Binance hack: CZ gives latest security updates, Bitfinex announces Blockstream Liquid Network …

Crypto News – 10 May – Binance hack: CZ gives latest security updates, Bitfinex announces integration of Blockstream Liquid Network and more.

Crypto News – 10 May – Binance hack: CZ gives latest security updates, Bitfinex announces integration of Blockstream Liquid Network and more

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Crypto News – 10 May

Basic Attention Token spikes: Popular crypto, BAT, surged by 23% over the past 24 hours, to gain back the loss in value it had incurred during the fall yesterday


Tron releases DApp report: Tron Foundation’s DApp report had more good news for the ecosystem after it revealed that smart contracts and 24 hour trading volume had risen significantly


Riccardo Spagni on Craig Wright: Monero’s lead developer joined the debate against Craig Wright after he shared the un-blocked version of an article written by Jameson Lopp, which was critical of Wright


FinCEN on crypto-regulations: In a recent development, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [FinCEN] published a thirty-page document guiding financial institutions to comply with current regulations while interacting with digital assets


Binance Coin nosedives: Following the hack that cost Binance over 7000 BTCs, the price of BNB fell dramatically, falling by 6% in an hour and 18% over a day


John McAfee on Binance hack: Software pioneer, John McAfee, declared his support for the hacked exchange, Binance, offering the use of his ‘wizards’ to fight ‘dark wizards (hackers)’


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Ethereum’s Joseph Lubin: Bitfinex, Tether Situation ‘Probably Won’t Get Better’

As covered, Bitfinex was accused by New York’s Attorney General of participating in a cover-up to hide $850 million in losses. The allegations revived …

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, who’s also the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency-related software company ConsenSys, has recently stated he believes the Bitfinex, Tether situation seems to be a “really big mess” that “probably won’t get better.”

Speaking to Bloomberg at the sidelines of the Fluidity Summit conference in New York, Lubin revealed he thinks some good may come out of it, as other stablecoins may gain traction. He was quoted as saying:

Tether is somewhat important to our ecosystem because it’s used by different institutions to effect more fluid trading. There are other price-stable tokens out there — many others — and I think they’re going to gain traction because of this. I think that will be a really good thing.

As covered, Bitfinex was accused by New York’s Attorney General of participating in a cover-up to hide $850 million in losses. The allegations revived concerns over Tether’s backing, as it was supposed to have 1 USD in reserve for every USDT token in circulation.

Earlier this year the company quietly diluted its reserve claims, and soon after it was revealed that USDT is backed by cash and short-term securities equal to 74% of USDT tokens in circulation. Worryingly, Tether accounted for over 80% of bitcoins’ trading volume as of March of this year.

Bitfinex reportedly lost the $850 million as a third-party payment processor claims the funds were seized by governments throughout the world. To fix the situation it’s set to hold a $1 billion initial exchange offering (IEO) that’s said to already have lined up the $1 billion in commitments.

Regarding concerns Tether’s USDT tokens have been used to manipulate the price of bitcoin – something the US Department of Justice is investigating – Lubin noted that “all prices on the planet are being manipulated.” He added:

Any time that well-resourced actors can get in there and do something, you have to expect them to do that. So we need to build better system.

Lubin added that the “status of things is great,” as last year’s price correction aw the system grow “enormously” as those who were “pulled in by excitement riven by price growth” stayed in the crypto space and have been helping build it.

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How does public blockchain technology work?

The blockchain was initially introduced with Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, a person or group of people who remains anonymous. Although there is no …

Blockchain technology, the base layer that works as the database where crypto transactions live, exists in the realm of DLTs, or distributed ledger technology. Although a blockchain is always a DLT, a DLT may not be a blockchain.

The difference between DLTs and blockchain is based on permissions and roles. While in the first system there can be multiple roles assigned to different users, such as administrator, operator and so on, in a blockchain all users have equal permissions and rights.

Explaining blockchain technology

Blockchain technology is a cryptographically secured distributed ledger run by crypto incentives that allows network nodes to transact in a peer to peer (P2P) decentralised fashion, and to reach consensus on the state of every transaction of the global network chain. Implementing disintermediation can reduce failures inherent to centralised platforms, such as lack of transparency, corruption, coercion, censorship, excessive market power and transaction costs.

The blockchain was initially introduced with Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, a person or group of people who remains anonymous. Although there is no reference to its name on the original Bitcoin whitepaper, the blockchain represents the database where original Bitcoin transactions live.

When practitioners and scholars refer to blockchain in general, they refer to an open governance where everyone can participate in the P2P network and validate transitions, and to the data infrastructure, which is composed of a chain of blocks in a distributed ledger nature (distributed database). In terms of infrastructure, all cryptos present a blockchain infrastructure, like the original Nakamoto idealisation. However in terms of governance openness, post-Bitcoin blockchain cryptos tend to present other degrees of openness. These no longer represent the initial conception of Nakamoto’s Blockchain.

