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The UK Insolvency Service claimed that GPay is nothing but a “scam” after conducting confidential inquiries.
The UK High Court has appointed the Official Receiver as liquidator of the cryptocurrency trading platform, GPay Ltd.
According to an announcement published by the UK Insolvency Service on June 30, the crypto exchange showed signs of being "nothing but a scam”.
Fake statements abound
The firm, also known previously as XtraderFX and Cryptopoint, advertised its services online and through social media channels. The Insolvency Service claims that the ads falsely alleged the service was endorsed by entrepreneurs who appeared in an unnamed UK primetime TV show and a high-profile money saving website.
After complaints received by the local authorities, the Insolvency Service proceeded with confidential inquiries into GPay's activities. These revealed that at least 108 clients claimed to have lost around £1.5 million ($1.84 million) while trading on the platform.
GPay allegedly a “scam”
David Hill, a chief investigator for the UK Insolvency Service, commented:
"GPay persuaded customers to part with substantial sums of money to invest in cryptocurrency trading. This was nothing but a scam as GPay tricked their clients to use their online platform under false pretences and no customer has benefited as their investments have been lost."
The Court also received reports that clients were denied withdrawal requests if they had not actively traded their deposited funds within GPay.
GPay's case concluded on June 23, 2020 with a petition presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, or BEIS.
Recently, the United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, and the Internet Advertising Bureau, or IAB, launched a new system to detect and remove fraudulent online ads.
Cointelegraph also reported in 2019 that the primary financial regulator of the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, claimed that crypto investors in the country lost over $34 million due to cryptocurrency and forex scams between 2018–2019.
Tati Westbrook published a tearful video, claiming she was the victim of Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star. The real victims are their subscribers.
This week a number of Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit depositions have recently published and are now available for public viewing. One specific deposition with the former Bitcoin Core lead maintainer, Gavin Andresen, casts doubt on the claim that Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. Moreover, the Bitcoinsv supporter Daniel Krawisz has been speaking out about Wright and mentions there is “plagiarism in several of Craig Wright’s works.”
For well over five years now, Craig Steven Wright, has publicly claimed that he invented Bitcoin and that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. This claim has pushed Wright to court because the family of the now-deceased Dave Kleiman thinks that Wright’s multi-year business relationship with Dave means that they both created Bitcoin. The ostensible story has been debunked so much that the greater crypto community does not believe in any of Wright’s tales.
This week, a number of depositions have been published and one interesting one stems from the former Bitcoin Core lead maintainer Gavin Andresen. In May 2016, Andresen abruptly came out and told the public he believed Wright was Satoshi. However, not too long after that, he explained that he may have been confused. The same day Andresen said he believed Wright was Satoshi, Bitcoin Core developers removed Andresen’s Github commit privileges to the Bitcoin codebase. No one’s really discussed the matter with Andresen until now at least publicly.
When asked about that particular moment in time, Andresen said he could have been fooled. “There are places in the private proving session where I could have been fooled, where somebody could have switched out the software that was being used or, perhaps, the laptop that was delivered was not a brand-new laptop, and it had been tampered with in some way. I was also jet-lagged,” Andresen said in the deposition.
I was not in the headspace of this is going to prove to the world that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. I was in the headspace of, you know, this will prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. And my doubts arise because the proof that was presented to me is very different from the pseudo proof that was later presented to the world.
The entire deposition is very long and it discusses a variety of different meetings. Overall when he was asked about Wright’s Satoshi story, Andresen said he had “doubts.” “I have many, many doubts in my head about what parts of — What things Craig told me are true and what are not true,” Andresen stated further. The Andresen deposition may be changing the minds of many hardcore followers. Despite the fact that a good number of BSV supporters adore Wright and follow his every move, there are a number of individuals who have denounced him and want to focus on just BSV.
One person who has been vocal about Craig Wright lately is the well known Bitcoin advocate Daniel Krawisz. Krawisz supports Bitcoinsv (BSV) and in the past, he favored Craig Wright. However, more recently Krawisz has been speaking out against Wright and his story. On June 28, Krawisz tweeted:
There’s plagiarism in several of Craig Wright’s works. It’s easy to see if you look. Example. It would be a lot better if people stopped treating him like a hero and just made bitcoin successful on their own.
