Tether set to overtake Bitcoin in another important metric

https://decrypt.co/36328/tether-set-to-overtake-bitcoin-in-another-important-metric

More money is going to be sent using the Tether cryptocurrency than Bitcoin within a few months, if the current trend continues. If this happens, it will be another metric where Tether has outgrown Bitcoin, the original digital currency.

Tether is a centralized, fiat-backed stablecoin that has exploded in popularity in recent years and has solidified its position as the third biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization

Playing Top Trumps with Bitcoin

According to data from Messari, the average daily transaction value of Tether has closed in on Bitcoin’s. The chart below shows its recent rise, and Bitcoin’s dropping statistics.

More value is moving on Tether
Tether is closing in on Bitcoin in another key metric. Image: Messari.

Since early March, the amount of value sent using Tether has been steadily increasing, often in line with surges for Bitcoin. Now the gap between them is less than $100 million.

Stablecoins as a whole, have already surpassed the average daily value on Bitcoin, according to Bloomberg. This happened for the first time on June 29 after $2 billion in value was sent in a day—compared to Bitcoin’s $1.9 billion.

They’re not alone. More value is now being transferred over Ethereum than on Bitcoin.

More value is sent on Ethereum
More value is sent over Ethereum than on Bitcoin. Image: Messari.

But, despite these statistics, Bitcoin is still the dominant coin by market cap. With a value of $172 billion, Bitcoin continues to have a strong hold over the market. Bitcoin’s share of the market sits at 62%, greater than the rest of the market combined.

Tether’s market cap is growing too. “USDt’s total market capitalization has mushroomed fivefold from about US$2 billion in February 2019 to reach US$10 billion,” said a Tether spokesperson in an email.

While Tether’s market cap seems a long way off Bitcoin’s, it is unfair to compare market caps of a stablecoin to a coin that can reach any value. This is because market cap is the coin’s value multiplied by the number of coins, and if it’s value is fixed, that keeps its market cap down.

Why Tether is the real king of crypto

That’s why it’s important to look at other metrics to compare the two coins. If Tether overtakes Bitcoin in average daily transaction value, this will be another feather in its cap. It already outmatches Bitcoin in terms of daily trading volume, with $20 billion of volume in the last 24 hours, compared to Bitcoin’s $16 billion.

Tether Jumps to $10 Billion Market Capitalization

https://cointelegraph.com/news/tether-jumps-to-10-billion-market-capitalization

Tether has reached $10 billion in market capitalization as growth in 2020 picked up.

Tether (USDT) has reached a market capitalization of more than $10 billion as of July 22.

The milestone was announced by Tether and also seen through the market price aggregator CoinGecko.

Tether’s issuance has seen a significant growth in 2020, doubling from $5 billion in just five months since March 2020.

Cointelegraph previously reported that a relevant portion of this growth comes from existing fiat on exchanges being transformed into USDT. 

Tether and Bitfinex CTO, Paolo Ardoino, recapped some of Tether’s achievements during its growth.

Tether transfers currently account for a majority of transactions and value on many of the chains where it is available. As Cointelegraph reported previously, it is one of the largest gas consumers on Ethereum with over $6 billion USDT existing as an ERC-20 token.

The next largest Tether host is Tron, holding over $2.8 billion USDT — more than 2.5 times the market capitalization of TRX. The original Bitcoin (BTC)-based USDT on Omni comes third, with $1.3 billion according to Tether’s transparency page. Other protocols like EOS, Algorand and Liquid seem to be less popular, with the largest presence being on Liquid at just $17 million.

Ardoino also noted that Tether invests in startups and scaling solutions that share its “values and vision.” Notably, it is funding RGB, a protocol to bring tokenized assets to the Lightning Network.

Upcoming competition with central bank digital currencies

Tether is currently the leading non-governmental stablecoin as its crypto competitors continue lagging behind under most metrics.

A potential threat to its dominance could come from central bank digital currencies, which would be issued by government-backed institutions to replace the existing fiat system.

However, Cointelegraph previously reported that the company sees CBDCs and Tether coexisting, citing Tether’s multi-platform nature. Some other experts agree, noting that the two types of stablecoins are likely to have different purposes.

Some also point to the extreme level of government surveillance expected on CBDCs, seeing crypto-native alternatives as a way of evading prying eyes. However, it is worth noting that Tether, like other centrally-issued stablecoins, has a freeze feature that can be activated upon the request of law enforcement.

mStable Unveils MTA Yield Farming for mUSD Balancer Liquidity

https://defirate.com/mta-yield-farming/

mStable – a rising stablecoin aggregator – has unveiled their plans for their MTA governance token distribution starting with mUSD liquidity incentives.

With a focus on making stablecoins easy, safe and profitable, mStable aggregates leading stablecoins to collateralize a native token mUSD. Now, while there’s a lot of different stablecoins being touted here, what you need to know is that mStable addresses the following:

  • Fragmentation in same-peg assets
  • Lack of native yield as demand spikes
  • Protection against permanent capital loss

With mStable, users can trade between top stablecoins like DAI and USDC with minimal slippage while also collateralizing mUSD. The protocol is designed in such a way that should one stablecoin shit the bed, the rest of the pool (and those providing capital to it) do not go down with the ship. Now, with the recent surge around stablecoin volume thanks to the yield farming saga, mStable APY’s have skyrocketed in just under a month since launch.

Introducing MTA

As if double-digit APYs on a stable asset wasn’t enough to get you excited, today’s release of the Meta protocol token – MTA – is sure to do the trick. As a native governance token, MTA will be used to influence parameters like supported assets, protocol fees, and swap rates thanks to key actors called Meta Governers. In addition to the typical governance spiel, MTA also acts as a line of defense against capital loss. In exchange for these services, MTA stakers earn protocol fees.

The distribution of MTA will be skewed in favor of those providing asset liquidity and utility as follows:

Today – this distribution begins through the introduction of MTA liquidity mining.

MTA Ecosystem Rewards

Those who contribute liquidity to the mUSD/USDC Balancer pool will be eligible to share a monthly distribution of 200,000 MTA for the first month. Now, less than 24 hours after launch the pool has nearly $3M worth of liquidity.

The neat thing about the MTA reward model is that the size of the monthly allocation is set to change with time. Similarly, the issuance of these rewards will happen randomly with onchain snapshots as to encourage liquidity honesty.

This varying model of MTA rewards should better align incentives as the protocol continues to grow, just as we’ve seen with COMP and BAL spiking the AUM for the leading DeFi primitives. On top of MTA issuance, LPs also benefit from BAL rewards and protocol fees from mStable volume.

Please note that MTA has yet to be minted and that rewards are set to be locked until the staking contract is created at some point in the next three months.