Public blockchain components

A public blockchain is composed of five main technologies:

  1. A public distributed ledger, or database, where information is written through posting transactions. Any user can write to this database by sending or receiving a transaction. Addresses are pseudo-anonymous and all recorded information is linked in multiple blocks, all time-stamped by the creator.
  2. PGP encryption, or pretty-good-privacy, that creates private-public addresses. This technology allows any user to prove they are the owner of a piece of data, without showing their master key (or password). In essence we can show another user we are the owners of an address (an account) without showing our credentials. It gives users much needed privacy to transact independently digitally.
  3. A cryptocurrency, or token, that is associated to all transactions that occur on any given blockchain. Tokens can grant its owners different properties, such as the right to write on that blockchain, voting-rights, income-rights and so on. A token can be a representation of a good, a currency, a collectible, or a digital representation of any asset. Cryptocurrencies are essential as they give an incentive for users to keep the network secure.
  4. Distributed consensus, usually associated to proof-of-work (PoW), or the technology that requires any user who wishes to validate transactions and to keep the network secure, to waste energy by resolving complex computational problems. The incentive is the cryptocurrency reward validators (or miners) receive for keeping the blockchain secure. The idea is that by requesting blockchain validators to keep wasting energy in order to find the solution to the computational problem at hand, usually called hash, we maintain the security of the network by making it hardly impossible for anyone to have more than 51% of the voting power. Thus, consensus remains decentralised.
  5. A permissionless P2P network, in order for users to own their cryptocurrency and not depend on third-parties (like banking infrastructure of traditional payment channels). It allows them to transact freely with one another. P2P is based on the idea users can be the owners of their data, as it gets stored publicly but can only be accessed by the owner who possesses the right key-pair.
DLT Blockchain
Permissionless P2P No Yes
Distributed database Yes Yes
PGP Encryption Yes Yes
Cryptocurrency No Yes
Distributed consensus Yes Yes


Blockchain technology can help build a better web 4.0, however, cryptocurrency enthusiasts should focus on permissionless and public technology, rather than private-blockchain use-cases, simply because the future is being built on top of a permissionless technology.

If we do not make an effort to start promoting increased value-sharing between companies and users, we might be unable to find solutions to many of the data and money ownership issues we have to deal with nowadays.

The post How does public blockchain technology work? appeared first on Coin Rivet.

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Blockchain Research Institute tells stories of transformation on global scale

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) and Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) announced a partnership to support members of both …

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) and Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) announced a partnership to support members of both organizations in their efforts to build a collaborative network of leaders in blockchain technology last September.

BRI Managing Director Hilary Carter spoke at this week’s BiTA Spring Symposium in Atlanta, offering members insight into how the research institute operates.

“To be present at a meeting where organizations, competitors within a single industry, are coming together to create standards is music to my ears, and it is what we have been waiting for for a number of years,” Carter said. “There’s so much skepticism and negativity with the term blockchain, and to see leaders coming together to create new opportunities is fantastic.”

Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of internationally-acclaimed, “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World,” founded BRI in 2017. The organization was founded to investigate blockchain transformations.

The organization has already seen blockchain technology come a long way since its inception.

“To see the evolution of blockchain turning into a team sport is incredibly satisfying. When the institute was founded, it was an incredible struggle to find real use cases,” Carter said. “There were maybe a dozen, and those who were working with the technology were not exactly willing to talk about it for obvious reasons. A lot of the information was proprietary.”

Carter is encouraged by the use cases she has seen popping up across the air and trucking industries more recently.

“What we do is take those stories, if you will, and we publish them to a global audience,” she said. “These are deep insights that can help others understand why this technology is so transformational, what efficiencies it creates and friction it helps overcome.”

When BRI begins to research transformations, the institute’s leaders start out by asking serval critical questions like:

Why blockchain?

How would blockchain technology solve some of the organization’s most pressing problems?

What are the implementation challenges?

What are the opportunities?

What are the regulatory hurdles we have to overcome?

The organization creates reports about blockchain’s impact on transportation, logistics and supply chain management. The reports are meant to help decision makers at various organizations understand the value of investing resources into blockchain technology.

“Our reports are designed to help individuals who are non-technical to better understand the opportunities,” Carter said. “When these things are explained in plain language, it makes everyone’s job a little easier.”

Carter was clear that BRI’s focus goes beyond simply exploring how Fortune 500 companies are using blockchain technology to solve problems.

“It is one thing for an organization to use blockchain technology to solve certain problems,” she said. “It is another thing to understand who the competitor of the future will be and pinpoint the initiatives that are being built today that will radically change the competitive landscape of tomorrow.”

Once blockchain becomes incorporated into an organization’s life, it will reshape it, according to Carter.

She believes blockchain technology, along with disrupting industries and enterprises, will also shake up the firms that implement it. The technology could have the power to change everything, from hiring practices to marketing spend.

