Syscoin Platform’s Great Reddit Scaling Bake-off Proposal
https://preview.redd.it/rqt2dldyg8e51.jpg?width=1044&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=777ae9d4fbbb54c3540682b72700fc4ba3de0a44 We are excited to participate and present Syscoin Platform's ideal characteristics and capabilities towards a well-rounded Reddit Community Points solution! Our scaling solution for Reddit Community Points involves 2-way peg interoperability with Ethereum. This will provide a scalable token layer built specifically for speed and high volumes of simple value transfers at a very low cost, while providing sovereign ownership and onchain finality. Token transfers scale by taking advantage of a globally sorting mempool that provides for probabilistically secure assumptions of “as good as settled”. The opportunity here for token receivers is to have an app-layer interactivity on the speed/security tradeoff (99.9999% assurance within 10 seconds). We call this Z-DAG, and it achieves high-throughput across a mesh network topology presently composed of about 2,000 geographically dispersed full-nodes. Similar to Bitcoin, however, these nodes are incentivized to run full-nodes for the benefit of network security, through a bonded validator scheme. These nodes do not participate in the consensus of transactions or block validation any differently than other nodes and therefore do not degrade the security model of Bitcoin’s validate first then trust, across every node. Each token transfer settles on-chain. The protocol follows Bitcoin core policies so it has adequate code coverage and protocol hardening to be qualified as production quality software. It shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower through merged-mining. This platform as a whole can serve token microtransactions, larger settlements, and store-of-value in an ideal fashion, providing probabilistic scalability whilst remaining decentralized according to Bitcoin design. It is accessible to ERC-20 via a permissionless and trust-minimized bridge that works in both directions. The bridge and token platform are currently available on the Syscoin mainnet. This has been gaining recent attention for use by loyalty point programs and stablecoins such as Binance USD.
Syscoin Foundation identified a few paths for Reddit to leverage this infrastructure, each with trade-offs. The first provides the most cost-savings and scaling benefits at some sacrifice of token autonomy. The second offers more preservation of autonomy with a more narrow scope of cost savings than the first option, but savings even so. The third introduces more complexity than the previous two yet provides the most overall benefits. We consider the third as most viable as it enables Reddit to benefit even while retaining existing smart contract functionality. We will focus on the third option, and include the first two for good measure.
Distribution, burns and user-to-user transfers of Reddit Points are entirely carried out on the Syscoin network. This full-on approach to utilizing the Syscoin network provides the most scalability and transaction cost benefits of these scenarios. The tradeoff here is distribution and subscription handling likely migrating away from smart contracts into the application layer.
The Reddit Community Points ecosystem can continue to use existing smart contracts as they are used today on the Ethereum mainchain. Users migrate a portion of their tokens to Syscoin, the scaling network, to gain much lower fees, scalability, and a proven base layer, without sacrificing sovereign ownership. They would use Syscoin for user-to-user transfers. Tips redeemable in ten seconds or less, a high-throughput relay network, and onchain settlement at a block target of 60 seconds.
Integration between Matic Network and Syscoin Platform - similar to Syscoin’s current integration with Ethereum - will provide Reddit Community Points with EVM scalability (including the Memberships ERC777 operator) on the Matic side, and performant simple value transfers, robust decentralized security, and sovereign store-of-value on the Syscoin side. It’s “the best of both worlds”. The trade-off is more complex interoperability.
Syscoin + Matic Integration
Matic and Blockchain Foundry Inc, the public company formed by the founders of Syscoin, recently entered a partnership for joint research and business development initiatives. This is ideal for all parties as Matic Network and Syscoin Platform provide complementary utility. Syscoin offers characteristics for sovereign ownership and security based on Bitcoin’s time-tested model, and shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower. Syscoin’s focus is on secure and scalable simple value transfers, trust-minimized interoperability, and opt-in regulatory compliance for tokenized assets rather than scalability for smart contract execution. On the other hand, Matic Network can provide scalable EVM for smart contract execution. Reddit Community Points can benefit from both. Syscoin + Matic integration is actively being explored by both teams, as it is helpful to Reddit, Ethereum, and the industry as a whole.
Total cost for these 100k transactions: $0.63 USD See the live fee comparison for savings estimation between transactions on Ethereum and Syscoin. Below is a snapshot at time of writing: ETH price: $318.55 ETH gas price: 55.00 Gwei ($0.37) Syscoin price: $0.11 Snapshot of live fee comparison chart Z-DAG provides a more efficient fee-market. A typical Z-DAG transaction costs 0.0000582 SYS. Tokens can be safely redeemed/re-spent within seconds or allowed to settle on-chain beforehand. The costs should remain about this low for microtransactions. Syscoin will achieve further reduction of fees and even greater scalability with offchain payment channels for assets, with Z-DAG as a resilience fallback. New payment channel technology is one of the topics under research by the Syscoin development team with our academic partners at TU Delft. In line with the calculation in the Lightning Networks white paper, payment channels using assets with Syscoin Core will bring theoretical capacity for each person on Earth (7.8 billion) to have five on-chain transactions per year, per person, without requiring anyone to enter a fee market (aka “wait for a block”). This exceeds the minimum LN expectation of two transactions per person, per year; one to exist on-chain and one to settle aggregated value.
Tools to simplify using Syscoin Bridge as a service with dapps and wallets will be released some time after implementation of Syscoin Core 4.2. These will be based upon the same processes which are automated in the current live Sysethereum Dapp that is functioning with the Syscoin mainnet.
The Syscoin Ethereum Bridge is secured by Agent nodes participating in a decentralized and incentivized model that involves roles of Superblock challengers and submitters. This model is open to participation. The benefits here are trust-minimization, permissionless-ness, and potentially less legal/regulatory red-tape than interop mechanisms that involve liquidity providers and/or trading mechanisms. The trade-off is that due to the decentralized nature there are cross-chain settlement times of one hour to cross from Ethereum to Syscoin, and three hours to cross from Syscoin to Ethereum. We are exploring ways to reduce this time while maintaining decentralization via zkp. Even so, an “instant bridge” experience could be provided by means of a third-party liquidity mechanism. That option exists but is not required for bridge functionality today. Typically bridges are used with batch value, not with high frequencies of smaller values, and generally it is advantageous to keep some value on both chains for maximum availability of utility. Even so, the cross-chain settlement time is good to mention here.
Ethereum -> Syscoin: Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for bridge contract interaction, negligible Syscoin transaction fee for minting tokens Syscoin -> Ethereum: Negligible Syscoin transaction fee for burning tokens, 0.01% transaction fee paid to Bridge Agent in the form of the ERC-20, Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for contract interaction.
Zero-Confirmation Directed Acyclic Graph is an instant settlement protocol that is used as a complementary system to proof-of-work (PoW) in the confirmation of Syscoin service transactions. In essence, a Z-DAG is simply a directed acyclic graph (DAG) where validating nodes verify the sequential ordering of transactions that are received in their memory pools. Z-DAG is used by the validating nodes across the network to ensure that there is absolute consensus on the ordering of transactions and no balances are overflowed (no double-spends).
