French Regulator Proposes New Regulations And Pilot Programs For Blockchains & Crypto

French Regulator Proposes New Regulations And Pilot Programs For Blockchains & Crypto

A leading French financial regulator calls for accelerated focus and development of new crypto regulations around emerging technologies (blockchain, crypto, AI, and data) across the EU.

In a speech by Robert Ophèle, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) Chairman, during the 5th Annual Fintech and Regulation Afore Consulting conference, French regulators need to take a step forward in pilot programs and creating new laws to govern distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain across the EU.

Ophèle further acknowledged the “digital acceleration” in the financial world due to blockchains and DLTs coming up but stated government intervention is needed to guarantee a level playing field. He further designated the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) as the best regulator to take over crypto regulation and supervision due to entry barriers into the new ecosystem.

According to Robert in his speech, ESMA leading the crypto supervision would ensure the regulator is fully competent on crypto while “building all the expertise in one place.”

Additionally, Ophèle also calls for creating rules on digital assets classified as financial instruments and non-financial instruments as well through the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation. However, to promote technological growth in the DLT industry, he suggests creating a pilot regime. The ‘Pilot regime’ allows crypto companies to be “able to try out and test within a proportionate and clear regulatory framework.”

“Work is needed in MICA to ensure that the technological neutrality principle is respected. As already highlighted for security tokens, we need to ensure that all types of DLT can be used, private and public.”

“Nor should we close the door on decentralized business models by prohibiting or overlooking them.”

The regulatory sandbox will offer companies the chance to operate as traditional money financial services (MFS) and broaden the range of issuers able to benefit from listing their securities on DLT-based infrastructures. He also proposed the sandbox to have an ‘open mind’ while accepting companies’ listing to the pilot regime and respecting the “principle of technological neutrality.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Mark Cuban: Blockchain’s Evolution Over Past 3 Years to Support Smart Contracts, Changed the Game

Mark Cuban: Blockchain’s Evolution Over Past 3 Years to Support Smart Contracts, Changed the Game

WSB traders are applying the same principles of the digital/CryptoAsset world, said the billionaire while name dropping Bitcoin, Ethereum, AAVE, and several NFT projects like Mintable, Rarible, OpenSea, NiftyGateway, SuperRare, NBA TopShot, and Bitcoin Origin, and CryptoSlam.

Billionaire Mark Cuban has been getting more and more cryptocurrency-friendly with each passing day. While previously he didn’t find any worth in them, at least not more than bananas, now he realizes that it’s all about the demand and supply.

And this has him penning the blog titled, “The Store of Value Generation is Kicking Your Ass and You Don’t Even Know it,” where he name drops Bitcoin, his favorite AAVE, and several NFT projects.

While Cuban has been involved in the DeFi space for some time now, the battle between Wall Street Bets and Wall Street has him and the people realizing the true power of decentralization. He wrote,

“WSB traders are applying the same principles of the digital/CryptoAsset world to the stock market, and they are loving the fact that the old schoolers are hating it.”

The owner of Dallas Maverick is slowly coming around to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and in his latest write-up, he talks about the evolution in the store of value.

Previously it was gold, which any gold bug would argue has value because of its history as the foundation for currency, a hedge against inflation, and other narratives and while “there are plenty of other “precious metals” that meet the same criteria, gold simply “has more buyers,” he wrote.

Cuban says this changed over the past 3 years as the “blockchain has evolved to support smart contracts and the ability to uniquely identify digital goods and the transactions associated with them.”

Now, everything is digital, and that is all that the New Generation knows — “This generation knows that a smart contract and the digital good it reflects or a CryptoAsset are a better investment than old school sees, touch or feel uses.”

While following the same laws of supply and demand, the digital space offers all the fun and same sense of ownership, “it has none of the hassles beyond remembering my passwords and dealing with wallets,” noted Cuban.

And though digital goods and crypto-assets markets aren’t perfect with high transaction costs, influenced by narratives, and propensity to be moved by a few big players, “the bottom line is that there are a growing number of investors and traders” believe in it.

