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Crypto-sum-up

Crypto Sum-up 2020

2020 has been a tough and challenging year that we’ll long remember. Besides the pandemic, a series of major events shook the global economy. A lot happened in the healthcare, finance, banking industries and the crypto and blockchain spheres were no exception. However, anyone who has at least a little understanding of these industries will agree that the market is hotter now than ever before. And if you’ve missed the latest news, don’t worry. We are here with the main crypto highlights of 2020, for you to be ready to catch the wave in 2021. 

1.  Decentralized Finance (DeFi) 

As we all know, DeFi, short for decentralized finance, is the ecosystem of blockchain-based, peer-to-peer networks enabling financial services without centralized middlemen, banks for instance. This new system is a result of the advancement and change in customers’ needs. People want faster and more convenient ways of controlling their finances. You don’t like queuing in a bank or wasting hours on a single deal, right? The DeFi is here to help you out. It enables crypto owners to use traditional services such as borrowing, lending, trading, getting insurance, or investing in a more transparent, rapid and comfortable way. What you need is only an internet connection and a crypto wallet. 

Decentralized Finance - DeFi

There is no doubt that 2020 was the year of DeFi for crypto space. At the beginning of the year, the total value locked (TVL) into the decentralized finance market was approximately $680 million. TVL measures the amount of funds locked in lending smart contracts across all the DeFi projects. At the time of writing, it’s worth more than $16 billion. So it has grown by almost 2300% in 2020. Can you name another industry with a growth rate even close to this?

The DeFi space looks very promising. But as it continues to grow, new challenges emerge towards keeping users’ funds safe. As there is no central authority to be in charge, traditional regulatory approaches don’t work here. As a result, most of the $100 million worth of hacks and thefts from the DeFi platforms in 2020 went unpunished. Several initiatives address this issue to protect the users and mitigate the risks. It seems that unified self-regulated security standards are on the verge. Let’s keep an eye on how things evolve here.

2.   Bitcoin Price Breaking Records: All-time-high

bitcoin

You sure know that in 2020 Bitcoin has surpassed all-time highs. As of December 2020, it’s topping $24,000. But many are interested in the cause of this terrific increase. In fact, experts mention various reasons and events that influenced the Bitcoin price in 2020. 

We live in times of monetary revolution. And such a disastrous event as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of the revolution this year. The pandemic caused the largest economic damage that the world has experienced in decades. 

But while coronavirus had catastrophic effects on economic development, that seems not to be the case for the crypto industry. Moreover, it turned out to be even helpful for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The reason is that the pandemic quickened our advance into a more digital world. And even those who had never tried an online transaction before had no choice but to go for it. Banks were closed, people had to stay at home and the only option was to use online transactions. But this also increased the exposure to financial surveillance and financial fraud. So what options did the people, used to paying with cash have, to protect their privacy? The obvious one is trying the ultimate electronic cash—Bitcoin. So, what might have taken years, has been achieved in months.

But the more palpable explanation could be the unprecedented quantitative easing of almost 3 trillion USD, run by the Federal Reserve. The financial experts received the news as a signal of the upcoming devaluation of the US dollar. So it made sense to move the assets to a safe haven, as is often the case during crises. Historically, gold was the leading haven for money. But this time Bitcoin got a great portion of attention as well. Why? Read the next passage.

Around the same time, the 3rd Bitcoin halving in history took place on May 11, 2020. This event happens once every 210,000 blocks or around 4 years. And from that moment on the block reward is cut in half. This time the reward decreased from 12,5 to 6,25 BTC, so now only 900 Bitcoins are being mined every day. If you wonder what’s the big deal, bear with me. Counting for the current circulation of Bitcoins, this makes its inflation rate less than 1.74%, and it’s getting lower. Meanwhile, the inflation rate for gold is more than 2%. So Bitcoin became more scarce than gold after the halving. And naturally, scarce commodities and assets have a higher value when in demand. So it’s a no brainer why so many switched to Bitcoin this time. 

