Changing Careers at 30: Are You Bold Enough To Do It?

You’ve been dreaming about it for almost a decade. You see it so clearly it’s almost three dimensional. You can practically taste the sweet nectar of success.

Except that it’s nothing more than a fantasy. A pipe dream. One of those woulda, coulda, shoulda things you dwell on, that fascinates and scares you at the same time. It’s painful, but you can’t seem to stop.

You’ve been slowly wasting away at a job you loathe, letting it drain the life out of you, while you eye your friends with envy. You know, those friends that bit the bullet back in your glory days and dove head first into exciting career plans? Who never looked back, not even once?

You keep thinking, “Man, that could have been me.”

Except, well, it wasn’t. For whatever reason. Maybe you decided to take the more secure albeit less exciting route, or that well-paying “safe” job. Or you decided to start a family right out of the gate. Maybe you coasted for a few years, drifting from career to career, or project to project, but never really seeing results you’d hoped for.

No worries, friend. Whatever your situation, wherever you’re at right now, life isn’t over until it’s over. Now’s the time to stiffen up that upper lip and chase those dreams in earnest. But where to begin?

Have a Plan

Why? Because planning is cool. And because, well… if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Really though, you don’t want to just drop your life and switch careers on a whim or start a new business without doing some due diligence. Quiz yourself. Ask yourself why you want to make this big change. Can you handle the pay cut that most likely will come (at least initially)?

Do you have the working capital you need to fund your idea? If you’re starting your own business, do you have a marketing budget? Do you need any sort of insurance coverage to legally operate? Assess all the required moving parts that will be necessary to make your career move a success, then ask yourself: Do you fall short in any of those areas?

Consider a Trial Phase

Perhaps your idea is something you can test the waters in first, before making a major move and potentially lighting bridges afire behind you. Ask yourself if the change you are contemplating could be something you could do on the side around your current job, just to make sure it’s viable.

For instance, if you’ve always dreamed of launching your own web design company, maybe you can start out with a couple of freelance projects during your spare time, and see where the waters take you. You might find web designing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and decide you want to focus your attention in another direction.

That’s perfectly fine too. There are no rules that say we have to settle on one career path, and one career path only. Variety is the spice of life, or haven’t you heard?

Deep Dive into Your Dreams

While it can be tempting to want to change careers simply because you see others around you succeeding at something, it doesn’t mean what they are succeeding at is right for you. We humans are a quirky lot, and we each come with our own unique gifts, talents, and skill sets.

Instead of being seduced by the lure of quick or easy money, or dazzled by a career that seems glamorous but doesn’t give you any kind of thrill, sit down and actually think about what you want to do. Analyze your passions, honestly assess your skills and strengths, figure out what lights you up and sets you on fire for life.

Then get to researching and find out if there’s a market out there that will let you somehow marry your passion and skills with smart business. If there’s a market for it, turn that idea into the best career move of your life, and don’t look back. But never forget, switching careers merely because you see someone else doing better than you at something is lame. Don’t do that.

Make Lots of Friends

A big part of changing careers successfully is making sure you have an established network of friends in place before you make the big move.

This is your social circle, your network of people that you know in the industry you’re trying to move into that can help make your transition a bit less difficult. In many industries, they say it’s all about who you know, and this is more true than you probably realize.

Even that guy you say hello to every day at the coffee shop might be a potential contact that could prove valuable in your business at some point. As an entrepreneur, you just never know when you meet someone, how they may affect your life and your business further down the road. Make friends, exchange contact information, expand your network. But do it with class, and don’t be an… well, you know.

Just Do It

Have you done all the research? Asked yourself all the tough questions? Have you mapped out some kind of game plan on where you’re going, how you’re going, and what you need to get there? If you’ve done everything you can think of to mitigate potential failures, it’s time to quit talking about the big plan, and do the big plan.

It’s easy to get stuck in some kind of holding pattern as you wrestle with a big life change. Any big life change, really. It doesn’t just apply to careers. “Should I? Shouldn’t I?” is the mental narrative that seems to loop on repeat.

It often triggers something I like to call procrastination assassination. I should know, I’ve been a victim of it myself. Don’t let that be you. Once you’ve reached a certain point, you just have to take a leap of faith. Or give it all up for good and resign yourself to your current ho-hum career.