Curve v mStable

In DeFi farming circles, the competition regarding where to deploy your capital has become more and more intense. As Curve, mStable, and Ampleforth all roll out various forms of stablcoins incentives, the liquidity wars are only set to get more and more intense.

If one thing is for certain, the fact that mStable is taking a strong stance on purely stablecoins may be one key differentiator from something like Curve which has recenly expanding to a wider range of assets with the introduction of their BTC pools.

If nothing else, DeFi yield farmers have never had more of a prime opportunity to harvest the season’s most bountiful crops. While many are rushing to Curve in preparation for the upcoming CRV distribution, we’d like to say anyone reading this article now has a glimpse into the latest plantation which has yet to be saturated with first-timers.

To stay up with mStable, follow them on Twitter or join the conversation on Discord.

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Sweden’s Central Bank Releases 98-Page ‘Economic Review’ Devoted to CBDC

https://cointelegraph.com/news/sweden-s-central-bank-releases-98-page-economic-review-devoted-to-cbdc

Sweden’s central bank just released a massive report on central bank digital currencies.

Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, took a 98-page deep dive into central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, referencing the country’s own such asset — the e-krona. 

“The second issue of Sveriges Riksbank Economic Review in 2020 has a special theme, namely central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and the e-krona,” Riksbank’s June 18, 2020 report said in an initial note to readers. 

Sweden’s interest is not new

In December 2019, Sweden unveiled intentions for a pilot program around its e-krona, in collaboration with Fortune Global 500 company Accenture.

The new report from the country’s central bank referred to its 2018 Economic Review detailing the e-krona and its progress. “Riksbank has since continued to delve into various aspects of CBDC, both from an analytical and a practical perspective,” the 2020 report said. “Some of this work is summarized in this issue.” 

The new edition addresses a number of CBDC aspects

Riksbank’s 2020 Economic Review includes reasoning behind a Swedish CBDC, listing monetary issues in the country, as well as other drivers. 

The report also covered other points of consideration, including inquiry on such a currency’s necessity, competition and other aspects. 

The review only includes one direct reference of blockchain, seen in a footnote on page 89, which reads:

“An open DLT network is associated to several disadvantages; every transaction must be verified by every participant (cf. blockchain) in a time and resource consuming manner. The responsibility for the Riksbank regarding AML, KYC & CTF could be indefinite. Fraud and cyber-attacks are hard to prevent in an open network.”

The report does, however, mention distributed ledger technology, or DLT, several times. 

After coronavirus measures took flight in March, the U.S. proposed a digital dollar, although such a dollar did not include blockchain or DLT

Cointelegraph reached out to Riksbank for additional details, but received no response as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly should a response come in. 

Italian banks are ready for a Europe-wide digital currency

https://decrypt.co/33151/italian-banks-ready-europe-wide-digital-currency

The Italian Banking Association on Thursday stated the willingness of its members to partake in any of the European Central Bank’s digital currency projects. 

Developing a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, could replace demand for cryptocurrencies, it said. 

The existence of a CBDC could “reduce the attractiveness of instruments of comparable use but issued by private individuals or (in cases of complete decentralization) which cannot be identified, characterized by an intrinsically higher risk profile,” wrote the Association, which is formed of over 700 Italian banks. 

 

A central bank digital currency could be used to send money between peers and machines alike, be used to cheaply settle cross-border transactions, and promote automatic execution of trades, “ultimately reducing administrative processes.”

So, it’s on board with the idea. And the Italian Banking Association is already using blockchain to do some of this stuff, via the Spunta project. 

But there are 10 caveats, which the Association has posted on a blog on its site.

“Monetary stability and full respect for the European regulatory framework must be preserved as a matter of priority,” reads its first criteria. “Digital money needs to be fully trusted by citizens. To this end, it is essential that the highest standards of regulatory compliance, safety and supervision are adhered to,” reads its fourth.

No surprises there. The Association wants a digital currency that works and won’t screw anything up.

South Korea takes another step toward a central bank digital currency

But, as long as the ECB plays within the rules it has set, Italian banks are up for it. “A programmable digital currency represents an innovation in the financial field capable of profoundly revolutionizing money and exchange,” the Association wrote.

The European Central Bank, however, isn’t likely to implement a digital euro any time soon, according to a member of its governing council, Jens Weidman, in a January interview published in German newspaper Handelsblatt

“We have a stable currency with the euro, which has proven itself over the previous decades,” said Weidmann. If nothing else, it’s good to know the Italians are on board when the time comes, if it ever does.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Endanger Private Banks, Says Federal Reserve

https://cointelegraph.com/news/central-bank-digital-currencies-endanger-private-banks-says-federal-reserve

Central bank digital currencies endanger private banks, warned the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia branch of the United States Federal Reserve has published a new report that warns about the potential effects of issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). 

In the report, the Fed said that — after the introduction of a CBDC — the central bank would become “a deposit monopolist, attracting all deposits away from the commercial banking sector.” 

This monopolization could endanger maturity transformation, according to the Fed, which is the practice of financial institutions borrowing money on shorter time frames than they lend it out. 

The Federal Reserve also states that if competition from commercial banks is impaired, the central bank needs to take extra care to avoid disrupting maturity transformation.

The report also explains that central banks are not investment experts and currently rely on private investment banks to fund long-term projects. However, the study notes that the implementation of a CBDC should not prevent investment banks from investing:

“The central bank cannot invest in long-term projects itself, but instead has to rely on the expert knowledge of investment banks to do so. We have derived an equivalence result that shows that the set of allocations achieved with private financial intermediation will also be achieved with a CBDC, provided competition with commercial banks is allowed and depositors do not panic.”

Experts welcome the development of CBDCs

Marshall Hayner, the CEO and co-founder of cryptocurrency firm Metal, told Cointelegraph that he does not believe that CBDCs endanger private banks. 

Metal is building a digital banking platform that uses stablecoins, which Hayner believes are the precursors to CBDCs. He said that the introduction of such a currency is only a matter of time:

“I don’t believe CBDC endangers retail banks, I find it highly probable they [CBDC] will become an integral part of the US banking system, and part of the existing regulatory structure, as the [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] recently called on public comments on the topic of updating its rules on digital activities.”

Hayner said that central banks should issue retail CBDCs to replace traditional fiat currencies, as he believes that “the efficiencies and improvements greatly outweigh the negatives.” He explained:

“As cash rapidly declines, the need for a digital alternative for the modern banks and fintech platforms has emerged. From fostering trust in monetary authorities, to creating competitive payment systems and enhancing money laundering enforcement, we are seeing the beginning of the global digital dollar.”

At the end of May, the Digital Dollar Project released its white paper. The 30-page document sheds light on the potential applications of a U.S. CBDC. The organization was founded by former leaders of the CFTC and professional services company Accenture.

