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Recently, European Court decided that crypto-currency transactions are not imposed for Value Added Tax (VAT). This decision automatically equates Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies to real money and creates the greater opportunities for its further development.
This decision didn’t come from scratch. This was expected after the growing interest to crypto-currency in Europe. Everything has started from Sweden, where the similar decision was made by the court as early as 2014 (however, Tax Service had appealed against it later). And in spring 2015 Great Britain, one of the biggest European financial centers, became interested in crypto-currencies.
In July 2015 Advocate General Julianne Kokot directed the suggestion of abolition of Bitcoin transaction taxation (VAT) to the EU. Since this instance has the highest legal power for EU countries, its decision is obligatory for the whole EU territory. According to this decision, in the near future some EU countries will have to amend their legislation.
Interesting is that Poland, Estonia and Germany have already set the regulatory rules of crypto-currency operations.
Thoughts concerning the EU Court decision differ, however, both financiers and IT-people agree that the precedent gives hope that Bitcoin will continue its gradual development and expansion.
First of all, let’s define what crypto-currency is. Crypto-currency is the type of digital money, which uses the methods of cryptographic encoding. It is decentralized, unlike such electronic payment systems as PayPal, WebMoney, etc. It is not influenced by geopolitical and economic situation in the world. Transactions in crypto-currency are irreversible. Crypto-currency can be lost because of computer viruses or mechanical damage of data carriers.
As you can guess, first place goes to Bitcoin (BTC). This is the oldest known crypto-currency, introduced in 2009 by hacker (or group of hackers) Satoshi Nakamoto. What is interesting, the number of Bitcoins, that can be mined, is limited. Its algorithm allows produce 21 millions of Bitcoins, more than a half of this amount is already mined. In 2010, 10 thousand Bitcoins were paid for pizza delivery, which was around 25 dollars. These days, it’s around 10 million.
Second in popularity is Litecoin (LTC). If we call Bitcoin gold, then Litecoin is silver. Litecoin was introduced in 2011 by Charles Lee as an alternative and evolution of Bitcoin. The main difference from Bitcoin is the speed of generation – it is four times faster, than BTC. The number of Litecoins is limited as well, however, the general number of possible LTC mined is four times bigger than BTC.
Dogecoin (DOGE). This crypto-currency is based on Litecoin and was introduced in 2013 by Portland programmer Billy Marcus. It received its name in honor of the Internet meme Doge. If we compare Dogecoin with other crypto-currencies, the main peculiarity will be its fast production schedule. This currency grew its popularity as Internet tips. Dogecoin community is famous because of their charity – they have fundraised sufficient sums for the Jamaican Bobsled Team to enter Winter Olympic Games 2014 and then other sportsmen.
This ranking is not based on market capitalization of crypto-currency – the cap chart looks different and changes every month (Bitcoin, however, still takes the first place). This has been just the subjective ranking and a try to compare Bitcoin with other crypto-currencies.
There is already a big amount of crypto-currencies on the market, but the most famous and widely used is still Bitcoin. However, the recent problems with Bitcoin blockchain have shown that the effectiveness of some transactions can sometimes limp. The users and the developers are concerned not only by effectiveness decrease, but also a protocol involved into the current problems.
Ethereum, that uses another protocol, is in good standing and has gained a good reputation among crypto-currencies. It shows a good work on many points and the dynamic growth perspective. But is it enough to cripple the monopoly of Bitcoin?
Roman Mandeleil, the co-founder and CEO of Ethereum, is sure that they are on the right way. He explained that, in contrast to Bitcoin, where the block size is a constant and to change it the oral agreement of the whole community and the update of the whole software is needed, in the Ethereum network miners can easily vote for the increase and decrease of block size, since such mechanism has been laid into platform from the very beginning.
The co-founder of Cashilla, Jani Viljavec also believes in Ethereum. According to his words, its current rise is first of all explained by the technical problems in the main competitor’s camp. But the announced release of the next stable version Homestead and the regular good news about the applications working on Ethereum have offered their mite. He is sure that Ethereum is on the more winning side that Bitcoin since it is a system where the decentralized applications can work, and not only financial and exchange operations can be carried out.