There have been many responses to Krawisz’s tweets about Craig Wright and even a response tweet from the billionaire gambling mogul Calvin Ayre. Many people thanked Krawisz for being honest, even though they said they didn’t like BSV. Others explained that the only reason why BSV exists is because of Craig Wright. “BSV exists because of Craig Wright, even the claim in its name. You got bamboozled,” one person wrote to Krawisz.
What do you think about the Gavin Andresen deposition and Daniel Krawisz’s recent change of opinion? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments below.
The post Bamboozled: Gavin Andresen Says He Could Have Been Fooled by Craig Wright, BSV Supporters Speak Out appeared first on Bitcoin News.
It’s been a difficult 48 hours for DeFi project Balancer.
Riding on the DeFi yield farming hyper, Balancer saw an influx of pool funds locked in its protocol, which in turn, attracted the bane of any technology project — the attention of hackers and loophole opportunists.
Attackers stole over $500,000 in wrapped Ether, Chainlink, and other alts early on June 29. The saga ended on June 30 with a bug bounty reward, legal threats, and reimbursement of all liquidity pools affected in the attack.
All losses to be reimbursed
Balancer Labs tweeted Tuesday that all liquidity pools affected in the $500k hack would be fully reimbursed. The firm said a community vote was taken in the regard, with the majority in favor of the decision:
After thorough discussions with the community, the Balancer Labs team decided that it will fully reimburse all the liquidity providers who lost funds in the attack of yesterday. We will also pay out the highest bug bounty available for @Hex_Capital
More details on the…
— Balancer Labs (@BalancerLabs) June 29, 2020
Hex Capital, an algo-trading account created by one Ankur Agrawal, would be paid out the “highest” bug bounty for having earlier addressed the security lapses around listing Statera (STA) — the token which caused the vulnerability in the first place.
In a post, Balancer CEO Fernando Martinelli said the platform experience an unprecedented surge in both users and liquidity last week, leaving developers to play “catch up” on scaling the platform.
Twitter commentators said Balancer was, perhaps, setting a “dangerous” precedent for future DeFi projects and security lapses. However, others believe the sector is undergoing teething issues and developers could take this as a “learning” experience.
However, Martinelli was forthcoming in this regard. He said Balancer Labs will only reimburse the losses of liquidity providers in the attack as the team had already received a specific bug bounty report prior to the hack.
Security audits and legal action
Statera, on its part, tweeted it was working with Balancer and actively collaborating on solutions. The firm added it would be reimbursing STA to all liquidity providers affected by the hack, while Balancer will reimburse the four other tokens.
In working with Balancer we are actively collaborating on solutions.We will be reimbursing STA to all liquidity providers affected by the hack. Balancer will be reimbursing the other fourtokens. Innovation is never a straight line,but it must continue! @BalancerLabs #defi #crypto
— Statera (@StateraProject) June 29, 2020
Meanwhile, Dr. Julian Hosp of CakeDeFi claimed Balancer was audited twice previously:
“$BAL was audited twice. The problem here is neither the auditor nor Balancer Labs. it is the turing-complete game. Turing complete is amazing for trying out things and pushing the boundaries. It is terrible at providing guarantees.”
Before Balancer’s statements, some community members called for lawsuits against the firm and its developers hours after the hack came to light. The posts have since been deleted.
The post DeFi platform Balancer to reimburse $500k in hack losses; community threatens legal action appeared first on CryptoSlate.
A staggering 57% of respondents said that they buy and hold cryptocurrency as a long-term investment.
A survey conducted by major crypto custodian Bitcoin IRA revealed that 42% of the platform’s customers expect Bitcoin’s (BTC) price to exceed $15,000 by the end of 2020.
According to a June 29 announcement, Bitcoin IRA surveyed over 300 of its customers who answered their questions on a voluntary basis. A staggering 57% of the respondents also said that they buy and hold cryptocurrency as a long-term investment.
Bitcoin IRA has high hopes for Bitcoin
Bitcoin IRA’s head of marketing, Mike Schrobo, told Cointelegraph that all respondents were retail investors. When asked whether the firm believes the price prediction is accurate, he said:
“We firmly believe in the long-term fundamental benefits and value propositions crypto provides to our financial system. Upward price pressures will likely continue as Bitcoin's adoption and scarcity increases and as global money supply of fiat increases during the pandemic.”
The survey also revealed that 53% of respondents are interested in earning interest on their investments, either through lending or investing. Furthermore, 46% also showed interest in investing in precious metals, 36% in cannabis and 9% in movies.