Also at the end of May, an IMF official argued that CBDCs should be implemented as a private-public partnership. He explained that the private sector should concentrate on innovation, interface design and client management while the central bank focuses on regulation and financial stability.

OMG Can Take USDT Transactions Off Chain. Bitfinex is a Great Start But it Needs More

https://thedefiant.substack.com/p/omg-can-take-usdt-transactions-off

Hello Defiers! Here’s what’s happening in DeFi:

  • OMG Network launches with USDT integration
  • Balancer starts issuing BAL tokens
  • mStable is the latest stablecoin protocol

and more.

If you’re receiving this email, that means you’re a paid subscriber of The Defiant, (thank you!) You’re getting the full content of this newsletter, while free subscribers are gettin…


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Digital Dollar Project lays out its plan for a US digital currency

https://decrypt.co/30567/digital-dollar-project-white-paper-us-digital-currency

The former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission believes the time is ripe for a US digital dollar, and the project he initiated to achieve this end has now laid out its plan for a US central bank digital currency.

The Digital Dollar Project today released its first white paper for the proposed development of a US CBDC.

The project is a partnership between the Digital Dollar Foundation and multinational consulting firm Accenture. Chris Giancarlo, who stepped down as chairman of the CFTC when his term ended in April 2019, co-founded the Digital Dollar Foundation earlier this year. 

The 50-page white paper proposes a US digital dollar that co-exists with physical cash. It outlines the benefits of a CBDC, spells out some use cases, and goes on to discuss pilots.

Accenture is a lead architect in the project. And the paper points out that to prevent duplicate spends, its proposed digital dollar would make use of distributed ledger technology or DLT- “inspired” systems, indicating that it will only be loosely associated with anything blockchainy.  

Two-tiered system

The paper proposes that a tokenized dollar follows the existing two-tiered distribution model of physical cash. 

In the current system, the Federal reserve produces cash and distributes it to intermediary financial institutions, who then send it off to individuals and businesses. 

“Commercial banks (and potentially other regulated intermediaries with access to the Fed) would exchange reserves for digital dollars to be distributed to end-users much in the way they currently do when issuing physical cash to customers through ATMs,” the paper said.

Privacy

Privacy is a big concern among those using any sort of digital payment system because it allows spendings to be easily tracked by Big Brother. After all, one of the advantages of cash is its anonymity. 

The paper weighs both sides of the equation but doesn’t go into any great detail on how it will deal with the problem. It acknowledges that a completely anonymous system would allow for illicit activity. Meanwhile, nobody wants a completely transparent system in which their financial lives are exposed. 

Instead of offering a solution, the paper points to the Fourth Amendment, which “clearly requires that seizures and searches of ‘paper and effects’ must not be ‘unreasonable’.” thereby leaving the problem in the hands of the government.  

Financial inclusion

The project reiterates a promise that’s popular with many digital currencies, including Facebook’s proposed Libra project: financial inclusion for unbanked populations. 

According to the 2017 FDIC survey, roughly 14 million American adults lack a bank account. 

“Lower system costs and digital wallets tied to the custody of tokenized digital dollars may hold advantages over traditional bank accounts in terms of expanding access to underserved populations,” the paper said.  

Fed chair on digital dollar plans: Facebook’s Libra a ‘wake-up call’

Next steps

The next step for the project is to build and test out its system in a series of pilot programs.

The use cases are spelled out as being either part of domestic payments, international payments, or government benefits and range from direct peer-to-peer payments to issuing government aid in response to disasters. 

Several other countries exploring CBDCs have moved into pilots. Recently, the People’s Bank of China began a trial with its CBDC with the Agricultural Bank of China.

A handful of other central banks are running pilots for CBDCs. In the Caribbean, the Central Bank of the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank have pilots up and running. Sweden and Uruguay’s central banks are also currently developing or running pilots.

Focus on Tether: Tether Explains Why It Hasn’t Burned Any USDT

https://cointelegraph.com/news/tether-explains-why-it-hasnt-burned-any-usdt

Tether CTO cites the popularity of its ERC20 tokens as the reason why the company never burns them, but stores them in their ‘inventory’.

Tether (USDT) cites the popularity of its Ethereum (ETH)-based asset as the reason why the company has never burned a single token.

The recent report from Flipside Crypto concluded that Tether is not in the practice of burning its Ethereum tokens:

“We can also see that no tokens ever go to the “burn” category, which means that throughout the course of April no USDT supply was destroyed. Looking at the full history of USDT on Ethereum, we found that no tokens have ever been burned.”

Ethereum is too popular

Paolo Ardoino, who serves as CTO for both Tether and Bitfinex, responding to a Cointelgraph inquiry, explained that the company burns its tokens on Omni and Tron (TRON) networks, while it holds authorized but unissued and unbacked ERC20 tokens in the “inventory”:

“We have not yet destroyed Ethereum-based USDt. We have destroyed unneeded USDt on Omni and Tron so far. Ethereum has been the most popular blockchain in recent months and demand for ERC20-based USDt has been high. Accordingly, when redemptions have been processed, Tether retained those USDts in its authorized but unissued — and unbacked — inventory for future market demand.”

Tether Assets

Tether Assets. Source: Tether.

The explanation provided by Ardoino seemingly mirrors Cointelegraph’s initial conclusion. Nonetheless, perhaps, the company would be better off burning and issuing new tokens, which may help it alleviate the prevailing skepticism about its reserve policies.

Turkish Stablecoin Receives Spot Listing on BTSE Exchange

https://cointelegraph.com/news/turkish-stablecoin-receives-spot-listing-on-btse-exchange

The Turkish stablecoin BiLira has received a spot listing on BTSE, offering a new on-ramp for Turkish investors to access crypto markets.

Over-the-counter and cryptocurrency futures exchange BTSE today launched support for BiLira’s Turkish stablecoin TRYB. TRYB can now be traded against Tether (USDT) on BTSE’s spot markets.

Cointelegraph spoke to BiLira and BTSE to find out more about what the listing means for Turkey’s burgeoning cryptocurrency sector.

BTSE co-founder and CEO Jonathan Leong stated that the listing “enables Turkish users to facilitate lower fees via remittances, as well as instantaneous settlement times for TRYB users.”

Leong told Cointelegraph that BTSE entered the Turkish market earlier this year, stating that the exchange has garnered “a strong and growing community in Turkey.” 

He also noted “an increase in demand for onboarding options through the Turkish Lira,” prompting the decision to list the TRYB stablecoin.

BiLira is the 19th crypto asset for which BTSE has introduced pairings.

