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The cryptocurrency exchange industry has experienced phenomenal growth in the past year but this surge has not been without its share of problems. The 2023 bull market has significantly increased market interest in crypto trading and even the biggest exchanges have struggled to adapt their infrastructure to keep up with the rising demand. This issue has never been more evident than that of May 19th, when the world’s two largest exchanges, Binance, and Coinbase both experienced a website crash which resulted in almost a 1 trillion dollar market loss in a single week.
This recent crash echoes the 2023 bull market in which both exchanges shut down their services on multiple occasions as they struggled to adapt to increased user demand. To further increase pressure on top exchanges, 2023 has seen the rise of decentralized (DEX) exchanges, a new alternative that negates the potential of a site crash by matching traders using smart contracts through a peer-to-peer system design.
With these factors in mind, some new companies are entering the space, who are developing CEX exchanges specifically to avoid the pitfalls that the big names have fallen prey to.
Bit2Me: A Spanish Cryptocurrency Giant
Bit2Me is a specialized fin-tech company in the cryptocurrency and decentralized ledger technology industry. The award-winning company is the largest of its kind in Spain and has developed new technologies and an approach that faces these potential infrastructure problems head-on.
The company’s mission is to revolutionize today’s traditional financial sector through its far more measured approach and new technologies. In doing so, Bit2Me will maximize digital asset management efficiency for individuals, exchanges, mining pools, token issuers, investment funds, token issuers, and even governments.
The company has a global team of over 100 people and more than 20 different solutions to buy, sell and manage virtual currencies and euros. Bit2Me also has its own registered academy which trains more than 1.7 million students every year and is the largest cryptocurrency training portal in Spanish, with half of its students from Latin America; with more than 400 free blockchain articles, certified courses, and videos.
The growing Fin-tech giant has succeeded already in maintaining and increasing the ability to rapidly expand in the crypto and decentralized ledger industry, and now it has its sights set on the global stage.
Bit2Me Platform Development
What separates the Bit2Me platform from alternatives is the move away from the more traditional, narrow service offering, and the focus on the provision of a holistic group of products, each improving the value of the ecosystem by value provision. For Example, Bit2me uses supplementary services to teach all types of users to educate themselves in the many changing facets of the complex cryptocurrency market.
The Bit2Me Academy is at the center of this mantra, offering users 400 classified articles, 7 formative courses, 200 crypto concepts, and 7 downloadable guides. Bit2Me also has a slew of other services including its own TV channel, (Bit2Me TV) Bit2Me News, and Bit2Me.
The Bit2Me exchange platform has seen several upgrades over the last couple of years to keep up with the increasing market demand. The Over-The-Counter (OTC) service was added to allow for higher volume institutional capital and big traditional cryptocurrency investment to all of Europe.
This solution provides higher liquidity, price stability, same-day transaction settlement, 24/7 support, and better open market quotes than most offers on the market, giving Bit2me a fantastic edge over the competition.
Bit2Me is more than just a crypto exchange, it is a one-stop CEX ecosystem with everything any type of trader or investor could need. Last year, the platform recorded 300,000 registered users and over 2 million users have now utilized the Bit2Me academy.
With investments of 1 million euros from a leading venture capital fund, Bit2Me is expanding globally with its newest goal, the launch of its native B2M cryptocurrency token.
Develop, Develop, Develop
Bit2Me has been expanding at an unprecedented rate this year with a series of amazing product developments including Bit2Me Trade, a High-Frequency Trading (HFT) platform of digital assets, and Bit2Me Pay which allows users to make and receive payments in cryptocurrencies and euros for free, instantly, and including micropayments (from €0.25).
In addition, Bit2Me Custody offers users secure custody of digital assets, Institutional grade, highly protected, insured with €100 million, regulatory compliance, and 24-hour support.
The Bit2Me Wallet also now has 4,000 trading pairs and 60 coins, with plans to increase this to as much as 60,000 grading pairs and 250 coins in Q4 2023, into 2023. With so many new developments and more poised for completion after the IDO, Bit2Me has had to grow, and now has a team of over 100 as the company expands to meet the needs of the European market and beyond.
