Various Eth2.0 research updates and clarifications were put out during Devcon:
Eth2 shard chain simplification proposal – “Shard count is reduced from 1024 to 64. Shard count and block size can be increased over time if desired, eg. eventually going up to 1024 shards / 1 MB blocks after 10 years.”
The eth1 -> eth2 transition – “Existing applications will keep running with no change. All account balances, contract code and contract storage (this includes ERC20 balances, active CDPs, etc etc) will carry over.”
“In a world that is increasingly connected, and where our information is increasingly cataloged, duplicated, shared, and sold, maintaining our expected levels of privacy can be a challenge.
These technologies, and many others being developed in the space, are great indicators that privacy on the Ethereum network has been gaining increasing attention and advances that may soon receive a massive boost.”
“Bitcoin eventually becomes almost entirely reliant on blockspace demand—by 2032 BTC-denominated block rewards will be only 6% of today’s rewards.
Others assume transaction fee revenue in Bitcoin will pick up the slack. I’m far less convinced. It’s not clear that blockspace demand is Bitcoin’s core strength. Even today, Ethereum is neck-in-neck with Bitcoin on transaction fee revenue. This is because Ethereum serves as a settlement network for a multitude of digital assets and money protocols—due to this broader use, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ethereum exceeds Bitcoin in transaction fee revenue in the years to come.”
“In order for an individual to be able to directly own real estate, it must be priced at a level comparable to company shares in the stock market. Between $50 and $250 is ideal.
Equally important is enabling world-wide participation. With a blockchain, you can fractionalize the asset into affordable units, and then disperse these units across the globe, so that everyone can gain access to real estate investments.
Once rental payments are made accessible to the average individual, these people can enjoy the same financial security and freedom previously only available to the land-owning elite.”
“The company claimed the new product is the first smartphone to be able to run a full bitcoin node, allowing it to propagate transactions and blocks anywhere. The new smartphone comes to the market at a price of €219 ($244), which is about a third of the cost of its predecessor, the Exodus 1.
Full nodes are the most important ingredient in the resilience of the Bitcoin network and we have lowered the barrier to entry for any person to run a node.
The device allows users to install a 400+GB SD card to expand its memory, allowing it to cope with the increasing data capacity required to store the full bitcoin ledger. The company recommended users to connect to WiFi and plug into a power source while running the full node.”
“The Malta-based international trading platform of Bittrex has informed its entire user base in Venezuela that it will stop its services for users in the country without citing a clear reason for the action.
It is also halting the service for a total of 31 countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Yemen.”
“TRON founder Justin Sun is heavily involved in the “Asian investment group” that is backing Poloniex as it spins out from Circle, several Circle employees told The Block under the condition of anonymity.”
“Small-scale tests run so far have identified problems and vulnerabilities in the digital systems and government administrative procedures that must be solved before adopting the technology.
Such systems need to verify voters’ identities — often by analyzing a portrait photo or video with facial recognition software. Experts fear that devices used to vote could be compromised or that facial recognition systems might make mistakes or get tricked by hackers.”
“Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS) is ‘now engaged in a full rollout‘ of its custody and trading services, expanding from the limited trial users in the platform’s final test stage. A Fidelity spokesperson was unable to clarify when the platform was officially launched.
Fidelity started adding clients in the first quarter and is now engaged in a full rollout of its custody and trading services for digital assets — a boon to what is a fragmented and complicated industry.
The $2.8 trillion asset manager is one of the first established traditional financial institutions to offer digital asset custody services.”
“Some 800 representatives from 205 jurisdictions met from Oct. 16 to Oct. 18 to discuss various issues under the jurisdiction of FATF.
There are two concerns: mass-market adoption of virtual assets and person-to-person transfers, without the need for a regulated intermediary. Together these changes could have serious consequences for our ability to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
A second document, titled “Money laundering risks from ‘stablecoins’ and other emerging assets,” said the FATF will continue to examine the characteristics and perceived risks of stablecoins and may even clarify or update its virtual currency guidance to better address this class of cryptocurrency.“
“Binance.US announced that the exchange holds its U.S. dollar deposits in pooled custodial accounts at different banks that are insured by the FDIC.
The pooled custodial accounts are maintained in a manner that provides access to pass-through FDIC insurance coverage up to the depositor coverage limit, which is currently $250,000. FDIC insurance coverage protects depositors against the risk of loss in the event that an FDIC-insured bank fails.”
