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Voici LA chronique à découvrir, intitulée: La guerre contre Bitcoin. Idéal pour comprendre certains tenants et aboutissants
Voici LA chronique à découvrir, intitulée: La guerre contre Bitcoin. Idéal pour comprendre certains tenants et aboutissants… Bonne découverte! La guerre contre Bitcoin Bitcoin est peut-être le meilleur outil de liberté économique de cette génération, et peut-être depuis plusieurs générations. Malheureusement, Bitcoin a été furieusement étouffé par une guerre civile brutale depuis environ cinq ans maintenant; menée par des ingénieurs sociaux professionnels de certaines des entreprises les plus puissantes des médias sociaux. Leur talent dans l'art et la science de la manipulation a permis aux "Bitcoiners" de se battre largement entre eux plutôt que de chercher à créer des modèles commerciaux innovants basés sur les données qui pourraient révolutionner l'économie mondiale via Bitcoin. À la suite de la guerre civile de Bitcoin, trois versions concurrentes de Bitcoin ont vu le jour (BTC, BCH et BitcoinSV ), mais il en est de même pour environ 3000 autres projets et jetons de « crypto-monnaie » se faisant passer pour des entreprises légitimes, souvent jusqu'à un "exit scam" presque garanti, le fait de disparaitre du jour au lendemain avec tout l'argent des utilisateurs. Le principal bienfaiteur de la guerre civile Bitcoin a été Ethereum: une cryptomonnaie qui fonctionne comme une machine à états mondiale et permet un déploiement facile de tokens et de contrats intelligents. Mais le protocole Ethereum ne peut pas évoluer, et parmi les milliers de projets lancés, seule une poignée pourrait même être présentés comme pouvant devenir des entreprises légitimes. La plupart des autres sont des stratagèmes de Ponzi ou des émissions d'actions illégales enrichissant les développeurs et escroquant les investisseurs amateurs. C'est dans ce contexte que les défenseurs de BTC et de BCH, les porte-parole d'Ethereum et les altcoiners (nom donné pour englober toutes les autres cryptomonnaies) de tous bords s'alignent pour attaquer sans cesse le protocole Bitcoin préservé uniquement par le réseau BSV. Une industrie composée presque entièrement de criminels, de fraudes et d'arnaqueurs s'est unie contre BSV citant - et c'est là l'ironie! - une prétendue fraude et arnaque présumée qui serait l'existence même de BSV. Nous devons nous demander pourquoi ? Quel est le différenciateur clé de BSV? Pourquoi tous les arnaqueurs se sont-ils unis contre lui? Je suis fermement convaincu que pour la plupart, la motivation est la peur de la capacité de BSV à absorber l'économie mondiale et tous les autres projets «crypto» qui vont avec. Pour les autres, ou ceux qui ne comprennent pas le pouvoir du Bitcoin, ils sont entraînés dans une guerre civile et culturelle qui les dépasse. Il est essentiel de comprendre les pouvoirs en jeu et leurs implications pour Bitcoin et l'économie mondiale. Une histoire brève de Bitcoin Bitcoin a été lancé avec un "livre blanc" sur la liste de diffusion de cryptographie en 2008. Le pseudonyme « Satoshi Nakamoto » a déclaré une solution au problème de la double dépense. Or il s'agit là du problème de tous les systèmes de paiement électronique précédents, et c'était le seul facteur limitant l'adoption d'une monnaie digitale fonctionnelle. Mais qu'est-ce que le problème de la double dépense ? Pour faire simple, il était impossible de prouver exactement qui possédait quelles unités d'argent sur des registres distribués, de sorte que les utilisateurs ne pouvaient pas avoir confiance dans le système, et ces projets mourraient assez vite. Bitcoin a résolu ce problème avec un concept appelé la « preuve de travail ». Il pose la question: qui a utilisé le plus de puissance de calcul pour résoudre des énigmes arbitraires ? ceci afin de rendre compte de l'état du registre d'une manière qui coûte de l'argent, de sorte qu'il y ait une incitation économique à tenir un compte honnête des avoirs de chacun des participants. Ce processus est souvent appelé « exploitation minière » car les nœuds honnêtes qui maintiennent l'état du registre sont récompensés pour leur travail avec des nouveaux Bitcoins toutes les dix minutes - un peu à la même manière d'un mineur d'or qui est récompensé par de l'or en échange de son travail. Étant donné que Bitcoin n'avait aucune valeur lors de son lancement, il était extrêmement facile à miner et également gratuit d'envoyer des tonnes de transactions. En théorie, il s'agissait d'un vecteur d'attaque par déni de service (DoS). Une attaque DoS ou DDoS se produit lorsque les nœuds d'un réseau sont inondés de plus de données qu'ils ne peuvent en gérer et qu'ils se mettent donc à planter. Sur le jeune réseau Bitcoin, un crash comme celui-ci aurait été considéré comme un échec du réseau. Pour empêcher cela, un plafond de 1 Mo de données par chaque dix minutes de transactions a été codé en dur dans le logiciel - semant la première graine de la guerre civile Bitcoin. De 2009 à 2017, cette limite de 1 Mo sur le total des transactions était l'aspect technique le plus controversé du bitcoin et le déclencheur de la plus grande guerre civile virtuelle de l'univers de la cryptomonnaie. Pourquoi est-ce aussi important? Une seule transaction basique Bitcoin est relativement petite du point de vue des données, donc 1 Mo toutes les dix minutes donne environ trois à sept transactions par seconde avant que le réseau ne devienne trop encombré. Satoshi Nakamoto le créateur, a plaidé pour un nombre de transactions du niveau de Visa et bien plus, ainsi que son successeur direct en tant que développeur principal du projet, Gavin Andresen. Certains des premiers Bitcoiners influents comme Mike Hearn et Jeff Garzik ont également plaidé pour plus de données par bloc pour permettre à Bitcoin de se développer et de rester le meilleur système de paiement électronique. Ils étaient pour des «gros blocs» contrairement au camp