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blakicious last won the day on January 28 2019

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  1. blakicious

    OKEx and Huobi Global support USDT

    Two major crypto exchanges: Huobi Global (headquarters in Singapore) and OKEx (Malta-based) have announced that the Tron-based version of stablecoin Tether has gained their support. This was made known to the general public through two official announcements which were published on 21st of March. In early March, Tether and Tron (TRX) issuer of Stalwart stablecoins EURT and USDT, announced that they have formed a partnership to issue a TRC-20-based USDT – a term which has to do with adhering to a technical token standard which the Tron blockchain supports. To improve liquidity in the ecosystem, this newly designed token is interoperable with all Tron-based protocols and decentralized applications (dApps). Both Huobi Global and OKEx cite user requires a full spectrum for stablecoin trading, with both indicating that their platforms now support three different USDT protocol versions: the Bitcoin network-based USDT-Omni, Ethereum-powered USDT-ERC-20 and the new USDT-TRON. Both OKEx and Huobi are ranked among the leading centralized crypto exchanges in the world taking 3rd and 14th place respectively by adjusted daily trade volume to press time. Other developments made by Tron include a suggestion made by Misha Lederman, the co-founder of IamDecentralized.org (a Tron community project), that the USDT-TRON launch is slated for the coming weeks and months of the second quarter of the year. Another development which was also reported is privacy options introduction for TRX blockchain transactions and institutional-friendly multi-signature & account management. Lederman also claims that within this time frame, the BitTorrent Speed ecosystem will launch; and with this, users will be rewarded of the popular peer-to-peer torrent client BitTorrent with Tron-based BitTorrent (BTT) tokens in exchange for seeding and bandwidth, making it possible for torrent downloads to be done faster. According to reports, Tron first confirmed that it has acquired BitTorrent in July last year. In the beginning of 2019, BitTorrent launched its native BTT token, which will power the pair’s plans for an evolving decentralized content distribution platform. Recently, Tether has been heavily scrutinized after users noticed that the coin’s issuer had removed previous claims that the stablecoin was fully backed by United States dollars. The coin has faced controversy for long, after critics suggested that the amount of tokens in circulation didn’t match the dollar reserves. In December last year, Bloomberg revealed that it believes Tether lacks the required amount of fiat reserves. Till date, Tether is yet to release an official audit of its holdings.
  2. On 12th March, Coinbase made it public that its non-custodial crypto wallet app for both Android and iOS referred to as “Coinbase wallet,” can now be linked to your coinbase.com account, and with this, you’ll easily transfer your tokens/coins to this app. Coinbase gave some differences between Coinbase Wallet and Coinbase.com: "Coinbase.com a.k.a Coinbase Consumer is a digital currency brokerage - you use it to buy or sell cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat currency (i.e. USD or your local currency). Coinbase Consumer can also act as a custodian, storing your digital currency for you after you purchase it. Coinbase Consumer is available in 32 countries. Wallet is a user-custodied digital currency wallet and DApp browser. This means that with Wallet, the private keys (that represent ownership of the cryptocurrency) are stored directly on your device and not with a centralized exchange like Coinbase Consumer. You do not need a Coinbase Consumer account to use Wallet and you can download Wallet from anywhere in the world." There are reasons why you should make use of coinbase wallet: Coinbase Wallet is a software product that gives you access to a wide spectrum of decentralized innovation, buy and store ERC-20 tokens, participate in airdrops and ICOs, collect rare digital art and other collectibles, browse decentralized apps (DApps), shop at stores that accept cryptocurrency, and send crypto to anyone around the world Coinbase wallet is a mobile application that supported just Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum tokens (ERC20 and ERC 721) at first. It then added support for Ethereum Classic (ETC) on 28th November 2018, and later, announced support for Bitcoin (BTC) on 5th February. About a fortnight later, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support was also added by Coinbase. And from 22nd February, support for storing, sending, and receiving Litecoin (LTC) was introduced. You will go through the coinbase login page to link to your coinbase account, where you’ll be asked to enter your credentials. You must note that, you can only link to one coinbase.com account. Once your account is linked, with just few clicks, you can make a tramsfer of whatever crypto you have with two exceptions XRP and ZCash (ZEC). Coinbase wallet also has a decentralized app (dApp) browser which makes it very easy for users to find their wallet in order to buy digital collectibles, play games, or use open finance apps such as Compound or Maker.
  3. blakicious

