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Bitcoin fees hit their highest since January 2018


Комиссии в сети Биткоина достигли максимума с января 2018 года

Against the background of the renewal of the high above $ 48,000, the average transaction fee on the Bitcoin network peaked in three years and exceeded $ 25. Ethereum transaction fees also rose to $ 24.
The continuing rise in the prices of major cryptocurrencies, triggered by the news of Tesla’s $ 1.5 billion purchase of BTC, has led to a rapid rise in transaction fees on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.

According to BitInfoCharts, the average BTC transaction fee reached a three-year high on February 10 at $ 25.46, and dropped to $ 22.59 over the past 24 hours. After the news of the purchase of bitcoins by Elon Musk’s company, the average transaction fee increased by 122% in just three days – on Sunday, the payment to miners for confirmation was about $ 11.45.

Bitcoin price surpassed another all-time high of $ 48,000 per coin this week. However, despite the high fees, Bitcoin transaction fees are now lower than during the late 2017 bull rally. Then the average commission for a transaction reached $ 55.

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According to experts, most users adhere to the HODL strategy – they buy cryptocurrency without intending to sell it in the near future. Bitcoin developer Leon Johnson said that the average BTC investor has nothing to worry about.

“Most investors are implementing the HODL strategy. Therefore, I don’t think high commissions are a big problem yet, ”he said.

He added that the solution could be the Lightning Network – a second-tier network that accelerates transactions by conducting them outside of Bitcoin. But most people can’t use Lightning, as it is still not available for the most popular wallets.

Usually, the increase in fees is due to the increase in user activity, who want their transaction to be processed as quickly as possible. During such periods, more users are willing to pay high fees to miners to prioritize their transactions.

A similar problem is observed in Ethereum. According to Blockchair data, on February 10, the average transaction value on Ethereum reached $ 22.59, and on February 9, it exceeded a record high of $ 24. Currently, the average cost of sending a transaction is about $ 14.5.

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ConsenSys developer Jordan Lyall said that, as with Bitcoin, the demand for transactions on the Ethereum network is very high. This is due to the growing popularity of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platforms, which in most cases run on Ethereum.

The next increase in fees in the Ethereum network could accelerate the implementation of EIP 1559. The proposed structure of fees in EIP 1559 adapts autonomously to the requirements of the network and allows users to pay only the fees that are actually necessary for the transaction. As a reminder, last month, eight mining pools that control about 30% of Ethereum’s hashing power teamed up against EIP 1559, which offers burning ETH when paying fees.

Nouriel Roubini: “The SEC should monitor the manipulations of Elon Musk in the cryptocurrency market”


Нуриэль Рубини: «SEC должна следить за манипуляциями Илона Маска на рынке криптовалют»

The renowned bitcoin critic Nouriel Roubini called Elon Musk “a manipulator of the cryptocurrency market” and stated that regulators should closely monitor such people.
Nouriel Roubini (Nouriel Roubini) criticized the behavior of Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Elon Musk), who recently tweeted about BTC and DOGE, as his tweets are fueling the growth of cryptocurrencies. Tesla announced the purchase of $ 1.5 billion worth of bitcoins, for granted by the US Securities Commission (SEC). Roubini said the report should have alerted the Commission and urged the regulator to “pay special attention to such people.”

According to Roubini, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Sailor (Michael Sailor) is also acting “irresponsibly” by investing a significant portion of the company’s reserves in Bitcoin, despite its volatility. According to a MicroStrategy report, the company currently owns 71,079 BTC.

In an interview, the cryptocurrency critic said bitcoin could crash if cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and Tether lose the legal battle. We are talking about $ 800 million frozen in the accounts of Crypto Capital, which was the payment processor of Bitfinex and Tether. USDT has a market capitalization of more than $ 30.5 billion, but Tether is involved in investigations by the US Department of Justice and the New York City Attorney’s Office. For example, the US Department of Justice is investigating how USDT is being used to manipulate the cryptocurrency market.

That being said, Roubini sees potential in central bank digital currencies. He suggested that he would end up ditching cash and the US would sooner or later launch a digital dollar. The skeptic is confident that government stablecodes can effectively manage monetary policy and optimize negative interest rates during the economic crisis.

Roubini believes that cryptocurrencies are the perfect tool for scammers who “steal billions of digital assets every day.” In addition, the critic called the fall in cryptocurrency rates an apocalypse and “crypto carnage”.

Nervos launches $ 5 million fund to finance DeFi projects


Nervos запустил фонд размером $5 млн для финансирования проектов DeFi

Chinese project Nervos has launched a $ 5 million fund to support cryptocurrency firms and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.
The Nervos management announced that the fund was created to provide grants to firms working in financial technology and blockchain. Specifically, Nervos intends to provide material support to developers building decentralized exchanges, platforms for issuing synthetic assets and lending solutions. Priority will be given to those projects that seek to interact with multiple blockchains. Grant recipients using the Nervos blockchain will be eligible for technical support from the project’s core development team.
Nervos was founded in 2018 by the creators of the Ethereum mining pool Spark Pool. The project is an open source blockchain that aims to address security and scalability issues through a two-tier structure, and to create a “universal, public network like the Internet.” Nervos executives said the fund was created in response to recent controversies over the centralized financial sector.

We are talking about the situation with the shares of the American retail chain GameStop, which cannot be bought by retail investors, while hedge funds can freely trade them. This has outraged politicians, regulators and ordinary users. Nervos co-founder Kevin Wang believes that centralized financial systems are outdated long ago, making settlements ineffective. He said:

“People are increasingly interested in blockchain and cryptocurrencies due to the many barriers in traditional finance. Users need to be able to easily transact on the blockchain and that space needs to scale. ”

In the fall, Nervos introduced its own standard for creating tokens, Simple User Defined Token (SUDT), to compete with the ERC-20 standard in the DeFi industry. Additionally, a few months ago, Nervos and Cardano began conducting research to improve the security of smart contracts by improving the unspent transaction output (UTXO) system.

Crypton Exchange: Trade CRP without KYC and Limitations with Utopia P2P


Биржа Crypton Exchange: торговля CRP без KYC и ограничений с Utopia P2P

A fully integrated Crypton Automated Exchange (CRP) is launched in the Utopia Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Ecosystem by a group of independent developers supported by 1984 Group.
Crypton Exchange offers users the best cryptocurrency trading experience:

automatic and anonymous account registration;
no commission or low commission model;
automatic unlimited withdrawal of funds;
resistance to censorship;
community chat;
genuine attention to user feedback.
Automatic registration of anonymous account
As with the Utopia P2P ecosystem itself, you only need a nickname and password. The exchange uses your “public key” for automatic authentication. This does not ask for your real name, phone number, or even email address.

New accounts are automatically verified without human intervention and have full access to the exchange. This basic account registration is the only form of verification required, there is simply no form of verification of the user’s identity on this exchange.

Not even the IP address is saved, because everything that ecosystem websites see is only “” from any user, as it should be in a privacy-conscious ecosystem like Utopia.

No commission or low commission model
The first trading pair available on the Crypton Exchange is CRP / USDT, so there is no commission for depositing or withdrawing any asset beyond the transaction costs of the blockchain itself.

Few cryptocurrency exchanges charge a commission when making a deposit, while the vast majority of exchanges charge a commission when withdrawing funds. However, Crypton Exchange does not. Only blockchain transaction fees are charged here. The trading commission is 0.1%, which is one of the lowest rates in the entire industry.

Automatic withdrawal of funds without restrictions
Are you ready to withdraw your recently purchased Crypton (CRP) to your Utopia account’s built-in uWallet client wallet? You won’t have to wait long, Crypton Exchange has automated this process and has no artificial limits on the amount of withdrawal. Within seconds of receiving your request, your CRP will be sent to you.

It doesn’t need a compliance team to manually validate a request, you won’t be asked to take selfies with your passport, and you won’t be told that your funds are frozen due to suspicious activity. The withdrawal process here is as smooth and painless as the process of accepting a deposit, exactly as it should be.

Resistant to censorship
Although the Crypton Exchange is available on the open internet at as it is hosted on the Utopia P2P Ecosystem, the exchange is resistant to both censorship and seizure.

The authorities cannot seize the Utopia domain from a centralized registrar, nor can they supervise the hosting provider by court order, since the exchange is anonymous, self-hosted, and securely delivered via Utopia’s peer-to-peer network. Crypton Exchange leads the way in demonstrating Utopia P2P capabilities.

Community chat feature
One of the most rewarding aspects of the Utopia P2P ecosystem is the ability to interact and communicate with users from all over the world, as there are active communities from Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, China and Latin America. Communication is possible on the exchange itself – in the chat window in the trading interface.

Respect for user feedback
Since CRP / USDT is the first trading pair available on the Crypton Exchange, Utopia users naturally compared the slow speed and high transaction cost of the ERC-20 USDT token on the Ethereum blockchain with near-instantaneous speed and very low Crypton costs.

One of the first user requests that arose was to offer USDT as a TRC-20 token on the Tron blockchain. Within a few days, Crypton Exchange support informed users that this request was accepted and very soon they will start offering this option to users. Additional community feedback included the adoption of major trading pairs along with CRP and moving the exchange outside the ecosystem to an open network to open up the world of Utopia and Crypton to more users. This feedback was implemented on January 25, 2021.

RBC Capital Markets: “Apple needs to buy more BTC and develop a cryptocurrency exchange”


RBC Capital Markets: «Apple нужно купить еще BTC и разработать биржу криптовалют»

Analysts at investment bank RBC Capital Markets believe that after launching its own cryptocurrency exchange, Apple will be able to earn more than $ 40 billion a year.
Apple’s market cap is around $ 2.3 trillion. Analysts have compared Apple to payments company Square, which was founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Square bought 4,709 BTC for $ 50 million in October. According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves, Square’s quarterly revenues from cryptocurrency trading are about $ 1.6 billion. Square has an active user base of 30 million people.

Apple has a user base of 1.5 billion people, and if we assume that only 200 million of them will make transactions with cryptocurrencies, this will be 6.66 times more than Square. The authors of the report believe that Apple’s potential revenue from digital assets will exceed $ 40 billion a year. Therefore, in the next decade, Apple could become the largest player in the cryptocurrency industry.

Apple will be able to easily cover the research and development costs of a cryptocurrency exchange and easily compete with other marketplaces. Analysts believe Apple could create a “closed system for transferring rights to cryptocurrencies” between customers. It is also possible to develop an open system that uses bitcoin. To save money when converting fiat currencies into crypto assets, analysts suggested using the Strike or Lighting Network service. Apple could address US regulatory compliance and KYC issues. Apple’s cryptocurrency exchange will reduce the likelihood of a Bitcoin ban in the future, analysts said.

“If Apple goes down this path, US citizens will have large amounts of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In this case, it would be inappropriate to prohibit them. In addition, Apple software will provide reliable protection of client funds and information, ”- stated in a report by RBC Capital Markets.

Steves suggested that the tech giant invest in bitcoin to pay for the development of a cryptocurrency exchange out of the rise in its price. For example, if Apple buys BTC for $ 5 billion, the price of this crypto asset will rise by at least 10%. The company will be able to use these funds to finance the initiative without prejudice to other projects.

Recall that a few months ago, the leading strategist of ETF Think Tank Dan Weiskopf also advised Apple to invest in bitcoin, but a much larger amount: from $ 10 billion to $ 20 billion. Weiskopf believes that this would be a reasonable hedge against inflation.

AMF Chairman Calls on European Regulators to Ease Blockchain Requirements


Председатель AMF призвал регуляторов Европы смягчить требования к блокчейну
Chairman of the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) Robert Ophèle said European regulators should reconsider their attitude towards DLT and blockchain.
Ofel said this at the 5th Annual Conference on Fintech and Regulation. The AMF Chairman urged financial supervisors to take a new approach to regulating blockchain-based financial instruments, as this technology is starting to be used in many areas of activity. Ophel proposed that the oversight of the cryptocurrency industry be carried out entirely by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Given the current regulation in the European Union, it will be easier for the agency to develop guidelines “from scratch” than to finalize them at a later stage.

ESMA’s activities are aimed at ensuring the stability of the financial system, protecting investors and developing financial markets. In early 2018, ESMA stated that cryptocurrencies are highly risky assets and investors “should not invest money in them that they cannot afford to lose.” Ofel also suggested considering creating a regulatory sandbox for share token issuers. The AMF chairman is convinced that the current regulations hinder blockchain development as they are designed for centralized systems.

Ofel acknowledged that thanks to its decentralized nature, blockchain can improve the European economy. Blockchain can increase the efficiency of processes related to supply chains, increase the transparency of data exchange and speed up interaction between system participants. In addition, blockchain can mitigate the security risks that centralized infrastructures are exposed to. Ofel stressed the need to maintain the competitiveness of the European economy, as many countries are already beginning to actively introduce the latest technologies.

Last fall, an unofficial version of the European Markets for Cryptoasset Act (MiCA) appeared on the Internet, which provides general rules for virtual asset service providers (VASP). Subsequently, many digital asset firms have raised concerns about this bill. XReg Consulting believes that MiCA could overload the industry with excessive demands and hinder the development of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) industry.

Binance withdrew lawsuit against Forbes journalists


Биржа Binance отозвала иск против журналистов Forbes

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance withdrew a lawsuit against Forbes Media journalists, who published defamatory materials that tarnished the reputation of the exchange.
About three months ago, Forbes journalists Michael del Castillo and Jason Brett wrote an article detailing the activities of Binance’s US subsidiary. The document presents a diagram codenamed “Tai Chi Organization”. With its help, the exchange allegedly bypasses the requirements of regulatory bodies, using a legal entity in the United States to conduct business in the country and redirect the profits of the parent company.

The suspicion of the authors of the article was caused by the fact that the CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao repeatedly refused to answer questions about where the main office of the exchange is located. Earlier, Zhao stated that headquarters and offices have already lost relevance.

Binance has accused journalists of publishing false statements and defamation. The exchange tried to recover compensation for material damage from Forbes and to get the article removed from publication. The complaint states that Binance does not violate and fully complies with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. In addition, Binance does not seek to evade regulatory requirements in any jurisdiction. However, in a statement dated February 4, 2021, Binance management announced a voluntary withdrawal from the claim, without explaining the reasons, but retaining the right to file a second claim. On the same day, the judge granted Binance’s appeal.

One of Binance’s lawyers in this case is Charles Harder. He represented professional wrestler Hulk Hogan in a case against media organization Gawker. Gawker subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Forbes’ chief communications officer Matthew Hutchison said the publication still adheres to its position and does not refuse to publish.

As a reminder, 11 class action lawsuits against cryptocurrency exchanges were filed in the Southern District of New York last year. Among the defendants were Binance and its boss, Changpeng Zhao, who were accused of not complying with securities laws.

Curve Finance had closed yVault2 liquidity pool after vulnerability was discovered


Curve Finance закрыла пул ликвидности yVault2 после обнаружения уязвимости
The developers of the DeFi Curve Finance protocol have found a vulnerability affecting the new yVault2 liquidity pool. The pool had to be closed.
According to a statement on Twitter by Curve Finance, the vulnerability is affecting the new trading pool yVault2, which includes the Yearn Finance yield aggregator project. The pool was quickly closed to prevent an incident.

Curve gives users the ability to switch between USD-backed stablecoins with extremely low fees and slippage. Curve’s liquidity is entirely provided by users, who in return earn income from interest charged to Curve’s stablecoin borrowers. According to the developers’ statement, all blocked tokens will be automatically returned to liquidity providers.

Yearn Finance is a profitability aggregator that automatically transfers users’ cryptoassets to other protocols, exchanges and wallets that generate profitability. All users who have blocked their cryptoassets on Yearn receive a token with “Y” in their name in return. For example, a user who invests USDT in Yearn receives yUSDT in return, which can later be used in other protocols to generate income or exchanged for another cryptocurrency.

This structure is called “vault”, where tokens “v1” and “v2” based on two vaults, which charge different fees and use different strategies, are issued to users based on the assets they have deposited. The latest vulnerability affected the “v2” pool, with the team confirming that the problem was not fundamental, but technical.

This is the second vulnerability involving the Yearn Finance protocol in recent days. Last week, an experienced hacker hacked v1 yDAI, causing the vault to lose approximately $ 11 million worth of crypto assets.

Central Bank of Nigeria bans banks from serving cryptocurrency companies


ЦБ Нигерии запретил банкам обслуживать криптовалютные компании

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned commercial banks from serving the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges and other firms that operate with digital assets.
As part of the ban by the central bank of Nigeria, all banks and financial institutions are required to close the accounts of firms that carry out operations with cryptocurrencies. If banks fail to comply with this directive, they face severe fines.

The Bank of Nigeria reported that earlier commercial banks had already received a warning not to interact with participants in the cryptocurrency market. Meanwhile, the country’s population continues to show great interest in bitcoin. According to Google Trends, Nigeria is ranked # 1 in the world for Bitcoin related searches.

CBN has always been negative about cryptocurrencies and fears their spread. The regulator believes that they can have a bad effect on international monetary policy, and crypto assets cannot be viewed as legal means of payment. Despite this sentiment from the central bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria believe that innovation should not be hindered. It is much more effective to work out in detail the regulation of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, and then amend the legislation accordingly.

The ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria resembles the actions of the Reserve Bank of India, which in 2018 also banned banks from providing services to institutions using virtual assets. Two years later, India’s Supreme Court overturned the RBI directive on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. However, last month RBI clarified that with the ban it protected banks from financial and reputational risks.

Gartner: Payments Companies Will Have To Integrate Stablecoin Payments


Gartner: платежным компаниям придется интегрировать платежи в стейблкоинах

According to the findings of the Gartner researchers, centralized payment companies need to adapt in order not to be left behind by the growing demand for payments in stablecoins.
In a blog post, analysts from research firm Gartner write that while support for cryptocurrencies by centralized payment systems such as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal helps them prepare for the transition to a future payment infrastructure, these companies’ revenue is based on the collection of transaction fees for clearing and settlement.

According to an article written by Gartner VP Avivah Litan, a fee strategy that contradicts the P2P blockchain model may be the factor that will lead to these firms lagging behind the stablecoin payment networks.

Litan classified such firms as “centralized decentralized finance” (CeDeFi). In this system, large companies with large amounts of BTC are innovating the DeFi space and implementing DeFi apps.

However, Litan points out that customers of such services are wondering if they will be required to pay centralized service fees to move cryptocurrencies across the blockchain, as this contradicts the original idea of ​​the technology.

“The companies we communicate with are fairly skeptical about these services,” Litan wrote. “In the end, the revolution in blockchain payments is that they perform P2P transactions and eliminate intermediaries and their associated banking fees.”

However, the author of the article added that Gartner has yet to grapple with a number of proposals from the cryptocurrency industry for viable payments in stablecoins. The problem now is the lack of readily available apps and high fees – higher than what payment card operators or payment processors such as Square and PayPal offer.

Litan said payment card operators have the potential to provide a number of as-yet-defunct offers. For example, transparent payments in stablecoins in real time on the blockchain, and the protection of money that provides stablecoins in accounts with partner banks.

“Payment card operators will be able to generate income from value-added services as well as interest on reserves that provide stablecoins,” Litan said.

The analyst predicts that by 2022, the CeDeFi system may be ready for implementation in enterprises, if appropriate regulatory requirements are adopted. However, if traditional payment companies fail to adapt to support such services, booming cryptocurrency exchanges and other companies in the industry will bypass them.

“Will centralized financial companies move forward in the spirit of blockchain P2P payments, at the risk of cannibalizing their existing revenue streams based on a centralized clearing house?” – writes Litan. “The answer will depend on whether they have a valid choice.”

Recently it became known that Visa is developing a set of APIs for banks and financial institutions. They will be able to provide their clients with services for working with cryptoassets. In addition, the CEO of Visa spoke about plans for cryptocurrency payments during a teleconference on the company’s financial activities for the first quarter of 2021.

Report: blockchain developers move to DeFi projects


Отчет: разработчики блокчейна переходят на проекты DeFi

Engineers and developers are gradually switching from tier 1 blockchains that rival Ethereum to DeFi protocols.
According to the latest blockchain industry trend report from venture capital firm Outlier Ventures, developers are shifting their focus from Ethereum rivals to DeFi apps. Ethereum has remained the most actively developed blockchain protocol over the past year, followed by Cardano and Bitcoin. The fourth place after the launch of the main network in October 2020 was taken by the Filecoin decentralized data warehouse project.

While some newer platforms, such as Polkadot, Cosmos and Avalanche, are seeing an increase in developer activity, many of Ethereum’s competitors are seeing a decline in protocol development.

Ethereum Killers – Tron, EOS, Komodo and Qtum have all experienced a decline in developer activity in the past year, ”the researchers note.

At the same time, Ethereum-based DeFi protocols, which showed strong growth in 2020, began to attract more attention from developers, with Aave and Balancer apps showing the largest growth in such activity. In addition, the most actively developed DeFi projects are Maker, Gnosis, Synthetix, SushiSwap, and Yearn Finance.

“SushiSwap and Yearn Finance, launched in 2020, quickly expanded beyond the development effort and scope of most other DeFi protocols.”

DeFi was not the only sector of growth in developer activity. Projects related to virtual worlds, collectibles and games (usually using non-reproducible tokens – NFTs) have also attracted blockchain developers. According to the report, the activity of the developers of the virtual reality platform on the Decentraland blockchain was similar to the level of some large blockchains, for example, Stellar and Algorand, and higher than that of some of the popular DeFi protocols – Uniswap and Compound.

When collecting data for the report, the researchers analyzed project Github repositories, where developers send code updates, improvements and suggestions. Ethereum is still the most actively developed protocol: its developers are 14% more active than Cardano, and almost double Bitcoin in terms of the number of proposals for code changes.

This can largely be attributed to the development of Ethereum 2.0 – the Beacon Chain was launched on December 1st. Ethereum 2.0 capabilities will expand as the next phases roll out.

Glassnode: BTC Equally Distributed Between Whales and Retail Investors


Glassnode: BTC равномерно распределены между «китами» и розничными инвесторами

Despite the rise in the number of whales in 2020, the amount of BTC in the wallets of retail investors has increased by 130% in three years.
According to Glassnode, bitcoins are relatively evenly distributed across addresses with varying balance sizes. Glassnode researchers published this data in response to previously disseminated information that the bulk of bitcoins in circulation is concentrated in a few large addresses – only 2% of wallets control 95% of BTC. While these numbers are technically correct, they are misleading because they leave out a number of important factors.

“2% of addresses control 95% of all BTC.” Not true. The BTC supply is much less concentrated than is often reported and has become more diffuse over time, ”said Glassnode CTO Rafael Schultze-Kraft.

He writes that not all BTC addresses should be treated the same:

“For example, the address of the exchange, which stores the money of millions of users, must be distinguished from an individual address … One user can control several addresses, and one address can contain the money of several users.”

Researchers analyzed Bitcoin wallets according to balances and divided them into eight distinct groups, each named after sea creatures: shrimp (<1 BTC), crabs (1-10 BTC), octopuses (10-50 BTC), fish ( 50-100 BTC), dolphins (100-500 BTC), sharks (500-1000 BTC), whales (1000-5000 BTC) and humpback whales (> 5000 BTC). Exchanges and miners were not included in the statistics and were considered separately.

glassnode under the sea.png

The estimated distribution of BTC among network members over time. Source: Glassnode.

As of January 2021, whales and humpback whales were the largest members of the network – these two categories controlled about 31% of the BTC supply. This is followed by fish, dolphins and sharks (50-1,000 BTC), which control about 23% of the total BTC supply, followed by shrimp, crabs and octopuses (<50 BTC) with about 23%. Exchanges and miners control 13% and 10% of bitcoins, respectively.

Schulze-Kraft commented on the data and said that the largest non-exchange network members are likely institutions, funds, custodians, OTC traders and other wealthy people.

“On the other hand, the smaller network members holding at least 50 BTC control almost 23% of the supply. This shows that a significant amount of bitcoin is in the hands of retail investors, ”he added.

More importantly, Schulze-Kraft said, there has been a steady dispersal of BTC supply in recent years, with a trend towards an increase in the number of smallholders. According to the report, the number of bitcoins owned by the smallest network members has increased by 130% since 2017, and by the second largest addresses by 14%. At the same time, the balances of the major players – dolphins and sharks, whales and humpback whales – decreased by 3% and 7%, respectively. At the same time, the number of whales has increased significantly since 2020.

“This suggests that institutional investors, foundations, family offices and other wealthy players are entering the industry. Yes, this is a bullish signal, ”concluded Schulze-Kraft.

This bullish trend is supported by the fact that the number of addresses that hold at least 1 BTC recently hit a new all-time high, surpassing the September 2020 record. In addition, in January, the number of active Bitcoin addresses reached 22.3 million.

Binance Launched Binance Pay Beta


Binance запустила бета-версию платежного сервиса Binance Pay
Binance cryptocurrency exchange has launched a beta version of the Binance Pay service for payments in five cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, BUSD, BNB and SXP. The exchange sees him as a potential competitor to PayPal.
The beta version of the service was “secretly” launched last Friday. The management of the exchange announced this only today, at the virtual event Binance Blockchain Week. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said Binance Pay is “a contactless and secure technology for making cryptocurrency payments.”

The service supports five cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, BUSD stablecoin, BNB internal coin and SXP token of the Swipe project, which Binance acquired last year. Binance Pay users can transfer cryptoassets from their account using a QR code through the app. According to Zhao, the service allows you to pay for purchases with cryptoassets and make money transfers around the world.

The head of Binance said the exchange is not going to be limited to one trade. He believes that payments are one of the most obvious use cases for cryptocurrencies, so he intends to stimulate the demand for digital assets. The Binance system will allow users to pay with cryptocurrencies, and sellers will receive stablecoins backed by fiat currency (currently only euros). In this case, sellers will not be exposed to the risk of cryptocurrency volatility.

According to Zhao, the service was developed as a “response” to payment company PayPal, which enabled US citizens to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. According to Nomics, since the beginning of January, the volume of Bitcoin trading on PayPal has increased by 950%, as of January 11 this figure was $ 242 million.

Last year, Binance launched the Binance Card debit card in the European Economic Area (EEA). The card also supports BTC, BNB, SXP and BUSD.

Visa develops cryptocurrency services for banks


Visa разрабатывает криптовалютные сервисы для банков

Visa is developing a set of APIs for banking and financial institutions. They can provide their clients with services for working with cryptoassets.
Payment card operator Visa and digital bank First Boulevard are preparing to launch a program for bank customers to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. First Boulevard’s neobank will be Visa’s first user programmable interface (API). The CEO and President of First Boulevard, Donald Hawkins (Donald Hawkins), believes that bitcoin is a new asset class that can increase the level of human well-being.

Anchorage custodian service will store cryptocurrencies on behalf of Visa customers. Last month in Anchorage, he received a license from the Office of the Comptroller of the United States of America (OCC) for banking activities in the country. This means that client funds will be held in accordance with the requirements of American regulators. In addition, banks allow the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies and their own withdrawal, unlike the PayPal payment system. The launch of the pilot Visa program is scheduled for the end of the year.

“Our strategy is to work with wallets and exchanges, and users can buy cryptocurrencies using their Visa credentials. People should be able to pay with cryptocurrencies wherever Visa is accepted, ”said Visa CEO Alfred Kelly (Alfred Kelly).

Visa’s head of cryptocurrency, Kai Sheffield (Qui Sheffield), compared cryptocurrencies to “digital gold” despite the fact that they are not widely used as a means of payment. Visa Director of Product Development Jack Forestell (Jack Forstell) added that the initiative aims to connect the financial industry with the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In addition to First Boulevard, the payment operator cooperates with CapWay, eatOkra, OneUnited Bank and Urban One.

Sygnum Bank Has Tokenized Vintage Wines on Desygnate Platform


Банк Sygnum токенизировал марочные вина на платформе Desygnate

From February 1, Switzerland is allowed to issue tokenized assets. Sygnum Bank was the first to tokenize “investment vintage wines” by issuing tokens on the Desygnate platform.
The Swiss bank Sygnum tokenized the first set of assets in accordance with the country’s new law on the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT). Sygnum Bank has teamed up with Fine Wine Capital AG to tokenize a range of “investment vintage wines” and has issued tokens representing alcohol assets on the Sygnum Desygnate platform.
The release of assets became possible thanks to the entry into force of the first stage of the new law on February 1, which allows the registration and transfer of tokenized assets. The law will open up access to luxury goods such as diamonds and fine wines to more investors by increasing the availability and liquidity of such assets.

“Tokenization of wine assets allows us to expand our base of private investor-collectors with new private and institutional investors. This gives them the ability to efficiently store, trade or request physical settlement for this unique asset, ”said Fine Wine co-founder Alexandre Challand.

Ownership records of tokenized assets issued on Desygnate are recorded on the legally binding blockchain ledger. Ownership rights can be transferred to others exclusively through the DLT system in accordance with the new Swiss law. Sygnum’s head of regulatory technology, Gino Wirthensohn, said:

“The legislative provisions that have come into force ensure that asset tokenization has become a viable alternative to traditional securitization.”

The new law, first proposed by the Swiss Federal Council in 2019, went through a rigorous legislative process before being approved by both the lower and upper houses of parliament last summer. In early August, the second stage of the law comes into force, which concerns the modernization of infrastructure in the financial markets.

As a reminder, in December Sygnum tokenized its shares using the Ethereum blockchain and the Desygnate asset tokenization platform. The bank also announced preparations for the upcoming IPO.

Economists: “the concept of state-owned cryptocurrencies could turn out to be a failure”


Экономисты: «концепция государственных криптовалют может обернуться провалом»

Economists Peter Bofinger and Thomas Huss argue that government-owned cryptocurrencies may fail as a medium of exchange due to competition from private banks.
According to an article on European economic policy analysis published by economists Peter Bofinger and Thomas Hass, cryptocurrencies issued by governments may be a failure because the concept lacks “understandable motivation.”
Bofinger and Hass, of the economics department of the University of Würzburg in Germany, argue that central banks have been too focused on issuing state-owned cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange. There, for the time being, private banks already offer such opportunities as deposit insurance and a wide range of products.

According to the researchers, instead of trying to position state-owned cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, governments need to think about the concept of supranational digital currencies that can act as a store of value in the international system.

Government-owned cryptocurrency can be viewed as “a deposit at the central bank that is used within existing real-time gross settlement systems.” However, it can also be understood as an independent payment system that operates in parallel with the existing system using deposits held at the central bank.

The authors of the publication studied the existing models of developed state cryptocurrencies and came to the conclusion that it would be difficult for central banks to issue such a digital currency without interfering with the market. The article notes:

“They have to prove that the goals they are pursuing are currently not being satisfactorily met by private service providers. And even if public goods, such as financial stability or the stability of a payment system, are not optimally achieved, it is not clear that government cryptocurrency is an adequate solution. ”

Researchers are also wondering why a user should switch from a private bank or payment system to a national one if he already has deposit insurance. From the point of view of the authors, perhaps the best type of government cryptocurrency is one that hardly any central bank thinks about for fear of abandoning intermediation. It will be a government-owned cryptocurrency designed not to facilitate payments, but to preserve value.

“The demand for such a state-owned cryptocurrency will come from firms and large investors with bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros. From the user’s point of view, this demand will depend on the interest rate for such deposits. Central banks could auction savings deposits, which would give them full control over their amount, ”the researchers write.

In conclusion, the authors of the article note that state-owned cryptocurrencies are too small on the scale of the international economy:

“The bar is set by PayPal. The experience of this company shows that instead of national schemes that can work only with the national currency and carry out transactions only with system accounts, the solution should be supranational, multicurrency and open to payment entities that do not depend on the system. If central banks stick to their current approach, there is a high risk that state-owned cryptocurrencies will become a giant failure. ”

According to a recent study by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), central banks are actively researching government-owned cryptocurrencies, and developing countries are initiating their mass release. At the same time, in January, the IMF said that only 23% of central banks can legally issue government cryptocurrencies.

SBI and SMFG Will Launch Blockchain Stock Exchange in 2022


SBI и SMFG запустят фондовую биржу на блокчейне в 2022 году

SBI Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) will launch a blockchain digital securities exchange in Osaka in the spring of 2022 to compete with the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
According to the Nikkei publication, the exchange created by SBI and SMFG will be the first stock exchange in Japan to allow investors to trade digital securities using the blockchain. To prepare for the launch of the exchange in March, the companies will create an operating company Osaka Digital Exchange (ODX). SBI will own 60% of ODX and SMFG will own 40%.
The exchange will use its own trading system and electronic trading platform to enable investors to conduct transactions outside of the regular public exchange. Companies strive to make the exchange more attractive to investors by accepting orders outside Tokyo Stock Exchange business hours and reducing the minimum price step.

The exchange will begin trading digital securities in 2023. SBI believes that digital security technology will make it easier for investors to invest in non-traditional assets such as real estate, as well as art and film distribution rights. The exchange is supposed to become a market for such assets. SMFG brokerage company – SMBC Nikko Securities – will be channeling some of the client’s orders to the new exchange.

Stock exchange operators are increasingly paying attention to blockchain. Back in late 2017, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) announced that the blockchain would replace its current Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) clearing and settlement system. However, in October, ASX postponed the launch of the system on the blockchain until April 2023 due to higher platform requirements than previously thought.

Crypto Broker AG obtained a broker-dealer license in Switzerland


Crypto Broker AG получил лицензию брокера-дилера в Швейцарии
The brokerage division of Crypto Finance Group – Crypto Broker AG – has received a brokerage license from the Swiss Financial Markets Authority (FINMA).
Crypto Broker AG CEO Rupertus Rothenhaeuser said the license would expand the firm’s reach, enhance regulatory compliance, and facilitate risk monitoring and liquidity reporting. Many banks are ready to work only with regulated partners, imposing strict requirements on them. According to Rothenhauser, now Crypto Broker AG can work with any Swiss banks, including cryptocurrency banks SEBA and Sygnum.

In addition, Crypto Broker AG will be able to work with regulated share tokens thanks to amendments to financial and corporate legislation in Switzerland, which take into account cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Rothenhauser added that as a licensed broker, Crypto Broker AG will be able to store client funds in fiat currency, thus eliminating the complexity of processing payments. However, the head of Crypto Broker AG did not disclose which major players would use the firm’s services.

“On the one hand, we work with the latest technology. But on the other hand, the payment cycle of cryptocurrency transactions sometimes resembles the 80s of the last century. With a broker-dealer license, we can hold funds in an account, which will allow us to process trades more efficiently and maximize our margin, ”said CEO of Crypto Broker AG.

The Swiss government is actively developing the regulation of the cryptocurrency industry in order to create the foundation for its development in the country. However, only a few firms receive FINMA approval. The regulator believes that digital assets and cryptocurrencies contribute to money laundering, and Switzerland is especially susceptible to such risks due to its loyalty to this industry.

CoinMarketCap has Pushed WSB token ahead of bitcoin in support of Reddit users


CoinMarketCap «подвинул» токен WSB вперед биткоина в поддержку пользователей Reddit

WallStreetBets (WSB) token appeared on CoinMarketCap, which took zero place ahead of BTC in terms of capitalization. This joke relates to Reddit users’ revenge on institutional traders.
The CoinMarketCap service posted a warning on the WSB page that no such asset actually exists. This means that Bitcoin is still the leader in the cryptocurrency market. The fictional token is valued at $ 483, and its capitalization is $ 24.8 billion. There are 51,442,000 WSB in circulation, and the daily trading volume of WSB is allegedly $ 100 million.

WSB токен

These numbers did not appear out of nowhere. Most likely, they denote the performance of the American retail chain GameStop, which sells game consoles and computer games. Its shares turned out to be the subject of a dispute between hedge funds, which opened positions for a decrease, and thousands of users of the WallStreetBets subreddit, which began mass buying in order to “punish” market manipulators.

The participants of the subreddit managed to raise the price of GME more than five times. The rally in stocks led hedge fund Melvin Capital to lose billions of dollars in short positions. After that, the American platform for retailing stocks and cryptoassets Robinhood suspended the purchase of GME shares, ostensibly to “control market manipulation.” Broker Ameritrade has suspended trading in these shares for a similar reason.

These sparked massive outrage: retail investors are prohibited from buying stocks, while hedge funds are free to trade them as they see fit. Social network Facebook has removed the official Robinhood traders community group. American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that such actions were unacceptable, and Congressman Paul Gosar asked the US Attorney General to investigate. Robinhood is also being sued for trying to manipulate the smooth functioning of the financial market. The lawsuit received widespread public support.

The WSB token was created and posted on CoinMarketCap in support of the WallStreetBets community making headlines around the world. Now, the token takes a place next to Bitcoin, sharing with it the principles of the free market and the right to full ownership of assets, which should not be managed by hedge funds and other exchange sharks.

As of April 1, 2020, in the midst of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Coimarketcap has already tried to pull off a similar joke with the “toilet paper token.” However, she did not find support in the community.

Visa plans to expand the use of cryptocurrencies in the payment network


Visa планирует расширить возможности использования криптовалют в платежной сети

The CEO of Visa spoke about plans for cryptocurrency payments during a teleconference on the company’s financial activities for the first quarter of 2021.
In his speech, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly said the company is ready to make cryptocurrency payments safer and more widely used by working with the firm’s partners.
Visa plans to work with wallets and exchanges so that users can buy cryptoassets, he said. In addition, the company intends to provide users with the ability to cash out and make purchases in fiat currency using cryptocurrencies.

Kelly also voiced Visa’s position on digital assets. At the moment, the company distinguishes two classes of crypto assets: assets like bitcoin – “digital gold”, and assets backed by fiat currencies, including stablecoins and digital currencies of central banks. He called the second category “a new payment innovation with potential for global trade.”

The CEO of Visa also said that the company can provide the ability to use cryptocurrency as a payment instrument without first converting it into fiat currency for payments.

“It goes without saying that if a particular digital currency becomes a recognized medium of exchange, there is no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today,” said Kelly.

Recall that last summer, Visa planned to redouble its efforts to “shape and support the role of cryptocurrencies in the future of money,” and in December the company proposed a method of offline payments in state cryptocurrencies.

SIA and WizKey are developing an Ethereum-based platform for the secondary loan market


SIA и WizKey разрабатывают платформу на Эфириуме для рынка вторичных кредитов

SIA, a developer of electronic payment services, plans to launch an Ethereum-based secondary lending platform in the second half of 2021.
According to a statement from SIA, the firm is working on a blockchain-based system to enable secondary credit trading. The platform will allow banks, funds and financial operators to conduct secondary credit transactions through the blockchain.

In a separate statement, a SIA spokesman said the company plans to test the Ethereum-based platform in the second quarter of this year, with a full-scale launch expected in the second half of the year. The new platform is being developed in collaboration with fintech startup WizKey. Headquartered in Milan, the company creates finance solutions with a focus on structured finance products and loan management and transfer.

Through the blockchain, SIA intends to provide financial operators with instant and secure access to loan portfolios, as well as basic data and documentation.

“Certification of information and workflow through blockchain provides trust for all aftermarket buyers. They will know that the data has been agreed and certified, and this will increase the speed of transactions and market liquidity, ”said the SIA spokesman.

WizKey CEO and Founder Marco Pagani noted that the blockchain project aims to create a “transparent, liquid and efficient secondary market for non-performing loans that will benefit the entire system of the country.” Daniele Savarè, director of innovation and business solutions at SIA, also noted that the project will be developed in a standardized manner in accordance with European regulations.

Recall that in October, SIA announced a partnership with the cryptocurrency custodian Hex Trust to help clients of European banks gain access to the storage of digital assets.

BIS: “Central banks of developing countries will issue state cryptocurrencies in the next three years”


BIS: «ЦБ развивающихся стран выпустят государственные криптовалюты в ближайшие три года»

According to a new study by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), central banks are actively researching state-owned cryptocurrencies, and developing countries are initiating their mass release.
According to BIS’s third annual survey of 65 central banks, 86% of respondents said they at least consider the pros and cons of issuing their own digital currencies. Last year this figure was 80%.
According to the survey, 60% of central banks are currently experimenting with government-owned cryptocurrencies. In 2019, only 42% conducted such tests. Central banks in developing countries are promoting the concept of state-owned cryptocurrencies with more enthusiasm and dedication than in advanced economies. Seven out of eight government cryptocurrency projects are emerging markets.

“This research is evidenced by the launch of the first real government cryptocurrency in the Bahamas. Others are likely to join this pioneer. Central banks, which together represent a fifth of the world’s population, are likely to issue general-purpose government cryptocurrencies in the next three years, ”the report said.

According to BIS, it will take several more years for the global adoption of government cryptocurrencies. Many countries are not yet backing up their in-depth concept studies with final deployment plans. Tellingly, half of the Central Banks, which in 2019 said that they would “probably” release the state cryptocurrency in the short term, this year talked about an “opportunity” or “unlikely” release in the near future.

Most central banks are more interested in “retail” government cryptocurrency (consumer and everyday use) than in “wholesale” (system payments, transfers between banks). Some countries that once considered both models are now focusing their research on the retail concept.

The legality of state-owned cryptocurrencies remains an unanswered question among most of the central banks surveyed. 48% of respondents are not sure that they have the right to issue digital currency, and 26% are sure that there is no such right. Recall that recently the International Monetary Fund announced that only 23% of the Central Bank can legally issue state cryptocurrencies. ”

Interestingly, over 40% of respondents said that private cryptocurrencies could have a “good” appeal in cross-border payments. Central banks, especially in emerging markets, have expressed great concern about the threat posed by stablecoins. According to the BIS, more than two-thirds of central banks are studying this issue.

“When it comes to cryptocurrencies, central banks are still not considering their widespread use as a payment instrument,” the report said.

Regulators South Africa has revealed the cryptocurrency pyramid Mirror Trading International


Регуляторы ЮАР раскрыли криптовалютную пирамиду Mirror Trading International

South African regulators will tighten control of the cryptocurrency industry due to the closure of the fraudulent scheme Mirror Trading International, which managed to collect 23,000 BTC worth more than $ 700 million.
The Financial Sector Supervisory Authority (FSCA) of South Africa announced the proliferation of cryptocurrency pyramids. Mirror Trading International (MTI) has become the largest of these in the country. The firm has positioned itself as a Bitcoin trading platform and has attracted over 260,000 people.

During the investigation, the FSCA found out that the firm did not maintain accounting records and did not even have a customer database. The firm’s executives said they were misled by MTI CEO Johann Steynberg, who could have fled to Brazil. According to the firm’s lawyers, the FSCA established only that MTI is trading without a license, but this does not necessarily mean fraud.

FSCA’s head of enforcement, Brandon Topham, said prosecutors should be able to stop such schemes before they start to spread massively. Therefore, the authorities need to tighten control over cryptocurrency trading. Topham urged users to exercise prudence and to critically evaluate information provided by cryptocurrency firms. He was immediately suspicious of MTI’s claims of 10% monthly profit.

“I was on a radio show once where people called themselves ‘professional ponzi investors.’ They encouraged other people to take risks, convincing them that this was the only way to make good money. The police and the prosecutor’s office must work quickly, and for organizing such schemes, you need to go to jail, ”Topham said.

In July, the Texas Securities Board banned MTI from operating in the state, calling the project a multilevel marketing (MLM) scheme. The FSCA said the liquidators have not yet been able to trace all of the company’s assets. In addition, there are two other firms under investigation that may be associated with MTI.

Recall that in 2018 in South Africa, the police uncovered another large cryptocurrency pyramid, BTC Global, which killed 28,000 people. Earlier, the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) of South Africa also proposed to tighten the regulation of the cryptocurrency industry, and not to assign legal tender status to digital assets. The FSCA recently introduced a bill that would require crypto assets to be treated as financial products.

Reddit announced partnership with Ethereum Foundation


Reddit объявил о партнерстве с Ethereum Foundation

Reddit employee known as jarins has announced a partnership between the company and the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the Ethereum program and development.
On the evening of January 27, a message from one of the Reddit administrators appeared on the Ethereum subreddit announcing the partnership and congratulations to the Ethereum community. A Reddit employee known as jarins writes that this is the company’s first partnership in the blockchain industry.

According to the administrator, Reddit, with daily activity of more than 50 million users in hundreds of thousands of groups, remains one of the servers for independent development of many communities. With this partnership, the company will expand its participation in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, accelerate the development of the Ethereum ecosystem and provide it with new resources. In this way, millions of users will learn about the values ​​and independence of blockchain technology.

The collaboration started with the Scaling Bake-Off online conference held on Reddit, now taking it to the next level. With Rediit Ethereum, new opportunities for scaling in the development and development of decentralized applications. The Ethereum team will receive technology to develop and run high-load applications such as community dots. They will give users new opportunities for decentralized ownership and self-government of communities.

Community Points are a program to motivate users and give them the ability to independently manage the community on Reddit. Community Points are currently in beta on the Rinkeby testnet and are being tested on the r / CryptoCurrency and r / FortNiteBR subreddits. Under this program, users receive tokens (CP) for helpful articles and comments. These tokens circulate on the blockchain and are not controlled by Reddit. You can spend them on badges, emoji, animated pictures, etc. But the most important thing is that the owner of a large number of CPs gains more weight in voting and decision-making within the community.

On the part of Reddit, a specialized team will be engaged in development on the blockchain, which already has vacancies for engineers and other employees. Moreover, jarins promises some more exciting news in the coming months.

The community received the information about the partnership with enthusiasm and more than a hundred comments have already been left under the article. Jarins wrote that he and several people from the Ethereum Foundation will be watching the thread and answering all user questions.

Major US Universities Invest in Cryptocurrencies Through Their Funds


Крупнейшие университеты США инвестируют в криптовалюты через свои фонды

Endowment funds of some universities in the United States have purchased cryptocurrency through accounts at Coinbase and other cryptocurrency exchanges over the past year.
According to two sources familiar with the situation, Harvard, Yale and Michigan universities, Brown University, and several other US institutions of higher education bought cryptocurrency through exchanges. Recall that in the fall of 2018, the five largest US universities invested in cryptocurrency funds.
“There are quite a few,” said a source who asked to remain anonymous. “Many funds are currently setting aside a small amount to invest in cryptocurrency.”

Yale and Brown University did not respond to requests for comment. The Trust Funds of Harvard and Michigan University declined to comment. Coinbase also declined to comment. In the exchange’s 2020 annual report, university trust funds were mentioned only once, but without disclosing their names.

According to another source, who also asked to remain anonymous, some of the listed university funds may have had accounts with Coinbase for at least 18 months:

“They could have started buying cryptocurrency back in mid-2019. Most of them have accounts for at least a year. I think universities will make this information public this year. ”

Endowment funds in universities are pools of capital accumulated by educational organizations, often in the form of charitable donations. These funds, which support training and research, can be allocated to various assets for investment purposes.

Harvard and Yale have the largest funds with assets of more than $ 40 billion and $ 30 billion, respectively. The University of Michigan fund is about $ 12.5 billion, and the Brown University fund is $ 4.7 billion.

Institutional investor interest in crypto assets continues to grow. Earlier this month, the CEO of Grayscale Investments said the company expects heightened interest in cryptocurrencies from pension funds, which will fuel the market’s growth.

Central Bank of India began research on the issue of its own digital currency


ЦБ Индии начал исследования по выпуску собственной цифровой валюты

The Central Bank of India (RBI) is starting to explore the potential of government digital currencies, as well as the feasibility of issuing its own digital currency.
Despite rumors of an upcoming draft law to ban cryptocurrency trading, RBI’s position on digital assets has become more optimistic. According to a report published after conducting a study of the payment sector in India, experts from the regulator acknowledge that cryptocurrencies have become popular around the world. However, Indian regulators and local governments are skeptical and even wary of them.

RBI has described government stablecoins as legal tender, which should be viewed as “digital liabilities of the central bank.” Therefore, the Bank of India will begin to study whether there is a need to launch a digital version of the national currency. And, if it is economically feasible, RBI will explore possible options for its use.

The Indian government has a rather complicated relationship with digital assets. In 2018, RBI banned banks and financial institutions from providing services to firms working with cryptocurrencies. However, in March 2020, the Supreme Court of India overturned the RBI directive banning the use of crypto assets. After that, many trading platforms appeared in the country, however, Indian traders still express fears about the future of the cryptocurrency industry in India.

According to RBI, the volume of digital payments in the country is 43%, and in 2011 this figure was 12.5%. The bank said it could expand the adoption of digital payments by targeting the needs of the younger generation, which is easily adaptable to new technologies. If such a large bank and strict regulator really launched its own digital currency, other central banks could follow suit, speeding up the development of their stablecoins.

Mining company Marathon bought 4,813 BTC for $ 150 million


Майнинговая компания Marathon купила 4813 BTC на $150 млн

Marathon Patent Group, a mining company traded on the Nasdaq exchange, bought 4,813 BTC for $ 150 million. This is the first time a bitcoin mining company bought them on the market.
In mid-January, Marathon managed to raise $ 250 million. When asked if the funds were used to buy bitcoin, Marathon CEO Merrick Okamoto said that the purchase was made from the company’s budget. She already had $ 425 million in cash, and some of it was invested in bitcoin.

Okamoto is convinced that by investing cash in the first cryptocurrency, the company has made a profitable investment. Storing a certain part of the reserves in bitcoins will be much more profitable than in US dollars. Okamoto believes that Bitcoin will become one of the most profitable assets in the long term. Therefore, we need to follow the lead of other forward-thinking bitcoin investing firms such as MicroStrategy. This company has already invested more than $ 475 million in bitcoin, and has issued bonds for $ 650 million to buy bitcoin. The transaction was made with the participation of the investment company New York Digital Investments Group (NYDIG) on January 21, at a price of $ 31,135. Recall that last month NYDIG helped the insurance giant MassMutual invest $ 100 million in bitcoin.

Marathon Patent Group has been mining bitcoin since the end of 2017. The company has 23,560 mining devices at its disposal, producing from 1.5 to 2 BTC per day. To scale up operations, Marathon bought 70,000 Antminer S19 Pro from Bitmain in December. The total number of ordered ASIC miners is 100,500 devices worth $ 270 million.

Okamoto said Bitmain will begin shipping hardware this week. After the launch of the entire batch, the computing power of the company will exceed 10.34 exaches. According to Okamoto, thanks to the increase in hashrate, Marathon will be able to mine 55-60 BTC per day and the company will become one of the largest bitcoin miners.

Okamoto added that Marathon is “uniquely placed to succeed” through a joint venture with energy company Beowulf Energy. This will allow receiving cheaper electricity for BTC mining. Most of the mining companies provide their area to individual miners. The average cost of such a hosting ranges from $ 0.05 to $ 0.06 per kW * h. The partnership with Beowulf will reduce the cost of electricity to $ 0.028, so the cost of mining 1 BTC will be reduced from $ 7,700 to $ 4,400. At the same time, Okamoto did not say whether Marathon plans to continue investing in bitcoin.

Vape maker PuffBar uses Vechain blockchain to fight counterfeiting


Производитель вейпов PuffBar использует блокчейн Vechain для борьбы с подделками

E-cigarette and vaping goods maker PuffBar will use the Vechain blockchain to combat counterfeit products and will also start accepting BCH and ETH for payments.
PuffBar is controlled by Cool Clouds Distribution, founded in 2019 and registered in Los Angeles. Cool Clouds stopped marketing its products in the United States after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
The reason was that these products became popular among children and adolescents. The PuffBar management reported that in July 2020, the company removed the vaping from the sale, and now fakes have flooded almost the entire market. Despite warnings to stop people following links to sites that sell fake products, scammers are hard to stop.

The firm came to the conclusion that blockchain would be the only way out to “save the situation”. The manufacturer will use Vechain technology so that shoppers can verify the authenticity of the vapes when they return to store shelves. PuffBar will also partner with French firm Cypheme to combat counterfeiting. Cypheme will make custom ink labels to stick to the product.

All product information will be stored on the blockchain. When purchasing a product, the customer can take a photo of the sticker using a mobile phone. Vechain technology will allow you to catch any microdefects on the sticker that are invisible to the naked eye within 5 seconds. This is how the authenticity of the products will be verified. PuffBar said it will begin rolling out this initiative in the US in the next few weeks.

“Using the blockchain will save us money – we are losing profits because people buy fakes. Blockchain will also help prove our innocence in the event of lawsuits from affected users. ”

Blockchain is increasingly being used to validate the quality and authenticity of goods. For example, last year, US retailer Walmart began using IBM technology to track the supply chain of Indian shrimp, and retail giant Carrefour began using blockchain to track milk.

DeFi Kyber Network Project Prepares For Kyber 3.0 Update Rollout


Проект DeFi Kyber Network готовится к развертыванию обновления Kyber 3.0

The developers of the DeFi Kyber Network have announced plans to provide liquidity and launch a new KNC token as part of the Kyber 3.0 platform update.
Kyber Network, the Ethereum-based DeFi token exchange, has announced plans to roll out the Kyber 3.0 update. According to the statement, the update will protect liquidity providers from losses due to price volatility. Kyber also plans to vote on changes that will make the KNC exchange’s own token more useful.

Kyber’s redesigned architecture will allow for networks of customizable liquidity pools for uncontrolled token trading to drive additional innovation in the DeFi industry. The networked pools should make it easier for DeFi applications to access liquidity on the Kyber network by lowering gas charges.

“Kyber 3.0 will remove existing barriers to growth and enable the Kyber Network to create value for countless DeFi opportunities,” said Kyber Network co-founder Loi Luu in a press release. “Kyber will be a hub for innovation and liquidity growth, and the new Dynamic Market Maker (DMM) will be the first major development in this area. KyberDAO will also benefit from all the innovations on the web. ”

Kyber exchange is not controlled by one organization, but it is not completely decentralized and uses more sophisticated smart contracts to route transactions than other DeFi exchanges.

The same smart contract design should allow Kyber 3.0 to dynamically price trading commissions based on market volume and volatility. The Kyber developers argue that these and other changes will help prevent arbitrage-related losses during the price volatility that liquidity providers in DeFi markets suffer from.

In the coming weeks, the Kyber developers will discuss with the community the proposed protocol updates, including the migration of the token to the updated KNC protocol token. The deployment of Kyber 3.0 will be completed before the end of the third quarter of 2021.

Last July, Katalyst was updated in the DeFi Kyber Network protocol, after which more than 10 million KNC tokens were blocked for staking in just a day.

BIS Innovation Center is preparing a platform for testing digital currencies of the Central Bank


Центр инноваций BIS готовит платформу для тестирования цифровых валют ЦБ

The Singapore branch of the BIS Innovation Center is developing an international platform for testing Central Banks’ digital currencies.
The management of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said that one of its top priorities in 2021 is the study of government digital currencies. BIS intends to explore how these tools can speed up cross-border payments and reduce fees. BiS Innovation Center also plans to study a multi-tier architecture for distributing digital currencies between users.

BIS also plans to study the possibility of issuing tokenized “green bonds” for retail investors using a distributed ledger. Green Bonds are debt instruments issued to finance environmental projects.

All of these BIS initiatives will be driven by innovation hubs in Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland. The Singapore branch will create an international settlement platform where regulated banks and payment firms will be able to conduct transactions using digital currencies from different central banks.

The Hong Kong subsidiary will work on tokenizing green bonds, develop solutions to facilitate foreign exchange transactions using government stablecoins, and explore various models for issuing stable cryptocurrencies. The Swiss Innovation Center BIS has already conducted two Proof-of-Concept (PoC) tests, in which the interaction of central bank cryptocurrencies with existing payment systems was studied.

“Our main task is to learn in practice how the latest technology can work for the benefit of central banks and society. Government digital currencies can improve the global financial system, ”said Benoît Cœuré, chairman of the BIS Innovation Center.

Six months ago, BIS announced that within a few years it would open new branches of the Innovation Center in Toronto, Stockholm and London, and a single branch would be created for Paris and Frankfurt. And in the fall, BIS offered to release tools to monitor compliance with regulatory requirements by stablecoin issuers.

Review of US cryptocurrency wallets regulation rules has suspended


Рассмотрение правил регулирования криптовалютных кошельков в США приостановлено

US President Joe Biden froze consideration of bills proposed by the previous administration, including rules for regulating non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets.
According to a statement on the White House website, consideration of laws and regulations proposed by the administration of the past president has been temporarily suspended. This also applies to the rules for regulating cryptocurrency wallets proposed by the American Financial Crimes Network (FinCEN) in December.
The new government’s initiative received support from cryptocurrency advocates who opposed both the proposed rule and the previous administration’s initial attempt to expedite its consideration. Jake Chervinsky, general counsel for Compound Finance, said on Twitter:

“We fought and earned the right to respite and reset. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is not Steve Mnuchin. I’m optimistic. ”

The rules, presented by FinCEN on December 18, will require exchanges to store information about clients transferring cryptocurrency worth more than $ 3,000 per day to private cryptocurrency wallets, as well as transaction reports of users who make transactions in crypto assets worth more than $ 10,000 per day.

Critics of the bill stated that it would be technically impossible for some projects to comply with these rules, because smart contracts do not contain information about the user’s name or address to be provided.

The administration originally proposed a 15-day discussion period for the rule, instead of the usual 60 days. However, in the middle of the month, FinCEN extended its acceptance of comments on cryptocurrency wallet regulation.

BitMEX Researchers Has Discovered BTC Double Spend Microtransaction


Исследователи BitMEX обнаружили микротранзакцию двойной траты BTC

BitMEX Research has identified an alleged double-spend transaction of 0.00062063 BTC (about $ 21) at block 666,833. This was likely by accident.
The ForkMonitor BitMEX service reported on January 20 that “several blocks were created in Bitcoin at block height 666 833”, as a result of which one of the chains won, the rest of the blocks were lost. A double spend transaction occurred while undoing an “old” block. Given the insignificance of the amount, most likely it was accidental due to a technical “overlap” in some service.

BitMEX Research tweets:

“Today, at the height of Bitcoin block 666 833, there is a ‘stale block’: SlushPool beat F2Pool in the bounty race. It looks like there was a small double spend of about 0.00062063 BTC ($ 21). ”

An hour later, BitMEX Research classified the orphan block as a Replace-By-Fee (RBF) transaction, in which an unconfirmed transaction is replaced with a new transfer with a higher fee. However, ForkMonitor later updated the information: “No transactions using RBF were found.”

[Editor’s note: Orphan is a mined and confirmed block, not included in the main chain. Orphanes are created when two or more miners conditionally broadcast valid blocks to the network. Another name for such blocks is “stale blocks”].

Twitter user Eli Afram flagged “controversial messages” from BitMEX Research. He stated that the double-spend transaction should be a concern despite its low cost:

“It looks like a double spend transaction actually took place in Bitcoin. Not RBF, but actual double spending. Only $ 22 … but it could have been $ 22 million. ”

In July, ZenGo discovered a double spending vulnerability in some cryptocurrency wallets. Wallet manufacturers have taken steps to address the vulnerability. However, some researchers have warned that the vulnerability may be inherent in transactions with RBF.

Ernst & Young proposes to the court to change the date of calculation of rates of cryptoassets for payments to creditors QuadrigaCX


Ernst&Young предлагает суду изменить дату расчета курсов криптоактивов для выплат кредиторам QuadrigaCX

The trustee of the closed cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX will agree with the court on the date of fixing cryptocurrency rates for payment of compensation.
On January 26, Ernst & Young (EY) will go to court with a proposal to set a date for assessing claims for cryptocurrencies instead of the date of bankruptcy of the exchange on April 15, 2019. The trustee takes a different position than one of the claim holders, the cryptocurrency startup BlockCAT.

The firm wants to achieve a valuation of cryptoassets at the rate of February 5, 2019, when QuadrigaCX received legal protection from prosecution of creditors for restructuring under federal law in Canada.

The choice of the date will significantly affect the fiat value of cryptocurrencies and how much lenders get from the remaining pool of assets. BlockCAT has filed a claim for compensation in the amount of CAD 4 million. The company wants to maximize payouts and has filed a petition in which it claims that the date for assessing other users’ claims for cryptocurrencies should start with the exchange’s initial court order.

The court’s decision is important both for former users of QuadrigaCX making claims in cryptocurrency, and for creditors who have claims for compensation in fiat currency. In total, QuadrigaCX users filed 17,053 claims for C $ 224 or C $ 291 million, depending on the date selected for the asset valuation.

The Trustee is required to ensure payment of claims made for cryptocurrency and US dollars in Canadian dollars. This means that the court must decide on a valuation date before the payment process begins.

EY filed a fact sheet with the Ontario Supreme Court this week in connection with a petition to select a bankruptcy date as the date for determining the exchange rate of cryptoassets. According to commercial litigation lawyer Evan Thomas, who assessed the trustee’s data, users claiming Canadian dollars would receive 23% less if the date of April 15, 2019 is selected.


The price of cryptoassets has mostly increased between February and April 2019. Thus, former QuadrigaCX users claiming solely for compensation for lost BTC will receive 14% more Canadian dollars if the court approves the April date.

If BlockCAT convinces the court that claims for cryptocurrencies should be assessed by the February date, then the relative share of the QuadrigaCX pool paid to creditors with claims in Canadian dollars will increase.

Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX went offline in January 2019 due to banking issues, suspension of customer withdrawals and the death of founder Gerald Cotten in December 2018.

Celo will launch the euro pegged stablecoin cEUR


Celo запустит привязанный к евро стейблкоин cEUR

The developers of the Celo decentralized protocol are planning to launch the cEUR stablecoin, which will be backed by a basket of digital assets pegged to the euro. The launch is scheduled for March 2021.
This was announced by Marek Olszewski, a partner at cLabs, a firm involved in the development of the project. The protocol is still at the testing stage, but in a few months the developers will be ready to “release it”.
Last year, Celo platform introduced a stable USD-backed cUSD cryptocurrency that can be used for payments via mobile devices. According to CoinMarketCap, the Celo Dollar is currently priced at $ 1 and its market cap is around $ 28.7 million.

According to Olszewski, the stablecoin will be backed by a basket of digital assets pegged to the euro, which will be algorithmically adjusted to keep the cEUR price as close to the pegged currency as possible. A representative from cLabs noted that having a diverse set of cryptoassets contributes to stability, so the community is discussing the possibility of adding and creating other types of assets.

As a reminder, Celo launched the mainnet in May last year. The protocol is already used by Anchorage, Ramp, Coinbase Ventures, Ledger and Celo’s developers have begun creating stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies to increase the availability of financial services. This idea is very similar to Facebook’s Libra coin concept.

According to the updated Libra white paper, the LBR rate will be calculated based on a basket of stablecoins pegged to different local currencies. However, later, the leadership of the Libra Association announced that it would not immediately launch a multicurrency stablecoin – first, it is planned to create stable cryptocurrencies, each of which will be backed by a certain currency.

Dubai Financial Regulator Develops Crypto Assets Regulation


Финансовый регулятор Дубая разрабатывает регулирование криптоактивов

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) plans to submit two advisory documents on cryptoasset regulation in 2021.
The Dubai International Financial Center Special Economic Zone Financial Regulatory Authority will develop a regulatory framework for digital assets as part of the 2021-2022 business plan, released this week.

According to information from the DFSA, the future cryptoasset regulation structure will expand the Authority’s powers over digital asset issuers and associated trading platforms. The framework will include rules for different types of digital assets, such as tokenized securities and cryptocurrencies.

“We will build on the latest advances in this area during the business planning period by developing a digital asset regulation regime and implementing rules that support various innovative business models,” the regulator said.

According to The National, DFSA plans to publish two advisory documents to get feedback on the proposed rules. DFSA’s head of strategy, policy and risk, Peter Smith, said the documents will be released in the first two quarters of 2021.

“We plan to regulate a wide range of digital assets, including stock tokens, instrument tokens, various types of exchange tokens, cryptocurrencies and firms that provide related services in these markets,” Smith said.

In June 2018, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi issued a regulatory framework that requires cryptocurrency exchanges to be licensed and approved by the FSRA as a crypto asset business. The regulation also restricts the types of cryptoassets a business can use.

In addition, in the fall of 2019, the United Arab Emirates Securities and Exchange Commission (SCA) submitted a draft cryptoasset regulation bill for public comment.

Ethereum developers has updated Berlin hardfork spec


Разработчики Эфириума обновили спецификации хардфорка Berlin

Ethereum developer James Hancock has released five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) updated in the Berlin hardfork specification.
The Berlin update aims to improve the current Ethereum Proof-of-Work (PoW) network. Earlier, the developers decided to suspend work on the Berlin hard fork until August due to excessive dependence on the Geth client. Otherwise, any failure in this client could suspend the entire network.

The developers considered that the best solution would be the transition of node owners to alternative clients. However, the launch of the Berlin hard fork has been postponed several times. Its last tentative launch date has been set for this month, following the activation of Ethereum 2.0’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus phase zero.

Over the past few months, the developers have changed the list of EIPs that will be included in the update. In the illustrated embodiment, there are five enhancements: EIP-2565, EIP-2315, EIP-2929, EIP-2718, and EIP-2930. They provide modification of how to deal with transactions, fees and the existing Ethereum Machine (EVM). The developers of all clients have already completed preparations for Berlin, so the update could be launched soon. However, the block number on which the hard fork should occur has not yet been determined, so the exact launch date in Berlin remains unknown.

Previously, Ethereum developers considered implementing small hard forks every three to six months to update the protocol more frequently. At the same time, some developers believed that large and rare hard forks provided a better assessment of the security of an update. As a reminder, in 2019, the Constantinople and St. Petersburg updates were successfully launched on the Ethereum network.

MinePlex Launches Payment Gateway for Millions of Users


MinePlex запускает платежный шлюз для миллионов пользователей

Mobile cryptobank MinePlex announced the launch of a payment gateway that will open direct access to cryptocurrencies for millions of users around the world.
The new service will allow customers to buy Mine tokens for fiat money without leaving their personal account. Immediately after the receipt of Mine tokens on the user’s wallet, a staking program will be launched, which allows you to earn up to 20% per month. In addition, users of MinePlex services can create their own business structures and earn up to 12.5% ​​monthly. You can exchange the earned PLEX at any time, and withdraw the resulting profit to a bank card or electronic wallet.

“The main goal of MinePlex is to create a mobile cryptobank for all cryptocurrency users. The main advantages of the project are accessibility anywhere in the world without the need to visit offices and the provision of banking services in a mobile phone 24/7. Our services allow you to quickly, in one click, exchange cryptocurrencies for fiat money, and then pay current expenses: utilities, consumer and other loans, goods and much more, ”says Alexander Mamasidikov, CMO Mineplex.

The opening of the new gateway was a necessity, the company believes. After all, the number of cryptocurrency users is increasing every day. In 2020, there were over 101 million users in the world, according to research from the University of Cambridge. In the next four years, this figure will increase by 60%, analysts at Mordor Intelligence are sure. First of all, large corporate and institutional investors will come to the market, who operate with millions of dollars, which means that the speed and ease of transactions will become one of the key aspects of blockchain development. The new MinePlex gateway enables transactions in seconds with one click.

The popularization of cryptocurrencies among retail users will ultimately blur the boundaries between banking and cryptocurrency services. Several years ahead of the curve, MinePlex has already launched mobile crypto banking, which integrates traditional banking and cryptocurrencies. Today MinePlex is an ecosystem that allows you to store, exchange, multiply and spend cryptocurrencies. All portals and processings are developed by the project’s own team and do not imply any references to third parties or intermediaries. This makes MinePlex confident in reliable and secure access to funds for its users.

Owner of Australian cryptocurrency exchanger demanded compensation from banks for closing accounts


Владелец австралийского обменника криптовалют потребовал компенсации у банков за закрытие счетов

The owner of the Australian exchanger, Allan Flynn, filed with ANZ and Westpac banks for blocking their bank accounts, demanding compensation of A $ 250,000.
Allan Flynn (Allan Flynn) said that his service serves over 450 regular customers. Platform at the Australian Center for Accounting and Analysis of Financial Transactions (AUSTRAC). Despite this, banks refuse to service Flynn’s accounts.

He accuses banks of systematic discrimination, saying that over the past three years, his bank accounts have already been closed in more than 20 financial institutions. These include the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Bank of Australia (NAB), ING and Bendigo Bank.

“How can I run a legitimate business if my bank accounts are blocked?” Flynn wonders.

Flynn already filed an application with the Australian Complaints Complaints Authority (AFCA) last year to resolve the issue. However, the AFCA said Westpac was acting in accordance with the established rules. The bank has closed the user’s account in connection with the ongoing investigation of cryptocurrency fraud. Westpac is using Flynn compensation for the sudden closure of an account.

However, the Australian claims that he never received the promised payment. In turn, the New Zealand banking group ANZ said it provides banking services to cryptocurrency brokers. Flynn’s new complaint will go to civil and administrative courts, and will begin in March.

It’s not just Australian banks that are facing similar charges. In March 2020, India’s Supreme Court issued a directive from the country’s Central Bank (RBI) banning banks and financial institutions from serving cryptocurrency firms. However, even after the Supreme Court decision, many Indian banks are still showing signs of “crypto-phobia.”

A similar situation is developing in China, where organized cryptocurrency trading has been banned for several years. In June, OTC cryptocurrency traders also started complaining about the blocking of their bank accounts. It turned out that they were being frozen by the Chinese police due to suspicions of using cryptocurrencies to carry out illegal transactions.

Coinbase Users Will Submit Tax Returns Through CoinTracker


Пользователи Coinbase будут подавать налоговую отчетность через сервис CoinTracker

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has partnered with tax software provider CoinTracker to make it easier for its users to file tax returns.
CoinTracker co-founder Chandan Lodha said the service will allow Coinbase US users to calculate profits and losses from cryptocurrency transactions. With CoinTracker, traders will also be able to fill out Form 8949 and Appendix D to declare their digital assets.
The tool can be used by individuals and accountants, and can also be used as a supplement to the TurboTax program for preparing tax reports. Previously, the investment arm of Coinbase Ventures invested in CoinTracker, but the amount of the investment has not been disclosed.

Lodha said CoinTracker will help increase the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency industry and gain regulatory confidence in digital currencies. The IRS will make sure that people make legal transactions with cryptocurrencies and pay taxes, so the regulator’s confidence in trading floors and traders should increase.

The IRS has repeatedly sent letters to cryptocurrency investors demanding that they pay taxes on income from cryptocurrencies that they did not report when filing their tax return in 2018. Misrepresenting or hiding such information is considered tax fraud in the United States. This can lead to checks, fines and even jail time.

Last month, the IRS added a cryptocurrency clause to the main body of Form 1040 that American citizens fill out when filing tax returns. Previously, not all taxpayers could answer the question of owning cryptocurrencies.

As a reminder, six months ago, Coinbase began partnering with the IRS and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which allowed them to use Coinbase Analytics’ analytical tools to analyze blockchain and track cryptocurrency transactions.

CEX.IO Broker has launched trading with classic currency pairs


CEX.IO Broker запустил торговлю классическими валютными парами

CEX.IO Broker, a platform for margin trading in cryptoassets, expands the range of financial instruments and launches trading in classic currencies.
The list of 29 cryptocurrency pairs has been replenished with 7 currency pairs: EUR / USD, GBP / USD, USD / RUB, EUR / GBP, EUR / JPY, GBP / JPY, USD / JPY. CEX.IO Broker is gearing up to add margin trading in stocks and indices.

Cryptocurrencies are increasingly entering the global financial system. Having started as an alternative to classic payment systems, digital assets quickly grew into a convenient service for transferring money. Now the infrastructure of the cryptoindustry is being implemented in those segments that were previously served only by fiat. This also applies to classic derivatives markets, where the undisputed leader is the foreign exchange market. In 2020, it showed strong momentum in response to economic incentives adopted by states to support national economies amid the pandemic.

To ensure that traders do not miss the opportunities that the fiat currency market offers, the CEX.IO Broker team provides traditional financial instruments with great trading potential. The main goal of introducing currency pairs into circulation is to give cryptocurrency holders the opportunity to benefit from the movement of classic and cryptocurrencies within a single platform.

You can trade currency pairs on the platform with leverage from 1: 2 to 1: 100. At the same time, users can finance trading using several cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH and USDT. This opens up additional opportunities for trading, depending on the assets in which positions are opened. It should also be borne in mind that, unlike cryptocurrencies trading 24×7, trading in the foreign exchange markets is carried out in accordance with the trading regime adopted on traditional exchanges. The EUR / USD, GBP / USD, USD / JPY, EUR / GBP, EUR / JPY and GBP / JPY pairs are traded around the clock, from Monday to Friday, the USD / RUB pair – from 10.00 to 00.00 (GMT + 3) from Monday to Friday …

“The introduction of currency pairs on our platform is an illustration of the progression of cryptocurrency adoption. Even in the recent past, it was only possible to pay for the service with cryptocurrency. Recently, crypto enthusiasts have the opportunity to take out a loan secured by cryptocurrencies. Now it is possible to participate in the trading of the foreign exchange market by financing the strategy with a crypt. Plus one more use case in the piggy bank. Note that adding classic currency pairs is just the beginning. In the future, we definitely plan to expand the line of instruments from traditional markets, and not only at the expense of other currency pairs. We are also considering the possibility of introducing CFDs for the most important indices and shares, ”notes Alexander Lutskevich, founder and CEO of CEX.IO Group.

CEX.IO Broker brings trades of its clients to the market, thus, the interests of the company and the interests of the trader are on the same side. For cryptocurrency pairs, the platform implements orders on the largest cryptocurrency exchanges through the CEX.IO Aggregator technical solution, and orders for currency pairs, by analogy, are implemented through liquidity providers.

CEX.IO Broker is a platform for margin trading of cryptocurrencies and other assets based on CFDs, which is part of the international group CEX.IO. Now the platform has introduced the ability to trade EUR / USD, GBP / USD, USD / RUB, EUR / GBP, EUR / JPY, GBP / JPY, USD / JPY.

The CEX.IO group entered the crypto market in 2013 and now serves millions of clients in different countries. The companies of the group are licensed in the USA and Europe, and the CEX.IO crypto exchange is one of the largest and most secure platforms in the world for the exchange, trade and storage of digital assets.

Macquarie: “government digital currencies may lose to cryptocurrencies”


Macquarie: «государственные цифровые валюты могут проиграть криптовалютам»

According to a report by Australian investment bank Macquarie, government digital currencies could lose the race against cryptocurrencies if they become too entrenched in e-commerce.
This applies to all central banks, including the US Federal Reserve System (FRS) and the European Central Bank (ECB). Macquarie experts believe that government stablecoins are lagging far behind cryptocurrencies, which are rapidly entering the market.
So, in early November, the PayPal payment system added the ability to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies for American citizens. According to a survey by investment bank Mizuho Securities, 17% of surveyed PayPal users have already tried buying and selling bitcoin through a dedicated app.

According to the report, private cryptocurrencies can penetrate so deeply into the payment industry that it will be habitual for any person or company to pay with them for goods and services. This will be facilitated by the reduction in the cost of fiat money. It is highly likely that this will happen if people start using cryptocurrencies everywhere before the central banks launch their own digital currencies.

