On Campus: Australian National University Democratizing Legal Disputes with Blockchain

Scott Chamberlain, Entrepreneurial Fellow at Australian National University (ANU) School of Law, grows very animated when talking about the potential of blockchain and law. 

“Imagine an eBay-like platform that can resolve consumer law disputes without engaging the court system,” he marvels.

Chamberlain’s research has long focused on innovations in and the impact of tech on the law, with blockchain an increasing area of study. At ANU, he runs a project called Lex Automagica, a tech stack automating legal processes that he envisions will allow society to run like clockwork. 

He believes this is possible because—at its most basic—the law is simple. In the event of a dispute, the law must confirm the identities of the people and things involved, along with the relationship and rules of interaction between them, to arrive at a resolution. 

Blockchain can already perform these confirmations and automations through identity, tokenization, smart contracts, and dispute resolutions projects. Making it a short leap to apply these new technologies to the law.  

If done properly, Chamberlain’s hope is that the project will create a capacity to solve an enormous number of social disputes without having to engage the middlemen and gatekeepers that he says often leverage their positions of power and wealth. Of course, he’s quick to point out that his vision for a decentralized, democratized practice of law would not replace the legal profession. 

“This is not about getting rid of lawyers or eliminating jobs,” said Chamberlain. “There will always be cases and situations that demand a higher level of expertise.” 

Instead, he sees blockchain and smart contracts as providing an unprecedented opening to resolve more routine disputes and bring resolution to those who might normally be unable to afford legal services. The key is to differentiate the types of legal problems, and then provide solutions appropriate to the scale of the dispute. 

Advancing this topic will be the central goal of two new courses launching as part of ANU’s Master’s program next year. Made possible through the support of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), the courses will roll out in sequence and task students with identifying a specific legal problem then outlining a technology solution to arrive at what Chamberlain calls a “justice dividend.”

Chamberlain credits UBRI with helping to turbocharge the University’s overall study of blockchain and the legal profession. Ultimately, he believes the funding will help prove that blockchain can underpin a sustainable and significant improvement in people’s ability to exercise their rights and discharge their obligations through technology rather than by having to throw more money and lawyers at a problem.

 To learn more about UBRI, please visit our UBRI website and look for monthly Insights posts in the On Campus series.

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This article was originally published on: The Ripple Blog on 

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Ledger Nano X Review – The top Hardware Wallet but not a Necessary Upgrade for Nano S Users

In the cryptocurrency world, there is a growing need for secure crypto asset storage solutions. Ledger has stepped up its game once again by releasing the Nano X. It is a clear improvement over the Nano S, but not a necessary upgrade for owners of that generation.

Ledger Steps up its Game

For anyone who has never dealt with a Ledger hardware wallet, they are missing out. Safely keeping one’s crypto asset on a device that never connects to the internet is crucial. Online exchanges, trading platforms, and wallets should never be trusted as long-term storage options by any means.

Ledger is the clear market leader when it comes to crypto hardware wallets. The French company offers a very solid line of products which everyone should check out. While the units cost some money, the peace of mind one gains by using a hardware wallet is invaluable.

Its previous unit, known as the ledger Nano S, is a very solid hardware wallet solution. It has a nice built-in display to navigate menus and enter one’s pin code. Combined with the Ledger Live desktop application, managing cryptocurrency assets has never been easier. Funds cannot be stolen either, as all actions require confirmation on the device itself.

Introducing the Nano X

Evolving the existing line of products is crucial for any company in the cryptocurrency space. Ledger’s team has managed to let those efforts culminate in the form of the Nano X. It is a very different device compared to the Nano S, yet it also feels very similar in many different ways. 

All of its existing aspects have been improved upon, and some extra new features have arrived.

The main difference is how the Nano X now works in conjunction with a smartphone via its Bluetooth connection. By using this option, and the mobile Ledger Live app, users can monitor and control their assets accordingly. It is a very interesting and prominent change in every regard, and one that I personally welcome.

Setting it up and Installing Apps

Coming from the Nano S, setting up the Nano X is very easy, all things considered. Importing an existing recovery seed is done through the Nano X’s screen on the device itself. It will take a few minutes to do so, but that is to be expected. It is also something one only has to complete once, after all.

Once set up, it is time to install applications on the unit. All of this can be done through the Ledger Live application on desktop. The experience is identically the same compared to the Nano S, with apps installing very quickly.  On my unit, I have the Bitcoin and Ethereum app installed, but there are dozens of other options to explore. 

Once the proper applications are installed, it is time to synchronize the accounts. All of this is a process that takes mere seconds, and you are good to go.

Initial User Experience 

The processes outlined above are all very easy to complete. Especially when paired with the desktop application, the Nano X is very straightforward to use, similar to the Nano S. In terms of mobile connectivity, however, the Bluetooth pairing can be a bit of an annoyance. 

Everything one wants to do requires the connection to work properly. With a modern smartphone, that isn’t a problem, but on older devices, the experience may be a bit of a mixed bag. 

The added weight of the Nano X – compared to the Nano S – is no hindrance for me personally. I keep my device at home, as that is where I spend most of my time. Taking it with you on the go should be interesting. Due to the weight, it should be impossible to lose it. It is also that weight that makes it somewhat clunky and beefy, which may not be to everyone’s liking.

Should you Upgrade?

If you own a Nano S, there is no real reason to buy the Nano X unless you really want it. All of the same coins are supported on both devices, including the staking through Ledger Live. Those with a massive altcoin portfolio should opt for the Nano X, as it can hold up to 100 assets simultaneously. 

Other than that, the Nano S has served me well and no issues arose at any given time. The Nano X feels sturdier to sue, but its price tag is also twice that of the Nano S. 

Users who do not own a [Ledger] hardware wallet can still opt for either device. If Bluetooth connectivity isn’t a must, the Nano S will do the job just fine. Those who want to future-proof their wallet may opt for the Nano X, as it works well on both desktop and mobile alike. 

