Steve Wozniak crypto invest summit

Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak might have called blockchain a “bubble” earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a fan of the technology. In fact, he referred to Bitcoin as “just amazing” and cites Ethereum as one project that will live on beyond the hype.

Wozniak has since announced his involvement in a blockchain company. Though he was quick to explain that it was not an ICO, but an investment company working on real estate and other blockchain projects.

Steve Wozniak is now scheduled to speak at Crypto Invest Summit (CIS) which kicks off October 22nd in Los Angeles.

Block Explorer is proud to work alongside CIS as a media partner. For more details on the Crypto Invest Summit, and other upcoming events, please see our Conference Schedule calendar.

steve wozniak crypto invest summit

*PRESS RELEASE*

BLOCKCHAIN COMMUNITY BANDS TOGETHER TO LAUNCH THE FIRST-EVER LOS ANGELES BLOCKCHAIN WEEK

The West Coast’s largest crypto conference bands together with other local organizers, universities, entrepreneurs and investors to connect global blockchain community.

LOS ANGELES, CA, September 13, 2018 — Crypto Invest Summit, StartEngine Summit, Women of Crypto, Expert Dojo, UCLA, and USC have come together to announce Los Angeles’ first Blockchain Week happening on October 19th-25th. They are offering a pass that gives access to ALL official LA Blockchain Week events at one low price at LABlockchainWeek.org.

In a joint statement, Alon Goren and Josef Holm, founders of Crypto Invest Summit and early-stage investment fund GHV said, “Los Angeles is one of the world’s top blockchain and crypto eco-systems. Our goal has always been to bring the best deals in the world to our investors and introduce the best entrepreneurs in LA to investors from around the world. Creating a week-long festival-like environment gives even more incentive for the world to come and join us.”

Every Crypto Invest Summit at the Los Angeles Convention Center, thousands of investors and entrepreneurs from around the world flock to Los Angeles to meet and make deals. This time around, for their October event, Goren and Holm met with other local event organizers, entrepreneurs, investors and educators and in a truly collaborative fashion, decided to plan a whole week’s worth of conferences and activities related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Adam Levy, Co-President of USC’s Trojan Blockchain Society, mentions, “It’s great to see everyone cross-collaborate with each other and the overwhelming passion for contributing to Los Angeles’s innovation footprint. LA Blockchain Week is bound to be one of the most informative weeks our community has ever encountered in this space.” Howard Marks, CEO of StartEngine Summit, added, “Los Angeles Blockchain Week will be a major event for the crypto marketplace bringing together all of the leaders from around the world.”

When it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, startups and entrepreneurs are not the only players in the space, as educational institutions and academic researchers inspire much of the action. UCLA and USC both have blockchain organizations that are partners in LA Blockchain Week.

“Blockchain at UCLA is excited to join LA’s inaugural Blockchain Week,” said Veronica Reynolds, Co-founder of Blockchain at UCLA. “Blockchain at UCLA strives to provide high-quality education and networking opportunities to students, and undertakes research and consulting work, so we can’t think of a better way to continue developing our community than by participating in this ground-breaking citywide collaboration of blockchain professionals.”

“We envision USC at the forefront of blockchain tech, so we couldn’t be more thrilled to promote education in this space even further by partnering with LA Blockchain Week,” said Daniel Aghachi, Founder and Co-President of Trojan Blockchain Society. “Trojan Blockchain Society encourages adoption through collaboration, therefore partnering with these high-impact series of events to ensure our community receives quality content and the best career development opportunities is a no-brainer,” added Adam Levy, Co-President of Trojan Blockchain Society.

Some of LA Blockchain Week’s incredible speaker lineup includes Steve Wozniak from Apple, investor Tim Draper, Rodney Sampson from Opportunity Hub, Crystal Rose from Sense, Former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, Nadia Hewitt from World Economic Forum, David Bleznak from Totle, Amanda Gutterman from ConsenSys, and Matt Leisin from Bloomberg.