Unique fee-market that is more efficient for microtransaction redemption and settlement
Uses decentralized means to enable tokens with value transfer scalability that is comparable or exceeds that of credit card networks
Provides high throughput and secure fulfillment even if blocks are full
Probabilistic and interactive
99.9999% security assurance within 10 seconds
Can serve payment channels as a resilience fallback that is faster and lower-cost than falling-back directly to a blockchain
Each Z-DAG transaction also settles onchain through Syscoin Core at 60-second block target using SHA-256 Proof of Work consensus
Z-DAG enables the ideal speed/security tradeoff to be determined per use-case in the application layer. It minimizes the sacrifice required to accept and redeem fast transfers/payments while providing more-than-ample security for microtransactions. This is supported on the premise that a Reddit user receiving points does need security yet generally doesn’t want nor need to wait for the same level of security as a nation-state settling an international trade debt. In any case, each Z-DAG transaction settles onchain at a block target of 60 seconds.
Syscoin 3.0 White Paper (4.0 white paper is pending. For improved scalability and less blockchain bloat, some features of v3 no longer exist in current v4: Specifically Marketplace Offers, Aliases, Escrow, Certificates, Pruning, Encrypted Messaging)
16MB block bandwidth per minute assuming segwit witness carrying transactions, and transactions ~200 bytes on average
SHA256 merge mined with Bitcoin
UTXO asset layer, with base Syscoin layer sharing identical security policies as Bitcoin Core
Z-DAG on asset layer, bridge to Ethereum on asset layer
On-chain scaling with prospect of enabling enterprise grade reliable trustless payment processing with on/offchain hybrid solution
Focus only on Simple Value Transfers. MVP of blockchain consensus footprint is balances and ownership of them. Everything else can reduce data availability in exchange for scale (Ethereum 2.0 model). We leave that to other designs, we focus on transfers.
Future integrations of MAST/Taproot to get more complex value transfers without trading off trustlessness or decentralization.
Zero-knowledge Proofs are a cryptographic new frontier. We are dabbling here to generalize the concept of bridging and also verify the state of a chain efficiently. We also apply it in our Digital Identity projects at Blockchain Foundry (a publicly traded company which develops Syscoin softwares for clients). We are also looking to integrate privacy preserving payment channels for off-chain payments through zkSNARK hub & spoke design which does not suffer from the HTLC attack vectors evident on LN. Much of the issues plaguing Lightning Network can be resolved using a zkSNARK design whilst also providing the ability to do a multi-asset payment channel system. Currently we found a showstopper attack (American Call Option) on LN if we were to use multiple-assets. This would not exist in a system such as this.
Web3 and mobile wallets are under active development by Blockchain Foundry Inc as WebAssembly applications and expected for release not long after mainnet deployment of Syscoin Core 4.2. Both of these will be multi-coin wallets that support Syscoin, SPTs, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens. The Web3 wallet will provide functionality similar to Metamask. Syscoin Platform and tokens are already integrated with Blockbook. Custom hardware wallet support currently exists via ElectrumSys. First-class HW wallet integration through apps such as Ledger Live will exist after 4.2. Current supported wallets Syscoin Spark Desktop Syscoin-Qt
https://preview.redd.it/6w93e0afttx41.png?width=1400&format=png&auto=webp&s=c00989612ec2d52eb522405e6b6a98bf875e08bb Version 1.3.0 is a powerful update to TkeySpace that our team has been carefully preparing. since version 1.2.0, we have been laying the foundation for implementing new features that are already available in the current version. Who cares about the security and privacy of their assets is an update for you. TkeySpace — was designed to give You full control over your digital assets while maintaining an exceptional level of security, which is why there is no personal data in the wallet: phone number, the email address that could be compromised by hackers — no identity checks and other hassles, just securely save the backup phrase consisting of 12 words.
Briefly about the TkeySpace 1.3.0 update :
Code optimization and switching to AndroidX;
Selecting the privacy mode;
Selecting the recovery method for each currency;
Choosing the address format for Litecoin;
Enhanced validation of transactions and blocks in the network;
Starting with the current update, the TkeySpace wallet can communicate via the TOR network, includes new privacy algorithms, and supports 59 different currencies. https://i.redd.it/kn5waeskttx41.gif Tor is a powerful privacy feature for those who own large assets or live in places where the Internet is heavily censored.
Tor technology provides protection against traffic analysis mechanisms that compromise not only Internet privacy, but also the confidentiality of trade secrets, business contacts, and communications in General.
When you enable TOR settings, all outgoing traffic from the wallet will be encrypted and routed through an anonymous network of servers, periodically forming a chain through the Tor network, which uses multi-level encryption, effectively hiding any information about the sender: location, IP address, and other data. This means that if your provider blocks the connection, you can rest easy — after all, by running this function, you will get an encrypted connection to the network without restrictions. https://preview.redd.it/w9y3ax4mttx41.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=972e375fc26d479e8b8d2999f7659ec332e2af55 In TOR mode, the wallet may work noticeably slower and in some cases, there may be problems with the network, due to encryption, some blockchain browsers may temporarily not work. However, TOR encryption is very important when Internet providers completely block traffic and switching to this mode, you get complete freedom and no blocks for transactions.
Confidentiality of transactions (the Blockchain transaction)
The wallet can change the model of a standard transaction, mixing inputs and outputs, making it difficult to identify certain cryptocurrencies. In the current update, you can select one of several modes for the transaction privacy level: deterministic lexicographic sorting or shuffle mode.
Mode: Lexicographic indexing
Implemented deterministic lexicographic sorting using hashes of previous transactions and output indexes for sorting transaction input data, as well as values and scriptPubKeys for sorting transaction output data; We understand that information must remain confidential not only in the interests of consumers but also in higher orders, financial systems must be kept secret to prevent fraud. One way to address these privacy shortcomings is to randomize the order of inputs and outputs.
Lexicographic orderingis a comparison algorithm used to sort two sets based on their Cartesian order within their common superset. Lexicographic order is also often referred to as alphabetical order or dictionary order. The hashes of previous transactions (in reverse byte order) are sorted in ascending order, lexicographically.
In the case of two matching transaction hashes, the corresponding previous output indexes will be compared by their integer value in ascending order. If the previous output indexes match, the input data is considered equal.
Shuffle Mode: mixing (random indexing)
To learn more about how “shuffle mode” works, we will first analyze the mechanisms using the example of a classic transaction. Current balance Of your wallet: 100 TKEY, coins are stored at different addresses: x1. Address-contains 10 TKEY. x2. Address-contains 20 TKEY. x3. Address-contains 30 TKEY. x4. Address-contains 15 TKEY. x5. Address-contains 25 TKEY.
Addresses in the blockchain are identifiers that you use to send cryptocurrency to another person or to receive digital currency.
