December 5

EY’s Nightfall now offers private transactions for just $0.24 per transaction.

At $0.24 per transaction, we can scale and enable nearly every major business to business process.

Nightfall has been released free of charge into the public domain—there are no licensing fees or other fees associated with using the technology. By doing this, EY hopes to ensure better uptake of Nightfall, with the hopes of enabling businesses to transfer ether (ETH) and Ethereum-based tokens privately on the blockchain.”

The latest ethereum hard fork, Istanbul, is bringing Layer 2 solutions to the network – this time in the form of a payment channel.

Matter Labs released Thursday the testnet of ZK-Sync, in what the firm claims is a step toward making blockchains compete with centralized systems for handling millions of transactions a day.

Other Layer 2 ethereum solutions have stalled at the same point, facing costs too high to justify using the system. As Gluchowski said, Istanbul proved to be the answer for Matter Labs and other Layer 2 payment systems.”

“Azure Heroes rewards Azure community members for positive actions, such as coaching, making demos, providing sample code, making posts about Azure or completing challenges​.

Issuance and transactions of the badger collectibles will be carried out on the ethereum blockchain, allowing winners to hold them as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Microsoft and Enjin have collaborated in a local pilot to create a blockchain based recognition programme. The Azure Heroes badgers were created in a number of original and unique designs which have been tokenised into a digital asset on the Ethereum public blockchain.”

See Also: Official Press Release: Introducing Azure Heroes

“The Council and the Commission state that no global “stablecoin” arrangement should begin operation in the European Union until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been adequately identified and addressed.

All options should be on the table, including any measures to prevent the creation of unmanageable risks by certain global ‘stablecoins.'”

See Also: Top US Financial Regulators Urge Monitoring of Digital Assets, Stablecoins

Etherscan launches Eth2 Beacon Chain explorer.

“Under the hood, Ramp Instant is non-custodial and peer-to-peer. Every transaction is matched with a peer in the background, so your payment goes directly to your counter-party’s bank account, not to Ramp. Connecting banking databases with blockchains was impossible until very recently. 

Ramp Instant is currently only available with UK bank accounts and several other banks across the EU, but we’re planning a full EU launch by the end of 2019.”

IDEX, the top decentralized exchange (DEX) for ERC-20 tokens in 2019, is launching a new DEX on top of Rollup technology, a Layer 2 scalability protocol only made possible through Ethereum’s latest “Istanbul” hard fork.

By reducing gas fees, Rollup-based smart contracts, which bundle on-chain transactions off-chain, have become an expedient scalability tool.

The design for off-chain exchange functionality with on-chain custody and settlement is much more efficient, much more cost-effective.”

See Also: Loopring 3.0 Deployed on Ethereum

“Starting Thursday, users can buy or sell using their balances.

There will be no trading fees, as the service will have a different profit model: the money will be coming from selling data on the users’ trades to big institutional crypto firms that, in turn, will act as market makers at BlockFi, providing liquidity.

BlockFi is planning to open fiat-to-crypto trading. The fiat gateway is expected to go live sometime during the first quarter of 2020.”

It’s the highest hourly USD transaction volume in Bitcoin’s history.

Glassnode claims that the spike was caused by cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex moving a large amount of Bitcoin multiple times. The transactions took place ahead of the exchange’s maintenance scheduled for today.”

“We review every crypto wallet so you don’t have to.”

The DAO that will be proposed to ANT holders to proclaim as the official Aragon Network DAO is now live. With the release of the Aragon client with support for Proposal Agreements, ANT holders will take over control over the Aragon Network, making it a truly sovereign DAO.

Also, ANJ, the native token of Aragon Court, was deployed. ANJ is a staking token that Aragon Court jurors need to be selected to resolve disputes. At the moment, ANJ is controlled by the Aragon Network DAO.”

December 4

“Since the last EF-Supported Teams report, progress has been made across the board. From improved network conditions, to the coming Istanbul release and Eth1.x and Eth2 development, all areas core to the functionality and sustainability of Ethereum are advancing.

“The governor of the Bank of France announced that the bank will start testing the digital euro project by the end of the first quarter 2020. The project aims to assert France’s sovereignty over private digital currency initiatives like Facebook’s stablecoin Libra.

The digital euro pilot will only target private financial sector players and won’t involve retail payments made by individuals. Villeroy reportedly noted that a digital currency for retail customers would ‘be subject to special vigilance.

I see the interest in rapidly advancing the issuance of at least one central bank digital currency in order to be the leading issuer globally and get the benefits associated with providing an exemplary central bank digital currency.

“Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that there is no public demand for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the country. He concluded that at present there is no reason to issue a CBDC in Japan.

Nevertheless, the Bank of Japan has been conducting technical and legal research on this matter in order to stand ready when the need for CBDC 13 may arise in the future.

One strategy that the bank is adopting to promote such systems is increasing the number of cashless payment users and ensuring interoperability among multiple payment service providers.”

See Also: Japan: MUFG Bank Denies Reports It is Developing New Digital Currency

Loeffler will take office on Jan. 1, 2020. Though Isakson’s term ends in January 2023, Loeffler will have to run for election next year if she intends to serve past January 2021. Kemp appointed Loeffler, a Republican, against the reported wishes of President Donald Trump.

While Loeffler said she was “pro-Trump,” and in favor of his border wall, the Second Amendment and against abortion and socialism, she did not address crypto or bitcoin in her introductory remarks.

“The collaboration between the two firms will allow the exchange’s customers to buy over 2,000 different prepaid vouchers with Bitcoin. When Bitfinex users buy products from Bitrefill, the system put in place by the two firms instantly settles the payments over Lightning Network.

Bitfinex and Bitrefill utilize customized versions of Lightning to open large channels together, exceeding the default limits in place.”

“On Dec. 3 that 1,035,020 GUSD were burnt in a single operation. This number of tokens is equivalent to around 20% of what was the total GUSD circulating supply.

The Gemini dollar has seen an overall poor performance since its launch in late September last year. CoinMarketCap historical data shows that GUSD reported $3.3 million in trading volume on Dec.3, down from a peak of over $249.4 million reported on Feb. 20, 2019.”

“The former Morgan Stanley developers claim the platform is ten times faster than traditional crypto trading platforms, while offering 100x leverage to both retail and institutional investors in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) perpetual contracts.

In the near future, these contracts will reportedly also be backed by traditional financial products, such as stock indexes, interest rates, foreign exchange, agricultural commodities, and metals and energy.

We are the first exchange to truly bring Wall Street level sophistication to the worldwide crypto derivatives markets.

“Circle, the parent company of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, says it could charge United States users fees and even confiscate users’ entire balances if they do not remove their funds.

There are two fees Poloniex US customers who do not withdraw their assets may be subject to: a monthly service fee while a user continues to have assets stored on the platform, and a one-time dormancy fee when an account becomes dormant per the terms of the applicable regulations. Unclaimed assets may be sent to state governments, consistent with applicable regulations.

Very Cool Crypto Project!

December 3

“As of Tuesday,, one of the longest-running and most widely used ethereum block explorers, was inaccessible from IP addresses inside mainland China.

This is likely the first known case of a blockchain explorer becoming an internet firewall target and puts in the company of such blocked information and social media sites as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

This is another instance of friction between the decentralized and immutable technology of blockchain and the tightly controlled, centralized government of China.

It’s not immediately clear what exactly led to the blocking of a blockchain explorer in China. But last year, there were reports that cryptocurrency users encoded censored articles regarding the #Metoo movement and a pharmaceutical scandal in China onto ethereum transactions in a bid to bypass internet censorship.”

“The platform’s CTO, Paolo Ardoino, confirmed that as of Tuesday, it would support Bitcoin (BTC) transactions on the Lightning Network (LN). The move is a first for a major cryptocurrency exchange.

Users will benefit from instant transactions and will pay almost zero fees to send funds via Lightning. Lightning company Bitrefill confirmed it would assist Bitfinex with deposits and withdrawals.”

Launched by New York-based WisdomTree – one of largest ETF providers in the U.S. – on Tuesday, the new product will compete with a similar physically backed bitcoin ETP from Amun AG on SIX.

We have been monitoring cryptocurrencies for some time and … have seen enough to believe that digital assets, like Bitcoin, are not a passing trend and can play a role in portfolios.”

“Blockchain startup LifeLabs announced that it is developing a digital currency dubbed BVI~LIFE in partnership with the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The coin will be a stablecoin pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar — which the BVI have used since 1959 — and its use is expected to reduce transactional fees, increase transaction speed and be accessible to outsiders such as tourists. 

LifeLabs is also developing Rapid Cash Response, a fund meant to provide aid in case of a national emergency.”

“The company jointly developed the platform with fintech firm HQLAX, which was launched by R3 and uses Corda DLT technology.

The platform was able to swap ownership of a basket of German government bonds and a basket of corporate bonds between UBS and Commerzbank while employing Clearstream Banking as a custodian. 