Macquarie expects cryptocurrencies to grow in value over the next two years, in the absence of major regulatory changes. However, if central banks accelerate the development and issuance of their digital currencies, then they have a chance to oust conventional cryptoassets from the market, which will reduce the risk of illegal transactions. But at the same time, the demand for ordinary money may decrease.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) may officially launch the digital yuan in the near future, since the citizens of Shenzhen have repeatedly received this asset as a gift from the state. In addition, a hardware wallet for the digital yuan has begun testing in Shanghai.

Analysts believe that the Fed and the ECB are unlikely to present their developments until 2022. They are experiencing difficulties not only in creating a secure infrastructure for the launch of digital currencies and their further use – regulators still cannot decide whether to launch state stablecoins, still assessing their risks and benefits.

The Macquarie experts concluded that the power of the US regulators over the cryptocurrency industry will gradually weaken. This is due to the fact that the cryptocurrency industry is “growing” more and more, creating a network effect. The demand for paper money is declining, and society is becoming more open to cryptocurrencies. And if the Central Bank does not rush to issue their own digital currencies, they will no longer catch up with conventional crypto assets

Ledger will update its privacy policy to improve the protection of customer data


Ledger обновит политику конфиденциальности для улучшения защиты данных клиентов

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker Ledger has revealed details of the personal data breach of 292,000 customers and an update to its privacy policy.
According to an article in the Ledger blog, the company intends to update its data privacy policy to minimize future damage from the leaked personal data of customers last year. The data breach started back in April 2020 and affected approximately 292,000 customers. As Ledger found out last month, the hack was the fault of “scammers” from Shopify’s support team that sells Ledger.
Between April and June 2020, scammers used their API access to retrieve customer transaction records. Ledger became aware of the data breach after receiving a letter from an independent researcher on July 14, 2020. The company found that about a million email addresses had been stolen, as well as about 10,000 records of sensitive data, including postal addresses, names and phone numbers.

In December 2020, Ledger discovered a data breach of 272,000 customers, and in January Shopify told Ledger that an additional 20,000 users were leaked. Clients who received phishing emails feared they could be targeted by criminals. In December, Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier said the company would not reimburse customers whose personal data, including home addresses, were leaked.

In a blog post, Ledger stated that it “deeply regrets that these incidents happened and also sympathizes with the pain and stress they have caused for customers.” The company noted that it is working with law enforcement and blockchain analysis firms to track down the hacker. Ledger has created a 10 BTC bonus fund that will be paid out upon providing “information leading to the successful arrest and prosecution of a hacker.”

The company will also update its privacy policy. The update will aim to “completely erase” customer personal data and encourage third-party service providers to “retain this data for as short a period of time as possible”. In addition, the company isolates data that needs to be stored for a long time.

“These attacks have only strengthened our resolve to build and deliver products that keep you and your cryptocurrency safe,” reads an article on the Ledger blog.

ECB President: “Bitcoin is a speculative asset and needs regulation”


Президент ЕЦБ: «биткоин – спекулятивный актив и нуждается в регулировании»

European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde called bitcoin “an overly speculative asset” that needs regulatory oversight.
Lagarde announced this at the Reuters Next conference. According to Lagarde, bitcoin is being used to “conduct suspicious cases, illegal transactions and money laundering.” Therefore, the President of the ECB urged regulators to agree on rules for regulating cryptocurrencies at the international level as soon as possible. Lagarde is convinced that the leaders of the G7 (G7) and even the G20 (G20) countries should join forces and move on to implement regulations to regulate bitcoin and other digital assets.

The head of the ECB said that in this regard, it is worth focusing on the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which is constantly tightening requirements for the cryptocurrency industry. In 2019, she presented the final version of the recommendations for regulating cryptoassets, and this fall she named signs of suspicious activity of users of cryptocurrencies.

Lagarde raised the issue of central bank cryptocurrencies, saying that the ECB has already completed a public discussion on the possibilities of the digital euro. The bank received responses from 8,000 people who took part in the survey and showed great interest in the digital euro. Therefore, the ECB will continue to explore the possibilities of the digital currency of the Central Bank.

Lagarde thinks it is best to be extremely careful in this matter. This is necessary to create a secure system that meets the requirements of Europeans, which will take a lot of time. Lagarde did not name a specific date for the launch of the digital euro, but expressed hope that it will happen in the next five years.

“Digital technologies are developing rapidly. Therefore, we must not only keep up with new trends, but also be on the alert to ensure the safety of the financial system, ”said Lagarde.

She added that the digital euro will not replace paper banknotes, but will only supplement them. Lagarde recently stated that government digital currencies can preserve countries’ monetary independence and even improve their economies, while stablecoins from private companies could pose a threat to financial stability.

Gemini trust will support the launch of Bitcoin ETFs in Canada


Gemini Trust поддержит запуск ETF на биткоин в Канаде

Arxnovum Investments has applied to register a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in Canada. The Winklevoss brothers’ New York Gemini Trust will hold the fund’s assets.
Arxnovum Investments has submitted an application to launch the Arxnovum Bitcoin ETF with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The firm plans to list the financial instrument on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker “BIT.U.”.

The statement to the regulator was sent by the CEO of Arxnovum Investments Inc Shaun Cumby. Previously, he worked as the CIO of the Canadian digital asset management company 3iq Corp. 3iq Corp launched the Bitcoin Fund, a regulated closed-end investment fund, which began trading on TSX last year. The company had to seek permission from OSC for three years.

The Gemini Trust will act as a sub-custodian of the Arxnovum Bitcoin ETF. It will store the bitcoins held by this fund outside of Canada. The Arxnovum Bitcoin ETF will provide investors with access to Bitcoin and track the daily fluctuations of the USD BTC exchange rate. The fund will buy bitcoin futures and other derivatives listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and other exchanges that are regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In addition, the Arxnovum Bitcoin ETF can hold cash, cash equivalents and fixed income securities.

Arxnovum Investments has warned that investing in Bitcoin ETFs can carry a high level of risk. Even if the regulator approves the launch of the fund, there is no guarantee that it will be listed on TSX. In 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected all applications to launch Bitcoin ETFs. Therefore, many in the cryptocurrency industry are hoping that regulators will be more likely to approve such applications this year.

However, analysts at JPMorgan Bank believe that the launch of an ETF on Bitcoin may have a negative impact on the price of this cryptocurrency. But in the long term, such a product will have many benefits.

The first 10 BTC transaction between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney is 12 years old


Исполнилось 12 лет первой транзакции на 10 BTC между Сатоси Накамото и Хэлом Финни

12.01 marks the 12th anniversary of the first Bitcoin transaction. Its recipient was cryptographer Hal Finney, to whom Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 BTC.
The transaction was made 9 days after the creation of the first block and three days after the start of mining. In 2009, Finney wrote on the Bitcointalk forum that he mined the “70-something” block and became a participant in the first test transaction on the Bitcoin network. Finney made the first ever tweet regarding the first blockchain and cryptoasset: “Launching Bitcoin.”

It was this successful transaction that proved the performance of the Bitcoin network and laid the foundation for its further development. At that time, these 10 BTC cost almost nothing, and now the cost of one coin hovers around $ 35,000. On January 8, 2020, Bitcoin reached another all-time high of about $ 42,000. Even 12 years later, Bitcoin ranks first in terms of market capitalization among all cryptocurrencies.

Finney is known not only as the first recipient of bitcoins, but also as one of the first miners. Finney was actively involved in the creation of the first cryptocurrency. Therefore, some members of the cryptocurrency community still adhere to the version that Finney himself was hiding under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The cryptographer was one of the first to predict the bitcoin price. In his email to Nakamoto, Finney suggested that when the 21 million bitcoins were issued, the value of 1 BTC would be $ 10 million.

In 2009, Finney was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which led to his paralysis, and on August 28, 2014, the famous programmer died. His body was cryopreserved with the help of the Extension Alcor Life Foundation in the hope that Finney’s brain could be revitalized in the future.

As a reminder, the book “Kicking the Hornet’s Nest” was released in the US last month, containing all of Satoshi Nakamoto’s emails and forum posts in chronological order.

New Zealand regulator warned of the risk of investing in crypto assets


Регулятор Новой Зеландии предупредил о риске инвестиций в криптоактивы

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has warned New Zealanders about the risk of investing in cryptocurrencies, their high volatility, and the lack of industry regulation in the region.
The FMA said that New Zealanders who have considered buying cryptocurrencies should be aware that these are “high risk and highly volatile” assets.
“Cryptocurrencies are not regulated in New Zealand and are often used by scammers and hackers,” said an FMA spokesman.

Earlier this week, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) posted a similar warning on its website. The regulator said consumers must be prepared to lose “all their money” if they decide to invest in cryptocurrency products that promise high returns.

“The FMA shares FCA’s concerns that some cryptocurrency exchanges are promising high returns and customers must be prepared to lose all their money,” added an FMA spokesman. “Many overseas cryptocurrency exchanges are not regulated, operate exclusively online, and have nothing to do with New Zealand. This makes it difficult to determine who offers, exchanges, buys or sells cryptocurrencies. ”

According to an FMA spokesperson, if an investor plans to buy cryptocurrency, they must at least ensure that the exchange is registered with the Financial Service Providers Registry (FSPR), which gives access to a dispute resolution scheme.

“You should also check if the exchange holds your New Zealand dollars in a trust account,” he added.

eToro has stopped trading with leverage in Europe


eToro прекратила торговлю с кредитным плечом в Европе

The eToro trading platform suddenly stopped leveraged trading in European countries due to “extreme market volatility”.
On January 8, eToro’s clients in European countries where CFDs are allowed to trade received an email from the company. It stated that if traders did not increase their margin to 100%, then their positions would be closed at 21:00 GMT. Clients with an available balance can keep positions open by adding funds, while clients with no available balance can close other positions to free up funds.
However, later, messages from disgruntled traders began to appear on the social network Twitter that all positions on leveraged cryptocurrencies were closed on the site – even those that users tried to leave open. Slovenian lawyer Slavko Vesenjak, who represents several clients of eToro, said that by doing this, the site violated the agreement with its clients.

eToro sent a notice to traders just four hours before closing all leveraged cryptocurrency positions. Considering that the European clients of the site live in different time zones, they could not take the necessary actions in a timely manner and were faced with the fact that their positions were already closed. Amy Butler, head of public relations at eToro, said that the vast majority of clients were not affected by such changes.

The platform’s specialists are making every effort to solve the problem that has affected several dozen users. In addition, last week eToro raised the minimum deposit from $ 200 to $ 1,000. Butler said the temporary decision to increase the deposit amount was driven by a surge in demand for leveraged trading. The decision to close such services in Europe was made in order to reduce internal risks.

Butler added that this has nothing to do with the initial public offering (IPO) that eToro is planning to conduct. Jurij Toplak, a law professor at Alma Mater Europaea University in Slovenia and an assistant lawyer at Fordham Law in New York, is confident that eToro’s clients will receive their funds.

If eToro does not return the money, then the affected clients of the site can contact the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with a request to revoke the license from eToro and return the lost funds. Due to the growth of the cryptocurrency market, eToro found that the platform was unable to pay out large sums of money to customers, Toplak said, so it simply terminated the contracts with the users.

Bangladesh City Bank has held the first letter of credit on the Contour blockchain


Бангладешский банк City Bank провел первый аккредитив на блокчейне Contour
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Bangladeshi City Bank have completed a letter of credit deal on the Contour blockchain. The transaction was carried out in accordance with Sharia law.
The cross-border L / C transaction was facilitated by the ITFC unit specializing in trade finance under the Murabaha agreements. The letter of credit was issued on behalf of Debonair Group, a Bangladeshi apparel manufacturer, with Hong Kong-based trading company Apparel Link. The Contour blockchain was used to complete the transaction.
Bank Sheikh Mohammad Maroof, Head of Interbank and Microfinance at City Bank, said the bank is one of the leading digital financial institutions in Bangladesh. City Bank is ready to use the latest technologies to effectively interact with customers. It was the first Sharia-compliant blockchain transaction, marking an important milestone in City Bank’s history.

Maruf believes blockchain can significantly improve digital commerce. Contour CEO Carl Wegner noted that the digitalization of the trade finance industry is gradually accelerating. Blockchain opens up new opportunities for the efficient provision of letters of credit. Thus, a whole ecosystem of banks, corporations and technology providers is created, which is available to all stakeholders.

Recall that in November, the Bangladesh branch of HSBC for the first time carried out a transaction on the import of fuel oil with a letter of credit, which was also issued on the Contour blockchain. Previously, Standard Chartered also used this platform to process letters of credit in yuan.

Hyundai uses blockchain to authenticate auto parts


Hyundai использует блокчейн для проверки подлинности автозапчастей

Auto parts manufacturer Hyundai MOBIS, a subsidiary of Hyundai, has launched a new artificial intelligence and blockchain-based MAPS parts authentication system.
The MAPS platform will be used to distribute parts for Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Up to 100,000 people, including 16,000 dealers in more than 200 countries, will have access to the system throughout the supply chain. The system supports three million different parts for 300 car models.
Blockchain is used to verify the originality of auto parts. The company is concerned that counterfeit parts are being used in some countries, which could lead to vehicle safety issues. Thanks to the blockchain, the car owner can scan the QR code on the packaging of the auto part and verify the authenticity of the part.

Another common problem is that repair companies charge full price for original parts, but use analogs instead. In this case, the parts do not provoke security problems, but the buyer does not receive what they paid for.

In addition to verifying the authenticity of parts, Hyundai envisions increased use of blockchain in the future throughout the entire vehicle service lifecycle. Insurers often pay for original parts, but are faced with the use of analogs. In the future, the original parts used will be linked to the vehicle’s maintenance records.

When scanning the license plate in the repair shop, information about all the parts will be displayed. The repair firm will record the maintenance information in the vehicle history. The blockchain will allow this data to be transferred to the dealer, repair shop, insurer, manufacturer and owner. MAPS also uses machine learning to predict any delivery delays.

Recall that at the end of 2019, Hdac Technology, the blockchain division of the Hyundai Motor Group, announced that it plans to create a $ 10 million investment fund to fund the blockchain. In the same year, blockchain infrastructure provider Blocko and a subsidiary of automotive giant Hyundai planned to develop a used car history tracking system.

Shinhan bank will launch a custodian solution for cryptocurrencies


Shinhan Bank запустит кастодиальное решение для криптовалют

Shinhan Bank, a major commercial bank in South Korea, has invested in the Korea Digital Asset Trust (KDAC) to offer a crypto asset custody service to its clients.
According to inews24, the bank announced an investment in KDAC, a joint venture between the local cryptocurrency exchange Korbit, Blocko and Fair Square Lab. KDAC offers custody solutions for cryptoassets.
A Shinhan Bank spokesman said the upcoming cryptocurrency services “will help the bank provide effective custodial solutions in compliance with legal requirements.”

According to the bank, the company is one step ahead in terms of the security of client funds. New tools will enable the deployment of technological capabilities to protect “from external and theft risks.”

Shinhan Bank also wants the technology resources used in the project to be applied to the DeFi industry, whose projects were hacked several times in the past year. Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-Byung said:

“In a situation where all companies, regardless of the type of business, operate in digital format, the fate of Shinhan will also depend on digital transformation. All Shinhan employees must strive to accelerate digital innovation. ”

More and more banks and financial institutions are seeking to offer custody solutions for cryptoassets. In November, one of the largest South Korean banks, KB Kookmin Bank, announced a partnership with the Hashed venture capital fund and the Cumberland Korea platform to launch a cryptocurrency storage service.

In addition, in December, Standard Chartered announced plans to launch a custodian service Zodia in 2021, and earlier, a large Singaporean bank, United Overseas Bank, announced the development of a custodian solution for cryptocurrencies.
#Shinhan Bank # Cryptocurrency # Bank # South Korea # Business

ShapeShift Exchange Integrates DeFi Protocols To Bypass KYC


Биржа ShapeShift интегрирует протоколы DeFi для обхода KYC

Non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has announced the integration of DeFi apps Uniswap, Balancer, Curve, Bancor, Kyber, 0x and mStable. This will allow ShapeShift clients to avoid the KYC procedure.
ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees said the integration with Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols will ensure liquidity, competitive pricing, availability and security of digital assets. Plus, ShapeShift customers no longer need to be authenticated.

Previously, ShapeShift required its customers to pass KYC, since the exchange acted as a trusted counterparty for transactions. ShapeShift will continue to provide regulated services that are currently not available on decentralized exchanges. However, Voorhees said that all non-decentralized trading operations will be phased out on ShapeShift within a year.

“Integration with decentralized exchanges means that we are no longer a participant in trade transactions, custodian, counterparty or intermediary at any stage of transactions. We are a software company, so we will not be held accountable to regulators, ”Voorhees said.

Decentralized finance protocols supported include Uniswap, Balancer, Curve, Bancor, Kyber, 0x, mStable, and a few more. In the future, this list of integrations will be expanded. The ShapeShift CEO believes the DeFi ecosystem is moving forward and evolving.

Voorhees is suspicious of the centralized custodian services that are adopting DeFi. The phenomenon of “combined centralized and decentralized finance” (CeDeFi) will be short-lived. They are incompatible since the user is censored and controlled, Voorhees said. For example, some centralized exchange may be subject to restrictions on capital transactions, while a decentralized protocol may work in Venezuela just like in any other country.

Voorhees argues that ShapeShift’s non-custodial services are more suited to integrate with DeFi, and this engagement with decentralized exchanges could lay the foundation for a move to more diverse DeFi products, including decentralized bitcoin exchange services. Voorhees also noted that three years ago, decentralized trading was not easy enough to develop on a large scale. Now the situation has changed, and the provision of such services has already become not a privilege, but a market necessity in order to meet the interests of users.

Earlier, the ShapeShift founder stated that the volatility of cryptocurrencies is a prerequisite for the development of the cryptocurrency industry. In addition, Voorhees recently said that institutional investors will ensure a stable future for cryptocurrencies, and after the large-scale introduction of bitcoin, it will become the global currency standard.

Central Bank of Kyrgyzstan has published two bills of cryptocurrency regulation


ЦБ Кыргызстана опубликовал два законопроекта о регулировании криптовалют

The National Bank of Kyrgyzstan submitted for public discussion two draft laws “On the turnover of cryptocurrencies” and “On amendments to some legislative acts in the field of virtual assets”.
The new legislation aims to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. According to the new rules, such sites must be managed by legal entities licensed by the country’s central bank. The draft laws provide reporting requirements to reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The updated provisions provide for consumer protection and enforcement measures to be applied to Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP). The Central Bank of Kyrgyzstan can take action against VASP in case of fraud with virtual currencies, dubious transactions, as well as for actions or omissions that may pose a threat to the interests of consumers and investors.

The draft law “On the turnover of cryptocurrencies” introduces the concept of “cryptocurrency” into the Civil Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, thereby defining digital assets as an object of civil rights. The bill includes taxation of services provided by cryptocurrency exchanges. The tax regime for the activities of cryptocurrency exchange operators and the procedure for submitting tax reports are determined by the tax legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic. Interested parties can submit their comments regarding these bills by February 21, 2021.

The Central Bank of Kyrgyzstan began developing regulation for trading floors back in November. The regulator stated the need to control such platforms due to the increased interest of citizens of the country in digital assets. In September 2019, the government of the Kyrgyz Republic has already tried to introduce regulation of cryptocurrencies, proposing to introduce taxes on mining, which would increase state budget revenues.

In June 2020, the Kyrgyz parliament again began to consider the introduction of a tax regime for the mining industry. The country’s government was interested in finding new sources of income to offset the effects of the pandemic and the economic crisis. However, the bill was never adopted – the Kyrgyz authorities considered that cryptocurrency mining would have a bad effect on the country’s energy supply and the safety of electrical systems.

American banks will be able to use stablecoins for payments


Американские банки смогут использовать стейблкоины для проведения платежей

The Office of the Comptroller of the United States of America (OCC) has allowed U.S. banks and federal savings associations to use open blockchains and stablecoins to process payments.
According to the OCC notice, banks are allowed to use their own node on open blockchains to validate, store funds and maintain transaction records. Such payment transactions must be carried out in accordance with applicable law. OCC believes that the use of blockchain within the federal banking system will increase the efficiency and stability of payments, as they will be made in real time.

The department highlighted the advantages of blockchain over traditional payment systems: decentralization and the participation of independent nodes in the validation of transactions. Considering that information is added to the network only after a consensus has been reached between the nodes verifying the information, this will prevent data falsification or the addition of incorrect information.

The OCC has warned that banks must be aware of the potential threats associated with blockchain. We are talking about operational risks, fraud and risks of non-compliance with regulatory requirements. The introduction of the latest technologies requires sufficient technological experience so that banks can protect themselves from potential problems. Therefore, banks should take appropriate measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by adapting their policies to comply with laws and regulations. This also applies to the reporting and recordkeeping requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. In addition, banks need to design and implement new measures consistent with prudent risk management, and these measures should be consistent with the banks’ overall business plans and strategies.

Brian Brooks, Acting Comptroller for Foreign Exchange, said the US is focusing on new technologies for real-time payments. Some solutions are created and managed by banking consortia, while others are based on blockchain technology. Brooks said the OCC clarification would clear up legal uncertainties by delineating the powers of banks to act as transaction validators and make stablecoin payments on behalf of customers. Brooks expressed the need for such innovations as customers’ demands for speed and efficiency of payments are constantly increasing.

As a reminder, in September, the OCC allowed US banks to hold funds to back up stablecoins pegged to a single fiat currency at a 1: 1 ratio.

Financial group Tetragon filed a lawsuit against Ripple and demands to freeze project assets


Финансовая группа Tetragon подала иск против Ripple и требует заморозить активы проекта

Tetragon Financial, one of the key investors in Ripple, has filed a lawsuit against the company demanding the redemption of its preferred shares.
In 2019, the financial group Tetragon took part in a series C funding round, during which Ripple raised $ 200 million. Tetragon’s management filed a lawsuit in the Delaware court, demanding that Ripple fulfill its contractual obligations and redeem preferred shares held by Tetragon. The plaintiff seeks to freeze all of Ripple’s liquid assets until the issue is fully resolved.

Tetragon filed a lawsuit against Ripple after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Ripple co-founders Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen of running an unregistered ICO. The regulator believes that XRP are securities, and their sale was illegal.

Ripple’s discussions with the regulator led to the fact that many cryptocurrency platforms began to restrict trading in pairs with XRP and even completely exclude this coin from the listing. These include exchanges Coinbase, Bittrex, OKCoin and Bitstamp, platforms OSL, Beaxy and CrossTower, large market makers Jump Trading and Galaxy Digital, and payment company Simplex.

Ripple has responded to Tetragon’s allegations by saying the lawsuit has no basis. Ripple executives have accused Tetragon of taking advantage of a lack of regulatory clarity in the United States in filing the lawsuit. Earlier, Garlinghouse urged American regulators to study digital currencies in detail and draw up clearer rules for their regulation. Garlinghouse said that if the SEC does not clarify its attitude towards XRP, then Ripple may relocate from the US to the UK, since XRP is not considered a security in this country.

Against the backdrop of lawsuits from the SEC and investors, XRP lost ground in market capitalization. According to CoinMarketCap, XRP has now dropped to fifth place after LTC, and XRP fell from $ 0.238 to $ 0.218 on January 5. The current rate of the coin is $ 0.242, but the upward correction is caused by the general growth of the cryptocurrency market.

OKEx Exchange has launched its own blockchain OKExChain


Биржа OKEx запустила собственный блокчейн OKExChain

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced the launch of its own blockchain OKExChain. At the initial stage, 10 million OKT tokens will be issued.
The project has been in development for three years, and 10 test versions of OKExChain were worked through before the launch of the main network. The deployment of the core network will take place in four phases. The current phase of “genesis” will last until January 13, 2021. At this stage, the network’s internal token, OKT, will be issued, which OKB holders will receive as a staking reward. This means that OKB token stakers will receive a proportional amount of OKT. At the same time, there are no restrictions for staking, since there are no minimum and maximum amounts for this.

In the second and third stages of the main network deployment, the protocols responsible for the stable operation of the network will be implemented, as well as the OKT output function. This function will be voted on by OKExChain blockchain validators. In the fourth stage, smart contracts will be implemented to ensure full compatibility with Ethereum. OKEx CEO Jay Hao said the launch of OKExChain is part of the exchange’s initiative to improve its financial system.

In October, OKEx faced organizational challenges by suspending the withdrawal of digital assets from its platform. However, after a month and a half, OKEx resumed the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies, launching a compensation program for users who continued to trade, despite the current situation.

OKEx is not the first cryptocurrency exchange to launch its own blockchain. In 2019, the Binance exchange launched its own Binance Chain network, and in 2020, the Binance Smart Chain add-on for smart contracts. In the same year, Huobi announced its intention to launch the FinanceChain open blockchain to support the decentralized finance industry.

Stellar will support the development of the state cryptocurrency in Ukraine


Stellar поддержит разработку государственной криптовалюты на Украине

The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine signed a memorandum with the Stellar Development Foundation for the development of the digital assets industry and the development of the Central Bank cryptocurrency.
First of all, the cooperation of the Ukrainian government with Stellar is aimed at creating conditions for the further development of cryptocurrencies. The memorandum also implies support for projects working with digital assets, the introduction of stablecoins and their regulation, as well as the development of the state digital currency of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).

Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Alexander Bornyakov explained that partnership with Stellar will allow making effective decisions for the development of the entire ecosystem of digital assets in Ukraine. Bornyakov added that by doing so, the ministry is integrating the best practices of Switzerland, Great Britain, Malta, Liechtenstein and the United States, where the cryptocurrency industry is quite developed.

“Startups, cryptocurrency companies and financial institutions always need a secure legal environment to do business. The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine is working to create a framework that will form a transparent and stable regulatory environment for firms working in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, ”Bornyakov said.

Stellar Development Foundation CEO Denelle Dixon said cryptocurrencies and government digital currencies are important innovations in today’s reality. Therefore, Stellar executives are pleased to contribute to the development of the Ukrainian digital asset infrastructure. Dixon expressed her readiness to work together with other stakeholders to implement Stellar-based tools, as well as to provide services to individuals and legal entities in Ukraine.

The National Bank of Ukraine has been exploring the possibility of issuing its own digital currency since 2017. The regulator is conducting research on how the Central Bank’s cryptocurrency can be useful and how it can affect the monetary policy and financial stability of the country. Earlier, NBU experts came to the conclusion that the electronic hryvnia can harm the traditional banking system by reducing the amount of paper money in circulation. However, now Ukraine’s cooperation with Stellar is aimed at introducing a state cryptocurrency and working out clear rules for digital assets.

Optimism Ethereum Pre-Launch On January 15th


Предварительный запуск решения Optimism для Эфириума произойдет 15 января

The developers of the second-tier Optimism scaling solution for Ethereum have announced that a preliminary launch on the mainnet is scheduled for January 15th.
As part of the preliminary launch, the Synthetix decentralized exchange will have access to transaction scaling. Smart contracts will be converted to the Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM) format and launched on the mainnet. Given that OVM is almost fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, developers won’t have to rewrite their smart contracts.

“Two weeks ago, we froze the code to prepare for the pre-launch of the project’s mainnet and testing with Synthetix. This means that we are almost ready to provide our first users with a complete solution, including converting contracts to OVM and deploying them to the main network, ”reads the Optimism blog.

The developers emphasize that the launch on the main network is preliminary, so errors, crashes and other problems are possible. The Optimism team plans to keep the keys for updating the system for at least six months – so that in case of serious problems they can quickly respond and update the solution.

The launch of the public testnet is scheduled for March 15. The developers hope to provide the necessary documentation by this time so that Ethereum project creators can integrate Optimism support.

As a reminder, the OVM demo was launched in May 2020. The creators of the DeFi Synthetix protocol took part in the launch and testing of OVM.

Blockstream Launches Jade Wireless Hardware Wallet


Blockstream запускает беспроводной аппаратный кошелек Jade

Blockstream has unveiled its first cryptocurrency hardware wallet, Jade. It allows you to store BTC and tokens on the Bitcoin Liquid sidechain.
The developers of the wallet emphasize that the project is completely open – access to documentation on hardware and software is free. Works Blockstream Jade with Blockstream Green software wallet. Currently, Jade supports work exclusively with devices on the Android OS, but in the near future there will be support for Green wallets for personal computers, and later support for Apple devices.

“Keeping your wallet keys on a device connected to the Internet leaves them vulnerable to viruses. Separate hardware wallets are the best solution for storing keys. And we are launching Blockstream Jade – our vision of what a bitcoin hardware wallet should be, ”- written in the press release.

Blockstream Jade features a 240×135 pixel color display, making it easier to verify transactions as well as share QR codes. Also, the device is equipped with a camera that will allow you to confirm incoming and outgoing transactions via QR codes. However, at the moment the camera is not used – the function will appear later along with the firmware update.

Using hardware wallets does not always help protect against hackers. For example, Hugh Karp, the founder of the DeFi Nexus Mutual platform, stole 370,000 NXM tokens worth $ 8.2 million, despite using the Ledger wallet.

IoT on Polkadot: How Decentralized Networks Can Bypass Amazon Web Services


Интернет вещей на Polkadot: как децентрализованные сети могут обойти Amazon Web Services

The development of IoT is impossible without the creation of a decentralized environment. Linking devices to remote servers of IT companies is the initial, not the last stage in the evolution of the Internet of Things.
As the number of devices grows, the centralized model reveals its weaknesses: insufficient bandwidth and vulnerability of data passing through the servers. The answer should be to build a multi-agent system, each participant of which is endowed with greater autonomy and is able to perform a wider range of tasks. We are talking, for example, about the ability of a device to independently accept orders and payments for their execution, as well as conclude a contract with another device without human mediation.

Ethereum smart contracts make it possible to bring such a concept to life, but only to certain limits – due to limited bandwidth, high cost of transactions and the lack of a “common language” with other blockchains – unless the developers have come up with a special “bridge” for a specific case.

Polkadot, the flagship project of Parity Technologies and the Web3 Foundation, a sharding protocol that provides inter-blockchain communication, has more chances to realize the idea of ​​Web 3.0 and open the possibility of connecting millions of smart devices to the global network. Below we will break down the reasons why the IoT industry has become one of the main beneficiaries of internetworking protocols and take a look at the most promising IoT projects on Polkadot.

The Ethereum 2.0 network update, launched in phase zero at the end of 2020, should open a number of functions stipulated by the Proof-of-Stake consensus, and in the future, when moving to the next phases, to deploy an experimental, so-called. sharding model. In fact, it will be 65 new blockchains: the existing Beacon Chain from phase zero and 64 new shards interacting with it. The deployment of smart contracts and economic activities is planned for the following phases.

However, Ethereum 2.0 is not the first project to try to apply the sharding model to enable inter-blockchain communication. Polkadot, the flagship project of Parity Technologies and the Web3 Foundation, is ahead of Ethereum in realizing the idea of ​​Web 3.0 and the ability to connect millions of smart devices to the global network.

Why is there so much talk about polka dots?
Six months after the launch of the Polkadot blockchain, the network clearly boasts developer recognition. According to Coingecko, at the time of writing, DOT is ranked seventh in market cap at $ 6.58 billion. These results are impressive, especially if you pay attention to the fact that the ICO in 2017 attracted a large amount, but not comparable with today’s capitalization – USD 145 million.

This market reaction is due to the widespread demand for the interblockchain protocol on the part of developers of decentralized applications, primarily in the field of DeFi. The Web3 Foundation’s three-year product solves bandwidth and scalability issues through the ability to connect different blockchains.

The Polkadot protocol is based on sharding, that is, dividing the network into segments with separate transaction validator nodes. Unlike Ethereum, where each node calculates each transaction and processes each transaction, the sharding model divides tasks between the nodes, allowing multiple transactions to be validated in parallel. This greatly increases the speed of transaction processing.

According to PolkaProject, the number of projects deployed in the Polkadot network is approaching three hundred, which is a third more than at the beginning of September. The IoT sphere on Polkadot has not yet been spoiled by the attention of specialized media, so we decided to conduct a small study of projects in this area.

Why devices are still not smart
Unlike the DeFi segment with 21 projects available for attention, the IoT section offers only three projects – Nodle IoT, MXC and Robonomics. On first examination, there is a noticeable similarity between them.

MXC is committed to building a global network for the communication of IoT devices. MXC itself (Machine eXchange Coin) is a protocol that leverages LPWAN (low-power wide-area network) technology, an energy efficient long-range network. Simply put, a wireless technology for transmitting data between sensors, meters and sensors. The project offers a smart bidding system for the right of sensors to access the network, as well as a data market that unites various blockchains.

Like two other projects in this niche, MXC declares the goal of creating a decentralized environment for many smart devices. The number of such devices today is measured in the billions. However, the fact that a smartphone, scooter or vacuum cleaner is equipped with sensors and microprocessors does not make them “smart”.

In order to be such, they need a permanent internet connection to receive and transmit data, as well as the ability to interact with other systems.

IoT operation via smartphone
Providing constant online access to millions of devices and sensors is not cheap, but not the most difficult. The second and more important issue is security. Smart home devices can be hacked and become dangerous – like a kettle that is turned on when there is no water in it. Needless to say about an industrial enterprise with expensive equipment. No warehouse of goods will agree to give all the dirty work to IoT devices without a guarantee that the system will not be hacked and disabled, say, electric cars in a warehouse with goods on the shelves.

The decentralized network Nodle offers constant access to the Internet for IoT devices and sensors. It involves custom smartphones that act as hubs for IoT devices. Mobile phones with Internet access provide devices with Internet access through the Bluetooth Low Energy mechanism.

The user installs an application on the phone and thereby allows nearby IoT devices to transmit updated data to the Internet. In exchange for a useful action, the smartphone owner receives a reward (proof of connectivity) in the form of the currency of the Nodle network. The smartphone acts as a secure translator of data from the device to the cloud, while maintaining the user’s right to anonymity.

What the Nodle ecosystem has in common with two other IoT projects at Polkadot – MXC and the Robonomics Network – it enables machine-to-machine communication and opens up a market for robotic data for businesses, municipalities and individuals.

The Nodle website highlights the applicability of the solution to the logistics industry, as well as scooter and bike rental services that can track the location of vehicles and their routes. In fact, you can equip anything with sensors – for example, a parcel or an electric car operating in a warehouse for the purpose of tracking and analyzing movement data.

Substrate for IoT
Like other projects in the same niche, the Nodle network needs to scale – in particular, in order to be able to send millions of microtransactions to smartphone owners as rewards for keeping the network running. For this, a development strategy was chosen on Substrate – a set of tools developed by the Parity team for creating customized blockchains for DApps. This open-access technology, written in Rust and integrated with Polkadot’s interoperability protocol, allows autonomous IoT networks to be created connected to other blockchains.

This opportunity was seen by the developers of the Robonomics Network platform created five years ago. According to its leader Sergei Lonshakov, Substrate is “the most direct route to launching parachain at Polkadot.”

In the case of Robonomics itself, we are talking about a parachain built to control robotics. By allowing Ethereum and Polkadot to be combined, the platform plans to open up a wide range of applications for decentralized networks for automation tasks.

Judging by the 13 scenarios for using the platform at different stages of implementation, Robonomics waited for Polkadot like no other. The arsenal of her cases, from environmental drones monitoring the quality of river water, to trading between cars for space on the road, clearly lacked the power of Ethereum. To expand its capabilities, the platform relied on the experimental Kusama protocol from the creators of Polkadot, also built on Substrate.

The Kusama network was created last summer as a testing ground for developers looking to deploy their own parachain and understand the capabilities of Polkadot itself. Robonomics plans to use this polygon for two years, having previously rented a slot for this purpose from KSM token holders and in the meantime preparing to switch to the Polkadot Relay Chain.

The team plans to attract developers of IoT services with a set of tools called Robonomics Web Services (RWS) – a decentralized analogue of Amazon Web Services for the Internet of Things. However, the analog has ambitious intentions to bypass its cloud competitor in terms of technical capabilities and security.

Unlike Amazon tools, RWS will allow not only technical, but also technical and economic transactions between IoT devices in a single environment that unites various blockchains. Simply put, a smart vacuum cleaner will be able not only to transmit data on the consumed electricity, but also to pay for it independently, interacting with devices from different developers.

The development of projects on Polkadot can be expected in the very near future, which means that soon hundreds of millions of people will be able to easily interact with artificial intelligence carriers, and businesses will have the opportunity to deploy services based on autonomous devices without the risk of outside interference. Such perspectives give a clearer understanding of the hype surrounding Polkadot with its growing capitalization.

Coinbase Client has sued the exchange for trading XRP


Клиент Coinbase подал в суд на биржу за торговлю XRP
Amid a SEC lawsuit against Ripple, a California resident sued Coinbase. He accuses the site of making a profit from the sale of XRP as a security.
In his lawsuit, Thomas Sandoval emphasizes that Coinbase sold XRP cryptocurrency in the knowledge that the coin is a security, and this is a violation of California’s fair competition law. The law protects consumers from fraudulent advertising and fraudulent business practices.

According to the plaintiff, the management of the exchange should have known that XRP was recognized as a security, since the management knew that all the nodes of the network were under the control of Ripple.

According to Stephen Palley, partner at Anderson Kill, the lawsuit does not have sufficient evidence and does not pose a serious threat to Coinbase. However, he may become the first of a whole galaxy of such proceedings.

On December 31, the suspension of trading with XRP was announced by the American division of the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Now there is only one major exchange left on the US market that has not introduced restrictions on trading in pairs with XRP – Kraken.

Recall that on December 23, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Ripple, accusing it of conducting an illegal sale of securities, which were XRP coins. Since then, a significant number of platforms have limited XRP trading for Americans, including Coinbase.

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SkyBridge Capital invested $ 182 million in bitcoin


SkyBridge Capital инвестировала в биткоин $182 млн

SkyBridge Capital, founded by former Donald Trump press secretary and ex-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, has invested $ 182 million in bitcoin.
Last week it became known that the investment company SkyBridge Capital filed an application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to register a fund for bitcoin called “SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund L.P.” Investors will have access to the fund from January 4, and the minimum investment amount will be $ 50,000.
SkyBridge Capital views BTC as a new asset class that has become less risky in recent years. Bitcoin has a positive trend in supply and demand. In addition, the first cryptocurrency began to be in demand among retail and institutional investors.

This is due to low interest rates on deposits and “unprecedented money printing”, creating conditions for the growth of inflation. As a result, the value of scarce assets – gold, real estate and art objects – increases. SkyBridge Capital believes that Bitcoin is one of these assets.

“Bitcoin is digital gold. It’s even better than regular gold, ”the company said.

SkyBridge Capital management is confident that hedge funds, public limited companies, insurance companies, pension funds, banks and brokerage firms will invest in bitcoin in the near future. Scaramucci said companies need to realize now that bitcoin is a store of value.

SkyBridge analysts have conducted research and have suggested that given the amount of money in circulation, BTC will become a strong asset class in the next ten years. The company joined the ranks of the first institutional investors to consider Bitcoin as a hedge against risk.

Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock investment firm, also believes that Bitcoin can indeed become an international asset. And the managing director of Citibank has suggested that by December 2021, the first cryptocurrency will reach $ 318,000.

Serbia will  legalize the issue and trade of digital assets in the country


Сербия легализует выпуск и торговлю цифровыми активами в стране

On December 29, Serbia adopted the “Law on Digital Assets”, which allows the issuance and trading of digital currencies, as well as the provision of cryptocurrency services in the country.
According to local media reports, the bill was presented in October and will enter into force six months after approval. Under the new legislation, digital asset service providers will be able to legally operate in the country after obtaining permission from the Serbian Securities Commission and the National Bank of Serbia (NBS).
Firms must obtain approval from supervisory authorities within six months before the law comes into force. According to the new rules, digital assets can be issued in Serbia with or without an approved technical document. However, a crypto asset with an unapproved technical document cannot be promoted in the country and various restrictions will be imposed on it.

In terms of trading, exchanges need to obtain a license that allows them to work with cryptocurrencies. In addition, the law allows the secondary trading of digital assets that have been issued in Serbia and have an approved official document. OTC trading and the use of smart contracts in secondary trading are also allowed.

However, the provisions of the new law do not apply to cryptocurrency transactions that take place between a limited number of people who accept digital assets “as a reward, without the possibility of transferring or selling them.” The law also does not apply to cryptocurrency miners.

Financial institutions controlled by the NSB are still prohibited from using digital assets, but such firms are allowed to hold cryptographic keys. Organizations controlled by the NSB cannot convert their assets into virtual currencies or “digital asset-related instruments”. In addition, such companies are prohibited from providing cryptocurrency services and cooperating with firms offering such services.

As a reminder, Serbia has not always been friendly towards cryptocurrencies. In 2014, Bank of Serbia stated that it did not consider Bitcoin to be legal tender. However, given the development of technology in the country, the Serbian government has revised its approach to digital assets. According to the portal, users from Serbia are showing great interest in altcoins.

Bloomberg: Sweden and Norway are again profitable for mining


Bloomberg: Швеция и Норвегия вновь стали выгодны для майнинга

Due to the decline in electricity prices, Sweden and Norway have again become attractive countries for mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Given the humid climate of the Scandinavian countries, over the past 20 years, a large number of hydroelectric power plants have appeared in them, generating surplus electricity. This is the reason for the low cost of electricity in these countries. Their average electricity tariff this year is one third of that in Germany, Europe’s largest energy market.

Last year, Norway had the lowest electricity prices for industrial consumers among the 30 member countries of the International Energy Agency. In the first half of 2020, this country had the lowest electricity prices in the European Union. In this regard, Norway is slightly ahead of Iceland, which is also considered a profitable country for mining.

Thanks to such market dynamics, Sweden and Norway can once again become an alternative to countries that prefer cryptocurrency miners: China, Kazakhstan and Canada. The fall in the bitcoin rate after its bull rally in 2017 and the increase in electricity tariffs in Sweden and Norway have made it unprofitable for miners to mine cryptocurrencies in these countries. Therefore, the miners were forced to move to territories with more favorable conditions.

“Those who have gone through this difficult period, like us, are now quite happy. There were times when we didn’t return at all, but over the past year, the profitability of our business has almost tripled, ”said Philip Salter, COO of Genesis Mining, which operates a mining center in the Swedish city of Boudin.

Tor Reier Lilleholt, head of analytics at Wattsight AS, said the Scandinavian countries boast some of the lowest electricity rates in the world aside from fees and taxes. The advantage of these countries lies in the generation of clean energy with the help of hydroelectric power plants and wind turbines. This aspect is important for institutional investors interested in cryptocurrencies.

Salter also believes that miners based in China could move to Western countries such as Sweden and Norway. This is due to the fact that investors openly invest in bitcoin, so they are concerned about the issue of stability and environmental safety.

According to the analytical company TokenInsight, China began to lose its leadership in bitcoin mining due to the increase in the number of miners in the United States and Kazakhstan.

Ripple: “SEC lawsuit hurt a lot of XRP retail holders”


Ripple: «иск SEC навредил множеству розничных держателей XRP»

Ripple has released an official statement accusing the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of its lawsuit against the company resulting in losses for “countless XRP retail holders.”
The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple earlier this month. The commission accuses the Ripple management of selling unregistered securities, which are XRP coins. After that, the XRP rate began a precipitous fall and updated historical lows. The company’s statement highlights:
“The SEC’s decision is not an action against one Ripple, it is an attack on the entire US cryptocurrency industry. We have always said that regulatory uncertainty is very dangerous. The SEC’s actions have already hurt countless retail XRP holders who have nothing to do with Ripple. In addition, this gratuitous lawsuit confused exchanges, market makers and traders. The SEC has brought uncertainty to the market and harmed the community it must defend. Not surprisingly, after the lawsuit, many market participants reacted conservatively.

At the same time, Ripple representatives noted that most of the company’s clients are located outside the United States, as well as a significant part of XRP trading takes place outside America. The attitude of foreign authorities towards cryptocurrencies is much more positive, especially in Japan, the UK, Switzerland and Singapore. Regardless, Ripple’s management plans to defend the company in court and bring a little more transparency to the US regulatory environment along the way.

Recall that earlier the suspension of XRP trading was announced by large market makers Jump Trading, Galaxy Digital, B2C2, the Simplex payment company and the American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. In addition, the regulated platform OSL from Hong Kong announced the temporary suspension of trading in pairs with XRP and all operations with a crypto asset.

Coinbase will stop trading in pairs with XRP amid SEC lawsuit against Ripple


Coinbase прекратит торговлю в парах с XRP на фоне иска SEC против Ripple
Another site announced the restriction of trading in pairs with XRP – users of the major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will lose access to cryptoasset trading on January 19.
The restrictions began to be introduced on December 28, and on January 19, 2021, trading in pairs with XRP will be completely stopped. At the same time, site users will still be able to access their XRP holdings.
“Customers will still be able to participate in the Spark token distribution. In addition, we will continue to support XRP on Coinbase Custody and Coinbase Wallet, ”the exchange said in a statement.

Crypto exchanges began to restrict trading in pairs with XRP after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Ripple. The regulator accuses the company’s management of selling XRP, which are unregistered securities.

XRP trades represent approximately 8.3% of the total trading volume on the Coinbase exchange. For comparison, on the Bitstamp site this figure reaches 18.5%, but this did not stop the exchange from banning XRP trading for US users.

Interestingly, Coinbase is a member of the Cryptocurrency Rating Council, which evaluates various cryptocurrencies for their performance against securities. In August 2019, the Board issued XRP a rating of 4, that is, recognized XRP as an asset that fits the definition of a security.

Earlier, the suspension of XRP trading was announced by large market makers Jump Trading, Galaxy Digital, B2C2, as well as the payment company Simplex. In addition, the regulated platform OSL from Hong Kong announced the temporary suspension of trading in pairs with XRP and all operations with a crypto asset.

Marathon bought 70,000 Antminer S19 Pro from Bitmain for $ 170 million


Marathon купила у Bitmain 70 000 Antminer S19 Pro на сумму $170 млн

Marathon Patent Group, a North American bitcoin mining company, has announced the purchase of 70,000 Antminer S19 ASIC miners from Bitmain. The deal amounted to $ 170 million.
Marathon Chairman and CEO Merrick Okamoto said the deal was the largest single dollar order Bitmain has ever received in its history. In addition, the equipment ordered is three times larger than the existing arsenal of Marathon.
The first batch of 7,000 Antminer S-19 Marathon will receive in July 2021, and the last in December of the same year. Okamoto said that after installing these miners, the company will have 103,000 devices for mining cryptocurrencies at its disposal. The total hash rate generated by these miners will reach 10.36 Eh / s.

Marathon started mining bitcoin in Quebec in early 2018. Initially, the company had 1,400 miners at its disposal. In August 2020, Marathon entered into an agreement with Bitmain to purchase 10,500 Antminer S19 Pro miners for $ 23 million, and in October the company acquired another 10,000 ASIC miners. Marathon has a total hash rate of 2.56 Eh / s, making the firm one of the 15 largest mining groups in the world.

Recall that six months ago, Bitmain had difficulties with sending already paid equipment from a factory in Shenzhen. These issues stemmed from litigation between Bitmain co-founders Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu over running the company. However, it recently became known that against the background of increased demand for ASICs, the founders of Bitmain rushed to resolve their conflict.

Tron has introduced the TRC-721 standard for NFT


Tron представил стандарт TRC-721 для NFT

Cryptocurrency project Tron has introduced a new TRC-721 standard for non-fungible tokens (NFT). This will empower developers.
NFTs are collectible tokens with unique characteristics. Each NFT contains an owner identification number, extended metadata, file links and other identifying information recorded in the smart contract. It is this data that ensures the uniqueness and immutability of each NFT.

NFT standards are widely used in various fields where blockchain is applied. However, most of NFT is based on Ethereum (ERC-721 standard and its enhancements).

The number of decentralized finance (DeFi) projects interested in integrating with NFT to improve their ecosystems is constantly growing. Therefore, Tron developers believe that the TRC-721 standard will open up many opportunities for developers creating new blockchain-based applications.

Each TRC-721 based token has a unique identifier, which allows real elements to be digitally moved without compromising their value. Tokens created based on the TRC-721 standard will represent any digital type of tangible asset in the real world. People will be able to own and manage data associated with a specific material object or document. This will protect industries that are prone to fraud, plagiarism, or product counterfeiting.

Tron founder Justin Sun said that developers will be able to more effectively apply TRC-721 to their products and applications thanks to Tron’s efficient infrastructure. Sun expressed the hope that in the future the TRC-721 standard will find different uses, which will make the cryptoeconomy stronger and increase the uniqueness of blockchain technology.

However, despite the rapid development of NFT, some members of the cryptocurrency community believe that this industry should not be placed on high hopes. For example, Gary Bracey, CEO of the Terra Virtua platform, said that for the sustainable development of the NFT industry, massive introduction of collectible tokens is necessary.

Tierion will pay SEC $ 250,000 fine for conducting illegal ICO


Tierion заплатит SEC штраф в $250 000 за проведение нелегального ICO

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined Tierion $ 250,000 for conducting an unregistered ICO in 2017, during which it raised $ 25 million.
According to the SEC, the initial public offering of tokens organized by Tierion violated US securities laws. Tierion is a blockchain-based development firm, and during the ICO positioned the TNT token as a means of payment between users of its network. According to the agency, Tierion has sold 350 million TNT to 4,800 investors. The SEC ruled that investors and holders of TNT tokens who traded them at a loss can, within 60 days, demand compensation from Tierion along with interest.
The department decided to stop trading TNT, which were created according to the ERC-20 standard and worked on the Ethereum blockchain. The Commission also said TNT was not in compliance with Regulation D. Tierion’s management did not acknowledge or contest the charges and agreed to pay the regulator a $ 250,000 fine. Tierion CEO and founder Wayne Vaughn said he would continue to work on the company’s current products. even without TNT tokens.

According to him, the SEC decision “removed the heavy regulatory burden from him.” Vaughn added that this situation will not affect the availability of the open source software that the developers of the firm have been working on. In 2017, Tierion partnered with Microsoft to develop a decentralized identity system that will create and validate data using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

This week, the SEC fined cryptocurrency startup ShipChain $ 2,050,000 for the same reason. Since the beginning of the year, the Commission has collected more than $ 4.68 billion in fines and confiscated illegal proceeds, a record amount in the entire history of the agency.

CedarFX – Trade with the First Eco-Conscious Broker


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Through their various account options, CedarFX is dedicated to helping traders reach higher by offering ultra-high leverage and low spreads. Traders can get access to over 55 major, minor and exotic Forex currency pairs, 35 Crypto pairs, as well as CFDs on stocks, energy and metals with up to 1:500 leverage!

Zero-Commission Account

Ever since CedarFX entered the mainstream Forex sphere, the broker has earned a reputation as an innovative online broker offering excellent trading conditions… without the hefty price tag! Their pioneering 0% Commission Account offers traders the unique opportunity to conduct no-cost transactions, using their full deposit to open trade positions. With ultra-fast withdrawals, CedarFX also gets same-day access to their money without any fees.

CedarFX Eco Account

Now, CedarFX is devoting time and attention to supporting a good cause. Their Eco-Account option carries a commission fee of only $1 per lot traded, all of which will be used to plant trees and fund carbon reduction projects around the world. Naturally, this innovative feature has attracted the attention of traders from all over the globe, leaving many traders asking ‘why is CedarFX going green?’

The answer is simple – over the course of the last few decades, environmental deterioration has accelerated to unprecedented levels. While individuals can make small changes to their lifestyles to reduce their negative impact on the environment, power lies in collective action.

CedarFX has created an opportunity for traders to give back to the environment by paying a low commission for every lot traded. Each month, CedarFX matches the total amount of commissions paid by Eco-Account holders and 100 per cent of those funds go towards funding their environmental mission.

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Ford has tested blockchain to reduce emissions of hybrid electric vehicles


Ford протестировал блокчейн для снижения выбросов гибридных электромобилей

Blockchain and geofencing could be used with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to improve air quality in cities, according to a study by automaker Ford.
Automotive giant Ford conducted a three-year study in London, Cologne and Valencia that examined the potential of commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to address urban air quality challenges.
The dynamic geofencing feature used in the study enabled vehicles to operate with zero emissions whenever they entered a reduced emission zone, without driver intervention.

Ford also used blockchain to track the time when a car entered or left the geofence. Researchers have found that when shared, technology can significantly improve air quality in cities.

“When plugged-in hybrid EVs from Ford entered these zones, they would automatically switch to low emission mode. This happened automatically, without the participation of drivers. Technology helps improve air quality for citizens and helps vehicles comply with local regulations, ”Ford said in a press release.

In some European cities, low emission zones have been created, which are restricted to vehicles with high emissions. Hybrid cars can switch between electric and combustion engines, varying their emissions.

Back in 2018, BMW, GM, Ford and Renault formed a consortium to develop blockchain in the auto industry. In 2019, it became known that Ford will use blockchain to reduce vehicle fuel consumption.

Bitcoin Development Kit Developers Introduce BDK 0.2.0 Update


Разработчики инструментов Bitcoin Development Kit представили обновление BDK 0.2.0

The developers of the Bitcoin Development Kit (BDK) open library have introduced the BDK 0.2.0 update, which allows you to reduce the amount of data about transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Magical Bitcoin project, launched this year by Alekos Filini, has since been renamed BDK. BDK is a set of tools for developing Bitcoin wallets that can interact with different platforms. BDK developer Steve Myers announced that the update contains several new features, fixes and improvements.
The enhanced library will simplify integration with general and advanced wallet features. In version 0.2.0, the branch and bound algorithm was also added. It will allow developers to reduce the amount of transaction data on the blockchain, lower fees, and increase privacy by reducing output.

Myers explained that such an algorithm is aimed at wallets with a large volume of incoming and outgoing transactions. Its main task is to find a combination of transaction input so that the outgoing transaction does not need any changes. Thus, the amount of data about the transaction is reduced, thereby increasing its confidentiality.

In addition, the update contains another feature – simplified creation of new seed phrases and private keys. Wallet developers will be able to use the BDK to easily generate random BIP32-based extended private keys as well as BIP39 mnemonic phrases. They may be needed if the user is not using a hardware wallet mobile app.

A few months ago, pTokens also introduced an open source Javascript library called “LiquidJS” to make it easier for various networks to interact with the Liquid Network Bitcoin sidechain.

Tezos develops hardware protection for validators


Tezos разрабатывает аппаратную защиту для валидаторов

Israel-based Tezos Development Center will release a device to secure staked assets of validators.
Tezos Israel said in a press release that hardware security modules, developed in partnership with Hub Security, will allow network validators (bakers) to store private keys in a secure cloud or on a separate physical device. This will help protect assets from theft or network outages.

Network validators must block cryptoassets for staking for a certain period of time in order to be eligible to participate in block creation. This approach requires “serious security,” said Hub Security CEO Eyal Moshe.

The new device, which is a kind of server, is equipped with a security module that acts as a “remote control” tool for the user. The device has a “bank-grade” two-factor authentication.

The development will offer bakers a better alternative to hardware wallets, which must be physically connected to computers operating on the network. The companies said that the use of the hardware module allows “secure use of encryption keys and sensitive information to work with confidential applications, while maintaining complete confidentiality.”

In November, the Tezos developers said they were planning a network update called Edo. The implementation of the Zcash Sapling library will allow hiding transactions on the Tezos blockchain.

Coinbase Asks FinCEN To Extend Discussion On New Wallet Regulation


Coinbase просит FinCEN продлить обсуждение нового регулирования кошельков

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has asked the US Treasury Department to extend the discussion period for the proposed regulation of non-custodial wallets from 15 to the standard 60 days.
According to a Coinbase blog post addressed to Kenneth Blanco, Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the discussion period on the newly proposed rules to regulate non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets should be extended. Earlier, community members have already expressed dissatisfaction with the relatively short time frame for discussing the rules. FinCEN said it is accepting comments on the proposed regulation by January 4th.

In total, FinCEN solicited comments on 24 issues, each of which requires detailed analysis and extensive evaluation.

“Answers to all the questions asked by FinCEN and additional questions that FinCEN has not yet addressed will take much longer than 15 days,” Coinbase said. “It is obviously impossible to do this within a few business days during national holidays and the latest outbreak of coronavirus.”

According to the pre-published version of the regulation, users who will send cryptocurrency from centralized exchanges to a private wallet will have to provide exchanges with personal information about the wallet owner if the amount sent exceeds $ 10,000 in one day. Exchanges will also be required to submit and maintain records associated with such transactions, as well as maintain records of transactions in excess of $ 3,000.

The public must provide comments or feedback on the regulation by January 4, 2021. Although elsewhere in the document it says that reviews can be submitted within 15 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register on December 23rd.

Typically 60 days are given for comments on such proposals, but the US Treasury notes that there are “important national security requirements” to shorten the comment period. Coinbase offered a simpler reason for this decision:

“There is no emergency here. There is only the outgoing administration trying to bypass the necessary public consultation and adopt hasty regulation before their time in power is over. ”

Recall that at the end of November, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong posted a series of tweets and commented on rumors about new regulation of non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets in the United States. According to him, the US Treasury Department is “hastily developing new rules.”

A book with all the letters and messages of Satoshi Nakamoto was published in USA


В США издана книга со всеми письмами и сообщениями Сатоси Накамото

Mill Hill Books has released Kicking the Hornet’s Nest, which contains all of Satoshi Nakamoto’s emails, forum posts, and other entries in chronological order.
The 340-page book, according to the publisher, includes all the records of Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, ever published on the Internet. The title of the book, “Kicking the Hornet’s Nest: The Complete Writings, Emails, and Forum Posts of Satoshi Nakamoto, the Founder of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency,” can literally be translated as “Hornet’s Nest: Full Texts, Emails and Forum Posts of Satoshi Nakamoto, Founder Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies “. The print edition sells for $ 29.

All entries are collected in chronological order “with almost no editorial comments.” Sources for the book include,, letters from the cryptocurrency mailing list, personal emails to and from Dustin Trammel, and personal emails from Mike Hearn and Hal Finney ).

There is a commentary in the “From the Editor” section explaining the reason for the book’s release. The editor writes that ten years later, those in power began to get carried away with the idea of ​​cryptocurrency and “accept the inevitability” of this technology.

“As a child, my brother and I ran into a hornet’s nest from time to time when we played in the forest,” writes the editor. “We threw a stone at him or kicked him. It’s not rational, but too tempting and too fun. And when you do something like that, you do it quickly, and then get away with your feet as quickly as possible. ”

The book’s editor writes about a number of characteristic features that distinguish Satoshi Nakamoto’s letters, such as the double space at the end of a sentence. In addition, Satoshi was distinguished by politeness, clear communication, thoughtfulness. This is a person or group of people who “value privacy”. The book contains 539 Nakamoto messages from the forum and 34 publicly known emails.

Recall that in November, a study was released, according to which Satoshi Nakamoto could lead the development of Bitcoin in London. Substantial Films planned to release a film about Satoshi Nakamoto titled “Decrypted” later this year, but the coronavirus pandemic has made adjustments to the studio’s plans.

Ethereum developer: “after the implementation of EIP-1559, ether will be burned in every transaction”


Разработчик Эфириума: «после внедрения EIP-1559 эфиры будут сжигаться в каждой транзакции»
Developer Eric Conner announced the upcoming implementation of the EIP-1559 Ethereum enhancement. It provides for the burning of ETH when paying commissions.
EIP-1559 will improve user experience, enhance network security, and increase block size as needed. After its implementation, new ETH coins will no longer be issued. In addition, EIP-1559 will lead to the destruction of a large number of ethers. They will be burned after every transaction processed on the Ethereum blockchain, which is very different from the current mechanism.

Today, Ethereum has the ability to manually set gas charges. Therefore, some users may increase the commission so that the miners process their transaction faster. As a result, two serious problems arise: network congestion and “sky-high” fees for conducting transactions in Ethereum.

EIP-1559 will make an important change, Conner said. The network will automatically offer a base fee (“BASEFEE”) based on network activity to optimize the speed of all transactions and prevent blockchain clogging. Most of the ethers will be burned when gas is consumed. As a result, the number of coins will start to decrease and their supply will become limited.

Despite the bright prospects, eventually EIP-1559 could destroy all existing ethers. However, the improvement can only be implemented on the existing Ethereum network using the Proof-of-Work consensus method. Ethereum has already begun its transition to Proof-of-Stake (proof of stake). On December 1, within the framework of the zero phase, the “signal chain” (Beacon Chain) was launched.

As the next phases of Ethereum 2.0 roll out, miners will give way to stakers using their own nodes to confirm transactions on the network. Unsurprisingly, miners previously did not approve of the new fee model when implementing EIP 1559.

Glasgow University uses Everledger blockchain to authenticate whiskey


Университет Глазго использует блокчейн Everledger для проверки подлинности виски

The University of Glasgow’s University of Glasgow Environmental Research Center (SUERC) uses the Everledger blockchain to prevent Scotch whiskey counterfeiting.
SUERC researchers said the Everledger platform will be available to premium whiskey producers, retailers, auction houses and collectors. They will be able to track the supply chain of rare whiskeys, as well as check the quality of products and their compliance with established standards.
According to the center’s researchers, in 2018 the market for “vintage” single malt Scotch whiskeys was estimated at 57.7 million pounds (about $ 78 million). At the same time, about 40% of rare vintage whiskeys can be counterfeit. In 2018, the center performed radiocarbon analysis of 55 bottles of rare Scotch whiskey. Of these, 21 bottles were found to be counterfeit, or their contents were not distilled in the year indicated on the label.

As part of the SUERC and Everledger project, NFC chips (“Near Field Communication”) will be embedded in whiskey corks. All information about the origin of raw materials, the age of whiskey, the results of its radiocarbon analysis and the data of the supply chain will be stored on the blockchain.

SUERC researcher Elaine Dunbar believes that the Everledger blockchain will help prevent fraud in the whiskey industry, as the reputation of the producers suffers from the actions of attackers. This technology can be used by all interested parties who intend to protect their customers from buying counterfeit products.

Blockchain has become widely used in logistics. For example, last year, William Gran & Sons began using blockchain to authenticate premium Ailsa Bay whiskey. In addition, Singapore-based VeChain has also begun tracking wine shipments for the Australian winemaker using blockchain.

Visa proposed a method of offline payments in state cryptocurrencies


Visa предложила метод оффлайн-платежей в государственных криптовалютах

Visa has released a research paper that outlines how government cryptocurrencies can be used to conduct offline transactions.
Visa has offered an offline payment system for government cryptocurrencies. The paper, titled Towards a Two-Tier Hierarchical Infrastructure: An Autonomous Payment System for Central Banks Digital Currencies, highlights the benefits of government-owned cryptocurrencies. At the same time, the researchers said that when such currencies become available, they can be used without an Internet connection.
The payment giant has proposed a system that will use “open source technology and public key infrastructure” so that transaction messages can be signed without the need for an Internet connection. The proposal describes a protocol that may be developed in the future, but no code has yet been written for it.

“Recipients will be able to send signed offline payment orders to an authorized wallet provider with guaranteed settlement on these transactions in order to withdraw money from the offline payment system,” the document says.

An offline payment system “creates a user experience similar to paying in cash. But instead of paper, the wallet will have bits and bytes on the phone. ”

Most of the major countries are exploring the concept of a government cryptocurrency, and some have already begun to implement it. China is actively testing the possibilities of the digital yuan among the population, Sweden is preparing to move to the digital crown in 2022, and the Central Bank of the Bahamas launched the Sand Dollar in October.

CedarFX – Trade with the First Eco-Conscious Broker


It’s not every day that you come across a broker with a vision to make a positive impact beyond the world of finance. CedarFX, however, is changing that perception. The leading online broker has recently launched a revolutionary Eco Account option to its traders, making it the first-ever Eco-conscious broker to exist!

Through their various account options, CedarFX is dedicated to helping traders reach higher by offering ultra-high leverage and low spreads. Traders can get access to over 55 major, minor and exotic Forex currency pairs, 35 Crypto pairs, as well as CFDs on stocks, energy and metals with up to 1:500 leverage!

Zero-Commission Account

Ever since CedarFX entered the mainstream Forex sphere, the broker has earned a reputation as an innovative online broker offering excellent trading conditions… without the hefty price tag! Their pioneering 0% Commission Account offers traders the unique opportunity to conduct no-cost transactions, using their full deposit to open trade positions. With ultra-fast withdrawals, CedarFX also gets same-day access to their money without any fees.

CedarFX Eco Account

Now, CedarFX is devoting time and attention to supporting a good cause. Their Eco-Account option carries a commission fee of only $1 per lot traded, all of which will be used to plant trees and fund carbon reduction projects around the world. Naturally, this innovative feature has attracted the attention of traders from all over the globe, leaving many traders asking ‘why is CedarFX going green?’

The answer is simple – over the course of the last few decades, environmental deterioration has accelerated to unprecedented levels. While individuals can make small changes to their lifestyles to reduce their negative impact on the environment, power lies in collective action.

CedarFX has created an opportunity for traders to give back to the environment by paying a low commission for every lot traded. Each month, CedarFX matches the total amount of commissions paid by Eco-Account holders and 100 per cent of those funds go towards funding their environmental mission.

From providing financial support to climate solution projects such as producing wind energy in India, to the preservation and restoration of the Brazilian Rainforest, to responsible tree-planting in Mozambique, Madagascar and Nicaragua – eco traders can directly support CedarFX’s mission to combat global warming! The more trades are opened, the higher the amount of funding CedarFX will be able to raise to reach their eco-targets.

Whether you opt for a 0% Commission account or an Eco Account, you can be part of the change by trading with CedarFX! Sign up for free and get access to global financial markets through the award-winning MT4 platform at!

FinCEN is looking for specialists in the fight against crimes in the cryptocurrency industry


FinCEN ищет специалистов по борьбе с преступлениями в криптовалютной индустрии

The United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is looking for digital asset experts to address legal issues related to the cryptocurrency industry.
FinCEN has posted an advertisement for recruiting employees to investigate crimes related to digital assets. According to the requirements of the department, specialists will have to deal with the identification of risks to financial stability and the development of regulations that can prevent the identified problems. In addition, their range of tasks will include the development of recommendations and guidelines for financial institutions.
Applicants for positions must be fluent in a variety of fields, including digital identity, law, and finance. Applicants’ experience in relevant positions must be at least one year. FinCEN stressed that the experts will work with “extremely complex and confidential tasks.” Selected professionals can expect salaries ranging from $ 102,663 to $ 157,709 per year.

FinCEN’s initiative may be linked to a new regulation of non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets that is being developed by the US Treasury Department. Cryptocurrency exchanges will be able to verify the owner of the recipient’s wallet and collect data about him before sending funds to him. Last week, members of the US House of Representatives addressed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, expressing their opposition to the upcoming regulation.

Legislators believe that such actions by the Treasury will prevent the United States from leading the way in digital currencies and technological innovation. In addition, any user of non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets can unknowingly become a criminal.

Earlier, FinCEN director Kenneth Blanco called on US banks to strengthen their anti-money laundering (AML) systems to eliminate possible threats from cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase has filed with the SEC for an IPO in the United States


Биржа Coinbase подала в SEC заявку на проведение IPO в США

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is preparing for a public offering. The company has filed preliminary documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to a Coinbase blog post, the company is preparing to enter the stock market and has filed preliminary documents with the SEC. According to the statement:

“Form S-1 will become legal after the SEC completes the review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

Coinbase said the documents filed with the SEC are confidential. This is the first official step towards a public offering. The document, which likely includes the target amount of the placement, is not publicly available.

It’s unclear if Coinbase is going to go public through an IPO or direct listing. As Reuters reported this summer, Coinbase was looking into a possible listing on the stock exchange. Unnamed sources then stated that Coinbase was considering a direct listing rather than an initial public offering. Form S-1 is required for both IPO and direct listing on the stock exchange.

The documents submitted by Coinbase are confidential – their content will only be released three weeks before a possible listing, when the firm tries to attract potential investors.

More and more companies related to cryptocurrency are seeking to get listed on stock exchanges. In June, Bithumb filed for an IPO in South Korea, and in April, mining company Ebang announced a planned US IPO.

The digital evolution of the financial sector and why DeFi is the future


Цифровая эволюция финансового сектора и почему будущее за DeFi

The existing financial system has a lot to offer, but not everyone has access to it and sometimes its effectiveness leaves much to be desired. The DeFi industry is gaining more and more popularity.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) opens up access to financial services for people around the world. DeFi mitigates the risks of losing hard-earned money due to financial institutions’ risk-taking, error, and fraud. In addition, people can avoid the problems that come with the centralization of such organizations.

What is DeFi
The DeFi industry strives to provide alternatives to many traditional financial products and services: trading, lending, investment opportunities, eliminating their shortcomings and making the system available to everyone.

DeFi is creating an infrastructure for cryptoassets that can be used and generated income, instead of just sitting in users’ wallets. The main feature of DeFi projects is to rethink the basic mechanisms of financial decisions and increase their efficiency through decentralization and advanced technologies. Here is some of them:

Optimization of risks and benefits through decentralization and automation. In DeFi, users have complete control and transparent information about their assets. This means that money cannot be invested in risky initiatives without the owner’s knowledge. Money cannot be blocked by a decision of a centralized organization or government. Users receive transparent data on financial products on the blockchain and make optimal decisions on how to use their money themselves.
Numerous ways to make profit and use cryptocurrency. DeFi offers tons of opportunities to profit from cryptoassets without having to sell them. At the same time, to access such services, you do not need to comply with strict requirements, as in the traditional finance industry. Therefore, 1.7 billion people around the world without access to banking services can use DeFi products.
The ability to become shareholders, not passive users of the DAO. Many DeFi projects are launching DAOs – blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organizations that give users the ability to become shareholders of sorts and vote on how DeFi protocols will operate and develop, as well as generate income from these platforms.
DeFi offers users more freedom to engage in interesting projects on their chosen terms and in a decentralized manner, without hidden risks and intermediary fees.

Why people are slow to switch to DeFi
While DeFi remains a new concept. The industry will need to better adapt to customer needs and address several issues on the path to maturity:
Few DeFi projects offer users realistic revenue models. Many projects offer to make money out of thin air, for example, using game theory. The user invests money and gets more money, not understanding how the amount increased. These revenue models may not be sustainable in the long run and they scare off many users.
DeFi lacks holistic, user-friendly ecosystems. While one bank may offer a package of solutions for working with money and multiplying it in different ways, such offers in DeFi are not yet so common. Users have to switch between different platforms and pay double commissions, spend time researching services and registering, and bear the risks associated with leaving confidential information at multiple sites.
Only a few Defi projects have been fully audited and operate in accordance with the law. Since all financial products in DeFi are based on smart contracts that automatically execute transactions, it’s worth making sure they are working correctly. In addition, users want to be sure that the DeFi project is working in accordance with the law and that no one will harass the development team, and customers will not leave the platform overnight, leading to its collapse.

Nimbus is the new DeFi ecosystem
Nimbus is a fintech company with an established team and years of experience in providing blockchain-based financial solutions to 50,000 users. In the coming days, the company is launching a new DeFi ecosystem that could well be the industry’s foremost solution for years to come. Nimbus combines the best practices of both traditional and decentralized finance to comprehensively address the key concerns of DeFi users.

Nimbus launches the DeFi ecosystem, which offers ten earning strategies based on real-world use cases, from P2P loans to IPOs and crowdfunding. On December 21, Nimbus launches an ecosystem of four decentralized applications and three tokens managed by the DAO, enabling users to maximize the value of the project.

Nimbus lacks implausible reward generation models that are untrustworthy and not well understood. Every Nimbus decentralized app has a clear process for generating revenue. Most decentralized applications are tied to traditional financial instruments and products that have been proven effective for decades. With Nimbus, these products will be available for the first time to the cryptocurrency industry, and their risks will be mitigated by DeFi mechanisms.

When fully launched, the Nimbus ecosystem will consist of four decentralized applications. The two most promising ones are:

Nimbus IPO hub dApp. Through a decentralized application, users with any number of cryptoassets will be able to participate in the IPO through liquidity pools. IPOs will be scrutinized and Nimbus DAO members will vote for them. All relevant IPO analytics will be collected in one place so that users can make their own decisions. Users will need to select the amount of cryptoasset they want to invest in the IPO and start earning their percentage. There are no additional brokerage fees or additional registration requirements.
Nimbus Crowdfunding dApp. A unique decentralized tool that will allow anyone who owns a cryptocurrency to participate in funding startups in accordance with legal requirements. Users around the world will have access to convertible loans and start-up capital, regardless of the amount they have. Thanks to the liquidity pool mechanics, the risks and rewards from such crowdfunding participation will be optimized. Since the money will be distributed among startups automatically under certain conditions, the risk of startup failures is also reduced.
Nimbus will also launch two more decentralized applications. Crypto Arbitrage-Trading dApp, which has a centralized version already used by 50,000 people, and P2P Lending dApp, which provides more flexibility and more risk management options for users than many other lending dApps.

All decentralized applications will be hosted in one ecosystem and will use a single NUS token, which provides access to all of them. In 2020-2021, Nimbus users will have access to ten pools and products with different earning strategies in one place through the NUS token, which will be launched in December 2020.

Nimbus plans to obtain a broker-dealer license from the US Financial Institutions Regulatory Agency (FINRA), a license from the US National Futures Association (NFA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). With their help, Nimbus will be able to provide users with access to additional asset classes and investment products. For example, to equity participation in the secondary markets before the IPO, to which no ordinary person has access today.

However, the use of decentralized applications is not the only opportunity for users to participate in the Nimbus ecosystem. To provide true user control over the Nimbus platform and additional revenue opportunities, Nimbus is launching the Nimbus DAO and GNUS governance token.

With the GNUS token, any user will be able to participate in decision-making on the operation of the Nimbus platform and receive a share of its income. Only 10% of the governance tokens will remain with the Nimbus Organization, allowing for true decentralization of governance.

Nimbus features
Nimbus has been around for a year and already serves 50,000 users. The international project team consists of renowned professionals with an excellent reputation, including former top managers of the largest modern international corporations, for example, Huawei. Together, they cover all areas of expertise needed to successfully launch a project, including cryptocurrency, blockchain, DeFi, artificial intelligence, finance, and cybersecurity.

The company is also awaiting audits from leading smart contract auditing firms such as Zokyo, agreements with liquidity providers, and a crowdfunding license in the EU.

Launching the DeFi ecosystem for Nimbus is not a way to capitalize on the popularity of the industry or quickly reap benefits for its employees. This is the way to accomplish Nimbus’s mission in the most efficient way and the project team maintains high standards of work.

The Nimbus DeFi ecosystem will launch in December 2020, and anyone can participate in its work. Nimbus is now finalizing development and auditing of DeFi functionality and preparing for a launch scheduled for December 21.