The young generation loves its different features, including no central authority, and they don’t care about the Old School Wall Street’s narratives of Price-Earnings Ratios or NPV of future cash flows that are just sales pitches “designed to reward the people with the most money.”

“The more decentralized the power, the more power that comes with the collective working together,” wrote Cuban, adding that’s what Wall Street “hates and will fight because it moves the power out of their hands.” Cuban added,

“Every generation in this country has had its unique special power. This Store of Value Generation has found at least one of their special powers in financial unity. We as a country will be far better off if we understand them, respect them and learn from them, quickly.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

IDEX to Roll Out Multi-Chain Solution; Starting With Polkadot & Binance Smart Chain

  • IDEX, a popular decentralized exchange (DEX), plans to expand its infrastructure into two extra blockchains, adding its Ethereum (ETH) implementation.

In an announcement shared with BEG, IDEX confirmed a multi-chain solution expansion program that will integrate the decentralized exchange’s infrastructure to Polkadot and Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The latest move aims to expand the possibilities of traders on the platform to tokens, staking programs, and swaps across the blockchains.

IDEX is a layer-2 blockchain solution that combines the non-custodial security of a decentralized exchange while offering a centralized exchange speed and convenience. IDEX runs all of its operations on the Ethereum blockchain and plans to give every IDEX token holder on the ETH blockchain a similar number of tokens on the newly expanded chains.

As Ethereum faces huge gas costs and scalability issues with the rise of the DeFi market, new smart contract platforms such as Polkadot are coming up to offer users faster and cheaper platforms for developers to build their DeFi apps. In a statement on the expansion program, IDEX CEO Alex Wearn stated the expansion program aims to “give customers new networks to complete trades.”

Ethereum is facing tough competition from other blockchains, even in light of the ETH 2.0 Beacon chain launch, expected next week. However, we are stated that the latest move by IDEX to Polkadot and Binance Smart Chain is a diversification tactic rather than a competitive stance as the DEX aims to “put a stake in the ground and plant our [IDEX] flag early.”

The implementation of IDEX will happen on Polkadot Layer 0, meaning that the exchange will connect to a parallel chain (parachain) to Polkadot’s blockchain. IDEX will be integrated on Binance Smart Chain Layer 1, enabling traders to tap into BSC’s centralized DEX ecosystem directly.

The new tokens will be distributed to IDEX users on Ethereum starting December 7, trading on BSC and Polkadot, expected to start in Q1 2021. Tokens that are not claimed promptly will be transferred to a community fund for uses promoting the development of IDEX.

Wearn further stated the decentralized exchange is working on adding new blockchains in the future but is currently working with Polkadot and BSC because both are currently compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). He further said,

“As these platforms grow, we’ll see increased demand for trading these assets and a need for non-custodial trading solutions that support these networks.”

To enhance the cross-chain network that will provide a one-stop-shop allowing different assets to be traded on its platform, IDEX will offer independent assets across each blockchain. Binance Smart Chain and Polkadot will start with the tickers IDXB and IDXP, respectively.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Tron’s DeFi Push, JustSwap, Partners with Decentralized Exchange (DEX) 1inch & Mooniswap

The DeFi aggregator, 1inch Exchange, is working on integrating several blockchains. Today, they announced a partnership with Ethereum’s competitor Tron.

The DEX that offers swaps limit orders, and has an interface for finding the best liquidity pool where everyone can provide liquidity and earn on the APR, according to its founders Sergej Kunz and Anton Bukov, will also be working with NEAR blockchain and Polkadot as well.

As of now, 1inch will fully integrate with Tron’s decentralized trading protocol JustSwap and its automated market maker (AMM) Mooniswap will be integrated into Tron blockchain.

With this partnership, users will enjoy “faster, cheaper service, high-throughput scalability, huge developer community, and a massive social media following,” said Kunz, the CEO of 1inch.

While supporting Tron blockchain means best rates for Tron assets for 1inch users, Mooniswap’s addition will help improve Tron’s DeFi ecosystem.

