Thursday, November 21, 2013

Electronic wallet, the QR Code, part IV.

Quote from the movie Kill Bill: Vol. 2: "Daddy, I told Tommy that you were in Perth mining for silver.."

In my last post about crypto-currencies I mentioned mining. In order to experience the mining process I actually started mining for LiteCoin myself. Well not completely by myself, I joined a mining pool.
LiteCoin Mining QR Code
The process of mining crypto-currencies in a nutshell:

Each transaction made with the digital money needs to be done with a money transfer order. A multiple of these money transfers are being calculated into a block. Mining is the calculation process to determine the validity of this calculation. Since multiple calculations can be valid, a procedure will select a new block based on a difficulty level. For a candidate block, also known as a share, the difficulty level needs to exceed the global set difficulty level of the currency.
When the new block is accepted the finder of this block is rewarded with new coins.
The global difficulty level is the controlling mechanism to prevent too many blocks to be generated. Most of the crypto-currencies have a predetermined and preferred update rate to control the amount of coins that are generated. The height of the rewarded number coins for the finder is also controlled, and will decrease to 0 in a fixed rate, making mining at the introduction of a new currency interesting, that is if this new currency will become an accepted currency in the future. When in the future new blocks are no longer reward with new coins, fee's on transactions will have to keep the currency alive.

The reason I selected to work in a pool is a higher chance on being rewarded. Finding the share with a high enough difficulty level can more or less be compared with a lottery. The calculation speed of the currency itself is defined in GH/s. Where each Hash is the calculation that could be the new block.
For LiteCoin (considered to be the number two to Bitcoin, and still mine-able by 'individuals') the global Hash-rate is about 42 GH/s.
This total number 42 * 1000 * 1000 * 1000, can be considered the number of lottery tickets to win the reward of finding one block. In my trial, using CPU based mining, I got to about 10000 H/s. Giving me 10000 lottery tickets for this draw. The chance I have the 'winning ticket' is about 0.000023%.
By joining a mining pool, in my case the LiteCoin pool of, this way I increase my chances, but I have to share the winnings. A bigger pool size equals more calculating power, the higher the chance on finding a block.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Electronic wallet, the QR Code, part III.

Quote from the movie Heat: "There´s a flip side to that coin."

In my last blog entry I mentioned BitCoin as a new future currency. A crypto-currency and e-wallet for all kinds of international payments.

In order to check if BitCoin would be a workable for myself and my business, I did some investigation.

BitCoin itself is a encryption based currency, newly made transactions need to be encrypted, and will generate a new encryption block. The computing power required to make this new encryption block can theoretically be made by any individual with a computer connected to the internet.

The maker of this new block is 'rewarded' with a certain amount of BitCoin, a process called mining. This reward will be decimated over time until a maximum amount of BitCoin has been generated. With the current computer power already solving and creating these new blocks, trying to 'mine' BitCoin by yourself is not worth while. Shared computer power, by adding you computing power towards a calculation pool would be your next best choice.

In this setup there are also a couple of drawbacks that would make is less suitable to integrate it into a global mobile payment system. In order to make your own self sustained wallet, the blockchain, i.e. the generated blocks from the start of BitCoin itself need to be imported into you wallet.
This synchronization is currently running for 2 day's straight on a not too young computer system. Besides downloading the existing blocks with a large accumulated size >10Gb, it also seems to perform a lot of calculations in order to synchronize. A process that I would not really want to perform on a mobile phone.
The second big drawback is the time to have a payments confirmed. The transaction as mentioned need to be part of a new generated block. Blocks are generated with an average of 10 minutes interval, so it could take up-to 10 minutes before your payment is confirmed. Not a time I would like to wait.

I've checked for BitCoin Apps availability for iPhone and Android, there are some Apps that will show the current conversion rate, check progress of a mining pool, etc, but these is no real e-wallet app in existence, probably due too issues as mentioned above.

I would suspect that any kind of future e-currency just has to be able to run on a mobile phone, with transactions to be performed instantly and still have the same kind of basic features as Bitcoin offers; like the security, and the self-governing principle.

There are some web-based services that offer a e-wallet, with some effort the access to the wallet might be made with an App, this option just gives me the idea I'm dealing with a bank again.

