What is the Internet of Services (IOS)?

The Internet of Services (IOS) is a blockchain infrastructure that’s aiming to solve maybe the biggest problem in blockchain today – scalability. The platform’s native token is the IOS token, IOST for short.

Market Problem: Current blockchain architecture has seemingly hit a plateau in which additional adoption only leads to exorbitant fees, slow transaction times, and poor throughput. Even though some second-layer scaling solutions are being implemented, they’re largely untested and may still not reach the level of scalability that an enterprise-level company like Amazon would need.

The IOS team believes that the current consensus protocols and blockchain architecture are the inherent causes of these scalability roadblocks. In this IOS beginner’s guide, we’ll look at all aspects of the blockchain infrastructure project including:

How does the Internet of Services (IOS) work?

The Internet of Services (IOS) utilizes five primary innovations to traditional blockchain architecture and consensus algorithms. Let’s take a closer look at each one individually. Warning: It’s going to get a little dense.

1. Efficient Distributed Sharding (EDS)

Before getting into EDS, you need to have an understanding of how sharding works. Sharding splits the nodes on a network into groups who then verify a proportional number of transactions. The groupings enable concurrent verifications to take place, increasing the network throughput.

This poses a few questions, though. How do you select which nodes are in which shard? How can you remain resistant to malicious nodes? What’s the node leader election process? (Bitcoin does this through mining.)

To answer these questions, IOS uses the Distributed Random Protocol (DRP). Simply put, this protocol implements client-server communication with non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs (NIZK) and publicly verifiable secret sharing (PVSS) to create an unforgeable, uniformly random value. That may not have been so simple… The IOS white paper spells out the protocol in more detail.

DRP works great if there are no malicious or failing nodes on the network. But, we know that often isn’t the case. To prevent the impact of the activity caused by these nodes, Internet of Services elects leaders using Algorand and Omniledger. These mechanisms ensure that leader nodes run the DRP protocol, and if they don’t, are then excluded from participating on the network.

2. TransEpoch

IOS switches batches of nodes in and out when transitioning between epochs. To do so, it uses TransEpoch, a node-to-shard transition assignment protocol that allows remaining nodes to continue working while having new nodes bootstrap and download history data.

The TransEpoch algorithm keeps the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus on each shard. This essentially means that malicious nodes shouldn’t be able to take over the shard during the transition.

3. Atomix

With any sharding system, there’s the likelihood that you’ll need to make transactions across shards. This causes an extra layer of complexity that opens the network up to double spend hacks and inaccuracies between the transaction ledgers of different shards.

IOS’s implementation of the Byzantine Shard Atomic Commit (Atomix) protocol should make those problems a non-issue. Here’s how it works:

  1. Node a in shard A wants to send funds to node b in shard B.
  2. If the nodes in A approve the transaction, they’ll log it in A’s blockchain.
  3. Simultaneously, the client will lock the a funds into a transaction message and send it to B.
  4. A sends the transaction to B’s blockchain for validation.
  5. If the nodes in B approve the transaction, b receives the funds.
  6. If at any point in the process the nodes reject the transaction, the funds return to a.

4. Proof-of-Believability (PoB)

Proof-of-Believability separates all of the IOS nodes into two leagues: believable and normal. First, nodes from the believable league quickly process transactions. After that, the normal nodes validate samples of the transactions and provide verifiability.

The likelihood of a node being selected for the believable league is based on its believability score. This score is comprised of the token balance, reviews, and community contributions, among other things.

The purpose of the normal nodes is to ensure that the believable nodes are acting honestly. If a normal node catches a believable node acting dishonestly, that believable node will lose all of its tokens and its believability score will return to zero.

5. Micro State Block (MSB)

Having each node in a network store the entire blockchain is great for security and immutability. However, as more transactions attach to the chain, this process becomes time and resource intensive. Instead, Internet of Services prunes blockchain storage through Micro State Blocks (MSBs).

With this strategy, each shard only stores the headers of previous blocks and the blockchain state is dispersed across multiple shards. Because of the MSB generation protocol, nodes only need to validate the last part of the blockchain as opposed to checking the entire thing.