But if you’re reading this post, I know you don’t want that. You want more than ho-hum. So how about you get busy, and make that long-awaited dream happen?

By my admittedly flawed calculations, I figure now is as good a time as any.

How Will You Make Money?


 

 

 

You should have an answer to the question “How will you make money?” early on. You may even have several answers. It needs to be plausible. People (like investors) may push back and argue with you about whether or not it’s a feasible business model. If you’re asking people for money, it’s a question you will have to deal with. So, you better be prepared for it.

That being said, you pointed out a few important things. For one, it’s okay to not be sure which will be the ideal business model or price. The process of getting to profitability is something you’ll have to face eventually if your startup continues to grow. You may be able to push it off for a while in favor of focusing on growing usage. That’s the second point, if your product is growing quickly, you’ll often find investors willing to fund your growth despite the lack of a proven business model.

There are only a few major business models though: Advertising, Subscription, E-commerce, Business Development, and Lead Gen are some of the major ones.

Let’s take Facebook as an example. In the early days, Facebook was growing so fast that they were able to get a ton of money before they had to worry about their business model. But it was pretty clear their business model was going to be advertising. It’s a fairly straightforward path to monetization for a social network. Though not all social networks monetize solely through advertising (LinkedIn charges users for premium accounts).

There are some others (like Medium) where the business model is still unclear, but I bet that the founders have a path (or several) towards monetization in their heads.

Yes, solving a problem should be the most important thing for you to focus on. But the reality is that if you’re trying build a big business, you have to have an idea how it’s going to be a lucrative problem to solve.

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum

What’s the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum?

First, it’s important to understand that there are two categories of digital coins: Cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin, Litecoin, ZCash, Monero, etc) and Tokens (e.g. Ethereum, Filecoin, Storj, Blockstack, etc.)

Bitcoin is a “cryptocurrency.” Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are competing against existing money (and gold) to replace them with a truly global currency.

The promise of Bitcoin is that it is:

  • A global currency which allows individuals to own their own money (without having to rely on national banks).
  • Lower fees for transferring money across geographic borders.
  • Financial stability for people who live in countries with unstable currencies. (e.g. In 2016, the Venezuela’s currency hit an inflation rate of 800%). In addition, two-thirds of the current global population has no access to banking, or limited access — Bitcoin is changing that.

Ethereum is a “token.” What Bitcoin does for money, Ethereum does for contracts. Ethereum’s innovation is that is allows you to write Smart Contracts: basically any digital agreement where you can say “if this” happens, “then something else happens.” For example:

  • If I vote for the President, then my vote is official and no one else can vote as me.
  • If I sign my name on this document, then I own the car, and you no longer own the car.
  • Up until now we’ve carried out these agreements with a signature at the bottom of a paper document. Ethereum dramatically improves this model because it is digital, and proof of the transaction can never be deleted.

Comparison chart: Bitcoin vs. Ether

Bitcoin (BTC) Ether (ETH)
What is it? A currency  A token
Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Vitalik Buterin, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood, etc. 
Went alive January 2009 July 2015
Supply Style Deflationary (a finite # of bitcoin will be made) Inflationary (much like fiat currency, where more tokens can be made over time)
Supply Cap 21 million in total 18 million every year
Smallest Unit 1 Satoshi = 0.00000001 BTC 1 Wei = 0.000000000000000001 ETH
New token issuance time Every 10 minutes approximately Every 10 to 20 seconds
Amount of new token at issuance 12.5 at the moment. Half at every 210,000 blocks 5 per every new block
Utility Used for purchasing goods and services, as well as storing value (much like how we currently use gold).  Used for making dApps (decentralized apps) on the Ethereum blockchain. 
Price Around $8500 at the moment Around $520 at the moment
Purpose A new currency created to compete against the gold standard and fiat currencies A token capable of facilitating Smart Contracts (For example: a lawyer’s contract, an  exchange of ownership of property, and voting)

Coinbase Bitcoin

Ethereum vs. ether

Let’s go a step further:

Bitcoin itself is two things: (1) it’s a digital currency known bitcoin (lowercase, also referred to as BTC) and Bitcoin is a technology (also known more generally as  blockchain). Both are called the same thing which admittedly can be confusing for newbies.

