Cryptocurrency hedge fund Neural Capital closes with a loss of over 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 In December, the fund was revoked from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration, and this year Neural Capital stopped filing mandatory financial statements with California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
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
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 0.19.0.1 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 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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Augur developers have launched the second version of the platform
The developers of the decentralized prediction market based on Ethereum Augur have launched the second version of the platform with the ability to settle in stablecoins.
According to the developers, the update will reduce trading fees, speed up transactions and improve user experience. As indicated on the Augur website, the contracts of the second version of the protocol have already been launched on the Ethereum mainnet and have been successfully verified in the Etherscan blockchain explorer.
The main innovation in the second version of the platform was the settlement of rates “in dollar terms”. In the first version of Augur, settlements were done over the air, and users were at risk of volatility. In the updated Augur platform, users can use DAI stablecoins.
“The DAI is pegged to the US dollar, and if it remains stable, payouts to betting users will be in line with their expectations. In fact, this is the most important change in Augur. In addition, we have completely redesigned the user interface, making it look like Binance or Coinbase Pro, ”said Peter Vecchiarelli, COO of Augur.
Vecchiarelli added that the Augur platform can now be run in a browser. Previously, users had to install a special application for this. Augur has also implemented new mechanisms to prevent the processing of data obtained from “invalid or misleading” markets. This means that in the new version of the site, attackers will not be able to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the architecture of Augur prediction markets and turn to their advantage “invalid” bets.
We are talking about bets that do not have a specific end date and a clear description, or the description of which contains language and grammatical errors, as a result of which the real meaning of the message may be distorted. Therefore, a parameter has been added to the platform whereby users placing a bet can indicate its possible outcome as “invalid”. This will allow them to predict the occurrence of invalid bets and compensate for their losses.
In order for REP holders to use the Augur reporting system, they need to manually exchange their REP tokens for REPv2. This can be done through the Augur client or through custodian exchanges that support REP tokens, as required by those exchanges.
As a reminder, the Augur platform was launched in July 2018, three years after the start of development, and its alpha version was first presented in 2015.
Tether releases USDT for another $ 540 million amid bitcoin growth
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.
“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.
Earlier, 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
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.
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.
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
R3’s Corda Enterprise platform integrates the Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML) smart contract language developed by American startup Digital Asset.
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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 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 BTC.com 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
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 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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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 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
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
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 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, 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.
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 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.
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
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
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 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
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
The Binance cryptocurrency exchange announced the purchase of the Swipe.io startup in order to use its infrastructure to issue its own payment cards.
Swipe.io 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 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 launching Tron 4.0. July main events
In the next month, several events will happen on the cryptocurrency market at once, which can affect both the value of individual coins and their total capitalization.
Launch TRON 4.0
At the end of May 2020, the imminent launch of TRON 4.0 was announced. This update should be a “turning point” for the project, said its founder Justin Sun. Confidential smart contracts will appear on the TRON network, the block confirmation time will be reduced from 53 to 3 seconds, cross-chain support will appear, and a universal framework for business solutions will also be presented.
What may affect: Tron Course
ICON Network Update
ICON developers presented a project update schedule. On July 14, an update will be released for Pagoda, Yeouido, July 20 for exchanges and July 27 for the main network. Developers will add the ability to duplicate the P-Rep private key, stacking and delegation function for SCORE. Multiple periods without stacking will also be added and the number of delegations will be increased from 10 to 100. The developers emphasized that additional updates are possible during the month, which they will report in the coming weeks.
What may affect: ICON Price
Zcash Network Update
On July 16, 2020, the fourth major update, Heatwood, will take place at block 903,000 in the Zcash network. On its blog, the developer Electric Coin Company announced two major changes to the ZIP 221 (FlyClient) and the ZIP 213 (Shielded Coinbase). The first is designed to provide greater compatibility and interaction with different blockchains, and also reduces the requirements for devices with limited resources. The second will affect the transactions for the block mined by the miners. Prior to upgrading, such transactions required significant RAM and CPU resources.
What may affect: Zcash Cost
Burning BNB Tokens
The second quarter of 2020 has ended; the time has come for the next, quarterly burning of Binance exchange tokens. In the last quarter, a record number of coins were burned: 3,373,988 BNBs with a total value of $ 52.5 million. Currently, slightly more than 20 of the 100 million BNBs planned for burning are withdrawn from circulation, which makes up 50% of the total issue.
What may affect: Binance Coin Course
Bank of Japan is exploring the possibility of issuing state cryptocurrency
The Bank of Japan will create a proof of concept (PoC) for the digital yen to assess the feasibility of issuing state cryptocurrency from a technical point of view.
According to a recent report, the Bank of Japan “will test the possibility of issuing state cryptocurrency from a technical point of view, and will work with other central banks and relevant institutions to explore the possibility of issuing a digital yen.” However, the final schedule and the decision to issue the state cryptocurrency has not yet been adopted.
According to the Bank of Japan, there are two main technical barriers to issuing state cryptocurrency: universal access and fault tolerance. The first relates to ensuring the availability of cryptocurrency for a wide range of users. According to Nikkei, as of 2018, only 65% of Japanese owned smartphones.
By “fault tolerance” is meant the availability of the digital yen offline when a power outage occurs. The Bank of Japan emphasized the importance of the availability of cryptocurrency even in an emergency, such as during an earthquake.
The Central Bank of Japan is considering the use of blockchain to create a state cryptocurrency. A centralized system has the advantages of “high throughput and high transaction speed,” but the entire system can fail at the same time due to the existence of a single point of failure.
Cryptocurrency based on Distributed Registry Technology (DLT) can solve the problem of a single point of failure and demonstrate higher fault tolerance, but it requires more time for transactions, since the blockchain needs consensus between several validators. The Bank of Japan concluded:
“Both centralized and decentralized systems have their pros and cons. For mass transactions for retail use in developed countries, it is better to introduce a centralized type. If the transaction amount is limited, fault tolerance and future development opportunities are important, it makes sense to consider a decentralized type system. ”
Recall that back in 2018, the Deputy President of the Bank of Japan stated that state cryptocurrencies are an inefficient economic instrument. However, last fall, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the bank has no plans to issue digital currencies, but is conducting research in case this becomes necessary in the future.
At the same time, in January, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Japan Masayoshi Amamiya announced his readiness to issue a state cryptocurrency in the event of widespread public demand.
BTC miners’ earnings in dollars fell 23% in June
Bitcoin miners’ revenue in dollar terms fell in June by 23% due to a reduction in the size of commissions and a decrease in block rewards to 6.25 BTC.
At the same time, the drop in income was partially offset by an increase in the exchange rate. According to CoinMetrics data analysis, Bitcoin miners earned $ 281 million in June compared with $ 366 million in May. According to reports, many miners immediately sell mined bitcoins. Recently, it was also reported that miners bring more BTC to the exchanges than they mine.
According to Austin Storms, founder of BearBox Mobile Mining Infrastructure Development Company, miners’ income from mining blocks and commissions in June better represents the current situation of industry participants compared to May. Even taking into account the decrease in the profit of miners by 11% in May, 11 days before the halving, miners received 12.5 BTC per block.
After halving the award, the size of the BTC (mempool) unconfirmed transaction queue reached a two-year high. As mempool was unloaded at the end of May and at the beginning of June, transaction fees also decreased, which affected the profit of miners.
Transaction fees brought miners only $ 12 million in June, which is 4.3% of their total monthly income, compared with an annual maximum of 8.3% in May. Based on the current situation, the income of miners may increase due to the growth of commissions or the price of BTC.
A group of Crypto Research researchers recently released a report according to which the price of BTC could reach $ 397,000 in the next ten years, and altcoins will rise after Bitcoin. According to researchers, in the coming years, the market will begin to grow rapidly, and this “bull” rally can last at least five years.
Bolt Labs is developing a protocol for anonymous payments on the Tezos blockchain
The cryptocurrency startup Bolt Labs, together with Nomadic Labs and Metastate, is developing the zkChannels protocol for anonymous micropayments on the Tezos blockchain.
According to the developers, zkChannels is a network-independent protocol with which you can make cheap and anonymous transactions between buyers and sellers “in the style of Lightning Network”. The solution is planned to be implemented in the Tezos blockchain next year.
To ensure a high level of confidentiality, data in zkChannel will be stored asymmetrically. For example, when making a payment, the buyer will store all the necessary information about him and see the current distribution of funds.
In this case, the seller will only know the total amount of the transaction, he will not be able to determine the identity of the buyer for the transaction. The seller and the buyer will have different information about the status of the payment channel, which ensures the anonymity of the buyer.
In the future, the developers plan to make zkChannels a link between the Tezos blockchain and the ZEC and BTC cryptocurrencies. In addition, the protocol will ensure the confidentiality of various decentralized applications and allow the creation of a hidden pool of tokens as part of a smart contract.
Co-founder of Bolt Labs, Ayo Akinyele, believes that the Tezos blockchain has all the necessary features to integrate with zkChannel. Thanks to the mechanism of efficient data management, functions can be added to Tezos to support zkChannels without data transfer conflicts.
The Tezos smart contract language ensures that code conforms exactly to its specifications through formal verification. This is especially important when dealing with payments, tokenized assets and loans, as there are guarantees that due to errors in the code, funds will not be lost or frozen.
Recall that last year, the French Finance Committee called for a ban on anonymous transactions with cryptocurrencies because of the high probability of tax evasion, fraud using crypto assets, money laundering or illegal energy consumption.
Kyber Network Token Price Updates Highs Before Protocol Update
The price of the KNC token increased by 29% per day to $ 1.54 in anticipation of the Katalyst protocol update scheduled for next week. Now the price has adjusted to $ 1.45.
The decentralized financing boom (DeFi) is not slowing down. Today, the price of the Kyber Network token (KNC) was $ 1.54, showing a 29% increase per day. Apparently, the price increase is due to the Katalyst update in the Kyber Network protocol, scheduled for July 7th.
The Katalyst update promises to bring many technical improvements to the decentralized liquidity protocol, as well as introducing KyberDAO. This will allow KNC holders to participate in staking and vote on management proposals, while receiving payments in ETH, according to an article on the Kyber blog.
The development of Kyber Network, a decentralized liquidity protocol developed for the Ethereum blockchain, began in 2017. By blocking ERC-20 tokens in special smart contracts, Kyber allows users to quickly trade any token based on Ethereum without the participation of a centralized exchange. The protocol has already been implemented in many popular mobile wallet applications, including Trust and Enjin.
Over the past day, the value of the KNC token in dollar terms increased by 29% – from $ 1.19 to $ 1.54. This growth marked the two-year high of the KNC price – the last time it was at this level in June 2018. However, now the cost of the token has decreased slightly and amounts to $ 1.45 according to CoinMarketCap.
The cost of Kyber Network has been growing since the beginning of the year – in January, the price of one token was $ 0.18. The price of KNC more than doubled on the day of listing on Coinbase on February 27. In general, the Kyber Network token from the beginning of the year showed an increase of 755%, which makes it one of the most dynamic crypto assets of 2020.
After the Katalyst update is introduced on July 7, users can immediately participate in stakeout with KNC tokens and receive the first batch of payments in ETH in two weeks. The size of the minimum and maximum rates has not been established.
EU gives grants for $ 5.6 million to social projects on the blockchain
The European Innovation Council has issued grants for $ 5.6 million to six projects using blockchain to solve critical social problems.
This week, the European Innovation Council (EIC) issued grants of $ 5.6 million to six blockchain projects under the blockchain for social welfare program.
“Six winners were selected during the contest, which determined the best scalable, deployable and effective solutions on the blockchain for social tasks,” the organizers explained.
Solutions include blockchain applications focused on fair trade and the circular economy, renewable energy sources and the availability of financial services. The first place and a grant of $ 1.1 million in the category of “High-quality information materials” was received by the Dutch startup WordProof, which is developing a verification system on the blockchain. Its purpose is to help fight misinformation and false news on the Internet.
“WordProof wants to use blockchain to restore trust on the Internet. We are creating a universal ecosystem with timestamps – a global standard that provides consumers with a method of checking the reliability of content, ”said WordProof founder Sebastiaan van der Lans.
Another $ 1.1 million grant was provided to PPP, a British startup, which is developing a system of so-called checkpoints to help enterprises “prove their social influence in the supply chains associated with their business and products.” The Finnish company GMeRitS received the same grant for conducting large-scale experiments with alternative economic structures. Startup wants to contribute to the availability of financial services.
The UnBlocked Cash OXBBU project, founded by Oxfam, an Irish company, and Sempo, a French startup, received $ 1.1 million to develop a decentralized model that explores “the potential for delivering international assistance to disaster victims” in a more efficient and transparent way.
Initially, there were five winners, each of whom would receive a grant of $ 1.1 million, but the jury decided to split the fifth place between the two startups. Thus, the blockchain platform for resolving consumer disputes in electronic commerce CKH2020 and the decentralized autonomous digital market for P2P energy trading PROSUME received $ 561,000 each.
Since the announcement of the program in May 2018, the EIC received 176 applications from 43 countries, including 19 outside the EU. According to a press release, the main goal of the contest was to study how blockchain can solve social problems.
“Despite the fact that the revolutionary potential of the blockchain has already been tested in the financial sector, its possible applications in social fields and for solving sustainable development problems have been much less studied,” said EIC.
Recall that earlier this year the European Commission announced a tender for the development of solutions for the defense industry. Companies can submit proposals based on, among other things, the blockchain.
Glassnode: the number of bitcoin`s “whales” is growing
According to a new Glassnode report, the number of large Bitcoin holders has been growing for the first time since 2016, but the amount of BTC they hold is decreasing.
According to Glassnode, for the first time since 2016, the number of “whales” – large cryptocurrency holders owning at least 1,000 BTC, has begun to grow. However, the average deposit amount of these large investors is reduced.
“Despite an increase in the number of whales this year, the amount of BTC they hold is still significantly lower than the peak volume,” wrote report author Liesl Eichholz.
The richest cryptocurrency “whales” were during the “bull” cryptocurrency market at the end of 2017, when the BTC price almost reached $ 20,000. The state of today’s large bitcoin holders is not as great as before: the average number of BTC per “whale” decreased during 2020 of the year.
“While the condition of the“ whales ”as a group begins to grow again, each of them on average has become a bit poorer,” writes Aichholz. “The average balance of BTC held by the whales has been declining since 2011 and has not substantially increased in 2020 along with the number of whales.”
According to the analyst, the increase in the number of “whales” is partly due to the fact that they accumulate more BTC than before, and new “whales” appear that have withdrawn cryptocurrency from exchanges. The large withdrawal of BTC by large investors from exchanges is associated with Black Thursday in mid-March, when bitcoin lost more than 20% of its value in less than a day.
Perhaps then the “whales” wanted to “buy at the bottom, and then withdraw their BTC to hold on to the HODL strategy in anticipation of the next bullish rally,” the report said. Eichholz notes that the growth of BTC held by large holders cannot be called “very significant”, but it can become so if the trend continues.
The number of BTC held by the “whales” has been declining over the past five years, falling by more than 22% from $ 6.7 million to $ 5.2 million, but this year more large investors entered the market, and therefore the indicator began to grow. And the dominant position of “whales” in the market also shows the largest steady growth since 2011.
The last time a significant increase in the number of “whales” was recorded in April before the Bitcoin halving. At that time, Glassnode analysts reported that in anticipation of halving the award to the miners, large players began to build up BTC reserves on their wallets.
BHP Group and Baosteel conduct a deal to sell iron ore through blockchain
The BHP Group, one of the largest mining companies in the world, sold $ 14 million worth of iron ore using a blockchain platform.
A mineral sale transaction was concluded between BHP and China Baowu Steel Group, a subsidiary of China Baoshan Iron & Steel (Baosteel). The $ 14 million transaction was conducted through a blockchain-based platform developed by Canadian technology company MineHub Technologies. BHP’s Director of Trade and Marketing, Michiel Hovers, explained that the company used blockchain to digitally process contract terms, exchange documents, and view cargo data in real time.
BHP plans to implement a blockchain to efficiently and expeditiously process documentation when making further trade transactions in the commodity markets. According to Hovers, any company sending bulk cargo in large volumes, sooner or later will switch to using the latest technologies, as they significantly reduce the time and cost of office work.
Baosteel is not the first to use distributed registry technology. In May, the company already completed an international RMB transaction with the Australian mining company Rio Tinto through the Contour trade finance platform. Last February, the BHP Group successfully tested the technology with the Japanese transport company NYK.
Blockchain is effectively used by trading companies to manage invoices and other transport documents. So, in April, AirAsia Teleport launched the Freightchain platform to simplify the process of confirming and tracking air cargo. In the same month, Shanghai International Port (SIPG), Cosco, Tesla and CargoSmart began testing a blockchain platform to track ship cargo.
White Tiger cryptocurrency tested in Fukushima Japanese Prefecture
Blockchain-based Soramitsu, a Japanese company, will launch a pilot project to test White Tiger digital currency in Fukushima Prefecture.
Soramitsu has developed the White Tiger digital currency based on the Hyperledger Iroha blockchain. The local Nikkei publication reports that as part of the White Tiger cryptocurrency testing, it will be possible to pay at Aizu University’s retail outlets.
The pilot project starts tomorrow, July 1. Customers will be able to pay in digital currency at cafes and shops at Aizu University. However, later it is planned to extend the possibility of paying with cryptocurrency to and outside the campus.
The development of White Tiger has become part of the Aizuwakamatsu government and private company campaign to create a “smart city”. Acceptance of cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services will be carried out using a mobile application or special cards.
Note that Soramitsu is also actively involved in the creation of the state cryptocurrency of Cambodia. Back in 2017, the Japanese company entered into a partnership with the Central Bank of Cambodia to develop a payment infrastructure on the blockchain.
Bitcoin outperformed 5 leading stock indices
Over the past five years, the first cryptocurrency has brought investors 70 times more profit than the S&P 500, NASDAQ and other exchange tools
Over the past five years, Bitcoin has outperformed the world’s leading indexes, said the British investment company Buy Shares on its official website. Over this period, investments in cryptocurrency could bring more than 3400% of the profit.
At the same time, the value of the NASDAQ index, which includes the securities of all companies trading on the NASDAQ exchange, increased by 96%. The S&P 500 index showed even lower profitability, the basket of which included 505 selected companies traded on US exchanges with the highest capitalization – 46%. A similar result for the industrial Dow Jones index – 42%.
The worst result from the above was shown by the leading index of the British stock exchange FTSE 100. From June 2015 to the present day, the quotes of the instrument fell by almost 7%. Thus, the return on investment in bitcoin over the past five years has exceeded the average for the given indices by about 70 times.
Two factors could have influenced such results. Firstly, this is the beginning of the regulation of the sphere of digital money. In 2015, the lack of legal certainty hindered the development of the industry. Secondly, the coronavirus pandemic negatively affected stock indices.
Over the years, the popularity of bitcoin has been growing, and its status as the first cryptocurrency in many ways helps a high return on investment. Investing in Bitcoin is profitable, but investing involves significant risks. The price of cryptocurrencies is very volatile, because of this, investors can lose more than they invested.
Ethereum Matic Side Chain Developers Launch Staking
The developers of the Matic sidechain, a “workaround” solution for scaling Ethereum, have announced the launch of the first iteration of a network staking solution.
Initially, only the non-profit organization Matic Foundation, which is developing the Matic sidechain, will be able to participate in the phasing-out staking. The organization will stake out on behalf of users.
The Matic sidechain is based on Plasma technology and the Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm. The developers claim that the network can process from 4,000 to 10,000 transactions per second – along with EOS and TRON, which position themselves as scalable alternatives to Ethereum.
Matic wants to attract as many stakeholders as possible to the network and promises first participants up to 120% of annual revenue. Users who delegate Matic Foundation tokens in the early stages will also be able to independently verify the network.
At the next stage, Matic plans to deploy staking for external validators. The developers claim that they have already received the support of several “largest” organizations, including the Indian consulting company Infosys.
In total, Matic has already placed about 1.2 billion tokens for staking (12% of the total supply) to support the staking program over the next five years. However, the fund hopes that the share of obligations of other token holders will increase to 70-80% during the year.
Matic launched its network earlier this month, and the staking program entered the test network on June 15th. About a month ago, Infosys announced that it would join Matic as a validator. Previously, the company had already shown interest in the industry – as far back as 2018, Infosys created a blockchain-based network for trade finance.
Bharat Gupta, one of the leaders of the company’s consulting division, said that checking the PoS network would give the company first-hand knowledge to develop and launch its own “privacy-oriented solution on the blockchain”.
Matic co-founder and COO Sandeep Nailwal stated that in order to become a validator, it is enough to block the nominal number of tokens. However, Matic and Infosys refused to name the nominal rate.
Rockside has launched a service to eliminate “frozen” transactions in the Ethereum network
Rockside has launched a transaction relay service, the purpose of which is to eliminate “frozen” transactions in the Ethereum network. The company assumes that the main users of the service are DeFi projects.
Founded in 2018, the Paris-based blockchain company Rockside has released a free version of the software that can eliminate freezes and pending confirmations of transactions on the Ethereum network.