The go-live of the HQLAX operating model demonstrates the power of innovation that DLT is already bringing to the financial services industry.

“Starting on Dec. 4, Binance’s users will be able to trade with XTZ, with XTZ rewards to be calculated daily based on live snapshots and distributed monthly.

“Bitcoin artist “Bnoiit.c” has created an Ethereum-based virtual museum “Cryptovoxels” that ensures censored artworks are immutably preserved for an online audience.

In its collection as of Aug. 25 has been a Bitcoin mural by French street artist Pascal “PBOY” Boyart, which was painted over by French authorities earlier this year. 

The mural has now been tokenized as a digital collectible — split into 100 ETH-based non-fungible tokens, which can be bought and sold via peer-to-peer digital collectibles marketplace OpenSea.”

“The Canadian nonprofit Open Privacy is working on Cwtch, a zcash-fueled messaging app with more decentralization than Telegram or Signal.

Lewis said Cwtch (a Welsh word for hug pronounced something like “kutch”) was inspired by market research with sex workers and queer communities that experienced censorship and malicious surveillance. 

The most critical aspect of this whole endeavour will be getting people who use Cwtch to a position where they can easily use zcash to pay for anonymous services, or even accept it themselves.”

“We are very pleased that today the judge found that Virgil should be released from jail pending trial. We dispute the untested allegations in the criminal complaint. Virgil looks forward to his day in court, when the full story can come out.

Griffith was arrested on charges of conspiracy to assist the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in learning more about cryptocurrency for its own benefit.

Klein has represented a number of high-profile individuals in the cryptocurrency and cybersecurity worlds, including bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem and security researcher Marcus Hutchins.”

See Also: Former Charlie Shrem Attorney to Represent Arrested Ethereum Dev
See Also: Sanctions Weren’t Discussed at North Korea Crypto Conference, Attendee Says

“StrandHogg poses as any other app on the infected device and tricks users into believing that they are using a legitimate app. The vulnerability then allows malicious apps to phish users’ credentials by displaying a malicious and fake version of a login screen. 

Aside from stealing personal information like crypto wallet login credentials, StrandHogg can also reportedly listen to the user through their microphone, read and send text messages, and access all private photos and files on the device, among other nefarious exploits.”

December 2

“Led by the State Information Center (SIC), a think tank affiliated with the National Development and Research Commision, China’s highest central planning agency, the network is planning to offer infrastructure services for any Chinese or international entity that uses blockchain. 

BSN was originally created by six institutions, including SIC and state-owned tech giants China Mobile and China UnionPay, the country’s answer to VISA and Mastercard. 

The network would be tested in 54 cities across the country as well as Hong Kong and Singapore for projects such as smart city management.

“The spec, Stratum V2, could significantly change how bitcoin mining functions and would add security and efficiency to mining pools.

Instead of mining pools deciding what transactions go into blocks, miners decide which ones to include. This also means that miners, not mining pools, will be able to vote on protocol upgrades to bitcoin if Stratum V2 is adopted by mining pools.

At the same time it’s important to mention that a pool that would ‘intentionally’ perform such censorship would not allow its users to negotiate their jobs.”

The website for cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme OneCoin has finally ceased operating, months after United States authorities indicted one of its founders for fraud. The domain’s registry, confirmed to the publication that the website was offline due to the criminal proceedings against OneCoin.”

Over 60% of the total Bitcoin (BTC) in circulation has not left its wallet in more than a year, highlighting demand among investors. According to the data, the amount of dormant BTC as a percentage of the total supply has sharply increased in recent years. 

Such a trait fits Bitcoin’s characteristics as hard money: a currency with a fixed supply and emission schedule which no central authority can manipulate.”

“Japanese holding company SoftBank has introduced a new debit card featuring a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. Currently, the card is available exclusively in Japan, however, SoftBank plans to roll out the product in Southeast Asia, South Korea, the United States and Dubai in the future.”

“Giancarlo recently called for the creation of the digital dollar with former LabCFTC head Daniel Gorfine, warning that not doing so while other central banks experiment with blockchain technology and digital currencies could result in the greenback being replaced as a global standard.

Giancarlo said he plans to continue advocating for the digital dollar’s development, as well as for an American replacement to the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR).”

“Microsoft, major game developer Eidos and gamebook firm Fabled Lands are jointly developing a blockchain card game based on a 1980s best-selling gamebook. The game’s title will be “Arena of Death” and its players will fight in fantasy-themed card battles with features from the original gamebook series.

The company plans to use non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Vechain blockchain.”