KIN: Your Friendly Community Cryptocurrency

Backed by the Kin Foundation – a non profit devoted to building an online ecosystem around fairness and productivity – KIN is all about “kinship” aka relationships, as the name suggests. Within the KIN ecosystem, real value is placed on the thoughts, opinions and time of application users.

The KIN motto is “cryptocurrency for the digital world”, and it is living up to this standard, in my opinion.

Unlike some apps that sit on my screen, unused, until I finally decide to delete them – I downloaded a few KIN apps a short time ago, and quickly got into the habit of using them every single day. I’ll give you a quick run-down on two of my favorites.

Pause For

If you’re like me and tend to get glued to your phone when there are other things you should be doing like dishes (or drafting your next blog post) – this productivity app is A MUST. All you have to do is choose a time limit (from 10 to 60 minutes), tap a button, and set the phone down. If you make it through the chosen time without picking up your phone to check your Twitter feed, email, etc. – you get to claim your KIN. Simple as that!

The incentive is even greater knowing that the cryptocurrency you earn ends up going to a great cause! Currently, you can use your earnings to donate a meal through Feeding America, plant a tree through One Tree Planted, or give a dog one month of heartworm meds through The Inner Pup.

Why would anyone NOT use this app?!

Kinit

The first iOS KIN ecosystem app to go live, Kinit is just good fun. Every day I open the app to find new surveys, quizzes, trivia or “this or that” opinion games.

Completing the games earns me KIN that I can use to purchase real gift cards. I’m not talking about cheesy gift cards, either – among them are ITunes, GameStop and Uber, to name a few!

Note: The pictures are grayed out because I’ve already played today 🙂

There are many more apps that I have yet to explore. You can find a list of the most popular ones here. There seems to be something for everyone. Social butteryfly? Try Kik. You like to express yourself through make-up? Check out Perfect360. In the mood for a game night? Pop.In would likely fit your fancy. It’s a pretty lengthy list.

So, how did I happen across KIN? I was introduced to the cryptocurrency on Twitter by @chasseb_, Co-Founder and Developer of @KinnyTips.

Kinny who?!

The unofficial mascot of the cryptocurrency, this cute little tip bot exists so that we can send and receive KIN over social media.

He currently works in Twitter, Reddit and in the Kin Foundation Discord channel. He will be making his way to Telegram soon, I hear!

Kinny has his own app, too! Within it you can link your social media accounts, view your KIN tip wallet balance and transactions, and even earn more KIN. Currently, Kinny is only available for Android devices, but the iOS app is in the works (and I can’t wait)!

One last thing I just HAVE to mention… There is a solution in development that will allow folks to spend KIN earned within one app in another! AWESOME SAUCE.

If so inspired, please share this post with your friends! Oh, and if you have friends or family who aren’t quite sure yet about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency – introduce it to them in a fun way with one of the KIN apps!

Thanks so much for reading. I’ll see you around the blockchain 😉

HOLOCHAIN: Power to the People

Credit: https://holochain.org

Companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. currently have the power. They provide conveniences that the world has come to rely on, but at a steep price – our personal data.

I can’t be the only one who clicks “Accept”, without even thinking, just wanting to quickly clear the lengthy legalese from my screen and move on to more pressing matters – like shopping. Not only do companies store all sorts of personal information about us, but they use it to build a complete profile on each of us – our demographics, economic status, hobbies and habits, etc. A 2014 article was written in Forbes titled “Privacy is Completely and Utterly Dead, And We Killed It” – I do not disagree.

The questions we now need to ask ourselves is… Can we take the power back? Can we restore privacy in our lives while remaining connected to all the modern conveniences we’ve come to depend on?

Holochain has ambitiously set out to help us do just that by empowering the world with a peer-to-peer network with autonomy built right in to the architecture and protocols. There are a multitude of blockchain applications out there that utilize distributed technology, of which I am a great fan, but this is an entirely different animal. Holochain is a decentralized platform on which unlimited applications can be built and run.

Currently, most development support comes from Holo. Powered by Holochain technology, Holo is building out the first large-scale use of Holochain: a cloud based market for Holochain applications (dubbed hApps).

hApps won’t need to interact with corporate servers at all, which means the big corporations won’t be able to obtain, aggregate (or sell) users’ data. Any kind of app that one can imagine – social media, shopping, productivity, games, search apps – they’re all fair game. A distributed app store for hApps is in the works; in the meantime, some can be found and installed from here.