Let’s look at a similar example: you have 100 TKEY on your balance, and you need to send 19 TKEY. x1. Address-contains 10 TKEY. x2. Address-contains 20 TKEY. x3. Address-contains 30 TKEY. x4. Address-contains 15 TKEY. x5. Address-contains 25 TKEY. You send 19 TKEY, the system analyzes all your addresses and balances on them and selects the most suitable ones for the transaction. To send 19 TKEY, the miners will be given coins with x2. Addresses, for a total of 20 TKEY. Of these, 19 TKEY will be sent to the recipient, and 0.99999679 TKEY will be returned to Your new address as change minus the transaction fee. https://preview.redd.it/doxmqffqttx41.png?width=1400&format=png&auto=webp&s=5c99ec41363fe50cd651dc0acab05e175416006a In the blockchain explorer, you will see the transaction amount in the amount of 20 TKEY, where 0.99999679 TKEY is Your change, 19 TKEY is the amount you sent and 0.00000321 is the transaction fee. The shuffle mode has a cumulative effect. with each new transaction, delivery Addresses will be created and the selection of debit addresses/s that are most suitable for the transaction will change. Thus, if you store 1,000,000 TKEY in your wallet and want to send 1 TKEY to the recipient, the transaction amount will not display most of your balance but will select 1 or more addresses for the transaction.
Selecting the recovery method for each digital currency (Blockchain restore)
Now you can choose the recovery method for each currency: API + Blockchain or blockchain.
Note: This is not a syncing process, but rather the choice of a recovery method for your wallet. Syncing takes place with the blockchain — regardless of the method you choose.
What are the differences between recovery methods?
API + Blockchain
In order not to load the entire history of the blockchain, i.e. block and transaction headers, the API helps you quickly get point information about previous transactions. For example, If your transactions are located in block 67325 and block 71775, the API will indicate to the node the necessary points for restoring Your balance, which will speed up the “recovery” process. As soon as the information is received, communication with the peers takes place and synchronization begins from the control point, then from this moment, all subsequent block loading is carried out through the blockchain. This method allows you to quickly restore Your existing wallet. ‘’+’’ Speed. ‘’-’’ The API server may fail.
This method loads all block headers (block headers + Merkle) starting from the BIP44 checkpoint and manually validates transactions. ‘’+’’ It always works and is decentralized. ‘’-’’ Loading the entire blockchain may take a long time.
Why do I need to switch the recovery method?
If when creating a wallet or restoring it, a notification (!) lights up in red near the selected cryptocurrency, then most likely the API has failed, so go to Settings — Security Center — Privacy — Blockchain Restore — switch to Blockchain. Syncing will be successful.
Enhanced validation of transactions and blocks in the network
Due to the increased complexity in the Tkeycoin network, we have implemented enhanced validation of the tkeycoin consensus algorithm, and this algorithm is also available for other cryptocurrencies.
What is the advantage of the enhanced validation algorithm for the user
First, the name itself speaks for itself — it increases the security of the network, and second, by implementing the function — we have accelerated the work of the TkeySpace blockchain node, the application consumes even fewer resources than before.
High complexity is converted to 3 bytes, which ensures fast code processing and the least resource consumption on your device.
The synchronization process has been upgraded. Node addresses are added to the local storage, and instant synchronization with nodes occurs when you log in again.
Checking for double-spending
TkeySpace eliminates “double-spending” in blockchains, which is very valuable in the Bitcoin and Litecoin networks.
For example, using another application, you may be sent a fake transaction, and the funds will eventually disappear from the network and your wallet because this feature is almost absent in most applications.
Using TkeySpace — you are 100% sure that your funds are safe and protected from fraudulent transactions in the form of “fake” transactions.
The bloom filter to check for nodes
All nodes are checked through the bloom filter. This allows you to exclude fraudulent nodes that try to connect to the network as real nodes of a particular blockchain. In practice, this verification is not available in applications, Tkeycoin — decided to follow a new trend and change the stereotypes, so new features such as node verification using the bloom filter and double-spending verification are a kind of innovation in applications that work with cryptocurrencies.
Updating the Binance and Ethereum libraries
Updated Binance and Ethereum libraries for interaction with the TOR network.
Function — to hide the balance
This function allows you to hide the entire balance from the main screen.
Advanced currency charts and charts without authentication
Detailed market statistics are available, including volumes, both for 1 day and several years. Select the period of interest: 1 day, 7 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years.
In version 1.3.0, you can access charts without authentication. You can monitor the cryptocurrency exchange rate without even logging in to the app. If you have a pin code for logging in, when you open the app, swipe to the left and you will see a list of currencies.
Transaction verification for Tkeycoin is now available directly in the app.
Independent Commission entry for Bitcoin
Taking into account the large volume of the Bitcoin network, we have implemented independent Commission entry — you can specify any Commission amount. For other currencies, smart Commission calculation is enabled based on data from the network. The network independently regulates the most profitable Commission for the sender.
New digital currencies
The TkeySpace wallet supports +59 cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Bitroom： world's first membership-based cryptocurrency exchange.
Bitroom WEBSITE-WHITE PAPER-TWITTER-TELEGRAM EN-TELEGRAM CH-TELEGRAM KO-TELEGRAM RU-Kakaotalk KO Bitroom Introduction 1. What is Bitroom.io Bitroom is the world's first membership-based cryptocurrency exchange. Bitroom.io guarantees to participants in the Launchpad at least 200% return. Adhering to the original intention of promoting the consensus between the project and investors, mutual benefit and mutual win situation, the first "membership" model, to provide users with safe and convenient digital asset exchange services. By selecting and introducing quality blockchain projects around the world, we are committed to providing our members with a richer market investment option, better experience and more opportunities for high returns. 2. Bitroom Features Member Priority Bitroom will select and introduce high-quality blockchain projects around the world, and is committed to providing members with better market investment options, better experience and more opportunities for high returns. On the Bitroom platform, every member has an equal opportunity to participate in the investment of early quality projects. Bitroom will protect the member's investment income and returns most of the platform's revenue to the members. Open and Transparent To win the trust of the community, Bitroom is committed to creating an open and transparent virtual currency trading platform. This includes:
transparency of platform coin issuance;
transparency of platform coins, both in circulation and in holdings;
transparency of platform trading and mining;
transparent mining of platform Proof of Stake (PoS) and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) nodes.
3. Member Benefits Upon joining Bitroom，you will be entitled to the following membership benefits:
Early investment opportunities for quality projects
Early high-quality project investment fixed income guarantees
Platform transaction cost allocation
PoS and DPoS node mining returns
4. Conditions of Membership Users become members, with all relevant membership benefits, once they hold a certain minimum amount of platform currency. Innovative ITO modeITO Platform Currency Distribution Method ITO (Initial Trust Offering) includes three important aspects: fundraising, Token distribution, and fund return. The ITO model is open and transparent and 80% of the funds raised will be returned to the user and can be verified. This model allows the project side and the user to reach a consensus, which is a good solution to the problem of mutual trust. 1. ITO — Introduction The core Bitcoin concept is based on the building of consensus between a project party and the decentralized investor community. The transaction status and the amount of money held are necessarily open and transparent. Bitcoin earnings are owned simultaneously by long-term holders and the community. Thus, the success or failure of a project depends on their ability to reach consensus. Failure to do so can result from a wrong choice of ICO versus IEO tokens. Or it might be a lack of transparency by the project side in its use of funds raised. This can lead to loss of community trust and ultimately confrontation. The Bitroom team believes in Bitcoin. In order to reach a consensus between a project and the community, Bitroom has innovatively createdå the Model of Initial Trust Offering (ITO). Under the ITO model, the project party publicly and transparently raises funds from the community on the blockchain. The project party then announces a fundraising address and a Token distribution address, with all funds raised sent to that address. Token distributions are all transferred through the same distribution address, Fundraising is carried out on the blockchain, Each transaction and the number of positions at each address can be publicly queried. After fundraising is completed, the project party will return 80% of the money to the community as income. This operation is likewise visible on the blockchain. Each return is visible on the blockchain, as is each return operation. The remaining 20% of the funds raised will be used to support the project to move forward. It can be seen that each step of the ITO model is open and transparent and that each move by the project party and the community, both, is well documented in the blockchain, thus enhancing mutual trust. After the platform closes, the project side will return 80% of funds raised to the community, with the remaining 20% to be used by the project side for promoting project development. ITO is a great innovation, with real capacity to bring about consensus between the project side and the community. Bitroom's platform currency will be distributed in the form of ITO. 2. ITO Characteristics
Open and Transparent Initial Trust Offering (ITO) mainly includes three important aspects: fundraising, token distribution, and funds returned. Each part is carried out on the blockchain. There, each behavior of the project party and the community is well documented, making the transaction process auditable, traceable, and non-tamperable. In other words, truly open and transparent.
