Bitcoin Today Celebrates its Tenth B’Day; Here’s A Brief In the Journey So Far

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Bitcoin Today Celebrates its Tenth B’Day; Here’s A Brief In the Journey So Far
Ten years back the world was facing severe economic recession with the collapse of banking giants like Lehman Brothers. Little did we know then that an alternative form of currency was taking shape and Bitcoin was born on October 31st, 2018.  So far, Bitcoin has traveled through its own journey of criticism and glory and still continues to be the single largest digital currency by market cap.
Let us take into how Bitcoin has managed to sail through over the last decade.
Early Days of Bitcoin
Ten years back, a pseudonym by the name Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper. Till now, there is no trace of the actual identity behind Nakamoto. The mysterious identity who released the whitepaper claimed to be a Japanese man. However, some said that it was unlikely looking at the perfect English used in the whitepaper.
Since then there have been several conspiracy theories floating around Bitcoin’s actual creator. At one point even the name of American business tycoon Elon Musk popped up. But again, there was no substantial proof to back those claims.
By 2009, the first fifty Bitcoins referred to as the “Genesis block” were mined. The Bitcoin mining process soon gained traction among global developers. Mining is the process of solving complex mathematical algorithms to unlock new blocks and add them to the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin mining, specifically, demands high-end computing machine consuming high power.
Later in 2010, a Florida based programmer tested the real-life use-case of Bitcoin. The programmer paid nearly 10,000 Bitcoins the worth $25 for his pizza order. That same amount of Bitcoin would now be worth around over $60 million.
The Mt. Gox Hack and Silk Road Theory
In 2010, Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange started its operations and soon became quite popular soon after. By 2013, Mt. Gox was handling around 70 percent of all crypto transactions. However, the exchange had a very murkier past subjected to multiple hacks during its lifetime. In 2011 itself, Mt. Gox got hacked several times when Bitcoin reached $1 price for the very first time.
However, due to some regulatory issues, the website soon opted out of U.S. markets and by 2013 Mt. Gox had filed for bankruptcy. Later, Bitcoin came into the limelight for all the wrong reasons with the development of SilkRoad – the dark web marketplace. SilkRoad facilitated transactions for drugs, guns and other illicit activities, all through Bitcoin. Bitcoin soon was popular for all criminal activities across the globe. It was rather seen as an important tool to circumvent international scrutiny in illegal activities.
By 2015, the U.S. law enforcement agencies shut down the SilkRoad and Bitcoin soon plunged. Nevertheless, the interest among global investors for Bitcoin never died. Many soon started buying Bitcoin through open government auctions held later.
The Journey to Making an All-time High
The last year of 2017 was undoubtedly the greatest in the history of the crypto markets so far.  Since the beginning of 2017, Bitcoin had started gaining good momentum with investors rushing to get their share at the exchanges. However, there were some rough phases as well.
China, which was a huge Asian market for Bitcoin trading and mining, introduced an outright ban on cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, Bitcoin had to face the wrath of severalized institutions continuously targetting the digital currency. This was one of the most volatile periods in the Bitcoin lifecycle. However, the unwavering support from investors helped Bitcoin to swim the waters.
The announcement of Bitcoin futures caused the digital currency to climb sky-high, and after that, there was no looking back again. By the time the first Bitcoin futures contracts were out, Bitcoin surged to make its lifetime high of $20000.
2018 – The Year When Regulatory Bodies Chipped-In
Along with the growing crypto mania of 2017, there was a simultaneous rise in the illicit activities of money-laundering and terror financing. Government agencies and regulatory bodies considered a dire need to step-in and protect innocent investors from the risks associated with the volatile crypto markets.
This year, so far, has revolved around the regulatory measures surrounding the crypto markets. Countries like the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and many others have introduced measures like AML and KYC to protect the retail investors’ interests. Following multiple hacks at exchanges around the globe, crypto businesses have also been supportive of the need to bring proper regulations in the market.
Bitcoin Today Celebrates its Tenth B’Day; Here’s A Brief In the Journey So Far

Coinbase Raises $300 Million in Latest Funding Round, Valuation of $8 Billion

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. plans to use the funds raised for accelerating adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase Valued at $8 Billion
One of the oldest and largest cryptocurrency exchanges of the world, Coinbase, has in its latest funding round raised over $300 million and reached an overall value of $8 billion. The latest round takes the total raised from investors to $525 million, reported Forbes.
The announcement of the latest fundraising round was made by Asiff Hirji, president and COO, on the firm’s official blog. According to the post, the Series E equity round is led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain, and others.
This makes the cryptocurrency firm one of the most valued companies in the United States. The firm was previously valued at $1.7 billion in August 2017, reported CNBC.