You paid an unpaid transfer fee. In decentralized financing protocols (DeFi), such operations can be caused by the protocol and the slowdown of the entire contract.
Algorithm “Transaction Relay Service” In case of a simultaneous large number of transactions in the network, Rockside will provide financing for contracts for a sufficient amount of gas.
In addition, Rockside offers gas-free transactions through its API. They use gas provided by the developer of the DeFi protocol, which covers user fees for gas as part of a simple interaction with the blockchain.
Developers should look for ways to deal with transactions and the fact that some transactions freeze, waiting for the approval of miners. Recently it became known that the community will finance developers who are working on EIP-1559.
“Since the end of 2019, the number of companies developing applications on the blockchain has been constantly growing,” said Rockside CEO Corentin Denoeud. “Some of them have millions of users.” In such a situation, you cannot risk even one transaction that is not included in the blockchain. ”
Rockside offers free maintenance for projects that carry out less than 100 transactions per day. In addition, Rockside offers to cover all gas costs for the first 100 transactions of new users.
What brings income to crypto investors. Which altcoins did Bitcoin lose
More than half of the BTC holders will make a profit if they sell the coin at the current price. But this is not a good result. Which cryptocurrencies turned out to be better for investments, and what brought only losses to users
At the beginning of the year, BTC cost a little more than $ 7,200. Since that moment, the cryptocurrency rate has grown by 25%, to the current mark of $ 9,000. During this period, the price rose twice to $ 10,400 and fell to $ 3,800.
According to the data of the analytical service Intotheblock, at the moment 11% of the current issue of bitcoin is in the hands of large investors. These include users who hold at least 0.1% of the BTC in circulation. This is about 18.4 thousand coins.
At the moment, 69% of users storing Bitcoin in a cold wallet are in positive territory. This means that they will make a profit if they sell the coin stocks at the current price. At the same level, 4% of the holders bought the asset, 27% suffered losses.
In 2020, Ethereum started trading at $ 130. In February, his rate set a local maximum just above $ 280. Then the price of the coin began to decline, fell to $ 86, and now it has fixed at the level of $ 220.
At the moment, 46% of altcoin holders will make a profit if they sell it at the current cost. 50% of investors in this case will record a loss. The remaining 4% of users bought Ethereum at current values.
The correlation index showing the dependence of the coin on bitcoin is 73%. This means that in 73% of cases, the Ethereum rate repeated the price movements of the first cryptocurrency. Approximately 40% of the current altcoin issue is now stored in the wallets of large holders. These include investors who have acquired at least 0.1% of the ETH in circulation.
Litecoin on January 1 was worth $ 41. To the current moment, the rate of the coin has not changed, now it is at the same level. Since the beginning of the year, the price of altcoin has grown to $ 80 and dropped to $ 24.
Litecoin holders have one of the worst positions among the leading cryptocurrencies by capitalization. Only 20% of investors bought a coin cheaper than the current level. 3% of users are in the “neutral zone”, and 77% will lose if they sell the asset’s inventory at the current price. The concentration of LTC in the hands of the “whales” is 48%. The correlation with bitcoin is 81%.
Even worse is the situation with investors of the OmiseGO token (OMG), it occupies the 40th position in the cryptocurrency rating by capitalization. Only 3% of altcoin holders are now in positive territory. All remaining users will receive a loss if they sell the coin at the current price of $ 1.38. 66% of OMG is in the hands of large investors, the correlation index with BTC is 82%.
One of the best coins for investing turned out to be Chainlink (Link), which occupies 13th place in the ranking of cryptocurrencies by capitalization. The asset began this year with a price of $ 1.8. In February, a historic high of $ 4.96 was set. In March, the rate fell to $ 1.7, but on June 24 it again approached record levels.
With a current value of $ 4.4, 88% of Link token investors can take profits. 7% of users bought a coin near current values. The number of holders who will receive a loss if they now sell cryptocurrency stocks is about 5%.
At the same time, the majority of Link emissions are in the hands of large investors, the concentration indicator has reached 80%. The correlation index with Bitcoin, in contrast, is low – 24%.
The Crypto.com Coin token, which takes 10th place at the top of cryptocurrencies, also showed a good result. Since the beginning of the year, the coin has risen in price by 250%. During this period, its price fell to $ 0.030, grew to $ 0.125, now it is $ 0.115.
At this cost, 97% of Crypto.com Coin holders are in the black. The remaining 3% bought a coin more expensive than current values. However, it has a high concentration, large investors have 98% of the token reserves. The correlation index with bitcoin is -37%. This means that in most cases, the quotes of these cryptocurrencies moved in the opposite direction.
Whitestream: ISIS began accepting donations in XMR instead of BTC
According to new data from Whitestream, an ISIS terrorist organization no longer accepts Bitcoin donations and prefers Monero.
The notorious terrorist group has stopped accepting donations to BTC and now prefers the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency XMR. According to the Israeli analytical company Whitestream, the syndicate has updated one of its sites, where it indicated that it now accepts cryptocurrency donations exclusively at Monero.
ISIS and other terrorist groups have been accepting donations to the BTC since at least 2014. But such a fundraising option has recently become an object of closer attention from governments and law enforcement officials, as bitcoin has grown in popularity over time, and blockchain analytics software has made tracking funds easier. According to the NGO Anti-Terrorism Project, ISIS stores more than $ 300 million in cryptocurrencies.
However, according to a recent report by Chainalysis, this figure is likely to be much less. The company said ISIS probably stores less than $ 100,000 in BTC, and the situation is similar for other terrorist organizations. In part, this may be due to the fact that ISIS will be difficult to move or “cash-out” a large amount of BTC once, without attracting attention.
In this case, XMR transactions can also be analyzed with special software. If Monero is not used properly, as is the case with any “privacy” technology, such as VPN, Tor or CoinJoins, it will not work as intended and will keep users confidential.
Despite the fact that terrorists do not use cryptocurrencies very often, many governments continue to express concern about the growing popularity of crypto assets among criminals. So, last fall, the Australian Interior Minister called cryptocurrencies a means of financing terrorism.
ConsenSys and AMD raise $ 20.5 million to develop blockchain cloud infrastructure
Startup ConsenSys and chipmaker AMD raised $ 20.5 million for the development of blockchain-based W3BCLOUD cloud infrastructure and the creation of decentralized data centers.
Several family trust companies from the United Arab Emirates participated in the funding round. The developers of the project said that the investment will be spent on the creation of the first W3BCLOUD infrastructure data center, which will become an analog of Amazon Web Services cloud technologies in the blockchain world.
Wael Aburida, co-founder and head of the W3BCLOUD investment department, said the main goal is for various organizations and government agencies to use the blockchain-based cloud computing system, which is characterized by high speed and increased security.
Data centers will use AMD graphics chips for computing. They will provide additional capabilities for data validation on the blockchain and for programs requiring a large amount of computing, enterprise applications and decentralized financing (DeFi). ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin noted that AMD’s use of high-performance computing technology will drive the adoption of decentralized systems around the world.
The W3BCLOUD infrastructure can scale beyond the Ethereum on which ConsenSys operates. The system will also involve machine learning, deep learning technology and artificial intelligence (AI). Jörg Roskowetz, head of AMD’s blockchain department, said that W3BCLOUD will go international this year.
For the first time, the W3BCLOUD project became known in January last year. It was reported that the technology can be used not only to create corporate data centers but also to track records about the health of citizens, as well as to work with licenses and supply chains.
Launch of Altona, the new Ethereum 2.0 testnet, scheduled for June 29
The developers of Ethereum 2.0 held an online conference, and Altona – the new iterative test network of Ethereum 2.0.
Ethereum 2.0 Test Coordinator Africa Schriedon provides a test network that is ready to run Altona has reached the minimum number of deposits. Shoyedon wrote that “technically the genesis has already taken place.” Nevertheless, the developers came to the conclusion that all specialists will be able to quickly solve any possible problems.
Altona will be the first test network to use the updated 0.12 specification for Ethereum 2.0, and which will be open to users. Developers call Altona “devnet” (“network for developers”). In previous tests, synchronization problems were often found.
Team Etrium 1.0, Gourley and Rinkebi. There is no exact information about the launch of the zero phase in the main network of Ethereum. However, the developers adhere to the plan, according to which the launch of a test network with specification 0.12 is scheduled for June. Altona will be an important step, bringing the launch of the long-awaited update. Earlier, Shoedon said that the launch of phase 0 could take place in 2021.
The first Ethereum 2.0 multi-client test network, Schlesi, was introduced this year to demonstrate customer willingness to support the Beacon Chain core shard. In addition, Ethereum 2.0 deployment coordinator Danny Ryan (Danny Ryan) said that a working multi-client model is one of the main reasons that delayed the launch of updates.
The Central Bank of Sweden investigated four models of the introduction of state cryptocurrency
The Central Bank of Sweden has studied the potential of four different models of state cryptocurrency for the local market and published the results of the study.
The Central Bank of Sweden has prepared an economic survey describing four models for the digital version of the Swedish krona (e-krona). The four securities models under consideration include the “centralized e-krona model without intermediaries”, “the centralized e-krona model with intermediaries”, “decentralized e-krona solutions with intermediaries” and “synthetic e-krona”.
“We found that all models have their advantages and disadvantages, but some better satisfy the current needs of the Swedish payment market than others,” the review says.
A centralized model of electronic crown without intermediaries will allow the bank to take responsibility for the entire cryptocurrency distribution chain. This scheme will open up a completely new role for the bank, similar to that played by large retail banks. The Central Bank of Sweden claims that under this model the bank will have significant personnel costs and customer support functions. At the same time, the Central Bank will become a competitor to private payment services at the retail level, which indirectly creates a market monopoly.
The centralized model with intermediaries is very similar to Sweden’s current financial infrastructure in the sense that it is based on a partnership between the central bank and private service providers. In it, the Central Bank of Sweden retains its role at the wholesale level of the payment market. However, in this example, the bank does not play an operational role in the distribution chain, as in the previous model.
Just as the centralized model described above works, in a decentralized environment, all intermediaries using the electronic crown will have direct contractual relations with the consumer.
“This model is a decentralized database of all electronic crowns in circulation, despite the fact that the Central Bank will verify all transactions before they are settled,” the document says.
The review says that the Central Bank of Sweden will have to develop a contingency plan if one or more intermediaries cease to fulfill their functions. In this case, the bank should be able to provide a large number of customers with payments via e-krona.
The last model considered in the Central Bank economic survey was a synthetic electron crown. The document explains that in addition to providing more institutions with access to real-time gross settlement systems (RTGS) “the model is mainly based on new legislation that will require banks to create separate accounts.”
This model is very similar to the existing one, where the role of the Central Bank is to act as an intermediary in the payment system, and the private market is a secondary layer serving customers. For the private sector, “existing payment solutions can continue to work as they do today, without the need for additional equipment or investments.”
“What makes the synthetic e-krona attractive is its limited scale compared to the other models we described. This model will not entail major investments in infrastructure, and the Central Bank of Sweden may not take full responsibility for inspections of KYC, ALM, etc., ”the document says.
The Central Bank of Sweden came to the conclusion that both a centralized and decentralized model with the participation of intermediaries, as well as a centralized model of the electronic crown without intermediaries, will entail significant changes and investments. The review notes that the synthetic digital version of the Swedish krona may be viable, but it can not be classified as a state cryptocurrency.
“Such a minimalist approach may not achieve the goals of increasing competition and sustainability to the necessary extent, since it will be very similar to today’s system,” the review says. “In addition, this system will not directly depend only on the Central Bank of Sweden and it is unclear whether such an electronic crown can be considered a state cryptocurrency.”
Recall that the Central Bank of Sweden began testing the first European cryptocurrency in Europe – the electronic crown in February this year. The goal of this initiative is to show that citizens can benefit from the use of electronic crown.
Microsoft: blockchain can be used to track carbon emissions
Microsoft, together with universities in Germany and Denmark, has released a document outlining the potential benefits of the blockchain to create an international carbon footprint market.
The document addresses the suitability of blockchain and distributed ledger technology for the carbon market quotas mechanism in accordance with Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement. The article provides for the creation of an accounting structure that should be an incentive to reduce carbon emissions. Existing infrastructure solutions for such a quota market have limitations because they are based on manual processes within the framework of a “centralized and fragmented database structure”.
“When considering only traditional database architectures, there is a risk of developing a“ new ”market mechanism that is already outdated at the time of creation,” the document says.
The co-authors of the article, including Microsoft data, artificial intelligence and blockchain specialist Laura Franke, as well as specialists from technical universities in Berlin and Denmark, agreed that blockchain could provide transparency and immutability of information for such a mechanism.
“We found that for the upstream and decentralized management system provided for in the Paris Agreement, a blockchain-based application is a promising solution and can bring benefits in the form of increased transparency and automation of the mechanism,” the document says.
Nevertheless, systems based on blockchain and distributed registry are described as “nascent” technologies that are not able to solve all the problems of the carbon market.
“This new technology is not a panacea for all problems, and the compromise of using the blockchain should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” the document says.
The authors of the article suggest using the scheme below, which will determine if the blockchain is suitable for solving a specific problem.
However, the document notes that the use of the blockchain-based platform “provides clear advantages in terms of interacting with other developing technologies, automating the process using smart contracts, increasing transparency, traceability and audit capabilities, as well as increasing security and trust between the parties.”
Blockchain is not the first to be used to track carbon emissions. In March, it became known that Yale University uses the Hyperledger blockchain to track carbon emissions, and in January Mercedes Benz and its startup Circulor launched a pilot project on the blockchain to track cobalt and carbon emissions.
In addition, last December, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced that, in partnership with blockchain companies Perlin and AirCarbon, it will work to reduce carbon emissions in commercial aviation.
ING Bank has developed a cryptocurrency transaction tracking protocol
The Dutch bank ING has developed the Travel Rule protocol for cryptocurrency exchanges and companies. TRP will help them comply with the FATF cryptocurrency transaction recommendations.
The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) solution proposed by ING was supported by Standard Chartered Bank, Fidelity Digital Assets, and BitGo. Recall that last summer the International Group for the Development of Financial Measures against Money Laundering (FATF) published the final version of its recommendations, which requires cryptocurrency exchanges to exchange information about customers.
One of the key provisions of the recommendations is that all operators of cryptocurrency services (primarily cryptocurrency exchanges) should transmit information about clients to each other when they make transfers between exchanges. At the same time, information should be transmitted not only about transfers in fiat currencies, but also about cryptocurrency transactions.
To comply with this and other requirements, cryptocurrency companies belonging to the InterVASP group released a messaging standard in May, which will help industry companies comply with the anti-money laundering rules developed by the FATF. At the same time, ING was the first bank to take part in the development of the protocol. In the TRP description, the bank declares:
“We offer a jointly managed infrastructure that enables cryptocurrency service operators to verify the validity of an address record. The address record is determined, inter alia, by the LEI [Legal Entity Identifier] and public key information. ”
A source close to the development of ING said that the bank began to look for a solution to comply with the FATF rules last year.
“I want to clarify that ING is not going to conduct activities related to crypto assets and payment tokens,” the source said. “The bank focuses on token stocks and other similar solutions.”
The protocol is equipped with a RESTful API. Cryptocurrency service operators should be able to publish address records. Thus, they correlate the identity and data associated with this address, the document says.
“This system can be compared with SWIFT,” the source said. “It can be used in closed projects or in open source projects, as a way to exchange information about transactions.”
PayPal will take a very important step for bitcoin. How will the price of a coin react?
Over the past two years, several significant events have occurred in the world of cryptocurrencies, which, contrary to expectations, almost did not affect quotes. It may be the same with PayPal, but the rise in the price of digital money is not always the main thing.
In the field of cryptocurrencies, events regularly occur, after which they predict a new Bitcoin rally and an update of the historical maximum value. The community now expects PayPal to add digital money support in the coming months.
CoinDesk sources said that customers of the service will receive wallets for storing cryptocurrency, as well as the opportunity to buy and sell it directly through PayPal and its Venmo company. New features are expected to appear in the next three months or earlier. The company did not confirm or deny these rumors.
Last November, PayPal withdrew from the Libra Association. The General Director of the payment system emphasized that it was decided to abandon the creation of the Libra ecosystem in favor of its own development. Even earlier, in May 2019, it became known that the company is developing in the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
And now, in mid-June 2020, the service continued to expand its staff. According to Cointelegraph, PayPal is looking for a technical director for crypto mining. He will be engaged in the creation and support of crypto products / functions responsible for improving the availability, performance and scalability of the system. The company also posted a vacancy for blockchain developers who want to join the research unit.
The result does not live up to expectations
According to a survey on the BTCC trading platform’s Twitter account, 62% of respondent users believe that after PayPal adds the function of buying and selling cryptocurrency, a new Bitcoin rally will begin. In fact, the community reacts like that to every significant event, expecting an explosive increase in the value of the first cryptocurrency.
Almost always, the result does not live up to expectations. For example, this year, a halving took place on the Bitcoin network. The miners’ reward for the mined block was halved: to 6.25 BTC. Many representatives of the crypto community believed that immediately after this, the asset rate should increase sharply. However, in the past month, bitcoin has been squeezed in a narrow price range. Cryptocurrency is trading within the range of $ 9000-10 000, now its average market price is $ 9600.
The most important event of the past year was the launch of the Bakkt derivative platform. It was expected that through it large amounts of money from institutional level investors would begin to arrive on the cryptocurrency market, which would positively affect the bitcoin exchange rate. After the start of operations on September 29, 2019, the value of the asset began to decline, by December it dropped by almost 30% to $ 7000, and in March 2020 set a local minimum of $ 3800.
Opinion 1: the news about PayPal is positive, but it will not affect the rate of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in any way. Operations with cryptocurrency is good, but first you need to increase confidence in cryptocurrencies and so that regulatory authorities stop their “nightmare” and block promising startups. When confidence in the cryptocurrency rises, then sellers will start accepting payments in bitcoins, and this will increase interest in the PayPal service. This is an expected event. Everyone wants to be the first.
Opinion 2: adding support for cryptocurrencies in the PayPal service can lead to a short-term increase in the cost of bitcoin by 20-35%, then the asset will return to the usual range of $ 9000-10,000. Everything will depend on when the project will be launched and what the epidemiological will be situation in the world. Exacerbation of a pandemic may affect investor decision.
Substantial Films will release Satoshi Nakamoto’s Decrypted film in late 2020
Substantial Films is making a Decrypted movie about Satoshi Nakamoto in the black comedy genre.
Now they are shooting the movie “Decrypted” about the cryptocurrency and the mysterious creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto. According to the description on IMDB, the film is classified as a comedy, written by Mick Sands, and directed by Tom Sands.
“A scandalous and provocative black comedy about the team of the US National Security Agency, which kidnaps the creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto and tries to get from him the information necessary to destroy cryptocurrencies.”
The role of Satoshi Nakamoto is played by Akie Kotabe, and the role of his lover is played by Talisa Garcia. Other actors include Sophia Myles, David Hoflin, Emilia Fox, Don Gilet, and Kevin McNally.
Substantial Films, a small independent film company based in the UK, is filming the film. The Substantial Films website says: “We’re working on a new movie called Decrypted, a black comedy about the world of intelligence.” However, filming is delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unfortunately, we were forced to suspend Decrypted production at the end of March due to COVID-19. We have already shot about 70% of the material and are pleased with the result. As soon as possible, we will resume shooting the remaining scenes … Meanwhile, we are going to start editing, so the production will move forward, even though the shooting has temporarily stopped, ”the film company said.
The film’s producer Phil Harris notes that the movie is not only about Satoshi Nakamoto, and a lot of research has been done before the shoot, so that the whole cryptocurrency story looks authentic. According to him, the creation of the film is funded by cryptocurrencies.
“We want this film to become part of the cryptocurrency revolution in the film industry. Therefore, we will first release it for the video industry’s cryptocurrency industry friendly, ”he said, citing Livetree, Breaker, Movieschain and Cinezen as an example.
However, the filmmakers intend to sell the rights to the picture to a major platform, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The film is due out in late 2020.
Recently it became known that the founders of the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss brought in Hollywood producers to create a film about their acquaintance with bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry.
Mining company Ebang on Friday will enter the NASDAQ listing
According to media reports, the Chinese mining company Ebang will appear on the Nasdaq listing under the ticker symbol EBON on Friday, June 26. As part of the IPO, the company hopes to raise between $ 106 million and $ 125 million.
According to the publication of the Chinese cryptocurrency publication Blockbeats, Ebang will be added to the Nasdaq stock exchange listing this Friday. In addition, Blockstream Strategy Director Samson Mow tweeted a screenshot of the invitation to the Ebang IPO holiday event.
One of the world’s largest manufacturers of mining equipment for bitcoin, Ebang International, filed an application for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States in April of this year. Then it was reported that Ebang expects to attract up to $ 100 million during the IPO.