80% of funds raised returned to user community ITO's funding derives from the investor community. In order to consolidate the trust system with the community, 80% of the funds raised will be returned to the community and 20% will be used to cover the project side’s development and operation costs. In this way, the project side and the community are no longer in opposition. Instead, a real consensus has been reached.
Verifiability Bitcoin innovatively proposed the Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism to verify the activities of Bitcoin miners, thus providing Bitcoin a reward. In the ITO process, data such as transaction information in the blockchain are public and transparent, and the blockchain browser is the address for querying blockchain transaction records. Community members can use it to view their own transaction information as well as other stored blockchain information information.
3. ITO distribution ITO distribution
A total of 100,000,000 BMT is used for distribution during the ITO phase.
74,565,864 BMT is allocated as ITO.
3,000,000 BMT is assigned to Launchpad.
22,434,136 BMT is allocated to marketing, partners, airdrops, etc.
ITO rules：Click here BMT Token Allocation ITO issuance 100,000,000 10%Global partner 50,000,000 5%Equity investor 50,000,000 5%Foundation 150,000,000 15%Team 150,000,000 15%Mining 500,000,000 50% Team 1. Andrew Miller — CEO Andrew holds an MBA from Stanford University, California, USA. He previously worked as ja senior executive at Morgan Stanley Investment Bank. Andrew is Bitroom's master planner of strategic planning and business direction. He is an early participant and investor in the blockchain industry, with over 10 years of management experience. He has a cumulative investment in more than 50 blockchain projects. 2. Walter Brown — CTO Walter is a former Google Senior Architect. He graduated from MIT with a degree in Computer Science, and holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. He is a senior engineer who specializes in big data processing, software development, and virtual trading technology. He has participated in the development of multiple large blockchain underlying systems. He has 11 years of R&D management experience and has performed in-depth research on blockchain security. 3. Robert Garcia — Architect Robert is a former Google Cloud Product Group Senior Architect, responsible for architecture security analysis and high-end business customer consulting. He holds a Ph.D. in Network Security from MIT. He has served as the head of network security and architecture projects for several US IT companies. 4. Alex Martinez -- Director of Operations American currency technology operations expert, and a well-known industry analyst and researcher. Senior Salesforce.com Certified Consultant, Business Data Analysis Specialist. He has served as Director of Operations for several Fortune 500 companies and been involved in the development and marketing of numerous cryptocurrencies since 2015. Zoe Park — South Korea representative Zoe graduated from Seoul National University in South Korea, majoring in journalism and self-employed in the Korean blockchain industry. In 2016, she began work in the blockchain industry, focusing on the Korean market and media services, helping to successfully raise funds for 12 overseas blockchain projects. 5. Gloria Wong — Head of China Market Gloria graduated from Columbia University, USA, with a Master degree in Finance. In 2017, she entered the blockchain market and already has compiled rich experiences in blockchain investment, market and strategy, helped to incubate 9 blockchain projects, successfully raised funds, and landed on the exchange. Bounty is live now:Click here Bitroom.io Exchange 100,000 $ valued BMT tokens giveaway! Finish the Task below: Telegram Twitter Facebook Reddit Bitcointalk Bitroom.io Launchpad:Click here Bitroom Launchpad will start at 2019/07/08 20:00(UTC+8), get your own BMT at early stage. Platform token is proved to be a property with the most worthwhile investment. BMT investment and return： •Profits after four days 2.5x•Short-term profits 10x•Medium-term profits 50x•Long-term profits 100X Having missed the BNB of Binance, do you want to miss the BMT of Bitroom? Community Owner plan is live nowClick hereto share $50,000 valued tokens
NEO LIVE - Week 1 Featuring Travala.com AMA summary.
Travala.com / $AVA was the first project to participate in the Weekly "NEO LIVE" Event being run by the NEO Global development: https://neonewstoday.com/events/neo-live-telegram-series-to-feature-ecosystem-projects-in-weekly-event/ I have gone through and cleaned up the Telegram chat and formatted the questions to make them more readable. Due to the fast moving chat some questions got mixed up a little but i've done my best to remove spam/ emojis and make it readable. The full archive can be found on the NEO Telegram: @NEO_EN Introduction: Host, NGD :
Our first guest for NEO Live is Matt Luczynski, CEO and co-founder of Travala.com. A seasoned marketing and technology entrepreneur, Matthew is a veteran in the travel industry, having worked on a number of enterprising startups within the space. Compelled by the aim of driving real-world blockchain adoption, he co-founded Travala.com, a travel ecosystem which leverages on the token economy to provide consumers with a fair, trusted, and transparent platform. In addition, Matthew is also the founder of the Wanderlust application, a location-based meet-up travel application designed for users to connect based on their specific interests.
Hi Matt, first question, when is Travala coming to Binance if at all any plans ?
Exchange listings are something as business we aren't able to discuss due to NDA’s we sign. We aim to continue pushing in all areas to make AVA more accessible to all users for usage on the travala.com platform
Should we be expecting 15 suppliers integration by Aug 15th?
We have currently connected 17 suppliers in total through our tech partner. This will give Travala.com in excess of 1.5 mill
Why should I use Travala instead of Orbitz or other popular travel sites?
Price - Our prices are on average 15% cheaper than other travel sites and our mainstream competitors. Our business plan is focused on this as we form a disruptive models targeting consumer adoption.
Room availability - We have a large inventory of hotels and accommodation in 210 different countries which is only going to increase as we roll out future updates.
Loyalty rewards program (SMART) - Earn AVA for every booking you make.
SMART discounts - Hold AVA to access up to 10% discount on our already low cost prices. Save even more on your bookings.
Access with multiple crypto currencies and fiat currencies
Following on from this, Travala SMART program is the first in the travel industry which provides users with a real world value reward.
Hi Matt, when the beta version goes live, travala can expect an Increase of booking numbers I think. Are you considering to hire more people for costumers service before or around that time?
With an increased UX/UI along with more availablity we expect the platform to maintain its growth as we have seen over the past 7 months.
