How IOHK built Cardano from the ground up

Speaking at the third BlockDown conference, Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, looked back at the way his company approached designing Cardano. Noting that IOHK, despite what many may think, is first and foremost a research and development company, he explained that they saw Cardano as a blank slate and began by asking the most fundamental questions first and using the answers to create a solid mathematical foundation for a secure and scalable network.

Looking back at IOHK

Riding on the wave of the incredible popularity it saw last year, Block Down started off its third annual conference on Oct. 22, hosting a slew of high-profile guests from every end of the crypto industry. The two-day virtual event opened with an interview with Carles Hoksinon, the founder and CEO of IOHK, the company behind Cardano.

With the work on Voltaire, Cardano’s governance era, now in full motion, and Shelley being out almost five months, Hoskinson had a lot to discuss regarding Cardano’s technical updates and the behind-the-scenes work the teams have been doing in the past several months. However, with the regular updates from IOHK covering all of the technical details regarding the blockchain, Hoskinson used the time to present the long and tiresome process that went into designing Cardano.

The first mystery debunked during the interview was IOHK itself and what it does.

Hoskinson made it very clear at the very beginning that defining IOHK as a “crypto” company was a mistake. IOHK, first and foremost, is a philosophy-based and mission-oriented research and development company. The goal of the company is to create decentralized systems and set them up in a way so that they can become self-sustaining in time.

While IOHK’s flagship product is Cardano, the company also does a lot of contracting on the enterprise side—everything from management systems to supply chain systems.

Most of the work the company does, Hoskinson explained, tends to be agnostic. This means that while the ultimate goal of anyone of its products isn’t to exist on Cardano, a part of them will be deployed on the network. This doesn’t mean that the company is patting itself on the back, though—Hoskinson noted that the only reason this is done is that few other networks exist that can support the products it launches.

“I never thought we’d come so far,” Hoskinson said in the interview.

What started as an experiment with two people has turned into a global company with 250 employees across 40 different countries, 4 research labs, and over a million lines of code behind it. As of 2020, the entirety of IOHK’s work is open-source and the company has no intellectual property monetized and no patents filed.

How a company like this gets funded was one of the questions that popped up during the interview, as many compare Cardano’s open-source nature to that of Linux.

“My company is 100 percent revenue-driven,” Hoskinson said, adding that they explore “many different forms” of currency. “We have a whole division in the company that thinks about that.”

Aside from the commercial contracts the company has with various enterprises, IOHK is also partly funded by government grants. For example, the company acquired funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program at the beginning of the year to explore uses for distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Why a blockchain like Cardano needed a company like IOHK

Hoskinson believes that his careful and calculated approach to building things as complex and new as blockchains is one of the things that made Cardano what it is today.

He explained that IOHK tends to look at the things it builds in generations. Bitcoin, for example, is considered to be a first-generation blockchain that sought out to find out will decentralized technology work at all. There were no grand illusions behind the project, just lines of code trying to prove a theory that digital money can actually exist.

The minute that Bitcoin got big, Hoskinson went on to explain, people realized they wanted more from blockchains—things like programmability and scalability. This is where Ethereum, or the second-generation of the technology, came in and made a revolution in the industry.

However, even the more advanced iteration of the technology came with a set of flaws.

Hoskinson explained that Ethereum suffers from a problem that’s very hard to resolve, which is that it hosts thousands of decentralized applications whose systems are all replicated. This means that if Ethereum can’t scale, none of its dApps can. What he believes the industry needs is a system that gains resources as it gains users and performs at the same level regardless of the number of people using it. Interoperability will also be one of the defining characteristics of a decentralized system that services into the future.

And most importantly, this system needs to be sustainable in the sense that it needs to be crystal clear who pays and who decides to everyone using it. A big decentralized system that nobody’s accountable for makes for a poor pitch both to enterprises and governments.

But, creating an infinitely scalable system isn’t the only solution to this.

Hoskinson noted that history has shown that once a network scales enough, disagreements on where it should go are bound to occur. In the past, this has led to forks, with the likes of Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic separating from the much bigger Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Problems like these can’t plague a real-life system that plans on becoming an actual alternative for an economy, he said.

That’s why, back in 2015, IOHK took a blank slate approach to Cardano’s design and began by disassembling the system to its most basic components. The process began with a simple, yet wildly underrated question—what is a blockchain? The company hired a handful of scientist that used complex mathematics and formal methods to define this and hundreds of other fundamental definitions of the technology.

After spending a few years implementing the solutions derived from these methods, IOHK launched Byron, the first phase of Cardano. Shelley, the era of Cardano that brought about staking, was launched earlier this summer, which means that the company is now knee-deep in Voltaire, the blockchain’s governance era.

The importance of doing blockchain interoperability the right way

All of this, according to Hoskinson’s interviewer, sounds like Cardano is trying to have the best of both worlds—create a self-sustainable, future-proof decentralized system that other systems can use as a foundation while staying flexible.

Hoskinson agreed with this, adding that IOHK believes that it’s of the utmost importance that a blockchain needs to be done right the first time. A strong foundation with an elastic structure means that both the company and the end-users will end up with a much stronger suite of tools to use. It also enables the company to focus on its business model instead of maintaining the network.

To further explain the importance of strong foundations, Hoskinson used the example of the Lightning Network. The second-layer solution to scaling the Bitcoin network is considered by many to be the best of both worlds, bundling up transactions to increase Bitcoin’s throughput.

“Lightning is a beautiful idea,” Hoskinson said. “But Bitcoin doesn’t accommodate it.”

He explained that a huge problem arises at the very core of the network, as Bitcoin as a protocol isn’t aware that a Layer-2 solution exists. When it was being designed, no mechanism was built into Bitcoin that would even acknowledge the existence of another layer on top of it, let alone be able to interact with it more smoothly.

Cardano, on the other hand, has a built-in protocol that effectively solves this problem—Ouroboros Hydra. The off-chain scalability architecture addresses three key scalability challenges—high-transaction output, low latency, and minimal storage per node. Aside from enabling the network to handle up to 1000 transactions per second, it can also be used to talk to other networks. This means that by utilizing Ouroboros Hydra, Cardano can easily communicate with Bitcoin through its Layer-2 solution.

At the practical level, IOHK has already begun talking to developers from all ends of the crypto industry. Hoskinson noted that a large number of developers have begun moving away from a “single-chain” mentality and are embracing a multichain mentality. This is especially true when it comes to Ethereum, with Hoskinson revealing that the company has talked to many people that want to transition their projects to Cardano.

Cardano’s ERC-20 converter is set to see its first demonstration in the weeks to come, Hoskinson revealed.

In a bid to tone down the animosity that tends to spring when it comes to chain migration, Hoskinson ended the interview on a rather positive note. He said that he was looking forward to the industry coming together to define a set of standards that can be implemented across a wide array of projects and give the industry the maturity and recognition it deserves.

The post How IOHK built Cardano from the ground up appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Vitalik Buterin discusses the values and ideas that formed Ethereum 2.0

With Ethereum 2.0 expected to ship in the near future, the values that underlie the world’s second-largest blockchain have become increasingly important. Vitalik Buterin, one of the creators of Ethereum, discussed both the abstract and the technical aspects of the values that went into designing Ethereum over six years ago and how they are going to shape the network’s upcoming iteration.

The political values that shaped Ethereum 2.0

Those not familiar with the depths of the crypto industry might not be aware of what goes behind the scenes of the industry’s biggest projects. Ethereum, as the foundation of the DeFi sector and the second-largest network in terms of market cap, tends to reveal unexpected depths when its surface is scratched.

Aside from being based on a very serious mathematical and cryptographical foundation, the network is also supported by a strong pillar of philosophical ideas and values—some of which managed to translate very well into other projects built upon Ethereum.

Vitalik Buterin, one of the creators of Ethereum, took a look back at the values that shaped the design of Ethereum over six years ago and their effect on the network’s upcoming iteration. Buterin spoke on the Bankless podcast earlier this week, giving a mix of highly technical and very abstract answers to some of the most prevailing questions regarding Ethereum.

One of the biggest questions regarding Ethereum was checked off the list at the very beginning of the interview. Buterin addressed the increased skepticism a part of the community had regarding the launch of Ethereum 2.0, saying that it is “going to be shipped as advertised.” Phase 0 of the launch will come by the end of the year, offering almost every functionality of Ethereum 2.0 aside from sharding, he explained, adding that the following phase, phase 1, will ship much sooner than people think.

Building Ethereum 2.0 from the ground up wasn’t an easy task. Buterin discussed, in length, the political values that went into designing Ethereum 2.0 and how they will affect the final functionality and design of the product.

“Proof-of-stake is a philosophically complex thing that binds multiple objectives,” he said.

The first and most important one of these objectives is combating the incredible amounts of waste and inefficiencies seen in the proof-of-work model that Bitcoin pioneered. By moving away from proof-of-work and transitioning into a proof-of-stake model, the network will also be able to address the growing concern of centralization.

Proof-of-stake, Buterin explained, tries to be “maximally democratic” and open for participation. He believes that Ethereum should be seen as a publicly accessible global architecture that people can easily interact with without any intermediaries and with a low barrier of entry. Proof-of-stake, he went on, encourages this culture of participation.

Choosing decentralization is the best long-term solution for blockchain technology

While proof-of-stake might seem like an obvious solution for Ethereum now, choosing a decentralized model when working with a blank slate isn’t always an easy decision. When asked why a decentralized model was chosen for Ethereum back in 2014 when the idea about a programmable blockchain first occurred to Buterin, he said that it wasn’t an easy decision.

Taking a more centralized approach towards building a network is bound to yield great results in the short-term, he said. However, it tends to end up “really biting you in the long-term.” One of the best examples of a road to hell paved with good intentions is Steem, whose highly centralized model led to a huge crisis after the project got acquired by Tron. A crisis which, despite the community’s best effort, led to a chaotic fork and complete devaluation of Steem’s native asset. Buterin also mentioned EOS as an example of a project’s centralized model turning out to be a bad decision in the long-term, saying that the small number of delegates on the network lead to bribing attacks.

In the long-term, he said, users will always value permisionlessness and decentralization, which is why Ethereum chose the road less traveled.

However, Buterin was clear that there were other projects that wholeheartedly embraced these values as well. He noted that a lot of smaller chains in the Bitcoin Core expanded universe are currently trying to implement these values to various extents. Ethereum Classic, Ethereum’s first fork, is also a chain that values these ideas, Buterin admitted but added that it was taking a more purist approach than Ethereum was.

The issue of chain relativism

The relatively high number of projects aiming for the amount of decentralization Ethereum 2.0 is isn’t a totally positive development for the market. Buterin believes that the number of projects going in this direction is much larger than the number of projects the market can realistically support. This means that while many chains will most likely fail, the ones that do survive will certainly impact the market for many years.

But, the values propagated by Ethereum 2.0 aren’t reserved only for future projects. Buterin noted that the streamlined vision of decentralization has already managed to translate very well to various projects, with the best example of this being Uniswap.

Uniswap, according to Buterin, is a very value-driven project that succeeded in building a simple and easy to use decentralized exchange at a time when most other similar projects were going for complexity. With a minimal interface and a lack of things considered by many to be crucial for exchanges, such as order books, Uniswap continues to cement the things Ethereum holds as the most important—availability, simplicity, and decentralization.

However, the number of projects embracing the core values of Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0 doesn’t mean that they will be the ones that prevail on the market. Asked about chain relativism and whether all chains should be seen as equal, Buterin noted that the risk didn’t come from having many projects sharing the same values, but having projects that have none. Having chains that market the idea that core values behind a blockchain aren’t important is something that could have serious consequences on the market and should be something users focus on.

The post Vitalik Buterin discusses the values and ideas that formed Ethereum 2.0 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Rampant DeFi speculation makes DEXs the undisputed winners of Q3 2020

While it might seem that DeFi reached its bottom during Q3 2020, the sector still closed the last quarter with incredible performance. However, few of its aspects did as well as decentralized exchanges (DEXs) did, according to the latest report form Messari, which saw a significant increase in on-chain trading due to heightened speculation around yield farming DeFi projects.

People were making money hand over fist in Q3 2020

The newest darling of the crypto industry, DeFi, has seen a fair share of ups and downs in its lifetime, but few of them could even come close to the turmoil the sector experienced this summer. While at certain points it seemed that DeFi simultaneously reached both its top and its bottom, the latest report from crypto analytics company Messari showed that DeFi had actually seen its heyday last quarter.

Messari’s report, analyzing the DeFi sector in Q3 2020, noted that the farming craze and rampant speculation on governance tokens recorded in the past few months meant that “people were making money hand over fist.”

However, with most DeFi tokens now down around 50 percent from their Q3 highs, Messari’s report begs the question—who profited the most from the craze?

The answer is simple and rather unsurprising—decentralized exchanges.

According to the report, DEXs that were trading in the single-digit millions at the start of the year managed to surpass $1 billion in a single day, leaving much larger and much more established centralized exchanges in the dust.

The DeFi craze essentially left centralized exchanges obsolete

The incredible performance decentralized exchanges recorded in the past quarter doesn’t reflect the chaos that went on in terms of prices. This massive growth began in Q2 when the average daily trading volume on decentralized exchanges increased 500 percent, reaching $80 million. And while the 500 percent growth came as quite a shock back then, it seems like an anomaly when compared to the $1 billion in trading volume DEXs recorded at one point last quarter.

Volume of DEXs in Q3, represented as percentages of the total recorded volume
Volume of DEXs in Q3, represented as percentages of the total recorded volume (Source: Messari)

According to Messari’s report, there are a few factors that contributed to this huge increase in performance.

Last quarter the industry saw a huge increase in the use of automated market makers (AMMs) and lending pools. Protocols like Uniswap accounted for more than 90 percent of all DEX volume last quarter, up 60 percent from the start of the quarter and 20 percent from the beginning of the year. The rise in popularity protocols like Uniswap saw meant most users gravitated towards DEXs rather than centralized exchanges, as they enabled a faster and more streamlined way to interact with DeFi.