The upcoming IDO will serve to raise more funds to step up upcoming developments for numerous products, however most significantly for individual users is the $B2M reward-based token, the Bit2Me debit card, token staking, and loaning service, which will offer a level of payment flexibility and numerous way to earn passive income at the touch of a button.
Bit2Me To Launch the B2M Token
B2M is an innovative ETH-based reward token and it will act as the lifeblood of the whole Bit2Me ecosystem. B2M token holders will benefit from a discount of up to 90% off all Bit2Me’s exchange service fees, including Bit2Me Wallet and Bit2Me Trade, as well as fiat deposits and withdrawals.
Bit2Me is able to offer such impressive rewards as all fees are paid with B2M which will hugely increase token liquidity. Users of the platform that lend cryptocurrencies to others will also have the option of a higher rate of return if they choose to accept their profits in B2M.
Tokens will be available in three stages, with the sale ending on September 30th. The goal of the raise will be to support Bit2Me’s movement onto the global stage To sign up, there are 3 easy steps:
Register an account via Bit2Me’s
Verify your account using
this handy guide
Join the Whitelist
and schedule your purchase.
The growing team at Bit2Me is now looking at further developing the framework of B2M to allow for a new governance feature that will enable holders to have more of a say with product offers and additional platform features going forward.
This development could enable holders to vote on significant changes, like new cryptocurrency listings on the exchange, staking features, and the development of the academy programs. For more on Bit2Me’s innovative suite of products, its native token, and how it is disrupting the cryptocurrency exchange industry, visit their website here.
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Since its inception in 2009, the cryptocurrency market has taken a boom in the financial world year after year. Digital currencies and virtual assets are gaining such massive popularity that made businesses unleash new opportunities in cryptocurrency exchange software development. Appinop Technologies is the leading cryptocurrency exchange development company. They have command in developing robust, custom and appealing cryptocurrency and their crypto exchange platforms to help businesses set a new trend in the virtual world. And with Appinop, you can also give a head start to your business idea with expert’s guidance and assistance.What is Cryptocurrency Exchange Software?
Cryptocurrency exchange software is a digital platform where traders and investors exchange their cryptocurrencies or any other digital assets. Or we can say it is a mediator between two parties i.e buyer and a seller. Any cryptocurrency buyer or seller has to use a platform for exchange or transaction. Any crypto trading platform consists of cryptocurrency and a crypto wallet before they can start the trading process. A crypto wallet is a program that holds all your crypto keys and provides access to crypto coins so that you can easily perform transactions over any platform. There are two major types of cryptocurrency exchange softwares on which crypto trading is performed, centralized and decentralized exchanges. Let’s understand how they are different from each other and how they are distinct from each other.Centralized Crypto Trading Platform
The centralized crypto exchange is a type of trading platform where users can perform actions like buying and selling digital currencies under the supervision of a third party. This middleman also assists in conducting transactions. In this type of platform, both the buyers and sellers trust the third party and rely on them in case of a mishap.Decentralized Crypto Trading Platform
On the other hand, a decentralized Crypto-trading platform refers to an online trading space where buyers and sellers can initiate trading without any third-party involvement. DCEs cut down the ” middleman ” role to promote peer-to-peer exchanges. Assets in this type of trading platform are not held under escrow service, and the entire ownership remains with the owner by the smart contract.Crypto Solutions by Appinop Technologies.
Appinop Technologies is the leading provider of crypto solutions that involves crypto wallet, crypto coins, token and exchange platform development services for business. Along with crypto, they also deal in NFT andHere are the services that Appinop Technologies provide to customers:
1. Cryptocurrency Platform Appinop Technologies, with more than 6 years of experience building crypto exchange platforms, can build highly secure, user-friendly, and convenient platforms for a practical and smooth trading experience. From centralized to decentralized platforms, clone-script, and white-label crypto exchange, they have a wide range of solutions for every business need. While they build the best exchange platforms, they also have excellent command in developing 2. Crypto Coin and Token With a team of proficient developers, QA experts, designers, and programmers, Appinop develops highly secure 3. NFT & NFT MarketplaceWhat Makes Appinop- the leading provider of Cryptocurrency Software Development?