** Due to fast moving chat this question got messed up. The team later commented the following regarding this question:
"Due to increased users and bookings customer service & support is fast becoming a priority so there will be new hires happening in this department."
Is the ava token able to be purchased directly on the Travala website? Or will a third party have to handle this? Is there a fiat gateway plan? Will Nash handle this?
We are waiting to see how the NASH system will work, there are also legal issues around use providing direct purchases of AVA via the platform. All things we are looking into as we develop to make it easier for anyone to join the travala smart program on the platform
First of all congratulations matt for your crowdfunding on crowdcube my question is when we see travala application on both platform means app is more easy and user friendly as comapre to website so any approximately time frame ?
Thanks it was a great moment when we sucessful completed the crowdfund, something i have always wanted to complete. Mobile app development will start in October this year.
Will you list travala at some point at kayak or is this plan cancelled?
we still have open discussions with Kayak and other platforms with similar models. They wont happen right away but are still aims we have
what's your vision for travala by end of 2020 and beyond?
Growth. We want more bookings and to dominate the crypto space for travel bookings. (Which we are already doing). Along side this we will begin pushing into the mainstream market.
Hello Matt! Could you tell about your goals in the future in terms of market share? Do you see having 0.1-1% of Market share of current giants like Booking.com, Hotels.com as a realistic goal?
Our goal is to achieve a 1% market share by 2023. That said its hard to predict at this early stage due to the estimated growth of the total online travel market.
Within the crypto space we are predicting to maintain our dominance.
Along with the August update, will search improvements be also in place, so its easily to locate countries, etc, currently difficult to find all places in the Maldives for example, which we will need for the Travala knees up sometime soon
yes we are constantly tweeking and updating the search improvements on the site. We understand the issue you have mentioned and are making changes for future updates
What other (other than the SMART rewards) ways are there that have been implemented to encourage the usage of AVA on the platform instead of the other many payment options?
Rewards, discounts, Refferals, payments and reviews. other areas will be added as the platform develops
can you elaborate on the Key Opinion Leaders? Is this an affiliate marketing program outside of the $20 invite reward?
Yes that is correct, we have a unique partner program which we have began to roll out. For example bitcoin.com and Litecoin foundation have joined us on this.
Travala does already accept several cryptocurrencies as a mean of payment. Do you plan to add GAS at some point?
We are looking into this as we speak along side our partnership and collaborations with NEO
When do you expect the review giveback program to be put in place and what are the projections on % of people making reviews vs total bookings.
Will be towards the start of Q1 2020. Estimated between 0.5-1% of total booking value. This is subject to change and isnt yet set in stone.
when do you expect beta site to go live?
Beta will be a constantly rolled out version and not a one off update. First update will be in Aug.
context: 1/3 reviews can be considered as fake on TripAdvisor. How will you guys handling reviews on your platform. Can you elaborate more about this topic, because it is very vital problem in Travel industry.
We will be using our booking smart contract to verify that the user has actually stayed at the property before they are able to write the review.
I remember business accounts went live during the last update, but this isnt obvious anywhere on the site, is this something you are handling privately at the moment?
Yes its handled privately
Are there more partnerships planned for Q3 that you can't tell us yet?
Yes, we have a number of confirmed partnerships to be released. As you can tell by our past partnerships with Dash, litecoin & bitcoin.com they will always be top level collaborations.
the commission fee is said to range between 5-10% depending on maturity of the platform. Can you confirm what % the current fee is?
Currently we operate at a 10% fee. While still maintaining a 15% on average discount on our available inventory for users.
Are qualifying crowdcube contributors still receiving t-shirts and goody bag etc at some point?
only if they invested the right amounts to recieve them
when will flight booking will be avalible on travala?
Flights will be added when we are happy with the growth of the hotel bookings. It’s important to not spread yourself to thin, going down to many vertical to soon means that other products dont get the attention they need. We constantly assess how we are performing before pushing on new products and verticals
what’s your favorite part of working at Travala?
I dont work at travala, this isnt work for me. Its a lifestyle. I enjoy it all.
how would a buyout of Travala affect the tokens?
Due to AVA being such a key part in the way travala.com operates it will be a very good thing if a buyout took place. Also when a buyout happens typically the company is bought for the team.
Any plans to have a bug bountry programs as many crypto project have ,?
Along side our secuity and auditing team. We do rely on our awesome community, token holders and share holders to help us out when they see something abnormal.
You already been approached by one of the big OTA’s for an cooperation or maybe for a business level account?
our business development department is constantly pushing forward with our business level accounts
what would be the primary driver to decrease the required 5.000 token amount to become lvl 5 SMART?
Depends, we have no plans to change the program at this stage.
What are the costs to maintain Travala system and how those costs are covered? What are biggest costs?
Staff wages, servers, rent, costs of bookings, users aquisition. We gennerate revenue and our burn rate is reletivly low right now. We have just completed a crowdfund and will continue to do investment rounds as we push more capital into the growth of the platform.
is there any way to have a sneak peak of the new website :grin: ?
how many employees do you expect to have by end of Q3?
No more than 30
Are you satisfied with the development of travala so far?
Yes, our team has over delievered on all areas. Our team is world class, i look forward to continuing to over achieve
if the selected booking date is not available, can the result provide 'next available date'. Or is this already coming?
right now the platform doesnt work like this but something we may add. However it’s important that as a user you are notified clearly that those dates arent avaialble before we push another date to you. You may not noticed and think your booking for the day you selected.
With NEO’s EcoFund investment, what are Travala.com’s new strategic growth targets?
At Travala.com we continue to push our strategy towards global adoption of cryptocurrency usage for hotel and accommodation bookings. The investment falls alongside our recently completed crowdfunding and at the commencement of our series A investment round which will continue to accelerate the growth of the travala.com platform.
can we expect greater marketing in terms of adspend once beta comes online in August, or is the marketing campaign going to increase later in Q3 or Q4?
ad spends will increase at a later stage, we are currently working closely with a team at google as to how we will strategically roll this out.
how much does the crypto market dropping effect your model, and are you well prepared for a long crypto winter should that eventuate and how much do you rely on the crypto prices for stability vs getting revenue elsewhere?
We provide access to our listings with credit/debt cards, paypal and other fiat methods, along with multiple crypto currencies. We dont rely on the crypto market or the price of cryptos to operate.
do you personally believe that we will be listed on kayak in 2019?
It really depends on how quickly we can grow, if we meet our targets then yes i do believe it will happen late 2019/early 2020
What do u think about NEO blockchain
Its improving and i look forward to seeing how 3.0 is rolled out.
Will Libra be accepted as a payement method in the far future ?
If its possible to accept we will accept it.
are you guys attending more events this year?
Yes, well be at consensus Singapore and the litecoin summit (Travala.com is the official accommodation provider for these events). And potentially some others to be confirmed.
Can you share something about the plans to boost the smart memberships ?
SMART is growing monthly from our organic reach, we will continue pushing this to new users than come to travala.com
we’ve seen you guys do great work with BCH, LTC and DASH, has other top 20 coins approached you and showed interest? Will Travala harness the Seraph ID solution
Not unless its more userfriendly than how travala.com already operates
Does Travala.com have any plans in the future to work together with other NEO ecosystem projects? :laughing:
Travala already has a partnership with Nos and we look to further that once our production release of the site is released in
We also will be looking very closely at the Nash Pay feature to allow more crypto payment methods. We are always open to collaborations with other ecosystem projects that we can both benefit.