According to Forbes, “Coinbase is now valued higher than the workplace messaging app Slack (at $7.1 billion) and online grocery delivery company Instacart (at $7.6 billion).”
Coming at a time when the market has been bearish, the high valuation and new round of funding is a positive development for the cryptocurrency industry.
Utilization of funds for adoption
Elaborating on the firm’s future plans, Hirji wrote that Coinbase will use the funds to accelerate:
Global expansion–building the infrastructure between fiat and crypto in regulated markets around the world;
 
Offering more crypto assets, quickly — we see hundreds of cryptocurrencies that could be added to our platform today, and we will lay the groundwork to support thousands in the future;
 
Utility applications for crypto — like the recently announced support for a stablecoin (USDC) on Coinbase and our continued development of Coinbase Wallet; and
 
Bringing institutions into crypto — adding features and crypto assets to our Custody offering to bring more institutional funds into the space.

Hirji concluded:
Coinbase is, and will remain, a crypto-first company. We see Coinbase’s growth as validation that the ecosystem will only continue to grow in size, influence, and impact — ultimately ushering in a more open financial system for the world.
The company has recently taken multiple steps towards expansion including adding new assets, launching Coinbase Custody – an offering for institutional investors, setting up new offices around the globe, and partnering with Circle to support the USDC stable coin.
Coinbase Custody received regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Services earlier last week. The latest inflow of funds is likely to prepare Coinbase for its next phase of growth.
Do you agree that valuation of Coinbase at $8 billion and new funding round will raise the confidence of investors? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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MasterCard Wins Patent To Manage Blockchain Currency Reserves

The patent for fractional cryptocurrency banking has been won by MasterCard and this could mean that there are plans for the management system for fractional reserves of blockchain currency by the company.
MasterCard Blockchain Patent Integrates Existing Traditional Payment Networks with Blockchain Currencies
On 29th June 2018, the patent that was filed refers to “the use of centralized accounts to manage fractional reserves of fiat and blockchain currency updated via transaction messages corresponding to fiat- and blockchain-based payment transactions”.
The essence for such mechanism was elaborated by the inventor, Steven Charles Davis, senior consultant of research and development at MasterCard.
Transactions based on blockchain can be very time consuming due to the processing time, system of the computer and resources needed to confirm and update the blockchain. This therefore creates a problem between merchants and consumers, especially the recipient who “must rely on the payer’s good faith that their transfer will be valid”.

“In such latter instances, the anonymity of the blockchain may leave the payee at a disadvantage, because the inability for the payee to identify the payer may prohibit the payee from utilizing various risk or fraud detection methods,” the document noted

Furthermore, it can be problematic for customers to adopt or even understand blockchain currencies, it said, adding that its anonymous nature may leave consumers “unable to prove their identity and ownership of a wallet…little recourse if their wallet and/or associated currency is stolen”.
The objective of the fractional reserve system for blockchain is to advance the storage and processing of transactions by using an existing traditional payment network in combination with blockchain currencies and payment system techs.
There is an argument by the inventor that the integration is able to

“provide consumers and merchants the benefits of the decentralized blockchain while still maintaining security of account information and provide a strong defense against fraud and theft”.

The procedure for handling fractional reserves of blockchain currency by MasterCard is made up of receiving a transaction notification in relation to a payment transaction; recognizing a particular account profile kept in an account database that includes the particular address, an agreement currency amount and a blockchain currency amount; and bringing up to date the blockchain currency amount included in the recognized exact account profile.
“Junk” was the word used by the President and CEO of MasterCard, Ajay Banga, recently when referring to cryptocurrencies. The speech he gave also tackled the huge market instability and the popularity among criminals. He further argued that digital assets don’t deserve to be considered as a medium of exchange. Meanwhile, in the company’s Ireland-based subsidiary, much research and development has been done in regards to blockchain to improve payments services.
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Monero Price Analysis: XMR/USD Trends of October 31–November 6, 2018

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Monero Price Analysis: XMR/USD Trends of October 31–November 6, 2018
Key Highlights:

Monero may break $97 price level downside;
XMR price may increase above $111 this week;
ranging is ongoing.