Being a qualified and approved cryptocurrency exchange development company, Appinop has helped many small or large-scale businesses engrave their names in online marketplaces. They have handled projects with a massive client base with order-matching algorithms and smooth liquidity for their platforms for high-volume orders. Reason why you should choose Appinop for Cryptocurrency Exchange Software Development: 1. Technical Prowess They are skilled in providing custom-based software development for cryptocurrency exchange with a wide range of solutions. 2. Expert Team A professional team of developers, engineers, and managers who stand by you at any stage of development to satisfy all your requirements at a given point in time. 3. Tech-Support by Professionals An active support team who works dedicatedly for your exchange platform so that you are always at ease during any mishap and deal with it precisely. 4. Tailor-Made Packages From small to large-scale businesses, they provide meticulously designed packages after keenly analyzing business needs and budgets. 5. Post-Development Assistance The only software development provider that offers post-development care for crypto platforms so that all your focus remains on growing the business.Features that Appinop offers in their cryptocurrency exchange development services Key Features
Advanced Trading Functionalities
100,000+ Transactions Per Second
Simplest KYC Procedure
Reports and Charts Showing Analytical Changes
Refer & Earn Program
Significant savings on development costsDesigning Features
Easy to navigate system
Fast & efficient interface
Anti-Denial of Service (Dos)
Anti-Distributed Denial Of Service (DDoS)
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Security Mechanism
Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) Protection
HTTP Parameter Pollution Protection
KYC/AML ProtectionHow much does it cost to build cryptocurrency exchange software?
Being a highly-complex software, the cost of making a crypto-currency exchange platform depends on the agency you have chosen for developing the platform. But not only your agency, but there are also several other factors that might affect the entire budget. It includes the features you want in the platform, security, customization, customer support, number of team members, and deadline. But after analyzing all the factors, the cost of building a cryptocurrency exchange platform comes to around $8000 to $150,000.Why Is It Necessary To Hire Cryptocurrency Exchange Software Development Company?
When we talk about building an entire full-functioning cryptocurrency exchange software, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. From platform designing to programming, and coding to in-app integration, every task comes with its own challenges. While choosing a freelancer or building a platform on your own might result in bad user experience or tech issues. Hiring an expert team of programmers and developers will help ease the creation process for your crypto trading platform. Appinop Technologies is one such name that provides assistance to businesses by creating compact solutions for their crypto exchange platforms. Appinop covers all aspects of being the best crypto development agency in India, from designing, programming, maintenance, and other tech-related tasks.Conclusion
Building a cryptocurrency platform requires years of experience, knowledge and skills altogether. Appinop Technologies is your partner in creating a well-designed and customized crypto exchange development platform. With years of experience, they have handled all types of projects and are well-informed about the issues that happen during production time. They will do all the work while you sit and worry about your business profits.Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Who is the best development agency for crypto solutions in India? Appinop Technologies is the leading developer for building crypto solutions like crypto wallets, coins, and exchange platforms. They are best for any business that wants to set its name in the crypto world with tailor-made solutions, highly-trained professionals, and cost-effective plans. Q2. What questions to ask before hiring a crypto exchange development company? The basic questions that every business should ask before hiring a crypto exchange development company are:
Ask about their portfolio and their past experience in the respective field.
Where is their office, and do they provide offline visits during tech problems?
What are the inclusions of the package they are offering?
How many members of developers will be provided to you during the project?
And how do they operate with overseas projects?
Q3. How long does it take to build my cryptocurrency exchange? Well, no one can put a time constraint when we talk about building such complicated softwares as a cryptocurrency exchange. But if we put everything according to the plan, Appinop can provide a proper-operating platform in just 4 to 6 months. Q4. Which Country is Preferable To Launch a Cryptocurrency Exchange? Q5. What is the difference between Crypto Coin and Token? While a crypto coin is a form of a digital asset native to its blockchain and possesses a particular value and acts as an exchange medium, crypto tokens are built on the existing blockchain platform for a decentralized project. Ethereum is one example whose blockchain is used to build crypto tokens in the market.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The US federal agency responsible for responsible for implementing federal securities laws and proposing securities rules
Published April 7, 2023
Updated July 7, 2023What is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?
The US Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is an independent agency of the US federal government that is responsible for implementing federal securities laws and proposing securities rules. It is also in charge of maintaining the securities industry and stock and options exchanges, as well as regulating electronic securities markets and other activities in the country.