In addition to financial assistance, in what other ways will NEO’s EcoFund benefit Travala.com and help it reach its goals? Moving forward, in what capacities will NEO and Travala.com work together? How does it differ from your prior relationship?
There are a number of areas; marketing and technical support as well as harnessing the ecoboost partners with liquidity for the AVA token and more accessibility with wallet partners.
Neo intend to support travala.com with marketing & technical support as per the last question. We now have open discussions about how the relationship will develop and we look forward to working more closely with NEO moving forward. We are already working on adding GAS as a native payment on the platform and we look to become the official travel partner for NEO in the near future
Will it be possible one day to buy a smart membership directly with fiat with the nash app like buying a Prime membership on Amazon ?
Is it possible that Travala helps Airbnb to go blockchain?
Hiya folks! This was one of the most eventful weeks in recent Parachute history. Strap onto your seatbelts. Here we go! Cap announced the start of a new journey with BOMB’s latest venture, BOMBX (more on that later). In short, new groups will get to explore ParJar, new tokens will be added and a ton of new communities will get to experience Parachute in all its glory. Plus, ParJar will add the Binance chain to its list of supported chains. BEP2 tokens, here we come! Cap’s interview with The Crypto Lifestyle was this week as well. Have a look! PAR got listed on MetaMorphPro through a Twitter vote. This week we added a new token to ParJar: SNTR (Silent Notary). Read more about the project here. Don’t forget Cap’s reminder: when you join a new partner project channel, read up on them, join to learn about the project, be a part of their community. We want ParJar to be used as a tool for that community. Hence, try not to tip other coins/tokens there (including PAR). Derjenige is a master of woodwork. Check out how he makes PAR coasters Ian hosted an art trivia in the Tiproom. 50k PAR given away. Noice! In the Big Chili Race, Jason is still ahead of the competition at 47 cm. Just 3 more centimeters to win 400k PAR. If you’ve been meaning to use the Parachute sticker set on Telegram but couldn’t find it, click here. Cryptonoob has been hard at work designing UX concepts for the Parachute app. This week, he interviewed Parachuters to gauge user sentiment. Chris announced the start of a British Open Pick ‘Em Tournament with a prize pot of 100k PAR. Say what! Jason’s flash game for 65k PAR to find the “weirdest product for sale on the internet” saw some super wacky items being posted. Evan, Alexis and CF picked the craziest ones. Pika, Nilzinho, Richi and Airdrop won honourable mentions. Lmao! Roberto was kind enough to translate the ParJar guide to Spanish. Big Chili Race participants. L to R: Abhijoy (8th), Tony (2nd), Jason (1st), Richi (5th) BOMB announced the launch of an exploratory incubator on the Binance Chain called BOMBX. As Zachary explained during the livestream of the launch, while BOMB signifies destruction, BOMBX signifies creation. All BOMB token holders will receive BOMBX tokens (XIO) in 1:25 ratio. Find out more from Dash’s article linked above. Check this tweet thread for the TLDR. If you plan to watch the full announcement video, check out the index to skip to the sections of your interest. This infographic should help explain the incubator ecosystem being planned. There was also a giveaway for the top lessons shared by entrepreneurs from the BOMB community. As announced in the last update, BOMB was listed on Hotbit this week. Benjamin’s latest report on tokenomics got published. And as promised, the token statistics dashboard went live this week. Opacity is also one of the partners of BOMBX. As the explained in their article, Opacity will be the preferred storage provider for startups incubated by BOMBX. Opacity’s whitepaper is also now available with an Opacity storage handle for downloading and reading. BOMBX Partners This week’s Parachute + Uptrennd brainstorm session focused on Technical Analysis. Uptrennd founder Jeff sat down with Enjin CTO Witek Radomski to talk about the Efinity scaling solution, ERC-1155 marketplace and other topics. Membership on Uptrennd has been growing steadily. This called for a celebratory giveaway with egamers.io. Plus, Idex listing of 1UP is expected next week. Another public voting for a free detailed review of a project by the Uptrennd team started this week. aXpire’s AXPR token was listed on Binance Dex. Woot woot! Like last week, the weekly aXpire burn event was for 20k AXPR. Reasons for the double burn to be released in next update. There’s also a new dashboard to track all the token burns now. Checked out Clinton’s cool aXpire mug yet? Do it! And finally, catch up on the weekly updates at aXpire and the crypto space from this video. 2gether won the second prize on Pitch Day at the Barcelona Trading Conference. Congratulations! AXPR Burn dashboard (as on 28-Jul-19) Fantom appointed their consultant Bariq Sekandari as Director of BD and Listings this week. Bariq has been the driving force behind the deluge of FTM listings on exchanges in the last few weeks. The project also entered into a partnership with The Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum and SEED Group to join hands in the Dubai smart city project. This news was covered by The Merkle, Coin Spectator and The Daily Chain. In this week’s technical article, the Sfxdx team writes about ChainWitness consensus algorithm. If you’ve missed the July updates of Fantom, fret not. CMO Michael Chen has covered it all in this post. Fantom also joined the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) this week along with several key figures from Fantom being added to the GBA Consultant Directory. Core dev Andre Cronje will be speaking at CFN Network’s “Future of Blockchain and Bitcoin” event at London in September. Click here for deets. The infogif contest winner was declared. THORChain announced a partnership with Fantom to allow BEP2 token swaps at market rates. Benjamin Cowen’s first FTM deep dive was released. Neat! Plus, Chico Crypto, That Martini Guy, Crypto Zombie and Bloxlive featured the project in their videos this week. Fantom sets up its footing in Dubai Hydro and its molecule solution got featured in World Blockchain Forum’s latest Medium article. Hydro announced the start of its article contest and winner of the video contest. Click here and here for the latest updates on all the moving parts of Hydro. Switch and SwitchDex were covered by BitcoinNews, The Merkle, Coinspeaker, NullTx, Incrypts, Altcoin Sara and Cryptopedic. ESH got listed on AltMarkets with a BTC pairing. Ahead of the start to the SMS Beta Testing phase, Birdchain announced social media competition. 50k BIRD up for grabs! Marketeers, have a read of their article on the efficacy of Pay-per-click campaigns. The latest Bounty0x bi-weekly update is available here. We have covered most of the news items in past updates. Catch up on District0x news from the weekly update post. All the pending questions from last week’s ETHOS AMA were answered this week in another AMA with founder Shingo and Voyager CMO Steve Capone. Following a system maintenance, Update 2.0 for the Universal Wallet went out this week. Upgrades include faster transactions, fee improvement and listing of BCH. Remember Horizon State’s nomination to the Wellington Gold Awards? They have started introducing the nominees recently and featured Horizon State this week. The project also got nominated for a Blockies Award by Blockchain Australia. Woot! And last but definitely not the least, Horizon State is now conducting a vote for The Opportunities Party in New Zealand. Check it out here. Cap’s beer haul from the Parachute Beer Exchange. Courtesy: Thane And with that, it’s a wrap for this week at Parachute and partners. See you soon with another weekly update. Ciao!
