Dogecoin hard fork to be launched in 2018

Price of DOGX tokens may become even higher when full power of smart contracts will be unleashed,” states the post. According to BitcoinTalk, smart-contract integration with Dogecoin platform will make the coin more functional in real life. Original coin holders will get one new token for each unit on …

Created in 2014 as joke cryptocurrency, Dogecoin has gained traction among cryptocurrency users. Today, with nearly $740 million in capitalisation it ranks 33rd among major cryptocurrencies. By the end of the year a group of developers plans to introduce a Dogecoin hard fork, called Dogethereum (DOGX).

On February 5, developers from Dogethereum Bridge project successfully put DOGE through Ethereum Rinkeby test network, which helps to solve the scalability issue of the second key cryptocurrency. Dogecoin hard fork developers later talked about the new project on BitcoinTalk forum:

“Dogethereum is new decentralized digital currency, it will be founded on snapshot of popular Dogecoin, based on ETH algorithm with fastest speed of transactions, smart contracts.”

The ICO is not being considered, and the coin can be mined using plain graphics processors, being a “free for all” undertaking.

“There are no any ICOs, premines or other manipulations… there are no extra commissions, fees or predefined stakes. Project starts free for all, easy for initial GPU mining and making good profits. Price of DOGX tokens may become even higher when full power of smart contracts will be unleashed,” states the post.

According to BitcoinTalk, smart-contract integration with Dogecoin platform will make the coin more functional in real life. Original coin holders will get one new token for each unit on hands. The distribution procedure will be announced later.

Crypto markets stuck in regulatory limbo face push out of business

Legislation enacted in April lets companies that have applied for approval continue running cryptocurrency exchanges on a provisional basis while they await a decision. Coincheck, which saw some 58 billion yen ($538 million) of the virtual currency NEM stolen Jan. 26, is one such provisional operator.

TOKYO — Japan’s Financial Services Agency will consider urging unregistered virtual currency exchange operators to withdraw their applications for approval if the regulator finds fault with their internal controls and information security measures.

This approach, aimed at encouraging tighter security and restoring users’ trust, comes in the wake of last month’s massive heist at operator Coincheck.

Legislation enacted in April lets companies that have applied for approval continue running cryptocurrency exchanges on a provisional basis while they await a decision. Coincheck, which saw some 58 billion yen ($538 million) of the virtual currency NEM stolen Jan. 26, is one such provisional operator.

The FSA previously treated operators awaiting approval the same as registered ones, saying that both were under legal oversight. But this window now appears to be closing.

Minister of Finance Taro Aso told reporters Friday that exchange operators awaiting approval would undergo on-site inspections. As of Wednesday, five such businesses had been probed. Aso warned investors to “bear in mind that provisional operators are still in the application process.”

After the Coincheck theft, the FSA decided to investigate the 15 other applicants, on concerns that Coincheck was “just the tip of the iceberg,” in the words of one agency official.

Forty companies had applied to run virtual currency exchanges as of September, when the FSA announced the first round of approvals. Since then, 14 have successfully registered. Of the remaining 26, 10 have closed down, leaving 16 operating while in limbo.

Starting this month, the FSA has informed multiple applicants that based on the results of inspections and monitoring, they have no hope of approval unless they drastically improve their operations. The agency is also working to identify operators that experience repeated system trouble or fail to ring-fence customer assets.

This is not to say that no exchange operators stuck in provisional status will eventually meet the criteria for registration. But some may choose to withdraw from the sector if the time and cost hurdles to qualification prove too daunting.

The law imposes no time limit on the application review, creating a gap that the agency has now moved to fill using its authority to perform on-site inspections.

The sector itself is moving to prod operators out of the limbo state. Two cryptocurrency industry groups — the Japan Blockchain Association and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association — are poised to agree to form a self-regulatory body, scheduled to launch in April, and only registered exchange operators will be allowed to become members. That decision “likely sends a message to hurry and get registered if you want to stay in business,” according to an FSA official.

The FSA and the industry are at last making similar noises about using the registration system as a badge of reliability to assure customers. But even registered cryptocurrency businesses face problems. One approved operator, the Osaka-based Tech Bureau, encountered a glitch this month in which virtual currencies were sold for free. System troubles have cropped up at big exchanges bitFlyer and Bitbank as well.

Nikkei group company QUICK holds an equity stake in bitFlyer.

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Ripple moves towards decentralisation to bolster security

“The end state will be a network with a varied set of validators, operated by multiple entities from different locations, all sharing one common goal: the long term health and stability of the XRP Ledger,” said the Ripple announcement. “Maintaining our momentum towards further decentralization is critical …
Andrew Munro22 February 2018

Greater decentralisation and the release of “the Ripple Papers” are both responses to market needs.

