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1  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-10-18] BitGo,cryptocurrency wallets, raises $58.5M Series B from Goldman on: October 19, 2018, 03:39:41 AM

Goldman Wades Deeper in Crypto, Betting on BitGo With Billionaire Mike Novogratz

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a venture founded by one of its former partners, billionaire Mike Novogratz, are investing in cryptocurrency custodian BitGo Holdings Inc., as the bank’s deep-pocketed clients keep asking about secure ways to hold those assets.

Combined, Goldman Sachs and Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Ventures contributed about $15 million to BitGo’s Series B fundraising, which brought in a total of $57.5 million, the startup said Thursday. The endorsement from two firms with strong Wall Street roots may help BitGo attract more institutions and wealthy investors as customers.

U.S. regulators require large money managers to entrust client assets to a so-called qualified custodian -- often industry pillars such as State Street Corp. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. But the initial unwillingness of many traditional firms to hold digital currencies, which are notoriously vulnerable to hackers, has kept a lot of major investors out of the market. That’s given startups such as BitGo a chance to pursue their business.

“If you were investing in any other asset class, you’re probably not worried about the asset just disappearing -- but this one, people still have that fear,” Mike Belshe, BitGo’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview. For cryptocurrencies to reach their full potential, “we’ve got to conquer that.”

The Palo Alto-based company, founded in 2013, offers digital wallets that require multiple signatures for transactions, as well as offline vaults for storing Bitcoin and rival currencies. In January, it agreed to acquire custodian Kingdom Trust. But after the deal fell apart, BitGo said it would build out its own qualified custody business, BitGo Trust Co.

BitGo has gathered a total of about $70 million in fundraising rounds. The company says it provides services for more than 75 coins and tokens, and that it holds more than $2 billion in assets.

Bitcoin Trading
Goldman’s investment could help the bank develop crypto services of its own. The securities firm was among the first on Wall Street to clear Bitcoin futures introduced late last year. And earlier this year, it named a head of digital-asset markets as it explored ways to help clients interested in investing in crypto.

In August, people with knowledge of the matter said Goldman Sachs was considering a plan to offer custody for crypto funds. But it had yet to set up a full-fledged desk to trade the currencies. Fidelity Investments said on Oct. 15 that it will offer security and storage services, trade execution and customer service for digital assets.

“We believe that a custody offering is a logical precursor to digital asset market making,” Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally said. The bank made the BitGo investment through its principal strategic investments group, where executives include Rana Yared, a managing director involved in developing Goldman’s crypto plans.

A former macro trader, Novogratz has become one of Wall Street’s most prominent champions of Bitcoin and other digital assets. He’s drawn on a resume that includes stints at Goldman Sachs and Fortress Investment Group while building a publicly traded merchant bank for the crypto community and advocating for the technology’s widespread adoption.

Digital currency enthusiasts have been hoping that institutional-grade storage will lure more investors into the market. But significant roadblocks remain.

Read more: Regulated crypto custody is (almost) here. It’s a game changer

Regulatory uncertainty is one, as traditional firms wait for financial watchdogs to clarify rules. And many investors may just be turned off by this year’s rout in crypto prices. Bitcoin has lost 65 percent of its value since peaking at almost $20,000 in late December.

More money, lots of money, being invested in companies that offer infrastructure and services related to cryptocurrencies. And the market continues in this stability, with some bumps up and down.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the next Bull run will occur and this time will reach even more surprising levels as we will have services to keep up with the new demand.
2  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / BitMEX Research new client (Bitcoin BitMEX Research client) on: October 18, 2018, 06:29:10 PM

BitMEX Research is announcing a new client to compete with Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin BitMEX Research. Since it is a software fork of Bitcoin Core, it carries none of the risks of not being bug for bug compatible, like Satoshi was concerned about. The BitMEX Research client also doesn’t change Bitcoin’s consensus rules, so the concerns about contentious chainsplits do not apply. Therefore, if the Bitcoin Core repository gets hijacked or deleted, the codebase can still improve using the Bitcoin BitMEX Research client or any other set of clients.

The truth is, as hard as it is to appreciate, end users are ultimately in charge of Bitcoin.

Similar Discussion = why is core development and hosting centralized?

Furthermore, Bitcoin Core uses a deterministic build process. This means that anyone can build the same code again using that build process and get exactly the same binaries. Before releases are officially announced and published, multiple people perform these deterministic builds and the hashes of their results are checked to make sure that everyone has built the same binary. These hashes, and GPG signatures over the hashes, are all available here: If you don't trust the uploaded binaries, you can check it's hashes against those from the other deterministic builders and the GPG signatures of people who did the deterministic build. Lastly, you can do the build yourself and check that what you built matches what was published.