There are some alternatives to BitCoin. But a quick observation doesn't show a preferred crypto based currency that can made in a real mobile e-wallet app.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Electronic wallet, the QR Code, part II.

Quote from the movie Jerry Maguire: "Show me the money."

In one of my last blogs entries I reported about PayPal unveiling a new payment system, where they are planning to extend the service to be available in real live as well as an internet payment system.
In the article I was rooting for a e-wallet type of service to make payments between individuals also a possible service. As an alternative for PayPal as e-wallet, a choice can also be made for BitCoin; there service is purely based on a e-wallet structure.

There are some specifics with relation to BitCoin. The most remarkable feature of BitCoin is that the currency is not backed by any bank or country. This raises the question if this currency is now more or less secure that actual money.

The actual value of the BitCoin is linked to supply and demand. BitCoin exist as long as it is used and popular. Would another online system be launched, with benefits that would make it more popular than BitCoin, there is a risk that this currency would be rendered worthless.

On the other side;  there is no bank, with a urge to make a profit to pay bonuses to employees, taking risks with your money, or going bankrupt. And the fees taken from transactions is very small compared to the currently established online and offline banks. Where the fee is used to maintain the online system operational.

The actual BitCoin as well as the transactions are based on encryption, making counterfeit money next to impossible. Just be sure you remember the password of your e-wallet. A once forgotten password equals to losing you wallet.

So how does it work? Well quite simple actually. You just open an online e-wallet. This e-wallet get's an ID for example: "15cfk6irBhySNGYKFDd5y47kgMS9Jjpmva". If I want to receive a payment, I just give you my e-wallet id, and you can make a transaction to this wallet. In order to make a payment I would need your e-wallet ID, and an App to where I can specify the amount and a password to initiate the payment.

More information on BitCoin can be found on their website:

Using a QR Code to identify your e-wallet ID is easier than remembering a sequence of 35 characters.
And yes, the displayed QR code does represent my e-wallet :-)
Would you like your own Custom QR Code for your BitCoin e-wallet just go to my custom QR Code relink tool, and login with bcoin/bcoin as credentials. Just enter your 35 character e-wallet ID, and your own BitCoin Custom QR Code is generated.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Call to QR Code action.

Quote from the movie Garfield: "Maybe I'll get a CAT scan."

Cat custom qr code
Advertisement is process that holds a multitude of purposes. The obvious one is to promote or create awareness for a product or a service.
The advertisement must create enough awareness for a possible client to start a process that would result in a purchase.

So what would be some basic ingredients for an advertisement?

Appeal, radio, TV and printed commercials need to have enough appeal to capture and hold the interest. Only when the targeted audience is 'listening' a message can be relayed. Depending on your product and marketing approach the content can be informative, funny, surprising, etc.

Recognition: The message have an unique factor that will linked it to back to you. In a campaign with multiple commercials a linking factor could be the phrase, actor(s), an image, etc.

Call to action: When your target audience views an commercial advertisement the sale of the product is not magically made. If it is a product that is easily obtainable, for instance in a supermarket, just creating awareness might be enough. Usually you will need to provide means for the customer to obtain your product or service. Advertisements years ago had a cut-out section that was a order form, or a means to get more information. Nowadays with the internet, this section has been replaced with a link to a website, email address, etc.

Technologies like QR Codes, AR and NFC can be used to have an easier access to you 'call to action', and provide a means to keep track of your advertisements success.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Electronic wallet, the QR Code!

Quote from the movie Broken Arrow: "So that's what this is all about? The money?"
Paypal custom QR Code

According to an article in the wall street journal PayPal unveils a new in-store payment.

This new system will be using of QR Codes in combination with a mobile App to utilize mobile payment.

Do we need another extra system for payment? I always thought cash is king. I guess PayPal itself want's it. Making transactions is what is making money for PayPal. If they can also operate in brick and mortar stores, that would increase their number of transactions.

But is there a benefit for the customers? With the current technologies like NFC being part of the mobile phone, the next step is a phone that holds two smart chips-cards. One for your phone number and provider information. The other is basically the same chip that is currently part of your bankcard or credit-card.

One option that I really like to see in a e-wallet, is that these new payment systems can also be used for fast and easy transfer money between two individuals. Paying a private person with a credit card is not always possible. With a e-wallet App on both phones, transactions between tow individuals would be the feature that would compel me to use this technology.