ReddSparks Crypto Blog

To educate and inform on all things Web 3.0, Crypto, and Cardano

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Why Self-Sovereign Identity fixes everything (and why we need to be careful)

This is my first post that was co-written by Chat-GPT. I’ve marked with an asterisk sections that were largely AI generated with some editing by me. Interested in hearing what people think! Want to stop scammers and hackers from repeatedly stealing funds? Want to give funds to someone with confidence they’ll pay you back? Want…

Transactions within Transactions

It’s frustrating that TPS is the measure a lot of the wider crypto community look at as a measure of blockchain performance and yet it’s fraught with so many pitfalls and ways to manipulate it. People often confuse TPS with max TPS – the former being a measure of usage of the chain, and the…

Liquidity Incentive Programs

The Cardano DeFi ecosystem is finally starting to take off. Sure we’ve had a few DEXEs launch, but until Vasil it’s fair to say Cardano wasn’t yet ready for DeFi. This is no longer the case. With Vasil in the rear view mirror we are seeing major DeFi projects move towards mainnet. The first of…

Charles Hoskinson FT Interview

Charles Hoskinson did an interview recently with Jemima Kelly of the Financial Times. At first I thought it was a rather hostile interviewer and very good calm responses from Charles. However on a second viewing I could see areas where the reporter wasn’t getting a direct answer to their questions and hence why they might…

Algorand’s TPS

In this article I dive deeper into what’s driving Algorand’s TPS and what Cardano can learn from it. But lets start by first by explaining TPS better. TPS is about transaction volume not speed Here is a chart generated through Coin Metrics A simpletons interpretation of this chart would be “Oh this shows Algorand is…

Time is ripe to formulate a vision for Defi 2.0

Terra Luna collapse, Nomad bridge hack, Solana wallets hack… decentralized finance aka DeFi, has not put its best foot forward lately. All these issues are just part of a long line of hacks, scams, and collapses that have occurred in crypto over the years (see Crypto’s Dirty Little Secret). The truth is that crypto encourages…

The 5 min intro to Cardano

This blog post is aimed at those who want to quickly get up to speed on Cardano. I’m going to distill it down to only the essentials. About the chain Famous for being the slow moving tortoise, Cardano has taken a research first approach to blockchain development, arguing that it was necessary given the complex…

The case against Bitcoin’s value

Shortly after posting my trilogy of Bitcoin articles I got sent this video to watch with the message “Please educate yourself in what #bitcoin is and does. Would love to hear your feedback after watching this documentary”. The author had not actually read what I had written nevertheless I thought I would be a good…

The case against Bitcoin’s security (vs. POS)

This is the second part of my trilogy of articles. The first being The case against Bitcoin’s energy usage, and the last one being The Case against Bitcoin’s governance. In this post I will examine the view that a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) cryptocurrency, specifically Cardano, is fundamentally less secure than an energy hungry Proof-Of-Work (PoW) coin,…

The case against Bitcoin’s governance

This is the final part of my trilogy of articles critiquing Bitcoin. If you haven’t already, go check out The case against Bitcoin’s security (vs POS), and The case against Bitcoin’s Energy Usage. In this article I’ll dive into the impact of Bitcoin’s tokenomics on its long-term security, it’s governance system, and how these compare…

A response to Justin Bons

I was just about to go to bed on a Sunday night when I saw Justin Bon’s long-awaited, deeply researched analysis of Cardano. I kid. I think he had at most a week to research it and I’m going to have to guess he was doing it in his spare time as there was a…

Cardano “Vasil” hardfork on-track for June

In the same week we found out about the delay to Ethereum’s upgrade known as the “merge”, which was expected to be in June but is now some tbd months later, we found out the status of another June hardfork – this time on Cardano. And unlike Ethereum’s upgrade, Cardano’s “Vasil” upgrade is on track…

The case against Bitcoin’s energy usage

There is an emerging schism between Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and Proof-of-Stake cryptocurrencies such as Cardano. Some of it is down to differences of opinion around security, some of it is around blockchain utility, but the most notable difference is around energy consumption. In the past year I’ve seen Bitcoiner’s apply gravity bending logic…

Tons of Cardano News

There’s been an absolute riot of Cardano news lately that I thought it about time I made a blog post to comment on them all. I’ll start with the less technical news then gradually more on to the deeper end of the pool. Minswap Drama You may remember Minswap as “that DEX that caused concurrency…

Is Cardano undervalued?