                              ONLY 16% of "cryptocurrencies" are fully decentralized!!

To play devil's advocate, couldn't we question Bitcoin's own state in this regard?  Isn't the hashing power controlled by the three largest pools (cumulatively over 50%)? This needs to be substantiated, but I am suspicious of it.  That would also describe a apparent 'oligarchy', just as for those others.

Some people continue to confuse what decentralized means. Having a great influence does not mean controlling.

3  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / ONLY 16% of "cryptocurrencies" are fully decentralized!!! on: October 17, 2018, 11:57:04 PM
cryptocompare cryptoasset taxonomy-report 2018.

Fantastic and quite complete report about cryptocurrencies. More than 55% of the projects were considered centralized. Added to the semi-decentralized, projects that do not offer something that is essential to Bitcoin, decentralization, its reach 84%.

Another interesting fact is the concentration of the largest portfolios in relation to the total. TRX, EOS and Veri are incredibly concentrated in this regard. They could easily be considered oligarchies if they were a country.
4  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Do you prefer cryptocurrencies with anonymous founders, foundations or big name? on: October 16, 2018, 05:55:24 PM
Bitcoin was founded by a developer who used a nickname and until today no one knows who he is. Nobody knows if he is alive, dead and his opinion on the current stage of the project. But most of today's leading developers are well known.

Some other projects like Monero were also created by anonymous people. Although much of the current devs are public figures.

Other projects like Ethereum, EOS and Litecoin have well-known leaders. Who have created and continue to lead the projects. Everything they say reflects on these projects, for good, or for bad.

Some new projects are betting on foundations that are responsible for guiding the project in the long run. Cardano and Stellar are some of them. They have foundations that work exclusively in the development of the project. Eventually, these foundations can go way to a new type of governance using the protocol itself.

Decred, for example, tries to create a new way of governance using the protocol since its foundation.

But my question is more about the weight of having a founder who is a public person. Charlie Lee, for example, everything he does reflects a lot on Litecoin. Do you find this positive in the long run?
5  Economy / Trading Discussion / Fidelity announces a new company that will handle cryptocurrency custody on: October 16, 2018, 12:42:32 AM
Fidelity announces a new company called Fidelity Digital Asset Services that will handle cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for institutional investors

Fidelity just made it easier for hedge funds and other pros to invest in cryptocurrencies

Financial services giant Fidelity is taking a huge step into cryptocurrency.

The 72-year-old firm announced the launch of a separate company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, on Monday that will handle cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for institutional investors.

"Our goal is to make digitally native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors," Fidelity Investments Chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson said in a press release. "We expect to continue investing and experimenting, over the long-term, with ways to make this emerging asset class easier for our clients to understand and use."

Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets, said the idea of commercializing a standalone crypto company began in the middle of last year.

For now, its services are available to institutions such as hedge funds, endowments and family offices but not to the retail investor.

"We saw that there were certain things institutions needed that only a firm like Fidelity could provide," Jessop told CNBC, adding that it already works with 13,000 institutional clients. "We've got some technology that we've repurposed from other parts of Fidelity — we can leverage all of the resources of a big organization."

Fidelity is nothing if not big. It administers $7.2 trillion in customer assets, has 27 million customers, and spends $2.5 billion per year on technology, partially through incubators that house its artificial intelligence and blockchain projects. The new digital asset company was born out of Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, or FCAT as employees call it.

The new company will handle custody, or how to safely store digital assets. Crypto companies Coinbase, Gemini (run by the Winklevoss twins), BitGo, Ledger and ItBit are among those already working on similar solutions. Japanese bank Nomura also announced plans in May to offer crypto custody, and Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust are reportedly exploring custodial services. But until now, there's been a noticeable lack of a big U.S.-based incumbent like Fidelity officially entering the space.

more on
6  Economy / Trading Discussion / Why did the price of Bitcoin suddenly spike up (October 15, 2018)? on: October 15, 2018, 05:25:26 PM
Marius Kramer, No. 1 Bitcoin writer on Quora worldwide
Answered 8h ago
At first, there were scam rumors for Tether, because only USDT pairs pumped. Furthermore, there was the rumor that all USDT pairs will be delisted from Binance.

That’s why everybody thought all USDT pairs are pumping because everyone wants to get out of USDT.

An hour later Kucoin suspended tether deposits and withdrawals.

These were all the assumption.

However, the actual reason is most likely very simple.

It was just a whale buying up lots of Bitcoin with lots of USDT that he held. In fact, he bought up $500M worth of Bitcoin, which made the Bitcoin market cap go up by $25B.