  • Bitcoin = The name of the Bitcoin network
  • bitcoin = The currency (or BTC)

With Ethereum it’s similar, but slightly different: the token is called ether (or ETH) and the network is Ethereum. 

  • Ethereum = The Ethereum network
  • ether = The token (of ETH)

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum

Where do I buy bitcoin and ether?

Coinbase is the most popular, and easiest place to buy both bitcoin and ethereum. Other popular exchanges where you can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum include: Gdax (owned by Coinbase), or Kraken

Join Coinbase now and get $10 of free Bitcoin if you buy or sell $100.

How much does it cost?

You can visit Coinmarketcap anytime for the latest price of BTC and ETH.

It’s important to know that you don’t have to buy one entire BTC or ETH, you can buy a smaller percentage of either.

bitcoin vs. ether: How many tokens are available?

For Bitcoin, the total supply cap is set at 21 million. At the moment, according to CoinMarketCap, the circulating supply is around 18,586,737 BTC

A new BTC is generated approximately every 10 minutes. And after 2140 no more new bitcoins will be created, which is why Bitcoin is said to be deflationary (the opposite of inflation).

When new bitcoins are created miners compete to get them. Miners are people with can play one of two  possible roles: they use their computers to claim new bitcoin and/or they help verify transactions on the network — much like a bookkeeper. 

There’s no set cap for a total supply of ETH. At the moment, around 96,815,798 ETH are circulating.

bitcoin vs. ether: What can I do with them?

You can use Bitcoin to send or receive money, or to purchase goods at popular sites like Overstock.com, Namecheap, or Tesla. You can also hold your bitcoin as an investment, or for long term storage of value (kind of like how people invest in gold). 

Ether is not as popular as BTC for purchasing goods. At the moment ether is mainly being used by developers building applications on top of it. Over time, and as more apps are developed, the value of ether will likely move from being speculative (as it is now), to more useful in everyday life. 

How to storage bitcoin and ether 

Once you buy digital currency you’re going to want to store it in cold storage (this is a much more secure place to store your currency. Exchanges like Coinbase are where you want to buy currency, but after you purchase the currency it is not advisable to leave your money at the exchange.)

Bitcoin, ether and many other types of coins can be stored on a cold storage option like Trezor or a Ledger.  If you’re serious about buying, sending, or storing larger amounts of cryptocurrencies I’d suggest you pick one up.

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: Want to learn more?

I teach about Bitcoin and Ethereum at Columbia University’s Business School. And also teach online with One Month.

Join my online Bitcoin and Blockchain tutorial or leave a comment below if you have any questions!

 

Up next: Bitcoin vs. Litecoin

bitcoin vs. litecoin

 

Front-end vs. Back-end Developers

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Do you have an interest in programming, website development, and application development? If so, then becoming a developer is a career move you may want to research. When it comes to developers, there are typically two groups to choose from: front-end developers and back-end developers. In this post, we’re going to look at the differences of each in terms of description, skills, programming languages, and earnings to help you in your decision.

Front-end vs. Back-end Developers

If you are either wondering what the difference is between a front-end developer and a back-end developer, or looking for an explanation that you can easily give your friends when they ask you what you do, here are a few ways of describing the two.

  • Think of your head. Your face would be the front-end that interacts with others using input from the eyes, ears, and nose and producing output through the mouth. Your brain would be the back-end where information from your eyes, ears, and nose is stored and where information to the mouth is sent from.
  • Think of your house. Things like the interior design, furniture, shingles, siding, windows, doors, etc. would be the front-end. The framing, insulation, beams, and foundation would be the back-end.
  • Think of your car. The engine, computer system, oil, gas, lights, etc. are a part of the back-end. Everything else is the front-end.

A front-end developer is someone who creates the front-end of a website or other application. Or the part that users engage with to get to the information in the back-end. A back-end developer is someone who creates the storage and output capabilities of said information.

Let’s say that a client wanted a custom WordPress website developed for their business. The front-end developer would work on the website that is shown to visitors on the web, plus anything that the client would see and use in their day-to-day business. This includes the WordPress theme itself and any customizations needed to the WordPress admin panel / dashboard.