Turkey is ripe for crypto adoption

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Vidal Artditi, BiLira’s COO, predicted that Turkey will emerge as a leading jurisdiction within the global blockchain industry, emphasizing high levels of crypto literacy and adoption among the general population.

Anecdotally, he reports that Turkey’s citizens predominantly use crypto assets for trading and to hedge risk. Arditi asserts that trading is a fundamental part of Turkish culture, stating that “the cultural nuances of [Turkey] really resonate with blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

“Mobile penetration in this country is north of 90% […] You can use QR codes and you can use your mobile banking app for pretty much anything,” he adds.

“We’re not here to create a bubble”

Despite emphasizing the strong Turkish trading traditions, Artditi emphasized that BiLira “is not here to create speculation”

“We’re not here to create a bubble. We’re here to create real use cases, which is why we’ve set up our system and our platform in a way that people can buy up to 100,000 euro per month without paying even a lira on commissions,” he said.

“It’s to be able to make it as easily accessible, even if it’s going to be damaging financially to our company in the short term. Just to make sure we highlight the value proposition of this product and how it can really change the lives of these people.” 

“There are a lot of immigrants who live in this country who send paychecks every week to their families in different countries. There are people who don’t necessarily have a bank account who would like and can transfer [this] cryptocurrency with a few clicks of a button,” Artditi added.

Austrian Bank Raiffeisen Works on National Digital Currency Pilot

https://cointelegraph.com/news/austrian-bank-raiffeisen-works-on-national-digital-currency-pilot

Raiffeisen Bank International is extending collaboration with Polish-British fintech Billon for a new form of DLT-based national currency tokenization.

While global jurisdictions are progressing with central bank digital currencies, private institutions also work on digitizing national currencies. Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), a major Austrian bank, is working on a new form of national currency tokenization using blockchain technology.

RBI is extending its collaboration with Polish-British fintech firm, Billon, following a successful test of end-to-end digitized national currency transfers.

RBI Coin is designed to speed up cross-border transactions

As announced on May 18, RBI and Billon are working on initial stages of an RBI tokenization platform, currently dubbed RBI Coin. The pilot is planned to be conducted until late 2020 and is designed to speed up cross-border interbank or intercompany transactions and improve liquidity management, the firms said.

According to the announcement, RBI Coin was developed by Billon as part of RBI-Billon’s previous collaboration, the Elevator Lab program. Reportedly completed on March 5, the Elevator Lab program implements Billon’s blockchain technology to enable e-money transactions with digitized euro.

RBI Coin will be pegged 1:1 to the euro or any other national currency in CEE

If successful, the pilot project is expected to launch in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries of RBI’s operation, the bank said. Those countries include Belarus, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, among others.

An RBI spokesperson elaborated to Cointelegraph that the bank is still discussing with its subsidiary banks in CEE to determine what banks would participate in the pilot. “We believe the first tests would cover money transfers between Austria and an RBI subsidiary in another CEE country,” the representative said.

Depending on what country is joining the pilot, RBI Coin would be pegged 1:1 to the euro or any other national currency operating in a selected country. The RBI spokesperson person said:

“Currencies deployed would depend on the countries involved in the pilot, so the platform could include euro and other national currencies as well.”

Raiffeisen is actively experimenting with blockchain technology

The news comes after Billon was selected to participate in RBI’s Elevator Lab Partnership Program in November 2019. Within the collaboration, Billon used its blockchain technology to mint, transfer and redeem tokenized euro.

The Elevator Lab Partnership Program is just one example of Raiffeisen’s extensive blockchain and tokenization efforts. In October 2019, RBI participated in the Ivno Global Tokenized Collateral Trial, a token based on R3’s blockchain platform Corda. Previously, RBI’s Russian subsidiary bank developed a blockchain-based platform for settlement by holding firms.

Central bank digital currency can be safe and private, claims CipherTrace

https://decrypt.co/28614/central-bank-digital-currency-safe-private-ciphertrace

Blockchain forensics firm CipherTrace is launching a new initiative designed to ensure central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are private, safe to use, and free of money laundering, terrorist funding and other illicit ties.

Since the introduction of Facebook’s Libra in 2019 and China’s unveiling of a digital version of the yuan, financial institutions have felt pressure to explore bank-issued digital assets. According to John Jeffries—chief financial analyst at the Silicon Valley-based CipherTrace—central bank digital currencies have several advantages to them, as they provide banks with immediate control over their monetary policies and they lower the costs of managing cash.

There is also great fear among central banks, he says, that Libra or China’s digital yuan could potentially become default reserve currencies or gain too much economic influence. At the moment, 80% of the world’s central banks, including the UK, France, India, and Russia, are already working on plans for bank-issued digital currency.

CipherTrace, initially funded by DARPA and the US Department of Homeland Security, believes most banks will ultimately issue CBDCs within the next five years. And its new initiative aims to enable these currencies with “customizable mechanisms,” so they can be trusted by financial institutions, government agencies and consumers alike. 

But balancing compliance with security and privacy is no small feat.

Eighty percent of central banks are working on digital currencies: report

In an interview with Decrypt, Jeffries explained that CBDCs should not be used to spy on users, and it will be critical to defend consumer privacy while protecting both individuals and institutions from harm due to illicit activity.

“Blockchain analytics have the power to identify illicit activities that should not remain anonymous, thus enabling privacy-be-default for all other transactions,” he said. “Privacy-enabled CBDCs should be designed to protect [revelatory] details and only enable authorities to view transaction details on large or suspicious transactions,” said Jeffries.

To achieve privacy-by-default, Jeffries said CBDCs should have a “protected” mode, but consumers ought to also be able to reveal their data for tax reasons, as well as to prove custody. Governments and law enforcement should only be allowed to request access to transaction details for legitimate legal investigations via subpoena or mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT), he explained.

DARPA-backed startup helps banks trace illegal crypto funds

In other words, transactions should only be unshielded by regulators and financial authorities when blockchain analytics reveals that digital assets have been used in illegal acts, according to Jeffries. Regulators can use risk profile monitoring to identify which digital asset companies and wallets are participating in illicit activities before unmasking transactions, he said.

CipherTrace is already seeking to form close working relationships with banks around the world. Last month, it launched Armada, a tool built to identify risks associated with virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and prevent banks from becoming unknowing participants in illegal financial schemes.

According to the blockchain analytics firm, banks already unknowingly process $2 billion in crypto-related transactions each year.