Here is how it works:

He buys up Bitcoin so that the price goes up by 10%. All USDT pairs pump by 10%, too.

So if IOTA is worth 9000 Satoshi, which is $0.5 and Bitcoin goes up by 10%, IOTA is still worth 9000 Satoshi, but then $0.55, so it shows as a 10% pump in the IOTA/USDT pair, while remaining stagnant in its BTC pair.

So, this doesn't have to do anything with Tether, just a whale buying lots of BTC. When that happens, USDT pairs always pump, because of math. Smiley

However, I don’t think it was an institutional investor, but someone who had lots of USDT. So, he bought $500M worth of Bitcoin with USDT. Since, this put a lot of USDT on the market, the USDT price tanked.

If you look at Top 100 Richest Bitcoin Addresses and Bitcoin distribution, there are currently only 3 addresses that hold that much wealth and they all belong to the exchanges Bitfinex, Bitrexx, Binance. That means, it must be a whale from January during the height of the bull run, where there were around 50 addresses with that much wealth.

It was probably one of the 10 largest Bitcoin whales who had cashed out half a billion into USDT back in January and now decided to sell all Tether, because of all the sketchiness surrounding it and because he thought Bitcoin has probably found its bottom. That’s why he decided to buy back in now.

Now, the Bitcoin/USD and Bitcoin/USDT markets have to even each other out at probably around $6,600.

If you found this answer helpful, please leave an upvote.

P.S. If you need help with your portfolio (larger than $200,000) for this coming bull run, I provide professional guidance for $500/week and a 10% profit share. However, only if you make profit. If you don’t make profit, there is no weekly fee

quora Marius Kramer
7  Local / Brasil / Justiça diz que banco pode fechar conta de corretora de criptomoeda on: October 10, 2018, 01:45:31 AM
O caso entre o Mercado Bitcoin e Itaú Unibanco traz um precedente infeliz no judiciário para as corretoras de criptomoedas. A 3ª Turma do Superior Tribunal de Justiça (STJ) decidiu por maioria que o fechamento de conta corrente das exchanges não se caracteriza abuso de direito.

Embora seja um caso específico, a decisão pode afetar parte do mercado brasileiro de criptomoedas, visto que muitas exchanges mantêm contas abertas nos bancos graças a liminares conquistadas em instâncias inferiores aos STJ.

A sessão que deu desfecho ao julgamento do Recurso Especial 1696214/SP ocorreu na tarde desta terça-feira (09). Os ministros Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva, Paulo de Tarso Sanseverino, bem como o presidente da 3ª Turma, Moura Ribeiro, acompanharam o relator Marco Aurélio Bellizze.

O ministro Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva foi quem mais usou da fundamentação sobre o seu voto. Apesar da fala breve, Cueva mencionou a análise feita sobre a teoria da infraestrutura essencial defendida pela Ministra Nancy Andrighi  na sessão anterior (ocorrida no dia 11 de setembro).

Andrighi tinha afirmado que o fechamento da conta corrente se caracteriza abuso de direito por retirar das corretoras de criptoativos a “infraestrutura essencial” para sua atividade comercial.

“As contas correntes podem ser compreendidas como uma espécie de infraestrutura essencial sem a qual é impossível a recorrente competir ou mesmo ser economicamente ativa no seu mercado expressivo”, disse a ministra.

Sobre essa análise, Bôas Cueva afirmou que não teria “como apreciar os autos sob esse prisma já que a matéria não foi pré-questionada”.

Villas Bôas Cueva afirmou que “se discutiu nos autos desde o início a aplicabilidade do Código de Defesa do Consumidor e o abuso de direito, art. 187 do Código Civil”.

Nesse ponto, o STJ foi unânime em não aplicar Código de Defesa do Consumidor (Lei 8.078/90) ao caso.

A ministra Nancy Andrighi, por meio de seu voto afirmou que “a conta corrente é nada mais do que insumo para a realização” da atividade comercial do Mercado Bitcoin que “atua com mediação e corretagem de criptomoedas”.

Ainda assim faltavam “elementos fáticos nos autos” que permitissem os ministros a analisar com maior cuidado o caso em sua totalidade, disse o ministro Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva.

O ministro afirma que “toda essa matéria de fato é muito relevante e merece a nossa sensibilidade”, mas deixou subtendido que isso vai acabar sendo decidido mesmo pelo Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica (Cade), ao mencionar que “a matéria foi levada ao conhecimento da autoridade em agosto desse ano da entidade representativa de criptomoedas”.