Cointelegraph reported at the end of May that the CEO of a market analytics company has gone as far as to say that Bitcoin could take on gold’s store of value role in the future, as the world becomes increasingly digital.
June has been a rather uninteresting month for Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency largely ranged between $9,000 and $10,000, with each break above or below this range being fleeting.
One interesting trend seen throughout the past four weeks has been BTC’s propensity to set lower highs, as it has been slowly grinding down to the lower end of its well-established trading range.
This seems to indicate that it will close its monthly candle in the coming few hours on a low note, disappointing bulls who were hoping to see a close at, or above, $10,000.
There are now a few factors that analysts are closely observing for insight into where the benchmark cryptocurrency may trend following its upcoming monthly candle close.
It does appear that July is positioned to be a volatile month for BTC, as its June candle is set to be one of the smallest seen in over a year – pointing to the strength of its recent consolidation phase.
Some top traders expect this volatility to favor the crypto’s buyers.
Bitcoin’s Monthly Candle Close Shows Just How Intense Recent Consolidation Has Been
Between May 31st and June 1st, Bitcoin’s price rallied from lows of $9,400 to highs of nearly $10,400.
This marked the highest price levels the cryptocurrency saw this month, as its price began sliding lower in the time since.
It is important to note that the decline from these highs was gradual and can largely be categorized as a slow grind lower due to it entering multiple consolidation phases along the way.
Bitcoin is now trading within the lower end of its well-established trading range between $9,000 and $10,000.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down less than 1% at its current price of $9,150. This marks a slight rebound from recent lows of $8,900 that were set late last week.
The price action seen throughout the past month is about to cause BTC to post the tightest monthly candle it has seen in over a year. This signals that volatility may be imminent.
“BTC – the monthly candle closes tomorrow, looks like Bitcoin will have its tightest candle body in over a year,” one analyst explained.
Image Courtesy of Big Chonis. Chart via TradingView.
BTC Remains Well-Positioned to Rally Towards $13,000
As NewsBTC reported yesterday, Bitcoin currently has a major liquidity pool sitting around $10,500. These levels tend to be visited by assets at some point, and one analyst believes it will help spark a BTC rally up to $13,000.
“Macro BTC context: still think we’re heading towards $13K mid term. Massive liquidity pool around 10.5k, price tends to visit those sooner or later,” one respected pseudonymous trader explained.
Image Courtesy of SalsaTekila. Chart via TradingView. Featured image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.
An alleged crypto pyramid scheme stole hundreds of millions of dollars from investors.
South Korean authorities are investigating a complaint filed by 950 investors who claim to be victims of a crypto-related ponzi scheme.
According to TV Chosun, police are looking into reports that over 160 individuals are believed to have operated the alleged scam, known as Futurenet. The Futurenet team is also suspected of stealing almost 20 billion won ($16.66 million) from investors and transferring the money via cryptocurrency.
Victims bought using crypto
Victims state that they were tricked by buying an “advertising pack” initially using crypto. No ads were ever acquired as a result of the purchase.
A police officer from the Seoul Seocho Police Station says that the investigation “is still in the early stages,” so no further details are known about the structure or the cryptocurrencies involved. No arrests have been conducted as of press time.
In recent weeks, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency launched a criminal investigation on June 12 that led to the search and seizure of two unnamed cryptocurrency exchanges.
These efforts were enacted with the hope of dismantling an Ethereum (ETH) crime ring worth $41.5M.
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The crypto market is at a pivotal moment. A new uptrend in Bitcoin was starting prior to the Black Thursday selloff, and now prices are consolidating below a critical level.
A breakout all but guarantees a new bull market for cryptocurrencies. And now, one of the most accurate tools used in crypto technical analysis is signaling that a new uptrend is here.
A New Cryptocurrency Bull Market May Finally Be Here
Bitcoin price continues to trade sideways, following a V-shaped recovery from the Black Thursday bottom below $4,000.
Prior to that catastrophic collapse a new indicator developed by Bitcoin expert Willy Woo, shows that the crypto asset was ready for a new bull market.
Related Reading | Bitcoin Bull Run Was Here, But White Swan Pandemic Put It On Lockdown
What he calls a “white swan” event by way of the pandemic, got in the way and set the cryptocurrency back a couple of months.
However, another indicator that’s been used with regular success across the cryptocurrency market for spotting important reversals, is now pointing to a new, long-term uptrend.