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In a Few Hours, a Crucial Bitcoin Candle Will Close: What To Watch For

In just over 120 minutes as of the time of this article’s publishing, Bitcoin’s one-month and three-month candles will close. A number of analysts have remarked that the upcoming close will be crucial for the crypto market’s directionality moving forward. Related Reading: This Key Metric Suggests the Crypto Market’s Downturn Will Be Shortlived Levels to Watch For According to analyst Crypto Birb, Bitcoin closing above $6,425 when the monthly candle closes in the very near future would be one of the feasible best-case scenarios for the cryptocurrency: “Bitcoin monthly close above $6,425 would be a solid bullish [swing failure pattern] to make April to May brighter.” Indeed, $6,425 is a crucial level from a long-term perspective, as that’s where BTC bottomed in December. Also, the low-$6,000s were absolutely key for Bitcoin during the 2018 bear market: the cryptocurrency bounced off that region on multiple occasions. The asset managing to close above this historically-pertinent level would create a so-called swing failure pattern, according to CryptoBirb, which would give credence to a bullish reversal. Many have also pointed to the fact that March’s candle looks like the bottoming process seen during the 2013-2015 cycle, during which Bitcoin saw a massive capitulation event that saw it similarly fall by some 50% within a few days’ time span, to only bounce back in the weeks that followed. With Bitcoin currently changing hands for $6,470, the bull-case close scenario seems possible. According to CryptoISO, however, whatever the candle closes at, it seems to be in a bearish structure. Related Reading: King of the Hill: Top Crypto Investor Explains Why Altcoins Are Highly Risky The prominent trader wrote in a message published on March 31st that while “people [are] fixated on the monthly close,” the “high time frame market structure is bearish” because March’s candle opened at $9,200 to fall to $3,600 at the lows, a drop of more than 60%. People seemed to be fixated on the monthly close. High time frame market structure is bearish. The monthly candle goes from 9200 to 3600. That is absurd. — CryptoISO (@crypto_iso) March 31, 2020 Bitcoin To Outperform In Q2? Bitcoin is poised to close 10% down on the quarter, making this the fifth out of the past seven first quarters that the cryptocurrency has trended lower, suggesting this market has a negative winter seasonality to it. The thing is, as can be seen in the chart below from Skew.com, the second quarter of years have historically been bullish for the cryptocurrency, with BTC rallying more than 20% in five out of the last six second quarters. Featured Image from Shutterstock

Binance Futures Hosts Trading Competition With Prize Pool Worth $1M

Major cryptocurrency exchange will offer a total prize pool of $1M in BNB tokens in their April trading competition.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced on March 25 that it will be hosting a trading tournament where participants could compete in teams and win a prize pool of up to $1 million in BNB tokens.

According to the announcement, the tournament will take place between April 10 and April 25, and will take place in two ways: daily ROI and overall USDT team profit tournaments.

Binance explains that all teams that trade in perpetual contracts on Binance Futures during the competition period will be ranked based on the total USDT profit of the team, which corresponds to the sum of the top 10 individual results within the team.

Team trading’s conditions

The exchange adds more details on how the total $ 1M prize pool in BNB tokens will be split: First place will receive 30% of the total reward. Second and third place will each get 20% of the total reward. Fourth to tenth place will split the remaining 40%.

Among other conditions, Binance says that the distribution of the rewards within each team will be made on the basis that each team leader will receive 30% of their team’s total reward.

The top 10 individual USDT profit contributors will receive the 20% divided equally, while the other team members will receive the remaining 50% equally.

Popularity bonus to be awarded

Binance clarifies that team members must register for the competitions between March 26 to April 10, further explaining that there will be no changes after the registration period has elapsed.

Besides, a “bonus popularity” award of USD 5,000 in BNB tokens will be awarded to that leader with the largest team.

April Fools Sees Toilet Paper Token in Short Supply on CoinMarketCap

Toilet Paper Token has surged over 1,000% in price as people flocked to the now-sold out asset.

It’s April Fool’s day somewhere, or at least in CoinMarketCap’s neck of the woods, as the cryptocurrency data site saw massive volumes for new “Toilet Paper Token.”

A website known for listing cryptocurrencies in order of market cap value, CoinMarketCap, listed Toilet Paper Token (TPT) as number “0” atop its list on March 31, showing a circulating supply of “out of stock.”   

Although it’s still March 31 in some parts of the world, the annual day of pranks has already reached parts of the Asia-Pacific.

Source: CoinMarketCap.com

Bringing a bit of light-heartedness during tough times

April Fool’s day 2020 comes in the midst of coronavirus fears and falling markets. 

In light of various world governments telling folks to stay home, as well as supply shortage anxiety, people have taken to the shelves, buying mass quantities of toilet paper. Such demand has caused shortages.

CoinMarketCap’s Toilet Paper Token sits at a press time price of $1.64, up 1,123.97% over the past 24 hours, with $41,758,500,000 in volume.

The token’s chart showed the asset recently completed a nice double-bottom pattern, which has historically led to increased price rallies. 

Clicking on the token reveals a “Wipe Paper”

Tapping the token itself leads to the asset’s “Wipe Paper” — a joke on the white papers that start man cryptocurrencies. The paper shows an April 1 date. 

The write-up details toilet paper through the ages, leading to present day consumers, which have stocked up on much more of the commodity since late 2019. 

TPT’s Wipe Paper mentions tokenizing toilet paper, harnessing “smut contracts,” touting “Airplops,” and an “Initial Scattering Offering,” or ISO. The paper lists a Total supply of 8 billion tokens, available for purchase on the “Shitake Exchange,” on April 1.

Toilet Paper Token also complies with regulation. “Our Know-Your-Colon (KYC) process works with our bog-standard proof-of-wipe chain, facilitating each user’s KYC check that they are able to wipe by themselves, as users that don’t fall into this category are unable to participate in the token sale,” the document detailed. 

Cointelegraph reached out to Mary Ploppins, Peter Peuop and John Splashington butt received no replies as of press time.

Survey Reveals 87% of IT Professionals Are Concerned With Cryptojacking

In its 2020 survey, Acronis revealed the growing concerns of cryptojacking and ransomware among IT experts.

Singapore-based unicorn startup Acronis released its latest cybersecurity survey on March 31 today, highlighting that 86% of IT professionals are concerned about cryptojacking.

According to the 2020 World Cyber Protection Week Survey, there is a growing fear among IT experts in the face of cryptojacking attacks, as the study shows that 30% of personal users and 13% of professional users wouldn't know if their data or computer's resources were modified unexpectedly, as such threat does.

The report also stresses that awareness and concerns about cyber-threatening methods like cryptojacking have been increasing in the last two years, surging by 33% since 2019.

There is also a growing fear among IT experts in the face of ransomware attacks. In fact, 88% of those surveyed said they were concerned about this modality, surpassing cryptojacking by only 2 percentage points.

Cryptojacking definition

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of a third-party device to mine cryptocurrencies. It can be a computer, smartphone, or a complete network of equipment.

Cryptojacking can break the security of a computer in two ways: introducing malware by installing suspicious applications or from websites that use the device's resources without the user's consent.

Peak volume of coronavirus-related scams in Asia

In general terms, the survey highlighted a peaking volume of COVID-19 related cyber scams in Asia during the last two weeks, with Singapore being the most affected country on the continent.

To keep safe, Acronis recommended always creating backups of valuable data, ensuring that operating systems and applications are updated and being aware of suspicious emails or websites.

Is cryptojacking technically extinct?

Contrary to what Acronis’ survey found, Cointelegraph reported last year that MalwareBytes considers cryptojacking against consumers “essentially extinct.”