Tanto o presidente da 3ª Turma, Moura Ribeiro quanto o ministro Paulo de Tarso Sanseverino, se limitaram a negar provimento ao recurso especial acompanhando o ministro relator do caso.

Os votos foram bastante sucintos. A sessão não chegou a 30 minutos e os ministros expuseram pouco sobre o assunto se limitando a apenas confirmar o voto do relator Marco Aurélio Bellizze em todos os termos.

Voto vencido contra Itaú
A ministra Nancy Andrighi foi a voz singular na 3ª Turma do STJ ao apontar as consequências que poderiam vir daquela decisão. Nesse Julgamento do Recurso Especial 1696214/SP não se analisa unicamente o caso entre Mercado Bitcoin e o Banco Itaú conforme parece.

Esse é o precedente judicial para os demais que ainda estão sob análise dos Tribunais Estaduais e Federais. A jurisprudência do Superior Tribunal de Justiça influirá e muito nas decisões que estão por vir.

A questão é que a Ministra Andrighi afirmou que o fechamento da conta corrente se caracteriza abuso de direito por retirar das corretoras de criptoativos a “infraestrutura essencial” para sua atividade comercial.

Mesmo que não tenha havido pré-questionamento sobre a infração à Lei 12.529/11 (Lei que estrutura o Sistema Brasileiro de Defesa da Concorrência), naquilo em que poderia acarretar Defesa da Concorrência, Andrighi sugeriu que fosse “encaminhado ao Cade uma cópia desse julgamento para melhor apuração dos fatos descritos como infração à Ordem Econômica”.

O voto foi único, vencido e de encontro ao do relator Marco Aurélio Bellizze que havia posicionado, desde sua decisão monocrática, de que a atuação do banco Itaú não deveria ser interpretada como prática abusiva, mas serviu para apontar que alguém no STJ concluiu que bancos “não trabalham com a verdade real”.

Esclarecendo o Direito
A decisão sobre o caso no Superior Tribunal de Justiça vai servir apenas como precedente para os demais que cheguem aos tribunais de justiça do país e ao próprio STJ.

A decisão do STJ vai se restringir apenas a esse caso específico. Mas, cabe ressaltar, que caso a decisão seja mais uma vez negativa para o Mercado Bitcoin, isso deverá afetar as outras ações pendentes nos tribunais de justiça do país.

Eles dificilmente irão na contramão de um precedente do STJ, o qual tem a palavra final dos processos vindos desses tribunais e que tratem de violação a lei federal.

A decisão do Cade, por outro lado, deve vincular as instituições financeiras e as corretoras de criptoativos, tendo em vista de que se trata de um órgão regulador que tem o poder de decisão final no ambiente econômico com o intuito de afastar qualquer ato abusivo ou anti-concorrencial.

O Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica é quem definirá, por fim, sobre esses casos por envolverem a suspeita de que esses atos cometidos pelos bancos possam ser nocivos a livre concorrência.

Que merda!
8  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Bytecoin, ICN, TRIG, CHAT. Binance will remove them. on: October 09, 2018, 05:43:43 PM

What is curious, is that often a project is removed because it has no market volume. But this time Binance made it clear that he considers the quality of these projects insufficient to remain on the platform. I particularly believe that these projects were just great pump and dump schemes with no quality.
9  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Speculation (Altcoins) / Circle ( Goldman Sachs, Poloniex) Invest announces Collections on: October 06, 2018, 04:11:34 AM
Blog Circle

A few a months ago, we launched “Buy the Market” - a way for our customers to buy all our listed assets in one tap. This feature was so successful that over 30% of our users are taking advantage of it. Today we are building upon this theme through the launch of 3 additional collections - Platforms, Payments, and Privacy. Users will be able to purchase all the assets in each of these categories in one tap.

Why do collections matter?
Crypto is complicated. Many projects aim to solve similar real-world problems, but take vastly different approaches to get there. Projects like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, and Litecoin are trying to build superior payment rails based on blockchain technology so that making payments is as easy, instant, and as borderless as sending an email. If customers are passionate about this category of assets and want to invest, they can simply buy the Payments collection. Each of the assets in the collection will be weighted by market cap. Customers will also be able to educate themselves on the collections through our in-product content.

As crypto evolves, more projects will be kicked off to apply blockchain technology to various use cases. As we continue to list the crypto assets associated with the projects on Circle Invest, we will also introduce new collections and relevant educational material so that customers can invest in the categories that most interest them.

means of payment: BTC, BCH, Stellar and Litecoin
platform: Ethereum, CARDANO, Ethereum Classic Qtum
Privacy: Monero, Dash, Zcash
10  Other / Politics & Society / How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies on: October 04, 2018, 05:00:16 PM

The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

In 2015, Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA.

