China’s Digital Currency Still has No Launch Date But Will Continue its Development in 2020

  • Research and development of digital yuan to continue in 2020 – says PBOC
  • The central bank said it made “smooth progress” on the digital currency in 2019
  • The step to create a digital currency is taken to offset perceived risks presented by Bitcoin and Libra

China’s central bank said on Sunday that it doesn’t have a launch date for its sovereign digital currency but will continue with its research and development, as per the local reports.

A report in August said the central bank-backed digital currency could be launched as early as November but that is long gone.

Last month, Mu Changchun, the official in charge of its development said the “top-level design, formulation, functional research and testing” had been completed.

The People’s Bank of China also shared during the annual work conference held last week that it made “smooth progress” on the digital currency in 2019.

In December, Caijing, a Chinese business magazine reported that the country’s four big state banks — Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China — and three state-owned telecom firms are involved in its development.

Recently, Mu also said that the sovereign digital currency was intended as a replacement for cash and not designed for speculation.

PBOC has been one of the first central banks to promote the idea of a CBCD. Last year, after Facebook announced plans for its own digital currency Libra, the bank’s research institute stepped up its development. The officials came out to the public and shared aspects of this upcoming digital currency that they said has been ready after five years of research.

Sweden is also working on an e-Krona while Bank of Japan governor would conduct “technical and legal research” into digital currencies but has no plans to issue one because there was no demand.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum’s Muir Glacier Upgrade Happening on Jan. 1, 2020

  • Starting 2020 with a bang with the scheduled upgrade at block number 9,200,000
  • The upgrade includes only one EIP 2384 – the difficulty bomb delay
  • Nodes to upgrade before Dec. 30

Ethereum is ready to start 2020 with a bang as the team announced the scheduled upgrade at block number 9,200,000. It is currently predicted to occur on Wednesday 1, 2020.

Ethereum network nodes are meanwhile asked to upgrade before, Dec. 30, 2019 to account for the variable block times.

Exchanges, web wallet service, mobile wallet services or hardware wallets aren’t required to do anything. But the node operators and miners need to download the latest version of Ethereum client, Latest geth client (v1.9.9), Latest Parity client (v2.5.12-stable), Latest Besu client (v1.3.7), Latest Nethermind client (v1.2.6), Latest ethereumJS client (v4.1.2), and Latest Aleth Client (v1.8.0).

After Istanbul, Constantinople, and Spurious Dragon, this new upgrade is called Muir Glacier.

Just this month, Istanbul upgrade occurred and now within a month another one. Reportedly, the bomb was estimated to be unnoticeable until mid-2020 but it turned out to be wrong.

This upgrade has only one Ethereum Investment proposal (EIP) 2384, which is the difficulty bomb delay.

This will delay the difficulty bomb for another 4,000,000 block or about 611 days, which is the same approach like the one taken in the past.

There have been discussions about removing the difficulty bomb altogether from the network but due to a short frame of time, the core developers decided to move forward with this change.

As for the difficulty bomb, it is one piece of the difficulty retargeting mechanisms built into Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work algorithm. This mechanism maintains an average block time by manipulating mining difficulty required to mine a new block. If a block is too long or too short, it increases the difficulty accordingly.

The difficulty bomb itself separately adds to the difficulty and every 100,000 block the value of how much it adds is increased as well. But the amount is so small, it doesn’t have any visible effect and because it is increasing very slowly it is known as “Ice Age”. But over time, “this will start making the chain bloated and more costly to use.”

Muir Glacier upgrade will be activated only on the Ropsten network and will be deployed on the testent and mainnet both on the same day.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Block.one Set to Launch its Social Media Network ‘Voice’ on February 14, 2020

  • Voice, a social media platform built on the EOS blockchain, is set for release on February 14, 2020. Block.one, the firm behind its design, is optimistic that Voice will compete favorably against the likes of Facebook and Twitter. This innovation will mainly use tokenization to promote activity within the network and leverage its authentication features to eliminate bots which are a menace in existing social media networks.

The premier Voice version has integrated only English as the communication language for its beta. This test release scheduled for early next year will only be accessible to the users who are granted access. Its fundamental goal is to identify any weaknesses within the platform’s security and possible improvements on user experience.

It is notable that Block.one has invested over $30 million in funds for the social media network project. Earlier in the year, the firm spent a significant amount in building its brand through investment on Voice.com as the platform’s domain. Block.one plans to recover its capital by implementing an inflation tax for its native tokens on the EOS blockchain.

Voice will be an open-source project as per its protocol design by Block.one. EOS built tokens will fuel the network whereby participants like content creators will receive Voice tokens as a reward in place for likes on their creativity. Basically, this value creation by the Voice ecosystem is designed to promote a fair compensation for adverts.

So far, the Voice network has received an overwhelming subscription for its beta test according to Block.one. The platform is still accepting applications for on-boarding but noted that some features might be limited depending on the country of operation. In addition, the Voice team has assured that compliance oversight has been prudent to ensure they deliver a product within the scope of regulations.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Mike Novogratz Praises China’s President Blockchain Remarks, Giving Crypto Real Credibility

At the Reuters Global Investment Outlook 2020 summit in New York on November 5, Mike Novogratz spoke about the future of cryptocurrency.

Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital, is a long-term blockchain investor and advocate. Despite the crash in the prices of crypto last year which made him readjust his expectations, Mike continues to remain optimistic about the future of digital assets.

“I think ambitions have been tempered a little bit by reality,” he said commenting on the progress of blockchain.