At launch, one of the three Nimbus tokens, NUS, will appear on the Uniswap listing. This token will be required to access any other features of the platform, be it two other tokens or four decentralized applications, which will launch in December 2020 or 2021.

50,000 Nimbus users await the launch of the DeFi ecosystem, which anyone can join to benefit and take advantage of an emerging and promising decentralized finance project.

Genesis mining will use heat from BTC mining to heat greenhouses


Genesis Mining будет использовать тепловыделение от майнинга BTC для обогрева теплиц

Mining company Genesis Mining has announced the launch of a pilot project to use surplus energy from bitcoin mining to heat greenhouses in the Swedish city of Buden.
Genesis Mining has created special mining containers that will connect to the greenhouses through a ventilation system used to transfer excess energy. According to calculations carried out at the Luleå Technical University, a 550 kW container will be enough to heat a greenhouse of 300 square meters. even in cold Swedish climates.

However, Andreas Johansson, a senior lecturer at the Luleå Technical University, said that the potential of these containers could be three times greater – with an increase in the temperature difference, the heat dissipation from mining could heat the territory up to 900 square meters.

Genesis Mining management announced that the project has been in development for over a year. It is aimed not only at recycling excess energy waste, but also at developing the food and vegetable industry in the Swedish city of Buden. Mattias Vesterlund, Senior Researcher at the Swedish Research Institutes Network (RISE), explained that the 1MW data center could increase the independence of local vegetable markets by 8% by introducing more competitive products.

In addition to Genesis Mining and its subsidiary Hashpower For Science, the project has received support from the international ventilation and air conditioning equipment manufacturer Systemair, Luleå Technical University, RISE, the Boden Business Agency and local governments. Genesis Mining CEO and co-founder Marco Streng said the cryptocurrency industry is changing the world for the better, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the environment. Therefore, Strang hopes that the pilot project will be successfully tested.

Boden Business Agency’s director of data center development, Nils Lindh, believes the project will provide an opportunity to expand the local food processing industry while promoting energy efficiency.

“This is a kind of effective symbiosis of different industries: cryptocurrency mining, growing and production of products, as well as energy. In case of successful testing, the project can be applied to large commercial production, ”said Lindh.

Braiins researchers conducted a study last year comparing the power consumption of Bitcoin mining and mainstream video games. They concluded that in November 2019, video games consumed 46% more electricity compared to mining Bitcoin. However, according to the Ohio State Oak Ridge Institute, Bitcoin mining consumed three times as much energy in 2018 as gold mining.

Estonia revoked over 1,000 licenses from cryptocurrency companies in 2020


Эстония за 2020 год отозвала более 1 000 лицензий у криптовалютных компаний

This year, the Estonian authorities revoked the licenses of more than 1,000 cryptocurrency firms amid tightening oversight of the cryptocurrency industry and the fight against money laundering.
The Estonian Ministry of Finance announced that the Financial Intelligence Agency has revoked licenses from more than 1,000 cryptocurrency companies since the beginning of the year. The statement followed a meeting of the State Commission on Combating Money Laundering, which discussed issues related to the regulation of cryptocurrency service providers.

The deputy head of the commission, Veiko Tali, stressed that “monitoring and regulation” of cryptocurrency service operators “constantly needs increased attention.” He explained that in 2019, many companies showed interest in obtaining a license to work with cryptocurrency services, and a large number of licenses were subsequently issued.

However, the “controls and interventions” of the Estonian government in the field of cryptocurrencies have been limited, and amendments to Estonian legislation that came into force this year have tightened the licensing of cryptocurrency service operators. According to a statement from the Ministry of Finance:

“In 2020, the Financial Intelligence Agency revoked more than 1000 licenses to operate from companies dealing with cryptoassets. At the same time, there are still around 400 companies offering services in this area in Estonia. Many of these companies have minimal contact with Estonia, and some of the clientele are from distant countries. ”

Tali confirmed that the commission plans to focus on overseeing the cryptocurrency industry next year, specifying:

“A number of important regulatory changes are planned for cryptocurrency services to further regulate this area.”

According to a survey conducted by the Financial Intelligence Agency this summer, Estonian-registered cryptocurrency service providers have the largest number of clients in the United States, followed by Venezuela, Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, India and Iran. According to the study, the turnover of cryptocurrency service providers in the first half of 2019 amounted to more than € 1.2 billion – twice as much as a year earlier.

Recall that in May, the Estonian government approved a bill initiated by the Ministry of Finance to tighten the requirements for issuing licenses to cryptocurrency companies.

Binance Starts Shipping Binance Card Debit Cards To Eurozone


Binance начала доставку дебетовых карт Binance Card на территорию Еврозоны

Binance cryptocurrency exchange announced the start of delivery of the Binance Visa Card to the European Economic Area (EEA) and support for the ETH cryptocurrency.
Eurozone users will start receiving their cards soon, according to Binance’s announcement. To do this, they need to complete the ordering procedure. The daily spending limit for a physical Binance Visa Card is € 8,700, and no more than € 290 can be withdrawn from ATMs per day.

Card users will be able to receive up to 8% cashback, and zero commission is provided until 2021. In addition, Binance management announced support for ETH, which customers can use to pay for purchases, and optionally specify this asset as their preferred payment method. Previously, the card supported BTC, BNB, SXP and BUSD.

The Binance cryptocurrency debit card first became known in March this year, but a month later, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced possible legal complications, as the card must comply with regulatory requirements in each country. In September, the head of the operations department of Binance in Russia and the CIS countries Gleb Kostarev announced his readiness to launch the Binance Card debit card in Russia.

Earlier, there were concerns that this would be impossible due to the Law “On Digital Financial Assets (DFA) and Digital Currency”, which prohibits paying with cryptocurrencies in Russia, and will come into force on January 1, 2021. However, it recently became known that the Binance exchange became a member of the Committee on Digital Financial Assets (DFA) and Digital Currency in Russia. This committee was created for the development of legal cryptocurrency business and its regulation in the country.

There are other exchanges that have launched Visa debit cards that allow you to pay for purchases with cryptocurrencies. In the fall, a similar card was introduced by P2P platform Paxful in Mexico and the USA. Coinbase also announced the release of the Coinbase Card in the USA with cashback in XLM or BTC.

Banxa payment service will be listed on TSX Venture Exchange


Платежный сервис Banxa войдет в листинг TSX Venture Exchange

Australia-based digital payments infrastructure provider Banxa plans to be listed on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange later this month.
Banxa’s shares will be listed on the TSX Venture Exchange on December 25, with a market cap of nearly $ 50 million. This listing will be the first in the world for this type of cryptocurrency company. TSX Venture Exchange is a Canadian public venture capital market for emerging companies. It is operated by the TMX group, which also owns the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Banxa founder and chairman of the board, Domenic Carosa, said:
“Our listing on the TSX Venture Exchange will make Banxa the world’s first cryptocurrency payment service provider, providing the necessary transparency and governance for the cryptocurrency industry.”

Banxa’s listing on the stock exchange follows a Series A funding round in January that raised $ 2 million in support of the firm’s plans to enter new markets. Banxa provides “internationally regulated” services for converting fiat currencies to cryptoassets for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, Kucoin, Abra, and ShapeShift.

Companies from the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry are increasingly being listed on stock exchanges. So, Diginex, which works with blockchain and cryptocurrencies, was listed on the American Nasdaq exchange in October under the ticker EQOS after a merger with 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp. In the same month, the Gibraltar Stock Exchange listed The Bitcoin Fund from 3iQ.

Finnish Customs and Europol shut down Sipulimarket darknet market and confiscate assets


Таможня Финляндии и Европол закрыли рынок даркнета Sipulimarket и конфисковали активы

The large darknet market Sipulimarket has been closed and its assets have been confiscated by Finnish customs in cooperation with Europol and the Polish police.
Europol and the Finnish Customs Service said last week that they “closed the darknet market Sipulimarket and confiscated all its content.” The operation was carried out in close cooperation with the Polish Police Office in Wroclaw, Europol’s European Cybercrime Center and Eurojust.

“The Finnish Customs confiscated the web server and content of the Silpulimarket trading site, and also confiscated BTC.”

The website now displays a message that reads: “This service has been closed by the Finnish Customs in conjunction with the Cybercrime Directorate of the Police Department in Wroclaw with the support of Europol and Eurojust on cumulative drug-related crimes.”

Sipulimarket’s web server has been running on the Tor network since 2019, according to the authorities. The marketplace sold “a significant amount of drugs and other illegal goods”. That being said, Sipulimarket was the only Finnish-language trading site to sell drugs on the Tor network after the Valhalla marketplace was closed by the Finnish Customs in spring 2019.

The amount of BTC confiscated was not disclosed. According to the press release, “the preliminary investigation is still ongoing.” At this stage, the Finnish Customs and international cooperation partners will not provide more information on this matter.

Recall that back in February 2018, Finland determined the rules for storing and selling confiscated bitcoins. In the spring of this year, the Finnish Customs Service was resolving the issue of confiscated BTC worth $ 15 million at that time. The authorities feared that if sold, they could end up in the hands of criminals.

Sweden prepares to move to digital crown in 2022


Швеция готовится к переходу на цифровую крону в 2022 году

The Swedish government is preparing to go digital. The authorities plan to complete studies related to the release of the state cryptocurrency by the end of 2022.
This was stated by the Minister of Finance of Sweden Per Bolund (Per Bolund), adding that by this time the government will provide a detailed report on its research and developments. To date, the authorities are still studying how to safely transfer the country’s payment infrastructure to digital currency.

The initiative will be led by Anna Kinberg Batra, who previously served as Chair of the Finance Committee of the Bank of Sweden (Riksbank). Bolund said that it is extremely important to ensure the availability of the digital payment system for all citizens of Sweden, as well as create conditions for the sustainable functioning of the system.

“Before switching to digital currency, it is necessary to carefully study all the aspects related to it. Any oversight can have serious consequences for the entire financial system, ”the minister said.

The central bank of Sweden announced the e-krona pilot project late last year. To this end, Riksbank began to cooperate with the Irish company Accenture, which provides consulting services. Testing of the digital version of the Swedish krona began in February, which was originally scheduled to run until February 2021.

In October, the chairman of the Bank of Sweden, Stefan Ingves, said that the regulator had not yet made a final decision on issuing its own digital currency, as this requires political support and changes to the country’s legislation. If the digital Swedish krona is issued, it must be recognized as legal tender.

Recall that six months ago, the Bank of Sweden published the results of a study describing four different models of the state cryptocurrency that can be introduced to the local market.

US IRS adds cryptocurrency clause to main tax reporting form


IRS США добавила пункт про криптовалюты в основную часть формы налоговой отчетности
The IRS added a clause on cryptocurrencies to the main body of Form 1040. Previously, the question of ownership of cryptoassets was in Appendix 1, which was not filled out by all taxpayers.
The IRS has moved the issue of ownership of cryptocurrencies to the main body of Form 1040, which is filled out by most taxpayers in the country. Now the question “During 2020, did you receive, sell or otherwise acquire financial interest in any virtual currency?” located at the top of the form under the fields where you need to enter personal data.

In October 2019, the IRS circulated a draft of a new Form 1040, Appendix 1 – Additional Income and Income Adjustments. However, this application does not fall into the hands of all taxpayers. Gilded Chief Financial Officer Joey Ryan said the updated filing form suggests much more interest from the IRS in cryptocurrencies than previously thought.

“If some people were previously oblivious to the IRS’s actions in this area, they may simply not have completed Appendix 1, which is essentially for reporting additional income. However, now the issue of cryptocurrencies has been placed in the main body of Form 1040, so no one has a chance to skip this question or not understand what is going on, ”he said.

The innovation is likely to increase the number of taxpayers reporting on cryptocurrencies who were not previously aware of this need. This will have a major impact on the current tax season, according to Daniel Hannum, COO Zenledger.

“In 2019, there really weren’t many people who filled out Appendix 1. The fact that the question of cryptocurrencies is now in the main part of the form will significantly increase the coverage of reporting on income from cryptocurrencies,” he said.

Some tax officials have raised concerns with the IRS about the wording of the question, as it is unclear whether buying and holding qualifies as a cryptocurrency transaction. However, according to Hannum and Ryan, the IRS will clarify the remaining issues in the near future.

Recall that recently, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) again sent out letters to cryptocurrency investors warning them about the need to provide full information about the profit from operations with cryptoassets.

SpaceChain has received £ 440,000 for the development of a decentralized satellite infrastructure


SpaceChain получил £440 000 на разработку децентрализованной спутниковой инфраструктуры

SpaceChain has received a £ 440,000 grant to develop a decentralized satellite infrastructure as part of the European Scientific Cooperation Agency EUREKA’s Globalstars initiative.
In addition to the British project SpaceChain, Addvalue Innovation and Alba Orbital will participate in research and development. SpaceChain said it will use the funds to create a blockchain-based system that will display data from satellites in real time. The LEO satellite network is “democratizing” the emerging space industry, giving more opportunities to private firms.

SpaceChain Chief Commercial Officer Nick Trudgen spoke of the scale of space exploration, which requires close collaboration with various organizations. Tragen believes building blockchain-based space applications will contribute to widespread space exploration.

This is not the first time SpaceChain has won grants. Last year, the project received € 60,000 funding from the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch blockchain nodes in space. In August, SpaceChain successfully sent 0.01 BTC to two Bitcoin addresses using special equipment on the International Space Station (ISS) to transfer encrypted data.

Apart from SpaceChain, there are other projects aiming to merge blockchain with space. This fall, Xage began developing a decentralized P2P blockchain-based data protection protocol for the US Space Force (USSF) to accelerate the development of the US military space industry. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is also ready to use blockchain solutions to transfer information between networked satellites, as well as to ensure the confidentiality of aircraft flight data.

Bitwise cryptocurrency index fund entered the OTC market


Криптовалютный индексный фонд Bitwise вышел на внебиржевой рынок

Bitwise Asset Management, a crypto asset management company, has opened access to the purchase of shares of the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund through the OTC Markets Group.
Previously, it was only possible to buy shares of the fund directly from Bitwise and at par. However, any investors now have access to trading index fund shares through their brokerage accounts. The fund is traded on the OTC Markets Group platform under the symbol BITW and has been reviewed by the Financial Institutions Regulatory Agency (FINRA).

Note that stocks of Grayscale cryptocurrency funds have long been available on OTC markets. As Bitwise director of investments Matthew Hougan said, earlier the demand for such an offer among the company’s clients was not great. However, now financial advisors and professional investors want to invest in cryptocurrencies and the direct investment method is not very convenient for them:

“It’s too complicated, you need signatures, accreditation and so on. Especially for those who want to place hundreds of their clients in cryptocurrencies at 2% of their portfolios. We listened and worked with regulators for over a year to bring the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund to the OTC market. ”

Recall that the funds invested in the fund are distributed among the ten largest cryptocurrencies in terms of capitalization. As of November 30, 75% of the fund’s funds were held in bitcoins, 13% – in air, and the rest of the funds were distributed between XRP, LTC, LINK, XTZ and other assets.

“Index funds have become the most popular way to invest in the stock market and we believe that the cryptocurrency industry will come to this,” said Hogan.

Earlier, Matt Hogan said that the cryptocurrency market is maturing quickly and interest in it from hedge funds and financial advisors is constantly growing.

France may tighten regulation of the cryptocurrency industry


Франция может ужесточить регулирование криптовалютной отрасли

The French Ministry of Finance has prepared a package of documents tightening the regulation and requirements for user identification (KYC) for cryptocurrency platforms.
In addition to tightening KYC requirements, the resolution proposes to ensure regulation of all cryptocurrency transactions, even without the participation of fiat currencies. The French cryptocurrency association ADAN has been granted access to the document as a “trusted participant” in issues related to digital assets.
According to ADAN President Simon Polrot, the recent terrorist attacks were the reason for the tightening of cryptocurrency regulation in the country. Thanks to digital assets, the financial support of terrorist groups, including in Turkey and Syria, is going on. Therefore, the French finance minister announced the need to tighten regulation.

“The government needs to take a certain position and need to do something to show the fight against terrorism,” said Polro.

A decree from the French finance ministry tightening regulation of the cryptocurrency industry is expected to be published on December 9 or 10. At the same time, the document does not require approval from the parliament.

At the moment, users of French cryptocurrency platforms must be identified only when conducting transactions with fiat currencies in the amount of more than 1,000 euros. After the publication of the decree, KYC procedures will have to go through users who make transactions worth more than 1 euro with any cryptocurrency.

Polro emphasized that no other jurisdiction has such stringent requirements for the identification of cryptocurrency users. The decree of the French Ministry of Finance also provides for the mandatory registration of any cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country. Now the obligation is valid only for sites that provide trading services with fiat currencies and custodial services.

Recall that in early October in France, during a major police operation, 29 people were arrested, suspected of financing Islamist extremists in Syria using cryptocurrencies.

ING Bank Tests Crypto Assets Storage Solution


Банк ING протестировал решение для хранения криптоактивов

For the first time, the Dutch bank ING disclosed information about preliminary testing of a digital asset storage solution that was developed as part of the Pyctor project.
At the Singapore Fintech Festival, ING Blockchain Leader Herve Francois spoke about the work done under the Pyctor project. The project develops infrastructure for storage and post-trading of cryptoassets, and this year was included in the regulatory sandbox of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Pyctor is a joint initiative of ING, ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Citibank, Invesco, Societe Generale, State Street, UBS and others. Its goal is to help banks develop suitable cryptocurrency solutions. According to François, the project includes layers of security such as multilateral computing and hardware security modules, as well as decentralization.

“The Pyctor Network for Financial Institutions enhances the security of stored digital assets and eliminates single points of failure. We have been guided by these principles when developing pilot projects with our partners, ”he said.

As one of the founders of the Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) for cryptocurrency exchanges and companies, ING also focuses on cryptocurrency services from an anti-money laundering perspective. TRP will help cryptocurrency companies comply with FATF guidelines for tracking digital asset transactions.

Prior to joining the FCA Sandbox in July 2020, Pyctor conducted its first pilot project with DLA, Piper, R3 Tata Consultancy Services and Securosys. It was attended by two asset managers. Their custodians have transferred a token, a digital bond issued by Societe Generale Forge, on the Ethereum testnet.

According to François, the deal confirmed the robustness of Pyctor’s decentralized operating model for secure storage and transfer of assets. As part of the regulatory sandbox, FCA Pyctor conducted another pilot project focusing on its operating model for issuing and managing tokens. François explained that in this case, the smart contract involved in issuing tokens on the Ethereum blockchain was operated by the private network Pyctor.

ING has joined a number of traditional financial institutions that have also announced their intention to launch cryptocurrency services in the near future. SC Ventures, the venture arm of Standard Chartered, announced this week that it is partnering with Northern Trust to develop the Zodia Custody. In addition, according to anonymous sources, the second largest bank in Spain, BBVA, is preparing to enter the cryptocurrency market.

Head of the Human Rights Foundation: “Bitcoin is a tool of humanitarian protection”


Руководитель Фонда по правам человека: «биткоин – это средство гуманитарной защиты»

Alex Gladstein, Strategy Director of the Foundation for Human Rights, called bitcoin a “humanitarian remedy” against the sale of personal data and government control over the population.
This was announced by Alex Gladstein at a conference on the development of bitcoin and blockchain, during which the topics of social loans in China and hyperinflation in Venezuela were discussed. Gladstein paid special attention to digital privacy, or rather, its absence. We are talking about the sale of personal data to various firms and advertisers, as well as the government surveillance of user actions.

Whether consciously or not, users often give up their privacy for convenience, speed and comfort. Gladstein mentioned the Chinese social credit system, in which all payments are made through one state payment system. It stores not only personal data of a person, but also personal information: about purchases made, education, etc. The system uses the provided data to provide all types of banking and financial services.

The downside of “comfort” can be a low social credit rating. Depending on the person’s past, beliefs or behavior, he may be denied a loan or a driver’s license, and even admit a child to educational institutions. The Human Rights Foundation official added that by 2021, China will have 500 million CCTV cameras to monitor a population of about 1.4 billion people.

Gladstein believes that it is bitcoin that can solve this problem thanks to its decentralization, since third parties are not required to make transactions with bitcoin. To maintain anonymity, you need to use cash, since sellers who accept payment do not know anything about the person, nor about the origin of these funds. But the world is changing rapidly and the use of cash is declining significantly.

“Could there be another cashless society? Is a decentralized financial system possible without third parties and regulatory authorities? Bitcoin can protect humanity by ensuring its privacy, ”said Gladstein.

He suggested that in the future, historians will view Bitcoin as a tool that contributed to the decentralization of the global financial system, governments and information on the Internet. Considering that bitcoin cannot be censored and massively controlled, cannot be monopolized by corporations, then in many ways bitcoin can become a tool of humanitarian protection.

“Even if you are a billionaire or represent one of the corporations buying up tons of bitcoins right now, you cannot change the rules. You can’t stop me or anyone else from using bitcoin. ”

Recall that last year, the Human Rights Foundation financed the development of solutions for the anonymization of transactions on the Bitcoin network, and also announced cooperation with the Casa startup to protect donations and funds of the foundation stored in BTC.

Desigual will use blockchain to track apparel supply chains


Desigual применит блокчейн для отслеживания цепочек поставок одежды

International fashion brand Desigual has announced that it will track shipments of goods on Finboot’s Marco platform to make supply chains more transparent and reliable.
As part of this initiative, Desigual will use Finboot’s Marco blockchain platform to track the supply chain of products from initial order to arrival at distribution centers.
According to the company, there are a number of logistical milestones that need to be overcome before the goods hit Desigual stores. These include coordinating the delivery time for each line of goods with suppliers and organizing the transportation of finished products through forwarders.

When problems arise in the supply chain, the lack of transparency in the company’s processes makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly where the problem originated, making it difficult to resolve. The goods tracking platform will inform about possible delays and help improve understanding of transactions.

In the future, the traceability initiative could be extended to Desigual’s entire supply chain, “from purchase order to end-user”. Javier Fernandez, Head of Technological Innovation at Desigual, said:

“Transparent, sustainable supply chains are paramount to us as we strive both to improve our operational efficiency and to gain a deeper understanding of our manufacturing processes.”

In November, tech giant IBM partnered with German workwear manufacturer Kaya & Kato to use blockchain to track supply chains.

In addition, in the spring of Cos, the luxury brand of one of Europe’s largest apparel retailers, the Swedish H&M Group, began tracking its product supply chains through the VeChain platform.

CEO Global has suspended deposit and withdrawal of funds due to the arrest of the founder of the exchange


CEO Global приостановила ввод и вывод средств из-за ареста основателя биржи

The Chinese cryptocurrency exchange CEO Global has suspended the input and output of cryptoassets for an indefinite period due to the arrest of the founder of the trading platform.
The journalist Colin Wu reported on Twitter that the bank card of the founder of the exchange has repeatedly received “underground” funds that are hidden from taxation. Upon learning of this, local authorities detained the head of CEO Global for 15 days to conduct an investigation.
According to the exchange, the detainee had most of the private keys from the cold wallet, since at the current stage hot wallets do not meet the needs of users withdrawing digital assets.

Chinese regulators have begun to pay increased attention to cryptocurrency exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) platforms to prevent illegal activities and money laundering through cryptocurrencies. For example, in June, the police began to freeze the accounts of Chinese OTC traders.

Wu previously reported that due to government pressure on the OTC market, more than half of local miners are unable to pay their electricity bills. Given the current state of affairs, many of CEO Global’s clients have suspicions that the exchange is hiding behind the actions of the Chinese authorities to cover up the theft of funds.

Wu noted that the statement by CEO Global resembles the situation with the OKEx platform, which on October 16 also announced the suspension of withdrawal of funds due to the loss of communication with one of the holders of private keys. He was absent due to an investigation by Chinese law enforcement agencies.

The exchange specialists said that in the future, to authorize transactions, they will take into account scenarios when the owners of private keys become unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances. On November 26, the exchange resumed the withdrawal of cryptoassets, and also launched a loyalty program for users.

Citigroup CEO: “Digital currency creation by banks is inevitable”


Генеральный директор Citigroup: «создание цифровых валют банками неизбежно»

The CEO of the international financial conglomerate Citigroup, Michael Corbat, reported on engaging with several governments to develop digital currencies.
Corbat believes that in the near future there will be “inevitable” independent digital currencies created with the participation of banks, so such assets will hardly be called “cryptocurrencies.” Citigroup began to study issues related to the development of digital currency and its introduction into circulation. However, Korbat did not disclose with which states the bank is cooperating to implement this initiative.
The Citigroup chief said the future of cryptocurrencies depends on the characteristics of each individual digital asset. For example, some crypto assets can be used to preserve value, others are often compared to gold, and still others are seen as an alternative to traditional finance. Some cryptocurrencies may even be able to become alternative means of payment.

Citigroup planned to launch its own cryptocurrency called Citicoin back in 2015 to make international transfers easier. But last year the bank abandoned this idea, explaining it by the high efficiency of other technologies. In addition, the bank plans to provide storage services for digital assets and has conducted internal testing for this.

Korbat said he worked at Citigroup for 38 years, serving as CEO for the past eight years. In February next year, he will leave the bank and hand over the baton to Jane Fraser, General Manager of Citi International Services.

Several years ago, Citi researchers presented a report on the benefits of a decentralized payment system, as well as on the challenges of introducing digital currencies into financial services. Analysts concluded that Bitcoin will make changes, but not destroy the financial system.

US Financial Stability Board Calls for Tighter Regulation of Cryptocurrencies


Совет по финансовой стабильности США призвал ужесточить регулирование криптовалют

The US Financial Stability Board has called on regulators and federal authorities to tighten controls over firms and payment systems that handle cryptocurrencies.
The department is engaged in identifying the risks and threats that the US financial system may face. According to the Financial Stability Board’s report, digital assets have both benefits and many potential risks.

The authors of the report touched upon the topic of digital currencies from central banks. Most banks are interested in issuing their own stablecoin to allow faster payments and maintain the status of national currencies. However, the researchers concluded that if government-owned cryptocurrencies and conventional stablecoins began to spread widely, it would upset the balance of the current financial system. Therefore, the Council stated that any activity with digital assets requires closer scrutiny by regulators.

In addition, the Council mentioned Square and PayPal. These companies are increasingly seeking direct competition with incumbent financial service providers, increasing their market presence. Square announced in October that it was buying 4,709 BTC to expand its economic options, and last month PayPal allowed American users to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies using its platform. The agency expressed concerns that regulations governing other financial service providers are not being applied to Square and PayPal.

According to the document, the stability of monetary policy can be violated if “critical services” are provided by third-party services, and not directly by financial institutions. Any operational disruptions can disrupt the activities of financial institutions, which also poses a threat to the financial market. Therefore, the Council called on regulators to more actively identify “innovative” financial products and services related to digital assets, as well as assess their impact on the country’s monetary system.

Note that a new draft law has already been submitted in the United States to regulate stable cryptocurrencies to protect consumers from the risks associated with new digital payment instruments.

UN and LTO Network has presented a blockchain platform for registering land rights


ООН и LTO Network представили платформу на блокчейне для регистрации земельных прав

The United Nations (UN) has partnered with startup LTO Network to unveil a blockchain-based “goLandRegistry” solution to help the Afghan government solve real estate problems.
The solution will be shown to the Afghan Ministry of Urban Development this month. The project was developed within the framework of the UN-Habitat program aimed at sustainable urban development in Afghanistan.
The developers said that the blockchain-based platform will help solve problems that usually arise in slums or temporary settlements, such as land grabbing, its irrational or illegal use.

According to the UN, more than 80% of land ownership in Afghanistan is not registered with municipal or state land administration authorities, and residents often do not have official documents proving ownership of real estate.

The goLandRegistry system will be used to record data and issue certificates of ownership of real estate. This will allow land owners to independently verify the authenticity of such certificates using an open source blockchain-based tool.

The platform is powered by a hybrid blockchain developed by European startup LTO Network. LTO CEO Rick Schmitz said the hybrid solution will enable decentralized data exchange between stakeholders and enable transparent traceability of records.

In addition, the system will simplify the transfer of property rights and the provision of loans for the purchase of land plots, as well as automate the payment of taxes. Maurizio Gazzola, head of strategic solutions at the UN Office of Information and Communication Technology, said that in the future, the digital land registry will be available to other countries.

As a reminder, Medici Land Governance moved cadastral registries in Wyoming County to blockchain this spring to ensure transparent real estate transactions. Last year, the Abu Dhabi authorities also expressed their willingness to put the records of the cadastral service on the SmartHub platform, which uses the blockchain.

CipherTrace Warns of Rise in MetaMask Wallet Fraud


CipherTrace предупреждает о росте мошенничества с кошельком MetaMask

CipherTrace has issued a fraud alert with extensions to the Google Chrome browser masquerading as the MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet.
In its warning, CipherTrace writes that over the past 24 hours, there has been a “significant increase in complaints and comments about the loss of digital assets” following the installation of the fraudulent wallet.

The cryptocurrency community has criticized MetaMask, saying the company is not making enough efforts to combat counterfeit wallets. To which MetaMask Product Director Jacob Cantele asked the community for advice:

“What can we improve? We have alerts in our wallet, we have a fraudulent site detector that warns of tens of thousands of such sites, and we regularly launch marketing campaigns. ”

Fraudulent sites and extensions work quite simply. A user visits such a site that completely copies the look of the MetaMask site, installs a fake extension and enters a passphrase from the wallet. Attackers use a password to withdraw tokens.

To protect yourself from fraud, computer security experts recommend installing extensions either from the official MetaMask website or from the official Google Chrome extension store. If in doubt, you can check the legitimacy of the site through the CryptoscamDB portal.

The MetaMask wallet is one of the most popular wallets for Ethereum. With the growth of the DeFi industry, MetaMask has surpassed 1 million users.

S&P Dow Jones Indices will launch cryptocurrency indices in 2021


S&P Dow Jones Indices запустит криптовалютные индексы в 2021 году

The management of S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI), a division of the US market index provider S&P Global, announced that it will launch 550 cryptocurrency indices in 2021.
The data provider will be Lukka, a New York-based digital currency company. S&P DJI’s director of strategic development and innovation, Peter Roffman, said the initiative would make it easier for investors to access cryptocurrencies as an asset class. This can partially reduce the volatility of the cryptocurrency market and reduce the associated risks.
“The digital currency industry is developing rapidly. Now is the time to create robust and independent user-centric mechanisms, ”said Roffman.

The indices will track around 550 digital assets with the best market cap indicators. Lukka CEO Robert Materazzi added that the partnership with S&P DJI is an important milestone that will bring together the cryptoasset ecosystem with traditional financial services.

In order to drive innovation, he said, it is critical to meet institutional standards when working with established brands such as S&P DJI. Therefore, customers will receive data whose reliability is backed up by Lukka’s quality standard – AICPA SOC Controls.

Recall that in 2018 Galaxy Digital Capital Management LP, together with Bloomberg, launched the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI), which tracks the 10 most liquid cryptocurrencies. In addition, a few months ago, the Nasdaq exchange and Brazilian wealth management company Hashdex announced plans to launch the world’s first tradable exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Bitcoin.

NYDIG Has Raised $150 Million To Launch Two Cryptocurrency Investment Funds


NYDIG собрала $150 млн для запуска двух криптовалютных инвестиционных фондов

New York Digital Investments Group (NYDIG) raised $ 150 million to launch two new cryptocurrency funds. The money was received from three institutional investors.
NYDIG Digital Assets Fund I raised $ 50 million from institutional investors and NYDIG Digital Assets Fund II raised $ 100 million in two filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A source familiar with the situation confirmed that Fund I invests exclusively in bitcoin. This is NYDIG’s latest offering for the growing number of institutional clients in BTC, he said.

It is not yet clear if Fund II is solely investing in the largest cryptocurrency. According to the company, two unnamed investors invested $ 50 million in Fund I, and only one large investor put the entire $ 100 million in Fund II.

NYDIG spun off from $ 10 billion Stone Ridge Asset Management in 2017 with a mission to attract the attention of institutional investors to cryptocurrencies. In November 2018, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued a BitLicense to a division of NYDIG Execution. In addition, NYDIG received SEC approval last December to launch a fund to work with bitcoin futures.

The two new cryptocurrency funds continue NYDIG’s recent trend to register their cryptocurrency offerings as investment vehicles under Rule 506 (c). Basically, this means NYDIG can advertise funds to a wider audience.

Institutional investors are increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies. Canadian investment firm Cypherpunk Holdings recently sold its ETH and XMR holdings and invested the proceeds in bitcoin. The company’s investment in BTC is up 279% since the end of the second quarter of this year. In addition, Guggenheim Partners has filed an application with the SEC for more than $ 500 million from the Macro Opportunities fund to invest in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

Stablecoin regulation bill submitted to US Congress


В Конгресс США представлен законопроект по регулированию стейблкоинов

Three U.S. congressmen have introduced new legislation to regulate stable cryptocurrencies, including Facebook’s Diem project, formerly known as Libra.
Rashida Tlaib, Jesus Garcia and Stephen Lynch were involved in the drafting of the Stable Coin Pegging and Bank Licensing Act (STABLE). The bill should “protect consumers from the risks associated with new digital payment instruments such as Facebook’s Libra and other stablecoins available in the market. It will regulate the issuance of stablecoins and related commercial activities. ”
Congressmen are proposing to oblige companies that issue stablecoins to obtain a banking license in the United States, as well as the approval of the US Federal Reserve and other regulators. When issuing stable cryptocurrencies, companies will need to keep collateral with Fed banks, as well as obtain insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Interestingly, the FDIC currently does not provide insurance for cryptocurrency assets.

At the same time, the authors of the bill emphasize that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many citizens have lost access to financial institutions and banking services. Despite this, it is necessary to protect consumers from scammers who can use digital assets to defraud US citizens. Stephen Lynch stated:

“Stablecoins represent a new and innovative way of using funds for consumers, and I believe that this technology can make financial transactions more efficient and also increase the availability of financial services. However, we must not allow private companies to issue US currency. The STABLE bill will ensure that our regulators can effectively monitor the use of this technology. ”

The document provoked an immediate negative reaction from representatives of the cryptocurrency community. Jeremy Allaire said the bill represents a significant step backward for digital currency innovation in the United States. According to the CEO of Circle, the document “limits the speed of progress in both the blockchain industry and the financial technology industry.”

The STABLE bill is likely to be considered by the US Congress in its next session, which begins in January next year. Recall that in September, a bill appeared in the United States to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges.

CedarFX – Trade with the First Eco-Conscious Broker


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CedarFX Eco Account

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Libra Association will rename the Libra stablecoin to Diem


Libra Association переименует стейблкоин Libra в Diem

The Libra Association will rebrand the Libra project to distance itself from Facebook’s original concept. Stablecoin will be renamed Diem.
Libra Association members reported that Diem is Latin for “day”. The name symbolizes a fresh start and the stablecoin’s readiness to launch next year. Today the Association consists of 27 members.

The organization has already formed a team of leaders. Dahlia Malkhi will be Chief Technology Officer, Christy Clark will be Head of Human Resources, Steve Bunnell will be Chief Legal Officer, and Kiran Raj will be Executive Vice President. President of Development and Innovation; and Deputy General Counsel. Previously, Stuart Levey became CEO of the Libra Association, James Emmett became Managing Director, Sterling Daines became Chief Compliance Officer, Ian Jenkins became CFO. and the General Counsel is Saumya Bhavsar.

After Facebook introduced the Libra stablecoin, it sparked an outcry from regulators who saw Libra as a threat to the traditional banking industry. Regulators have demanded an end to all Libra-related developments until lawmakers can develop appropriate regulation and ensure that there are no risks to financial stability.

In April, Libra developers redesigned the project structure. According to the updated whitepaper, the value of the underlying LBR cryptocurrency will be calculated based on a whole basket of stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies. Levy believes that thanks to these changes and the “distance” from Facebook, which is not a member of the Association, regulators are gradually beginning to change their attitude towards the project.

According to the updated White Paper, Facebook will play a minor role in project management. In the original document, released in June 2019, Facebook was mentioned six times. In addition, that document indicated that Facebook will retain its leadership role in the project until 2019.

“We believe that regulators welcome independent associations that can make their own decisions. We have a strong team of project leaders. Partly for this reason, we decided to change the name of Libra to Diem. Another reason for the name change is that the early version of the project received stiff opposition from regulators, ”Levy said.

He announced that the first stablecoin called “Diem Dollar” will be pegged to the US dollar. The Diem Dollar will be issued after receiving a license from the Swiss Financial Markets Authority (FINMA), so Levy did not give a specific timeline for the coin’s launch. Initially, Libra’s management planned to submit the project in the first half of 2020, but due to problems with regulators, this was not possible.

Diem will comply with international regulations, including those of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), to protect users, Levy said. Levy added that the organization liaises with global regulators on how widely each coin can circulate, and what fiat currency it can be pegged to. Further actions of the Libra Association will depend on a number of factors, including the favor of the regulators.

The developers said that at the technical level, the project is already ready for launch, but they continue to test it and implement improvements. Despite the changes and rebranding, the project will continue to operate on the blockchain. First of all, Diem will be used for international transfers, as well as for payment for goods and services. Levy does not see the need to launch Diem coin at once with the support of a whole basket of stablecoins, but does not exclude this possibility in the future.

“We are not going to launch a multicurrency stablecoin, as we first plan to launch stablecoins, each of which will be backed by a certain currency. This is the advantage of programmable money, where you can create a multi-currency stablecoin with different stablecoins pegged to different fiat currencies. ”

Recall that a few months ago, Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey urged regulators to unite to develop an international regulatory framework for the effective regulation of stablecoins.

Research: a third of ICO investors consider themselves cheated


Исследование: треть инвесторов ICO считают себя обманутыми

According to analyst firm Xangle, a third of US retail investors who take part in initial token offerings (ICOs) consider themselves cheated.
Xangle conducted a survey among 600 users who participated in the ICO between 2017 and October 2020. Judging by this period, Xangle specialists did not limit themselves to investors who were covered by the ICO boom. Only 22% of the respondents invested in ICOs in 2017, while in 2018 35% of investors were interested in initial offerings of tokens, 26% of investors first entered this industry in 2019 and 9% in 2020.

46.7% of respondents invested small amounts – less than $ 1000, 29.2% of users invested in cryptocurrency startups from $ 1001 to $ 10,000, and about 8% invested in projects from $ 10,001 to $ 20,000.45.7% of investors said that their decision to take part in the ICO influenced by friends, family or colleagues who told them about the projects. The rest of the investors received information from the media, forums and social networks.

About 55% of survey participants invested in ICOs hoping to get a profit from their investments, 23% believed in the idea of ​​the project and were interested in its concept, and 17% wanted to learn more about the technology on which digital currencies operate. 56% of investors plan to participate in the ICO again, but will study the proposals more seriously, since they previously failed to conduct a thorough analysis of the projects. 33% of people believe that ICO organizers deliberately deceive users or hide important information from them. 17% responded that they did not have sufficient knowledge to assess if these projects were fraudulent. Therefore, more than half of the investors surveyed believe that the organizers of fraudulent ICOs should be held criminally liable.

In addition, the survey participants were asked the question: “What is holding back the development of the cryptocurrency industry?” 27.5% of investors answered that regulatory oversight impedes its development. 23.7% pointed to a lack of awareness of the population about cryptocurrencies and the principles of their work, and 14.5% of users named incomplete disclosure of information about cryptocurrency projects during ICO.

Recall that since the beginning of 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has collected more than $ 4.68 billion in fines and confiscated illegal proceeds. Of these, $ 1.26 billion was paid by the organizers of unregistered ICOs.

Ethereum user solved a riddle in the Warsaw metro and got 7 ETH


Пользователь Эфириума решил загадку в варшавском метро и получил 7 ETH

The riddle with a prize of 7 ETH, placed in the Warsaw metro, was solved by one of the community members. The authors of the riddle were organizers of events for blockchain developers.
In mid-November, an advertisement was placed in the metro station of the Polish capital calling for solving the riddle and getting 7 ETH. According to the organizers of the competition, the puzzle was successfully solved, and the user received a prize.

On November 16, advertisements in English featuring Ethereum appeared at metro stations in Warsaw. The posters read: “Solve the riddle, get a reward.” At the same time, cryptic messages began to appear on the 0xPoland Twitter account, and later – tips. According to the organizers, the first clue was hidden in the Ethereum contract code itself. The contestants had to call the “Solve” function and use the secret phrase as a parameter to withdraw money.

The first clue was posted three days later: “Tip: ^ [A-Z]. *.”, Which implied that the secret message must start with a capital letter and end with a period, and “0x01ccfbfc” is part of the checksum of the solution. The image published along with the recording also contained the following phrase: “Bring my light, light by my side, light of the burning tower”. This is a quote from the song “Into the dark forest” by Elffor. Thus, the first part of the secret phrase was “Into the dark forest”.

On November 23, 0xPoland tweeted another tip with the words: “The answer to the main question of life, the Universe and all that” and a long string of characters. The first phrase was an allusion to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – the answer was “42”. Some programming skills were required to decipher the character string. After all, the second part of the passphrase was “Down the rabbit hole.”

The third and final clue was published on November 26 in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, both online and in print. The organizers commented on this step:

“We decided to place an ad in a Polish newspaper. This is much more difficult than it sounds! Quite a few daily newspapers turned down our ad because they could not understand the concept of the puzzle and chose to play it safe. ”

The ad said, “You’ve come a long way. I have one last clue. Call me as soon as possible. ” The ad included a phone number that redirected users to a pre-recorded message containing the missing elements of the full passphrase. Ultimately, the winner had to enter the phrase “With 0xPoland. Into the dark forest. Down the rabbit hole. Where adventure awaits “.

After the advertisement was published, the winner was not long in coming. The organizers write:

“Twenty-one minutes after the post on Twitter with the page number of the newspaper where the tip was posted, we recorded a winning transaction. The correct hash was tied to the smart contract, and three minutes later, the puzzle-solving transaction was confirmed. A few hours later, the anonymous winner transferred the earned 7 ETH to his wallet, ”notes 0xPoland.

According to the organizers, in this way they wanted to “cheer up” Polish cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

“We have been closely following the Polish Ethereum developer community and felt this competition could add a thrill to them! We also wanted to offer developers a place where they can develop their skills and join us in building a decentralized finance infrastructure. ”

The organizers said that 0xPoland is the name of a series of meetings, seminars and hackathons for blockchain developers. The first event is scheduled for December 8th.

Tezos Will Implement Zcash Privacy Features


Tezos внедрит функции конфиденциальности Zcash

Tezos developers are planning a network update called Edo. The implementation of the Zcash Sapling library will allow hiding transactions on the Tezos blockchain.
According to the statement, developers Tezos Nomadic Labs, Marigold and Metastate have submitted several proposals for the next network update – Edo. The update will bring privacy features and other improvements:

“No other major smart contract platform supports these features yet, but we can add these tools directly to the blockchain.”

In mid-November, Tezos developers successfully activated the Delphi update, which significantly lowered smart contract fees. With this move, Tezos hopes to attract DeFi project creators.

“Although Delphi was launched on November 12, it was offered on September 3. Over the past months, we have been hard at work on the core Tezos software and have made significant improvements that we want to share with network users, ”the developers said.

The first new feature in Edo will be the implementation of Sapling, a library originally developed by Electric Coin Company for the Zcash blockchain. As with Zcash, Sapling will allow you to hide transactions. Tezos developers will be able to integrate this feature into their smart contracts and applications for which privacy is important.

The second addition to Edo will be a ticket system. According to the developers, it is “a convenient mechanism for smart contracts to provide portable permissions to other smart contracts or to issue tokens.” According to the statement, while somewhat similar functionality can be achieved using existing methods, tickets should greatly simplify the process for third-party developers.

Edo introduces the so-called “fifth period”, which will make it easier to roll out updates in the future. It now takes about one block (60 seconds) to trigger new versions of the protocol after voting is complete, making it difficult for some bakers, indexers and other Tezos users to update their nodes smoothly. To address this issue, the Tezos developers have proposed extending the update period so that users have more time to prepare.

“Under the new system, instead of four periods of eight cycles during voting, we propose to use five periods of five cycles. The “fifth period” will be five cycles between the adoption of a new protocol and the time of its launch, which, in our opinion, will help ensure a smooth transition between protocols, “the developers write.

In addition, Edo’s proposal contains several minor bug fixes to further improve performance and reduce gas costs.

Financial Times: Facebook Libra stablecoin to launch in January 2021


Financial Times: стейблкоин Facebook Libra будет запущен в январе 2021 года

The Facebook Libra stablecoin will launch in January 2021 despite regulatory concerns. Libra will initially be backed by US dollar only at a 1: 1 ratio.
According to the Financial Times, the Libra stablecoin may be launched early next year. The publication refers to the information of anonymous sources – “three people participating in the initiative.” The stablecoin will be pegged 1: 1 to the US dollar.

Last September, Facebook unveiled the official list of currencies that will be in the basket providing Libra. Then it was assumed that the stablecoin would be backed by the US dollar, euro, yen, pound and Singapore dollar in different proportions.

However, in April, the Libra White Paper was updated. The developers stated that the value of the base LBR cryptocurrency will be calculated based on a whole basket of stablecoins with different shares for each. The original plan was to issue LibraUSD pegged to the US dollar, LibraEUR to the euro, LibraGBP to the British pound and LibraSGD to the Singapore dollar.

But it appears that the Libra stablecoin will initially be backed by the US dollar only, pending approval from the Swiss financial regulator FINMA. Recall that last fall, the Libra Association applied for a license to operate the payment system to the Swiss financial regulator. An extended version of Libra can be launched later.

As a reminder, Facebook first announced plans to release a stablecoin in May last year. Then it was assumed that the GlobalCoin cryptocurrency would be released in 2020. Facebook’s plans immediately met with backlash from lawmakers around the world, who expressed concerns that stablecoin could threaten financial stability or contribute to money laundering. Facebook later helped form the Libra Association, which now has twenty-seven members.

Ethereum developer has proposed a new way to combine ETH 1.0 and ETH 2.0


Разработчик Эфириума предложил новый способ объединения ETH 1.0 и ETH 2.0

Ethereum developer Mikhail Kalinin has published a new proposal, which describes the possibility of embedding ETH 1.0 data into the Ethereum 2.0 “signal chain”.
With the Beacon Chain Ethereum 2.0 launch approaching, developer Mikhail Kalinin has posted a new proposal that aims to rid the network of “unnecessary complexity” and help unify the original Ethereum blockchain with the new Proof-of-Stake version of ETH 2.0.

Ethereum 2.0 is slated to launch on December 1 and will begin with the deployment of the Beacon Chain – a separate, at least initially, chain that will introduce the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism and coordinate the expanded shard and staker network.

Initially, the Proof-of-Work ETH 1.0 and Proof-of-Stake ETH 2.0 blockchains will operate in parallel, since it will take about two years for ETH 2.0 to fully deploy. It is planned that during this period, access to ETH 1.0 data will be provided through an independent shard chain.

Kalinin claims that this method “complicates the level of consensus and increases the delays between publishing data in shards and accessing them in ETH 1.0.” To help solve this problem, he posted a new proposal called “Executable Beacon Chain”. It describes a system in which ETH 1.0 data will be directly embedded in the blocks of the “signal chain”.

“The ETH 1.0 mechanism is supported by every validator in the system. When the validator wants to propose a block for the “signal chain”, it makes a request for the ETH 1.0 mechanism to create ETH 1.0 data. The ETH 1.0 data is then inserted into the body of the created Beacon Chain block. If the ETH 1.0 data is invalid, it also invalidates the signal chain block transmitting it, “Kalinin explained.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has already praised the new proposal, calling it “excellent ongoing work [Mikhail Kalinin] has on the ‘merger’. Buterin added that “this area of ​​research and development is becoming more and more priority and is being carried out in parallel with sharding and other improvements to ETH 2.0.”

On November 24, on the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract, 524,288 ETH were collected, which were necessary for staking and the launch of the first phase of Ethereum 2.0 – the Beacon Chain. The new version of the web will be automatically launched on December 1st, and anyone can become a validator. The editors have prepared a guide on how to participate in Ethereum 2.0 staking.

OKEx exchange has opened the withdrawal of cryptoassets


Биржа OKEx открыла вывод криптоактивов

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has resumed the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies. Many Chinese users are ready to leave OKEx or reduce their trading volumes on this site.
According to the OKEx notification, the exchange opened the withdrawal of digital assets on November 26 at 11:00 Moscow time. A few days ago, OKEx launched a user compensation program that includes discounts on commissions. The reward depends on the trading volume during the period when the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies was suspended. Despite the loyalty program, many Chinese users of the site plan to reduce the volume of deposits on this platform after the withdrawal is resumed.

Alex Zuo, vice president of Chinese cryptocurrency wallet Cobo, said the firm will continue to trade on OKEx, but will transfer one-third of the money to other exchanges to diversify its investments. Zuo said he still believes OKEx to be a reliable exchange, but there may be many uncertainties in the future. Zuo is confident that after the situation with OKEx, trading volumes on this exchange will decrease. Therefore, Cobo management began to consider opening accounts on other cryptocurrency exchanges, including FTX, Coinbase, and Bitstamp.

Daniel Wang, founder and CEO of Loopring decentralized protocol, believes that if OKEx did have enough assets to mass withdraw funds, the exchange would have allowed them to be withdrawn immediately. Wang added that the bounty program launched by OKEx is not impressive as a marketing strategy to retain dissatisfied users. However, according to Skew, open interest in bitcoin futures and options trading remains high. OKEx still maintains a leading position among cryptocurrency derivatives trading exchanges.

CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju suggested that large clients of the exchange would be able to manipulate the market before and after the opening of the cryptocurrency withdrawal. However, there is another scenario: if the “whales” want to leave OKEx, they can convert their bitcoins into other cryptocurrencies for fast transactions.

Additionally, some hedge funds may send BTC or USDT to OKEx for arbitrage. Ju said that if a large number of bitcoins are transferred to individual wallets, this will reduce the supply on exchanges and will have a good impact on the bitcoin price. But it seems that events took a different course. Today the bitcoin rate fell from $ 18,900 to $ 16,300, later recovering to $ 17,200.

Flex Yang, founder and CEO of Hong Kong-based Babel Finance, said OKEx offers a variety of derivative products that can keep seasoned traders out. According to Yan, even if OKEx customers decide to leave the site, after a while they will still return to it.

Recall that on October 16, OKEx suspended the withdrawal of cryptoassets due to the fact that one of the private key holders was unavailable, “taking part in the investigation.” Later, the management of the exchange announced the involvement of lawyers to solve this problem.

Coldcard hardware wallet developers release firmware to address critical vulnerability


Разработчики аппаратного кошелька Coldcard выпустили прошивку для устранения критической уязвимости

Bitcoin hardware wallet Coldcard developers have released a beta firmware patch to address the vulnerability that affected the Ledger hardware wallet earlier this year.
Security researcher Ben Ma, who works for hardware wallet maker Shift Crypto, discovered a vulnerability in the Coldcard hardware wallet. An attacker could trick a Coldcard user into submitting a real BTC transaction when he believes he is sending a transaction on the testnet.

BTC transactions on both the test and the main network “have the same transaction representation,” Ma writes on the Shift Crypto blog. An attacker could generate a Bitcoin mainnet transaction for a hardware wallet, but make it look like a testnet transaction. This makes it difficult for users to recognize the error.

Ma became aware of the vulnerability after an anonymous researcher discovered a so-called “isolation bypass” attack on a Ledger hardware wallet. When the initial vulnerability was discovered, Coinkite founder and Coldcard creator Rodolfo Novak said:

“Coldcard does not support any ‘shitcoins’, we think this is the best way to go.”

In his opinion, a wallet containing only BTC would be safe, as the vulnerability arose in part from the fact that Ledger wallets previously allowed different coins to be managed using the same private key. Since Coldcard does not support multiple coins, in theory the wallet should not have this problem. However, the wallet can be used for transactions on the Bitcoin testnet and this opens a loophole for hackers.

If a user’s computer is compromised and their Coldcard wallet is unlocked and connected to that device, an attacker could trick them into sending BTC on the mainnet instead of a transaction on the testnet.

“The attacker simply has to convince the user to try the transaction on the testnet using any social engineering attack. After the user confirms the testnet transaction, the attacker receives the same amount of BTC from the mainnet, ”Ma writes in a blog post.

Since an attacker can execute this attack remotely, the vulnerability meets the criteria for the critical Shift Crypto issue, leading to the need for information disclosure. According to the article, Ma revealed the Coinkite vulnerability on August 4, and Novak acknowledged it the next day. On November 23rd, Coldcard released a beta firmware to address the vulnerability.

Coinbase will change tax reporting form for US customers


Coinbase изменит форму налоговой отчетности для клиентов в США

Coinbase has decided to stop sending customers in the US with the 1099-Ks tax form, which led the IRS to mistakenly believe traders were underreporting their profits.
According to a Coinbase blog post, the 1099-Ks form will now be replaced by the 1099-MISC form, at least for customers who earn interest on lending and similar products. According to the article, traders who do not meet the 1099-MISC criteria most likely will not receive tax forms from Coinbase to prepare for taxes.

In a blog post, Coinbase stated that it will not be issuing IRS Form 1099-K for the 2020 tax year. The 1099-K form, used by some cryptocurrency exchanges to report transactions to users, often contains misleading information as it only lists the gross income from cryptocurrency transactions, excluding the base price.

Therefore, according to the data provided in the form, sometimes all transactions can be shown as generating income, even if some of them resulted in losses. This leads to the fact that the exchange transmits data about a significantly increased tax burden for the user.

Recently, many cryptocurrency investors have received yet another “happiness letter” from the IRS, in which the agency demanded excessive tax on cryptocurrency income. Cryptocurrency investors have already received similar letters last year and in the middle of this year. TaxBit co-founder Justin Woodward said users received emails as exchanges reported transactions to the IRS using Form 1099-K.

In a blog post, Coinbase announced that it will also not be issuing 1099-B Forms. That being said, 1099-MISC forms will be sent to users who earn “from $ 600 in cryptocurrency with Coinbase Earn, USDC rewards and / or staking in 2020.”

However, the exchange’s statement did not specify whether, in the absence of the 1099-K form, regular cryptocurrency sales would also be registered in the 1099-MISC forms. According to the article, clients who have not received any forms from Coinbase and have not sold or converted cryptocurrency in 2020 are still responsible for reporting to the IRS and should consult with tax professionals.

If 1099-MISC becomes the standard for traders, “a lot more people will get it because the threshold for 1099-MISC is very low,” said Shehan Chandrasekera, head of tax strategy at CoinTracker. While the 1099-K is exclusively for customers with over 200 transactions per year worth over $ 20,000, the 1099-MISC covers anyone with an income of $ 600 or more.

While the move to 1099-MISC is “not a perfect solution” to the challenges facing the industry, Chandrasecker said it could help Coinbase improve user tax compliance. He noted that the transition to the new form does not solve the “problem with the base price of assets”, because in the 1099-MISC form there is also no special field for indicating the price at which the cryptocurrency was purchased.

“Even if the form had a dedicated field, Coinbase might not always be able to provide the information it needed. Therefore, it is the user’s responsibility to track the base price of a cryptoasset, ”Chandrasekera said.

Australia and Singapore will test blockchain to facilitate trade between countries


Австралия и Сингапур протестируют блокчейн для упрощения торговли между странами

The Australian Border Guard plans to facilitate cross-border trade with Singapore using blockchain. System testing started this week.
According to a statement from the Australian Border Patrol, in line with the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Development Agreement, testing of a blockchain-based application was launched this week to facilitate the exchange of trade documents.
The testing, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Singapore Customs Administration and the Information Technology Development Authority (IMDA), aims to reduce administrative costs and improve the efficiency of trade between countries.

In particular, the capabilities of the digital verification platform in the intergovernmental register of the Australian Border Guard Service and on the TradeTrust IMDA platform for the exchange of electronic documents, including certificates of origin of products, will be tested.

“This initiative will include paperless trading and secure digital exchange of trade information to advance the future architecture and design of Australia’s Single Window trading system,” said Border Guard Commissioner Michael Outram.

Testing reviews will be provided by businesses and regulators, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Industry Group and Singapore-based ANZ Bank. According to the National Roadmap for Blockchain Development, the Border Guard will provide a plan to launch the system in 2021.

The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Development Agreement, signed by the countries in August, sets out rules to reduce barriers to digital commerce, as well as create an infrastructure in which businesses and consumers can participate in the digitalization of both countries’ economies.

As a reminder, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) recently postponed the launch of a clearing and settlement system on the blockchain until April 2023 due to higher platform requirements than previously thought.

OKEx Has Launched User Compensation Program


OKEx запустила программу компенсационных выплат пользователям

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has launched a compensation program for users who continued to trade on the site after the withdrawal was suspended in October.
On October 16, OKEx temporarily halted the withdrawal of digital assets due to the fact that one of the private key holders “took part in the investigation”, that is, was probably detained. Without his personal presence, it was impossible to confirm withdrawal requests. A month later, the management of the exchange announced the return of the holder of the private keys and announced that it would resume the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies from November 27.

To compensate for the inconvenience to traders, OKEx launched a loyalty program. Users who held over $ 10,000 worth of crypto assets on the exchange will receive rewards from $ 100 to $ 1000. The amount depends on their trading volume during the period when the withdrawal of cryptoassets was suspended. The reward will be in the form of commission discounts.

The rest of the marketplace users will receive compensation from the OKEx Incentive Fund. The rewards will amount to 20% of the exchange’s total revenue generated from futures and perpetual swap transaction fees over the past seven weeks. The remuneration will also depend on the total amount of assets owned by the client and on his trading volume. In addition, the exchange will continue to reward users for several weeks during Black Friday, with a partial fee for trading futures and perpetual swaps. Perhaps this is done in order to prevent a massive outflow of deposits from the platform.

“The existence of OKEx is meaningless without our users, so we are ready to thank them for their loyalty. We want people to continue using our exchange and not regret their choice, ”said OKEx CEO Jay Hao.

He added that OKEx will take the necessary steps to avoid a similar situation in the future. If any private key holder is unable to perform their duties due to an accident or other reason, the exchange specialists will be able to activate the reserve private key within 30 days.

Earlier in the media, rumors circulated that OKEx was storing users’ digital assets in a cold, one-signature wallet. The exchange denied this information.

Binance Asks US Traders To Withdraw All Assets Within 14 Days


Binance просит трейдеров из США вывести все активы в течение 14 дней

American traders received an email from the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, according to which they must withdraw all their crypto assets from the platform within two weeks.
According to the Binance notice, if US users do not have time to withdraw funds from the exchange within the specified timeframe, they will no longer be able to do so, as their account will be blocked. This is not the first time the exchange has asked US traders to stop using their platform. In June, Binance revised its internal policy, according to which access to the exchange for Americans should be limited as early as September 12, 2020. However, unverified US users can still trade on the exchange using VPN services.

“Dear user, during our periodic review, our team discovered that you are trying to access Binance as a US citizen. Please note that due to our terms of use, we are unable to serve US citizens. You have 14 days to close all active trading positions and withdraw your funds from the exchange, as after this period your account will be blocked, ”says Binance in a recent message to users.

Notably, the exchange began sending such notifications following the publication of an article in Forbes that spoke of Binance’s corporate plan, code-named Tai Chi Organization. The authors of the article argued that this plan is specifically designed so that Binance can operate in the US market without regulatory oversight. Later, the management of the exchange filed a lawsuit against Forbes and two journalists for libel and publication of false information that tarnished the reputation of the site.

Recall that this month Binance closed its branches in Uganda and the British island of Jersey due to unprofitability. At the same time, the founder of Binance Changpeng Zhao clarified that the exchange has no problems with local regulatory authorities.

OCC will ease access to banking for cryptocurrency companies


OCC упростит доступ к банковскому обслуживанию для криптовалютных компаний

The proposed rule change by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will make it easier for cryptocurrency companies to access banking services.
The OCC has proposed regulatory changes that will expand access to banking services for cryptocurrency companies. The proposed change will limit the ability of US banks to deny services to financial service providers if they do not meet the bank’s defined quantitative risk-based criteria.
OCC says it has been trying to implement these changes for a long time. According to the regulator, banks should apply risk assessment to individual businesses, not the entire industry. OCC notes:

“Some banks continue to use category-based risk assessment to deny customers access to financial services.”

The OCC has compiled reports that independent ATM operators, family planning organizations, private prisons, arms dealers and financial services businesses are denied access to financial services. The chief lawyer of the Kraken exchange Marco Santori wrote on Twitter that the OCC list essentially includes cryptocurrency companies.

The new rule, approved by OCC Director Brian Brooks, states that banks must “make every financial service they offer available to all individuals in the geographic marketplace.” Moreover, the bank cannot refuse to provide financial services in order to hinder its competitors, for example, enterprises providing settlement and cash services that carry out currency exchange and money transfers without opening bank accounts.

The regulator accepts comments on the proposal until January 4, 2021. As a reminder, Anchorage recently applied for a federal banking license with the OCC to become a qualified custodian. In September, the OCC allowed US banks to hold collateral for stablecoins, and recently Brian Brooks said that some US banks are considering cooperating with or buying crypto custodians.

CipherTrace has filed patent applications for Monero transaction tracking tools


CipherTrace подала патентные заявки на инструменты для отслеживания транзакций Monero

Analyst firm CipherTrace has filed two patent applications for tools for tracking transactions with the confidential cryptocurrency Monero.
CipherTrace solutions are patent-pending XMR transaction analysis tools for forensic and financial investigations. The use of a statistical and probabilistic assessment method will allow identifying suspicious transactions, identifying potential wallet owners, as well as tracking the movement of XMR that have been stolen or obtained illegally. The technical details of the solution are unknown, so it is still difficult to understand what types of transactions can be tracked by CipherTrace and with what accuracy to identify the sender and recipient if they use methods of anonymizing their activity on the Internet.

CipherTrace said the solutions will allow Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to validate received XMRs. This will allow an adequate assessment of the risks of client transactions, and whether such transactions comply with regulatory requirements. The main goal of these tools is to find intruders as early as possible, and in the future, increase the security of anonymous cryptocurrencies like Monero.

CipherTrace said that XMR is the second most popular coin on the darknet platforms after Bitcoin. Law enforcement agencies have not yet found an effective way to track XMR, but CipherTrace said it is ready to provide such tools, which it has been working on since the beginning of 2019.

CipherTrace officials said Monero’s transaction tracking technology was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, DHS is not the only agency trying to find ways to analyze transactions involving anonymous cryptoassets.

In September, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it is ready to pay $ 625,000 to developers who manage to create such solutions. Monero executives later urged the IRS to spend this money not on fighting XMR privacy, but on exploring the possibilities of this cryptocurrency.

Prosegur launches crypto asset custody division


Prosegur запустила подразделение по хранению криптовалютных активов
Spanish security firm Prosegur has announced the launch of Prosegur Crypto, a custodian division focused on institutional clients.
According to Prosegur representatives, the new service covers all the needs of institutional investors for the storage and management of digital assets. When developing Prosegur Crypto, special attention was paid to the security of the solution. Clients will be able to manage assets using a mobile application.
In a press release, the company emphasizes that the private keys of customers are stored in the Prosegur infrastructure without access to the Internet. The digital assets themselves are protected by “military cryptography” and an additional logical layer of protection. This, according to the developers, makes Prosegur Crypto the most secure and complete solution on the market and sets it apart from other custodial services.

“Our platform meets the real and urgent needs of our customers. We now offer a comprehensive and reliable custodian solution, with the level of protection required by corporations and other large institutions. Few custodial services provide an adequate level of protection. We are going to lead the market as the safest and most reliable partner for institutional investors, ”said Raimundo Castillo, CEO of Prosegur Crypto.

With the solution, customers will be able to transact digital assets while storing them in a location without direct access to the Internet. This allows you to fully defend against various types of cyber attacks.

Recall that, as reported in August, a large South Korean bank KB Kookmin Bank is preparing to launch its own custodian unit for storing cryptocurrencies.

BlockApps and Bayer Launch Agricultural Product Tracking Platform


BlockApps и Bayer запустили платформу для отслеживания сельскохозяйственных продуктов

BlockApps has partnered with pharmaceutical firm Bayer to launch TraceHarvest, a blockchain-based system for tracking supply chains of agricultural products.
The developers said that TraceHarvest will allow tracking the entire “life cycle” of products: the origin of seeds, their growing conditions, harvesting and delivery to retail outlets. The data will be available in real time.
On the platform, it will be possible to check information about each party taking part in the supply chain. In particular, the system is intended for farmers, dealers, manufacturers, distributors and technology providers.

TraceHarvest will provide farmers with the opportunity to enter new markets and generate additional income, as well as help eliminate the complexity of manual crop accounting.

In addition, the platform aims to protect the environment and consumer rights. TraceHarvest can track carbon emissions and food safety information.

For this project, BlockApps partnered with Bayer Crop Science, a division of the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. BlockApps President and CEO Kieren James-Lubin said:

“Blockchain has already revolutionized the agricultural industry, and through our partnership with Bayer, we have become the ‘pioneers’ in this area. Through joint efforts, we managed to translate our concept into reality. ”

Recently, many countries have started to implement blockchain in the agricultural industry. The Swiss company Cerealia recently launched a platform to simplify the trade in Russian grain.

In addition, a few months ago, the Producers Market platform, which brings together various manufacturers, began to use the VeChain blockchain to track agricultural products of farmers in Latin America.

Solidus Labs Introduces A Tool For Tracking Cryptocurrency Market Manipulations


Solidus Labs представила инструмент для отслеживания рыночных манипуляций с криптовалютами

Solidus Labs has introduced a tool for tracking cryptocurrency transactions and market manipulations. The decision is aimed at creating a loyal attitude of regulators to Bitcoin ETFs.
Earlier, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated that the main reason for rejecting applications for launching exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on bitcoin is market manipulation. So, last year, the SEC rejected a joint application by Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca to launch a Bitcoin ETF. In addition, the agency has repeatedly rejected the request of the Winklevoss brothers, founders of the Gemini exchange, to create an ETF for Bitcoin.
The Solidus Labs developers reported that they have created a special tool to solve this problem. It will allow you to monitor the market, check data on cryptocurrency transactions and identify possible manipulations on different platforms. Chen Arad, COO of Solidus Labs, said traditional markets face the same problems and are being addressed with dedicated market surveillance systems.

According to Arad, the Solidus tool has four functions: collecting, storing and processing data, and providing reporting. The program collects data from virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and cryptocurrency exchanges, which will act as “information intermediary”. At the same time, the exchanges will not have to exchange confidential data on trading operations with each other.

The system then processes the information and also compares data on the purchase and sale of digital assets. This is necessary in order to track market manipulations and suspicious transactions that may be associated with money laundering. Solidus CEO Asaf Meir said data processing also includes comparing market data from different marketplaces and analyzing user activity.

In addition, Solidus verifies that exchanges comply with regulatory reporting requirements. The tool analyzes which cases exchanges report to their clients and regulators, and which parties may be involved, before exchanges start sending alerts. The Solidus product handles sensitive data that will be provided by exchanges, brokers and regulators.

Arad noted that Solidus technology can be used in different jurisdictions. It should be viewed as an international standard to help exchanges comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules. Solidus management is already in talks with several regulators and cryptocurrency exchanges willing to use this tool in the US. Arad added that Solidus was developed specifically to address regulatory issues and is already being used by several clients outside the United States.

Note that last month, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton expressed interest in ETF tokenization and the SEC’s readiness to adopt such instruments. However, Clayton will retire later this year, so it is not known if his successor’s views will be as loyal to tokenized ETFs.

Electrum Developers Release Wallet Version 4.0.5


Разработчики Electrum выпустили версию кошелька 4.0.5

The Electrum development team has released version 4.0.5 of the wallet, which fixes an issue caused by the recent Big Sur macOS update.
The Big Sur update released last week prevented Electrum users on macOS from using the wallet. One Electrum user previously stated:
“The Big Sur update damaged Electrum on Mac devices. Unable to open the app or download any of my wallets. ”

The bug first became known on August 1 after the relevant information was published on Github Electrum, around the time Apple released the beta version of Big Sur.

According to Electrum developer SomberNight, “the root cause of the problem is still unknown,” but it has to do with handling Big Sur Python, the programming language Electrum is written in.

To work around the issue, Electrum users could run software from source or embed an older version of Python in a wallet. On November 18, the Electrum team announced a new version of the wallet that fixes this issue.

Recall that in October, ZDNet conducted a study of BTC thefts from users of Electrum wallets over the past two years. According to the results of the study, during this period, BTC worth $ 24.2 million was stolen from Electrum users.

Additionally, in August, an Electrum user lost 1,400 BTC after downloading an old wallet version running on malicious servers. This vulnerability has been fixed in versions 3.3.4 and higher.

Zcash has its first Canopy halving and update


В Zcash прошло первое уполовинивание и обновление Canopy

In the Zcash blockchain, at block 1,046,400, the block reward has decreased from 6.25 ZEC to 3.125 ZEC. Also launched the Canopy update, which changed the distribution of block mining rewards.
The Zcash network emerged on October 28, 2016 as a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. Zcash aims to provide enhanced user privacy with the zk-SNARK zero knowledge proof technology developed by the Electric Coin Company (ECC).

Along with the halving of the miner reward four years after the introduction of Zcash, a major update to Canopy was launched. It provides a new model for the distribution of rewards for mining blocks. Miners will continue to receive 80% of the reward. 8% will start going to the Independent Developer Grants Fund, 7% to the Electric Coin Company, and 5% will go to the Zcash Foundation.

Previously, the remaining 20% ​​of the remuneration was distributed between ECC, the Zcash Foundation, as well as between the founders and investors who took part in the creation of Zcash. The founders of the project received the “lion’s share” of remuneration – 14.2%, which caused a lot of controversy. Therefore, the change affected the founders and employees of ECC, because they will no longer receive the award. At the same time, the share intended for the Zcash Foundation has been slightly increased. According to the Zcash management, the involvement of external developers is necessary to ensure integrity, greater decentralization and further development of the protocol.

Co-founder and head of Hong Kong-based Kenetic Capital, Jehan Chu, called Zcash “confidential bitcoin.” Chu believes that the Zcash halving, which took place for the first time in the network’s history, was not only a landmark event. This will allow Zcash to gain more market space, pushing other privacy challengers such as Monero. The limited issue of Zcash of 21 million coins is fueling investor interest in this cryptocurrency, while central banks of different countries are forced to print new money to support the economy. Messari analyst Ryan Watkins also believes that Zcash and BTC are interesting because their release schedule is well-defined and predictable.

Recall that in July, the Heartwood hard fork was activated on the Zcash blockchain, which ensures the confidentiality of mining, and in September the Zcash developers presented the code for a new version of the Halo 2 zero knowledge proof.

How to increase mining profitability: autotuning or overclocking ASIC


Bitcoin miners are resorting to different ways to increase their income by changing the ASIC firmware. The most popular are overclocking and ASIC autotuning. Which of these methods is more profitable and efficient?
Interest in the cryptocurrency industry is growing every year. Despite the Bitcoin halving that took place in May and the decrease in the miner’s reward to 6.25 BTC, cryptocurrency mining remains a profitable business.

However, increasing competition and economic uncertainty in global markets lead to the fact that miners have to look for ways to increase their income. Basically, miners have two ways to achieve this goal: buying new hardware or improving the performance of existing devices.

Buying new equipment is the most risky of the two, as it usually involves a lot of upfront costs. The return on investment can take many months or even years, depending on the bitcoin rate. At the same time, the improvement of existing devices is a fairly popular solution among miners.

However, overclocking is not the only way to increase ASIC hashrate. An equally effective way to increase miners’ income is firmware auto-tuning.

ASIC overclocking – more hashrate, lower efficiency
Around the beginning of 2018, miners began experimenting with overclocking ASICs to increase revenue. This method changes the way the ASICs work so that they consume more power, hash at higher frequencies, and perform better than the default settings. For example, the Antminer S9, which has a typical performance of 13.5 TH / s at 1200 W consumption, can be overclocked to 16 Tx / s at 1600 W.

Due to the fact that the complexity of Bitcoin grows in the long term, despite periodic drops, and more ASICs are connected to the network, the income of a single device usually decreases significantly over time.

Braiins 2

The hash cost ($ / Tx hash rate) has steadily declined over time as the difficulty increased.

Therefore, miners strive to get the most out of their devices as soon as possible, before their income drops due to the increasing complexity. By overclocking, ASIC efficiency is increased, which allows miners to increase their income in the short term. However, potential improvements to the firmware are not limited to this method alone.

Auto-tuning – hashrate more, higher efficiency
A lesser known tool for improving ASIC performance is called autotuning. Both overclocking and autotuning involve changing the frequencies on the hash cards, resulting in better ASIC performance. The difference between overclocking and auto-tuning lies in the intelligence and the level of complexity of the settings.

Стоимость хэширования ($/Тх хэшрейта) со временем

Review in the Telegram Braiins OS group from the miner, which increased the performance to 17.5 Tx / s on two Antminer S9.

Overclocking is a pretty tough setting, which means simply increasing the hash card frequency to increase the device hash rate. Auto-tuning, on the other hand, is much more difficult. Instead of increasing the frequency of the entire hash board, the firmware can change the frequency for each chip.

In other words, autotuning finds the optimal frequency for each individual chip by assigning higher frequencies to higher quality microcircuits or lower frequencies to lower quality microcircuits.

The end result of autotuning is an increase in W / Th efficiency at whatever power setting the miner chooses. When combined with overclocking, autotuning can provide an even higher hash rate or a similar increase in hash rate while reducing power consumption.

For example, the Antminer S9, which typically has a performance of 16 Tx / s with a consumption of 1,600 W after overclocking, can reach 17.5 Tx / s with a consumption of 1,600 W with autotuning for each chip.

Braiins 3

Review in the Telegram Braiins OS group from the miner

Experienced miners understand how rapidly the industry is developing. Although a relatively small number of miners are still using autotuning, this tool is likely to become standard practice in the next two years.

Autotuning is especially useful for miners outside of China who have to wait longer and pay higher prices for next-generation mining hardware. The ASIC autotuning firmware is being developed by Braiins, the operator of the world’s oldest mining pool, Slush Pool.

Braiins Business Development Director Edward Evenson recently revealed in a podcast that Braiins OS + firmware is competitive in cost and performance, but is also unique in other key areas. The company has a long history of being in the open source industry under the General Public License (GPL) and has a solid reputation in cryptocurrency mining, as well as seven years of experience in this area.