Binance Leverages the Elrond Blockchain for Fast & Inexpensive BUSD Stablecoin Transfers

https://medium.com/elrondnetwork/binance-leverages-the-elrond-blockchain-for-fast-inexpensive-busd-stablecoin-transfers-da73d0d5cec3?source=rss------stable_coin-5

Binance and Elrond have entered into an agreement which will make the Binance-backed BUSD stable coin available on the Elrond Network. The…

Q1 2020 Review: stablecoins ascend to new heights in global economic downturn | Messari

The story of stablecoins is the story of Ethereum, and Q1 2020 was stablecoins’ best quarter ever. Driven by a global flight to safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic, stablecoin issuance ballooned over $8 billion in the quarter. The action was so dramatic it shook the prevailing order in cryptocurrencies.Ethereum is becoming the dominant value transfer layer in crypto, Tether cracked the top 3 cryptocurrencies by market cap, and stablecoin challengers have gained serious momentum.EthereumStablecoins on Ethereum not only increased in amount this quarter, but also in transfer value. Stablecoin transfer value increased so much in the quarter that it brought the amount of value transferred over Ethereum to parity with Bitcoin; even without every other Ethereum based token included.Ethereum is becoming the dominant value transfer layer in crypto. Crypto is dollarizing, and it’s dollarizing on Ethereum.Stablecoins now account for 80% of daily transfer value on Ethereum, and they’re used for significantly larger transfers on average than Bitcoin. Considering the majority of value transferred in cryptocurrencies takes place between exchanges, it’s unsurprising to see stablecoins quickly gain adoption on this front. Why transfer value in an unstable cryptocurrency when you can transfer it in a stablecoin? Stablecoins simply have better product market fit.Ethereum is by far the leading platform for stablecoin issuance, and it’s dominance will likely increase as more Tether continues to migrate from Omni. Ethereum not only is the most proven smart contracting system, but also hosts the most lively project ecosystem. Ethereum is like a Wall Street in the cloud. Stablecoin issuers are following the money.Tether vs The FieldThe flight to cash in Q1 was so strong that stablecoins added nearly as much market cap in Q1 2020 as they did in all of 2019. In fact, all the growth in stablecoins this quarter came from the month of March.The largest beneficiary of the March volatility was Tether. As XRP fell in the liquidity crunch and USDT issuance exploded, Tether climbed to the top 3 ranked cryptoassets by market capitalization. It’s fitting that the top 3 cryptoassets now feature the top 3 verticals in blockchain technology: Money, DeFi, and Stablecoins.Tether wasn’t the only stablecoin that had a great start to the year. Led by USDC and BUSD, stablecoin competitors gained significant ground this quarter. USDC emerged as the clear number two to Tether, while BUSD emerged as the fastest growing competitor.It’s not shocking to see that the most successful stablecoins on the quarter were the native stablecoins of Coinbase, Binance, and Huobi, respectively. Exchange integrations are critical drivers of growth. Proximity to liquidity matters.However, the success of stablecoins this quarter was not uniformly positive across the board.On March 12, now known as Black Thursday, many cryptocurrencies experienced their worst single day price drops ever. In particular, Ether (ETH) dropped 44% on the day, causing DeFi’s first financial crisis. The downward movement was so violent that it triggered an unprecedented wave of liquidations across DeFi, as loans quickly became undercollateralized. Due to network congestion and faulty liquidation bots, the MakerDao stablecoin system lost $4 million of collateral. Dai’s dollar peg blew out as Dai reached as high as $1.07 on the day. As of April 12, 2020, Dai’s peg still hasn’t recovered.In the days since then Maker recapitalized the system through an emergency debt auction, outlined a plan for for the dissolution of the Maker Foundation in pursuit of decentralization, and received a class-action lawsuit from victims of Black Thursday’s losses.DeFi’s crown champion, and the industry’s leading decentralized stablecoin implementation will be challenged in the quarters to come, as the community mulls over Maker governance issues and the legacy of it’s failed collateral auctions.Final ThoughtsStablecoins are on pace to quadruple their growth in 2019, which could bring a flood of new liquidity to Ethereum’s ecosystem and further solidify its position as the dominant stablecoin platform. Furthermore, with the global economy facing a dollar shortage and uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic, stablecoins could provide some real world value connecting people with dollars. Ethereum can provide anyone in the world access to dollars with just a smartphone and an internet connection.With the announcement of Libra and the growth of stablecoins last year, many consider 2019 as the year of stablecoins. But if trends from the past quarter persist, 2020 could very well give 2019 a run for its money.“Many of us (early adopters) don’t like stable coins, but fact is, that’s what’s needed to help us cross the chasm, as most new crypto people will still think in fiat base for a while to come.I wish that’s not the case, but we live on earth, not utopia.” – CZ

Source: Q1 2020 Review: stablecoins ascend to new heights in global economic downturn | Messari

Bitmain Antminer E3 Firmware Update to Extend the Miner’s Life

https://cryptomining-blog.com/11620-bitmain-antminer-e3-firmware-update-to-extend-the-miners-life/

It seems that Bitmain has taken seriously the issue with their Antminer E3 ASIC miners intended for Ethash stopping to mine Ethereum Classic (ETC) recently and their upcoming inability to mine ETH as well in the very near future. To ensure Bitmain can provide efficient mining equipment for the Ethereum community, it has launched a new firmware to support the Antminer E3. This new firmware has apparently been designed to allow miners to continue using the Antminer E3, even after March 2020. This new firmware addresses the prior issue of the growth of directed acyclic graph (DAG) files, which limited the capability of the Antminer E3s for mining ETH or ETC. This new firmware will expand the usage of Double Date Rate (DDR) Memory, as more space is needed to process DAG files according to the company.

So, how long will the Antminer E3 last with the new firmware? The new firmware has been designed to better support the Antminer E3, and so Bitmain is confident that miners can continue using the hardware past April 2020. With the new firmware update, the final approximate block height of the Antminer E3 is 11,400,000, so according to calculations, mining can continue until October of 2020. ETC mining will stop again earlier than ETH due to the current DAG Epoch for Ethereum Classic being ahead with about 10 Epochs. Regardless, the new DAG size that the E3 miners would be able to handle seems to be increased to 3.97 GB based on the block number data released by Bitmain. So if you have Bitmain Antminer E3 miners you should make sure to update them with the latest firmware released to be able to extend their life to the maximum possible.

To download the latest Bitmain Antminer E3 Firmware Update extending Ethash mining support…

NULS to bridge to Bitcoin and Ethereum with new network

https://decrypt.co/23592/nuls-bridge-bitcoin-ethereum-new-network

NULS, an open-source adaptive blockchain, wants to leave its isolation from the rest of the blockchain ecosystem and create bridges to other networks—and perhaps one day between them. The first step is connecting NULS to Bitcoin and Ethereum.

That vision is laid out in a whitepaper the NULS Technical Community released on Thursday. The whitepaper details a new network called Nerve, a cross-chain solution for making NULS interoperable with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other networks.