ConsenSys-Associated Agritech Project Covantis Officially Established

Covantis, a blockchain agritech project run by agribusiness giants like Cargill, is officially established in Geneva and appoints CEO.

Covantis, a blockchain agribusiness initiative backed by major industry company ConsenSys, has taken another step towards transforming global trade and supply chain operations.

Backed by global agribusiness giants like Cargill and Bunge, Covantis has been officially established as a legal entity in Geneva after receiving all necessary regulatory approval.

First tests are expected to be carried out in May 2020

According to a March 31 announcement, the company is the joint initiative of six founding members: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill, COFCO, Louis Dreyfus Company and Glencore Agriculture.

While Covantis’s legal entity has been established, the blockchain platform is still under development. Covantis told Cointelegraph that it expects to start testing the platform as soon as May 2020. A spokesperson at the company noted:

“The platform is currently in development. We will start users testing in May and will be planning to launch the 1st release in the second part of 2020 but obviously we need to take in consideration the possible impact of Covid-19.”

Covantis names Cargill veteran Petya Sechanova as CEO

Alongside the legal launch, Covantis also announced its governance structure and executive appointments. Petya Sechanova, a Cargill and DHL veteran, has been appointed to serve as the company’s CEO, while Stefano Rettore will continue in his role as an independent advisor to the board until his successor will be announced in June 2020.

As announced, Sechanova brings more than 20 years of experience in major global supply chain and agricultural companies, including 11 years with agribusiness giant Cargill where she served as trade operations leader. Petya also worked more than four years at DHL, a major global logistics company.

ConsenSys provides tech support for the project that was first announced in October 2018

The latest Covantis news brings yet another milestone to the development of the long-awaited project. As reported by Cointelegraph, the concept of Covantis was first laid out in October 2018, when four of the biggest global agribusinesses firms announced a joint project to digitize global shipping transactions using blockchain.

In January 2020, Covantis selected Ethereum-focused firm ConsenSys as its primary technology partner for creating a blockchain platform to digitize the post-trade finance industry and global agribusiness supply chain. As reported, the upcoming platform is going to be based on the Ethereum blockchain and will initially focus on automating grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes.

Earlier in March, Cointelegaph reported on United Kingdom-based startup Agriledger building a new blockchain-powered ecosystem aiming to bring more transparency to the supply chain while streamlining crop sales.

Bitcoin Halving Capitulation: ‘Mining Death Spirals Don’t Happen in Real Life,’ Says Report

Bitcoin Halving Capitulation: 'Mining Death Spirals’ Don't Happen in Real Life,' Says Report

As the bitcoin halving approaches, crypto-mining ‘death spirals’ and miner capitulation have become prominent topics among digital currency enthusiasts. Despite the trending discussions, Coinshares head of research Christopher Bendiksen published a study that says “[bitcoin] mining death spirals do not actually happen in real life” and the speculation is a “highly theoretical edge case.”

Also read: ‘Bull Run May Not Come Immediately After Bitcoin Halving,’ Says Bitmain’s Jihan Wu

Bitcoin Halving, Death Spirals, and Miner Capitulation

After approximately 210,000 blocks are mined on BTC’s blockchain, the network’s block subsidy halves and after May 13, BTC miners will get 6.25 coins instead of 12.5. The halving event happens roughly every four years and the upcoming one, in particular, has caused crypto enthusiasts to speculate on what will happen after the event. Moreover, the recent covid-19 outbreak has caused economic calamity worldwide, as cryptocurrency prices were largely affected by fears of a looming recession.

Bitcoin Halving Capitulation: 'Mining Death Spirals Don't Happen in Real Life,' Says Report

Because of these two factors combined, crypto speculators and haters think that miners will be “doomed” after the halving and there will be massive miner capitulation. A few individuals and headlines have called the theoretical event a crypto-mining ‘death spiral’ and people assume BTC miners will face catastrophe. However, a recent research study from the firm Coinshares disagrees with this argument and the company’s head of research called the fears “highly theoretical edge cases without any historical real-world precedent.”

Bitcoin Halving Capitulation: 'Mining Death Spirals Don't Happen in Real Life,' Says Report
Source: Coinshares Research.

In the report called “Why Bitcoin Miners Will Keep Mining,” Christopher Bendiksen talks about how current BTC prices are down more than 50% from the 2020 highs. The researcher details that this means miners have lost 50% of their income and a few “high-cost producers will now be unprofitable.” “When miners turn cashflow negative they will turn off their gear and hashrate will fall,” Bendiksen said. News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on how the hashrate had fallen from the 136 exahash per second (EH/s) high at the end of February, to 75EH/s after the market rout on March 12. The close to 45% hashrate reduction caused the network’s difficulty adjustment to drop to the second-lowest point in history. Bendiksen’s report discusses how the difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) is a key element within the BTC network.

In the death spiral scenario, Bendiksen stressed that some people believe that a big enough hashrate drop would slow down block times and eventually “grind the network to a halt since no new blocks are mined.” “This, in turn, will cause prices to drop further causing more miners to shut down until no one is left mining and the price hits zero,” Bendiksen wrote. The Coinshares head of research, however, doesn’t think this situation is plausible in the real world and thinks it only lives in people’s theoretical discussions. Coinshare’s report is also similar to the question answered by bitcoin researcher and evangelist, Andreas Antonopoulos, who discussed mining death spirals on Youtube. “Part of the reason that’s unlikely to happen is that miners have a much more long-term perspective,” Antonopoulos noted in the video.

Bitcoin Halving Capitulation: 'Mining Death Spirals Don't Happen in Real Life,' Says Report
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Mining Death Spiral and the Network Grinding to a Halt Are Highly Theoretical Edge Cases

The Coinshares researcher also explained how in a rare, edge-case scenario it would take an awful lot of factors like gaming the DAA with precision and dumping on market prices at the same time. “In real life though, markets don’t move like that,” Bendiksen’s report highlights.

“On top of that there are operational concerns on the part of miners that prevent shutdowns on such rapid timelines,” Bendiksen wrote. “Powering down a several hundred-megawatt mine is not a matter of pulling a socket plug — you would risk severely damaging the local grid. Moreover, many miners have offtake agreements that mandate that they continue their draw for as long as they are able to pay their contracted bills. The point is: even when bitcoin prices significantly fall (which happens pretty much every year) or the mining reward is halved (which happens at predetermined time intervals), the physical and operational realities of the mining network are such that drawdowns in hashrate take time,” the report states. Bendiksen’s research further notes:

In practice, hashrate reductions are therefore always smoothly caught by the dynamic difficulty adjustment and block frequencies never get anywhere near ‘crisis levels’ (whatever that even means).

Bitcoin Halving Capitulation: 'Mining Death Spirals Don't Happen in Real Life,' Says Report
Source: Coinshares Research.