To help with due diligence, AWS, which was overseeing the prospective acquisition, hired a third-party company to scrutinize Elemental’s security, according to one person familiar with the process. The first pass uncovered troubling issues, prompting AWS to take a closer look at Elemental’s main product: the expensive servers that customers installed in their networks to handle the video compression. These servers were assembled for Elemental by Super Micro Computer Inc., a San Jose-based company (commonly known as Supermicro) that’s also one of the world’s biggest suppliers of server motherboards, the fiberglass-mounted clusters of chips and capacitors that act as the neurons of data centers large and small. In late spring of 2015, Elemental’s staff boxed up several servers and sent them to Ontario, Canada, for the third-party security company to test, the person says.

Read more on:Bloomberg

Hackers will be the soldiers in the future.
11  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused startups have raised nearly $3.9B on: October 03, 2018, 06:59:18 PM
Report: blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused startups have raised nearly $3.9B

As the crypto industry sees a decline in initial coin offerings (ICOs) amid regulatory concerns and major losses across token markets, traditional VC investment is once more on the rise.

In its latest report, blockchain research group Diar reports that blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused startups have raised nearly $3.9 billion through VC investments in the first three quarters of the year – that up 280 percent when compared to the whole of 2017, it says.

Based on data from Pitchbook, the report indicates that number of deals also nearly doubled this year.

Alongside the increase in VC deals, the average size of crypto and blockchain investments has increased by over $1 million in 2018. Ten of the largest blockchain and crypto investments in 2018 saw the recipient companies raise more than $1.3 billion in total venture capital. While one of the firms has a native token (DFINITY), the rest represent equity investment, says Diar.

Explaining why it believes VC has seen a sudden spike in popularity among startups seeking funding, Diar says that 70 percent of ICO tokens are now valued lower than during their respective sales. Further, "the majority of tokens have dropped in price by more than 90 percent from their all time highs," it said.

The research company also cites regulation and issues with the ICO projects themselves as further reasons for a drop in popularity of token-based fundraising, saying:

"Non-equity ICOs are not only scrutinized by the regulators but the founders also have very misaligned incentives as there is no contractual obligation to deliver a product – a reality that to date seems to be the case with few launches, and even less adoption."

The amount being raised through ICOs, as well as the number of projects successfully completing token sales, "is now approaching a one year low," according to the report.
12  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-10-03]Coinbase is now considered an $8 billion company on: October 03, 2018, 04:41:46 AM
Coinbase is now considered an $8 billion company

Coinbase is finalizing a deal that would value the company at about $8 billion, a transaction that would make Coinbase one of the highest-valued startups in the U.S. and help further legitimize the entire cryptocurrency industry.

The company is in talks with Tiger Global and its current shareholders for an investment of up to $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Coinbase is expected to add about $250 million in new money to its own coffers, the people said, and as much as $250 million more could go to buying out existing investors, though the exact amount has yet to been determined.

Coinbase is the leading marketplace for the trading of crypto assets, and it makes money on each order. It was valued just last summer at about $1.5 billion, but it was less-than-perfect timing — just before a massive spike in consumer interest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in the last quarter of 2017. The company’s core business has suffered since then with the sell-off in crypto prices this year, people familiar with the matter say, though executives like CEO Brian Armstrong have said they are not focused on momentary peaks and valleys in trading volume and focus instead on “building an open financial system for the world.”

The company, which has disclosed that it is profitable, has been talking with investors for almost all of 2018 about a secondary stock sale that would allow existing investors to cash out without the company neccessarily raising new, fresh money for itself. Inbound interest was so high at one point that the company issued a stern warning to dealmakers to back off from the company and its shareholders.

That secondary sale, though, has moved extremely slowly, and a final deal was never reached. A Coinbase spokeswoman declined to comment.

Tiger Global is a massive New York-based investment firm that gravitates toward these big deals in consumer-facing brands across the world. They have yet to show much interest in cryptocurrencies, however, which despite budding Silicon Valley interest still has room to grow with mainstream investors. The firm declined to comment.

It makes sense that this deal would value the company at about $8 billion: That’s the same price Coinbase tried to value itself at in one of its marquee acquisitions — — earlier this year.