XMR/USD Price Long-term Trend: Ranging
Distribution Territories: $111, $119, $126,
Accumulation Territories: $97, $86, $76XMR/USD continues its ranging movement in its long-term outlook. Last week, the market still maintains the ranging movement within the bound range of distribution territory of $111 and the accumulation territory of $97. The bulls have no enough pressure to pull the XMR price above the distribution territory of $111, also the bears could not push the XMR price below the accumulation territory of $97.
On October 23, the bulls made an attempt to break out the distribution territory of $111 upside but the bears prevented it by forming bearish candles that brought down the XMR price to $97 accumulation area. XMR price was bearish within the bound range last week.
Currently, XMR price is above the accumulation territory of $97. For XMR price to break out from this bound range zone, a radical fundamental event is needed. XMR price is below the 21-day EMA and 50-day EMA with the two EMAs fan apart and MACD with its histogram below zero level and the signal lines parallel without showing direction indicates ranging within the channel is ongoing.
There is a probability that the coin will break the accumulation territory of $97 downside and the coin may have the low accumulation territory of $86 as its target.
XMR/USD Price Medium-term Trend: Bearish
XMR is in bearish trend in its short-term outlook. XMR price continues falling within the bound range of distribution territory of $111 and accumulation territory of $97. In case the distribution territory of $111 hold and the bears increase their pressure, the accumulation territory of $97 will be broken and the coin will be exposed to the $86 price level.
The 21-day EMA crossed 50-day EMA downside which connotes downtrend. XMR price is on 21-day EMA while 50-day EMA is above the 21-day EMA which indicates that there is a probability for the bulls to take over and upward movement may occur this week should the bulls increase their momentum. MACD with its histogram and its signal lines are above the zero level with the signal lines point to the north indicate buy signal.
Monero Price Analysis: XMR/USD Trends of October 31–November 6, 2018

Security breach Involving TIO Token Effectively Contained by trade.io

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Security breach Involving TIO Token Effectively Contained by trade.io
Following a security breach, trade.io, has announced the forking of its TIO tokens to protect holders. The 1:1 fork will replace existing TIO tokens with TIOx, a new token retaining the same functions as the old one. The fork will further contain the breach, ensuring that the integrity of the token ecosystem cannot be compromised or contaminated.
Recently, trade.io has announced the formation of a world-class cybersecurity unit lead by a team of security experts to monitor and counter threats. On the 20th of October, 2018, the team was alerted to the usual movement of tokens from a wallet reserved for the platform’s liquidity pool.
50 million TIO tokens held in the wallet was transferred to external exchanges, setting off abnormal trades. The exchanges were immediately contacted to disable the depositing, withdrawal, and trading of TIO tokens, while the team launched an investigation into the source of the breach and its reach.
TIO trading on all affected exchanges was immediately stopped, quarantining the situation and preventing it from deteriorating. Working with the management team, exchanges including KuCoin and Bancor have assisted trade.io in identifying the transactions associated with the breach and isolating them.
Preliminary investigation by the trade.io security team revealed that at no point was the liquidity pool or exchange affected or accessed by the breach. They also found no hint of internal collusion in the breach. Rather, the issue emanated from a particular hardware wallet acquired directly from the manufacturer. No customer account was directly affected by the breach, nor were any funds lost. trade.io management reiterated its commitment to resolving the situation, saying:
“We are actively taking steps to further lock down the situation, and prevent any other potential impact.”
The management also thanked its community for their support and understanding, saying:

“While this security breach has been an inconvenience, we are happy to report again that no client assets were lost and we’re pleased with how efficient and responsive our entire team acted following the breach. We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response from our clients which we affectionately call TIOnauts, and can’t thank them enough for their support and well wishes as we continue this special movement.”