The back-end developer, on the other hand, would work on optimizing the database, customizing the WordPress software itself, and creating the plugins needed to create the overall functionality of the client website, whether it is a simple blog or an ecommerce store.

Skills

So what kind of skills does a front-end developer need versus a back-end developer? Both are required to do some heavy lifting in the programming department. But front-end developers need a better eye for user interface design and visual appeal than back-end developers.

While front-end developers are not always the actual designers for the user interface of a website or application, they do have to know how to make the user interface aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. They will likely work closely with a designer if they are not designing the website or application themselves.

Additional skills that front-end website developers will need beyond programming include the ability to wireframe a website layout and design, create website designs in PSD or take PSD designs and turn them into functional websites, and deploy the website to the customer or employer’s hosting company.

Back-end developers, on the other hand, have little to do with the design of a website or application. Their job is to focus on what makes everything work behind the scenes. Hence, if you are not interested in design, then back-end development should be your focus.

Additional back-end developers skills needed beyond programming include the ability to integrate the user interface created by front-end developers with the server side logic, creating reusable code and libraries for future use, application optimization for speed and scalability, design of data storage solutions, and implementation of data security.

If you know what type of developer you want to be, the best way to determine the skills you will need is to look at profiles of other freelancer developers or job listings for specific types of developers.

Browse several different freelancer profiles or job listings (preferably ones that are at the income rate you desire to make).  There you can see the full range of skills. This is what you should be developing or highlighting when you approach customers or employers for work.

Programming Languages

Want to base your decision on whether you should be a front-end developer or back-end developer based on the programming languages you will need to be proficient in? Here’s what you need to know.

Front-end: There are only three front-end languages HTML, CSS, jQuery and Javascript.

Back-end developers need to be proficient in programming languages that render on the server side of a website or application. The most popular back-end programming languages are PHP, Ruby, Python, Ruby on Rails and Java. Others include .NET, C, and Perl. Back-end developers also need to proficient in working with databases like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server.

If you don’t have experience in any of these just yet, you may want to start by taking some beginner courses in a few different programming languages to see which ones you are most comfortable working with. Alternatively, you may want to determine what types of projects you would ultimately want to work on, then find out what would be necessary to know to work on them.

Education

Fortunately, there are lots of different ways to learn both front-end and back-end skills and programming languages. The route you take in education may depend on the type of employment you seek. If you want to work for a company full-time, you may want to browse job listings to see the requirements they have. Some will require specific degrees from universities to apply.

If you want to be a freelancer or start your own company, you may be able to forgo the format university route and self-educate through online courses. So long as you can deliver proven, you do not need to show a degree to make a living. If you are starting completely from scratch, you may need to develop a few projects on your own. This way your portfolio can demonstrate your experience to your first couple of clients. A strong portfolio is especially important for front-end developers.

Earnings

What you will make as a developer will depend on a lot of factors. These include the following:

  • Whether you are a freelance developer, contractor, part time, or full time employee.
  • Your specialties as a developer — the programming languages you are most proficient in, the tools you are most familiar with, etc.
  • Whether you are able to interact directly with the customer, have project management skills, and are able to manage a team.
  • If you are a freelance developer or contractor, the network you use to offer your services through.
  • Where you live and where you work from (telecommute or in-house).
  • How much education you have in your specialty.
  • The amount of experience you have working in your field.
  • How long you have worked at a particular company as a part time or full time employee.

Salary

While there are averages you can expect in terms of salary, all of the above will factor in on whether your earnings are closer to the lower end or upper end of the echelon. Indeed.com, for example, shows the following as average earnings for specific types of full time back-end developers. Note that some of the related job titles cross over into front-end development for comparison.

You can compare these to averages for full time front-end developers. Note that some of the related job titles cross over into back-end development for comparison purposes.

As you can see, the salaries can vary dramatically based on your experience (noted by junior, lead, and senior titles) and based on your specialties. Specialties also have an effect on salary, as noted by the difference in salary between a senior Javascript web developer who outearns the senior front-end developer.

For freelancers and contractors, what you will earn will be affected by the network you market yourself through, your reviews and ratings on that network, and your competition. Here’s a quick look at what the top back-end developers are charging on networks like UpWork (formerly oDesk).