Author's Note: Elastos was discussed in this group twice, albeit 7 and 9 months ago, respectively. To do the project justice my intention is to give existing and new CryptoMoonShots group followers an update as the overall market has changed considerably and to factor in project-specific developments following the two mentions of Elastos here. Definitions: Content Creators and/or Developers: Individuals and enterprises that generate, design, and create digital assets. Digital Capital: An individuals videos, photos, written text, written or spoken ideas, music, time, and attention Big Tech: Companies like Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter to name a few. Project Introduction: The design philosophy of Elastos originated from Rong Chen, a former senior software engineer at Microsoft. Building on his experience at Microsoft, Chen wanted to create a platform in which applications and services are not allowed to access the Internet directly. Without access to the network, malware would not be able to steal user data or attack other services on the Internet. Chen’s vision was subsequently developed into an open-source, lightweight operating system for virtual machines (github.com/Elastos). In 2017, blockchain technology was integrated into Chen’s vision, enabling development of the Elastos Smart Web. The project is focused on developing a decentralized internet platform where digital assets are owned, distributed, and monetized by Content Creators and/or Developers that own it. To understand this, it is imperative to understand the current internet model (Internet 2.0). Big tech currently owns the internet and everything in it: your videos, your photos, your written text, your ideas, your music, your time, your attention - and the most important in this context - the means of distribution - let's call this Digital Capital. In the current model, Content Creators and/or Developers are forced to distribute their capital through channels owned by Big Tech, which rob creators of their rights and profits. Elastos is building the boundlessly scalable platform where digital capital can be published, distributed, and monetized by creators while allowing creators and developers to retain their rights. This platform will allow for decentralized applications (Dapps) to operate on a peer-to-peer network with no centralized control. Consumers can access these Dapps via their mobile phones without changing their operating system. The old Internet is a Web of information. If you click a URL, you get data. Elastos is creating a Web of apps. When you click a URL, you get code. The Elastos Web will be a special economic zone where Elastos tokens function as the base currency. The project is open-source software whose development process has been sponsored by industry giants such as the Tsinghua Science Park, the TD-SCDMA Industrial Alliance and the Foxconn Group for more than 200 million RMB. The project has published more than ten million lines of source code, including four million lines of original source code. The Elastos blockchain utilizes merged mining with Bitcoin, the process by which consensus is reached on both chains simultaneously. In this case, the Bitcoin blockchain works as the parent blockchain to Elastos, with the Elastos chain as its auxiliary blockchain. The mining pools will deploy merged mining code and miners will submit proof of work to both blockchains at the same time. Energy consumption does not increase with merged mining, and will be equal to the energy consumed for mining either alone. Through this mechanism, the Elastos blockchain has an extremely strong guarantee of computing power and will then be able to provide blockchain innovations at a global scale. It makes full use of existing Bitcoin computing resources in addition to being environmentally friendly. Live Products Elastos SPV Wallet Elastos provides an SPV Wallet SDK equipped with a series of wallet-related interfaces to enable users to develop unique wallets that connect to the Elastos blockchain. Sample applications are available now. Elastos Blockchain Merged Mining Elastos’ main public blockchain is merged mined with bitcoin, which enables pre-existing bitcoin miners to update their clients to simultaneously mine Elastos without expending excess energy. The merged mining is currently open only to the BTC.com mining pool. Elastos DID Sidechain Service Elastos provides a Decentralized ID (DID) Sidechain Service to be used in applications. On the Elastos ecosystem, every user, every device and every app has its own DID and can store any value that is associated with that ID on this sidechain. The DID service paves the way for a more secure and trustable internet, as this allows for seamless interoperability between DApps and IDs are assigned to users from the blockchain rather than having them assigned by a company. Elastos TV Box Although Elastos does not sell the TV Box directly, the Elastos Carrier is embedded inside. The Elastos TV Box is presently used for simple features such as remote control in a decentralized peer to peer fashion. In the future, these TV Boxes and many other IoT devices that have Elastos Carrier installed will be capable of running as IPFS nodes for supporting the distributed file storage network for the Elastos ecosystem. Elastos Dittobox Any individual can establish a unique dittobox server on a personal computer that integrates ownCloud server and Elastos Carrier. The dittobox server can be installed onto a computer behind the router, and all files stored on the server are accessible from anywhere in the world via the Elastos Carrier network. Beta Products Elastos Blockchain PoW + DPoS Elastos main blockchain will employ a hybrid consensus of PoW + DPoS where the PoW is merged mined with bitcoin and both are used to package blocks while the DPoS nodes are used for signing. This creates a finality in the blocks which will prevent the chain from forking. Elastos Token Sidechain Service Elastos DApps utilize this service to generate application-specific native tokens within the Elastos ecosystem. As such, each application can create its own token on demand, and without friction. Elastos Smart Contract Sidechain Service Elastos provides a unique sidechain service that is designated to running and executing smart contracts. These smart contracts are compatible with ERC20 and ERC721 tokens, which enables Ethereum DApps to run smoothly within the Elastos ecosystem. Elastos Hive Elastos will provide a distributed storage system that apps can utilize to store files, messages in a p2p chat, videos, music, and more. Elastos Elapay Elapay is a payment tool that enables payment with ELA. Two types of payments will be supported. The first is “Pay On Order,” which encompasses standard commercial purchases, and will require merchants to integrate Elapay service into their web apps in order to offer users this payment option alongside the likes of credit card and cash payments. The second is “Point to Point Pay,” which involves individuals exchanging funds between themselves. “Point to Point Pay” uses an html5 page that can be shared on social media outlets such as Facebook or Wechat to send or receive ELA. Elapay can be expended for a variety of purposes – from purchasing a virtual asset in an online video game to standard online shopping expenditures. It simply represents another method of paying for goods and services at checkout. Alpha Products Elastos Trinity A cross-platform browser application that runs on Android and will be available for iOS in the future. This is a form of the Elastos virtual machine and a demo of Elastos Runtime where decentralized applications written for Elastos run in a secure sandboxed environment. These are Ionic framework applications. Also, the SPV wallet functionality and the payment functions will be embedded inside the browser so that other DApps that run on Trinity can easily integrate with the available features. Elastos Carrier SDK Elastos Carrier provides SDK for Android (Java), iOS (Swift/Objective C), and nodeJS that can be utilized to connect to the decentralized peer to peer network that takes over all of the network traffic on the Elastos ecosystem, such as messaging, file transfer, and more. On January 16, 2019 the Intelligent Grouping and Resource Sharing (IGRS) board issued Elastos a formal membership certificate, thus making official its entrance into the IGRS Industry Association. In conjunction with Association members, Elastos will explore the opportunities and potential synergies presented by blockchain and IoT, in the joint hopes of creating a robust IoT industry ecosystem. Source: https://news.elastos.org/elastos-joins-the-igrs-industry-association/ Recently an ecosystem partner meetup revealed 900k TV Boxes sold and 180k registered DIDs via our partner app Viewchain. The Elephant Wallet also hit the Apple App Store and Google Play. In June, 2018 Elastos partnered with ioeX, an internet of things platform that was much anticipated. The ioeX project is a behemoth on its own and is built on the Elastos platform. **There are countless other exciting milestones that were achieved in 2018 and planned for 2019. Refer tohttps://news.elastos.org/.*\* Market Sizing, Factors, and ELA's Potential In the current market, Elastos' market cap of fluctuates between $31 million and $35 million with ~14,574,261 ELA coins in circulation ($2.1 to $2.3 per ELA) and total coin supply of 34,104,561. ELA is currently listed on LBANK, CoinEgg, Huobi, HBUS, Kucoin, BCEX, and BIT-Z, the majority of which are low volume exchanges. Binance Exchange controversy: Although various sources say different things, the evidence points to one plausible story: The Elastos foundation refused to pay Binance's listing fee and backed out of the listing the coin. Binance followed suit by tarnishing the project reputation using various media. Based on the projects scope, the team's background and leadership, the project's backers, affiliations, and partnerships, and projects with similar mandates the project has the potential to be worth close to $500 million (15x) in the short term (less than 12 months) and several billion over the longer term (1 to 2 years). The largest barrier to achieving it's objectives is adoption by developers. The chicken or the egg dilemma is that some argue listing ELA on major exchanges will incentivize developers to build on the platform because the coins value will appreciate others ague that the underlying technology must far outperform the incumbent to incentivize migration and hence drive the coins value. It's probably a combination of the two. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this assessment. Thanks!