Ripple says it’s moving towards decentralisation of its network through protocol updates. This preliminary strategy was first announced in May 2017, and crystalised around a two step plan in October. The first step is already underway. It involves technical and infrastructure updates to lay the groundwork for a more decentralised network.

Specifically the publishing of a Unique Node List (UNL), which lays out the different nodes on the Ripple network. If a node isn’t on this list, it’s not considered legitimate.

Phase two will be commencing soon. This involves managed decentralisation, in the form of adding independent validators to the network. For every two independent validators added in the UNL, one Ripple-operated validator will be removed. This should have the effect of creating a much more diverse and resilient Ripple network.



What do validators and nodes do?

Nodes on a blockchain network are the systems that manage its security and process transactions. They’re essentially the backbone of a blockchain network.

Validators are the consensus network. Their job is to independently, and automatically, keep their own ledger of transactions.

But if one party has too much control of the validator network, they might be able to take control of the network and all the cryptocurrency in it. This is why decentralisation is important. It reduces the chance of this happening.

“The end state will be a network with a varied set of validators, operated by multiple entities from different locations, all sharing one common goal: the long term health and stability of the XRP Ledger,” said the Ripple announcement. “Maintaining our momentum towards further decentralization is critical for XRP Ledger to reach its full potential.”


The Ripple papers

This move is also accompanied by the release of peer-reviewed academic papers. Developers for other blockchain systems, such as bitcoin and Ethereum, have frequently released these in an effort to document their tests and forward understanding of the field as a whole, but as a business Ripple hasn’t dipped its toes into these waters before.

The two papers are each related to one of the upgrade phases. The first is Analysis of the XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol, which provides formal mathematical proof of ongoing efficacy of the Ripple network.

The second is Cobalt: BFT Governance in Open Networks, which described the phase two efforts to implement a more diverse range of validators to improve network security.

“This is the first time we’re releasing peer-reviewed academic papers. Obviously, it opens the door for future research. After this, I expect you’ll hear much more about us interacting with academia,” said Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas to CoinDesk.

A matter of security

One of the main goals of these decentralising efforts is network security. Centralisation can take various forms, and many cryptocurrencies have different reasons to oppose specific types of centralisation.

In Ripple’s case, it’s specifically pursuing greater decentralisation of validators in order to better secure the network against outside attack.

“What we’re trying to do here is add some defenses against some unlikely attack scenarios. Basically, it says you can’t completely manipulate the entire network,” Thomas explained.

Even without these systems you’d still need a lot of resources to disrupt the existing Ripple network, with Thomas saying the attacks would only be viable when carried out by a state actor, rather than an individual or smaller organisation. It might have sounded a bit paranoid a few years ago, but as cryptocurrencies move into the mainstream, and Ripple is taken up by national central banks, it might be a critical part of development.

As CoinDesk said, these changes are Ripple responding to market needs. Decentralisation in the form of validator diversity, and transparency in the form of the Ripple papers, might both be necessary steps for Ripple to grow.

As an added bonus, it might also help give regulators around the world more clarity and unity on Ripple’s exact capabilities, which may help pave the way to quicker adoption of XRP as a settlement system.


This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators’ websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Latest cryptocurrency news

Picture: Shutterstock

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, XRB, SALT, BTC

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Radium (RADS) Price Tops $5.74 on Major Exchanges

Radium can be bought or sold on these cryptocurrency exchanges: LiteBit.eu, Poloniex and Bittrex. It is not currently possible to buy Radium directly using U.S. dollars. Investors seeking to acquire Radium must first buy Bitcoin or Ethereum using an exchange that deals in U.S. dollars such as Changelly, …

Radium logoRadium (CURRENCY:RADS) traded down 12.6% against the U.S. dollar during the twenty-four hour period ending at 19:00 PM E.T. on February 14th. During the last week, Radium has traded 6.6% lower against the U.S. dollar. One Radium coin can now be bought for approximately $5.74 or 0.00055211 BTC on popular cryptocurrency exchanges including Poloniex, LiteBit.eu and Bittrex. Radium has a market cap of $19.83 million and $171,196.00 worth of Radium was traded on exchanges in the last day.

Here is how similar cryptocurrencies have performed during the last day:

  • Qtum (QTUM) traded 8.1% lower against the dollar and now trades at $28.28 or 0.00272088 BTC.
  • BitBay (BAY) traded up 2.4% against the dollar and now trades at $0.0661 or 0.00000636 BTC.
  • BlackCoin (BLK) traded down 8.1% against the dollar and now trades at $0.34 or 0.00003234 BTC.
  • Rubycoin (RBY) traded down 8.1% against the dollar and now trades at $0.77 or 0.00007378 BTC.
  • Global Currency Reserve (GCR) traded down 2.2% against the dollar and now trades at $0.13 or 0.00001208 BTC.
  • NuShares (NSR) traded 32.4% lower against the dollar and now trades at $0.0030 or 0.00000029 BTC.
  • Atmos (ATMS) traded 2.1% lower against the dollar and now trades at $0.0679 or 0.00000653 BTC.
  • CybCSec (XCS) traded flat against the dollar and now trades at $0.0024 or 0.00000031 BTC.