Bendiksen and Coinshares believe that the network was designed to handle these exact situations and they are confident things will be fine going forward. “Because of the design choices we’ve explained above the mining network has never failed to produce blocks. The difficulty has reset downwards many times — sometimes dramatically as the result of a pullback in price (the November/December 2018 is an excellent example to study), but never has the network ground to a halt or even come anywhere close to it,” Bendiksen’s report concludes.

What do you think about the Coinshares mining report and death spirals? Let us know in the comments below.


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Binance Says Leveraged FTX Removal Comes After Confused Users Hodled Tokens

Binance explains that the removal of FTX leveraged token was the result of users holding tokens instead of trading them.

Binance blamed customer confusion for its FTX leveraged token delisting, explaining that users held the tokens instead of trading them, which was the originally intended use case.

“The leveraged tokens are not designed for long term holding, which is what we noticed users were doing,” a Binance representative told Cointelegraph in an email. “The tokens will devalue over time as prices go up and down.”

The exchange rep said Binance currently has no plans for explaining and relisting the removed products.

Binance announced the removal on March 28, which will take effect on March 31

Binance announced plans for FTX leveraged token removal in a March 28 announcement, just weeks after launching the products. The exchange cited users did not understand the products, leading the removal.

“The tokens are designed for short-term trades,” the Binance representative explained to Cointelegraph. “If users hold BULL tokens when prices are continuously going up, then the BULLl tokens will outperform 3X long BTC,” the rep said. “If users hold the tokens when prices are fluctuating (as most crypto assets do), then the tokens will underperform 3X long BTC.”

The products followed a 2019 investment in FTX

Binance unveiled an equity investment in derivatives exchange FTX in December 2019. The exchange also bought a long-term stake in the derivatives platform’s native FTX token.

“Binance and FTX will work together to offer better trading products and platforms for the traders, grow the market and further develop the cryptocurrency ecosystem,” the Binance rep explained regarding Binance’s rationale behind the deal.

The representative pointed out FTX’s rapid growth and popularity. Referencing the outfits trading products and over-the-counter trading, the representative added:

“As part of the strategic partnership, FTX will help build out the liquidity and institutional product offerings across the Binance ecosystem, including Binance Exchange (Binance.com) and the Binance over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk.”

Additionally, Binance and FTX plan to collaboratively build an array of products.

Binance has seen many headlines in recent weeks as the massive operation continues expansion. Just yesterday, Binance Academy started up a China-based blockchain accelerator.

Data Shows Ethereum is Gearing Up for an Explosive Downside Movement

Ethereum has been closely tracking Bitcoin’s price action throughout the past several days and weeks, which has led ETH to once again enter a bout of sideways trading within the mid-$130 region. Despite being able to post a strong rebound from its recent lows, it is important to note that analysts are widely anticipating ETH to see an intense downwards movement in the near-term. This also comes in tandem with some slight growth in the cryptocurrency’s open interest on BitMEX, which may be a sign that the crypto’s next move will be massive. Ethereum Faces Weak Technical Situation as Analysts Eye Near-Term Downside  At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up just under 1% at its current price of $133, which marks a slight decline from daily highs of over $135 but a notable rebound from lows of $125. These lows were set yesterday in tandem with Bitcoin’s decline to $5,800, with bull’s ardent defense of this level creating an upwards tailwind that has allowed virtually all major altcoins to rally. In the near-term, it does appear that the mid-$130 region has become resistance for ETH, and whether or not it moves past this level may be dependent on how Bitcoin trends. One trader said in a recent tweet that Ethereum is flashing signs of weakness against its BTC trading pair, noting that it is currently hovering directly between key support and key resistance. “Ethereum: The same approach still on ETH / BTC. I’m interested at 0.0172-0.0175 / 0.019-0.01925 areas for support or when we flip the 0.022 area. Right now it’s just hanging in between. Against USDT also not showing strength.” Image Courtesy of Crypto Michaël ETH Futures Sees Declining Volume, But Open Interest Begins Climbing  Two interesting trends that may suggest the next movement will be large are the crypto’s declining futures volume and climbing open interest on BitMEX. According to data from Skew, Ethereum’s futures volume across all major cryptocurrency exchanges has declined significantly in recent times, hitting a monthly low on March 29th before climbing slightly yesterday. In the past, low futures volume hasn’t lasted for too long, with it climbing as the crypto’s volatility picks up. This could mean that a big movement is imminent. Further supporting this notion is the fact that open interest on BitMEX is showing tempered signs of growth, which is also a historical indicator of imminent volatility. Featured image from Shutterstock.

French Soccer Star Claims Crypto Scam Impersonated Him

Soccer star Kylian Mbappé filed a complaint against an allegedly cryptocurrency scam network under investigation by French police.

French international soccer striker Kylian Mbappé filed a complaint on March 31 for the unauthorized use of his name on a cryptocurrency scam network, which is being investigated by local authorities.

According to the newspaper L’Équipe, the soccer player, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, is being impersonated to use his name in advertising campaigns for the alleged scam that involves a cryptocurrency acquisition scheme.

These advertising posts cited false statements by Mbappé, where he allegedly claimed that the formula offered by the network was miraculous and that people could become a millionaire in two or three months.

Fake advertising articles impersonating Mbappé

The crypto scam article that started to circulating was titled “The latest Kylian Mbappé investment that put pressure on experts and scared big banks.”

Anne-Sophie Coulbois, head of the Central Office for the Suppression of Financial Crime with the French Judicial Police, stated the following to local newspapers regarding the modus operandi of this type of scams:

“These pages are used to impersonate future victims, save your contact details, then an alleged vendor calls them to explain the procedure for investing, but there is never a product that is invested in.”

Mbappé’s Twitter account hacked in 2019 by a crypto-related scam

It is not the first time that the French star is affected by alleged crypto scams that use his name without permission.

Cointelegraph Brazil reported last April, that Mbappé’s official Twitter account had been hacked with tweets where he encouraged his followers to make investments in crypto scams.

The Financial Markets Authority of France said that in 2018 they received nearly 1,100 complaints about this type of scam, which ended up stealing 55.5 million euros.

Welcome Bernardo A. Rodrigues to the IOTA Foundation

Bernardo A. Rodrigues is joining IOTA as an Embedded Software Engineer of the Engineering team. In this role, Bernardo will focus on Embedded Software Development and System Integration for IOTA related projects.

Bernardo was born in Brazil and lives as a digital nomad in Europe. He holds a BSc in Electronics Engineering from the University of São Paulo, and a MSc in Computer Engineering from the Federal University of Goiás (both in Brazil). He works with Embedded Linux, specializing in cross-compilation with the tools from OpenEmbedded and Yocto Project.