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
A Blockchain to Connect All Blockchains, Cosmos Is Officially Live
Cosmos, a highly anticipated blockchain itself designed to improve the interoperability between any number of other blockchains, has officially released a live software. With the mining of its first block at 23:00 UTC, the project has launched Cosmos Hub, the first in a series of proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains that will be created in the Cosmos ecosystem. At present, users of the network will not be able to swap tokens between blockchains or otherwise connect to Cosmos Hub with existing blockchain networks until validators officially vote to activate what is called the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. The first phase of today’s Cosmos network launch comes after nearly three years of planning and development. Having debuted the concept for the blockchain interoperability platform back in summer 2016, Cosmos later raised over $16 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017. Since then, Tendermint Inc. – a for-profit entity behind the core technology of the Cosmos network – has been releasing preliminary developer-focused products. Speaking to CoinDesk, Tendermint Inc director Zaki Manian explained:
“We want to take the blockchain development cycle from idea to implementation down from years to months. This is how we’re trying to transform the blockchain space.”
As such, Manian said that the Cosmos Software Development Kit (SDK), which debuted back in February 2018, is already being used by high-profile crypto companies such as the Binance exchange. In addition, Tendermint Core – the blockchain networking and consensus mechanism underlying the Cosmos Hub – is another key tool that Manian envisions will help “fundamentally remove barriers to innovation” in the blockchain space and ultimately help “compose an entirely new system of finance.” “Out of all these building blocks, [you’ll be able to compose] an entire … open system of finance that operates to scale and can be composed of individual, specialized chains that do different things,” Manian said.
Today’s launch was a significant step toward that broader, expansive vision – one that Manian points out will “take years to fully manifest.” The main purpose of Cosmos Hub launch is to establish the broader ecosystem of validators, entities that stake tokens on the network, while Manian’s team continues to work toward cross-blockchain capabilities. “In order to make this whole vision of connecting blockchains work, there needs to be a set of operators who have skin in the game to coordinate this blockchain network,” said Manian. Normally, in a proof-of-work (PoW) system similar to bitcoin or ethereum, these validators are miners who compete for block rewards by operating computer servers and expending large amounts of electricity. Validators in a PoS system, on the other hand, are “selected” by the system based on a separate metric of staked tokens in order to participate in block creation and transaction finalization. “In proof-of-stake, the costs and rewards [of the system] are internal,” said Manian. “So, we had to come up with a very sophisticated system of distributing rewards, of distributing the speculator taxation system, of punishing people for malicious behavior, of punishing people for going offline.” He added:
“All of it has to be internal to the system and that’s why proof-of-stake is such a significant engineering feat over proof-of-work.”
And while Cosmos participants successfully tested this system of validation with roughly 200 computer servers called nodes in a former dummy environment called Game of Stakes, there had never been real value at stake by participants before today. “[Today’s launch] is about unleashing those live economic incentives and having value at risk for the first time and then letting this set of economic incentives that we’ve designed select who the [validators] are,” said Manian. According to Manian, this is a crucial foundational step that Cosmos developers are cautious about getting right. He told CoinDesk: “Building interoperability. Establishing mechanisms for workers of some kind to custody bitcoin or ether or ERC-20 assets and manifest synthetic versions of them in [the Cosmos] environment. If you don’t know who your validators are none of this is possible.”
For now, Cosmos users are not allowed to transfer their holdings of the native network currency – ATOM tokens – just yet. Since ATOM tokens are intended to act as “the collateral that people put at risk to be [validators] in the system” according to Manian, these tokens will be strictly used as the “mechanism for selecting membership into the system.” But once both the system and the validator set are deemed to be in stable condition, token holders will vote on when to enable live ATOM transfers. Thereafter, a secondary vote will be held to connect new blockchains also called “zones” to the Cosmos Hub and begin swapping heterogeneous cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “In these early days, we can expect to have issues, updates, and bugs,” the InterChain Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to support Cosmos network development – warned in a blog post, adding:
“The existing tools require advanced technical skills and involve risks which are outside of the control of the Interchain Foundation and/or the Tendermint team. … Please exercise extreme caution!”
Staking as a service
Manian told CoinDesk there are 70 validators at Cosmos Hub launch committed to securing the network. Some of these validators are focused on staking tokens as a service to wider ATOM holders. In a sense, this is almost like leasing out crypto assets in order to earn returns and may encourage new users to flock to the Cosmos ecosystem. Shayne Coplan, founder of the Union Marketplace for such service providers scheduled to launch in April, told CoinDesk that over the next few months a “cross-network layer of reputation” for these validators will emerge. “If you look at these different staking service providers, a lot of them are performing on several networks at any given time,” Coplan said, referring to other staking networks such as Tezos and the Tendermint-based network Loom. “Now with Cosmos being another very valuable chain with staking and delegation, it’s going to place a major emphasis on cross-network reputation for validators.” The rewards these stakers and holders gain are generally earned in the ATOM token but in future may also be earned in wrapped forms of alternative cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. While Union Marketplace has quietly collected around 230 validators across all its various staking networks as it gears up for launch, Coplan expects the Cosmos launch, in particular, will inspire more players to experiment with these types of services. “There’s a huge range of people interested in these types of staking services, from retail investors to investment funds,” Hendrik Hofstadt, co-founder of the validator startup Certus One, told CoinDesk. “Quite a few larger funds have reached out to us.” Plus, Certus One’s Telegram group for retail ATOM users signed on 60 members within the first 24 hours of opening, Hofstadt added. Meanwhile, Joe Pindar, co-founder of the validator startup Block3, told CoinDesk this type of ecosystem opens up a new type of investment opportunity. Speaking to how Cosmos rewards stakers on a continual basis, which he compared to income investing, Pindar added:
“You actually start getting revenue or income from those rewards and start to appreciate more and more ATOMs, which I think is a different investing model and I’m excited to see how that plays out.”
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