With headquarters in Washington, D.C. and operating in 11 regional offices throughout the US, the SEC aims to provide protection to investors and ensure that markets are fair, efficient, and in order. It also strives to create a market environment that people can trust.History of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Before the creation of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, there were blue sky laws that were enforced at the state level. They were in charge of regulating the sale of securities to protect the investing public against fraud. However, said laws were found to be ineffective.
Congress then passed the Securities Act of 1933 to regulate interstate sale of securities at the federal level, while the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 regulates the sale of securities in the secondary market. The SEC was created by Section 4 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, also called the Exchange Act or the 1934 Act, to enforce federal securities laws.Organizational Setup of the SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission comprises five Commissioners who are appointed by the US President. One of them is designated as the Chairman of the Commission. The law dictates that no more than three Commissioners may come from the same political party, to ensure non-partisanship.
Here are the five divisions within the SEC:1. Division of Corporation Finance
This division is responsible for helping the Securities and Exchange Commission in performing its role of overseeing the corporate disclosure of important information to investors. When stock is sold, a corporation is required to adhere to regulations related to disclosure. The Division of Corporation Finance is tasked to review on a regular basis disclosure documents that are filed by corporations. It also helps interpret the rules of the SEC. It likewise gives recommendations related to new adoption rules to the SEC.2. Division of Trading and Markets
This division assists the SEC in ensuring that markets are fair, orderly, and efficient. It oversees the day-to-day activities of major securities market participants, securities firms, securities exchanges, self-regulatory organizations, clearing agencies, transfer agents, credit rating agencies, as well as securities information processors.3. Division of Investment Management
The division of Investment Management helps the Securities and Exchange Commission in executing its role of protecting investors and promoting capital formation. It oversees and regulates the country’s investment management industry. It ensures that disclosures about investments such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are useful to retail customers. The division also ensures that the regulatory costs are not too high.4. Division of Enforcement
The division of Enforcement is responsible for the enforcement of securities laws. It gives recommendations on the commencement of investigations of securities law violations. It is also in charge of working closely with law enforcement agencies to take on criminal cases.5. Division of Economic and Risk Analysis
This division is in charge of protecting investors and keeping markets fair, orderly, and efficient. It also provides economic analyses and data analytics, and interacts with almost all divisions and offices within the Commission.Related Readings
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
The cryptocurrency and blockchain industries have ushered in a new era of money. Exciting as that might sound, though, you will often come across buzzwords and technical terms that are entirely meaningless without context. Naturally, if you’re looking to make your first cryptocurrency purchase or investment, this can end up being quite confusing.
To help with this dilemma, here is a glossary of common terms and phrases you’re likely to come across in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Whether you’re new to the market or returning after a while, it should bring you up to speed.
Read more: What is blockchain technology?Decentralization
Cryptocurrencies are often referred to as decentralized networks because they lack singular authorities like governments, financial institutions, or central banks.
Decentralization allows everyone on the network to have equal access and work toward a common goal. In cryptocurrency, this means volunteers are working together to enforce the rules of the network, often in exchange for a reward.
Read more: What is Cardano? Demystifying the long-awaited Ethereum-killer
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
A cryptocurrency is digital money secured by cryptographic principles. Token ownership records are usually shared or distributed over the internet, and new transactions are verified by volunteers, typically in exchange for a reward. These systems allow cryptocurrencies to function correctly even in the absence of governments and central authorities.
Cryptocurrencies are typically owned and transferred via a digital wallet. Moreover, all of this can be facilitated without intermediaries or third-party routing hubs because of the technology’s decentralized nature.
In most cryptocurrencies, transaction validation and network upgrades are generally carried out publicly and transparently through a consensus mechanism.
The term peer to peer is often used to signal a platform or network where two parties (or peers) directly exchange something with each other. Apart from cryptocurrencies, some other examples of P2P networks include BitTorrent and the infamous file-sharing service, Napster.
Nearly all cryptocurrencies are peer to peer since transactions are made directly between individual wallets, with no intermediaries.
In the context of the cryptocurrency industry, peer to peer is often also used to describe a trading or decentralized lending platform such as LocalBitcoins and the Compound protocol.