On June 17, the company submitted its latest application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), selecting Nasdaq as the listing exchange. According to the latest data, Ebang wants to raise from $ 106 million to $ 125 million, putting up for sale 19.3 million shares at a price of $ 4.5 to $ 6.5. If the IPO is successful, Ebang’s market value could approach $ 800 million.
It is worth noting that Ebang’s revenue has been declining since 2018. In 2019, Ebang’s annual revenue was $ 109 million, which is 66% lower than a year earlier. According to the latest application, there is no reason to believe that the situation will change this year, despite more favorable market conditions. The company reported a net loss of $ 2.5 million for the first quarter of 2020, although sales volumes rose.
“This is very good for the Bitcoin mining industry, because the more ASIC manufacturers go public IPO, the more transparency and accountability we have,” said Samson Mow, emphasizing that Ebang is “one of the most reliable manufacturers in this area.”
In November 2019, Canaan mining company became the first industry representative to hit the US stock market. Canaan conducted a successful IPO on the Nasdaq and raised $ 90 million, selling 10 million shares at $ 9 apiece. In addition, last fall, Chinese media reported that the mining giant Bitmain filed an application for an IPO in the US with the SEC.
Open Payments Coalition will develop PayID cryptocurrency payment system
Members of the Open Payments Coalition alliance teamed up to launch a universal payment system PayID using cryptocurrencies.
The alliance includes more than 40 non-profit organizations and companies working in the field of blockchain and crypto assets, including BitGo, BitPay, Bitrue, Bitso, Bitstamp, Blockchain.com, BTC Markets, CipherTrace, Coinone, Crypto.com, Independent Reserve and Liquid. The consortium organizers said that it was created to “hack” established standards in the payment sector and accelerate the introduction of cryptocurrencies around the world.
According to the developers, PayID should be an international solution that combines the functions of all existing payment systems. To instantly receive transfers, users can provide their email address or phone number tied to a bank account. You do not need a bank account or credit card number, bank code or ID of an interbank payment system SWIFT.
Xpring Ripple startup senior vice president Ethan Beard noted that cryptocurrencies will be a key component of PayID. The system will support real-time payments with both fiat and digital currencies. To do this, you must create an open payment system that can provide the necessary level of protection and confidentiality for large financial corporations, non-profit organizations, applications and ordinary users.
The system will meet the requirements of the United States Financial Crime Prevention Network (FinCEN) and the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). In addition, the solution will allow alliance members to interact with a large number of payment networks and expand the user base.
How to make money work. 5 reasons to invest in tokens
Why you need to save your savings from even minimal inflation than security tokens are better than classic investments and how to get rid of intermediaries who take a significant part of the profit
The word “tokenization” should not be misleading. Assets, which in this case are most often discussed, have nothing to do with highly volatile cryptocurrencies. These are mature blockchain technology products that have just appeared on the market. Tokenized assets represent a hybrid product of the classic financial market and blockchain technology, which opens up new opportunities for existing instruments.
Why invest if you can put it off?
Prices have been rising over the years. The beautiful story that money in savings account in a bank is safely saved, and interest accruals only increase capital is not true. The reason for this is inflation. This is how Toms Kreitsbergs, Executive Director of the Latvian Asset Management Society Indexo described this phenomenon:
“If you don’t go deeper, inflation seems like a small, annoying bug. Every year he eats up a few percents of savings – it’s not so scary, is it?
In fact, inflation is a gluttonous rat that for decades left only crumbs of your “cheese”. We all work hard to create savings and take care of the future of our family. If some thief had stolen half of your savings from you, would that not have made you angry? ”
The theme of inflation is especially relevant now, during the tough economic crisis and the infusion of trillions of currency units by world central banks. The logical solution for protecting capital is an investment. Blockchain-based security tokens, according to the creators, should simplify investing and provide access to companies that have the potential to make big profits over time.
Is buying security tokens an improved version of a classic investment?
Thanks to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, today retailers are armed with Big Data (Big Data), and technology makers are getting trickier with IoT (Internet of Things). At the same time, the investment sector is looking for the most convenient form of communication between those who want to raise capital and those who are willing to invest, whether they are specialized applications, crowdfunding or venture capital. This list also contains distributed ledger technology (DLT) and, in particular, blockchain.
According to Deloitte, DLT should be considered not just as a new type of “database”, but as a new way of organizing the value chain of securities from issue to custody. But what exactly can be transmitted along this chain?
Today it is security tokens or, more simply, a digital representation of an irrefutable right to a physical share in an asset. This right is built into the smart contract along with the corresponding legal framework.
In essence, a security token is a digital signature that issuing platforms use to automate compliance, notify both investors and asset managers/owners that a certain amount of value is being transferred from hand to hand, and settlements on transactions with both parties. As with traditional securities, investors have voting rights; they can receive dividends or profits, or they can trade in the secondary market.
So, here are five reasons why investors should turn their attention to this new developing form of alternative investment.
Fractional Property – Take As Many As You Want
Digitization of shares makes them very divisible, that is, investors can buy a very small percentage of symbolic assets. For example, one square meter in a multi-million dollar building. The sharply reduced purchase threshold destroys barriers to the influx of billions of cash from retail investors into the market.
A good example is the real estate investment. While in the analog world, a person needs a significant amount of money to buy a share in real estate, in the digital and symbolic world you can become a landlord with $ 500 in your pocket.
Tokens have a simpler investment structure and lower commission fees. Traditionally, investments are associated with a large number of intermediaries: banks, currency exchangers, lawyers, brokers, and so on. In this chain, each of them performs its function and cannot be simply deleted. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.
A large number of intermediaries, ensuring a smooth and lawful transfer of property rights, means a huge number of fees, which grows in proportion to investments. In the case of asset tokenization, technology removes most of them from the playing field. The project has documentation, transparency and a clear mechanism for interaction between the investor and the project. That is, there are only two participants left.
Toward Maximum Liquidity
Transferring the investment process to the blockchain creates an environment with a low coefficient of friction: automatic transfer of ownership while maintaining compliance with requirements, lower costs and complexity, the ability to invest with fiat money or cryptocurrency, P2P trading on regulated exchanges – all this helps to increase liquidity.
This is similar to how e-commerce once completely undermined traditional business. In the same way that customers can make purchases 24/7/365, it will be possible to trade in digital securities at any time, from anywhere in the world.
In addition to all of the above, there is a regulated legal framework for security tokens. Europe is one of the friendliest places when it comes to launching compatible STOs (offering security tokens). For example, the UK Financial Conduct Authority has issued a crypto classification guide that defines securities tokens as stocks or debt instruments and includes property rights.
Indeed, the industry is very young, but the infrastructure is developing by leaps and bounds, with the advent of regulated platforms for issuing security tokens that meet the requirements of exchanges and depositories. At this pace, the placement of tokenized assets will soon be able to seriously compete with an IPO – they are cheaper and faster, have a wider base for raising funds, but at the same time provide a high level of legal protection for investors.
The icing on the cake
A security token is essentially a digital signature included in a smart contract. Such a contract is responsible for simplification and verification of transactions related to property rights. Like any software, it can be encoded with some additional functions, in addition to those that were originally laid down in the project structure – a loyalty program, the ability to influence the development of the project through simple old management mechanisms, such as voting by shareholders or additional bonus dividends for accumulation assets. Projects can attract additional investors and stimulate them. At the same time, everything is automated, and the operating team and customers do not need to worry about compliance with the law, verification, AML, infrastructure support and so on. This is an additional bonus that security tokens have compared to traditional securities.
In conclusion, asset tokenization is not another type of investment, it is worth talking about adding value to any investment project. Digital securities can shape the future of investment and finance, democratize access to wealth, and break down barriers to higher-return investments. While token infrastructure is gaining momentum, pioneers can take advantage of pioneers.
How cryptocurrency helps big brand loyalty programs
What kind of crypto start-up does Nike work with, how to get a cashback in bitcoins for reservations on Airbnb, as well as Rakuten, Reddit and other world-famous companies that already penetrate the blockchain industry
Digital money is becoming more common. Now they got to the Nike sneakers. Is it possible to get cryptocurrency by buying your favorite shoes, and what kind of competitors does Aliexpress have? We talk about how global corporations are adapting Bitcoin and Co., involving more and more people in this market.
Nike and Plutus
On June 2, 2020, the global sports giant stirred the crypto community. The company has teamed up with London-based startup Plutus, which specializes in financial technology. Plutus offers its customers a reward for every purchase in the Nike online store. Cash remuneration is paid in the amount of up to 9% of the purchase amount, and in cryptocurrency – up to 3%. Main condition: a purchase can only be paid with a Visa Plutus card. Now the service is available only in Europe and the UK – funds are returned in euros and pounds.
The main goal of a startup is to make cryptocurrency as widespread and familiar as the dollar. The startup is moving towards this goal by combining tokens and classic currencies in its application.
By the way, this is not Nike’s first step into the crypto industry. In December 2019, the company patented CryptoKicks blockchain sneakers. It is assumed that when buying a pair of sneakers, a digital token will be created, and a product and buyer ID will be tied to it. So fake shoes will be simply impossible: the authenticity of the sneakers can be verified by scanning the code.
Prior to this, Nike launched a loyalty program in partnership with the Lolli platform. Sneakers buyers can return up to 3% of their spending on shoes in the form of bitcoins.
For Plutus, this is not the first collaboration either. Not so long ago, the company teamed up with giants such as Skyscanner and Airbnb. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, partnership development has been suspended.
Airbnb works with a variety of loyalty programs to attract as many digital money users as possible. The list of service partners includes Lolli, Fold and Crypto.com.
The Fold application for payments in bitcoins has supported Airbnb since 2019, users can get 3% of the cashback in bitcoins for every reservation on Airbnb paid for with cryptocurrency.
Crypto.com – an electronic payment system that allows you to pay for purchases with cryptocurrency, returns up to 8% of expenses in the form of tokens to users. The millionth platform also collaborates with the Expedia reservation service. The payment system stands out among others in that it is present simultaneously in Europe, Asia and America.
More and more representatives of the tourism industry are using cryptocurrencies to attract new users. The Travala.com hotel reservation service and TravelByBit airline ticket search site recently announced a merger. Both platforms accept tokens for payment and plan to expand their use.
According to data from May 20, 2020, the companies will unite to become a platform that will provide access to more than 2 million hotels and 600 airlines. Binance cryptocurrency exchange supported this decision. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao praised the companies, believing that they would create a modern reservation service for the cryptocommunity.
It is noteworthy that Travala already had its own AVA token, which gives access to bonuses and discounts. Soon they will be available to TravelByBit users. Now for every booking through Travala, a traveler receives a 2% bonus in tokens.
Tokens instead of miles: airlines and blockchain
The aviation industry is also introducing blockchain into loyalty programs. Norwegian Airways launched its own NBX cryptocurrency exchange. In July 2019, the managing director of the exchange, Stig Chios-Mathisen, said in an interview with a local news source:
“First, a trading platform will be launched. Then NBX will develop a payment solution for the airline so that customers can pay with virtual currency. ”
As of February 2020, the platform is already ready to accept payments in cryptocurrency. In the future, the company plans to launch a loyalty program related to blockchain technologies.
In July 2018, Singapore Airlines became the first carrier in the world to launch a blockchain-based digital loyalty wallet. It is called KrisPay.
By downloading the KrisPay app, members can convert their KrisFlyer miles to KrisPay miles. To make purchases, users scan the KrisPay QR code from the seller and enter the amount they want to pay with their miles. Now 18 sellers from different categories are working with the platform.
“Thanks to the blockchain-based digital wallet, participating sellers can easily connect to the program, and customers can make purchases using their tokenized miles,” said Jan Reinmüller, head of Digital Village in Singapore.
The Lolli cryptostartup, in which Ashton Kutcher, Guy Ozeri and Michelle Fan have invested, helps to get bitcoins even for buying food. In the summer of 2019, the company entered into a partnership with Safeway, a large grocery chain from America, and now Americans can return 3.5% of their spending on food in the form of cryptocurrencies.
In an interview with Yahoo! Lolli CFO and co-founder Alex Adelman said that “joining one of the most recognized food retailers in the US will give people the opportunity to own bitcoins – probably for the first time.”
Founded in March 2018, Lolli allows users to earn Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC) for online purchases. Lolli increases the popularity of tokens among ordinary people by launching loyalty programs in partnership with global giants. The company already encourages people to book hotels on Hotels.com and Booking. So far, only US citizens can register with the Lolli loyalty program.
Zelwin vs Alibaba
The global giant Alibaba has become a partner of the aforementioned Lolli, but this is not the only marketplace that has learned to use cryptocurrency. So, Zelwin offers users to earn money on their spending. For each purchase, the user receives ZLW tokens, which can then be exchanged for real money or other tokens, or spent.
The platform also allows users to use not only regular money but also cryptocurrency – BTC and ETH in settlements with sellers. For convenience, the site has its own exchanger for conversion.
“Japanese Amazon” – Rakuten, is going to accelerate the entry of cryptocurrency into everyday life. Rakuten began to provide its users with the opportunity to exchange Rakuten Group loyalty points for popular cryptocurrencies, for example, bitcoin. This can be done by company customers in Japan. To do this, they must have an active account in Rakuten Wallet.
The Reddit platform also launches its token loyalty program. During the summer, users of two Reddit subgroups, including r / CryptoCurrency, will be able to earn tokens for posting comments. Currency can be used to purchase exclusive icons, use animated emoticons, and to respond to Reddit comments with pictures.
The efforts of Reddit differ from in-game money or rewards for video games in that the site creates real cryptocurrency working on the Ethereum network.
Major players in all sectors are reviewing their existing loyalty programs to take advantage of cryptocurrencies. The most effective and useful cryptocurrencies can simply be loyalty points. And the most numerous users of digital money have a chance to be those who did not even think about it before.
Deloitte study: “55% of companies consider blockchain a key development factor”
According to the report of the audit company Deloitte, the number of companies that introduced blockchain in their business processes this year increased to 39%. In 2019, this figure was 23%.
The Deloitte survey involved 1,488 company executives and specialists from 14 countries. At the same time, 55% of respondents called blockchain “one of the key factors in the development of their company,” and 82% said they already attract employees specializing in the blockchain field or ready to receive the necessary training in the next 12 months.
According to the researchers, the companies surveyed have a general idea of distributed registry technology and are even ready to share plans on how they are going to implement blockchain in their activities. Among the organizations participating in the survey, 100 companies are already using blockchain to develop their projects, and last year they received venture financing from $ 3 million.
However, the implementation of the blockchain is uneven in different countries. For example, only 31% of US companies have implemented this technology in their production processes, while in China this figure is almost twice as much – 59%. America lags significantly behind other countries in this regard: 53% of the companies that implemented the blockchain are located in the Asia-Pacific region, 48% in Ireland, and 43% in the UAE.
The leading industries where blockchain is widely used, Deloitte noted the field of telecommunications and information technology, as well as the industry of finance and wholesale. 88% of the total number of firms surveyed believe in the potential of the latest technologies and believe that in the near future they will be used everywhere.
In addition, 86% of company executives surveyed said their team is already working on various options for using the blockchain. At the same time, 83% of respondents believe that they can lose their competitive advantages and stop developing if they do not integrate the latest technologies into their business processes.
Also, 83% of company executives believe that in the next 5-10 years, digital assets can become an alternative to fiat currencies or even replace them. At the same time, the number of companies that believe that the capabilities of the blockchain are underestimated is increased to 54%. Last year, this figure was 43%, and in 2018 – 39%.
In May, Deloitte, together with the Value Technology Foundation, published the results of a study on the use of blockchain in the military industry. According to the report, Russia and China became the leaders in developing solutions based on the blockchain, leaving the United States behind.
Bank of Canada is looking for specialists in the development of state cryptocurrency
The Bank of Canada is preparing to develop a cryptocurrency of the Central Bank. The regulator opened the vacancy of the project manager for the development of the state cryptocurrency.
The Central Bank of Canada has unveiled its plans for the development of state cryptocurrency in vacancies on its website. The Central Bank said it was “rethinking the role of the Central Bank in banking services” and the nature of the circulation of the national currency of Canada.
“The Bank of Canada is starting to implement a program of great social significance to develop a conditional system for state cryptocurrency, which can be considered as a banknote, but in digital form,” the bank writes.
According to the vacancy, the developed cryptocurrency should protect the privacy of users (although not to the extent that cash does), be accessible to those who do not have bank accounts or mobile phones and compete with banknotes in the field of security in order to gain trust among people who prefer cash.
In addition, the bank wants its state cryptocurrency to be created on the basis of architecture “with the possibility of the long-term evolution of the life cycle”, and could develop along with the political goals of the country.
In the vacancy of the project manager of the state cryptocurrency, the bank did not indicate on the basis of which technology the cryptocurrency will be created, whether it will work on the basis of the token or account model. These details will be disclosed during the three-year term of the office of the project manager. During this time, the bank also wants to create a “pilot system of state cryptocurrency”.
Despite the emergence of a vacancy, the bank has not yet undertaken to issue a state cryptocurrency. In February, the Bank of Canada stated that “now is the wrong time to issue a state cryptocurrency.” In connection with the latest information on the vacancy, a Bank of Canada spokeswoman said:
“Despite the fact that the Bank plans actions in case of unforeseen circumstances, there are currently no good reasons for issuing a state cryptocurrency. Although cash use at retail outlets declined during the pandemic, we did not see a significant change in the demand for banknotes. ”
Recall that at the beginning of the year the Bank of Canada jointly with the central banks of Great Britain, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, as well as the ECB and the Bank for International Settlements announced the creation of a task force to study state digital currencies.
US Air Force allocates $ 1.5 million to blockchain startup SIMBA Chain to track supply chain
The U.S. Air Force signed a two-year $ 1.5 million contract with SIMBA Chain to develop a blockchain to track supply chains.
SIMBA Chain said it entered Phase II of its U.S. Air Force project as part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) with a new contract to explore blockchain capabilities to track U.S. Air Force supply chains. In particular, under the project, the company will begin tracking Boeing products supplied by the US Air Force.
Recall that in May of this year, SIMBA Chain received from the US Department of Defense $ 200,000 under SBIR to develop a solution to improve integration, security, audit capabilities and controlled access to sensitive data from the Department of Defense.
SIMBA CEO Joel Neidig said the company will operate on the Tinker Air Force-based Hyperledger Fabric hub in Oklahoma, the Air Force’s supply chain logistics center, and plans to focus on risk management. That is, the work will be primarily aimed at forecasting and identifying the most vulnerable areas in the supply chain. Neydig does not report which Boeing products will be tracked by the US Air Force in phase II, but noted that “real data” will be used.
According to Neydig, the blockchain can ensure the safety of details by documenting each relevant data point, which is crucial for the purchase of the US Air Force. They think through their supply chains with such details that civilians “do not even think about”.
“The army is thinking about how people exchange data, where they come from, where there is still access to them. They think over everything that can go wrong, and it is here that the blockchain can help, ”he said.
The US Air Force’s need for reliable tracking of the logistics network has intensified with the advent of additive manufacturing. According to Jeffrey Slayton, Director of Special Programs, Strategy, and Policy, US Air Force, the additive manufacturing process, commonly known as 3D printing, can enable the military to print whatever it takes.
“New technologies, such as the SIMBA Chain blockchain platform, can provide reliable information exchange through an unreliable network in which not all participants can be trusted, and at the same time help maintain the technological superiority of American air, space and cyber forces,” said Slayton in a statement to the press.
SIMBA Chain is also able to help the military advance in solving problems that may arise with the spread of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, which can analyze a lot of data, Neidig said.
“We provide this level of trust, data integrity,” Neydig said. “We need to have an excellent trusted transaction database before we start entering data into the AI.”
Glassnode: percentage of inactive BTC peaked in four years
The share of inactive bitcoins exceeded 60%. The largest increase in the number of inactive BTC since the beginning of the year is observed among coins purchased 10 years and 2-3 years ago.
According to Glassnode, 60.63% of all BTCs did not move for more than a year. These data indicate the consolidation of BTC ownership and that investors who bought cryptocurrency at the lowest prices in 2018 have not yet begun to profit from their investments. More than four years have passed since such a large percentage of outstanding BTC did not move for more than a year.
One method of analyzing inactive bitcoins was to group coins by the length of the period when the BTC did not move. Called HODL Waves, this data analysis was first proposed by Unchained Capital in 2018 to demonstrate macroscopic changes in the ownership and use of BTC. It can also give an idea of investor sentiment.
Each wave – one day, one month, six months, two years, five years, etc. – represents the period of time during which a certain percentage of coins in circulation were not used in transactions or, in other words, were inactive.
The term HODL reflects the behavior of investors who choose to hold BTC without the intention to use or sell these coins. Thus, each wave visualizes what percentage of BTC in circulation participated in the HODL strategy and for how long.
Percentage of BTC in circulation, inactive for one year or more. Source: Glassnode, CoinDesk Research.