     XRP ETP to be listed by Swiss Exchange

    SIX (the major stock exchange of Switzerland), might be listing any crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP) soon, which will track XRP’s price. Hany Rashwan (Swiss company Amun AG’s CEO and co-founder) revealed to CoinDesk that SIX has approved his firm to issue the XRP-linked ETP with AXRP as the ticker name, adding that: “We can comfortably say that we expect to release the world’s first XRP ETP within the next two months.” Apart from XRP, Rashwan has also revealed that Amun has also been cleared to issue ETPs associated with four more single crypto assets such as Litecoin (LTC), EOS, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Stellar Lumens (XLM). The SIX exchange listed its first ETP in November 2018. Amun issued this product for retail and institutional investors under the ticker name “HODL.” Since its listing, its total trading volume each month for HODL has surpassed that of XETC (an ETP focused on the tracking of crude oil). However, the general crypto market decline has affected HODL’s price per share dropping from $15 in November to around $13. Last month, it also dropped to the second spot in terms of market turnover, with around $4 million changing hands. In recent weeks, Amun also issued Bitcoin and Ethereum ETPs on the SIX exchange. 100% Collateralized With reference to SIX’s listing rules, ETPs due to the fact that are passive investment instruments without the involvement of active trading strategies, they are not seen as collective investment schemes that requires the approval or supervision of the Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) – the market regulator of Switzerland. With this, crypto ETPs’ structural features must fulfill requirements with regards to investors’ protection efforts. The collateral of Amun is stored with Kingdom Trust, and it plans to include more custodians in various jurisdictions as it plans to list more crypto ETPs. The circular passed by SIX revealed that just the top 15 cryptos by market cap on CoinMarketCap at the application time would be considered for trading purposes. It also revealed that cryptos that are “based on open-source software that function according to the principles of blockchain” would be allowed as underlying instrument. The exchange also stated that: Tokenizing ETPs In the future, Amun hopes to launch an ERC-standard token which it will administer and run on the ethereum blockchain which it will use in tokenizing ETPs. This is to allow itself and third parties to tokenize both traditional ETPs and crypto ETPs. Rashwan said:
  4. While the crypto winter was on, positive news has been stretched thin; however, there are now signs that the ice has started thawing. With Bitcoin showing some resilience and stability in price in a world that has almost lost faith in it, there are some important aspects that Bitcoin believers would love to look into. Crypto investors shouldn’t consider endorsements by celebrities Noting that, high profile individuals assisted greatly in supporting prices across the board, the firm wrote: “Some of the ‘hype’ that we mentioned was absent from the month of January appeared to resurface in February amidst pro-crypto statements from tech personalities (e.g. Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey) and crypto pundits ‘calling the bottom’ of Crypto Winter.” It’s unreasonable when endorsement by a celebrity is considered very important. No one knows the exact agendas of these celebrities. If there’s one lesson investors should have learnt, it’s the crypto hype that has had a great impact on price movements, but most times, they are temporary. Increase in Bitcoin transactions, likely supporting the price of BTC Now this sounds good. Contained in the same report, there is some great news. In over a year, Bitcoin transactions reached its highest ever level. “There were also more fundamental reasons to have a positive outlook on the market: transactions on the Bitcoin network were at the highest level since January 2018.” This is great. For any crypto, usage has been and will always be the best bearish or bullish argument. This is the point that gives birth to liquidity and inherent value. With the mainstream having very low media coverage, this indicates how Bitcoin has gained sticky interest despite its low search on Google. The ETF cannot be ignored here Not excited about Bitcoin ETF’s prospect? SFOX feels you might be among the minority, as there is proof that this headline will generate a large buying appetite in the market. “Even while some factions within the crypto sector question the significance and utility of a Bitcoin ETF, the market still seems to be fairly responsive to news about its potential: in the two days surrounding this news, the price of BTC climbed over 7%.” As a trader, it’s not possible to ignore things like this. The market will dictate to you the reality in the short term, and so fighting against trends because you feel it’s irrelevant or you don’t care, is a very dangerous game to play. Rather, it’s better to find reasons why the market is correct. It seems that smart money sees the ETF as a great step towards broader adoption which might lead to an increase in the usage of cryptocurrencies. The best hope of surviving the crypto winter is still Usage With the BTC/USD price bumping near the $4,000 level, fancy price forecasts are very common and of no particular issue. What is making the report of SFOX valuable is that we are given something strong to look at rather than just dreams and hopes.
  5. blakicious