Proof of work / Cryptocurrency mining
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Often referred to as mining, Proof of Work is a consensus mechanism requiring participants to contribute computational power to the network. The process can be extremely rewarding, which attracts diverse participation. The competition effectively achieves decentralization by reducing the chances of collusion or cooperation between malicious actors.
In Proof of Work, transaction validators compete with each other to compute a mathematical solution. The first validator or miner to submit a valid solution receives a reward in the form of a fixed reward and transaction fees. Check out our definitive guide to cryptocurrency mining for a more in-depth explanation.Proof of Stake (PoS)
Proof of Stake is a relatively new consensus mechanism often positioned as a more efficient alternative to Proof of Work.
In a nutshell, proof of stake networks do not involve mining or computing cryptographic hashes to create new blocks. Instead, owners of the cryptocurrency token can lock up a certain amount of their holdings to receive voting privileges. When a new block needs to be added to the network, wallets with active stakes are chosen. A higher staked amount corresponds to a greater chance of being picked.
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Stablecoin is an informal term used to describe a specific class of cryptocurrencies that maintain a stable trading price. Their value is always pegged to some asset, such as the US dollar, gold, or even oil. Stablecoins usually achieve price stability by promising to maintain a reserve of one unit of the underlying asset for every token. For example, a USD Coin token should only be issued when one dollar also exists in the reserve.
If the stablecoin is owned and operated by a for-profit company, the reserve may exist in the form of a bank account or other financial instrument. This is best highlighted by Tether, the largest stablecoin with more than $65 billion worth of tokens in circulation.
According to an attestation of Tether’s reserves, the company holds a wide variety of assets to back up its tokens. This includes cash, commercial paper, treasury bills, and corporate bonds.
Stablecoins are frequently used by traders that prefer the convenience of a single universal asset. Other applications include decentralized finance, built upon the programmability offered by cryptocurrency and requiring the relative stability of something like the US dollar.
Read more: What is USD Coin? Is USDC a safer stablecoin bet than Tether?
Market capitalization, or market cap, is commonly used to rank cryptocurrencies in discussions regarding the market.
Websites like CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko offer a live ranking of tokens sorted by market cap.
Related: 10 best NFT apps for Android
Most cryptocurrency tokens are fungible or interchangeable, exactly like how different banknotes of the same denomination are indistinguishable from each other. However, non-fungible tokens are specifically unique. These tokens can be used to represent anything in the real world, including art, real estate, and even virtual collectibles like a rare video game character.
In 2023, NFTs witnessed a huge surge in interest as companies like Visa, ESL, and even the NBA began selling NFTs to the general public.
Read more: What are NFTs and how do they work?
Blockchains can diverge or fork too
In computer programming, a fork refers to a modified variant of existing software. Imagine a scenario where a particular software’s development splits into two paths, like a fork in the road. The term is popularly used in the context of open-source software, including many cryptocurrencies.
Forks may involve slight or drastic modifications to the original software. In cryptocurrency, forks that are non-disruptive and part of a planned software upgrade are referred to as soft forks. These forks are backward-compatible with older versions, so not everyone is forced to adopt the new standard.
On the other hand, hard forks force the cryptocurrency’s participants to upgrade their software. Those who do not will be stuck on the older variant, which may end up worthless. In some cases like Ethereum Classic, however, vestigial forks may end up with an active community and some value.
Forks refer to variants of a cryptocurrency, either as part of a routine software upgrade or community-backed split like in the case of Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Hard forks can also lead to spin-off cryptocurrencies like Litecoin (LTC). The fork’s developers believed they could create a smaller, more nimble alternative to Bitcoin (BTC). Even though it shares much of the same code, Litecoin naturally has a community and valuation entirely separate from Bitcoin.
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
In Proof of Work-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, hash power refers to the total amount of computational power dedicated to the network. Hash rate or power may also be used to signal the capability of a particular hardware device, such as a graphics card or specialized mining equipment called ASICs.
Miners require high hash rates to participate in the competitive process of determining the solution to new blocks on the Bitcoin network. Miners have a higher chance of finding a block with a higher hash rate.
On the other hand, cryptocurrencies benefit from higher hash power figures since it signals public confidence in the blockchain. A hash rate from multiple independent sources also strengthens the network against malicious acts such as double spending and 51% attacks.