About LA Blockchain Week: Los Angeles Blockchain Week is a collaborative effort of the Los Angeles Blockchain and Cryptocurrency community to create a week-long program of events including Crypto Invest Summit, StartEngine Summit, Women of Crypto, UCLA Blockchain Lab and USC’s Trojan Blockchain Society.

woman holding lots of gold bitcoin units

With one bitcoin currently worth more than $6,000, we need smaller bitcoin units and denominations to make it work as a day-to-day currency. We explain the units, from one bitcoin down to one “satoshi” (or 1 hundred millionth of a bitcoin).

Let’s picture a future where you walk into Starbucks and buy a coffee with bitcoin. You can’t exactly pay with one full bitcoin. It would be like paying with a $10,000 note or handing over a gold bar.

For bitcoin to become a viable cash system, we need to break it down into smaller units and denominations.

Those denominations already exist, but they’re not yet widely used. Here’s how it breaks down, at a glance:

Bitcoin – 1 BTC
DeciBit – 0.1 BTC
CentiBit – 0.01 BTC
MilliBit – 0.001 BTC
MicroBit – 0.000001 BTC
“Finney” – 0.0000001 BTC
“Satoshi” – 0.00000001 BTC

A “Satoshi” is 1 Hundred Millionth of a Bitcoin

The smallest bitcoin unit is called a Satoshi (or a “Sat,” for short). It’s named after Bitcoin’s mysterious founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. At the time of writing, 160 satoshis are worth about one cent.

But why would such a tiny denomination exist?

Well, it gives you a sense of how big the bitcoin community expects the cryptocurrency to grow. One satoshi is expected to be a usable form of currency one day, perhaps similar to a penny.

Only 21 Million Bitcoins Will Ever Exist

We also need to break bitcoins into tiny units because there will only ever be 21 million of them.

Compare that to the 10 trillion dollars in existence and you start to see why bitcoin needs many denominations.

There simply aren’t enough full bitcoins for each person to own 1 BTC. (In fact, there are more people living in Shanghai than there are bitcoins).

In other words, if bitcoin becomes a true global currency, only a very small group of people will own a full bitcoin. The rest will own and spend much smaller units and denominations.

The “Finney” is a Nod to Hal Finney

Hal Finney was one of the first people to work on Bitcoin besides Satoshi Nakamoto. In fact, many have claimed that Hal Finney is Satoshi Nakamoto, but he has always denied the claim.

Although the finney is not an official denomination, it’s often used by the community as a nod to his work on the project.

Should We Stop Using the Term Bitcoin?

Some have argued that “one bitcoin” is an intimidating way to introduce new people to the cryptocurrency.

Buying one bitcoin at more than $6,000 sounds pretty overwhelming to most people.

At the same time, pricing a coffee at 0.001 BTC (roughly the cost right now) is ridiculous. Instead, you might say that one coffee costs a milliBit, or colloquially an “emBit”.

Or you might feel more comfortable investing in a deciBit (about $600) or even a centiBit ($60).

How Much is Each Bitcoin Unit Worth?

At today’s price, the denominations are worth the following:

Bitcoin – $6,340
DeciBit – $634
CentiBit – $63.40
MilliBit – $6.34
MicroBit – $0.06
“Finney”  ~ half a penny
“Satoshi” ~ 160 satoshis to a penny.

Prices correct at September 19th, 2018.

a highway at night with speeding cars
  • Ripple has partnered with 120 banks, but none of them are yet using the XRP token.
  • xRapid will change that, using Ripple’s cryptocurrency XRP to settle payments.
  • Ripple’s Sagar Sarbhai says xRapid will go live in the “next month or so”

Ripple’s astonishing rise in 2017 was driven by its partnerships with banks like Santander, American Express, and Western Union. However, most people misunderstood one thing:

The banks aren’t actually using the cryptocurrency XRP yet.

That might be about to change as Ripple prepares to push the button on its XRP product, xRapid. Ripple’s Sagar Sarbhai, told CNBC that xRapid will go live in the “next month or so.”