BTCUSD 6-Month Price Chart: TD Sequential Signals New Uptrend In Bitcoin
The TD Sequential indicator is a technical analysis tool created by market timing expert Thomas Demark. The tool is used for trend recognition, as well as for watching for a sequence of candles that could result in a reversal.
The TD Sequential was popularized in the crypto industry by controversial internet personality Tone Vays. Love him or hate him, the TD Sequential has been extremely accurate.
It called Bitcoin’s top at $20,000, and again at $14,000, and in February 2020 ahead of Black Thursday. It also signaled a reversal just ahead of the asset bottoming the last two Decembers. It has also worked well with altcoins, like Ethereum, Chainlink, and more.
Reversals are likely when the tool reaches a 9 or 13 on a specific candle sequence. If the sequence is broken before the countdown has finished, the count starts all over again.
Given its accuracy, crypto traders have come to give it a lot of weight when making decisions or planning a trading strategy. But the tool can also be used for trend recognition.
Brave New Coin Bitcoin Liquid Index 6M Price Chart | Source: TradingView
A green 1 candle signals the start of a new upward trend. This green 1 signal has now appeared on the 6-month timeframe on BTCUSD price charts.
Higher timeframes hold the most significance in technical analysis, but such long timeframes aren’t often looked at.
If Bitcoin price can hold at current levels for the next few hours, the 6M candle will close and the green 1 will confirm. If it does, it could be the start of another long-term uptrend in Bitcoin and crypto.
Ethereum has continued consolidating alongside Bitcoin and the aggregated cryptocurrency market
The crypto is flashing some signs of weakness due to its recent break below its over-month-long trading range between $230 and $250.
Buyers have been ardently guarding against a dip below $220, which remains the cryptocurrency’s crucial near-term support
Analysts believe that ETH’s weakness is far from being over
One trader is pointing to a potential distribution pattern as a technical factor that could cause it to reel significantly lower in the coming several days and weeks
Ethereum and the aggregated crypto market have been unable to garner any clear trend following the turbulence seen last week.
ETH is now hovering within the $220 region, with its crucial support sitting just below its current price at $220.
If buyers are unable to continue defending this level, the crypto doesn’t have any notable resistance until somewhere between $198 and $200, meaning that a further 10% decline against USD could be imminent.
One popular trader is now flipping short on Ethereum and other digital assets, noting that his bullish thesis is being invalidated by the weak price action seen presently.
It is also important to keep in mind that this weakness caused the cryptocurrency to cause a “death cross” earlier this week.
Ethereum Plagued by Underlying Weakness Due to Recent Downtrend
At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down just over 1% at its current price of $224. This is around the level at which it has been hovering over the past couple of days.
Last week, ETH was able to garner some momentum when its price rallied up to highs of $242, but it met significant resistance here that then led it to reel down to lows of $220.
Its rejection at this level caused it to underperform Bitcoin and plunge below the lower boundary of its trading range.
It also caused it to confirm a dreaded “death cross” that hasn’t been seen since right before the mid-March meltdown.
Bitcoinist reported about this yesterday, citing one analyst who said “confirmed, death cross here as well – didn’t happen since March.”
Image Courtesy of Teddy. Chart via TradingView.
ETH Forms Potential Distribution Pattern
The recently formed death cross isn’t the only thing currently working in Ethereum bears’ favor.
One respected trader recently explained that this recent price action has largely invalidated his bullish thesis for both ETH and BTC.
He is now noting that Ethereum could be forming distribution above a bearish “double top” – signaling that downside is imminent.
“Capitulated my ETH long… everything starting to look bad, even making me doubt my BTC bullish thesis. Looks like potential distribution above double top, had to ditch,” he explained.
Image Courtesy of SalsaTekila. Chart via TradingView.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Charts from TradingView.
Crypto Reddit is currently paying very close attention to a recently discovered bug in the Liquid protocol. Some even claim that Blockstream knew about it and potentially put it there purposefully.
It has been an interesting week for the Blockstream team.
Blockstream Will Fix the Liquid Security Issue
Facing allegations over a bug in the Liquid protocol is never fun.
Blockchain developer James Prestwich disclosed the security issue on Twitter.
According to Blockstream, they knew about the problem, yet the fix was delayed due to external factors.
In the post, Prestwich seems to indicate that the bug would put all funds on Liquid in potential danger.
Moreover, he claims that the bug was present for at least 19 months.