A large number of governance tokens that popped up during the summer were launched on DEXs, pushing their volumes even further.

While it contributed less to the overall growth DEXs saw, lending pools also saw a dramatic increase in popularity. The massive growth in the amount of outstanding loans we saw in Q2 continued in Q3, but happened almost entirely on protocols that don’t offer token-backed incentives. While loans on the hugely popular Compound stagnated during the quarter, outstanding loans on Maker grew from $140 million to $850 million while Aave increased theirs from $20 million to $250 million.

Total debt outstanding for Maker and Aave protocols (Source: Messari)  
Total debt outstanding for Maker and Aave protocols (Source: Messari)

And while some might dismiss DeFi’s dizzying ups and downs as nothing more than speculation fueled by hype, Messari noted that dismissing the sector altogether is a shortsighted mistake. The “DeFi summer” saw a significant number of innovative projects launched that are bound to survive DeFi’s tumultuous hype cycles, no matter how many of them they encounter.

The post Rampant DeFi speculation makes DEXs the undisputed winners of Q3 2020 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Cardano’s Ouroboros paper is the 2nd most cited academic paper about cryptocurrencies and blockchain

“Ouroboros: A Provably Secure Proof-of-Stake Blockchain Protocol” has made it to the topmost cited security papers list. According to the latest ranking from Google Scholar, the paper, outlining the proof-of-stake mechanism that underlies Cardano, is the second most cited paper in the cryptocurrencies and blockchain category with 183 citations.

Ouroboros among the most cited academic papers about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology

While few of the platform’s critics have ever disputed its strong academic underpinnings, most of Cardano’s recent success was attributed to the fast development pace it took on in the past several months.

However, the recent ranking published by Google Scholar, measuring the number of citations academic papers in various categories got, highlighted Cardano’s academic and scientific roots.

Ouroboros: A Provably Secure Proof-of-Stake Blockchain Protocol” written by Aggelos Kiayias, the chief scientist at IOHK, and others, found itself among a selection of the most cited papers from ACM CCS, IEEE Security & Privacy, NDSS, Usenix Security, Crypto, and Eurocrypt between the years 2015 and 2019.

To ensure a fair ranking, the papers were grouped into five different categories, which include cryptography, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, machine learning security and privacy, architecture, and side-channel attacks, as well as real-world attacks and case studies.

The academic community recognizes the value of Ouroboros

Grouped into the ‘cryptocurrencies and blockchains’ category, IOHK’s Ouroboros paper has gotten a lot of academic attention. While it was certainly not the first academic paper to propose proof-of-stake as an alternative to the proof-of-work’s insane energy demands, it was the first one to present PoS with rigorous security guarantees.

Ouroboros also presented another novel mechanism enabled by proof-of-stake—rewards for incentivizing honest behavior on the network.

All of this has led to the paper being cited a total of 183 times, according to data from Google Scholar.

The paper outranking Ouroboros, “Hawk: The Blockchain Model of Cryptography and Privacy-Preserving Smart Contracts” with 559 citations, presented a decentralized smart contract system that doesn’t store financial transactions on the blockchain.

The post Cardano’s Ouroboros paper is the 2nd most cited academic paper about cryptocurrencies and blockchain appeared first on CryptoSlate.

UNI jumps 15% after OKEx suspends withdrawals due to police investigation

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has suspended withdrawals from its platform indefinitely, as one of its multisig key holders has been held in police custody. The news about hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies being trapped on the exchange shaved off around 3 percent off of Bitcoin’s price but sent UNI, Uniswap’s native token, up by almost 15 percent.

Missing key holder forces OKEx to suspend withdrawals “indefinitely”

OKEx, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges on the market, has announced that it will be suspending cryptocurrency withdrawals from its platform “indefinitely.” According to the company’s announcement, one of the private key holders of the exchange is currently “cooperating with a public security bureau” in an investigation and has been out of touch with the exchange.

With the key holder being “out of touch,” the exchange was prevented from completing the withdrawal authorization earlier this morning and decided to suspend all withdrawals to protect the interest of its customers. Other functions of the exchange, as noted in the announcement, remain normal and stable.

Jay Hao, the CEO of OKEx, confirmed on Twitter that fiat withdrawals from the exchange are unaffected by the suspension.

The company’s announcement caused shockwaves throughout the crypto industry, leaving many worried that the situation might be direr than it looks. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of Alameda Research, commented that exchange as big as OKEx would have announced that it was going through a period of “optimization” if a single point of failure occurred in its multisig process to avoid tanking the markets.

And while the exchange later noted that the investigation was made into the key holder’s “personal issue,” most of the top-performing cryptocurrencies on the exchange quickly sold off following the news.

Single point of failure in CEXs shake BTC and push DEX coins up

Bitcoin, which accounts for almost 20 percent of OKEx’s daily trading volume, dropped around 3 percent in less than half an hour following the news, while other top performing coins only dipped slightly into the red.

Graph showing Bitcoin’s price from Oct. 13 to Oct. 16. (Source: Cryptoslate BTC)
Graph showing Bitcoin’s price from Oct. 13 to Oct. 16.

This could have been further fueled by the fact that hours before the announcement, several large withdrawals of BTC, ETH, and TRX were spotted by Whale Alert, a transaction monitoring service on Twitter.

OKEx’s announcement only seems to have exacerbated the schism between centralized and decentralized crypto services, with many pointing out failures like this will only serve to push more people into decentralized exchanges. UNI, the native token of Uniswap, one of the most popular DEXs on the market, further proved this point by skyrocketing in the hours after the announcement.

Data from CoinGecko showed that the token jumped from $2.90 to $3.33 in less than an hour, recording an increase of almost 15 percent.

Graph showing UNI’s price on Oct. 16
Graph showing UNI’s price on Oct. 16.

The post UNI jumps 15% after OKEx suspends withdrawals due to police investigation appeared first on CryptoSlate.

A first look at the projects competing for Cardano’s Fund2

The second-ever Cardano fund is in full effect, with three of the dozens of projects now competing for a part of the 2 million ADA fund presented on the Cardano Effect podcast. We take a look at the proposals, which range from e-commerce payment solutions to educational hubs, and how they plan on using the $250,000 fund to improve and build on Cardano.

Free Commerce: An ecommerce extension for ADA payments, without an intermediary

The first project highlighted on the Cardano Effect podcast was Free Commerce, an open source, commission-free payment integration for ecommerce stores. The payment integration system will first be implemented to Shopify, as it’s one of the largest and most well-known online platforms of its kind.

Free Commerce’s developer, a Brazilian native named Jeronimo, explained that the system will work as a straight “wallet-to-wallet” payment solution, requiring no intermediaries to process the transactions sent in ADA. Instead, it will function as an open-source server that works as an observer of transactions made from the wallets of Shopify buyers to the wallets of Shopify store owners. Neither the Shopify platform nor the server will hold anyone’s private keys—to enable ADA payments, the shops will have to provide only their root key.

Said root key would then be used to generate a new receiving address every time a customer of the store makes a purchase. Creating a separate address per every order makes it easier to determine that the right amount of money was paid without having to look through mixed funds in the shop’s main wallet. Once the total amount of the order is paid to the receiving address, the owner of the store will receive the funds directly in their own wallets—the server will verify the validity of the transaction.

This approach will maintain the privacy of the online store, as no customer will be able to track the store’s main wallet and see other payments sent to it.

The de-risking and risk assessment processes have already been done, but the developer noted that the bulk of the work still lies ahead. The original proposal highlights some of the challenges found on the way, which include a slew of limitations on existing ADA wallets that will require the creation of an ecommerce-friendly wallet for Cardano.

Free Commerce seeks funding of around 725,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 37 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Lovelace Academy: An educational YouTube series about writing smart contracts on Cardano

Presented by a veteran YouTube educator, the second project seeking funding was Lovelace Academy, a series of video courses on writing smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain.

The project, which will consist of two separate courses, will be led by a three-strong team with Brazilian and Indian roots and focus on attracting and educating developers to build various dApps on the blockchain.

Lovelace Academy’s main platform will be YouTube, where the team plans on delivering 25 episodes in a period of 6 months, with the estimated cadence being one episode every week. The “Making sense of Cardano” series will consist of around 10 episodes, each one lasting between 10 and 30 minutes, featuring guest interviews, news, and updates focused on exploring real-world uses for Cardano. “Cardano’s Sart Contracts” series, however, will feature slightly longer episodes, lasting for up to 60 minutes, presenting practical and easy to understand tutorials on Marlowe and Plutus programming languages. Each episode will be followed by GitHub tutorials and various other repositories to enable easier access to viewers.

If there’s sufficient interest from the community, all of the episodes could be easily replicated in Portugese or Hindi, the team said in the original proposal.

The Lovelace Academy seeks funding of around 120,000 ADA for the six months, which represents approximately 6 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Cardano Hub: An outpost for everything Cardano-related in Kiev

The third project presented on the Cardano Effect podcast represents a foray into brick-and-mortar rarely seen in the crypto industry. Andrii Voloshyn, the name behind the Cardano Hub, believes that creating a physical location where people will be able to access everything Cardano-related will be a huge benefit for the entire community.

With previous experience in running a cryptocurrency hub spot, Voloshyn wants to create a coworking and meetup space that will feature a library, a bookstore, and a cafe, essentially functioning as an all-in-one hub both for those deeply involved with Cardano and those new to the ecosystem.

The hub, however, won’t be passive—the space will have a structured working plan broken down into phases that correspond to the launches of Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire. The hub’s Goguen phase will be spent doing meetups to popularize Plutus and Marlowe scripting languages. Through the meetups, the space should be able to acquire high-quality developers working on Haskell, and provide various courses to companies and individuals looking to use smart contracts on Cardano.

The hub’s Basho phase will follow the CATO (Cardano Adoption Through Outreach) tactics and work on developing interoperability with other blockchains. In practice, this means opening its doors to other projects, either to cooperate or assimilate them into Cardano. Come Voltaire, the hub will focus on promoting the study of philosophy, political sciences, and economics. This, Voloshyn explained, will create a good foundation for ideas that could be used in Cardano’s governance.

While Kiev was proposed as the first location for the hub, the proposal noted that other locations were also in play—the hub could be located in Washington State of Wyoming and functions as Cardano headquarters for the Northwestern part of the U.S. Italy’s Milan was mentioned as a possible location, too.

When it comes to the project’s profitability, the proposal outlines tokenization of the hub as an option—ownership of the entire space could be turned into tokens that would provide profit for all of its users.

The Cardano Hub seeks funding of around 888,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 44 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

More projects to come

While each of the presented projects was ambitious and unique in its own way, they’re not the only ones competing for a part of the $250,000 fund. With ample time for the community to explore various proposals presented on the IdeaScale platform, we can expect more of them to be presented both on the Cardano Effect podcast and on various other Cardano-related media channels.

The post A first look at the projects competing for Cardano’s Fund2 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

A first look at the projects competing for Cardano’s Fund2

The second-ever Cardano fund is in full effect, with three of the dozens of projects now competing for a part of the 2 million ADA fund presented on the Cardano Effect podcast. We take a look at the proposals, which range from e-commerce payment solutions to educational hubs, and how they plan on using the $250,000 fund to improve and build on Cardano.

Free Commerce: An ecommerce extension for ADA payments, without an intermediary

The first project highlighted on the Cardano Effect podcast was Free Commerce, an open source, commission-free payment integration for ecommerce stores. The payment integration system will first be implemented to Shopify, as it’s one of the largest and most well-known online platforms of its kind.

Free Commerce’s developer, a Brazilian native named Jeronimo, explained that the system will work as a straight “wallet-to-wallet” payment solution, requiring no intermediaries to process the transactions sent in ADA. Instead, it will function as an open-source server that works as an observer of transactions made from the wallets of Shopify buyers to the wallets of Shopify store owners. Neither the Shopify platform nor the server will hold anyone’s private keys—to enable ADA payments, the shops will have to provide only their root key.

Said root key would then be used to generate a new receiving address every time a customer of the store makes a purchase. Creating a separate address per every order makes it easier to determine that the right amount of money was paid without having to look through mixed funds in the shop’s main wallet. Once the total amount of the order is paid to the receiving address, the owner of the store will receive the funds directly in their own wallets—the server will verify the validity of the transaction.

This approach will maintain the privacy of the online store, as no customer will be able to track the store’s main wallet and see other payments sent to it.

The de-risking and risk assessment processes have already been done, but the developer noted that the bulk of the work still lies ahead. The original proposal highlights some of the challenges found on the way, which include a slew of limitations on existing ADA wallets that will require the creation of an ecommerce-friendly wallet for Cardano.

Free Commerce seeks funding of around 725,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 37 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Lovelace Academy: An educational YouTube series about writing smart contracts on Cardano

Presented by a veteran YouTube educator, the second project seeking funding was Lovelace Academy, a series of video courses on writing smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain.

The project, which will consist of two separate courses, will be led by a three-strong team with Brazilian and Indian roots and focus on attracting and educating developers to build various dApps on the blockchain.

Lovelace Academy’s main platform will be YouTube, where the team plans on delivering 25 episodes in a period of 6 months, with the estimated cadence being one episode every week. The “Making sense of Cardano” series will consist of around 10 episodes, each one lasting between 10 and 30 minutes, featuring guest interviews, news, and updates focused on exploring real-world uses for Cardano. “Cardano’s Sart Contracts” series, however, will feature slightly longer episodes, lasting for up to 60 minutes, presenting practical and easy to understand tutorials on Marlowe and Plutus programming languages. Each episode will be followed by GitHub tutorials and various other repositories to enable easier access to viewers.

If there’s sufficient interest from the community, all of the episodes could be easily replicated in Portugese or Hindi, the team said in the original proposal.

The Lovelace Academy seeks funding of around 120,000 ADA for the six months, which represents approximately 6 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Cardano Hub: An outpost for everything Cardano-related in Kiev

The third project presented on the Cardano Effect podcast represents a foray into brick-and-mortar rarely seen in the crypto industry. Andrii Voloshyn, the name behind the Cardano Hub, believes that creating a physical location where people will be able to access everything Cardano-related will be a huge benefit for the entire community.