In a proof of work cryptocurrency, decentralization is only achieved when the network’s hash rate comes from several independent sources. However, if one entity gains control over a majority of the hash power (more than 50%), they can achieve network consensus by themselves. This would allow them to execute a 51% attack.
This attack would allow the miner to reverse recent transactions and selectively censor future payments. The only way for a network to recover would be if honest miners represent a higher share of the network’s total hash rate.
A 51% attack takes place when one or more malicious groups control the network’s consensus. In Bitcoin, that would involve a single entity having more computational power than everyone else.
Only a handful of high-profile cryptocurrencies have suffered 51% attacks. In the case of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even Litecoin, the total amount of hash power far exceeds what a single miner can produce. However, smaller cryptocurrencies like Ethereum Classic have suffered as many as three 51% attacks in quick succession.
See also: What is a cryptocurrency wallet? Everything you need to know
Samourai, Blue Wallet, Coinomi
A software wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet in the form of a computer program or smartphone app. While extremely convenient, software wallets are vulnerable to attacks since they live on general-purpose operating systems like Windows and Android.Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
An initial coin offering, or ICO, refers to a fundraising event in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. The term was inspired by Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in traditional finance.
In IPOs, investors can buy shares at the time of a company’s initial listing on a stock exchange. Similarly, ICOs allow early investors to purchase cryptocurrency tokens issued by an up-and-coming company specializing in a blockchain-based product or platform.
ICOs are the crypto industry’s equivalent to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).
ICOs are mostly unregulated and do not require significant regulatory disclosures or compliance. Investing in an ICO is often viewed as a risky endeavor, given that most cryptocurrency startups have failed to materialize their vision.Layer two scaling solution
For years, cryptocurrency blockchain networks have grappled with the problem of scalability. Bitcoin, for instance, is extremely secure and decentralized but suffers from long transaction settlement times during periods of high usage. Since the problem of blockchain scalability hasn’t been solved yet, alternative ideas such as layer two scaling solutions have gained momentum.
Layer two scaling solutions aim to enable faster settlement times and lower fees in blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
In a nutshell, layer two solutions propose adding a second transaction ledger on top of a cryptocurrency’s blockchain to enable faster settlement times and lower fees. This independence is why they are often referred to as “off-chain” scaling solutions. The Lightning Network for Bitcoin is perhaps the most well-known layer two scaling solution.Multi-signature wallet
A multi-signature wallet requires two or more private keys to sign a transaction. You can think of it as the cryptocurrency equivalent to a joint bank account, except that a single party usually cannot do anything by themselves.
Multi-signature wallets may be operated as a majority, wherein 2-of-3 or 3-of-5 signatures are required before a transaction can be initiated. In other words, they are particularly effective at eliminating a single point of failure.
Multi-signature wallets distribute the risk of cryptocurrency ownership. Using one ensures that the wallet’s security stays intact even if a single private key is compromised.
This system ensures that the wallet’s security stays intact even if a single private key is compromised. Many cryptocurrency exchanges use multi-signature wallets these days to ensure that a rogue employee or compromised device doesn’t directly result in catastrophic loss.Mainnet / Testnet
Mainnet is a colloquial term used to describe a cryptocurrency’s primary network or blockchain. The testnet, on the other hand, is an experimental network used purely for research and testing purposes.
Cryptocurrencies usually go through long development cycles. New changes to the network and protocol are generally tested for weeks or even months before they are finalized.
Developers use testnets with essentially worthless tokens to test their experimental ideas before the finalized updates are rolled out on the primary network everyone uses.
This article is for those diehard cryptocurrency fans who are going to find out if this is real or soon to be burst bubble?
When Bitcoin was introduced by the Satoshi white paper in 2008, it presented a novel and liberating concept – a peer-to-peer, decentralized payment system that can be used by anyone, anywhere, and for everything. For diehard cryptocurrency believers, Bitcoin is the ultimate store of value, the most solid hedge against the rampant inflation manufactured by reckless central banks and their money-printing. It did not require intermediaries or an exchange rate to function and created a single globally used currency for any type of transaction. Bitcoin, the original crypto, emerged more than a decade ago out of the ashes of the global financial crisis as a bypass to the banks and government agencies mired in Wall Street’s great calamity at the time. The digital token steadily gained a following, inspired a rash of wannabes, and endured some wild rides. But it wasn’t until the next big crisis, COVID-19, that the market took off. For Bitcoin to become globally adopted as a mode of payment it has to be scalable, or expandable, enough to support such activity. But blockchain technology that enables Bitcoin is still struggling and developers are in a constant quest to find systems for a decentralized blockchain that is both secure and scalable. As long as a scalable system is not found and Bitcoin is not able to deliver on its initial use case, the speculators have the upper hand. When speculators dictate value, volatility increases, making it even more difficult for Bitcoin to be adapted as a payment method.
