Stellar Network Rolls Out Protocol 15 Upgrade, Adding Two New Payment Features; XLM Surges

Stellar blockchain network has upgraded to protocol 15, according to a blog post announcement on Nov 23. The publication was sent out by Stellar Development Foundation Ecosystem lead, Justin Rice; it highlights two new features: ‘make it easier than ever to build user-friendly apps on Stellar.’ The new functions are Sponsored Reserves and Claimable Balances.

According to the blog post, these new features are already changing Stellar’s ecosystem when it comes to hosting user-friendly DApps,

“We’ve already seen both deployed to great effect on the testnet, and we’re excited to see what you can do with them in a production environment.”

Notably, Stellar skipped protocol 14 after a critical bug was discovered in this update while in the testing phase. The previous protocol ‘13’ had been voted for by the validator nodes in June; improvements in this upgrade included fee bump transactions and advanced asset authorization control.

Stellar’s Protocol 15 Upgrade

This milestone was first announced in October, although the project had been a work in progress for several months. The upgrade went live on Nov 23 at 1600 UTC, and users have since been advised to install software that supports the latest protocol. According to the blog,

“Stellar Core will immediately throw an error if it’s not up to date, but Horizon and the Stellar SDKs may function as normal for a bit until they encounter — and are baffled by — one of the new operations.”

The value proposition in claimable balances can split payments into two by creating a new ledger entry. Stellar users can create a balance and claim a balance, which means that they can send an asset, regardless of the receiving account’s state.

On the other hand, Sponsored Reserves open up the window for funding innovations with Lumens (XLM) while maintaining control. An earlier blog post highlighted that,

“It also adds new extensions to account entries and ledger entries to record pertinent information about sponsorships.”

XLM Price Bullish

Meanwhile, the XLM price is currently bullish, having gained 72.6% within the past 24 hours. The coin is currently trading at $0.189 while its total market cap is well over $3 billion, according to metrics site Coingecko.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Coinbase Launches Staking Program For Cosmos, ATOM Holders Can Earn 5%

In a blog post released on Wednesday, Coinbase introduced staking on ATOM, promising up to 5% return per annum on the value staked. The Cosmos Staking Reward will be available to select customers across 48 states in the U.S and across Europe, including the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and France.

This is an automatic process generated by Coinbase. Users only need to deposit ATOM or buy the tokens directly on the exchange to start earning rewards. At launch, ATOM rewards will be distributed every seven days – Tezos (XTZ) rewards are distributed every three days.

‘Coinbase is always looking for ways to enable easy and secure participation in the crypto-economy,” the statement reads.

Cosmos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that allows users to “stake” their tokens to participate in the governance of the network and receive rewards in the process. The blockchain provides interoperability across blockchain and their native tokens.

A spokesperson from Coinbase to The Block states ATOM staking will charge a commission of 25% is lower than that of XTZ. The latter offers a 15% annual return being the only staking platform on the exchange before ATOM joined. Since launching in Q4 2019, Tezos holders have received more than $2 million in rewards from Coinbase.

Coinbase stated they would be adding more tokens to its staking program in the future.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ledger Hardware Wallet to Issue Exploit Fix to Prevent Users from Sending BTC on Accident

According to a blog published by Mo Nokhbeh, a crypto software researcher, the Ledger Wallet app is in danger of exploitation due to a vulnerability that has persisted on the platform since 2019. According to Mo, a user can send Bitcoin (BTC) instead of other Bitcoin forks such as the BTC testnets, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash etc. without their knowledge if even if they had selected the ‘forks’.

To use the Ledger hardware wallet, a user must install the corresponding app on to the USB drive allowing users to hold different types of digital currencies. However, only one app is able to be open at a time to ensure security and total isolation of the apps.

An issue arises with BTC and its corresponding forks for example if your Litecoin app is open and live and you’d wish to send LTC, the wallet will prompt a confirmation of a Bitcoin transaction while the interface presents it as an LTC transaction to a Litecoin address. If you accept the confirmation, a fully valid BTC transaction will be sent out of your wallet instead of the cheaper altcoin forks.

Read More >> Data Breach at Popular Hardware Crypto Wallet Ledger Affects Million; Trezor Fires Shots

Interactions with Ledger

Mo has been vocal to the Ledger team on the vulnerability of their platform, but claims his cries fell on deaf years with the issue persisting for the past year and a half. In a response posted on Decrypt, a spokesperson from Ledger said the delays were mainly due to the communications channels the security researcher used. The spokesperson said,

“The researcher contacted us through many means—mainly Twitter DMs. The appropriate medium for bug bounty remains the dedicated email address [email protected] Due to this, our point of view on this timeline differs, and we are genuinely sorry for the miscommunication.”