For the expert techies, or anyone interested in taking a deep dive into the the technical specifications and algorithms which make up the Holochain platform, you can find the most recently updated whitepaper on Holochain here on Github. The Holo green paper can be found here.

I try to keep my posts short and sweet, but I do urge you check out the links within to do your own research – I think you’ll like what you see.

Imagining a world in which I don’t have to fret about my (now 4 year old) daughter’s personal information being sold to the highest bidder – now that is a dream worth dreaming, and one I hope to see come true.

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you around the blockchain (and hopefully around the Holochain someday soon)! 😉

Intro to Rapids ($RPD)

Chances are you’ve been hearing about this new project called “Rapids”, but you may be wondering what it’s all about. I’m here to give you a quick run-down, and to share with you why I believe this to be a very promising new project in the #crypto space.

So, what is Rapids (RPD)? According to their Twitter bio:

Rapids is a cryptocurrency project facilitating the sharing of Rapids through WEb Browser and Social Media-enabled widgets.

https://twitter.com/RapidsRPD

The white paper goes into a little more details:

Rapids coin will enable the user to send money across all Social Media platforms and directly exchange cryptocurrency into fiat currency. Proprietary technology provided by Rapids development will support the user of cryptocurrency throughout all internet-enabled devices and platforms.

https://www.rapidsnetwork.io/download/whitepaper/RapidsWPv1.3.pdf

So, how does Rapids, work? I’m just going to quote the white paper here again – I can’t describe it any better myself…

A Rapids user sends an RPD payment across the blockchain. The receiver obtains the sent funds in their Rapids wallet quickly and safely. Since Rapid payments are enabled upon Social Networking platforms, both parties only need the account name or handle of the other party instead of the standard yet complicated sending and receiving addresses associated with cryptocurrency payments. Rapids user experience assures Rapid payments are readily adopted and easily manageable

Supremely focused on user experience, the Rapid’s team knows that ease of use is exactly what fosters mass adoption!

So, aside from the fantastic use case mentioned above, what are my favorite things about Rapids? Simple. Security, absolute transparency and integrity of the team, and unmatched community engagement.

From a technical perspective, there is a lot to love about RPD. Namely, consensus for transactions on the ledger depend on Proof of Stake (PoS), rather than Proof of Work (PoW) – effectively removing the threat of a 51% attach, like the one Etherium Classic (ETC) recently fell victim to.

Here’s a quick run-down on PoW versus PoS from Blockonomi. Note: I hate to throw a bunch of quotes in a post, but I’m still learning about blockchain technology and found this to be the best explanation for a newbie like me.

To translate in layman’s terms, PoW is a way to achieve consensus among the distributed parties of the Bitcoin network. The viability of the nework is guaranteed, then, by the Bitcoin miners who lend large amounts of computing power (and electricity, in extension) to solve difficult cryptographic puzzles.

Proof-of-Stake is a much newer proposed methodology for achieving distributed consensus. The viability of network’s relying on PoS are not achieved by mining but rather by staking. Staking, simply put, is just when users hold their PoS-compatibile cryptocurrencies in a specialized staking wallet.

Staking achieves the same effect of mining (distributed consensus) without the need for expending exorbitant amounts of computing power and energy.

And if you “stake” your coins, you’ll be rewarded with crypto payouts on a rolling basis just as if you were a mining “winning” a block.

https://blockonomi.com/proof-stake-cryptocurrencies/

For those interested in staking with RPD, Rapids has partnered with the Linda project – by simply holding your coins in a wallet, Linda will automatically stake your coins for you! How much easier could it get?!

So what wallets & exchanges list RPD? I fully expect this list to grow exponentially (and rapidly), but current partnerships include p2pb2b.io, Crex24, Graviex, BiteBTC and SWFT. I personally only have xperience with Swft right now (I like that it’s a one-stop shop for cross-chain transactions, and the iOS app is pretty simple to use).

Onto the team – I just love the Rapids team! Their integrity is evident – they genuinely care about the community, are completely transparent, and are just as friendly as they can be. The have some ambitious goals, but check out their roadmap and you will see just how rapidly they’re meeting (and exceeding) them!

Oh – and if you haven’t heard yet – the newest member of the Rapids team is none other than Crypto WendyO! Very well known around CT, Wendy is the Queen of local Crypto meetups, very involved in blockchain related networking events and is a YouTube superstar in her own rights. Check out her most recent video announcing her partnership with Rapids (along with some other really cool stuff)!