Radium Profile

Radium (RADS) is a proof-of-stake (PoS) coin that uses the Proof of Stake hashing algorithm. It was first traded on May 25th, 2015. Radium’s total supply is 3,456,232 coins. The official message board for Radium is blog.radiumcore.org. The official website for Radium is radiumcore.org. Radium’s official Twitter account is @JJ12880.

According to CryptoCompare, “Radium is the new look and function of xRadon – the original base of Project Radon. The goal of Project Radon is to deliver a variety of 100% decentralized services using the blockchain. Radium is the base blockchain, upon which all current services are built. Radium blockchian services are accessed through the Radium SmartChain. The SmartChain expands the utility of Radium far beyond that of a standard coin, with features such as Username-Address linkage and Proof-Of-Existences all 100% distributed within the blockchain. See the Radium SmartChain thread here for full list of functions and development goals. Coin added by @chopcoin Team “

Buying and Selling Radium

Radium can be bought or sold on these cryptocurrency exchanges: LiteBit.eu, Poloniex and Bittrex. It is not currently possible to buy Radium directly using U.S. dollars. Investors seeking to acquire Radium must first buy Bitcoin or Ethereum using an exchange that deals in U.S. dollars such as Changelly, Gemini or Coinbase. Investors can then use their newly-acquired Bitcoin or Ethereum to buy Radium using one of the exchanges listed above.

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What do people think of Bitcoin?

Since Bitcoins‘ meteoric rise to above $10,000/BTC last year, plenty of opinions about the cryptocurrencies, and others like it, permeated into mainstream economic discussion. These opinions range from cautious enthusiasm, to abject opposition. With the increased interest in regulating private …

Since Bitcoins’ meteoric rise to above $10,000/BTC last year, plenty of opinions about the cryptocurrencies, and others like it, permeated into mainstream economic discussion. These opinions range from cautious enthusiasm, to abject opposition. With the increased interest in regulating private currencies, these opinions and the people who hold them are bound to make an impact on these markets.

For the most part, West Virginia’s policymakers are in clear opposition. Even in 2014, before the rise in price, Sen. Joe Manchin wrote a letter to federal regulators, such as Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, calling for the total ban of bitcoin, according to a press release from the senator. Last year, the state legislature, at Manchin’s urging, passed stricter money-laundering legislation specifically mentioning cryptocurrency.

The sentiment channeled by Manchin is largely paternalistic, geared at protecting people from the instability of the currency or the illicit activities often associated with it.

In his letter, Manchin stated, “This virtual currency is currently unregulated and has allowed users to participate in illicit activity, while also being highly unstable and disruptive to our economy.”

The argument that cryptocurrency is destructive to the economy is fairly weak. Cryptocurrencies simply don’t have the scale to make much impact across the economy, even now. What Manchin likely means is that some people may speculate on bitcoin and suffer from losses. Of course, anyone who did speculate on bitcoin in 2014 is probably doing very well right now.

Although Manchin’s letter was largely considered for show, West Virginia’s electorate loves paternalistic government — as any speech from Gov. Jim Justice will show — there are economists with similar beliefs. Most notably Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who called for banning bitcoin.

“It’s a bubble that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of exciting times as it rides up and then goes down,” Stiglitz said on Bloomberg.

The other perspective on cryptocurrency, which is arguably the broader school, sees it as a promising experiment that should be allowed to continue. These economists wouldn’t tell you cryptocurrency is a great investment, but they’re not convinced they must ban you from taking the risk.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), stated it is not the job of the ECB to regulate bitcoin, according to Reuters. Other economists cited the promise of the blockchain technology, which is the bedrock of how cryptocurrency works, to make finance more secure.

There has even been some talk of central banks or international institutions establishing their own forms of cryptocurrency. According to CNBC, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not ruled out the possibility of using crypto-technology — noting the Special Drawing Right, a financial asset created by the IMF that could potential incorporate the technology.

Many activists will even point back to statements made by Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman (who revolutionized monetary economics), discussing how the internet could change currency in a very similar way that cryptocurrency does, well before bitcoin launched.

The cautious optimists seem likely to take the day in this case. Not only is it just not possible to shutdown cryptocurrencies, but people will not take well to being told they are being protected from a risky investment when it is their own money to risk.

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