Merchant Tokens

One of the most interesting things that modern blockchains do well and Graft will take full advantage of is building multi-level currencies with help of smart contracts.  These domain specific currency derivatives (tokens) fit naturally with the merchant business of promoting loyalty, stimulating repeat business, and enabling suppliers.  With that I’d like to look at adding this new section to the white paper:
Merchant (Domain) Tokens
In addition to fast and inexpensive transactions, merchants place high value on customer loyalty and branding.
This functionality is enabled by the token layer of the Graft currency.  The token represents domain (merchant) specific Graft use, and offers smart-contracts backed functionality like loyalty point accumulation and use, reward points, sale discounts, spending discounts, competitor discounts, coupons, etc.
A coffee chain for example could create a merchant token and attach promotion rules that would provide a patron ability to get discounts on iced drinks at given time of the day, it would tally the purchases with the establishment and offer rewards based on activity or non-activity.
Finally, Graft Domain Tokens would provide a very efficient mechanism for couponing by allowing the merchants to open up the coupon creation and assignment rules within their domain network.

(Possible) upcoming Bitcoin fork explained

 
Good article explaining in layman terms the (possible) upcoming Bitcoin fork – a possibility to get two versions of the popular cryptocurrency due to the split of Bitcoin community.
The risk is that Bitcoin could effectively split in two, with one type becoming incompatible with another, ultimately undermining confidence in the project altogether.
The issue is that Bitcoin’s underlying technology has an in-built constraint: the ledger of past transactions, known as the blockchain, can have only 1MB of data added to it every 10 minutes.
Some software developers have favoured reorganising the format of Bitcoin transactions to make the blockchain more efficient. However, critics say it would deliver only a temporary respite while adding an extra level of complexity.

AlphaBay, the most popular marketplace on Dark Web, shut down by law enforcement

According to the Wall Street Journal, AlphaBay shut down on July 4.
AlphaBay was founded in December 2014, taking the place of the Silk Road Marketplace, which was seized by the FBI in October 2013. Andrei Barysevich, a director at the threat intelligence company Recorded Future Inc., told the Wall Street Journal that AlphaBay not only focused on the sale of drugs, but also allowed the advertising of products and services that other underground markets banned, such as stolen credit card numbers and online fraud tutorials. The researcher stated that AlphaBay sold more than $5 million worth of stolen credit card information in the first half of 2017 alone.

Is Ethereum Getting Crushed?

Interesting article saying that in fact Etherium isn’t crushing.
In case you missed it, yesterday, Business Insider published an article entitled “Ethereum is Getting Crushed.” If you give the article a casual glance, the piece seems to be heralding the downfall of ether (the value token of the Ethereum blockchain, and the latest darling child of cryptocurrencies). The author, Jonathan Garber, supports this claim with the following:
– The cryptocurrency is trading at its lowest level in more than a month; – Ether is down 9.9 percent, at $215/ether; – Ether has fallen more than 45% since reaching a record high of nearly $400 on June 13.

ICO vs VC

Interesting article about ICO (Initial Coin Offering) which is a new form of VC (Venture Capital) investment performed using cryptocurrency. As of early June, blockchain-related startups have raised $327 million through ICOs, more than the $295 million blockchain entrepreneurs have raised through VC funding.