“I think the timing is going to take longer than people had hoped. But it’s going to happen.”

The sudden fall in crypto prices last year was marked by many touting it as just another bubble. However, Mike believes that in the future, cryptocurrencies will play a huge role in our everyday lives.

The initial coin offerings had hit the market peak in 2018 at a whopping $800 billion. Since then cryptocurrencies have tanked and wiped away 85 percent of their total market value.

As the founder of a company that invests in crypto, Novogratz, affected by such a dramatic fall in the prices last year said that he was probably “too greedy” as his company relied on hedging strategies that did not fully protect investors.

He mentioned the Libra project that seeks to integrate blockchain technology into existing financial services. Talking about the sudden controversies surrounding Libra, he believes that Facebook could have spared itself a lot of flak had it described the project as a payment tool instead of a global currency.

He also believes that the recent comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping on blockchain were responsible for the surge in bitcoin prices. Last month the President had urged his people to embrace blockchain technology, however, China’s state publication was quick to point out that President’s comments were not supposed to be confused with the state’s stance on cryptocurrencies.

Though crypto trading continues to remain formally banned in China, on November 6, China took a step towards crypto by declaring that mining crypto would no longer remain undesirable in the country. It would perhaps not be too far fetched to believe that China’s central bank might perhaps be the first to launch a digital currency successfully.

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Author: Sakshi Jain

Crypto Miners Give Bitcoin (BTC) Predictions Before and After Block Reward Halving in May 2020

One of the most significant events in Bitcoin’s lifetime is set to occur for the third time in May 2020. Will the halving event cause a crash or boom in the market? How will miners adjust to half of their revenue being cut?

The halving of Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) block rewards from 12.5 coins to 6.25 coin is fast approaching on May and April 2020 respectively. Bitcoin.com spoke to some established SHA-256 miners in preparation for the upcoming World Digital Mining Conference to be held in Frankfurt, Germany this month discussing the possible events that will succeed the halving.

Experienced miners discuss halving

Big names in digital asset mining were featured in the video including Hugh Tian, Co-founder of Antpool, Marco Streng, CEO of Genesis Mining; Thomas Heller, F2Pool Global Business Director; Sean M. Walsh, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Hyperblock Inc.; among others.

A number of the guest speakers expect the price to crash after the halving while others are more optimistic calling $20,000 USD on the price after the event. Whatever the view, one thing seems constant on every speaker, the magnanimous event will impact Bitcoin heavily in one way or another – in prices, network hash rate, and miners’ revenue.

A brutal wipe out event for small miners

On the subject of professional mining industry, Marco Streng explained the field will not be too rosy for small and inefficient miners after the halving as the revenues drop significantly.

He said,

“The halving is a brutal wipe-out event. It knocks out immediately the miners who are not efficient enough and shows no mercy. It’s very brutal in that regard to miners.”

Nick Damico, CTO at BitPatagonia, is of the same view as competition to mine BTC increases across the industry. He said, “It’s going to be a very difficult time for less efficient miners and the smaller miners.”

Ambiguity in price movements of Bitcoin (BTC)

The price of BTC once halving occurs is causing a great debate across the cryptocurrency industry with some believing a downward spiral on the price following the halving. Jihan Wu, Bitmain’s CEO, said in October he does not believe the halving will cause a bull market as seen in previous cycles.

Despite the doubts, Sean Walsh believes the price trajectory will follow previous halving events with the exchange rate compensating for the drop in mining revenue.

He said,

“It is a bit scary being a miner and knowing that your revenue stream is going to get cut in half over night but the exchange rate will more than compensate for the reduction in our bitcoin denominated revenue.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Binance CFO: Binance Coin (BNB) Is The Optimal Example of How Cryptos Have Transformed Fundraising

Binance-CFO-Binance-Coin-BNB-Is-The-Perfect-Example-of-How-Cryptos-Have-Changed-Fundraising

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Binance, Wei Zhou, has recently participated in the Money 2020 conference. During the event, he outlined for the audience how the tokenization provided by cryptocurrencies was a real gamechanger in how people raise money these days.

According to him, tokenization started to gain traction when Bitcoin was starting to become mainstream some years ago. After that, the Ethereum blockchain started the ERC20 standard and the industry developed from that point.

With Ethereum, the industry was able to develop smart contracts and to move the tokenization forward a lot as many use cases were created then. Right now, the ERC20 standard is still very powerful and it can be considered the most significant standard on the market.

Zhou admitted that the ERC20 tokens allowed people to raise money using the blockchain technology and that they led to the creation of several kinds of tokens, including utility tokens and securities, as well as loyalty tokens and the ones used for payments.

Obviously, he would not lose the chance to talk about his own token, Binance Coin (BNB). According to the CFO, Binance Coin can be used in several use cases and to allow people to raise funds in very interesting manners.

Now, more than ever, he believes that people will have a choice. In the beginning, they only had Ethereum and the ERC20 standard. There was simply not a lot of choice in this matter. Later, however, the market was able to come up with several new initiatives such as BNB.

Zhou affirmed that BNB represents the perfect use case for the technology as it has changed the way that people can fundraise. Initially, BNB was an ERC20 token, but now it has migrated to its own chain, which is faster than the Ethereum one.

This has turned BNB into one of the greatest assets of the market today. The token is up 350% this year and it is currently the seventh largest token by market share. This means that it has been more successful than even Bitcoin, a feat to be proud of.

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Author: Gabriel M