Anchorage has applied to the OCC for a federal banking license


Anchorage подала заявку в OCC на получение федеральной банковской лицензии

Cryptocurrency company Anchorage has applied for a federal banking license with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to become a qualified custodian.
According to a notice posted on the federal regulator’s website, Anchorage’s South Dakota division has filed an application with the OCC for a federal banking license. This year, Kraken cryptocurrency exchange became the first company in the industry to receive a similar license to open its own bank, but only in Wyoming.
If approved, Anchorage will become the first cryptocurrency company to receive a federal banking license allowing it to do business in all 50 states. In addition, Anchorage would have a clear mandate to act as a “qualified custodian” for institutional investors in accordance with the rules of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As a reminder, last week the SEC requested public comment on a number of issues, including which entities should be included in the definition of a “qualified custodian” and whether trust companies have the same characteristics as banks. Anchorage co-founder and CEO Nathan McCauley said:

“Anchorage is encouraged by the recent positive OCC progress on regulatory clarity for digital asset custody. We are interested in obtaining an OCC license in order to better meet the emerging needs of large banks looking to interact with cryptocurrency and to open up the benefits of BTC and other digital assets to our client base. ”

Recall that in September, the OCC allowed American banks to hold collateral for stablecoins, and recently the director of the agency, Brian Brooks, said that some American banks are considering the possibility of cooperation or purchase of cryptocurrency custodians.

Nervos introduced its own standard for creating tokens


Nervos представил собственный стандарт для создания токенов

The Chinese project Nervos has introduced its own standard for creating tokens – Simple User Defined Token (SUDT) – as an alternative to the ERC-20 standard.
Nervos Director of Product Development Cipher Wang said that the new standard was created in honor of the anniversary of the launch of the Lina mainnet, and now developers can create new cryptocurrencies based on the Nervos blockchain. SUDT is designed to compete with the ERC-20 standard, especially in the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry.
Nervos management has stated that SUDT has several key advantages over the ERC-20 standard. So, to use the new ERC-20 tokens, developers must re-deploy smart contracts in the Ethereum chain, which entails additional technical efforts and an increase in the cost of gas.

Although ERC-20 provides clear guidance on the interface of tokens, this standard does not provide guidance on how to launch them. This indicates a lack of standardization for ERC-20 tokens, while SUDT defines the rules for the token interface and their implementation.

There are two benefits to this approach, according to Nervos management. First, developers won’t have to redeploy new smart contracts when issuing tokens. Secondly, thanks to standardization, each token will be created in a certain way, which will reduce the likelihood of bugs. Wang said:

“DeFi has a white-listing concept. For example, the Maker and Compound lending protocols only select certain assets as collateral. This is due to the fact that unknown ERC-20 tokens may contain errors that are likely to lead to hacks. ”

He added that Nervos wants to avoid such a whitelist in its ecosystem by creating a stricter token standard. In addition, the launch of SUDT tokens will be much cheaper than ERC-20.

With the DeFi hype, it costs thousands of dollars to deploy smart contracts. However, using the Nervos blockchain, developers will not need to launch a new smart contract, and issuing tokens will be no different from a simple transaction worth a few cents.

To demonstrate the capabilities of SUDT, Nervos used the Portal Wallet cryptocurrency wallet. The creators of Nervos tried to buy coffee from Starbucks using the COFFEE token of the SUDT standard. Nervos co-founder Jan Xie said the firm will build additional tools to expand the use of SUDT.

In addition, last fall, it became known that Nervos is collaborating with the Huobi cryptocurrency exchange, helping it create its own blockchain Huobi Chain.

Fidelity responds to six criticisms of bitcoin


Fidelity ответила на шесть критических замечаний о биткоине

Research Director of Fidelity Digital Assets has responded to the most frequent criticisms of bitcoin to clarify in the face of increased interest in cryptocurrencies.
In a blog post, Fidelity Digital Assets Research Director Ria Bhutoria said she wants to address the ongoing “criticism and misconceptions” about cryptocurrency. This includes questions about bitcoin’s instability to function as a store of value, its ability to act as a means of payment, and sustainability.

“Bitcoin volatility is a trade-off that leads to a lack of flexibility in supply and a market without intervention,” Butoria said.

According to her, the “main” use case for the largest cryptocurrency is not in the area of ​​payments. However, Bitcoin’s capabilities are used to settle transactions that are not handled by traditional mechanisms.

“Limited bandwidth is a trade-off that Bitcoin has for decentralization, which is a direct result of cheap and easy transaction verification,” she wrote.

The article also discusses the issue of energy consumption of Bitcoin mining. According to the director of research at Fidelity Digital Assets, “a significant portion” of the electricity used for mining comes from renewable sources.

“The number of BTC transactions associated with illegal activities is very small,” Butoria noted, responding to popular criticism of cryptocurrencies in general. Like cash, bitcoin is “neutral and has properties that can be valuable to good and bad people,” she said.

Regarding the argument that bitcoin is not backed by anything, such as real assets, Butoria wrote that it is in fact “backed by code and consensus among the key network stakeholders.” The price of bitcoin is rising because people are recognizing the benefits of “perfect supply shortages … irreversible transactions, and resistance to confiscation and censorship,” she said.

She concluded by writing that Bitcoin is unlikely to be supplanted by another cryptocurrency. While alternatives have already emerged that have tried to eliminate the “limitations” of Bitcoin, such as limited bandwidth and volatility, “this has been done by changing the basic properties that make Bitcoin valuable.”

Recall that recently, Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS) attracted more than 20 developers to expand cryptocurrency services due to the increased interest of institutional investors. Earlier, analysts at Fidelity Digital Assets said that bitcoin has the basic characteristics of a store of value and can become insurance against the backdrop of the problems of the existing financial system.

Chinese miners are unable to sell cryptocurrencies and pay for electricity due to government pressure on the OTC market


Китайские майнеры не могут продать криптовалюты и заплатить за электричество из-за давления властей на рынок OTC

According to Beijing journalist Colin Wu, due to the freezing of OTC traders’ accounts, 74% of local miners faced problems paying their electricity bills.
Chinese media reported blocking bank accounts and cards used to buy cryptocurrencies back in June. Due to the growing scale of illegal use of digital assets, regulators in China have begun to pay increased attention to over-the-counter (OTC) platforms.

The authorities have launched investigations into the owner of the RenrenBit OTC site Zhao Dong and the founder of the OKCoin exchange Xu Mingxing. According to the Chinese authorities, such measures are aimed at combating illegal activities and money laundering through cryptocurrencies.

Colin Wu tweeted that the actions of the Chinese government are complicating the exchange of cryptoassets for fiat currencies and holding back activity in the cryptocurrency market. This negatively affects Bitcoin miners. According to Colin Wu, many miners were forced to shut down their hardware in the past month because they were unable to sell cryptocurrency to pay their electricity bills. Some OTC platforms serving mining firms have also ceased operations.

Thomas Heller, former director of international business development for the F2Pool mining pool and COO of HASHR8, said that it is now difficult for Chinese miners to convert BTC or USDT into yuan on OTC platforms, as bank accounts are often frozen. Similar cases have occurred before, but over the past few months they have increased significantly. Therefore, there is a possibility that miners can relocate from China to Russia or Kazakhstan.

Heller explained that most local miners are only familiar with the Chinese market, so it is difficult for them to move overseas and set up farms there. But the ban on the OTC market in China could be a factor that will push miners to look for “workarounds” or move abroad.

In August, the authorities of the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia decided to increase electricity tariffs by 30% for 21 mining farms. Last fall, regulators of this province announced that they would tighten control over mining companies.

Startup Incognito has launched a competition with the main prize of 1 BTC


Стартап Incognito запустил соревнование с главным призом в 1 BTC

The Incognito platform has launched a competition to raise awareness of privacy among cryptocurrency users. To receive the main prize of 1 BTC, you must complete an online quest.
A cryptocurrency startup has launched a competition that anyone can take part in by downloading the Incognito app. The quest was launched on November 12, and users will have to solve 17 clues, each of which gives a chance to win one of the prizes, including various privacy protection equipment.
Incognito developers want to raise awareness of online privacy through competition. Hints lead users to privacy-related content, such as Edward Snowden. Since November 19, every QR code found guarantees a chance to win prizes, but only when enough users find the code from the prize.

quest btc.jpg
Incognito was launched in 2019. It is an open source project that works with any blockchain. It provides anonymous transfer of assets using the principle of zero knowledge proof. Users can use open blockchains and cryptocurrencies, and at the same time make anonymous transactions.

In January, it became known that, as part of cooperation with Incognito, Binance and Zilliqa will make transactions anonymous.

CEX.IO Has Launched Zilliqa Staking Service


CEX.IO запустила сервис по стейкингу Zilliqa
The international cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO has become one of the exclusive platforms for staking the ZIL token.
The service allows users to make money on ZIL staking, which network operates on a proof of stake consensus. Staking is done on the CEX.IO node and is fully automated. ZIL tokens delegated by exchange users from their accounts at CEX.IO participate in staking. In a short time, 2 billion ZIL were delegated, which showed a high interest in the service.

Users can participate in ZIL staking by delegating their ZIL tokens to the CEX.IO node, which will compete with other nodes for the right to become a validator and receive the right to minify a new block and verify transactions on the Zilliqa blockchain. The entire staking process is carried out automatically: platform clients just need to buy or deposit a coin into their account, after which CEX.IO will independently support the staking of user tokens. Thus, users can receive passive income from holding ZIL on the CEX.IO exchange, which is estimated by the exchange at 17% – 19%. The coins available for staking on the CEX.IO exchange also include Tesoz, Cardano, Matic, Neo, Cosmos, Tron, Metahash, Ontology, and Polkadot.

“The main attractive factor for staking is the ability to make money from storing coins. It is logical that exchanges, which are custodians of coins for users, began to provide staking services to their customers. In the future, staking as a service will develop qualitatively, and the number of coins participating in staking will grow, ”said Sergey Smalko, product manager at CEX.IO Staking.

Unlike mining, on proof-of-stake consensus blockchains, the coins themselves replace the hashrate. By delegating coins for staking, the user helps to reach the consensus needed to process transactions correctly. The factors that affect the size of the staking reward are the number of coins delegated, their age, and randomization algorithms. The larger the number and age of coins delegated by one or another participant, the higher his reward for a new block.

“For the user, the staking process on CEX.IO looks as simple as possible – we take care of all technical aspects (delegation of coins, support of nodes, etc.). The client does not need to figure out how the process works – all his activity comes down to storing the coin in his account. Thus, staking provides a kind of passive income for coin holders simply for holding assets. The amount of remuneration usually depends on changes in the cryptocurrency rate, the amount of funds stored and the duration of their participation in staking, ”adds Sergei Smalko.

The hallmark of the Zilliqa project is the ability to increase network bandwidth as it scales. This was achieved through the implementation of sharding technology – breaking the blockchain nodes into separate shards, combining up to 600 nodes each. This solution made it possible to reduce the level of computational load on the project’s PoW network and increase the bandwidth in proportion to the increase in the number of shards in it. Also, in order to improve the resilience of its network, the Zilliqa team recently launched staking of their token. Considering the reliability and liquidity of the CEX.IO exchange, the Zilliqa team decided to choose CEX.IO as one of the few ZIL staking sites.

“As a fiat regulated exchange, we are bringing staking participation to the next level. Given the recent market developments, many exchanges have begun to pay more attention to the KYC / AML policy. We have done this from the very beginning of our existence and continue to follow the path of regulation. Accordingly, our reputation and position in the market played a role in choosing CEX.IO as one of the exclusive sites for ZIL staking, ”explains Sergey Smalko, why the choice of CEX.IO fell on the Zilliqa project.

Founded in 2013, CEX.IO is a major service provider in the crypto industry and is primarily known for its innovative cryptoasset exchange. CEX.IO is headquartered in the UK and the USA, as well as representative offices in Ukraine, Gibraltar and Cyprus. The CEX.IO exchange offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies, as well as four fiat currencies: the US dollar, the euro, the pound sterling and the Russian ruble, which gives users a unique set of trading tools among the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

For years, the group has been working to expand its ecosystem with new solutions, including the CEX Direct B2B fiat-to-crypto exchange solution, the CEX.IO Aggregator liquidity aggregation technical solution, and Identance, an identity and compliance platform. Recently, CEX.IO began offering cryptocurrency-backed loans under the CEX.IO Loan program, as well as the CEX.IO Staking staking service. CEX.IO Broker service was launched in 2020 – margin platform

Deutsche Bank: “government cryptocurrencies will replace cash”


Deutsche Bank: «государственные криптовалюты заменят наличные»

According to analysts at Deutsche Bank, government cryptocurrencies will replace cash. Central bank digital currencies can also eliminate intermediaries in the banking system, which will have serious consequences.
In a report released this week, Deutsche Bank analysts listed economic assessments and proposals to help the global economies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, which contains sections related to protecting the environment and protecting small businesses, also discusses the transition to digital currencies, including government ones.

Citing “cash came under scrutiny during the pandemic,” due to fears of transmission of the virus, Deutsche Bank macro strategist Marion Laboure writes about the need to “push” digital currencies to keep up with countries that are already doing it.

As China’s state-owned cryptocurrency DCEP and Sweden’s digital crown are being actively tested, other countries need to accelerate the release of their own digital currencies, according to the report. Otherwise, the private sector will use digital currencies that are available first, including government cryptocurrencies.

However, according to Labourt, development is very slow in most developed countries, and many central banks are only now beginning to “rethink the seventeenth century cash model” and research government cryptocurrencies. So in October, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve System (FRS) Jerome Powell (Jerome Powell) said that the digital dollar is not a priority for the country, and the European Central Bank (ECB) this month just started to study public opinion on the issue of the digital euro.

The development of a state-owned cryptocurrency has turned into a race between world leaders, while the United States is still far behind China. As a reminder, back in January, the central banks of Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland, the ECB and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) created a task force to jointly research government cryptocurrencies.

Deutsche Bank analysts believe that “sooner or later government cryptocurrencies will replace cash.” Deutsche Bank details how the central banks of many developed countries face strong user attachment to cash, mainly due to privacy concerns of digital currencies.

Labour notes that such “cultural / privacy norms” need to be “overcome” in the development of government cryptocurrency. Research conducted by Deutsche Bank has shown that cash will never disappear, according to many people.

According to analysts, state-owned cryptocurrencies “can help get rid of intermediaries in the banking system,” as clients keep their money directly at the Central Bank, and not in a private bank. In this case, the global banking sector with a multimillion-dollar turnover may approach the end of its existence, and this has serious financial and economic consequences.

CertiK launches QuickScan tool to find vulnerabilities in smart contracts


CertiK запустила инструмент QuickScan для поиска уязвимостей в смарт-контрактах

Cybersecurity services company CertiK has announced the launch of an automated QuickScan tool to detect vulnerabilities in smart contracts.
CertiK COO Daryl Hok said the QuickScan toolkit is designed to improve the analysis performed by CertiK Chain’s security oracles. QuickScan checks the involved smart contracts for known vulnerabilities using static and dynamic analysis methods.
In particular, the bytecode, source code and access parameters of each smart contract are checked. With this tool, analysis can be performed within an hour. The system puts down safety scores for each individual area, and then sums them up to give an overall grade.

Hawk noted that QuickScan will not work as a standalone tool, but will become part of the CertiK Chain security verification system. The main CertiK Chain launched last month and has a faster and more granular smart contract audit system.

The analysis was originally done manually by cybersecurity experts and companies. QuickScan now automates part of this process. Hawk added that such a system will not replace manual analysis, as formal verification continues to play an important role in safety assessments.

However, automated analyzers can tell you where to dig deeper when looking for vulnerabilities and what to pay more attention to. QuickScan is CertiK’s own development and will only be available to the company’s customers using its security oracles. CertiK executives did not say if they plan to implement QuickScan on a larger scale.

As a reminder, in February CertiK presented a demo and reference manual for its own programming language for smart contracts, DeepSEA.

Congressmen criticized the US OCC for increased attention to the cryptocurrency industry


Конгрессмены раскритиковали ОСС США за повышенное внимание к криптовалютной индустрии

A group of US Democratic lawmakers have criticized the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for over-focusing the crypto industry amid the pandemic and economic crisis.
The Democrats have released a letter addressed to US Foreign Exchange Controller Brian Brooks, who previously served as director of legal affairs for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The OSS is “accused” of making unilateral decisions regarding stablecoins and other digital assets.
In their address, representatives of the Democratic Party refer to the OSS guidelines issued for American banks, according to which they are allowed to hold funds to provide stablecoins. Congressmen are concerned about how these activities will be controlled by federal officials and believe the OSS should cooperate with Congress on these issues.

Lawmakers noted that small financial institutions continue to face a deposit crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the problem. On the one hand, some banks will benefit from keeping reserves for cryptoassets. In addition, the introduction of a digital format in banking can expand the access of cryptocurrency firms to banking services.

However, if such activities are not properly regulated, all potential benefits will be lost, and consumers may suffer significant losses. Congressmen believe that OSS should act more responsibly to protect the interests of banks and their clients.

Democrats added that in the midst of a pandemic, the OSS is solving the wrong problems. There are millions of people left who have not yet received the economic aid package, or cannot deposit funds into a bank deposit account. Such problems deserve more attention than banking services to cryptocurrency and blockchain firms.

Lawmakers added that their concerns about the OCC’s over-focus on financial services in the cryptocurrency industry are shared by the American Bankers Association (ABA). She also believes that such services are too far removed from the banking business. Brooks is due to clarify the OSS’s stance on stablecoin regulation and consumer protection by December 10th.

Recall that earlier ABA opposed the release of the digital dollar, as it is confident that it will give too much power to the US Federal Reserve. According to members of the association, private banks are the best candidates for issuing digital currencies.

Argentine Congressman Introduces Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Bill


Аргентинский конгрессмен представил законопроект о криптовалютах и блокчейне

Argentine Congressman Ignacio Torres has prepared a bill to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. It will be presented to the Argentine parliament next week.
Efraín Barraza, COO of the Argentine branch of the Athena Bitcoin ATM network, and Alberto Vega, CEO of Bithan, took part in the preparation of the bill. They noted the need to create clear legal regulation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Argentina, given that other countries have long been tackling this issue.

Barraza believes that the correct development of the cryptocurrency industry must take place within the framework of the law, and for this it is necessary to protect traders and investors. The lack of regulation creates favorable conditions for scammers and cryptocurrency pyramids. In turn, Vega noted that the regulation of bitcoin and other digital currencies is not discussed at the state level and in political debates. Vega is convinced that if the Argentine authorities begin to take advantage of cryptocurrencies, it will be of great benefit to the country.

“We have been working in the cryptoindustry for a long time and are aware of its problems. There are many businesses whose bank accounts are closed for no reason. This speaks of arbitrariness. We need to sit down with the government at the negotiating table to discuss the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the latest technologies, because everyone will benefit from this, ”said Barraza.

He explained that in the case of traditional assets, regulators cannot go beyond the established framework and exceed their powers. However, in the world of cryptocurrencies, things are different. The nature of digital currencies is such that they can be used for completely different things in the real world, so you need to try to lay at least a common foundation for controlling cryptocurrencies. Barraza added that the new bill is aimed at mass adoption of blockchain and digital assets, which can improve and even replace existing business processes in various fields of activity.

According to a recent Paxful poll, 74% of Argentines believe that in the current political and economic climate, cryptocurrencies are the best way to make a long-term investment. In addition, according to Arcane Research, demand for bitcoin in Argentina surged in April due to fears of default in the country.

US Fed: the digital dollar can be a tool for monetary policy


ФРС США: цифровой доллар может быть инструментом денежно-кредитной политики

Specialists of the US Federal Reserve (FRS) analyzed various studies of digital currencies of the Central Bank and published a report on the results.
According to a report by FRS researchers, before launching the digital dollar, it is necessary to give a clear answer to the most important question: will the state cryptocurrency become a full-fledged replacement for fiat money and bank deposits? It does not matter who will issue the digital dollar – a private company or the Central Bank itself.

The Fed began exploring the possibility of issuing its own stablecoin back in February. However, the department believes that in order to fully understand the principles of digital currencies and assess their possible consequences for the country’s monetary system, it is necessary to take into account the developments of both individual researchers and central banks.

After analyzing various reports on digital currencies from central banks, the Fed notes policymakers’ concerns that government stablecoins may replace the main source of bank financing. After the launch of such digital currencies, there will be no need for the services of commercial banks, which in turn will lead to a reduction in their lending. On the other hand, government digital currencies will increase access to financial services for people who do not have a bank account and cannot use basic financial services.

After examining different points of view on this topic, the specialists of the US Central Bank recognized that the digital dollar can act as an instrument of the country’s monetary policy. The Fed is scrutinizing digital dollar use cases and their possible implications for the US economy. The decisive factor for the issuance of the state digital currency is its flexibility so that the state can quickly respond to macroeconomic shocks. To do this, it is necessary to identify how the digital dollar will differ from conventional means of payments and savings.

Last month, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the digital dollar was not a top priority for the country. It is much more important to carry out a number of versatile studies and eliminate all the associated risks so that the launch of the digital currency does not take place “in a hurry.” Additionally, Powell said last year that the benefits of the digital dollar are not yet clear.

Kadena project announced partnership with Terra to develop Kadenaswap platform


Проект Kadena объявил о партнерстве с Terra для развития платформы Kadenaswap

Hybrid blockchain developers Kadena have announced a partnership with South Korean stablecoin issuer Terra to develop and expand their decentralized platform Kadenaswap.
Kadena has announced that it will add the Terra-issued LUNA stablecoin to the Kadenaswap exchange, which is slated to launch later this year. With the help of the hybrid blockchain, Kadena hopes to attract various organizations and users looking for an alternative to Ethereum-based platforms.
Kadena co-founder and president Stuart Popejoy noted that the congestion of the Ethereum blockchain could hinder the successful scaling of DeFi applications. Considering that Kadena’s solution provides low cost and high transaction speed, it will increase the interoperability of stablecoins, as well as improve the interoperability of Ethereum and Polkadot blockchains.

Terra co-founder and CEO Do Kwon said Terra will be able to process “hidden” LUNA transactions on Kadenaswap and then connect to Ethereum. Kwon noted that such a partnership will expand payment options using Terra stablecoins. The first phase of moving coins from one blockchain to another via Kadenaswap will begin in 2021.

Note that a few months ago, the throughput of the Kadena blockchain reached 480,000 transactions per second due to the increase in the number of “forked chains” in the network to twenty. In addition, in May, the Kadena project integrated Chainlink’s decentralized price oracles to track cryptocurrencies in real time.

DragonEx will introduce tokenized quotas for the withdrawal of crypto assets


DragonEx введет токенизированные квоты на вывод криптоактивов

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange DragonEx will temporarily introduce tokenized withdrawal quotas for digital assets as part of addressing current issues.
Marketplace users will receive DragonEx Withdraw Quota (DWQ) tokens. 1 DWQ will allow you to withdraw one asset from the platform, the cost of which is 1 USDT. To receive DWQ, clients need to trade on the exchange, borrow assets or make deposits. When requesting a withdrawal, an equivalent amount in DWQ will be debited from the user’s account.
DragonEx management said that this is only a temporary solution that will help the exchange cope with its current problems. Recall that on October 21, DragonEx announced the suspension of the deposit and withdrawal of digital assets due to a “crisis of confidence” of users in centralized sites amid problems with the OKEx exchange.

OKEx halted the withdrawal of cryptoassets last month after one of the private key holders was unavailable due to an investigation by Chinese law enforcement agencies. DragonEx executives said that after the OKEx “incident”, users lost confidence in exchanges and began withdrawing funds, which negatively affected DragonEx’s operations.

Earlier, the exchange announced the development of a restructuring plan to restore the withdrawal function and did not even exclude the possibility of its closure if it had not been able to carry out the reorganization before November 2. In a recent address to users, DragonEx management said it is looking for outside investment, but it takes time.

DragonEx plans to gradually restore asset stripping. To make this process “less painful”, it was decided to temporarily introduce tokenized quotas. As soon as the exchange becomes profitable again, the site will destroy all DWQ tokens and restore the normal withdrawal function.

Microsoft employee got nine years in prison for bitcoin fraud


Сотрудник Microsoft получил девять лет тюрьмы за мошенничество с биткоином

A Microsoft employee who used data from colleagues to scam bitcoin and various gift cards received nine years in prison.
26-year-old Ukrainian Vladimir Kvaschuk lived in Washington and worked at Microsoft from August 2016 to June 2018. He used the personal data of colleagues to steal and then resell various gift cards.
Kvashchuk transferred his profits to Bitcoin and used mixing services to hide the origin of the funds. After that, the cryptocurrency was exchanged for US dollars and transferred to Kvaschuk’s accounts. The damage from his actions amounted to $ 10 million.

Interestingly, Kvaschuk even reported to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that he received bitcoins. True, in his tax return, the criminal indicated that a relative gave him the cryptocurrency.

This is the first Bitcoin and tax fraud case in the US, according to IRS Special Agent Ryan Korner. He noted that now the IRS has all the necessary competencies to track cryptocurrencies:

“Simply put, today’s verdict shows that you cannot steal funds over the Internet, channel them through Bitcoin and think that it covered up your crime.”

Kwashchuk was found guilty of 18 federal violations, including six cases of money laundering and two cases of filing false tax returns. With the funds received, a former Microsoft employee bought a house on the lake for $ 1.6 million, as well as a Tesla electric car for $ 160,000.

OKEx announced the involvement of lawyers to solve the problem with the withdrawal of cryptoassets


OKEx сообщила о привлечении юристов для решения проблемы с выводом криптоактивов

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced the involvement of third-party legal consultants to solve the problem with the withdrawal of digital assets.
Recall that on October 16, the exchange suspended the withdrawal of cryptoassets due to the “unavailability” of one of the holders of private keys. OKEx CEO Jay Hao explained that the lack of a key holder is due to an investigation by Chinese law enforcement authorities against this person, but it has nothing to do with the exchange.
Then, on November 6, the OKEx management announced that they had contacted other private key holders, but could not disclose details due to the confidentiality of the investigation. The report also said that the trading floor staff were facilitating the investigation and cooperating with the police department.

Some media reported that the founder of OKEx Star Xu was detained, but the exchange representative denied this information. OKEx executives called it “rumors” that a criminal charge was being brought against the detained holder of the private keys. The exchange also denies rumors that it stores clients’ assets in a cold, one-signature wallet.

In addition, the OKEx management has assured users that their funds are safe and that the site is operating as usual. The representatives of the exchange explained that they are making every necessary effort to restore the withdrawal of funds in the near future.

As a reminder, in September, Chinese investigating authorities began investigating the activities of an OTC cryptocurrency trader who helped scammers exchange $ 73,500 for USDT. Funds are assumed to have been deposited with OKEx first.

DeFi developer PercentFinance error leads to $ 1 million freeze of crypto assets


Ошибка разработчика DeFi PercentFinance привела к заморозке криптоактивов на $1 млн

Due to a mistake by the developer of the DeFi PercentFinance application, a fork of Compound Finance, 446,000 USDC, 28 WBTC and 313 ETH were frozen, the total value of which exceeds $ 1 million
The DeFi platform team PercentFinance wrote in a blog post that “there is a problem in some money markets that could lead to permanent blocking of users’ assets.” The team froze money markets for USDC, ETH and WBTC.

A total of 446,000 USDC, 28 WBTC and 313 ETH are frozen, equivalent to roughly $ 1 million. According to a blog post, half of these assets are owned by the “community development team” PercentFinance. The withdrawal of money from other markets is open, but the team urges users not to take out loans in any of the PercentFinance markets.

In a Discord discussion of the vulnerability, Ethereum developer and PercentFinance Vfat said that another developer who forked PercentFinance from Compound Finance “used old Compound contracts instead of … newer, much better versions.”

Vfat has begun updating some of these smart contracts, in particular the platform’s lending interest rate regulation. After Vfat completed the changes and deployed them, it realized that the signatures for the old and new contracts were incompatible, so no transactions could be signed with them.

“The old and new interest rate models have different signatures for all of these important features,” he said in a Discord chat. “Basically, the token contract is trying to find an interest rate function that doesn’t work, so it fails on every interaction.”

According to Vfat, “The Compound team has confirmed that this means a contract lock.” He noted that it is too early to talk about an asset recovery plan, as the protocol developers have not yet communicated with Center or BitGo – issuers of USDC and WBTC, respectively.

In theory, USDC and WBTC issuers could blacklist addresses with blocked assets. After being blacklisted, BitGo and Center could re-issue new tokens to the old owners, which Tether did for a trader who mistakenly transferred 1 million USDT to the wrong address.

A Center spokesman said the company can only interfere with USDC transactions if it receives “a valid, binding order from a competent US court that has authority over Center.”

Regarding other recovery efforts, Vfat said one early-stage proposal involves the launch of new contracts for the USDC credit markets. Although 27% of loans are fixed in the old contracts, the new contracts will allow borrowers to pay off the remainder of their loans, thus obtaining their collateral and paying the lenders $ 0.73 cents on $ 1. At the same time, there are no opportunities to return the ETH blocked in the contract.

“Regardless of what happens next, I take responsibility for the lost assets and will do everything in my power to recover the losses,” Vfat said.

Blockstream Developers Introduce New Multisignature Option for Bitcoin


Glassnode: количество хранящих более 1 BTC кошельков достигло нового рекорда

Bitcoin is gearing up to roll out support for Taproot privacy technology and Schnorr signatures. Blockstream developers have introduced a new version of MuSig2 multisignature transactions.
In a blog post, developers Jonas Nick and Tim Ruffing have proposed a new MuSig2 multisignature transaction scheme. It should reduce the technical complexity of multi-signature transactions while maintaining the privacy of the parties to the transaction.
The proposed multisignature scheme takes the best from the previous methods. The older version, called Checkmultisig, requires less interaction between participants, but provides a lower level of security and anonymity. Modern MuSig1 offers a better level of anonymity, but requires more interactions to confirm a transaction.

MuSig2 will provide the same level of anonymity and security as MuSig1, but will reduce the number of participant interactions to two. MuSig2 can also improve the privacy of the second level Lightning Network solution and the so-called threshold signatures, which are often used by exchanges and custodian services.

“MuSig2 provides the same level of functionality and security as MuSig1, but provides the ability to eliminate most interactions between participants. You only need two rounds of communication to create a signature, and one of the rounds can be prepared in advance, “the developers write.

In mid-October, it was reported that support for Taproot technology and Schnorr signatures had been incorporated into the Bitcoin Core code. However, the timing and methods of activating updates have not yet been determined.

Derivatives Exchanges Prepare to Start Trading ETH from Ethereum 2.0 Deposit Contract


Биржи деривативов готовятся начать торговлю ETH из депозитного контракта Эфириума 2.0

The FTX cryptocurrency derivatives exchange has expressed its readiness to place tokenized ETH based on the Beacon Chain (BETH) signal chain blocked in the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract.
On November 4, the developers of Ethereum 2.0 presented a tool for creating an ETH 2.0 deposit contract, which will allow sending Ether from Ethereum 1.0 to Ethereum 2.0. According to Etherscan, to date, the contract already contains more than 19,600 ETH worth $ 7.9 million. The launch of the derivatives market for BETH will provide access to liquidity for investors who cannot use the coins from the deposit contract until the first phase of the renewal.

However, Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake said that the deposit contract was specifically designed to prevent another type of ETH from becoming available for trading. And Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin doubts that anyone would want to provide liquidity for the second version of Ether, sent to staking, since moving ETH to Ethereum 2.0 without a validator status will not bring profit.

At the same time, Coin Metrics co-founder Jacob Franek (Jacob Franek) believes that this will not stop exchanges from listing such assets, performing the function of “debt” coins. Their price may depend not only on the reward for staking ethers in the Beacon Сhain. The cost can also be influenced by the risks associated with trading products based on the blockchain, which is still in development. For example, penalties for failing to validate a new chain can negatively impact deposits. In turn, this will be reflected in BETH trading.

Anonymous cryptocurrency researcher Hasu believes intermediaries should be concerned about security first. People who take on financial risks will no longer just issue blocks, and block validators will only bear indirect financial risks. Hasu proposed linking the BETHs available for trading to the amount of Ether allocated for staking on centralized exchanges.

As a reminder, the Ethereum 2.0 update is scheduled for December 1, 2020 subject to certain conditions.

UN Regional Adviser: “blockchain is an effective tool for fighting corruption”


Региональный советник ООН: «блокчейн – эффективный инструмент для борьбы с коррупцией»

David Robinson, regional adviser to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, believes that blockchain will help governments in different countries fight corruption.
David Robinson stated that blockchain-based solutions will help fight not only corruption, but also other economic crimes. The blockchain will provide full traceability of transactions, prevent changes to already entered data and protect documents from forgery.
According to Robinson, due to corruption, society ceases to trust the state, and blockchain can become an important tool for increasing trust in the government. In particular, he mentioned Kenya – due to the lack of effective ways to combat bribery and the inability to track incidents of corruption, the country loses about $ 6 billion of its budget annually.

Many countries are already considering blockchain to transparently track transactions and reduce the likelihood of receiving bribes. Thus, according to a report from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, blockchain and big data technology can be used to securely exchange information, keep records of births and deaths, and keep track of car registrations.

The Peruvian government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are also ready to use blockchain to create a transparent contract procurement system that will be protected from data manipulation, unauthorized access and fraud.

This summer, the World Economic Forum (WEF), together with the government of Colombia, began testing a project based on Ethereum to increase the transparency of government processes and prevent corruption. In addition, the WEF concluded that blockchain can save billions of dollars by increasing the efficiency of supply chains.

Gibraltar became a GBBC member for the development of blockchain in the country


Гибралтар стал участником GBBC для развития блокчейна в стране

Gibraltar has become a member of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), an organization dedicated to blockchain development in more than 50 countries.
Gibraltar’s Minister of Digital and Financial Services, Albert Isola, has announced that the government will promote blockchain adoption in the British Overseas Territories. This requires organizing training seminars for business leaders and legislators, as well as consulting on the regulation of firms in the industry.
The initiative aims to make the country more “blockchain-friendly”. GBBC CEO Sandra Ro expressed her gratitude to the Government of Gibraltar for their willingness to work with GBBC to introduce the latest technology. Roh believes that blockchain can take economies of different countries to the next level, opening up many opportunities for enterprises to develop.

GBBC was launched in Davos in 2017. Its goal is to protect the interests of firms that develop solutions on the blockchain, partner with leaders from different countries, as well as provide detailed information to government and regulatory authorities about the principles of blockchain operation. In a study conducted by GBBC last year, 63% of institutional investors have little understanding of the technology and are not interested in using it.

As a reminder, Izola signed a memorandum of understanding last year on behalf of the University of Gibraltar, which has partnered with the research department of the Huobi cryptocurrency exchange to conduct academic research on DLT. In September, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) updated guidelines for blockchain firms and added guidance on token issuance and risk management.

69370 BTC withdrawn from one of the largest bitcoin wallets, which have lain for more than seven years


С одного из крупнейших кошельков биткоина выведены 69370 BTC, пролежавшие более семи лет

On the day of the presidential election in the United States, bitcoins were set in motion on one of the largest wallets. Five hours ago, someone sent 69,370 BTC that hasn’t moved since October 2013.
A few hours ago, the Whale Alert service reported a large transaction from the address 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx, widely known among crypto enthusiasts and hackers. About two years ago, a wallet.dat file appeared on the darknet, presumably containing keys to this address, but no one was able to crack the password.

Today, first 1 BTC was withdrawn from this wallet, and a few minutes later – the entire remaining amount, which at the current exchange rate is close to $ 950 million. Also, the same amount of Bitcoin Cash was withdrawn from it, and soon they will probably be followed by coins from other forks that are worth something.

Such total devastation speaks precisely of hacking the wallet, and not of transferring to another storage at the initiative of the owner. After all, no matter how complex the password from wallet.dat, sooner or later it can be brute-force – it is much easier than picking up the private key from the address “from scratch”. Such a huge “bonus” justifies any cost of computing resources.
Until today, this address was the fourth in the list in terms of the amount of stored bitcoins. Now this place of honor has passed to the recipient address, and this is the address of the new bech32 format, or native SegWit. The owners of both addresses are unknown.

A large amount of bitcoins (69,471 BTC) was transferred to the original address on October 4, 2013 – three days before the arrest of Silk Road administrator Ross Ulbricht. Therefore, many consider this wallet owned by Silk Road. Since then, this address has been diligently dusty with microtransactions, but to date, the only outgoing transaction from it in the amount of 101 BTC occurred on April 23, 2015. This is an argument against the version of the wallet belonging to Ulbricht, since he was already in prison at that time.

Whale Alert suggests that this wallet is linked to the MtGOX exchange that burst in 2014. Other versions will inevitably arise, but the real owners of both the old and the new addresses may forever remain unknown.

ETH 2.0 Developers Release a Tool to Create a Deposit Contract


Разработчики ETH 2.0 выпустили инструмент для создания депозитного контракта

The Ethereum 2.0 developers have published a tool on GitHub to generate the keys needed to make a staking deposit in Ethereum 2.0.
On the night of November 4, the Ethereum 2.0 developers published a tool for creating an ETH 2.0 deposit contract on GitHub. The launch of the deposit contract will allow sending ETH from Ethereum 1.0 to Ethereum 2.0. This has brought the launch of phase 0 of the new version of the network one step closer.

Chain Games founder Adam Barlamm wrote:

“To quietly release the ETH 2.0 deposit creation tool on election day … tricky, very tricky.”

The Escrow Contract Tool is a key step towards the rollout of Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0. The deposit contract was successfully verified at the beginning of the year. It will allow validators to join the Beacon Chain by sending ETH to the contract. The published code allows you to generate the keys required to make a deposit in Ethereum 2.0. Phase 0 deployment will begin after the launch of the deposit contract.

Recall that recently the developer of the Ethereum Foundation Danny Ryan said that the launch of the deposit contract will take place in the first half of November. The contract must first receive approval following an audit of the BLST cryptographic library by the auditing firm NCC Group.

Atlas VPN: the number of attacks on cryptocurrency services decreased by 3 times in 2020


Atlas VPN: в 2020 году количество атак на криптовалютные сервисы сократилось втрое

According to Atlas VPN, the number of hacks of cryptocurrency services in the first half of 2020 decreased three times compared to the same period last year.
Atlas VPN experts calculated that over the entire history of the crypto industry, hackers managed to steal more than $ 13.6 billion. Despite the fact that fewer hacker attacks were made on cryptocurrency wallets, they turned out to be the most profitable. Over the past eight years, wallet operators have faced 36 hacks, resulting in losses of $ 7.1 billion.On cryptocurrency exchanges, cybercriminals carried out a total of 87 successful attacks, during which they stole $ 4.8 billion.

The most successful in terms of number were attacks on decentralized applications on the EOS blockchain – they accounted for 36% of all hacker attacks in the blockchain industry. In aggregate, the losses of such applications as a result of hacks amounted to $ 28.2 million. The actions of cybercriminals and decentralized applications on Ethereum could not be avoided – 33 successful attacks were carried out on them, losses amounted to $ 364.3 million. Decentralized applications based on Tron also became a target for hackers. Cybercriminals carried out 21 successful attacks on such applications, earning $ 1.22 million.

In addition, attacks were carried out on various blockchains. Since 2012, blockchains have suffered from 28 hacks, during which criminals earned $ 45.8 million. The most attractive networks for hackers were Bitcoin Gold and Litecoin Cash.
According to Atlas VPN, 2019 was a record year for the number of hacks in the cryptocurrency industry. In the first half of last year, 94 hacker attacks were successful, and in total, 133 attacks were carried out in 2019. However, in the first half of 2020, this figure dropped significantly to 33 attacks. Experts have suggested that even if attackers continue to operate with the same efficiency until the end of the year, the number of hacks will still not reach the “record” of last year.

Recall that recently, criminals attacked the Harvest Finance decentralized finance protocol and were able to withdraw $ 25 million worth of crypto assets. This led to a record increase in daily trading volumes on the DeFi exchanges. In addition, in September, the Slovak cryptocurrency exchange Eterbase suffered from a hacker attack, the total damage of which is estimated at $ 5.3 million.

Hackers demand ransom in cryptocurrency from patients of Finnish medical centers Vastaamo


Хакеры требуют выкуп в криптовалюте от пациентов финских медицинских центров Vastaamo

In Finland, hackers have gained access to the medical records of patients in psychotherapy centers and are demanding a ransom in cryptocurrency, otherwise threatening to publish the information in the public domain.
The hackers gained access to the medical data of 40,000 patients at Vastaamo psychotherapy centers. The attackers exploited a security breach that appeared as a result of a hack in 2018, but which was not previously known. The hackers began contacting patients whose data had been compromised and sending them messages with the following content:
“Your data from psychotherapy sessions will be published if you do not pay me € 500 in cryptocurrency within 48 hours.”

The Vastaamo hack is one of the largest cryptocurrency ransom attacks on a medical facility. Attackers have already published over 300 case histories on the darknet and threatened to release more data if patients do not pay the ransom. A massive data breach led to the firing of Vastaamo CEO Ville Tapio.

The hackers are part of an organized group that regularly steals data for ransom. The delay between the 2018 security breach and the blackmail attempts that began on October 21, 2020 is attributed to the “heavy workload” of the hackers and the fact that it took the group a long time to decipher the Finnish documents and understand their value.

Cybersecurity companies have joined forces with blockchain analytics providers to track down and identify hackers. Recall that in the spring, the largest network of private hospitals in Europe was attacked by a ransomware virus. In addition, hackers attacked the information system of a hospital in the United States, demanding a ransom in cryptocurrency.

Harvest Finance has increased the reward for returning stolen cryptocurrencies to $ 1 million


Harvest Finance увеличил награду за возврат украденных криптоактивов до $1 млн

The management of the Harvest Finance project, which works in the field of decentralized finance (DeFi), has increased the fee from $ 100,000 to $ 1 million for assistance in the return of stolen cryptocurrencies.
Recall that on October 26, hackers attacked the Harvest Finance protocol and withdrew cryptocurrencies worth about $ 34 million, using an instant loan to manipulate the prices of fUSDT and fUSDC. The developers of Harvest Finance turned to the cryptocurrency community on Twitter for help in recovering assets.

The attack organizer understands the principles of instant loans, internal Curve code and renBTC; understands cryptocurrency and arbitrage trading and knows how to ensure the secrecy of transactions. In addition, the hacker is familiar with profitable farming, can write smart contracts and can use cryptocurrency mixers, including in the darknet. It is also known that the attacker was available during the attack.

The management of Harvest Finance is ready to pay one internal FARM token to five random people who will retweet the record. Initially, the refund fee was $ 100,000, now it has risen to $ 1 million, and it is not necessary to publicly reveal the identity of the hacker, it is enough to convince him to return the stolen cryptocurrencies.

Some users have commented that it will be much more effective if Harvest Finance developers work more closely with law enforcement on this issue. And $ 1 million can be spent on further development of the project or on payments to affected users. Recall that due to the hacking of Harvest Finance, the daily trading volume on the decentralized exchanges Uniswap and Curve Finance exceeded $ 2 billion.

Research: Most DeFi projects remain centralized


Исследование: большинство проектов DeFi остаются централизованными

According to a joint report by think tank DappRadar and Monday Capital, most DeFi projects have a high degree of centralization due to the token distribution model.
The authors of the report stated that in the MakerDAO, Curve, Compound and Uniswap projects, tokens are unevenly distributed, which creates favorable conditions for large holders. The Maker control system is the most “mature”.
At the MakerDAO forum, community members can conduct a preliminary analysis and discuss the proposals that are put to the vote. The forum is open even to those who are not holders of MKR. However, the voting process in Maker can be controlled by large token holders. These include 20 addresses, where 24% of the total MKR volume is concentrated. However, analysts have concluded that compared to other projects, the distribution of tokens in Maker is the most equitable.

As for Compound, the main holders of COMP tokens were venture investors, team members and some projects, in particular, Dharma and Gauntlet. Only 2.3% of addresses have the possibility of delegation. This means that only this small part of the community can participate in project management, and if you exclude exchange addresses, this figure may be even lower. Similar problems arise in the Uniswap and Curve projects. In the case of Curve, one address controls 75% of all votes.

Analysts have named three main factors that contribute to the centralized management of DeFi projects. First, many users do not view their tokens as a voting tool, but use them to participate in profitable farming. Network members receive voting tokens as a reward. At first glance, the idea seems good – management goes to those who use the product. But in this case, material motivation becomes stronger than the desire to manage.

Second, such systems operate on the principles of plutocracy, where wealth determines power. This is due to the lack of minimum requirements for voting participants to ensure the necessary level of decentralization, and no one is able to compete with large token holders. Identifying participants in decentralized protocols is quite difficult, and plutocracy becomes the only method of governance.

Third, initial investments also play an important role in centralizing management. Venture companies and other investors often own large amounts of tokens, and for this reason other users lose interest in voting. Analysts have concluded that it is the distribution mechanisms that encourage centralized management, so the current result should come as no surprise.

According to MolochDao researchers, the transition to Ethereum 2.0 could put DeFi applications at risk due to reduced liquidity, which could also lead to centralization.

Former PBOC CEO: “digital yuan will prevent dollarization of the economy”


Бывший глава НБК: «цифровой юань предотвратит долларизацию экономики»

Former head of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Zhou Xiaochuan, said the digital yuan will develop retail payments in China and prevent dollarization of the economy.
The President of the Chinese Finance Association said this at the Eurasian Forum. Zhou Xiaochuan said China’s central bank views government cryptocurrencies differently from the G7 countries, which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Regulators in these countries are focused on the challenges and threats posed by Bitcoin and other digital currencies, and even the unreleased Libra stablecoin.

China’s central bank focuses exclusively on using its digital currency for domestic retail payments. The agency is trying to prevent the popularization of the US dollar and is taking measures to reduce the use of the dollar for settlements in China. According to Xiaochuan, this is the main purpose of the digital yuan.

Last year, the US Treasury Department began to investigate the systemic risks of the Libra cryptocurrency project, which could affect the international economy. At the same time, the United States is in no hurry to launch its own digital currency. Recently, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the digital dollar should not be launched until all risks associated with cyber attacks, fraud and money laundering have been eliminated.

Many central banks hold a similar position, believing that it is necessary to study the problems of government stablecoins more carefully. They can become a partial analogue of fiat money, which raises many questions related to legal and regulatory norms.

China’s approach to central bank digital currencies is indeed different from other countries. Instead of theoretical reasoning, the Chinese authorities prefer to conduct research in practice. Testing of the China Digital Currency-Based Electronic Payment System (DCEP) began in August, and this month, the NBK announced that a hardware wallet for the digital yuan is ready for testing.

Aave Developers Transfer Protocol Control to LEND Token Holders


Разработчики Aave передали управление протоколом держателям токенов LEND

The developers of the DeFi Aave project announced the transfer of rights to manage the protocol to the LEND token holders. Aave has become the largest self-governing decentralized finance protocol.
The administrative keys to the protocol were originally in the hands of the Aave team. However, the project has now reached the stage where the management of the protocol can be transferred to the shoulders of the community and Aave can be truly decentralized. For this, administrative rights were transferred to the community of LEND token holders.

As part of the transfer of control of the protocol, the Aave Governance smart contract was empowered to change the protocol parameters and properties of the main Aave smart contracts, including the LendingPoolAddressProvider – the underlying smart contract of the protocol.

“Today is one of the most important milestones in the development of Aave: we have officially transferred the administrative keys of the protocol to the community. This is a very important step towards full decentralization, ”the developers wrote in the project’s blog.

Following the transfer of control of the Aave project to the community, LEND token holders have already voted for one change. This is the launch of the ability to migrate LEND tokens to AAVE tokens in a 100: 1 ratio. In the future, this will allow transferring control of the protocol to AAVE token holders.

As a reminder, the Aave protocol management system using tokens on the Ethereum mainnet was launched at the end of September. Almost $ 1 billion is currently blocked in the Aave protocol

TelosTask Decentralized Job Search Platform Beta Launched


Запущена бета-версия децентрализованной платформы TelosTask для поиска работы

Telos startup has introduced TelosTask peer-to-peer platform on its blockchain. The platform was created to find work as freelancers during a pandemic.
TelosTask development team leader Destiny Marshall announced that the platform will operate on the Telos blockchain. Telos is a fork of the EOS project and runs on the EOSIO software.

According to the principles of work, the TelosTask service will not differ from ordinary exchanges for finding remote work. Customers will be able to form various tasks for writing articles, graphic design, video editing, etc. Customers will have the opportunity to directly communicate with performers and coordinate their work, while all information about their interaction will be stored in the blockchain.

Marshall hopes TelosTask will help people solve the unemployment problem and more easily overcome the economic downturn and isolation during the pandemic, as people need additional sources of income. An escrow system will be used to make secure automatic payments on the platform. In addition, the use of smart contracts will guarantee timely settlements and fair remuneration for the work performed.

Telos is not the only project using the power of blockchain to solve social problems. Last year, bitJob launched the Ethereum blockchain-based job search platform. The Freelance for Coins platform has also appeared, allowing freelancers to receive payments in various cryptocurrencies.

According to a study by Humans, conducted two years ago, 29% of 1,100 surveyed American citizens who work remotely are willing to accept payments in cryptocurrencies. However, given the rapid development of the cryptocurrency industry, this figure can be much higher today.

OKEx Denies Rumors Of Keeping Users’ Assets In A Cold One-Signed Wallet


OKEx отрицает слухи о хранении активов пользователей в холодном кошельке с одной подписью

After the arrest of one of the founders of OKEx and the suspension of withdrawals, rumors emerged that the exchange was storing users’ assets in a cold, one-signature wallet. However, the company denies this.
The press service of the OKEx exchange told the industrial media that the information published on the Jinse Caijing website regarding the storage of cryptoassets of exchange users in a cold wallet with one signature is incorrect.
Recall that the founder of the exchange, Xu Mingxing, was detained by the Chinese police earlier this month, after which the withdrawal of crypto assets from the exchange was suspended due to the “unavailability” of one of the holders of the private keys.

A spokesman said he could not “disclose any information as it could jeopardize users’ assets.” He also did not say when the withdrawal will be resumed. The posting from the Jinse Caijing website has been removed.

When asked if OKEx uses a single-signature wallet, the press service referred to a 51% attack report on Ethereum Classic, which details the process of withdrawing crypto assets from the exchange, including the use of “semi-autonomous multisignature” for hot wallets.

According to the report, 95% of money is held in cold wallets. The cold wallet security detail page states that when generating private keys, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) password is “controlled by two exchange employees” – one at the OKEx office in Beijing and the other in a city on the west coast of the United States.

To withdraw cryptoassets, an employee visits “a bank safe near the office and retrieves the required number of unused encrypted private keys.” It then scans the QR code of the keys on two separate stand-alone computers. Thereafter, “the owner of the master AES password decrypts the private key on a completely autonomous computer.”

The final step is “signing the transaction on another completely autonomous computer. After that, the signature of the transaction is synchronized via a USB drive with a computer connected to the Internet and broadcast to the network. ”

Recall that last month, the Chinese police began to investigate the activities of an OTC cryptocurrency trader due to participation in a deal with $ 73,500 obtained by illegal means. It is assumed that the funds were initially deposited on the OKEx exchange.

Huobi Exchange Adds Direct Purchase of Cryptocurrencies Using Bank Cards

Биржа Huobi добавила прямую покупку криптовалют по банковским картам


Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has added the ability to directly purchase major cryptocurrencies using Visa and Mastercard without intermediaries.
Ciara Sun, Vice President of International Business Development at Huobi Group, announced that the service is being provided by Huobi Technology, the Gibraltar-based regulated arm of Huobi Global. Previously, users of the site already had the opportunity to purchase cryptocurrencies using these credit and debit cards, but when making such transactions, Huobi customers were redirected to third-party services.

Visa cardholders residing in European countries and Australia will now be able to directly buy cryptocurrencies on the exchange. Users from the UK, Gibraltar, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Australia will have access to direct purchase of cryptoassets using Mastercard cards.

“Eliminating middlemen will make it easier for users to buy cryptocurrencies, and their interaction with our trading platform will become smoother,” said Ciara Sun.

Huobi recently integrated the Banxa payment service, which allows UK citizens to make deposits in fiat currencies through the fast payment system Faster Payments. It also allowed EU users to make fiat deposits to the exchange through the European Single Payment System (SEPA), and Australian traders through the POLi payment platform.

As a reminder, Huobi launched Huobi Brokerage digital asset trading platform in January, targeting institutional investors. A few months later, Huobi introduced the Huobi Chain open test blockchain for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) with support for KYC and AML requirements.

OpenZeppelin Introduces DeFi Automated Application Build Platform


OpenZeppelin представила платформу для автоматизированного создания приложений DeFi

Audit firm OpenZeppelin has unveiled the Defender open source platform for the automated creation of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications.
OpenZeppelin CEO Demian Brener said the Defender framework allows for the secure automation of smart contracts. This significantly speeds up the creation of applications, which usually takes several months for developers. Defender supports level 1 and 2 smart contracts, as well as sidechains. The platform is already being tested by decentralized finance projects Aave, Compound Labs, dYdX and Balancer.
The Defender software is designed to ensure that developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each project. Building your own tools from scratch or writing code in a hurry carries enormous risks, especially if firms are looking to get their product to market as soon as possible.

Props CTO Peter Watts (Peter Watts), who participates in the test platform, said working with smart contracts takes effort. The Defender will “make life easier” for developers and help avoid human error, and manage smart contracts easier and safer.

Many Ethereum-based DeFi applications are already facing serious issues from smart contract audits or vulnerabilities. A few days ago, hackers managed to carry out an attack on the Harvest Finance protocol and withdraw $ 25 million worth of crypto assets. In August, the YAM Finance project was closed due to a critical error in a smart contract that allows an unintended release of YAM tokens. In September, the YAM Finance developers announced a post-audit restart.

As a reminder, a year ago, OpenZeppelin launched a library of proven smart contracts in partnership with Microsoft.

Jack Ma: “Digital currencies are the future of the financial system”


Джек Ма: «цифровые валюты – будущее финансовой системы»

According to the founder of Alibaba, digital currencies will help create a new global financial system. Jack Ma also criticized global banking regulation.
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma said digital currencies could play an important role in the new global financial system. The founder of China’s largest tech company, Alibaba, expressed his stance at the Bund Summit in Shanghai.

“Digital currency can create value and we need to think about how to create a new type of financial system with digital currencies,” Ma said.

However, it’s not clear exactly what Ma meant when he talked about digital currencies. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that it was “an amazing speech” in which Ma “talked a lot about cryptocurrency and the future.” However, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin asked Zhao what exactly Ma meant by “digital currencies.” To this, Zhao replied that “the meaning can be interpreted in different ways.”

Ma may have been talking about government cryptocurrencies in his speech, such as the digital yuan, which is in the final stages of testing before its official launch. Recently, Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBC) Yi Gang said that the development of a national digital currency will be one of the main drivers of the PRC’s transition to a digital economy.

Ma also said during his speech that global rules, in particular the Basel Accords – international guidelines for banking regulation – were already outdated. He added that global regulation is holding back China’s development and “does not take into account the possibilities of young people or developing countries.”

Recall that according to a study published in September KISSPatent, Alibaba almost surpassed the American computer giant IBM and by the end of this year will become the largest holder of patents related to the blockchain.

Central Bank of Switzerland and BIS will start testing the state cryptocurrency by the end of the year


ЦБ Швейцарии и BIS начнут тестировать государственную криптовалюту до конца года

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) plan to start testing the state digital currency by the end of this year.
This was announced by Benoît Cœuré, Chairman of the BIS Innovation Center, at a conference in Shanghai. He said the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) will allow researchers to experiment with government digital currency, use it for retail payments, as well as study interactions with existing payment systems and monitor compliance with regulatory requirements.
BIS also plans to involve other central banks in the initiative, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Central Bank of Thailand. Köre believes that such cooperation will allow more efficient testing of cross-border payments using government cryptocurrencies.

Last year SNB and BIS teamed up to explore trends in the digitalization of the financial sector and expand their knowledge of financial markets. Departments believe that digital currencies from central banks can simplify the settlement of tokenized assets between financial institutions. However, such digital currencies should “peacefully coexist” with fiat currencies and not endanger the financial stability of states.

Recall that earlier BIS announced its intention to create four additional branches of the Innovation Center within two years to conduct research on digital currencies and financial technologies, as well as to study issues related to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and digital payments. In addition, this month, BIS, along with several central banks, presented a report outlining the basic principles for issuing government cryptocurrencies.

US Federal Reserve and FinCEN proposed to tighten tracking of cryptocurrency transactions


ФРС США и FinCEN предложили ужесточить отслеживание криптовалютных транзакций

The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) have proposed lowering the threshold for registering remittances outside the United States, including for cryptocurrency transactions.
According to the document, the US Federal Reserve and FinCEN are proposing to change the thresholds at which banks must collect and store information about remittances. Regulators are proposing to decrease this value from $ 3,000 to $ 250 for any transfers outside the United States. The proposal will also expand the definition of “money” to include cryptocurrencies.
The Fed will accept public comments for 30 days after the proposal is posted on the Federal Register. Individuals can submit reviews online or via email. Note that although cryptocurrencies do not have legal tender status, according to the proposal, they can still be used to transfer value:

“Typically, cryptocurrencies can be exchanged instantly anywhere in the world through P2P payment systems that allow any two parties to transact directly with each other without the need for an intermediary financial institution. In practice, however, many people store and transfer cryptocurrencies using a financial intermediary such as a “wallet” or “exchange”.

The document points out illegal transactions using cryptocurrencies, including transfers by the North Korean hacker group Lazarus. Recall that in the spring, CipherTrace published a detailed analysis of how Lazarus hackers laundered stolen crypto assets worth more than $ 100 million, bypassing KYC checks on cryptocurrency exchanges.

BNY Mellon has processed $ 137 million in transactions for organizations linked to the OneCoin pyramid, according to FinCEN documents released last month.

US IRS Updated Recommendations for Reporting Cryptocurrency Transactions


IRS США обновила рекомендации по подаче отчетности о криптовалютных транзакциях

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made changes to the taxpayer reporting form. Coins received during hard forks are taxed, and transfers between wallets do not need to be disclosed.
In the latest version of the Personal Income Tax Form 1040, the IRS has clarified which cryptoassets and transactions need to be disclosed. According to the new principles, if a user only owned a cryptocurrency, but did not trade it during 2020, then he can answer “No” to the question of trading, selling or receiving crypto assets in another way.
The updated guidelines provide specific examples of cases that fall under receiving, selling, sending, and exchanging cryptocurrencies. Crypto assets received for free during hard forks are considered taxable assets. As well as the exchange of cryptocurrencies for goods, services or “other property, including another virtual currency.”

“Transferring crypto assets between wallets, such as transferring money to an exchange and back, is considered a transfer for administrative purposes,” said Shehan Chandrasekara, head of tax strategy at CoinTracker.

Thus, users may not report transfers between personal wallets, as this does not represent a sale, exchange or purchase of cryptoassets. At the same time, Chandrasekhar noted that the approach of the IRS as a whole has not changed, but rather clarified it:

“The IRS just once again clarified the taxation of crypto assets. This shows that for the IRS, transactions that are reflected in tax reporting matter. At the moment, the IRS does not seem to be interested in the amount of cryptoassets users hold. You are not required to disclose information about them anywhere if no taxable transactions took place. ”

As a reminder, last fall, the IRS added a clause about cryptocurrencies to Form 1040. In February this year, the IRS updated the definition of virtual currency on its website. In the new version, game tokens were excluded – since then they are not subject to declaration in tax reporting.

Report: MESS system will not provide sufficient protection for Ethereum Classic against “51%” attacks

Отчет: система MESS не обеспечит достаточную защиту Ethereum Classic от атак 51%
According to the latest report, the MESS system launched by ETC Labs to protect Ethereum Classic against “51%” attacks may not be as effective or secure as other alternative solutions.
This summer, the ETC blockchain fell victim to three 51% attacks in a month. In mid-October, ETC Labs implemented MESS (Modified Exponential Estimation of Subjectivity) to reduce the likelihood of future attacks by 51%.

However, according to a report by IOHK and ETC Cooperative, “The MESS solution will not provide the required level of security and there is no guarantee that further attacks will not be successful.” In addition, MESS does not provide “high confidence to stakeholders that confirmation time will be reduced to the desired level”.

MESS is designed to make reorganizing a large number of blocks 31 times more expensive, theoretically negating a 51% attack profitability. As ETC Labs previously stated, if MESS, activated on October 10 after successful testing, had been implemented back in the summer, 51% attacks on the Ethereum Classic blockchain would have cost the attackers $ 20 million.

IOHK and ETC Cooperative have studied various solutions proposed by development teams from across the ETC community and have stated that checkpoint and time stamp solutions will provide better security than MESS.

According to the report, the timestamps would allow ETC to base its security on another secure blockchain like Bitcoin. The checkpoint system implies that the “trusted authority” chooses a block that will represent an unchangeable standard for all participants in the network.

ETC Cooperative CEO Bob Summerwill said he hopes the report will be the first step towards decentralized decision making by ETC developers. The report also proposes to implement a “decentralized treasury” that provides a constant source of funding for the future development of the ETC platform.

“A democratic and transparent funding mechanism will also allow the ETC community to determine its future direction of development and choose which innovations will be included in the ETC” ,.

The report claims that this will ultimately allow ETC to “keep up with and even surpass other platforms.”

NAC Foundation Denies SEC Fraud Allegations


NAC Foundation отрицает обвинения SEC в мошенничестве

The NAC Foundation denies that AML BitCoin is a security and accuses the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of fraudulent conduct in a legal proceeding.
Earlier, the SEC accused the NAC Foundation, its CEO Marcus Andrade and political lobbyist Jack Abramoff of organizing an unregistered sale of AML BitCoin cryptoassets in the amount of $ 5.6 million, fraud and misleading investors. Abramoff agreed to pay a $ 50,000 fine, as well as $ 5,501 pre-judgment interest.
However, Andrade disagrees with the Commission’s allegations, and on October 20 asked a federal judge in San Francisco to dismiss the SEC’s claim. Andrade argues that the regulator is deliberately trying to mislead the court by accusing the NAC Foundation of using and offering technology that has allegedly never been developed. According to the defendant, the SEC was aware that the NAC Foundation has a patent for an anti-money laundering technology created specifically for AML BitCoin.

Andrade added that, in accordance with the terms of sale, AML BitCoin are not investment contracts. When purchasing this crypto-asset, users agreed that AML BitCoin is only a medium of exchange, not an investment or entitling to a share in any enterprise. The terms of sale state that NAC Foundation clients should not expect a return on their investment, and AML BitCoin cryptoassets should not be considered debt.

Andrade stressed that the SEC refused to point out a critical element of the Howie test, which helps determine whether an asset is classified as a security. This suggests that the sale of AML BitCoin did not violate securities laws. Consequently, there are no grounds for prosecution. Recall that, as the agency said last month, stock token exchanges that guarantee the legality of the origin of assets in their accounts will not be subject to regulatory sanctions.

Bitcoin exchange rate exceeded $ 12 800 and updated the maximum in 15 months


Курс биткоина превысил $12 800 и обновил максимум за 15 месяцев
Bitcoin has surpassed $ 12,800, hitting a high since July 2019 amid growing support from institutional investors and large companies.
Today’s leap in the rate was mainly due to the announcement of the PayPal payment system to add support for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Quantum Economics analyst Jason Deane believes that reaching this mark is important for Bitcoin, after which it can renew highs and continue to grow.

Курс биткоина

Institutional investors are helping the development of Bitcoin’s bullish trend. Asset management firm Stone Ridge Holdings Group bought 10,000 BTC last week. Big Bitcoin investors also include Square, MicroStrategy and Stone Ridge. In addition, earlier this month, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey revealed that his payment company Square acquired 4,709 BTC worth $ 50 million. After the news broke, the BTC rate rose to $ 10,935. Interlapse Technologies CEO Wayne Chen commented on the situation, saying that corporate support creates a favorable background for Bitcoin’s growth.

The current technical picture on the bitcoin chart suggests continued growth despite the fact that many futures traders are betting on an early reversal and the beginning of a new bear market.

PayPal Adds Cryptocurrency Support For US Users


PayPal добавляет поддержку криптовалют для пользователей из США

US PayPal users will be able to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. It is planned to add these features for international customers in 2021.
US citizens will be able to conduct cryptocurrency transactions via PayPal in the next few weeks, and the company’s Venmo mobile payment service will add this capability in the first half of 2021. On this news, bitcoin rushed up and is preparing to overcome $ 12,500, updating the maximum since last summer.

In addition, from the beginning of next year, it is planned to open these functions to other countries so that all PayPal customers can use cryptoassets to buy goods in 26 million stores around the world. When making cryptocurrency payments through PayPal, they will be converted to fiat currency (for example, the US dollar). This means that everything will remain the same for sellers – they will receive payment for goods in ordinary money.

PayPal has been licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to provide payment services using cryptocurrencies. This license is issued to companies partnering with licensed firms, which is why PayPal has partnered with Paxos Trust Company.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman hopes that with the addition of cryptocurrency support, PayPal will help the industry grow at scale. In addition, this step will prepare the system to work with new digital currencies, which in the near future may be issued by corporations and central banks of different countries.

“We work with central banks, so we are considering interaction with all forms of digital currencies. PayPal will contribute to the development of the cryptocurrency industry, ”said Daniel Schulman.

Last year, PayPal CFO John Rainey said the company is taking a cautious stance towards cryptocurrencies due to their high volatility and a “dim” future. However, with central bank analysts actively exploring the possibilities of launching their own digital currency, PayPal management has changed its mind to follow the current trends.

A year ago, PayPal refused to participate in the Libra project. Shulman explained that it is better for the payment system to focus on its own development. If Libra’s prospects become more specific, PayPal will again be able to become a participant in the project, since it is supportive of the blockchain.

US Federal Reserve Chairman: “The digital dollar is not a top priority”


Председатель ФРС США: «цифровой доллар – не первоочередная задача»

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the regulator will not issue a digital dollar until all associated risks have been eliminated.
Powell announced this during a speech at the International Monetary Fund conference on cross-border payments. According to him, the United States is not seeking to be the first to issue its own digital currency. Issuing a government stablecoin is a serious task requiring extensive research. It is necessary to take into account not only the positive aspects of the digital dollar, but also its potential risks, given that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency.
“We have not yet made a final decision on the digital dollar release. I do not think that in the current situation this task should be in the first place for the country. There is no need to rush to create a state cryptocurrency. It is better to do it properly and efficiently, rather than hastily, just to be the first, ”said Powell.

He emphasized that, unlike many countries, there is a strong demand for cash in the United States. In addition, the country has a highly developed financial and banking sector – most of the population has access to banking services, and many use electronic payment systems.

The US central bank will not issue its own digital currency until all associated risks have been removed. This requires providing a high level of protection against cyber attacks and fraud, as well as eliminating the threat to financial stability and the country’s monetary policy. Moreover, you need to think about how to prevent illegal activities with the digital dollar, while maintaining the confidentiality of user data and ensuring the security of funds.

Recall that, according to Powell, private firms should not participate in the development of state-owned cryptocurrencies – only central banks should do this. However, the American Bankers Association (ABA) did not support the issuance of the digital dollar, saying that otherwise the US Federal Reserve would become a “monopoly” supplier of currency, bank accounts and payment services.

The user lost 28,050 AAVE after sending them to the smart contract address


Пользователь потерял 28 050 AAVE после их отправки на адрес смарт-контракта

The user mistakenly sent AAVE tokens worth $ 1.1 million to the token’s smart contract address. Now these tokens are locked on the blockchain and cannot be returned.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts discovered an erroneous transaction for 28,050 AAVE decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens worth approximately $ 1.1 million, which led to their irrecoverable loss due to an error in the recipient’s address.

According to Etherscan, the transaction took place back on October 3, but went unnoticed until this week. The transaction was discovered by the TokenOops service, which tracks “ERC20 tokens sent to the address of the ERC20 token smart contract”, after which they cannot be returned.

For some reason, the sender of 28,050 AAVE did not pay attention to the fact that he was transferring tokens not to his wallet, but to the address of the smart contract of the AAVE token. As a result, cryptoassets worth more than $ 1 million remained locked on the blockchain.

“The key point here was that the AAVEs were transferred to the address of the contract itself, and not to another account,” explained Chase Wright, an enterprise solutions architect at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. “It’s like sending a letter to the post office address instead of another person’s.”

According to TokenOops, such erroneous transactions occur frequently, but usually the amounts sent are much smaller. However, not all such transactions are made by mistake. Some users deliberately send a small amount of cryptoassets to inactive or inaccessible addresses, for example, the address of the Bitcoin genesis block, as a tribute to the technology or to indicate their position on some issue.

The user who sent the erroneous transaction has a small chance of being compensated. Several members of the AAVE community have offered to return the tokens to the affected user.

The problem of cryptoassets sent to the wrong addresses is relevant for the entire community. In June, Israeli startup Kirobo developed a technology to return bitcoins sent to the wrong addresses by mistake, but this requires a special transaction format. Additionally, in May of this year, the Ethereum community discussed the possibility of creating a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) to return ETH sent to the wrong addresses.

Monero devs update Oxygen Orion


Разработчики Monero провели обновление Oxygen Orion

The developers of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero have rolled out another update to the Oxygen Orion network.
According to a Monero blog post, the latest node software update is the work of about 30 developers. The Oxygen Orion update will bring new features to improve network efficiency.

For example, the update includes the CLSAG feature, which reduces the size of network transactions by about 25% and the time to confirm transactions by about 10%. At the same time, the confidentiality of transactions is preserved. Monero developers noted:

“CLSAG provides a reduction in size and increased transaction speed with a high level of security.”

Oxygen Orion offers several more new features. These include improvements to network security, in particular with respect to the Dandelion ++ protocol, which is responsible for hiding the user’s IP address. Each Monero update can technically be viewed as a hard fork that requires network members to update their software in a timely manner.

In the blog, the developers write that users who store XMR in hardware wallets should also be updated to the latest firmware in a timely manner. The Oxygen Orion update was rolled out a few months after the Monero developers launched a new version of the Nitrogen Nebula Monero client.

The network updates are taking place against the backdrop of increasing attention of regulators to anonymous cryptocurrencies. As a reminder, Europol recently named anonymous cryptocurrencies and wallets with privacy functions as the “top threats” in a new report on the assessment of threats to organized crime on the Internet for 2020. In addition, in early October, the IRS selected contractors to create Monero tracking tools.

Associated Press will use blockchain to combat false news


Associated Press применит блокчейн для борьбы с недостоверными новостями

The Associated Press (AP) news agency has partnered with Everipedia and Chainlink, a decentralized oracle network, to track down fake news.
The collaboration will allow AP to authenticate race-related news using blockchain, according to a statement from Everipedia. The Associated Press works with a large number of freelance journalists to get information on local campaign developments. The news agency will use the power of the blockchain to cryptographically sign the data it receives from these journalists.

This does not completely guarantee the accuracy of the news received, as it is possible that the main AP systems are hacked or the keys used to sign the keys are stolen. But otherwise, such a system is much more reliable than the usual transfer of information via e-mail.

Everipedia’s Chainlink node will provide smart contracts with cryptographically proven access to US election data. It can be used to verify that the data from the host is coming directly from the original Associated Press API, to which Everipedia has exclusive authenticated access.

This integration is made possible by leveraging the Chainlink oracle infrastructure, which allows the Associated Press to sign and publish US election results simultaneously on several different blockchains.

This is not the first attempt to use blockchain to combat fake news. In the summer, The New York Times, as part of a joint project with IBM News Provenance, began testing blockchain to combat fake news.

Previously, other media outlets have also referred to the blockchain. Back in 2018, the American magazine Forbes announced a partnership with a startup Civil to publish its content on a decentralized network. Recently, however, startup Civil, which has been working to create a decentralized platform for media funding and posting, announced it would close in June after four years in operation.

Power Finance will launch a digital version of the New Zealand Power Dollar


Power Finance запустит цифровую версию новозеландского доллара Power Dollar

Financial company Power Finance plans to launch a digital version of the Power Dollar, which will be powered by distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Power Finance is led by Dave Corbett, partner at audit and consulting firm PwC. He said the Power Dollar will be developed without the participation of the New Zealand government and will be similar to the USDT stablecoin. The Power Dollar will be pegged to the NZ dollar at a 1: 1 ratio. The launch of the digital currency is scheduled for early next year.
Along with DLT, Power Finance will use smart identification technology to verify the identity of all Power Dollar holders and record transactions to prevent money laundering and fraud. Corbett added that the Power Dollar will be compliant with New Zealand law and regulatory requirements.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) supports the firm’s initiative. However, RBNZ and the New Zealand Internal Revenue Service (IRD) clarified that they are not cooperating with Power Finance in creating a digital currency, so it cannot be said that it is being developed with government support. In addition, the departments said they are not responsible for regulating the activities of financial companies.

Following the launch of Power Dollar, the firm plans to obtain a banking license from RBNZ. Once approved by the regulator, Power Finance will begin attracting partners that will provide “banking-style services” outside of the traditional banking system. Corbett believes that in the event of a successful experiment with the Power Dollar in New Zealand, the country’s Central Bank will decide to issue its own cryptocurrency.

Recall that last year, the IRD recognized income in cryptocurrencies as legal, and at the beginning of this year proposed not to apply a tax on goods and services in relation to digital assets, but at the same time leave income tax. In addition, IRD recently sent letters to New Zealand cryptocurrency firms asking them to provide customers’ personal data and information about their cryptoassets. Cryptocurrency Exchange Launches Its Own Hardware Wallet


Криптовалютная биржа выпустила собственный аппаратный кошелек

Cryptocurrency exchange has released the Wallet S1 hardware wallet. This is the first such device developed by a marketplace.
Wallet S1 is equipped with a fingerprint sensor – the user does not need to come up with and enter complex passwords, just put his finger to verify the transaction. Also, thanks to the fingerprint scanner, the hardware wallet is protected from a brute-force attack.
The device supports over 10,000 different digital assets including BTC, ETH, EOS and other popular cryptocurrencies. Marketing Director Marie Tatibouet stressed:

“Wallet S1 is a very secure wallet. The secret key is stored on the device itself, without Internet access. In addition, it allows you to quickly and easily sign transactions. This is the first hardware wallet with a fingerprint recognition algorithm. ”


In addition to a convenient way of storing cryptocurrencies, Wallet S1 will provide users with a fast, easy and secure option to access’s own blockchain called GateChain.

“Wallet S1 is also suitable for corporate use – it can be used in conjunction with a Vault address to gain access to GateChain. It is an open blockchain designed with security in mind. The device provides increased security for storing large amounts of assets for a business or financial institution, ”the exchange said in a statement.