In an official response, Blockstream acknowledges that a fix is in development with the help of the Liquid Federation.
Moreover the issue itself should not pose any real problems, as emergency backup keys for all funds have never been accessed.
Blockstream confirms that public communication regarding this Liquid matter could have been handled a lot better.
Moving forward, that situation will change to avoid any misconceptions or conspiracy theories from popping up.
A public Blockstream Help Center will be launched next week, which provides accessible information on Liquid and its current security model.
The post Liquid Security Issue is Acknowledged by Blockstream, Patch Coming Soon appeared first on NullTX.
The "stay at home" trade ignited a surging Nasdaq, but here's why the Dow Jones failed to match its tech-heavy peer.
Cardano launches Shelly mainnet two days before Virtual Summit.
Cardano (ADA) is upgrading from “Byron” over to “Shelley”. According to an announcement from the project:
“We’ve been successfully running node v 1.14.2 on the Shelley public testnet for over a week now. And we can confirm that we’ll deploy the new node to the Cardano mainnet… today, 30th June as per the first date in the rollout plan.”
Shelley offers greater decentralization and lays the groundwork for Goguen, which will introduce smart contracts. The Shelley version of Daedalus wallet has been released as well.
This story is currently developing.
Bitcoin recorded its third best Q2 performance ever and these major factors contributed to the rally.
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) recorded its strongest Q2 performance in history following a massive plunge on March 13 when the price dropped below $3,600 before eventually pushing above $10,000 over the next three months.
Researchers at Skew said:
“Bitcoin is having today its third best quarterly close in its young history.”
Quarterly performances of Bitcoin throughout the past 6 years. Source: Skew
Three key catalysts that fueled the historic Bitcoin rally from April to June were: the May 11 block reward halving, demand for BTC at a multi-year low price, and a strong recovery in global equities markets.
The block reward halving
On May 11, the Bitcoin blockchain network went through the third block reward halving in history. A halving decreases the rate of BTC production by half, as Bitcoin approaches its fixed supply of 21 million.
After the halving occurred, miners instantly suffered from a near-50% drop in revenues and were pressured to cope with the decline in profit. This led to talks of a capitulation among miners leading up to a halving.
Despite the halving, the hashrate of the Bitcoin network remains at an all-time high. Considering that each previous halving led to an exponential BTC rally, the strength of the hashrate is a highly relevant metric and currently it inspires optimism amongst traders.
Possibly due to the resilience of the mining sector, the price of Bitcoin did not see a strong post-halving dump as analysts predicted.
The crash to $3,600 fueled demand for BTC
When the price of Bitcoin plunged to below $3,600 on BitMEX, top U.S. exchanges saw a surge in demand. Many retail investors rushed to buy Bitcoin at the $4,000 level which caused a quick recovery to $5,800 then $10,000.
At the end of March Coinbase said:
“Since the drop, Bitcoin and the broad cryptocurrency ecosystem has rallied while equities have continued to drop (S&P -6% vs Bitcoin +23% as of March 27th). Coinbase customers in particular exemplified this buy behavior during the drop and thereafter.”
Bitcoin’s strong recovery since March. Source: Blockchain.com
Just a month before the drop occurred, the price of Bitcoin was hovering above $10,000. Many analysts pointed out that the price was testing a multi-year resistance level at $10,500 and flirting with a start to a potential bull market.
Even as the price dropped by more than 50%, this narrative of BTC above $10,500 triggering a bull market remained attractive and contributed to the surge in demand from retail investors.
Recovery of the stock market
From late March, the total number of coronavirus infections rapidly increased. As of June 30, data from worldometer shows more than 10.5 million cases have been confirmed.
Regardless of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, unprecedented amounts of liquidity injected in the markets by major central banks facilitated a strong V-shaped recovery in the stock market.
Iota Foundation expects to remove network Coordinator and become a “fully decentralized network” by Q1 2021.
Iota, a major blockchain project designed for the Internet of Things, or IOT, has entered the first phase in its roadmap for upgrading the network to IOTA 2.0.
According to a June 30 blog post, users can now download the new Pollen release in the first fully decentralized IOTA test network.
The release is the first phase in Iota’s IOTA 2.0 transition roadmap, released on June 29. In the roadmap, Iota Foundation laid out three phases to reach the so-called “Coordicide”, an event that will envision the permanent removal of Iota’s Coordinator. Coordinator has been a basic part of IOTA’s network, representing an application run by the IOTA Foundation to digitally confirm valid transactions.