    Lightning Network progress

    No they are not, but it would be cool to be. Most of them are just for tests and further development.
  6. A lot of controversy has filled the crypto space following the recent acquisition of Neutrino by Coinbase. Recently, Coinbase made an announcement that it will transition out some Neutrino members who have once worked with Hacking Team (a controversial information technology company). Acquisition of Neutrino In a February 19 blog post, Coinbase announced that it has acquired Neutrino (a blockchain intelligence company). Coinbase said: The blog also stated that the acquisition would play a role in the pursuit of Coinbase to include new assets and capabilities, in line with regulations. Unrest in the community However, the crypto community has backlashed this acquisition to the extent that a twitter movement refferd to as ‘DeleteCoinbase’ was formed. This backlash from the community erupted from the history of some top staff members of Neutrino with the Hacking Team Company. CoinDesk noted that Neutrino’s “executive suite – CEO Giancarlo Russo, CTO Alberto Ornaghi, and CRO Marco Valleri – previously spearheaded projects for the startup Hacking Team.” The company also wrote that they “provide effective, easy-to-use offensive technology to the worldwide law enforcement and intelligence communities.” Motherboard released an article revealing that Hacking Team in the past has developed and sold Spyware to many government. Information from the block In a recent article on the acquisition of Coinbase, the block revealed that it has received a statement where Coinbase stated to be “aware that Neutrino’s co-founders previously worked at Hacking Team, which we reviewed as part of our security, technical, and hiring diligence.” Furthermore, “Coinbase does not condone nor will it defend the actions of Hacking Team.” Also, this statement from Coinbase statement however says that “it was important for Coinbase to bring this function in-house to fully control and protect our customers’ data and Neutrino’s technology was the best we encountered in the space to achieve this goal.” Coinbase announcement In a blog announcement by Coinbase on 4th March titled “Living up to our values and the Neutrino acquisition,” Brian Armstrong (CEO and co-founder) of Coinbase, explained their new decision concerning some Neutrino staff. In the post, the CEO expressed the need for Coinbase to comply to regulations like anti-money laundering (AML) and Know-your-customer laws. He noted blockchain analytics as a major contributor to regulatory compliance. The post noted that Coinbase initially outsourced for its blockchain analytics requirements, but then saw the need to hire an in-house option to aid its target of including more assets to the platform. Armstrong revealed that Coinbase identified Neutrino to be one of the best as regards its technology, which led to its acquisition. He continued: He also said that the previous work of the members goes against the mission of Coinbase. Armstrong then concluded that:
  7. Apart from the increase in prices seen in the crypto market which has led to Litecoin rising by 15% today (around $52), another vital metric which will play a major role in the network’s long term scalability is growing as well. The coin’s lightning network just hit 1012 active channels between 161 participants. Normally, every node has -6 connections to others present on the network; however this metric is not that useful as funds are required by these channels to ensure the usability of the network. Luckily, it appears, according to 1ml.com data that the capacity of the network has also experienced a large increase, partly due to the increase in prices, which currently sits around $7300, risen by a high 86% just last month. This trend doesn’t seem to stop soon. The network's largest node is freeside which came in just last month and accounts for one-fifth of the whole network, having a capacity of Ł26.6 (-~$1,400). ‘Freeside’ is also responsible for 110 channels and seems to have quickly positioned themselves as a hub for relaying payments. Bitrefill, is another one following closely. Bitrefill is a crypto service that permits users to purchase gift cards as well as pay bills over lightning. It sits at Ł20.8 ($1,100) and has 81 channels open. We are beginning to see the appearance of additional services joining the network along with the likes of mining manufacturer FutureBit.
  8. Largest crypto exchange by trade volume, Binance on Thursday announced that it has started accepting both debit and credit cards for crypto payments. Traders making use of Binance need not deposit fiat into the platform because it is a crypto-to-crypto exchange; however, its sudden approval of debit and credit cards on its platform makes way for a fiat onramp for users globally. In a news release, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao said that: Binance is yet to take over the audience of crypto venues based in the U.S, despite holding a strong position in Asia. However, with this new implementation, things may change which will lead to Coinbase facing a strong and direct competition from Binance. A Binance spokesperson in an interview with The Block said that: In the past, acceptance of credit cards for the purchase of crypto somehow backfired. Issuers of credit cards didn’t buy the idea of permitting their users to buy crypto with credit. For example, U.K-based Lloyds Bank, following the moves already made by Citigroup and JPMorgan, prohibited their clients from buying crypto in 2018. The Commonwealth, which happens to be the largest retail-aimed bank in Australia, prevented its customers from using their Commbank credit cards in purchasing digital assets because of the extremely volatile nature of cryptos. This has led people into asking how long Binance can stay accepting credit card payments. Initially, Binance will allow users to utilize their credit or debit cards to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. To back this new service, the exchange has formed a partnership with Simplex. Simplex CEO and co-founder Nimrod Lehavi said:
  9. blakicious