To further contain the breach and ensure that the token ecosystem cannot be tainted by any compromised TIO tokens, trade.io Management has announced the 1:1 fork of existing TIO tokens. The new tokens, called Trade Token X, or TIOx, will also be an ERC20 token with the same functions and utility as TIO. Details of the fork are expected to be released soon.
Security breach Involving TIO Token Effectively Contained by trade.io

Ripple Presents New Mocking Ad, Company’s Exec Claims XRP is Better than Bitcoin

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Ripple Presents New Mocking Ad, Company’s Exec Claims XRP is Better than Bitcoin
Ripple, one of the top five cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalisation, has recently presented the world its new ad, which demonstrates how long does it take in our high-tech century to transfer money across the world.
The ad shows that, according to the current financial system, which does not keep up with the latest trends of today’s fast moving world, it is easier and quicker to get on a plane and deliver cash to the destination on one’s own, than to make a cross-border money transfer via a traditional bank. At the end of the video, Ripple is presented as the best solution to the problem.
The ad has already caught a lot of attention from the crypto community, having gained more than 65,000 views on Twitter and more than 5,000 views on YouTube. As comments on the YouTube video are disabled, viewers share opinions on Twitter. Some of them are excited about the Ripple’s ad, calling it “a Super Bowl commercial”, but some of them ask, why the video doesn’t contain any information about Ripple’s native token XRP.
However, one Reddit user named u/LOSFan4 claims that initially the idea of Ripple’s commercial comes from one of his previous comments, where he suggested the company to demonstrate how it’s faster to fly money around the world. He even linked to this post, where he described the similar plot, which gained close to 400 upvotes and 116 comments. Whether it really was like this or not, stays unclear.
Anyway, Ripple’s digital asset XRP has more than doubled during this quarter in comparison to the second quarter of 2018. Ripple is currently bringing instant XRP transactions to mobile phone users worldwide by allowing anyone to send and receive the digital asset via text. XRP Text is currently in public beta.
Cory Johnson Calls Ripple ‘Bitcoin 2.0’
Ripple’s chief marketing strategist Cory Johnson has recently gave an interview on the Fintech Focus Podcast, where he ambitiously called Ripple’s native token XRP a better version of Bitcoin:
“The technology of XRP, it’s like Bitcoin 2.0. It’s Bitcoin, but it’s faster. It’s Bitcoin, but it doesn’t use tons of power. It’s Bitcoin, but it’s not controlled by Chinese miners. But fundamentally, it is a blockchain digital asset that is used principally for the movement of value.”
According to Johnson, moving money across borders is a really big problem in 21st century. He thinks that it is “insane” to be able to send text messages, gifts and emojis overseas, without being able to send real value. While a traditional cross-border money transfer conducted by bank requires at least three days and high fee, Ripple can make it almost instantly and cheap:
“Imagine when you’re used to something that takes you five days that now takes less than a minute to do. And that’s just a game changer right there. That’s going from the pony express to email.”
In an interview, he also explained the difference between XRP and Ripple, stating that Ripple is an enterprise software, whereas XRP is its native currency, which can exist even without Ripple.
During the recent month XRP really proves to be that good. A few days earlier, Ripple reported more than a double increase in revenue collected from XPR tokens sales, thus shattering the crypto-community to their ground.
Ripple Presents New Mocking Ad, Company’s Exec Claims XRP is Better than Bitcoin

Survey: 25% of Affluent Millennials Are Using Crypto, Distrust of Banks Remains

A survey has found that 25 percent of affluent millennials either use of hold cryptocurrency, with 31 percent interested in using it.

Turning to Crypto
The study, Millennials with Money, was conducted by Edelman earlier this month. It surveyed a total of 1,000 affluent millennials aged between 24-38 in the United States. The affluence criteria were either $50k in investable assets or $100k in an individual or joint account.
The survey noted that as millennials have grown up they have continued to grow their wealth. As a result, they are occupying a significant part of the financial services market. With cryptocurrency becoming a growing industry, an increasing number of people are including these in their financial portfolios.