These networks appeal to customers who are looking for developers who meet their budgets. They allow customers to find developers who charge anywhere from $10 per hour and to over $100 per hour. If you market yourself on these networks, you will have to compete with people across the gamut in terms of rates. Increasing what you charge on these networks will require you to demonstrate your skills. Through testing on the networks themselves, having a complete portfolio, and having great ratings and reviews.

Full Stack Developers

People who have skill in both front-end and back-end development are often referred to as full stack developers. In other words, they have a full range of skills that can be applied to the user interface and everything that makes it work in the background.

Some people consider a full stack developer not as good as a front-end or back-end developer. Often refer to the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” But it’s also worth noting that the full phrase is “Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than a master of one.”

As a developer, having both front-end and back-end proficiency means more opportunities. You will be able to apply to more contract, part time, or full time employment positions. As a freelancer, you will be able to take on more projects without being limited to front-end only or back-end only.

From the customer or employer perspective, you will be able to understand projects as a whole. Both how it needs to work for the user and how it needs to work in the background. You will give them one point of contact for all of their needs. And you will be able to support them when things go wrong on either side. This makes you even more valuable over the long term.

Demand for both front-end developers and back-end developers is continuously growing. Therefore, choosing either can help you create the career or business you have always wanted. Be sure to explore both worlds of development to determine which one is the best fit for you!

What is IOTA?

 

IOTA (MIOTA)
What is it? A distributed ledger protocol and cryptocurrency that operates with a  directed acyclic graph (DAG) instead of a blockchain.
Inventor The IOTA Foundation
Went live June 2014
Supply Style Deflationary
Supply Cap 2,779,530,283,277,761 (2.779 x 10^15) units, 100% of which has already been distributed  
Smallest Unit 1 IOTA
Price View price

IOTA is the world’s first cryptocurrency that operates entirely without a blockchain and transaction fees. IOTA aims to revolutionize the microtransaction, and in particular, the Internet of Things industry. By removing the use of a traditional blockchain and a transaction fee system, it enables the ability to conduct many transactions. These can be infinitely small amounts between a large a number of devices.

The Problems IOTA Aims to Solve

To understand IOTA  it’s helpful to first make sure you understand Bitcoin, and specifically how Bitcoin mining and validation works:

A visualization of how Bitcoin blocks are chained, source: Bitcoin Whitepaper

In the Bitcoin blockchain, transactions are sent out by users. They are pooled together in a pool called the memory pool (mempool).  A limited number of these transactions with the highest fees attached to them in the pool are selected from the pool by miners.  Miners then validate them by bundling them into a timestamped block.  It is then published to the network, with a direct reference to the previously timestamped block. This maintains the perfect chronological order of all transactions.

This infrastructure has proven to be functional, secure, and potentially scalable over the last ten years. However, there are two fundamental problems posed here that IOTA aims to tackle:

Transaction fees

The blockchain model inherently introduces a transaction fee market. This is to incentivize mining due to the limited space in each Bitcoin block. This limited space acts as a security parameter against network attacks. It also limits the throughput of confirmed transactions onto the Bitcoin network, allowing for approximately 7 transactions every seconds at most.

Synchronous Order

All transactions are timestamped and in chronological order. For a Bitcoin node to validate a block that contains a transaction, it must first ensure the block has a reference the block immediately before it. Therefore, every node on the entire network must first receive the latest valid block before being able to validate any other transactions on the network. This synchronous nature of the blockchain limits the entrance of transactions into the network because of the previously mentioned throughput limit.

The Technology Behind IOTA

IOTA’s fundamental technology in place of the blockchain is the directed acyclic graph (DAG). The directed acyclic graph, dubbed Tangle, is an unordered graph of transactions that may all indirectly reference each other, but do not require knowledge of all possible transactions on the network. Specifically, each transaction on the network on the network refers to and validates two transactions that occurred before it.

IOTA Tangle

The tangle is best understood visually. Confirmed transactions are black, unconfirmed are grey, source: IOTA Blog

In order for a node to post a transaction to the IOTA network, the node will have to first receive and validate two other unconfirmed transactions on the network and conduct a small proof-of-work algorithm on them in order to validate them. This deems the node trustworthy as it has verified a subsection of the IOTA network, and thus allows the node’s transaction to be verified by another node in the same way.

