Qora reloads with social network and new 2.0 features
Wednesday 29 July 2015
Innovative coins are few – so it’s great that Qora, which pretty much vanished from sight last year, is back with a vengeance.
When it was announced at the beginning of 2014, Qora made quite a splash. It was the 2.0 of 2.0 platforms, boasting an aspirational feature-set that would put it head and shoulders above the competition, let alone the dross of bitcoin clones that offer little more than an opportunity to enrich their cut-and-paste developers.
Qora is a proof-of-stake platform that required no miners; unlike bitcoin and proof-of-work coins, interests are aligned between coin holders and those who secure the network. (There are pros and cons to that approach, which have been explored at length elsewhere.) Also unlike most coins, it was built from scratch rather than relying on a few tweaks to bitcoin’s code. Its development roadmap included an asset exchange for crypto-stocks; aliasing (a way to associate information with strings of characters, enabling all kinds of applications including decentralised DNS registration); decentralised voting; encrypted or plain-text arbitrary messages, and more. Addresses were generated from a deterministic seed, meaning they could be recovered if necessary – a nice touch. All in all it was a very promising project, and early versions of the wallet confirmed that the community had every right to expect a bright future.
Qora: packed full of features
Death of a coin
But it wasn’t to be. Qora, the coin’s eponymous and anonymous developer, buried himself in coding and made strong headway. Sadly, problems were never far away. Delays open-sourcing its code led to a loss of confidence and some persistent allegations that it wasn’t truly innovative after all. This opened the door for an unpleasant misinformation campaign on bitcointalk – a den of trolls at the best of times, and never more so than when something truly interesting sticks its head above the parapet. Qora’s apparent similarities with Nxt, another popular 2.0 platform, led to the rumour that the founder was really BCNext, Nxt’s own anonymous creator – and that the platform had not been built from scratch at all.
Over time, the community dwindled, development went on hold, and ultimately Qora himself, the visionary developer who had started the project, left as well. The coin’s market cap slid from a high around $5m to just $100,000, and by the end of 2014 it was worth just a few Satoshis each. Qora was all but forgotten – until recently.
A lot of people ‘invest’ in a cryptocurrency for short-term gain. (‘Invest’ because it is, in the main, mere speculation.) Investment is important, since most coins pay their developers and marketing teams with their own currency – so the greater the coin’s market cap, the more bang for your crypto buck. But a handful are in it for the ideology. Qora itself was practically worthless, but it wasn’t value-less. The remnants of the community were highly loyal and included some capable individuals, including developers.
After a period in the wilderness and some intense uncertainty about its future, Qora was rebooted with a new dev team. Whereas Qora himself had focused on coding to the exclusion of all else, the new release of the platform also encompassed marketing – a key element of any crypto project – as well as an emphasis on rebuilding the decimated community, as well as a series of further unique additions to its universal wallet. Not only that, but to bring in new investors the community enlisted the help of Ronny Boesing, CEO of Danish exchange CCEDK.
Adding Qora to CCEDK with four trading pairs – bitcoin and three fiat currencies, USD, CNY and EUR – gives the reinvigorated platform a chance of financial as well as technological success. Whereas most exchanges add coins simply as money spinners, with little concern for their communities, CCEDK tends to take a more hands-on approach, working closely with them and providing a new home for the coin as well as a vital new source of liquidity.
The domain qora.exchange forwards to CCEDK and the trading pair Qora/BTC. CCEDK is currently running a promotion to new users, aiming to welcome new members of the growing Qora community to the exchange. The first 500 unique users who trade a minimum of 100,000 Qora within the a week, during the first month of its inclusion on CCEDK, will receive a 10,000 Qora bonus, provided they:
- Share their trade, mentioning #ccedk, #qora, CCEDK and the trading pair, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Weibo
- Mention their trading experience of CCEDK on bitcointalk or another major forum, including what features make Qora their coin of choice
- Email [email protected] with links to these posts as proof, within the first month of Qora trading on CCEDK.
What the future holds
The 2.0 space is still wide open. There are already some strong players: BitShares, Nxt and, very soon, Ethereum. But the great thing about it is that the field is so large and diverse that direct competition is unnecessary. FinTech is starting to take an active interest in what blockchain technology can do beyond transfer money – and there are big opportunities for anyone who can contribute anything useful.
What’s more, Qora doesn’t just repeat what other platforms are doing. The new incarnation includes some impressive features beyond those originally planned. For example, as well as the voting system and asset exchange, Qora’s new wallet has a built-in social network and decentralised web. Atomic cross-chain transactions were enabled some months ago, launched with a trustless crypto-to-crypto exchange. This cutting-edge functionality was developed by CIYAM. The universal wallet will run on anything that uses Java – which nowadays, means almost everything.
Qora has always been an underdog, so it will be interesting to see how it fares as it relaunches. It’s one of just a handful of coins that does seem to be genuinely innovative, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible even in crypto. Good luck to them!
This article was sponsored by Ronny Boesing and CCEDK.
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