Additionally, liquidity providers on the Tron blockchain will be prevented from arbitrage traders taking advantage of swap slippages, thus increasing LPs earnings.

Tron’s regular users will also “get an extra level of protection from front running attacks.”

In turn, Tron plans to reward the LPs on Mooniswap with TRX tokens as an “additional incentive and reward.”

Justin Sun’s stab at DeFi opportunity in the form of JustSwap has been reportedly seeing a daily volume of $100 million.

JUST token price meanwhile remains in the red at $0.0415, much like TRX, which bucked the trend and dropped despite the market enjoying gains, trading at $0.0328.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Polkadot Is Now Fully Decentralized After Governance Removes Web3 Foundation Admin Rights

Polkadot (DOT), a blockchain aiming at scalability, security, and connecting other blockchains, is now fully decentralized following a successful vote through community governance. The majority sees the blockchain drop admin rights by Web3 Foundation to introduce a token governance system on the platform.

A tweet sent out at 8.03 AM GMT, Gavin Wood, co-founder of Parity Technologies, lead developer of Polkadot, confirmed the transition to a permissionless network at block #799,302 opening up a new governance future for the community.

The enacted governance proposal introduces an improved “community governance system,” which allows DOT holders to vote and influence decisions on the development of the Polkadot blockchain directly. The governance system also enables the community to vote on changes on the DOT token, such as the recent redenomination proposal of the genesis tokens.

The permissionless blockchain also dropped the admin rights held by Web3 Foundation, making the blockchain fully decentralized. To fully release the blockchain to the community, the vote also struck off the “Chain Candidate 1 (CC1)” tag for its mainnet network.

From Permissioned to Permissionless

After being in the works for the past three years, the Polkadot mainnet finally launched in May, limiting some features to agents and the admin. This permissioned proof of stake (PoS) blockchain allowed Web3 Foundation to take charge of the blockchain in case of a problem or maintenance issue on a newly launched mainnet.

Over the weeks, the community governance has gained more power from the admins through the proof of stake, with nearly 200 validators currently controlling half the DOT supply.

In 2020, the developers and Web3 Foundation have taken massive strides in ensuring the blockchain becomes decentralized. Chainlink selecting to build on Polkadot (only after Ethereum), the development of a Bitcoin Parachain that brings BTC and BTC-backed assets on Polkadot and the launch of staking services – supported by Coinbase and Bison Trails – shows a bright future for the blockchain, Gavin said.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Steem Freezes $5 Million of 64 Hive Users Funds in Coordinated Hard Fork Today

  • Steem Blockchain’s hard fork on May 20th has been lauded by current Witness Group Triple A as essential to ensure network stability. However, some of the users are opined that these are punitive measures to those that did resist the Sun’s takeover bid.

The Steem project has been thrust into the spotlight yet again. This is as an oncoming hard fork on May 20th will see some users accounts frozen and lose up to 23.6 million STEEM valued to be well over $5 million.

The Tron CEO, Justin Sun acquired the SteemIt blogging site towards the end of the last year. Then was involved in a hostile takeover for the Steem Blockchain despite widespread criticism from the Steem Community.

Hostile Takeover

The Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) protocol allowed the takeover as the SteemIt Blog owned about a fifth of the total STEEM tokens. This combined with key support from Binance, Huobi and Poloniex was enough to rally their weight (about 45.6 Million STEEM) behind new witnesses in a bid to get rid of ‘rogue actors’. This was seen as an attempt to quell the soft fork within the Steem Blockchain and resulted to some staunch Steem users retreated to their new Blockchain namely the Hive.

The witness group, Triple A recently highlighted that the imminent update will only target those that are deemed a direct threat to the Blockchain. They cited that this would be crucial in ensuring the Network was stable and improve the Steem Ecosystem.

“Publicly attacking users, collecting personal information, threatening murder… spreading fake news, and damaging network stability.”