The data shows that 25 percent of those surveyed are either using or holding cryptoassets. A further 31 percent indicate they are interested in cryptocurrencies. Notably, 74 percent stated that the blockchain makes the global financial system more secure.
Considering the crypto market is still considered risky, this seems to go well with millennials’ thinking. According to the survey, 40 percent of affluent millennials take risks with their finances. This is compared to 23 percent of non-affluent millennials and 29 percent of affluent Generation Xers.
On the flip-side, 60 percent of affluent millennials indicated they are cautious with their finances. This is compared to 77 percent and 71 percent for non-affluent millennials and affluent Generation Xers, respectively.
According to Deidre Campbell, Edelman’s Global Chair of Financial Services, the figures aren’t too surprising. In a report from Yahoo! Finance, she said:
Anyone that has crypto tells me they wish they bought it sooner.

Distrusting Banks
In Campbell’s opinion, the younger generation has grown up with a distrust of the finance sector. As a consequence, they are more open to trying new things with cryptocurrency.
This, after all, was how the market began, out of the 2008 global financial crisis. So it makes sense that a new generation of people is thinking of innovative ways to make and save money.
Interestingly, according to Yahoo, a report indicates that over three-quarters of affluent millennials are of the opinion that it’s “just a matter of time” before another financial crisis hits. Whereas 75 percent believe that the global financial system will be hacked.
With such a dreary outlook for traditional finance, it’s no wonder that millennials are turning their attention to cryptocurrency.
Do you have crypto as part of your financial portfolio? Are you thinking about adding it? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Novatti AUD Utility Token, Australian Dollar stablecoin launches on Stellar

Last week’s Tether (USDT) action and its quick recovery showed that stablecoins are valuable to the Cryptocurrency ecosystem, but also more stable than people think. You can read more in the articles below. A new stablecoin pegged to a fiat currency will make its debut. The new stablecoin is launching on Stellar’s blockchain and it will be pegged to the Australian dollar (AUD) with business and consumer usecases. It was announced on 23rd of October that the Novatti AUD Utility Token will be issued from 19th of November.
The announcement came from the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas. The token issued by the Novatti Group, an Australian online payments processor, will be backed 1 for 1 with AUD. Backed up tokens will be held in a trust fund. Novatti aims for a different approach from other stablecoins. Stablecoins are often most used by traders. These traders aim to quickly transfer large sums of money between different exchanges. Novatti will aim to change that by aiming the tokens to be used for purchases and remittances.
The Novatti AUD Token can potentially be used for purchases
For the economy of Australia this can be very good news. If the new stablecoins shares even half of Tether’s popularity, a lot of people from around the world will be able to purchase many different goods from Australian businesses. Eventually, the Novatti stablecoins can be used by Australian citizens to pay for bills or additional Australian services.
As a licensed payments distributor, Novatti processes payments for many customers worldwide. Novatti’s customers include the European Vox Tlecon and the South African remittance provider MoniSend. Some of Novatti’s customers have already expressed interest in the new token. The interest is largely attributed to the use of the know-your-customer (KYC) ID check.
With Tether (USD) falling below $1, many exchanges quickly started searching for alternatives. This opened up a lot of room for competitor stablecoins. Circle’s USD//Coin (USDC) has held most of the interest. Coinbase stated last week that it fully supports USDC. With Tether’s volatility it’s natural that there’s tension in the crypto markets. As adoption increases, more and newer stablecoins will make their way into people’s everyday lives.
It’s important to note that the Novatti token is not the first AUD-pegged crypto asset out there. Earlier last month, the Australian exchange, Bit Trade shared the announcement of a co-op project with the employment platform Emparta. The project aims to release a stablecoin in 2019. This stablecoin will allow Emparta users to be paid by their respective employers with cryptocurrency.
Read more:

The Tether Richlist shows that Binance has the most active stablecoin community
Privacy Coins are the best way to stay hidden against Cryptocurrency trackin
Kraken has been flooded with Tether (USDT) Tokens

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Azure Blockchain to be Integrated into Nasdaq’s Financial Framework