With previous experience in running a cryptocurrency hub spot, Voloshyn wants to create a coworking and meetup space that will feature a library, a bookstore, and a cafe, essentially functioning as an all-in-one hub both for those deeply involved with Cardano and those new to the ecosystem.

The hub, however, won’t be passive—the space will have a structured working plan broken down into phases that correspond to the launches of Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire. The hub’s Goguen phase will be spent doing meetups to popularize Plutus and Marlowe scripting languages. Through the meetups, the space should be able to acquire high-quality developers working on Haskell, and provide various courses to companies and individuals looking to use smart contracts on Cardano.

The hub’s Basho phase will follow the CATO (Cardano Adoption Through Outreach) tactics and work on developing interoperability with other blockchains. In practice, this means opening its doors to other projects, either to cooperate or assimilate them into Cardano. Come Voltaire, the hub will focus on promoting the study of philosophy, political sciences, and economics. This, Voloshyn explained, will create a good foundation for ideas that could be used in Cardano’s governance.

While Kiev was proposed as the first location for the hub, the proposal noted that other locations were also in play—the hub could be located in Washington State of Wyoming and functions as Cardano headquarters for the Northwestern part of the U.S. Italy’s Milan was mentioned as a possible location, too.

When it comes to the project’s profitability, the proposal outlines tokenization of the hub as an option—ownership of the entire space could be turned into tokens that would provide profit for all of its users.

The Cardano Hub seeks funding of around 888,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 44 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

More projects to come

While each of the presented projects was ambitious and unique in its own way, they’re not the only ones competing for a part of the $250,000 fund. With ample time for the community to explore various proposals presented on the IdeaScale platform, we can expect more of them to be presented both on the Cardano Effect podcast and on various other Cardano-related media channels.

The post A first look at the projects competing for Cardano’s Fund2 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

A first look at the projects competing for Cardano’s Fund2

The second-ever Cardano fund is in full effect, with three of the dozens of projects now competing for a part of the 2 million ADA fund presented on the Cardano Effect podcast. We take a look at the proposals, which range from e-commerce payment solutions to educational hubs, and how they plan on using the $250,000 fund to improve and build on Cardano.

Free Commerce: An ecommerce extension for ADA payments, without an intermediary

The first project highlighted on the Cardano Effect podcast was Free Commerce, an open source, commission-free payment integration for ecommerce stores. The payment integration system will first be implemented to Shopify, as it’s one of the largest and most well-known online platforms of its kind.

Free Commerce’s developer, a Brazilian native named Jeronimo, explained that the system will work as a straight “wallet-to-wallet” payment solution, requiring no intermediaries to process the transactions sent in ADA. Instead, it will function as an open-source server that works as an observer of transactions made from the wallets of Shopify buyers to the wallets of Shopify store owners. Neither the Shopify platform nor the server will hold anyone’s private keys—to enable ADA payments, the shops will have to provide only their root key.

Said root key would then be used to generate a new receiving address every time a customer of the store makes a purchase. Creating a separate address per every order makes it easier to determine that the right amount of money was paid without having to look through mixed funds in the shop’s main wallet. Once the total amount of the order is paid to the receiving address, the owner of the store will receive the funds directly in their own wallets—the server will verify the validity of the transaction.

This approach will maintain the privacy of the online store, as no customer will be able to track the store’s main wallet and see other payments sent to it.

The de-risking and risk assessment processes have already been done, but the developer noted that the bulk of the work still lies ahead. The original proposal highlights some of the challenges found on the way, which include a slew of limitations on existing ADA wallets that will require the creation of an ecommerce-friendly wallet for Cardano.

Free Commerce seeks funding of around 725,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 37 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Lovelace Academy: An educational YouTube series about writing smart contracts on Cardano

Presented by a veteran YouTube educator, the second project seeking funding was Lovelace Academy, a series of video courses on writing smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain.

The project, which will consist of two separate courses, will be led by a three-strong team with Brazilian and Indian roots and focus on attracting and educating developers to build various dApps on the blockchain.

Lovelace Academy’s main platform will be YouTube, where the team plans on delivering 25 episodes in a period of 6 months, with the estimated cadence being one episode every week. The “Making sense of Cardano” series will consist of around 10 episodes, each one lasting between 10 and 30 minutes, featuring guest interviews, news, and updates focused on exploring real-world uses for Cardano. “Cardano’s Sart Contracts” series, however, will feature slightly longer episodes, lasting for up to 60 minutes, presenting practical and easy to understand tutorials on Marlowe and Plutus programming languages. Each episode will be followed by GitHub tutorials and various other repositories to enable easier access to viewers.

If there’s sufficient interest from the community, all of the episodes could be easily replicated in Portugese or Hindi, the team said in the original proposal.

The Lovelace Academy seeks funding of around 120,000 ADA for the six months, which represents approximately 6 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

Cardano Hub: An outpost for everything Cardano-related in Kiev

The third project presented on the Cardano Effect podcast represents a foray into brick-and-mortar rarely seen in the crypto industry. Andrii Voloshyn, the name behind the Cardano Hub, believes that creating a physical location where people will be able to access everything Cardano-related will be a huge benefit for the entire community.

With previous experience in running a cryptocurrency hub spot, Voloshyn wants to create a coworking and meetup space that will feature a library, a bookstore, and a cafe, essentially functioning as an all-in-one hub both for those deeply involved with Cardano and those new to the ecosystem.

The hub, however, won’t be passive—the space will have a structured working plan broken down into phases that correspond to the launches of Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire. The hub’s Goguen phase will be spent doing meetups to popularize Plutus and Marlowe scripting languages. Through the meetups, the space should be able to acquire high-quality developers working on Haskell, and provide various courses to companies and individuals looking to use smart contracts on Cardano.

The hub’s Basho phase will follow the CATO (Cardano Adoption Through Outreach) tactics and work on developing interoperability with other blockchains. In practice, this means opening its doors to other projects, either to cooperate or assimilate them into Cardano. Come Voltaire, the hub will focus on promoting the study of philosophy, political sciences, and economics. This, Voloshyn explained, will create a good foundation for ideas that could be used in Cardano’s governance.

While Kiev was proposed as the first location for the hub, the proposal noted that other locations were also in play—the hub could be located in Washington State of Wyoming and functions as Cardano headquarters for the Northwestern part of the U.S. Italy’s Milan was mentioned as a possible location, too.

When it comes to the project’s profitability, the proposal outlines tokenization of the hub as an option—ownership of the entire space could be turned into tokens that would provide profit for all of its users.

The Cardano Hub seeks funding of around 888,000 ADA for the first year, which represents approximately 44 percent of the total amount allocated to the Fund2.

More projects to come

While each of the presented projects was ambitious and unique in its own way, they’re not the only ones competing for a part of the $250,000 fund. With ample time for the community to explore various proposals presented on the IdeaScale platform, we can expect more of them to be presented both on the Cardano Effect podcast and on various other Cardano-related media channels.

The post A first look at the projects competing for Cardano’s Fund2 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Blockchain at the center of Korean island’s $5 billion development plan

Won Hee-ryong, the governor of Korea’s Jeju island, has announced a $5 billion government investment plan focused on developing blockchain and IoT technologies. According to a report from BlockMedia, the plan will focus on solving various public welfare problems the province faces and expected to create 44,000 jobs in the next five years.

Major Korean province initiatives five-year technology development plan

Korea’s island province of Jeju has embarked on a massive, five-year journey to utilize emerging technologies in the public sector. Won Hee-ryong, the governor of Jeju, announced earlier today the province’s plan to spend more than $5 billion dollars on the development of blockchain, IoT, and big data technologies.

According to a report from BlockMedia, a Korean blockchain news outlet, the program will be called the “Digital & Green New Deal,” and is set to bring around 44,000 jobs to the southern region.

Through the deal, Jeju’s government plans on digitizing the island’s government. In an announcement earlier today, Governor Won said that the key tasks in the program include establishing a “smart city” infrastructure for disaster relief and traffic safety, a region-wide plan for the management of agricultural, seafood, and livestock products, as well as establishing a 5G drone hub.

However, the biggest move from the government will certainly be turning Jeju island into a special blockchain zone that would nurture and support companies working on the emerging new technology.

Jeju Island is setting the foundation for a digital future

The plan, which is set to last until 2025, will see the establishment of a so-called “DB-Solution”—a model that utilizes integrated data management to solve various welfare problems in the region.

According to the governor, the deal was initiated as a response to the “New Deal” announced by South Korea’s central government in July, which sets the foundation for economic recovery. Jeju’s own program has been in the works since August, with the local government spending the past two months employing various researchers, establishing a dedicated task force, and discussing the project with the provincial council.

One of the first orders of business under the new deal will be to create a blockchain-based smart quarantine system in the region. The system, according to BlockMedia, will minimize the amount of personal information the government collects from its citizens by utilizing a blockchain decentralized identity authentication (DID) system. Back in August, the government of Jeju signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Iconloop, a local blockchain company, to develop a tracking app that could be used both for tourism and safety tracking in the region.

The post Blockchain at the center of Korean island’s $5 billion development plan appeared first on CryptoSlate.

How Voltaire will bring accountability to funding on Cardano

In his latest YouTube video, Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, explained the lengthy process behind ensuring accountability to funding on Cardano. Voltaire, the blockchain’s governance era, will eventually evolve Cardano into one of the best innovation management platforms on the market, with tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people participating in the blockchain’s accountability process.

Breaking down the process behind introducing accountability management to Voltaire

Voltaire, the upcoming installation of Cardano that’s set to bring about governance to the blockchain, will introduce some of the most thought-out and complex management processes in the industry. Until recently, most of these processes remained rather abstract and something that was discussed almost entirely in the developer circles.

In a recent YouTube video, Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, Cardano’s parent company, dove deep into the matter of accountability that will come with Voltaire. The outspoken CEO was characteristically optimistic about the future that awaits Cardano but kept his predictions reserved, saying there was a chance that the process could take up to twenty years to complete.

Hoskinson began by explaining why Voltaire was so important to Cardano’s development. Namely, in its current instantiation, the blockchain doesn’t have the ability to judge whether or not a good return on intention (ROI) on the grants allocated to community members. For the blockchain to gain a tighter grip on the community fund distribution, there’s no need to centralize its governance, Hoskinson said. Instead, what the network needs is to have a set of processes in place that will create a very easily controlled, but still decentralized accountability management.

To accomplish this, the company started by breaking everything into processes, beginning with the process of submission and discussion.

This, he explained, is the process IOHK is currently involved in with the IdeaScale platform. With around 3,000 people currently involved in various conversations about the blockchain’s structure and future, Hoskinson said that he had no doubts that some very good ideas and suggestions will come from it.

At a certain point, the submission and discussion process will evolve into the final shape of the ballot, which will introduce voting to the blockchain. And while the introduction of voting is set to be one of the final steps in Cardano’s lengthy evolution, it will bring about a new set of problems.

Namely, once voting begins and the community gets to cast their own votes to the final approved ballots, the question of who holds those that receive funds accountable arises. While the community will be in charge of who is given the money from Cardano’s treasury fund, there is currently no entity in place that will keep track of what they actually do with the money they receive.

According to Hoskinson, the system doesn’t need to centralize for this to be possible. He believes that various entities can be introduced into the process that will provide oversight of both who gets the funding and how they spend it. These entities, which can range from influential community members to third-party companies, will act as the eyes and ears of the community, providing weekly or monthly reports, auditing code, verifying claims, and provide general oversight of spending.

Hoskinson envisions a future where a large number of companies pop up offering oversight of the network as a professional service.

These “professional services” probably won’t be necessary when dealing with smaller funds, like the ongoing $250,000 DC fund. As these smaller funds will most likely be used to fund things whose accomplishments can be easily tracked by the community, there won’t be a need to employ any additional oversight.

Larger million-dollar funds, however, will most definitely need a lot more oversight.

An essential mechanism that holds everyone accountable

With every single ADA held in Cardano’s treasury belonging to its community, the community will want to know how their millions are spent.

Part of the Voltaire experiment, Hoskinson said, is to create a network of people and entities that keep the people receiving funds accountable. And this, he added, is something that isn’t inherently hard to do.

Firstly, it might be a good idea for a portion of the money held in the DC fund to be allocated to those providing oversight. As the complexity of the projects that get funded increases, the number of entities providing oversight will increase as well—some might be tasked with keeping track of spending, while others will be focused on the project’s performance and analyzing its results.

“There are all types of contractual pairings and relationships that can exist here,” Hoskinson said, explaining that it will be easy to divide the auditing process between various third-party auditors.

IOHK, Cardano’s parent company, is taking this matter very seriously. So much so, that it is currently hiring a dedicated product manager that will ensure that all of the business and social structures that need to exist for this to be possible are there.

For a company whose mandate to run and operate the Cardano blockchain is set to expire, IOHK is certainly investing a huge amount of resources, both in time and money, into coming up with governance solutions for Voltaire. Hoskinson acknowledged this, saying that this was done with a clear goal in mind—when IOHK’s contract expires, the company wants to come to the community with an established group of organizations and entities tasked with oversight and a well-structured plan for governance if their contract is renewed.

This also isn’t the end of IOHK’s involvement with defining accountability processes on Cardano. The company is exploring various other structures of accountability with the Catalyst Project. Hoskinson said that their work on the concept goes beyond thinking about how to transform ideas into ballots, and involves creating a system that will ensure good outcomes for most, if not all of the funds allocated to the community.

Complex, well-thought-out, but still experimental

However, he noted that despite the amount of effort and resources spent on accountability structures and auditors, there will be a significant amount of failures and issues Cardano will have to face.

That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to set up a working feedback loop that will ensure that failures, no matter how big they might be, get a chance to turn into lessons.

The last part of the long list of processes behind Voltaire will be to establish this feedback loop. This means that the results of all projects that receive any one of Cardano’s funds will all be funneled back to the beginning, to the submission and discussion phase. Aside from providing the community with the experience they need, it will also strengthen the very foundation of the structure of accountability that keeps Cardano going.