And adding to the overall action, in October this year, PayPal announced that it would let its users and merchants buy, send, and receive Bitcoin. After this announcement, the Bitcoin price increased by nearly half. This means that more than 300 million users can have the opportunity to pay for various goods and services via crypto on the platform. It’s a huge move towards the mass adoption of crypto. And of course, people expect higher demand for Bitcoin, so the prices react correspondingly. 

3. Ethereum 2.0 Release 

ethereum 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 is finally here. Its launch was confirmed just 9 hours before the announced release date of Dec 1. Ethereum 2.0 is the major infrastructure update of the Ethereum blockchain that will improve the network’s speed, scalability, security, and efficiency. The upgrade will be in 3 phases, with the first one expected by the end of 2020. 

Most importantly, it will shift from PoW consensus mechanism to PoS, the main advantages of which are its high speed and energy-efficiency. From the scalability side, the network promises 100,000 transactions per second instead of 30. And sharding plays a leading part here.

Phase 0 started with the implementation of the Beacon chain. We will see the integration of stake shard chains in Phase 1 which is due in 2021. In the interim Phase 1,5, the mainnet will fully become a shard and switch to PoS. Finally, in phase 2, which will launch in 2021-2022, the shards will fully-function with smart contracts. 

Pretty promising, right? We are excited to see how the upgrade goes and what it will bring in the upcoming years.

4. Libra (Renamed Diem) Launch in January 2021

Yes, you have read it right! Libra will finally go live but now under the name Diem. In mid-2019, Facebook wanted to launch its global cryptocurrency called Libra but didn’t succeed because of the regulatory issues with the financial authorities. In November, the Libra Association (co-founded by Facebook) announced that the project will eventually go live in Jan 2021 but as a stablecoin backed by USD.

diem-digital-currency

A week after the announcement, the association changed its name and the digital currency’s name to Diem, which stands for “day” in Latin.  The shift is most probably done to turn a page on Libra’s PR. Diem is designed for only the US and some parts of Latin America. The project will also include the digital wallet Novi (previously called Calibra), from which users can get the stablecoins and operate, for example, on WhatsApp and Messenger. Nevertheless, the project is still waiting for approval from FINMA. Upon the launch, the users will be able to send each other crypto payments as easily as sending messages.

To wrap it up

Many extraordinary events took place in the crypto world in 2020, and many more are to come in 2021. New promising projects launched, DeFi is thriving, the cryptos are booming. Isn’t that enough to convince you that the decentralized future of finance, banking, and money, in general, is an exciting place to be? 

Success is for the firstcomers. So whether you are coming from traditional industries or you are just a crypto or tech enthusiast, who is doubting whether to take a step or not, this is the right time! And if you don’t know where to start or where to go, Nooor is here to help you out. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to get monthly updates and exclusive offers. 

In 2021 Nooor will enlarge its scope of activities, so many new projects are coming soon. Stay tuned!

the easy way to buy bitcoin

The Easy Way to Buy Bitcoin

I bet you’ve been thinking of bitcoin recently. You may have even considered buying or selling some, if not already. Probably, you also know that the most popular go-to place to trade crypto is an exchange. But you can get burned if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s a risk of theft, scam, or excessive fees. There are more than 30,000 crypto exchanges out there. How to know which one is the best?

Where to Buy Bitcoin?

First, there are several types of exchanges—centralized, decentralized, and peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces. 

A centralized exchange acts as a middleman between buyers and sellers. First, it takes the money both from the sellers and the buyers. Then it matches their requests to buy and to sell and charges fees on both of them. The buyer and the seller never meet on the platform. The result is fast trading but at the cost of high fees and a serious security threat.

Decentralized exchanges came to fight this shortcoming. The buying and selling orders are executed via a secure smart contract that doesn’t require you to give away control over your crypto. But they are relatively unpopular now, so there’s a problem with finding trading counterparts. As a result, they have low liquidity which affects the speed.