des «petits blocs» qui préconisaient une permanence de la limitation de 1 Mo des blocs. Le camp des "petits blocs" estiment que Bitcoin n'est pas un réseau de paiement, mais plutôt qu'il s'apparente davantage à une banque décentralisée conçue pour stocker des Bitcoins qui ne bougent jamais: une sorte de coffre-fort d'or numérique. Ils voulaient que la limite de taille des blocs de 1 Mo reste permanente sous les auspices de chaque personne exécutant un «nœud complet» sans avoir à payer trop d'espace sur le disque dur. Cela signifierait qu'en période de congestion, les frais de transaction deviendraient absurdement élevés, mais cela n'aurait pas d'importance car le bitcoin ne devrait pas être utilisé pour des envois sauf en grosses quantités de toute façon, selon eux. En décembre 2017 les frais de BTC ont ainsi atteint les $50 par transaction. L'autre problème est que s'il est bon marché de rejoindre la gouvernance de Bitcoin, alors le réseau est facile à attaquer par Sybil, et je dirais que BTC est régi par des sybilles à ce jour. Le camp des "gros-blocs" estime que tout le monde sur terre devrait être en mesure d'échanger et de faire ses affaires sur Bitcoin pour des frais infimes, de l'ordre d'un centième ou millième de centime par transaction, afin d'apporter à la population mondiale la liberté monétaire, y compris aux pays les plus pauvres qui sont gardés en dehors du système actuel car considérés comme pas assez profitables pour des entreprises comme Visa. Les "petits-blocs" pensent que tout le monde devrait être en mesure de gérer soi-même le registre mondial chez soi, mais que seules certaines personnes très riches devraient pouvoir effectuer des transactions, ce qui est le cas quand les frais sont à $50 par transaction comme en 2017. Après des années de querelles, en 2017, Bitcoin s'est scindé en deux chaînes distinctes, et en 2018, il s'est à nouveau divisé. Alors quelle est la différence entre ces trois versions ? BTC est actuellement la version qui a le prix le plus élevé, avec la plus petite taille de bloc et la plus grande puissance de calcul. On peut dire que BTC à gagné la guerre médiatique. Malheureusement, il est régi par des développeurs et des sybilles qui contrôlent le consensus grâce à une utilisation intelligente de logiciels malveillants appelés «soft-fork» qui leur permet de saper les règles du Bitcoin. Ils utilisent ce pouvoir pour changer les règles des transactions en mentant aux nœuds et en leur disant de les valider quand même. Toute la culture BTC consiste à acheter du BTC afin de le conserver jusqu'à un moment dans le futur où il serait revendu à un prix exorbitant. Le but est de spéculer au maximum. Les paiements avec BTC, particulièrement les petits paiements, ou les transactions de toute nature non-monétaires, sont méprisés. BCH est un réseau basé sur Bitcoin qui pense que les blocs devraient être à peine légèrement plus grands, mais ils ont également des développeurs en charge des règles, tout comme BTC, et ils pensent que Bitcoin devrait être utilisé uniquement pour le commerce de détail, mais rien de plus. Le réseau change de règles tous les six mois. Les transactions non commerciales sont en général méprisées. Un nouveau scindement de BCH est prévu pour novembre 2020 suite à des conflits internes et l'incapacité à avoir un système de gouvernance dans un projet où les règles changent en permanence. BSV est la version restaurée du protocole Bitcoin original avec tous les paramètres ouverts afin que les nœuds honnêtes puissent s'engager dans un consensus conformément au livre blanc de Bitcoin - par la preuve de travail ! Le protocole est gravé dans la pierre afin que les développeurs de logiciels ne puissent pas bricoler les règles. Cela permet aux entreprises de planifier des décennies d'utilisation du réseau et d'investir en toute confiance. Il s'agit d'apporter une réelle innovation technologique au monde plutôt que de spéculer. En tant que seul réseau bitcoin totalement sans besoin d'autorisation, le commerce de toute nature est encouragé sur BSV. Tout, allant des réseaux sociaux aux expériences de science des données météorologiques ou aux tests de disponibilité du réseau, est encouragé. Paiements de détail, tokenisation, ou tout autre type de contrat intelligent est simple à déployer sans limitations. Bitcoin SV n'a aucune limite dans son protocole sauf l'esprit humain, l'innovation et l'esprit d'entreprise. Il vise également une adoption mondiale notamment par les pays pauvres afin d'apporter la liberté monétaire et l'inclusion à l'économie mondiale de ceux que les grandes entreprises actuelles comme Visa dédaignent comme pas assez profitables pour leur accorder leur services. Et c'est la racine de la haine envers BSV. Les "petits-blocs" ont investi toute leur réputation et leurs moyens de subsistance sur la notion que le bitcoin est incapable de s'adapter. Pendant des années, des experts présumés ont convaincu de nombreuses personnes que les limites de taille de bloc de 2 Mo, 8 Mo ou 22 Mo casseraient littéralement Bitcoin. Ils ont furieusement mis en jeux leur réputation sur ces fausses notions. Et ensuite, BSV a eu de nombreux blocs de plus de 100 Mo. En fait, il y en a même eu quelques-uns de plus de 300 Mo! prouvant que les petits-blocs se trompaient depuis le début sur les limites du réseau. Mais cette prise de conscience est une menace pour l'hégémonie de l'histoire médiatique qui a été crée sur Bitcoin. Depuis 2015, lorsque le Dr Craig Wright est apparu sur les lieux pour expliquer que le bitcoin avait en réalité ZERO limitations, il a créé un tollé massif parmi l'intelligentsia des petits-blocs. Les leaders d'opinion de l'époque étaient payés pour prendre la parole lors de conférences où ils expliquaient à tort que Bitcoin n'était rien d'autre qu'une réserve de valeur rare sans autre utilité, et surtout pas à usage des plus pauvres. Le Dr Wright parlait de l'échelle illimitée du réseau, de son exhaustivité de Turing, de