“Poloniex will now become Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., an ‘independent international company‘ backed by an unnamed Asian investment firm. The trading platform will not serve U.S. customers after this year.
U.S. residents have until Dec. 15, 2019 to withdraw their assets, with all trades being suspended on Nov. 1, 2019.
Poloniex said the company has ‘a multiyear plan to spend more than $100 [million] to develop and expand‘ its platform.”
“This is the first global token trial on the R3 Corda platform, hosted on Microsoft Azure. This represents the first global-scale trial on R3’s Corda platform.
The participating organizations create $18 billion of Trial Tokens. This was a live demonstration of how mobile collateral tokens can be used for instant settlement, collateral management and effective cash transfer.”
“Cointelegraph’s website has become widely inaccessible in Russia as authorities added the domain to a registry of blacklisted sites.
Head of the Eastern Europe & Central Asia Desk at Reporters Without Borders, told Cointelegraph: ‘The blocking of your website is one more sign that Russia’s online censorship system is becoming more powerful.’
Since their largely failed Telegram blocking last year, the Russian authorities have been actively working to enhance their online censorship system. A major turning point was the ‘Sovereign Internet’ law signed by President Putin on 1 May, which is taking Russia much closer to the Chinese model. This law will be implemented gradually from 1 November onwards.”
“Two particular properties of the blockchain make imposing the ordinary rules of private law onto the blockchain particularly tricky, he claims: first, the irreversibility of the ledger and second, the anationality of the technology.
Neither does it provide a mechanism to reverse faulty transfers, nor does it allow for a transfer of title outside the blockchain.
This March, former IBM chairman and current chairman of United States nonprofit The Center for Global Enterprise claimed that no solution had yet been found to make public blockchain networks compatible with European data privacy laws.”
“Daily active users stand at over 2.8 million, [while] there are also over 290,000 Brave Verified Publishers. Brave browser has [also] become more popular than its rivals such as Firefox, Opera and Chrome in Japan.
Platform engagement is extremely high, with a click-through rate of 14% (the industry average is just 2%). More importantly, 12% of click-throughs result in page visits of 10 seconds or longer.”
“Users can now use one ENS name for all of their cryptocurrency wallets, with all the benefits of decentralization, security, censorship-resistance, programability, and more.
We still plan on expanding the namespace available for use on ENS by integrating the DNS namespace. For example, the Ethereum Foundation owns the DNS name “ethereum.org”; with our system they could also have an ENS record for “ethereum.org”. In this way, the Ethereum Foundation could use “ethereum.org” both for their normal website (using DNS) and for receiving cryptocurrency payments (using ENS).”
“xCurrent, the service that B of A appears to have at least tested out, does not involve XRP, the cryptocurrency that Ripple periodically sells to fund operations and that powers its separate xRapid product.
Customers for the xCurrent payment system include American Express, Santander and PNC.”
“Each bar — being marketed as “The Other Bar” — contains a QR code within its wrapper that consumers can use to donate a blockchain token directly to farmers.
When scanned, the QR code also reveals how much the farmer was paid for the cocoa used to produce their bar, as well as indicating the GPS coordinates of the cacao tree from which the cocoa for their bar was harvested.
The whole idea is to use technology to influence consumer behavior and basically turn every product into a capitalist impact engine.“
“A top Federal Reserve official said Wednesday that the U.S. central bank is ‘actively looking at and debating‘ issuance of a digital currency, amid growing worries among current and former regulators that the dollar might be at risk of losing its status as the world’s reserve currency.
We have not at the Fed decided to pursue or drive to develop a digital currency, but it’s something we’re actively looking at and debating.
His comments came after former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo wrote in an op-ed piece that called for the U.S. to create a digital currency.”
“Terry Gou, Taiwan’s richest man and the founder of manufacturing giant Foxconn, wants the island to roll out the red carpet for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project.
I know [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg pretty well, and I hope we can bring Libra to Taiwan in the future. Mainland China has decided not to accept Libra and build its own digital currency. That creates a great opportunity for Taiwan as we can become a place where the two separate systems converge.”
“The OpsChain Public Finance Manager (PFM) system enables transparent tracking of public budgets and expenditures viewable by all citizens.
PFM will also reportedly enable public funds to be matched with outcomes, which in turn would provide insight into how effective different policies are. The platform can potentially be used to better inform future policy decisions.
EY also reportedly already tested tracking public funds on a blockchain in multiple places, including the Canadian city of Toronto.”