The company in 2018 has been scaling up dramatically as it prepares for a possible IPO. After losing an independent director this summer — David Marcus of Facebook — that IPO investors typically look for to ensure good governance, the company on Tuesday announced that it had added Chris Dodds of the traditional brokerage firm Charles Schwab to its board.
13  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Rust implementation of Cardano on: October 03, 2018, 04:03:21 AM
cardano rust github

Rust implementation of Cardano primitives, helpers, and related applications
Cardano Rust is a modular toolbox of Cardano’s cryptographic primitives, a library of wallet functions and a future alternative Cardano node implementation written in Rust. It can be used by any third-party to build wallet applications and interact with the Cardano blockchain.
14  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Two of Blockchain's Biggest Consortiums Just Joined Forces on: October 02, 2018, 05:06:24 AM

Seismic shifts are happening in the world of enterprise blockchain.

Announced Monday, the Hyperledger Project and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) have agreed to collaborate on bringing common standards to the blockchain space and cross-pollinate a wider open-source community.

This joining of forces is notable as EEA and Hyperledger represent two of the three largest and arguably most influential enterprise blockchain communities, the third being the R3 Corda ecosystem.

If the team-up succeeds in creating common standards between the two platforms, it could sway enterprises previously on the fence to build their blockchains on one or the other, since the risk of creating new silos that don't talk to other systems is being addressed.

As EEA executive director Ron Resnick told CoinDesk:

"The enterprises of the world are going to want to purchase solutions where they have a choice of multiple vendors."

Further, for Hyperledger's 200 member organizations, there is now the promise of interacting with tokens and smart contracts on the ethereum public chain.

Stepping back, Hyperledger was founded as an umbrella organization – cast in the image of the Linux Foundation – for open source blockchain development, comprising a number of protocols designed specifically for enterprises. Meanwhile, the 500-member EEA is a standards organization looking to build private or permissioned businesses applications on the foundations of the public ethereum blockchain.

But over time, there has been growing support for ethereum within Hyperledger. Formalizing that convergence, the new alliance "will enable Hyperledger developers to write code that conforms to the EEA specification and certify them through EEA certification testing programs expected to launch in the second half of 2019," the organizations said in a blog post published Monday.

Brian Behlendorf, Hyperledger's executive director, told CoinDesk that the EEA's work on standards and attempt to align a whole universe of different vendors into a common enterprise picture is very complementary to Hyperledger.

"It's a two-way street. There's not a lot of groups effectively doing standards in the blockchain space today and EEA has a head start there. What can we contribute to that momentum?" said Behlendorf.

He said both groups can now work on a reference implementation (a software standard from which all other implementations and corresponding customizations are derived). "We think that doing that as a project or a lab at Hyperledger would be interesting," he said.

Building bridges
Illustrating how the Hyperledger community had already been moving in an ethereum-friendly direction: earlier this year Sawtooth (a codebase contributed to Hyperledger by Intel) added support for the ethereum virtual machine (EVM) as a transaction processor. This made it possible to bring smart contracts developed for the public ethereum blockchain over to Sawtooth-based networks.

That effort, dubbed "Seth," is now in active use, and gathering some momentum. Sawtooth proponent Dan Middleton was recently elected chairman of Hyperledger's technical steering committee and Seth awaits "conformance testing to the EEA specification as soon as possible," according to the joint statement by Hyperledger and EEA.

Meanwhile, EVM work is also now underway with Fabric, arguably Hyperledger's flagship protocol.

This work, which will start to really come to the fore in Fabric 1.3, aims to allow users to run ethereum smart contracts and also be able to have ERC-20 and ERC-721 (the standards that gave rise to ICOs and CryptoKitties, respectively) as the token model on Fabric, as currently is the case on Sawtooth.

Behlendorf said he keeps an open mind about how these architectures might evolve. "I think in the long term the benefits of one accrue to the other," he said in reference to Sawtooth and Fabric. "Whether that means they and other frameworks will merge together or specialize, it's still an open book."

Working on common standards and building bridges between communities would seem to pave the way to some future state of interoperability – an often talked-of ideal in the blockchain world.

"I do think that interoperability between ledgers will happen at a much higher level in the stack than most people expect," explained Behlendorf. In other words, building common standards and data formats, rather than monkeying with complex consensus protocols, will link use cases in a multi-chain universe.

As well as the working with the EVM, Hyperledger developers also want to keep a close eye on decisions being taken within the ethereum community around using WebAssembly, a coding standard for web pages, to potentially make the next generation of the public blockchain protocol more JavaScript-orientated.

"We are tracking this very closely in Burrow [a third Hyperledger implementation] and in Sawtooth and would like to be there as soon as they make that call," said Behlendorf.
15  Economy / Economics / China moves further towards cashless society on: October 02, 2018, 04:31:34 AM
South China Morning Post

An argument between staff at a cashless supermarket in northern China and an elderly man who did not know how to use his smartphone to buy a bunch of grapes has revived calls for help for those left behind in the digital economy.