The design of the Tangle is one without transaction fees. The ‘fee’ one pays for a transaction is the two-transaction validation it must do.

Because transactions only need a reference to just two previous ones, the network is an asynchronous one. A potentially limitless number of transactions can be posted and verified by the network, provided there is enough activity being conducted on the network.

Its interesting to note that IOTA also utilizes a technology called Winternitz signatures to cryptographically secure transactions. This technology is thought to be secure against quantum computers and their potential attacks. A trait that most other cryptocurrencies do not possess.

The IOTA Vision and Purpose: Machine Economy

    IOTA was created with the intention to facilitate the “machine economy.” Our society, now more than ever, is being increasingly powered by machines that facilitate, oversee, and conduct transactions. This paradigm is categorized as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) industry. Because the IOTA network is enabled to rapidly transact completely arbitrary amount of currency in a secure and decentralized manner without the need for users to pay for fees, machines that wish to conduct financial activity with one another on a large and rapid scale can now leverage the Tangle to do so.

IOTA and The Internet of Things

The ever-evolving industry of Internet of Things

IOTA’s incredibly large and fixed supply, at exactly 2,779,530,283,277,761 (2.779 x 10^15) units also lends itself true to its vision. The vast amount of IOTA that exists paves the way for microtransactions to occur amongst thousands of devices simultaneously. This supply was entirely mined at the conception of the IOTA network, thus making it deflationary. In a case where coins are pre-mined and then distributed according to this, there is a fair amount of controversy in regards to the degree of distribution of the coins to prevent centralization of assets. However, the IOTA Foundation claims that coins are distributed relatively equally.

IOTA’s large supply also makes it necessary to refer to the number of IOTA as MIOTA (i.e. 1 million IOTA). Exchange prices for IOTA usually list prices for a single MIOTA.

IOTA Logo

IOTA Logo

Where can you buy IOTA?

IOTA can be bought primarily on popular cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Binance. A full list of all exchanges that sell IOTA can be found here.

Where can you store IOTA?

IOTA’s use of uncommon and quantum-resistant cryptography initially resulted in difficulty in terms of wallet-usage. This is because keys can only be used to sign an address once before being rendered invalid. As such, the number of widely available public wallets is currently limited as the community attempts to build around this cryptography, with promising upcoming solutions such as the Trinity wallet.

The most common way to store IOTA at the moment is to use the official IOTA wallet. The set up of this wallet requires a small degree of but is effectively outlined in this guide.

 

Why Codecademy Didn’t Work for Me

As someone who learned how to code pretty recently, I’m frustrated by the way that coding is taught to beginners.

I wanted to learn coding because: a) I wanted to build a Web app and it’s near impossible to find good developers in this market, and b) Thought coding would be a valuable skill to have (just read the back cover of Douglas Rushkoff’s “Program or be Programmed” if you want to see what I mean). Read more

Cryptocurrency Encyclopedia

Our Cryptocurrency Encyclopedia is a list of the top blog posts, videos, books and podcasts so that you can save time as you begin learning about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

cryptocurrency encyclopedia

Top posts for cryptocurrencies and blockchain:

These are our top 5 resources for learning about some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.

  1. Bitcoin vs. Ethereum
  2. Bitcoin vs. Litecoin
  3. Dash vs. Monero
  4. What is Stellar?
  5. What is Monero?

Top posts for storing cryptocurrencies:

Once you own cryptocurrency, you’re going to want to learn about how to safely store, send and receive your currencies.

  1. Hot Wallet vs. Cold Storage
  2. Trezor Wallet Setup
  3. Ledger Wallet Setup 
  4. How to transfer bitcoin from Coinbase to Trezor
  5. How to use Shapeshift to exchange bitcoin?

Best Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Podcasts:

  1. The Tim Ferris Podcast, “The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency — Nick Szabo
  2. Unchained Podcast 
  3. Tales from the Crypt
  4. a16z (various episodes)
  5. Block Zero

Top Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Books:

  1. The Internet of Money
  2. The Age of Cryptography
  3. Sapiens
  4. Cryptoassets
  5. Mastering Bitcoin

Top YouTube Videos about Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

  1. What is blockchain? [Part 1]
  2. What is blockchain? [Part 2]
  3. Top 5 Must-Read Books for CryptoCurrency in 2018

 

Dash vs. Monero

Dash and Monero are two cryptocurrencies with an emphasis on privacy and security.