Bernardo’s grandfather used to do amateur radio chats with friends from Portugal, which fascinated him with electronics early on in his life. As a teenager, Bernardo learned web-design to host Counter-Strike 1.4 maps that he used to create as a self-taught geek. During his years in Academia, he worked with Graduate Research in Biomedical Engineering and later in CyberSecurity. In his late 20s, Bernardo worked in the transportation sector in Brazil (Road Traffic control) and Europe (ADAS). After falling in love with Free Software in college, and subsequently DLTs in 2016, Bernardo started to look for ways to bring DLTs to the Embedded Linux universe. In 2019, he found his way into the IOTA Ecosystem Development Fund after starting the development of the meta-iota OpenEmbedded layer.

Bernardo has successfully ported IOTA’s Go, Python and C (CClient + MAM) libraries to OpenEmbedded, as well as GoShimmer, Hornet, and cIRI node implementations. He presented IOTA to the Embedded Linux community when he gave a talk about meta-iota at Linux Foundation’s Yocto Project Summit 2019, in Lyon, France. Recently, Bernardo released the first iterations of honeycombOS, the IOTA Embedded Linux Distribution.

Apart from the countless possibilities of IOTA in the Embedded Linux realm, Bernardo is also fascinated by its immense potential for social impact. Being Brazilian, he is especially interested in how IOTA can help protect the treasures of the Amazon Forest.

On joining IOTA

I believe Distributed Ledger Technology is one of the most exciting and positive technological revolutions that humanity has put forward in recent history. I am passionate and curious about the next chapters of this exciting time in history, and the quantum leaps we will achieve in this newborn decade. I feel nothing but honor and gratitude for being able to contribute to this amazing collective endeavor.

We are very happy officially announcing Bernardo A. Rodrigues joined IOTA as an Embedded Linux Engineer. His experience with Embedded Linux is of great value to the IOTA foundation, especially in the context of easing the efforts to run Tangle nodes with honeycombOS. Give him a warm welcome!

Welcome Bernardo A. Rodrigues to the IOTA Foundation was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

This article was originally published on the: IOTA Blog on 

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Unofficial Iranian Telegram Applications Leak Data of 42M Users

As many as 42 million people in Iran purportedly used unofficial Telegram apps due to the messenger’s ban in the country only to have their data leaked.

While Telegram isn’t giving up its ongoing legal battle with United States regulators to launch its TON blockchain project, some online perpetrators are taking advantage of the messenger’s popularity to expose millions of user records of third-party versions of Telegram app.

Per an investigation by cybersecurity firm Comparitech and security researcher Bob Diachenko, at least 42 million Iranian “Telegram” usernames and phone numbers were leaked via unofficial Iranian-made versions of Telegram, while real Telegram is banned in the country.

42 million Iranians that are willing to use the banned messenger got their data exposed

According to a March 30 report compiled by Comparitech, those records were publicly exposed online on the web without any authentication required to access it. The data was reportedly exposed on distributed search engine Elasticsearch for about 11 days until it was removed after Diachenko filed an abuse report.

Diachenko elaborated to Cointelegraph that the number of leaked records purportedly corresponds to the number of “Telegram” users affected. He said:

“42 million is the number of the records in the database which, we assume, are unique and correspond to the affected persons number.”

The reported data breach definitely poses significant risks like SIM swapping and phishing attacks as well as other scams using the phone numbers in the database. Moreover, the leakage reveals data of as many as 42 million Iranian people who were trying to still use Telegram despite the application being banned in the country since 2018.

Telegram blames Iranian people for using unofficial Telegram apps despite multiple warnings

The exposure wouldn’t have been possible without people using unofficial versions Telegram messenger, a Telegram spokesperson reportedly told Comparitech. Telegram emphasized that the leaked data came from unofficial Telegram applications or so-called “forks” of Telegram that are not affiliated with the official company. This became possible because Telegram is an open-source application that allows third parties to create their own versions of it.

Telegram reportedly said:

“We can confirm that the data seems to have originated from third-party forks extracting user contacts. Unfortunately, despite our warnings, people in Iran are still using unverified apps. Telegram apps are open source, so it’s important to use our official apps that support verifiable builds.”

As reported by local publications, Iranians created a number of “fork” Telegram apps like Telegram Talaeii and Hotgram in response to the messenger’s ban in the country. According to estimations, Talaeii and Hotgram amassed about 30 million users as of December 2018. According to BBC, real Telegram messenger was estimated to have about 50 million users in Iran as of 2018 before it was banned in the country.

While the latest data breach doesn’t involve the official Telegram company directly, the actual messenger suffered a major hack in Iran back in 2016. According to reports, Iranian hackers were able to compromise more than a dozen accounts to identify phone numbers of 15 million Telegram users in Iran despite the messenger’s focus on user privacy and security.

In mid-March 2020, Cointelegraph reported on Chinese social media giant Weibo experiencing a massive data breach that reportedly led to 172 million users having their account information leaked.

Ripple Poised to Triple By Q4 2020 After XRP Forms Classic Bottom

XRP, the cryptocurrency asset often referred to as Ripple, has been among the worst-performing crypto assets and altcoins of the last two years. However, according to one crypto analyst who has spotted what they believe is a classical bottom signature on XRP price charts, expects the asset’s woes to soon change and potentially triple in value before the end of the year. XRP’s Recent Panic-Fueled Rollercoaster Ride XRP has gained a negative reputation across the cryptocurrency community. The number three crypto asset by market cap is often accused of being less decentralized that competition cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, is demonized for its association and relationships with bankers, and has gained notoriety due to Ripple executives selling XRP holdings in order to fund operations. Related Reading | XRP Triggers Major Buy Signal As Crypto Asset Reaches Pivot Point  The constant selling of assets each time XRP price rose at all, was in part responsible for the altcoin’s over two years of a bear market. After a breakout of downtrend resistance, all signs pointed to XRP being ready for liftoff, and the altcoin asset doubled in value during the first two months of the year. However, what momentum the crypto asset had, was destroyed in a catastrophic coronavirus-fueled panic selloff that crushed cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP, alongside the stock market, gold, and many other traditional investments. The sell-off caused XRP price to plummet back down, setting a lower bear market low and taking the price of the asset to just over ten cents. Ripple Price to Triple By Q4 2020, If Classic Bottom Holds But as Ripple fell towards ten cents, it swept the lows of the previous reaccumulation cycle, taking place in early 2017, just before the crypto hype train took off and XRP rose to over $3 per token. One crypto analyst claims that this type of behavior is the signature of a “classic bottom” formation, suggesting that the downside for Ripple in the future is limited. $XRP Monthly is about to close. Looking at the SPF/2017 pre-final pump accumulation lows sweep and this capitulation volume, this looks like a classic bottom signature, or what one would expect it to look like. I am fairly sure Ripple is retesting 0.58 cents in 2020 (Q4) pic.twitter.com/ukY3LJfgut — iamBTC.D (@iam516tv) March 31, 2020 The analyst also says that based on the support holding, XRP could skyrocket to $0.58 cents per token, essentially causing Ripple to triple in value by the fourth quarter of 2020. An alternative, contrarian view would consider that price action forming a massive, multi-year descending triangle, which if breaks down would take Ripple back to under a penny per XRP token – prices that the asset traded at long before cryptocurrencies became a household name. Related Reading | XRP Fails To Reclaim Critical Long Term Support, Danger May Lie Ahead  Descending triangles have repeatedly broken down on the price charts of cryptocurrencies in the past, suggesting that more downside for XRP is also a possibility. However, if Ripple does indeed break out from the current lows, the analyst’s target of $0.58 cents is a reasonable near-term target for what will likely be a very explosive recovery once Ripple breaks free from downtrend resistance. Featured image from Shutterstock