Microsoft has just shared exciting news about their Azure Blockchain echnology. The company plans to integrate the technology into the stock exchange Nasdaq’s Financial Framework (NFF).
According to yesterday’s press release, Microsoft will integrate the blockchain service with NFF. The technology will provide software for the trading infrastructure and operations outsourcing. Additionally, Nasdaq’s risk and surveillance technology needs will also be met.
This exciting collaboration between the two parties will result in the development of a “ledger agnostic blockchain capability.” This will allow the ability to operate across multiple ledgers. The new product will aim to facilitate easier buyer-to-seller matching, delivery and transaction management.
The Azure Blockchain only stands to benefit from this development
With the Azure Blockchain integration, NFF customers will be able to deploy multiple blockchains through a single interface. Granted, it might not be the most user-friendly interface, but it will be extremely beneficial for the promotion of blockchain development.
The Senior Vice president of Enterprise Architecture at Nasdaq, Tom Fay shared his excitement about the cooperation with Microsoft. He mentioned that this partnership will eliminate many of the difficulties related to the integration of blockchain tech into existing infrastructures.
Nasdaq doesn’t seem to slowing down on surprises as they recently revealed their new blockchain patent. The application was originally filed way back in January 2017. The application was for a computer system able to release time-sensitive information to investors securely via blockchain.
According to the filing, the goal would be to provide a computer-system, which through a mult-signature system, would quickly send out information to specific users with virtually no risk and the lack of audit trail, which exists with legacy computers.
Earlier this year, Azure introduced a proof-of-authority (PoA) algorithm on its Ethereum blockchain product.  This new product has many features, which ensure its proper functionality and security. Some of these features are Party’s web-assembly support, the Azure Monitor, the identity leasing system and a Governance DApp.
You can also check out:

Geocold51: How to Execute the 51% Attack
Kraken Flooded with Tether Tokens Despite the Downtrend
IBM and Maersk’s Blockchain Network Struggling for Anchors
Privacy Coins are THE Way to Stay Hidden From Government Tracking

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How Does Blockchain Storage Work?

CoinSpeaker
How Does Blockchain Storage Work?
If you’ve ever chatted to a programmer about blockchain storage, you’ve likely found is that the subject is fairly complex. That’s because blockchain storage can be distributed, decentralized, on-chain, and off-chain. I’m sure there are other alternatives as well. In most cases, people are usually referring to on-chain or a P2P-based off-chain storage.
So, here’s a fresh look at both on-chain and off-chain storage, and how this applies to application development.
On-chain Storage
On-chain storage works by having a copy of the data available on every node that is participating in the chain. 
This method of data storage tends to come at a very high price and is usually only utilized for data that every node MUST have a copy of — in order to validate things like transactions.
Off-chain Storage
Off-chain storage works differently by recording a ‘valid at this point-in-time’ record on the blockchain, containing a URI handler with a hash of the file that’s being stored off-chain. These files tend to be stored on a separate decentralized file system (such as an IPFS).
Decentralized file systems typically leverage a peer-to-peer network that replicates, stores, and serves files based on some kind of an incentive (eg. receive compensation for storing the data).
The Applications of Blockchain Storage
Blockchain storage can be applied to a variety of cases, and one of the most common reasons is to deploy decentralized applications (DApps).
All client-side components of the application (such as HTML/JS/CSS and other assets) are stored on the IPFS — with all other interactions occurring via smart contracts. The data then becomes transparent, accessible, and resilient due to the way it has been stored.
What this really means is that the stored data becomes immutable and verifiable, so long as nodes in the network are incentivized to keep a copy of the data.
Ok, So What are Some of the Drawbacks?
On-chain storage is extremely expensive. The last time I checked, contemporary blockchain solutions can cost around ~570 ETH to store 1MB of data on the Ethereum blockchain.
Off-chain storage doesn’t guarantee permanence. Off-chain solutions must be properly incentivized in order to guarantee enough copies of the data exist to survive the ephemeral nature of P2P hosts.
The second issue with both off-chain and on-chain blockchain storage solutions is the lack of file deletion. Once data has been verified and written to the on-chain ledger, it’s there for good. With regards to off-chain storage, once more than one node has replicated the content, there is no guarantee on the ability to delete the file.
Final Remarks
Blockchain storage allows for data transparency but it can be prohibitively expensive to store information on-chain. This is why Regium has chosen the more fiscally mindful approach of storing hashes instead of data to ensure trust.
How Does Blockchain Storage Work?