Robert has reported for a variety of international publications including the Associated Press, The Guardian, Vice, and Decrypt. Current areas of interest include the political economy of technology, cryptocurrencies, and privacy. Robert has a Bachelor of Science from UCL, and a Master's degree from the University of Oxford's Internet Institute.
What is Chromia (CHR)?
Chromia (CHR) is the native coin of an upcoming open-source network of blockchains by the same name. What’s special about CHR is that it applies blockchain technology to old-school databases, attempting to improve their storage capabilities and authenticate public data.
Chromia stores data in “relational blockchains” — networks of interconnected tables of information that are verified by the security of the blockchain. That’s important because no single entity holds all the power in a blockchain, making it difficult to mess around with the data stored within these databases.
As of May 2022, Chromia is yet to officially launch its public blockchain; however, organizations that want to securely and efficiently store public data are already using it. Popular uses of Chromia include the upcoming play-to-earn game My Neighbor Alice and an application to verify property rights called LAC PropertyChain.
Although Chromia’s blockchain isn’t public yet, its token is. (You can find it on the Ethereum blockchain.) You can also secure Chromia databases with the backing of Ethereum and BNB Smart Chain — two far larger blockchains.
What can you do with Chromia?
Along with buying and selling the token to speculate on its price, there are plenty of other ways to put it to work.
You can earn extra CHR by “staking” it within a network: temporarily locking it up on the blockchain, where it’s used to protect against attacks, govern the network, and lend CHR to other entities that need it. In exchange for that, you earn interest.
CHR trades on Ethereum and the BNB Smart Chain, where it can be transferred between wallets or staked into smart contracts. You can earn yields from decentralized finance protocols that support the coin, but remember: lots of these protocols are highly experimental, and advertised yields are highly variable.
DeFi contracts perform a variety of financial services, such as providing liquidity to a decentralized exchange, lending out the cryptocurrency, or investing it within another protocol. Although some DeFi protocols will reward you with tokens other than CHR, you can still use CHR to earn those rewards.
When the Chromia blockchain launches, you’ll also be able to use it to send CHR to other people (for a small fee, payable in CHR).
How can you buy Chromia?
There are three main ways to buy CHR: a brokerage platform, a crypto exchange, and a decentralized exchange.
To buy CHR through a brokerage like Wealthsimple Crypto, you’ll have to sign up for an account, prove that you live in Canada (Wealthsimple only services Canadian residents), and connect your bank account, debit card, or crypto wallet. In exchange for service fees, you’re given secure and protected transactions.
Centralized exchanges have a similar sign-up process. The difference is that they use algorithms to match buyers with sellers and allow you to trade directly with other users, sometimes for smaller fees.
A decentralized exchange, or DEX, is a cryptocurrency exchange that runs on a blockchain. The entire operation relies on automated computer code called smart contracts. On a decentralized exchange, you don’t need to create an account — but you will need the right crypto and a Web3 wallet, such as MetaMask.
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