PayPal Is Hiring a Blockchain Strategy Director

Digital payments giant looks to hire a highly experienced person in charge of overseeing their blockchain-related strategies.

Digital payments giant PayPal posted a new job listing on March 23, where the company seeks to hire an Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and Blockchain Strategy director for their Global Financial Crimes (GFC) division.

According to the company, the new director —based in New York — will be in charge of evaluating blockchain's use cases for the prevention of financial crimes, such as money laundering and terrorist financing, to supervise the entire AML process.

The post also detailed that the ideal profile must focus on blockchain-related opportunities for the company in terms of strengthening the risk department of the company.

PayPal clarified that the role implies a regular review of AML-related reporting to identify and oversee critical trends within a blockchain-related portfolio by deploying it in accordance with the company's needs. 

Broad cryptocurrencies and blockchain background required

PayPal requires that the person has previously held a position in a financial firm leveraging blockchain technology, with a deep understanding of cryptocurrency risks, together with experience in AML compliance or law enforcement.

It is not the first time that the digital payments giant has expressed an interest in the blockchain and cryptocurrencies environment.

PayPal’s interest in the crypto sphere

Cointelegraph reported on November 19, 2019, that PayPal had led a $4.2 million funding round for TRM Labs, which is a cryptocurrency management platform.

PayPal’s CEO Dan Schulman revealed on November 20 of the same year that he owns Bitcoin (BTC) and highlighted its “very volatile” nature:

“Until it becomes less volatile, it won’t be a currency that is widely accepted by merchants on the web — not the dark web, but the web.”

Today’s N95 Facemask Market Is Crazy, But It Helps Us Understand Crypto

Amid coronavirus fears, the current N95 facemask market resembles the wilder swings of the crypto space.

Although the Wild West of crypto historically has involved scams, hype and price gaming, those descriptors are now tacked onto another industry — the N95 face mask market.

“Scrutiny surrounding these deals is high because of ongoing scams and claims of price-gouging, both of which are triggering emotionally charged reactions and fear of making deals,” Forbes contributor David DiSalvo wrote in a March 30 article on the coronavirus pandemic-induced N95 face mask mania.

Out of context, however, DiSalvo’s quote very much describes the crypto space at times.

The face mask market currently resembles horse-trading shenanigans

DiSalvo described a day that included helping a friend secure deals for face masks for U.S.-based hospitals in need. State governments and hospitals sat on the purchasing side, while mask brokers looked to secure deals on the seller side.

“The high price point per mask, driven by extreme demand, has contributed to an overwhelmed reaction among potential buyers, especially in the U.S.,” DiSalvo said.

After multiple hours of antics, all the masks up for grabs left the country, bought up by international parties instead of the interested U.S.-based entities.

DiSalvo described a mass, single-day exodus of masks. “By the end of the day, roughly 280 million masks from warehouses around the U.S. had been purchased by foreign buyers and were earmarked to leave the country,” DiSalvo said, according to information from medical supply broker Remington Schmidt.

“This is the craziest market I’ve ever seen,” Schmidt told DiSalvo. “If you are working with a seller who has masks but you can’t quickly show proof of funds, someone else is going to buy them,” he said.

Crypto markets often see similar conditions

Often compared to the Wild West, the crypto space often exudes many of these conditions at varying points.

Few scenarios include the hype and demand seen in the crypto space during 2017, when projects touting little more than a paper-based idea raised millions of dollars in seconds via ICOs. Most of these projects turned out to be scams.

Crypto is also a largely borderless market, drawing attention from all across the globe. Masks have similarly become an international concern.

As crypto, and now the N95 mask market, has shown — hype, supply and demand all hold the potential to drastically change markets. Over the last two years, many of those exuberant ICOs have fallen drastically in price, showing little current demand amid various lawsuits.

Bitcoin Network Activity Has Plunged, What is Going On?

Did Somebody Turn Off the Bitcoin Cash Transaction Generator?

The crypto market is recovering from the price drop earlier this month, yet the daily number of Bitcoin transactions continues to decline. This data anomaly reflects changes underway in how the flagship cryptocurrency is being used. It may reflect a greater trend moving forward. 

Daily transaction activity began to grow steadily at the beginning of this year, which coincided with Bitcoin’s increase in price. Trading and mining both picked up, which added to this number. The transaction count took an abrupt turn early this month, however, as the price collapsed and the global economy fell into a tailspin.
bitcoin activity
Earlier this year the total daily transactions eclipsed 350K several times. Now it is around 275k per day and falling.
A number of factors have contributed to this decline. Lower prices have led to less mining activity, as evidenced by a notable drop in network hash power over the past few days. Most notably, Bitcoin owners have pulled thousands of coins off of exchanges, causing trade activity to decrease.
The key takeaway from these moves is that Bitcoin investors are now more interested in keeping their funds safe in personal wallets than on exchanges. Cold storage means less network activity, which can be seen in the data. Backing up this notion is the fact that the number of Bitcoin wallets continues to grow steadily as does address diversity. There are presently more than one hundred thousand more active addresses than there were at the start of the month.
Ironically, the decline in network activity demonstrates that Bitcoin is healthy and secure. Investors moving their coins into self-controlled wallets indicates that the cryptocurrency is being treated as a safe haven during this time of global economic stress.
Also, this action helps boost Bitcoin’s value by reducing the available supply used for trading. In fact, Bitcoin advocates should worry more about too many daily transactions than too few. Presently the network can only handle about 600k transactions per day without fees and congestion becoming a problem. Until the Lightning Network, or some other scaling solution, has become more user friendly the problem of too much activity is very real.
Bitcoin transaction numbers will likely pick back up as the market recovers. Nevertheless, for now this data indicates that the cryptocurrency is functioning exactly as designed.
Do you think Bitcoin activity dropping is a bearish or bullish signal? Add your thoughts below!