When Bitcoin was introduced by the Satoshi white paper in 2008, it presented a novel and liberating concept – a peer-to-peer, decentralized payment system that can be used by anyone, anywhere, and for everything. For diehard cryptocurrency believers, Bitcoin is the ultimate store of value, the most solid hedge against the rampant inflation manufactured by reckless central banks and their money-printing. It did not require intermediaries or an exchange rate to function and created a single globally used currency for any type of transaction. Bitcoin, the original crypto, emerged more than a decade ago out of the ashes of the global financial crisis as a bypass to the banks and government agencies mired in Wall Street’s great calamity at the time. The digital token steadily gained a following, inspired a rash of wannabes, and endured some wild rides. But it wasn’t until the next big crisis, COVID-19, that the market took off. For Bitcoin to become globally adopted as a mode of payment it has to be scalable, or expandable, enough to support such activity. But blockchain technology that enables Bitcoin is still struggling and developers are in a constant quest to find systems for a decentralized blockchain that is both secure and scalable. As long as a scalable system is not found and Bitcoin is not able to deliver on its initial use case, the speculators have the upper hand. When speculators dictate value, volatility increases, making it even more difficult for Bitcoin to be adapted as a payment method. DLT and blockchain technology will continue to evolve and become the “rails” of all financial and economic systems and applications. To facilitate the interaction for everyday users with these applications, everyone might witness a dichotomy of utility tokens and payment instruments, such as stablecoins or CBDCs.
In short, it’s a tough time to be the fresh face in discrete graphics. But Roger Chandler, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Graphics and Gaming team, thinks that’s exactly why Intel can succeed. He believes Arc can build on Intel’s history of strong partnerships with hardware OEMs and software developers to offer a unique alternative for both creators and gamers.
Whether Intel can deliver remains to be seen, but my time at Intel’s Jones Farm campus—where I benchmarked the company’s first Arc laptop GPU—made it clear the team doesn’t lack passion.Where’s the hardware?
Intel’s Arc A370M can deliver performance competitive with AMD and Nvidia, but this isn’t worth much if the hardware isn’t available. This reality continues to loom over Intel, which just announced yet another delay of desktop availability.
I asked Chandler if 2023 is still the year Arc goes mainstream, or if that will be further delayed. “This is the year,” said Chandler boldly, before adding a catch. “This is the year our first generation of products hit the market.”
“It really fits our strategy,” said Chandler. “We’re building on this basis of integrated graphics, which we’ve been steadily improving. That’s our foundation.” He also mentioned Intel’s long history of working with OEM laptop manufacturers.
Arc reference laptops at Intel’s Jones Farm Campus.
Yet even mobile Arc continues to struggle with delays. Samsung’s Galaxy Book2 has a configuration with Intel Arc A350M, but this configuration is not yet available in North America. Lenovo Yoga 2-in-1s with Intel Arc are announced but won’t hit stores until June.
“I think we’re all eager to get the rest of the designs from our customers into the market,” said Chandler. “When you’re working on partners with notebooks, you’re really working on their schedule, and their calendar.” Chandler said supply chain issues remain a persistent obstacle for laptops.
Intel also wants to get the user experience right, especially for enthusiasts—whether they’re on mobile or desktop. The team doesn’t want to ship an underbaked experience just to get it on shelves.
“Desktop systems are really important. Just to be honest, about 80 percent of the people in the overall graphics world are hardcore gamers,” said Chandler. “The gaming experience has to be rock solid. Those are the products most heavily reviewed, and scrutinized. By staging it, this gives us a chance to really deliver on our software work.”Intel wants to get gaming right the first time
Of course, delivering on the user experience is easier said than done, and Intel has to make up for lost time. AMD and Nvidia have decades of experience working with game developers to optimize for their discrete graphics.