Dhruv Bansal, co-founder of Unchained Capital, explained that the HODL Wave data indicates that investors who “bought bitcoin for between $ 6,000 and $ 3,000 in 2018 still hold it, despite a huge increase since then. recent economic fluctuations. ”
It is curious that the two periods of BTC storage in which the percentage of inactive bitcoins is highest is 10 years and 2-3 years. The number of inactive BTC in these segments has grown to 31% and 26% since the beginning of the year, respectively. In 2020, during the storage period of 2-3 years, coins were purchased that were purchased at record high prices in 2017.
HODL Waves of bitcoin from one year or more (from June 2016 to May 2020), broken down by period. Source: Glassnode, CoinDesk Research.
However, not every BTC investor can intentionally adhere to a HODL strategy. ARK Investment Management cryptocurrency analyst Yassine Elmandjra said that the growth of inactive BTC for two to three years, among other things, maybe due to the fact that cryptocurrency owners “bought BTC at the peak and lost their Trezor wallet or forgot their username and Coinbase Password. ”
Despite the extreme volatility of Bitcoin in the first quarter of 2020 and continued macroeconomic uncertainty, the growing number of inactive BTCs confirms that cryptocurrency owners still believe in their investments. According to Bansal, “if you think the BTC price history is repeating, then market consolidation in the hands of confident investors in the future may be a sign of a bullish trend.”
The New York Times Tests Fake News Blockchain
The New York Times, in the framework of a joint project with IBM News Provenance, is testing a blockchain to combat fake news.
The New York Times is exploring whether blockchain can help restore credibility in online media. As part of the News Provenance project, created in collaboration with IBM, the publication wants to increase readers’ confidence in news photos stored on the blockchain.
To do this, a prototype of an artificial social network was created, with the help of which the team tracked the status of the photo from the moment it was taken and published, before it was edited. In addition, any signatures accompanying the photo were tracked.
Thanks to the blockchain, all changes were registered and available for study, and smart contracts guaranteed that only certain people could access the photo metadata. Project Manager Pooja Reddy shared project information at the end of last week.
She noted that additional information about photography has helped readers better understand the origin of the image through the context provided, but there are serious obstacles to the realization of something like this on a larger scale.
One of the problems is the requirement that the project publishes content published by other media. Another problem is the comparison of online photos with the originals on the blockchain, although technologies such as automatic video analysis or perceptual hashing can help.
In addition, the prototype system required significant financial and technical costs, and small news organizations may not be able to bear such costs. Ultimately, such a system can be successful only with large-scale participation of a large number of media. Reddy said that her team is working to increase the interest of industry participants and support this and other related projects:
“This prototype was an experiment that told us a lot about the power of reliable contextual information in social media channels. However, to realize something like this, there is a long way to go. Nevertheless, there are great opportunities to use blockchain to combat fake news.
This is not the first time large media have been exploring the possibilities of blockchain. Back in 2018, the American Forbes magazine announced a collaboration with the blockchain startup Civil to publish its content on a decentralized network. Recently, however, the Civil startup, whose goal was to create a decentralized platform for financing the media and posting materials, announced the closure after four years of operation.
Trezor wallet update made it incompatible with CoinJoin
Wasabi Wallet encourages its users who own Trezor hardware wallets not to download the latest wallet until the compatibility issue is resolved.
According to a Wasabi Wallet notice published yesterday, wallet users should not upgrade to the latest version if they use the Trezor device. Otherwise, you may temporarily lose access to your BTC.
The notification says that if the user has Trezor Model T, then it is not necessary to upgrade to version 2.3.1., And if Trezor One – to version 1.9.1. This is due to the fact that last Wednesday, the developer of the Trezor hardware wallet, SatoshiLabs, told its customers about the resolved security vulnerability. According to the company, due to a code error, wallet users could become victims of fabulous commissions.
SatoshiLabs fixed the problem with Trezor, but the update undermined third-party services such as Wasabi and the BTCPay server, writes Jumar Macato, software developer at Wasabi Wallet.
Wasabi Wallet supports CoinJoin mixing technology and allows you to anonymize transactions by collecting multiple transactions into one. Wasabi interacts with Trezor, a cold wallet, to send BTC using CoinJoin. Wasabi sends Trezor a partially signed BTC transaction, and Trezor confirms the transaction as soon as the owner signs it.
But the Trezor update interferes with Wasabi, as Trezor now considers the partially signed BTC transaction to be invalid. A Trezor device may also require a lot of space to access previous transaction data, which may make a partially signed transaction file too large for a hardware wallet.
“In light of the aforementioned problems, Wasabi Wallet encourages its users with Trezor hardware wallets to postpone the update,” Makato wrote. “We advise users not to update Wasabi Wallet until the problem is resolved, because of the potential possibility that attackers could spread a malicious copy of Wasabi Wallet and exploit the vulnerability for their own purposes.”
Fake versions of the Wasabi wallet were already created by cybercriminals earlier. In March last year, a fake Wasabi Wallet site appeared on the network, the purpose of which was to steal funds from inattentive users.
People may be prohibited from owning gold. Stablecoins will save.
History knows examples when in the XX century the authorities of large countries confiscated gold from private owners. Now the world is on the verge of a new economic shock, so there is a chance that the situation will happen again. Digital money will help save capital
With the onset of the pandemic, economic performance declined worldwide and money flooded the global market. Since March, the balance of the largest central banks in the world has increased by $ 5 trillion and continues to grow. The US Federal Reserve, the ECB, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of Australia are trying by any means to save the financial systems of their countries, and at the same time – the whole world. In the United States alone, more than $ 3.5 trillion was printed. Experts consider the monetary policy of the United States the main factor in financial instability. Authorities may lose control of inflation triggered by the economic crisis and central bank interventions. In such a situation, the solution for states could be the demonetization of gold, which would make it illegal to store it by private individuals.
The bubble will continue to inflate
While the printing presses in the US and Europe continue to operate, it is already clear that current market performance does not reflect reality well. With unemployment rates in the United States almost at the level of the Great Depression, the stock market continues to grow and breaks through the highest levels recorded earlier this year.
The following picture is now visible: stock markets behave in exactly the opposite direction to the economy, but are derivative of it. Small businesses reacted first, medium-sized companies such as Hertz filed for bankruptcy one after another. Entire industries have undergone a forced reduction in volumes. Thus, the number of drilling rigs for shale oil in the United States has halved.
In such a situation, the soap bubble created by the Central Banks with each new printed bill is about to burst. The study showed that with the change in macroeconomics, more and more people see gold as a safe asset against the current troubled currency system.
Prohibition of gold ownership. History knows examples.
London Hedge Fund Manager Odey European Inc. Crispin Audey believes central banks may prohibit private ownership of gold if they lose control of inflation in the context of the crisis with coronavirus.
Many gold owners fear that governments may confiscate their gold, pointing to similar situations in the 20th century. The German Empire, the Soviet Union and the United States at different times carried out the confiscation of gold from the population. The outcome of such interventions is difficult to predict. After the First World War in Germany, for example, paper stamps received in exchange for gold turned to dust.
Audey added that in the current situation, governments “will only do this if they feel the need to create a stable accounting unit for world trade.” He compared the current crisis to the Great Depression of the 1930s, arguing that central banks could not contain inflation when the economy began to recover.
Under such conditions, stablecoins secured by gold through institutional organizations can become the main tool for hedging risks during high inflation of the global economy.
Stablecoins secured by gold are in great demand
Today, there are already more than 20 cryptocurrencies, the developers of which claim that they are provided with physical gold. This can inspire some optimism for both crypto and classic investors looking for access to safe assets. For crypto investors, the main factor in crypto-gold is the withdrawal of an unsupported, algorithmic cryptocurrency into a physically tangible substance. Moreover, crypto gold gives owners the right to exchange currency for physical gold. There is also fractional ownership of one ounce, which is impossible in the classic market. All this can make stablecoins secured by gold a new spending currency.
Moreover, if the government decides to take the gold from the population, most likely, such institutional organizations as Tether and PAX will not stop offering crypto gold. Although without a possible exchange for the physical component, stablecoins will be a popular hedging tool in case of high inflation in the global economy.
Classic currency will not give way as a world standard
Total global debt exceeds 300% of global GDP, or roughly equal to $ 250 trillion. Most of the debt is denominated in the currencies of leading economies – these are the dollar, euro, pound, yen and yuan. Any debt must not only be repaid, but also serviced. To fulfill their obligations, countries must buy currency. Against this background, $ 5 trillion, which will be printed by the world Central Banks, looks like a drop in the ocean. Therefore, you should not expect higher inflation in the economies of leading countries in the near future. Of course, someday the next cycle of currency weakening will begin. It is hard to believe that one of the most powerful economic collapses will end with a monthly fall in the stock market and a short-term drop in oil prices. You can talk about when the next wave of crisis will come, but the market is extremely unstable, and there are many pitfalls that can trigger a fall. Professional players understand this and it is not surprising that we are seeing a sharp jump in interest in gold, cryptocurrencies and, in particular, stablecoins, as part of a portfolio of safe assets.
The creators of the fake stream about the Sony PlayStation 5 attracted 1.4 BTC
A fake video about the release of the PlayStation 5 game console appeared on YouTube. Fraudsters who urged users to participate in the distribution of 5,000 bitcoins managed to raise about $ 13,000 in BTC.
Attackers positioned themselves as a Sony corporation, which allegedly in honor of the release of the new Sony PlayStation 5 game console distributed bitcoins. To take part in the action, users had to transfer from 0.1 BTC to 20 BTC to a specific address, after which they were promised double the number of bitcoins, depending on the amount deposited.
The broadcast was conducted on the PlayStation Live channel. At the beginning of the presentation of “Sony Playstation 5 Game Reveal Event (PS5) Live Presentation”, there was zero balance on the attacker’s wallet. After the video was deleted due to violations of YouTube’s policy, 1.4 BTC appeared on the ransomware’s account, and no funds were sent from his address to anyone.
It is easy to guess that this was a common cheating scheme, designed for gullible users. To gain confidence, the scammers personalized the Bitcoin address to which they asked to send cryptocurrency. Typical Bitcoin addresses contain alphanumeric characters, while the scam address starts with “1Sony”. Creating such an individualized address is very difficult.
Fraudsters used the original Sony PlayStation 5 broadcast recording after it ended 10 hours ago. The extortionists broadcast it for two hours, and gained about 100,000 views. A fake video appeared on YouTube in the first six lines for “ps5 reveal trailers”, and about 233,000 people subscribed to the fake channel.
To date, the channel is still operational, but this video is missing from it. Given the number of PlayStation Live subscribers, it can be assumed that the attackers hacked this channel or “pumped” it for several months with the aim of extortion.
Recall that in March, a similar video appeared on YouTube on behalf of Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Then the scammers asked users to deposit from 2,000 to 500,000 XRP to participate in the distribution of tokens.
TokenInsight: China Loses Leadership in Bitcoin Mining
The share of Chinese miners in the total bitcoin hash rate has decreased, and production in the US and Kazakhstan is gradually growing. The development of this trend will lead to China losing its leadership in BTC mining.
According to a report by TokenInsight, an analytic company that cites data from the University of Cambridge’s Alternative Finance Center, the share of BTC miners from China in the total Bitcoin hash decreased from 75.63% in September 2019 to 65.08% by the end of April.
At the same time, the share of BTC miners from the USA increased from 4.06% to 7.24%. Cryptocurrency mining in Kazakhstan also increased sharply: in September, Kazakhstan miners accounted for 1.42% of the hashrate, and by May 7, it was already 6.17%.
TokensInsight chief analyst Johnson Xu said China’s dominance in bitcoin mining will continue to decline. Due to price fluctuations and lower BTC prices last month, “a large share of miners in China have stopped working,” he said. TokenInsight chief analyst explained that bitcoin halving has complicated the work of Chinese miners.
“In China, there are quite a lot of devices of past generations, because miners do not have much motivation to switch to new ASICs,” he said, explaining that in China, lowering energy costs contributes to higher profits.
Xu noted that miners are leaving China because “the mining industry in China is unstructured and limits access to capital.”
Although the Chinese government began to take steps towards the mining industry last fall, Xu believes that the “structured and progressive legal framework” of other countries, as well as “raising awareness of BTC and cryptocurrencies outside of China at the national level” make the country less attractive to miners.
After halving the Bitcoin miner reward, the overall hash of the network fell. He has bounced back since then, but that’s more than just a market correction, Xu said – this is due to the weather in China. At this time of year in the Sichuan province, the rainy season begins, and miners close farms in the cold province of Xinjiang and run them in Sichuan, where there is cheap hydropower.
Since electricity in Sichuan is cheaper in the rainy season, “more and more miners are interested in turning on the [old] devices because they can make a reasonable profit,” Xu said.
But he believes that Chinese miners will not be able to maintain leadership. As soon as the rains run out and electricity prices rise again, miners in China will have to deal with more serious problems. In addition, at the end of last month, Sichuan authorities said they could limit the extraction of cryptocurrencies.
Messari: the profitability of tokens of decentralized exchanges grew by 240%
Growing trading volumes and protocol updates have helped decentralized exchange (DEX) tokens become five times more profitable than their counterparts on centralized sites.
A new Messari report says that the profitability of DEX tokens, such as Kyber Network and Bancor, in 2020 grew by an average of more than 240%. For comparison, a similar indicator for centralized platform tokens (BNB, HT, etc.) fluctuates at the level of 40%.
Forecasts show that, despite the leadership of centralized exchanges in terms of the number of users and trading volumes, decentralized alternatives have more and more advantages. In a report, Messari explains that most of the hype surrounding DEX tokens is due to the increase in volume and recent or upcoming protocol updates.
DEX aggregators, for example, 1inch, which distribute token swaps to several decentralized exchanges to provide the user with the best price, helped to increase the total trading volume of DEX tokens from less than $ 5 million to almost $ 25 million. Moreover, this increase led to an increase in the share of decentralized exchanges on the crypto assets market from 0.25% to 0.5%.
Despite this, DEX is still far from reaching trading volumes that are characteristic of popular centralized exchanges, such as Binance or Huobi. However, the Messari report notes that achieving parity with centralized competitors is not necessary for DEX tokens in order to offer investors favorable conditions.
The biggest advantage of decentralized exchanges is the programmatic nature of their commission distribution models – anyone can check the blockchain and make sure that the commissions are correctly distributed between token holders. At the same time, centralized exchanges already use token burning programs, which reduce the supply and, accordingly, increase the price, which can be changed at any time by the organizations managing them.
Base product updates add new features and increase potential revenue for liquidity providers and market makers on exchanges. While centralized exchanges currently offer users the best profit opportunities, the report looks at upgrading protocols like 0x and Uniswap as a potential catalyst for attracting these market participants and the trading volume that they bring with them.
Since trading volumes on DEX are relatively small, their steady growth can increase profits for token holders and the associated cost of the tokens themselves.
The Chinese bank employee appropriated 1.85 million yuan and lost them on bitcoin trading
The employee of a Chinese bank invested 1.85 million yuan in Bitcoin, owned by the bank. For fraud, the “trader” faces 12 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 yuan.
On Tuesday, a Hanfeng court in the Chinese province of Jiangxi examined the case of former bank employee Liu Lihua. This 33-year-old citizen took advantage of his official position and appropriated 1.85 million yuan to buy bitcoin. According to Lihua, he learned about bitcoin in 2013. He started investing in this cryptocurrency in 2018, believing in its potential after the bitcoin rate jumped to $ 20,000. Initially, Lihua invested 100,000 yuan in BTC, and within one week he made a profit of 1.6 million yuan. This trader seemed a little, and he decided to invest even more, using the money of the bank’s customers. The defendant believed that if he managed to earn 1.6 million yuan, he could easily gain 16 million yuan if he had extra money.
Between 2018 and May 2019, a bank employee managed to appropriate 1.85 million yuan, which he converted to Bitcoin and spent on his own needs. Subsequently, Lihua began to issue trumped-up bank loans to customer names, the total amount amounted to 770,000 yuan.
However, over time, the “streak of luck” ended, and in December 2018, the bitcoin exchange rate fell to $ 3200, although at the beginning of the year it held about $ 15,000. As a result, the “grief trader” lost 2 million yuan. He faces 12 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 yuan for fraud and misappropriation of bank money. In addition, Lihua is obliged to return all money received illegally.
Some banks are opposed to their employees owning and trading cryptocurrencies. At the beginning of 2018, the European bank Nordea made appropriate changes to its policy due to “too high risks” for the bank and its employees.
Instructions for beginners: how to make money on cryptocurrency
There are many ways to increase savings with Bitcoin and other digital assets. For example, investing, trading, mining and other methods. We talk about all the options.
2020 may well be the year when interest in cryptocurrencies reaches the level of the end of 2017. Bitcoin, according to forecasts, is again torn to historic highs, and altcoins are growing in price. It’s time to recall the most popular ways of investing and making money on cryptocurrencies.
Trading involves short-term speculation, the completion of many transactions. For this, exchanges are best suited. It is easiest to quickly buy or sell cryptocurrency here. There is an option and margin trading with leverage. However, it is suitable only for professionals, since it is much more risky.
Cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile, so it is better to start trading them with a training account. It allows you to get acquainted with the exchange and its tools, get practice on a virtual balance. Then it’s better to start a small amount and, no matter how strange it sounds, survive the first losses. This will help to understand whether you are able to remain calm and make informed decisions in a stressful situation.
It is worth reading specialized literature on trading, listening to lectures, and taking courses. This will help to better understand the market situation and explore various trading strategies. We discussed in more detail how to start trading cryptocurrency in the previous material from the series “Instructions for Beginners”.
There is also algorithmic trading. Most transactions on world exchanges are performed using high-frequency trading tools, a trading method in which special programs automatically look for opportunities to earn money, sell and buy positions in a split second. Due to strong fluctuations in cryptocurrency rates, bots are becoming more and more popular in this area.
Algorithmic trading systems are used by both professionals and amateurs. Programs vary in complexity and device principles. There are three main categories of software for working with crypto exchanges:
Simple bots with predefined logic;
Trained trading robots based on AI and machine learning technologies;
Advisor robots (do not make deals, but give recommendations).
This option is hardly suitable for beginners. System performance is difficult to predict and impossible to guarantee. You should not completely give up exchange operations to the software, but you can try the work of robot advisers and independently evaluate their effectiveness.
Earnings on referral programs of cryptocurrency exchanges
A referral program is a type of cooperation in which a company pays its client (referral) for attracting new users (referrals). As a rule, bonuses are received both by the one who brought and the one who brought. Each organization chooses the method and amount of remuneration independently.
Among the crypto exchanges with regular affiliates: Binance, BitMEX, EXMO, OKEx, Huobi and Bitfinex. The amount of remuneration depends on the total volume of all attracted referrals. It happens that companies run “one-time” referral programs, for example, as part of IEO or in honor of a major update.
In March, Bittrex Global announced major changes to the mobile platform: the platform began to support credit cards for the purchase of digital assets and pending orders on smartphones. Then the company introduced a new referral program, which allowed customers to receive an additional commission percentage of the transaction of customers who came through a special link.
An alternative to trading is “stall” or investing. This approach involves long-term transactions. It is more suitable for non-professionals, as it does not require knowledge of technical analysis, trading abilities and other skills.
Investing has less potential than trade. The price of cryptocurrencies can change by tens of percent every day, and the investor, accordingly, misses the opportunity to capitalize on these fluctuations. The “go” has another significant nuance. It is extremely important to find the right moment to acquire an asset, it is better to wait for a strong decline in its course. For example, users who invested in bitcoin in 2017-2018 at a cost above $ 14,000 still have not been able to close the profitable transaction.
Stablecoin is a cryptocurrency secured by traditional assets, such as US dollars. Such tokens are often used on crypto exchanges as a convenient trading pair and adaptation tool. For traders, they are one of the main tools for taking profits. Having made a successful transaction, the user does not have to withdraw funds to fiat.
In April of this year, the balance of USDT and USDC stablecoins on the balances of users of all crypto exchanges exceeded $ 1 billion. Analyst at the Longhash portal explained that traders did not withdraw money, as they were going to invest it back in cryptocurrency, they were just waiting for the right moment. Recall that at the beginning of the month, bitcoin was trading at $ 6,200, since then it has risen in price by 57% to $ 9,700.
ICO and IEO
The peak of the glory of ICO projects took place at the beginning of last year. They were remembered by both large losses and huge earnings of investors. Perhaps the point in this method of attracting funding in the spring of 2020 was put by the Telegram Open Network – a project of Pavel Durov, which was much more talked about than others. An American court banned the release of Gram, after which Durov announced the completion of work on the blockchain platform.
ICO was replaced by IEO – the primary exchange offerings. They differ in that not the project developers are looking for investors, but the cryptocurrency exchange selects promising teams and promotes their coins among their users. One of the main advantages of IEO is that tokens are necessarily issued and are listed. That is, there are no deceived investors who did not wait for the appearance of their coins.
No one guarantees investors high profits, but most IEO projects have shown multiple growth at the start of trading. Last year, this method of earning was so popular that some fundraising campaigns ended in seconds. Most investors did not have time to take part in the crowd sale, so the exchanges changed their approach and made a lottery out of it.