Images via Shutterstock, Chart by Blockchain.com

Bitcoin Bulls are Being “Put to the Test” as Bears Begin Stacking Sell Orders

Yesterday’s Bitcoin rally has led the cryptocurrency into the mid-$6,000 region, with the mounting resistance at $6,500 proving to be too much for BTC’s bulls to surmount. This has led to yet another bout of consolidation around this level. One analyst is noting that Bitcoin’s bulls are currently being “put to the test” after losing a key technical level that was previously bolstering its price action. If bulls want to further extend their newfound momentum and propel the crypto higher, it is imperative that buyers are able to defend the crypto from dropping below $6,350. Bitcoin Loses Key Technical Level After Entering Bout of Consolidation  At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up just under 3% at its current price of $6,490, which is around where it has been trading at over the past day. BTC’s rally up to these highs came about following its recent decline to lows of $5,800, which is the point at which bulls stepped up and catalyzed some decent momentum. The fact that this short-term uptrend has stalled at its first key resistance level seems to elucidate some underlying weakness, suggesting that the crypto could be poised to face a rejection at this level. Big Cheds – a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter – explained in a recent tweet that BTC recently lost its EMA 8, with this ongoing bout of sideways trading marking a test for bulls. “Bitcoin: 1 hour – Bulls being put to the test after losing EMA 8, lower BB dip and rally,” he explained while pointing to the below chart. $BTC #Bitcoin 1 hour – Bulls being put to the test after losing EMA 8, lower BB dip and rally pic.twitter.com/OytdTaK1hz — Big Cheds (@BigCheds) March 31, 2020 BTC’s Key Support Sits at $6,350, and a Break Below This Level Could Be Dire  Michaël van de Poppe, another popular cryptocurrency analyst, explained in a recent tweet that Bitcoin’s current trading range exists between $6,350 and roughly $6,500, with this lower boundary being BTC’s key near-term support. “Bitcoin: Mostly range-bound, but it’s interesting that this monthly/weekly level at $6,350 provides support here. Might tap the resistance around $6,500-6,600 again, but mostly range-bound and not showing direction. Breaking range -> targeting $7,100/7,300,” he noted. $BTC #BITCOIN Mostly range-bound, but it's interesting that this monthly/weekly level at $6,350 provides support here. Might tap the resistance around $6,500-6,600 again, but mostly range-bound and not showing direction. Breaking range -> targeting $7,100/7,300. pic.twitter.com/MXpx6pq2GI — Crypto Michaël (@CryptoMichNL) March 31, 2020 If Bitcoin breaks below its near-term support, it is highly likely that it will continue declining until it retests the support that has been established at $5,800, with a decline below this level potentially leading BTC to see a free fall. Featured image from Shutterstock.

Brazilian Crypto Exchange XDEX Announces Full Closure

Bitcoin investment platform XDEX, founded by partners of Brazil’s largest investment broker in LatAm, XP Investimentos announced its closure.

Brazilian crypto exchange XDEX, which is owned by the largest stock broker in Latin America, announced the end of its activities. The company announced its closure on March 31:

"Today, we announce that XDEX is starting the process of closing its activities. Market projection, competition and few regulatory advances reduced the opportunities found at the beginning of the project and were the basis for this difficult decision."

Take some time

The company offered non-custodial exposure to cryptocurrencies, so customers have up to 30 days from the day of the announcement to close their positions and fully withdraw their balance in reais on the platform. "When making the withdrawal request, the funds will be sent to the bank account registered at XDEX within 1 business day, according to bank records," the announcement said, adding:

"After the 30-day period, if the customer has not sold the assets, we will do it on their behalf and the amount obtained from the sale will be deposited in the bank account registered with XDEX within 3 business days."

Failed to take hold

Launched in 2018, XDEX attempted to capitalize on the possible entry of Brazilian institutional investors into crypto, since the platform was owned by the partners of XP Investimentos. One of the largest brokers in Latin America, XP Investimentos manages billions in investments.

This is the fourth company focused on Bitcoin trading that closes its activities in Brazil. Before it, Brazilian companies, OmniTrade, Latoex and Acesso Bitcoin also announced the end of their activities. At the end of last year another Brazilian Bitcoin company called Bitjá revealed its closure.

Lowest Exchange BTC Balances Since 2019 — Calm Waters Ahead?

Bitcoin balances of the major exchanges are at their lowest point since 2019.

Bitcoin (BTC) balances of the major exchanges are at their lowest point since 2019.

Calm waters ahead?

From a high in mid-January, the number of Bitcoins on deposit at major exchanges has dropped significantly in following months. This trend accelerated after the recent market collapse.

Source: Glassnode

Source: Glassnode

Further supporting this trend is the “exchange net inflow” data, which is derived by subtracting Bitcoins leaving exchanges from Bitcoin moving into exchanges. The net inflows have been negative for much of 2019 with a short positive spike around the most recent meltdown.

Source: Glassnode

Source: Glassnode

This could imply that market participants are not expecting a major price move in the near future and have withdrawn their Bitcoin from exchanges for better safekeeping.

Trading patterns are back to normal

During the recent selloff, the bid-ask spread increased exponentially, indicating the disbalance in the supply and demand of bitcoins at the time. However, it has returned to more normal ranges since. This is another indicator of a return to normality.

Source: Kaiko

Source: Kaiko

Furthermore, the same trend can be observed with Bitcoin trading volume. After a brief and sharp spike during the latest downturn, it has since returned to normal ranges.

Source: Kaiko

Source: Kaiko

It seems like the market is going through a consolidation phase in anticipation of the upcoming Bitcoin halving, which may have a significant impact on the market dynamics.

Charles Hoskinson : It will be easier to issue and maintain digital assets on Cardano (ADA) than Ethereum

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of the company, said that the huge amount of time, effort, and money spent has resulted in a unique product on the market that’s set to fulfill even the highest expectations. It will be easier to issue and maintain digital assets on Cardano than it currently is on Ethereum, Hoskinson said. IOHK, the company behind the ambitious Cardano project, is on track to fulfill all of the commitments it made for 2020.

This year set to be the best one for Cardano

The current volatility in the crypto market has put prices to the forefront of all discussions, unfairly leaving out other topics from the limelight. Zooming into hourly or daily candles makes it hard to see the big picture and appreciate the effort and progress that has been going on behind the scenes in the industry.

Most of that progress comes from Cardano, the ambitious blockchain project created by IOHK. The research-heavy, still unfinished network has been rapidly developing in the past six months and is, according to Charles Hoskinson, on its way to fulfill all promises made for 2020.

The CEO of IOHK shared his optimistic outlook on Cardano in a recent live stream, saying that years of research and development have led the company to a point where it was comfortable saying Cardano will become one of the best cryptocurrencies on the market this year.

This, however, has little do with how it performs in terms of price. Instead, Hoskinson said, it has everything to do with what the network has to offer. In an outspoken and transparent way that has become synonymous with Cardano, Hoskinson explained that the company began working on the network as an aspirational research project five years ago.