Punitive Measures to Hive Defectors

However, some share the sentiment that these are just some of the punitive measures Sun is rolling out for those who opposed his takeover bid. This and the fact that majority of Hive’s users weren’t allocated any free token according ‘TheMarkyMark’ who was a witness prior to Sun’s takeover. A screenshot from a Steem employee stirred speculation that some user accounts would be victimized by the new update. The code that was released on May 19th confirmed this as it was seen to contain names of the supposed ‘rogue actors’.

The targeted users have not taken the issue lightly and have threatened all those supporting the hard fork with civil suits. Targeted users such as ‘They Call Me Dan’ and ‘pharesim2’ are set to lose $600,000 and around 80,000€ respectively if the hard fork is to go through.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Blockchain Managers In Food and Ag Industry Given Stay-at-Home Exemptions During COVID-19

U.S states have started focusing on blockchains as management platforms following the latest directive by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) which falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Currently, eight of the 50 states have announced plans to integrate blockchain managers as they work through the current COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Food and Agriculture are “Blockchain Managers”

On March 19, CISA released a number of recommendations to deal with the virus crisis across various sectors of the economy. One of the notable recommendations is the use of blockchain managers in the food and agriculture industry, which is an “essential” field at this time. In a bid to protect the workers and continue production, CISA wrote,

“Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendor managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers.”

Now eight states including Washington, Indiana, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Delaware, and Michigan are extending the recommendation (or some form of it) to get employees to stay-at-home.

A new look at blockchain managers?

At the moment, CISA and the states are yet to offer an explanation on the “blockchain managers” and how they are to be implemented. According to a researcher at Auburn University’s RFID Lab Allen Gulley, blockchain managers are already operational giving an example of IBM Food Trust blockchain.

Over the past few years, IBM entered into partnerships with some of the largest retail chains including Walmart to track food items from the farm to the store. Gulley said,

“You need to have a blockchain manager behind the scenes making sure that everything’s going according to plan.”

The recommendation has received a warm welcome from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a group promoting tech in the trading industry. CTA’s state and local tech policy director Nathan Trail said,

“One thing that we forget with IOT, blockchain, algorithms and so forth is there’s still a very human element that’s necessary in tracking and monitoring the systems to ensure they’re maintained as they should be.”

While the world continues its battles against the virus, blockchain technology becomes more important across industries. However, the lack of scalability for these systems still poses a challenge for the overall adoption rate.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

South Carolina’s Senate Passes Resolution to Promote Blockchain Tech Adoption

  • Blockchain’s potential has been formally recognized by the Senate of South Carolina after passing a resolution on this subject.
  • This initiative is expected to set the pace for South Carolina in leading the implementation of emerging tech with a focus on distributed ledgers.

The solutions around blockchain tech are gradually being considered by stakeholders such as legislators looking to create a sustainable ecosystem for digital assets. It is, therefore, no surprise that South Carolina has passed a bill named ‘A Senate Resolution To Acknowledge The Importance Of Emerging Blockchain Technology And To Call Upon The Residents Of South Carolina To Join In Encouraging The Promotion Of Blockchain Technology In Our State’.

This resolution was passed on March 10 coinciding with S.C’s 2020 Blockchain Conference that took place at Hotel Indigo. Notable players in the industry who graced this event include IBM Watson Health CTO, Theodore Tanner, and VeriTX founder, retired U.S. Air Force Col. James Regenor.

What Next for Blockchain Application in South Carolina?

Basically, the bill pushes for swift adoption of blockchain tech given the opportunities that it presents. South Carolina will now advocate for more of its professionals to seek informative knowledge in a bid to advance the state’s blockchain agenda. The bill highlighted S.C’s goal as;

“to become the capital for the real-world application of the emerging technology of blockchain.”

Looking at the broader perspective, the move by South Carolina’s senate is a defining moment for this state in blockchain adoption. Now that innovators have the legislator’s blessings, S.C is well placed to capitalize on investments within this sector as they await consolidation from financial watchdogs like the SEC and IRS.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Algorand Utilizes New PARSIQ Technology for Analyzing the Biggest Blockchains

Algorand is all set to obtain the ability to analyze the largest blockchains on the market now. The platform will be integrated with the PARSIQ monitoring system. This system is a tool that can be used by compliance professionals, researchers and market analysts to discover insights about the market and track activities in real-time.