    In 2018, Ripple sold XRP worth $535M

    According to Ripple’s quarterly report for the last quarter of the year 2018 which was released this January, it sold XRP worth more than $535M in 2018. The report further indicated that, in the final quarter of 2018, XRP tokens sales was worth $129.03 which is equal to 0.24% of global XRP volume. During the 4th quarter, 3B XRP was removed from the cryptographic escrow, while 2.4 billion was brought back. The statement revealed that, the left over 600 million XRP which was not returned is being utilized in a variety of ways to help support the XRP ecosystem, including the RippleNet Accelerator Program and Xpring investments like Securitize. Also indicated in the report, is the validity of XRP in terms of daily returns which was 5% in the last quarter, which is the lowest on record since Q4 2016. The correlation of XRP price movements in Q4 2018 returned to the elevated levels seen through the end of Q1 2018 through early Q3 2018. Before the quarterly result was released, Messari (a crypto analytics firm) released a report which says that the liquid circulating supply of XRP could be overestimated by $6 billion. The firm noted that it will be unrealistic to make accurate estimates without getting the info from Ripple, which it had no access to as at the time of publication. In January 2019, a blockchain research scholarship was launched with Ripple's support by the Institute for Fintech Research at Beijing's Tsinghua University. This program aims at bringing together China’s best graduate students in 2019 to study global blockchain regulations and industry development.
  10. Security researcher with twitter username 0xffff0800 having plans to relax with a good movie didn't go well as planned. He downloaded a movie from a torrent uploaded to The Pirate Bay, where he discovered a new malware that almost corrupted the files on his P.C This film with a hacker thematic was a copy of The Girl in the Spider's Web. Rather than have the movie contained inside the folder, it had a file with the movie name and a .Ink extension. On clicking this, a malicious command was executed which deployed an ad-injector on Search engines like Google and Yandex. 0xffff0800, on noticing this threat, revealed its findings on social media and sent a sample of the file to other researchers to analyze. Surprisingly, one of this expert's hobbies is collecting malware. Those at Bleeping Computer looked into the situation and they came up with great findings. There was more to this malware than it looks. They said: Their aim of attacking search engines was to place the injected ads in the first places of search results. However, the attackers were not just focused on generating money through ads, they also programmed and coded the malware in a way that if the victim visits Wikipedia, the malware will display a fake donation button with two Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet addresses for those willing to donate to the encyclopedia. Bleeping Computer revealed that almost $700 worth in crypto had already been raised by the hackers.
  11. blakicious