Finally, there are P2P marketplaces that combine the best of 2 worlds—speed and security. A P2P marketplace connects the sellers with buyers so that they can find a match and trade directly without intermediaries with each other. One of the largest such P2P exchanges at the time of writing is Paxful.

Why Use P2P Exchanges?

Fast, reliable, and cheap ways of transferring funds are the key to the crypto industry. 

Fast and convenient. This is where P2P exchanges beat centralized ones. You’re directly dealing with people here. So there are as many ways to pay here as people are ready to receive. As a result, besides conventional bank transfers and credit card payments, MoneyGram, PayPal, WebMoney, Qiwi, and even gift-cards are happily accepted as a means of payment. There are over 350 payment options available at Paxful, and you choose the fastest and most convenient one. Try to compare any centralized exchange with that.

Secure. The other aspect where P2P exchanges shine is security. There are plenty of regulated trustworthy exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, or Kraken. But the fact that you have to deposit your crypto to their account makes it technically possible to get them hacked and stolen. Not your keys, not your coins, they say. Besides, if the exchange faces an investigation from authorities, it can suspend all withdrawals. That, in fact, happened with OKEx in October this year. So you’ll have to wait until the exchange gets back to business. This scenario is impossible to imagine in the case of P2P exchanges. Here all the funds are kept directly by the owners.

Low Costs. And finally, you don’t need to deposit your money to the exchange’s account before trading as in the case of regular exchanges. This cuts one step and the associated costs in comparison to centralized platforms. For example, there can be a depositing fee of up to 1% on many exchanges. Additionally, you may have to pay around $15 for a SWIFT transfer to the exchange’s bank account. And the exchange usually charges a trading fee for every transaction. That’s not the case at P2P exchanges. You agree with the seller on the fastest and cheapest payment option.

The Role of P2P Exchanges in the Crypto Industry

As the crypto industry is gaining more and more popularity, the need for a fast and safe way of buying and selling bitcoin arises. Various peer-to-peer platforms conduct cryptocurrency exchanges such as Paxful, Coinffeine, LocalBitcoins, and many more. Each of them has a security system to prevent fraud and ensure safe transfers. For example, Coinffeine has a system of obligatory deposits: before the trade starts, participants must deposit a certain amount of bitcoins. If all goes well, those deposits return to the users. LocalBitcoins allows the participants of exchange to meet in person to conduct their trades. This way, they make sure that the deal is fully completed before parting ways. Paxful is one of the highly recommended platforms in the market and recently gained enormous popularity among crypto users. Now let’s dig deeper and discover why we like Paxful and how it can make your crypto life easier.

What is Paxful?

Paxful is an international cryptocurrency P2P transaction platform. The company was founded in 2015 in New York and currently has more than 4․8 million users worldwide. The mission of Paxful is to allow you to manage your finances on your own. 

How does It Work?

The best way to understand how it works is to think of it as eBay for crypto trades. Paxful, in this manner, is a modern variant of the traditional market, where sellers and buyers communicate directly and agree on the terms of the transaction and payment method. And the participation of other intermediaries, banks, for example, is not required. So when you buy on this website, you don’t have to pay any transaction fees to the platform. Your money goes directly to the seller. And only the seller has to pay a commission to the platform, as in the case of eBay. Paxful supports only bitcoin and Tether trading on the platform. However, you can buy them with other crypto assets, such as ETH, LTC, and XRP. At Paxful, you will find over 350 payment methods of buying and selling BTC and USDT. Any Paxful user can create an offer to buy or sell bitcoin and set a price and preferred payment method. So the chances are little that you can find a lower bitcoin price in the current market. For one-time transactions, you can use the already published offers of other users, grouped by payment method. These offers are available for every website viewer, and it doesn’t require registration. Go check for yourself! 

Why We Like Paxful

Paxful is Simple and Fast

The motto of Paxful is “Simplicity and speed”, so it offers a clean and easy way of using the system. It doesn’t include charts and other widgets that make the screen complex. Being a P2P marketplace, Paxful offers a simple process of buying bitcoin safely in no time. 