Now, on the vast majority of sites, customers need to keep exchange tokens on the balance sheet for a certain time before the token sale. In this case, people can participate in the lottery and try to get an allocation for the purchase of new coins. Often the percentage of winning tickets does not exceed 20% of the number of applicants.
One of the most popular ways to make money on cryptocurrency is mining. Now, after the May halving, bitcoin mining has become even less profitable. Mining the first cryptocurrency is hardly suitable for beginners. It is often earned by large companies that have a large number of necessary equipment, access to cheap rental conditions, electricity, and maintenance. It makes sense to get digital coins only if it is possible not to sell most of them to cover transaction costs.
Beginners are better off mining altcoins. It is cheaper and makes it possible to resell video cards in case of failure. After operation ASIC is much more difficult to implement. It is even more profitable to work in a pool, that is, together with other miners. In this case, due to the total capacity of the pool, you can get a small but stable income.
An alternative to mining is stacking. This is a way to mine cryptocurrency, but without farms or asics. Coins that work on the Proof-of-Stake algorithm are stored in the wallet, and while it is running, they bring a certain income. The amount of earnings depends on the account, the annual interest rate on PoS and, a little, on luck.
In PoS, network operation is provided by remote servers running software. They are also called masternodes. In fact, this is a home computer or laptop on which a special wallet is installed and a certain amount of coins is lying. For example, in order to participate in the ETH 2.0 stacking, which may be presented as early as this fall, you need to keep at least 32 ETH.
In order to earn on stacking, you need to replenish your wallet with coins. Then wait for the blocks to appear, usually this process takes 1-2 days. After – install the software client on the computer and start the storage operation. It should be active and synchronized, and coins should not be used for transactions for a long time.
Stacking is like a bank deposit when a user deposits funds into an account at interest for a certain period of time. The more money in the account, the higher the profit. The power of the computer in the case of stacking does not affect income in any way, only the balance of the wallet and the shelf life is important.
To search for coins using the PoS algorithm, the StakingRewards service exists. The portal has information about approximate income that can be obtained from the storage of certain coins. Now on the market, there are more and more altcoins that support stacking. But the most anticipated is Ethereum. It is still unknown when the ETH 2.0 network will be launched, but many experts predict its success.
Masternodes are needed to ensure that transactions take place as quickly and anonymously as possible. Each owner of such a server, as in the case of stacking, must be a holder of a certain amount in cryptocurrency. Earnings consist of part of the reward of miners.
The most profitable and risky option in this case is to look for new projects that implement the masternode mechanism and become the owner of the node in them. This does not require large investments, but, in case of the successful development of a startup, it allows you to get a high income. In this case, you must be constantly online and be able to negotiate in English.
According to Dmitry, a system administrator from Belarus, this way of earning makes $ 2000-3000 per month. This directly depends on the activity of altcoin users and its relevance in the market. The main problem associated with this type of activity is regulatory loopholes. It is not yet possible to correctly explain to the tax authorities what kind of business it is, how it works and where the money comes from.
Mining on the phone
Not everyone knows about the complexity and features of mining, so some users believe that you can get digital money on a regular smartphone with the Android operating system. In the Google Play application store, there are several options at once, each of which promises easy earnings without unnecessary costs.
However, none of them in reality can bring real profit. And phone problems are easy. For example, the most realistic way to earn digital money in a smartphone is in a wallet from the Electroneum project. However, as we thought earlier, for two months in this way you can earn no more than 0.5 euros.
In 99% of cases, applications that offer mining on a smartphone actually do not mine anything. They can show ads and use other methods of earning on users. But real income cannot be obtained in this way now.
Upvest will develop a tool for predicting fees for transactions on the Ethereum network
Asset Token startup Upvest received $ 1 million in funding to develop a tool for predicting transaction fees on the Ethereum network.
Investments were provided by the European Regional Development Fund through the ProFIT program of Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB). The solution will help to set the most appropriate commissions and reduce overall transaction costs.
“Transactions with an increased commission hurt affordably, especially when the number of operations is growing. If the commission is set lower than necessary, then it is likely that the transaction will not be processed and included in the next block, ”the Upvest statement said.
To solve this problem, the startup has developed a special engine that analyzes the parameters of the Ethereum network and issues the recommended transaction fee. It uses machine learning technology and is available as an API.
The engine collects “signals” and network data in real time, including the number of unconfirmed transactions and the number of active miners, and determines the recommended size of the commission.
According to Upvest, using the solution can increase efficiency by 18% – that is, make transactions cheaper and speed up their processing time.
“Our customers mainly use the engine to issue tokens and to distribute them on the secondary market between investors. Since the technology is independent of the use case, exchanges can just as easily use it”, – the statement said.
Coca-Cola vending machines in Australia and New Zealand will accept cryptocurrencies
Coca-Cola vending machines in Australia and New Zealand will soon start accepting cryptocurrencies as part of a partnership between Coca-Cola Amatil Asia Pacific and Centrapay.
Jerome Faury, CEO of cryptocurrency company Centrapay, said that the Sylo Smart Wallet platform will solve the problem of integration difficulties and poor user experience, which often become obstacles to the introduction of new technologies, such as digital identification and crypto assets.
Centrapay says its platform “helps brands connect directly with customers and increase sales revenue and productivity for sellers.” Coca-Cola Amatil customers will be able to use Sylo Smart Wallet to pay for drinks at more than 2,000 Coca-Cola vending machines in New Zealand and Australia with a payment sticker with a QR code.
“Now that we have shown how this can work in Australia and New Zealand, we strive to grow our business globally. We have already begun working in North America and will be guided by the American market for introducing innovations, ”Fori said.
According to Centrapay, due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are less likely to use cash to pay for goods and services. The company believes that due to the possibility of payments in cryptocurrencies, people will be able to touch the device less, which is important in the current conditions. Many vending machines across Australia already accept contactless payments.
This initiative is not the first step of Coca-Cola in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. In the fall, it became known that more than 70 franchise companies Coca-Cola Company around the world will be able to use the SAP solution developed on the blockchain for supply chain management.
Conspiracies, scientists and religion. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
There are many theories about who could create the first cryptocurrency. Some of them seem absurd, others seem believable. However, so far none of them has received conclusive evidence.
Each movement has an iconic face. Gandhi led the Indian Independence Campaign, Professor Xavier was the driving force behind the X-Men, and Rosa Parks led African-American rights activists. In the case of Bitcoin, decentralization has become one of the most important principles of movement. Therefore, no one knows or speaks publicly who founded the currency: this is not an accident.
Bitcoin and blockchain were created by a person or group of persons under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. In December 2017, when the price of BTC reached $ 20,000, Nakamoto took 44th place in the list of the richest people in the world. There are dozens of legends and rumors, new fan theories are constantly appearing. But over ten years there has not been a single conclusive evidence of who the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is.
Satoshi was not just a brilliant technologist, but also an outstanding marketer. In 2008, people were depressed because of the situation in the world, and they needed an alternative to recover from financial losses. At this time, bitcoin appeared. It became a reaction to the collapse of the business: the article “Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic money system” was published a month after the crisis began, in October 2008.
Satoshi served Bitcoin for three years, and then “moved on to other things.” Communication with Satoshi ended in 2011. The last thing he said in a letter to another Bitcoin developer, Gavin Andersen:
“I would like you to stop talking about me as a mysterious shadow figure, the press is turning it into a pirate currency. Perhaps instead it would be better to talk about an open source project and pay tribute to the developers; it helps motivate them.”
The brightest candidate for the role of Satoshi Nakamoto is an Australian entrepreneur, programmer and scientist Craig Wright. In 2015, he burst onto the scene, saying that in fact Satoshi is two people, Wright himself and his colleague Dave Kleiman. Kleiman died in 2013 and cannot confirm or deny this information.
Wikileaks later revealed that Craig is not who he claims to be. Wright tried to present his old post as proof that he developed cryptocurrency. The irony is that the word “cryptocurrency” was added to the post much later. The crypto community has found a lot of evidence of Craig’s lies.
In 2014, Leah McGrath Goodman of Newsweek published an investigation according to which the creator of Bitcoin is California resident Dorian Nakamoto, a 64-year-old retired Japanese-American physicist and well-educated engineer. Dorian agreed to speak with the journalist only in the presence of police officers. He answered evasively, and then declared:
“I am no longer involved in this and cannot discuss it. <…> It was passed on to other people. They are responsible for this now. ”
Later, he made a statement, where he said that he misunderstood the journalist’s questions. Dorian’s statements emphasize that he was embarrassed when Goodman asked questions, and that his comment “I am no longer involved in this” was taken out of context. The community fell in love with Dorian and collected more than $ 1 million in donations to him.
The first Bitcoin transaction was sent to Hal Finney. He received 50 BTC in January 2009. A Libertarian and a member of the cipherpunk community, Finney seemed like an ideal candidate for the role of inventor of Bitcoin. The appearance of Dorian Nakamoto in the neighborhood, and they lived in the same town, added fuel to the fire. In May 2020, two news refuted the involvement of the programmer in the creation of the first cryptocurrency. Firstly, it worked on a Windows system. Secondly, Finney was developing a Bitcoin client for Mac OS for Satoshi Nakamoto.
One of the most popular theories is that Satoshi Nakamoto is a combination of the first letters of the Samsung-Toshiba-Nakamichi-Motorola company names. Proponents of this theory say that bitcoin was created with the aim of fraud. There is no evidence.
Was there a boy?
Satoshi Nakamoto is an almost religious figure. Everyone can proclaim himself to them. Satoshi is at the same time everything and nobody. Most religions, nations, institutions and associations have a history of origin, for example, the book of Genesis or the history of the enlightenment of the Buddha. These origin stories are not necessarily accurate in fact; they exist more like archetypal stories, myths, or images. In fact, one of the ideas of Bitcoin is to free the world from idolatry.
Chainalysis will begin tracking public transactions in the Dash and Zcash blockchains
Chainalysis KYT and Reactor tools will allow you to track most of the open transactions with anonymous cryptocurrencies Dash and Zcash.
As Chainalysis executives said on their blog, users of these tools will be able to check for cleanliness of DASH and ZEC. The daily trading volume of these cryptocurrencies in total is about $ 1.5 billion.
Dash and Zcash are believed to have a high level of privacy, but anonymity features are not used in most transactions. DASH has a PrivateSend function, which is a built-in mixer that confuses the transaction trace to hide the original address. Zcash uses zk-SNARKS technology, which encrypts the data of the sender, recipient and their balance. According to Chainalysis, this technology provides higher anonymity compared to mixers. Despite the confidential nature of DASH and ZEC, with the help of Chainalysis KYT and Reactor tools, users will be able to find out if these cryptocurrencies were used for money laundering, terrorist financing or other illegal actions.
Chainalysis explained that even in some transactions with the PrivateSend option activated, you can associate inputs and outputs, as well as determine the wallet address from which the coins were originally sent. PrivateSend greatly enhances user privacy, but Chainalysis does not preclude successful research. According to experts, PrivateSend is used only in 0.7% of transactions with Dash, and only about 9% of transactions with this cryptocurrency are mixed. As for Zcash, 14% of transactions are performed using encrypted pools, while only 0.9% of transactions with ZEC are fully encrypted.
The above means that most transactions with both coins are made without using all the functions of the protocols that ensure confidentiality. Accordingly, in such cases, Chainalysis services will allow you to find out the transaction amount, and often to track the address of the sender or recipient.
In April, Chainalysis reported that cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used to access prohibited content. However, cryptocurrency enthusiast Andreas Antonopoulos compared Chainalysis to “arms manufacturers and cage camp companies.” In his opinion, such analytical companies provide information that violates the civil rights of millions of people.
Norwegian salmon producer Kvarøy Arctic joins IBM Food Trust blockchain platform
Norwegian salmon producer Kvarøy Arctic joins the IBM Food Trust blockchain platform to increase supply chain transparency and prevent fraud in the seafood industry.
Kvarøy Arctic, a Norwegian farm-raised salmon producer, has joined the ranks of companies that have joined the IBM Food Trust, a blockchain-based supply chain tracking platform. Kvarøy Arctic supplies Whole Foods restaurants and retail stores in the US and Canada.
Now the company will use blockchain to provide consumers with detailed information about the origin of its products. IBM Food Trust CEO Raj Rao called the partnership “an important step in promoting transparency and responsible production in seafood supply chains.”
Using a QR code, Kvarøy Arctic customers will be able to access comprehensive information and images detailing salmon production conditions, including fish age, date of harvest, and information about the product’s delivery route from the farm to the supermarket.
The salmon producer is also working with the BioMar feed supplier to add its supply chain to the project. Kvarøy Arctic reports a sharp increase in demand for fresh seafood in the United States over the past three months – deliveries are twice the expected volume.
IBM Food Trust spokeswoman Espen Braathe said premium products are much more likely to be scammed than other consumer products.
“When demand for premium foods grows, the benefits of fraud with them also increase,” he said.
A study published by environmental nonprofit organization Oceana found that a third of all seafood in the United States is mislabeled, resulting in consumers often paying a high price for low-quality products.
“Blockchain is the future when it comes to ending fraud in the seafood industry,” said Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen. “Technology provides the necessary level of detail in supply chain tracking that helps us reduce food waste.”
In April, it became known that the “fruit giant” Dole Food Company will launch an supply chain tracking system on the IBM blockchain for agricultural products by 2025. In the same month, Nestlé and the nonprofit Rainforest Alliance announced they were using the IBM Food Trust blockchain platform to track Zoegas coffee supply chains.
Philadelphia Fed: “Central Bank cryptocurrencies can crowd out commercial banks”
According to researchers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, state cryptocurrencies can change the role of commercial banks and force them out of the financial system.
The Philadelphia Fed released a research paper, Central Bank Digital Currency: Central Banking for All ?, which outlined the implications of using state-owned cryptocurrencies. The researchers focused on the potential competition of the cryptocurrency of the Central Bank with the traditional role of commercial banks in the transformation of short-term deposits into longer-term loans.
“The launch of the state cryptocurrency can contribute to a fundamental shift in the architecture of the financial system, and initiate the birth of a central bank concept that is“ open to all, ”the document says.
The study was conducted by the Fed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago. Researchers have studied the consequences of issuing cryptocurrencies of the Central Bank and how this can affect financial intermediation. In particular, the role that state-owned cryptocurrencies play in “giving consumers the opportunity to have a bank account directly with a central bank,” and how this will affect the operation of commercial banks, was examined.
The transformation of short-term deposits into longer-term loans refers to the practice when financial institutions borrow money for shorter periods than they issue loans. This is often done with the help of deposits of depositors by converting this financing into long-term loans, such as mortgages. The role of commercial banks is to meet the needs of lenders and borrowers.
This process can have unpleasant consequences, for example, in case of panic in the markets or panic withdrawal of bank deposits, when all depositors try to withdraw money immediately, or when money markets suddenly run dry due to the fact that lenders no longer provide each other with short-term loans.
The document says that a set of appropriations received through private financial intermediation (commercial banks) can also be obtained using state cryptocurrency, provided that competition with commercial banks is allowed and investors do not panic. However, the document identifies related issues.
“If competition from commercial banks worsens, for example, due to some budget subsidization of central bank deposits, the Central Bank should be careful to avoid chaos when transforming short-term deposits into longer-term loans,” the document says.
In other words, if a state-owned cryptocurrency really changes the role of commercial banks, then there are concerns that central banks might harm money markets.
The document also notes that “the rigidity of the central bank’s contract with investment banks” holds back the panic. Thus, if depositors start making deposits exclusively with the central bank, it can ultimately become a monopolist, taking deposits from the commercial banking sector.
In February of this year, Lael Brainard, member of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve, said the institution was more loyal to the idea of issuing digital currency by the Central Bank.
Bitcoin mining difficulty decreased by 9.29%
According to CoinDesk Research, on June 4, Bitcoin mining difficulty decreased by 9.29% to 13.7 trillion units, reaching the January low of this year.
Recalculation of mining difficulty occurred at block 633 024 at 12:30 UTC. This was the eighth largest decrease in BTC mining complexity in its entire history. After bitcoin halving on May 11, the complexity of BTC mining was recounted for the second time. On May 20, at the first recount, mining complexity fell by 6%. The current situation is beneficial for miners with access to cheap electricity, as a reduction in complexity can return profitability to old equipment.
Despite the drop in complexity, the hash of the network has begun to increase in recent days. This is due to the fact that with the onset of the rainy season in China and a decrease in the cost of electricity to $ 0.03 per kWh, miners began to connect new equipment or return old equipment to work. Since May, the two largest manufacturers, Bitmain and MicroBT, have already begun shipping AntMiner S19 and WhatsMiner M30S devices. This means that the next recount is likely to be positive, and complexity will again move to growth.
The complexity of mining in the Bitcoin network changes every 2016 blocks to maintain an average ten-minute block creation interval. Increasing the power of miners increases the hash rate of the network, and the complexity automatically increases. According to Blockchain.com, on May 27, the average seven-day hash rate dropped to 90 EH / s. Until May 20, the average hash rate was 108 EH / s. In the period from May 20 to May 27, it took more than 12 minutes to release the block. Accordingly, the growth of hash after May 27 allowed to reduce the time to create a block to 11 minutes.
Over the past two weeks, the number of unconfirmed transactions in the Bitcoin network has significantly decreased, as a result, the median commission size has decreased by 78%.
Ethereum 2.0 developer talks about plans to deploy Serenity update
ETH 2.0 developer Danny Ryan has published an article detailing the upcoming Serenity update. He also answered Reddit users’ questions about the update.
According to Ryan, ETH 2.0 aims to change Ethereum and make it much more efficient, secure and scalable for “high transaction volumes.” Currently, the network can process up to 12 transactions per second, and network congestion slows down transfers and increases fees.
Ryan said that ETH 2.0 will be deployed in four main phases. In phase 0, Beacon Chain will be launched based on the PoS consensus algorithm and validator nodes will be presented. Any user with 32 ETH for staking will be able to expand the node and take part in adding blocks.
“The goal of phase 0 is to reach a consensus with hundreds of thousands of validators distributed across thousands of nodes around the world,” Ryan writes.
In phase 1, “sharding” will appear – a complex implementation that “breaks down” the Ethereum network into thousands of separate chains, providing faster data entry and transaction confirmation. Beacon Chain validators will receive random short-term tasks to build and test shard chains. First, it is planned to launch 64 shards, and the total amount of data available for the system will be in the range from 1 to 4 MB / s.
In phase 1.5, the current Ethereum core network will be integrated with the ETH 2.0 consensus mechanism as a shard. Applications will gradually appear on the network, and a much more powerful system for work will become available to developers.
The final step — phase 2 — will be to add states and capabilities to trigger more shards. As Ryan notes, there are many options for what form this phase can take, and now the developers are discussing research and prototyping for this phase.
“Now there is rapid progress in turning abstract ideas of interaction between shards into specific specifications for discussion and, ultimately, into prototypes,” Ryan notes.
The developer also added that there are many different clients and ETH 2.0 tools that are currently being tested.
Questions on Reddit
Last week, Ryan held a session of answers to questions from Reddit users, during which he talked about the stages of ETH 2.0 deployment and the upcoming features. In addition, he answered questions about network security and the possible centralization of stakers.
Ryan said that Ethereum developers are almost entirely focused on launching phase 0. However, the development of phase 1 also continues to progress and is expected to be deployed shortly after the launch of phase 0.
According to Ryan, microcomputers such as the Raspberry Pi 4 will be able to work with phase 0, but implementing phase 1 will require more processing power. He also noted that a “special shard for DeFi is“ quite possible ”, and acknowledged that some applications could theoretically work better on separate shards.
Some members of the community noted that earlier developers talked about the concept of ETH 3.0, which will include updating some components of Ethereum using zk-Snarks to provide more privacy and network security. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin commented on the idea of such an update:
“I am currently embracing the idea of not changing the current structure of Ethereum after deploying ETH 2.0. I stand for gradual change. ”
Crypto Rating Council: “TRX, DOT and CKB can be recognized as securities”
According to the Crypto Rating Council (CRC), regulators are likely to recognize TRX, DOT, and CKB cryptocurrencies as securities.
CRC was founded last year by Coinbase, Circle and Genesis Capital. The organization analyzes the characteristics of cryptocurrencies and estimates the likelihood of them falling into the category of securities using a five-point system. A top score suggests that a digital asset has all the attributes of a security. Ratings are based on the Howie test and may vary depending on the key parameters of digital assets.
According to CRC member Juan Suarez, the organization does not provide legal advice. She seeks to clarify the approach of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the courts to regulate digital assets, and how appropriate it is to apply securities laws to them.
In mid-April, CRC conducted a preliminary analysis of several cryptocurrencies. The organization came to the conclusion that regulators can recognize cryptocurrencies of Tron, Nervos and Polkadot projects as securities – these assets scored 4.75 points out of five. Crypto assets Cosmos, Stellar and EOS received 3.75 points. However, final estimates have not yet been published and may differ from the initial results of the study.