Schnorr and Taproot signatures added to Bitcoin Core code


Подписи Шнорра и Taproot добавлены в код Bitcoin Core

Updates to improve the privacy and scalability of the Bitcoin network – Taproot and Schnorr signatures – are embedded in the Bitcoin Core code. The mechanism for activating updates has not yet been determined.
The privacy and scaling updates of Taproot and Schnorr signatures have been rolled out to Bitcoin Core today, according to version history on GitHub. Once the updates are activated, more complex types of transactions will become easier to use and the privacy of the network will increase.

The update code enablement request was created in September by developer Pieter Wuille and has been tested for over a month. More than 150 developers have reviewed the Taproot proposal code alone. Schnorr Signatures and Taproot, Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) 340 and 341 are the two biggest changes to the Bitcoin code since Segregated Witness (SegWit) was activated in 2017.

The mechanism for activating the two BIPs has not yet been determined. Depending on the method chosen, it may take some time before the code is activated. Schnorr signatures are an alternative to the current multisignature mechanism that uses multiple private keys to complete a transaction. Schnorr signatures combine multiple keys into one when making a transaction. This significantly reduces the size of the payment data and helps to relieve the network.

Taproot complements Schnorr signatures and offers a new version of transaction outputs and new options for defining the conditions for spending BTC to users. In some cases, Taproot can even help restore access to lost coins. Schnorr Signatures and Taproot are useful for users with complex spending policies who usually control large amounts, such as cryptocurrency exchanges.

Algorand will provide grants to startups and app developers


Algorand выделит гранты стартапам и разработчикам приложений

The Algorand Foundation has launched the Algorand Europe Accelerator program, under which it will provide grants to startups and application developers on the Algorand blockchain.
As the name suggests, the program is intended for European companies. The foundation is already accepting applications for a grant, and in general the program will last 12 weeks. Grant funding was provided by Eterna Capital and Borderless Capital. Companies entering the program will receive $ 15,000 each, and the maximum grant is capped at $ 500,000. In addition, additional funding from sponsors is possible.

“Europe is a critical region for Algorand’s growth, and London is a major innovation hub,” said Massimo Morini, chief economist at the Algorand Foundation.

In addition to grants through the accelerator, developers will have access to a “toolbox and resource kit” for building decentralized applications. Also, if necessary, entrepreneurs will be able to get advice on launching the application on the market, additional investments, issuing tokens and other aspects of developing their projects.

In August, Algorand developers added the ability to deploy stateful smart contracts. The function is useful for developers of decentralized applications.

Jeff Garzik’s Company Launches Vesper Platform to Invest in DeFi


Компания Джеффа Гарзика запускает платформу Vesper для инвестиций в DeFi

Bloq, led by Jeff Garzik, is releasing a new product for investing in decentralized finance (DeFi) projects through cryptoasset staking.
Bloq’s new platform, Vesper, is marketed as an easy-to-use tool for DeFi products. Through Vesper, users will be able to block ETH, wBTC or USDC for staking from mid-November using one of the “storage pools”.

Bloq co-founder, former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik, said that after depositing cryptoassets, users can choose the level of staking risk for profit – aggressive or conservative. Among the conservative-risk DeFi protocols, Garzik says, are the well-known Aave and Compound applications. With an aggressive approach, the platform will invest cryptoassets in lesser-known projects.

“We’re all tired of farming and dumping,” Jeff Garzik said at the CoinDesk invest: Ethereum economy conference. “There must be a market to transform these risky and often sloppy investments into more professional operations.”

Vesper will only be offering pools with a conservative staking strategy from mid-November. However, Bloq said it plans to add other investment strategies and crypto assets to the platform in the future. Vesper is backed by its own VSPR token, which will be used to distribute rewards to users and developers.

While the initial investment strategies will be developed by the platform team, Vesper will also offer strategies from developers who can be rewarded in VSPR if their proposal is accepted by the community. The platform will charge users 5% of the profits generated from staking their cryptoassets and 1% for withdrawing money from “storage pools”.

“This is a simple passive income product,” Garzik said. Vesper’s approach is somewhat similar to the strategy followed by ETFs, where the due diligence of an investment product is mainly performed by the issuer, he said.

More and more companies are looking to enter the DeFi industry amid its growing popularity. This week, corporate fintech platform COTI developed a decentralized cryptocurrency market volatility index (cVIX) to help investors assess industry risks.

Ethereum Foundation Developer Introduces Fe Programming Language To Create Smart Contracts


Разработчик Ethereum Foundation представил язык программирования Fe для создания смарт-контрактов

Ethereum Foundation developer Christoph Burgdorf has introduced a new programming language called “Fe” for creating smart contracts.
Most Ethereum applications today are written in the Solidity language. Providing developers with a wider choice of languages ​​will help develop the Ethereum ecosystem more efficiently.

Fe is a reworked version of the Vyper language that is used to work with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Therefore, at the initial stage, the differences between Fe and Vyper will be minimal. In the future, Fe will borrow the syntax of the Rust programming language. The developers explained that the name “Fe” is directly related to the designation of iron in the periodic table. They associate this chemical element with the strength and stable operation of the compiler.

Fe was built to perform the same tasks that Vyper already solves, including more accurate calculation of transaction fees. Over the past month, the developers have accelerated the creation of Fe, so it is likely that by the end of this year it will have all the functions necessary to work with contracts of ERC-20 tokens.

At this stage, it is too early to use the Fe language to create such contracts, but the developers will be ready to demonstrate its capabilities in practice. In the future, Fe will be able to support Ethereum WebAssembly (eWASM) and Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM), a virtual machine for scaling smart contracts on Ethereum.

Recall that in June, the Algorand and Blockstack projects began joint development of the Clarity language – a new programming language for smart contracts that can provide direct interaction between these networks using different mechanisms: the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm and the “Proof of transfer” (Proof-of-Transfer, PoX). In addition, a few months ago, Bitcoin Core developer Jeremy Rubin announced the creation of a new smart contract language for Bitcoin that will increase users’ control over their bitcoins.

Jeff Horowitz steps down from Coinbase


Джефф Хоровиц покинул руководящую должность в Coinbase

Coinbase officials said Jeff Horowitz, head of corporate governance at Coinbase, is leaving his post. The reasons for his departure are unknown.
Horowitz began his career at Lehman Brothers and Citigroup and took up a senior position at Coinbase in 2018. According to the exchange staff, he made a huge contribution to the establishment and improvement of procedures aimed at combating money laundering and customer identification. Horowitz has also helped Coinbase comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the US Treasury Department, and other regulators.
In addition, Horowitz has worked hard to get the American investment bank JPMorgan to partner with Coinbase. Marketplace officials believe that by joining Coinbase as Chief Compliance Officer, Horowitz has taken every possible step to legalize the cryptocurrency industry, which is still in its early stages of development.

The exact reasons for the dismissal were not disclosed, but Horowitz’s colleagues clarified that his departure from Coinbase is not related to the recent announcement of the CEO of the exchange Brian Armstrong (Brian Armstrong). According to Coinbase’s new mission, the exchange refuses to discuss political and social topics unless they are related to the cryptocurrency industry. Armstrong urged his team to focus on solving the main tasks of the platform. Those who disagreed with Coinbase’s new philosophy could leave their jobs and receive compensation. About 5% of Coinbase employees decided to take advantage of this opportunity.

Horowitz previously revealed that Coinbase has begun working with the Gemini, Kraken and Bittrex exchanges to launch a unified user data exchange system in order to comply with FATF requirements.

PwC report: blockchain will drive the global economy by $ 1.76 trillion by 2030


Отчет PwC: блокчейн приведет к росту мировой экономики на $1.76 трлн к 2030 году

Blockchain will boost the global economy by $ 1.76 trillion over the next decade, with the greatest economic impact going to be seen in Asia, according to a new report from consultancy PwC.
PwC economists predict that a tipping point will come in 2025 if blockchain is widely deployed around the world. In addition, blockchain applications are expected to drive global gross domestic product (GDP) growth of $ 1.76 trillion (1.4%) by 2030.
Blockchain will have the biggest impact on the Asian economy as China, India and Japan drive technology adoption across the region, according to the report. China could get the highest net profit of $ 440 billion, and the US $ 407 billion. According to analysts, the economies of Germany, Japan, the UK, India and France can expect to grow to $ 50 billion over the same period.

The report identifies five key blockchain applications with economic value potential: product supply chain tracking ($ 962 billion), financial services and payments ($ 433 billion), identity and credential security ($ 224 billion), contracts and dispute resolution ($ 73 billion). , customer acquisition and reward programs ($ 54 billion).

The government, education and healthcare sectors will benefit the most ($ 574 billion) by “capitalizing on the efficiency that blockchain brings to the world of identity and credentials.” A PwC survey found that 61% of CEOs worldwide make digital transformation of their core business operations one of their top three priorities.

“Serious blockchain activities are now affecting industries around the world,” PwC Blockchain Leader Steve Davies said in a report. He also added that the acceleration of the introduction of revolutionary technologies in business is caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Recall that in the summer, PwC, RFID solutions provider Temera, blockchain company Luxochain and Italian IT firm Var Group created a blockchain-based platform for authenticating luxury goods.

Ethereum 2.0 Developers Successfully Launch Zinken Testnet


Разработчики Ethereum 2.0 успешно запустили тестовую сеть Zinken

Ethereum 2.0 developers have successfully launched the Zinken testnet and tested the creation of the ETH 2.0 genesis block. Zinken launched after a failed deployment of the Spadina testnet.
According to the developer of Ethereum 2.0. Danny Ryan, today’s launch of the Zinken testnet went smoothly. Zinken is the latest planned “dress rehearsal” for ETH 2.0 testing to create a Genesis Block – the first block in a new chain before the Proof-of-Stake network goes live. Zinken follows the previous Spadina testnet, which launched at the end of September, but ran into problems due to low staking participation and minor customer bugs.

Following today’s successful launch, Ryan said, “the customer development teams are now completing audits and preparing for the mainnet launch.” As with Spadina, the goal of the Zinken testnet is to create a genesis block. To launch the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain on the main network, 16,000 validators and 500,000 ETH are required on the deposit. These targets have been lowered for the Spadina and Zinken testnets for practical reasons.

Together with the Medalla testnet, which aims to replicate a fully functioning Ethereum blockchain, Zinken represents the efforts of developers to prepare the blockchain for the transition to a proof of stake (PoS) algorithm. After the upgrade, the throughput of the blockchain will grow to 100,000 transactions per second.

As of September 28, Medalla’s testnet has attracted 60,000 validators who have blocked 2 million test ETHs for staking. These numbers have since grown to 75,000 validators and 2.4 million test ETH, Ryan said. Developers are already creating tools for the future web. For example, Prysmatic Labs today announced a web interface for its Prysm Eth2 client.

While the Zinken testnet will run for a few more days, it has already completed its task, as Ryan said:

“The creation of the genesis block was successful. This was our main goal. ”

As a reminder, the developers plan to launch Ethereum 2.0 on the mainnet next month.

Three ATMs with BTC purchase function appeared at Tesla’s gigafactories


На гигафабриках Tesla появились три банкомата с функцией покупки BTC
Crypto ATM operator LibertyX stated that devices with the BTC purchase function appeared at three Tesla enterprises. However, Elon Musk doubted this information.
Fold payments platform CEO Will Reeves tweeted Saturday that Tesla’s gigafactory has a cryptomat. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk questioned this statement.

“I think this is inaccurate information,” Musk tweeted.

Soon, the ATM operator, LibertyX, confirmed the launch of three ATMs at three Tesla gigafactories in the United States. The confusion seems to have arisen due to the fact that the ATMs in question were not originally specialized devices for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

Until recently, these were ordinary ATMs, according to a LibertyX employee. Once installed, ATMs can be upgraded to support additional features such as buying bitcoins.

“Yes it’s true. We have upgraded three conventional ATMs to buy bitcoins through them. They are only available to employees, and may be available to visitors when the gigafactories reopen for excursions, “LibertyX_Chris wrote on Reddit.

Now you can buy BTC through the device with a commission of 8%. For now, only the purchase option is available, but this may change in the future. “Hopefully we will soon announce the addition of the BTC sale option,” added a LibertyX employee.

According to LibertyX CEO Chris Yim, the ATM upgrade took place just a few months ago. This may explain why Musk is not aware of the situation. LibertyX tweets:

“Elon, 0.25 BTC is too little (Ed. – Musk previously stated that he owns only 0.25 BTC). Now you can buy bitcoins from three ATMs at gigafactories, you don’t even need to leave your office. ”

At the beginning of the year, Elon Musk said that he did not consider himself an adherent of cryptocurrencies, however, he recognized the thoughtfulness of the White Paper of Bitcoin.

Google Trends: Interest in Bitcoin and DeFi Industry Falls


Google Trends: интерес к биткоину и индустрии DeFi падает
According to Google Trends, users have become less interested in Bitcoin and the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry. Often, a drop in the number of search queries correlates with a drop in prices.
Google Trends tracks the number of searches for different words, assigning each a numeric value that indicates its popularity. Google Trends data gives a rough idea of ​​the world’s interest in various aspects of the cryptocurrency market.
In the first week of September, Google Trends rated Bitcoin 51 out of 100, while in mid-May, before the halving of the mining reward, this figure was 100. When the price of bitcoin dropped in early September, user interest fell to 41.

As for DeFi, according to Google Trends, user interest and searches peaked at the end of March, when the price of Bitcoin fell to its lowest level this year. Interest dropped in the following months, although the DeFi markets grew rapidly.

However, in the first week of September, users again became interested in decentralized finance and the DeFi rating rose to 99 out of 100. But as of the first half of October, this figure dropped again to 65.

As interest in Bitcoin remains relatively stable, one would expect interest in Ethereum to grow, as most DeFi projects are powered by it. It really increased, but not significantly – by 11% since the beginning of the year.

Recently, Coindesk experts analyzed the statistics of Google Trends and came to the conclusion that despite the rapid growth of decentralized finance, retail investors show little interest in this area compared to the ICO boom three years ago.

Ethereum Miners Disapprove New Fee Model in EIP 1559


Майнеры Эфириума выражают неодобрение новой модели комиссий в EIP 1559

According to the survey, Ethereum miners are disapproving of the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, put forward by leading network developers, aimed at introducing a new fee model.
Eight of the nine mining projects that participated in the EIP 1559 community survey responded negatively to the proposal. At the same time, seven out of nine respondents said they would refuse to implement EIP if it is included in a future hard fork.
Developers began discussing the proposal in the summer when online transaction fees soared. EIP 1559 aims to address problems with the current transaction fee model that forces users to pay more than necessary. EIP 1559’s proposed fee structure autonomously adapts to network requirements and allows users to pay only the fees they actually need to complete a transaction.

The survey involved 25 Ethereum projects, most of which chose to remain anonymous, said ConsenSys product manager and survey creator Tim Beiko. According to him, exchanges or wallets did not participate in the survey. In general, 42% of the respondents gave a positive or negative assessment of the proposal, the rest of the respondents remained neutral or did not express their position.

EIP 1559 was first proposed by Vitalik Buterin in 2018. The main idea of ​​the proposal is that it will make the commission market more predictable and reduce network congestion. EIP 1559 does not promise lower transaction fees. Miners will still be making profits under the new model, but they will be limited compared to the current setup. This will add a deflationary mechanism to the Ethereum network.

However, the concerns of miners are understandable. Recall that they earned $ 166 million in commissions in September – a record amount in the entire history of Ethereum. The boom in the DeFi market has been a major driver of miner revenue growth.

At the moment, the developers are still considering the EIP. They will not include it in the update until after the Berlin hard fork, which was suspended in July, is completed. In addition, developers have raised concerns about the EIP 1559 itself in terms of its effectiveness and changes in developer tools. Some Ethereum clients, like Nethermind and Besu, have started rolling out EIP on testnets. But other clients, including Geth and OpenEthereum, are awaiting the final specification before launching EIP on the testnet.

Recall that in September, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed to triple the cost of smart contracts that update the state of the network to solve the problem of exponential growth of fees.

DappRadar: Ethereum accounts for 96% of transactions in the DeFi industry


Dune Analytics: количество заблокированных в Эфириуме BTC продолжает расти
According to DappRadar’s Q3 2020 report, 96% of total DeFi transactions came from Ethereum. DeFi user activity has increased due to “profitable farming”.
The DappRadar team has released a Q3 report on DeFi performance. According to the report, over the past three months, the volume of transactions in the industry has reached $ 125 billion, which is $ 113 billion more than in the second quarter. At the same time, 96% of the total volume of transactions fell on Ethereum.
According to DappRadar, the total value of cryptoassets blocked in Ethereum smart contracts has exceeded $ 10 billion, with Uniswap, MakerDAO and Curve leading in this indicator. The total dollar value of crypto assets blocked in DeFi is $ 10.82 billion.

Ethereum also leads in terms of the daily number of active wallets – over 57% of the total. The similar figure for Tron in the third quarter is 35%, and EOS – 5%. The researchers note that the largest contributions to the Ethereum protocol came from Uniswap, Sushiswap, Balancer, and Compound, which accounted for 56% of Ethereum’s active wallets on a daily basis.

DeFi projects on EOS grew in popularity in Q3. Defibox, Dmd.Finance and the DeFis Network had over 4,300 active wallets daily. That said, decentralized apps on Tron, including JUST, Zethyr Finance, Sun and SharkTron, had 32,000 wallets.

DeFi’s explosive growth is rooted in the yield farming strategy that has gained popularity thanks to the Compound lending protocol, the researchers note. In the first half of June alone, Compound’s transaction volume totaled $ 4 billion.

The rise of the decentralized exchanges Uniswap and SushiSwap has resulted in billions of dollars worth of crypto assets on the DeFi market. In September, Uniswap generated $ 33 billion in transactions (60% of total DeFi transactions) when it issued a token to manage the UNI protocol.

In the third quarter, DeFi decentralized applications brought in about $ 59 million to their creators. Most of this revenue – $ 33 million – came from Uniswap. XReg recently said that the EU cryptocurrency regulation bill poses risks to the DeFi industry due to the registration requirements for issuers of cryptoassets.

Fidelity, Circle and MakerDAO: “stablecoins will increase the efficiency of enterprises”


Fidelity, Circle и MakerDAO: «стейблкоины повысят эффективность предприятий»

According to project leaders at Fidelity Labs, Circle, and MakerDAO, dollar stablecoins are attracting new users to the cryptocurrency market and improving organizations.
They announced this at the Blockchain Summit in Los Angeles, discussing the possibilities and prospects of stable cryptocurrencies. Raghav Chawla, director of product development at Fidelity Labs, believes that stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies simplify transactions for ordinary users and large enterprises, eliminating the need to go to banks or other intermediaries. According to Chawla, people consider the national currency to be a reliable store of value, so they trust more stablecoins backed by fiat currencies, as their rate is more stable compared to decentralized cryptocurrencies.

According to Joao Reginatto, Head of Product Development at Circle, the launch of the USDC stablecoin in 2018 boosted the flow of new users into the cryptocurrency industry by providing protection against crypto asset volatility. In turn, the head of business development of the Maker Foundation Greg Di Prisco said that MakerDAO began to interact with the Center consortium in order to “lure” more users to stablecoins. At the same time, Center focuses on converting fiat currencies to stablecoins, while MakerDAO focuses on cryptocurrency loans.

Reginatto emphasized that stablecoins are increasingly being used for commercial settlements, B2B payments and international transfers. However, stable cryptocurrencies still have a lot of untapped potential, so it is necessary to look for new options for their use in business. According to Reginatto, stablecoins can improve the efficiency of interaction between organizations, but in the coming years they may face serious rivals – state cryptocurrencies from central banks.

Last month, the European Central Bank (ECB) proposed not to use the term “stablecoin” for cryptoassets backed by fiat currencies, as it considers them not safe enough for investors. In addition, the ECB recently announced four conditions for the launch of the state cryptocurrency and has already applied for the registration of the “digital euro” trademark.

BMW to Launch Blockchain Apps to Distribute Rewards to Customers


BMW запустит приложения на блокчейне для распределения вознаграждений клиентам

BMW Korea to Launch Blockchain Bonus Program in South Korea. Users will be rewarded for purchases and will be able to use points to access events and discounts.
According to the Korea Herald, the Korean subsidiary of German automaker BMW will soon launch a blockchain-based bonus program in the country. The BMW Vantage Rewards Program will allow customers to accumulate Reward Points and use them to pay for products or receive discounts on services offered by the program.

First-time customers buying BMW models can earn between 300,000 and 900,000 points per purchase. Those who buy used BMW vehicles are also eligible for bonus points based on the market value of those vehicles.

Users will be able to earn membership points through the game and other social features on the automaker’s mobile app. Program members can use points to receive discounts on scheduled vehicle maintenance and other services provided by BMW partner companies.

In addition, “high level” users will also be able to receive invitations to events organized by the company. BMW Korea notes that while the Vantage app will initially only be available in South Korea, the program will subsequently be rolled out globally. The company says it is currently testing the app and will launch before the end of this year.

The blockchain app launch is not BMW’s first technology-related initiative. Last month, it was revealed that BMW and VeChain are creating a blockchain platform to track vehicle information. In addition, BMW was testing blockchain to improve vehicle mileage tracking in collaboration with DOVU back in 2018.

Last spring, the company partnered with blockchain startup accelerator Tribe, and announced plans to launch PartChain, a platform for tracking auto parts shipments.

DAI stablecoin support added to Bitcoin RSK sidechain


В сайдчейн Биткоина RSK добавлена поддержка стейблкоина DAI

The developers of IOV Labs, who launched the RSK Bitcoin sidechain, announced the possibility of using the DAI stablecoin from the Ethereum blockchain.
The integration will allow the transfer of DAI coins from Ethereum to the RSK sidechain so that they can be used in the Bitcoin-based decentralized financial ecosystem. For this, a mechanism developed by the RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF) team is used, which serves as a “bridge” for the transfer of Ethereum-based tokens. This bridge blocks coins on the Ethereum blockchain and generates an equivalent amount in RSK, thus enabling decentralized pegging through smart contracts.

IOVLabs said the audit was conducted by Trail of Bits and the Maker Foundation’s integration specialists. The trading pairs for RSK DAI (rDAI) were created based on RSK Swap, a fork of the Uniswap protocol.

IOVLabs CEO Diego Gutierrez explained that rDAI was created as an alternative digital asset, with which transactions will cost much less, and this will help avoid congestion on the Ethereum network. Ethereum’s high gas cost and lack of scalability are hindering the adoption of DAI in the retail market, Gutierrez said. In particular, we are talking about traders who do not receive the desired services in traditional markets and are interested in conducting transactions for small amounts with low commissions.

Gutierrez said that, thanks to merged mining, using DAI on the RSK sidechain will be as secure as it is on the Bitcoin blockchain. In addition, transaction fees will be 50 times lower than current fees on the Ethereum blockchain.

IOV Labs is positioning RSK as a Bitcoin-based decentralized finance platform. In February, IOV Labs launched a tool that allows RSK and Ethereum-based cryptoassets to be transferred between Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, including Ether and ERC-20 tokens. The firm announced last week that it will partner with Grupo Sabra to create an Extrimian platform for developing enterprise decentralized blockchain solutions.

Chainalysis ranks BitMEX as a high-risk exchange


Chainalysis причислила BitMEX к биржам с высоким уровнем риска

Due to the allegations made by the US government against the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX, the analytical company Chainalysis has ranked it as a high-risk platform.
On October 5, Chainalysis contacted its clients, which include government agencies, banks and marketplaces. According to the Chainalysis notice, from October 1, 2020, all trades using this exchange will be considered high risk. Customers using the Chainalysis KYT solution to track suspicious transactions will see alerts in the system. The KYT tool can also mark older trades made on BitMEX with the corresponding icons.

Such changes could adversely affect the willingness of regulated entities to interact with BitMEX. The general director of the fintech company LMAX Group, David Mercer, called this situation a “domino effect”, which worked against the backdrop of the exchange’s proceedings with American regulators.

Recall that on October 1, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a lawsuit against the BitMEX exchange and its owners, accusing them of illegal activities in the United States and willful violation of KYC and AML rules. Despite the fact that executives of parent company HDR Global Trading deny these allegations, users managed to withdraw more than 32,000 BTC from the exchange within 24 hours after news of the CFTC allegations.

“Clients can define their own risk limits. However, in order to protect users, we must notify them that if any organization, its owners or operators are charged with committing criminal offenses, it becomes extremely dangerous to operate such a site, ”says Chainalysis.

HDR Global Trading executives are aware of this situation and are in talks with Chainalysis and BitMEX continues to operate as usual. According to a BitMEX spokesperson, the custom assets are safe and the withdrawals are made according to the usual schedule.

The new version of the hidden mining program Monero Black-T learned to steal passwords


Новая версия программы скрытого майнинга Monero Black-T научилась красть пароли

A new version of the Black-T Monero stealth mining malware can steal sensitive user data and disable other cryptojacking programs.
According to a report from cybersecurity firm Unit 42, hackers have updated Black-T, a long-standing malware for stealthy Monero mining, which can now steal user credentials and disable any other mining software on the victim’s computer.

Black-T is now capable of detecting sensitive information about a user residing on a computer and sending it to hackers who can use it for further attacks. This data includes, for example, passwords and bank account data. Black-T uses a tool called Mimikatz to extract unencrypted passwords from Windows systems. The tool also allows attackers to intercept user sessions, for example, interrupting computer use when the user is active.

“Of these new Black-T techniques and tactics, the most notable is the detection and termination of previously unknown cryptojacking programs,” said Unit 42 researcher Nathaniel Quist.

If Black-T gets on a computer that already has mining malware installed, it automatically attacks those files, disables them, and then installs its own cryptojacking program. This allows Black-T to fully exploit the computing power of the computer, providing maximum benefit to the hacker. Quist said the Black-T team will likely keep rolling out updates.

“Unit 42 believes TeamTnT hackers are planning to incorporate more sophisticated cryptojacking functionality into their toolkits – especially for identifying vulnerable systems across various cloud infrastructures,” Quist said.

Hackers who distribute cryptojacking programs most often choose Monero for hidden mining due to its anonymity. Last month, Tencent’s cyber security division discovered a new miner virus called MrbMiner. The virus infects Microsoft SQL servers for Monero mining.
In addition, in August, computer security experts from Guardicore Labs announced the discovery of a new botnet, FritzFrog, that scans addresses and hacks into servers for Monero mining.

Sale of cryptocurrency derivatives to retail investors is prohibited in the UK


В Великобритании запрещена продажа криптовалютных деривативов розничным инвесторам

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published final rules prohibiting the sale of cryptocurrency derivatives to retail investors.
These products are not suitable for retail investors due to the harm they cause, according to a statement on the UK regulator’s website. FCA believes that these products cannot be judged correctly by retail consumers for the following reasons:

Inherent properties of underlying assets that do not allow them to be reliably measured;

The prevalence of market abuse and financial crimes in the secondary market, such as theft of crypto assets;

Extreme volatility in crypto asset prices;

Inadequate understanding of the nature of cryptoassets by retail investors;

Lack of a legal need for investment in these products by retail consumers.
FCA believes retail investors could suffer sudden losses if they invest in cryptocurrency derivatives. As the agency says, unregulated transferable cryptoassets are tokens that do not represent “statutory investments” or electronic money and can be traded. FCA mentions BTC, ETH and XRP among examples of such assets.

The regulator has adopted rules prohibiting the sale, marketing and distribution to retail consumers of any cryptocurrency derivatives, including Contracts for Difference (CFDs), Options, Futures and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs), which are tied to unregulated transferable cryptoassets by companies operating in the UK.

The FCA estimates that retail consumers will save around £ 53 million after banning access to such products. FCA Acting Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, Sheldon Mills, said:

“This ban reflects how seriously we consider the potential harm to retail investors from these products. Consumer protection is paramount. Significant price volatility, coupled with the difficulty of reliably valuing cryptoassets, puts retail investors at high risk of losing money from trading cryptocurrency derivatives. We have evidence that this is a massive problem. The ban will provide the necessary level of consumer protection ”.

The ban will come into effect on January 6, 2021. UK consumers must continue to report cryptocurrency derivatives scams to the FCA. Cryptocurrency companies are now unable to offer investment in such products to retail consumers in the UK.

In August, the FCA said it could oblige cryptocurrency firms and exchanges to provide additional reporting on possible money laundering risks.

Research: 43% of enterprise blockchains are deployed in finance


Исследование: 43% корпоративных блокчейнов развернуты в сфере финансов

A Cambridge University report on enterprise blockchains found that 43% of projects in production are carried out in financial companies.
The University of Cambridge published the results of the second enterprise blockchain comparative study, which collected data from surveys of more than 200 enterprises, startups, central banks and other public sector institutions in 59 countries from July 2018 to June 2019.
One of the sections of the survey was devoted to corporate projects on the blockchain. After analyzing 67 operating networks, the researchers concluded that in 43% of cases, blockchains are used in financial projects, for example, for clearing and reconciling records.

At the same time, the researchers found that most projects are developed for a long time. On average, it takes about 25 months from proof of concept to deployment, and larger networks can take more than four years to build.

Enterprise blockchains are much more centralized than their open counterparts. This means that instead of thousands of anonymous nodes and miners securing the blockchain, one or more nodes agree on the content of the new blocks and the existing chain.

Managed blockchains, which provide greater control over networks and a high level of privacy, are important in industries where data is trade secret. However, this raises concerns that centralization would allow leading organizations to gain an unfair advantage and potentially block others from accessing aggregated results.

Cambridge researchers found that over 80% of enterprise projects used only one blockchain deployment service to run nodes and mine. 48% of the reviewed projects are based on the IBM Hyperledger Fabric blockchain, and 15% are based on R3’s Corda.

According to the report, market leaders have developed over 70% of enterprise blockchain projects in the hope that other companies in their industry will join them. Industry consortia have deployed 22% of enterprise blockchains, with just over 5% being created by government agencies. Working under the auspices of market leaders allows some corporate networks to grow at a faster pace, but they may struggle to attract competitors to their platform.

In addition to the financial sector, blockchain is often used to track supply chains. Austrian gin maker Stin recently said it intends to use NFC technology and ICON blockchain for bottle tracking and supply chain transparency. In addition, in August, the USDA announced that it will track the supply of organic products using the blockchain.

User lost $ 140,000 in UNI tokens while farming in the UniCats project


Пользователь потерял $140 000 в токенах UNI при фарминге в проекте UniCats

One of the users of the fraudulent project UniCats lost $ 140,000 in UNI tokens invested in it for farming.
The UniCats developers have implemented a defect in the smart contract to control tokens even after their withdrawal. This was announced by Alex Manuskin, a researcher from the ZenGo cryptocurrency wallet team.

To start using the UniCats platform, the user is required to have permission to spend an unlimited number of tokens. Considering that many decentralized finance (DeFi) projects have similar requirements, the user accepted these conditions. After farming a certain amount of MEOW tokens, he pulled UNI out of the pool. It was later revealed that the UniCats developers had incorporated a “workaround” into the smart contract that allowed them to manage tokens even if they were withdrawn from the platform.

“The user did not even suspect that having received permission to spend an unlimited number of assets, the contract can use them at any time. This is possible even if the user has withdrawn the tokens from the profitable farming scheme, ”said ZenGo researcher Manuskin.

Thanks to a loophole in the smart contract, the creator of UniCats managed to intercept the user’s tokens by making two transactions for 26,000 UNI and 10,000 UNI for the amount of $ 94,000 and $ 38,000. Then the attackers exchanged the received tokens for 416 WETH. Thus, the scammers received at least $ 50,000 from other victims. The exact amount of damage to users is not easy to determine, given that the withdrawal of cryptoassets was made using separate transactions.

Manuskin said that this is the first time he has encountered this type of attack used in farming pools. The researcher cited as an example the situation with the Bancor protocol, when, due to a vulnerability in a new version of a smart contract, users lost BNT tokens worth more than $ 100,000. Contract. To cover their tracks, the scammers created an additional contract for each victim, and used the Tornado Cash cryptocurrency mixer to launder stolen tokens to make it more difficult for analytical companies to track the funds.

In order to avoid such losses, users need to study the terms of the smart contract, give permissions only to those crypto assets that they want to spend and do not forget to revoke such access. The crux of the problem is that users give permission to spend unlimited amounts, which is often found in popular decentralized applications. However, applications should only ask for permission to spend the required amounts, even if this is not very user-friendly. In turn, cryptocurrency wallets must notify users that they allow all current and future tokens to be used.

According to CoinGecko, 40% of DeFi pharming participants are not able to independently assess the risks of smart contracts and rely on auditors, which is why they are at great risk.

How to buy cryptocurrency correctly and safely? 3 ways


Guide to buying cryptocurrency
You can buy bitcoin and altcoins through exchangers, on exchanges and from other people, these are the most popular options. We talk about each of them and about the risks that can lead to the loss of all money

You can buy cryptocurrency in different ways. Exchanges, exchangers and other services are suitable for these purposes. But the market is changing, new opportunities appear for working with digital assets, and the risky sides of the old ones are revealed.


“Сhange bureau”

The most common way to buy cryptocurrency is through exchangers. These are special services where you can exchange most of the popular coins for fiat money in various options. For example, purchase digital assets using bank cards, through payment systems, cash using ATMs, or transfer funds using a phone number.

Exchangers work as follows.

  • You choose the asset you want to buy and the payment method
  • Indicate the amount for which you want to buy cryptocurrency
  • Indicate the address of the wallet where the cryptocurrency will go. This can be a wallet on an exchange, a cold wallet, etc.
  • Confirm purchase request
  • Transfer funds to the address offered by the exchanger

On many services, after payment, you need to click the “I paid” button. If this is not done, the service will not transfer your cryptocurrency
Exchangers charge commissions for their services. Their size is always different, differs from service to service and depends on the payment method chosen by the user. In addition to this, exchangers always have different rates. To find the most profitable option, you can use special aggregators. On them, you can sort exchangers by the best offers, as well as by reviews.

When using exchangers, in order not to lose funds, it is important to follow a few rules. First, always start working with an unfamiliar service with a small amount to make sure it is working properly and check for fraud. Secondly, send exactly the amount of funds indicated in the exchange request. Otherwise, the service will not recognize the transaction and it will hang. If this happens, the only solution is to contact the service support.

Thirdly, it is extremely important to check the reserves of the exchanger, their value is indicated for each asset separately on the service website. Reserves mean the amount of rubles or cryptocurrency that the exchanger has in stock. If you place an application for an amount that exceeds the amount of the reserve, the service will have nothing to transfer your cryptocurrency from, and the transaction will freeze. In this case, you should also communicate in support.

When using exchangers and exchanges to buy digital assets, there is always a risk of getting “dirty” cryptocurrency related to illegal activities, warned Nikita Zuborev, senior analyst at This is especially true for small exchange offices. They may not have enough resources to properly and promptly check the coins sold, sometimes their purity “no one checks in any way.”

If we talk about the segment of exchange offices, then the risk of getting tokens seen in criminal schemes in a large exchanger is comparable to the risk of getting those from a cryptocurrency exchange. All of these organizations verify the purity of assets to a certain extent and comply with all anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing procedures for any suspicious transactions.



Now you can buy cryptocurrency with a bank card on most major cryptocurrency exchanges. But payment methods in this case, as a rule, are much less when compared with exchangers. There are also advantages – it is safer to purchase digital assets on trading platforms, especially large ones, as the risk of using the services of fraudsters is reduced.

At the same time, you can lose part of your capital on commissions. Their size on exchanges can be significantly higher than those set by exchangers. Reason: most trading platforms do not sell cryptocurrency directly, but through other services. In other words, the user transfers money to a third-party company, it makes an exchange with the exchange, and then the latter credits the user with coins. In this case, a double commission may be charged, so you should carefully check the terms of the deal.

Another advantage of exchanges over exchangers is that the purchased cryptocurrency can be immediately used for trading or other purposes. For example, exchange for many other coins to build an investment portfolio. However, it is not safe to store funds on trading floors. If there is a risk that the exchange will go bankrupt or be hacked by hackers, as happened with KuCoin. Therefore, the hope is to keep digital assets in cold wallets.


Other ways to buy

Apart from exchanges and exchanges, there are several other options for buying cryptocurrencies. For example, exchange offices operating on the p2p principle – from person to person, are very popular. On such platforms, the user leaves an application to buy or sell assets for a certain amount. When a counterparty is found, they exchange, and the platform acts as a guarantor that one will not deceive the other.

This method has several disadvantages. There are not always enough bids to buy or sell cryptocurrency. Sometimes you have to wait until a great offer appears. Also, p2p platforms are inferior to exchangers in terms of the number of payment methods, and there is a risk of buying dirty assets.

Less popular methods include buying cryptocurrency through cryptomats (analogs of ATMs, but with cryptocurrency) and directly from another person for cash. In the first case, the problem is the low number of such devices. According to the card, there are only 7 crypto ATMs in Moscow. In the second case, there is a high risk of losing funds. The counterparty can sell coins at an overvalued rate, disappear when receiving money, appropriate them for himself, citing a technical error, or cheat in any other way.

Coinbase will share some customer data with UK Internal Revenue Service


Coinbase передаст данные некоторых клиентов Налоговой службе Великобритании

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will provide UK tax authorities with data on its customers who have received over £ 5,000 worth of crypto assets over the past year.
According to an email from Coinbase, the exchange will transfer its UK customer data to the UK’s Royal Revenue Service (HMRC). In this case, information will be transferred only about those customers who have purchased or deposited cryptoassets worth more than £ 5,000 (about $ 6,474) into their Coinbase account in the last year.
HMRC originally required Coinbase to provide certain UK customer records to the exchange between 2017 and 2019. However, after discussions with the tax authority, the requirement was changed, and now it only affects some users of the platform. The letter from Coinbase notes:

“Following further discussions with HMRC, an amended notice has been issued that requires disclosure of UK citizens who have received over £ 5,000 in crypto assets from Coinbase in 2019/2020. This includes both purchases and credits of cryptoassets to your Coinbase account. ”


Last year, HMRC sent out emails requesting customer lists and transaction information to at least three exchanges doing business in the UK – Coinbase, eToro and CEX.IO. Apparently, Coinbase was able, through negotiations with HMRC, to reduce the amount of information provided to the tax authority, and to limit itself to customers who received large amounts of cryptocurrencies.

UK citizens are required to pay Capital Gains Tax on cryptocurrency income. Any information that HMRC receives is likely to be used to verify the accuracy of individuals’ tax records. As a reminder, the IRS exempted crypto assets from stamp duties last year.

An anonymous researcher accused Ethereum miners in manipulating transactions for arbitrage on DeFi


Анонимный исследователь обвинил майнеров Эфириума в манипулировании транзакциями для арбитража на DeFi

An anonymous researcher under the pseudonym Frank Topbottom accuses Ethereum miners of arbitrarily including transactions in blocks to manipulate transactions in DeFi.
The researcher believes that with the development of the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry, the likelihood of manipulating data on the blockchain for profit only increases. This can be explained by the fact that miners are free to decide which transactions they can process and in what order. This practice is called “miner extractable value” (MEV).

Frank Topbottom noticed a number of suspicious transactions added by the SparkPool and F2Pool mining pools. Despite the small fees for these transactions compared to other transactions, they ranked first in the blocks. It is noteworthy that such transactions were sent from specific addresses.

The researcher also reported that MEV practices are most common in small pools such as 2Miners, Minerall Pool and EzilPool, which account for about 2% of the network’s total hashrate. Frank Topbottom gave an example of a dubious transaction with multiple MEV signs.

First, the processing fee was almost zero – only 2 Wei (1 Gwei is equal to 1 billion Wei). Wei is the smallest component of the broadcast. A transaction with such a commission would hardly have been confirmed, but in this case, its processing took only 17 seconds. Secondly, the transaction was made for the purpose of arbitrage trading. The sender could have made $ 70 on a $ 2,800 trade. Given the current gas price, such a deal would not be profitable, and arbitrage traders would ignore the opportunity. The “culprit” of the transaction is unknown, but he would not have been able to complete it without the assistance of the miners.

According to the researcher, thanks to the ability to change the order of transactions at will, miners can stay ahead of any other DeFi users. Miners can abuse their powers to outperform other traders in arbitrage trading, auctions, and token offerings. There are fears that miners will start submitting their own bids with zero commission and block legitimate bidders. On the other hand, this is unlikely, as miners will have to take concerted action over a long period of time.

A more realistic scenario is competition between miners for a highly profitable MEV. In this case, they will have the motivation in short-term blockchain forks to “steal the trophy” from other miners. It can be bad for regular users if they see their transactions being removed from the chain after confirmation.

Frank Topbottom believes that stopping miners from extracting value from DeFi is extremely difficult because their actions are consistent with the rules of consensus. Moreover, these manipulations can be performed not only by miners, but also by stakers in Ethereum 2.0, if the blockchain architecture remains the same. The researcher proposed to solve this problem with the help of the MEV auction, where the rules of conduct for miners will be specified and the “rights sale” will be carried out to change the transaction queue at will.

Recall that in September, Ethereum miners earned $ 166 million in commissions, this is a record figure in the entire history of Ethereum. The main factor behind the growth of miners’ income was the increase in trading activity in DeFi projects.

SingularityNET Project Plans To Move From Ethereum To Cardano Blockchain


Проект SingularityNET планирует перейти с Эфириума на блокчейн Cardano

Ethereum-based SingularityNET AI platform developers are discussing with IOHK the possibility of moving to the Cardano blockchain.
SingularityNET allows you to create, host and monetize services using artificial intelligence, while being scalable. In recent months, the load on the Ethereum blockchain has increased dramatically, resulting in higher fees. Therefore, the platform developers are seriously considering moving to the Cardano network. Moreover, according to the creators of SingularityNET, they do not have much confidence in Ethereum 2.0’s prospects for solving problems.

“Current problems with speed and fees on the Ethereum network have made it urgent to find alternatives to support SingularityNET. Moving to modern blockchains like Cardano is a clear path to achieving speed and scalability. The launch of a gateway for exchanging cryptocurrencies for fiat money will allow end users not to work with cryptocurrencies, ”said Ben Goertzel, CEO and founder of the SingularityNET Foundation.

If the transition to Cardano is approved, then SingularityNET will have to exchange AGI ERC20 tokens for Cardano network tokens. In addition, developers will have to abandon the popular programming language of decentralized applications Solidity – smart contracts in the Plutus language are supported on the Cardano network. However, the Solidity language has its drawbacks.

The SingularityNET Foundation CEO believes that the ideal option for a project is to use multiple blockchains, so leaving Ethereum might not be complete.

“If it turns out that everything works much better on the Cardano network, then everyone should use this particular blockchain. If Ethereum is more suitable for some part of the tasks, then so be it, right? ”- said the founder of Cardano Charles Hoskinson.

Last year, Cisco and SingularityNET joined forces to develop blockchain-based “strong artificial intelligence” (AGI).

Ripple plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030


Ripple планирует достичь «углеродной нейтральности» к 2030 году

Ripple has created a tool called EW Zero that makes it easier for blockchain projects to use renewable energy sources. The XRP Ledger Foundation will be the first to use it.
The EW Zero tool, developed in partnership with the non-profit Energy Web Foundation, will reduce the carbon footprint of any blockchain by purchasing renewable energy from local markets around the world. The XRP Ledger Foundation, the newly formed XRP cryptoasset developer fund, will be the first to use EW Zero to reduce the carbon footprint of the network.

“The massive adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is encouraging and we must continually assess how we innovate to ensure the sustainability of the future of global finance,” said Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. “As digital payments continue to evolve, we need to make long-term systemic changes to the industry so that digitalization does not come at the expense of the planet.”

According to Ripple, by 2030, the company will achieve carbon neutrality by purchasing clean and renewable energy, financing the development of technology to reduce carbon emissions, and forging partnerships with environmental organizations. The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and the Rocky Mountain Institute are already in talks with Ripple.

“The international financial system is key to achieving a zero-carbon future for the industry,” said Jules Kortenhorts, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. “Blockchain and digital assets are revolutionary technologies that will play a key role in the future of finance.”

As a reminder, in January, Mercedes Benz and startup Circulor launched a blockchain pilot project to track cobalt and carbon emissions. In March, the Yale University OpenLab team said it would use blockchain, sensors on the Internet of Things, and other data processing tools to measure and track carbon emissions.

In addition, in the summer, Microsoft, together with universities in Germany and Denmark, released a paper outlining the potential benefits of blockchain for creating an international carbon market.

RUSI survey: regulators doubt the ability of self-government of the cryptocurrency industry


Опрос RUSI: регуляторы сомневаются в способности самоуправления криптовалютной индустрии

Regulators and banks are skeptical about the idea of ​​self-regulation of the cryptocurrency industry in the fight against money laundering and the financing of illegal activities.
The survey results, released on Tuesday by the UK’s Royal United Defense Research Institute (RUSI), showed that banks, governments and cryptocurrency CEOs have conflicting views on the self-regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. RUSI is the UK’s oldest think tank on defense and security issues.

According to the survey, 63% of banks and 56% of regulators view cryptoassets as risky, but this opinion is shared by only 9% of the surveyed representatives of the cryptocurrency industry.

“The crypto business seems to be very confident in their ability to withstand and detect risks, while regulators do not share this confidence,” said RUSI analyst Kayla Izenman.

556 respondents took part in the survey: representatives of regulators, intelligence agencies, banks and CEOs of cryptocurrency companies. According to the study, the use of cryptocurrencies in illegal activities is a concern for 70% of respondents.

Around 84% noted concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and the purchase of illegal substances on the darknet, 79% for terrorist financing, and 76% for human trafficking. At the same time, representatives of regulators assessed these risks as high.

However, participants in the cryptocurrency industry noted that cryptocurrency transactions are more transparent than traditional ones and more beneficial in terms of security. The survey found that CEOs of cryptocurrency companies are more aware of the potential risks of an emerging industry compared to the rest of the respondents.

At the same time, 78% of representatives of traditional financial institutions are more likely to turn to private organizations and blockchain associations for advice on cryptocurrency-related topics than to the government. All respondents agreed that cryptocurrency use is expected to increase over the next five years.

“All survey participants agree that the use of cryptocurrencies is growing, but we know there is no clear consensus on how to regulate them,” Eisenman said. “This could lead to an increase in the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities.”

Recall that, according to Reuters, by 2024 the European Union plans to fully regulate cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Ocean Protocol hard forked and thwarted the exchange of stolen KuCoin tokens


Ocean Protocol провел хардфорк и помешал обмену украденных с биржи KuCoin токенов

Ocean Protocol suspended an old smart contract on Ethereum and hardforked its blockchain to prevent KuCoin hackers from exchanging stolen OCEANs.
On September 28 at 1:00 am ET, Ocean Protocol announced the suspension of the old smart contract and the transition to a new one in order to prevent hackers who hacked KuCoin from exchanging 21 million OCEAN tokens worth about $ 8.6 million. The Ocean Protocol team said:
“At 16:00 GMT, a new contract was created reflecting the balance of OCEAN as at block 10943665 on the Ethereum mainnet. The new smart contract will distribute the remaining stolen tokens to a fiduciary address in Singapore for those affected by theft. ”

Changing the address of the smart contract actually blacklisted those stolen by hackers OCEAN. However, community members are also concerned that the project team implemented the hard fork so quickly, as this raises the issue of protocol immutability.

According to Larry Cermak, head of research at The Block, before the hard fork, the hacker managed to exchange approximately 330,000 OCEAN tokens worth about $ 120,000. Ocean Protocol has a liquid supply of 587,622,921 OCEAN, and the total supply is $ 1.4 tokens.

According to CoinGecko, the price of OCEAN fell 8% from $ 0.399 to $ 0.365 when the hacker sold the stolen cryptoassets in batches of 10,000 tokens. After the Ocean Protocol smart contract was suspended, attackers began exchanging other crypto assets, including COMP, SNX, and LINK.

The hacker exchanged the stolen ERC-20 tokens for ETH. Most of the swaps have occurred on the Uniswap decentralized exchange due to its new liquidity model that reduces price slippage.

Paxful Launches USDT Trading and Adds New Features


Paxful запускает торговлю USDT и добавляет новые функции

All Paxful users can now buy and sell USDT, add bank details and send bitcoins to their username.
International P2P cryptocurrency platform Paxful today announced the launch of peer-to-peer transactions in Tether (USDT). Now all verified users can protect their funds from Bitcoin price fluctuations and trade the USDT stablecoin with the highest market capitalization. This feature has been successfully tested in Nigeria and several other regions:

“To show our respect for one of our largest markets, we decided to first offer this feature to Nigerian Paxful users. During testing, we verified its effectiveness and usability, and collected feedback that helped us improve it. We are now ready to present this update to all of our users, “said Artur Shabak, director of product development and co-founder of Paxful.

Paxful users now have the ability to buy and sell USDT in the same way as bitcoin, using over 300 payment methods available, including bank transfers, e-wallets and gift cards. USDT can now be purchased immediately without purchasing BTC in advance, and stablecoins can be withdrawn directly from your Paxful wallet. Users can also convert their BTC to USDT (and vice versa) to protect their funds from market volatility.

The hedging function has been appreciated by thousands of users who have already converted about USD 1.5 million to Tether and thus secured their bitcoins from rate fluctuations. Paxful has also introduced additional updates to make the platform even more user-friendly.

All users can now add their bank details in their account settings for even faster bank transfer transactions. When creating offers, you can select an option under which the account details will be automatically transferred to the trading partner after opening a deal. This will help both parties to the transaction save time and avoid mistakes.

And one more update: if earlier you had to know the recipient’s wallet address to send bitcoins, now a username on the Paxful platform is enough for this.

“Since our P2P platform works with the support of all users, we listen carefully to their opinion. Thanks to the latest updates, it has become even easier for users to send bitcoins to their family and friends. Everything we do is aimed at the convenience and security of transactions and transactions.” added Shabak.

The company recently announced that Paxful had 4.5 million users, had deals worth $ 4.6 billion, and had less than 1% of disputed deals. Since the creation of the company, every year (including 2020), 1 million new users came to the platform. In addition, Paxful plans to attract another 2 million users by the end of this year.

Ebang’s 1H 2020 Revenue Halves Due to COVID-19 Pandemic


Выручка Ebang за первое полугодие 2020 года сократилась вдвое из-за пандемии COVID-19

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the revenue of the Chinese mining company Ebang in the first half of 2020 was halved compared to the same period last year.
According to the financial statements of Ebang, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company’s net revenue in the first six months of this year decreased by $ 11 million (50.6%), while in the first half of 2019 it was $ 22.35 million.
Ebang Chairman and CEO Dong Hu explained that such a significant decline in revenue was due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chip suppliers were forced to reduce their manufacturing capacity, resulting in constant material shortages. This negatively affected the activities of the mining equipment manufacturer Ebang.

Ebang’s cumulative net loss in the first half of 2020 was $ 7.3 million, compared to $ 17.6 million in the same period in 2019, according to its unaudited financial report. Hu said that in the face of the pandemic, the company had to optimize its financial structure and look for new sources of income.

In August, Ebang announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore. The company believes the initiative will help double Ebang’s total revenue by 2022. Against the background of this news, the stock price of the mining company on the Nasdaq stock exchange rose by 2.5% to $ 9.85.

Recall that on June 26, 2020, Ebang entered the Nasdaq listing, hoping to raise from $ 106 million to $ 125 million. The company’s shares began selling at $ 5.23 per share, but the next day their value dropped to $ 4.12.

In August, Ebang announced its readiness to shift its focus to the production of chips for artificial intelligence (AI) due to declining profits from mining activities.

Users lost $ 15 million in cryptocurrency overnight due to curiosity


The developer of the token that has risen in price by 100,000% has created a test version of the new DeFi project. His address on the Ethereum network was found by traders and immediately transferred $ 15 million there. Later, the funds were discovered by a hacker.


On the night of September 29, traders lost $ 15 million in cryptocurrency. The reason for this was curiosity and, probably, the pursuit of quick money. The day before, the developer André Cronier, known in the field of decentralized finance (DeFi), released several new contracts on the Ethereum network, as he announced on his Twitter account.

These were test versions of a future project. Users, knowing thanks to the announcements that the team is working on a new product, found these contracts on the Ethereum network, studied them and transferred about $ 15 million in cryptocurrency to them. Most likely, traders believed that this could be a new token that will show significant growth, like Cronier’s previous project. On July 18, he issued the YFI coin. At that time, it cost $ 32. By September, the asset price had risen by more than 100,000%, briefly reaching $ 44,000, now it has dropped to $ 25,000.

User funds lay on a test contract created by Cronier until a hacker found them. He found that $ 15 million in cryptocurrency could be withdrawn, there were no obstacles. An unknown person took all the coins, but some of them for $ 8 million were returned to Cronier to his personal wallet. The developer himself indicated that he was sleeping at that time.

On September 15th, Cronier found himself attending another bizarre DeFi event. The developer talked about the SAFE project on his Twitter account. Within a few hours after that, the price of the token of the same name soared by more than 500%, from $ 800 to $ 5000. But the next day, the coin fell sharply to $ 300 and has since been trading near these values.

13 alternatives: why investing not only in bitcoin.


In 2020, investing in BTC brought its holders several times less profit than buying altcoins. Some of them have risen in price by thousands of percent. Analysts told which cryptocurrencies remain undervalued and retain great potential for price growth.

In 2020, Bitcoin remains a symbol of the cryptocurrency market, but it is not a leader in terms of profitability. BTC has risen 46% since January, which is significantly weaker than most other coins. For example, Ethereum added 170% of its value over the same period. The key reason for this growth was the expectation of updating the ETH blockchain to the second version, which will introduce the possibility of passively increasing the number of coins by staking.

Since the beginning of the year, the Binance exchange token (BNB) has also shown significant growth – 100%. One of the drivers of the coin’s rise in price was its entry into the decentralized finance (DeFi) market. The trading platform also provided customers with the opportunity to make deposits in cryptocurrency in order to receive rewards in other coins. At the moment, the annual profitability from the use of this product reached 1200%, but later the rate dropped significantly.

The largest growth in 2020 was shown by assets related to the DeFi sector directly. For example, the Chainlink token rate has grown by 450% since January, to $ 10, in August, rising to $ 20. A similar dynamic was demonstrated by the BAND coin. Over the same period, its rate rose by 2900%, from $ 0.22 to $ 6.6, briefly reaching $ 17.6. Both projects provide oracles – products that allow you to track cryptocurrency rates with decentralized applications.

Growth of thousands of percent was shown by tokens of DeFi sites. The leader in terms of profitability in this area is the Yearn Finance (YFI) platform token. It was released on July 18 and was trading at $ 32 at the time. Now the asset is worth almost 100,000% more, $ 32,400, and in mid-September the price peaked at $ 44,000.

There is a “whole palette” of instruments that you can invest in instead of bitcoin. As an example: the NEO token, which will soon launch its own DeFi platform on the blockchain. Another option is YFI coin. Both assets have an average degree of risk, the investor should take into account that their price can fall by up to 50%.

Among the high-risk, but interesting from the investment point of view, DeFi tokens: Balancer (BAL), Synthetix (SNX), REN (REN), Curve (CRV) and Aave (LEND). Their rate is quite volatile, but in September it corrected and now has good prospects.

Instead of bitcoin with medium-term goals, you can invest in altcoins that are in the top cryptocurrency rating by capitalization. Fluctuations in their price will depend on bitcoin, if it enters the growth phase again, alkoins will also rise in price and bring even greater profitability.

Ethereum is the first altcoin to be added to an investment portfolio. The coin has corrected its past upward movement and is poised for a return to 2020 highs and possibly a refresh. The coin looks strong in terms of technical and fundamental analysis. Binance Coin, EOS are also of interest, they are at acceptable levels for opening long positions.

On the horizon of the next year, representatives of the TOP-30 cryptocurrency market are interesting altcoins for investment. For example Ethereum. The transition to version 2.0 and the development of the Proof-of-Stake protocol will allow the price to rise significantly. Also, the driver of its growth may be the development of the DeFi sector, related to which applications are mainly built on the basis of ETH.

Interesting is the token of the Binance exchange (BNB). It is underestimated by market participants, although the project also started to enter the DeFi market. On September 10, the company announced that its Binance Smart Chain (BCS) blockchain can now be used by various projects to launch its applications.

VeChain (VET) coin is interesting in terms of joint partnerships and projects with companies from the classical financial sector. Another option is the token (CRO). It is likely to continue to rise in price due to an increase in the customer base, the development of a mobile application and an ecosystem that includes cryptocurrency-supported debit cards.

Separately, it is worth highlighting the LINK and UNI DeFi tokens. They are fundamentally and technically capable of reaching new historic highs next year due to the next stage in the evolution of “profitable farming” and a new round in the development of decentralized applications. Another promising and underestimated option is the project with the eponymous 0X token, which may rise in price by 2-3 times in the coming year.

The moment to buy cryptocurrency data will come in the next couple of weeks. The market has been in correction since September. It is unlikely to be long-term, and digital assets will return to growth in Q4.

White hackers prevent theft of 25,000 ETH from Lien Finance smart contract


«Белые хакеры» предотвратили кражу 25 000 ETH из смарт-контракта Lien Finance

The “white hacker” under the pseudonym samczsun discovered a vulnerability in the Lien Finance smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain, preventing the theft of 25,000 ETH (about $ 10 million).
Samczsun discovered the vulnerability on September 15th while searching for bugs in Ethereum smart contracts. The “hacker” accidentally found the Lien Finance protocol contract, which contained over 25,000 ETH. samczsun found out that anyone could withdraw coins from this smart contract. It had a “burn” function, with the help of which users could independently issue tokens with no value and exchange them for ether stored in a smart contract.

Given the anonymity of the Lien Finance team, the researcher reported the issue to Alexander Wade, ConsenSys cybersecurity specialist working on the development of the Ethereum ecosystem, and also contacted Ethereum security specialist Scott Bigelow. They began to look for a solution to the problem, considering several scenarios.

The Lien Finance team could have disclosed information about the vulnerability, but in that case, attackers would have taken advantage of this opportunity. It was also unsafe to return the coins to their previous holders, since predatory bots could have misappropriated them by performing the same operations using the Ethereum’s Dark Forest mempool.

Mempool is a staging area where transactions are accumulated, awaiting confirmation from miners, in order to be included in the next block. This zone is constantly “patrolled by predatory bots” that could automatically copy transactions to the mempool, replace their addresses with their own and “slip” duplicated operations to miners. Therefore, direct withdrawal of crypto assets from the Lien Finance smart contract would result in the theft of 25,000 ETH by these bots in a matter of seconds.

The researchers connected blockchain researcher Tina Zhen to the solution, as well as the auditing company CertiK and the SparkPool mining pool. Together, they developed a special API with which miners could accept transactions without exposing them to the mempool. In addition, in order to “save” 25,000 ETH, specialists prepared a script to create four signed transactions. However, these measures did not imply direct coin withdrawal. Lien Finance needed to transfer 30,000 SBT and LBT tokens, which are available for issuance in unlimited quantities, and convert them to ETH through the burn function.

As a result, the operation to save ethers was successfully completed in cooperation with the mining pool, which made it possible to avoid sending transactions to the mempool and their collision with bots. The transactions were placed in the block by the miners themselves. The Lien Finance team only had to exchange SBT and LBT tokens for ETH using the burn function. After a while, the Ethereum blockchain observer Etherscan confirmed the successful operation.

Recall that in May, “white hackers” discovered vulnerabilities in the Lykke and Hubdex cryptocurrency exchanges, due to which it was possible to withdraw digital assets worth a total of $ 18 million. In 2018, ethical hackers received about $ 900 thousand for information about bugs in various cryptocurrency projects.

Venezuela regulator will begin to tightly control mining in the country


Регулятор Венесуэлы начнет усиленно контролировать майнинг в стране

Under the new law, the Crypto-Assets and Related Operations Authority (Sunacrip) will regulate all mining activities in Venezuela.
Despite the fact that mining is allowed in Venezuela, the country’s authorities intend to make it more centralized. Now the production of ASIC miners, the construction of mining farms, the import of equipment and the distribution of rewards among the cryptocurrency miners will be controlled by regulators. In addition, the new law obliges all miners to become members of the national pool so that the government can control all aspects of their activities.
Venezuelan authorities said that Bitcoin mining creates conditions for speculation with the US dollar and contributes to the evasion of financial control. To prevent these risks, the authorities have created a register of miners (RIM), in which all miners, mining farms and hardware manufacturers will be required to register. Individuals or organizations working in the mining industry and not registered in the registry will face a large fine.

Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs fear that disclosing information about their activities and earnings could attract the attention of intruders and corrupt officials. Miners believe that the government’s attempts to centralize the mining of cryptocurrencies are contrary to the philosophy of bitcoin. If the authorities begin to control mining, they can tax miners, freeze funds and delay payments.

At the very least, regulatory oversight is better than banning mining. Two years ago, international carriers were prohibited from importing any equipment for the extraction of crypto assets into Venezuela, despite the active development of digital currencies in the country.

As a reminder, P2P platform Paxful stopped serving Venezuelan users this month due to US sanctions. In addition, access to the American Coinbase trading platform was blocked for residents of Venezuela.

Polkadot Developers Introduce Substrate 2.0 Update


Разработчики Polkadot представили обновление Substrate 2.0

The Polkadot developers have released a Substrate 2.0 update that allows decentralized applications to interact with the outside world without the involvement of third-party oracles.
Substrate is an infrastructure with a set of tools that developers can use to create their own blockchain for various applications. These blockchains can be launched independently or integrated into the Polkadot shard network (parachains).

A key feature of Substrate 2.0 is the off-chain worker module, which runs off-chain and allows blockchains to perform advanced computing and send requests to the outside world. This module optimizes Substrate nodes to perform operations beyond the capabilities of the blockchain.

On the Ethereum network, computation must be fast and limited to fit into a block. This eliminates many non-deterministic operations (for example, web requests can fail) and actions that may be too complex for the available resources.

With Substrate 2.0, developers will be able to pass these operations off to hosts that can execute web requests, encrypt and decrypt, sign data, generate random numbers, and other tasks that require more CPU resources.

Substrate 2.0 will allow Polkadot developers to build complex systems on the web, such as price stream providers, while removing some of the elements of trust. According to Polkadot developers, finding reliable data sources is the main problem of oracles, and it is still relevant.

The update will provide maximum flexibility when building blockchains and decentralized applications. For example, Chainlink oracles collect data exclusively off the network. Smart contract developers can only access processed data provided by oracles, which requires trust in these data providers.

Substrate 2.0 also offers developers various “Pallets” toolsets. These are configurable modules that simplify certain actions. For example, the Democracy suite simplifies online voting, and the EVM suite duplicates the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), allowing developers to move their smart contracts to the Polkadot network. Earlier, Polkadot developer Bruno Škvorc said that the modular architecture of Substrate will allow deploying its own blockchain in an hour, it can be quickly updated without the need for a hard fork.

Recall that last month the head of the Spartan Black cryptocurrency fund Calvin Koch suggested that in the near future Polkadot could enter the TOP 3 blockchains.

The developer has discovered an attack vector on Wumbo channels


Разработчик Lightning Labs обнаружил вектор атаки на каналы Wumbo

Lightning Labs developer Joost Jager described a micropayment network vulnerability that could lead to compromise of Lightning Network channels at low cost.
Joost Jager said the Lightning Network could attack Wumbo payment channels, which allow for larger transactions on the network and increase transaction volumes. Prior to the addition of Wumbo Channels this summer, users could create channels with a maximum capacity of 0.1677 BTC – this limitation was made as a precautionary measure.
Jager states that Wumbo channels can be exploited by attackers because a channel cannot contain more than 483 hash-locked and time-bound (HTLC) contracts, regardless of its capacity. Thus, the fraudster can send himself 483 micropayments and control the HTLC to disable the channel for up to two weeks.

According to the developer, this can be achieved by using the maximum route length to add channels and more contracts. At the same time, according to Jager’s calculations, the cost of such an attack will be small – about 5.8 million satoshi. The developer noted:

“Using the maximum route length for adding channels, each payment can take up to 9 HTLC slots on the target channel. If the attacker is lucky, he will only need to send 54 payments to reach the target. One tiny channel can cripple double-digit BTC amounts. ”


Jager said he launched a new project called Circuit Breaker to address this issue, a firewall for Lightning nodes. Its main purpose is to induce thinking about this attack. According to the developer, the project has the potential to become a full-fledged protection system for Lightning. When asked if this attack is the largest undisclosed attack vector on LN today, he replied:

“It depends on what is considered a major attack vector. There are other attacks that can make you lose money, which seems even worse. But this is one of the biggest problems in terms of the fact that we do not know how to solve it. ”

As a reminder, in June, the Lightning Network discovered the possibility of an attack on payment channel chains. In addition, in the spring, researchers from universities in Norway and Luxembourg discovered the possibility of an attack on the Lightning Network. In this case, the balances of the nodes through which the transaction passes can be disclosed.

The People’s Bank of China created a “black list” of OTC traders’ accounts


Народный банк Китая создал «черный список» счетов внебиржевых трейдеров

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has begun blacklisting the accounts of large OTC cryptocurrency traders as part of its anti-money laundering program.
According to WuBlockchain, China’s Central Bank has launched a campaign against money laundering through cryptocurrencies. The initiative to blacklist linked accounts is part of a broader anti-money laundering effort in China.

Earlier this year, the NBK launched a campaign to eradicate illicit proceeds and requested account information and transaction details from banks in the country to prevent illegal money circulation, including crypto assets.

The biggest threat under the NBK’s new strategy is Chinese OTC cryptocurrency traders who transact millions of dollars worth of cryptoassets outside the public market.

According to the publication, some over-the-counter cryptocurrency accounts have been blacklisted by the NBK, which prevents their holders from using bank-issued cards for the next three years, or conducting online transactions for the next five years. These rules apply to all blacklisted accounts and are not limited to cryptocurrency accounts.

After the bank’s risk system has marked and restricted transactions from a specific account, it reports this account to the regional branch of the NBK. This will ensure that information on blacklisted accounts and their owners is shared with all Chinese banks, preventing OTC dealers from opening new accounts elsewhere.

The NBK’s new strategy could cause many cryptocurrency OTC traders to stop working. However, the blacklist does not apply to legitimate cryptocurrency transactions.

“Normal cryptocurrency transactions are not considered illegal, and only those related to illegal proceeds and illegal assets will be frozen,” according to a report from the Huobi exchange.

However, the lack of uniform rules for all banks could mean that OTC trading in cryptoassets will be blacklisted regardless of its legitimacy. China does not have specific laws on cryptocurrencies, therefore, transactions with them may face the restrictions of individual banks.

As a reminder, this summer the police began freezing the accounts of Chinese OTC traders over suspicions that they are using crypto assets for money laundering and other illegal activities. In addition, reports emerged in July that Chinese police had detained Zhao Dong and other OTC traders to aid investigations, but RenrenBit denied reports of Zhao Dong’s arrest.

BRD Developers Introduce Blockset Service For AML Compliance


Разработчики BRD представили сервис Blockset для соблюдения правил AML

The BRD (formerly Bread) wallet developers have unveiled the Blockset toolkit, developed in collaboration with Chainalysis, CipherTrace and Elliptic. The service is aimed at complying with the AML rules.
The Bread wallet was launched in 2014 and became the first Bitcoin wallet available on the Apple app store. A few years later, the project held an ICO, where it raised about $ 32 million, after which it changed its name to BRD and added support for BCH, ETH and ERC-20 tokens. The BRD developers reported that they partnered with analytical companies Chainalysis, CipherTrace and Elliptic to create Blockset, which provided their tools for blockchain monitoring.
BRD also began working with cybersecurity firm Unbound Tech. Unbound Tech will perform tasks related to security key management. BRD CEO Adam Traidman explained that Blockset is a comprehensive platform that brings together the expertise of the above companies. The site is intended for financial institutions, government agencies and cryptocurrency firms.

Blockset will include a suite of tools aimed at detecting fraud, obtaining data, and complying with anti-money laundering (AML) and other regulatory requirements. The Blockset software will combine Chainalysis’s Know Your Transaction tool, the CipherTrace tool for tracking illegal cryptocurrency transactions, and Elliptic’s risk management solution. Using the developments of these companies in the complex, Blockset clients will receive real-time notifications of suspicious activity and transactions using “dirty” cryptocurrencies.

Trademan said that the service was primarily created for financial institutions and banks. Blockset was tested by SBI Holdings, PayPal, auditing firm KPMG, investment arm of Ripple Xpring and 16 other firms. Trademan emphasized that the Blockset functionality will not be integrated into the BRD wallet, but the service can be used to speed up the synchronization of wallets with transaction history.

“Compliance with regulatory requirements is a top priority for any financial institution. They need resources that can protect the interests of their clients, ”said the BRD CEO.

Trademan cited the example of a suspicious activity report from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States (FinCEN), according to which BNY Mellon processed $ 137 million in transactions for organizations associated with the OneCoin cryptocurrency pyramid. Deutsche Bank reported a total of $ 1.3 trillion in suspicious transactions, JPMorgan $ 500 billion, and Bank of America $ 384 billion. In addition, last year, FinCEN provided new guidelines for applying AML rules to digital assets.

Wealthsimple Crypto – the first regulated cryptocurrency exchange launched in Canada


В Канаде запущена первая регулируемая криптовалютная биржа Wealthsimple Crypto

Wealthsimple Crypto, the first regulated cryptocurrency exchange, was launched in Canada yesterday, September 22nd. The custodial storage of crypto assets for the platform is carried out by the American Gemini exchange.
Wealthsimple Crypto’s public launch came shortly after the company received approval from the Canadian securities regulator in August. To date, Wealthsimple is the only cryptoasset trading platform that has been authorized to operate in the country by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA).
Before the public launch, Wealthsimple was available in beta, and potential users could sign up for a waiting list to be the first to test the platform. According to representatives of the exchange, at the moment 130,000 Canadians have signed up on the waiting list.

At first, only BTC and ETH will be available for trading on Wealthsimple via the mobile app. Deposits and withdrawals will only be made in Canadian dollars. In addition, Wealthsimple will not store crypto assets in their own hot or cold wallets.

Blair Wiley, General Counsel for Wealthsimple, said that custody of the cryptocurrency is carried out by the American Gemini exchange. Working with Gemini is one of the factors that helped Wealthsimple get approval from Canadian regulators, Wiley said.

“Probably the simplest explanation is that all companies that have tried to get regulatory approval in the past wanted to do everything – buy and sell cryptocurrency for customers, operate an exchange, store cryptocurrency that customers buy […] And each of these actions involves a long list of regulatory requirements. If one business tries to do all of this, it will be much more difficult to get regulatory approval. ”

As a reminder, from June 1, 2020, Canada began regulating the activities of all cryptocurrency firms. They are now required to register with the Financial Transactions and Reporting Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC).

Former top managers of the largest banks launch a cryptocurrency hedge fund


Бывшие топ-менеджеры крупнейших банков запустили криптовалютный хедж-фонд

Former heads of banking units HSBC, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch in the Asia-Pacific region launched a cryptocurrency hedge fund Liquibit Capital with assets of $ 50 million.
The founders of the cryptocurrency fund are Joseph Chang, who served as Head of Equity Trading at Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Citigroup from 1997 to 2016, and his partner Grahame Webb, who previously served as Head of Technology for HSBC and Citigroup. …

They began trading cryptocurrencies in June 2020, creating for this purpose the Liquibit Capital fund in Hong Kong. In addition, a former vice president of Barclays Capital and two technical specialists from financial giants JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are involved in the fund’s activities.

The fund will manage crypto assets worth $ 50 million. Liquibit Capital’s portfolio will include BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and EOS. Storage will be the responsibility of Fireblocks, a digital asset security company. In the future, the fund’s management plans to start trading options and futures on the BitMEX, Huobi, OKEx and Deribit cryptocurrency exchanges, which are popular in Asia.

Chan noted that the decision to switch to the cryptocurrency industry from traditional finance was made precisely because of the tightening of regulation and a huge number of intermediaries when working with investment banks.

Several cryptocurrency hedge funds have closed in recent months. Last month, Neural Capital ended its operations, losing half of its capital. In addition, hedge funds Tetras Capital and Prime Factor Capital announced in July that they were closing down due to unprofitability and insufficient demand from institutional investors.

Bitcoin blockchain size exceeded 300 GB


Размер блокчейна Биткоина превысил 300 Гб
The size of the full Bitcoin blockchain on September 19 exceeded 300 gigabytes. This is the size of the complete history of BTC transactions for almost 11 years of its existence.
According to, full Bitcoin nodes now need over 300GB to download and save BTC transaction history to disks and synchronize with the Bitcoin network.

bitcoin size.jpg

While this amount of data may seem significant, a 1TB hard drive is sufficient to store the entire history of BTC transactions. At the same time, the archive node in the Ethereum blockchain already has a size of more than five terabytes and is growing at a record speed with an increase in block size, although the “simplified” node takes only 165 GB.

Over the past few years, the Bitcoin blockchain has grown faster than in the early years. This is largely due to the increase in daily transactions and the introduction of the SegWit scaling solution that effectively doubled the maximum block size.

In the first four years of its existence, the Bitcoin blockchain reached only 20 GB. Only in 2016, when it grew to 54 GB, its growth began to accelerate due to the increased number and activity of users. It is now growing at about 58 GB per year. Although the size of the blockchain does not affect network performance, as full nodes only need to download the entire transaction history once during synchronization, some aspects of it can be optimized.

One of the elements of the network is the unspent outputs (UTXOs), which are generated after each transaction. When a portion of the BTC is sent and the remainder is returned back to the wallet as “unspent”, another UTXO entry appears. According to one of the developers of Utreexo, Calvin Kim, although UTXOs currently occupy only four gigabytes of the total blockchain size, in the future they may become a problem for network scaling.

As a reminder, Thaddeus Dryja published a new research paper last summer outlining a proposed Utreexo Bitcoin scaling solution.

Poloniex and KuCoin Teamed Up to Develop Cryptocurrency Industry


Биржи Poloniex и KuCoin объединились для развития криптовалютной индустрии

Cryptocurrency exchanges Poloniex and KuCoin have teamed up for joint research and large-scale development of the cryptocurrency industry amid increasing regulatory requirements.
Exchanges will begin to conduct research and development collaborations related to cryptocurrency trading, liquidity provision, product iterations, and mining pools using Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus methods. According to the management of both sites, instead of competing, it is much more effective to combine efforts to strengthen their positions in the market and develop the cryptocurrency sector as a whole.
“Given the difficult political and economic situation in the world, institutional and even individual investors have a difficult time. They are forced to look for a balance in order not to fall under the influence of new market risks, and at the same time receive long-term profits. Hopefully this partnership between KuCoin and Poloniex will be a landmark event in the digital currency industry, ”said Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin Global.

Shelley Wu, VP of International Relations and Marketing at Poloniex, added that the industry is currently fiercely competitive, with exchanges competing for user preferences, not to mention pressure from various regulators. Several cryptocurrency exchanges have already closed in Brazil this year due to new tax rules. In addition, Venezuelan traders were recently blocked from accessing Coinbase due to US sanctions.