l'objectif d'inclure enfin les plus pauvres dans l'économie mondiale, et d'autres notions inconcevables (à l'époque) sur Bitcoin. Sa passion et ses connaissances se sont heurtées à des calomnies et des railleries. Ils se sont concentrés sur l'attaque de son personnage au lieu de discuter de Bitcoin! C'est devenu l'une des principales méthodes d'attaque des petits-blocs. Lorsque de gros-blocs parlent des capacités de Bitcoin, ils sont ridiculisés en tant qu'escrocs et le sujet est toujours dirigé très loin de la discussion technique, car les petits-blocs savent bien qu'ils sortiraient perdants. Ils fouillent les dossiers personnels et cherchent des moyens de faire taire les gens du camp des grands-blocs de Bitcoin par des attaques personnelles - de la même manière que les guerriers de la justice sociale s'engagent dans la culture d'annulation contre leurs ennemis politiques. Qui est le Dr Craig Wright et que fait-il? Craig Wright est le scientifique en chef d'une société de recherche sur Bitcoin au Royaume-Uni appelée nChain : une société de 150 à 200 informaticiens. Craig dirige l'équipe qui étudie les possibilités de Bitcoin et de ses applications dans le monde. Il est l'un des experts en criminalité numérique les plus reconnus au monde avec les certifications SANS et GIAC ainsi que les titres GSE CISSP, CISA, CISM, CCE, GCFA, GLEG, GREM et GSPA. En outre, il est un polymathe multidisciplinaire de troisième cycle: un doctorat en informatique, économie et théologie et titulaire d'une maîtrise en statistique et en droit commercial international. En 2015, il a également été exposé par une publication conjointe de WIRED et Gizmodo en tant que Satoshi Nakamoto, le créateur de Bitcoin. Quelques jours après cette révélation, les gens qui le soutenaient ont vu leurs clés d'accès au code de Bitcoin révoquées, et de nombreux autres ont été instantanément bannis. Craig a été mis sous enquête par le bureau des impôts australien pour ce qu'il considérait être une erreur de comptabilisation probable de ses bitcoins. Les retombées ont été agressives et rapides, avec une gigantesque armée de petits-blocs, organisée sur Reddit et d'autres forums, et nouvellement financés par l'argent de la startup pro petits-blocs appelée «Blockstream». Leur message était clair: Bitcoin doit garder de petits blocs. Le Bitcoin ne peut pas évoluer et doit rester réservé aux riches, et toute personne proche de Craig Wright sera harcelée pour se conformer à une armée de comptes Twitter anonymes et sans visage. Voici un schéma qui retrace les financements de Blockstream et révèle comment le groupe Bilderberg, la banque centrale américaine (FED) et Mastercard on pris le contrôle du réseau BTC via Blockstream afin de le soumettre à leur propre profit: https://imgur.com/eFApDVE Au cours des années suivantes, Ira Kleiman, frère du défunt Dave Kleiman, a poursuivi Craig Wright en justice pour sa part du prétendu «Partenariat Satoshi Nakamoto», affirmant que son frère Dave était plus impliqué qu'il ne l'était réellement, et l'affaire est en cours actuellement, jusqu'à courant 2021. Ira Kleiman pense que Craig est Satoshi et il a investi une fortune incalculable dans cette attaque et a obtenu l'argent d'investisseurs extérieurs pour poursuivre sa poursuite. Il est clair que les bailleurs de fonds d'Ira pensent que Craig est également Satoshi. Les critiques qualifient souvent la révélation publique et le procès public de Wright de ternir énormément sa réputation, mais il convient de noter que les deux sont arrivés à Wright malgré sa volonté et qu'il ne souhaitait clairement pas être pris dans l'une ou l'autre situation. Au lieu de cela, Craig est un défenseur passionné de la vision d'un Bitcoin avec de gros blocs, appelant à la professionnalisation, à la légalisation et à l'utilisation mondiale de Bitcoin pour une utilisation à tous les niveaux du commerce. La réponse à la passion de Craig et à ses affirmations a été d'attaquer sa réputation et d'endosser Internet avec le surnom de «Faketoshi». Lorsque de simples brimades ont échoué contre le Dr Wright, des attaques ont été intensifiées pour remettre en question ses divers diplômes, des pétitions aux universités pour enquêter sur lui pour plagiat dans divers travaux, y compris des thèses de doctorat, etc. Wright a même revendiqué des menaces contre la vie des membres de sa famille et il y a plus qu'une preuve que, selon Ian Grigg, une des légendes de la cryptographie: «des gens sont morts pour Bitcoin, croyez moi, des gens sont morts». Les attaques en cours Cela ne peut être assez souligné: la communauté des petits-blocs est construite autour de tactiques d'ingénierie sociale professionnelles. Gregory Maxwell, co-fondateur de la société Blockstream, a été formé à la pratique de l'ingénierie sociale et l'a utilisé de manière si subversive comme un outil de propagande pendant son mandat en tant que modérateur rémunéré de Wikipedia, qu'il a finalement été démis de ses fonctions avec les journaux d'administration citant une litanie d'infractions, notamment: «Gmaxwell s'est engagé dans la création de faux comptes en masse…» - Alhutch 00:05, 23 janvier 2006 (UTC) «Menaces, insultes grossières, usurpations d'identité d'un administrateur», -Husnock 03:18, 25 janvier 2006 (UTC) «Son comportement est scandaleux. Franchement, il est hors de contrôle à ce stade. Son comportement d'intimidation doit cesser.» - FearÉIREANN 19:36, 22 janvier 2006 (UTC) «Sa liste de contributions est hors de propos. C'est du vandalisme. C'est un comportement auquel je m'attendrais d'un éditeur en furie, et franchement, c'est ce qu'est Gmaxwell.» - Splashtalk 20h00, 22 janvier 2006 (UTC) «Prétend être un administrateur, menaçant de bloquer les personnes qui ne sont pas d'accord avec lui, fait régulièrement des attaques personnelles» - SlimVirgin (talk) 12h22, 22 janvier 2006 (UTC) Il passe beaucoup de temps sur Reddit et d'autres forums à semer la peur sur les dangers des gros blocs, et il