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08:13 19.08.2019
Sawhney Raghav
An experienced energy company enters the blockchain market

All too often in the blockchain industry, projects launch fundraising campaigns very early with neither a product nor a user base. This trend has led to a high failure rate among blockchain projects, which has reached up to 80%. In this context, it’s all the more refreshing to see a company with a lot of experience enter the fray.

A quick look at a few randomly chosen blockchain startups will reveal one of the key issues in this market: Most of them have nothing but an idea and a nice-looking landing page. Usually there isn’t even a prototype, only a promise to build one… as soon as enough money is raised. The emergence of ICOs has given startup founders a way to obtain funds without first proving their worth – something that is not possible with venture investments, for example. True, some projects can indeed be revolutionary and worthy of investing in at the idea stage. But in the vast majority of cases, the promised product never appears.

A winning combination

In markets that rely heavily on capital investment and complex infrastructure – such as energy and manufacturing – the chances of succeeding without a prior user base or facilities are virtually zero. So, while the idea of creating a blockchain network to distribute and trade energy may seem like a fantastic idea, one needs to have an established energy business in place to achieve that.

LCG Energy is one such business – a licensed reseller of electricity and energy contractor serving more than 50,000 clients in Germany and Austria, with its headquarters in the Netherlands and subsidiaries in the UK, Hungary, and Gibraltar. With a revenue of over 20 million euros in 2018 and a forecasted revenue of up to 90 million euros in 2019, the company is in a good position to launch its own blockchain initiative.

There is more to LCG than just selling power, however. The company also offers its clients an opportunity to save up to 20% on their electricity bills by installing smart meters. These meters will become a crucial element of the upcoming blockchain ecosystem, linking customers with energy providers.

Smart grids – a step into the future

In its most basic form, a smart meter is a device that tracks how much electricity is used and uses a predefined price per kWh to calculate the amount the user has to pay. This data is displayed on the meter in real time and transmitted to the energy company. It’s clear how the company can benefit from using smart meters: It does not have to maintain a small army of meter readers who spend the whole day going from one home or office to another, checking meters. For consumers, the benefits are significant but more subtle: The meter provides precious information about their energy usage and hints on how to reduce it, but it’s ultimately up to the client to act on this information. It’s a bit like counting calories: Only when you know that a small slice of cake contains, say, 150 calories do you realize that it may be wiser not to eat it – but you still need to make the decisive step yourself to put it away.

Smart meters can reveal that the appliances we keep plugged in and on standby actually consume energy, that old-fashioned light bulbs should be replaced with LEDs, or that dishwashers and washing machines are best used at night, when the price is lowest. By changing one’s energy use patterns, it’s easy to save 20–30%, which is exactly the result achieved by most LCG clients, both households and office.

An innovative smart contract-based framework

So how will LCG Energy put its experience with smart meters to work when building its blockchain network? Smart contracts are the key. They execute automatically when certain conditions are met and enable the integration of Internet-of-Things technology at every step along the way, from the sensors to the power plant. In the blockchain ecosystem proposed by LCG, the transfer of information between a meter and the company will go two ways. Current wholesale market price data can be transmitted directly to the meter and used to calculate the exact amount that should be on the bill. The payment can then be carried out automatically in tokens – almost instantly and at a near-zero fee. Every unit of energy dispensed can receive its own digital certificate, trackable throughout the network using a smart contract – there will be no risk of someone hacking into the system and stealing energy.

Another thing that becomes easy with smart contracts is adding new energy producers and service providers to the ecosystem. Blockchain is known as a great equalizer: All companies get an equal chance to win over a client. LCG Energy will invest in carefully chosen and curated energy startups that offer a good ROI (20% and more). Other ecosystem members will also be able to finance those projects using their tokens, and then they can both earn a good return and receive energy at an even better price in the future.

LCG Energy is currently running a private sale with a 35% bonus on all investments above 5000 EUR, which will last until the end of the year. Crucially, 80% of the funding acquired through LCG tokens will be used by the company to purchase energy on the wholesale market at the best prices using the proceeds from the token offering, resulting in at least 20% better prices for its customers. 

The company’s vast expertise in the field and large partner network, positions it far ahead of its competition. More info can be found at https://lcg-group.de/.

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01:44 25.07.2019
Sawhney Raghav
How does Mining work?

You’ve definitely come across the word ‘mining’ every time you hear someone talking about Bitcoin. Mining, just like in the age of gold, is the central processing concept through which a cryptocurrency’s generation is propagated and regulated. It’s easy to understand if you think of it as a form of digging deep into the internet to find Bitcoins, although, in reality, it is a tad bit more complicated than that.