The 67-year-old man, identified only by his surname Xie, tried to use cash to buy the fruit at a supermarket in Jixi, Heilongjiang province, on Sunday, video news site Pear Video reported.

Checkout workers rejected the money and insisted that he use his phone to pay via either WeChat Pay or Alipay, prompting the argument, according to the video.

Alipay is owned by Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post.

“I’ll leave if you don’t take the cash,” Xie said in the clip.

“Well, leave if you can,” the cashier replied.

As China goes increasingly cashless, PBOC says cash payment is still alive
Xie took the grapes and approached the door but was stopped by security guards.

“I know it’s not right to leave without paying,” Xie said. “But I have real yuan in my hands. It’s not fake money. Why are you humiliating this old man for not knowing how to use WeChat?”

A security guard later helped Xie process the payment with cash, the report said.
16  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-10-02]From Farm to Blockchain: Walmart Tracks Its Lettuce on: October 02, 2018, 04:02:05 AM
New York Times
The giant retailer will begin requiring lettuce and spinach suppliers to contribute to a blockchain database that can rapidly pinpoint contamination.

When dozens of people across the country got sick from eating contaminated romaine lettuce this spring, Walmart did what many grocers would do: It cleared every shred off its shelves, just to be safe.

Walmart says it now has a better system for pinpointing which batches of leafy green vegetables might be contaminated. After a two-year pilot project, the retailer announced on Monday that it would be using a blockchain, the type of database technology behind Bitcoin, to keep track of every bag of spinach and head of lettuce.

By this time next year, more than 100 farms that supply Walmart with leafy green vegetables will be required to input detailed information about their food into a blockchain database developed by I.B.M. for Walmart and several other retailers exploring similar moves.

The burgeoning blockchain industry has generated a great deal of buzz, investment and experimentation. Central banks are exploring whether it would be good for tracking money flows. Eastman Kodak has explored a blockchain platform that could help photographers manage their collections and record ownership of their work, while a group of reporters and investors are using the technology to start a series of news publications.

But essentially the only real-world uses have come from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which use their own blockchains to store transactions. Walmart is now trying to bring blockchain into the lexicon of everyday consumers.

“It is the first real instance of doing this at scale,” said Brigid McDermott, vice president of I.B.M. Blockchain.
17  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / "Purpose: ProveFunds" bip-0322 on: October 02, 2018, 12:41:07 AM
There has been a BIP ( made regarding a generic message signing format. Such a format would be able to be used for segwit, non-segwit, and any future changes. It is still being actively discussed however, so it probably won't go into Core or any other wallet software anytime soon.

Purpose: ProveFunds
The "ProveFunds" purpose generates a sighash and a scriptPubKey from a transaction, an output index, and a message. For multiple simultaneous proofs, it also requires access to the ordered list of proofs. It emits a VALID verification result code unless otherwise stated.

Let txid be the transaction ID of the transaction, and vout be the output index corresponding to the index of the output being spent
Return INVALID if the txid:vout pair already exists in `inputs` set, otherwise insert it
Return SPENT if the txid/vout is not a valid UTXO according to a Bitcoin node[3]
Extract scriptPubKey from transaction output
Define the message pre-image as the concatenation of the following components:[4]
the string "POF:"
the message, encoded in UTF-8 using Normalization Form Compatibility Decomposition (NFKD), including the null terminating character (i.e. write strlen(message) + 1 bytes, for a C string)
all transactions being proven for, as binary txid (little endian uint256) followed by index (little endian uint32), each separated by a single `0x00` byte
Let sighash = sha256(sha256(scriptPubKey || pre-image)

Would this function be for exchanges and large funds? I found it rather confusing. Could it serve to prove the funds that my account in the exchange says to have?

Would it be useful in a possible negotiation where I could prove that gathered several wallets, I would have funds to buy certain asset without the need to show all my public addresses?
18  Bitcoin / Press / [2019-09-28] Coinbase funded startup, launches protocol for shorting crypto on: September 28, 2018, 07:13:59 PM
Compound, the Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz funded startup, launches its money market protocol for shorting cryptocurrencies or lending them to earn interest

Think Ethereum and other crypto coins are overvalued? Now you can make money when their prices fall via Compound, which is launching its money market protocol for shorting cryptocurrencies today. The Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz-funded startup today opens its simple web interface allowing users to borrow and short Ethereum, 0x’s ZRX, Brave’s BAT, and Augur’s REP token, or lend them through Compound to earn interest.