a été surpris en train de faire semblant d'être plusieurs comptes à la fois en train d'avoir de très longues discussions techniques sur Reddit destinées à submerger les nouveaux arrivants avec ce qui ressemble à un débat intellectuel contre une version de Bitcoin libéré de ses limites. Qui d'autre est attaqué? L'autre cible commune de la machine de guerre médiatique anti-BSV est Calvin Ayre: un milliardaire à la tête de l'empire du groupe Ayre. Calvin est un entrepreneur canadien et antiguais qui a lancé un incubateur Internet à Vancouver au tout début du boom Internet. Fils d'un éleveur, Ayre est surtout connu en dehors de l'économie Bitcoin pour la création et la professionnalisation de l'industrie du jeu sur Internet. Plus particulièrement, sous la marque Bodog, Ayre a aidé à moderniser les lois financières américaines obsolètes en poussant les limites dans les marchés gris qui existent où les dollars américains sont utilisés à travers les frontières pour s'engager dans un commerce juridiquement compliqué comme le jeu d'argent. Son travail dans ce domaine lui a valu une petite fortune et un passage sur la liste des «plus recherchés» du gouvernement des USA pour blanchiment d'argent. C'est un point sur lequel les petits-blocs aiment se concentrer, mais ils le sortent complètement de son contexte. Calvin a finalement plaidé coupable à une accusation mais a été le fer de lance de la modernisation des lois américaines qui existent aujourd'hui sur les marchés. Il est respecté pour son travail dans l'industrie du jeu, des médias et de la philanthropie. Calvin est le bienvenu aux États-Unis malgré la critique souvent citée selon laquelle il serait une sorte de hors-la-loi. Calvin Ayre Dans l'économie Bitcoin, Ayre est une figure de proue dans la gestion de nœuds Bitcoin honnêtes depuis plusieurs années sous les marques CoinGeek et TAAL, et il est un investisseur dans nChain ainsi que plusieurs startups de l'espace BSV. Bien qu'il soit probablement le plus gros investisseur à ce jour, il n'est pas le monopole que les petits-blocs laisseraient croire. Il est important de comprendre que des segments entiers de l'écosystème BSV existent complètement en dehors de son influence. Twetch, par exemple, est une entreprise indépendante appartenant à l'écosystème BSV, célèbre pour ses attaques contre les médias sociaux centralisés qui abusent de la censure. Ils sont même connus pour se moquer des entreprises qui acceptent l'argent d'Ayre, en plaisantant que Calvin possède tout sauf Twetch. Bien sûr, ce n'est pas vrai. Un autre excellent exemple est l'investisseur / entrepreneur indépendant Jack Liu : ancien dirigeant de Circle et OKEX. Liu possède la marque de hackathons CambrianSV ainsi que des propriétés précieuses dans l'espace BSV telles que RelayX, Streamanity, Output Capital, FloatSV et Dimely. Les autres acteurs clés sont MatterPool Mining et leur écosystème Mattercloud: une joint-venture entre des acteurs indépendants de l'écosystème BSV, avec des connexions directes aux protocoles BoostPOW et 21e8 et des relations avec des développeurs BSV indépendants. Bien sûr, il existe également des marques précieuses financées par Ayre. Il s'agit notamment de la propriété partielle via l'investissement dans HandCash, Centi, TonicPow et Planaria Corp de Unwriter. Une autre mesure importante à prendre en compte est la distribution de la puissance de hachage (autre nom pour la puissance de calcul du résau). Alors qu'au tout début de BSV, les entreprises appartenant à Ayre représentaient une quantité importante de hachage sur bitcoin, afin d'assurer sa survie, BSV est aujourd'hui en grande partie exploité par des mineurs concurrents de Ayre tels que Binance, F2Pool, OKEX et ViaBTC - dont aucun n'est «ami» de BSV ou d'Ayre, mais beaucoup se déclarent les ennemis. Ces mineurs soulignent bien la nature ouverte et sans permission de BSV qui permet à quiconque de participer, notamment à ses ennemis! Ayre est un acteur important, mais en aucun cas un contrôleur de la direction de la blockchain ou des entreprises indépendantes dans l'économie BSV. Mais pourquoi Craig poursuit-il des gens en justice ? Tout d'abord, et c'est crucial, le procès le plus important de Craig est l'affaire Kleiman. Les autres cas existent uniquement à cause de la diffamation publique du Dr Wright. Le hashtag #CraigWrightIsAFraud circule largement, poussé en grande partie par un mélange de personnages anonymes sur Twitter. Plus particulièrement Magnus Granath AKA «Hodlonaut» a été averti qu'une accusation publique de fraude courait à son encontre. La carrière du Dr Wright est en informatique et en criminalistique numérique, donc le déclarer publiquement une fraude sans preuve cause un préjudice financier au Dr Wright dans son domaine d'expertise commerciale. Puisque «Hodlnaut» a refusé de cesser, on lui a envoyer une requête pour être vu au tribunal afin de pouvoir apporter les preuves de ses accusations. Cela a causé le célèbre podcasteur de petits-blocs Peter McCormack à mendier d'être poursuivi aussi - en augmentant la rhétorique diffamatoire contre le Dr Wright. À la demande de McCormack, il a lui aussi été attaqué en justice pour être vu au tribunal. Le Dr Wright à depuis abandonné tous ses procès pour diffamation à l'exception de celui contre McCormack qu'il souhaite continuer pour faire exemple. Cela a aussi engendré la campagne #DelistBSV menée en grande partie par «CZ», le PDG charismatique de Binance-Exchange. Divers autres échanges comme Shapeshift et Kraken ont publié des sondages twitter demandant s'ils devaient emboîter le pas, et des petits-blocs bien organisés ont voté en masse pour retirer BSV de leurs échanges - citant la toxicité du Dr Wright pour avoir intenté des poursuites en diffamation contre Hodlonaut et McCormack. Finalement, BSV a été retiré de Binance, ShapeShift et Kraken. Il a également été noté publiquement par Coinbase et Gemini qu'ils ne soutiendraient pas cette version de bitcoin à la suite