Paxful has made sure to make the platform user-friendly. All users can now add their bank details in their account settings for faster bank transactions. When creating offers, you can select the option that automatically transfers your account details to the trading partner just after the trade starts. This option helps both sides to save time and avoid mistakes. Another cool feature is that if earlier you had to know the receiver’s wallet address to send bitcoins, a username on the Paxful platform is enough for this. No more confusion.

Paxful is Reliable

The company recently announced that it has reached 4․8 million users. The total deals’ volume crossed a decent USD 4.6 billion. And it had less than 1% of disputed deals over this volume.

Paxful is Secure

It’s easy to become a fraud victim in the crypto space, and no P2P platform can fully guarantee there are no scammers on the site. There’s always a risk. And you should always do your best to keep your funds safe.  However, Paxful makes sure to protect its users to the fullest. It directly connects you to  the seller. But to ensure that nobody runs away before the trade is made, Paxful holds the crypto in an escrow wallet. Only after the parties confirm that the trade was successful, it moves the crypto to the buyer. This ensures safety both for the buyer and the seller. Further, there are user rankings that make it easier to find trusted traders on the platform.

Continuous improvement of the security of transactions is always a priority for Paxful. That’s why the team focuses on protecting the users with:

  • KYC procedure: To make transactions on the platform, you must undergo a KYC procedure to verify your identity. This check aims to improve the security of the platform and reduce the probability of fraud in transactions.
  • Prompt support service: In disputable situations, the platform support service is responsible for the solution. This department of the company employs 80 people who speak multiple languages ​​and are in different time zones. 

Besides the security aspects that make you feel at ease, Paxful comes with another awesome feature.

You Can Buy and Sell Gift Cards with Bitcoin

Isn’t that great to turn a gift card you’re not going to use into a bitcoin investment? You can do it with Paxful! Moreover, you can buy the world’s most popular gift cards like Steam, Amazon, eBay, or iTunes with your bitcoins with a significant discount of up to 50%. Choosing Sell Bitcoin and the payment method Discount Gift Cards on the platform, you will immediately see many offers for the profitable purchase of gift cards of different brands.

The Paxful team takes measures to ensure the safety of this process as well. For example, the platform categorically bans gift card resale, and resellers are easily found and blocked. So you can take advantage of this feature and rest assured that everything works as intended.

How Can You Buy Bitcoin on Paxful?

Buying bitcoin on Paxful is easier than you think. Just after you create an account on the website, you get a free Bitcoin wallet. Next, you can buy and sell your coins in 3 simple steps.

  1. Choose your preferred payment method
  2. Enter the amount of money you’re willing to spend
  3. Click buy Bitcoin now

I hope you’re convinced that buying bitcoin can be as easy as one-two-three. The bottom line is to always look for safe, fast, convenient, and inexpensive options. And Paxful provides just that. Now go get the best deals there.

bitcoin pizza day

Bitcoin Pizza Day

Today is the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day celebrated by the entire crypto world. Exactly ten years ago today, Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida programmer who had also contributed to the source code of Bitcoin in the past, made the first known purchase of physical goods with bitcoin.

In 2010 bitcoin was already on the market for around a year but not a single good was yet paid for with bitcoins until Laszlo decided to push it with some of his coins. He posted on the forum that he will pay 10,000BTC to anybody who will get 2 pizzas to his house. Another user took the challenge and ordered 2 big Papa John’s pizzas delivered to Laszlo’s place after getting his bitcoins worth $41 at the time.

As the bitcoin price grew ever since, the value of those famous two pizzas today is more than $90 mln US dollars.

Hanyecz, also known as the Bitcoin Pizza Guy never regretted spending his bitcoins for his meal. At that moment they had no value, and nothing would change if someone didn’t prove that a real purchase can be made with bitcoin. This was a breakthrough for the whole industry paving a way for bitcoin recognition and adoption. 