IOS token (IOST) and Servi

IOS token (IOST)

The IOS token (IOST) is the medium of exchange on the IOS network and a factor into a node’s believability score. Additionally, you receive IOST by validating transactions and contributing computing power for services such as smart contract execution.

The team minted the entire supply of IOST (21 million) during the private ICO event. They distributed the tokens accordingly:

  • 40%: Token Sale
  • 35%: IOS Foundation
  • 12.5%: Community Building
  • 10%: Team
  • 2.5%: Investors and Advisors
IOST Uses

Servi

The amount of Servi is another main factor in a node’s believability score calculation. You receive Servi when you provide services to the community, evaluate third-party services, and/or help out in other ways.

You’re unable to trade or exchange Servi, and your Servi balance resets to zero when you validate a block.

IOS team & progress

The IOS team consists of over 30 members spread across Asia and North America. Resumes include CoinLang creator, EtherCap CTO, Forbes 30 under 30, National Olympiad in Informatics Gold Medalist, and numerous other roles. IOS also has an advisory board that includes names such as Yusen Dai (Jumei co-founder), Ryan Bubinski (Codecademy co-founder), and Robert Neivert (500 Startups venture partner).

An impressive amount of companies and venture capital firms have partnered with and invested in the project as well. The list includes Huobi, FBG Capital, and Sequoia Capital.

IOS Investors and Partners

With a focus on scalability and enterprise-level usage, IOS is competing with decentralized application (dapp) platforms that have the same focuses. Obviously, IOS’s biggest competitor is Ethereum. However, EOS and NEO have come out with announcements that they also plan to solve the scaling issues that have plagued other blockchain projects.

ICON, Lisk, and VeChain also aim to provide blockchain solutions to enterprise clients. In the end, there are plenty (and will probably be plenty more) dapp platforms that IOS competes with.

Trading

The IOST price saw one sharp spike shortly after the ICO but hasn’t had much volatility since – a rarity in the cryptocurrency space. It’s unclear what may have caused that initial spike to the all-time high of ~$0.13 (~0.00001 BTC), but it could’ve just been investors simply finding out about the project.

After the end of the January pump, the IOST price immediately dropped down to almost ICO price levels. It continued to slowly drop through most of March before turning around. Starting at the end of March, the price steadily rose and is now at ~$0.05 (0.000006 BTC).

This project has a long roadmap ahead of it, so it’s difficult to say what may affect the price. Overall market conditions will most likely be the biggest influencer. Partnership announcements could lead to some positive price actions as well.

Where to buy IOST

You can purchase IOST on Huobi, Binance, or OKEx with BTC or ETH. However, the coin has the largest trading volume as a trading pair with Bitcoin on all three exchanges.

If you don’t own any cryptocurrency, you can first pick up some Bitcoin on an exchange like Gemini or GDAX.

Where to store IOST

Because IOST is currently on the Ethereum network, you can store it in any wallet with ERC20 support. MyEtherWallet is a great online choice while the Ledger Nano S is a solid hardware wallet you can use.

Once the team launches the mainnet, you’ll want to store your coins in the official wallet that they provide. This launch isn’t scheduled until Q3 2019, though, so the team hasn’t released that wallet yet.

Conclusion

IOS is attempting to build a more scalable blockchain infrastructure. Easily one of the more complex projects in the space, it’ll be at least a year before we’ll be able to measure the success of it.

If the team can achieve the ambitious goals they’ve set for themselves, we may see an entirely new blockchain infrastructure conquer the space. However, with the number of developers working on scaling solutions for projects that are much further along, it may be too late.

Additional IOS resources

Twitter
Telegram
Reddit
Medium
Github


This article by Steven Buchko was previously published on Coincentral.com

About the Author:

Steven is a managing editor at Coin Central and a blockchain investor. He’s also the co-founder of Coin Clear, a mobile app that automatically turns your daily spending habits into cryptocurrency investments.

 

Allright, You Want to Start Cryptocurrency Trading?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Getting started with cryptocurrency trading can be a daunting task. You may be wondering, “What wallet should I use? Where do I buy Bitcoin? What even is a Bitcoin?”

Worry no more. We’re here to provide you with all the information you need to learn how to begin your cryptocurrency trading adventure.

What’s Your Strategy?