Pollen marks the beginning of IOTA 2.0
By releasing Pollen, the Iota project marks its first milestone leading up to Coordicide. Dominik Schiener, co-founder of Iota Foundation, outlined that the release is aimed to culminate in a coordinator-less, production-ready network.
“After years of intensive research, rigorous testing, and tireless efforts by our engineers, we are proud to finally be able to invite everyone to participate in this momentous milestone for the IOTA project. Pollen marks the beginning of the world's first truly decentralized, scalable, and fee-less Distributed Ledger, which has been IOTA's promise since day one.”
Three phases to get rid of Iota’s Coordinator
Alongside other phases, the name of the official testnet of the IOTA 2.0 network release goes in analogy to three stages for the creation of honey: Pollen, Nectar, and Honey. As such, Pollen is set to mainly serve as a research base to validate Coordicide concepts as well as simulate certain attack vectors. According to the foundation, the Pollen phase is expected to finalize Coordicide specifications, providing the “final blueprint of IOTA 2.0.”
The second phase, Nectar, is expected to provide a full implementation of Coordicide modules on an incentivized testnet. The Nectar stage is aimed to test the network for bugs or issues before finally releasing the mainnet. Expected for release by early Q4 2020, the phase will allow network participants to generate “nectar,” or rewards for finding bugs or potential attack vectors.
Honey, the final release candidate for IOTA 2.0, will incorporate all final Coordicide modules, representing the first version of IOTA 2.0, or fully decentralized IOTA mainnet. Schiener says that the foundation expects the network to enter the Honey phase in the first quarter of 2021.
In February 2020, Iota introduced Chrysalis, or IOTA 1.5, an intermediate upgrade. Chrysalis added major features to the network, such as reusable addresses and IOTA-based tokens. As reported, Iota Foundation has shut down the Coordinator multiple times in order to tackle major breaches and hacks on its platform. Following criticism on lack of decentralization, Iota released the Coordicide solution in 2019 to replace the Coordinator.
Ethereum 2.0 will eventually facilitate up to approximately 100,000 transactions per second.
Ethereum expects boosted transactions per second, or TPS, as the network shifts toward the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0, or ETH 2.0, according to Etheruem co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
Vitalik says the transition will not be instant
"ETH2 scaling for data will be available before ETH2 scaling for general computation," Ethereum Buterin said in a June 30 tweet.
"This implies that rollups will be the dominant scaling paradigm for at least a couple of years: first ~2-3k TPS with ETH1 as data layer, then ~100k TPS with ETH2 (phase 1)," he noted, adding — "Adjust accordingly."
Essentially, Buterin said the network will not instantly transition into Ethereum 2.0. In mentioning rollups, Buterin refers to a second layer on top of Etheruem as part of the equation, using Ethereum's current base blockchain, then switching to Ethereum 2.0 as a blockchain base. The transition into ETH 2.0 will yield between 2,000 and 3,000 TPS, leading into eventual 100,000 TPS capabilities.
The great scaling debate
For years the crypto community has debated the topic of scalability. Bitcoin, crypto's leading asset, only touts roughly 7 TPS, while credit cards such as Visa handle about 24,000 TPS on average, leading into comments on Bitcoin's feasibility as a real-world payment option.
Ethereum has also seen difficulties. The network preformed sluggishly when the blockchain game CryptoKitties hit the internet several years ago.
Ethereum 2.0, a scaling solution transitioning the network over to proof-of-stake, or PoS, consensus, has been a large topic of discussion in recent months. Last week, Ethereum's blog showed ETH 2.0 updates as the endeavor moves forward.
Chainlink’s technological capabilities are in-demand this year, with its blockchain seeing increased adoption this year courtesy its scalable smart contracts, oracles, and verifiable randomness function (VRF) features.
NFTs and Chainlink
On June 29, the firm said Polyient Games, a venture fund and development lab dedicated solely to non-fungible token-based blockchain games, will use Chainlink’s blockchain to power various features of the broader Polyient Games ecosystem.
NFT-focused @PolyientGames is integrating #ChainlinkVRF to assure transparency for the minting and random distribution of PGFK rewards—a membership #NFT that provides lifetime rewards & perks to holders within the Polyient Games Ecosystem. https://t.co/6LuiTyvuYV
— Chainlink – Official Channel (@chainlink) June 29, 2020
Chainlink’s VRFs will feature on Polyient’s Founder’s Keys (PGFKs), an upcoming membership NFT that will provide lifetime rewards and perks to holders within the Polyient Games Ecosystem.