In time, this feedback loop will be able to get rid of ballots that have historically failed to produce results and allow the community to build relationships with accountability managers and auditors over time.

Starting with relatively smaller funds, like the current $250,000 DC fund, will make this process much easier, Hoskinson noted. Working like a reverse funnel, the feedback loop will refine the process before the funds get larger and hold millions of dollars.

Hoskinson went on to assert the fact that all of this, no matter how well-thought-out it might look now, is still the learning beta phase. This, he said, is learning how to talk, write ballots, and take responsibilities. If IOHK contract with Cardano gets renewed for another five years, the company said it will bring about a dedicated firm to study the management of accountability. Various experts and consultants from all kinds of backgrounds will be brought on to examine the structures of accountability and ensure that the quality of the feedback loop is always in check. He anticipates tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people to participate in the accountability process in the next ten to twenty years.

While the system will take years before it’s stable enough to be called “done,” Hoskinson considers the things he described as being “good enough” to get Cardano to the next stage of its evolution.

“By the time we are done with this, we will have the single best innovation management platform in the world.”

The post How Voltaire will bring accountability to funding on Cardano appeared first on CryptoSlate.

How Voltaire will bring accountability to funding on Cardano

In his latest YouTube video, Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, explained the lengthy process behind ensuring accountability to funding on Cardano. Voltaire, the blockchain’s governance era, will eventually evolve Cardano into one of the best innovation management platforms on the market, with tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people participating in the blockchain’s accountability process.

Breaking down the process behind introducing accountability management to Voltaire

Voltaire, the upcoming installation of Cardano that’s set to bring about governance to the blockchain, will introduce some of the most thought-out and complex management processes in the industry. Until recently, most of these processes remained rather abstract and something that was discussed almost entirely in the developer circles.

In a recent YouTube video, Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, Cardano’s parent company, dove deep into the matter of accountability that will come with Voltaire. The outspoken CEO was characteristically optimistic about the future that awaits Cardano but kept his predictions reserved, saying there was a chance that the process could take up to twenty years to complete.

Hoskinson began by explaining why Voltaire was so important to Cardano’s development. Namely, in its current instantiation, the blockchain doesn’t have the ability to judge whether or not a good return on intention (ROI) on the grants allocated to community members. For the blockchain to gain a tighter grip on the community fund distribution, there’s no need to centralize its governance, Hoskinson said. Instead, what the network needs is to have a set of processes in place that will create a very easily controlled, but still decentralized accountability management.

To accomplish this, the company started by breaking everything into processes, beginning with the process of submission and discussion.

This, he explained, is the process IOHK is currently involved in with the IdeaScale platform. With around 3,000 people currently involved in various conversations about the blockchain’s structure and future, Hoskinson said that he had no doubts that some very good ideas and suggestions will come from it.

At a certain point, the submission and discussion process will evolve into the final shape of the ballot, which will introduce voting to the blockchain. And while the introduction of voting is set to be one of the final steps in Cardano’s lengthy evolution, it will bring about a new set of problems.

Namely, once voting begins and the community gets to cast their own votes to the final approved ballots, the question of who holds those that receive funds accountable arises. While the community will be in charge of who is given the money from Cardano’s treasury fund, there is currently no entity in place that will keep track of what they actually do with the money they receive.

According to Hoskinson, the system doesn’t need to centralize for this to be possible. He believes that various entities can be introduced into the process that will provide oversight of both who gets the funding and how they spend it. These entities, which can range from influential community members to third-party companies, will act as the eyes and ears of the community, providing weekly or monthly reports, auditing code, verifying claims, and provide general oversight of spending.

Hoskinson envisions a future where a large number of companies pop up offering oversight of the network as a professional service.

These “professional services” probably won’t be necessary when dealing with smaller funds, like the ongoing $250,000 DC fund. As these smaller funds will most likely be used to fund things whose accomplishments can be easily tracked by the community, there won’t be a need to employ any additional oversight.

Larger million-dollar funds, however, will most definitely need a lot more oversight.

An essential mechanism that holds everyone accountable

With every single ADA held in Cardano’s treasury belonging to its community, the community will want to know how their millions are spent.

Part of the Voltaire experiment, Hoskinson said, is to create a network of people and entities that keep the people receiving funds accountable. And this, he added, is something that isn’t inherently hard to do.

Firstly, it might be a good idea for a portion of the money held in the DC fund to be allocated to those providing oversight. As the complexity of the projects that get funded increases, the number of entities providing oversight will increase as well—some might be tasked with keeping track of spending, while others will be focused on the project’s performance and analyzing its results.

“There are all types of contractual pairings and relationships that can exist here,” Hoskinson said, explaining that it will be easy to divide the auditing process between various third-party auditors.

IOHK, Cardano’s parent company, is taking this matter very seriously. So much so, that it is currently hiring a dedicated product manager that will ensure that all of the business and social structures that need to exist for this to be possible are there.

For a company whose mandate to run and operate the Cardano blockchain is set to expire, IOHK is certainly investing a huge amount of resources, both in time and money, into coming up with governance solutions for Voltaire. Hoskinson acknowledged this, saying that this was done with a clear goal in mind—when IOHK’s contract expires, the company wants to come to the community with an established group of organizations and entities tasked with oversight and a well-structured plan for governance if their contract is renewed.

This also isn’t the end of IOHK’s involvement with defining accountability processes on Cardano. The company is exploring various other structures of accountability with the Catalyst Project. Hoskinson said that their work on the concept goes beyond thinking about how to transform ideas into ballots, and involves creating a system that will ensure good outcomes for most, if not all of the funds allocated to the community.

Complex, well-thought-out, but still experimental

However, he noted that despite the amount of effort and resources spent on accountability structures and auditors, there will be a significant amount of failures and issues Cardano will have to face.

That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to set up a working feedback loop that will ensure that failures, no matter how big they might be, get a chance to turn into lessons.

The last part of the long list of processes behind Voltaire will be to establish this feedback loop. This means that the results of all projects that receive any one of Cardano’s funds will all be funneled back to the beginning, to the submission and discussion phase. Aside from providing the community with the experience they need, it will also strengthen the very foundation of the structure of accountability that keeps Cardano going.

In time, this feedback loop will be able to get rid of ballots that have historically failed to produce results and allow the community to build relationships with accountability managers and auditors over time.

Starting with relatively smaller funds, like the current $250,000 DC fund, will make this process much easier, Hoskinson noted. Working like a reverse funnel, the feedback loop will refine the process before the funds get larger and hold millions of dollars.

Hoskinson went on to assert the fact that all of this, no matter how well-thought-out it might look now, is still the learning beta phase. This, he said, is learning how to talk, write ballots, and take responsibilities. If IOHK contract with Cardano gets renewed for another five years, the company said it will bring about a dedicated firm to study the management of accountability. Various experts and consultants from all kinds of backgrounds will be brought on to examine the structures of accountability and ensure that the quality of the feedback loop is always in check. He anticipates tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people to participate in the accountability process in the next ten to twenty years.

While the system will take years before it’s stable enough to be called “done,” Hoskinson considers the things he described as being “good enough” to get Cardano to the next stage of its evolution.

“By the time we are done with this, we will have the single best innovation management platform in the world.”

The post How Voltaire will bring accountability to funding on Cardano appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Square allocates one percent of it’s total assets to Bitcoin

Square Inc. has announced today that it has purchased 4,709 BTC for approximately $50 million, allocating around 1 percent of its total assets as of Q2 2020 to Bitcoin. The payments company, founded by Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, said that it intends to participate in growing Bitcoin’s adoption.

CashApp’s parent company Square invests $50 million in Bitcoin

Square, a payments company founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has announced today that it has purchased approximately 4,709 bitcoins. In an announcement published on its official website, the company said that the bitcoins were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of $50 million.

Square’s chief financial officer Amrita Ahuja said that the investment was a result of the company’s belief that Bitcoin has the potential to become a more ubiquitous currency in the future.

“As it grows in adoption, we intend to learn and participate in a disciplined way. For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey,” she said in the company’s announcement.

Not the first time Square dabbles in Bitcoin

While buying $50 million worth of bitcoins is a huge step for a company involved in traditional finance, Square has acquired quite a reputation in the crypto industry due to its continuous investments in cryptocurrencies.

The company said that it has previously invested in Bitcoin “from a product, leadership, and legal innovation perspective,” but that today’s announcement will be adding a “financial investment” to the list.

But, despite the huge investment, Square hasn’t actually allocated that much of its resources to Bitcoin. According to the company’s blog post, the investment represents approximately 1 percent of Square’s total assets as of the end of the second quarter of 2020.

As of press time, the company hasn’t disclosed its plans for the investment. In 2018, the company enabled bitcoin trading in its CashApp, formed an independent crypto team a year later, and launched the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) earlier this year.

The post Square allocates one percent of it’s total assets to Bitcoin appeared first on CryptoSlate.

FCA bans the sale of crypto-derivatives to retail customers in the U.K.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a new set of rules banning the sale of crypto derivatives to retail consumers in the country. The regulator made the decision to protect consumers almost a year after first proposing the ban, explaining that cryptocurrency derivatives are “ill-suited” for retail consumers as they can pose harm.

U.K.’s top financial regulator bans retail crypto derivatives trading

The main financial regulator in the U.K. has published a landmark decision regarding the crypto industry, effectively banning the sale of derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) to retail consumers.

According to the official announcement published on FCA’s website, retail consumers can suffer harm from these products as they “cannot be reliably valued.” Without an inherent nature of the underlying asset, there’s no reliable basis for valuation which causes a slew of other problems for retail consumers, the FCA explained in the announcement.

The FCA cited the prevalence of market abuse and financial crime in the secondary market as one of the main reasons for instituting the ban. Extreme volatility in cryptocurrency price movements and inadequate understanding of cryptocurrencies were also listed as concerns that prompted the decision.

An important highlight of the FCA’s decision is the fact that the regulator sees no “legitimate investment need” for retail consumers to invest in crypto derivative products, explaining later that the harm from sudden and unexpected losses outweighs any benefits for the consumers.

The crypto derivatives industry takes a huge blow from the FCA

Sheldon Mills, the interim executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said that the ban reflects how seriously the U.K. sees the potential harm to retail consumers in crypto derivative products.

“Consumer protection is paramount here,” he said in the statement, adding that the FCA had evidence of consumers suffering high losses happening on a significant scale. The ban, he explained, provides an appropriate level of protection to them.

However, despite the severity of the ban, the crypto derivatives industry will have ample time to prepare for a new kind of U.K. market. The ban won’t come into effect until Jan. 6, 2021, and won’t affect cryptocurrencies themselves.

Bitcoin, ether, XRP, and other coins will be available to retail consumers in the U.K. as the FCA views them as e-money, and are therefore categorized as non-specified investments.

The ban on crypto derivatives was first proposed almost exactly a year ago, which means that the regulator took ample time to consider the decision. According to the official statement, the FCA expects this to be a positive decision long-term, estimating that retail consumers will save around £53 million, or around $68 million, from the ban on crypto derivative products.

The post FCA bans the sale of crypto-derivatives to retail customers in the U.K. appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Cardano update: IOHK fired up for DeFi, mobile clients for Daedalus, and CBDCs

With multiple teams both inside and outside of IOHK currently working on Daedalus and Goguen, the first week of October has been largely uneventful for Cardano. Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, grabbed the opportunity to discuss what lies ahead for Cardano in the next few years, revealing that mobile clients for the Daedalus wallet and integrating CBDCs were very high on IOHK’s list of priorities.

A restless October is ahead of Cardano

The increasing popularity of super fast and super risky DeFi projects has cast a shadow on other protocols that tend to take a more slow and steady approach to development. This is the case with Cardano, one of the most ambitious blockchain projects to date that has constantly been plagued with criticism about its slow development and blindness to the fast-paced nature of the crypto industry.

Nonetheless, the slow and steady approach championed by Charles Hoskinson, the founder, and CEO of IOHK, Cardano’s parent company, almost never fails to deliver.

After toning down the work across all reams in August to take some much-needed rest, IOHK ramped up development in September, establishing a two-week release cadence. October, however, will lack the in-your-face results we’ve seen in September, but not due to a lack of action within IOHK.

In his latest YouTube video, Hoskinson said that teams across IOHK will spend the month working hard on improving Daedalus. With two or three other releases expected to happen by November, it certainly won’t be a quiet month for Cardano.

Hoskinson explained that the increased workload required the company to take on help from other companies. Daedalus has been broken down into core components, which have then been packaged into bunches and sent to third-party teams and companies to work on. Implementing this kind of workstream allowed the company to work on many different things in parallel, Hoskinson explained.

These things also include Goguen, the upcoming iteration of Cardano that’s set to bring about smart contracts. However, it will take a few more weeks before any concrete projections on Goguen can be made.

A detailed presentation about Cardano’s ERC-20 converter will be published sometime at the end of the month. Around the same time, IOHK will begin showcasing the third-parties working on Cardano.

“Cardano is their project as much as it is ours,” Hoskinson said in the video.

When it comes to concrete dates, the only thing Hoskinson revealed was that the technical requirements for the Daedalus identity center should all be met on or around Oct. 15.

Fired up for a Cardano-centered future

With no concrete dates for October releases and updates, Hoskinson discussed things that might await Cardano not just in the weeks and months to come, but also years down the line.

What he’s most excited about is decentralized finance (DeFi) and its rapidly growing popularity. By the time Cardano becomes all set to become a go-to financial platform for a significant number of people, the yield farming craze should have subsided and a more stable market will be able to take its place, he explained.

Cardano’s value proposition couldn’t be more different than the majority of protocols that are currently dominating DeFi—it’s providing as many people as possible with economic identity. That’s why IOHK partnered with the United Nations (UN) earlier this year and is currently pursuing a small pilot that would test out Voltaire, the blockchain’s upcoming governance functionality. Hoskinson said that, as a company, IOHK will most likely continue working with the United Nations “forever,” as the two entities share a very similar goal. And with goals, business models, and ambitious overlapping, launching a concrete product is just a matter of time.

“It’s just a matter of convincing the UN that Cardano’s solution set is the same as their own solution set,” he explained.