I’ve got to give a shout-out to Jason Berlin, Executive Advisor for Rapids. He also happens to be a co-founder of Tour DeCrypto, raising cryptocurrency awareness and blockchain adoption for charity. Great guy!

The Rapids Community… I just love it! Drop in any of their social media platforms and you’ll discover why 🙂

The Rapids team is heavily and actively engaged with their community supporters, often raining/tipping RPD in the Telegram and Discord channels (and I have reason to believe an RPD tip bot is coming soon to Twitter… ).

It’s not unusual even to see the founder of Rapids, Corey Strong, dropping into the TG channel to show some love to RPD supporters J He probably drops into other channels, too, I just happen to spend more time on Telegram than I do any other social apps (outside of Twitter, of course 😉

My intent was to keep this post as short and sweet as possible, but I highly encourage you to click on the links throughout to learn more about Rapids and interact with the team (& community) on their social media channels!

Thanks for reading. See you around the blockchain 😉

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. Always DYOR!!

Instant Gratification with XRP

There is a customer-centric evolution happening in the banking industry[1]. Banks and other financial institutions are starting to realize that they need to adjust their way of thinking and start giving customers what they want – namely, instant gratification. According to Josh Glover, EVP of Americas at nCino, Inc. (a leader in cloud banking), speed and convenience are paramount to bank customers[2].

With Ripple’s biggest competitor, SWIFT, about 50% of payments funneled through their gpi are credited in less than 30 minutes, and nearly all within 24 hours. Those that take longer, they say, involve more complex foreign exchange conversions, compliance checks or regulatory authorizations[3]. Now, in comparison to legacy systems of the 20th century, that sounds pretty good, but… Ripple boasts products that can settle cross-border payments in a fraction of that time, leveraging the digital asset XRP[4].

If you haven’t yet heard the news, it was announced earlier this week that Euro Exim Bank, along with fintech startups JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo and FTCS would be leveraging XRP for cross-border transactions[5].

Not only is this a game-changer for those whose families depend on the availability of funds sent internationally, but we live in a time where instant gratification is the norm. In this digital age, we have become what some may call “selfish or impatient”. I say – we have the tools to increase efficiency and it would be wasteful not to use them. 

Thanks for reading. I’ll see you around the blockchain! 😉

If you enjoyed this post, please comment and/or give it an upvote on SteemIt here!


[1] https://enginedigital.com/perspectives/2018/04/12/the-customer-centric-evolution-of-consumer-banking

[2] https://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2018/ncino-bank-advisory-smb-2019/

[3] https://www.swift.com/news-events/press-releases/swift-gpi-reduces-cross-border-payment-times-to-minutes_even-seconds

[4] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/01/ripple-xrp-cryptocurrency-product-xrapid-goes-live-for-first-time.html

[5] https://www.coindesk.com/euro-exim-bank-taps-ripples-xrapid-for-cross-border-settlements

Courses & Tutorials

Understanding the inner-workings of #blockchain technology can be a daunting task. I scour the web to find the most easily digestible explanations and tutorials so we can all gain a better understanding.

One fantastic intro course I’ve come across is from Dacade. Not only is this course free, but you actually get PAID $10 in Aeternity (AE) tokens to complete it thanks to a smart partnershipbetween the two! 30 minutes well spent, in my opinion!

I will be adding more content and educational resources here in the near future. Stay tuned!

Christmas Shopping with Cryptocurrency

Photo by George Dolgikh from Pexels

I’m not going to speculate on if or when cryptocurrencies will replace cold hard cash, but there certainly has been an increase in the number of retailers accepting the digital coins in addition to traditional fiat. This Christmas, you could purchase gifts for everyone on your list with the crypto in your bag.

CRYPTO GEAR:

Spread good cheer among your fellow crypto-enthusiasts with cool gear, paid for in cryptocurrency. Check out Cryptoshirt.com – they don’t just sell t-shirts. They offer everything from hats, hoodies and baby clothes to towels, coffee mugs and mouse pads. The accept Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LCT), and Ethereum (ETC).