Before even looking at potential cryptocurrencies, you should figure out which strategy you want to pursue. Everyone has their own tactics, but they generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Long-term hodler – You just want to buy a few different coins and keep them as a long-term (>1 year) investment. This is the simplest trading strategy and usually involves the least amount of risk. You’ll most likely stick to cryptocurrencies with a larger market cap.
  • Mid-range investor – You have a slightly higher risk tolerance than the long-term hodler. There may be coins you hold for awhile, but you also rebalance your portfolio every month or so. Your holdings probably include a mixture of large and medium market cap coins.
  • Daytrader – The most advanced and riskiest cryptocurrency trading strategy. You focus mainly on technical analysis to trade volatile swings in the market. This can be lucrative if you do it properly, but it’s difficult to execute well. All coins are fair game with this strategy.

Your strategy can be some mixture of these three tactics as well. If you’re just starting with cryptocurrency trading, we recommend you stick with the first two.

Choose a Cryptocurrency

It may seem obvious, but you need to put some effort into choosing the cryptocurrencies you invest in. Take your time with this. There will always be new opportunities, so don’t just jump into a trade in an attempt to catch a pump.

Research, Research, Research

Did we mention research? The most important step of every investment opportunity is to research the coin you want to buy. Doing this one step will set you notably ahead of many other investors out there.

At the very least, you should figure out what problem the coin is solving, why the team is qualified to create it, and what purpose the coin has in the overall ecosystem.

Reading the coin’s white paper is a great way to gather all of this information. These documents may seem intimidating, but after reading the first couple, you’ll find that they aren’t so bad. The Bitcoin white paper is the perfect starting point for any cryptocurrency novice. Check it out and learn what started the whole blockchain revolution.

After proper due diligence on your coin (or ten coins), it’s time for you to make the investment.

Find an Exchange

There are a seemingly endless amount of exchange options. Each one consists of pros and cons for different traders as well as different lists of available coins.

When finding an exchange, it’s important that you first see if it supports the coins you want to trade. Most exchanges have an easy-to-find page that lists all of the available coins. We’ve also compiled a list of tradeable cryptocurrencies on the most popular exchanges here.

Beginner Exchanges

If you’re a beginner interested in sticking to the most well-known cryptocurrencies, Coinbase is your best bet. Ever so slightly more advanced, GDAX and Gemini offer similar coin selections with lower trading fees.

Kraken has similar ease-of-use as the previously mentioned exchanges but consists of a larger list of coins.

You can purchase cryptocurrency with fiat (i.e. USD) on all of these platforms.

cryptocurrency

Moderate Exchanges

These platforms support a wider array of coins than the beginner exchanges and usually have lower fees as well. However, this comes at the expense of user experience.

None of these exchanges allow you to use fiat to purchase crypto. You need to have already owned or first purchased Bitcoin or Ethereum on one of the beginner exchanges.

Reputable exchanges in this list include Binance, Bittrex, and KuCoin.

Decentralized Exchanges (Advanced)

As you become a seasoned cryptocurrency trader, you may find yourself trading small market cap coins. Most of these coins aren’t available on centralized exchanges. Instead, you have to use an Ethereum-powered decentralized exchange (DEX).

On these exchanges, you trade directly on the blockchain. There’s no intermediary to match orders. You use a tool like MetaMask to execute your trades. Once again, decentralized exchanges are only recommended for experienced traders.

If this is something that interests you, Ether Delta and IDEX are two solid DEXs to check out.

Select a Wallet

Finally, and most importantly, you should have a secure wallet if you plan on holding your coins for an extended period of time. Once again, you have plenty of options for storage.

Exchanges

Exchanges are by far the least secure place to store your funds. They’re common targets of hackers and are susceptible to phishing attacks. If you do plan on leaving your money on an exchange in order to have some trading liquidity, make it the least amount possible.

Online Wallets

Online wallets are your next best option. These are slightly better than exchanges, but since they’re still online, they have many of the same vulnerabilities. Even a reputable wallet like MyEtherWallet has recently proven that malicious players will always find a way to circumvent the system.

Software Wallets

Even better than online wallets are software wallets. Many of these wallets store your information locally on the device you download it to. However, if your computer or phone catches malware, it could compromise your security. Exodus and Edge are two popular software options.