And it’s not just the UN that IOHK managed to find a common language with. Cardano’s value proposition has attracted an unmanageable amount of projects looking to migrate from the Ethereum network. Hoskinson estimated that there are currently around 90 potential deals looking to make the switch to Cardano, but added that the sheer number of interested parties will make it impossible to onboard all of them in any reasonable amount of time. This required IOHK to expand its team even further, with Hoskinson saying that there are currently 52 ongoing hires in the company.

“It’s an HR hell,” he told viewers.

IOHK ready to give up control, but not to stop working

Hoskinson also took the time to address some of the controversies surrounding Cardano and its governance. He addressed the backlash the Cardano Effect podcast received for asking the community to fund 24 episodes of the show with 750,000 ADA.

“That’s the way it should be,” he said, explaining that the fact that every single ADA that comes from Cardano’s treasury belongs to all users, which gives them the right to question both where it’s going and why it’s going there. He encouraged people to always ask for a cost breakdown of every single project that applies for funding and never stop questioning where Cardano as a whole is going. The ultimate goal for IOHK is to slowly release control over the protocol and give it to ADA holders, who Hoskinson believes should be the only ones that decide on its future.

And for those questioning the involvement of the Cardano Foundation in the project’s roadmap, Hoskinson said that it was an independent entity with its own mission and a limited mandate. It’s not and never will be in control of Cardano and will never have veto power over any decision made about the protocol. This was something Hoskinson realized would be a problem back in 2018, when the Foundation sent a cease and desist letter to IOHK after it signed an MOU with the government of Ethiopia. Headed by Michael Parsons, the Foundation requested that it’s consulted before IOHK makes any partnerships and decisions that will affect Cardano. This, as Hoskinson later explained, stood against everything Cardano was about and was expediently solved.

But, deciding to give up control over Cardano’s governance doesn’t mean IOHK will stop working on improving the blockchain. Hoskinson said that the company’s plan for the next five years is to focus “aggressively” on developing mobile clients for Cardano. The goal is to create client diversity when it comes to Daedalus, which means that we could be getting Rust and Java versions of the wallet.

Another major thing IOHK will be focusing on involves central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Hoskinson said that he already has a strategy on CBDCs, revealing that multiple central banks in African countries approached IOHK with a proposition to integrate their national currencies with Cardano. While the introduction of native assets on Cardano will certainly make this possible, Hoskinson said that he wants to focus on utilizing CBDCs issued on blockchains with a universal basic income (UBI) program.

The post Cardano update: IOHK fired up for DeFi, mobile clients for Daedalus, and CBDCs appeared first on CryptoSlate.

The aftermath of CFTC’s charge against BitMEX: massive withdrawals, fake quotes, more legal action

Following the CFTC’s charge against BitMEX and its operators, the U.S. Department of Justice filed their own charges against the exchange’s four founders and executives for violating the Bank Secrecy Act. Immediately after the charges were brought, the crypto industry became ablaze with conspiracy theories about why the charges were brought now, with fake quotes from Arthur Hayes, BitMEX’s CEO, only adding fuel to the fire. As of press time, around 25 percent of the exchange’s Bitcoin reserves have been withdrawn.

CFTC’s charges against BitMEX send shockwaves through the crypto industry

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced yesterday that it filed a civil enforcement action, charging five entities and three individuals that own and operate the BitMEX trading platform with operating an unregistered trading platform and violating multiple CFTC regulations. Just hours after the announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice came out with its own charges against four executives and owners of the exchange, claiming they violated and conspired to violate the Bank Secrecy act.

Charges against Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo, Samuel Reed, and Gregory Dwyer date back as early as 2015, when the Department of Justice claims the first AML programs should have been implemented to the exchange. Reed was arrested at his home in Massachusetts yesterday and could be facing five years in prison.

News about the indictment sent shockwaves through the crypto industry, with Bitcoin’s price reeling from $10,900 to lows of $10,400. As one of the largest exchanges on the market, BitMEX has around $2 billion worth of BTC in storage—a dangerous fact that hasn’t eluded other market participants.

With so much on the line, theories as to why the CFTC and the DOJ decided to push the charges forward at the beginning of October began popping up on social media. As part of the federal government, both the CFTC and the DOJ’s fiscal year-end on Sep. 30. In practice, this means that October usually begins with a bang for these government agencies, as they chose the start of a new FY to start off lengthy and complex legal processes such as the BitMEX indictment.

Many also speculated that the CFTC and the SEC could use the beginning of the fiscal year to enforce more legal actions against companies in the crypto industry, continuing their aggressive push to regulate the space.

Fake quotes and massive withdrawals show the industry’s on its edge

The market was quick to realize the potential ramifications of charges like these and was quick to withdraw a massive amount of funds from BitMEX. According to data from CoinMetrics, In the 24 hours since the CFTC’s announcement, a total of 48,400 BTC was withdrawn from the exchange, with 10,600 BTC withdrawn during BitMEX’s regular withdrawal processing time earlier today. With BitMEX holding around 193,000 BTC in total, it means that it lost around 25 percent of its holding in less than 24 hours.

Chart showing BitMEX Bitcoin withdrawals in the past 24 hours
Chart showing BitMEX Bitcoin withdrawals in the past 24 hours (Source: CoinMetrics)

CoinMetrics’ data also showed that, out of the 48,408 BTC, a total of 13,787 BTC was withdrawn to Binance and Gemini, prompting many to speculate that this could be several whales moving their funds to other exchanges operating in the U.S.

Data from Skew indicated that long future positions on BitMEX have also began unwinding with a perceivable sense of urgency, as more and more traders rush to close their positions and leave the exchange.

Graph showing the annualized rolling 3-month basis for BTC futures on BitMEX
Graph showing the annualized rolling 3-month basis for BTC futures on BitMEX (Source: Skew)

Adding fuel to the fire that erupted on social media was a series of fake tweets that were mercilessly shared both by the media and other users. Several tweets supposedly written by Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of BitMEX, began circulating on Twitter, where Hayes jokingly told Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of Tron, and Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of Alameda Research and FTX, that the CFTC was coming for them next.

Screengrab showing the fake tweets
Screengrab showing the fake tweets (Source: Twitter)

After several major media outlets quoted the tweets as coming directly from Hayes, the crypto community soon revealed that they were coming from a well-known Twitter user and were intended as a troll.

The post The aftermath of CFTC’s charge against BitMEX: massive withdrawals, fake quotes, more legal action appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Why are so many people in Eastern Europe using cryptocurrencies?

How did Russia, a country where cryptocurrencies are banned for use as payment, and Ukraine, where the asset class essentially exists outside of the law, rank the highest when it comes to crypto adoption?

The latest Chainalysis report, where Eastern Europe was found to have the highest grassroots-level adoption of cryptocurrency despite being the fourth-largest market by volume, tries to answer this question.

Russians and Ukrainians lead the way when it comes to crypto adoption

While it’s obvious that the crypto market has been expanding significantly in the past few years, determining just how big it has gotten requires much more than anecdotal evidence. To measure the adoption and usage of cryptocurrencies around the world, analytics company Chainalysis created the Global Crypto Adoption Index. The index, made up of four unique metrics, including value received weighted by purchasing power per capita, provides interesting insights into how and why people use cryptocurrencies.

According to the report, the highest rate of grassroots-level adoption of cryptocurrencies is currently happening in Eastern Europe. The region, which includes Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, is the fourth largest crypto market, accounting for 12 percent of the overall transaction volume.

But, the most interesting finding coming out of Eastern Europe is the fact that it has the two highest-ranking countries on the crypto adoption index—Russia and Ukraine. In a 12-month period studied in the repot, Russia has sent over $16.8 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, receiving around $16.6 back, while Ukraine has sent $8.2 billion and received $8 billion.

“While those numbers are much lower than the amounts we see for China, the US, and other leading countries, they indicate a much higher level of adoption when we consider the size of both countries’ populations and economies,” it said in the report.

But why are these two countries, where cryptocurrencies are either banned as a means of payment or essentially exist outside of the law, leading the huge Eastern European region in adoption?

Unique historical and geopolitical circumstances make fertile ground for cryptocurrencies

It’s easy to attribute the huge rise in cryptocurrency adoption these two countries have seen to a lack of trust in the government. Studies coming from everyone from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to public relations firms place Russia dead last when it comes to trust in media and government. More than half of Russians said that they don’t trust banks, with many explaining that the negative sentiment went as back as the early 1990s and the economic crisis the country faced after the fall of the Soviet Union.

These two factors alone could be enough to explain why so many people in Russia and Ukraine have resorted to using cryptocurrencies in the past several years. However, knowing that these unfortunate political circumstances are rampant in other countries as well, it still doesn’t paint a clear picture of what lies beneath this rise in adoption.

What makes the residents of these two countries much more susceptible to the adoption of cryptocurrencies is the fact that they all have a pre-existing familiarity with electronic payments.

Roman Sannikov, the director of Cybercrime and Underground Intelligence at cybersecurity provider Recorded Future, said that it was the lack of banking infrastructure that forced Russians and Ukrainians to think of ways to move funds.

“The banking industry in the Eastern Block did not develop the same way it did in the west,” he told Chainalysis. “Particularly, the process of transferring funds between accounts and overseas was particularly problematic because much of the infrastructure was simply not there.”

This, he explained, forced people to come up with “a lot of homegrown and unofficial methods” to move funds—these included things like vouchers and hawala exchanges.

Unconventional methods like these had very little know-your-customer standards and were largely frowned upon by the government, which frequently warned people about the dangers they faced—fraud, theft, money laundering, etc.

Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Russians and Ukrainians, used to extremely risky money transferring tactics, saw cryptocurrencies as a significantly better alternative. With the rise of remittances in countries such as Ukraine, which has a large population of ex-pats living in countries such as Slovakia, the low fees and lack of government oversight make cryptocurrencies more attractive than even the most established services such as Western Union.

What the future holds for Russia

The cryptocurrency adoption seen in the two largest countries of the Eastern Block might not continue to increase at the same rate in the near future.

When it comes to Russia, it’s important to note that most of the adoption in the country happened while the government was giving out mixed signals about cryptocurrencies. However, in the past two months, the government of Vladimir Putin has taken up a much tougher stance on how the new asset class is to be used. While the country now recognizes cryptocurrencies as a distinct asset class, it also effectively bans their use as a means of payment. Several weeks later, the Russian parliament passed a measure that bans the use of anonymous online wallets when dealing with cryptocurrencies.

According to the Chainalysis Crypto Adoption Index, the government’s tightening grip over the crypto industry most likely won’t be able to stifle adoption. This, however, is a very conservative estimate. While it might not be able to weed out all of the existing people involved with cryptocurrencies, the new laws will most likely slow down the influx of new users into the space.

Ukraine, on the other hand, seems much less interested in governing the crypto space. Until recently, cryptocurrencies essentially existed outside of the law, allowing Ukrainians to reap all of the benefits of the new asset class without any government oversight. This is also about to change rapidly, as the country began monitoring crypto activity in April this year and the parliament is in the midst of drafting the first set of laws that are set to oversee the burgeoning industry.

The post Why are so many people in Eastern Europe using cryptocurrencies? appeared first on CryptoSlate.

SingularityNET migrating a portion of its network to Cardano from Ethereum

SingularityNET, a full-stack AI solution, is currently working with IOHK to put a significant portion of its decentralized AI network on the Cardano blockchain. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that the move was driven by skyrocketing fees and congestion issues on Ethereum, as well as the lack of clarity regarding the rollout of Ethereum 2.0.

Major AI solution announces switch from Ethereum to Cardano

A large portion of the SingularityNET decentralized AI network will be transferred to Cardano in the following weeks, marking an important milestone both for Singularity and IOHK. SingularityNET, a full-stack AI solution powered by a decentralized protocol, announced the switch earlier today in a press release shared with CryptoSlate, saying that the switch was a result of a mix of positive and negative developments in the crypto space.

Dr. Ben Goertzel, the CEO and founder of the SingularityNET Foundation, said that the current speed and cost issues with the Ethereum blockchain have increased the urgency of exploring alternatives for SingularityNET’s blockchain underpinning. Aside from the problems with costs, another thing that attributed to the decision to switch was the uncertainty regarding the rollout of Ethereum 2.0.

Goertzel explained that the little oversight the company had over many of the practical aspects of Eth 2.0 made it hard to plan for an Ethereum-based future.

While the SingularityNET platform is currently used for hosting relatively simple AI agents, the company has ambitious plans for the future, which include using the platform to host a variety of AIs that outsource work and collaborate with other AIs.

Cardano’s strong foundation and huge potential make it attractive for AI

According to Goertzel, Cardano’s thoroughly formalized functional programming foundations have the potential to provide a rich and flexible basis for implementing such advanced aspects of SingularityNET. When combined with Cardano’s strong promise to provide a secure and reliable platform for the foreseeable future, the decision to move a portion of the network was completely justifiable.

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said that having the backing of an organization as prominent as the SingularityNET Foundation only reaffirms Cardano’s massive growth this year.

“SingularityNET is a project we’ve followed for a long time,” he said in the company’s press release. “We’re excited to see how the Cardano blockchain can help SingularityNET realize its ambitious goals.”

In the following weeks, the SingularityNET Foundation will work with IOHK on creating mechanisms for swapping some of the current ERC-20 AGI tokens to Cardano-based AGI tokens, as well as creating analogs of the Solidity smart contracts using Cardano’s Plutus smart contract language.

The post SingularityNET migrating a portion of its network to Cardano from Ethereum appeared first on CryptoSlate.

CFTC charges BitMEX with illegally operating an unregistered trading platform

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has charged the owners of BitMEX with operating an unregistered trading platform and violating multiple CFTC regulations, including failing to meet required AML procedures. According to the lawsuit, five entities and three individuals were charged, which include Arthur Hayes, the co-founder, and CEO of BitMEX, Ben Delo, the exchange’s co-founder, and Samuel Reed, its co-founder, and CTO.