I would be doing a disservice to my readers and mother Earth if I didn’t mention @WanderingWare and his XRP Tree Project here. He has teamed up with One Tree Planted –  they’re on a mission to plant trees to offset carbon emissions produced by Ripple technology. For every T-shirt you purchase from WanderingWare.com (and yes, you can purchase them with XRP), he transfers money to One Tree Planted who will plant trees on your behalf. Use your #XRPforGood !

ELECTRONICS:

A favorite online shop for techies, Newegg.com, accepts BTC as payment. Check out their step-by-step instructions here.

FURNITURE & HOME DECOR:

Overstock.com has partnered with Coinbase to allow BTC as a form of payment.

GIFT CARDS:

We all have those friends and family members whom we haven’t the slightest idea what to get. Gift cards are ALWAYS appreciated! You can use your bitcoin to buy gift cards from Gyft.com or Egifter.com. Even cooler, in my opinion – with Giftoff.com you can buy gift cards with various different coins, including Digibyte (DGB), ETH, Ethereum Classic (ETC), LTC, OmiseGo (OMG), Decentraland (MANA), ZCash (ZEC) and more!

TRAVEL:

Traveling for the holidays? CheapAir.com accepts LTC, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), LTC and DASH as payment for flight and hotel bookings!

REAL ESTATE:

Ok, so I don’t personally know anyone looking to buy a new home for the holidays, but if you are, check out bitcoin-realestate.com!

COFFEE:

Who doesn’t love to treat themselves or their loves ones to a latte over the holidays? Apparently Starbucks now accepts BTC – you can read all about it here!

ETSY:

Everyone knows Etsy.com is a great place to find unique and personalized gifts, but did you know that many sellers accept crypto as payment these days?

SHOP LOCAL:

There are also a lot of small businesses now starting to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. Coinmap.org can point you right to them!

XRP:

This list would not be complete without a mention of XRP and the fact that you can now spread your love of the digital currency by gifting some using new XRP TipBot Paper Accounts! Using XRP TipBot, you can generate an account for anyone and gift them up to 20 XRP! Ok, so I may be a bit biased, I happen to love XRP 🙂

A couple more things I thought worth mentioning… 

If you’re a fan of DASH, you can easily find online merchants who accept it here.

If you don’t want to shop online, and you don’t have any retailers nearby who have joined the crypto revolution, you’ve also got the option of crypto debit cards from Bitpay and Shift – accepted anywhere Visa is accepted!

Language of #CryptoTwitter

If you want to converse in #CryptoTwitter world (and sound credible), you need to know the language. 

Definitions

  • Altcoin: A cryptocurrency other than, launched after, and an alternative to Bitcoin (aka Alt). 
  • Bag: Refers to an investor’s portfolio (i.e. what cryptocurrency he or she is currently investing in)
  • Bearish: Refers to the market experiencing a downward trend.
  • Bullish: Opposite of bearish – the market is trending in the positive.
  • DLT: Distributed Ledger Technology. A digital system for recording, sharing and synchronizing transactions in an electronic ledger. Blockchain is a type of DLT. Click here for a more in-depth description. 
  • DYOR: Acronym for “Do Your Own Research”. Think of it as a disclaimer. Tweeters in the cryptoverse will often give their opinion on certain coins or blockchain projects. It should not be misconstrued as investment advise. Frankly, when it comes to investing in anything, you should always #DYOR. It’s called due dillegence. Don’t and you may get #rekt.
  • Fiat: Physical money backed by a government as legal tender (ex. USD, EUR)
  • Flippening: This awkward term refers to a possible dethroning of one coin by another, in terms of market cap. 
  • FOMO: Acronym for “Fear of Missing Out”. This fear is known to drive investors to make irrational decisions.
  • FUD: Stands for “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”. FUD is usually evoked in cast a shadow over a competitor’s coin when the one you support is unable to compete.
  • HODL: Basically, #hodl means hold a cryptocurrency as a long-term investment.
  • ICO: Initial Coin Offering. A controversial crowd sale for a new blockchain project offering people the opportunity to buy their coin.
  • Long: Going long refers to buying and holding a coin with the expectation of selling it for a profit in the future.
  • Rekt: Ruined or hit hard from the devaluation of a cryptocurrency in a bear market.
  • Shill: A swindler who acts as an enthusiastic buyer of a certain cryptocurrency in order to entice others into buying.
  • Moon (or “To the Moon”): A rally for the price of a cryptocurrency to sky-rocket.
  • Whale: This term is used to refer to people (or organizations) that hold large amounts of a cryptocurrency. 

Examples