Hardware/Paper Wallets

Ideally, you should use a hardware or paper wallet for storage. Both methods keep your coins offline and provide the highest level of security. Paper wallets are free, but hardware wallets typically cost around $100. The price tag brings enough security to make them worth it, though. The Ledger Nano S and Trezor are the top hardware wallet picks.

Ledger Nano S

Get Out There and Start Trading

Those are the basic steps you need to follow in order to begin cryptocurrency trading. From there, it’s a lot of trial and error and learning as you go. If you’re itching for more information, check out the guides on the common mistakes to avoid when trading as well as how to evaluate a coin.

This article by Steven Buchko was previously published on Coincentral.com

 

About the Author:

Steven Buchko is a managing editor at Coin Central and a blockchain investor. He’s also the co-founder of Coin Clear, a mobile app that automatically turns your daily spending habits into cryptocurrency investments.


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How to Buy Animecoin (ANI)

Animecoin has been around since 2014 but has been fairly inactive until now. A new team has resurrected the coin from the dead bringing its price to life along with it. With these changes happening so recently, you’re only able to buy Animecoin from one exchange: Cryptopia.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to buy Animecoin (ANI) using Cryptopia. If you’d like to learn more about the project, you should check out our Animecoin beginner’s guide. Without further ado, let’s begin.

First Things First

Before setting up an account on Cryptopia, you need to purchase Bitcoin. Cryptopia is purely a cryptocurrency exchange, so you’re unable to trade using fiat (e.g. USD). Cryptopia also offers Animecoin as a trading pair with Litecoin and Dogecoin, but the trading volume is so low that you may have trouble making the purchase.

You have numerous options to choose from when purchasing your Bitcoin. Coinbase and GDAX are great exchanges for beginners. If you need help with this process, follow alongside our Bitcoin buying guide.

Once you’ve purchased some Bitcoin, set-up an account on Cryptopia (instructions below).

Cryptopia Account Registration

Step 1. Navigate to the Cryptopia website.

Step 2. Click “Register” in the upper righthand corner of the page.

Cryptopia Registration

Step 3. On the next screen, follow the instructions to enter your account information.

Cryptopia Account

Step 4. After submitting your information, you’ll receive an email to confirm your email address.

Step 5. Click the link in the email to confirm, and you’ll see a confirmation message.

Cryptopia Email Registration

Step 6. After clicking “click here”, you’ll see a login page.

Step 7. Once you successfully enter your login credentials, you’ll most likely have to enter a code for 2-factor authentication. Check your email for this code.

Cryptopia Two Factor Verification

Step 8. Enter the code, click “Verify”, and you’re in!

Sending Bitcoin to Cryptopia

Step 9. Once logged in, click “Exchange.” You have two options for this.

Cryptopia Exchange

Step 10. In the exchange, hover your mouse over the Bitcoin logo next to your username and click “Deposit.”

Cryptopia Deposit

Step 11. Choose “Bitcoin (BTC)” from the drop-down, and click “Next.”

Cryptopia Deposit Drop-down

Step 12. The next page shows you your deposit address and QR code you can use to receive funds. Send your Bitcoin to Cryptopia using one of those two things.

Cryptopia Received Bitcoin

Step 13. After sending your Bitcoin, click “Done.”

Buying Animecoin (ANI)

Step 14. You should now be back on the exchange page.

Step 15. On the left side, make sure the BTC tab is selected, search for “Animecoin”, and click the correct coin.

Cryptopia Animecoin Choice

Step 15. You can now buy Animecoin from the panel towards the middle of your screen.

Cryptopia Buy Animecoin

Step 16. If you’re new to buying cryptocurrency, click the top order from the Sell Orders panel. This will automatically fill your Buy Animecoin form with some data. Update the total BTC amount with what you’d like to spend, and the rest of the inputs will update accordingly. For your order to be filled immediately, this amount needs to be less than the amount that was automatically placed there when you clicked the order in the Sell Orders panel.

There you have it. You’re now the proud owner of Animecoin!

This article by Steven Buchko was originally published at CoinCentral.com

 

About the Author:

Steven Buchko is a managing editor at Coin Central and a blockchain investor. He’s also the co-founder of Coin Clear, a mobile app that automatically turns your daily spending habits into cryptocurrency investments.