CFTC files a civil enforcement action against BitMEX

BitMEX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has found itself at the receiving end of a lawsuit from the CFTC.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that it filed a civil enforcement action, charging five entities and three individuals that own and operate the BitMEX trading platform with operating an unregistered trading platform and violating multiple CFTC regulations, such as failing to implement the required anti-money laundering procedures.

According to the official CFTC filing, the charges were made against five entities and three individuals that own and operate BitMEX. The companies named in the lawsuit are HDR Global Trading Limited, 100x Holding Limited, ABS Global Trading Limited, Shine Effort Inc Limited, and HDR Global Services (Bermuda) Limited (BitMEX).

Arthur Hayes, the CEO, and co-founder of BitMEX, was also charged, as were the exchange’s other co-founders Ben Delo and Samuel Reed, who currently serves as the company’s chief technology officer.

BitMEX faces a legal battle with the CFTC

The CFTC alleges that BitMEX has received more than $11 billion in BTC deposits and made more than $1 billion in fees while conducting significant aspects of its business from the U.S. and accepting orders and funds from U.S. customers. As such, it’s required to follow the country’s strict AML and KYC procedures, which the CFTC claims BitMEX failed to do.

“Effective anti-money laundering procedures are among the fundamental requirements of intermediaries in the derivatives markets, whether in traditional products or in the growing digital asset market,” said James McDonald, the director of the Division of Enforcement’s Digital Asset and Bank Secrecy Act Task Forces. “This action shows the CFTC will continue to work vigilantly to protect the integrity of these markets.”

According to the filing, the CFTC will seek disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, restitution for the benefit of customers, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction from future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

The post CFTC charges BitMEX with illegally operating an unregistered trading platform appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Aglive launches farm-to-consumer blockchain-based app to tackle food fraud

Aglive, an Australian product traceability platform, has launched a blockchain-based mobile app that will allow consumers to see the source and journey of the products they consume. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that the app, called Aglive One, will tap into Aglives existing traceability network to authenticate products as they pass through the supply chain.

A blockchain-enabled mobile app wants to bring more transparency to the food supply chain

Aglive, an Australian traceability platform, has announced the launch of a new blockchain-enabled mobile application that is set to bring more transparency into the food supply chain. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that the app will be the first of its kind, enabling consumers to see the source and journey of the products they purchase.

People will be able to utilize the app to view, in real-time, the origins and supply chain conditions of the goods they want to purchase, as well as provide direct feedback to brands after consuming the product.

The newly launched application will also display key compliance information about the product that is stored on the Aglive blockchain. This includes information such as whether the product is halal, kosher, or organic, details about the animals welfare, and data about the sustainability practices from the brand. Sustainability certificates will be issued by official governing bodies directly on the Aglive blockchain, the company said, explaining that this will ensure that consumers and brands trust the information provided by the app.

Tackling food fraud with Aglive

Aglives core mission is solving food fraud, a problem the company claims costs the world between $40 and $50 billion every year. The key to solving this lies in technology, particularly blockchain technology, as its immutability and transparency are what many believe is lacking from supply chains.

The company has completed successful domestic and international trials tracking a variety of products including beef, medicinal cannabis, and dairy from paddock to plate. The app is currently being used by Mackas Australian Angus Beef, a major Australian produce provider, and is being trialed by Apothio, one of the largest producers of hemp-based food products in the U.S. In the companys press release, Apothio said that they chose Aglives solution to tackle the strict regulation the medicinal cannabis industry is plagued with.

Trials of the platform are also set to begin in South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, the company said, adding that more details about the specific projects and companies will be announced later this year.

This is the food of the future,” Paul Ryan, Aglives executive director said. “ Finally, we can use technology to protect our health and prove the legitimacy, superiority, and provenance of our products.”

The post Aglive launches farm-to-consumer blockchain-based app to tackle food fraud appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Aglive launches farm-to-consumer blockchain-based app to tackle food fraud

Aglive, an Australian product traceability platform, has launched a blockchain-based mobile app that will allow consumers to see the source and journey of the products they consume. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that the app, called Aglive One, will tap into Aglives existing traceability network to authenticate products as they pass through the supply chain.

A blockchain-enabled mobile app wants to bring more transparency to the food supply chain

Aglive, an Australian traceability platform, has announced the launch of a new blockchain-enabled mobile application that is set to bring more transparency into the food supply chain. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that the app will be the first of its kind, enabling consumers to see the source and journey of the products they purchase.

People will be able to utilize the app to view, in real-time, the origins and supply chain conditions of the goods they want to purchase, as well as provide direct feedback to brands after consuming the product.

The newly launched application will also display key compliance information about the product that is stored on the Aglive blockchain. This includes information such as whether the product is halal, kosher, or organic, details about the animals welfare, and data about the sustainability practices from the brand. Sustainability certificates will be issued by official governing bodies directly on the Aglive blockchain, the company said, explaining that this will ensure that consumers and brands trust the information provided by the app.

Tackling food fraud with Aglive

Aglives core mission is solving food fraud, a problem the company claims costs the world between $40 and $50 billion every year. The key to solving this lies in technology, particularly blockchain technology, as its immutability and transparency are what many believe is lacking from supply chains.

The company has completed successful domestic and international trials tracking a variety of products including beef, medicinal cannabis, and dairy from paddock to plate. The app is currently being used by Mackas Australian Angus Beef, a major Australian produce provider, and is being trialed by Apothio, one of the largest producers of hemp-based food products in the U.S. In the companys press release, Apothio said that they chose Aglives solution to tackle the strict regulation the medicinal cannabis industry is plagued with.

Trials of the platform are also set to begin in South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, the company said, adding that more details about the specific projects and companies will be announced later this year.

This is the food of the future,” Paul Ryan, Aglives executive director said. “ Finally, we can use technology to protect our health and prove the legitimacy, superiority, and provenance of our products.”

The post Aglive launches farm-to-consumer blockchain-based app to tackle food fraud appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Charles Hoskinson lays down the path for Cardano governance

In his latest YouTube video, Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, laid out the long and treacherous road they had to take to create a solid foundation for Cardanos governance. The two most important aspects of a successful governance system—participation and knowledge—wouldnt be possible without the Cardano community, Hoskinson said, which is why the company is determined to leave them with a self-sustaining and decentralized platform they will be responsible for.

How conversations about governance spearheaded major development for Cardano

With the Shelley mainnet being out almost three months, most of the conversation regarding Cardano seems to have shifted to Voltaire. The ambitious blockchains governance era is set to provide the final pieces required to make Cardano a fully dynamic and decentralized system where the hands of IOHK, the company that made it, wont be able to steer its course.

And while Voltaire is still in its development phase, its often discussed in the present tense rather than the future one. This is a testament to the amount of research and preparation that went into it—something Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, discussed in depth in a YouTube video last week.

The process of converting Cardano from a static and federated system into a dynamic and federated one has been going on for at least five years. However, it was only after Shelley launched earlier in June that its development got turbocharged.

According to Hoskinson, this is a direct consequence of the major success the company had with testing out Shelley. The training wheels” approach to launching Shelley was praised both by the Cardano community and the people working on the system, as it created an incentivized environment where the developers and the community were able to verify that the system works.

By creating the closed testing ecosystem that was the Incentivized Testnet (ITN), IOHK seems to have rallied up a very special group of people. Hoskinson said that Cardano wouldnt have been possible without the participation of the community, which as, in some cases, better informed about the realities of the system than the IOHK employees that built it.

It was these conversations that really spearheaded the development of Voltaire. Hoskinson believes that a successful governance system cannot be built without knowledge and participation—two factors that are solely the products of community engagement.

IOHK has set its sights on applying the same community-led principle that worked on Shelley to Voltaire.

The problems of governance begin with definitions

Unlike some of the fundamental factors of staking, the major defining points of governance—knowledge, and participation—are very much abstract. This means that the first problems IOHK was faced with when working on Voltaire werent technical, but semantical.

Namely, introducing governance to a platform requires setting up very rigid definitions. Hoskinson said that it was clear that every Cardano user would be able to participate in the platforms governance, but what defines a Cardano user was much more nuanced. Is it someone that holds ADA? Or someone whose voice carries a lot of weight in the community? Could an organization be defined as an ADA holder? If it could, then can the definition of an ADA holder include an entire government?

The questions increase exponentially as you get deeper into the topic of governance, which is why setting up very solid foundations was something IOHK spent a great deal of time on.

The governance component is the single hardest component of all cryptocurrencies,” Hoskinson said in his video.

He went as far as to say that its so hard that blockchains such as Ethereum consciously decide to keep the decision making centralized instead of passing it on to the community.

Creating a system with high participation where the communitys knowledge about the protocol increases over time is hard. So, instead of inviting the community to onboard Voltaire once its done, IOHK decided to include everyone in the process.

According to Hoskinson, this was the reason why the company decided to set up the DC Fund. The main hypothesis behind this was that if the company put out a little money pot, people would show up and want to take part in the process.

Explaining the ballot process

While ambitious in nature, the DC Fund is currently in its infancy. The so-called Fund 1” is currently underway, with the main goal of the fund being focus grouping and building interfaces that would facilitate a future voting system. Once finished, it will be immediately followed by Fund 2, which will allow the community to vote on the allocation of $250,000 worth of ADA thats currently in Cardanos treasury system.

Voting, as Hoskinson explained, will be facilitated through a ballot system.

And this is where things become interesting.

IOHK has already partnered with Ideascale, a company that focuses on innovation management. The partnership essentially allows Ideascale to take all of the community propositions on governance and work with them to create a single ballot that would include the best propositions.

Such ballots, carefully thought out and designed, will have a much bigger chance of getting approved than a bunch of disconnected community proposals—something Hoskinson believes will benefit all Cardano users.

And with new funds launched every six to eight weeks, the community can be sure that their voice will be consistently heard. Increasing the number of funds will not only increase the communitys participation in Cardanos governance but also allow them to hold much more productive discussions, develop thought leaders, and improve the UX/UI of the voting process in general.

According to the current plan, the first vote could be cast as early as October, as Hoskinson said that voter registration should begin at the end of September. As of now, the company will be focused on improving the quality of the ballots, but Hoskinson noted that the user experience is most likely set to disappoint.

However, with enough work, the ballot system will get to a point where it wont be just about funding. The community will be able to use the system to vote on Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs) and make decisions about the platforms design.

In Hoskinsons opinion, theres a specific point in time when we will know when the voting system has achieved peak stability—when it manages to converge with ease to decisions and the community accepts them without forking the project.

If this can be accomplished, Cardano will be the most valuable cryptocurrency in the world,” he said.

The process, however, might take longer than the crypto industry is used to. Hoskinson said that it may take anywhere between five and 30 years before this happens, but noted that the exponential growth in the industrys development might significantly speed up the process.

Once full decentralization does come, IOHK will fade into the background and become just another player in Cardanos community.

Despite focusing mostly on the companys future plans, Hoskinson did reveal some things the community can expect from Voltaire much sooner.

Fund 3 is expected to launch either in November or December and will most likely be used to test out voting on CIPs. In three to six months Shelley is also expected to reach an equilibrium” that will allow users to delegate their ADA to a group of pools.

The post Charles Hoskinson lays down the path for Cardano governance appeared first on CryptoSlate.

ShareRing joins China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN)

ShareRing, a global decentralized sharing ecosystem, has announced that it has joined China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN). In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that ShareRing was honored to join Ethereum, Neo, and Tezos as BSN’s latest partner, adding that joining the network was a testament to the company’s potential both in the blockchain industry and beyond.

China’s national blockchain network welcomes a decentralized sharing economy startup into its ranks

ShareRing, a startup focused on creating blockchain-based products for enterprises, has announced that it has joined China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), the country’s biggest blockchain project to date.

In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that it has been selected to join a close-knit group of international blockchain companies that BSN believes to have great global potential. ShareRing, which gained prominence last month for launching an anonymous contact-tracing e-passport app, said that the company’s ambitious plans were what got them into BSN.

“We are honored to partner with BSN, joining industry giants like Ethereum, Neo and Tezos. We share their vision of removing costly entry barriers to blockchain technology and its benefits for businesses and individuals regardless of their size, resources, or industry expertise,” Tim Bos, the CEO of ShareRing, said in the press release.

BSN wants to utilize ShareRing’s low cost, modular infrastructure, and interoperability

BSN was launched in April this year in a bid to create a hosting platform for small and medium-sized businesses that would facilitate the creation and deployment of various decentralized applications. To do that, the organization set its sights both on well-known names in the industry like Ethereum and Tezos and on up-and-coming startups such as ShareRing.

ShareRing was chosen because of its low-cost modular infrastructure, which the company says has great potential to improve access to blockchain technology. Its distributed ledger technology (DLT) ecosystem enables developers and users to collaborate across a wide range of industries. As of September 2020, ShareRing’s partnerships have connected with more than 2 million merchants worldwide.

Despite its capabilities and potential, ShareRing’s DLT ecosystem is accessible to most developers—the company said that monthly access to the platform starts from just $20.

Michael Ma, the COO of the BSN Foundation, said that ShareRing’s ability to offer seamless integration with a broad range of existing Dapps will be a strong addition to BSN. When combined with the starting low cost of entry, Ma said that the partnership will strengthen BSN’s vision of “building an inclusive and accessible blockchain network for the world.”

The post ShareRing joins China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) appeared first on CryptoSlate.

The future of the Cardano Foundation is in the hands of the community

A spontaneous gathering of around 500 members of the Cardano community will most likely be responsible for deciding on the future of the Cardano Foundation. Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said that he was glad that the community came together to build out the roadmap for the foundation, adding that it was the embodiment of the independent leadership Cardano wants to instill in its users.

Removal of community managers sparks conversation about the future of the Cardano Foundation

After two community managers were removed from their positions last week, the Cardano community spontaneously gathered into a Telegram group to discuss the future of the Cardano Foundation. Tasked with the development and adoption of the Cardano network, the foundation, while successful, suffers from a lack of a clear roadmap that would make its operation more transparent.

Within a week, the Telegram group started by the host of the Digital Fortress YouTube Channel, Rick McCracken, gathered over 140 members that engaged in a serious but productive discussion about where the Cardano Foundation should go. As of press time, there are over 500 people in the group.