Better than an ICO? NULS trials a new way to get blockchain projects off the ground

The NULS network runs on “a democratized staking system” that mixes delegated proof of stake with a credit rating. The proposed Nerve Network sits atop the NULS protocol, allowing users to transfer major cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and ERC20 tokens, to the NULS blockchain. The company hopes the network will compete with Cosmos and Polkadot, two other cross-chain solutions in development.

While the protocol doesn’t bridge Bitcoin and Ethereum in quite the way Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin pined for earlier this week, Berzeck, the pseudonymous developer of NULS, conceded to Decrypt that “it is a step in this direction.” 

 

Clarified Berzeck: “The protocol doesn’t directly bridge Bitcoin and Ethereum; it instead allows the NULS blockchain to bridge into Bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively.” Though, he added, “We could definitely explore ways to have NULS act as an intermediary between these blockchains and broker transactions.”

To make cross-chain transactions possible, Berzeck said the Nerve Network will use a native token called “NVT” to transfer value between networks. “Essentially, Nerve Network will operate like an autonomous virtual broker with masternodes that can dock blockchains and digest their transactions,” he said. “Nerve will then translate that function and value to the NULS blockchain,” effectively making them interoperable.

Berzeck noted that this could enable microtransactions with specialized blockchains. “With cross-chain functionality, developers won’t have to worry about maintaining a singular network with limited scale,” he said. “Instead, several concurrent blockchains could run independently (one for games, one for supply chain, etc.) and NULS could act as a terminal for disparate functions to become more collaborative and autonomous.”

For now, however, with the blueprints laid out, the NULS community is ready to build an interconnected future for blockchains.

CasperLabs Partners with BitMax.io to Conduct Innovative Exchange Validator Offering (“EVO”)

https://nulltx.com/casperlabs-partners-with-bitmax-io-to-conduct-innovative-exchange-validator-offering-evo/

CasperLabs, a next-generation, secure and scalable Proof-of-Stake blockchain, is collaborating with BitMax.io, a Singapore registered digital asset trading platform, to conduct its private validator token sale in the form of an Exchange Validator Offering (“EVO”).

Private Validator Token Sale Opportunity

CasperLabs will conduct its validator token sale in collaboration with BitMax.io. The purpose of this Exchange Validator Offering (“EVO”) is to promote greater network decentralization by providing fair access to retail participants at the project’s earliest stage investment opportunity.

$3MM worth of CLX tokens, the native cryptographic token of the CasperLabs blockchain, will be available for sale in the EVO which will be divided into three rounds, with bonus tokens available in the first and second rounds. Registration to participate in the CasperLabs EVO will go live on BitMax.io at 10:00 a.m. EDT, March 26 and remain open until April 6. 

The price at which EVO participants can purchase CLX tokens is $0.01. This represents a significant discount to the price at which CLX tokens will be distributed via an eventual public sale, where tokens will be auctioned at a minimum bid price of $0.02 per CLX.

CLX Distribution: 

*Note: Public Sale distribution will be conducted via an auction with a minimum reserve price of $0.02. 

All EVO participants will be part of the founding stake on the Genesis Block of the CasperLabs network and an integral part of the network launch and initial security.

Rationale for Underlying Sale Structure

CasperLabs has made no token offerings to date and all funding has been conducted via a standard Series A equity financing. The decision not to sell tokens was based on ensuring open access to the underlying system.

Since first introduced, Proof-of-Stake (“PoS”) blockchain networks have historically seen staking dominated by institutions and large token holders (“Whales”). Whales are often early stage investors of a given PoS project with large allocations of tokens vested at mainnet launch. Such concentration of staking power and “Monopolization of Consensus” is troubling because it consolidates control of the blockchain network to a small handful of validators. This can harm the project in various ways, including concentration of voting power, single points of failure for malicious network attacks, and network instability. This runs counter to the proposed aspirations of many PoS to be truly permissionless, decentralized, and secure.

CasperLabs, together with BitMax.io, is taking a novel approach to challenge the status quo of staking power consolidation amongst institutions by conducting the industry’s first EVO. 

BitMax.io will operate a full-node at CasperLab’s mainnet launch to facilitate staking support for CLX on behalf of platform users at the “Genesis Block,” thus eliminating the need for retail EVO participants to operate as validators on the network. 

While CasperLabs had significant interest from institutional investors to participate in the validator sale, the team insisted on providing open and widespread access to the underlying system at the same terms. Partnership with a top-tier platform like BitMax.io will be fundamental in facilitating that open access to a global user base.

Valuation: Given a total token supply of 10 Billion, the EVO price of $0.01 will value the CasperLabs network at $100MM on a fully diluted basis. 

Validator Token Rewards

Three types of token rewards will be associated with the EVO: (1) early participation rewards, (2) staking rewards, and (3) transaction fee rewards.

Early Participation Rewards: 

CLX tokens purchased in the EVO will increase by 15% per annum pro-rata (“APR”) of the quantity of tokens. Early participation rewards will begin accumulating from the date the CLX tokens are received by the EVO participant until the CasperLabs’ MainNet Launch, which is anticipated to be in Q3’ 2020. For example, assuming a purchase quantity of 10,000 CLX received on April 1, 2020, with a Mainnet Launch date of August 1, 2020, the EVO participant would see their token holdings increase by 500 CLX (+5%). 

Staking Rewards: 

The CasperLabs protocol will target a 15% gross yield for the first year post-launch, reducing to 6-7% once CLX distributions are completed over the coming years. The Seigniorage rate to arrive at this will be calculated using the formula: Gross yield (Seigniorage Rate/Percent Staked)/Supply and will be in the low single digits. This means that CLX tokens staked on the CasperLabs network will generate passive yield for token holders in exchange for participation in various consensus mechanisms. 

Transaction Fee Rewards:

CasperLabs validators will receive token rewards based on transaction fees collected on the network. 

All three types of Validator Token Rewards will be paid out at the end of an era into a separate rewards wallet address that needs to be provided prior to Genesis. Rewards are tied to the finalization of proposed blocks according to two different (“short-run” and “long-run”) criteria and overall liveness conditions on the platform.

About CasperLabs

CasperLabs is building a fully decentralized, scalable, permissionless and highly secure blockchain. It is powered by Highway, an innovative, correct-by-construction (“CBC”) Casper-based proof-of-stake consensus protocol. By leveraging popular workflows, tools and languages, CasperLabs is making blockchain services easier to use, more upgradable and more predictable, thus removing barriers to mainstream adoption.

Website: https://casperlabs.io/

Technical Specification: https://techspec.casperlabs.io/ 

Consensus Proofs: https://github.com/CasperLabs/highway/releases/download/v1.0/highway.pdf

Explorer: https://explorer.casperlabs.io/#/

Github: https://github.com/CasperLabs

Medium: https://medium.com/casperlabs

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CasperLabs

About BitMax.io

Launched in August 2018, BitMax.io is a leading digital asset trading platform with a broad range of financial products and services for both retail and institutional clients, with robust product design ranging from innovative volatility products to margin trading and other investment solutions.