When compiling the estimates, all available information was taken into account: technical documentation, posts on social networks, data in the GitHub repositories, as well as interviews with CRC. In addition, CRC discussed the information received about the projects with independent lawyers, after which the project was assigned a specific score. However, it is not known how carefully these estimates have been worked out. It should be borne in mind that they can change as projects develop and new information emerges from them. For example, a preliminary ranking of Polkadot was made before the launch of its main network. In the future, the transfer of control over the network to the community may change the project rating.
In April, Nervos Network developers interacted with CRC on the characteristics of the CKB cryptocurrency. Initially, the organization classified the distribution of CKBs as dividends, with the Nervos team claiming that CKBs are utility tokens, not share tokens. Nervos executives said the CKB rating will be revised based on new data.
Canaan introduced new miners for bitcoin mining
Shares of the company went up by 17%, however, it is still several times cheaper than the price of the initial offer
On June 2, Canaan, the Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer, introduced the new AvalonMiner 1146 Pro device, as announced on its Twitter account. The miner is capable of generating a hashrate of 63 TH / s, the energy consumption is 3276 watts.
Representatives of the company noted that the updated model will increase the efficiency of cryptocurrency mining. The weight of the device is 14.5 kg, the warranty will last for 180 days.
Canaan stock quotes reacted positively. On June 2, they grew by 17%, from $ 2.2
to $ 2.5, at the moment rising to $ 3. However, it is 72% lower than the initial offer price of $ 8.99, held in November.
In the first quarter of 2020, demand for miners decreased, which caused Canaan to incur a loss of $ 5.6 million. The company submitted financial statements according to which revenue from January to April amounted to $ 9.4 million, which is 44.6% higher than last year. At the same time, expenses exceeded $ 15 million. This is due to the fact that in order to increase sales, Canaan reduced the price of devices by almost 2 times.
KuCoin Exchange Introduces Chainalysis KYT and Reactor to Track Transactions
KuCoin cryptocurrency exchange announced the introduction of Chainalysis KYT and Reactor to track suspicious transactions and comply with regulatory requirements.
KuCoin executives said the Chainalysis KYT tool, developed by Chainalysis, an analytic firm, will enable real-time transaction monitoring to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illegal cryptocurrency transactions. In addition, KuCoin will use the Chainalysis Reactor tool to track suspicious activity on the exchange.
In addition to these services, KuCoin has developed its own internal system for tracking high-risk transactions in the early stages to protect users’ digital assets. In April, KuCoin partnered with Onchain Custodian Custodian Service and Lockton Insurance Company to further protect client crypto assets.
KuCoin Global CEO Johnny Lyu said working with Chainalysis will create a safe trading environment for traders. It is not only about providing infrastructure to the blockchain ecosystem, but also about ensuring strict compliance with the rules of regulatory bodies from different countries.
Chainalysis Sales Director Jason Bonds, in turn, noted that the company is pleased to partner with cryptocurrency exchanges, for which user safety and compliance with KYC / AML procedures are priority tasks. In addition, partnerships with Singapore-based KuCoin will expand Chainalysis’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Chainalysis tools are used by different sites. In March, Paxful’s P2P platform also introduced Chainalysis Reactor and KYT, although, prior to working with Paxful, Chainalysis doubted the security of P2P platforms due to low user disclosure requirements. In addition, last year Chainalysis KYT introduced Bittrex and Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchanges.
Microsoft, IBM and Hyperledger create IWA alliance to develop tokenization standards
Microsoft, IBM and Hyperledger formed the non-profit InterWork Alliance (IWA) to create international standards for tokenized ecosystems.
The alliance was led by Microsoft’s chief architect Marley Gray (Marley Gray) and former CEO of Ethereum Entrepreneurship Alliance Ron Resnik (Ron Reznik). The organization includes more than 28 companies working in the field of blockchain, finance and technology. These include Microsoft, Chainlink, Hyperledger, IBM, Accenture, and NASDAQ.
According to IWA executives, startups developing tokenized ecosystems are focused on individual solutions and promoting their platforms. Nevertheless, the creation of international standards that clearly define the concept and operation of smart contracts will facilitate the collective implementation of distributed business models.
The InterWork Alliance intends to develop three different systems of international standards. The Token Taxonomy Framework will introduce a common language and toolkit. The InterWork Framework will help you put together a variety of contracts using the standard guidelines provided by IWA. Thanks to the “System Analytics” (Analytics Framework), firms can analyze various contracts, use the services of artificial intelligence and reporting on market data.
Hyperlinger Brian Belendorf (Brian Belendorf) said that standards play a crucial role in the development of any technology.
To create distributed applications and data exchange services, a certain structure is needed that will allow companies to work at the business level, regardless of the use of technology. Director of IBM WW Digital Asset Labs Nitin Gaur emphasized that such an alliance with a neutral attitude to all platforms will change the “landscape tokenization” and the entire cryptocurrency industry.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency standards are being developed by other organizations. Last summer, the Institute of Chartered Public Accountants (AICPA) proposed a new set of standards for evaluating blockchain-based audit data.
Ethereum Classic blockchain hosts Phoenix hard fork
Ethereum Classic successfully activated the Phoenix hard fork on block 10 500 839. This is the third hard fork on the ETC blockchain within a year.
ETC Labs Core Technology Coordinator Stevan Lohja said that Phoenix has features implemented in the latest update on Ethereum – Istanbul. This will ensure the technical compatibility of tools and use cases for the Ethereum and Ethereum Classic networks, while preserving their features.
Hard fork developers Atlantis, Agharta and Phoenix will conduct further research on how to further “bring together” the ETC and ETH blockchains. According to Lohja, most customers have already switched to Phoenix, and the number of those who remained on the old version is gradually decreasing. Many cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and infrastructure services are also in the process of synchronization.
After the upgrade, Core-geth, OpenEthereum, and Multi-geth clients synchronized with the new ETC blockchain. Hyperledger Besu, the relatively new Ethereum Classic client, out of sync during the activation of the hard fork, however this will not negatively impact the network. The Parity Ethereum client is no longer supported by the Parity Tech developer and has been transferred to the OpenEthereum project managed by the community. The Multi-geth client is also under community control. Therefore, for security reasons, developers recommend that site holders switch to Core-geth.
Recall that in September, the Atlantis hard fork was successfully activated on the Ethereum Classic blockchain, and the Agharta hard fork was held in October to increase the level of interaction with the Ethereum network.
OMG Network Launches Beta Level 2 Network to Scale Ethereum
OMG Network developers have introduced a beta version of the “add-on” to scale the Ethereum blockchain to several thousand transactions per second.
OMG Network was established in 2017 under the name OmiseGO. In August of that year, she held an ICO and became one of the first “unicorns” in the industry. But the “cryptozyme” of 2018 crippled the capitalization of the project and the development dragged on.
OMG Network Technical Director Kasima Tharnpipitchai said the solution uses the More Viable Plasma (MoreVP) specification to increase Ethereum throughput. It scales transactions with ETH and ERC-20 standard tokens, grouping them and sending them through a set of smart contracts.
These bundled transactions are verified and verified on a decentralized network. It is the “bundling” of transactions that provides high network bandwidth, in which it will be possible to conduct several thousand secure transactions per second, and commissions for end users will be reduced three times from the current cost.
OMG Network developers have presented a trial version of a web wallet with which users can enter the network, make transactions and return funds to the Ethereum blockchain. He also announced the OMG Network Block Explorer service for tracking transaction history, wallet addresses and other information. With the release of further updates, it is planned to introduce OMG staking. Project management has warned users that OMG Network is in beta and may have network problems, so users are advised to exercise caution.
One of the first “residents” of OMG Network may be Tether, which produces the largest stablecoin USDT by capitalization. Due to the transfer of part of the transactions to the second level, the load on the main network of Ethereum should decrease, as well as the size of the fees.
“Thanks to the switch to OMG Network, we will reduce costs, increase speed and reduce the load on the main network of Ethereum,” said Tether Technical Director Paolo Ardoino.
According to Ardoino, in the near future, Tether support based on OMG Network will appear on the Bitfinex exchange, which will allow traders to “respond faster to trading opportunities.”
At the moment, it is transactions with Tether that occupy the lion’s share of operations in the Ethereum blockchain. According to the estimates of the ETH Gas Station service, over the past month, the total volume of commissions for transactions with USDT in the ERC-20 format amounted to $ 1.85 million.
OMG Network is built on Plasma technology, similar to the Lightning Network, which has opponents. Recently, the Ethereum community has switched to waiting for the launch of the Optimism project. In addition, in November, a startup BloXroute Labs introduced a solution to reduce the average time to create a block and distribute it on the Ethereum blockchain to 172 milliseconds.
Study: “Transactions in Ethereum are easier to deanonymize than in Bitcoin”
Hungarian researchers believe that transactions on the Ethereum blockchain are less confidential than on Bitcoin. The reason for this is the Ethereum Domain Name System (ENS).
The study was conducted by three Hungarian educational institutions: the Institute of Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI), the University of Lorand Eötvös and the University of St. Istvan, as well as the Canadian company HashCloack, led by the developer Ferenc Béres. The researchers analyzed the features of Ethereum, which make it easier to track transactions on this network compared to Bitcoin. The Ethereum account-based model is more open due to address reuse.
“The account-based model increases the likelihood of protocol reuse of addresses. Therefore, from the point of view of anonymity, Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies may be inferior to Bitcoin and other UTXO-based digital currencies ”
Ethereum features an Ethereum Domain Name System (ENS) that maps addresses to .eth domains that are easy to read. Researchers managed to find 890 of these domains hosted on open profiles on Twitter. This may already be enough to reveal whether the owners of these addresses committed compromising actions. For example, about 10% of these wallets were used on gambling platforms, and 5% were used to make payments on resources for adults. According to Beres, ENS has become a “starting point” that allows users to be identified by linking signatures to time zones, as well as through gas prices and direct transfers between wallets. In these ways, you can disclose up to 17% of transactions.
Researchers also found that 7.5% of users of the ETH Tornado Cash mixer received coins for the same wallet from which they started mixing. This means that the efforts of these users who tried to mix transactions turned out to be futile. Analysts have focused on the weaknesses of Ethereum, but some of the tricks can be applied to UTXO-based cryptocurrencies. However, in this case it will be much more difficult to deanonymize transactions.
Last year, scientists from Stanford University introduced a “fully decentralized and confidential payment mechanism” on the Ethereum network to encrypt account balances, deposits, transfers, and coin withdrawals from wallets.
How to store cryptocurrency correctly
Digital money is hard to make and easy to lose. We tell you where it is best to keep your coins, so as not to lose them by mistake or because of intruders
The “crawl” strategy is widespread in the crypto industry: investors buy coins for the long term and do not sell, regardless of market fluctuations. But digital money is easy to lose, even if you do not conclude risky transactions. One of the main questions of everyone who is just starting their acquaintance with the field of cryptocurrencies is how to store them. There are several ways, and each of them has its pros and cons.
The easiest and most understandable way to store cryptocurrency: keep it on the exchange. When creating an account, each user has his own wallet. It supports all coins that are traded on the site, they always have quick access. You can sell or buy. Also one of the advantages of this option: the ability to easily restore access to your account.
In contrast, there is a major minus – the problems of exchanges with security. From this point of view, cryptocurrencies remain in the era of the Wild West, because not a single large trading platform has been left without the attention of hackers. Even the leaders of large exchanges urge not to keep funds on them.
“Please do not store more cryptocurrencies on exchanges than you need to trade. Use Ledger and Trezor (hardware wallets), DEX (decentralized exchanges) – not a panacea, look at The DAO. Open source only says that exploits will be detected earlier (probably by bad guys), ”wrote Kraken CEO Jesse Powell on Twitter.
In 2018, ICORating found that most exchanges (54%) have various security issues. Over the past two years, the situation has improved. Now it’s hard to imagine a site that doesn’t offer to install two-factor authentication. But hackers are improving their skills. Therefore, the exchange is worth storing only the amount that is not afraid to lose.
The exchange can go offline at any time. For example, on March 13, when the price of bitcoin fell to a local minimum of $ 3800, the BitMEX trading platform was not available for trading. The user may lose access to their funds at the most inopportune moment.
An indicative case occurred with customers of the Canadian exchange Einstein. Last fall, she owed more than $ 12 million to customers, while she only had $ 45,000 of “solid assets”. One trader said the company owed to him was $ 535,000, according to another lender, several million dollars.
The choice of exchange must be approached with extreme caution, because there is always a risk of getting into scammers.
The safest way to store cryptocurrencies is hardware wallets (devices that often look like a USB flash drive). But here everything is not so simple and you need to be extremely careful. For example, in December last year, Kraken experts found that a KeepKey wallet can be cracked in 15 minutes, and an attack will cost attackers $ 75.
However, this method is still more reliable, since for hacking criminals need to get physical access to the wallet. If it is stored in a safe place, the risk can be minimized.
Last year, the hacking of the largest trading volume Binance exchange doubled the sales of Ledger wallets. But they often find vulnerabilities or errors in work.
When choosing a hardware wallet as an option for storing your funds, you need to remember that losing a PIN code will result in a loss of cryptocurrency. Also minus hardware wallets – the ability to lose or ruin the physical way. For example, at home it can be broken by children or a dog.
This method has similarities with the option of storage on the exchange. The cryptocurrency does not belong to you, and its fate depends entirely on the service on which it lies. Extremely convenient and unsafe way. Hackers have a ton of options on how to steal funds. For example, hacking a user’s account, the service itself or creating a phishing page. You need to be extremely careful and not keep a large amount of funds in an online wallet.
Online wallets are divided into hybrid and traditional ones, depending on how private keys are stored. In wallets of the first type, separate storage of keys using multi-signature is used, of the second – private keys are on the service, and only a backup copy is available to the user.
The main advantage of hybrid wallets is that developers do not have full access to user coins. Payments from such a service cannot be made without the joint participation of the client and the company. This increases the level of protection. On the other hand, the loss of a secret phrase will be fatal, in which case you can forget about cryptocurrency.
One of the most famous online wallets is Blockchain.com. In May, the company announced the addition of support for cryptocurrency interest accounts. They can be used to store bitcoin, the annual yield will be 4.5%.
Another popular wallet is BitGo. It is considered safe, as each transaction requires two signatures. The platform does not have full access to user coins. You can also work with it only after connecting two-factor authentication.
A universal way to store funds is a local wallet. These are applications for PC or mobile devices, extensions for browsers. Finding such a wallet is easy: just go to the official website of the project and download the appropriate option. But this method also has its own difficulties.
The option for mobile devices is suitable for those who need constant access to their coins for transactions. But the cryptocurrency will not be stored on the smartphone, so access to it can be obtained only with the Internet. Even if the device is lost, digital money can be returned.
A local wallet on a PC makes sense only for coins that use Proof of Stake in their algorithm – a confirmation of a share. Because to store cryptocurrency in this way, you need to completely download the blockchain of the selected asset. And it can weigh tens and hundreds of GB. In the case of PoS, while there is some amount in cryptocurrency in the wallet and the computer is turned on, the user is credited with a certain amount in digital money. It is this function that should appear in Ethereum 2.0. You can become a network validator by storing from 32 ETH in your wallet.
Theta Streaming Blockchain Platform Launches Updated Theta Network 2.0
Theta blockchain streaming platform announced the launch of the updated Theta 2.0 network, as well as a partnership with Google. Google Cloud will become one of the corporate validators.
In addition to Google, corporate validators that will confirm transactions on Theta include the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, the Japanese firm Gumi Cryptos, and the Blockchain Ventures venture capital fund. The platform’s management noted that Google is the most preferred cloud computing provider, since after launching Theta 2.0, users will be able to launch sites directly from the Google Cloud platform.
Google Cloud developer Allen Day noted that the blockchain will allow the use of new commercial models that modernize the international digital economy, including the media and the entertainment industry. Theta Labs co-founder and CEO Mitch Liu said that interacting with the Google Cloud in several strategic areas will accelerate Theta’s development and facilitate the use of the platform in various industries.
Today, Theta platform is used for broadcasting e-sports competitions, poker tournaments and major cryptocurrency conferences. In addition, a few weeks before the launch of the updated version of the network, the platform announced cooperation with the South Korean corporation Samsung to launch its application on Android smartphones.
Blockchain is actively used by streaming platforms, allowing you to receive tokens for organizing broadcasts or viewing them. For example, last month, the Refereum platform announced a partnership with Tron, through which gamers and viewers will be able to receive TRX and BTT tokens, and last March, BitTorrent opened up early access to the BitTorrent Live streaming service.
Operations with crypto assets on Samsung smartphones will go through the Gemini exchange
Gemini has entered into an agreement with Samsung to integrate with Samsung Blockchain Wallet. This will enable owners of a new generation of Samsung smartphones in the US and Canada to trade cryptocurrencies.
According to the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, this partnership will allow Samsung Blockchain Wallet users to connect to the Gemini mobile application to buy, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies. The exchange said:
“Gemini is the first US cryptocurrency and custodian exchange to partner with Samsung Blockchain. This integration will help make cryptocurrencies available to Samsung Blockchain Wallet users in the US and Canada. ”
The exchange notes that the Samsung Blockchain Wallet is a convenient and secure cryptocurrency wallet that allows users to independently store their cryptocurrencies directly on the Samsung Galaxy phone that supports Samsung Blockchain.
Through the partnership, Samsung Blockchain Wallet users will be able to connect to Gemini, buy and sell crypto assets, view the balances on their Gemini accounts, and transfer cryptocurrencies to the Gemini Custody cold storage for the highest level of security.
In February, it was reported that the new generation of Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphones will support cryptocurrencies and tokens. In addition, in the same month, Samsung announced that it would improve the security of its smartphones to increase the protection of user data related to cryptocurrencies.
CryptoKitties Developer Launches NBA Top Shot Beta
The company Dapper Labs, which developed the game CryptoKitties, launches a closed beta version of the game NBA Top Shot with non-replaceable tokens (NFT).
Katy Tedman, vice president of marketing and partner relations at Dapper Labs, said the developers worked with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to create the new game. Fans will be able to buy live video streams of NBA games, store them and sell them as collectibles. We are talking about the tokenization of interactive moments of games: videos, photos or data provided by the provider of sports statistics SportRadar.
Users will buy tokens in the form of arbitrary sets of rare gaming moments. They can be purchased with a credit card, bitcoin or ether. Having accumulated a certain set of tokenized fragments from games, players will be able to solve complex problems and even create status attributes at their own discretion. The closed beta version of the game will appear next week.
NBA Top Shot will run on its own Dapper Labs blockchain, Flow, which will make the game accessible even to those who are not familiar with the blockchain. Flow will allow to process a large flow of transactions in case of expanding the user base. This will help to avoid the increase in fees that CryptoKitties players face. Tedman added that the transition from crypto kittens to international sports was a great achievement for the company. The game attracted companies from various industries, including many athletes and other celebrities.
The management of Dapper Labs reported that previously a group of NBA experts had already explored the possibilities of the blockchain, so when the developers presented their initiative to develop a new game, NBA supported this opportunity. The NBA has a clear idea of how to easily introduce blockchain technology to the masses.
Recall that in February, Dapper Labs announced a partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in which it was going to issue collectible tokens for fans of mixed martial arts.
Goldman Sachs named 8 reasons not to invest in bitcoin
The investment bank held a conference at which it listed a lot of minuses of cryptocurrency. Among them – high volatility of the course, lack of features of a protective asset, use in illegal activities, etc.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general do not belong to the asset class, Goldman Sachs, one of the largest investment banks in the world, said. Today, May 27, the company organized a conference for clients on the current state of the economy, gold and inflation problems. Among other things, the issue of digital money. Materials from this meeting were published by Mike Dudas, the founder of The Block information portal, in his Twitter account.
Goldman Sachs in their presentation listed a number of reasons why cryptocurrency cannot be classified as an asset. The arguments are as follows:
- Does not generate cash flows, like securities;
- Not involved in GDP growth;
- It does not allow diversifying investments due to unstable correlations;
- There is no downward trend in volatility;
- There is no evidence that it can act as a hedge asset against inflation.
A separate point in confirmation of the high volatility in the company indicated a daily drop in the rate of bitcoin by 37%, which happened on March 12. In addition, Goldman Sachs analysts noted that cryptocurrencies can be used to conduct illegal activities. For example, to be involved in the organization of financial pyramids, money laundering, extortion and used in a high-quality unit of account in the darknet.
The company emphasized that, although the issue of cryptocurrencies is limited, the number of digital assets themselves is not. Three of the six leading capitalization coins are “identical clones” of each other. This refers to Bitcoin, as well as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV, analysts explained.
They added that the crypto industry is still developing, which is why companies working with digital money are at risk of being attacked by hackers. Many users entrust their funds to stock exchanges, which makes them a target for cybercriminals. Representatives of the company cited all the hacks of large trading floors over the past nine years as an example. A total of 44 such incidents were indicated.
In April, the opposite opinion was expressed by Bloomberg analysts. They stated that Bitcoin is being transformed from a speculative crypto asset into a digital version of gold. Reasons: increased interest in cryptocurrency futures and a decrease in volatility.
The non-profit organization Web3 Foundation has announced the launch of the first phase of the main Polkadot network, without the possibility of moving DOT tokens.