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said that he was surprised by the interest the community has shown, as even some fo the council members of the Cardano Foundation have joined the conversation. In a YouTube video, Hoskinson said that he expects a few thousand people to join the initiative in the following weeks.

What the community wants from the Cardano Foundation

Within days, the community began brainstorming ideas about where to take the Cardano Foundation in an open-source spreadsheet. The proposals, spread out across the remainder of the year, focus on areas such as marketing, women’s involvement, hardware integration, social media management, and financial reports.

Analyzing the community suggestions shows that September will be spent researching and defining the verticals that could be a point of interest both for the community and the foundation. Come fall, the community believes that more effort should be made to market Voltaire, both on social media and across various in-person and online conferences scheduled by the foundation.

As the end of the year gets near, the community wants the foundation to focus on the organization of Cardanocon 2021.

When it comes to the involvement of IOHK in the process, Hoskinson said that the company has many ideas that it would like to contribute to the effort. However, Hoskinson noted that the community will be driving the conversation, acknowledging that IOHK might not be involved in the process if the community decides that.

To aid the effort, IOHK will continue doing everything in its power to accelerate the release of Voltaire, Cardano’s governance era. With the introduction of a solid infrastructure, governance could rise from a mishmash of people in a chat to a well organized and efficient structure.

Once the community finishes the roadmap, Hoskinson said that he would personally write an open letter to the Cardano Foundation asking it to address each point put forward by the community. If satisfied by its response, the community will be able to decide whether or not the foundation will continue to play a vital role in Cardano’s governance.

The post The future of the Cardano Foundation is in the hands of the community appeared first on CryptoSlate.

The future of the Cardano Foundation is in the hands of the community

A spontaneous gathering of around 500 members of the Cardano community will most likely be responsible for deciding on the future of the Cardano Foundation. Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said that he was glad that the community came together to build out the roadmap for the foundation, adding that it was the embodiment of the independent leadership Cardano wants to instill in its users.

Removal of community managers sparks conversation about the future of the Cardano Foundation

After two community managers were removed from their positions last week, the Cardano community spontaneously gathered into a Telegram group to discuss the future of the Cardano Foundation. Tasked with the development and adoption of the Cardano network, the foundation, while successful, suffers from a lack of a clear roadmap that would make its operation more transparent.

Within a week, the Telegram group started by the host of the Digital Fortress YouTube Channel, Rick McCracken, gathered over 140 members that engaged in a serious but productive discussion about where the Cardano Foundation should go. As of press time, there are over 500 people in the group.

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said that he was surprised by the interest the community has shown, as even some fo the council members of the Cardano Foundation have joined the conversation. In a YouTube video, Hoskinson said that he expects a few thousand people to join the initiative in the following weeks.

What the community wants from the Cardano Foundation

Within days, the community began brainstorming ideas about where to take the Cardano Foundation in an open-source spreadsheet. The proposals, spread out across the remainder of the year, focus on areas such as marketing, women’s involvement, hardware integration, social media management, and financial reports.

Analyzing the community suggestions shows that September will be spent researching and defining the verticals that could be a point of interest both for the community and the foundation. Come fall, the community believes that more effort should be made to market Voltaire, both on social media and across various in-person and online conferences scheduled by the foundation.

As the end of the year gets near, the community wants the foundation to focus on the organization of Cardanocon 2021.

When it comes to the involvement of IOHK in the process, Hoskinson said that the company has many ideas that it would like to contribute to the effort. However, Hoskinson noted that the community will be driving the conversation, acknowledging that IOHK might not be involved in the process if the community decides that.

To aid the effort, IOHK will continue doing everything in its power to accelerate the release of Voltaire, Cardano’s governance era. With the introduction of a solid infrastructure, governance could rise from a mishmash of people in a chat to a well organized and efficient structure.

Once the community finishes the roadmap, Hoskinson said that he would personally write an open letter to the Cardano Foundation asking it to address each point put forward by the community. If satisfied by its response, the community will be able to decide whether or not the foundation will continue to play a vital role in Cardano’s governance.

The post The future of the Cardano Foundation is in the hands of the community appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Tether launches on Solana to leverage high speeds and low costs

Tether, the company behind the USDT stablecoin, has announced that it has launched its coin on Solana, a blockchain platform that aims to compete with Ethereum. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that Solana will enable users to exchange USDT at speeds greater than 50,000 tx/s for less than $0.00001.

Tether, the company behind the largest stablecoin in the crypto market, has announced its partnership with the Solana network. According to a press release shared with CryptoSlate, Tether will be integrating USDT into the Solana network to leverage its low costs and high speeds.

What pushed Tether to put USDT onto its eight blockchain platform so far is the promise of unprecedented throughput on Solana—the company said that it’s able to support between 50,000 and 65,000 transactions per second at 400ms block times for fees as low as $0.0001 per transaction. This, the company said, marks a major advance in Tether’s quest for high-speed DeFi apps.

Anatoly Yakovenko, the founder and CEO of Solana, said that the platform was originally designed to support thousands of transactions at Nasdaq speed. Tether’s support, he explained, helped Solana realize that dream.

“Tether is the lifeblood of DeFi and an important pillar of the crypto community at large. In order for developers to leverage the real potential of Solana, an integration with USDT was absolutely essential.”

Another major project launched on the fast-growing Solana

While this might not be as much of a breakthrough for Tether, which already exists on Ethereum, EOS, Liquid Network, Omni, OMG Network, Algorand, and Tron, it is major news for Solana.

Despite being relatively young, the year-old Solana is currently one of the fastest-growing blockchains both by market capitalization and use. Integrating the largest stablecoin on the market comes at a busy time for the blockchain platform, which announced partnerships with some of the most prominent projects in DeFi.

Last month, Project Serum, a cross-chain decentralized exchange developed by FTX and Alameda Research, launched on Solana. The platform has also integrated with key management system Torus and Chainlink, one of the largest decentralized oracle networks in the industry.

Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of Tether and Bitfinex, acknowledged the fact that Tether’s partnership with Solana is set to hugely benefit the platform’s growing ecosystem:

“Our integration with Solana serves a growing ecosystem of projects that are now getting developed and launched on Solana, Serum being a notable example.”

The addition of Tether makes it possible to build ultra-high-speed, low-cost DeFi applications on Solana, the company said in its release, noting that few assets play as pivotal of a role in the industry as USDT does.

The post Tether launches on Solana to leverage high speeds and low costs appeared first on CryptoSlate.

The perks of centralization: Tether to return $1M USDT lost in Swerve

After a user mistakenly sent $1 million worth of USDT to Swerve’s token contract, Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino reached out to the community saying that the company would be able to recover the funds were ERC-20 USDT stuck in an Ethereum address. The quick reaction, while celebrated by the user, sparked an important conversation about the centralized nature of some cryptocurrencies and the dangers it poses for the rest of the industry.

Tether comes to rescue $1 million worth of USDT lost in Swerve

Swerve Fi, one of the latest DeFi protocols to pop up in the quickly growing fork market, has experienced its first controversy earlier today. Namely, screengrabs and testimonials from Twitter showed that one user of the protocol mistakenly sent $1 million worth of USDT to Swerve’s token contract.

A Twitter user shared excerpts from a Swerve Discord chat, where another user posted a screengrab of a 1,010,808 USDT translation confirmation.

The identity of the user is still unknown, as is the reason why the tokens were sent to Swerve’s token contract in the first place. Swerve is a fork of Curve Finance, a hugely successful DeFi protocol, but with 100 percent of the platform’s governance tokens distributed to the community through liquidity mining and DAO rewards.

And while the crypto community used the opportunity to laugh at what they perceived to be incompetence to deal with DeFi, it seems that the unfortunate trader might get his money back.

Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of Tether and Bitfinex, called on the trader to open a ticket with Tether’s support service in order to get the transaction sorted out. Ardoino explained that if the lost funds were ERC-20 USDT and were stuck in an Ethereum address, Tether should be able to recover them.

He also said that if the ticketID of the transaction was provided by the trader, Tether could prioritize solving the issue.

Is decentralization just a buzzword?

The news about the possibility of the $1 million being recovered sent shockwaves across the crypto community, with hundreds of people praising Tether both for the quick update and immaculate customer service.

Dozens of users reached out to Ardoino with questions about their own botched transactions, asking how long does it take to retrieve their lost funds. According to Ardoino, getting lost transactions back usually takes “a couple of weeks” and retrieving USDT from token contract addresses is not an issue for Tether.

And while unlucky users celebrated Tether’s ability to intervene in situations like this, the other side of the crypto community wasn’t all too happy with the way this issue was handled. Acknowledging the fact that Tether was a private company with the freedom to control USDT, many still criticized it for the lack of decentralization.

Hundreds of users warned that if this was accepted as the norm there wouldn’t be much that could be done to prevent Tether from maliciously manipulating USDT in the future.

This incident highlights that DeFi is not the swiss-knife for the financial world as most users are not technically competent to safeguard and protect their assets.

The post The perks of centralization: Tether to return $1M USDT lost in Swerve appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Charles Hoskinson reveals what’s in line for Cardano in September

After a successful August, things aren’t getting any calmer at Cardano. Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said that the company plans on doing more extensive work on Shelley this month, which will include introducing partial delegation to Daedalus, improving the presentation of stake pools on the platform, and introducing a bifurcated hot and cold environments for pools.

Work on Shelley never stops, Hoskinson revealed in the latest video

After huge success with the launch of Shelley at the end of July, IOHK, the company behind Cardano, wasn’t idle for long. There is still a lot of work to be done on the blockchain’s staking era before it can even be considered “done” and it requires a joint effort from both IOHK, Emurgo, the Cardano Foundation, and various other third-party organizations to get to that point.

In his latest YouTube video, IOHK’s founder and CEO Charles Hoskinson laid out what the company has in line for Shelley in the month of September.

The first thing he mentioned is that Shelley, despite the amount of resources it takes up, isn’t the only thing IOHK is currently working on. Cardano’s future eras, Goguen and Voltaire, have seen a lot of action throughout the summer, with Hoskinson saying that he expects more work to be done on them in the following months.

“September is the month when Voltaire is waking up for everyone.”

However, bringing about Cardano’s governance era to life requires a lot more time and resources than what IOHK originally had in mind. That’s why Hoskinson signed an approval earlier this week that has increased the company’s budget for Voltaire by another $600,000.

September also marks the beginning of heavy improvements on Shelley, too.

Hoskinson said that August was all about getting a stable, reasonable performance for Shelley. This was finally achieved through the 1.19 release and the subsequent Daedalus updates—two feats he believes managed to get the mission accomplished.

Throughout the month, IOHK will begin dedicating more effort into exploring several concepts that could be implemented into Cardano. Hoskinson said that the concept of “partial delegation” was a particularly interesting one for him, as many Cardano users have now realized the drawbacks of the current delegation features.

Namely, Daedalus currently only allows users to delegate all of their funds to a single stake pool. Introducing partial staking, or as Hoskinson calls it “one-to-many-delegation,” would not only solve this particular problem but introduce more options both for the delegators and the pool operators.

Exploring the concept of partial delegation and its possibilities

According to Hoskinson, particle delegation introduces the option to delegate to any number of pools instead of atomically delegating an entire wallet to a single stake pool. While the concept itself is simple and would require relatively minor changes to the protocol, the thing that’s interesting about is the number of possibilities it opens for the network.

Firstly, introducing one-to-many delegation could enable the creation of delegation portfolios. These portfolios could be created by anyone on the network, but Hoskinson said he expects the first ones to be created either by the Cardano Foundation or by Emurgo. A delegation portfolio would, in theory, include a selection of stake pools, with each one amounting to a certain percent of the total delegation. This way, users could delegate their stake to a portfolio of pools, instead of just one. Hoskinson said that this would enable the users to maximize their rewards and help smaller stake pools compete with better odds.

Another concept that’s under development that could further explore this is the Stakepool Metadata Aggregation Server (SMASH). By aggregating metadata from existing stake pools and providing an efficient way to fetch and store it in a semi-centralized environment, SMASH could change the way users view stake pools. In the following months, SMASH will evolve to be user-driven, which means that users will be able to create their own SMASH servers with different parameters. Other network users could then be able to choose to delegate to these servers, Hoskinson explained, adding that an option will be created in Daedalus that allows enables users to parametrize them directly from the wallet.

This will also affect the presentation of stake pools. Hoskinson said that nonmyopic ranking of stake pools will be introduced “soon in September” but didn’t provide a more detailed timeline.

However, he noted that introducing new ways to present stake pools will require a massive UI/UX effort and a lot of practical science. Once SMASH is done being turned into a plugin for the cardano-db-sync node the community will be able to utilize it to extenuate their own SMASHes. Portfolios, Hoskinson went on to explain, will be user-generated and user downloadable, which means they will be able to be uploaded to Daedalus.

When it comes to the concrete things that partial delegation will bring, Hoskinson said that IOHK had received the proposal for Vacuum Labs for Trezor and Ledger updates that would allow this. He noted that the proposal looked good and should be implemented soon, adding that the company was considering enabling pledging at the same time.

The team at IOHK is currently talking about KES proxy keys, which would enable the creation of two separate environments for stake pool operators—a hot and a cold one. The hot environment would run on servers, either those provided by companies such as Amazon or on bare metal servers, and be connected to the chain. A cold environment, on the other hand, would be completely offline and provide stake pool operators with a place to store keys and money. The cold environments would be where people delegate their money to and potentially be Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) or hardware such as Trezor or Ledger.

Investing in hot and cold environments would be a smart decision for the long-term. Hoskinson said that the cold environment is something that could be utilized later on if built on a solid foundation. While its first use would be staking, when oracles and Hydra come they could be reused to complement them.

Organizing stake pools like this would drastically improve security on Cardano. Hoskinson said that in the chance of a hot environment getting compromised, a new transaction from the cold environment could be initiated and another hot one could be created almost instantaneously. Exploring this two-module system will be part of IOHK’s relationship with Vacuum Labs, he added.

