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Bitcoin and blockchain technology have begun to make themselves household names, with hundreds of thousands of blockchain transactions processed each day. It’s no wonder that large corporations like MasterCard and IBM are beginning to implement the technology in their businesses.
For individuals and corporations alike, blockchains are an excellent way to store, share, and process data, especially without a centralized mediator involved. In fact, this is one of the hallmarks of blockchains and cryptocurrencies in general. In addition, their adaptability has made them a popular investment option as well as a perfect medium of exchange.
Some coins, like Mastercoin (SWT) are the happy balance of both. SWT coins can be purchased and used as an investment vehicle, or they can be utilized on Mastercoin’s blockchain based decentralized app (dapp). But what exactly is Mastercoin?
What is Omni?
Omni (OMNI) is an open-source decentralised cryptocurrency. It is a communications protocol built on the Bitcoin blockchain as a continuation of Mastercoin.
Created in 2013, it seeks to take advantage of Bitcoin’s blockchain to build support for additional distributed services. They include decentralised currency exchange, digital assets trading and smart contract. Each OMNI is currently worth $57.65 (as at January 18, 2018).
How do I buy OMNI?
The easiest way to buy OMNI is on any of the three cryptocurrency exchanges where it is available only as a BTC pair. The exchanges listing OMNI are Poloniex, Bittrex and C-CEX.
OMNI cannot be bought directly with cash like USD or EUR or credit cards. However, in the case of C-CEX, deposits could be made with Payeer without the buyer creating an account with the exchange. Payeer’s payment system allows deposits made using debit cards like Visa or MasterCard and bank transfers. After the deposit, users have to buy BTC to trade it for OMNI.
How do I turn OMNI into cash?
To turn OMNI into cash, it has to be exchanged mainly for Bitcoin. It will follow the process used to purchase the coins but in reverse. The BTC could later be sold or converted into other currencies or liquidated into fiat for cash like USD or EUR.
Cash can be withdrawn at an ATM — automated teller machine — in two ways. One could be after the conversion to fiat and its transfer into a bank account. Some exchanges allow direct conversion to fiat currencies like USD or EUR. The other way is by withdrawing cash with a crypto-backed debit card.
How to use OMNI?
As one of the first in the crypto space, Mastercoin rebranded to OMNI as part of efforts to revive the ‘dead’ project. It was meant to continue Mastercoin’s protocol to facilitate the creation and trading of smart properties and user currencies with smart contracts. This should enable the Bitcoin eco-system to be more decentralized. It would also benefit the entire bitcoin user community financially including those who do not use the new protocol layers.
The new protocol on top of the Bitcoin protocol is to increase Bitcoin’s value while still allowing the issuance of new currencies with new rules.
OMNI is more of a P2P fiat currency that acts as a bank account with almost no fees and no chargebacks. Yet, it guarantees quick transfers for payments. Some of the benefits of using OMNI include its being fast and cost effective. Users have complete control over their funds with OMNI and it ensures there are no chargebacks and no frozen funds.
The Omni Protocol allows users to trade coins without trusting a centralized platform. It supports the creation of property tokens for titles, deeds, user-backed currencies and other investments. Tokens can be bought, sold, transferred, and used for betting. It is presently free to use the Omni layer as well as for token creation. In the future, when using the decentralized token to token exchange with non-OMNI pairs, a fee of 0.05% is paid to all OMNI holders.
All these are in line with Mastercoin’s mission statement to be the standard protocol for smart properties and virtual currencies on the Bitcoin network. MasterCoins are intended to be an investment opportunity on par with buying bitcoins when they first came out. Its vision is to build a global value exchange platform in an open, decentralized, transparent way. It is to enable investors, entrepreneurs and workers to freely exchange knowledge, time, effort and money globally.
MasterCoin is 100% message-based. It encodes all its protocol data as hidden messages such as placing a bet or making a transfer in the blockchain. This separates it from alternative blockchains that compete with Bitcoin. It addresses the barriers that interfere with the adoption momentum of bitcoin and alternative currencies.
Its smart contracts protocol enables the facilitation, verification and enforcement of contracts. This enables the electronic exchange of smart properties like stocks, bonds, real estate and intellectual property.
What is OMNI mining?
Any payment on the OMNI network requires 10 confirmations to go through. The confirmation shows that a transaction has been included in a block.
OMNI mining involves using computer hardware to verify transactions as they are placed into blocks. Each block gets hashed — it goes through an encryption algorithm to generate a string of numbers and letters. Miners get rewarded for their efforts with new OMNI. With each successful hashed block, all the clients on the network will accept the transactions for it to be added to the blockchain.
How to mine OMNI?
OMNI is a Scrypt coin with a current circulating supply of 560,000 units out. To mine it requires considering one’s equipment mining rate. This will help calculate one’s earnings based on the current difficulty using a mining calculator.
Though both CPU or GPU mining can work for scrypt coins like OMNI, GPU have higher hash rate. The better option is to join a pool over solo mining. After a pool has been chosen and an account created, a new worker would be created on the account. Afterwards, a mining script would be downloaded. It could either be the CGMiner 3.7.2 (newer versions do not support GPU nor scrypt mining), CUDAMiner, Pooler’s CPUMiner for CPU mining which is not comparable to the GPU miners.
After the download, the chosen miner would be extracted to create a batch file to run the miner and create a batch file named run.bat inside the miner directory. Inside the file, a code would be chosen for the miner by replacing username, workername and password with the values in the previous stage.
How will OMNI scale?
As questions about scalability arise, OMNI’s increasing trading volume would be consolidated with new features to meet growing transactions loads. OMNI plans to develop a new desktop wallet program as well as other new features like a chatbox. The first OMNI dice game, Omnichain Casino, was released in March 2015. Now, they are working on releasing more faucets, gambling sites, and integrating OMNI with Minecraft etc.
They want to reach out to more MyBB forums to get support as “The Official coin for MyBB communities”. MyBB is a free and open source PHP forum software with features including extensive plugin system, convenient tools for forum moderators and private messaging. A MyBB plugin would be created to integrate OMNI into forums with a lightweight wallet based on MultiBit and Electrum.
The Omni Layer protocol enables creating and trading custom digital assets and currencies. This is expected to grow with time — it currently represents a market capitalization of about $1.2 billion. OMNI is, for example, compatible with MaidSafeCoin (MAID). Built on the Omni protocol, MAID is used to pay for spare storage space on the Maidsafe network. MAID also uses Omniwallet for its storage.