The basic idea and purpose for mining is to bring more Bitcoins into the world. When one successfully mines, a certain amount of Bitcoin is supplied to that miner out of nowhere. The value of this amount is halved after every 210,000 blocks in the blockchain are mined. The process of mining has been vaguely calculated to last till the year 2140, when all the 21 Million Bitcoins will be mined and will be out in the world to be traded.

In a blockchain, individuals using computers to verify transactional activities are called nodes. These nodes verify transactions and put them into the blocks. Every time a node completes one block, it is rewarded the mining amount. This block completion itself is a race. Only the first node to complete a block gets paid. The first mined block ever had a reward of 50 BTC, which came down to 25 BTC in 2013 and to 12.5 BTC in 2017. This reward is believed to be halved again in 2020, down to 6.25 BTC.

So how does a person mine?

Well, in order to understand how mining actually works, it’s necessary to get a little technical. It’s all rooted into mathematics and computers.

A miner does nothing, other than buying a high-efficiency computer and downloading the software algorithm. The computer does the rest. Trust us, you don’t need to confuse yourself with hashcodes and cryptography and ASICs.

Technically, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can start mining by downloading the mining algorithm from Satoshi Nakamoto’s open source code, but now that the difficulty, as well as the number of miners, has increased, it’s practically impossible to successfully mine without using high-end machines and GPUs, which in turn consume massive amounts of electricity.

If you are determined to mine Bitcoin yourself, you can find hardware online or in computer shops that massively increase the computer’s power. These can be very costly, but as is the case, if the price of Bitcoin keeps increasing further, it may prove profitable in the long run.

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09:59 20.05.2019
Sawhney Raghav
PixelBit- disrupting the gaming industry with Ethereum Based Cryptocurrency

PixelBit is a dedicated crypto currency based on the Ethereum blockchain that serves as a foundation for In-Game purchases, unlocking additional content as well as an ingenious system for earning PXB coins while playing games. It is creating new ways for monetizing video games in a way that would benefit both the player and the developer.

The video gaming industry has been forecasted at 138.4 Billion US $ revenue by 2021 and is quickly becoming one of the most prominent sectors in Entertainment. It started with video arcade games in the USA, boomed during the 60s and laid out the foundation of what gaming is today.According to Statista, the global eSports market revenue will reach 1.65 billion USD by 2020. As the industry is seeing an unprecedented growth rate, the need for innovations is rising proportionally to its growth. Some problems still remain while others are just starting to take shape as a consequence of the increased interest in video games and the commercialization of the sector.

There has been a lack of coherent, cross-platform system for games monetization schemes. Usually, players purchase a set amount of in-game currency (gems, rubies, gold bars etc.) which is valid only for that specific game and usually can’t be converted, paid out and used in other games. This leads to fatigue among players and loss of revenue for game developers as players eventually leave the game. PixelBit gives developers the opportunity to handle their in-game purchases via an actual, inherently valuable digital currency that is compatible across all kinds of platforms and games. This results in several measurable benefits for both publishers and gamers.

The unified, cross-compatible system of PixelBit allows for very easy implementation across different games. Also, PixelBit will be a valid cryptocurrency that will be traded in real world as well. Thus its inherent value is expected to rise steadily. This will keep the gamers interested not just in one particular game but the entire ecosystem as a whole for a longer time. Due to its cross-compatible nature, no funds converted to PXB will ever become obsolete, leading to a greatly increased willingness to keep spending. Even if the player no longer has interest in the game they originally purchased the currency for, they cansimply use these same funds in other games.

Due to increasing popularity of gaming market, game studios want to go for next cash grab as fast as possible. As a result focus is on quantity and quality is compromised. Developers get stuck in strict deadlines and bug fixing due to numerous update for which they are not able to get additional compensation as per their efforts. It is the game publisher who makes the most money and pulls all the strings.

PixelBit allows both gamers and game developers to benefit from the unlimited possibilities of decentralization - developers will have the chance to be more independent of publishers, which receive all the credit for the success of a certain game, and gamers will benefit from the motivation of game developers to focus more on quality than on quantity.

For gamers, PixelBit will be a passive source of income generation. PixelBit has been designed from the ground up to encourage viral uptake. All PXB enabled games are encouraged to be designed for easy invites and sharing so that users can create virtual groups and play with their friends. Additionally, functionality will be integrated which allows developers to grant affiliate revenue sharing to social players. The possibility for passive income generation for developers also will lead to higher quality games, something gamers will greatly benefit from.

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