An extension of the contract with Vacuum Labs will be signed this week when Hoskinson expects the company will begin having conversations with stake pool operators about the hot and cold environments.

Decentralizing Cardano through equal opportunity

While Shelley has helped Cardano transition from a static centralized system into a federated and dynamic one, there is still a lot of improvements needed to make the system more decentralized.

One of those things is multi-signature pledging, which would effectively enable smaller pools to come together and pool their capital together, creating a unified pledge. With the number of stake pools constantly increasing, there’s a significant number of operators that don’t have enough capital to be competitive. If they were allowed to work together and pledge collectively, they would be counted as one pool, drastically increasing their chances for success. The mechanism of splitting the staking profit would be decided on by the operators themselves, Hoskinson explained.

Such an ambitious plan, however, will need more time to implement. Hoskinson said that this is something the company will be working on “in September and beyond,” as there’s still a lot of urgent work that needs to be done on Daedalus.

A major problem IOHK is faced with when it comes to growing Cardano is how to consolidate decentralization with mass adoption, as adoption usually requires collaborating with large custodial exchanges. One of the solutions would be to offer staking-as-a-service to exchanges.

According to Hoskinson, IOHK is currently talking with Bison Trails, a New York-based blockchain infrastructure company that runs nodes on PoS networks. The company wants to create a staking dashboard on wallets that support ADA staking, such as Daedalus, where stake preferences could be set.

This will accomplish two things—allow users to easily delegate their stake to exchanges and allow exchanges to profit from staking fees. However, it would remove the exchanges’ ability to make decisions on who makes blocks, drastically increasing the level of decentralization even when staking on a custodial account.

An ambitious idea like this will also require a lot of time to develop and IOHK is still thinking of how to build this. Hoskinson said that he was looking into bundling it with the work being done on Rosetta, adding a staking integration on the layer being developed for Coinbase.

As per plans for the rest of the year, Hoskinson was characteristically optimistic.

He said that more information about Goguen will be released at the end of the month. External companies have been brought on to deliver things for Voltaire and derisk experiential improvements of the blockchain’s governance era.

The easer egg at the end of his video was the mention of a “beautiful stablecoin” the company was looking to develop in partnership with Emurgo, which would help Cardano lay out a competitive DeFi portfolio as a cherry on top of a hugely successful year.

The post Charles Hoskinson reveals what’s in line for Cardano in September appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Charles Hoskinson reveals what’s in line for Cardano in September

After a successful August, things aren’t getting any calmer at Cardano. Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said that the company plans on doing more extensive work on Shelley this month, which will include introducing partial delegation to Daedalus, improving the presentation of stake pools on the platform, and introducing a bifurcated hot and cold environments for pools.

Work on Shelley never stops, Hoskinson revealed in the latest video

After huge success with the launch of Shelley at the end of July, IOHK, the company behind Cardano, wasn’t idle for long. There is still a lot of work to be done on the blockchain’s staking era before it can even be considered “done” and it requires a joint effort from both IOHK, Emurgo, the Cardano Foundation, and various other third-party organizations to get to that point.

In his latest YouTube video, IOHK’s founder and CEO Charles Hoskinson laid out what the company has in line for Shelley in the month of September.

The first thing he mentioned is that Shelley, despite the amount of resources it takes up, isn’t the only thing IOHK is currently working on. Cardano’s future eras, Goguen and Voltaire, have seen a lot of action throughout the summer, with Hoskinson saying that he expects more work to be done on them in the following months.

“September is the month when Voltaire is waking up for everyone.”

However, bringing about Cardano’s governance era to life requires a lot more time and resources than what IOHK originally had in mind. That’s why Hoskinson signed an approval earlier this week that has increased the company’s budget for Voltaire by another $600,000.

September also marks the beginning of heavy improvements on Shelley, too.

Hoskinson said that August was all about getting a stable, reasonable performance for Shelley. This was finally achieved through the 1.19 release and the subsequent Daedalus updates—two feats he believes managed to get the mission accomplished.

Throughout the month, IOHK will begin dedicating more effort into exploring several concepts that could be implemented into Cardano. Hoskinson said that the concept of “partial delegation” was a particularly interesting one for him, as many Cardano users have now realized the drawbacks of the current delegation features.

Namely, Daedalus currently only allows users to delegate all of their funds to a single stake pool. Introducing partial staking, or as Hoskinson calls it “one-to-many-delegation,” would not only solve this particular problem but introduce more options both for the delegators and the pool operators.

Exploring the concept of partial delegation and its possibilities

According to Hoskinson, particle delegation introduces the option to delegate to any number of pools instead of atomically delegating an entire wallet to a single stake pool. While the concept itself is simple and would require relatively minor changes to the protocol, the thing that’s interesting about is the number of possibilities it opens for the network.

Firstly, introducing one-to-many delegation could enable the creation of delegation portfolios. These portfolios could be created by anyone on the network, but Hoskinson said he expects the first ones to be created either by the Cardano Foundation or by Emurgo. A delegation portfolio would, in theory, include a selection of stake pools, with each one amounting to a certain percent of the total delegation. This way, users could delegate their stake to a portfolio of pools, instead of just one. Hoskinson said that this would enable the users to maximize their rewards and help smaller stake pools compete with better odds.

Another concept that’s under development that could further explore this is the Stakepool Metadata Aggregation Server (SMASH). By aggregating metadata from existing stake pools and providing an efficient way to fetch and store it in a semi-centralized environment, SMASH could change the way users view stake pools. In the following months, SMASH will evolve to be user-driven, which means that users will be able to create their own SMASH servers with different parameters. Other network users could then be able to choose to delegate to these servers, Hoskinson explained, adding that an option will be created in Daedalus that allows enables users to parametrize them directly from the wallet.

This will also affect the presentation of stake pools. Hoskinson said that nonmyopic ranking of stake pools will be introduced “soon in September” but didn’t provide a more detailed timeline.

However, he noted that introducing new ways to present stake pools will require a massive UI/UX effort and a lot of practical science. Once SMASH is done being turned into a plugin for the cardano-db-sync node the community will be able to utilize it to extenuate their own SMASHes. Portfolios, Hoskinson went on to explain, will be user-generated and user downloadable, which means they will be able to be uploaded to Daedalus.

When it comes to the concrete things that partial delegation will bring, Hoskinson said that IOHK had received the proposal for Vacuum Labs for Trezor and Ledger updates that would allow this. He noted that the proposal looked good and should be implemented soon, adding that the company was considering enabling pledging at the same time.

The team at IOHK is currently talking about KES proxy keys, which would enable the creation of two separate environments for stake pool operators—a hot and a cold one. The hot environment would run on servers, either those provided by companies such as Amazon or on bare metal servers, and be connected to the chain. A cold environment, on the other hand, would be completely offline and provide stake pool operators with a place to store keys and money. The cold environments would be where people delegate their money to and potentially be Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) or hardware such as Trezor or Ledger.

Investing in hot and cold environments would be a smart decision for the long-term. Hoskinson said that the cold environment is something that could be utilized later on if built on a solid foundation. While its first use would be staking, when oracles and Hydra come they could be reused to complement them.

Organizing stake pools like this would drastically improve security on Cardano. Hoskinson said that in the chance of a hot environment getting compromised, a new transaction from the cold environment could be initiated and another hot one could be created almost instantaneously. Exploring this two-module system will be part of IOHK’s relationship with Vacuum Labs, he added.

An extension of the contract with Vacuum Labs will be signed this week when Hoskinson expects the company will begin having conversations with stake pool operators about the hot and cold environments.

Decentralizing Cardano through equal opportunity

While Shelley has helped Cardano transition from a static centralized system into a federated and dynamic one, there is still a lot of improvements needed to make the system more decentralized.

One of those things is multi-signature pledging, which would effectively enable smaller pools to come together and pool their capital together, creating a unified pledge. With the number of stake pools constantly increasing, there’s a significant number of operators that don’t have enough capital to be competitive. If they were allowed to work together and pledge collectively, they would be counted as one pool, drastically increasing their chances for success. The mechanism of splitting the staking profit would be decided on by the operators themselves, Hoskinson explained.

Such an ambitious plan, however, will need more time to implement. Hoskinson said that this is something the company will be working on “in September and beyond,” as there’s still a lot of urgent work that needs to be done on Daedalus.

A major problem IOHK is faced with when it comes to growing Cardano is how to consolidate decentralization with mass adoption, as adoption usually requires collaborating with large custodial exchanges. One of the solutions would be to offer staking-as-a-service to exchanges.

According to Hoskinson, IOHK is currently talking with Bison Trails, a New York-based blockchain infrastructure company that runs nodes on PoS networks. The company wants to create a staking dashboard on wallets that support ADA staking, such as Daedalus, where stake preferences could be set.

This will accomplish two things—allow users to easily delegate their stake to exchanges and allow exchanges to profit from staking fees. However, it would remove the exchanges’ ability to make decisions on who makes blocks, drastically increasing the level of decentralization even when staking on a custodial account.

An ambitious idea like this will also require a lot of time to develop and IOHK is still thinking of how to build this. Hoskinson said that he was looking into bundling it with the work being done on Rosetta, adding a staking integration on the layer being developed for Coinbase.

As per plans for the rest of the year, Hoskinson was characteristically optimistic.

He said that more information about Goguen will be released at the end of the month. External companies have been brought on to deliver things for Voltaire and derisk experiential improvements of the blockchain’s governance era.

The easer egg at the end of his video was the mention of a “beautiful stablecoin” the company was looking to develop in partnership with Emurgo, which would help Cardano lay out a competitive DeFi portfolio as a cherry on top of a hugely successful year.

The post Charles Hoskinson reveals what’s in line for Cardano in September appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Crypto.com launches trading competition with a $200,000 prize pool

Cryptocurrency exchange and payments platform Crypto.com has launched a competition where the users with the highest taker transaction volumes will get a chance to win up to $10,000 worth of CRO tokens. The Winners Take All competition began on Aug. 31 and will last until Sep. 30, with all registered Crypto.com users with a taker volume of at least $10,000 able to participate.

A new trading competition launched on Crypto.com

Crypto.com, a digital asset exchange and payments platform, has announced the launch of a new trading competition on its platform—Winners Take All. The move comes after several extremely successful endeavors the company launched in the past few months, which include the new Stake-to-Take feature and this summer’s 50 percent discounts on Bitcoin purchases.

According to the company’s website, the competition has a prize pool of $200,000, where the first 1,000 eligible participants will receive a reward of $100 worth of CRO tokens each.

Those with the highest taker transaction volume by the end of the campaign will be able to take home $10,000 worth of CRO tokens. The next nine users with the highest volumes will receive rewards of $2,000 worth of CRO, while users ranked between 11 and 1000 will receive $800 worth of CRO each.

The campaign began on Monday, Aug. 31 at 09:00 AM UTC and will last until Wednesday, Sep. 30 at 09:00 AM UTC.

At least $10,000 of taker volume required to participate

When it comes to campaign eligibility, Crypto.com noted that at least $10,000 of taker volume, such as market orders, on any trading pair are required for users to participate in the campaign. Users also need to make at least 10 taker transactions on any pairs and stake at least 5,000 CRO on the Crypto.com exchange before the campaign ends on Sep. 30.

A weekly leaderboard will show the top eligible participants and their ranking by transaction volume on the Crypto.com website, while the final results will be published shortly after the campaign ends after being verified by the company. Prizes will be distributed within two weeks after the campaign ends to the users’ CRO wallets on the Crypto.com exchange.

The company noted that it will not count traders executed through what it deems are “bad trading practices,” which include wash trades, false trading, and self-dealing.

The post Crypto.com launches trading competition with a $200,000 prize pool appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Looping becomes the first DEX to integrate Band Protocol’s cross-chain oracles

Crypto company Looping has become the first payment protocol and decentralized exchange to integrate Band Protocol’s cross-chain data oracle. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that integrating the Sequoia-backed oracle will enable them to provide high-speed fiat price feeds for all crypto assets supported on Loopring’s zkRollup decentralized exchange.

Custom decentralized oracles from Band Protocol are coming to Loopring

Loopring, a zkRollup exchange, and payment protocol has announced the integration of Band Protocol’s cross-chain data oracle. This is a big step for Loopring, as it has made the company the first decentralized exchange to utilize Band’s oracles. In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the company said that the cross-chain data oracles will be used to provide high-speed fiat price feeds for all crypto assets supported on Loopring’s zkRollup DEX.

Jay Zhou, the co-founder, and COO of Loopring, said the integration will safeguard users against unnecessary slippage rates on the decentralized exchange. Aside from that, it will also enable a more reliable exchange rate sourced from multiple trusted data sources.

Loopring’s custom oracles built using Band Protocol will utilize verified data from more than a dozen industry-leading sources, including CryptoCompare, CoinGecko, Binance, Coinbase Pro, Huobi Global, OKEx, Kraken, Bitfinex, and FTX, as well as premium currency exchange rates from AlphaVantage, Fixer, 1Forge, Open Exchange Rate, and XE.com.

Creating a more scalable and more robust DEX landscape

These price feeds will leverage Band Protocol’s high-throughput and update every 5 minutes or upon detecting a price deviation of 0.5 percent, the company explained. Currently, there are eight price feeds live on the Band Protocol mainnet—they will eventually expand support for all assets supported on Loopring.

Loopring users will be able to access price feeds in both the U.S. dollar (USD) and the Chinese Yuan (CNY), which will increase the visibility and transparency for the platform’s dominant user bases in the U.S. and China.

Additionally, the company will also enhance its current oracle design through Band Protocol by querying the LRC/ETH rate once every 168 hours. This will increase precision by reducing update time and reducing the cost for the feed responsible for determining the appropriate LRC amount to stake.

Soravis Srinawakoon, the CEO and co-founder of Band Protocol, said that working with Loopring was a natural extension of Band’s commitment to expanding the decentralized landscape. He explained that Band is the first oracle solution to allow decentralized exchanges to expand offerings to all assets on their platform without suffering from issues with network congestion and experiencing high transaction fees.

The post Looping becomes the first DEX to integrate Band Protocol’s cross-chain oracles appeared first on CryptoSlate.