Compound’s protocol isn’t just useful for crypto haters, or HODLers who want to generate interest instead of just having their coins gathering dust in a wallet.  “If/when Compound scales, this will lead to some really interesting improvements in market structure, namely, fairer prices” Compound CEO Robert Leshner tells me.

The startup spent the summer completing a security audit by Trail Of Bits and adding 26 hedge fund partners who will trade with Compound, offering liquidity to independent investors looking to be matched with borrowers or lenders. Next, the startup wants to offer a stablecoin on its protocol, bring in big financial institutions to add even more liquidity, and partner with a wallet provider to make signup faster.
19  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-09-27] Coinbase Bundle, market-weighted 5 cryptocurrencies for $25 on: September 28, 2018, 02:39:05 AM
Coinbase adds Coinbase Bundle, a new offering that lets users buy a market-weighted sampling of its 5 available cryptocurrencies, for as little as $25

Coinbase  is shaking things up quite a bit lately and its latest tools are geared toward cryptocurrency traders just getting their toes wet.

On Thursday, the company announced that it would add a feature called Coinbase Bundle. The new offering lets users purchase a market-weighted sampling of Coinbase’s five available cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic. The idea is that a bundle of coins offers users a starter pack for cryptocurrency trading on the platform with stakes of their choosing. In reality, until Coinbase adds more coins, it’s not exactly a diversified portfolio so much as a slightly counterbalanced selection of Coinbase’s current limited offerings.

In June, Coinbase introduced index funds targeted toward institutional investors in the U.S. While those funds required an investment between $250,000 and $20 million, Coinbase Bundle is geared toward the casual individual investor with bundles that start at $25. For beginning traders that prefer to follow rather than beat the market, betting on broad growth over time, a product like Coinbase Bundle makes sense. Or rather it will when Coinbase adds a lot more coins.

Users who buy a Coinbase Bundle can expect to see the funds appear in their wallet like normal. There, the funds will behave like separate assets that can be sold and sent elsewhere.

Beyond bundles, Coinbase is also launching a few educational cryptocurrency tools geared toward anyone still learning the ropes. The first of those tools is Coinbase Asset Pages, the company’s own CoinMarketCap-like database where anyone can view details about the top 50 coins by market cap, whether they’re listed by Coinbase or not.

Like other resources, Coinbase’s new tool will provide “historic trading data, current market cap, a description of the cryptocurrency, and links to relevant white papers and project websites.” Unlike other resources, Coinbase artificially lists its own offerings at the top rather than depicting those coins where they actually fall in terms of market cap.

Coinbase is also launching a dedicated learning hub on its site where new users can browse topics like “What is blockchain?” and “Where do cryptocurrencies get their value?” — in many cases, a good question. Given Coinbase’s appeal to brand-new users, it’s kind of surprising that this didn’t already exist. Particularly that it wasn’t implemented late last year when many wide-eyed investors bought it at all-time highs and were handed big losses in the months to come.

After mainstream interest in digital currencies cooled from the fever-dream highs of late 2017, making Coinbase’s famously user-friendly entry point into the cryptocurrency world even more approachable for first-time buyers, if many remain, can’t hurt. The company is also clearly readying for its plan to list coins well beyond its current limited offerings, a transformation that will see the platform evolve from its historical identity as a blue chip stock shop to something more akin to digital currency’s attractive, well-lit corner store.

Coinbase’s new top 50 asset pages and learning hub are live now. Coinbase Bundles, limited to the U.S. and Europe, will start showing up for users today, and the rollout will continue through the next few weeks.
20  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / 30 percent of tokens nowhere to be found on cryptocurrency exchanges on: September 27, 2018, 04:38:05 AM

A large number of ICOs have a reputation of worthless projects which do not have anything apart from a whitepaper. According to a new report by Diar, it is perfectly reflected in their price as tokens struggle to keep their initial price, while 30 percent of ICOs are not listed on a single exchange.   
Going underwater
According to the abovementioned report, 70 percent of crypto tokens that didn’t make it to the top 100 currencies on CoinMarketCap fail to meet investors’ expectations, plunging below their initial value. At the same time, more than 30 percent of ICOs that were launched in 2017-2018 are not listed on any cryptocurrency exchange. Some developers behind these unlisted tokens even failed to provide the information about the distribution of token supply while raking in over $1 bln. Among these tokens, which have almost zero liquidly, there are some big-name projects in the likes of Bancor that raised a whopping $150 mln this February.     

As U.Today has already reported, over 800 ICOs have already gone bust in just 18 months. Meanwhile, it is widely speculated that the dwindling interest in ICOs is inextricably connected to the plunging Ethereum price.
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