de ce drame public. Il faut noter qu'après 2 ans, Binance a retourné sa veste et est aujourd'hui devenu un des principaux mineurs de BSV. Au fur et à mesure que les choses progressaient, le fondateur de bitcoin .com, Roger Ver, a également réalisé une vidéo publique déclarant Wright comme arnaqueur. C'était après avoir travaillé sournoisement avec les développeurs Bitcoin ABC pour coder des points de contrôle dans le logiciel ABC de Bitcoin Cash, divisant de manière permanente le réseau Bitcoin pour la deuxième et dernière fois - un acte auquel le Dr Wright s'était opposé et pour lequel Roger est également poursuivi par d'autres parties privées en Floride. Roger Ver a été averti que s'il continuait, des poursuites juridiques similaires se présenteraient à sa porte pour avoir diffamé le Dr Wright, mais il à décidé de poursuivre les accusations publiques jusqu'à ce qu'il soit également entendu devant le tribunal pour fournir une preuve de la fraude de Wright, sous peine de sanctions pour diffamation publique. Aucune preuve n'a jamais été fournit, mais le Dr Wright a depuis abandonné ses poursuites contre Roger Ver pour se concentrer sur son procès avec Kleiman et celui avec McCormack ainsi que son travail sur Bitcoin. Et maintenant que se passe-t-il ? Nous avons établi l'histoire du Bitcoin, de sa guerre civile, des attaques publiques contre Wright, Ayre et BSV. Au moment d'écrire ces lignes, nous pouvons revenir sur les attaques contre Thomas Lee, Tim Draper et Jimmy Wales pour avoir eu une proximité avec BSV. Malgré la pression sociale, le rapport technique Fundstrat de Lee a rendu un examen élogieux du protocole fixe et de l'évolutivité infinie de BSV. Lee et son équipe étaient heureux de prendre la parole lors des événements précédents de CoinGeek, même après le tollé public. Pour la conférence CoinGeek 2020 à New York, McCormack, Hodlonaut, « Arthur Van Pelt » et d'autres acteurs tels que le Dan Held de Kraken et une cacophonie de trolls anonymes sur Twitter ont mis à profit leur expérience de la culture d'annulation à la bolchevique pour faire pression sur l'orateur Gary Vaynerchuk ainsi que d'autres orateurs prévus pour cette conférence, afin de les forcer à annuler leur participation. Cette attaque sociale contre BSV, Dr. Wright, Ayre et les autres entreprises qui utilisent le réseau BSV pourrait être un gigantesque cas de fraude à la consommation. Ils trompent activement les gens en leur faisant croire que le protocole fixe et l'évolutivité infinie de Bitcoin BSV sont en quelque sorte dangereux, alors qu'en fait, le protocole et le réseau sont imperméables à toutes les attaques, à l'exception de leur ingénierie sociale. Bitcoin SV s'est développé professionnellement avec un portefeuille de brevets de protection de niveau mondial. Il est utilisé par des entreprises indépendantes afin d'apporter des innovations technologiques et possède un groupe décentralisé de nœuds honnêtes qui se font concurrence. Le réseau est fixe, sécurisé et en croissance grâce aux investissements de petites entreprises et de gestionnaires de capitaux. Les transactions sont instantanées avec des frais de 0.0002€ par transaction en moyenne, explosant tous les records de compétitivité de l'écosystème et permettant aux plus pauvres de la planète d'enfin accéder à l'économie digitale mondiale. Les mensonges sont basés sur une campagne massive de dénigrement perpétrée par les communautés d'autres cryptomonnaies qui craignent l'adoption mondiale de BSV comme outil de commerce et ce que cela signifiera pour eux. L'histoire ne sera pas gentille avec ces manipulateurs et leurs réseaux qui sont financés par les fraudes probables des échanges de crypto-monnaies off-shore, le (très probablement) frauduleux Tether Stablecoin, et l'économie des arnaques de "pump-and-dump" qui sous-tend 95% du volume de négociation de l'ensemble de l'économie cryptomonnaie actuelle. C'est une guerre civile. Il y aura toujours des victimes, mais alors que BTC et BCH se concentrent sur les ragots et les affaires illicites, BSV veut que le monde entier soit plus libre, plus souverain et plus capable de coopérer sur le registre mondial de la vérité afin que les entrepreneurs du monde puissent s'engager à créer des entreprises ou de simples nano-services sont rendus possibles uniquement par Bitcoin. Bitcoin est un test d'intelligence. Au fil du temps, les personnes intelligentes pourront voir à travers le brouillard de distorsion de la réalité créé pour confondre les innocents et reconnaître cela pour ce que c'est, une attaque coordonnée pour tenter de supprimer une technologie qui à un potentiel unique dans l'histoire, et qui les rendrait obsolètes. Des exemples d'applications Bitcoin que vous pouvez utiliser dès aujourd'hui ? Les applications qui sont construites sur Bitcoin et interagissent entre elles par ce biais créent ce qu'on appelle le "Metanet". Si vous vous sentez prêt à faire le premier pas dans le futur vous êtes libres de tester les applications les plus populaires du Metanet sur https://metastore.app/apps?sort=money Le site le plus populaire du Metanet à ce jour est Twetch, une version de twitter incensurable sur la blockchain que vous trouverez ici : bit.ly/twetchapp _______________________ sources: inspiré de https://coingeek.com/the-war-on-bitcoin/ image : https://imgur.com/1Yb0Yle Voici un schéma qui retrace les financements de Blockstream et révèle comment le groupe Bilderberg, la banque centrale américaine (FED) et Mastercard on pris le contrôle du réseau BTC afin de le soumettre à leur propre profit: https://imgur.com/eFApDVE
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
Decentralized security token exchange, DSTOQ, has launched a platform called its minimum viable product (MVP). MVP allows people to invest in real assets such as stocks, bonds, and commodities using cryptocurrencies. This platform runs using Stellar’s blockchain testnet, and all transactions will happen completely on-chain.
Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the world fourth largest bank by assets, announces it will making its first loan on a blockchain system. The loan, valued at USD$300k, is meant to support the local tea industry in the Guizhou province and is backed by a piece of agricultural land.
“Civilized blockchain”1 company Billon, has partnered with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to develop blockchain technology solutions. Billon implements blockchain solutions for the main purpose of processing fiat currencies. FIS will utilize Billon for document and identity management, the exploration of joint sales and product development opportunities, and smartphone micropayments among other services.
SBI Group, a Japanese financial services company, has announced plans to develop a platform to trade cryptocurrency derivatives. The platform would help crypto investors hedge their risk by offering cryptocurrency credit default swap (CDS) trading. SBI will accomplish this through its recent 12% purchase of North Carolina-based digital marketplace developer Clear Markets.
Equity research provider Fundstrat Global Advisors has announced that it will begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for accessing research reports. Fundstrat is using payment operator BitPay, which has processed over USD$1 billion in Bitcoin payments CY2017, to process their new BTC payments accepted from institutional investors, high net-worth clients, and financial advisors.
The most popular cryptocurrency markets tracking platform, CoinMarketCap (CMC), has added a professional-grade API, and support for derivatives markets to its services. The API provides developers with access to aggregated data packages, providing everything from price and market cap, to trading pair data and conversions. CMC is marketing this product to those who need to back-test trading strategies, and run simulations more accurately.
Logos Network, a decentralized payments platform, successfully raised USD$3mm in seed funding. Logos is hoping to build a quick and scalable P2P payments network on a new blockchain. The payments network plans to be quick, scalable, and secure.
The Stuggart Börse, Germany’s second largest stock exchange, has announced an initiative to construct a multilateral cryptocurrency trading platform, as well as an initial coin offering (ICO) platform. The exchange already launched in May a crypto trading app called Bison, which features zero-fee transactions.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and 22 others, will develop a Microsoft cloud-based digital asset ecosystem. ICE is creating a new company for this, called Bakkt, which will work closely with companies including Starbucks and BCG. The ecosystem is planned to be a one-stop-shop for all consumers, from retail to institutional, to buy, hold, sell, and spend cryptocurrencies on a communal network. ICE will also launch physically-delivered BTC futures contracts.
The Chamber of Digital Commerce, an American advocacy group promoting the blockchain industry, is producing new guidelines to aid the in the responsible growth of the initial coin offering (ICO) markets and cryptocurrency markets all together. These guidelines were released in a whitepaper detailing current and future regulations for investor reference, a set of principles for trading platforms and token sponsors to follow, and a general discussion about the growth of the cryptocurrency industry so far.
The South Korean government has proposed revisions to its tax law, affecting cryptocurrency exchanges. The proposition states that cryptocurrency exchanges will be exempt from the tax benefits given to startups and small-mid-sized businesses. It is important to note that new propositions might be made to change this before implementation, but the South Korean government doesn’t believe that crypto transaction companies do not generate added value like other companies do.
Indian cryptocurrency traders are finding ways to circumvent the India government’s decision to ban cryptocurrency trading. Traders are now making use of a Dabba trading which refers to making OTC trades that are off the books. Dabba traders execute trades through platforms at international banks in Dubbai, Europe and the UK. Indian stock traders have used this method for years, and has experienced an upsurge after the crypto ban.
The U.S. Consumer financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created an Office of Innovation. The Office of innovation is responsible for the development of a regulatory framework surrounding new products and services in the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and microlending fields. This regulatory sandbox could give some guidance on creation of regulatory frameworks around innovative fintech companies.
South Korea Financial Supervisory Service is advising local regulators to work towards creating an integrated blockchain system for stocks transactions. The group finds the use of a centralized ledger to be inefficient and vulnerable to hacks.
It was recently reported that HTC will be releasing a new mobile phone utilizing decentralized ledger technology, but Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee announced July 29th that he will be one of HTC’s advisors on the smartphone. The phone will be called Exodus and is expected to be the first blockchain phone. Exodus’s built-in cryptocurrency wallet will now natively support LTC and the Lightning Network (LN), in addition to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Cointelegraph.com reported that digital asset exchange Huobi will begin supporting trades in the Indian rupee (INR) on its over-the-counter (OTC) service. Huobi’s peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform will allow INR users free trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT). This comes at a good time for Indian cryptocurrency traders after the Reserve Bank of India banned banks from dealing with cryptocurrency-related companies in early July.
IOHK, the company behind the popular cryptocurrency Cardano (ADA), announced that it has launched the testnet for a new Cardano virtual machine. The virtual machine, called IELE, provides developers with a stronger and more reliable platform for developing smart contracts on Cardano’s blockchain.
IoT and blockchain platform Ambrosus has announced the launch of its mainnet, called AMB-NET 1.0. Ambrosus improves pharmaceutical and food supply chains by allowing companies to record private and public supply chain data on its blockchain. Organizations can work with the Ambrosus Network through its native AMB token.