Our team at Nooor Blockchain Armenia is fond of traditions and we were planning to throw a huge Pizza Party with our Nooor community. But due to the pandemic the plans have changed. Anyways, we decided to organize a pizza giveaway for the network and now we already have those two lucky guys who are going to enjoy their pizzas today!

Congratulations!

Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day, folks! 

bitcoinhalving

Bitcoin Halving

We have prepared a short review of the main news and concerns regarding the Bitcoin Halving so that you can have the whole picture of what is going on in the market these days and what to expect afterward.

What is Bitcoin Halving?

Firstly, let’s explain what the Bitcoin Halving is. As we know Bitcoin miners are being rewarded for processing a transaction and every 210,000 blocks, or roughly 4 years, the reward is being halved. In 2009 the reward for the mined block was 50 bitcoins. Then, after the very first halving it became 25, then 12.5, and today on May 11, in just several hours from the time of writing, it will become 6.25 Bitcoins per block.

It’s important to note that Bitcoin forks halve a month before the main chain (BTC) does. Here is the chronological order of the events.

  • The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) block halving occurred on April 8, so consequently, the event decreased block rewards for miners from 12.5 to 6.25 for each block.
  • The first halving of Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV), which was forked from BCH in 2018,  took place on April 10. By the way, both BSV and BCH have 21 million coin supplies, as Bitcoin (BTC) has.
  • Finally, Bitcoin Gold (BTG), has been the next fork which halved after BSV on April 18.

 

Price predictions

Now let’s move on to bitcoin price predictions and how the market will respond. In fact, halving takes too much attention because people believe that it will increase the bitcoin price and that’s why many traders have already started betting for the future price of Bitcoin. Here is the list of some predictions from experts.

  • TradeBlock, a blockchain analyst company, predicted that the price per Bitcoin will be $12,500 after the halving.
  • Salah-Eddine Bouhmidi, the financial market analyst at DailyFX, told Cointelegraph: “After the halving, I can imagine a new attack on the $14,000 by 2021. Of course, not only the halving plays a role here — but other external factors can also lead to positive effects on the cryptocurrency market.”
  • Paolo Ardoino, the CFO of Bitfinex, said: “By the end of 2020, I think the Bitcoin price will be at least $20,000.”
  • Fundstrat’s Tom Lee believes Bitcoin could reach $27,000 by August of 2020. 
  • Rekt Capital took the most optimistic position by writing on Twitter: “Price of one $BTC will be $385,000–$400,000.”
  • PlanB, a pseudonymous analyst, says he expects the halving will lead to a considerable rise in the price over the next few years. He thinks if BTC doesn’t strike $70,000 by May of 2022, the stock to flow model will be invalidated. 

 

What experts think

So now you have the picture of what Bitcoin Halving is, let us also see what kind of ideas the industry leaders share and very soon we will see if the buzz created around the event is just a hype or this is something that will bring a real change to the industry.

  • Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex said, “I don’t expect Bitcoin to drop below $6,000. We might see some FUD before the Bitcoin halving. By the end of 2020, I think the Bitcoin price will be at least $20,000.”
  • Robert Schwertner, Founder & CEO of CryptoRobby commented,  “Can I predict the Bitcoin price at the end of 2020? Sure, to the third decimal place! 7,000 euros — plus/minus 5,000 euros. I see no future for Bitcoin. It is not suitable as a means of payment — who wants to spend 10 minutes at the checkout in the supermarket for verification…”
  • “Historically, we have seen a price surge in the 1.5 years after the halving, so it’s highly possible we’ll see new entrants in the market,” said Dave Ripley, COO of Kraken.
  • Lennix Lai, OKEx’s director of financial markets, noted, that bitcoin halving could be understood as “quantitative tightening” on crypto.
  • Other exchanges said bitcoin halving could be an insignificant event if the COVID-19 continues.

 

Seems everyone is too concerned about the Bitcoin Halving event and many of them want a drastic change in the price. The good news is today is THE DAY of the historic event and we can witness the reaction of the market and see who has been closer to reality.

Stay healthy and stay tuned!

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