What problem are Dash and Monero solving?

Dash and Monero are best understood in comparison to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin (BTC) is the first popularized decentralized digital currency in the World. The idea of bitcoin is peer to peer transactions without the need for a central authority, third party, or middleman. This truly revolutionizes the way we have ever thought about money.

Dash (DASH) and Monero (XMR) started in 2014 highlighting two privacy issues for Bitcoin:

  1. Bitcoin is traceable Every bitcoin transaction is recorded on a public ledger. You can’t see the sender and recipients names, but you can see their wallet addresses. So bitcoin is not fully anonymous, most people refer to Bitcoin as being pseudonymous, or mostly anonymous.
  2. Bitcoin is not fungible —

What does it mean to be ‘fungible’?

“Fungible: The property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are essentially interchangeable.”

The US dollar is mostly fungible. For example, you and I could exchange 1 US Dollar, and each dollar is equal. 1 dollar = 1 dollar.

Bitcoin is not fungible

Because Bitcoin is traceable, there have been attempts to block, or blacklist bitcoin that comes from addresses where Bitcoin has been stolen, or gained illegally.

What problem is Dash solving?

  • Dash is like bitcoin with added privacy
  • It is like bitcoin with higher security
  • It offers point-of-sale (POS) improvements to bitcoin. Point-of-sale refers to the time and place a transaction occurs.
    • The timeframe for confirmation of transactions (of bitcoin) is far too slow, rendering it an impractical option.

What solution does Dash provide?

Dash’s technology includes three innovative features:

Masternode Network

Bitcoin’s network is maintained by miners only, whereas Dash’s is multi-faceted. Other than miners, Dash also has masternodes, and a budget system. Masternodes allow for PrivateSend and InstandSend to occur.

InstantSend

InstantSend is one service Masternodes provide for the Dash network. Due to this, users have the ability to send and receive instant irreversible transactions. InstantSend is a wonderful use case for point-of-sale (POS) systems.

PrivateSend

PrivateSend is an updated version of CoinJoin. Combined inputs are seen identically from multiple users, while outputs are varying on Dash’s blockchain. This makes it nearly impossible to be tracked and traced by third parties. Fungibility is also increased due to coins being mixed with those of equal value.

What problem is Monero solving?

  • Bitcoin transactions are traceable, Monero transactions are untraceable
  • Bitcoin is not fungible, Monero is fungible
  • It is like Bitcoin with more privacy

Monero is untraceable — Every Monero transaction, by default, obfuscates sending and receiving addresses as well as transacted amounts.

It is fungible — Because it is untraceable, Monero cannot become tainted through use in previous transactions. This means Monero will always be accepted without the risk of censorship.

Monero is private — Monero is often referred to as a “privacy coin” due to it’s untraceable and fungible qualities.

How are Dash and Monero similar?

Both Dash and Monero are working to create a currency like Bitcoin, but more private.

How do they differ?

Dash

  • Dash is a fork of Bitcoin. This essentially means it was created from Bitcoin’s code but altered to enhance privacy.
  • Its privacy is optional with the option to use PrivateSend. However, Dash has a rich list, therefore not private.
  • It is essentially has a hierarchy of nodes with the Masternode Network, rendering them unequal and technically traceable as well.
  • Dash tokens aren’t fungible.
  • Dash also has a strong marketing team and has an ease-of-use approach to appeal to those new to the space.

Monero

  • Monero is not a fork of Bitcoin, or a copy of the Bitcoin source code. Monero is a fork of the CryptoNote protocol, Bytecoin.
  • It is private by default with use of a cryptographically secure system.
  • By taking advantage of a few key technologies, it is untraceable:
  • Nodes on the Monero blockchain are equal, without the ability trace transactions with multiple nodes.
  • It is fungible.
  • It is open source

Comparison Chart: Dash vs. Monero






Dash (DASH)

 Monero (XMR)Monero Logo
URL dash.org getmonero.org
What is it? An instant, private, and secure cryptocurrency An untraceable, fungible, and private cryptocurrency
Creator(s) Evan Duffield Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni, Francisco “ArticMine” Cabañas and 5 other core team developers
Went live´ January 18, 2014 April 2014
Supply Style Inflationary Inflationary
Supply Cap 18.5 million Once 18.4 million + .3 XMR/min.
Smallest Unit 1 duff =
0.00000001 dash
1 piconero = 0.000000000001 monero
Price View price View price

Where do I buy Dash and Monero?