San Francisco-based platform, DCEX, will begin accepting registration applications for its new cryptocurrency exchange. DCEX’s base currency, the currency participants use to exchange for other currencies, will be Ripple’s XRP. This is a change from the cryptocurrency exchange norm of using Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as base currencies. Not basing all transactions off of Bitcoin is a step in the right directions for pushing the market to be more independent from it.
Thomson Reuters, a Canadian mass-media and information company, has announced a partnership with CryptoCompare, a cryptocurrency data tracking resource. CryptoCompare will provide Thomson Reuters will trade and order book data on 50 cryptocurrencies.
Major Cineplex, the largest movie theater chain in Thailand, is integrating cryptocurrency payments to permits moviegoers to buy anything from tickets to popcorn. Major Cineplex is partnering with RapizPay to deploy the digital currency payment system. This comes a week after the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission began allowing cryptocurrency operators to file license applications.
Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency services in the world, has announced in a blog post that Jeff Horowitz, an ex-Pershing exec, has joined as company’s new Chief Compliance Officer. Horowitz has ample background experience for this position, as he was Managing Director and Global Head of Compliance for Pershing, a banking regulator for the FDIC, and even led compliance and anti-money-laundering (AML) programs at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Salomon Brothers.
Binance, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange, has made its first-ever acquisition, purchasing crypto wallet provider Trust Wallet. This move appeals to cryptocurrency investors wary of keeping their coins on centralized custodial services as Trust Wallet now introduces Binance users to decentralized custody. The decentralized wallet will be offered on mobile platforms, and supports coins built off of Ethereum’s protocol. You can read more about decentralized exchanges in our latest Crypto Quant Shot: Atomic Swaps, Decentralized Exchanges, and the Future of Crypto Exchanges.
Google has announced that later this year, it will introduce open-source integrations of Ethereum and Hyperledger applications through its Google Cloud Product marketplace. This move pushes Google into the blockchain services industry, thereby joining others such as Amazon Web Services, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft Azure.
U.S. lawmakers working with the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force are looking for blockchain applications to help fight infectious fungal diseases. The lawmakers have proposed a bill as a part of the FORWARD Act for the creation of a blockchain pilot hoping to improve the way doctors share information about endemic fungal diseases such as Valley Fever. If information could be exchanged between doctors quicker and more efficiently, they would be better equipped to treat these infectious diseases.
Mobile engagement firm MobileBridge, has launched a blockchain loyalty program called Momentum. Momentum will offer other companies many data-based insights, and consumers full custody of their earned cryptocurrency rewards. Consumers can earn loyalty cards and other rewards for simply shopping at their favorite stores. These rewards can be exchanged for Momentum tokens, and then other branded reward tokens to be used with other companies.
CoinMarketApp, a cryptocurrency news multi-use app, has released compatibility with iOS and Android smartphones. CoinMarketApp is not like typical cryptocurrency apps, in that it offers crypto historic data, prices, mining information, trustworthy news, and even portfolio services.
Northern Trust, an asset manager with USD$954bn in AUM announces plans to start a custody service for digital assets. Pete Cherecwich, Northern Trust’s head of corporate and institutional business, explained that the firm plans to offer custodial services similar to others, but with lower fees.
Swissquote, a Switzerland-based online banking firm which recently added cryptocurrency investing to its services, has seen a 44% profit increase in this C1H2018 relative to C1H2017. Throughout the second half of CY2017, Swiss quote has allowed trading in Bitcoin (BTC) with the EUR and USD, as well as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).
MINDOL is a blockchain platform aiming to disrupt the entertainment provider industry in Japan. MINDOL’s whitepaper states a growing demand for and heavy government investing in spreading Japanese culture throughout the world, including animations, games, music, and movies. MINDOL hopes to regularly produce programs on TV. MINDOL’s central network, called eMINDOL, lets consumers purchase products, watch content, and even invest in the projects and artists they like.
Telegram, a popular desktop and mobile app messenger, recently executed an ICO, raising USD$1.7 billion. However, US-based cybersecurity startup Virgil Security, praised the fact that Telegram published the application’s API on an open source platform for developers to review, but has uncovered several security flaws with Telegram’s ID verification app Passport. Virgil discovered issues with their encryption methods and the way they protect stored data. These issues are very important to fix if Telegram wishes to begin accepting payments on its platform.
Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading services, has now allowed users in the UK to purchase cryptocurrencies with the British Pound. Before this announcement, users in the UK would have had to acquire Euros in order to purchase cryptos on Coinbase, which sometimes took multiple days.
The government of Queensland, Australia is giving USD$8.3mm to a crypto start-up as part of the state’s innovation funding initiative. The start-up’s goal is to increase the number of tourists to Central Queensland through selling travel offers based in different cryptocurrencies.
RandomCrypto, a fintech firm working with cryptocurrencies has released a Bitcoin (BTC) mining calculator, which improves upon the details given by competing products. Random Crypto CEO Josh Metnick says he developed this product after “many years of getting screwed… by mining companies,” and that his goal is to “bring more truth, accuracy, and transparency to [proof-of-work] mining.”1 The calculator shows that at today’s current BTC prices, most bitcoin mining hardware on the markets is unprofitable.
Chinese company Seven Stars Cloud, has announced plans to build a USD$300 million crypto hub in Hartford, CT. Seven Stars Cloud is a fintech company hoping to create a community for itself and other fintech firms to collaborate on machine-learning, robotics, and crypto-related projects. The firm is also trying to launch a fintech college at schools near Hartford, CT such as Yale University, University of Hartford, University of New Haven, and University of Connecticut.
Canaan Creative, the world’s second largest provider of Bitcoin mining components has announced a new product called the AvalonMiner Inside. The Avalon Miner Inside is essentially a television with built-in Bitcoin (BTC) mining capabilities. The TV will be powered by artificial intelligence and will also enable voice dictation. The mining components possess a 2.8 trillion hashes-per-second hash rate, and even includes a profitability calculator to measure performance.