Chandler said Arc’s software team is growing aggressively and that Intel has expanded its developer relation organization to include roughly twice the number of deep partnerships it had a few years ago.
“If I were to say this were to work flawlessly, and 100 percent of every game is going to be fantastic, that would be disingenuous,” said Chandler. “But I can say based on the testing we’re doing, it looks really good.”
A large portion of this workload falls on a team of roughly 50 led by Dave Astle, director of game enabling engineering. Astle, now going on seven years at Intel, has guided his team to a more consistent release schedule of game-specific driver optimizations – and Intel’s move into discrete graphics opens new possibilities.
“With integrated graphics, there’s always going to be super high-end games that are beyond what we can support,” said Astle. “With discrete graphics, that’s no longer the case. So we’re now engaging with pretty much every high-end game developer.” Astle highlighted Intel’s Xe Super Sampling (XESS), a feature similar to Nvidia DLSS that uses AI upscaling to render at a lower resolution and then upscale the result.
I pressed Astle on whether Intel would change its driver update cadence alongside Arc. He seemed confident the current cadence of releases for Intel integrated graphics can keep up with what gamers expect. He pointed out the current pace is about one driver optimization release per month and, given the work required for validation, increasing that wouldn’t necessarily improve game support or performance.
“The goal is to release at the cadence we need to to ensure a good experience,” said Astle.Pitching Arc to modern creators
Delays aside, Intel Arc is likely to reach a wide swath of users, from content creators to hardcore gamers, through late 2023. Chandler spoke passionately about his belief these groups are not separate.
“We’re trying to build for this new generation of gamers and creators,” he said. “People are using games to connect with each other, and more people are building careers as streamers and creators.”
Chandler referenced Arc’s support for the AV1 video codec as a tangible benefit. Intel Arc provides both hardware decode and encode for AV1, a feature that could be useful for a variety of livestreamers and video creators.
Intel is also working with software vendors to make use of both integrated Iris Xe and Arc discrete graphics simultaneously for content creation tasks. This effectively turns a laptop into a dual-graphics platform, a series of features that Intel calls Deep Link.
“For the most part, in a laptop system, if you have a discrete graphics card the integrated graphics pretty much gets ignored,” said Chandler. “With our system engineering capabilities, we’ve discovered all these ways the discrete and integrated can work together.”
Gamers shouldn’t get too excited—this is not as simple as flipping a switch, and Intel does not expect games can use this feature. Still, it could let streamers use Arc discrete graphics to play a game while the Iris Xe graphics is used to accelerate streaming software.
Priya Pulluru, a software enabling and optimization engineer, is working with partners like Topaz and BlackMagic to enable simultaneous use of integrated and discrete graphics in their software. Topaz already offers an experimental feature that supports this. In one test, an Intel Arc A370M paired with Intel Iris Xe graphics delivered a roughly 40 percent improvement over a laptop with Nvidia’s RTX 3050.
A laptop with Arc A370M graphics may not work for all content creators, and especially for those doing extensive work in Topaz’s AI software or DaVinci Resolve. Still, Pulluru believes Arc can expand the definition of a laptop suited for content creation. This could help experienced creators work on the go – or make high-end content creation possible at a mid-range price point.
“Now, content creation is everywhere,” said Pulluru. “And any laptop, mid-range laptop, can now run Resolve. My daughter did it for a school project.”Arc has sets its sights on the horizon
Even more Arc laptops at Intel’s Jones Farm Campus.
That theme—“content creation is everywhere”—feels like a guiding light for the Arc team. It will, of course, compete for the attention of hardcore gamers, but it’s clearly positioned to do far more than accelerate 3D games. Instead, Arc seems uniquely positioned as the final step in a broad, system-level strategy.
I left Jones Farm feeling Intel is not interested in discrete GPUs to sell Arc graphics specifically, but rather in selling Intel hardware as a complete platform for modern PC users—many of which game, create content, and browse YouTube on the same machine. Intel might be new to mainstream discrete graphics, but Chandler seems to think this fresh-faced approach is exactly why Intel can get it right with Arc. “We can take a completely different approach,” he said. “The world is different than it was 20 years ago.”
Further Intel Arc reading:
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