    Coinbase acquired Blockspring

    Coinbase recently acquired Blockspring (a startup that deals with collecting and processing data). Unlike how other big acquisitions are publicized, Blockspring announced this on their own blog. Also, Coinbase made no announcement of this in any way. Blockspring had no choice but to pivot early on, regarding the fact that it initially planned to focus on severless solutions before Amazon launched Lambda in the same niche as part of their Amazon web services in November 2014, which came a few months after the establishment of Blockspring. Blockspring's model specifically focused on communication without servers. The startup, considering the recognition of Amazon, had to reconsider its business model after the launch of Lambda. Forced Pivot Blockspring then focused on recruitment and marketing, made use of a subscription model and as at the time it was acquired, it claimed to work with thousands of companies. That Coinbase acquired Blockspring looks interesting, due to the fact that SV Angel and A16z, two firms that invested in Blockspring also invested in Coinbase. It seems these common investors have played a major role in making the deal a success. Blockspring still Independent Blockspring, on its blog, explained that it will keep performing its operations as an independent company, and referred to joining Coinbase as a "no brainer." It also revealed that the exchange will play a major role in establishing an open financial system and that they can now make something greater then we could on our own. The company also said that they will keep offering their products as usual to all their customers. Coinbase's first acquisition in 2019 This is the first main acquisition made by Coinbase in 2019, and a good number of people believe that this move was made in order to acquire talent instead of tapping into the customer base of Blockspring. Coinbase experienced a dramatic increase in its customer base last year as a result of the large number of acquisitions it made in 2018. Importantly, Brian Armstrong (CEO of Coinbase) during an interview with Bloomberg on 14th August 2018, revealed that 50,000 new users daily signs up on the crypto exchange. Keystone Capital (a securities broker) was the most recognized acquisition made by Coinbase in 2018, which many perceived was a strategy for them to successfully become a fully regulated broker-dealer under the SEC. Last year April, Coinbase launched Coinbase Ventures (its own crypto-startup incubator) saying that "our goal is simply to help the most compelling companies in the space to flourish."
  12. On 15th January, Ethereum developers gave a security alert that they were shifting the Constantinople upgrade to a later date. However, not everyone made the right changes and now we have a parallel universe of Ethereum mining. Without consensus from majority of the network, some miners are mining the unofficial Constantinople chain. This delay came as a result of one of the new upgrades showing potential vulnerabilities. The statement made as regards the delay of the fork says: To avoid a violation of the consensus, a new version will have to be installed by everyone. It seems the information didn’t get to everyone. As at the time of writing, at least 10TH/s worth of mining power was still mining the unofficial chain. Also, compared to Ethereum Classic, more hashrate was found on Ethereum’s forked version. The vulnerability we talking about here, permit some type of spamming which takes some level of sophistication to comprehend. The fact here is that, if there’s a change in the way Ethereum charges for storage, an attack could be enabled which could cost a lot of cash to several dApps. A reentrancy attack is a unique problem which is quite different from a replay or a double-spend attack, because it is specific to just smart contracts. ChainSecurity revealed the flawed code, and explains it this way: To make a contract vulnerable, some preconditions have to be met: The presence of a function A, in which a transfer/send is followed by a state-changing operation. Sometimes, this might be non-obvious. The presence of a function B, accessible from the attacker which (a) changes state and (b) whose state changes conflict with those of function A. Function B needs to be executable with less than 1600 gas (2300 gas stipend – 700 gas for the CALL). Although this vulnerability is nowhere close to the actual blockchain, Ethereum’s official blog has revealed that it’s better precautions are taken now in order to avoid regrets in the future: "Security researchers like ChainSecurity and TrailOfBits ran (and are still running) analysis across the entire blockchain. They did not find any cases of this vulnerability in the wild. However, there is still a non-zero risk that some contracts could be affected."