The developers at Polkadot said that in the first phase of launch, the Web3 Foundation will still control the network by starting nodes and validating blocks. Holders of internal DOT tokens will be able to access their accounts to propose their candidacy as a validator or to vote for other users. At this stage, users will not be able to send DOT tokens. But judging by the roadmap, developers will gradually transfer control of the network to the community as the network stabilizes.
Web3 Foundation co-founder Peter Czaban said that after releasing Polkadot technical documentation three years ago, developers continued to research and refine the protocol, allowing them to expand their understanding of the Ethereum system. Polkadot’s open control system will allow the network to grow rapidly and accelerate the development of decentralized applications targeted at a wide audience.
Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood began work on the Polkadot project in 2016. In 2017, Web3 held a private sale of tokens, on which 5 million DOTs worth $ 144 million were bought, and at the end of 2019 another 500,000 DOTs were sold. Tokens were sold using the Simple Future Token Agreements (SAFT) method, according to which investors receive a crypto asset after the network is launched. After today’s official launch of Polkadot, the community will vote on a token exchange within a few months. When it is activated, investors will have full access to their tokens and will be able to trade them.
It is reported that a few weeks ago Web3 proposed a DOT split to increase the total volume of tokens by 100 times. Despite the fact that the Polkadot community agreed with this proposal, the organization decided to vote on this issue after the launch of the network.
Recall that in February, the developers of Polkadot planned to integrate the decentralized oracle Chainlink outside Ethereum, and in March the Web3 Foundation funded Interlay to create a BTC-Parachain that will help put Bitcoin-supported assets into Polkadot.
Each Japanese will be paid $ 930. Why will this money be converted to bitcoin
After the benefits of $ 1,200 began to be paid in the United States, the number of deposits for this amount on the Coinbase exchange increased 4 times. The cryptocurrency market in Japan is even more developed, but there are also barriers that could hamper investments in digital money
On May 26, Japanese authorities began paying benefits to each resident of the country in the amount of 100 thousand yen (about $ 930 at the current exchange rate). According to the Minister for Administrative Affairs and Communications, Sanae Takaiti, the payment of benefits began in 1388 municipalities of the country (79.7% of the total), writes TASS.
The funds for the payment of benefits were taken from the additional budget of 25.6 trillion yen ($ 237 million) for the current fiscal year, which was approved at the end of April. Yesterday, May 25, the emergency mode was canceled in the country. According to the latest data, 17.3 thousand cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the country, more than 860 people died, 14 thousand recovered.
How US Payments Affected Bitcoin
In April, payments were made to the public in the United States. The government of the country transferred to citizens $ 1200 each, allocated as financial support during the crisis. At the same time, the number of deposits on this amount increased 4 times on the American Coinbase exchange.
However, the correlation between the appearance of stimulating payments and the movement of the price of bitcoin has not been proved, and the theory of their relationship is refuted by statistical and mathematical methods.
On April 17, the average market rate of bitcoin was approximately $ 7100, the next two days it rose by 3% to $ 7300, after which it dropped sharply on April 20, and reached $ 6748 on April 21. From that moment, the value of the asset began to increase sharply. At the moment, the first cryptocurrency costs $ 8787, 24% more expensive than on the day of paying $ 1200 to American citizens. Although, probably, these events are really not connected in any way.
Why the Japanese will transfer payments to exchanges
The Japanese are a financially literate nation, and they always try to increase free funds. Rates on deposits in Japanese banks are near zero; accordingly, due to their knowledge, citizens use a different range of proven financial instruments in the currency, stock and cryptocurrency markets.
The flow of money to exchanges after the payment will be unambiguous, investors will activate trade, especially if they have excess money. But this is not enough to influence the rate of cryptocurrencies and other assets. The course is influenced by global central banks and regulatory authorities. More and more significant is the effect of manipulations on the market. A significant part of the population of Japan has trading platforms on their phones and mobile computers. With the phenomenal penetration of the Internet on all Japanese islands, the trading activity of private investors will increase.
Tight regulation of the cryptocurrency market in Japan
However, payments may not reach the exchanges, despite the fact that in Japan the cryptocurrency market is extremely developed and investments in digital assets are very popular among the population.
The fact is that since May 1 of this year, the regulation of crypto exchanges has been significantly tightened. As a result, foreign exchanges, in particular, Binance and BitMEX, began to leave Japan. This trend will not contribute to the growth of investments in digital currencies, as well as to the increase in market capitalization.
The first cryptocurrency would not hurt the support of users from Japan. The asset is trading below $ 9,000, and previously five analysts immediately gave a negative forecast for its rate. According to Nick Chong of NewsBTC, the price of bitcoin may fall by 50%, as the coin is now in the same position as in 2018, when it fell in price from $ 6,400 to $ 3,150 within a few weeks. Hash Ribbons indicator, which predicts capitulation of manners, speaks in favor of the decline. They will have to sell their cryptocurrency reserves in order to maintain the operation of equipment, the profitability of the use of which decreased due to the May halving.
Glassnode: retail investors buy BTC amid falling prices
The price of bitcoin reached a two-week low, which affected the interest in buying among retail investors.
Over the past seven days, the price of bitcoin has fallen by 9.8%, showing the most serious decline in one week since mid-March. On Monday, a two-week low of $ 8,630 was fixed, and now Bitcoin is trading for $ 8,773, demonstrating a 11% decrease in value compared to the maximum price after the $ 9,960 halving recorded on May 18.
Despite the price drop, the number of addresses containing a small amount of BTC continues to grow. The number of addresses that store at least 0.01 BTC has grown to a record high.
According to Glassnode, the number of unique addresses that host at least 0.01 BTC rose to 8,478,746 on Sunday. At the same time, the number of addresses from 0.1 BTC and more also rose to a record level of 3 053 004 addresses last Friday.
“Retail investors are probably in the accumulation phase,” said Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant research company.
However, the increase in the number of addresses with a small amount of BTC does not necessarily mean that a large number of new users have come to the industry, as one investor can store BTC in several places.
In addition, the growth of interest in cryptocurrency among retail investors is unlikely to have a big impact on the price, since the market is still dominated by large players – “whales”. According to Glassnode, over the past two weeks, the number of addresses containing more than 1,000 BTC and 10,000 BTC has declined.
Moreover, activity in the options market suggests that in the near future a more serious drop in bitcoin may occur. “Traders buy put options at a loss,” said Chris Thomas, head of digital assets at Swissquote Bank.
A put option is a bearish bet on cryptocurrency, and a call option is a bullish bet. A losing put option has a strike price that is lower than the market price of the underlying asset. Thomas expects that in the short term, the price of bitcoin will fall in the range of $ 8,000 – $ 8,200.
Monero 0.16.0.0 Nitrogen Nebula Released
Confidential cryptocurrency Monero is moving to a new version 0.16.0.0 called Nitrogen Nebula with support for the Dandelion ++ protocol.
The development team said that the new version of Monero fixed many bugs and improved network performance. In particular, thanks to Bulletproofs technology, the speed of user verification and transaction confirmation from Ledger devices has increased, as well as the amount of data on the blockchain has decreased. In addition, Nitrogen Nebula 0.16.0.0 supports the Dandelion ++ protocol, which distributes transactions on the network so that it is not possible to track the origin of the transaction and reach a specific IP address.
49 developers worked on the update. The new version of the software is available for download with the command line interface (CLI). A wallet with a graphical interface (GUI) will be released shortly.
It is Monero’s confidentiality that is the reason for the removal of this coin from various cryptocurrency exchanges, striving to comply with international anti-money laundering standards and the requirements of local regulators. For example, the BitBay exchange planned to remove XMR from the list of trading pairs in February, and in 2018 Monero was removed from the Japanese exchange Coincheck under pressure from the country’s financial regulators.
At the same time, Monero developers believe that the recommendations of the United States Financial Crime Prevention Network (FinCEN) should only apply to regulated assets, and not to anonymous cryptocurrencies.
OMFIF Launches Digital Money Institute to Study Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
OMFIF, an independent organization working with central banks on economic policy, has opened the Digital Monetary Institute to study blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
The institute was created in order to unite the world of digital currencies and the traditional banking industry. In addition, the institution will focus on the study of payment instruments that can be used in the wholesale and retail market along with the digital currencies of the Central Bank.
Bhavin Patel, head of OMFIF’s financial technology department, said that according to the results of studies conducted by OMFIF since 2018, the interest of central banks in state cryptocurrencies is growing every year. Patel believes that in the next few years there will be a large number of projects on the development of stablecoins from central banks. These stable cryptocurrencies will be targeted at both institutional and retail customers, and will also be used in various jurisdictions, including the European Union. The Digital Money Institute was created to accelerate this process.
The founders of the institute include specialists working in the field of politics, finance, technology and regulation, as well as the corporate platform Cypherium, which recently joined the Microsoft program, organized for the development of cryptocurrency startups. Patel added that companies in the blockchain industry will share technical knowledge with regulators and financial analysts, raising their awareness of the latest technologies. The Institute plans to regularly hold conferences and forums where government officials and private entrepreneurs will be able to discuss issues related to the use of cryptocurrencies or the introduction of blockchain in their business processes.
Patel said that the recent OMFIF conference was attended by the leaders of the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Central Bank of Japan, China, Australia and some European central banks.
“OMFIF’s Digital Money Institute will help economists and financial regulators understand how blockchain can improve international financial systems. The world and financial markets are in constant motion. Given that we live in unstable times, the blockchain will be able to become a tool that will drive the economy to prosperity, ”said Cypherium CEO Sky Guo.
Blockchain opportunities are of interest to many educational institutions. This month, Chinese Webank planned to provide FISCO BCOS platform for the study of blockchain to Singaporean universities, and University College London (UCL) joined the Board of Governors of the Hedera Hashgraph decentralized platform to integrate technology into various industries.
ConsenSys, Microsoft, and EY Successfully Test Ethereum Data Sync Protocol
ConsenSys, Microsoft, and Ernst & Young (EY) have successfully completed Ethereum-based Baseline Protocol testing for enterprise data synchronization.
Protocol development began in March. The testing involved firms in the DLT sector, including Unibright, Provide, and Envision Blockchain. The parties involved were able to perform proof of concept (PoC) verification by safely synchronizing data and fulfilling purchase orders on the Ethereum network without disclosing confidential information. On May 21, the developers of Baseline Protocol presented a demo with a detailed description of how companies can manage purchase orders and agreements on the provision of wholesale discounts on different systems in Ethereum.
When testing the concept, two different ERP systems were used: Microsoft Dynamics and SAP, which provided data synchronization through the blockchain, while information about the company’s activities, as well as its relations with customers and competitors, remained closed. The Baseline Protocol also prevents workflow errors that can lead to data inconsistencies. On May 27, developers will conduct an open review of the system.
Alex Tapscott, co-founder of Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), said that Baseline can be used by international companies to increase the productivity and security of their business processes. Organizations will not have to change existing work schemes, since all data will be protected and contracts can be managed digitally. Therefore, firms will be able to seamlessly interact in digital space through the blockchain.
Blockchain technology is used by many companies for document management. For example, last month, the Polish credit bureau Biuro Informacji Kredytowej, together with fintech firm Billon, developed a blockchain platform that will simplify internal communication for retail banks.
Research: The number of active BTC addresses is 140 times that of XRP
According to a Glassnode study, bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency, including the number of active addresses.
Analysts said that the number of active Bitcoin addresses is 3 times more than the same indicator on the Ethereum network, 11 times more than active Litecoin wallets and 140 times more active XRP addresses.
It is also interesting that Bitcoin is also a leader in the growth rate of new addresses. Every day, the Bitcoin network uses five times more new addresses than Ethereum. So, after halving the award to miners, 470,000 new bitcoin addresses and a total of 90,000 new ether addresses appeared.
Over the entire life of the Bitcoin blockchain, 626 million addresses were used, but 95% of them no longer store coins. And if the number of addresses with a positive BTC balance remains approximately the same, then in the Ethereum network there is a constant increase in the number of wallets with a non-zero balance. Currently, the number of wallets with coins and tokens in the Ethereum network is 10 million more than the number of Bitcoin addresses that store BTC.
The ratio of active addresses in Bitcoin and Ethereum networks to the number of addresses with a positive balance is 3% for BTC and 0.8% for ETH.
The bitcoin network is overloaded. What can it talk about?
In the blockchain of the first cryptocurrency, a queue of unconfirmed transactions formed, and the size of the commission charged by miners increased by 7-10 times compared to April
There was a sharp increase in the number of unconfirmed transactions after halving in the Bitcoin network. According to blockchain.com, by now this figure has reached 72 MB, rising to 98 MB at the moment. Since the beginning of the year, it ranged from 0.3 to 15 MB, occasionally exceeding this value.
The current figure of 72 MB is the second largest since December 2017 and indicates a congestion in the coin network, i.e., overflow of the mempool. A queue has formed of users who want to transfer bitcoins. But the current number of miners is not enough to satisfy demand.
This assumption is confirmed by two other metrics. Firstly, the hashrate in the network of the first cryptocurrency fell. It fell 40% after halving and now stands at 86 EH / s. Secondly, the average value of the commission that miners charge for confirming transactions has increased. In April, this indicator ranged from $ 0.4 to $ 0.9, now it has reached $ 6.6. This suggests that users are willing to pay more so that their funds are transferred earlier than others. Data provided by bitinfocharts.com.
The congestion of the Bitcoin network may speak in favor of an increase in its value. For example, on March 26, 2019, the number of unconfirmed transactions on the BTC network within 10 days soared by 24,500%, reaching 43 MB. At the same time, the growth in the value of the first cryptocurrency began, and in three months it went up from $ 4,000 to $ 14,000.
A similar overflow of the network occurred in early November 2017. After that, the course of the main digital asset during the month grew from $ 6,000 to $ 20,000. However, there are exceptions. For example, the last BTC blockchain overload occurred on November 15 of last year. No cryptocurrency rally followed. The reason for the overflow of the mempool could be a failure in the Blockchain.com service system or an attack on the blockchain coins by Bitcoin SV supporters. This date is considered the project’s independence day, since then there was a Bitcoin Cash hard fork, after which the BSV altcoin appeared.
Another reason for the current network congestion could be that part of the mining farms in the Chinese province of Sichuan disconnected equipment due to a lack of electricity. Since the beginning of the month, the load on the region’s networks has increased by 22%, while the volume of water in rivers has decreased by 20%, which has led to a shortage of hydroelectric power. This led to a drop in the bitcoin hashrate, and then to filling the mempool.
If the price of bitcoin stays the same or falls, the situation with network congestion can only worsen. Miners will begin to turn off equipment, as cryptocurrency mining has become less profitable after halving. In this case, the hashrate will continue to decline, and the load on the blockchain will increase.
French Central Bank announces successful testing of digital euro
The Central Bank of France announced the successful testing of the digital euro based on the blockchain. State cryptocurrency is focused on institutional clients.
According to the French Central Bank (Banque de France) on its website, on May 14, the bank began a test sale of securities for digital euros, after which it continued testing with several financial institutions, including Societe Generale. The pilot project is focused on institutional clients and banks, and not on individual users. The regulator explained this by the fact that when testing the digital euro, the potential of blockchain technology in interbank regulation and the reduction of financial risks is simultaneously studied.
The Bank of France said that in the coming weeks it will conduct additional tests with partners related to the transfer of state cryptocurrency within the European Union. The regulator believes that the digital euro will solve many problems of the European market, namely, it will speed up transfers between banks and their international partners, strengthen the financial system of France and ensure confidence in the currency, while reducing the possible influence of the Libra stablecoin from Facebook.
In January, the Chairman of the Bank of France, François Villeroy de Galhau, stated that digital currencies should not be issued by private companies – central banks should take over these functions. However, Fabio Panetta, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), believes that even in times of crisis, you don’t need to rely entirely on digital euros, but pay attention to peer-to-peer payments and Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), developed by the ECB.
Satoshi Ghost: Bitcoins moved from a block mined in February 2009
More than ten years after the launch of the Bitcoin blockchain, coins mined on February 9, 2009 started moving. Who conducted the transaction – Satoshi himself or one of the first miners?
Today at 12:54 UTC, 50 BTC left the address 17XiVVooLcdCUCMf9s4t4jTExacxwFS5uh. They were received in block number 3 654, created on February 9, 2009 – exactly one month after the start of mining (the “zero” block was created by Satoshi on January 3, 2009, but the subsequent ones, with which permanent mining began, appeared only on January 9 – approx. Ed.). At that time, only Satoshi himself and a few enthusiasts were engaged in mining.
Although many people write about moving the entire amount (50 BTC), it is more likely that the transaction was completed with only 10 BTC. The remaining 40 BTC in the form of change went to another address of the same wallet, since they no longer move. Both receiving addresses were not used in this transaction before it was completed.
Of course, this transaction generated a wave of discussions and many believe that Satoshi Nakamoto decided to spend his “state” in bitcoins. However, do not forget that at that time at least a few more people were engaged in mining, including the famous cryptographer Hal Finney and the early Bitcoin developer Martti Malmi. The distribution of the news caused a drop in the Bitcoin exchange rate, at the time of publication it fluctuates around $ 9,500, which is almost $ 300 below the morning values.
Let’s return to the mentioned transaction, or rather, a complex transaction chain with 10 BTC sent to the address 3A6AsxxxzgHnGKhiFyW4tYX1Hn2sjNfrQP. Firstly, the transaction was probably sent with a commission inside, because the remaining 40 BTC remained untouched. But 10 BTC most likely went to one of the mixers, since the further chain is divided into transactions with dozens of recipients and different amounts, which is usually done to anonymize the movement of bitcoins in the open blockchain.
The insignificance of the transferred amount suggests that this transaction was not made by Satoshi, but one of the first miners who joined the then-unknown project out of curiosity or enthusiasm. In fact, the owner of more than a million bitcoins (that is, about $ 10 billion at the current exchange rate) hardly has any reason to excite the community in ten years, not to mention large investors, regulators and special services, because of 10 BTC worth less than 100 one thousand dollars. Apparently, large investors are of the same opinion, so the exchange rate did not react to such a significant event.
The personality of Satoshi Nakamoto worries everyone who works in the cryptocurrency industry, but the creator of Bitcoin managed to remain anonymous. According to Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of Ethereum and IOHK, the most effective way to “calculate” Nakamoto is to use the stylometry technique. However, now the deanonymization of the creator of Bitcoin will not cause the storm that could have happened 5-7 years ago, since it has no effect on the operation of the blockchain, and its condition does not exceed 6% of the total amount of BTC mined to date.
Iran will forbid cryptocurrency exchanges to operate without a Central Bank license
The Iranian parliament has proposed that cryptocurrencies be included in the current “currency smuggling” legislation, and cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to obtain a license from the Central Bank of Iran to operate in the country.
According to the proposed amendments, Iranian cryptocurrency exchanges must obtain a license from the Central Bank of Iran, as well as meet the requirements for exchanging foreign currencies. As a result, Iranian entrepreneurs will become more exposed to the risks of getting under US sanctions, and the likelihood of imprisonment of people working with cryptocurrencies increases dramatically.
At the same time, it is unclear how exchanges should receive this license and adapt the standards for working with fiat currencies to the blockchain industry. There are suggestions that in this way, the Iranian government is going to stop the outflow of capital, creating conditions for closing cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cryptoland Cofounder Hassan Golmohammadi said the trading platform operates in Iran, although it is legally registered in another country. Therefore, the question remains how Iran’s new legislation on services and platforms with registration in other jurisdictions will operate. Another example is the UtByte exchange and the KingMoney project are registered in Sweden and are managed by Sweden Invest Group AB of Iranian businessman Reza Khelili Dylami. According to the analytical company Chainalysis, UtByte works closely with Iranian cryptocurrency services and exchanges.
Dan Newcomb, a specialist at Shearman & Sterling Law Firm, commented that U.S. economic sanctions against Iran apply to all individuals and legal entities in the country, and if cryptocurrency companies are advertised in Iran, they run a full-fledged business in the country.
Last weekend, Tron founder Justin Sun reportedly tweeted the Iranian Cryptoland exchange. However, a member of the Tron team stated that the project does not work directly with the Iranian site, and the marketing materials in the Persian language are compiled by the Chinese and Asian Tron team, and not by its American division. Tron denies cryptocurrency marketing in Iran, since Farsi is also used in other countries in the Middle East.
Iranian authorities do not encourage cryptocurrency activities. In August, the Iranian government issued a new law, according to which cryptocurrencies cannot be considered legal means to make payments, and in June, Iranian Energy Minister Homayoun Haeri proposed depriving miners of government subsidies for electricity.
White hackers were able to access the private keys of wallets on the exchanges Lykke and Hubdex
CyberNews analysts discovered vulnerabilities in the cryptocurrency exchanges Lykke and Hubdex, due to which it was possible to withdraw crypto assets with a total value of $ 18 million.