The CEO of Algorand, Steve Kokinos, affirmed that the new upgrade will help the users who want to get a broader view of the market, especially for large blockchains. He believes that there is a current need to simplify the experience of dealing with the blockchain. People want to deal with technology, but they clearly need some help.

By using PARSIQ, the experience can be simplified and made easier, which can obviously impact in a positive way the work of the developers who work using the Algorand platform as a base.

Another positive point about PARSIQ, he affirmed, is that it is one of the only tools on the market right now that can analyze very large networks. Normal tools often fail in properly doing this. The Bitcoin network’s current size is 242 GB. That’s a lot and you need special tools to achieve the best results.

Most of the functionality for this new platform comes from ParsiQL, its specific language. The founder of PARSIQ, Andre Kalinowski, affirmed that the language was created with this goal already in mind, so it is highly devised to be useful in these situations.

Read Original/a>
Author: Gabriel Machado

Russian Bill Divides Crypto Into 3 Types; Technical Tokens, Virtual Assets, and Digital Financial

The world as a whole is slowly starting to accept Cryptocurrencies and, to a further extent, blockchains into their day-to-day functionality.

While countries like Uganda warns against the use of things like Bitcoin, Russia has set out to divide cryptocurrencies into three legal categories. They are thus legitimizing it within the country’s borders.

While not the first to do something like this, the country’s decision is still something of significant note. 

The Three Categories

Alexei Moiseev explained that the three proposed categories for cryptocurrencies are as follows:

  • Technical Tokens: Utility tokens used for the critical functioning of a network. Ethereum would most likely fall into this category.
  • Virtual Assets: Assets used to transact value. Things like Bitcoin and Litecoin could very likely be classified as this, considering their prolific use as a payment medium. Russia’s Western counterparts, the US, has classified these things as commodities.
  • Digital Financial Assets: These could easily be considered securities. Usually, tokens sold during an ICO, these assets have dividends and openly market themselves as a way to make money.

Official Legislation Possibly in November

More than likely, this new way to categorize cryptocurrencies will be officially proposed during the State Duma. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has requested that the bill, dubbed Federal Law No. 419059-7, be adopted at the start of November.

Taking steps, Albeit Slowly

Russia, like many other countries, has concerns that fully legalizing cryptocurrencies within their country would make their own currency, the Russian ruble, obsolete. Russia’s Central Bank and its Ministry of Finance have said they don’t want these cryptocurrencies “unfairly” competing with the ruble.

Even so, Medvedev has taken to the press to say that cryptocurrency-related debit cars are wholly legal within the country. The significant factor of what is legal and what isn’t in terms of cryptocurrencies is the fact of whether or not it can first be linked to the ruble. This is in a bid to keep the ruble relevant as the world goes forward.

Regardless, this new bill will establish rights to cryptocurrency holders, making them able to rely on the government’s support if and when something unexpected (and legal) happens. Digital rights are classified as assets within Russian law and fall under the remit of civil law.

These laws group smart contracts with other, more conventional automatic systems banks use to get their payments for bills. However, there is no precedence within Russia’s legal system. For all of these laws to be enacted, it must first be written down within the country’s civil code. Then, and only then, will these laws be applicable?

The Possible Future of Currencies

Many countries have expressed their lack of tolerance for cryptocurrencies, usually for fear of what it will do to their own if it’s legalised within their borders. France and Germany have taken a stance against Libra, Facebook’s upcoming stablecoin. On the other side, Switzerland is supporting it, albeit if it remains within the country’s financial law.

It’s an exciting thing to speculate what will happen fifty years from now. Will we still use a country’s currency, or will cryptocurrencies have taken over the world. It’s impossible to tell at this point, and we will have to wait and see

Read Original/a>
Author: Ali Raza