As I write this in the first week of spring, there is much hand wringing amongst the Cardano community over what is going to on with the price. For those of you reading this in the future, welcome time-traveler, we hope you look back with amusement over the days when Cardano was at 0.86 dollars,…

Sundae Status

This is a copy / paste of a discord conversation between Cobie and SundaeSwap on the Discord server for the benefit of the Reddit community. I shall provide my own summary at the end in the next day or two once I’m back from travelling. Cobie: hii, so i read the post but was confused…

Crypto in 2022

I thought I would paint one vision of what might be in store for cryptocurrencies in 2022. Most of this is just an extrapolation of where were are today + a generous dose of hopium. Take it with a large pinch of salt! More and more people will get into cryptos Crypto has had a…

Crypto’s dirty little secret

The crypto world is claiming that DeFi will disrupt traditional finance, yet conveniently overlooking a glaring issue in the DeFi space that will significantly hamper adoption. To make it worse, it’s a problem where short-term greed fuels long term complacency. But does Cardano have the answer? Now while in some of these cases the hacks…

Cardano Scalability (video)

Follow up to my Avalanche vs Cardano blog post, in which I discuss Cardano’s self healing, increasing TPS on L1, and fast finality. Watch here

Forecasting hierarchical time series using deep learning in a commercial setting

Note: This article was originally written for another purpose but I thought I’d publish a copy on my blog too. A recent paper by Mancuso, Piccialli, and Sudoso, titled A machine learning approach for forecasting hierarchical time series (May 2021) showed success in hierarchical time-series forecasting in the Italian retail sector. Experiment setup The purpose…

Avalanche vs Cardano

Should you own any AVAX? Avalanche has been rising up the crypto charts lately and I thought I’d take a deep dive on how the protocol works. Specifically I wanted to know how it compares to Cardano and whether it meant Cardano was already outdated as some were already saying. Disclaimer Now as a disclosure,…

IOHK’s tour of Africa

Note: This is a slightly abridged version of what was originally published on my YouTube channel As you probably know, Charles Hoskinson and IOHK have been doing a tour of the African continent, discussing potential blockchain based solutions with a number of world leaders. The most recent tweet from Charles said “We signed an MOU…

The state of machine learning and AI (Part I)

I thought it time I returned to some of my other areas of interest prior to discovering cryptocurrencies. And I thought I’d kick it off by doing a round up of what the current state of machine and AI research is. Before diving in, let’s start with setting the background. Background Machine learning is an…

Public blockchain based digital IDs could be a game changer

When it comes to a good use of blockchain technology, digital identities are near the top of the list. While the DeFi world is all about anonymous trading and (likely) shady practices, the RealFi (real world finance) world, as well as the Enterprise world, require companies knowing who they are transacting with and whether someone…

Show me the DApps

I’ve seen an increasing level of frustration in the Cardano community over the price of Ada. A lot of people were expecting a boost given the implementation of smart contracts and the announcements from the Cardano summit at the end of September. In my mind, we won’t see significant price increase till we have actual…

The coming of the Cardano Age

Cardano has been making headlines for different reasons lately. After shooting up to become the third biggest crypto project in terms of market cap, behind only Bitcoin and Ethereum, it then found itself embroiled in a debate about whether it can handle concurrent transactions (short answer is yes). After a multi-year wait, Cardano is set…

A brief technical review of Algorand

After going deep down the rabbit hole on Bitcoin’s UTXOs, Cardano’s EUTXOs, and Ethereum’s Accounting based model, I became curious to see how Algorand operated. I’d heard some pretty good things about the project and wanted to know more. So in today’s post we shall take a brief look at some of the technical aspects…

Plutus Explained: Minting Policies

Welcome to the Plutus Explained series of blog posts where I seek to explain the Plutus programming language, in an accessible manner. In this post we will cover a minting policies. You may find it helpful to read about native tokens beforehand. This post accompanies Week 5 of the Plutus Pioneers program. A minting policy…

Plutus Explained: Understand the Doc

Welcome the Plutus Explained series of blog posts in which I explain the Plutus programming language in an accessible manner. Today we will take a look at one page of the Plutus documentation and seek to get comfortable with everything that’s on there. Being able to navigate the documentation of any programing language is one…

Plutus Explained: How native tokens are defined

Welcome to the Plutus Explained series of blog posts where I seek to explain the Plutus programming language, in an accessible manner. This post accompanies the Plutus Pioneer week 5 video. (2-5 minute mark) First of all each UTxO has both an Address and a Value (i.e. quantity). In EUTxO, each UTxO also has a Data too, though we…

Is Haskell / Plutus hard to learn?

Click here for the YouTube version of this blog post. Today will be talking about a question I have been asked a lot. Is Haskell, the programming language behind Cardano smart contracts, hard to learn? Now before I dive into it, I think it’s important that I let you know what my general level of…

Crypto Explained: Hashing

Welcome to the Crypto Explained series of blog posts where we explain technical terms in an accessible manner. In this post we will be discussing hashing. Hashing is a very important technical concept that I feel everyone, technical and non-technical people alike should learn. I will explain it like this. Hashing is essentially a digital…

Crypto Explained: The UTxO Model

Welcome to the Crypto Explained series of blog posts where we explain technical terms in an accessible manner. In this post I’ll explain the UTxO model, the accounting model that underpins Bitcoin and Cardano. Transaction outputs are either spent or unspent Imagine you have a 5 dollar bill in your pocket. But instead of dollar…

Pool Wars III – My experience as a stakepool operator

This is the last article of the Pool Wars series. If you haven’t read Pool Wars I and Pool Wars II already I suggest giving them a read. We’ve explored why you should delegate to a small stake pool, how to find a small stake pool, and that pools with less than 10m ADA offer…

An overview of DeFi – A threat to traditional finance?