  13. Largest crypto exchange by adjusted trading volume, Binance has launched a new fiat-to-crypto exchange: https://www.binance.je/. On Wednesday, they revealed that the new exchange was created to serve traders based in U.K and Europe, and that users will be able to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum against the Euro and British pound. Wei Zhou (CFO of Binance) in an interview with CoinDesk said that: He then explained that Binance Jersey carries out its functions independent of its parent Binance.com; however, it is built with the same tech. Wei also said that Binance Jersey is hiring and will keep hiring new staff to carry out several functions, which includes compliance. To develop the exchange, Binance has teamed up with Digital Jersey (a government-backed economic development agency) for some time now, with plans to create about 40 jobs on the Island. Binance first formed a partnership with the agency in June 2018 and back then, CEO Changpeng Zhao said that:
  14. Ethereum, among other cryptos, fell to yearly lows in mid-December (Ether to around $80). Some have experienced a bit of recovery, but others have taken off at a greater pace. Market cap of ETH doubles in 21 days On 15th December, CoinMarketCap revealed that ETH price was slightly above $80, its lowest price in 18 months. It also had a market cap of $8.6B, which was also its lowest since May 2018. Ethereum went through a lot, to the extent of losing its second spot to XRP (Ripple's token) for some weeks. Recently, things have become good for Ethereum after making a recovery by more than 90% to its present levels. In just 18 days, ETH experienced a surge in its price to $155 and yesterday, took back its 2nd spot from XRP. As at the time of writing this article, ETH has raised the gap by more than $1B in market cap over XRP. This recovery is very likely driven by Constantinople The Ethereum Constantinople hard fork has been the talk of the crypto industry for some time now, and is now set to launch around 16th of January. This will lead to a new forked blockchain having all the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) of which five are being utilized. Developers believe that the hard fork will not be a contentious one, and miners will easily switch to the newly improved one at block height 7,080,000. One major upgrade we should expect from the hard fork will be on the performance of Ethereum, as platforms like NEO, EOS, and NEM are much faster. The EVM- Ethereum Virtual Machine will be improved under EIP 145. An improvement of the new smart contract code will come under EIP 105, which will make them cost effective and more efficient. Ethereum's performance will be greatly improved with the introduction of off chain transactions which is similar to the lightning network of Bitcoin. The 4th major upgrade is EIP 1234, which delays the difficulty bomb as well as reduce the block reward. Back in 2015, the difficulty bomb was brought in so as to avoid a repeat of the separation from Ethereum Classic (the original Ethereum), and to make mining more difficult over time. Miners have been given more time with the further delay from Constantinople to the difficulty bomb. Finally, to lessen the usage of Gas on the network, EIP 1283 has made provision for net metering. Binance as well as other well known crypto exchanges have already made their support known for the hard fork. On Github, a Constantinople tracker having strong detail on all EIPs can be found.
  15. A new lightweight cryptographic hash function has been developed by the IOTA foundation in collaboration with CYBERCRYPT (a world-leading system provider in robust cryptography and cybersecurity). This announcement was made through the official blog of IOTA. The professional cryptographers of CYBERCRYPT developed the new hash function referred to as "Troika," which will function as a strong cryptographic foundation for the final IOTA protocol. The creation of Troika was majorly for Tangle's (IOTA’s distributed ledger) trinary architecture. It requires less energy, making it the best fit for the Internet of Things (IoT). In creating the new hash function, another important factor is the security. The IOTA foundation has revealed that Troika has a very strong security against all cryptanalytic attacks. To test their bold claims, the public is currently evaluating Troika. The competition will be hosted by the IOTA foundation and CYBERSCRIPT and will reward those who successfully cracks the system. All successful participants will partake from the bounty reward of €200,000 ($227,600). Concerning this collaboration, David Sønstebø (IOTA co-founder) showed his enthusiasm: Hash Functions of IOTA IOTA Tangle’s initial hash function: Curl and Keccack-384, will be succeeded by Troika. David Sønstebø has said that Curl (the in-house algorithm) was initially implemented due to the fact that IOTA did not have hundreds of thousands laying around to hire world-class cryptographers. This all began July last year when a researcher from MIT's Digital Currency Initiative alerted the IOTA foundation of serious cryptographic weaknesses with the present implementation of Curl in IOTA. This resulted in several controversial emails between the MIT research team and the IOTA team, which somehow got to the public. However, a month before the published report by the MIT which revealed these vulnerabilities the Keccack-384 was brought in to replace the Curl hash algorithm. Now the IOTA team hopes that the digital ecosystem for future IoT applications will be secured by Troika. The peer review of Troika has already taken place and the bounty program clearly reveals how confident the IOTA team is on the security of their new hash algorithm.