“In what looks to be the first for a sovereign nation, Bermuda will be supporting USDC as an acceptable tax payment for some 60,000 residents.
Support for other ‘decentralized finance protocols and services‘ outside of USDC are also in the works as part of a broader initiative to integrate cryptocurrencies into official government operations, the press release stated.
Bermuda also announced Wednesday it would be collaborating with blockchain startup Shyft Network to launch a digital identity program benefiting individuals doing business in the country.”
They have designed the algorithm in such a way as to replace quorums with stochastic samples. The paper goes on to outline a “Gossip-based algorithm” — a probabilistic broadcast to ensure the validity and totality of all messages broadcast.”
“Twenty-one organizations have signed the Libra Association charter, days after a slew of high-profile defections from the cryptocurrency project started by Facebook.
The Libra Association also named its board of directors and formalized the consortium’s executive team following a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
Facebook still remains a key player in the project with Calibra CEO and former Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus taking a seat on the five-person board. Other board members include Katie Haun, a general partner with Andreessen Horowitz; Wences Cesares, CEO of Xapo; Patrick Ellis, general counsel at PayU; and Matthew Davie, chief strategy officer of Kiva.”
“Bitcoin futures contracts grew in popularity last quarter, with the number of open contracts up 61 percent from a year earlier because of growing demand from institutional investors.
Institutional flow remained strong, with 454 new accounts added, compared with 231 added in the third quarter of 2018.
Some 50 percent of the CME’s bitcoin-futures trading volume during the third quarter was outside the U.S., with 26 percent coming from the Asia Pacific region and 21 percent from Europe and the Middle East.”
“Virtual assets will include cryptocurrency that allows users to transfer value, like Bitcoin. Ether, on the other hand, could be classified as a technical token, as the entire Ethereum network depends on it to function. The third category belongs to ICO tokens. They will be described as digital finance assets since they often include dividends and other benefits.
By separating digital assets, the Russian legislative body will be able to apply different rules for each category, depending on their role in the market. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has set the deadline for adopting the bill for 1 November.”
“As of Tuesday morning, it was live on eToro’s trading platform with a minimum $2,000 buy-in. It’s a partnership between eToro exchange and The TIE data analysis firm, who sources their tweets – about 850,000,000 daily.
With an AI system trawling through that massive trove, the network calibrates an optimal crypto portfolio based on the sentiments of those tweets.
At launch, the portfolio included five different crypto assets: 47.24% stake in DASH; 23.92% EOS; 21.86% XRP; 5.01% MIOTA; and 1.97% ETC. It rebalances every month.”
“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is again soliciting comments on a proposed exchange-traded fund (ETF) based around bitcoin and Treasury bonds.
Wilshire Phoenix and NYSE Arca filed an amendment to their ETF proposal earlier this month to address issuance and redemption for the securities and the listing/trading of the fund’s shares. Coinbase Custody will act as the custodian for the bitcoin held by the trust.”
“According to CoinShares, the network launches today with more than $20 million in gold held in a Swiss vault to back up its tokens. Each DGLD token is backed by 1/10th troy ounce. DGLD is built on blockchain firm CommerceBlock’s Ocean sidechain platform.
DGLD combines the stability of the world’s most enduring asset, gold, with the security of the world’s most resilient network, Bitcoin.
CoinShares says the product is available for both retail and institutional investors and will be available in over 200 countries on Blockchain’s cryptocurrency exchange, The PIT.”
“The transactions of over 700 cryptocurrencies are now searchable via the blockchain analytics offering from CipherTrace. That means more than 87 percent of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by volume can now be traced through the API service.
With some 522 million data attribution points, CipherTrace says its platform is uniquely situated to tackle real-world applications like terrorist financing.
Until now, large swaths of the cryptocurrency ecosystem have remained opaque to AML and CTF monitoring.”
“The main effect of the halving will be the wiping out of individual small miners, which now account for less than 20 percent of the market. The market is getting less volatile as the main players are becoming larger and larger.
The market is moving towards industrial mining. There are significantly less crypto enthusiasts on the market now.”
“While the G20 leaders previously admitted crypto assets do not pose a threat to global financial stability, the introduction of global stablecoins could pose ‘a host of challenges‘ to the regulatory community.
The regulator presents a range of issues stemming from stablecoins, including data privacy and protection, AML/CFT and KYC compliance, tax evasion, fair competition and market integrity.
Addressing such risks is not necessarily a guarantee of regulatory approval for a stablecoin arrangement.”