Strategic Collaboration

CasperLabs, together with BitMax.io, is taking a novel approach to challenge the status quo of staking power consolidation by conducting an Exchange Validator Offering, or “EVO.” BitMax.io will provide technology and execution support while CasperLabs will be the legal issuer allowing BitMax.io users to sign a non-transferable Validator Future Token Agreement (“VFTA”) to purchase CLX tokens. The collaboration between CasperLabs and BitMax.io will provide hundreds of thousands of small token purchasers with fair access to the project’s EVO at the earliest possible opportunity and the most favorable token prices. 

For more information, follow BitMax.io on:

Website: http://www.BitMax.io

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BitMax_Official

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/BitMax/

Telegram: https://t.me/BitMaxioEnglishOfficial

Medium: https://medium.com/bitmax-io

Contact: support@bitmax.io

The post CasperLabs Partners with BitMax.io to Conduct Innovative Exchange Validator Offering (“EVO”) appeared first on NullTX.

Distribution Round CLX Price Bonus Tokens Minimum Discount to Public Sale Price (including Bonus Tokens) Circulating Supply Valuation (est. 20% of tokens in circulation in year 1) Fully Diluted Valuation
EVO

(1st Round)

$0.01 10% 55% $20M $100M
EVO

(2nd Round)

$0.01 5% 52% $20M $100M
EVO

(3rd Round)

$0.01 0% 50% $20M $100M
Public Sale* $0.02 0% 0% $40M $200M

Vitalik Proposes Solution to ‘Embarrassing’ Lack of Bitcoin–Ethereum Bridge

https://cointelegraph.com/news/vitalik-proposes-solution-to-embarrassing-lack-of-bitcoinethereum-bridge

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin suggests a DEX-bridge solution to the “embarrassing” lack of easy movement between Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin posted a tweet on March 24 claiming that the continuing lack of easy movement between the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks was embarrassing.

As a solution, he proposed putting resources into building a decentralized exchange (DEX), to act as a trustless bridge between the two.

DEX should be trustless, serverless and Uniswap-like

Buterin’s plan calls for the DEX to be trustless and serverless, with a user experience very similar to Uniswap. Uniswap is a decentralized exchange that runs without an order book, instead relying on asset pairs with Ether as a fixed base currency.

As Cointelegraph reported, Uniswap has just announced plans to release a V2 update in Q2 2020, which will allow direct token-to-token swaps.

Decentralized exchanges have struggled to gain market share against traditional exchanges, despite being more closely aligned to the overall trustless ethos of cryptocurrency. Part of the issue has been a lack of liquidity, although a dedicated Bitcoin–Ehereum DEX supported by Buterin may well see greater uptake.

Building bridges not limited to Bitcoin

Vitalin suggested further suggested that Bitcoin was not the only potential destination for a DEX bridge from Ethereum, and other blockchain ecosystems should also be up for consideration.

Buterin specifically mentioned Zcash as one example, saying that he has already had discussions to this end with Zooko Wilcox, CEO of Zcash-creators, the Electric Coin Company. However, he admitted that they could both work harder to turn such talk into action.

Uniswap announces its next iteration, set for launch in Q2

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/59630/uniswap-announces-its-next-iteration-set-for-launch-in-q2?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Uniswap has announced that the protocol’s second version –which will include new features including ERC20 pairs, more decentralized price oracles, flash swaps and a protocol charge mechanism – is set to launch in Q2.  

The platform’s volume has experienced significant growth recently, reporting a surge of 192% from the start of 2020. Uniswap has facilitated a total of over $380m in trading volumes in that period.

According to a Monday announcement post, the team expects Uniswap v2 to be available for deployment in the second quarter of this year. At the same time, the factory and an initial smart contract are now running on the Ropsten, Rinkeby, Kovan and Görli testnets for developer experimentation.

“Uniswap V1 will continue to work for as long as Ethereum exists,” the announcement noted.

ERC20/ERC20 pairs

One key addition of Uniswap v2 is the ability to pool any two ERC20 tokens together.

With v1, users can only swap an ERC20 token with ETH. The new feature will allow users to “maintain more diverse ERC20 token denominated positions, without mandatory exposure to ETH,” according to the team’s post.

The DAI/USDC pair, for example, is a relatively stable pair that could be useful for trading purposes. Enabling such pairs will also lower trading fees, the announcement highlighted, since users hoping to swap between two ERC20 tokens will no longer need to route through ETH.  

“If two ERC20 tokens are not paired directly, and do not have a common pair between them, they can still be swapped as long as a path between them exists,” the team added. “Router contracts can be used to optimize between direct and multi-step swaps.”

Improved price oracles

Secondly, Uniswap v2 will introduce several improvements to its price feed model. The team acknowledged that “Uniswap V1 cannot be used safely as a price oracle because the price can move significantly in a short period of time.”

To address this vulnerability, the new version will determine the market price for pairs at the start of every block. This will make it more costly for potential attackers to compromise the price feed since they would have to make a bad trade at the end of the previous block and could lose their arbitrage if they can’t mine two consecutive blocks. 

On top of this, the updated price feed design will weigh the end-of-block price by the amount of time that this particular price has existed, making sure that the potential profit gained from an attack will not be greater than the cost. 

Flash swaps

The third feature that Uniswap v2 will enable is flash swaps.

This feature will let users take out any amount of ERC20 tokens and execute arbitrage codes as they wish. The only condition is that users either pay for the withdrawn tokens or return them. Users can conduct flash swaps at no upfront cost except for the 0.3% liquidity provider fees.

This feature, the team’s post explained, could have interesting use cases, including arbitrage with no upfront capital and more efficient margin trading protocols.

Protocol charge mechanism

Notably, Uniswap v2 will also feature a small protocol charge mechanism to make its ecosystem more self-sustainable.

The default charge at launch will be 0, and the liquidity provider fee will be 0.3%. When the protocol charge mechanism is turned on, the charge will be 0.05% and the liquidity provider fee will be reduced to 0.25%.

“Without any additional growth, [Uniswap] will generate more than $5M in liquidity provider fees this year,” the announcement explained. “If the protocol charge was on, ~$830,000 of this would instead go to a decentralized funding mechanism used to support contributions to Uniswap and its ecosystem.”

Gaming giant Square Enix invests in Ethereum-based Sandbox

https://decrypt.co/23111/gaming-square-enix-invests-ethereum-based-sandbox

In what could be seen as further validation for the burgeoning blockchain gaming industry, The Sandbox publisher Animoca Brands announced this week that Square Enix, the Japanese game publisher behind Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, and Space Invaders, participated in a $2.01 million investment round in 2019.