At the heart of blockchain is the ability to source problems quickly, respond instantly and reduce waste in the economy. If companies can figure out how to utilize the technology to do just that, their reshaping may just be inevitable.

“We believe that blockchain plays an important role in the fourth industrial revolution,” Carter said. “It will be the underlying platform that underpins all the other technologies.”

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What is Ethereum’s ProgPoW and how is it impacting miners?

The Ethereum ProgPoW could split the Ethereum community down the middle and have significant consequences on the network’s evolution. The new …

The Ethereum ProgPoW could split the Ethereum community down the middle and have significant consequences on the network’s evolution. The new Programmatic Proof-of-Work mining algorithm was agreed on by Ethereum miners and coin owners through an online processing vote. However, now that it is entering an “audit” phase, many parties are debating the wisdom of their decision.

Could the Ethereum ProgPoW force another hard fork in 2019? It’s still too early to make predictions. However, more and more voices are talking about a split – whether the developers implement the new algorithm or not.

What is the Ethereum ProgPoW?

Programmatic Proof-of-Work is nothing more than an extension of the Ethereum algorithm Ethash. The upgrade is meant to help graphics cards become more competitive against ASICs. This way, miners can fight back against centralisation on the blockchain.

Sole miners who don’t have the resources to invest in expensive equipment can still have a chance of making profits from mining.

Why is the Ethereum ProgPoW important?

Since Ethereum was designed as a decentralised network, miners could use their GPUs to validate transactions and add new blocks to the chain.

But when tech companies started producing ASICs (which are more powerful than graphics cards and consume less energy), making profits using GPUs became a lot harder.

An ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is specially designed to do one thing only – solve hashing problems and generate new coins.

The new equipment left GPU miners substantially out of pocket. Many of them, in fact, are still struggling to recover their initial investment.

This situation is leading to a loss of interest in maintaining network operations for Ethereum. Miners are moving to other blockchains where they have higher chances of getting rewards.

The domination of ASICs leads to a concentration of power in the hands of a limited number of users who own the right equipment. Decentralisation is therefore at risk. A handful of people could potentially gain control of 51% of the network. That would be enough to manipulate the entire blockchain.

The Ethereum ProgPoW consensus algorithm doesn’t eliminate ASICs. Instead, it brings some balance back to the equation by making them less effective than GPUs. The ProgPoW also aims to prevent a monopoly among equipment manufacturers by reducing the influence of ASIC users on the blockchain.

The principle behind this extension is quite simple. The algorithm uses all components of GPUs to their full extent while changing the problem in mining regularly.

By creating these random sequences of problems, the network requires more flexibility – a characteristic that ASICs don’t have for now. GPUs adapt faster to changes, making them more competitive against ASICs.

An unnecessary diversion from the Proof-of-Stake move?

The problem with ASICs’ domination is not new. The crypto community is split between people who see ASICs as a threat to decentralisation and those who have the resources to invest in expensive equipment to gain higher rewards.

Ethereum is already an “ASIC-resistant” network. And it’s not the first blockchain that would see a hard fork occur as an attempt to render ASICs unprofitable.

However, the adoption of the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm is the most effective way of countering ASICs’ domination once and for all. This is why Ethereum developers have been planning a switch to Proof-of-Stake for almost four years.

In this light, the Ethereum ProgPoW seems like an unnecessary diversion since it won’t have significant long-term effects on the network anyway. It’s just a matter of time before tech companies develop new ASICs for mining with Ethereum’s ProgPoW.

What about the audit?

The audit for the Ethereum ProgPoW has raised more controversy in the crypto ecosystem. Miners and coin owners who have already voted for the Programmatic Proof-of-Work algorithm are feeling undermined.

The audit performed by Least Authority (an independent German security consultant) is supposed to buy more time before integrating the extension.

However, there is increasing pressure from influential community members that have spoken against ProgPoW more than once. The audit of the code seems to be just one way in which developers are trying to deal with the criticism.

How the Ethereum ProgPoW could impact miners

Miners are essential for maintaining the blockchain, but loyalty alone doesn’t pay the bills. So, unless mining on Ethereum brings in a profit, many miners will look for more advantageous blockchains.

According to developers, the ProgPoW should balance forces on the network and encourage decentralisation. Miners will have more chances of making profits regardless of their equipment. This should be enough to motivate them to maintain network operations.

On the other hand, ASICs have their benefits, as they have higher hash power per unit of electricity and are more secure. Moreover, many community members don’t see this equipment as a real threat to decentralisation. It would likely take hundreds (or even thousands of ASICs) to control 51% of the Ethereum blockchain.

So how will things end up for Ethereum and its controversial ProgPoW? Will we have another major hard fork in 2019? It’s still too early to make predictions, but like anything in crypto, all bets are off.

The post What is Ethereum’s ProgPoW and how is it impacting miners? appeared first on Coin Rivet.

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