“After the transition to PoS — higher cost of a potential attack would make Ethereum the safer network of the two.
According to Buterin, a successful attack on the network will need multiple malicious blocks to be validated, which in turn would require an enormous Ether stake that could be slashed if someone were to successfully challenge the transaction. This makes a potential attack more expensive to carry out and is an improvement over PoW, stated Buterin.”
“Halo allows a user to prove that no one involved in the initial establishment of a large-scale zero-knowledge proof system has created a secret backdoor and that that secure state has existed over the course of ongoing updates and changes to the system.
[Additionally], in a dramatic compression in computational requirements, all that’s now needed to verify the veracity of the entire database’s current state is a single mathematical proof.
While there will still need to be nodes that read the full blockchain to identify transactions, the overall task of verifying the integrity of a blockchain could become a much less costly problem for the network as a whole. Ordinary users could achieve the ease-of-use and efficiency they need but do so with their own full verification nodes.
The ECC is planning to integrate Halo into the zcash blockchain as a Layer 1 scaling solution.”
“The force majeure clause — which encompasses natural disasters, terrorist threats and the eruption of war — also includes legal or regulatory actions on the part of the authorities.
Following an abrupt move by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to declare that the $1.7 billion initial coin offering (ICO) for the Telegram Open Network (TON) was illegal, this could mean that Telegram will not be required to return money to its investors, should it choose to postpone the network’s launch.”
“Telegram stated that they are continuing to assess the best ways to resolve the situation in the interests of relevant parties, including but not limited to evaluating whether to delay the launch date.
We were surprised and disappointed that the SEC chose to file the lawsuit under these circumstances, and we disagree with the SEC’s legal position.
After deeming Telegram’s initial coin offering (ICO) illegal, the SEC also filed a temporary restraining order, setting a court hearing in New York for Oct. 24.”
“BMW, General Motors, Honda, Ford and Renault are working with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) on integrating the system to automatically make payments.
By assigning vehicles unique identities that store data such as ownership and histories on a blockchain, the industry initiative aims to remove the need for a human when settling tolls and parking fees.
Participating vehicles would eventually be able to automatically pay expenses once plugged into other networks such as charging or refueling stations. One such system involved compensating users in crypto for putting energy back into the power grid following an outage.”
“Some exciting news: we may have found a home for Kik! We just signed an LOI [letter of intention] with a great company. They want to buy the app, continue growing it for our millions of users, and take the Kin integration to the next level.“
“Dubbed CryptoMajor, the basket product includes bitcoin (BTC), XRP, litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and ethereum (ETH), which are equally weighted to protect against market volatility. The five cryptos are already traded on its platform.
Trading a basket of cryptocurrencies means our users are freed from the hassle of constantly monitoring the markets.”
“The SEC announced late Friday that it filed for and received an emergency action and restraining order halting Telegram from selling or otherwise distributing its gram tokens within the U.S. The complaint alleges that Telegram did not register its offer or sale.
The SEC Division of Enforcement said in a statement that the emergency action is ‘intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the U.S. markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold.’
Telegram seeks to obtain the benefits of a public offering without complying with the long-established disclosure responsibilities designed to protect the investing public.”
“The Financial Times reported Friday that eBay and Stripe dropped out of the Libra cryptocurrency project, citing political pressure.
We believe there are potential benefits in such initiatives and will continue to monitor the Libra effort. …We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.
The Libra Association is scheduled to have its first official meeting next week, where the remaining 23 members – which include both Facebook and its subsidiary Calibra – are supposed to sign the group’s charter.”
“Paul Brody explained that Nightfall is the first step in a greater process to get businesses creating agreements, settling invoices and making payments with each other using the public Ethereum blockchain.
The end game is enabling all the functionality of the Ethereum blockchain for enterprise users, with full privacy.
It’s an ambitious roadmap but one, he said, that could drive, ‘immense transformation to the world’s companies.’
We’re doing more than 10,000 transactions per day for Microsoft. We have seven major video games suppliers live and we’re expanding the footprint of that service.”
“In addition to ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin launching the drive to build the Ethereum developer community into the millions, ConsenSys Grants announced its latest induction of projects into its program. A number of leading ConsenSys projects like MythX, Alethio, and Infura announced rollouts of freemium models to address ecosystem pain points ranging from smart contract security to data analysis to infrastructure.