Square Enix’s share of the round was not disclosed. The round also included investments from Japan’s B Cryptos Inc. investment fund, True Global Ventures 4 Plus Fund GP, and Mindfulness Venture Fund I, L.P., among other participants. According to Animoca Brands, the agreements were executed between July and September 2019, although “concerns raised” by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) delayed the public announcement.

Some 83% of the investment came in cash, with the remaining sum consisting of both Bitcoin and Tether. Animoca Brands and its TSB Gaming subsidiary, which develops the Ethereum-based Sandbox game, issued in-game SAND ERC-20 utility tokens (used to purchase assets and LAND) as well as simple agreement for future equity (SAFE) convertible securities.

The Sandbox is an upcoming blockchain-based creation game that takes place in a shared virtual world where players and companies alike can purchase and own plots of terrain. They can then populate those spaces with various assets and create their own experiences.

TSB Gaming has already pre-sold more than 10,000 plots of LAND so far in 2020, raising more than 1,300 ETH in the process. A third LAND presale will start on March 30 ahead of an expected public launch of the 3D, Minecraft-esque voxel game later in 2020. According to Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, the round’s participants will help roll “The Sandbox” out to Japan.

Ethereum-based Sandbox sells out another virtual LAND presale

“Like multiple generations, we grew up playing amazing games such as Space Invaders, Final Fantasy, and Arkanoid, and so it’s a special privilege and honour that the legendary game company Square Enix has invested in The Sandbox,” said Siu, in a release. “Together with the investment from B Cryptos, we are now closer to bringing The Sandbox to the Japanese market.”

Another major publisher, Ubisoft, has been the largest traditional gaming participant in the blockchain industry to date, supporting startups via its Entrepreneur Lab program, validating Ultra transactions, and even prototyping a game called HashCraft.

Ethereum Baseline Protocol Code Now Available on GitHub

https://cointelegraph.com/news/ethereum-baseline-protocol-code-now-available-on-github

The open-source Baseline Protocol allowing private systems to be built on the public Ethereum blockchain has been made publicly available on GitHub.

The open-source Baseline Protocol code allowing private systems to be built on the Ethereum public blockchain has now been published to GitHub, as of March 19. This means that the EY, Microsoft and ConsenSys-developed protocol is available to the public.

With transactions on the Ethereum blockchain being public and available for all to see, businesses requiring data privacy have tended to deploy their own private blockchain or an enterprise version of Ethereum.

However, using zero-knowledge proofs, off-chain data storage, and distributed identity systems, the Baseline Protocol allows businesses to utilize the public Ethereum chain while keeping sensitive data private. According to ConsenSys:

“The protocol will support tokenization and decentralized financial services on the Mainnet in a way that doesn’t reveal corporate assets or activities to unauthorized parties, and it leaves enterprise data safely in traditional systems.”

Business use case

Announcements regarding the protocol have so far mainly focused on product procurement. Purchase orders can be tokenized and dealt with through smart contracts, while a demo included with the code performs real-time calculation of bulk discounts on purchases.

However, according to the documentation supplied on GitHub, it is flexible enough to be used for other business activities, and has been, “designed such that it can be extended and applied to any database/workflow.”

If you love something, set it free

As Cointelegraph reported, the Baseline Protocol code was launched and released to selected parties by invitation at the start of the month. The code has now been donated to the public domain through non-profit standards organization OASIS.

The work will be governed by the Ethereum-Oasis project, which is managed by OASIS and funded by the Ethereum Foundation and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

Vitalik Buterin’s latest thoughts on Ethereum 2.0

https://decrypt.co/22908/vitalik-buterins-latest-thoughts-on-ethereum-2-0

Vitalik Buterin hasn’t let the coronavirus crisis and ensuing market mayhem hold up development on Ethereum 2.0—the platform’s mammoth scaling project. On Wednesday, the Ethereum cofounder tweeted his vision of what lies ahead in the next five to 10 years. 

Ethereum is the second biggest blockchain platform after Bitcoin, by market cap. It’s in the midst of huge changes which, over the next few years, should make it scalable, and capable of supporting many more users.

But it won’t be easy.

The long road to Ethereum 2.0

Five to 10 years is a lifetime in the volatile and fast moving crypto space. Buterin maintains it will be worth it—not just for scalability, but for security too. 

The biggest change is that Ethereum is moving from proof of work (PoW) to proof of stake (PoS). This changes the way in which new Ethereum blocks are created and how the network is run. (For a comparison of the two consensus methods, see here.) Switching to PoS, Buterin maintains, will make attacking the network more costly.

Vitalik Buterin: Proof of stake will make Ethereum safer

The roadmap he presented shows a bird’s eye view on the Ethereum network as it will evolve—in Buterin’s mind. Half of it looks at the current state of Ethereum and focuses on making sure it continues to improve. The other half deals with Ethereum 2.0.

Phase 0 gets the blockchain ready for the switchover to PoS. Phase 1 is when it actually makes the switch. At this point it enables an interesting technology, called rollups, that could help Ethereum support more transactions. 

“Eth2 is all about scale”

At this point, Ethereum 1 and the new, PoS blockchain will merge together and become one blockchain (with all of the past transactions stored on it). 

Then, we get to the main tenets of Ethereum 2.0. This is where advanced cryptography will come in, including potential quantum resistant cryptography. Other tools will be introduced to make the network offer more capabilities.

In Wednesday’s tweet thread, Buterin was also careful to emphasize that the new roadmap was subject to change as new technology or information came to light. And he added that it reflected only his own views.

Buterin underlined an increasing focus on maintaining compatibility, to ensure a smooth transition to Eth2, together with a “solid shift from ‘blue sky’ research—trying to understand what is possible—to concrete research and development.”

Answering criticisms about Ethereum’s complexity hindering its ability to scale, Buterin insisted that “many of the changes are actually in the direction of reducing complexity.” Not that it comes across in the roadmap.

Six ways Ethereum 2.0 hopes to improve on Bitcoin

Challenged on how Eth2 could be better than Bitcoin, Buterin posted a six-point riposte.

Top of the list were sharding and Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs). Sharding is a way of splitting the blockchain up, making it a lighter load for those keeping the network running. Zero knowledge proofs are experimental privacy technologies that make it easier to send anonymous crypto transactions. 

Buterin said these two factors would make the network cheaper to use, especially compared to Bitcoin. And they would help it to accommodate more transactions. “Eth2 is all about scale,” he insisted.

He also argued again that PoS will be a superior consensus mechanism—when it’s built. But with a five to 10 year roadmap, that’s easier said than done.