Bitfi, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer claiming it is “unhackable”, denies claims that it was hacked. Bitfi and its official partner John McAfee offered a $100,000 bug bounty in July to try to get people to hack its wallet. But when one twitter user claimed to have done this, Bitfi CEO Daniel Khesin denied these claims amid no evidence of a hack, and because of the fact that the “hacker” refused the bounty reward.
Switzerland-based cryptocurrency platform MCO has added Litecoin (LTC) to its supported coins. MCO enables users to purchase, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies from its mobile app. Formerly known as Monaco, MCO has amassed over 180,000 downloads, and expects to widen its user base as it adds more coins to its platform. This app will soon integrate with a Visa card allowing international purchases.
Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange OKEx says it will have to claw back millions in USD$ following a single user’s large bet on bitcoin futures (the user lost “the bet”). Each futures contract has a notional value of $100, and OKEx estimate the total value of the position was over $400 million. OKEx initiated a forced liquidation of the account but because of the size, the exchange has had to trigger “societal loss risk management” mechanisms because of the size of the order. After insurance coverage is considered, the aggregate loss to investors is around BTC$1,200 (USD$8.8mm), which will "split proportionately by all profited traders' realized + unrealized gains".
Coinbase Commerce, Coinbase’s non-custodial merchant payment service, has launched a product integrating with e-commerce company WooCommerce. WooCommercie is currently used by between 21% and 28% of all web stores, and affiliated stores will now accept cryptocurrency payments from Coinbase Commerce users.
Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply. Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.
Obelisk posted 3 email updates in August. DCR1 units are reportedly shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design. Innosilicon announced the new D9+ DecredMaster: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15. FFMiner DS19 claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299. Shipping Aug 20-25. Another newly noticed miner offer is this unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR (which has now a page on asicminervalue).
www.d1pool.com joined the list of stakepools for a total of 16. Australian CoinTreeadded DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports. Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges page at decred.org. Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
Coinomiadded Decred to their Android and iOS wallets. In addition to the Apple App Store and Google Play you can download the APK directly. Coinomi features an integrated cryptocurrency exchange and is the first company to offer a mobile Decred wallet.
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?
Bit Dialsannounced DCR support via GloBee at their bitdials.eu luxury boutique. Their separate supercar and classic car shop bitcars.eu also accepts DCR, either via GloBee or with manual invoicing in case of privacy concerns.
Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here. Contribution to the @decredproject Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub)
Meetup in Puebla City, Mexico, organized by @elian. (photo, slides, missed in July issue)
@joshuam discussed Decred and decentralized organizations with Craig Laundy, Federal Minister for Small Business, the Workplace, and Deregulation with the Australian Government, at @YBFVentures. (photos)
Meetup at @TheBlockCafe in Lisbon, Portugal. @mm presented "Decred 101 - Governance with Skin in the Game" and @moo31337 talked about Decred's 2018 roadmap. (photos: 123)
Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore made a short intro of Decred and noted: "After the talk, many have approached to tell me that they literally don’t hear of Decred until today, and are interested in finding out more about the merit of a hybrid consensus system.". Longer report here, some photos and a video are here.
@eSizeDave introduced Decred to the SILC Undergraduate Program students at @YBFVentures. (photo)
OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. @joshuam gave a brief presentation covering the history of Decred, how the project functions, and the importance of governance. Afterwards he joined a panel discussion and spoke about Decred's incentives for long term viability. (video, video, photo)
Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, Canada. @zubairzia0 noted: "Devs and the community were held in high regard for the people who knew about decred ... one positive thing I remember was someone defending us saying 'Decred does not need a booth', I believe that comment was reflective of the quality of projects being showcased at the conference.". (photo)
Meetup at @YBFVentures in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam discussed Decred with Graham Stuart, U.K. Minister for International Trade. (news, photos)
Small meetup with Jackson Palmer in Melbourne, Australia. (photo)
Hawthorne Street Fair in Portland, USA. Raedah Group was out answering questions about crypto and Decred. (photos)
Blockchain APAC in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam joined a panel discussion with reps from banking, university and ISO/TC 307. @eSizeDave reports: "This enterprise conference was indeed a whole lot better than I expected. The presentations were actually full of very worthwhile information from credible people, articulated aptly to a very government, academic, and corporate crowd, who genuinely took on board valuable insights. Good to know some of these key people are Decred holders and stakers as well. I got to use the entire day to speak directly with some of the most pivotal personalities in this particular populace. Ongoing relationships have been built and strengthened.". (photos: 123)
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning) The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)
One private work channel was successfully migrated to Matrix.
Stylish room avatars were set.
@Haon has prepared a short guide to help new Matrix users get started and join the Decred rooms.
A thread was started to discuss changes to Decred jargon with the intent to make it more consistent and accessible to newcomers. The question whether changing "official" terminology requires stakeholder approval was touched in this thread and in #documentation.
Project fund transparency and constitution were extensively discussed on Reddit and in #general.
Pre-proposal to use Politeia to approve Politeia as a legitimate decision-making tool for Decred.
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons; ecosystem fund; a thread about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable is the Obelisk DCR1. Chats: cross-chain trading via LN; plans for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring dev activity; what if the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system in Go; security of allowing Android app backups; why PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts about NIPoPoWs and SPV; prerequisites for shipping SPV by default (continued); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses, spending other people's money; why Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued); overview of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes in vgo; why project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations and multilingual environment. An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading.
DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery. @ImacallyouJawdy posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.
StopAndDecrypt published an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs. The ongoing debates about the possible Sia fork yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky to have the treasury. Mark B Lundeberg, who found a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue) Medium took a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate to Ghost (that same project previously migrated away from Slack). Regulation: Vietnam bans mining equipment imports, China halts crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups. Reddit was hacked by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement explains the impact. Yet another data breach suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems. Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins. Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com.
About This Issue
This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
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