Elsewhere, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a member-led industry organization represented by hundreds of companies around the world, released two new specifications to progress interoperability for the largest organizations in the world utilizing the Ethereum network.”
“Unstoppable Domains – a firm backed by Draper Associates – said Friday that the new .crypto extension can be connected to users’ public cryptocurrency address, allowing third-parties to more easily send funds.
Sending money to a .crypto domain is a way simpler user experience.
The firm’s blockchain domains can also be used to provide “uncensorable” websites. Linking the domain to content on a decentralized storage network results in pages that “no one” can take down.”
“Australia’s only bullion mint is backing a new digital token aimed to allow investors to trade the precious metal in real time.
The Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT) was launched by InfiniGold on Friday, and is backed 1:1 by GoldPass certificates issued by The Perth Mint. The digital certificates are 100% gold backed and guaranteed by the Government of Western Australia, which is the sole owner of the 120-year-old mint.
PMGT is digitized gold that allows users to conveniently acquire and have entitlement over government guaranteed physical gold stored at The Perth Mint in a trusted and cost-effective way.”
“The creator of an “open” alternative to Facebook’s Libra stablecoin initially misrepresented which organizations are involved in the project. Outside of Aggarwal, representatives from Chainlink, Web3 Foundation and Hashed have told CoinDesk their names were used without their permission on the OpenLibra slide deck presented at Devcon.
I wasn’t asked before my name was used on the slides. We’re not opposed to OpenLibra. We’re just not a part of it.
Geiger has not confirmed which of the 30 listed individuals and organizations announced on Wednesday were “potential partners” and which were actual confirmed partners of the OpenLibra project.”
“Nobody in the cryptocurrency space is thinking big enough.
Why are we not thinking about how to create dark finance tools we can leverage against government bonds? We can crash national economies.
‘It’s clearly not just a cultural change. It can also be a profound institutional change to our political order.’ But to do this, the industry needs to embrace its political side, according to Siri, and think more globally.
There needs to be a change on a big scale for cryptocurrency to realize its big potential. … We have to train not just hackers, but leaders.”
“China Construction Bank, one of the largest Chinese commercial banks, has expanded its trade finance blockchain platform with new abilities, including cross-chain and inter-bank transactions, as trading volume surpasses $53 billion.
The move is in line with China’s economic plan to promote trade amid the One Belt One Road Initiative and help grow the real economy in the country.
All four major state-owned commercial banks in China – CCB, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China – have launched blockchain-based financial services initiatives in the past two years.”
“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about ether – until now. It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.
Tarbert continued to say the CFTC is working with the SEC on the two cryptocurrencies and have agreed both are not securities. Going forward, the CFTC may allow ether futures to trade on U.S. markets, he suggested.“
“The SEC announced Wednesday that the ETF proposal, filed by Bitwise Asset Management in conjunction with NYSE Arca, did not meet legal requirements to prevent market manipulation or other illicit activities. The SEC placed the burden on NYSE Arca, rather than Bitwise’s proposal itself.
With Wednesday’s rejection, the SEC only has one bitcoin ETF proposal currently sitting before it, filed by Wilshire Phoenix and NYSE Arca.”
“Tencent-backed Pepo lets you get paid in crypto when people upvote your 30-second videos. The app is a kind of crossover between TikTok and Instagram, but enhanced by—and shockingly, not encumbered by—blockchain.
You can send crypto to people you know on the app, you can use Pepo tokens to upvote other people’s videos, and they can upvote yours. And yet,you wouldn’t know there was a blockchain in sight.“
“With the firm’s new product, clients can physically settle synthetic trades with bitcoin, which correspond to physical gold stored in vaults. Clients can [also] settle the trade with a number of cryptocurrencies.
These tokens will give them access to the underlying metal since they correspond to ownership of physical gold in vaults.”
“On Oct. 10, Alipay reiterated its anti-crypto stance in a Twitter thread, which warned that the company is closely monitoring over-the-counter transactions to identify irregular behavior and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
If any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, @Alipay immediately stops the relevant payment services.
On Oct. 9, Binance confirmed that it has begun accepting fiat currencies through online payment service Alipay and mobile messaging and payment app WeChat.”
“The average annual blockchain salary in Canada is more than $98,000, making blockchain careers among the highest-paying in the country.
Although the report claims that Canada is well-positioned to become a global leader in the blockchain industry, the ecosystem is facing major challenges that include funding, lack of a regulatory environment, insufficient public education and little to no cooperation from banks and auditing services.”