By IRA PURANIK
Independence Day is approaching, and nothing spells freedom, distinction, and uniqueness in today’s time as blockchain and cryptocurrencies! Having completely and positively revolutionised the notion of transparency, lighting-speed, and security in the worlds of both technology and finance, this is one space to keep an eye out for, all thanks to the meteoric advancements and the leaps of centuries worth of progress the applications of blockchain can achieve in weeks! Today, we take a look at some of the most fascinating industry trends that demand your attention!
Move over, Change is here!
Turns out, it’s not just us humans who need to understand and contemplate our purpose in life. Even cryptocurrencies are not spared the task. But some new altcoins, like CHANGE, manage to find their calling in philanthropy, building on a model that will donate 10 percent of each transaction for a noble cause, adding tangible value and impetus to each activity.
Out of these 10 percent, while 1 percent is directed towards redistribution of the altcoin to all token holders, the remaining 9 percent will be segmented into a 50-50 ratio, where one half will be used for donation and the other half will be kept as a staking reservoir for future developments.
Per Mr. Edul Patel, CEO and Co-founder, Mudrex, “CHANGE token is a relatively new cryptocurrency based on Binance Smart Chain from an organization called ‘Change our World.’ The ideology of the token is unique, given that the donation structure is built within the token’s contract and that is why it managed to grab a lot of eyeballs from various crypto communities. The token has a massive initial supply, which indicates a deflationary approach, ensuring that as the transactions increase over a while, the token’s value would not diminish.”
Given the increasing pressure on many cryptocurrencies to justify their additional use-cases apart from simply being a store of value, we have the emergence of various new currencies like Chiacoin, which aims to be eco-friendly, Monero, which comes with the promise of anonymity, and Solana, which allows for building scalable crypto applications and more. In that regard, CHANGE can be considered another attempt to popularise the multiple transformative uses of blockchain and altcoins.
However, Patel has his reservations, highlighting the lack of complementing presence and community for the coin, amongst others. “The laid out intentions of the ‘CHANGE’ token, albeit ambitious, need to be considered carefully to accurately evaluate a crypto’s prospects. For starters, the ‘CHANGE’ token does not have a strong digital presence and lacks a strong community. Several crypto projects have stood the test of time and survived through the bear markets on the foundations of a strong community, like dogecoin. This remains to be seen in CHANGE’s case, he explained.
Solana over Ethereum?
Another cryptocurrency that has been much discussed in terms of its disruptive potential and colloquially being termed as “Ethereum Killer” is Solana. Particularly in limelight after the significant Ethereum’s London hard fork upgrade, many comparisons are being drawn between the two.
For the uninitiated, the Ethereum London hard-fork upgrade is a permanent modification made to the network in the hope of creating a predictable, transparent transaction fee structure for its network users.
Before the upgrade, the gas fee, which means the fee, or pricing value, required to successfully transact or execute contracts on Ethereum, was arbitrarily decided, based on the miners will, which meant that the users often ended up paying higher amounts to ascertain their inclusion in the upcoming block of transactions. The improvement protocol aims to employ algorithms and the prevailing demand-supply situations to uniformize this fee. Notably, a portion of miners’ fees will also be burned in the process, making certain that they only receive the basic fee.
The platform is also looking to migrate to a PoS (Proof of Stake) approach for cryptocurrency mining, which means faster transactions, lower energy consumption, and greater efficiency.
However, as Mr.Nirmal Ranga, Vice President of Trading, ZebPay elaborates, “This is where Solana might gain further traction and become a key beneficiary. Solana can process more than 1,000 transactions per second (TPS), while Ethereum handles about 14 TPS, though how much this might improve after the fork is yet to be seen. Crypto developers and users interested in a fast, secure, and censorship-resistant blockchain providing an open infrastructure required for global adoption, might look towards Solana.”
However, despite its potential for faster scalability, Solana faces stiff competition from other emerging currencies like Algorand, Cardano, Tezos, and Polkadot, having yet to integrate with major services like BSC and Metamask, Rarible, etc. And then, there’s the first-mover advantage that Ethereum enjoys over the blockchain space, among other benefits.
“While the underlying programming language of Ethereum, named Solidity, has many developers who are well-versed with it, Solana’s ‘Rust’ is yet to find mainstream acceptance. This also means the volume of impactful projects being developed on Ethereum is far more than that being worked upon in Solana,” explains Patel.
However, both Patel and Ranga do not discount the corresponding evolution of Ethereum to compete fiercely with Solana and other peers, which means it is unlikely to replace the other in times to come.
Got your Crypto Credit Card?
Recently, Unocoin, one of India’s foremost crypto exchanges, offered its users to buy everyday items like coffee, pizza, ice-creams, and much more, via bitcoins. And while, in a first, that will be made possible for the users by using gift vouchers from 90 popular brands like Cafe Coffee Day, Baskin Robbins, Domino’s Pizza, and more, the concept has been sending waves in the industry globally for a long.
In fact, digital payment giant Visa, in collaboration with Circle, BlockFi and Coinbase revealed that just within the first half of 2021, consumers had already spent more than 1 billion dollars globally through their crypto-linked cards, to purchase goods and services. Meanwhile, its competitor, MasterCard is also gearing up to launch its credit card in partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
Crypto credit cards are pretty much the same as your normal credit card, except that while in the case of the former, you will be utilizing your cryptocurrency balance to transact, unlike your bank credit card, where you temporarily leverage funds from your bank, or debit card, where you utilize your bank balance. While crypto credit cards can be incredibly lucrative with no annual fees, extra coins, and rewards, they can also be a taxation nightmare.
Even though India’s laws on cryptocurrency remain ambiguous, the US IRS (Internal Revenue Services) treats virtual currencies as property, taxed akin to real estate or stocks. So, when you use these cards, your cryptocurrency is first converted into fiat currency like USD and then sent to the service provider.But, this also means that every time you make a transaction, there remains a margin between how much money you paid for the cryptocurrency, versus its market value at the time you spent it. So, imagine if you paid 10 token/ bitcoins worth 500 dollars in cryptocurrency with your card, but the market value of the coin is at a point where the corresponding quantity of bitcoin stands at $1,000, you run the danger of raking a capital gains tax on this difference of 500 dollars you’ve incurred, which can be a significant amount.