Shelley Wu believes that in such conditions, exchanges should take a different approach and start cooperating, because the sites pursue common goals. As a reminder, in April KuCoin partnered with the Singaporean Onchain Custodian and the Lockton insurance company to provide additional security for user assets. In the same month, KuCoin announced the development of an Enterprise Currency Desk platform for OTC cryptocurrency trading.

Xage to develop a blockchain-based protocol to protect US Space Force data


Xage разработает протокол на базе блокчейна для защиты данных Космических сил США

Cybersecurity firm Xage will develop a blockchain-based decentralized P2P protocol for protecting US Space Force (USSF) data.
The Xage developers explained that the protocol will be created to protect the data of military and civilian objects, and step-by-step verification will be required to access the USSF system. The blockchain solution will be applied both at ground stations and in space. USSF, commercial operators and other parties involved will be able to report on the situation in real time, exchange data, and prevent unauthorized access to network resources and block attacks.
The USSF said they need a sustainable security system that will not only protect US interests, but also accelerate the development of the military space industry using the latest technology.

Xage CEO Duncan Greatwood said the secure protocol would allow UFFS data to be decentralized to keep the system running smoothly in the event of single failures. Even if terrestrial resources are disrupted, UFFS satellites will continue to function. Greatwood added that the Xage solution will not only secure the data of key UFFS infrastructure facilities, but will also combine blockchain with satellite technology.

Blockchain is gradually beginning to “conquer” space. So, last month, the SpaceChain project successfully sent 0.01 BTC with multisignature, using special equipment to transfer encrypted data to the International Space Station (ISS). In addition, in 2019, the Bitcoin community began testing a new technology with which it is possible to send anonymous messages to the whole world via satellite for a nominal fee in BTC.

Former HSBC executive to lead Libra Association


Бывший топ-менеджер HSBC возглавит подразделение Libra Association

The Libra Association has appointed HSBC Banking Group employee James Emmett as Managing Director of Libra Networks LLC.
James Emmett spent about 25 years at HSBC International Bank, as did the new Libra Association CEO, Stuart Levey, who served as Chief Legal Officer at HSBC. Over the years at HSBC, Emmett has held several management positions.

Levy stressed that thanks to a deep understanding of the field of finance and extensive experience in this industry, Libra developers will be able to translate their ideas into reality. It is about expanding the practical application of Libra to finance. Emmet will take up duties on October 1, 2020.

The Libra Association is an independent organization headquartered in Geneva, created to manage the Libra ecosystem. Libra Networks was launched in May 2019 as a subsidiary of Facebook. Libra Networks is directly involved in the development of a cryptocurrency payment system, and in October of the same year the company was taken over by the Libra Association.

The outlook for the stablecoin Libra remains uncertain as the EU plans to tighten regulation of stable cryptocurrencies and is already preparing a corresponding bill. In addition, University of Berkeley economics historian Barry Eichengreen believes Libra will never launch due to regulatory opposition, despite the revamped project structure.

In April, Libra developers unveiled an improved White Paper that states that the base LBR cryptocurrency will be priced using four stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies. However, according to Eichengrin, anti-crisis measures are not sufficiently spelled out in the new technical documentation of the project.

At the same time, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Raghuram Rajan believes that Libra has a better chance of widespread adoption than Bitcoin and the digital currencies of the Central Bank. Rajan is confident that Libra is a more suitable solution for international settlements.

US authorities accused three Chinese citizens of running a global cryptojacking scheme


Власти США обвиняют трех граждан Китая в управлении глобальной схемой криптоджекинга

The US prosecutor’s office has accused three Chinese citizens of organizing a global hacker campaign to steal confidential data from more than 100 companies and install malware for mining.
According to the May 2019 indictment released this week, Jiang Lizhi, Qian Chuan, and Fu Qiang have been active for many years, working for the Chinese cybersecurity firm Chengdu 404 Network. Technology Co.
Three Chinese citizens are accused of money laundering, conspiracy and identity theft. They also faced charges related to computer systems. The US authorities are based on claims that the hackers used an extensive cryptojacking scheme and installed mining malware on victims’ computers.

In the indictment, prosecutors say Chengdu 404 executives attacked at least 100 “victimized companies, organizations and individuals” in a multi-year fraudulent scheme that used “big data” analytics to maximize impact.

In May 2014, the three defendants “agreed to organize a massive network of computer hacks targeting secure computers belonging to hotels, video game developers, technology and telecommunications companies, research universities, non-governmental organizations and other organizations around the world.”

They allegedly stole source code and customer data from companies, carried out “supply chain hacks” to disable victims’ computers, infected networks with ransomware, and installed mining malware to increase the Chengdu 404’s bottom line.

“The main overall goal of the conspiracy was to achieve commercial success of the Chengdu 404 and personal financial gain for the participants in the scheme by hacking into secure computers,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Jiang, vice president of engineering for Chengdu 404, intended to “get more domains to increase computing power” for one of the targeted companies in Singapore. “Let’s see what the profit would be if we captured a total of about 10,000 devices,” he told an unnamed fourth hacker.

Jiang allegedly advised him to look into French and Italian companies as potential targets, saying, “The only thing is, the time difference is a bit of a hassle. We’ll have to work at night. ” The indictment does not indicate which cryptocurrencies the suspects were trying to mine.

Recall that, according to a recent study, the number of hidden cryptocurrency mining attacks through browsers in the second quarter of this year increased by 163% due to the growth of the cryptocurrency market.

The draft law on the regulation of cryptoassets in the EU appeared on the Internet before the official publication


Законопроект о регулировании криптоактивов в ЕС появился в интернете до официальной публикации

The draft law on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the EU that has hit the Internet contains general rules for the release and circulation of cryptoassets. Legislators paid special attention to stablecoins.
The Draft European Markets for Cryptoasset Act (MiCA) provides legal certainty in relation to cryptoassets – cryptocurrencies, stock tokens and stablecoins, on the same principles as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) of the European Union – the legal framework for securities markets, investment intermediaries and trading platforms.

Based on the document that got to the Internet, the European Union intends to treat cryptocurrencies in the same way as any other regulated financial instrument. The bill lays out the definition of cryptoassets and a basic set of rules that apply to issuers of these assets and service providers. At the same time, the definition of operators of cryptocurrency services mainly coincides with the definition of virtual asset service providers (VASP) proposed by the FATF.

Regulation is mainly focused on the issuance and circulation of stablecoins in the European Union, which are defined as asset-linked tokens or electronic money tokens. In addition to providing legal certainty for all cryptoassets, another core principle of the proposed regulation is to support innovation.

XReg Consulting Senior Partner Siân Jones commented on the document and noted that among the many regulatory obligations that will be imposed on cryptoasset issuers and service providers in the EU, there will be the need to register as a legal entity, and for service providers – having an office in one from the countries of the block.

“There is no doubt that MiCA will create serious problems for the DeFi industry projects,” Jones said.

Overall, however, regulatory clarity is likely to attract more institutional investment in the cryptocurrency industry.

“The perception of cryptocurrencies will become easier after regulators recognize them as part of the traditional world,” said Jones. “As for the bill, I would say that it will be in favor of banks and traditional investment companies. Traditional operators will have an edge in a number of ways. It is unlikely that the regulators are doing this on purpose, but this is exactly the effect the law will have in the short and medium term. ”

The proposed regulation is laid out in 168 pages and is due to be officially published later this month. However, the bill is unlikely to enter into force until 2022. Typically by the EU, it will directly apply throughout the EEA without the need for national legislation.

Jones concluded by saying that the new rules are likely to spark a restructuring of the cryptocurrency industry in Europe.

“In a sense, the cryptocurrency industry has been in a gray zone for most of the past decade,” she said. “But now we have a very clear set of rules – and we need to follow it or go beyond it.”

We will remind that recently the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said that the European Union plans to issue more stringent laws to regulate stablecoins.

Chinese BSN platform adds support for Algorand, ShareRing and Solana


Китайская платформа BSN добавила поддержку Algorand, ShareRing и Solana

China National Platform Blockchain Service Network (BSN) has added support for Algorand, ShareRing and Solana blockchains.
The BSN project is a blockchain-based universal “hub” for developers of decentralized applications, which is supported by the State Information Center of China. Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology, which helped build BSN, said the platform has moved into a second phase of open network integration. Previously, BSN added support for Ethereum, EOSIO, Tezos, Neo, Nervos and IrisNet blockchains.
He explained that BSN is choosing open blockchains with unique characteristics that will help solve real-world problems, as well as facilitate the rapid development of the platform’s ecosystem. In the future, BSN plans to support all types of decentralized applications. The creators of the platform believe that this will reduce the costs of their development and deployment, as well as ensure interoperability between managed and unmanaged blockchains.

“By integrating open blockchains, we are installing main and test network nodes on our Public City Nodes (PSN), which are BSN data centers. Developers can access all nodes from all open networks through a single channel, so the cost of connecting to open networks is reduced to almost zero, ”He said.

Algorand Foundation COO Fangfang Chen added that the integration of Algorand’s open-source blockchain using PoS will benefit both enterprise users and developers by making it easier to deploy their applications.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos said that access to so many blockchains through the BSN platform will help drive the ShareRing project, which in turn will enable developers to leverage their products. We are talking about a protocol for digital identity management (ShareRing ID), an infrastructure for making payments (ShareRing Pay), a decentralized e-commerce platform (ShareRing Shop), as well as a protocol for asset management.

Solana CEO and co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko noted that the Solana blockchain is focused on increasing scalability without compromising security and decentralization. Yakovenko added that Solana executives are happy to become part of the Blockchain Service Network and provide convenient access for developers to work with the BSN infrastructure.

In addition, BSN is considering collaborating with the Cosmos and Polkadot projects to create the Interchain Communications Hub (ICH), which will be the standard protocol for decentralized applications running on different blockchains. In addition, in July, the creators of the BSN platform announced that they plan to integrate more than 100 open blockchains during the year.

Fisco accuses Binance of failing to prevent money laundering of stolen BTC


Fisco обвиняет Binance в неспособности препятствовать отмыванию украденных BTC

The company Fisco, which owns the Zaif exchange, which was hacked and stolen 6,000 BTC in 2018, sued the Binance cryptocurrency exchange for “complicity” in laundering some of the stolen bitcoins.
Shortly after 6,000 BTC worth $ 60 million were stolen from the Zaif exchange at the time of the 2018 hack, hackers sent 1,451 BTC to one of Binance’s addresses, according to a complaint filed by Fisco in the Northern California District Court.

After the hack, the Japanese Zaif exchange came under the control of the Fisco Digital Asset Group (FDAG) shortly before the restart. Fisco now claims that the attackers who hacked the exchange were laundering money through the world’s largest crypto-asset exchange Binance due to its weak KYC / AML protocols, which are “not in line with industry standards.”

The hackers allegedly took advantage of Binance’s rules, which allowed new users to open accounts and transact on the platform for amounts of up to 2 BTC per day without the need to provide any significant personal data.

“The attackers split the stolen BTC into 7,000 separate transactions and accounts, all below the 2 BTC threshold. Thus, the thieves converted the stolen BTC into other cryptocurrencies and withdrawn them from Binance, ”says Fisco.

Fisco claims that because Binance “was notified and actually knew” that the stolen bitcoins were being sent to its platform, it “could not, either intentionally or inadvertently, interrupt the money laundering process when it could.”

As such, Fisco requires Binance to pay damages equal to the amount laundered through the platform in addition to other penalties and damages. According to court records, the cryptoassets, equivalent to $ 41 million at the time of the hack, belonged to Zaif clients, including those in the United States, including California.

The case could draw additional attention to the KYC and AML procedures of cryptocurrency exchanges as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is urging global regulators to work in line with their guidelines issued last year.

Fisco argues that the case should be brought to a California court, not only because the victims of the hack live in this region, but also because important components of Binance’s business are located in this particular US state. For example, Fisco stated that Binance uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host its servers and has the ability to choose any AWS datacenter.

“Based on the information available, much, if not all, of the AWS servers that Binance relies on to operate are located in the state of California,” says Fisco.

In addition, Binance has at least six employees in California, and a significant portion of Binance’s cryptocurrency reserves are held in offline vaults located in San Francisco. Fisco is seeking a jury to try the case.

Indian startup EPNS created push notification protocol for dApps on Ethereum


Индийский стартап EPNS создал протокол push-уведомлений для dApps на Эфириуме
An Indian startup has created a decentralized Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) notification protocol that allows dApps to send pop-up notifications to users.
EPNS founder Richa Joshi said the project team developed the protocol after discovering striking similarities between how applications worked in the early days of the Internet and how they work on Web 3.0.

She explained that Gmail or Orkut didn’t send notifications at first. Users had to check every time if they received new emails or messages. That changed when Apple launched notifications for internet applications in 2010. Joshi noted:

“All of a sudden, services started reaching out to users whenever an action was required on their part. This increased the level of engagement by 7 times and significantly improved interaction. ”

From this point of view, she said, dApps, smart contracts and other decentralized services in Web 3.0 work similarly to early GMail and Orkut. This is what prompted Joshi and her team to bring push notifications to the decentralized world and “take the industry out of the stone age of communications.”

According to Joshi, EPNS is a decentralized communication layer that “follows the spirit of Web 3.0 and is capable of delivering notifications to any platform, including cryptocurrency wallets, mobile apps, or even web browsers.” EPNS for decentralized apps and services will serve the same purpose as Apple Push Notification Service for iOS platforms.

EPNS will act as a decentralized middleware and verify the source, provide spam protection, and only send notifications to the wallet user if they have agreed to receive them. She added that users will have full control over receiving notifications:

“The protocol allows users to directly control which services they receive notifications from, it imposes rules on services, including spam protection for users, etc.”

According to the EPNS team, decentralized services will have a better chance of promoting their services in the cryptocurrency community using push notifications.

Similar to how the Chromium-based Brave browser rewards users for viewing ads, EPNS will incentivize cryptocurrency wallet users who opt for push notifications over the protocol. In addition, cryptocurrency wallet operators that allow EPNS to send notifications to their users will receive a portion of the revenue generated from using the system.

Decentralized applications are becoming increasingly popular in the cryptocurrency industry. Recently, trading volumes on decentralized exchanges surged amid a boom in interest in DeFi, and surpassed $ 10 billion in August.

FATF Formulated Signs of Suspicious Activity of Cryptocurrency Users


FATF сформулировала признаки подозрительной активности пользователей криптовалют

The FATF recommends that regulators and exchanges create profiles of cryptocurrency users to detect criminal activity.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said in its report on Monday that it has identified certain behaviors and characteristics of cryptocurrency users that may be considered suspicious. Such models can be applied by regulators when detecting illegal transactions.

One of the main methods suggested in the report is to compare the user’s transaction activity with that in their profile. This may include cases where the amount of the deposit or transaction is inconsistent with the user’s financial position or historical financial activity, which may indicate money laundering or fraud. For example, it can be suspicious if a young user with no known business interests starts receiving large sums from different people around the world.

Other suspicious signs include a user having a criminal record or activity on websites and forums related to illegal activities, sending cryptocurrencies to exchanges without KYC / AML checks, or sending transactions that are slightly below the amount subject to regulatory review under the earlier FATF guidelines.

The group also recommends that regulators monitor users who exchange cryptoassets from public and transparent blockchains for sensitive cryptocurrencies such as Monero or Zcash.

The new report was released more than a year after the FATF published the final version of the recommendations on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the activities of cryptocurrency service operators, which received support from the G20.

US Prosecutor’s Office indicted the operator of the cryptocurrency pyramid Argyle Coin for $ 25 million


Прокуратура США предъявила обвинения оператору криптовалютной пирамиды Argyle Coin на $25 млн

The head of the Argyle Coin cryptocurrency pyramid, which offered investments in diamonds, has been charged with fraud.
The US Federal Attorney’s Office of South Florida accused Jose Angel Aman of electronic fraud while running a cryptocurrency scheme offering diamond investments.

According to the investigation, from May 2014 to May 2019, Aman and his partners urged people in the United States and Canada to invest in contracts for the purchase of diamonds. They promised investors that they would use the money to buy rough colored diamonds, which Aman would cut and resell at a profit.

They reassured investors that the money was safe because it was backed by Aman’s diamond reserves, allegedly valued at $ 25 million. Aman and his partners presented the investment as a high-yield, risk-free deal. However, according to the prosecutor’s office, these statements were false and unsupported.

According to the investigation, Aman rarely used investors’ money to buy diamonds. He never cut or resell diamonds. Also, Aman did not have $ 25 million in diamond reserves. To cover up the fraud, Aman allegedly paid interest to investors using money from new participants in the scheme.

As the scheme was on the verge of collapse, prosecutors say Aman founded a new business, Argyle Coin LLC, which was allegedly involved in the development of a diamond-backed cryptocurrency. Aman attracted new investors to Argyle, promising high risk-free returns. Aman used only part of the money he received from Argyle investors to develop the coin, and used most of it to pay interest to investors in another scheme.

In the course of the pyramid, Aman and his partners collected more than $ 25 million from hundreds of investors. Aman used the money to pay interest to investors, pay operating expenses, pay commissions to partners, and maintain his luxurious lifestyle.

Recall that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against Aman’s fraudulent cryptocurrency project last spring.

EU plans to tighten regulation of stablecoins


Евросоюз планирует ужесточить регулирование стейблкоинов

As the Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said, the European Union plans to issue stricter laws to regulate stable cryptocurrencies.
On Friday, September 11, finance ministers from several countries, including Germany and France, called for tighter regulation of stablecoins in the region. Already on September 12, Valdis Dombrovskis issued a statement that officials are aware of the problem and are preparing a bill to regulate stable cryptocurrencies. He emphasized:
“Some ministers yesterday expressed concern about the risks associated with so-called stablecoins, which are outside the scope of our laws. Rest assured that our bills will offer a comprehensive solution to this problem. We will regulate the risks of financial stability and monetary sovereignty associated with the use of stablecoins for payments. ”

At the same time, Dombrovskis noted that the regulation will be “adequate”. Stablecoins offer many new opportunities, and the European Commission is going to regulate innovation, but not destroy it.

A clear legal framework for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins is expected to emerge soon in the European Union. Such assets, as well as the companies issuing them, will come under the jurisdiction of regulatory authorities at both the state level and the EU level.

Bank of France chairman François Villeroy de Galhau said on Friday that the EU cannot turn a blind eye to the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and postpone tackling these problems.

The developer has discovered a vulnerability in the Ethereum 2.0 testnet


Разработчик обнаружил уязвимость в тестовой сети Ethereum 2.0

Jelurida co-founder Lior Yaffe claims to have discovered a potential vulnerability in the Ethereum 2.0 testnet – low staking participation could allow the whales to disable the network.
Jelurida co-founder and lead developer of the Ardor and Nxt blockchains Lior Yaffe discovered a vulnerability in Ethereum 2.0. As a reminder, the blockchain is currently running on Medalla and other testnets to check for problems.
Yaffe considered a situation where the level of participation in staking is low, and some “whales” quietly control many accounts. Since the minimum level of participation in staking is 66%, in case a large cryptocurrency holder suddenly leaves the network, this can cause problems.

“Let’s assume that 10% of ETH is currently staking, and user participation in the network is at 75% (which is roughly what we now see on the testnet). In this case, to reduce the participation level by 9% and stop the chain, only control over the 0.9% ETH in circulation is required. This is achievable with the participation of a large whale or a medium-sized exchange, ”said Yaffe.

In Ethereum 2.0, users cannot deposit more than 32 ETH for staking from a single account. However, according to Yaffe, nothing prevents a single user from dividing a large share of coins into 32 ETH chunks stored in different accounts. This will give him the opportunity to participate in the multi-account network, which Jaffe has already observed in Medalla’s testnet block generation.

“Entities that currently control more than 0.16% of ETH – Binance, Coinbase and Vitalik Buterin – will be able to shut down the network at will,” added Yaffe.

The CEO and founder of Etherscan blockchain observer Matthew Tan admitted that such a problem could exist.

“I have not performed any calculations to verify the above, but yes, if user participation falls below 66%, there will be problems with ‘finality’ in the blockchain, as in the previous Medalla testnet incident we witnessed,” he said.

Go developer Raul Jordan, who is working on the Ethereum protocol, said there will be “over 16,384 validators on the Ethereum 2.0 mainnet. Jordan is confident that at the time of the creation of the first block there will be about 25,000 of them, so participation in staking will be above the required level.

As a result, the cost of such an attack would become very high. Jordan said that the participation rate should be around 99%, which means that “an attacker would need control over approximately 25,000 validators, or approximately $ 100 million, to launch an attack that would result in the loss of all funds.

Major banks postponed launch of Utility Settlement Coin until 2021


Крупные банки отложили запуск Utility Settlement Coin на 2021 год

The launch of the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) project, supported by major commercial banks, has been postponed until 2021 pending regulatory approval.
Last June Barclays, Banco Santander, Credit Suisse Group AG and ten other largest banks in the world announced a $ 63 million investment in the Utility Settlement Coin project. The USC project partners became the founding shareholders of a new commercialization firm called Fnality International.

As previously reported, the USC platform aims to facilitate the issuance of blockchain-based currencies by commercial and central banks around the world. It was planned that the issuance of digital currencies will be launched this year. However, it was decided to postpone the implementation of the project until at least 2021.

The project, called Fnality, was developed by the Swiss investment bank UBS Group AG. The company managed to attract other banks to the development of the initiative, because they all will benefit from achieving the ultimate goal: faster and cheaper settlements.

Settlement is an often time-consuming process by which financial institutions clear transactions so that all participants in the payment system receive their money. Basically, this involves transferring money from the buyer’s account to the seller’s account minus fees for credit card operators and banks.

Originally known as the Utility Settlement Coin, the Fnality project was supposed to make this whole process much easier and faster.


Specific project details and regulatory requirements are still being worked out. According to a Reuters publication, the head of Fnality International, Rhomaios Ram, is awaiting regulatory approval in early 2021. The delay is likely due to the fact that many central banks are now exploring the concept of government cryptocurrencies.

Dutch nonprofit dGen recently announced in a report that three or more nations will replace their fiat currencies with digital ones by 2030. DGen does not make precise assumptions about which countries will make this transition by 2030, but notes significant progress in the development of government cryptocurrencies in the Bahamas and Sweden. As a reminder, China has recently begun testing digital RMB payments for large commercial transactions.

Australian researchers report blockchain privacy concerns


Австралийские исследователи заявили о проблемах конфиденциальности блокчейна

Researchers from the University of South Australia have concluded that blockchain technology needs to be improved to improve user privacy.
The research results, described in a blog post from the University of South Australia, show that the features that make the blockchain secure pose privacy concerns for users, especially in line with new European standards.

The study was conducted by advanced technology researcher Dr. Kirsten Wahlstrom in collaboration with Dr. Anwaar Ulhaq and Professor Oliver Burmeister from Charles Sturt University.

The research team found that new technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things can compromise people’s privacy because they are immutable and store data. This is due to the fact that blockchains use the details of previous transactions, including data that can be used to identify participants, to verify future transactions.

“When someone’s data enters the blockchain, the system never forgets it,” Walstrom said. “Yes, this data can be encrypted, but it is also part of an immutable ledger that is stored in the cloud.”

The document mentions recent legal changes in EU legislation, meaning that citizens have a “right to be forgotten” in relation to their data posted on the Internet. Thus, as long as the blockchain exists, the technology is contrary to European regulation that people have the right to revoke their data, Walstrom said.

In August, the not-for-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) raised similar concerns about a proposed California law allowing medical records to be stored on the blockchain.

“Standards need to be consolidated now to clearly delineate the concept of confidentiality and what governments and organizations are trying to protect and why,” Walstrom said. “The main problem is that we are still trying to understand what privacy really means in the online world.”

Holochain is an example of technology that can solve the privacy problem, according to the study. The project uses distributed hash tables, a form of a distributed database that can record data associated with a key in a P2P network of nodes, and avoids the need to create a comprehensive “ledger” of the blockchain.

“This allows people to verify data without revealing all of its details or storing it permanently in the cloud,” Walstrom said. “But there are still many questions about how this affects the long-term viability of the chain and how it gets validated.”

Many projects in the blockchain industry are implementing privacy solutions. The Secret Network recently announced that it will deploy “secret contracts” on its blockchain on September 15th. These smart contracts allow the use of confidential data in dApps without disclosing the original information.

DGen report: “at least three countries will release government cryptocurrencies by 2030”


Отчет dGen: «не менее трех стран выпустят государственные криптовалюты к 2030 году»

Dutch non-profit organization dGen says in its report that three or more nations will replace their fiat currencies with digital ones by 2030.
DGen, an independent non-profit research institute focused on blockchain research, has released a report examining the issue of government cryptocurrency issuance. The report, sponsored by the European Central Bank (ECB), Standard Chartered Bank and the Frankfurt School of Management and Finance, has made some important predictions about the impact of government cryptocurrencies on the global financial system.

DGen researchers predict that three to five countries will completely replace their national currency with the cryptocurrency of the Central Bank within ten years. DGen does not make precise assumptions about which countries will make this transition by 2030, but notes significant progress in the development of government cryptocurrencies in the Bahamas and Sweden. The think tank noted that the development of the e-krona in Sweden is in line with the country’s plan to phase out cash by 2025.

DGen suggests that the euro will be supplanted by the Chinese digital yuan if the EU does not create its own state-owned cryptocurrency by 2025. Analysts stress the need for the ECB to create “a suitable environment for the digital euro to flourish.” In their opinion, fiat currency risks losing its position in the world economy.

The head of the blockchain center at the Frankfurt School of Management and Finance, Philipp Sandner, criticized the ECB for its apparent inaction:

“The ECB is too slow to react. In particular, the advantages of the state cryptocurrency for the industry, for example, based on programmable money, are currently being ignored. Given the Libra and the DCEP [digital yuan], the ECB must react quickly to maintain its geopolitical position. ”

While China’s state-owned cryptocurrency poses a threat to the euro, the digital yuan is unlikely to replace the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, according to the report. According to the think tank, the digital yuan has a low chance of surpassing the dollar due to “political unrest in China and efforts to move reserves.”

As a reminder, China recently began testing digital yuan payments for large commercial transactions. However, other countries are not lagging behind – the other day, President of the Central Bank of Brazil Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) Roberto Campos Neto announced that the launch of the state digital currency will take place in 2022.

Sia developers proposed to hard fork protocol to create Sia Foundation


Разработчики Sia проведут хардфорк протокола для создания Sia Foundation

Sia developers proposed to hard fork the protocol of the decentralized cloud storage network. This will allow transferring part of the reward for each mined block to the Sia Foundation.
The idea of ​​a decentralized data warehouse is being implemented by several projects at once – Sia, Storj and Filecoin. However, this concept still fails to gain widespread popularity. According to CoinMarketCap, Siacoin is currently trading at $ 0.003 and the crypto asset has a market cap of less than $ 3 million.
Previously, the Sia developers did not plan to create a fund to manage the protocol, but the situation has changed. One of the co-founders of Sia, Luke Champine, posted on Reddit a proposal for the creation of the Sia Foundation, where Champine will serve as president.

In theory, the fund could play a large role in promoting the Sia blockchain, but to fund it, Champin proposes to hard fork the protocol. The reward for each block mined will be doubled from the current rate of 30,000 Siacoin (approximately $ 94). An additional 30,000 Siacoins will go to the fund. In addition, after the hard fork, 1.57 billion Siacoin ($ 4.94 million) will be transferred to the fund.

Basically, the project founders are proposing to expand the overall coin supply. Annual inflation by 2021 could reach 10.4%, although the developers are urging to limit the amount in the fund to 5% of the total Siacoin volume and “burn” all unused coins.

In addition, the fund will be tasked with maintaining and improving the underlying software, overseeing the legal protection fund, deploying security updates to protect against attacks, promoting the coin’s popularity and adoption, and listing on exchanges. A quarter of the fund will go to “grants, incentives, hackathons and other community initiatives.”

Ethereum Developers Discuss GasToken Elimination To Curb Fee Rise


Разработчики Эфириума обсуждают устранение GasToken для сдерживания роста комиссий

Developers are exploring a proposal to improve Ethereum EIP-2751, which can contain the growth of blockchain fees by eliminating “tokenized” gas.
GasToken are loopholes in Ethereum smart contracts that help send transactions cheaply by “tokenizing” gas. This feature allows an Ethereum user to purchase gas tokens for the future at a low price, store them, and then spend them when the commission grows again.

While the matter is still under debate, some developers fear that tokenized gas could one day act as a “floor price” for transaction fees and keep them consistently high.

As Ethereum transaction fees continue to hit highs, developer Alexei Akhunov’s June proposal to improve Ethereum to get rid of EIP 2751 gas tokens has again caught the attention of developers.

According to Akhunov’s calculations, from 1.5% to 2% of transactions on the Ethereum network this summer used prepaid GasTokens. Moreover, many algorithmic traders have similar settings that Akhunov’s analysis does not reflect, as noted by developer Ali Atiia.

“Transaction pools are like a one-way order book in which you place your bets on gas prices. These orders help ensure that you buy gas at the lowest price, as in a traditional two-way order book for exchanges, ”Akhunov said during an Ethereum developer conference call last Friday, adding that he was still analyzing GasToken usage.

Some data on blockchains is more valuable than others, and storing data on the chain is a cost that is borne by the node owners. Ethereum tries to solve this problem by offering ETH to remove old contracts or information from them. Some argue that this is now being done to lower transaction fees.

Created by the cryptocurrency exchange commodity research group Project Chicago in 2017, tokenized gas is essentially a small script that the user runs when they send a transaction. This script deletes the previous data stored in the smart contract with GasToken when the fees were lower.

The network rewards the user for deleting old data. If the price of sending a transaction on the Ethereum network is high enough, the tokenized gas can subsidize up to 50% of the commission.

“GasToken can be used to reduce the cost of gas for any transaction in DeFi or other applications,” said GasToken co-author Florian Tramèr.

However, Akhunov and other developers warn that the widespread use of GasToken could result in market stabilization of high fees. Developer Philippe Castonguay, on the other hand, says the tool simply “flattens” the commission market. Indeed, there are secondary markets for gas tokens, such as the 1.Inch aggregator’s CHI token, launched in May.

Of course, GasToken is just one problem in the commission market. DeFi applications such as Uniswap or Chainlink remain among the top gas consumers, according to Ethgasstation. In addition, the popularity of stablecoins such as USDT or USDC continues to grow.

Recall that recently Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed tripling the cost of smart contracts that update the state of the network to solve the problem of exponential growth in fees.

Chinese traders transfer cryptoassets from centralized exchanges to DeFi


Китайские трейдеры переводят криптоактивы с централизованных бирж в DeFi

Despite the market correction, interest in DeFi in China is growing. Local exchanges are experiencing difficulties as users transfer cryptoassets to DeFi protocols.
The number of searches for the word “DeFi” on the popular Chinese platform WeChat hit 900,000 on September 2, a new record high. On September 7, Chinese journalist Colin Wu reported that many local exchanges are suffering from liquidity problems due to the massive withdrawal of cryptocurrencies by customers looking to transfer assets to DeFi protocols.

Colin Wu has posted charts showing that many Chinese traders have moved their assets to decentralized exchanges (DEXs) in response to the yield farming trend – the practice of maximizing rewards for providing liquidity to DeFi protocols using high leverage solutions.

In response, he says, many exchanges have suspended withdrawals, escalating tensions and sparking a “coin withdrawal campaign”:

“On September 6, many exchanges in China began to suspend the withdrawal of crypto assets. The Chinese community has launched a ‘coin withdrawal campaign’ urging the withdrawal of all USDT and cryptocurrencies from exchanges and the deletion of accounts. ”

The journalist suggested that the proliferation of the rapidly growing DeFi tokens on Chinese exchanges is a protective measure designed to prevent capital migration to decentralized exchanges.

Cryptocurrency journalist bigmagicdao tweeted that DeFi is starting to gain traction with Chinese investors and that “a lot of people are planning to create their own projects.”

At the moment, according to DeFi Pulse, assets with a total value of $ 8.02 billion are locked in DeFi protocols, while on September 2 this figure exceeded $ 9.5 billion.Uniswap remains the largest protocol – the value of assets locked in the application reached $ 1.56 billion.

Recall that at the beginning of the month, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin compared the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry to the “printing press” of the US Federal Reserve System.

Cryptocurrency bank Ziglu added functions for buying and sending cryptoassets


Криптовалютный банк Ziglu добавил функции покупки и отправки криптоактивов

Cryptocurrency bank Ziglu added functions for buying and sending cryptoassets
Alternative bank Ziglu has added the ability to buy and sell cryptoassets in its app. Cryptocurrencies can be sent to other bank customers, but not to third-party wallets.
The limitation was commented on by Ziglu Product Director Nick Turner-Samuels. He said that connecting the option of sending cryptocurrencies to external wallets is not an easy task for the bank. Ziglu was only launched on June 15 and wants to “prove that it can quickly find a product suitable for the market, test the application, and integrate cryptocurrencies as quickly as possible.”

Alternative banks – small retail banks in the UK such as Revolut, Ziglu, Starling and Monzo – want to take the place of traditional banks. They offer lower currency conversion fees, easy-to-use apps, robot advisors, and more. Ziglu and Revolut have a special money transfer service license issued by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allows them to process cryptocurrency transactions alongside normal banking activities. These are the only alternative banks that have such a license. Ziglu was licensed recently and Revolut in May 2016.

“Now that we have an FCA license, we are launching additional features such as P2P payments. And we’re going to release cards pretty soon. We are starting to create a complete package of services for clients, ”said Turner-Samuels.

There is another reason why Ziglu is in no hurry to add sending cryptocurrencies to external wallets – unwillingness to come into conflict with regulators. According to Turner-Samuels, there are dark sides to the cryptocurrency world, full of scammers, hackers and money launderers.

“We want to make sure we are really in control when it comes to keeping track of money so that everything is fair,” said Ziglu’s chief product officer. He added that the bank is working with technology companies to combat money laundering, but did not disclose their names.

Ziglu is mainly aimed at newcomers to the cryptocurrency industry, and the lack of the ability to send cryptoassets to third-party wallets is a kind of insurance against user error.

“It’s very easy to enter the wrong wallet address if you’re not careful,” Turner-Samuels said. “It is very difficult for ordinary clients to know where their money went if they made a mistake.”

Recall that according to a study by another cryptocurrency bank Revolut, British citizens began to buy more BTC during the coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine imposed in connection with it. The largest deals were made by investors aged 55-64.

DeFi Experts: Ethereum 2.0 Launch Is Not Enough To Reduce Fees


Эксперты DeFi: «запуска Ethereum 2.0 недостаточно для снижения комиссий»

Decentralized finance (DeFi) industry experts believe that the launch of Ethereum 2.0 itself will not lead to lower fees on the Ethereum network, so additional solutions are needed.
DeFi industry experts and computer scientists discussed the Ethereum network issues at the China’s DeFi Marathon. 1inch Decentralized Exchange CEO Sergej Kunz, ParaSwap Founder and CEO Mounir Benchemled and bloXroute Labs Co-founder Alex Kumanovic expressed their views on the growth of commissions on the Ethereum network. In their opinion, the Ethereum 2.0 update may not be scalable and secure enough to be applied to custom transactions.

Ethereum 2.0 is a radical upgrade of the Ethereum network with the transition to a new type of consensus. In August, Medalla launched, the final version of the testnet. Vitalik Buterin believes that the deployment of the zero phase of the update should take place this year. While Ethereum 2.0 is designed to accelerate the mass adoption of Ethereum by making it faster and more efficient, Koontz noted that current gas prices could scare off many new users who are entering the DeFi industry. The developers of the update could not have foreseen the hype around DeFi. Koontz said:

“Everything needs to be rethought. You can port smart contracts to code, but it doesn’t scale. To be able to scale, you must create standards and implement new protocols based on a new sharded architecture, such as NEAR, which is similar to Ethereum 2.0. ”

Munir added that even if Ethereum 2.0 can scale, it could take too long. The reason for the delay is mainly related to security. The development team must make sure it is secure enough before launching it. Kunz, Munir and Kumanovich agreed that it is not advisable for all projects to switch to Ethereum 2.0:

“For it to work, all applications must move to a single platform. Large projects may have consensus, but other projects that have plans of their own can be difficult. New “bridges” will be built to provide interoperability. ”

Munir said that some projects are now implementing second-tier solutions to reduce fees. For example, the developers of the popular stablecoin Tether recently unveiled plans to support the ZK-Rollups tier 2 solution to reduce blockchain load and transaction fees.

However, there are difficulties in explaining how such solutions work to end users, as well as the risks that users will not be able to receive their funds instantly. BloXroute is now creating an infrastructure that helps traders trade faster and more efficiently using the Tx Stream project tool, Kumanovich said.

There are three types of API built into the tool, which allow traders to learn about transactions faster. This means that traders are more likely to benefit from CDP liquidation, be able to use arbitrage opportunities, and increase the chances of confirming the transaction in the next block. Kumanovich explains:

“One API allows transactions to reach the mining pool faster than others. The second API is for transaction fees. By examining the entire environment, we can connect traders or all participants in the scheme even before the miners know what is happening. The third API we are working on is designed to provide real-time feedback on traders’ transactions … ”.

In conclusion, Kumanovich said that it will be a long time before the real effect from Ethereum 2.0 appears, and projects need to live their lives before that. The community, transaction creators, miners, and app developers need to work together to co-create solutions and engage users before Ethereum 2.0 is deployed.

Recall that last week the average transaction fee on the Ethereum network exceeded $ 15, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed to triple the cost of smart contracts that update the state of the network in order to solve the problem of exponential growth of fees.

Denmark sees blockchain as an anti-corruption tool


Дания рассматривает блокчейн как средство борьбы с коррупцией

Blockchain and big data technology can be used to fight administrative and political corruption, according to a report from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ministry presented a report at the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). According to the department, the blockchain will create a more transparent system for managing and tracking various financial transactions. In addition, distributed ledger technology (DLT) will give ordinary citizens more rights to their own data, ensuring their confidentiality.
The department noted another advantage of the blockchain – everyone has the same access to the data stored in the registry. This allows people to claim their own rights to material assistance, real estate, financial resources and others, without resorting to the services of intermediaries.

In its report, the ministry also noted that blockchain eliminates the need for banks, cadastral offices and accountants, as their tasks can be solved faster and more efficiently using the latest technology. The ministry added that if the blockchain is used on a massive scale, it will no longer be necessary to maintain books of births and deaths, as well as record car registrations, since all this information can be confirmed on the blockchain.

According to a study by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, blockchain will help organizations efficiently and securely share data with people without a bank account. In addition, DLT can be used in the public sector to protect various documents and prevent their falsification.

The ministry noted that blockchain can be confidently used as a tool to fight corruption, as this technology provides transparency and immutability of data. According to the department, transparent tracking of transactions will reduce the likelihood of receiving bribes, but this will only be possible if correct data is entered into the distributed ledger.

“Blockchain technology is as good as data is entered correctly. They cannot be removed from the registry, so any error can be fatal, ”the report says.

Note that last year, the Danish Ministry of Energy began to cooperate with the IOTA network to improve the efficiency of the energy sector. However, with respect to cryptocurrencies, the Danish government does not show such loyalty. At the end of last year, the Danish tax agency Skattestyrelsen asked cryptocurrency traders for detailed information on all digital asset transactions in the previous three years.

The future of Ethereum: how the project will change in the next 5 years


Everything you need to know about the largest altcoin by market capitalization, which is preparing for the most important update in its history.

On July 30, 2015, the first Ethereum genesis block was mined. Over the past five years, ETH has become the dominant altcoin in terms of market capitalization, popularity and use, and has grown into the largest blockchain platform, with over 2,000 decentralized applications used. Ethereum may have changed the blockchain world even more than Bitcoin.

Ethereum was the first general-purpose blockchain to allow decentralized ledger technology to be applied to almost any real industry, not just electronic money. With its help, it became possible to create smart contracts, tokenized assets, complex decentralized applications (dApps), alternative methods of fundraising (ICO) and a decentralized finance system (DeFi). But Ethereum also has a number of unresolved issues: scaling, high fees, and growing rivalry with rival blockchains.

Why Ethereum Update: Network Issues

Ethereum is still far from what the developers want it to be. Its current infrastructure is insufficient to meet the demand of tens of millions of people, let alone billions. Developers will devote the next few years to solving them.

Ethereum’s weakest point is scalability. It creates the rest of the project’s problems. The network is almost overcrowded and not ready for more widespread use. Gradually, transactions are slower and slower, and the cost of “gas” (transaction fees) increases. On September 2, 2020, the average cost of commissions peaked at an all-time high of $ 15.2 per transaction. At the time of publication, the commission is $ 3.25, i.e. 20-30 times more expensive than a year earlier and 2 times more expensive than in early August.

The recent boom in DeFi protocols, as well as Yield Farming, are placing even more stress on the network and negatively impacting transaction costs. Because of this, Ethereum is becoming too expensive and slow for use in decentralized applications and the DeFi sector, depending on the ability to make many small and frequent transactions – at current prices, using ETH in them is simply not profitable. The high cost of the ETH is already negatively affecting its development, safety and adoption. And if you don’t update the Ethereum protocol, one day it will simply be impossible to use.

The scaling problem cannot be solved by updating the protocol – the consensus algorithm must be changed. In June, the miners agreed to raise the gas limit from 10 million to 12.5 million, which led to an increase in block size and an increase in network capacity by 25%. However, this did not reduce the cost of “gas”. Level 2 solutions that allow the creation of additional blockchains (sidechains) on top of the main network – Plasma, Omise Network, Optimistic Rollup and others – are either undergoing testing or are not achieving the required indicators.

To address the scalability problem, developers have been working on updating the network to state 2.0 since 2016. It will move away from the mining-based PoW algorithm to a more energy efficient PoS algorithm, in which payment processing goes to validators. The assumption is that the network will then become more scalable, faster and cheaper.

When the transition to Ethereum 2.0 is complete

Ethereum 2.0 will be deployed in phases. This is necessary in order to avoid failures and take into account all the nuances. It is estimated that this will take about two years.

Phase 0. Preparatory (Beacon chain). It will include validators, staking options, new ETH coins, and will test Lighthouse, a new client of the network. The methodology for calculating the cost of gas and the formation of commissions will also be revised. Initially, there will be no smart contracts and no dApps support on the network. In fact, this is another test network, but working on PoS and with real ETH 2.0 coins. But even in this form, the network will be faster and more efficient.

The start of the zero phase can take place on November 4. This will happen on the condition that the Medalla testnet, launched on August 4, has been running smoothly for three months. However, on August 14, due to an error, the network was divided into 4 blockchains, which could not interact with each other. On August 17, developers A day earlier, Buterin admitted that the launch of Ethereum 2.0 was more difficult than expected, but on August 21, the developers said that Medall’s outage would not affect the timing. This is possible thanks to the discovery of a vulnerability at the testnet stage.

Phase 1. Start of sharding – transition from full nodes to load distribution between separate sections of the network (shards) without using a virtual machine. This should be the key change to address the scalability issue. First, 64 shards will be launched in the network, later their number can be increased to 1024.

Previously, it was assumed that the two networks – the old and the new – would work in parallel to each other, and users would be able to exchange the former for the latter. But now the developers believe that the existing ETH network will be integrated into ETH 2.0 as one of the shards. Thus, it will be possible to avoid a hard fork – the old network will enter the ecosystem of the new one, the old smart contracts, without being canceled, will move from ETH 1.0 to ETH 2.0.

Phase 2. Launching a new operating mode (state execution). A fully functional Ethereum 2.0 network, in which smart contracts and dApps will already be available. In this phase, eWasm will be launched in the protocol – a new virtual machine for the execution of smart contracts, which will further reduce fees and make smart contracts more functional. By this point, if the developers are right, the network has solved its main problems.

Maintaining leadership, but losing the monopoly

It is important to understand that Ethereum problems will remain until the full transition to the new consensus. Gas prices will continue to rise and the network will become more and more congested. The network’s capacity may very soon not be enough for all the projects working on it, especially if the DeFi sector continues to develop so rapidly. In this case, Ethereum risks losing its market leader status. Competing blockchains – TRON, EOS, NEO and Steemit, TomoChain and Binance Chain, and others – are getting an excellent head start in order to catch up with Ethereum.

While Ethereum is a universal blockchain for all occasions, competitors are trying to gain a foothold in more specialized and niche areas, focusing on projects with more specific requests. For example, almost 100% of apps on NEO are decentralized exchanges, while EOS and TRON account for the majority of the gambling market. The most promising area for competitors is gaming applications – it is in this area that Ethereum lags behind the most (in 2017, the rather simple game CryptoKitties practically paralyzed the network). Competing blockchains are already surpassing Ethereum in many ways in terms of speed, cheap commissions and scalability. If the launch of updates is delayed, the technical backlog of ETH will only increase.

The real salvation for Ethereum will be the universality of the project. It still seems to be the best choice for p2p lending, insurance, and stablecoins. Ethereum ERC-20 standard is one of the most demanded on the market. Given the cost of developing a new product, it is unlikely that many projects will dare to switch from Ethereum to another blockchain. In addition, the Ethereum community has extensive experience in developing and fixing vulnerabilities that other networks simply do not have. Competing blockchains are not yet capable of replacing Ethereum on a global scale. Probably, in the next 5 years, he will retain his leadership status, although that will be given to him more and more. But Ethereum will most likely lose its monopoly and will gradually cease to be a mandatory standard.

Ethereum 2.0 will change the staking market, but it is unlikely to overclock the coin

There will be no mining in Ethereum 2.0, the confirmation of blocks will occur due to the delegation of their coins by users to masternodes. These ETHs will be frozen, and users will receive part of the new coins as a reward. The more coins are frozen, the higher the income. This process is called staking. For the network, this is an opportunity to mine coins at a lower cost, become safer and create a new infrastructure sector, and for users – to receive passive income from storing cryptocurrencies.

Being a validator is not easy. The minimum amount that a user must freeze to become a validator is 32 ETH (≈ $ 11,292). It is also necessary to keep the wallet connected to the network at all times.

Stakers will receive their first payments only after the volume of frozen coins reaches 524,000 ETH, which is 16,375 validators with a minimum stake. It will take a year or two.

The profitability in ETH 2.0 will be variable – it depends on the number of validators and the volume of frozen coins. The less coins are frozen in the network, the higher the percentage for their storage, and vice versa. At the start, the expected return is about 21%, and after a year – about 5%. To get a net profit, you need to subtract the equipment and energy costs from these figures, which will amount to about 4.75% of the start-up bonus and will eventually grow to 14-20%. It is also worth considering exchange rate fluctuations. Even at rates of 20% per annum in the ETH, if the price of the coin falls, the investor can get a loss in dollars. In this situation, it is more profitable to work on your own equipment, rather than use cloud services. It will also make the chain more decentralized.

The transition of such a large project as Ethereum to PoS will instantly increase the share of staking in the market. The minimum deposit is too expensive for most investors, so it is worth waiting for cloud staking offers and similar products from crypto exchanges. This will have a positive effect on the price of the coin. According to experts from Binance Research, the launch of staking could double the price of ETH and the share of staking in the market.

There is also a downside to staking. If there is a risk that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may recognize the ETH as a security. So far, this is only a probabilistic threat, which is little talked about, but it should not be discounted.

If staking is approved by regulators, institutional investors are likely to enter the market. They can afford large steaks, and even 5% profitability will be very attractive for them. In addition, institutional investment will further accelerate the coin’s price and popularity among retail investors. However, as with solving the scaling problem, the transition to staking will not be quick and will take several years.

DeFi will push Ethereum further

DeFi is the main driver of the crypto market in 2020. Now $ 7.72 billion is locked in DeFi protocols – 14 times more than a year ago. And the sector is not going to slow down the pace of development. Against the background of zero interest rates, the yield of 10-15%, and sometimes, as in the case of Yield Farming, and up to 100% per annum, looks very attractive for new users.

However, this return reflects high risks. Security is the main concern of the DeFi sector. This year, hackers were able to take advantage of protocol vulnerabilities several times and withdraw funds. Developers themselves sometimes release unaudited products onto the market. All this suggests that DeFi needs stringent security standards – without them, the sphere will not be ready for mass use.

There is also a good chance that the DeFi sector will repeat the fate of ICOs, which experienced a short period of hype in 2017, but already in 2018 the coins of most projects were worthless. There are also regulatory risks. Now DeFi exists in a gray regulatory area, one day the SEC will get to decentralized finance.

Once security and regulatory concerns have been resolved, institutional investors may enter the sector. They will boost liquidity and build user confidence. This plays into the hands of Ethereum as the main blockchain of the market. Despite today’s complexities, DeFi is likely to continue to grow in the medium term.

Ethereum is a living developing project, the developers of which are methodically working to fix its considerable shortcomings and are focused on long-term development. They continually bypass network restrictions, update development tools, and validate new and current EIP standards. The developers already have plans for where Ethereum will move after the update. This approach pays off – the ecosystem evolves despite scaling problems.

A full transition to version 2.0 is unlikely to be smooth – crashes are inevitable. But the long-awaited update will allow, although not overnight, to solve the problems with scaling and high cost of commissions. This should leave Ethereum as the leader among altcoins.

US Air Force has signed $ 779,000 contract with Chainalysis


ВВС США заключили контракт с Chainalysis на $779 000

The US Air Force has signed a third contract with Chainalysis to obtain a “cryptocurrency data subscription.” They are used to track supply chains.
The agency has allocated $ 779,740 for services under a contract that is dated May 19, 2020, and follows two other contracts completed in the previous two years. Collectively, the BBC has already spent $ 900,000 on analytical services from Chainalysis. There are no details about the services used in the contract, but on the description tab there is a mention of “cryptocurrency data subscription”.

Chainalysis is one of the companies that study transactions on various blockchains and use analytics tools to extract as much information from the data as possible. She works with many US government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and her analytical tools are used to track cryptocurrency crime.

Casey Bohn, a high-tech crime specialist at NW3C, said Chainalysis could provide services to the US Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

“OSI, for lack of a better term, is the internal FBI Air Force,” Bon said. “OSI investigates aircraft crimes in other areas such as fraud, waste and abuse. Let’s say the Air Force signs a contract with Boeing, but there are allegations or assumptions about the company related to fraud or waste. OSI will investigate on behalf of the Air Force. ”

Thus, Chainalysis data can help OSI devote more time to investigating crimes related to cryptoassets.

“The number of cryptocurrency-related crimes is growing. I think people are trying to be more original in hiding assets, ”added Bon. “I have personally trained several IRS criminal investigators, and they are starting to see more and more cryptocurrency crimes in tax evasion and tax crimes.”

In addition, the Air Force can “study threats at the national level,” said John Jeffries, chief marketing officer and chief financial analyst at CipherTrace. While national threats are diverse, some of them are especially relevant to blockchain analytics.

“Many believe that most North Korean weapons of mass destruction are funded by theft of cryptocurrencies,” Jeffreys said. Recall that last year, in a closed UN report, the DPRK was accused of stealing $ 2 billion from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges to develop weapons.

However, blockchain data can also be used by the US Air Force to solve more peaceful issues, such as supply chain management.

“At the highest level, the Air Force is a pretty advanced technology arm of the military, and they’ve done a lot of blockchain work in terms of supply chain management,” Jeffreys said.

The US Air Force has previously explored the possibilities of blockchain in this area. In June of this year, the agency signed a two-year contract for $ 1.5 million with SIMBA Chain to develop a blockchain for supply chain tracking.

Supply chain attacks are well known in today’s cyberspace. Advanced military systems are usually not connected to external public networks, which means that hackers must infiltrate the network locally through supply chain vulnerabilities.

“Maybe they are exploring the possibility of using blockchain to track the details of aircraft or other important items such as ammunition, or maybe it has something to do with national security,” he said.

BitGo will start providing custody services to the Japanese exchange Bitgate


BitGo начнет оказывать кастодиальные услуги японской бирже Bitgate

BitGo will provide cryptocurrency cold storage services to the Japanese marketplace Bitgate to ensure the security of digital assets.
Bitgate management announced that it has decided to use the BitGo service to meet the new requirements set by the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA). On May 1, new laws to regulate the cryptocurrency industry came into force in Japan – the Payment Services Act (PSA) and the Financial Instruments and Exchanges Act (FIEA).
According to these laws, Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges are required to interact with a third party firm that will store customer funds using cold wallets. BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said that by partnering with BitGo, the Bitgate exchange will comply with the new rules of the local regulator.

“The Japanese government has begun to pay more attention to the safe storage of digital assets. Japan is known for its fierce attitude towards the cryptocurrency industry, given the situation with the closed exchange Mt.Gox and the Coincheck hack, ”said Belsch.

Recall that in January 2018, the Coincheck trading platform reported a hacker attack, as a result of which NEM tokens worth $ 532 million were stolen.A few months after the hack, the exchange was bought by Monex Group, one of the largest brokerage companies in Japan, which helped to restore the site.

Belsch added that the FSA is aware of the risks associated with holding custom assets, whether in the cryptocurrency or traditional finance industry. By tightening the requirements, regulators are concerned about the safety of users, which is why keeping digital assets in cold wallets has become a requirement for cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan.

According to Belsh, BitGo already provides its services to six Japanese exchanges that have received a license from the local regulator. As a reminder, in May the company began providing custodian services to the Indian exchange CoinDCX, and last year BitGo announced a partnership with the Genesis Global Trading OTC trading platform.

Zcash Developers Has Published Code For New Version Of Halo 2 Zero Knowledge Proof


Разработчики Zcash опубликовали код новой версии доказательства с нулевым разглашением Halo 2

Electric Coin Company has released the code for Halo 2, an updated zero knowledge proof of Zcash that removes the need for a trusted install.
According to a blog post, the private cryptocurrency developer Zcash Electric Coin Company (ECC) has released the source code for Halo 2, an updated and more efficient version of ECC’s recursive evidential composition that removes the need for a trusted setup for Zcash. Halo 2 also has a promising scaling solution for Zcash and other blockchains.

ECC plans to complete development of Halo 2 with the intention of eliminating the need for a trusted installation in 2021. It will also pave the way for future recursive evidence support to support tier 1 scaling decisions. In the coming months, the organization plans to devote significant resources to research and development, business development, marketing and third-party support to ensure the safe and reliable development of Halo 2. Ultimately, the Zcash community will decide whether Halo 2 will be implemented in Zcash.

Halo efficiently compresses transaction history and distributes computation using recursive evidential composition. This makes transactions on the blockchain easier and faster, significantly increasing efficiency and eliminating the need for a trusted setup.

While the first Halo used “Sonic” to verify transactions, Halo 2 uses “PLONK”, a new zk-SNARK created by Zac Williamson and Ariel Gabizon of the Aztec Protocol. The new ideas behind Halo are used in recursive SNARK projects such as Coda (Pickles) and Mir (Plonky).

In July of this year, the Ethereum Foundation provided ECC with a $ 120,000 grant to continue developing Halo. Both organizations are still in the research phase but believe Halo standardization is essential for the industry as a whole. One of the potential benefits of the solution is that it can facilitate interconnection.

“The Ethereum Foundation is delighted to officially support the talented people at ECC, while taking our informal collaboration to the next level,” said Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. “The Foundation believes that zero knowledge proof technologies will change the path to building a better world, and recognizes that Halo 2 can do its part.”

ECC is in talks with the Ethereum Foundation and other organizations for further collaboration on Halo development. Using the same zero knowledge proof (Halo 2) technology on multiple blockchains can provide unreliable and flexible interconnection. In conclusion, the ECC notes:

“The process of introducing new advanced technologies is a long one. It includes scientific peer review, engineering, third-party security audits, and security testing. ECC has a track record of safely deploying innovative technologies and we know this work requires collaboration. From open source Halo to working with the Ethereum Foundation and exploring future implementations, collaboration is at the core of what we do. If you are considering Halo for your project or would like to know more, do not hesitate to contact us. “

Bitcoin ABC Developers Will Fork Bitcoin Cash In November


Разработчики Bitcoin ABC в ноябре создадут форк Bitcoin Cash

The Bitcoin Cash blockchain is preparing for a split: Lead developer Amaury Sechet is set to launch its own fork of the coin on November 15.
“Bitcoin ABC and Amaury Sechet announced that they will launch their own fork on November 15th. We wish them the best of luck with the new coin and thank you for giving the coins to all BCH holders, ”Bitcoin Cash co-founder Roger Ver tweeted.

Disagreements arose over a proposal to create a cryptocurrency development fund, which will receive 8% of the block mining reward. The new Bitcoin ABC client release 0.22.1 supports this offer and the update will be activated on November 15th. This client runs 42% of Bitcoin Cash nodes. Other customers, including Bitcoin Unlimited and BCHN, do not support the offer, accounting for 55% of active nodes.


Another problem is that both forks are not planning to abandon the Bitcoin Cash name. A dispute is brewing, especially since the Bitcoin ABC developer does not believe that more than half of the network nodes work on the Bitcoin Unlimited and BCHN clients. It is very easy to fabricate the number of nodes, it is enough to clone and run the required number of virtual machines.

The Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency appeared on August 1, 2017 as a result of a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. It was driven by a controversy in the community over the maximum block size and scaling methods.

Binance Announces Binance Smart Chain Mainnet Launch


Binance объявила о запуске основной сети Binance Smart Chain
Binance Chain Developers Launch Binance Smart Chain Mainnet with BNB Staking and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Application Development.
The developers published the Binance Smart Chain White Paper in April 2020. The Binance Smart Chain is the Binance Chain sidechain to support smart contracts. Before deploying the main Binance Smart Chain, the developers launched a test network, checking the security of its interactions with various blockchains, as well as conducting stress tests using competitions.

With Binance Smart Chain, you can develop decentralized applications (dApps) on the Binance Chain ecosystem and build products for the DeFi industry. The infrastructure of this blockchain allows Binance Chain to work with the Binance DEX decentralized exchange and various cryptoassets. In addition, the Binance Smart Chain blockchain is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which means the integration of Ethereum-based instruments.

Another important feature of the Binance Smart Chain is the staking of the BNB coin, one of the ten leaders by market capitalization. Thanks to the Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA) consensus mechanism, Binance Smart Chain validators will receive a BNB reward for completing tasks. This will motivate the participants in the network and ensure its smooth operation without reducing the speed of transactions.

“Binance Smart Chain enables the development of DeFi services and decentralized applications in the Binance Chain ecosystem. At the same time, Binance Smart Chain has the advantages of a new generation blockchain: BNB staking, high performance, reduced fees, direct interaction with a decentralized exchange, and much more. There are plans to launch new products in the near future, ”said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Talking about the benefits of Binance Smart Chain, the developers noted the following:
Reliability of the blockchain ecosystem. We are talking about a powerful developer base supporting various integrations, including Chainlink, Band Protocol, Swipe, Ontology, Trust Wallet and about 25 other projects.

High speed of block creation and low transaction fees. In addition to being compatible with major blockchains, Binance Smart Chain uses a unique PoSA consensus algorithm that allows a new block to be generated every 3 seconds. In addition, the fee structure significantly reduces costs when using DeFi protocols and decentralized applications.

Access to assets on the Binance Chain network. Binance Chain interacts with the Binance DEX decentralized exchange and also supports Bitcoin, Ether and other well-known cryptocurrencies. The list of assets available on the Binance Smart Chain for DeFi protocols will expand.

The launch of Binance Smart Chain comes amid the rapid development of the DeFi industry, which is changing the perception of finance, attracting more and more attention to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In July, Binance Smart Chain specialists connected Chainlink oracles to empower the DeFi industry, and in August integrated Band Protocol data oracles to protect users from potential risks.

Bermuda government is testing BMDT stablecoin


Правительство Бермудских островов тестирует стейблкоин BMDT

The Bermuda government has announced that it has begun testing the Bermudian Dollar Token (BMDT) digital currency pegged to the Bermuda dollar.
Denis Pitcher, chief financial adviser to the Prime Minister of Bermuda, said the BMDT would be used to distribute financial aid to the public. The development of this stable cryptocurrency has been carried out since the end of last year by the startup Stablehouse.

The authorities intend to examine whether Bermuda residents will be able to pay with digital coins for groceries and other essentials. To date, three vendors and 20 individual users are participating in BMDT testing. Pitcher said that a dedicated digital Bermuda dollar wallet will be introduced in the future, which will be used by about 60,000 Bermuda residents.

The BMDT will be produced by Stablehouse, which was opened last year by XBTO founder and Interim CEO Philippe Bekhazi. Stablehouse will also provide dedicated POS terminals and a Green Wallet, which will allow the stablecoin to be stored offline. BMDT will operate on Blockstream’s Liquid sidechain. Stablehouse added that Phil Potter, a former senior executive at Bitfinex and Tether, is an advisor to their firm. In addition to Potter, Stablehouse’s consultants include Galaxy Digital partner and founder David Namdar and Blockstream’s director of strategic affairs Samson Mow.

Pitcher said Bermuda authorities may allow residents to pay taxes in any stablecoins pegged to the US dollar in October. This initiative aims at widespread adoption of digital currencies in the islands. The idea came from the government of Bermuda during the coronavirus pandemic, since it will be faster and more convenient to transfer benefits for the population in digital currencies. According to the authorities, in this case, they will be able to transparently track when and in what amount each individual person received financial assistance.

Recall that in October 2019, the government of the island state has already begun accepting payments for taxes, fees and government services in the stable USD Coin (USDC) cryptocurrency. In addition, Bermuda began developing a blockchain-based citizen identification system last fall.

Chainlink acquired privacy-focused DECO oracle protocol


Chainlink приобрела ориентированный на конфиденциальность протокол оракула DECO

Chainlink has acquired the privacy-focused DECO oracle protocol created by developers at Cornell University and is also working on the project’s second White Paper.
DECO was co-authored with Ari Juels, former chief scientist at RSA, a digital security company. He will now hold a similar position at Chainlink Labs. Jewels, who also teaches at Cornell University, developed DECO with other developers.
Chainlink co-founder Sergei Nazarov and Jewels have started to create the second White Paper of the project. As a reminder, the original Chainlink White Paper was created in 2017 by two developers in collaboration with CTO Steve Ellis.

The Chainlink oracle solution brings off-grid data to blockchain smart contracts. Chainlink provides data information for most decentralized finance applications. For example, DeFi protocol dYdX recently launched perpetual contracts for LINK / USD based on Chainlink oracles.

“DECO is also useful for users who want to monetize their own data and therefore prove that they are indeed providing the correct data without disclosing any information other than what they are selling,” according to the DECO website.

Nazarov said that developers can use DECO as a basis for, for example, uncontrolled loans or decentralized identification. DECO can prove that a person is over 18 years old by obtaining data from the Department of Motor Vehicle Registration, but hiding the person’s date of birth.

In the future, this solution can be applied to decentralized finance. Nazarov said the DECO oracle could one day allow a smart contract to request off-network credit information such as bank records without revealing too much sensitive data.

“DECO is the path that many collaterals will take to DeFi,” Nazarov said. Jewels noted that such confidentiality is possible thanks to the introduction of zero-knowledge proof.

As a reminder, last month Binance Smart Chain integrated the Chainlink decentralized oracles, and Huobi was the first major exchange to launch the Chainlink node.

CipherTrace created tools to track Monero transactions commissioned by the US government


CipherTrace создала инструменты для отслеживания транзакций Monero по заказу правительства США

The developers of CipherTrace have presented a set of tools for tracking transactions with the Monero cryptocurrency (XMR). The tools will be used by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
CipherTrace executives explained that the firm’s end-to-end solution will enable analysts to search and monitor XMR transactions. The company has been working on the creation of the tools for a year, working with DHS’s R&D department.

According to the GovTribe, CipherTrace received $ 2.4 million in funding from a contract it signed with DHS in 2018. CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans said the mechanism was designed specifically for DHS to allow regulators to track illicit funds.

At the same time, Jevans believes that cryptocurrency exchanges and investment funds can also benefit from this. By using the CipherTrace solution, they will have confidence in the “purity” of cryptoassets entering their sites, which will ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. In the future, CipherTrace plans to expand the functionality of the existing toolkit, adding functions for grouping transactions and identifying wallets, as well as the ability to interact with exchanges.

“Analysis of transactions with confidential cryptocurrencies will only contribute to their development. If governments fail to assess the potential risks, regulators will complicate the use of anonymous crypto assets or ban them altogether, ”said Dave Jevans.

He added that anonymous cryptoassets are no longer traded on Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, and XMR and ZEC were removed by several Australian marketplaces last week. Jevans is confident that allowing the authorities to track Monero transactions will only strengthen its viability. At the same time, financial analyst at CipherTrace John Jeffries said that even if a set of tools will allow tracking stolen XMRs, it is still too early to use it to counter money laundering.

As a reminder, last month CipherTrace introduced a risk prediction system that notifies exchanges, investors and law enforcement officers about suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in real time. Additionally, in April, CipherTrace announced the Armada tool for tracking illegal cryptocurrency transactions through banks and financial institutions.

BVV: over 95% of cryptocurrency futures trading volume is on Asian exchanges


BVV: более 95% объема торгов криптовалютными фьючерсами приходится на азиатские биржи

Asian exchanges account for more than 95% of cryptocurrency futures contracts trading volume, according to a new report by Swiss company Blockchain Valley Ventures (BVV).
As BVV states in its report, Asian exchanges account for 95% of cryptocurrency futures trading, while Huobi, Binance and OKEx have surpassed BitMEX to become the leading spot and derivatives markets. At the same time, 83% of the trading volume for cryptocurrency derivatives is carried out on six exchanges, and 95% of futures contracts are in BTC, ETH and EOS.
According to BVV, from Q1 to Q2 2020, the total volume of cryptocurrency derivatives trading increased by $ 60 billion to $ 2.16 trillion. Spot trading volumes fell 18% to $ 5.44 trillion over the same period. BVV predicts that due to differences in derivatives across exchanges, there will be multiple acquisitions or acquisitions in the market over the next few months.

BVV report

BVV believes that LedgerX, BitFlyer and ErisX are the most likely targets for acquisitions by the larger companies. Coinbase, Bitstamp, Huobi and Binance are among the most likely buyers in the report. BVV Partner Sebastian Markowsky said:

“Derivatives are an entry into the cryptocurrency market for institutional investors. A player who can enter the US or European market through a regulated platform will receive a large institutional capital. ”

An increase in demand for some derivative products in the Asian market was forecasted last year. In October 2019, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) announced that demand for options on cryptocurrency futures would be high among traders and miners from Asia.

Online retailer Galaxus makes first payment with Sygnum’s DCHF stablecoin


Онлайн-ритейлер Galaxus провел первый платеж со стейблкоином DCHF банка Sygnum

Galaxus, Switzerland’s largest online retailer, partnered with Coinify to make the first payment using the digital Swiss franc DCHF issued by Sygnum Bank.
Sygnum Bank, Coinify and Galaxus have announced the world’s first e-commerce transaction using the bank-issued Sygnum Digital Swiss Franc (DCHF) stablecoin pegged to the Swiss franc at a 1: 1 ratio.
DCHF eliminates the need for a bank card system, reduces costs and the likelihood of fraud, and processes transactions in real time, the companies note. The transaction was initiated by the cryptocurrency platform Coinify.

Using DCHF for e-commerce payments reduces costs for online retailers by eliminating credit card systems and protecting against fraud, and simplifying and accelerating the buying process for customers.

The companies say this link between the digital and traditional economies could revolutionize the e-commerce industry and forge direct connections between consumers and online stores.

“With DCHF and other digital currencies, the future of money is returning to its roots. The exchange between the two parties is instant and easy, ”said Coinify CEO Mark Højgaard in a statement.

Galaxus CFO Thomas Fugmann emphasized that enabling customers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein to make payments in an online store using stablecoins improves the user experience and improves their experience with Galaxus.

The regulated bank Sygnum holds one Swiss franc as collateral with the Swiss National Bank for each DCHF it generates in its clients’ accounts.

DCHF also supports Sygnum’s tokenization solution, which generates digital versions of blockchain assets, such as company and real estate shares, that can be safely sold, paid for, and delivered instantly. Sygnum’s Chief Accountant Martin Burgherr said:

“This deal is further proof of the value of DCHF Sygnum and its potential to drive digital transformation in major global industries such as e-commerce and payments. We continue to innovate and develop partnerships like this to accelerate the development of the global digital asset economy. ”

As a reminder, Sygnum Bank introduced the DCHF digital Swiss franc for settlements with securities in March this year.

Filecoin Test Network Capacity Exceeds 12 Petabytes


Емкость тестовой сети Filecoin превысила 12 петабайт

Three years after the sale of $ 257 million tokens, the Filecoin project launched a test storage network on the blockchain, the capacity of which reached 12.9 petabytes.
According to the Filecoin project website, blockchain-based file storage “incentivized testnet” capacity has reached approximately 12.9 petabytes in less than two days since launch.


On August 24, developers launched the Filecoin Space Race, positioning it as a “co-competition” for stress testing the network. The developers of the project are encouraging miners from all over the world to test and promise to give away up to 4 million FIL tokens as a reward.

“Compete and work together. The top 50 miners in each region and the top 100 in the world are eligible for rewards. The larger the total storage capacity, the larger the total prize pool, ”says Filecoin.

The Filecoin testnet currently has a capacity of just over 12 petabytes, which is split between 280 miners – about 46 tebibytes each. The term tebibyte is used to measure the amount of information and was introduced by the International Electrotechnical Commission in 1998. It differs from a terabyte in that the base for the calculation is a binary system, not a decimal system: 10244 (240) bytes, which is almost 10% more than a terabyte (10004 or 1012 bytes).

FIL tokens have yet to be issued, however, the IOU tokens that are used to place bets on the future FIL price are now worth around $ 16.5 according to CoinGecko. At this price, the total prize pool for Filecoin for stress testing is about $ 66 million. The Filecoin Space Race will run for three weeks and end in mid-September.

Last week, it was reported in the media that there was a controversy over the distribution of tokens between Protocol Labs, which is developing the Filecoin decentralized file storage project, and its investors. As a reminder, the launch of the Filecoin testnet has been repeatedly postponed since the project’s developers announced plans to launch the project’s mainnet in 2019.

The regulated sale of Filecoin tokens brought the project $ 257 million in 2017. This was the first campaign to be conducted using SAFT, a list of recommendations created by lawyers based on the requirements of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Hackers attacked the New Zealand Stock Exchange and demand a ransom in Bitcoin


Хакеры атаковали Новозеландскую фондовую биржу и требуют выкуп в BTC

The New Zealand stock exchange NZX has been under attack by hackers for the third day. To stop the attack, the attackers demand a ransom in bitcoins.
Hackers overload the exchange’s communication channels and interfere with its normal operation. They stepped up their attack this morning and the NZX was unable to start trading on time. In addition, trading was closed for an hour on Tuesday and three hours on Wednesday. At the same time, the trading volume on the New Zealand stock market is estimated at $ 135 billion. NZX does not disclose the source of the attack, but, according to Bloomberg, the attack is being carried out from abroad.

“We continue to fight this threat and work with computer security experts. We are doing everything in our power to resume trading tomorrow ”, – said the representatives of the stock exchange.

The attack was launched at the most inconvenient moment for the exchange, as many New Zealand companies are now issuing financial statements, including the national airline Air New Zealand. At the same time, representatives of the exchange emphasize that the internal network of NZX was not compromised, as well as trading information.

Back in November last year, New Zealand’s state cybersecurity agency CERT NZ reported that companies operating in the financial sector were receiving DDoS threats and ransom letters. Interestingly, the letters were apparently sent by members of the Russian hacker group Fancy Bear / Cozy Bear. CERT NZ did not comment on the current attack.

The DDoS attack was also reported by the Korean Stock Exchange, stating that the attack caused the exchange to become inoperable for 3 hours.

In March, during a massive fall in the cryptocurrency market, the popular derivatives exchange BitMEX was subjected to a DDoS attack. As a result, the site paid out $ 200,000 to affected traders.

DeFi protocol dYdX launches perpetual contracts for LINK / USD based on Heinlink oracles


Протокол DeFi dYdX запустил бессрочные контракты для LINK/USD на базе оракулов Chainlink

The dYdX decentralized exchange has launched perpetual contracts for the LINK / USD pair that receive price data from Chainlink decentralized oracles.
The dYdX decentralized exchange has announced the launch of perpetual contracts for the LINK / USD pair. The new contracts will use prices for LINK / USD from Chainlink’s decentralized network of oracles, which provide on-net price data and are tamper-proof.
Perpetual contracts are similar to futures contracts, whereby traders commit to buy or sell an asset at a specific price at a specific point in time. However, there is a difference: futures contracts are often traded at prices significantly different from market prices at the time the contracts are created, while perpetual contracts are usually traded close to the market price of the underlying asset. Perpetual contracts are traded continuously and have no expiration date.

DYdX LINK / USD perpetual contracts are generated with a minimum of 12.5% ​​collateral. This means that traders with a small amount of money can place large bets on the LINK price movement. If the price rises, they will make much more profit than if they simply bought LINK on the open market. On the other hand, if the LINK price falls too much, then the entire amount that the trader used to enter into a leveraged perpetual contract may be liquidated and he will be left with nothing.

The dYdX decentralized exchange was launched in October 2018 and provides trading on the platform with spot, margin and now perpetual contracts. In addition to LINK / USD, dYdX plans to add perpetual contracts for other pairs, as well as implement StarkWire’s scaling technology. In the spring, the developers of the dYdX platform announced that since May 2019, more than $ 1 billion in crypto assets have been issued on it.

Chainlink oracles are integrated into many popular DeFi protocols including Kyber Network, Aave, Synthetix, and more. The total dollar value of locked assets in the protocols that implemented Chainlink oracles exceeds $ 2 billion. We also remind you that in May Chainlink launched provably random values ​​oracles for dApps.

The value of blocked assets in DeFi applications exceeded $ 7 billion


Стоимость заблокированных активов в приложениях DeFi превысила $7 млрд

The total value of assets blocked in DeFi protocols grew by 271% in two months and exceeded $ 7 billion. If the current growth rate is maintained, this figure will reach $ 27 billion by the end of the year.
According to DeFi Pulse, today the value of assets locked in DeFi applications in dollar terms for the first time exceeded $ 7 billion, while almost 90% of crypto assets are locked in smart contracts in just six projects.

defi projects.png

The largest DeFi protocol to date is Aave. During the month, the total value of assets blocked in the protocol increased by more than 300% and has already exceeded $ 1.53 billion. MakerDAO and Curve Finance are in second and third places in the list with blocked assets for $ 1.41 billion and $ 1.15 billion, respectively. They are followed by, Synthetic and Compound.

Aave recently became a flagship DeFi project after being licensed as an e-money issuer by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), signaling the sector’s growing legitimacy.