VRFs will be used to randomize the distribution of exclusive NFTs and various other rewards for PGFK holders, the release noted.
On choosing Chainlink, Polyient said the project’s “deep industry expertise” made it ideal to as the firm explores capabilities of and works towards bolstering NFTs for mainstream investors and consumers.
Polyient’s faith is not unplaced. Earlier this month, Chainlink was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the top-50 tech pioneers in 2020 for the firm’s work in blockchains, smart contracts, and decentralization.
“Truly random” winnings
The release explained Chainlink VRFs will power chance-based rewards for users who “stack” on PGFKs, based on the amount of NFTs held in their respective wallets.
For the uninitiated, VRFs are a “truly random” way to determiner rewards, among other uses. As CryptoSlate illustrated last month; imagine a betting service announces the winner of a million-dollar lottery, what proof do ticket holders have about the winner’s connections within the organization?
Or, what if the so-called “winner” is an employee of the company, acting solely as “bait” to entice new buyers of lottery tickets.
VRF’s can help in the above example, as the Chainlink blog explains:
“Well made systems relying on randomness would ideally want it to be both provably fair/equally uncertain to all contract participants, while also successfully reducing the risk that an adversary could exploit their contract by predicting its outcomes.”
Chainlink VRF represents a major advancement in the NFT space, as it enables a provably-fair and on-chain verifiable source of randomness, noted Polyient’s release.
Benefits include proper transparency for the minting and distribution of PGFK rewards, which an eventual goal of building an “open, collaborative ecosystem around NFTs.”
In the coming weeks, Polyient will explore more uses for Chainlink capabilities, all centered around the games it supports and native products.
Meanwhile, Chainlink’s head of Business Development spoke in the regard:
“We’re excited to empower Polyient Games with secure and reliable oracle solutions to further their mission of expanding the blockchain gaming ecosystem into numerous unseen application designs that are augmented by access to off-chain data.”
The post Chainlink (LINK) oracles to power NFT-based blockchain games on Polyient appeared first on CryptoSlate.
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LGBTQ+ people in the sector say crypto is a welcoming space: “The crypto sector is more than supportive of LGBTQ+ rights.”
Technology has become central to everyday life. From finding new ways to make money smarter to communicating with each other, humankind is reliant on technology companies to provide these services for us. But despite its great influence over modern life, tech still faces a diversity problem. While some progress is beginning to be made, a cursory glance across the C-level ranks of most companies shows a strong oversupply of straight white men.
Emerging tech sectors have not historically been the most inclusive or open-minded, but projects such as LGBT Token, TransTech Social Enterprises and StartOut show that there is both representation and support for LGBTQ+ people in tech.
Nonetheless, it’s no secret that cryptocurrency’s unique nature and ideals can draw in a wide range of interested parties, many of whom have strong, and occasionally extreme, political beliefs. Despite this, crypto appears to be a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people, according to industry leaders.
Crypto is supportive of LGBTQ+ rights
The global financial industry and many of the world’s most prominent tech hubs are not famed for their inclusivity. But for Sarah Jamie Lewis, the executive director of the Open Privacy Research Society, the disruptive nature of crypto and other emerging technologies has the power to destroy oppressive structures. Decentralization gives individuals and minority groups power that wouldn’t otherwise be available. For Paul McNeal, a self-described Bitcoin (BTC) evangelist and prominent Twitter commentator, the crypto sector has been supportive of LGBTQ+ rights:
“Not once have I had anyone on Crypto Twitter or any other medium make an issue of my sexual orientation or LGBT issues. I’ve lived my life by treating others with respect and it’s been returned 10 fold.”
Joe DiPasquale, the CEO of multistrategy blockchain and crypto fund BitBull Capital and one of the founders of StartOut — a nonprofit that empowers LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in tech — echoed McNeal’s view that crypto is supportive of LGBTQ+ rights and emphasized that the technology’s impact on the way people govern themselves has an impact on social issues: “The crypto sector is more than supportive of LGBTQ+ rights — crypto is pioneering new forms of governance that can bring about advances in society more quickly,” adding:
“From projects like Tezos which has developed more efficient ways to vote on-chain through delegates, to thought leaders who believe the blockchain and virtual nations can empower people and correct exploitation, many projects in the sector mirror the support that we see more generally from most forward-thinking technologists. While crypto is apolitical, Bitcoin itself bypasses the need for government control over money and central banks.”