Both Dash and Monero are readily available on multiple exchanges.

How much does they cost?

Visit coinmarketcap or coingecko for the latest prices.

dash vs. monero: How many tokens are available?

Dash

  • The max supply of dash is 18.9 million.
  • Every 2.5 minutes a new block of dash is generated.

Stay up to date on dash’s block time.

Monero

  • The max supply of monero is 18.4 million.
    Once 18.4 million moneroj (the plural of monero is moneroj)
    is reached the inflation rate will continue at 0.3 XMR per minute,
    which is 0.87% per year.
  • Every 1-2 minutes a new block of Monero is generated.

Stay up to date on monero’s block time.

Dash vs. Monero: What can I do with them?

Dash

Dash can be used to purchase Contraband Organic Coffee, Coin Wars, and a variety of VPN Provides.

Monero

Monero can be used to purchase goods on The Kava Society, Hammock Universe, Kidsweet, a variety of VPN and online services.

Dash vs. Monero: How do I store them?

Dash

Dash can be stored on hardware wallets such as the trezor, ledger, and KeepKey support dash. It can be stored on cold wallets such as coinomi and exodus. Learn more about how to store dash.

Monero

There are no hardware wallets available supporting monero, however Ledger has listed Monero on their roadmap. It is recommended to store you monero on a cold wallet. This is an offline paper wallet which is the most secure.

The safest way to store Monero is with Monero’s full node. When you download the full node you’ll be downloading the entire history of Monero to your computer — so you’ll need at least a few gigabytes worth of disk space. Monero also offers a paper wallet storage, and a web wallet. Read more about Monero storage options on the official Monero website.

Learn more about Dash and Monero:

Dash

Monero

Swift vs. Objective-C

Swift vs. Objective-C

IS SWIFT EASIER TO LEARN?

From a pure programming standpoint, you’re almost guaranteed to be more productive using Swift. Of course, if you’re an expert Objective-C developer, that might not be the case.

Swift is the obvious choice if you’re new to iOS and looking to get up to speed quickly. The language will stay out of your way allowing you to focus on the things that matter: making your app work the way you want it to!

WILL I HAVE TO LEARN BOTH OBJECTIVE-C & SWIFT?

Just about every iOS app is built using libraries of code created by Apple in Objective-C. Many apps also use libraries created by other developers (which, to-date, have been written in Objective-C as well). Libraries are useful things you can use to save a lot of time and add functionality into your app easily.

Now you may be wondering…

“If all the existing libraries are written in Objective-C, won’t I still have to continue using Objective-C?”

The answer is no, Swift can interact easily with Objective-C code whether it’s a single file or an entire library. This means you’ll be able to build your application in Swift while taking advantage of Objective-C libraries very much like you would before.

Keep in mind that Objective-C isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so if you’re inheriting an Objective-C codebase, or looking to modify an existing Objective-C library, wading into the Objective-C waters is inevitable.

How do I do [x] with Swift?

With Objective-C being close to 35 years old, and it having been language used to build Mac OSX and iOS applications for years, there’s a substantial community and body of knowledge out there constantly documenting best practices, approaches to common and not-so-common problems, pretty much anything you can think of about using Objective-C.

When learning Swift, something that may be an issue for a little while will be the comparatively slim set of resources out there. Stackoverflow, blogs, tutorial sites are quickly compiling info on all aspects of Swift development, but it’ll take some time to reach the saturation point that Objective-C currently enjoys.

In the meantime, a few excellent resources are objc.io (despite the name, they’re into Swift as well) and http://iosdevweekly.com/. The Swift documentation is also a great place to start.

So what’s the answer – Objc or Swift?

Moving forward, Swift. The combination of a cleaner, perhaps more familiar syntax, a more modern language, and superb backwards compatibility makes Swift a great choice to use in your iOS apps, whether you’re new to the platform or a long-time Objective-C guru.