“I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live in production.” Sagar Sarbhai.

But what is xRapid and how does it use cryptocurrency? First, let’s clear up a few terms.

The Difference Between Ripple and XRP

Ripple is a company that aims to speed up cross-border payments. Ripple has partnered with over 100 banks and boasts a range of  money transfer services using blockchain and cryptocurrency.

XRP is the cryptocurrency created by Ripple. It is not currently used by banks, but it’s a big part of their future plans and the forthcoming xRapid service.

The Current State of Ripple’s Bank Partnerships

Ripple has so far partnered with more than 120 banks and money services. As you know, it traditionally takes days to send money abroad (and the fees are enormous). Ripple aims to speed up the process and eliminate fees.

A list of Ripple bank partnerships and logos

Most of the partnered banks are using a Ripple service called xCurrent. It uses blockchain technology to help banks make faster payments and communicate better.

But it does not use XRP to settle transactions. That’s where phase two comes in: xRapid.

What Is xRapid?

xRapid aims to make those transactions even faster and cheaper. Most importantly, it does use XRP to settle the money transfer.

XPR is used as a “bridge currency” in the process.

Here’s how it works…

Let’s say Bob lives in the UK and wants to send £1,000 to Alice in India.

Using xRapid, Bob’s bank instantly transfers the £1,000 into cryptocurrency, XRP. It is sent to India in seconds where it is transferred to rupees.

The fees are almost zero and the whole process takes four seconds.

Had Bob used the traditional bank system, it would take days and cost him a large fee.

a depiction of how Ripple xRapid works
Source: Falling Grace

xRapid: An End to Nostro Accounts

The description above is a very quick outline of how xRapid works, but there’s a reason why it’s so powerful:

Banks need liquidity (i.e. lots of available money) to make a foreign exchange. And the current way they source liquidity is wildly inefficient.

Let’s go back to Bob and Alice. To send money to India using the traditional system, Bob’s UK bank needs a “nostro account” in India. The nostro account is pre-funded with millions in local currency. (This is the liquidity).

The money is exchanged through the bank’s nostro account before being sent to Alice’s bank in India.

Banks have pre-funded nostro accounts like this in every country with a different currency to facilitate cross-border transfers. It’s expensive and incredibly inefficient.

By switching the local nostro accounts for a digital cryptocurrency, there’s no need for bank accounts full of foreign currency all over the world. It’s faster, cheaper and more efficient.

Got It. But Are Banks Using xRapid?

No. Not yet, anyway.

The vast majority are using xCurrent, but Ripple is trying to nudge them towards xRapid. Some banks have begun testing the xRapid product and reported 40-70% savings.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said that “dozens of banks” will be using xRapid by the end of 2019.

But it’s a big task. As Ripple’s Sagar Sarbhai explained, “a couple of years ago the narrative was: blockchain good, crypto bad.” Banks were open to blockchain technology, but wary of using cryptocurrency to settle payments.

Sarbhai says that’s beginning to change.

“I think that narrative thankfully is now changing because policymakers, regulators are seeing that there is a strong benefit that digital assets, cryptocurrencies bring in.”

xRapid to Go Live in the “Next Month or so”

This is the moment that most XRP holders have been waiting for. xRapid is considered Ripple’s silver bullet because it actively uses the XRP token to settle payments.

If banks do adopt xRapid, the volume (and price) of XRP is likely to increase dramatically.

Let’s look at this way. If xRapid replaced just 1% of the current international bank transfers through SWIFT, the daily volume of XRP would increase 250x.

We’ll keep you posted if and when xRapid is finally deployed.

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arm wrestle bitcoin dominance
  • Bitcoin dominance nears 60%, the highest since December 2017.
  • Bitcoin is seen as a “safer” haven during a market decline.
  • Rival coin ethereum is getting flushed by ICOs.

If you’re tracking the cryptocurrency market decline, you’ve probably noticed something strange. Altcoins are falling much harder than bitcoin.