Claire Lovell, the associate director of product management at Gemini, also outlined her view to Cointelegraph that crypto supports LGBTQ+ rights and that the philosophy behind cryptocurrency has the potential to shift power away from centralized institutions and norms that had previously been impervious to change:
“I do think the crypto sector is supportive of LGBTQ+ rights. The crypto ethos is to remove those existing power structures that would seek to limit the rights or privileges of people. Personally speaking, of the five years I’ve been working in this space, I have not once experienced any homophobia from other members of the community.”
While several experts have reported the crypto sector to be supportive of its LGBTQ+ members, some are skeptical about crypto’s purported ability to help minority groups in particular. McNeal explained to Cointelegraph that what crypto does best is create a level playing field rather than appeal to particular demographics: “I do not believe digital assets or Blockchain Technology does anything unique for the community than it does for any other demographic,” adding: “It has no respect for the person, it was and is created for all.”
For BitBull’s DiPasquale, blockchain not only has the potential to change the way that people manage their finances but also to bring about political change. “There are already projects applying the blockchain to voting and creating communities through it,” DiPasquale explained, adding that this presents an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community:
“So, blockchain is already involved in enabling more people to vote. When we enable greater access and improve the diversity of those at the polling booth, we’ll empower the LGBTQ+ community as well.”
According to a survey conducted by WNYC Studios, LGBTQ+ people have a worse financial outlook than their cisgender and heterosexual peers. More than half feel anxious about their finances, with up to 42% reporting that their financial prospects have caused them to feel depressed. A further 25% of LGBTQ+ respondents say that their sexual orientation has caused them to suffer financially.
For Gemini’s Lovell, continued attempts to increase inclusivity could help LGBTQ+ people improve their personal finances: “Targeted outreach to the community with more education around the benefits of crypto and why it’s an inclusive asset class could help open up the space to more people in the LGBTQ+ community.”
Lovell also told Cointelegraph that using cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based financial products can help sidestep some of the barriers that affect the LGBTQ+ community, as well as that using nontraditional banking methods such as decentralized finance can actually be more financially rewarding than banks found on Main Street:
“Participating in cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects allows one to opt out of the financial power structure of big banks to create your own economic network. This helps increase access to financial tools. For example, one can use DeFI tools to earn much higher interest on their capital than they can receive from banks, and anyone can participate. Compounding returns is an important part of creating wealth.”
While the crypto sector may well be supportive of LGBTQ+ rights, there is still a lack of visible representation among company leadership. And while this is due in part to a lack of diversity, for many, being LGBTQ+ is something completely private and is kept as part of their personal lives. While BitBull’s DiPasquale told Cointelegraph that many crypto companies have LGBTQ+ staff already, McNeal said that representation should be increased based on merit:
“I am not a fan of hiring for hiring sake, if a person can show up and compete — they should lead. That said, we can’t truly know if the representation is up or down since many may not be public about their sexual orientation.”
Gemini’s Lovell told Cointelegraph that it is perhaps not overly surprising that minority groups are not overwhelmingly represented in niche industries such as crypto but added that she felt LGBTQ+ engagement would grow in tandem with wider adoption:
“LGBTQ+ minorities are a small percentage — just 10% — of the population, and crypto is also a small community of workers. Right now there aren’t that many LGBTQ+ people in the crypto community. That being said, as digital currencies continue to grow and new opportunities arise, I have no doubt we will be represented at every level. I’m proud to say that at Gemini there are several senior employees who identify as LGBTQ+, including me!”
While it’s clear that efforts are being made to make both the tech and crypto sectors more inclusive and openly supportive of LGBTQ+ people, some argue that there is still a long way to go. For Open Privacy’s Lewis, more conservative views of sexuality and gender boundaries still prevail. Lewis told Cointelegraph that those hoping to challenge these preconceptions still face an uphill struggle:
“Can people shed the chains the cisheteronormative concepts of sexuality and gender and begin to decentralize the power that they hold? Perhaps, but that is a slow process and one that is not for the weak or those that lack the will to power.”
Be sure to check out the live discussion titled “LGBTQ+ and Blockchain: Community-Powered Tech and Tech-Powered Community” on Cointelegraph’s YouTube channel.
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