Aleksandar Matanovic, the founder and CEO of EC District, stated that during the time when Bitcoin had no competitors, it progressed a lot, and now other crypto-currencies must catch up with it. But it doesn’t mean that they never equal with Bitcoin in number of users or market capitalization, they just will need to make a much bigger effort. Ethereum is just at the beginning of the long way, but it is able to challenge the Bitcoin expansion.
The founder of CryptoPay George Basiladze also marked the potential of Ethereum, provided it will constantly update the protocol. However, after evaluating the huge funds invested into Bitcoin, he doesn’t believe that Ethereum will be able to undermine the attitudes of Bitcoin among crypto-currencies.
During several decades the world has been shaken by several technological revolutions. We were the witnesses of the Internet creation, saw the rapid development of computer technologies, and now the market is awaiting the splash of interest to the development of network technologies in the sphere of finances and bank services. The new object of mass interest – the blockchain technology.
At the basis of this technology lies the idea of the distributed database, the verification of transactions in which is provided by the thousands of users simultaneously. They confirm the validity of the changes put in into the base, so it is impossible to forge them. Blockchain technology can become a new wave that will bring thousands of startups to the top. During the last two years, $850 million were invested into companies that work on blockchain development.
Blockchain owns such characteristics that were peculiar for the operating system with open source Linux or Skype that used P2P protocol. This means a high level of security, open infrastructure, comparative cheapness, decentralization, and the absolute clearness of all operations.
Who can be interested in such demonstration? Of course, banks. They will be able to use blockchain as an alternative to the bank transactions SWIFT. The most famous projects in this area – Ripple with almost $ 40 million of investments, and bank consortium R3 which creates a closed blockchain.
In addition, this technology is used for micro- and mini payments, which earlier was not interesting for banks at all. Blockchain allows to transfer a small sum for a small commission or without it at all. This would sufficiently simplify the possibility of right holders to receive payment for the content. One should agree that it is not hard to pay 10 cents for the book or music, but today this procedure is so bulky, that it is much easier to upload a pirate version. Right now Bitcoin is most commonly used for such payments, the number of transactions increases steadily.
One more possibility opens to banks – the system of client authentication. Now, all credit organizations must fulfill the complex of actions under the general name KYC (“Know Your Client”), and the usage of blockchain will allow to pass this procedure only once. The verification of a client by one of the member banks would automatically remove the necessity of such actions for other members of the project.
Banks started out the acquisition of blockchain, but the usage of this technology can be widened more. One can only mention the possibility of using blockchain as an alternative financial system in case of global cataclysms. The system of verification right on assets and properties is in the near future of the blockchain technology, and crypto-currencies also evolve in this direction.
How to get free Bitcoins? This is the question that worries newcomers to the mysterious and exciting world of crypto-currencies. It is easy to answer this question – use Bitcoin faucets. They do not generate fantastic sums, however, they still share free Bitcoins with you.
Bitcoin faucets are faucets from which “drops” crypto-currency instead of water. The analogy with water drops is perfect, since, to collect the needed quantity of water to drink, you have to wait quite a bit. The situation is the same with Bitcoin: the payments on faucets happen during certain periods of time and by small parts.
Why Bitcoin faucets are needed? They are used to attract users to the website. The site receives earnings from showing ads, and shares these earnings with visitors, honestly warning them about it. Resources that promise fantastic earnings and the possibility to receive a “bucket” of Bitcoins by one click, don’t earn so much on advertisement, so this is most likely a fake for the fools.
Using Bitcoin faucet is very simple. For that, you must visit a page with the faucet, enter the address of Bitcoin wallet or email, connected to it, and press Enter. Sometimes you need to wait a bit to receive your reward, sometimes you receive it immediately and repeat the procedure after a certain period. To prove you’re not a robot, enter a captcha. Withdrawal of your Bitcoins will be possible after a day or week, depending on the minimal sum, possible to withdraw.
In spite of small sums of payments, they still play a big role in the Bitcoin ecosystem – they help to attract newcomers to the world of crypto-currency, interest them in Bitcoin and blockchain technologies, not all of them, of course, but a big part. And this is what is needed for digital currency – recognition and support of the as many people as possible.
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