They committed to studying both proof-of-stake and proof-of-work protocols in a bid to find which one would fit the needs of the network better. The research on the two very different protocols was done at the same time so that each thread could be abandoned in favor of the other.

According to Hoskinson, this approach was what enabled the company to create such a reliable and scalable proof-of-stake protocol. From a research perspective, Cardano’s Ouroboros PoS protocol is already a huge success. The Ouroboros Genesis with its staking components is currently able to run a full smart contract system and enable building a full cryptocurrency on the network.

The millions of dollars that have been spent on developing Cardano’s UTXo model will enable it to have best in class multi-asset support this year. It will be easier to issue, maintain, and track assets on Cardano than on Ethereum by the end of the year, Hoskinson said, adding that Cardano won’t treat other cryptocurrencies issued on its network differently, as is the case with Ethereum, ether, and other coin standards. All of this will make Cardano’s model very appealing to dApp developers, as it is a natural and organic path for Bitcoin to upgrade and create smart contracts.

Fixing everything that’s wrong with IOHK’s approach

While Hoskinson seemed incredibly optimistic about Cardano’s future, despite the current market uncertainty, he noted that there was still a lot left to do. He said that the Cardano Foundation, Emurgo, and IOHK were all still on the hook for not developing some of the essential parts of the Cardano ecosystem—a blockchain explorer, a smart contract system, and a decentralized exchange.

When it comes to launching an explorer for the Cardano blockchain, Hoskinson explained that the process will take more time. An explorer for Cardano is significantly more complicated than an explorer for any other blockchain due to the fact that Cardano is a significantly more complicated network itself.

Hoskinson explained that while Bitcoin’s explorer only needs to look at the transactions made on the network, a Cardano explorer will have to take into consideration its voting system, its smart contract system, and its stake pools.

A smart contract system that enables different programming languages was in scope for 2020 and will be introduced later this year, Hoskinson said. When it comes to a decentralized exchange on Cardano, he said that it was “commercially critical” but that it will be done once Ouroboros was completely optimized.

Other things that still need a lot of work include Cardano Docs, a repository of all the documentation related to the development of Cardano. Hoskinson said that it was currently “badly out of date,” and that a huge effort to update is currently underway and will be completed in June or July this year. Once completed, Cardano Docs will include a repository for all formal specifications and architectural diagrams of the network, where users will be able to access mathematical descriptions of the code the network was built on.

All of this goes hand-in-hand with IOHK’s “lingua franca” approach to communicating. Hoskinson said that instead of using marketing speech and sensationalist language, he preferred to back everything with specifications and raw mathematical data.

What does the future hold for Cardano

One of the biggest updates Cardano will see this year is a philosophical, not a technical one. Namely, Hoskinson said that IOHK will have a full opinion on what its stance on interoperability will be.

First efforts to understand how to talk to other cryptocurrencies, including proof-of-work networks, were initiated back in 2015 and are still ongoing. Hoskinson said that time will tell whether interoperability was the way to go for Cardano. It will depend on whether the top three value drivers in the crypto industry, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP, will move in the direction of interoperability. If they do, he said, that will be a road for Cardano to take.

However, other major technical upgrades will be coming to Cardano as well. According to Hoskinson, optimizing Ouroboros and finishing up all of its components is almost done and the protocol should be handed over to a second-team funded by a different entity that will work on it long-term.

IOHK’s partners are working on implementing Hydra, while the company itself is working on the Voltaire era with its designated product manager and product team. Hoskinson believes Voltaire will be the most significant and important release for Cardano this year, as it will contain the improvement proposal system, requests for funding, and voting system.

The Byron reboot will roll out in April and is set to show just how good the principles IOHK has been establishing since 2015 are.

Hoskinson also addressed the concerns many in the Cardano community had, which include the lack of concrete launch dates of key products and constant delays. He explained that neither IOHK nor the Cardano Foundation had any incentives to delay releases on purpose, as all of the research that goes into Cardano is funded by Hoksinon and IOHK.

New products and updates are constrained by Cardano’s rock-solid principles and by the process set up by IOHK. The company isn’t concerned with speeding up launches in order to push the price of ADA up, he said.

Making sure Cardano is as competitive as possible, building new stuff and stubbing old stuff out, and bringing aboard new partners—this, according to Hoskinson, sums up 2020 for Cardano.

The post Charles Hoskinson : It will be easier to issue and maintain digital assets on Cardano (ADA) than Ethereum appeared first on CryptoSlate.

New Lightning Network Authentication Method Could Replace Website Accounts

Blockchain firm Lightning Labs drafted a new Lightning Network-based authentication system that could replace traditional email-based accounts.

Blockchain firm Lightning Labs drafted the specifications of a new Lightning Network-based authentication system that could replace traditional email-based accounts.

According to a March 30 announcement, the Lightning Service Authentication Tokens (LSAT) is a new authentication protocol for paid services. The system issues Lightning-based tokens for users after they paid for the service in Bitcoin (BTC) instead of providing their personal information for traditional email-based accounts.

The lightning tokens in question act as tickets for the purchased resources and encode what resource it grants access to. The tokens can be exchanged, revoked and modified after being issued. LSAT also reportedly allows for applications that charge users on an ongoing basis for resources instead of periodic upfront payments.

The forgotten status code

LSAT leverages the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) status code 402, meant to warn the user’s web browser that payment is required to access the service. While developers are familiar with status codes like 404, which is sent when a client is requesting a resource that is not found on the server, has seen little use. According to Mozilla, it has no standard use convention. The announcement explains:

“As the name entails, this code is returned when a client attempts to access a resource that they haven't paid for yet. In most versions of the HTTP specification, this code is marked as being ‘reserved for future use.’ Many speculate that it was intended to be used by some sort of digital cash or micropayment scheme, which didn't yet exist at the time of the initial HTTP specification drafting.”

As Lightning Labs points out, now digital cash does exist in the form of Bitcoin, so the status code can be used as intended. The implementation of such a system could create a seamless way to pay for and immediately access web services without needing accounts. The announcement describes how a web with such an integration would work:

“In this new web, email addresses and passwords are a thing of the past. Instead cryptographic bearer credentials are purchased and presented by users to access services and resources. In this new web, credit cards no longer serve as a gatekeeper to all the amazing experiences that have been created on the web.”

The promises of web 3.0

Many in the blockchain industry advocate for web 3.0 technology as it is believed as a way to make the internet more democratic, open and private. Furthermore, a November 2019 Cointelegraph analysis also suggests that web 3.0 developments can also drive cryptocurrency adoption to new heights.

Earlier this month, the Web3 foundation issued a grant to interoperability project Interlay for bringing Bitcoin on the Polkadot platform.