In this post we’ll take a look at DeFi (Decentralized Finance), a burgeoning area of cryptocurrency application, which could upend traditional finance. Here we will go through some of the most popular types of DeFi space applications. Decentralized Exchanges Decentralized Exchanges or DEXes are currently the most popular cryptocurrency use case. They allow users to…

Pool Wars II – How to delegate to a small pool

This is part II of my previous blog post on why you should pick a small pool to delegate to. If you haven’t already, I suggest giving it a read. Since that time I’ve had two months of learning what it’s like to be a small pool operator, to the point that I will have…

Energy efficient crypto – Is Proof-Of-Work, out of work?

Update: After writing this post someone informed me that I should listen to this podcast. I did, and it’s good. I’ve updated my conclusion at the end in light of this. Let me state this up front – this article is sure to divide the crypto community. In fact divide might be the wrong word;…

Cardano 360 June Update

Well it’s that time again my fellow Ada-mantium handed Cardanites! And with each passing month we get tantalizingly close to the launch of Goguen! I know you’re all busy and want to know the key points from todays event, so let’s get down to it. Alonzo Update Command Line Interface (CLI) up and running to…

Six things every muggle should know about crypto

There is now an audio version of this article available on my YouTube channel if you want to have something to lull you to sleep. Go check it out! Contents IntroInvesting is the vehicle for changing your lifeIf you keep cash in the bank you are in fact losing moneyMarket value does not have to…

The alphabet soup of the Cardano origin story

Let me begin by saying that all this stemmed from me hearing about Emurgo’s Cardano Blockchain Developer program, and wondering for the 10th time that I’ve been involved in the Cardano community, who exactly Emurgo are, which led me down a rabbit hole of the similar sounding Ergo, as well as the Cardano Foundation, IOG/IOHK,…

Pool Wars I – Why you should delegate to a small pool

If you are new to Cardano you may not be aware of the important role small stake pools play in the Cardano ecosystem. If you’re not sure what a stake pool is, I recommend reading my previous post, Staking – Simply Explained. Proof-Of-Stake networks rely on pool operators to keep the system running and it…

“Cardano is all marketing and no deliverable”

This post was inspired by this tweet from @TheBostonhabah. Now before I begin, let me say I pride myself on calling out valid criticism, rather than being a rabid moon boy, so this post may or may not be a glowing praise of Cardano – let’s find out. Ok so let’s start with the full…

Cardano 360 May write up

Having not had a proper 360 last month, this months 360 was eagerly anticipated and it did not disappoint. Below is a summary of some of the key points coming out of it. Road to Alonzo We’d already been given a heads up by Charles in the Next 90 days video which I covered here.…

Cardano Staking – Simply Explained

This article attempts to give a clear and simple explanation of staking for people that are new to Cardano. What is Staking? Staking is like earning interest on your Ada, just like you would with a bank account. Except in this case instead of keeping your Ada at bank (or rather the Exchange) you move…

Next 90 days

Great video from Charles Hoskinson just now laying out what the next 90 days of Goguen roll out might look like with the important caveat that this is the critical path and things could come up which delay it. The next townhall event on Thursday 27th will present the plan in more detail. Next 30…

Go Green, Go POS?

Which crypto technology is better for the environment? There’s been a lot of discussion lately about whether cryptocurrencies are good or bad for the environment. Tesla cited the energy consumption of Bitcoin as the reason they would stop accepting it as payment for cars. Greenpeace has said the same with regards to donations. And on…

What you may not know about Africa

I thought it would be good to inform people about the immense potential for blockchain in Africa and to dispel some notions about it. Disclaimer: I am not from Africa and this is based on internet research! According to 2020 research by one of the Big 4, Africa has seen the biggest growth in working…

Why I prefer Cardano over Ethereum

I’ve seen a lot of comments from people on Reddit saying they cannot understand why anyone would invest in Cardano. Well here is my response to them. Why I prefer Cardano over Eth 1. Development Activity I recall one of the reasons that I decided to even look into Cardano, two years ago, was research that…

Cardano for Enterprise

In this post I’d like to explain why I think Cardano will be the number one choice for Fortune 500 companies and governments looking to develop their own blockchain solution going forward. Firstly a brief history of Cardano.. Cardano originated when founder Charles Hoskinson left Ethereum, another popular crypto project for which he was a…

Cardano’s Approach to the Trilemma

Benjamin Cowen recently did a good video doing a fundamentals analysis of Ethereum. As someone that prefers fundamental analysis over technical this was a welcome breath of fresh air. However I did want to provide a response to his analysis. His main argument for Eth was the following: a) Blockchains often have to trade off between Decentralization,…

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