Bitcoin, for example, has fallen 67% from its high last December, but ethereum is currently 84% lower than its all-time high. Ripple XRP is 91% lower.

Bitcoin dominance, meanwhile, has increased rapidly since May, almost touching 60% last week.

As prices decline, traders are moving money out of altcoins into bitcoin. What’s going on here?

What is Bitcoin Dominance?

Bitcoin dominance is the term used to describe bitcoin’s market capitalization compared to other cryptocurrencies.

In early 2017, bitcoin made up 87% of the total cryptocurrency market. It was the most dominant cryptocurrency, by far.

Bitcoin’s dominance was challenged throughout 2017 as altcoins grew in popularity. Ethereum threatened to catch up and even overtake bitcoin. In June 2017, bitcoin’s dominance fell to just 38%. Ethereum was at 31%.

That balance has now shifted back towards bitcoin. It currently stands at 55%.

chart depicting bitcoin, etheruem and ripple market capitalization
Chart: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Is the “Safe Haven” of Crypto

Think about the stock market for a moment. Whenever the stock market declines, investors take their money out of risky, speculative stocks and put it in “safer” places. They move money to big, stable companies that aren’t likely to get wiped out. Some move their money into safe assets like gold or the dollar.

The crypto market is the same. When people get spooked, they move their money into something more stable. Bitcoin.

While the average investor might not consider bitcoin “stable,” it is compared to altcoins.

Bitcoin Isn’t Going to Disappear

When the cryptocurrency market declines, there’s a real chance that some altcoins will plunge to zero. Bitcoin, however, is unlikely to disappear.

Track record – Bitcoin has a nine-year history and hasn’t disappeared yet. Investors know that bitcoin has weathered storms before and will probably do so again.

Name-recognition – 71% of Americans have heard of bitcoin. It’s now a small, but important, part of our culture.

Ingrained in the wider economy – Wall Street has opened the doors to bitcoin with the launch of bitcoin futures trading. We will shortly see an exchange-traded fund (ETF) and the entrance of more institutional investors. As bitcoin becomes more ingrained in the wider economy, it’s much less likely to disappear.

Gateway cryptocurrency – If you’re just getting into cryptocurrency, you’re probably going to buy bitcoin. Not just because it’s the largest coin, but because many exchanges require you to purchase bitcoin before buying other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin has a stability that other coins don’t. So when the market moves lower, people move their money into something that isn’t going to disappear.

There’s also one more reason why bitcoin dominance is growing:

Ethereum Tokens Are Getting Flushed

Ethereum experienced a wild ride to catch up with bitcoin in 2017. Much of that hype was created by new currencies launching on the Ethereum system.

When new currencies launch on Ethereum, they typically raise money through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Investors use ETH to crowdfund these projects, hence the price of ETH rose.

Now, with millions raised in capital, those ICOs are dumping ETH on the open market, forcing the price down.

So while bitcoin enjoys some stability, ethereum is shedding value fast.

Bitcoin Dominance Pattern

When the cryptocurrency market is stormy, investors flock to bitcoin for some element of safety. In other words, bitcoin dominance is high when prices are low.

However, there’s another interesting correlation. Bitcoin dominance also hit a peak when the currency reached an all-time high in December.

So bitcoin dominance surges at both ends of the spectrum: when prices are low and when they are high.

Why? Well, when prices are high, the mainstream floods into the market. Because of name-recognition, they’re buying bitcoin at a much faster rate than ethereum or ripple.

It seems that altcoins have their moment during the quiet growth periods, while bitcoin dominance occurs at the extreme ends of the market. For now, let’s see if bitcoin will tip past the 60% mark.

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bitcoin ethereum and ripple coins on a black background

The flippening is a hypothetical moment in the future when ethereum, ripple, or another cryptocurrency overtakes bitcoin.

Bitcoin is currently the largest cryptocurrency on the planet, but it’s not impossible to imagine ethereum or ripple catching up.

At the start of 2017, bitcoin had a true monopoly in the world of digital currency. It accounted for 87% of the total crypto market value. By January 2018, that figure had fallen to 33% with ethereum, ripple and others eating into bitcoin’s market share.