For a fast-growing industry like DeFi, bubbles and major project crashes are inevitable. Recall that recently, the DeFi YAM project, which raised $ 76 million in the sale of tokens, announced its closure due to a critical error in the code. In addition, the YFI token for managing the yEarn protocol raises a lot of questions – its price has increased by more than 1500% in a month and is now $ 13,548.

Some analysts speculate that the rapid growth in the DeFi industry is driven primarily by the rise in the price of cryptoassets involved in the protocols. At current growth rates, DeFi-locked assets will reach $ 27 billion by the end of the year.

Industry leaders are concerned that the DeFi sector is growing too fast, Compound founder Robert Leshner recently tweeted. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also expressed his opinion on the situation:

“Reminder: You DO NOT HAVE to participate in the latest DeFi industry events to work with Ethereum. In fact, if you * really * don’t understand what’s going on, it’s best to stay on the sidelines or risk small amounts. There are many other decentralized apps on Ethereum, check them out! “

Boston Fed and MIT will study 30 blockchains to deploy the digital dollar.


ФРС Бостона и MIT изучат 30 блокчейнов для развертывания цифрового доллара

Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank will study 30 blockchains for a digital dollar development initiative. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.
Earlier this month, the Boston Federal Reserve Bank said it is actively testing the digital dollar, a tokenized version of the US dollar, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Digital Currency Initiative (DCI).

The collaboration builds on previous research and aims to explore how the digital dollar can complement the existing dollar, Boston Fed Senior Vice President Jim Cunha said. The research results will be published and can potentially be accounted for in relation to the real digital dollar, when and if it is released.

“We’re trying to build a platform to see if a distributed ledger can meet the digital currency needs of the US central bank,” he said.

According to him, cooperation is “at the stage of formation”, which means that right now the two institutions are determining what requirements are imposed on the project and what platforms should be used. In the course of the work, the researchers hope to develop requirements for scalability, bandwidth, privacy, resiliency and resilience to cyber attacks.

“I think we will first look at 30 to 40 different open source or very high-level proprietary solutions and then explore some of them more deeply,” said Cunya.

DCI Director and MIT Researcher Neha Narula noted that MIT is a neutral research institution. The project’s researchers will explore various infrastructures and, Narula hopes, will provide concrete data and options for deploying the digital dollar.

“We’re excited about this collaboration because DCI’s goal is to answer the fundamental questions needed to determine under what circumstances a government cryptocurrency is a good idea and how we could deploy it if the Fed decides to do so,” she said. “Working closely with one of the largest central banks in the world is incredibly helpful in providing real-time information on how to formulate and answer these questions.”

Boston Fed Deputy Vice President Bob Bench said the US may have a different view of privacy or other government cryptocurrency-related issues than other countries. Therefore, the study needs to explore possible privacy measures. Even basic questions, such as which programming language should be used, have not yet been resolved, he said.

Cunya said the goal of the project is to publish a joint study over the next two years so that anyone studying the concept of a government cryptocurrency can learn from this collaboration.

Narula noted that the retail-focused digital dollar system will require the fastest possible response and high throughput. It must process a large number of transactions per second while remaining secure. The Fed wants to leverage existing cryptographic systems and distributed ledgers “that have been tested in the real world,” Narula said.

According to the latest report from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), in 2020, interest in the Central Bank’s cryptocurrencies became higher than in bitcoin and the Libra project. In the Netherlands, China and Sweden, central banks are prioritizing research work on the development of government cryptocurrencies during the pandemic, according to BIS.

Power Ledger Announces Launch of Blockchain Platform for Renewable Energy Trading


Power Ledger анонсировал запуск платформы на блокчейне для торговли возобновляемой энергией

Australian company Power Ledger has announced the imminent launch of a blockchain platform for renewable energy trading in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
The platform is based on joint developments with the Thai renewable energy firm BCPG. One of the earliest Power Ledger and BCPG projects was tested back in 2018, when the firms conducted a pilot green energy sale in the central Bangkok region.

Power Ledger continued to work with BCPG and later was joined by Thai Digital Energy Development (TDED) to help develop the blockchain-based TraceX REC platform. The platform was developed for the transition to clean energy in Bangkok.

The platform has been successfully tested, so firms intend to use it not only in Thailand, but also in Southeast Asia. BCPG plans to sell Renewable Energy Certificates (REC), with the entire process of issuing, selling and expiring certificates being recorded on the blockchain. Each REC certificate issued will certify that 1 megawatt of electricity is indeed sourced from green sources. Such certifications will help various organizations and governments move more quickly to renewable energy sources. In turn, this will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

“Organizations want to make sure that all purchased REC certificates have not yet been used. Firms are also interested in fast transactions. Therefore, the blockchain-based platform will enable transparent, secure and traceable energy trading without the need for intermediaries, ”added Power Ledger co-founder and executive chairman Jemma Green.

Late last year, Power Ledger began testing a solar energy trading project with the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and partnered with Powerclub to deploy its technology in South Australia.

Apptopia: Mobile Cryptocurrency Trading Grows 81% YoY


Apptopia: торговля криптовалютами через мобильные приложения выросла на 81% за год

Cryptocurrency trading via mobile apps grew 81% compared to August last year. The most popular mobile apps are Coinbase, Blockchain Wallet and Binance.
According to the latest report from Apptopia, cryptocurrency trading via mobile apps is becoming more popular, with each new month surpassing the previous one in terms of active users and new signups.
Among the most popular mobile cryptocurrency trading apps are Coinbase, Blockchain Wallet, and Binance. According to Apptopia, on August 20, the mobile apps of Coinbase and had a record number of daily active users – 969,000 and 576,000, respectively.

“July is the highest performing month for mobile cryptocurrency applications in the history of the market, and August has the potential to surpass it,” reads an article on the Apptopia blog.

Analysts associate the surge in cryptocurrency trading through mobile applications with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the rise in the value of crypto assets. Bitcoin is considered by some to be a “safe haven” asset, and although its price dropped by half in mid-March, BTC rebounded in the following months.

Unsurprisingly, the number of new installations of the ten most popular mobile cryptocurrency trading apps peaked in May and July when the bull market began. The situation could also be related to the boom in the DeFi industry that began this summer. Some analysts suggest that 75% of the industry’s growth is driven by an increase in the price of cryptoassets.

Apptopia also notes that cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity in Africa. According to Yellow Card CEO Chris Maurice, cryptocurrencies are on the rise in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. Installations of the app by users in Nigeria have grown 339% over the past three months.

The popularity of cryptocurrency trading has also grown in Hong Kong – mobile cryptocurrency trading apps are among the top 10 most popular apps on Google Play in the region.

Recall that recently the analytical company CryptoCompare presented a report, according to which the trading volumes on the main cryptocurrency exchanges in July increased significantly.

BIS report: “Interest in government cryptocurrencies has exceeded interest in Bitcoin and Libra”


Отчет BIS: «интерес к государственным криптовалютам превысил интерес к биткоину и Libra»

According to a new report from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), in 2020, interest in the Central Bank’s cryptocurrencies has become higher than in Bitcoin and the Libra project.
In a new working paper, BIS analyzes the global state of research and development of government cryptocurrencies, technical approaches and government attitudes towards this initiative. The comprehensive study draws on more than 16,000 presentations from central bank officials in recent years and evaluates the existing designs of government cryptocurrencies and the motivations behind the adoption of the new model by various countries.

“Attitudes towards the question of whether central banks should issue cryptocurrencies have changed markedly over the past year,” the authors of the document write.

The study includes an analysis of public interest in government cryptocurrencies over time. According to BIS data, in 2020, users around the world were much more likely to search for information about government cryptocurrencies in search engines than about Bitcoin or Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.

bis google

These findings support the report’s suggestion that while the concept of a state-owned cryptocurrency was proposed long ago, it wasn’t until 2020 that the initiative began to gain global attention. BIS offers several hypotheses as to why this happened. First, the organization points to Facebook’s announcement that the company plans to launch its own global cryptocurrency, Libra, and the subsequent public sector reaction in 2019 as a “tipping point.”

Additional data confirms this assumption: as of the end of 2019, “many of the largest central banks have indicated that they are likely to issue their own cryptocurrencies very soon.” Moreover, the share of central banks that can issue retail government cryptocurrencies in the medium term – the next 6 years – doubled in 2019.

According to the BIS analysis, the coronavirus pandemic has become a decisive factor accelerating developments in this area:

“Social distancing measures, public concerns about COVID-19 being transmitted through cash, and new payment schemes between government and individuals have further accelerated the transition to digital payments.”

The BIS report mentions the United States, where early versions of congressional fiscal stimulus bills called for a digital dollar to speed up the distribution of government aid to citizens. In the Netherlands, China and Sweden, central banks are prioritizing research work on government cryptocurrency development during the pandemic.

According to BIS, all of these factors may be enough to overcome the large momentum in the retail payments industry. However, there is a downside to the coin:

“When user behavior changes, it often happens very actively. Likewise, the change in payment behavior caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the increased use of digital payments, could have far-reaching implications in the future”.

Kadena blockchain throughput reaches 480,000 transactions per second


Пропускная способность блокчейна Kadena достигла 480 000 транзакций в секунду

The Kadena blockchain, developed by former JPMorgan employees, has reached 480,000 transactions per second, increasing the number of forked chains on the network to twenty.
The developers of the Kadena blockchain have doubled the network throughput to 480,000 transactions per second. In comparison, Ethereum 1.x processes about 14 transactions per second. The Kadena blockchain relies on the same proof of work (PoW) mechanism as Ethereum. However, the Kadena developers said they have solved the scaling problem that prevents PoW blockchains from supporting unlimited traffic.

Team Kadena increased throughput by doubling the number of braided chains in its network to twenty. The developers claim that the number of these chains can reach thousands and increase further.

“Launching Kadena and expanding to twenty chains proves that we can scale the Tier 1 blockchain to the point where digital assets can be used by more people,” said Kadena co-founder and CEO Will Martino.

The Kadena team claims the network is “the fastest blockchain platform in the world.” Kadena joins dozens of blockchains, including Algorand, Corda, Polkadot and Blockstack, which promise high bandwidth and low transaction fees.

Their common competitor is Ethereum, which is gearing up to launch ETH 2.0 and increase network bandwidth. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said last month that Ethereum 2.0 will support processing 2,000-3,000 transactions per second at launch, followed by 100,000 transactions in about a year.

The Kadena team also announced that they have developed Kadena Kuro, a private free open source version of the Kadena blockchain. Recall that the Kadena startup launched a hybrid blockchain platform earlier this year, and in May integrated decentralized price oracles Chainlink into the blockchain.

First BTC transaction with automated reporting conducted in Switzerland


В Швейцарии проведена первая транзакция в BTC с автоматизированной отчетностью

Three Swiss cryptocurrency firms successfully completed the first BTC transaction with automated reporting. The transaction complies with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.
The participants in the deal were Crypto Finance AG and 21 Analytics from Zug, as well as Mt Pelerin from Geneva. 21 Analytics CEO Lucas Betschart reported that the Bitcoin transaction between Crypto Finance and Mt Pelerin was the equivalent of $ 23. To carry out the transfer, the Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) solution from ING Bank was used. It aims to comply with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). In addition, AI technology from 21 Analytics and the OpenVASP solution were used.

The transaction was made in accordance with the industry standard Intervasp Messaging 101 (IVMS101), which defines a unified data model that must be exchanged between Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP). According to the FATF requirements, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet operators and service providers must request the details of participants in transactions exceeding $ 1000.

Betschart added that previously the VASP, regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), had to manually report each transaction. In the case of this transaction, the collection of the necessary information was fully automated.

Recall that last month, the BitGo custodian service integrated a tool into cryptocurrency wallets that allows you to transfer additional data about users and their transactions. The tool also uses the IVMS101 standard.

Ontology, Neo and Switcheo Launch Poly Network Interconnection Platform


Ontology, Neo и Switcheo запустили платформу межсетевого взаимодействия Poly Network

Ontology, Neo and Switcheo have announced the launch of the Poly Network, which will provide inter-network interoperability and hosting of multi-blockchain compatible dApps.
According to the developers, Poly Network will provide transparent and efficient interaction between blockchains. Businesses using different systems will be able to connect to the Poly Network and collaborate and interact with each other through an open and transparent access mechanism.

Ontology co-founder Andy Ji said the Poly Network will provide unprecedented benefits for developers by helping create a decentralized ecosystem through a range of platform offerings that make it easier for users to interact with networks:

“Ontology is already enjoying the benefits of interconnecting with Ethereum. Now, thanks to the Poly Network, businesses using the Ontology blockchain will be able to seamlessly interact with products on Ethereum, Cosmos, or Neo. This will help platforms overcome scalability challenges, accelerate their mass adoption, and foster industry collaboration. Ontology has invested heavily in technical research, development and financial support for the project. ”

According to the developers’ statement, the priority goals of the Poly Network are to ensure interconnection and atomic interconnection transactions, for example, the exchange of cryptocurrencies for tokenized assets. In addition, Poly Network has the following capabilities:

Providing DeFi developers with a new infrastructure to build decentralized applications that are compatible with multiple networks;

Support for both heterogeneous and homogeneous networks, including Ethereum, Neo, Ontology and Cosmos, as well as forks of homogeneous networks of each platform. Future plans include support for Bitcoin;

Providing easy access to inter-network transactions and reducing the required number of smart contracts;

Increase the scalability of interconnected transactions by enabling the transfer of both assets and information.

Ji noted that interconnection is becoming more important as different platforms are now trying to work together. He said:

“Ontology is committed to building an open and transparent blockchain industry and we are proud to partner with Neo and Switcheo to enable true interoperability between blockchains. We look forward to playing our part in this innovative alliance”.

China tests digital yuan payments for large commercial transactions


Китай тестирует платежи в цифровых юанях для крупных коммерческих транзакций

The China Digital Currency Electronic Payment System (DCEP) has entered the testing phase of large commercial transactions and is close to its official launch.
Following the first large-scale testing of China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment System (DCEP) in Shenzhen, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that it is expanding DCEP testing to more cities. The system will also be tested in the processing of large commercial transactions, including payments in the hospitality industry and e-commerce.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce recently released a detailed DCEP test plan in three major financial and political centers in China, including the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, which includes Shanghai and neighboring provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, Beijing, and the Great Bay Area. Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau.

From this list, Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu province, will be the first to test the digital yuan. DCEP testing focuses on commercial transactions such as retail, e-commerce, education and transit card top-ups, according to a source in the city who spoke with Jingji21.

Another source told Jingji21 that testing in Shenzhen was also deployed in this direction. Forkast was able to confirm this fact by asking the shoppers of a shop in Shenzhen if they were using DCEP to complete transactions.

According to an anonymous source Forkast, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the Department of Commerce still have internal differences over DCEP that need to be resolved, and it is unclear how this will affect the digital currency rollout. Every NSC employee working on a DCEP project has signed a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits discussion of internal project work.

Stakeholders interviewed by Jingli21 said there is still a lot of internal debate in the NBK about the complexities of changing user habits, such as weaning citizens from using WeChat and Alipay in order for DCEP to be successful. For their part, the NBK and the Commerce Department say that work on the platform is ongoing and they are listening to feedback from stakeholders to improve it.

“We will pay more attention and channel more resources to expanding the use cases of DCEP in the economy as directed by the Department of Commerce and the NBK,” said a spokesman for the DCEP project team. “The specifications have been worked out and the risks are under control.”

Earlier this month, local media reported that four Chinese banks were conducting full-scale testing of the NBK digital yuan app and wallet. In April, the Central Bank of China began testing the state digital currency payment system in four Chinese cities: Shenzhen, Xiongan, Suzhou and Chengdu. In addition to commercial banks, Starbucks and McDonald’s food service chains took part in the testing.

ASIC miner makers return to developing chips for AI


Производители ASIC-майнеров вернулись к разработке чипов для ИИ

The largest manufacturers of ASIC miners have returned to the idea of ​​producing chips for artificial intelligence (AI) due to the decline in mining profits.
According to a report by analyst firm TokenInsight, the change in market dynamics has forced the three largest manufacturers of mining devices – Bitmain, Ebang and Canaan – to shift the focus from ASIC miners to chips for AI in the long term.

Research and development of microcircuits is the main component of the competitiveness of manufacturers of mining equipment. The industry has annual revenue in the billions of dollars, with Bitmain alone generating over $ 300 million in the first quarter of 2020, according to another report.

However, companies’ profits are gradually decreasing. TokenInsight reports that Bitcoin mining costs have skyrocketed after the Bitcoin halving on old ASIC miners, putting millions of dollars in revenue at stake for the three firms. In addition, emerging miner manufacturers such as WhatsMiner and the development of Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus cryptocurrencies are making it even more difficult to grow and even keep profit.

“In the long term, the mining industry has changed from a highly profitable business to a predictable and fairly stable direction in terms of income,” says TokenInsight.

This, in part, has forced mining equipment manufacturers to seek revenues in other sectors. Since these companies have sufficient technological experience, they made the choice to create chips for AI.

AI chips are specialized processors that perform millions of calculations per second to run software. Their production opens up a new revenue stream for established companies like Bitmain and Ebang.

“Researchers believe that AI chips have a broader perspective and that they largely overlap with ASIC chips in terms of design and manufacturing. The experience of mining equipment manufacturers in the field of chips can be quickly transferred to the field of chips for AI, ”the report says.

Bitmain tried to enter the AI ​​industry back in 2017 with a Sophon chip that could do millions of calculations per second and compete with Nvidia and AMD products. But the project at that time was significantly losing in profitability to the production of ASIC miners and was frozen.

Tether to Launch USDT Stablecoin on OMG Network


Tether начнет выпуск стейблкоина USDT на OMG Network

Tether has announced the launch of USDT stablecoin on the OMG Network, a tier 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain.
As reported by Tether, thanks to the OMG Network, USDT holders will pay fewer fees, and the time to confirm token transactions will be reduced without compromising security. Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino said that making USDT transactions on the OMG Network will reduce costs, improve network performance and reduce the load on the underlying blockchain.

This will positively impact Tether customers, the entire Ethereum ecosystem, and the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange. The OMG Network will make it easier to deposit and withdraw USDT to this platform, so traders will be able to react faster to market changes and arbitrage between exchanges more efficiently.

Currently, the total throughput of the Ethereum blockchain is about 12 transactions per second. If the number of transactions increases, along with this, the time of their execution and the cost of gas, that is, the transaction fees, increase. Ethereum’s transaction fees hit new highs last month, according to Etherscan. On July 18, the network used 74.033 billion gas, and on July 22, the network again approached the mark from 74.015 billion gas. In addition, USDT transaction fees on the Ethereum network totaled $ 2.56 million in June.

OMG Network CEO Vansa Chatikavanij added that the network supports thousands of transactions per second, and the cost of transaction fees is two-thirds lower compared to similar transactions on the Ethereum network. OMG Network is trying to address the major challenges facing Ethereum and furthering the development and adoption of open source financial services.

According to Messari, in 2020 the capitalization of the USDT stablecoin doubled and exceeded $ 10 billion.In addition, recently, Tether issued USDT stablecoins totaling $ 540 million on the Tron and Ethereum blockchains, explaining this by the need to replenish the USDT reserves.

SpaceChain made a “space” transaction in BTC with a multisignature via the ISS


SpaceChain совершил «космическую» транзакцию в BTC с мультиподписью через МКС

SpaceChain made a “space” transaction in BTC with a multisignature via the ISS
The SpaceChain project successfully sent 0.01 BTC with multisignatures using dedicated hardware on the International Space Station (ISS).
The developers of the blockchain-based satellite project SpaceChain reported that they sent 0.01 BTC to two Bitcoin addresses. They used special equipment to transmit encrypted data through a ground station to the ISS. It was created by GomSpace, a satellite manufacturer using nanotechnology, and was subsequently placed on the ISS.

Unlike a regular transaction, a multisignature transaction requires confirmation from multiple people. This increases the level of security and allows you to create “collective” wallets, access to which depends on multiple users.

“We’ve worked hard to make multi-signature transactions from outer space a reality. We managed to create an open satellite network based on blockchain with an increased level of security and immutability. SpaceChain’s mission is to connect space with blockchain technology, ”said SpaceChain co-founder and CTO Jeff Garzik.

The project received support from the European Space Agency (ESA), becoming a member of the Kick-start Activities program and winning a grant of 60,000 euros. In the future, SpaceChain developers plan to create new products for digital banks and firms working in the field of fintech. Last December, SpaceChain sent a hardware wallet to the ISS, which was delivered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with Nanoracks contributing. Once the hardware was activated, it was used to receive, confirm, and retransmit multisigned transactions on the Qtum and Ethereum blockchains.

“This event brought humanity closer to the use of space systems and the latest technologies in the commercial market. We will continue to support SpaceChain to help the project achieve its goals in space and beyond, ”added GomSpace CEO Niels Buus.

SpaceChain isn’t the only firm trying to combine satellite technology and blockchain. In 2017, Blockstream launched the Blockstream Satellite service, allowing Bitcoin users to transfer BTC via leased satellites.

Coinbase Engineer Names Technical Requirements For Listing ERC-20 Tokens


Инженер Coinbase назвал технические требования для листинга токенов ERC-20

Coinbase security engineer Nadir Akhtar spoke about the technical factors that ERC20 tokens must meet to be placed on the platform.
Nadir Akhtar named four characteristics that issuers’ tokens should have when they want to list their assets on Coinbase. This is the presence of verified source code; using libraries that comply with industry standards; limited options for privileged members; and simple and modular design.

Akhtar explained that the source code of the token contract must be verified, and this requirement is paramount for listing. The engineer recommended that developers upload the source code for all smart contracts to trusted platforms, including Etherscan and the Github repository.

Second, to create ERC-20 tokens, developers need to use open standards for smart contracts and not write the entire contract code from scratch. Otherwise, important details can be overlooked, which could compromise the integrity of the token. According to a Coinbase engineer, the OpenZeppelin smart contract repository can be used for this purpose.

Third, smart contracts for ERC-20 tokens should include restrictions for administrators and other privileged users. If the smart contract allows you to suspend transactions, change balances, or completely change the logic of the token, this greatly reduces the likelihood of a token being listed on Coinbase.

Finally, to avoid any complications, token protocols should be simple and modular in design.

In addition, Coinbase security engineer said that external audits, detailed technical documentation, code compliance with the updated version of the Solidity language, and comprehensive tools for early error detection are equally important. Akhtar stressed that audits of smart contracts are very important, because even one bug can lead to losses in millions of dollars.

“If you follow these security principles when developing tokens, you can create an open financial system with a high level of security,” wrote a Coinbase engineer.

As a reminder, the DeFi YAM Finance project was closed last week. The startup began an ICO, which raised about $ 76 million, without going through an audit. Less than two days later, YAM Finance closed due to a critical error in the smart contract code.

Bitcoin hashrate declines amid storms in Sichuan


Хэшрейт сети Биткоина снизился на фоне штормов в провинции Сычуань

In the past week, the Chinese province of Sichuan, whose miners generate more than 50% of the hashrate of the Bitcoin network, was hit by storms. As a result, part of the cryptocurrency mining capacity was shut down.
Storms in Sichuan are leading to power outages in some areas of the province, and some hydroelectric power plants are turning off generation to contain floods. It is equally important to disconnect communications in certain regions.
According to the portal, as a result of the shutdowns of mining farms, the hash rate of the four largest mining pools PoolIn, F2Pool, and AntPool, which are located in China, decreased by 10-20% over the past 24 hours.


Thus, the average three-day hash rate of the Bitcoin network dropped to 123 Eh / s, and the average daily – to 110 Eh / s. These indicators are below the average hash rate for 7 days by 3% and 10%, respectively.

Recall that during the rainy season in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan, energy generation greatly increases, which is used by the miners of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, mining in these provinces is associated with flood risks.

In mid-July, the hash rate of the Bitcoin network reached a historic record of 148 Eh / s. Then analyst Max Keiser expressed the opinion that the bitcoin rate will follow the hash rate and continue to grow.

Prysmatic Labs Developed Solution to Resolve Sync Bug on Medalla Testnet


Prysmatic Labs разработала решение для устранения бага с синхронизацией в тестовой сети Medalla

On August 14th, unplanned forks occurred on the Ethereum 2.0 testnet – Medalla. The Prysmatic Labs development team has found a solution to fix a bug that disrupted Medalla.
Medalla’s testnet was launched on August 4th. Its goal is to enable the transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm. About 26,000 validators joined the testnet, and users transferred over 830,000 ETH to the testnet.

According to TrustNodes, on August 14, Medalla experienced unscheduled forks – the network split into four chains. The difficulties arose due to problems with the third-party CDN service Cloudflare, which is used by the Prysm client.

Problems accessing Cloudflare lasted four hours, so internal node times changed by about the same period. Some of the validators began to transfer blocks that have not yet been released for other nodes. In addition, the validators were unable to process blocks correctly and receive rewards.

As a result, the testnet blockchain broke into several chains, as some nodes were “stuck” behind for several hours. This resulted in numerous requests from the parent chain for synchronization. The number of testnet participants who successfully confirm blocks dropped from 75% to 5%. It later turned out that Prysm did not have alternative functions that would allow it to keep track of time correctly even in the event of a service problem.

The Prysmatic Labs team has unveiled the Alpha.22 solution that can address the current sync issues on the Medalla testnet. Several more malfunctions were previously eliminated. The developers tweeted that they would need any help getting Medalla back up and running. To add more healthy peers to the network, they recommended upgrading the nodes.

Prysmatic Labs co-founder and Ethereum protocol developer Preston van Loon emphasized the importance of using the testnet to detect and fix these kinds of bugs before the Ethereum 2.0 mainnet goes live.

Last month, creator of Ethereum wallet MyEtherWallet, Kosala Hemachandra, said that full deployment of Ethereum 2.0 should not be expected until 2022. He believes there is a need to take a cautious approach to triggering an update when it comes to custom funds and immutable blockchain.

SEC fined startup Boontech $ 150,000 for fraud and illegal ICO


SEC оштрафовала стартап Boontech на $150 000 за мошенничество и нелегальное ICO

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined cryptocurrency startup Boontech $ 150,000 for providing false information to investors and conducting an unregistered ICO.
According to the SEC, between November 2017 and January 2018, Boontech sold $ 5 million worth of Boon Coins. More than 1,500 American investors took part in the token sale. The Commission accused Boontech co-founder Rajesh Pavithran of selling unregistered securities and defrauding investors.
According to the SEC, Pavitran provided false information about his project, which allegedly used a special technology that eliminates the volatility of Boon Coins tokens, hedging risks with the US dollar. Boontech management claimed to have filed a patent application for this technology and it is pending. The SEC has warned that no such technology exists.

Pavitran also stated that his platform is much faster compared to other platforms, since it was developed on the basis of a closed blockchain. The SEC called these statements false. In fact, Boontech used an open blockchain just like its competitors.

Pavitran pleaded not guilty, but did not dispute the Commission’s charges either. He agreed to return the $ 5 million raised during the ICO, as well as pay the interest earned on the sale of tokens. In addition, the SEC demanded that Pavitran pay a $ 150,000 fine and banned him from working as a director in public companies.

Recall that at the beginning of the year, the SEC fined the startup Enigma MPC $ 500,000 for an unregistered token sale. The commission also brought charges of conducting an illegal ICO on the Opporty B2B marketplace. In addition, the SEC announced last month that it will track transactions on the Binance Chain blockchain using CipherTrace tools.

BitMEX will begin to verify users


Биржа BitMEX начнет верифицировать пользователей

The popular cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX announced that on August 28, a user verification program will be launched on the site.
According to an article in the company’s blog, users will be required to provide documents proving their identity and place of residence. Exchange clients will have 6 months to complete the verification procedures. The article says:
“Retail customers will need to upload a passport photo and proof of address, take a selfie and answer a few questions about the source of funds and trading experience. The whole process will take a few minutes. Corporate clients will have to go through an already existing verification process, and our team will help them do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. ”

BitMEX was one of the first cryptocurrency derivatives trading platforms and has always carefully adhered to the “spirit of free cryptocurrencies” – it did not require identification and worked exclusively with the input and output of digital assets. However, it looks like the site is trying to get started in new jurisdictions that require user verification.

BitMEX employee Ben Radclyffe said the identification procedures will help the company in the long term. According to him, they “will make the work with regulators more transparent and accurate and support the requirements of regulators.”


Note that in recent months, the exchange has not been doing very well – since November last year, the company’s share in the cryptocurrency derivatives market has dropped by about half. In addition, in June, Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement (BMA) accused BitMEX of manipulating the market and serving American citizens without the required license.

Waves Enterprise Developers Release New Node 1.3


Разработчики Waves Enterprise выпустили новую версию узла 1.3

Waves Enterprise developers have released a new version of node 1.3. Activating the update will expand the functionality of the main network and increase its performance by 30%.
The new version of the site contains more than 20 improvements, but the developers have provided information only about the main changes. The v1.3 functionality allows you to run certain types of smart contracts in multiple threads, so they are executed in parallel. On average, this will increase the efficiency of smart contract data processing by 5 times. Main network performance will be increased by 30% by optimizing latency during microblock creation.
At the request of Waves Enterprise partners, the development team has added a function to confirm the results of the execution of a smart contract by several network nodes. This option will increase the level of security in the execution of smart contracts. S3 / Minio support has been added as a storage for sensitive data in order to transfer large amounts of data.

The platform user interface has also undergone changes. A new section “Network statistics” has appeared, which displays information about the number of nodes, average block size, number of blocks in the chain, network load, as well as statistics for the selected period: graphs on the number of transactions of different types and data from the oracle. In addition, customers have the opportunity to directly contact the developers.

Recall that in December, Waves introduced the Gravity Hub solution aimed at improving the “communication” of various blockchains and decentralized applications, as well as efficient data acquisition. In addition, last week, Ontology and Waves began jointly developing the infrastructure for blockchain interoperability.

Thailand’s SEC Issues Four Licenses to UpBit


SEC Таиланда выдала четыре лицензии бирже UpBit

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange UpBit has received four licenses from the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate in the country.
Due to uncertainties over the regulation of the cryptocurrency industry in South Korea, Upbit was forced to ban foreign traders from trading in fiat currencies. This was one of the reasons why the management of UpBit opened a new division in Thailand, having received regulatory approval. Thailand’s SEC has granted UpBit four licenses, allowing it to operate in the country as a cryptocurrency exchange, digital token exchange, cryptocurrency broker and digital token broker.

UpBit Thai CEO Peeradej Tanruangporn said UpBit was the first digital currency organization to receive all four licenses.

Tanruangporn explained that in Thailand, separate licenses are issued to conduct exchange and brokerage activities. An exchange license allows order matching, and a brokerage license allows operators to transfer a user’s order to another exchange.

The head of UpBit Thailand added that the SEC has not yet completed the final audit. However, the site can already provide Thai traders with services for the exchange of cryptocurrencies, as well as for trading digital assets and fiat currencies. The exchange has yet to determine which cryptocurrency pairs will be available for trading. Tanruangporn added that UpBit will liaise with Thai regulators on tax issues to maximize the interests of investors and service providers.

Last year, the Thai government approved an amendment to the Securities and Exchange Act allowing the issuance of securities on the blockchain. This allowed firms to obtain licenses to act as depositories for securities and digital tokens.

Apollo Fintech introduces NPP platform for settlements in government cryptocurrencies


Apollo Fintech представил платформу NPP для расчетов в государственных криптовалютах

The developers of the Apollo Fintech startup have presented the National Payment Platform (NPP) platform based on the blockchain, which will allow settlements with state cryptocurrencies.
The developers explained that NPP is a cashless settlement system that central banks can use after issuing their own stablecoins. Government agencies will have the opportunity to interact with commercial banks and other financial institutions to conduct settlements in stable cryptocurrencies issued by central banks.

The platform will allow making transactions between individual users and merchants using SMS, QR code and bank cards. Payments can even be made using text messages. This means that in theory the system will be able to support even outdated phone models.

“NPP will simplify communication between economic market participants, as well as save their time and resources. Payments using government cryptocurrencies will be much more efficient and it will be easier for central banks to adopt their stablecoins, ”said Stephen McCullah, CEO of Apollo Fintech.

He added that the new system will remove possible barriers that banks may face when launching their own cryptocurrency. According to the head of Apollo Fintech, if you provide access to such stablecoins to all banks, individuals and organizations, it will accelerate the development of the cryptocurrency industry and the widespread adoption of digital payments.

Last month, it became known that the Bank of Japan has created a new division to accelerate the development and release of its cryptocurrency. A few years ago, the deputy president of the Bank of Japan Masayoshi Amamiya said that such digital currencies would not be able to improve the existing monetary systems. In addition, Chinese media reported last week that several banks have already begun full-scale testing of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) digital yuan app and wallet.

One-day: the DeFi YAM project that raised $ 76 million closed due to a bug


Однодневка: собравший $76 млн проект DeFi YAM закрылся из-за бага

The DeFi YAM project, which only the day before yesterday raised $ 76 million in the sale of tokens, today announced its closure due to a critical error in the code.
YAM Finance has excellently illustrated the risks of the explosive growth of the decentralized finance industry. In the best traditions of the “instant” ICO of 2017, on Tuesday, in just an hour, the project raised more than $ 76 million, despite the developers’ warnings about the lack of audit. At its peak, the capitalization of the YAM token rose to $ 470 million, and the price reached $ 167. However, today the token collapsed to zero in half an hour after the announcement of the closure of the project.

Shortly after launch, a critical bug was discovered in the smart contract that allowed for the unintended emission of YAM tokens. This effectively deprived token holders of the opportunity to participate in project management. To solve the problem, it was decided to collect a pool of liquidity, but the attempt to save the protocol failed and today at 11:01 Moscow time, the developer and co-founder of YAM Finance Brock Elmore announced the death of the project. After that, the capitalization of the token quickly collapsed to zero.

However, the developers, inspired by the “success” of the project at the token sale stage, have already announced the creation of YAM Finance 2.0.

A recent study by DeFi Italy co-founder Simone Conti found that DeFi project tokens are focused on a small number of wallets.

The Block: Ethereum Miners’ Revenues Hit Two-Year High


The Block: доходы майнеров Эфириума достигли двухлетнего максимума

The Block analyst Larry Cermak reports that Ethereum miners earned $ 143.8 million in July, the highest in 23 months.
Interestingly, in recent months, the share of miners’ income not from block mining, but from transaction fees has been growing significantly. Of the total revenue of $ 143.8 million, transaction fee income was 23%, or about $ 33 million. By comparison, in May, commission income accounted for only 10% of total miners’ income.

Bitcoin miners generated $ 299 million in July, nearly double that of Ethereum miners. In July, bitcoin miners received 8% of the income from commissions, and in June this figure was 4%. At the same time, over the month, the average transaction size in the network of the first cryptocurrency grew by 525%.

Chermak also said that in July, the volume of stablecoins continued to grow – the total capitalization of the stable cryptocurrency market amounted to $ 13.2 billion.For comparison, in June it was $ 12 billion.There was also an increase in trading volume on cryptocurrency exchanges in July, immediately by 51%.

In mid-July, it was reported that from April to June, miners were constantly reducing the sales of mined BTC. They were waiting for the opportunity to sell bitcoins at a higher price and, as we can see, the miners’ expectations came true, because bitcoin broke through the resistance at $ 10,000 and reached $ 12,000.

Coinbase will issue loans secured by bitcoins in the US


Coinbase будет выдавать кредиты под залог биткоинов в США

Coinbase, a major American cryptocurrency exchange, is preparing to launch the Borrow loan service in the United States, within which customers will be able to receive loans in US dollars secured by bitcoins.
The launch of Coinbase Borrow is scheduled for this fall, while initially only 17 US states will be able to use the service. However, in the future it is planned to expand the geography of the lending service. In addition, if at first it will be possible to provide loans only with bitcoins, then later they will add support for other cryptocurrencies.
Clients will be able to receive in cash up to 30% of the value of collateralized bitcoins, while the maximum loan amount will be $ 20,000. Clients will pay 8% per annum for using the loan, and the maximum term will be 12 months. The rate will become the same for all customers, but the service reserves the right to revise the terms of the loan, based on various factors.

According to BlockFi, which already provides loans secured by cryptocurrencies, customers usually borrow funds for short-term needs, such as fixing a car or renovating a house. The cryptocurrency ecosystem allows you to take out loans without having to fill out huge applications and go through credit checks.

As a reminder, in July, exchanges Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken and Bittrex announced plans to launch a system for the exchange of user data in order to comply with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).

Ireland will tighten regulation of the cryptocurrency industry

Ирландия ужесточит регулирование криптовалютной индустрии


Ireland will introduce amendments to the legislation that will tighten the regulation of the cryptocurrency industry to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee announced that a bill will soon be presented to implement the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), which entered into force in January 2020. The Cabinet of Ministers supported the amendments to the current legislation. The updated money laundering law will contain provisions for all participants in the cryptocurrency industry. These will include trading platforms and cryptocurrency wallets.
Irish regulated banks and financial institutions will also be prohibited from creating anonymous safety deposit boxes. McAntee added that while updating the legislation, politicians had to work closely with regulators to properly formulate the language regarding the work with cryptoassets. She believes that the amendments to the regulation of digital assets are necessary to protect the rights of cryptocurrency investors.

Note that due to the 5AMLD directive, many trading floors had to change jurisdiction. So, due to the new EU regulation, the non-custodial exchange KyberSwap left Malta and registered in the British Virgin Islands. For the same reason, the Deribit cryptocurrency derivatives exchange moved from the Netherlands to Panama.

A vulnerability was found in the Tor browser that allows to steal bitcoins


В браузере Tor обнаружена уязвимость, позволяющая красть биткоины

A cybersecurity specialist working under the pseudonym nusenu discovered a vulnerability in the confidential Tor browser.
Hackers can get a chance to steal bitcoins if they take control of the exit nodes. The Tor browser uses technology that increases the anonymity of users on the network by hiding their IP addresses. The data is encrypted using “onion routing” through multiple intermediate nodes. According to researcher nusenu, the main threat is the operators of the exit nodes, receiving information about the real purpose of user requests.

To gain complete control over unencrypted HTTP traffic, hackers selectively remove HTTP-HTTPS redirects. Attackers pay special attention to requests for bitcoin mixers and sites related to cryptocurrencies. By controlling exit nodes, hackers can remove encryption protocols on such sites and view and track user data. The vulnerability allows hackers to change Bitcoin addresses in HTTP traffic and redirect transactions to their wallets.

This year, hackers managed to take control of 24% of Tor exit nodes. By May, their number had reached 380, and this figure is much higher than the last five years. Despite the fact that man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks are no longer new, the expert was surprised at the scale of the attack.

On June 21, Tor administrators carried out the elimination of malicious nodes, but attackers still control more than 10% of exit nodes. Therefore, attacks are likely to resume. To solve this problem, the researcher suggested temporarily limiting the number of output nodes or working only with proven node operators. This will require verification of email addresses or an actual network address.

As a reminder, last year hackers distributed a fake version of the Tor browser with malware to steal bitcoins.

Coinbase Leaves Blockchain Association After Joining Binance.US


Coinbase покинула Blockchain Association после присоединения к организации Binance.US

Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange withdrew from the Blockchain Association advocacy group due to the fact that Binance.US joined it.
Coinbase management believes that the decision to include Binance.US as a member of the Blockchain Association is contrary to the mission of this organization. Coinbase called such a step ill-considered, and it allegedly could cause “irreparable damage” to the credibility of the Association. At the same time, the exchange did not indicate what the damage could be and why Binance does not deserve membership in the Association.

The real reason for Coinbase’s displeasure is that Binance’s US arm is competing with it for cryptocurrency traders in the US. In an address to the top manager of the Blockchain Association, Kristin Smith, Coinbase executives indicated that the Association attracts members without meeting “certain criteria.”

Meanwhile, the Blockchain Association has expressed regret at Coinbase’s exit from the organization during such a difficult time for the industry. The human rights group noted that it complies with the requirements for the selection of participants. The decision to include Binance.US received a majority vote on the Association’s board of directors. Binance.US management declined to comment on the situation.
According to a Twitter post from the Blockchain Association, in order to accelerate the development of the blockchain industry and the development of cryptocurrency legislation, it is necessary to team up with all major companies, investors and innovative projects from the cryptocurrency industry. This will facilitate the introduction of technological innovation in various industries, including the financial sector, as well as facilitate the creation of open blockchain-based networks.

For two years, the organization has already achieved some success. This month, an advocacy group called on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to allow banks to make payments and accept deposits in stablecoins pegged to the US dollar. In addition, the group is working on the adoption of the Token Taxonomy Act and the Digital Taxonomy Act, taking cryptocurrencies out of the definition of securities.

As a reminder, the Blockchain Association previously supported Kik and Telegram messengers in litigation initiated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

NYDFS Unveils List of Allowed Crypto Assets for Storage and Listing on Exchanges


NYDFS представил список разрешенных криптоактивов для хранения и листинга на биржах

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has approved eight cryptoassets for listing and trading on exchanges and ten for holding in licensed organizations.
The regulator’s website presents two categories of assets: cryptocurrencies, which are allowed to be stored in licensed firms, and cryptoassets, available for trading on exchanges. The second category includes BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, BUSD, GUSD, PAXG and PAX. In the first category, in addition to these cryptocurrencies, XRP and ETC were added.

The NYDFS clarified that any firm with a BitLicense to conduct cryptocurrency activities in New York State can operate with assets from these lists. Before companies start using them, they must notify regulators.

NYDFS has overseen the cryptocurrency industry in New York State since 2015. In June, the NYDFS announced that it would make it easier for cryptocurrency firms to obtain a BitLicense and suggested using a conditional license under which startups could work with companies that already have a valid BitLicense. Additionally, NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell said last month that the industry has generally reacted positively to the changes made to BitLicense. These changes affect the approval process for cryptocurrencies for listing and the structure of their placement on exchanges.

Recall that more than half a year ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed to tighten regulation of cryptocurrency companies and expand the powers of the NYDFS in regulating the activities of licensed companies working with digital assets.

ICO Analytics: traffic of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges has increased significantly


ICO Analytics: трафик централизованных криптовалютных бирж значительно увеличился

According to ICO Analytics, traffic from centralized cryptocurrency exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) services increased significantly in July 2020.
Illia Kmez, Content Director of the ICO Analytics analytical service, said that the researchers analyzed the Internet traffic of about a hundred trading platforms operating both in one state and in several countries.

Binance ranked first among the TOP 20 exchanges in terms of traffic volume in July. More than 24.9 million visits were recorded on the exchange, and the volume of its traffic increased by 10%. The number of visits to the Coinbase exchange last month was less – 22.5 million, but its traffic grew by 18%. In July, this figure for YoBit and KuCoin exceeded 60%. However, not all cryptocurrency exchanges can boast such high numbers. For example, BitMEX and OKEx’s traffic decreased by 1.6% and 6%, respectively. According to Kmez, the flow of information data from centralized cryptocurrency exchanges has increased by an average of 26% since December, and by 13% last month.

In addition, ICO Analytics specialists presented similar statistics on trading platforms in the field of decentralized finance (DeFi). In terms of traffic volume, the first place was taken by the decentralized platform Uniswap. Last month, the number of visits exceeded 1.4 million. The leading positions in terms of traffic growth were taken by the Balancer pool and the Curve platform, their indicators increased by 193% and 152%.

According to The Block, in July trading volumes on decentralized platforms amounted to more than $ 4.3 billion. The volume of transactions on Uniswap amounted to 41% of the total, and on Curve – 24%. However, ICO Analytics noted that despite the rapid development of the decentralized finance industry, none of the DeFi platforms reached the traffic volume that the above centralized exchanges have.

According to DeFiMarketCap, in June the total value of tokens participating in the DeFi protocols exceeded $ 2 billion. In addition, analysts reported that in the second quarter of this year the number of active users of decentralized applications based on Ethereum doubled compared to the first quarter, which is largely driven by the growth of the DeFi industry.

Not just bitcoin. How is blockchain useful for marketing?


Distributed ledger already used in logistics, finance and medicine, the next target is the advertising market. The introduction of technology will help solve a number of problems, for example, the collection of personal data of users by large corporations. However, blockchain is still not perfect.

Blockchain is used in various fields: finance, logistics, government accounting and medicine. Gradually, distributed ledger technology is included in marketing. While most startups aren’t offering anything ground-breaking, blockchain has potential and could have a positive impact on the ad market.

Blockchain is a threat to corporations

Large companies are interested in process automation. Robots and programs are used instead of people, for example, Uber replaced operators with an application. Blockchain will help get rid of Uber and its 25% commission, and smart contracts will ensure the fulfillment of obligations between drivers and passengers.

A similar breakthrough has already been partially made by bitcoin in the financial sector. It allows you to make transfers without intermediaries with a fixed commission for any distance. On July 20, 2020, the average commission on the first cryptocurrency network was 0.00025371 BTC – $ 2.33. Meanwhile, Sberbank takes 1.5% for transfers abroad. To send $ 500 to Belarus, you need to pay $ 7.5 to the bank. The higher the transfer amount, the more profitable it is to use digital money.

A similar situation is observed in the contextual advertising market. To make money on advertising, site owners connect to ad networks to save themselves from looking for an advertiser. Intermediaries provide a stream of advertisements and guarantee payment, but in return they deduct a commission – in 2019, the revenue of the Yandex advertising network amounted to 25.4 billion rubles, and these funds could have been divided among advertising platforms.

Popular platforms like Yandex, Google and Facebook are not going anywhere, but blockchain will create a transparent advertising network, increase competition in the advertising market and reduce the commission of centralized ad networks. All network members, with the exception of large corporations, will be able to benefit.

Advertising “plantations” will become a thing of the past

Smaller sites don’t have employees or an advertiser sourcing department, so they have to settle for unfair ad network commissions. As a result, the resource receives a part of the real profit from banners. The funds received are not always enough to fully support the site, because of this, only large sites that work directly with advertisers feel confident in the market.

As advertising revenues rise, small and medium-sized information sites will increase their budget for new content and compete with larger resources. Smart contracts will act as a guarantor of payment. They will withhold the deposit from advertisers and pay money after the ads are shown.

High-quality traffic will attract new advertisers

In terms of efficiency, the Internet surpasses other methods of promotion – television, billboards, radio, and so on. In the ad account, you can always view the statics:

number of impressions;
number of clicks;
cost of one click;
data on individual audience groups, etc.

However, there are also pitfalls here. One person can see the same banner or commercial several times a day. Certain sites and unscrupulous webmasters increase the rates, which is why the advertiser receives low quality traffic. As a result, negative experience leads to disappointment in marketing as a promotion tool.

Blockchain and smart contracts have every chance to make the advertising market more transparent. The advertiser will make sure that real people have viewed his product due to the network identifiers. The collected statistics will be more objective and will help to more accurately determine the target audience for future ad impressions.

Blockchain will take care of the rest of the users

Large corporations use personal data of users to make money on advertising. Google and Facebook know your age, location, and preferences. Servers collect all the data that you specify on their resources. In return, they give bonuses in the form of convenient services – email, cloud storage, social network, video hosting, and so on.

Blockchain, on the other hand, can offer members monthly payments of up to $ 5 for specifying information about themselves and actively participating in the community – viewing ads. The payment will serve as an incentive to disable Adblock extensions and its ad blocking counterparts.

Each user will receive a network number that will combine the functions of an identifier and a wallet. Along with this, information on tastes and preferences is provided on a voluntary basis. The blockchain will not collect data that can be used to identify the participant – name, phone number, email and exact place of residence, although large corporations know your contact information.

In 2018, 267 million users were leaked to Facebook. This is not the only case where personal information has fallen into the hands of third parties.

What is preventing blockchain integration?

There are disadvantages to distributed ledger technology. They are slowing down the revolution and ubiquitous use of blockchain in many industries, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.

The modern user has become too lazy. It is surrounded by convenient services with clear interfaces. In 10 minutes, he will not be able to fully understand either cryptocurrency or creating a wallet, so for a long time a bank card will be the most common way to transfer and pay for goods.

A similar situation will happen with the new blockchain-based ad network. Even if she does offer something revolutionary, marketers and advertisers will not rush to learn new things and support a promising startup right away.

In terms of bandwidth, the blockchain is still far behind Google. The Ethereum network, which uses smart contracts, processes 20 transactions per second. Among other popular cryptocurrencies, Ripple can boast of high speed – 1,500 operations per second. However, these numbers pale in comparison to the speed of Google, which processes 63,000 requests per second.

New cryptocurrencies are gradually emerging, developers are finding solutions to increase data transfer speed. One day the blockchain will come close to Google, but when it will happen, it is impossible to determine.

Revolutions are impossible without resistance

Revolutionary solutions are often viewed with hostility. Not everyone is ready to accept cryptocurrency despite its benefits. Therefore, digital money still has an uncertain status in many countries. Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia and Nepal, for example, criminalize the use of cryptocurrencies.

Large corporations are happy with their own position – most likely they will not want to see a competitor in the form of a decentralized advertising network. The easiest way to avoid competition is to buy out a startup. In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $ 1 billion and retained its monopoly on social media in Europe and the United States.

Google could do the same – buy out a new ad network, integrate with Adsense, and keep commissions high. If the startup fails, the corporation has a different leverage. On July 29, at a hearing in the US Congress on an antitrust case, accusations were made against Google about the impact on search results. CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed this possibility – some of the lists are manually adjusted to comply with the law.

Small to medium sized sites get most of their traffic from search engines. If they get rid of ad slavery and give preference to an ad network on the blockchain, they can lose their position in Google’s results – the search engine can adjust the algorithm in such a way that preference is given to the sites of advertising partners.
However, the United States has shown concern about the increasing influence of large corporations. The ongoing lawsuit against Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple could benefit the blockchain as decentralization solves the problem with monopolies.

Polkadot Developers Launch Rococo Testnet


Разработчики Polkadot запустили тестовую сеть Rococo

On August 4, Polkadot developers launched the Rococo testnet to implement sharding using parallel chains (parachains).
According to the developers, the key parameter of shards is communication, otherwise they will act as independent chains. Shards need to interact with peers to enable sending tokens between shards. Rococo’s new testnet is specifically designed to test Polkadot protocols that will enable communication between shards.
Three separate parachains are available in Rococo: “tick”, “trick” and “track”, and developers can add their own parallel chains. The testnet uses a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism and supports horizontal messaging. Messages and tokens will be sent to the parachains via the Relay Chain, which performs similar functions to the Ethereum Beacon Chain.

The ultimate goal of Polkadot is for messages to travel between chains without using the Relay Chain. This will provide faster and more direct communication. The developers have warned that the system is still unstable and will later add new code to prepare for the mainnet launch.

The Polkadot architecture uses parachains – independent but interacting chains. These parachains are based on the modular Substrate architecture, which allows users to create custom blockchains for decentralized applications. Substrate blockchains can also be used offline, however the Cumulus framework makes it easy to integrate into Polkadot.

Earlier, Polkadot developer Bruno Škvorc said that Substrate allows you to launch a blockchain that can be quickly updated without a hard fork. Last month, Polkadot became a fully decentralized network, and the administrative authority of the non-profit Web3 Foundation was removed.

Research: Growth in Ethereum Transactions Fueled by Trading Bots


Исследование: рост количества транзакций в сети Эфириума вызван торговыми ботами

Certus One co-founder Hendrik Hofstadt attributed the marked increase in Ethereum transactions to the architecture of the popular Geth client.
The fact is that now the Geth client, used by Ethereum miners, executes transactions with the same gas size in a random order. This is used by trading companies – they create bots that monitor the queue of unconfirmed transactions on the network. If large transactions are detected on decentralized platforms, such bots create new transactions with increased commissions in order to profit from movements in the price of tokens and ether during the execution of the transaction.

To prevent other firms from performing a similar trick, bots “clutter” the network with many zero-amount transactions. So firms are spent on commissions, but they get a lot of profit. Since April 2018, $ 5.99 million has been spent on commissions for such transactions, although the bulk of them were created after mid-March 2020.

According to Coin Metrics, the average transaction fees on the second cryptocurrency network have grown 9 times since May. This was influenced not only by spam transactions, but also by the growing popularity of DeFi, various fraudulent schemes, and more.

The Geth development team is aware of the issue. At the end of July, it was proposed to change the principle of confirming transactions – instead of a random sample of transactions with the same gas size, it was proposed to execute them on a first come, first served basis. Miners must now update their Geth clients for the offer to take effect. Hofstadt emphasized that if miners care more about their pockets and not about the health of the network, then they may not update the application.

Recall that in July trading volumes on decentralized exchanges (DEX) amounted to more than $ 4.3 billion. This is 174% higher than the previous record set a month earlier.

Millions of hotels, electronics, video games. What to spend cryptocurrency on


Bitcoin is gaining more and more recognition in the world. You can use it to pay for your Twitch subscription, buy plane tickets, book a hotel, and much more. We will tell you which services accept digital money.

1. For travelers
Tourism is one of the areas that is adapting the fastest to dealing with digital assets. You can book a hotel almost anywhere in the world by paying with cryptocurrency using the service. It provides more than 3 million objects, BTC, ETH and 28 more coins are accepted for settlements. also gives customers the option to buy plane tickets with cryptocurrency. AirBaltic has a similar option; it added the option to pay with bitcoin in 2014. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic began accepting BTC a year earlier.

2. For video game lovers
For traders who are fond of video games, a separate payment method was introduced by the streaming service Twitch. Its users can buy a subscription by paying with cryptocurrency. Now there is a promotion: when using digital assets, you can get a 10% discount. You can buy video games themselves using cryptocurrency, as well as the Xbox console and other products in this direction in the official Xbox Store. To do this, the user needs to create an account on the Microsoft website and select BTC as the payment method. This option has been in effect since 2014.

3. For traders and investors
Actively trading users rarely do without special services such as TradingView. Especially for crypto traders, this platform has introduced the ability to pay in cryptocurrency. You can pay in Bitcoin, the transaction will go through the Coinbase exchange. Investors can use cryptocurrency to buy hardware wallets. Ledger sells its digital asset storage devices for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash through Bitpay.

4. Electronics, books, clothing
The American online electronics store Newegg also accepts cryptocurrency for payment. Here you can buy a printer, a computer and accessories, a virtual reality helmet and many other equipment. The transaction will also go through the Bitpay payment system. An even greater variety of goods can be bought with cryptocurrency on Amazon. The service itself does not accept digital money. But for these purposes, you can make a purchase through a gift card. Such services are offered by the Bitrefill, Purse, CoinCards platforms.

5. Crypto card
Holders of cryptocurrency can find places where it is accepted for payment using the interactive card. On it you can filter what exactly the user is interested in: shops, restaurants, entertainment, cryptomats, and more. The card is valid all over the world.

6. “Useless bitcoin”
Most of the named companies do not accept cryptocurrency directly. They use processing services such as Bitpay. The firm receives Bitcoin, converts it to the settlement currency, and then transfers the funds to the seller. For this operation, the user pays 1% commission. Bitpay is owned by billionaire Mark Cuban. Despite the fact that his service is tied to working with cryptocurrency, the businessman has repeatedly criticized bitcoin for its lack of application in real life, called it useless and compared it to bananas. The latter turned out to be better.

Hacks, laws, manipulations. Why is it dangerous to keep bitcoin on the exchange


1. Hacking
The main risk for any exchange user is a successful hacker attack. Attackers can steal funds stored in the company’s wallets. In this case, she will have nothing to give clients their funds and she is likely to declare bankruptcy. To reduce the risk of losing funds due to hacking, it is safer to choose the largest exchanges. They invest more money in providing protection and create reserve funds in case of an attack. At the same time, the more capital “in one basket”, the greater the temptation for criminals.

2. The disappearance of leaders
Another risk: bad leadership. The founders of the trading platform have access to all funds stored in their wallets. For this reason, staff can simply hide away with users’ money. A similar thing happened in November with the Canadian Einstein Exchange. With large companies, such a scenario is possible, but unlikely. The management of popular exchanges is known to the public. If it goes to such a crime, the authorities are likely to respond promptly. Although the founder of one of the largest financial pyramids, Ruzha Ignatov, has been sought since 2017.

3. Crashes
A less significant but more pressing problem is disruptions. Due to the heavy load on the server, exchanges can operate with delay or even fail. Because of this and because of the delays that have arisen, users can make mistakes in trading. For example, to sell assets at a very low price. Failures usually occur during strong market movements. When Bitcoin drops in price by tens of percent, trading activity increases, this leads to a heavy load on the servers. The exchange can go offline at the most inopportune moment. For example, this happened with BitMEX during the fall in the price of BTC to $ 3800.

4. Manipulation
Another problem of trading platforms is exchange rate manipulation. Traders use stop-losses to avoid significant losses. These orders allow you to sell an asset at a predetermined price if it starts to fall. Big players can use this to their advantage. For example, a player with large capital can sell a significant amount of bitcoins on the market. In this case, the price will fall short-term and stop-losses will be triggered. Users who have sold an asset due to such manipulation will have to buy it back, but probably already more expensive.

5. Laws
Cryptocurrency, even after 10 years of existence, has a controversial legal status. In China, most transactions with digital assets are prohibited, in Russia, they cannot be used for payment. At any time, the legislation may change, and the user will not be able to legally access the exchange. The solution is to keep funds in cold wallets or on decentralized sites. In this case, the user will not lose access to the cryptocurrency if a prohibiting law is passed. But its use is likely to continue to be illegal.

Vulnerability found in Ledger wallet leading to write-off of BTC instead of altcoins


В кошельке Ledger обнаружена уязвимость, приводящая к списанию BTC вместо альткоинов

Liquality developer Mohammed Nokhbeh has discovered a vulnerability in the Ledger hardware wallet that leads to the withdrawal of bitcoins instead of altcoins.
The developers presented a report that described how the attack works. The attacker creates an imaginary transaction with any altcoins, during which bitcoins are debited from users. For example, a trader may have the impression that he is sending 0.01 LTC, but in fact 0.01 BTC will be sent from his wallet.

Nohbeh added that Ledger hardware wallets support multiple cryptocurrencies with dedicated apps for each asset, but only one app can be activated. It turned out that external applications can access data about other cryptocurrencies even from inactive applications. The researchers found that by exploiting the vulnerability, if a user opens an app for LTC, they receive a request to confirm a Bitcoin transaction, even if they are not using that asset. In this case, the interface will display data for making a deal with LTC. Upon confirmation of such a request, a full signed transaction will be made on the Bitcoin network.

According to the developers of Liquality, Ledger was notified of this vulnerability back in January last year, but has not fixed the problem. However, Ledger said it always carefully reviews all of the researchers’ comments. According to Ledger, the developers of Liquality may have sent a report of the identified problems to other departments that are not involved in fixing bugs. Commenting on the Liquality report, Ledger acknowledged that the Bitcoin application is becoming available when dealing with other cryptoassets. The wallet manufacturer explained this by supporting forks of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies created on the basis of the bitcoin blockchain and having a common history.

“Some bitcoin forks use the same derivation paths as bitcoin. Without them, people simply won’t be able to use Ledger Nano S / X wallets to work with these coins. Developers will have to choose between security and usability so that customer funds are not blocked, ”explains Ledger.

Ledger has announced that it will soon release a new version of the Bitcoin app. In case of using a different output path, users will be notified.

Last month, experts from Kraken Security Labs talked about new opportunities for a firmware change attack on Ledger Nano X hardware wallets, but this issue has already been fixed.

Cryptocurrency hedge fund Neural Capital closes with a loss of over 50%


Криптовалютный хедж-фонд Neural Capital закрылся с убытком более 50%

Cryptocurrency hedge fund Neural Capital announced it would close after losing half of its capital. The fund was launched in 2017.
According to local media reports, the crypto assets of the Neural Capital fund were liquidated back in December, and some of the cash is still kept in escrow accounts, which violates the previously agreed storage periods for several months. However, the fund is already returning the remaining funds to investors. By 2019, Neural Capital managed over $ 13 million in assets and worked with over 40 investors.

These include Greylock venture partner Joshua Elman and Expa partner Hooman Radfar. The minimum deposit for each investor was $ 250,000. In December, the fund was revoked from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration, and this year Neural Capital stopped filing mandatory financial statements with California regulators.

Fund managers Arij Nazir and Christopher Keshian did not have sufficient experience in digital asset management, but when they opened Neural Capital in 2017, they worked with several other funds. Nazir and Keshian were consultants to the investment firm Protocol Ventures, which has already invested in several cryptocurrency hedge funds, including Neural Capital.

In addition, Keshian was the founder of Apex Capital, which was never launched due to an unsuccessful ICO, the organizers of which were unable to raise $ 100 million. According to local media reports, Keshian left his post at Neural Capital in 2019, and since then does not keep in touch with Nazir. Keshian said he was working on another project, but did not want to provide detailed information about it.

Earlier, Protocol Ventures partner Rick Marini said that in the end there will be about 50 funds that will work with large institutional investors. He spoke about this back in 2018, when many leading hedge funds were already concerned about a significant decrease in the inflow of new investments.

As a reminder, two cryptocurrency hedge funds were announced last month: Tetras Capital and Prime Factor Capital.

MonolithosDAO announces the start of the second stage of the MDT token sale and the listing of the token on Uniswap


MonolithosDAO объявляет о старте второго этапа токенсейла MDT и листинге токена на Uniswap

The developer of the decentralized crypto-ruble DeFi platform MonolithosDAO announced that on Monday, August 3, the second stage of the MDT token sale – a token for managing the Monolithos network – has started. At this stage, the liquid MDT / ETH pair is added to the listing of the Uniswap decentralized exchanger.

Monolithos is allocating 500K MDT for sale on Uniswap and providing them with Ether. The initial token price was $ 0.42 and continues to grow. The exchange has already started and the first 100 transactions have been successfully completed.

MonolithosDAO is an independent autonomous decentralized organization based on self-government, the economy of which is based on the MCR stablecoin used in a number of DeFi applications embedded in the unified ecosystem. The stablecoin rate is softly pegged to the Russian ruble at a 1: 1 ratio – the MCR is essentially the first working crypto-ruble on the Ethereum blockchain.

MDT is the Monolithos platform management token. The goal of a DAO-based project is to maintain stability in a decentralized system. MDT is designed to provide this stability. The token gives the owner the ability to manage the community together with other participants, participating in votes on a number of critical issues for the system and thus regulating the operation of the protocol.

In addition to governance, the MDT token is also intended to recapitalize the system. This token function is triggered when the Monolithos protocol runs in deficit and the system debt exceeds the maximum threshold. During a surplus, part of the MDT is destroyed to bring the system into balance. The ability to create and destroy MDT encourages token holders to manage the system intelligently.

What financial benefits do MDT owners get?

By owning MDT, you can buy crypto assets on the Monolithos platform at 5-10% below market value. This opportunity is carried out within the framework of the credit system, where participants take loans secured in cryptocurrencies. When the value of the collateral decreases, the system signals the need to replenish the storage. If the user does not respond, then upon reaching a predetermined threshold, the collateralized assets are sold at auction for MCR at a cost below market value. Also, upon liquidation, a 7% penalty is applied to the vault. All this leads to a stablecoin surplus in the system. In this situation, redundant auctions are triggered, where MCRs are purchased for MDT also at a below market price.

When the MDT is destroyed, the number of coins in the system decreases and their price increases. MDT tokens contributed as payment for assets or votes on the platform are subject to burning, and since the total number of tokens in the system is initially limited to 1 million, the value of the remaining coins increases as they are destroyed. The MDT value is divisible up to 18 decimal places, so as long as at least one token exists, the system allows trading 1 quadrillion rubles without the need for additional emission.

Selling profitably on Uniswap. Trading on Uniswap is designed in such a way that with each purchase of an asset, the value of the remaining coins increases. Therefore, if you buy MDT at the minimum price at the presale or the initial stage of sales on Uniswap, you can get a doubling or more of the initially invested amount. Recall that over the next seven days, the sale of the first and second stages of the token sale will go on simultaneously – the first stage of the sale of tokens at a fixed price on the project’s website runs until August 10.

Bitcoin Core version 0.20.1 Released


Вышла версия Bitcoin Core 0.20.1

Bitcoin developers have released an updated version of the main software client Bitcoin Core 0.20.1 with a mechanism to limit the “misbehavior” of peers.
The Bitcoin Core client update contains only minor changes and improvements, unlike the previous version of Bitcoin Core 0.20, which was presented in early June. Version 0.20 was mainly aimed at moving away from the OpenSSL cryptographic library, which caused bugs, crashes and network problems.

According to the accompanying documentation, the main change to Bitcoin Core 0.20.1 is aimed at limiting the “misbehavior” of peers or users transmitting invalid blocks. In the new version, such users will not be blocked, but will receive a special label “discouraged nodes”, which will reduce the likelihood of their interaction with the network. The limited access status can last more than a day, depending on the workload of the Bitcoin blockchain. After restarting the node, the black mark is removed from it.

In addition, the update fixes a notification bug that was present in Bitcoin Core 0.19. Users will now be notified of transactions that are removed from the mempool if they have a conflict with a new block.

The previous Bitcoin Core 0.20 update included 119 programmers’ commits, and only 13 developers participated in the preparation of the latest version of the client. In November, the Bitcoin Core update was released, containing a number of performance improvements as well as tweaks and fixes based on 550 pull requests.

As a reminder, last month, Bitcoin Core team member Jeremy Rubin introduced a new smart contract language for Bitcoin that will increase users’ control over their BTC.

# bitcoin #Bitcoin Core # updates

Monero and Tari Labs Prepare Guidelines for Listing Anonymous Cryptocurrencies on Exchanges


Monero и Tari Labs готовят руководство для листинга анонимных криптовалют на биржах

Monero and Tari Labs will present a guide for cryptocurrency exchanges to place cryptoassets with increased privacy.
The document will be released under the title “The Fundamentals and Regulation of Privacy-Enabling Cryptocurrencies”. It will be published by the law firm Perkins Coie.

The developers explained that the guide will be a “white paper” detailing how the improved tools can reduce the risks associated with anonymous cryptocurrencies. Marketplaces will receive instructions on how to place XMR without violating regulatory requirements.

In July, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced that he would like to add Monero to his platform, but fears possible problems with regulators. Monero developers believe Coinbase is not the only exchange concerned about this issue. In the fall, BitBay announced that XMR will stop trading on the platform from February 2020. OKEx Korea has also stopped trading confidential cryptocurrencies XMR, DASH, ZEC, ZEN and SBTC, as they do not comply with the recommendations of the International Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).

“The guide will present a comprehensive and reliable analysis of confidential cryptocurrencies. In addition, it will address regulatory concerns regarding cryptoassets and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. We are delighted to be able to contribute to the development of this project, ”said Lewis Willacy, legal consultant for compliance with Tari Labs.

Willace added that anonymous digital assets carry much more risks. However, they can be eliminated with improved compliance mechanisms. In the course of a comprehensive analysis of confidential cryptocurrencies, the developers have concluded that regulated financial institutions can maintain such assets in compliance with AML rules.

Monero developers have previously stated that the recommendations of the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) do not apply to anonymous cryptocurrencies and should only apply to regulated assets.

Billions of dollars in losses. All about cryptocurrency pyramids.


Мошенничество: криптовалюта и обман

The biggest damage in the blockchain industry comes from Ponzi schemes. They are especially popular with scammers who deceive hundreds of thousands of people every year.

1. How do financial pyramids work?
The organizer of the pyramid scheme invites investors, promising them high profits in the future. There are two conditions: the victims must contribute money and invite new members. Those are given a similar task and so on along the chain. All the profits that early investors get are generated by the late ones. As a rule, the organizers of the pyramid receive most of the funds, and the rest of the participants are left with nothing.

2. Why are crypto pyramids especially popular?
The deception is based on poor awareness of people about the new area, which is used by cybercriminals. Cryptocurrencies are associated with making quick money without much effort. Scammers promise high profits in a short period of time. For example, the largest fraudulent scheme last year, AirBitClub, raised over RUB 500 million. from about 60 thousand people. The money was collected allegedly for the release of tokens and earnings on the growth of their exchange rate. But in reality, the participant could only sell the local currency to other deceived investors.

3. How it all began
One of the most famous cases of fraud in the cryptocurrency market is the Bitcoinnect project. Its representatives promised to create a decentralized p2p cryptocurrency based on open source code. The scheme offered to invest in BCC tokens and receive a stable high income. Bitconnect had a referral system that was classic for pyramids and did not disclose where the money for the payment of bonuses came from. In January 2018, the project’s business model was officially recognized as a financial pyramid. After the closure of the company, the token rate fell by 90%, and by September 2018 it was removed from all exchanges.

4. Cashbury history
Cashbury was positioned as a platform for bringing together investors and borrowers. Borrowers meant people who often need money “before paycheck”, and investors meant people who had free money to lend. Investors were promised a profit of 200-600% per annum. In September 2018, the Bank of Russia declared Cashbury a financial pyramid. The estimated damage to depositors was about 3 billion rubles.

5. OneCoin pyramid
The OneCoin project has attracted over four billion euros from dozens of countries in three years. The founder of the pyramid, Ruja Ignatova, has been in hiding since 2017, accused by the US authorities of electronic fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. Singapore has recognized OneCoin as a pyramid scheme, two supporters of the project have been arrested. During the investigation by the Chinese authorities, 98 people were prosecuted and $ 268 million were recovered. Ruzha Ignatova’s brother Konstantin cooperates with the US authorities, he faces up to 90 years in prison.

6. PlusToken scheme
One of the largest crypto pyramids is PlusToken. It appeared in 2018 and was distributed on WeChat. Investors were promised 10-30% monthly returns and bonuses for attracting new members. The project attracted over 4 million users from China, Japan, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and other countries. PlusToken raised over 200 thousand BTC, 789 thousand ETH and 26 million EOS. To gain people’s trust, the organizers conducted training lectures. Six executives were arrested in the summer of 2019, and another 109 in July 2020. However, it was not possible to return the investors’ funds. The total damage exceeded $ 3 billion.

7. How to protect yourself?
All pyramid schemes have certain properties that can be used to recognize fraud. For example, if the user is offered to earn money by attracting other participants. The organizers of such schemes almost always promise extremely high profits. The most effective advice is not only in relation to crypto pyramids: in the blockchain sphere, they often cheat. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

Bank of England Updates RTGS Payment Network to Support Government Cryptocurrency


Банк Англии обновляет платежную сеть RTGS для поддержки государственной криптовалюты

The UK central bank is updating the RTGS payment and settlement system so that it can support the operation of the government cryptocurrency in the future if it is released.

The Bank of England wants the updated Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) – the payment network used by UK financial institutions – to be directly compatible with the government’s cryptocurrency.
The new settlement system is being developed so that the Central Bank can use the mechanism for transactions with digital currencies. Modules for other capabilities, including the digital pound, are also being considered as components of the future settlement system.

RTGS is a key element in the UK financial infrastructure. In this system, institutions maintain their accounts in pounds sterling and act as the main channel through which the Bank of England can inject liquidity into the economy. On average, RTGS trades over £ 685bn every day.

On Thursday, the Bank of England announced it had struck a £ 150m deal with Irish consulting firm Accenture to modernize its payments network. According to Accenture, the new RTGS network is adapting to the changing financial system, bringing more businesses access to it, and with increased interoperability and functionality.

The new system is expected to become operational in 2022. Earlier this month, Bank of England Governor Andrew Baily said that the regulator is now assessing the pros and cons of issuing a government cryptocurrency. In addition, the Central Bank stated that the design principles of the state cryptocurrency are more important than the underlying technology, and that private cryptocurrencies may be useful in the future.

Glassnode: 93% of all BTC addresses contain “profitable” bitcoins


Glassnode: 93% всех адресов BTC содержат «прибыльные» биткоины

According to analyst firm Glassnode, about 93% of all BTC addresses contain “profitable” bitcoins after the price of the cryptocurrency exceeded $ 11,000.
According to Glassnode, these addresses contain bitcoins, which have increased in value since they were transferred to the wallet. Now the number of such addresses has exceeded 93% of all BTC addresses. Moreover, on July 20, there were no more than 72% of such addresses.
The last time over 90% of addresses contained “profitable” BTC was in July and August 2019, when Bitcoin traded at $ 11,500. stick to the HODL strategy.

According to Josh Olszewicz, a cryptocurrency trader at Techemy Capital, a high percentage of addresses with “profitable” BTC increases the likelihood that investors will sell bitcoins to lock in their profits. However, this does not mean that the price will not continue to rise, he added.btc profit.png

In early July, Glassnode reported that almost 79% of the bitcoins in circulation remain profitable. At the time, analysts noted that when 95% or more of all BTC holders make a profit, it usually serves as a reliable indicator of a market peak.

At the turning point of the cryptocurrency rally in December 2017, this figure almost reached 100%. Conversely, when the reading falls below 50%, the market is considered to have bottomed out. This is exactly what happened during Black Thursday on March 12 and the fall of the markets in December 2018.

Iran allows bitcoin mining at local power plants


Иран разрешил майнинг биткоина на местных электростанциях

Iran has allowed large-scale BTC mining operations at power plants. Interested businesses will have to follow certain rules, some of them have already applied for mining.
According to local Irna News, Iran has allowed the country’s largest power plant operators to deploy and operate Bitcoin mining farms subject to certain rules.

Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, deputy head of Iran’s national electricity council, Tavanir, said power plants can mine BTC if they comply with regulatory requirements, obtain the necessary licenses and use non-subsidized electricity. In addition, power plants should not infringe on the interests of citizens.

“Now, and in a situation where the supply of electricity is of great importance to the population, we will not allow those who use the tariffs for the agricultural and industrial sectors for their own purposes, to mine BTC worth more than $ 9,000,” Mashhadi said.

He added that Iran has the lowest electricity tariffs. This is beneficial for BTC miners who are generally looking for cheap electricity and cool climates to maximize profits.

Interested businesses have already started submitting requests for mining permits. An energy council spokesman said they have already received more than 14 applications to set up BTC mining units.

Meanwhile, Mashhadi said illegal bitcoin miners would face legal consequences. He announced a $ 240 reward for those reporting unregistered BTC mining ventures.

In May, the Iranian Ministry of Industry and Trade issued a license to launch one of the largest mining farms for 6,000 devices to the Turkish company iMiner. In the same month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the government to develop an updated national strategy to develop the cryptocurrency mining industry. It was also reported in July that Iranian miners must register with the regulator within a month.

Tether releases USDT for another $ 540 million amid bitcoin growth


На фоне роста биткоина Tether выпустил USDT еще на $540 млн

Over the past three days, Tether has issued USDT stablecoins totaling $ 540 million on the Tron and Ethereum blockchains, according to Whale Alert.
According to the analytical service Whale Alert, on July 29, USDT worth $ 300 million was issued on the Tron blockchain. In addition, on July 22 and 23, the service recorded two more operations to issue USDT stablecoins on the Ethereum blockchain. Each of them was the equivalent of $ 120 million. Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, explained on Twitter that these transactions were made to replenish USDT reserves. Such actions are necessary in order to prepare in advance for future investor requests.

