked out that you can afford the hardware start-up costs and monthly expenses, you want to get mining already. Before you do, you need to have a safe place to store the bitcoins you collect. This is a Bitcoin Wallet.

There are 2 types of wallets:

You can choose to download a wallet for your computer or one for your phone. This option allows you to control your bitcoins completely.

A third-party hosted web wallet. For this option, you need to trust over your bitcoins to someone else.

STEP 3: FIND A BITCOIN MINING POOL

A mining pool is a great idea for beginners to join because they get to work with professional, established miners. This will help them learn the skills of the trade.

STEP 4: GET THE HARDWARE: A MINING MACHINE FOR YOUR COMPUTER

Now that you’ve decided what to buy and what to get, you need to get a good GPU and computer.  Luckily, you can get some on this site itself

STEP 5: READY, SET, MINE!

Start Bitcoin mining, and be on your way to making a profit!

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The Relationship Between Altcoins and Bitcoin

We talked about the necessity of Altcoins in our last article. However, here’s a fun fact. Did you know that Bitcoin’s price movement generally affects altcoin prices? The relationship isn’t always predictable, but there are some common trends.

Historical Trends

The main currency in cryptocurrency markets is Bitcoin. Altcoins tend to fund the buying of Bitcoins. The Vice Versa is also true. If we accept this is true, then it follows that Bitcoin prices are affected by Altcoin prices.

When Bitcoin prices suddenly rise for whatever reason, two things happen.

  1. It will reduce the price of Altcoins. This is because Altcoins are being converted into Bitcoins.
  2. It will increase the price of Altcoins. This happens when new people are joining the network. An influx of new money helps increase the price of Bitcoins.

Bitcoin prices can also fall. When this happens, one of two things occur.

  1. Altcoins rise in value. This happens as people convert Bitcoins into Altcoins.
  2. Altcoins fall in value. This is a result of people taking money out of Crypto Currency.

When Bitcoin stagnates, it will likely:

  1. Cause alts to stagnate along with it as people wait for a clear sign on the direction of the market;
  2. Or, cause alts to boom as people look for returns in alt coins and try to get favorable trades in terms of BTC pairs. <—- This is what happened in December 2017 and January 2018 (this is what you are looking for in terms of alts, when BTC stagnated alts saw epic growth).

Strategy

This means that people who watch the price of Bitcoin closely, can predict the prices of Altcoins as well. This will come in handy when mining the crypto currency of your choice. For example, if you see Bitcoins fall, you need to observe two things. Is there some new crypto currency craze happening? If yes, Altcoins will rise too.

Is there some warning about Altcoins? Then Altcoins will fall.

Trading can be uncertain, so every little bit helps. If you can logically understand why your mined Bitcoin is going up or down, you can better implement any strategy and ease a little of the worry that can come with holding.

Summary

To summarize this, Bitcoin is the center of the crypto economy in many ways. With Bitcoin trading pairs on every exchange, the gravity of Bitcoin is hard to escape. This becomes true even more when you realise how most Altcoins are bought with Bitcoins. For this reason, understanding the economy of Bitcoins is very important for any miner, so he knows what to do with his holding.

 

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Why Altcoins are just as important as Bitcoin

There are two camps in the crypto community. One group believe that there should only be Bitcoin and everything else would branch off of Bitcoin in the form of side chains. Then, there is another group that believes we should embrace not only Bitcoin, but many of the up and coming altcoins. Today we’ll see why Altcoins are just as important as Bitcoins

Competition

In any competitive market, there is always competition and the best usually rises to the top. We see this in every type of business. It would be bizarre to not have competition in crypto currency. Many Bitcoin elitists believe that there should only be one cryptocurrency. However, having other altcoins as an option would both spur on innovation. It would also ensure that it truly is the best option out there. Otherwise, we may end up with a Bitcoin that doesn’t fit everyone’s unique needs around the world. Having only one currency in the world would also give Bitcoins  too much power. Suppose the core developers made changes that the people didn’t agree with, switching to another coin would be more difficult. Having choice is freedom.

Innovation

Bitcoin currently has a 3 billion market cap. For this reason, Bitcoin developers hesitate about making changes to the network. This is for good reason, with so many clients.

Altcoins can make changes and innovate much more easily though. This is because they have fewer users, and a lower market cap. There are constantly new altcoins being created. Some are just copies, but we sometimes see an altcoin implement a completely unique idea. These new ideas and innovations can then be be adopted by more established coins such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Risk Mitigation

If you want to have a lower risk, diversify. That’s is an old maxim, and it holds true. You wouldn’t want to keep your entire net worth in one bank account. The same can be said for crypto currencies. May Bitcoin investors, also have holds in Litecoin.  You can also take risks by investing in more dynamic altcoins, for higher profit.

Wealth Distribution

In older networks, there is a huge difference between new users and older ones. Those who have been around a long time are essentially richer. As Crypto Currencies grow, this gap will only increase. Altcoins will ensure that there is always a balance. There are other altcoins such as Dogecoin and Peercoin that are inflationary with an indefinite creation of coins. This can actually help currencies with limits because there are so many hoarders of Bitcoin, who reduce circulation

Conclusion

Altcoins are a necessity in the world today. Either we adopt them, and help them innovate, or we lose an alternative. As we all know, monopoly is never a good thing. This is why Altcoins are just as essential as Bitcoins.