Some predict that one of these altcoins (alternative cryptocurrencies to bitcoin) will overtake bitcoin entirely. That future moment is the flippening.

The Rise of Altcoins

While bitcoin dominated the blockchain space for eight years, new cryptocurrency projects were stirring under the surface.

Vitalik Buterin launched Ethereum – a “world computer” which took the concept of blockchain way beyond money transfers. Ethereum became a platform for companies and developers to build anything on the blockchain.

Ripple emerged to revolutionize the way we transfer money between banks and across borders. Ripple’s native cryptocurrency XRP was the fastest growing token in 2017, briefly overtaking ethereum.

These altcoins gained huge media attention through 2017 and rose more than 1,000% in value. The momentum lead many to predict that ethereum and XRP could surpass bitcoin in the coming years.

The Flippening: A Measure of Market Capitalization

It’s worth pointing out that the flippening refers to market capitalization (or market cap), not the price per coin.

For example, XRP is worth just 27c per coin, compared to ethereum’s $195 and bitcoin’s $6,332.

Bitcoin is by far the most expensive coin because there are only 17 million in existence (there are 100 billion XRP tokens and more than 100 million ethers).

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple: Where Do They Stand?

At the time of writing, the top three by market dominance looks like this:

1. Bitcoin – 56%
2. Ethereum -10%
3. Ripple – 6%

chart depicting bitcoin, etheruem and ripple market capitalization
Chart: CoinMarketCap

Through the course of 2018, “the flippening” has moved further away. Bitcoin has re-established its dominance, while altcoins like ethereum and ripple have fallen. This is perhaps because bitcoin is seen as a “safer” haven during the long market downturn.

Could the Flippening Really Happen?

Theoretically, yes. Bitcoin has a number of practical issues that hold it back, not least its transaction speed when compared to other blockchains. There are faster, more efficient projects out there that could, ultimately, become more valuable than bitcoin.

However, bitcoin has one major advantage: reputation. 71% of Americans have heard of it. Could the same be said for XRP?

For most people, bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency they buy. On many of the major exchanges, you have to purchase bitcoin before you can buy an altcoin like ethereum or ripple.

Not only that, but Wall Street is slowly embracing bitcoin. We’ll soon have a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) and institutional money pouring into the market. That money will go to bitcoin first.

In other words, it’s very difficult to knock bitcoin off the throne, because it’s engrained as the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency.

Ethereum or Ripple?

Let’s say the flippening did happen. Which coin is the most likely to overtake bitcoin?

Ethereum has tremendous practical application. The likes of JP Morgan, MasterCard and Microsoft are all experimenting with the Ethereum system. Others are building dapps, smart contracts and new cryptocurrencies. These projects each require ether as a payment token. As Ethereum grows and develops, the demand for (and the price of) ether may rise higher than bitcoin.

Ripple also has a practical application. Ripple aims to deploy its cryptocurrency, XRP, as a “bridge currency” for banks to transfer money abroad without fees or delays. If the world’s banks opt to use the XRP token, the market cap could soar beyond bitcoin’s. It’s worth pointing out, however, that no bank is yet using XRP beyond a pilot scheme.

Ultimately, Ethereum remains the best candidate if the flipping were to happen, simply because it is easier to buy than ripple. Only a handful of exchanges allow you to purchase ripple with fiat currency (like USD). You can’t buy ripple on Coinbase, for example. Instead, you would have to purchase bitcoin or ethereum before transferring it to another exchange to buy ripple.

The difficulty in buying it means it’s unlikely to overtake bitcoin anytime soon.

Does It Matter?

Ultimately, bitcoin, ethereum and ripple each exist for very different reasons. They are not direct competitors, so comparing them as such doesn’t get us very far.

However, it’s still an important (hypothetical) moment. If another coin overtook bitcoin, it means that particualr coin was being used in a meainstream, day-to-day, practical way. And that’s an exciting prospect for blockchain technology.