Выпуск USDT
“We are talking about authorized, but not issued tokens. They will be set aside as spare resources to implement token issuance requests during the next period, ” commented Paolo Ardoino on Twitter.

Recall that a few days ago, the bitcoin rate on some exchanges jumped to $ 11,400, which contributed to a bullish rally in the entire cryptocurrency market. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that due to the increase in trading volumes, Tether decided to replenish its vault with additional tokens.

Today the stablecoin Tether is one of the five leaders in terms of market capitalization. According to CoinMarketCap, over the past 24 hours the trading volume with the participation of USDT amounted to $ 33.4 billion, while for bitcoin this figure is $ 25.4 billion, and for ether – $ 11.2 billion.

рыночная капитализация USDTEarlier, the analytical company Messari reported that the capitalization of USDT exceeded $ 10 billion, and in 2020 it more than doubled. According to research by Flipside Crypto, USDT stablecoin is primarily used by arbitrage traders and centralized exchanges.

Chainalysis: 892,000 BTC linked to illegal activities


Chainalysis: 892 000 BTC связаны с незаконной деятельностью

According to analysts, 892,000 BTC are associated with illegal activities and are in the darknet markets, in the hands of scammers or hackers. That being said, most of these BTC end up on cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to the analytical company Chainalysis, there are about 585,000 BTC on the darknet markets, cryptocurrency scammers control about 99,000 BTC, and 205,000 BTC were stolen by cybercriminals. Another 3,000 BTC is controlled by other users associated with criminal activity.

btc illicit.jpg

At the same time, only 0.32% of all transactions in bitcoins are associated with criminal activity. Regardless of the origin, the most commonly used BTC for illegal transactions end up on cryptocurrency exchanges. Cryptocurrency mixers are in second place in popularity among criminals, and other services are in third place.

According to Chainalysis, over the past seven days, 377 BTC have been transferred to cryptocurrency exchanges from darknet markets, 45 BTC to mixers, and 23 BTC to other services. During the same period, scammers transferred 331 BTC to cryptocurrency exchanges, and 37 BTC to mixers and other services.

darknet exchanges.jpg

Recall that on July 15, hackers gained access to internal Twitter tools, with the help of which they were able to hack a large number of popular social network accounts. Analyst firm Elliptic later reported that 22% of the bitcoins received by fraudsters were transferred to the Wasabi Wallet, most likely for further mixing of transactions.

Despite the fact that criminals often use other cryptocurrencies for their own purposes, bitcoin remains the most popular means of payment on the darknet, according to the US research center Rand Corporation.

R3 Corda Platform will implement DAML Smart Contract Language


Платформа R3 Corda внедрит язык смарт-контрактов DAML

R3’s Corda Enterprise platform integrates the Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML) smart contract language developed by American startup Digital Asset.
Currently, Corda developers can only create applications using the Kotlin language created by JetBrains. The code of this programming language is executed in Javascript and the Java virtual machine.

DAML was created in 2016. It is intended for financial institutions, and is used to draw up and execute agreements using distributed ledger technology. Digital Asset announced that it has partnered with IntellectEU, a high-tech industry company, to integrate the DAML cross-platform language with the Corda platform.
Vice President of IntellectEU Thomas Bohner announced that initially DAML will be available on the platform only for testing. Developers will be able to use it commercially as early as Q3 2020, with important enterprise features slated to roll out later this year. The integration of DAML with Corda will significantly expand the platform’s interaction with other blockchains, since this language is already integrated with Hyperledger Fabric and VMware Blockchain.

Boehner added that customers will be able to move their applications written in DAML between platforms. At the same time, they do not need to rewrite them for the new platform, remove the attachment to the software vendor and fear the risks associated with the use of complex programs.

In April, Internet bank Tencent WeBank integrated the DAML smart contract language into the technical infrastructure of the Chinese Blockchain Service Network (BSN) platform, set up by the State Information Center of China.

Chinese Community Launches TON Community Testnet


Китайское сообщество запустило тестовую сеть TON Community

The Chinese TON community announced the launch of the TON Community blockchain test network, created on the basis of Telegram developments, and the distribution of 10 million TONcoins.
Chinese TON Community project founder Tooz Wu said the testnet is called “testnet3” and is based on the official Telegram Open Network (TON) test network, often called “testnet2”. Since the developer of TON said that the platform’s testnet would be closed by August 1, 2020, the Chinese community invited users to join the new testnet as validators and continue using the network. Ace Wu added that in addition to the launch of the test network, TON Community is conducting a free distribution of 10 million TONcoins to be used on the main network. All users of the Telegram messenger can take part in the distribution.

Ace Wu first spoke about plans to launch a test network of the project back in May, while criticizing another community, which in the same month launched the Free TON blockchain based on Telegram developments without the participation of the company. The head of TON Community added that the project is already entering the international level, and a significant proportion of its participants are citizens of Russia, China and Singapore.

Recall that on May 12, the founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, announced the termination of work on the TON platform after a lost “legal battle” with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Last fall, the agency accused Telegram of illegally conducting an ICO, considering Gram tokens to be unregistered securities. After lengthy legal proceedings, the court completely blocked the distribution of Gram tokens for both US citizens and foreign investors. However, the original developers of TON stated that the main developments on the TON code are in the public domain and can be used by anyone who supports decentralization.

Last week, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, also known as a “crypto mom” for being friendly to the cryptocurrency industry, criticized the SEC for prosecuting Telegram.

Dash Developers have released an update for Dash Platform v0.14


Разработчики Dash выпустили обновление для Dash Platform v0.14

The Dash Core Group recently released Dash Platform v0.14, and are planning to roll out another update to the platform towards the end of August.
The Dash Core Group announced Dash Platform v0.14 on their blog last week. This release was the third in the updated regulated development process, and the fifth overall. According to the developers, new functionality will be added approximately every six weeks, and the next update will be released between August 25 and September 8.
Major updates to Dash Platform v0.14 include the addition of document timestamps, a new and improved DAPI Client, a platform testing suite, and an improved distribution. Adding timestamps allows you to capture the creation or update time of any document stored in the Dash Platform. Timestamps also offer opportunities for optimizing applications, for example, by sampling only new or updated documents.

The developers have also completely rewritten the DAPI Client to improve code quality, usability, and testability. In the new version, developers can specify exact DAPI node addresses or implement their own custom logic to get or select nodes. All DAPI client methods have the same parameters as the DAPI Client constructor, so developers can specify different scripts for each API call.

For the test suite, the developers have combined all functional and complete (e2e) tests of the Dash Platform into one tool. This tool comes as a docker image and allows developers to run tests on any network or local host compatible platform. Combined with a distribution (mn-bootstrap), it allowed developers to set up a comprehensive continuous integration workflow for platform components.

As part of the latest update, the distribution has also been significantly improved, especially for local development. To prepare for the launch of a local standalone node, the Dash Core Group has provided the “setup-for-local-development” command, as well as two options for the “start” command that allow you to build Drive and DAPIs from source. Recall that in June, Chainalysis announced plans to track public transactions on the Dash blockchain.

Free TON project: how to purchase Crystal tokens and become a validator?


Проект Free TON: как приобрести токены Crystal и стать валидатором?

The Free TON blockchain with the native TON Crystal token is ready to continue the story of Pavel Durov’s failed project.
At the end of May, it became known that Telegram was stopping work on the TON project and the GRAM cryptocurrency due to pressure from the SEC, the US stock market regulator. Developers from TON Labs, together with other companies, decided to continue working on the launch of the network, but under a different name and with a different product. As a result, on May 7, they launched a new network based on the Telegram Open Network protocol – Free TON with the Crystal token.

The project was immediately supported by large companies from the crypto industry. These include TON Labs, Kuna Exchange, Everstake, Chorus, Bitscale Capital, Broxus, ForkLog founder Anatoly Kaplan and other companies and individuals.

Let’s figure out what Free TON is. From a technical point of view, blockchain differs from TON only in name:

“We call the network and token differently to show that this network is free from the history of the regulator. At the same time, TON has all the properties of a cryptocurrency with which payments are made, ”says Dmitry Goroshevsky, CTO of TON Labs.

TON Crystal is an internal network token. The developers came up with an interesting idea of ​​distributing it among the participants. You can get tokens as a reward for winning contests. There are three of them:

The first competition invites developers to create tools for scalable and secure operations;

the second is to develop a system of voting on contracts for making decisions within the project;

the third is in the development of the most optimal distribution method for TON Crystal tokens.

Authors of the best solutions will receive 30,000 tokens, and the prize fund of each competition will be from 70,000 to 100,000 tokens.

To date, the first contests have already been completed and thousands of tokens have gone to the winners. Of course, you can buy TON Crystal from them. Precisely to purchase, because it would be strange if the winners of the contests offered other users tokens for free. They were originally offered at $ 1.4 per token.

Now people buy tokens mostly out of curiosity and in small amounts. While there are too few validators on the network, this curiosity often develops into a desire to seize your niche. This is quite realistic, given the current staking volume and the likelihood of mining 15-25% per annum without extra costs. In general, the opportunity to capture the market and the desire of large players to purchase TON Crystal tokens is justified even at $ 1.2.

However, the services where ordinary users can buy TON Crystal tokens can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The safest and most convenient option where you can buy TON Crystal is Chatex. The service works in the format of a Telegram bot, which implies simplicity and safety of use.

The service offers a P2P platform where you can purchase TON Crystal tokens from real users. The chances of being cheated here are minimal thanks to a transparent rating system that helps determine the reliability of a trade partner.

The service uses the anti-fraud system and BitGo Instant instant secure transfers. And if problems arise during the transaction, an arbitrator will come to the rescue and resolve the dispute in a few minutes.

Watchdog Capital will implement a regulated platform for issuing stock tokens

27/07/2020Watchdog Capital запустит регулируемую платформу для выпуска токенов-акций

Broker-dealer Watchdog Capital, regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is preparing to launch the Gladius platform for issuing stock tokens.

Watchdog said in a statement that the platform will be able to provide companies with better access to capital as well as better opportunities for investors. Gladius was developed to comply with regulatory requirements and US securities laws and is currently in beta mode.

Bruce Fenton, CEO of Watchdog parent company Chainstone Labs, said the first share token offering on Gladius will take place in the next three months. Since Watchdog is a registered broker-dealer, the platform can be used for offers subject to SEC exemptions, including crowdfunding.

Watchdog must approve every proposal, and some of them may need SEC approval. The broker dealer is not licensed to offer secondary trading or custody services. Gladius is not tied to a specific blockchain and can also be used to issue paper shares. Investors will be able to make payments on the platform in both fiat and cryptocurrency.

Fenton noted that Watchdog is the only regulated broker-dealer currently launching a US stock token issuance platform. He added that stock tokens may well open up a new regulated investment path for companies in the decentralized financial space.

Stock tokens are increasingly of interest to regulated companies. In July, the Swiss crypto bank SEBA, in partnership with the Digital Asset Shared Ledger, announced that it would issue share tokens on traditional assets. In addition, in June, one of the largest Japanese financial organizations, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, announced that it plans to open a stock token exchange with the participation of Hash Dash Holdings and iSTOX.

18,600 BTC have already been blocked in the Ethereum blockchain to secure tokens


В блокчейне Эфириума для обеспечения токенов заблокировано уже 18 600 BTC

Equivalent $ 180 million bitcoins are locked on the Ethereum blockchain – mostly in WBTC, sBTC and renBTC tokens. Of these, about 1000 BTC are blocked on the Lightning Network.

According to Dune Analytics, some $ 180 million worth of BTC is currently locked on the Ethereum blockchain. Mainly in Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) tokens, sBTC Synthetix and renBTC Ren Project – stablecoins fully backed by Bitcoin.

As a reminder, 4,800 BTC were transferred to Ethereum in June. Moreover, the ERC-20 WBTC token accounted for about 75% of these operations.

“The industry has made significant efforts to connect BTC to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi), primarily through Ethereum,” said research firm Glassnode in its recent Q2 2020 report. “As of July 20, Ethereum has 15,800 BTC – 0.1% of all coins in circulation.”

Since then, the amount of Bitcoin blocked in Ethereum has grown to 18,600 BTC.


Almost 80% of the BTC locked on the Ethereum blockchain comes from WBTC. The ERC-20 Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) token was launched last January on the Ethereum blockchain and is a stablecoin fully backed by bitcoin. The project was presented in October 2018 by Kyber Network, Republic Protocol and BitGo. Wrapped Bitcoin uses a trusted third party custodian system to block and distribute BTC on the Ethereum blockchain.

Since May, the number of BTC blocked in Ethereum via WBTC has increased more than 12 times. This is partly driven by the growth of the DeFi industry and the willingness of users to get involved with their bitcoins.

After WBTC, the second most popular BTC blocking scheme is sBTC Synthetix, which accounts for about 7.5% of BTC blocked in Ethereum. It is followed by renBTC with approximately 6% BTC. The rest of the bitcoins are locked in HBTC Huobi and imBTC imToken.

The developers revealed the details of the launch of the final version of the Ethereum 2.0 testnet


Разработчики раскрыли подробности запуска окончательной версии тестовой сети Ethereum 2.0

The Ethereum development team has revealed the details and conditions for the launch of the final version of the Ethereum 2.0 testnet, called Medalla, which is scheduled for August 4th.

Ethereum developer Danny Ryan recently announced that the latest version of the Ethereum 2.0 testnet will not launch until August 4th at 4:00 pm ET. This date cannot be called final, since two conditions must be met for the launch. First, you need to wait for the earliest date of the first block. This parameter is set manually, and determines the nearest time to launch the test network. Second, the testnet will be launched with a certain number of registered validators.

The deployment of Medalla will only begin when at least 16,384 deposits totaling 32 ETH have been made. Funds must be deposited 48 hours before the earliest date for the creation of the first block. If the required number of deposits is not completed before the specified period, the test network will start 48 hours after this condition is met. Medalla will mimic the Ethereum 2.0 update as closely as possible, so deposits are required. Anyone can become a test participant by registering and making a deposit of 32 ETH from the Goerli test network.

Four clients are already ready for launch: Nimbus, Teku, Lighthouse and Prysm. Four more clients are under active development. Ryan expects the Lodestar customer to be able to get their power online as well. Clients coordinate the work of the nodes, so the smooth functioning of the network depends on them to a large extent. For example, due to a bug in the Geth client, which dominates Ethereum 1.0, there was a consensus break between Geth and Parity clients. Therefore, for Ethereum 2.0, it was decided to use a multi-client model.

Unlike previous iterations, Medalla’s testnet will be community driven. In addition, white-hacker attacks will be carried out to detect defects and vulnerabilities. The developers reported that they are already working on the Beacon Chain signal chain, which will become the main coordinator of various shards. Users will be able to stake in ETH through an Ethereum 1.0 deposit contract, but they will not be able to conduct transactions with Ethereum 2.0 coins. Also, users will not be able to return them until the launch of the first phase of the update.

It was originally proposed that Ethereum 1.0 function as a separate chain until the hard fork is fully deployed. However, since December last year, developers have been considering a proposal that could significantly speed up the process. Clients Ethereum 1.0 and Ethereum 2.0 can be “hybridized” in such a way that the former are responsible for the work of consensus and block validation, and the latter are responsible for transmitting all information about blocks and transactions. In fact, Ethereum 1.0 would be one of many shards.

As a reminder, this month independent Ethereum developer Alexei Akhunov proposed embedding stateless clients into the current version of Ethereum to scale the network with minimal security impact.

World Stablecoin Association established in Switzerland to develop stablecoins


В Швейцарии создана World Stablecoin Association для развития стейблкоинов

In Switzerland, the World Stablecoin Association (WSA) has been established to support existing stablecoins and help develop new stable cryptocurrencies.

The association was founded by the VirgoX cryptocurrency exchange and the commercial bank Global Digital Assets (GDA Capital), which operates in the field of blockchain and digital assets. The WSA is headquartered in Geneva. VirgoX CEO Adam Cai said that it is planned to attract all major projects that have issued their own stablecoins to the international Association. WSA is already negotiating with major cryptocurrency issuers UDST, USDC, DAI and HUSD.

According to Kai, they will be ready to become members of the Association by the end of this year. In the meantime, the WSA will help create an enabling environment for cryptocurrency startups whose stablecoins are in their early stages of development. The VirgoX CEO emphasized that the main problem with stablecoins is that despite their advantages over conventional digital assets, they still cannot be widely used.

“Simple trading of stablecoins on cryptocurrency platforms is not enough. Stable cryptocurrencies should be used for cross-border payments and transfers. In order for users to view such assets as a ‘storehouse of value’, projects need to be helped to develop staking and products that generate interest, ”said Adam Kai, CEO of VirgoX.

Kai also said that to date, the World Stablecoin Association includes Canada Stablecorp, the developer of the QCAD stablecoin based on the Ethereum blockchain, and Ren, which is creating a decentralized protocol for exchanging transactions between Ethereum and the blockchains of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Zcash.

BlockGeeks also became a member of the Association, which performs audit of smart contracts and organizes educational trainings on cryptocurrencies for corporate clients. In addition to these firms, WSA includes stablecoin issuers BRZ, CBRL, USDK, XDB, as well as Peg Network, QC, Stably, Nova Club, Alpha Sigma Capital and the Beijing branch of Consensus Labs.

WSA announced that it is open to cooperation with all enterprises and government bodies supporting the development of the stablecoin industry. The association will organize monthly online seminars and annual conferences in Switzerland to discuss in detail the plans and further actions for the large-scale implementation of stablecoins, as well as explore the possibilities of interaction with other issuers of stable cryptocurrencies. The VirgoX CEO believes that there will be a “boom” in stablecoins in the coming years, and interest in them will only grow.

Note that according to Messari, the capitalization of Tether’s stablecoin USDT has exceeded $ 10 billion. Over the current year, it has more than doubled. USDC and BUSD also posted significant gains this year.

Santiment: whales have moved 700,000 ETH to cryptocurrency exchanges over the past three days


Santiment: «киты» переместили 700 000 ETH на криптовалютные биржи за последние три дня

The largest investors have moved 700,000 ETH, equivalent to $ 182 million, to cryptocurrency exchanges in the past three days. Analysts believe that the whales are preparing for the upward movement in the price of ETH.

According to analytical resource Santiment, the transfers of 700,000 ETH in the amount of $ 182.7 million coincided with a decrease in the total balance of OTC wallets by about the same figure. This suggests that the “whales” can prepare for the massive sale or trade of ETH in anticipation of the growth of the cryptocurrency rate.

“Over the past three days, the 100 largest whales have moved almost 700,000 ETH. During this time, the aggregate balance of the 100 largest OTC ETH addresses decreased by almost 700,000 ETH, or about $ 182.7 million. This can probably be considered preparation for the rise in the price of cryptocurrency, ”analysts said.

ETH whale.png

Ethereum has been the focus of the industry in recent weeks. This is due to two main factors – the boom in the DeFi industry, whose largest products are based on Ethereum, and the imminent rollout of the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0 network upgrade. These trends may contribute to the growth of ETH – over the past 24 hours, the price of the cryptocurrency has increased by 8.4% and reached $ 263, according to CoinMarketCap.

As a reminder, Ethereum developer Danny Ryan announced yesterday that the final version of the Ethereum 2.0 testnet will launch on August 4th. The mainnet launch is scheduled for November 4th. In addition, at the beginning of the week, the total market capitalization of stablecoins reached $ 12 billion. At the same time, according to analytical company Messari, Ethereum accounts for more than 85% of the transaction value of all issued stablecoins.

Recently it became known that the volume of blocked crypto assets in DeFi applications reached $ 3 billion. The combination of these and other factors could lead to the fact that the “whales” began to prepare for an increase in the price of cryptocurrency and move ETH to exchanges.

Cisco has discovered a new botnet for hidden mining Monero


Cisco обнаружила новый ботнет для скрытого майнинга Monero

Cisco Talos discovered a botnet that has been active for several months and infected more than 5,000 computers to secretly mine the confidential Monero cryptocurrency.
In a report, cybersecurity analyst firm Cisco Talos, part of tech giant Cisco Systems, said it had discovered a botnet called Prometei that has been active for several months.

A botnet can disable security controls, copy sensitive files, and disguise itself as other programs to set up hidden mining operations on computer systems. New tools are also constantly emerging on the network to help a botnet avoid detection.

The botnet has infected between 1,000 and 5,000 computer systems since its launch in March, researchers estimate. According to analysts, Prometei has already brought its owner the equivalent of $ 5,000 XMR. Cisco Talos has not identified the hacker, but suggests it is a professional developer based somewhere in Eastern Europe.

Analysts also found that the botnet was stealing credentials such as administrator passwords, possibly for sale on the darknet.

Recall that in May, hackers attacked several supercomputers in Europe to mine Monero. The supercomputer clusters were forced to shut down to investigate incidents.

In addition, in April, the Slovak antivirus company ESET announced that it successfully counteracted a botnet of 35,000 computers in Latin America that mined XMR.

Earlier this year, a division of telecommunications company AT&T Alien Labs analyzed the distribution of malware for hidden mining Monero, which is embedded on mail servers.

CoinGecko: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Artificially Increase Web Traffic To Their Sites


CoinGecko: биржи криптовалют искусственно наращивают веб-трафик на свои сайты

According to researchers, nearly 50% of OKEx’s internet traffic comes from advertising sites that pay for clicks in cryptocurrencies.
CoinGecko analysts argue that cryptocurrency exchanges can distort the amount of internet traffic to their sites. In particular, the report says that in the second quarter of 2020, the trading volume on the OKEx cryptocurrency exchange decreased, but the volume of Internet traffic increased by 239%. This is odd, because internet traffic metrics tend to correlate with trading activity.

After checking with SimilarWeb, which shows the source of the web traffic, CoinGecko analysts noticed that about 50% of OKEx’s web traffic comes from paid referral sites. The largest was Adbtc, a site that pays people with BTC to click on links to sites. Adbtc claims to have 78,000 active users and generate 866,000 impressions per day for popular sites.

Other platforms include Coinpayu, on the list of which OKEx is listed as one of the platform’s projects, Cointiply and Adeth. All three sites pay in cryptocurrency for ad clicks and use referral links. When asked to comment on the data, OKEx CEO Jay Hao responded that every company in the cryptocurrency industry should be growth-oriented.

“We continue to grow our industry presence with a greater focus on organic growth, strategic partnerships and the most innovative and diverse product portfolio on the market,” he said.

Hao added that web traffic is an unreliable indicator for ranking exchanges and that exchange trading volume is more dependent on market volatility.

CoinGecko analysts also noted that some of the paid traffic went towards Binance, but this was a very low percentage of total traffic. Binance commented on the situation and stated that this is due to testing paid traffic to the site during the week. However, due to the low conversion rate of new traders, the exchange is no longer planning to conduct testing.

In May, cryptocurrency market tracking service CoinMarketCap updated its exchange ranking system and launched a new “web traffic metric”. The criterion is designed to analyze user activity on exchanges, including the number of page views, unique visitors, time spent on the site, search engine bounce rate and search engine rankings. This placed a much greater emphasis on exchange traffic volume rather than trade volume.

When trading volumes were the default metric for ranking, many exchanges used fictitious trading to boost their rankings. But now that CoinMarketCap measures web traffic and other analysts like CoinGecko include web traffic as an important factor in their estimates, exchanges have more incentives to drive people to their site. CoinGecko co-founder and COO Bobby Ong said:

“It is possible that exchanges are paying for traffic to rank higher as data aggregators now account for web traffic. It can also be argued that exchange ads were posted on these advertising sites without any active participation of the sites themselves. However, it is possible that Similarweb’s statistics are not entirely accurate due to sampling issues. “

Ethereum 2.0 Developer Offers White Hackers $ 5,000 to Hack Test Nets


Разработчик Ethereum 2.0 предложил «белым хакерам» $5 000 за взлом тестовых сетей


Ethereum developer Danny Ryan invited “white hackers” to hack Ethereum 2.0 testnets. The reward for discovered vulnerabilities will be $ 5,000.

Danny Ryan posted on Twitter a call to look for vulnerabilities in Ethereum 2.0 testnets with a link to the Github page for more details and conditions. The targets of the “white hackers” are the codebases of mini-networks from Lighthouse and Prysm clients, designed to access the new version of the blockchain. Unlike Ethereum clients Geth and Parity, which have a total of 7,500 nodes, the testnets for attacks will consist of only four nodes, making it easier to achieve the goal of preventing “completeness”.

In 2016, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin described the concept of “completeness” as an operation that is permanently fixed and cannot be reversed by systemic errors or outside interference. Basically, the developers of Ethereum 2.0 are asking “white hackers” to try to prevent block confirmation, as well as theoretically get transaction returns, double spend attacks, and other similar actions.

Ryan posted an article on the status of Ethereum 2.0 deployments last month, which explains the general timing of an update under development and some technical issues that need to be addressed in order to prepare for the full release. Significant development efforts have gone into creating coordination methods for tens or hundreds of thousands of validators that support Ethereum’s operation and will be eligible for staking rewards of at least 32 ETH.

While existing blockchains have tens, hundreds, or several thousand validators, Ethereum 2.0 aims to maintain decentralization and initially requires a minimum of 16,000 validators. Within a few years after the update is deployed, their number should increase to hundreds of thousands.

Earlier this month, Ethereum 2.0 lead developer Justin Drake said that the launch of the update phase 0 could not wait until early next year. In addition, researchers recently stated that DeFi applications on Ethereum 2.0 will be more vulnerable.

Tesla Shares vs. Bitcoin. Why is it more profitable to invest in cryptocurrency?


BTC and securities of Elon Musk’s company first appeared on trading floors in July 2010. Which of the assets to consider for buying and the price of which may collapse the day after tomorrow?

Elon Max’s company Tesla in the crypto community began to be called the bitcoin of the stock market. The reason for this lies in the explosive rise in value. The electric car maker was first listed on the stock exchange in July 2010 at a price of $ 19.2. In the same month, the first cryptocurrency appeared on the trading platform, then it cost about 8 cents.

To date, both assets have risen significantly. Tesla shares are currently trading at $ 1,500, up 7,700% after listing. Bitcoin value over the same period increased by 11.5 million and now amounts to $ 9,200.

But this year, Musk’s securities have performed better than the main digital coin. Since the beginning of the year, its rate has increased by only 27%. At the same time, Tesla stock quotes showed an increase of 275%. We learned from experts whether it is worth buying Tesla and BTC shares now or, conversely, playing downgrades and which of the assets has more potential.


Tesla’s stock price fell to $ 350 in March, then went into a growth phase and set a new all-time high of $ 1,790 in July. It is definitely not worth buying securities after such an increase, since a correction to $ 1100-1200 is possible. What is happening now is reminiscent of the rise in the Bitcoin exchange rate that happened in 2019. Then the coin from February to June rose from $ 3200 to $ 14,000, after which it fell to $ 6700 by December.

Tesla’s stock movement is similar to the Bitcoin rally in 2019. The immediate target for the fall is at $ 1200. And even when it reaches $ 1200, the stock can then adjust to $ 1100. Those who bought at the top will exit the longs so as not to lose, which will strengthen the downward movement.

The American stock market is monstrously overheated, stock valuation has come off the real indicators of companies, as indicated by many indicators. Now investing in American stocks is like a casino – the bubble will burst sooner or later, and only the timing remains the biggest mystery. Tesla stock is not worth buying or shorting – it has nothing to do with investing.

Fundamentals say Tesla is heavily overpriced and the stock is trading at a huge premium. At the same time, the company is actively developing, interest in electric vehicles is growing strongly, in particular in Asia – this is clearly taken into account by investors in their assessments. But one way or another, quotes of securities may collapse sharply if the report, which is released on July 22, will contain poor indicators.

The lesson the Tesla story presents to investors is not to be short. Now the market has a lot of free money, the market looks unpredictable, and earlier it severely punished those who did it. However, buying stocks is also hardly worth it.

Tesla predicts very large cash flow in the 20-30 year interval. Investors believe that the company will live for decades, bringing in substantial profits, but, obviously, this assumption has many risks not materialized.

To be short, when there is unlimited liquidity from the Central Bank in the markets, this is an occupation that has not statistically proven to be effective over the past 12 years since the Fed’s monetary frenzy began.


Despite the fact that in 2020 bitcoin yielded to Tesla shares in terms of profitability, it had its finest hour in 2017. In January, the price of the coin began to rise from just above $ 1000 and by December soared almost 20 times, to $ 20,000. But the rate could not be kept at this level and immediately began to decline, falling to $ 3200 within 12 months.

Bitcoin is a completely different story. In 2017, the cryptocurrency was a bubble, it burst, but now the market looks quite healthy. There are many positive factors that favor the development of a new industry and its recognition in the world. In other words, there is no clear reason to play to lower the value of BTC.

Bitcoin supply is limited, and after halving an additional reduction has occurred. In addition, part of the coins is lost naturally. Institutional investors and funds buy more of it than is produced. Bitcoin has an infrastructure in the form of even ATMs, unlike other cryptocurrencies. Derivatives are made on it, leafed on cryptocurrency exchanges. It’s definitely not worth it to shorten bitcoin now.

The Bitcoin situation is strikingly different. Paradoxically, the “volatile” BTC is stable now. After halving, miners are not ready to sell bitcoin at prices below $ 6-8 thousand, but there are quite a lot of buyers (including institutional investors) at such prices. BTC has moderate upside potential, and if you are not a short-term trader, then the asset should be considered a buy, not a short.

Since the beginning of the year, Bitcoin has risen in price much less than many altcoins. Some market participants believe that the cryptocurrency market will soon grow explosively, as happened in 2013 and 2017, but so far the market leader’s quotes do not look like a bubble.

The cryptocurrency market is currently showing no signs of a bubble. In the case of Tesla shares, on the contrary, there are these signs. Therefore, the price of securities is unlikely to increase if, for example, stagnation or a new fall begins in the stock market. However, the BTC rate is also not independent, its behavior depends on the S&P 500 index.

Bitcoin is in a sideways trend. Nobody knows where the exit will be. It is tied to the S&P 500. If the S&P 500 makes it to 3400, bitcoin will go up to $ 10,000. Now it’s very boring. Rally on it may be after July 25th.

Bitcoin has an important advantage over Tesla shares – you cannot increase its emission. In the case of securities, the situation is the opposite. The company may issue additional issues to balance the funding cost to market levels.

Shares are theoretically infinite: as the share price rises, the cost of financing the company falls … Therefore, as the share rises to certain levels, when the cost of capital for the company decreases significantly, the company can always issue an additional issue and issue any number of shares to bring the cost of its funding to market level. Roughly speaking, the rise in the value of the shares understates the cost of financing the company relative to the market rate.

This situation is impossible with the growth of the bitcoin price. No one can “print” it or create new coins to monetize the rise in price of the asset. This can only be done by selling what you have and by producing BTC through primary mining. After halving, this process became extremely energy-intensive.

Bitcoin has lost now, but can win in the future

Buying Tesla shares is extremely risky right now. The securities of the company are overvalued and resemble a bubble, there is a risk of additional emission and, most importantly, on Wednesday a report for the second quarter will be released, which may contain poor indicators.

Despite the fact that the first cryptocurrency this year lagged behind in terms of profitability, at the moment it looks more attractive for investments than Tesla shares, experts are sure. Bitcoin, in comparison with 2017, does not show signs of a bubble and has a moderate potential for a long-term rise in price.

South Korean exchange Upbit closes fiat trading for foreigners


Южнокорейская биржа Upbit закрывает торговлю с фиатными валютами для иностранцев

The South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit will prohibit the trading of fiat currencies to foreign traders and will focus on serving local users due to regulatory uncertainty.

Upbit, a South Korean exchange, is concerned that the marketplace is having difficulties in bringing digital and fiat currency trading to international users. The key problem is the impossibility of securing uncontrolled trading in fiat currencies using verified bank accounts. Upbit announced that it has entered into a partnership with the Internet bank K Bank. This will allow fiat trading to resume for South Korean users, but will not be available to traders in other countries.

According to the banking regulation of South Korea, citizens of other countries are prohibited from opening accounts through online banks. Therefore, Upbit warned foreign traders that they should withdraw their fiat currencies from the exchange by July 24. Other Korean exchanges, Korbit and Coinone, began to demand from users a mobile phone number, which must be specified during the authentication process. Thus, exchanges are trying to identify traders from other countries.

Since the beginning of June, Upbit users who are not South Korean citizens have been “giving away” 22% of their profits to the exchange for withdrawing money. This was necessary so that the platform could easily pay taxes on the profits of foreign customers. In January, the South Korean Ministry of Finance proposed a 20% tax on income from digital assets. However, the official legislation on taxation of income received from the turnover of cryptocurrencies has not yet been presented. Therefore, it is difficult to assess how the new tax regulations in South Korea could affect local cryptocurrency exchanges.

In the spring, it became known that since 2018, the trading volumes of many South Korean exchanges, including Upbit and Bithumb, decreased by 60-70% due to pressure from local regulatory authorities. Due to the lack of clear regulation of the cryptocurrency industry in South Korea, local cryptocurrency exchanges began to lose international users, so now they have to focus on local traders. In addition, in December, the South Korean Internal Revenue Service (NTS) recovered from Bithumb about $ 70 million. NTS accused the exchange of not retaining taxes from foreign clients who made profit from cryptocurrency transactions.

Bitcoin miners’ power consumption is on the rise again


Энергопотребление майнеров биткоина снова растет

Despite the decrease in energy consumption of BTC miners shortly after the halving, when inefficient AISC miners began to disconnect from the network, this figure has now started to rise again.
After bitcoin halving in May, when the reward for mining a block for miners fell from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, many unprofitable and inefficient ASIC miners left the network. Then it was reported that the energy consumption of Bitcoin miners decreased by 24%, but still remains high.
Now, according to Digiconomist and the Cambridge Bitcoin Miner Electricity Consumption Index, this figure, albeit gradually, is starting to rise again. Digiconomist data shows that mining BTC now on average requires about 61.2 TW / hr per year, and this is the highest figure since May 11.

In June, the energy consumption of miners shortly reached 60 TW / h, fell for a short time, but then increased again. According to Digiconomist, the minimum energy consumption figure is 51.2 TWh – the highest it was last on March 14, long before the halving.

According to Digiconomist estimates, the total estimated energy consumption of Bitcoin miners is now greater than that of the whole of Algeria, and is approaching Kuwait’s energy consumption figures.

At the same time, bitcoin miners leave a carbon footprint, along with the same amount of electronic waste as in Luxembourg. A single Bitcoin transaction leaves a carbon footprint equivalent to 626,300 Visa transactions or 41,757 hours of YouTube video viewing.

Cambridge’s estimates differ from those above, but still indicate a trend towards an increase in the amount of energy spent around the world in mining BTC. The site’s data shows an average peak in energy consumption of 59.1 TWh last Tuesday, and has hovered around 58 TWh since then. This is the highest recorded on the site since May 21st.

Despite the fact that the energy consumption of Bitcoin miners is still far from the peak of 77.7 TW / h per year recorded by Digiconomist in early May before the halving, this trend indicates that energy consumption for BTC mining is gradually and steadily increasing.

Binance will partner with BitRiver to bring miners to its pool


Binance будет сотрудничать с BitRiver для привлечения майнеров в свой пул

Binance wants to consolidate more hashrate of the Bitcoin network from Russia and Central Asia in its pool by deploying a physical server node at the BitRiver mining site in Bratsk.
As reported by Binance and BitRiver, the initiative will allow BitRiver ASIC miners who decide to switch to Binance to get a better connection and direct routing to the mining pool.
In turn, Binance will have access to clients who manage devices hosted on BitRiver. Currently, the total capacity of the enterprise for the production of BTC is 70 mW / h of a total capacity of 100 mW / h.

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), the current average monthly hash rate from miners in Russia is 6.08% of global BTC production, and from miners in Kazakhstan – 3.14%. At the same time, the hash rate from Chinese miners decreased from 75% recorded in Q3 2019 to 71%.

Currently, nine of the ten largest BTC mining pools by hash rate are either Chinese companies or they are owned by cryptocurrency exchanges whose owners are tied to China.

Assuming that, on average, BitRiver clients use modern ASIC miners, such as Antminer S17 from Bitmain or equivalent models, the total hashrate of BitRiver farms may exceed 1,000 P / s. Although this hashrate can only account for about 1% of BTC’s total computing power, the deal underlines Binance’s strategy of acquiring miners in different regions.

“Binance Pool offers a very competitive commission structure for institutional miners – clients of our data center,” said BitRiver CEO Igor Runets.

According to his estimates, up to 50% of the hash rate of BitRiver customer farms can be transferred to Binance Pool after the transaction. Runets added that these customers will mostly leave the pool running Bitmain.

Both parties did not disclose whether Binance would offer special conditions on commissions to attract BitRiver customers. However, the below-market rate is one of the key steps Binance is taking to attract new miners to the pool. According to available information, Binance wants to establish similar cooperation with miners in Kazakhstan.

Recall that the Binance cryptocurrency exchange deployed a mining pool at the end of April and gradually accumulated 7,000 Px / s of the total hash rate of the Bitcoin network. Binance Pool is currently the eighth largest BTC mining pool.

Binance Pool implemented the Fully-Pay-Per-Share (FPPS) model and initially offered zero commissions, but now it charges a fee of less than 2.5%. But in some cases, the fee offered to large miner operators may be below 1%.

Meanwhile, other large BTC mining pools, such as F2Pool and Poolin, have also previously lowered their fees from 4% to 2.5%, although there are more favorable conditions for large clients.

The FPPS model means that the pool only charges the agreed commission for the subsidy in each block mined, and then distributes the subsidies, as well as transaction fees to the miners in proportion to their contribution. According to current data, since its launch, Binance Pool has mined 488 blocks with a total subsidy volume of over 3,000 BTC.

Heartwood hard fork activated on Zcash blockchain


В блокчейне Zcash прошел хардфорк Heartwood

In the anonymous Zcash cryptocurrency blockchain, the Heartwood hard fork is activated on block 903,000. The update will ensure mining privacy.

Heartwood is the fourth update to the Zcash network since the advent of this cryptocurrency in 2016. Heartwood was activated with the support of the Zcash Foundation and the Electric Coin Company (ECC), supporting the development of the Zcash cryptocurrency. The update contains two suggestions for improving Zcash (ZIP): “Shielded Coinbase” (ZIP 213), which provides anonymous mining of Zcash, and “Flyclient” with support for lightweight clients to confirm transactions. Hard fork is not backward compatible. This means that all nodes must update their software in order to successfully synchronize with the new Zcash blockchain.

“The Zcash Foundation is pleased to introduce the Heartwood update with ECC. Soon, users will be able to connect to the Zcash network using the alternative Zebra client, compatible with the Zcash consensus and developed by the Zcash Foundation, ”said Zosh Foundation Executive Director Josh Cincinnati.

Note that the Zebra client, using the Rust programming language, was launched by Parity Technologies last June. Shielded Coinbase will allow miners to receive rewards for processing transactions directly to Zcash secure addresses, which hide the transaction amount, addresses and an encrypted text field. ECC Technical Director Nathan Wilcox said that the implementation of ZIP 213 was planned from the very beginning of the project. The update was implemented thanks to the Sapling hard fork, which was activated in 2018.

“With the help of secure transactions, individual miners can anonymously receive rewards. Mining pools can also privately send payouts to their customers, ”said Nathan Wilcox.

The Flyclient offer allows you to confirm transactions even with a minimum of information. Like simplified payment verification (SPV), a block header without its contents is sufficient to confirm a transaction. In addition, Flyclient simplifies interaction with other blockchains, including Ethereum. Summa’s founder and developer, James Prestwich, added that a full Zcash site is required for full privacy. Flyclient protects light clients from intruders and ensures the complete anonymity of each wallet.

Recall that in June 2018, the Zwash network successfully passed the Overwinter hard fork to prepare the Zcash code for the larger Sapling hard fork, and in December 2019, the Blossom hard fork took place in the Zcash network.

ESET discovered GMERA Trojan stealing cryptocurrency


ESET обнаружила ворующий криптовалюты троян GMERA

ESET specialists discovered the GMERA Trojan, which steals cryptocurrencies from traders. The software is distributed under the guise of crypto asset trading applications on Apple MacOS.

ESET, a cybersecurity company, said malware has been integrated into fake cryptocurrency trading applications. After installing these extensions, it begins to steal digital assets from user wallets. Attackers impersonate the Kattana trading platform. They copied the site of the service and promote their software under the guise of four applications: Cointrazer, Cupatrade, Licatrade and Trezarus. The Trojan was first discovered by the antivirus company Trend Micro in September 2019. At that time, GMERA was distributed in the form of a Stockfolio application for stock market investments.

ESET experts said that when downloading applications from a fake site, the user downloads a ZIP folder with the infected version of the application. Moreover, these applications fully support trading functions. Experts added that for a person who does not use the original Kattana services, fake sites may not cause suspicion. Hackers use social engineering in direct contact with potential victims. ESET analyzed malware using the Licatrade application as an example, with which GMERA has only minor differences.

The Trojan installs a shell script on the victim’s computer that provides hackers with access to the user’s system through the downloaded application. This scenario allows attackers to create command servers via HTTP, which makes it possible to exchange data with the victim’s device. GMERA steals the user’s personal data, information about his cryptocurrency wallets, location, as well as screenshots. ESET specialists reported this problem to Apple, after which the corporation withdrew the certificate issued by Licatrade on the same day.

Recall that in April Google removed 49 Chrome browser extensions, which were distributed as utilities for working with cryptocurrency wallets, but contained malicious code. Google later removed another 22 extensions that stole cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Core developer has proposed a new smart contract language for Bitcoin: Sapio


Разработчик Bitcoin Core предложил Sapio - новый язык смарт-контрактов для Биткоина

Bitcoin Core team member Jeremy Rubin is working on a new smart contract language for Bitcoin that will increase user control over their BTC.
Jeremy Rubin showed off the new Sapio language on Saturday at the RecklessVR virtual reality presentation meeting, which many audience members joined in VR headsets. He plans to release a programming language as part of his new research organization, Judica.

Stateful smart contracts that fix state enable users to save money – they cannot be spent until certain conditions are met, including multi-stage ones. Smart contracts are most often associated with the Ethereum blockchain, which has the flexible programming language Solidity, which facilitates the writing of state-fixing smart contracts.

Not everyone knows that Bitcoin also supports several different types of smart contracts. For example, including the requirement that more than one person sign a transaction before it can be spent (multi-signature transactions). They are widely used in SegWit and Lightning Network technologies. But compared to Ethereum, Bitcoin smart contracts are less functional and more cumbersome to create, or do not fix the state – that is, the conditions are met either immediately or not at all. Until now, this has meant that there are fewer options for developing smart contracts for Bitcoin.

Rubin hopes to expand the use of smart contracts for Bitcoin to give users more control over what they can do with their money.

New opportunities
Already today, Sapio can work for Bitcoin smart contracts. But most types of such contracts, according to Rubin, are not yet available online. He created Sapio specifically for BIP CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY (CTV). This change, if adopted, could bring more smart contract features to the Bitcoin network, and users will be able to protect their BTC in new ways.

In his speech, Rubin called CTV “a simple system of agreements for Bitcoin.” The idea of ​​the agreements, which has existed for a long time, is to add security measures, for example, provide additional rules for moving BTC, preventing the cryptocurrency from being sent to all addresses except a few allowed ones.

“In practice, this means that the system allows you to execute more complex smart contracts and determine how you can spend BTC,” Rubin said.

One use case for agreements is the BTC repository. Usually, after capturing the private key, an attacker can gain access to all crypto assets associated with it. But blocking bitcoins in such a storage adds restrictions on the movement of BTC in case of an error or other security problem.

“I think storage is one of the most important features that CTV will present. They provide a huge number of financial sovereignty tools for a wide audience, ”Rubin said, adding that this technology offers users the opportunity to protect BTC on their own without a third-party service provider.

Now the prototype of the BTC intranet storage is already available and was proposed earlier, but creating them using CTV will be much easier, Rubin believes.

CTV also offers many other features, such as monitoring network congestion. CTV is able to help BTC users wait out high commissions and send coins at a time when it will be cheaper. Now that Rubin has created a smart contract language specifically for CTV, these usage scenarios will become easier for developers to program and, therefore, more accessible for ordinary users.

Blockchain as an arbiter
The recently established Rubin research organization Judica will focus on this set of technologies. He plans to release tools that, he hopes, “will significantly expand the economy of Bitcoin.” The word “judica” in Latin means “judgment”: Rubin considers the Bitcoin blockchain as a “judge”, and wants to push the network to develop in this capacity.

“If you look at the relationship between the market and the government, then, as a rule, supporters of the free market will say that the government is only an agent that bothers everyone and should be eliminated. But if you delve deeper into the problem, the functionality of the courts is actually crucial for the development of the economy. Without reliable courts or any judicial system (private arbitration also matters), transactions with strangers are too risky, which seriously limits economic activity. The ability to provide contacts through the legal system (and not just on their own) allows the economy to flourish, ”he said.

At the same time, Rubin claims that Bitcoin is still very limited in its capabilities in this area.

Quantstamp Audit Firm Approves Launch of Prysm Client for Ethereum 2.0


Аудиторская фирма Quantstamp одобрила запуск клиента Prysm для Эфириума 2.0

Head of Audit Firm Quantstamp Richard Ma announced that he is ready to launch the Prysm client to upgrade Ethereum 2.0.
Prysm got the approval of the auditor after the Ethereum developers started discussing the launch date of the zero-stage update last week. Justin Drake suggested that it will be released no earlier than January 3, 2021, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin insists that its deployment begin this year. To date, nine clients using different programming languages ​​are being tested.

Quantstamp notes that the Prysm client code is “well written and styled.” However, the company found 65 problems regarding the structure of timestamps, the generation of pseudo-random numbers, and the possibility of various attacks. According to Richard Ma, 75% of these problems have already been resolved thanks to “low-level optimizations.” Ma added that the transition of ETH and the decentralized finance ecosystem (DeFi) to Ethereum 2.0 is a very complex and important process. Therefore, when it comes to crypto assets of users, one successful audit is not enough to start the update.

Prysm recently joined the Altona test network, which Teku clients from PegaSys, Nimbus from Status and Lighthouse from Sigma Prime have already joined. Testnet allows you to perform ether staking and confirm transactions in accordance with the parameters of the zero phase of Ethereum 2.0. Prysmatic Labs co-founder Preston van Loon said Altona was the final step that would bring the launch of Ethereum 2.0 closer to the PoS algorithm. Before the launch of the Altona testnet, the first Ethereum 2.0 multi-client test network, Schlesi, as well as the Witti testnet, were launched.

We add that last month, the developer Afri Schoedon published a document stating that the Lighthouse client once again surpassed other customers in terms of technical indicators in the Witti test network. Sigma Prime co-founder Paul Hauner said Lighthouse is also undergoing an audit. Shoedon noted that Ethereum customers should not consider each other as rivals, as each client contributes to the development of the ecosystem.

The developer proposed to “reset” the state of the Ethereum blockchain for scaling


Разработчик предложил «обнулить» состояние блокчейна Эфириума для масштабирования

The Ethereum developer has proposed introducing stateless clients into the current version of Ethereum to scale the network with minimal security damage.

The amount of account balances supported by network nodes, called state, continues to increase as applications and projects interact. An independent developer Alexei Akhunov may have a solution to this problem, the idea of ​​which he borrowed from the Cosmos project.

The new proposal, dubbed ReGenesis, was published on EthResearch in June. It proposes to introduce stateless clients into the existing Ethereum blockchain, “zeroing” the states of certain nodes and replacing them with a mathematical proof on a rolling basis.

The goal of this proposal is to make the Ethereum dataset scalable with minimal loss to security.

“The old nodes will forget about the condition,” says Akhunov. “At this point in time, all nodes will forget what kind of condition it was. They will only remember hashing. ”

Blocking zeroing is not a new idea. In fact, it was mentioned back in the Ethereum Yellow Book by the co-founder of the project, Gavin Wood. Akhunov said that he drew inspiration for his interpretation of ReGenesis from the Cosmos project, which repeatedly went through a similar procedure to make the chain “easier”.

“I call this the“ restart ”of ReGenesis, and this can be done regularly to ease the load on nodes that are not related to mining. It also represents a less dramatic version of Stateless Ethereum, ”Akhunov wrote.

Support for non-stateful clients, that is, nodes that will contain as little state information as possible to verify transactions, was the main goal of ETH 2.0 in order to reduce the load on the nodes of Ethereum. ReGenesis will include some of the studies of Ethereum developers during the transition, or ETH 1.x.

The proposal implies that every time the Ethereum blockchain reaches a certain block number, the network automatically saves data. She then deletes all her progress minus the “evidence” or “witnesses” of all past transactions. According to Akhunov, autosave data can be stored in other networks, for example, BitTorrent.

Akhunov notes that the proof allows the degenerated chain of Ethereum to start work again with a solid foundation, but only for certain types of nodes.

“We are eliminating the assumption that all other checking nodes have access to this implicit state. This will verify that the transactions in the block are valid, and the hash of the root state presented in the block header matches the result of executing this block, ”he wrote.

This system of control points is already used in various variations for the translation of new nodes online, for example, in Beam synchronization.

Forgotten Old
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin describes similar ReGenesis suggestions in a 2014 article entitled Proof of Stake: How I Learned to Love Weak Subjectivity.

Buterin claims that a node can be trusted under certain restrictions, even if it starts from a checkpoint instead of a genesis block. As in the case of ReGenesis, Buterin suggests that the node simply “get a recent block hash from a friend” to join the network and start checking transactions again.

Akhunov’s offer is for the current Ethereum blockchain on PoW. However, it works in accordance with Buterin’s similar assumptions about PoS, by dividing the network into “full nodes” and “not fixing the state of clients”, which rely on external evidence.

Weak subjectivity is brought to its logical conclusion through the ongoing research project Stateless Ethereum and PoS. As part of this project, it is planned to create a transaction verification method based on the transaction hash and mathematical evidence in ETH 2.0.

Underwater rocks
At the moment, ReGenesis is a promising project that has been supported by many community members. However, one of the leaders of the Ethereum development team, Peter Szilágyi, noted that ReGenesis does not technically reduce the condition. It only thinnes out the network.

Siladiyi means that some parties still have to keep a full copy of the state without the help of Akhunov’s evidence, because they need to access the old state to send transactions. If some must use the full registry, then the state cannot be considered “nullified”.

Great condition can be a big problem. For example, transaction processing speeds may be reduced, and the network may become an easier target for DDoS attacks. At the same time, many decentralized applications (dapps), for example, Web 3.0 browsers, can have problems working without a “reboot,” Silady said. Many dapps need access to full state to work – they just need a dock

BitGo Service Introduces FATF Compliance Toolkit


Сервис BitGo внедрил инструментарий для соблюдения требований FATF

The custodial service BitGo integrates a tool into cryptocurrency wallets that ensures compliance with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force on Combating Money Laundering (FATF).

BitGo company announced that it was the first cryptocurrency wallet operator with a built-in API that will allow you to transfer additional information about users and their transactions. The new BitGo tool aims to increase transparency and meet the requirements for virtual asset service providers (VASPs). According to FATF requirements, service providers, wallet operators and exchanges are required to exchange data at each transfer of assets between sites.

BitGo Product Development Manager Chris Metcalfe said that BitGo is using the Intervasp Messaging 101 (IVMS101) standard introduced by InterVASP in May. This standard defines a universal model for the exchange of data between VASP and their customers (senders and receivers of transactions) for each transaction. Metcalf said that the advanced BitGo API is ready to receive relevant information, and customers can provide all the necessary data when sending a request for a transaction.

Metcalf added that clients should not have technical problems with the integration of the API. Moreover, customers will not be required to provide data according to the Travel Rule principle if the amount of several transactions does not exceed $ 1000. BitGo management reported that it did not work directly with the FATF, however, for more than a year, it worked with various working groups and regulators to ensure compliance with FATF rules.

The FATF issued recommendations on virtual assets in June 2019, but the agency’s order officially took effect last month. At the same time, the organizer of the InterVASP Messaging Standards Joint Working Group, Siân Jones, believes that all players in the cryptocurrency industry will not soon fully comply with these requirements.

In February, the G20 countries called for the speedy implementation of the FATF cryptocurrency regulation recommendations so that criminals could not use them to launder money, circumvent sanctions and existing control measures.

Grayscale Increases BTC and ETH Shares in Digital Large-Cap


Grayscale увеличила доли BTC и ETH в фонде Digital Large-Cap

Grayscale Invesments rebalanced the Digital Large-Cap fund, which includes cryptocurrencies with a large market capitalization. The shares of BTC and ETH are increased due to XRP, BCH and LTC.
On Twitter, the investment company reported that the share of bitcoin in the fund increased by 0.5% and now amounts to 81.5%. The share of ether increased by 2.1% and now it occupies 11.7% of the fund. The shares of XRP, BCH and LTC decreased by 1.4%, 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively. Now they occupy 3.6%, 2% and 1.2% in the fund, respectively.


The fund is rebalanced quarterly and is based on changes in the share of cryptocurrencies in the market. At the same time, of the cryptocurrencies represented in the fund, only Ethereum increased its dominance from 8.17% to 9.8%. For other coins, the indicator decreased, including Bitcoin – from 65.78% to 62.46%, but this did not prevent the company from increasing the share of BTC by 0.5%.


The capitalization of the Digital Large-Cap Fund is relatively small – only $ 33 million. For comparison, the oldest Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) costs $ 3.55 billion. The Ethereum Trust, in which $ 410 million was invested, is also quite popular. The total amount of assets in cryptocurrencies managed by Grayscale Investments is $ 4.1 billion.

At the end of June, analyst Kevin Rooke calculated that the company was buying three times as many bitcoins as it mined. At that time, Grayscale bought 19,879 BTC in a week, while the total number of bitcoins mined was only 7,081 BTC.

SEC and CFTC fined Abra $ 150,000 for unregistered sale of cryptocurrency swaps


SEC и CFTC оштрафовали Abra на $150 000 за незарегистрированную продажу свопов на криптовалюты

US regulators accuse Abra startup of unregistered sale of crypto assets securities swaps. Abra fined $ 150,000.
According to a press release from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), using the Abra crypto-investment application, users entered into contracts that provide access to the dynamics of stock prices and traded exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as concluded trading transactions through the blockchain. With the help of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the SEC found out that the Abra platform and its affiliate Philippine company Plutus Technologies were selling cryptocurrency securities swaps without registering on the national stock exchange, which violates U.S. securities laws.

It is reported that Abra began offering such contracts to retail investors from the United States and other countries in February 2019. According to the SEC, Abra has not taken any measures to determine whether users who downloaded the application comply with the terms of the contract under US securities law. In the same month, Abra stopped selling such swaps after the SEC notified, but in May 2019 it resumed this activity, limiting its offers to American investors. This means that part of Abra’s operations was performed outside the United States, while platform employees in California promoted swap contracts among American investors, and then selected users who could buy these contracts. The SEC found that Abra’s US employees made several thousand stock and ETF transactions in the United States to hedge contracts.

The SEC and CFTC have ordered firms to stop committing unlawful acts and refrain from resuming them. Abra and Plutus Technologies did not plead guilty, but did not dispute the charges of regulators, agreeing to pay a fine of $ 150,000.

“Platforms working with securities are required to undergo mandatory registration and must provide investors with all the information necessary for assessing risks. Firms offering securities-based swaps will not be able to evade federal securities laws, even if they register in another country as a counterparty, because most of their business is in the USA, ”said Daniel Michael, head of department SEC, working with integrated financial instruments.

Recall that in November last year, SEC and CFTC accused First Global Credit (XBT) of unregistered sale of bitcoin swaps. In addition, last week, Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Heath Tarbert said that the launch of new cryptocurrency futures in the United States depends solely on the decision of the SEC.

Kraken report: BTC correlation with S&P 500 grows, but with gold – falls


Отчет Kraken: корреляция BTC с индексом S&P 500 растет, а с золотом – падает


According to the latest report from the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, a 31% drop in bitcoin trading in June led to BTC’s annual volatility reaching a six-month low.

According to Kraken in its report, June was the most unremarkable month on the Bitcoin trading market since February. The lack of activity on the market led to a decrease in trading volume on the exchange to a four-month low of $ 36.6 billion.
Earlier this month, CryptoCompare analysts also reported a decrease in trading volume. They noted that in June, trading volumes on “top-level spot” cryptocurrency exchanges fell 36% to $ 177 billion, and bitcoin volatility dropped to its lowest value for the year.

According to Kraken, in light of the weak market and low volatility, the BTC price fell by 4.4%, which was the lowest price change since last August.


As a result of the change in trends that took place earlier this year, the thirty-day correlation of Bitcoin with the S&P 500 index became “significantly more positive” and rose to 0.65 at the end of June. At the same time, the thirty-day correlation of BTC with gold fell below the average for the year and reached a minimum of -0.49.

Interestingly, in early June, CoinMetrics noted a high correlation between the price of gold and bitcoin in recent months. At the same time, according to VanEck, the correlation between assets has intensified since March.

Kraken analysts believe that the change in the correlation of bitcoin with gold and the S&P 500 index made it less like a safe asset and more like a traditional financial asset in the context of a recovery in the global stock market.

The report notes that market participants should pay more attention to the thirty-day forecast volatility index for the S&P 500 (VIX). If BTC is about to change a multi-year macroeconomic downtrend, it needs to rise above $ 10,500 and trigger an upward price movement.

LatamLink will combine Besu, EOSIO and ConsenSys technologies to develop LACChain system


LatamLink объединит технологии Besu, EOSIO и ConsenSys для развития системы LACChain

LatamLink Latin American Alliance will combine Besu, EOSIO and ConsenSys technologies to develop the LACChain system, designed for use at the state and corporate levels.
LatamLink was formed by EOS Costa Rica, EOS Argentina and EOS Venezuela block manufacturers for the expanded implementation of the EOS blockchain in Latin America. In addition, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as well as private and public organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, contributed to the creation of the ecosystem.
Startup ConsenSys, working on the development of the Ethereum ecosystem, also did not stand aside. Last year, a Besu test network was installed in LACChain to create an infrastructure that would allow the use of blockchain for public procurement, registration of land and the implementation of social programs.

Edgar Fernández, founder of EOS Costa Rica, announced his readiness to launch the LACChain test network to test how the two technologies will interact with each other – EOSIO and Ethereum. Fernandez emphasized that testing LACChain should not be considered as a competition operating on the principle of “the winner gets everything”, and at the end of which a specific blockchain for the main network will be selected. On the contrary, we are talking about the interaction of different protocols.

For some applications and use cases, LACChain will use Ethereum, while others will work better with EOSIO. ConsenSys spokeswoman Kara Miley believes that if LACChain becomes the “gold standard” to bring blockchain to IDB, government and the private sector, billions of people around the world can use ConsenSys technology.

“This is not a race between the protocols. We do not check which one works better or worse, processes transactions per second more, or provides a higher level of privacy. LACChain is an independent collaboration platform where different projects can realize their mission, ”said Marcos Allende, LACChain Technical Director.

Allenda added that the LACChain system was previously tested with the Quorum financial blockchain developed by JPMorgan Chase, but there were a lot of problems using it. Tests were then conducted with IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric, which revealed that Ethereum and EOSIO-based developments are best suited for the LACChain project.

Fernandez noted that EOSIO experts could create a “Latin American blockchain” so as not to depend on North America, Asia or Europe. However, Allenda said that even if the LatamLink developers were from the United States, this would not change their attitude.

Recall that in February, JPMorgan Chase began negotiations to merge its blockchain-based Quorum division with ConsenSys startup.

Cosco Shipping Tests Ant Financial Blockchain in Cargo Transportation


Cosco Shipping протестирует блокчейн Ant Financial в сфере грузоперевозок

Cosco Shipping, one of the world’s largest container operators and carriers, is testing the Ant Financial corporate blockchain to increase the efficiency of operations.
Earlier this week, Shanghai-based Cosco Shipping, one of the world’s ten largest container operators, confirmed that it intends to test Ant Blockchain to optimize its operations. This corporate blockchain was developed by Alibaba’s subsidiary Ant Financial.

Cosco Shipping operates a fleet of 1,330 vessels with a total carrying capacity of just under 106 million tons – one of the largest in the world. In a joint press release, the companies said that Ant Blockchain could be used to distribute key documentation, such as container records and import licenses, to verified and tamper-proof distribution chain members.

Ant Group Chairman Eric Jing said that the Ant blockchain, which, as previously reported, can process up to a billion transactions per day, can make global delivery of goods more efficient.

Recall that last month, China’s largest port operator China Merchants Port entered into a partnership with Ant Financial to develop a blockchain-based platform. Earlier this year, Ant Financial launched an enterprise platform on the OpenChain blockchain. It will help small and medium-sized businesses implement applications on the blockchain.

Blockchain is increasingly being used to increase the efficiency of logistics operations, especially in the field of cargo transportation. In April, Shanghai International Port (SIPG), Cosco, Tesla and CargoSmart, a supply chain management company, announced that they would launch a blockchain-based platform for tracking shipments.

Losses of $ 1.4 billion over 5 months. Why people are left without cryptocurrency


In 2020, 98% of lost funds were stolen through fraud and fraud. We tell the main tricks of criminals and how to avoid serious financial losses.

This year may be the second in history in terms of the number of crimes in the field of cryptocurrencies. According to Cipher Trace, from January to May 2020, over $ 1.36 billion in digital money was lost as a result of theft, hacking and fraud. Most of the lost funds, 98% of the total amount, was lost due to fraud and misappropriation.

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of phishing sites on this topic have appeared on the network that trick users into cryptocurrency or steal their personal data. The largest fraudulent scheme in 2020 was the Ponzi Wotoken scheme in China. Its participants were promised income through the use of non-existent trading software. Over 715,000 people were affected, they lost more than $ 1 billion.

Every year, users are more attentive to the protection of their funds, and exchanges strengthen security systems. Therefore, the amount of stolen funds as a result of hacker attacks becomes smaller. Now criminals are mainly putting pressure on human psychology, promising high profits with minimal time, effort and investment.

Cryptocurrency distributions from celebrities

In early July, a website appeared on the network that looked like a Medium portal, on which the official page of Elon Musk reports on the free distribution of cryptocurrency. Users were informed that Tesla gives Bitcoin and Ethereum to all fans of the company.

The site has fake comments from the lucky ones who were able to get rich in this way. The fraud is that users are offered to send from 0.1 to 20 BTC or from 1 to 100 ETH to a specific address in order to get back twice as much. Of course, criminals do not send anything back.

Such a scheme has long been common in the crypto industry, and Elon Musk is one of the most favorite figures for criminals. However, fraudsters can use the name and image of any character known in the blockchain community. For example, in March of this year, the YouTube channel was launched on behalf of the head of Ripple Brad Garlinghouse. A real interview was published there, and in the description of the video, users were asked to send from 2 to 500 thousand XRP to a specific address in order to receive from 20 thousand to 5 million coins in return.

How to protect yourself:

It’s easy to save your coins: in fact, in this way no one gives out cryptocurrency for free, even the richest and most famous. In order to strengthen this idea in the heads of crypto enthusiasts, the creator of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin even added the phrase “Not giving away ETH” to his Twitter nickname, which means “I do not distribute the ether”.

The scheme has been operating for several years and always looks the same: a celebrity in honor of an event gives all cryptocurrencies. Users only need to send part of their coins to a specific address.

Financial pyramids

For the second year in a row, the bulk of the money that users lose is accounted for by financial pyramids. This year, as we said earlier, the leader is Wotoken, which attracted over $ 1 billion from more than 715 thousand investors.

In the general list of schemes, Ponzi continues to lead OneCoin. According to various estimates, fraudsters raised from $ 4 billion to $ 15 billion in cryptocurrency.

On July 8, 2020, a U.S. court was to sentenced one of the founders of the pyramid Konstantin Ignatov. However, the prosecutor asked to postpone the hearing for four months, as the defendant assists the prosecution, and this cooperation has not yet been completed. Ignatov faces up to 90 years in prison.

How to protect yourself:

All financial pyramids have certain properties by which fraud can be recognized. For example, if the user is offered to earn on attracting other investors. Also, almost always, the organizers of such schemes promise participants high profits if they contribute funds or invite new participants. The latter are given a similar task.

All the profit that early investors receive is formed from the investments of the later ones. As a rule, the organizers take most of the funds for themselves, the rest of the participants are left with nothing.

Phishing sites

Phishing sites are used by criminals to steal user confidential data. For example, it can be a fake exchange start page, which is almost impossible to distinguish from the real one. After a user tries to log into his account and enters a username and password, the data will be in the hands of attackers. Sometimes criminals use different characters, similar to the letters of the Latin alphabet, so that even after reading the address of the site, it was difficult for the user to notice the substitution.

In June 2020, a copy of the Privnote website was discovered on the network. It does not encrypt messages that change in such a way as to replace bitcoin addresses. To do this, use a special script that changes the wallet of the sender of the message to the address of the criminals.

After reading the message, it is deleted, so the victim cannot check which bitcoin address was indicated in it. The only difference between the phishing page, which for a long time hung in the top of Google search results as advertising, is “s” at the end of the name, that is, Privnotes, not Privnote.

How to protect yourself:

It is always necessary to carefully check the address bar. Perhaps drive the desired address with your hands. Even a slight difference in spelling suggests that the site is fake. It is also necessary to check the functionality of the page – often only a window for entering a login and password works on phishing sites. Or, for example, by clicking on one of the tabs, you may find yourself on a page that is not like the original resource.

SIM swapping

In February 2020, an unknown person replaced the Muscovite’s SIM card and stole more than 700 rubles from him. in bitcoin. According to law enforcement agencies, then the attacker transferred and sold cryptocurrency using the trading Telegram bot.

At the end of last year, in the same way, 19-year-old Yousef Selassie was able to steal digital money worth more than $ 1 million, as well as data from 75 people. To do this, the teenager cloned the phone numbers of the victims in order to gain access to their mail accounts and accounts on the trading floors.

The scheme works as follows. First, the criminals find out the phone number and personal data of the user through open sources or operator’s employees, then they block the SIM card (for this, just contact the support service and report the loss of the SIM card). Then, the attackers seek to transfer the number to their SIM card and gain access to the account.

How to protect yourself:

To protect against SIM swapping, you need to issue a separate SIM card for registering accounts on exchanges and wallets. Such a phone should not be used in everyday life. It does not need to be published anywhere and not reported to anyone. You can also set an additional password for the SIM card. In this case, to block the number you will need not only a full name.

Also, for two-factor authentication, you can use special programs, rather than a phone number. Now this feature is available on most crypto exchanges.

Tata Consultancy Services Launches Cryptocurrency Trading Tool


Tata Consultancy Services выпустила инструмент для торговли криптовалютами

Indian technology company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) introduced the Quartz Smart Solution for Crypto Services, a cryptocurrency trading solution designed for financial institutions.
TCS developers said that with this tool, banks and investment firms will be able to provide their customers with crypto assets trading services. The solution supports various cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, and can also connect to wallets with multi-signatures, exchanges and platforms for over-the-counter trading (OTC).
Thanks to the decision, transactions will be carried out only if they have passed the necessary checks and meet the established requirements. According to TCS, the company has already signed an agreement with one client willing to use this tool. Several companies are also interested in entering into a partnership, but TCS has not yet announced their names.

“Advanced financial institutions are committed to providing cryptocurrency services to their clients. Thanks to our scalable Quartz solution, firms will be able to trade client crypto assets, store them and service transactions with cryptocurrencies, ”said TCV CEO R. Vivekanand.

CoinDCX General Manager of the Indian cryptocurrency exchange Sumit Gupta believes that this solution has good prospects for the development of the cryptocurrency industry in India and will be in demand among banks and investment firms.

The appearance of such products suggests that traditional organizations are already beginning to consider digital assets as part of the financial ecosystem, it is only necessary to work out the regulation of the industry correctly. However, the Indian cryptocurrency community is still worried that the government may completely prohibit the ownership and operation of digital assets.

Large banks in India still refuse to serve the cryptocurrency sector. They expect the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to clarify and give further orders, despite the fact that in March the Supreme Court of India authorized the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

LINK value continues to rise amid DeFi boom


Стоимость LINK продолжает расти на фоне бума DeFi


The twelfth largest capitalization cryptocurrency Chainlink shows a record growth in its entire history. Yesterday LINK rose 20% to $ 5.8, and today its price has exceeded $ 6.

According to CoinMarketCap, yesterday LINK price surpassed the historical maximum of its value of $ 5, recorded in March. However, this rally did not end there – over the past 24 hours the LINK price has grown by another 14% and now stands at $ 6.28. In general, from the beginning of the month, LINK showed an increase of almost 40% from the price of $ 4.6 recorded on July 1.
link price.png

LINK is a relatively new crypto asset launched in September 2017 through an ICO, within which Chainlink raised more than $ 30 million. LINK was sold for only $ 0.09 during the pre-sale and a few months later entered the market for $ 0.2. For three years, LINK has grown by more than 2,460% of its original price.

Although the reason for LINK’s growth is not fully understood, it may be due to the fast-growing DeFi market. Recall that in May Chainlink launched the Verifiable Random Function (VRF) service, whose subscribers will have access to provably random values ​​needed by projects based on smart contracts.

In the spring, Kadena, a hybrid blockchain platform with smart contract support, added Chainlink pricing oracles to track real-time crypto asset prices. In June, it became known that the Chinese national blockchain platform Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN) will receive support from Chainlink oracles for working with external data. Huobi also announced earlier this month that it will launch the Chainlink site.

Arca Launches Ethereum Blockchain Regulated Investment Fund


Arca запустила регулируемый инвестиционный фонд на блокчейне Эфириума

The American company Arca has registered a new fund with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), whose shares will be issued as ArCoin tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
Arca, a digital asset investment company, has announced the launch of Arca U.S. Treasury Fund – a fund whose shares will be issued on the Ethereum blockchain as tokens of the ERC-1404 standard. At the same time, the investments themselves will be invested in short-term bonds of the US Treasury.
Essentially, Arca U.S. Treasury Fund is a regular fund for investments in securities, with an added blockchain level for distribution of shares. Investors will receive one ArCoin token for each share they own, and accrued interest will be paid to token holders every quarter.

ArCoin tokens can be used by financial institutions for settlements, trading and payments. According to Arca, they are “digital stocks” and not ordinary tokens or digital assets, as they represent a share in the fund.

Thus, Arca combined the capabilities of tokens and paper stocks, creating “digital stocks”. As the president of Arca Capital Management LLC, Gerald David, said, digital stocks allow you to more accurately keep records for the fund:

“ArCoin enables companies to manage their business operations, treasury operations and payments with greater efficiency, lower costs, faster settlements and direct tracking of all transactions.”

ERC-1404 tokens can be stored on your own wallets. At the same time, Arca considered the option where the ArCoin holder may lose private keys and tokens will be reissued.

Recall that for the first time plans to launch a fund whose shares will be issued on the Ethereum blockchain became known back in April 2020. However, then it was reported that the shares would be issued as ERC-20 tokens.

Binance completed the purchase of Swipe and listing the SXP token


Binance завершила покупку Swipe и провела листинг токена SXP

The Binance cryptocurrency exchange announced the purchase of the startup in order to use its infrastructure to issue its own payment cards. provides users with access to a cryptocurrency wallet and Visa debit cards with automatic conversion of cryptocurrencies to regular money.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said cooperation will be aimed at overcoming the “barrier” between fiat and digital currencies. To do this, you need to provide people with the opportunity to make purchases using cryptocurrencies through traditional financial systems.

Earlier, the head of Binance announced the launch of his own Binance Card debit card, which will allow cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services in 200 countries. However, when implementing this initiative, Binance had some difficulties that Swipe will help to cope with.

“In order to fulfill our mission and make cryptocurrencies accessible to everyone, buyers should easily convert and spend their digital assets, and sellers should freely accept these converted funds. The whole process should go without unnecessary difficulties, and this will increase the level of interaction between the parties. It turns out that at the time of purchase, the user pays with cryptocurrency, and the seller accepts payment in fiat currency, so for them it will be regular payments,” said Changpen Zhao.

During the operation with such a card, the selected cryptocurrency is converted into fiat currency, which will pass through Visa payment channels. This will allow you to spend crypto assets in more than 50 million retail outlets around the world. Swipe serves 31 countries in the European Economic Area. Debit cards are issued by Contis Financial Services Ltd, which has the Principal Member status of Visa and is regulated by the UK Financial Supervisory Authority (FCA).

To date, the Swipe platform supports a number of crypto assets and allows transactions with euros, British pounds, US dollars, Korean won and Philippine pesos, and in the near future plans to cover Asia and North America.

“Through a partnership with Binance, Swipe will make every effort to make cryptocurrencies available to millions of users around the world. Anyone who wants to pay with digital assets,” added Swipe CEO Joselito Lizarondo.

Binance also announced that it has received an SXP stake in the acquisition of Swipe. On July 7, SXP was listed, and users can trade this asset in SXP / BTC, SXP / BNB and SXP / BUSD pairs. Binance added that most SXPs have been blocked for several years, as the exchange is focused on the long-term and sustainable development of SXP and the Swipe ecosystem.

Symbol has created a blockchain solution for tracking wine supply chains


Symbol создала решение на блокчейне для отслеживания цепочек поставок вина


Symbol has developed a blockchain solution that will help winemakers track raw materials and products at every stage of production and the supply chain, as well as fight fraud.

The NEM project, which was renamed Symbol earlier this year, recently announced the launch of a new solution on the blockchain, which is designed to track raw materials and products in the production and supply chains of wine.
Symbol was developed as an enterprise-friendly blockchain that is designed to work in conditions requiring a large number of transactions per second, for example, applications for tracking product supply chains.

Symbol operates on the PoS + consensus mechanism and allows you to process various transactions involving multiple parties, as well as carry out trust-free asset swap transactions between multiple participants.


The solution will help winemakers and wine producers to keep track of what happens to their raw materials and products at every stage of production and distribution. Wine producers will be able to track general information about each bottle, box, or box of wine by the serial number associated with the grape, year, or vineyard. All data is recorded on the blockchain and helps to ensure that the wine leaving the place of production is genuine and has not been tampered with at any stage of the transportation process.

The hybrid blockchain solution aims to solve data privacy problems for all interested parties, for example, buyers, distributors and sellers. To counteract fraud during product transportation, winemakers can enter into “one-time” smart contracts. Settlement of payments with a transport partner occurs only if the products have passed the confirmation of authenticity and quality by all parties.

“This allows the wine producer or winemaker to participate in complex financial agreements and apply phased payments using the blockchain, which can provide real-time authentication and product quality verification results,” the developers say.

This is not the first time that blockchain has been used to track wine supply chains. Last summer, Singapore-based VeChain entered into a partnership agreement with Penfolds, an Australian winemaker, to launch a blockchain-tracking wine batch.

Burning Binance Coin tokens and la