CyberNews cybersecurity experts conducted a study that revealed that the Swiss cryptocurrency exchange Lykke stored more than $ 16.5 million in cryptocurrencies in hot wallets in an open database. White hackers managed to reveal Lykke API keys, gaining unrestricted access to the internal mechanisms of the exchange, after which they discovered 80,000 insecure private keys. In addition, the researchers discovered the “core network keys” that allow access to the $ 25,000 coins used by the exchange for staking.
Experts said that Lykke is not the only exchange where serious violations in data storage were discovered. The Chinese site Hubdex, which claims to be a decentralized exchange, also stored keys in an open database without encryption. In addition to the API keys, “white hackers” managed to gain access to user data and information used to complete the KYC procedure.
In total, analysts managed to discover more than a million private keys. Lykke responded to the hacker notification, confirming and fixing the detected problem. A response from Hubdex was never received, but the exchange also closed the vulnerability.
If this information reached the attackers, they would gain unhindered access to user tools. According to a study by the KPMG audit company, from 2017 to 2020, hackers were able to steal cryptocurrencies worth more than $ 9.8 billion due to the fact that companies do not pay enough attention to security issues.
Without Telegram. The Free TON blockchain platform began distributing its tokens
The developers of an alternative version of Pavel Durov’s project organized three contests, for participation in which you can get the TON Crystals cryptocurrency
The Free TON project, based on the Pavel Durov blockchain platform Telegram Open Network, announced at its official forum the start of the distribution of its cryptocurrency. TON Crystals tokens will be distributed between developers and users of the platform in three competitions. They started today, May 18, and will last until May 25.
Two contests are aimed at developers, they are invited to create solutions to improve the work of the Free Ton blockchain. The task of the third is to come up with the most optimal way to airdrop TON Crystals tokens. It should include the following items:
- signature of the “Decentralization Declaration”;
- subscription to two telegram channels belonging to the project;
- Free Ton promotion;
- protection against bots and fake accounts.
The best offer will receive a reward of 30 thousand TON Crystals tokens. Within each competition, it is planned to distribute from 70 thousand to 100 thousand coins. The selection of the best solution will be chosen by the jury, whose members will also receive an award in the cryptocurrency of the project.
An alternative version of the main Telegram Open Network called Free TON was launched on May 7th. The launch was organized by independent developers, major validators and other participants, but without Pavel Durov. Later, he announced the completion of work on the TON platform, and also urged not to trust their funds and personal data to other projects that use the Telegram name for promotion.
CFPB Recognizes Ripple’s Potential for International Payments
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recognized the potential of Ripple technology and XRP cryptocurrencies in making international payments.
On May 11, CFPB presented a document that published the results of a study of new trends in the money transfer market. The agency noted the continued growth and expansion of companies working with digital assets, including Ripple. CFPB researchers believe that XRP can be used effectively for cross-border payments, because the Ripple solution allows banks and credit cooperatives to know the exact final amount intended for the recipient, even before sending the payment.
In addition, the report refers to the Global Payments Innovation (GPI) platform from the interbank payment system SWIFT, which was developed to make almost instant payments in the existing banking infrastructure. Last year, SWIFT considered introducing Distributed Registry Technology (DLT) into the GPI, testing the concept with the Corda R3 platform.
Despite the potential of Ripple, CFPB still doubts that in the near future the solution of this company will be used everywhere. Banking networks will not lose influence and continue to dominate the market, even if a more modern payment solution appears on it. CFPB came to this conclusion on the basis of its own assessments and a survey of market players.
This month it became known that a retail bank RAKBank from the UAE joined the RippleNet payment network, and since April, the network has been used by the Thai company Azimo with Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand’s oldest bank, for instant payments from Europe to Thailand.
Ethereum 2.0. What to do with a coin and why buy it
A threefold increase in the number of long positions on the cryptocurrency indicates that the crypto community expects its transition to the second version of the network. How the update will affect the price of altcoin, how much it will turn out to earn on its stacking and what risks this has.
The crypto community is waiting for the Ethereum network to upgrade to the second version. This is evidenced by several factors. For example, on the Bitfinex exchange, according to Tradingview, the number of long positions for altcoins has increased by 215% since the beginning of the year, to the current value of 1.63 million ETH, and reached a historic maximum.
Also, the transition of Ethereum to the new version has become more interested in the Internet. According to Google Trends, the number of Ethereum 2.0 requests is now at an absolute maximum. Since March, this figure has grown more than six times.
The importance of the Ethereum update was emphasized by research analyst at Messari Ryan Watkins. He is sure to upgrade to version 2.0. will have a greater impact on the cryptocurrency market than bitcoin halving. Updating the coin network is fundamental and carries some uncertainty.
“Ethereum 2.0 is a much stronger catalyst than halving bitcoin because it is an uncertain and fundamental change,” Watkins wrote in his Twitter account.
How exactly the transition of Ethereum to the new version will affect the cryptocurrency market and Watkins, in particular, did not specify the price of the altcoin. Therefore, we decided to answer the most important questions: why is the update necessary, how will it help the coin and whether it is worth investing in it.
Why upgrade Ethereum?
One of the problems of the Ethereum network that the update should solve is scalability. At the moment, the altcoin blockchain is capable of conducting up to 15 transactions per second. This figure is more than two times higher than that of bitcoin. However, for a large number of users this speed is not enough. For example, a Visa payment system can carry out up to 24 thousand transactions per second.
Optimistic Rollup development will help solve the scalability problem. According to Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum, its implementation will occur after updating the altcoin network. This will increase its throughput to 1000 transactions per second.
Another solution to this problem is to change the algorithm. Ethereum now runs on the same protocol as Bitcoin – Proof-of-Work. This mechanism implies that the confirmation of transactions in the cryptocurrency network occurs using the computing power of computers, that is, with the help of miners.
Using the Proof-of-Work algorithm hinders the growth of Ethereum network bandwidth. So that it can withstand a large load, more miners are needed. And the growth in their number is slowing down, since from time to time it is becoming more difficult to mine cryptocurrency and, accordingly, more expensive.
For this reason, the Ethereum development team is planning a move to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm. Unlike the first, it does not require the use of computing power of computers to confirm blocks. That is, there is no need for miners. Instead, validators validate transactions. These are users who will keep a certain amount of coins on their wallet, at least 32 ETH. Thus, the system will no longer need expensive equipment.
The main solution to the scalability problem will be the introduction of sharding. The Ethereum network is now a common database. After the update, the blockchain will be divided into autonomous, interacting blocks – shards, each of which will process its transactions and smart contracts. In December 2018, Buterin said that this method will make the altcoin network more efficient by a thousand times.
Update against centralization
Another problem with the old algorithm is the risk of centralization. In the first few years of the existence of Bitcoin, a stationary computer was enough for its extraction. Over time, the complexity of mining has increased, and now this process requires the purchase of expensive equipment and access to cheap electricity. Moreover, the complexity of BTC mining is likely to continue to grow. In this regard, miners will have to constantly update devices in the future in order to maintain their profitability.
Such conditions were weeded out from the infrastructure of small participants. Now Bitcoin mining is mainly engaged on an industrial scale. This leads to centralization of the industry. For example, according to Coinshares, in December, 54% of the hashrate of the first cryptocurrency network accounted for the Chinese province of Sichuan.
Due to the fact that Ethereum, like Bitcoin, works on the Proof-of-Work algorithm, the altcoin also has the risk of centralization. For example, in April, more than 50% of the computing power of the coin network was provided by two mining pools. The solution to the centralization problem is to replace miners with validators. To become them, it will be enough to hold 32 ETH and install a special client. From a technical point of view, this is easier than buying devices for mining and maintaining their performance, as well as looking for access to cheap electricity. According to the developers, this will give Ethereum mining a “massive character”
What will validators get
Validators will confirm transactions in the new Ethereum network. For their work, they will rely on remuneration in the form of passive income, this function is called stacking. Currently, the annual return on stacking is unknown. According to the project roadmap, this value will vary from 1.81% to 18.1%.
Stacking profitability will depend on the number of validators. The more there are, the smaller the amount is supposed as a reward. In this regard, we can suggest that users who become validators at an early stage will be able to get the most profit. However, there will be costs. The roadmap noted that the cost of validating transactions according to “rough calculations” will be about $ 180 per year.
One of the developers of the project, Justin Drake predicted that on average, the validator will receive an income of 5% per year. At the current altcoin exchange rate of $ 200, the user will need to invest $ 6400 to become a validator in the new project network. In this case, taking into account Drake’s calculations and estimated expenses, the annual profit from stacking 32 ETH at a constant price of the coin will be $ 140 ($ 6400 * 5% – $ 180).
Updating Ethereum 2.0 will lead to technical improvement and development of its network, said Viktor Pershikov, leading analyst at 8848 Invest. The transition to a new algorithm and the introduction of sharding will significantly scale the product. Thanks to this, ETH will be able to hold the first place in the ranking of altcoins, since now there are blockchain platforms that, in terms of bandwidth, network efficiency and the number of dApps applications, make Ethereum a competition.
Pershikov said that thanks to the update, Ethereum will be able to compete not only with other cryptocurrencies, but also with DeFi projects. They are currently firmly occupied a niche in which the main profit comes from stacking.
Yuri Mazur, head of data analysis at CEX.IO Broker, added that the launch of the updated platform will provide more benefits for project development and transaction acceleration. For this reason, it is likely that the platform will secure the status of the most popular platform for the deployment of new projects. In addition, Ethereum will penetrate deeper into the decentralized finance market. The amount of commissions for transfers will also decrease. All this in the future will allow Ethereum to compete, possibly even with Bitcoin.
“Updating the network is primarily an extension of the number of users. Today, most blockchain projects are created just on the Ethereum platform. I will give a simple example: now 213 projects working in the field of decentralized finance are officially registered. Of these, 199 are developed on the Ethereum platform. The transition to the updated platform 2.0 will allow attracting even more partners who will use the blockchain for their projects, accelerate transactions and make them almost free. Therefore, Ethereum 2.0 could potentially become a real competitor to Bitcoin, ”Mazur suggested.
Mazur added that the Ethereum update will allow him to gain certain advantages over the main competitors of EOS and TRON. Today, these tokens are actively used by exchanges for stacking. The annual yield on them is 1-3% and 7-9%, respectively.
United Traders Managing Partner Anatoly Radchenko noted that it’s difficult to talk about the success of Ethereum 2.0 since the idea, albeit a good one, is still at an early stage of implementation. At the same time, the transition to the second version, which will consist of three phases, can happen both this year and not the next.
However, there are prospects. Radchenko stressed that the Ethereum blockchain has already become the basis for a decentralized finance infrastructure, decentralized exchanges, landing, stacking and other products. In addition, most stablecoins, including Tether (USDT), which recently entered the top 3 cryptocurrencies by capitalization, also work on the basis of ETH. Thus, Buterin’s platform can become the main one for “financial system 2.0”, the expert admitted.
Despite a number of benefits, updating Ethereum carries the risk of significant negative consequences, Masur warned. Earlier it was reported that the US Securities Commission (SEC) would recognize ETN as a security if the coin switched to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm. In addition, this will change the approach to mining, which is why most retail miners will simply leave the market. Today ETN is the most popular coin for mining at home.
Mazur noted that competition from EOS and Tron should not be discounted. Firstly, most of the projects related to gambling are deployed on these platforms – 80%. The Ethereum ecosystem accounts for only 20%. Secondly, many tokens have been created on the Ethereum platform, which are completely useless or dead. But the very fact of their presence overloads the system, because of which failures occur. If this problem is not resolved in the near future, then Ethereum may lose its position in the market, the expert admitted.
You also need to consider the risk that the price of Ethereum may fall. In order to receive passive income for storage of ETH, it will be necessary not only to have 32 coins, but also to block them through a special transaction. Removing blocked funds does not work instantly. The cryptocurrency withdrawal process will take at least 18 hours. This period may be extended if many users request a return of tokens at the same time, as indicated in the project roadmap. Accordingly, if ETH starts to become cheaper, it will be impossible to sell it instantly. Thus, there is a risk of losing part of the capital and all the income received from stacking.
Study: Bitcoin demand remains high even after halving
A study by Cointelegraph Markets and Arcane Research shows that, despite investor concerns, demand for bitcoin remains high even after halving the reward for miners.
Analysts note that over the past year, the number of Bitcoin vending machines has increased by 90% and reached 8,000. In addition, according to Coinstar, the use of crypto machines has increased by 40% since February this year.
The volume of transactions in Bitcoin also continues to increase – on average, transactions amounting to $ 10 billion are processed in the Bitcoin blockchain per day. For comparison, the volume of ETH and LTC transactions does not even reach $ 500 million per day.
After halving the award to the miners, the price of the first cryptocurrency increased and now Bitcoin is trading at $ 9,400. At the same time, the growth in the rate of the first cryptocurrency was accompanied by large trading volumes, which is a positive sign.
In addition, interest in bitcoin continues to grow among both retail and institutional investors. So, the number of open positions on options for bitcoin on the CME exchange has increased significantly, and the volume of such positions has reached $ 140 million.
Researchers emphasized that the popularity of decentralized loan products has also increased markedly.
Miners began to switch from Bitcoin to Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV
After halving the reward for Bitcoin miners, the hash rate of Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV began to grow again. Obviously, this is due to the transition of some of the miners.
The halving of the award to miners in the Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV networks took place in early April, and after that a significant part of the miners switched to mining the first cryptocurrency. However, a halving occurred on the Bitcoin network the day before yesterday, so miners began to return to mining BCH and BSV.
Immediately after halving, the hash rate in the Bitcoin Cash network decreased by 80%. A little later, he recovered somewhat, but still amounted to no more than half of the previous figure. At the moment, the Bitcoin Cash hash has almost doubled – if on May 10 the network hash was 1.43 Eh / s, then on May 13 it increased to 2.74 Eh / s. The Bitcoin SV hashrate increased from 1.1 Eh / s to 1.78 Eh / s.
In the first day after halving the award to the Bitcoin miners, the hashrate of the first cryptocurrency network decreased by 16%. This was the result of disabling obsolete equipment and the transition of miners from mining bitcoin to mining alternative cryptocurrencies.
It was previously reported that a drop in hashrate in the Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV networks after halving the reward made them vulnerable to a 51% attack.
Bitfly launches Ethereum 2.0 signal chain profitability calculator
The Austrian Bitfly development team introduced a tool for calculating the costs and profits of staking in the Beacon Chain – the “signal chain”, a key component of Ethereum 2.0.
In Ethereum 2.0, transactions will be checked by “stakes” instead of PoW miners. Any user with 32 ETH for staking will be able to participate in the addition of blocks. To reward network members for ensuring the integrity and security of the blockchain, the ETH 2.0 mechanism will periodically distribute their rewards.
Bitfly has released a tool to calculate the return on stake in ETH 2.0. Ethereum users can compare different approaches to staking: with a low and a large number of validators, with and without pools, etc.
According to the calculations available in the Bitfly tool, when staking 32 ETH with a one-time initial cost of $ 1000 and monthly expenses of $ 100 (electricity, depreciation, etc.), staking will become profitable after 260 days.
Earlier, numerous assumptions were made about the amount of periodic rewards for ETH 2.0 stakes. According to the most conservative forecasts of Ethereum developers, the remuneration can be about 4-5% per year. However, independent analyst Adam Cochran believes that the ongoing accumulation processes in the Ethereum network can significantly increase the size of the rewards.
Last week, the Ethereum 2.0 Schlesi test multi-client network was launched. This event took the Ethereum community one step closer to launching phase 0 of the ETH 2.0 core network. The exact timing of the deployment of this update is not yet known.
According to Vitalik Buterin, the developers of ETH 2.0 suggest that the Beacon Chain based on PoS consensus can be launched “in the third quarter” of this year. But according to more pessimistic forecasts, the launch may be delayed until the beginning of 2021.
Will Bitcoin Price Fall With The Stock Market?
A repeated drop in the stock market cannot be ruled out. And in 2020, bitcoin shows a high correlation with it. The price of the cryptocurrency has been decreasing and growing along with the quotes of the leading US S&P 500 index, which includes 505 of the largest companies whose shares are traded on US exchanges.
However, the correlation between the BTC and the S&P 500 has now declined. According to The Block, over the past month, this figure has fallen from 0.53 to 0.15 points. These data are confirmed by trading on the markets of the last days. Since May 12, the index value fell by 4%, to the current mark of 2820 points. However, despite this, the price of the coin increased, over the same period it rose by 15% and now amounts to $ 9700.
If the March fall in quotes of the S&P 500 index repeats, this will not have a strong impact on the price of cryptocurrencies.
The connection of bitcoin with the S&P 500 weakened after the collapse of bitcoin on May 10 by 15%. Yesterday, the S&P 500 index suffered from a speech by the head of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell. Bitcoin ignored the fall of background indexes. Today it recovered to $ 9777. Completely blocked the fall of May 10. But this does not mean that he alone will survive the recession of the stock market. If it fixes above $ 10,250, then during the collapse of the American market it will fall less, as there will be more buyers in the second fall than in the first.
A number of experts called Bitcoin a promising investment. Its price can rise to $ 12,000, possibly up to $ 14,000, if it overcomes the resistance formed by $ 10,500. The coin is unlikely to begin to get cheaper until the economic situation in the world stabilizes. And if the fall in the stock market continues, the cryptocurrency rate will not be affected much, since it has become weakly dependent on the S&P 500 index, experts say.
$ 240 million withdrawn from crypto exchanges in Bitcoin after halving
Users began to take cryptocurrency from trading floors in April. The largest outflow of funds occurred with Bitfnex, reserves of some platforms were not affected
Users withdrew more than 24 thousand BTC from crypto-exchanges since May 11, when the first cryptocurrency network hosted a halving. It should be noted that the removal of funds from the main sites began a little earlier, namely in the second half of April. For example, the reserves of the Bitfinex exchange from that moment decreased from 205 thousand BTC to the current value of 134 thousand BTC, bitcoin.com reports.
Other sites showed similar dynamics. For example, Bitcoin stocks BitMEX decreased from 228 thousand to 214 thousand in March. Huobi exchange reserves decreased by about 20 thousand BTC in April. The amount of savings stored on the Coinbase platform, which is the largest in this parameter, has not practically changed. However, there are other examples: an increase in funds occurred on the Bitstamp exchange, its assets increased from 66 thousand BTC to 71 thousand BTC.
In April, the analytical company Glassnode reported that users began to withdraw cryptocurrency from exchanges. As a whole, the reserves of cryptocurrency sites decreased by 10% compared with the maximum established at the beginning of the year. This is because investors are moving to a longer-term strategy.
Trump may affect bitcoin
The US President insists that the Fed impose negative rates. This may lead to negative consequences for the country’s economy and affect the cryptocurrency market.
Most likely, the US economy will continue to fall, United Traders analyst Fedor Anashchenkov believes. According to him, the Fed’s attempt to avoid deflation through a sharp increase in the money supply could lead to inflation. This reduces the attractiveness of government bonds and forces investors to seek new protective assets that are independent of central bank policies.
“This is exactly what Bitcoin provides. Everyone pays attention to its correlation with the stock market, but in reality it is not high. The correlation of bitcoin with gold is much higher, it is historically at the highest level. This is a sign that Bitcoin is becoming a protective asset, ”Anashchenkov emphasized.
Andrey Berezin, Managing Partner of Raison Asset Management, an investment company, agreed with him. He emphasized that negative rates could “push the cost” of major cryptocurrencies well. Firstly, due to the destruction of fundamental principles in the economy, and secondly, there will be even more liquidity, and financial institutions will begin to invest it, including in high-risk assets, such as cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin with recent halving and limited issuance in such a situation may look like a “healthy asset”, which is becoming less and less, the specialist noted.
Now the BTC rate is growing again. The first cryptocurrency surpassed the $ 9000 mark, over the past day it has risen in price by 3%. And since mid-March, the value of the coin has increased by almost 140%. And this happens against the backdrop of the development of the situation with COVID-19 and new problems of various countries in the economic sphere. It is not yet possible to say that Bitcoin has become a defensive asset, but the limited issue really gives it a great advantage over national currencies.
Ripple (XRP) will start loan platform
Ripple has been opening initiatives to diversify and find new ways to use XRP. A new vacancy announcement give information that the company wants to launch a new capital lending platform. By the publication, Ripple is looking for a new person for product manager to lead the all project. The part of vacation:
”This person will bring a new loan product to market from concept to launch for RippleNet customers. This person will bring strong leadership skills as they will need to collaborate heavily with cross-functional internal teams and the financial ecosystem of partners and customers.”
The text does not mention the use of XRP, but loоking for a person who can work with other teams.It is possible the platform assume the use of the token. Eventually, the product manager will have to know how to create a structure that turn around capital lending, but also cross-border payments:
”(The product manager will) create the relevant structures to properly execute on a functional loan offering, develop customer empathy around problems related to working capital needs and cross border payments, develop risk capabilities to properly understand how to price new loan offerings for customers.”
As CNF reported , Ripple has published two vacancies that have some rumors about the starting of a “next generation trading platform”. The platform is presumably based on Ripple’s On Demand Liquidity payment solution and XRP. At this moment the company has not made an official declaration yet. It is also unclear: does the vacancy for the manager of the lending platform is related to this project?