However, Nokhbeh denies the claims saying the only time he sent a Twitter DM was recently in June 2020 after a number of failed tries through the official channels.

Read More>> Crypto Hardware Wallet Ledger: ‘Funds are Safe’ After ‘BigSpender’ Vulnerability Found

Solution to the Ledger App vulnerability

In a statement focusing on the possible exploits, Ledger said the vulnerability arose as a tradeoff between security and usability especially for the Bitcoin network. While the external security of the wallets remain solid, Ledger allows Bitcoin forks/derivatives that follow the same derivation path as the top crypto to derive public keys or sign Bitcoin transactions. It reads,

“Some BTC forks use the same derivation path as BTC. If we prevent these forks from using the BTC derivation path, this would simply prevent users from using the Ledger Nano S/X with these forks.”

The statement further states the solution to the issue has been released in a new update warning users when their intended and confirmation transactions do not match.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Monero Workgroup: It’s Up to Exchanges Not Assets To Comply With Travel Rule; XMR Not Subjected

In a blog, the Monero Compliance Workgroup came to the conclusion that XMR is exempted from FinCEN Funds Travel Rule as it is not applicable to assets and cryptos like the XMR.

According to the blog, the rules set by the U.S. Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN) towards the Funds Travel Rule, are not applicable to XMR.

According to the Funds Travel Rule, financial firms when either sending or receiving money must keep and submit different types of information regarding the said transfer if the money in question is $3000 or more. However, FinCEN gave extra requirements in their May guidelines. The agency explained that when a transmission protocol fails to store such information, the person in question can provide the required details. Therefore, the interpretation is that there is no requirement to provide such information within the network.

According to the Monero Workgroup on compliance, it is the duty of crypto exchanges to provide such information and not cryptocurrencies. As a regulated exchange and one that adheres to both the AML and KYC requirements, it is required to store such transactional details and should pass that information to the relevant agencies. The blog concludes that Monero or any other crypto are not affected in any way by the Funds Travel Rule.

The statement continues to say that it is misplaced for any crypto to state that it is adherent to the Funds Travel Rule as it is meant for regulated entities and not the assets which these entities deal with.

However, as Cointelegraph reports, the statement may have been released a little bit late as various exchanges have gone ahead and removed Monero from its tradable assets. This has also affected other privacy coins as the exchanges are trying to evade any frictions with the regulators.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Poloniex Crypto Exchange Set to Integrate Decentralized Trading Following its TRXMarket Acquisition

According to the blog posted on Wednesday, TRXMarket operations will be dubbed ‘Poloni DEX’ and will be accessible on the platform’s official website. Poloniex has been making strategic moves with a recent spin off from Boston based FinTech firm, Circle. Reports within the crypto space have confirmed that this transaction was partly funded by Justin Sun who is the TRX founder.

Stats posted on Tron’s announcement blog however seem to have overstated the value of Poloniex crypto exchange. The figures show that its transaction volume within a week had hit an overwhelming $30 million while coinmarketcap stats indicate the platform’s activity within the past day is below $40,000.

Poloniex noted that it acquired TRXMarket to scale its operations especially in terms of product variety. The firm had been working on a design that can increase the options available for users within its DEX ecosystem for over a year. This milestone comes as a fundamental boost to both Tron and Poloniex as alliances continue to forge ways for more innovations within blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Analysis conducted by The Block shows that the spin off from Circle could actually have been a positive from Poloniex. The exchange increased its market share by 100% following the event; this is despite a struggle to achieve over 1% market share for the better part of 2019. However, a larger part of the spike has been attributed to the zero-trading fee program launched immediately after the spinoff.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Introduces Tezos (XTZ) Staking Reward Services to All US Customers

Coinbase has recently announced on its blog that all of its users from the United States will be able to receive staking rewards for the tokens that they hold on the company’s wallets.

Tezos (XTZ) will be the first token that will receive official staking support. All Tezos holders will be eligible to claim their staking rewards, which are set to be around 5%. The rewards will be handed out every three days, which is the approximate time of a cycle in the Tezos network.

In case you are not familiar with this consensus method, proof of stake is a consensus protocol that was originally designed by Vitalik Buterin, the creator of the Ethereum network. Instead of mining tokens like in the Bitcoin network, people who use proof of stake methods simply use their own funds to validate the network and receive small rewards.

Before now, only customers from Coinbase Custody were able to stake this cryptocurrency. As only institutional clients were accepted in this category, though, this limited the access of retail users from the country. During the first two months in which Tezos staking was allowed to institutional investors, the revenues generated were around $7,500 to $8,300 USD.

The official Coinbase blog mentioned these about the staking rewards:

You can begin earning rewards on your crypto. The current estimated return for Tezos staking on Coinbase is ~5%. You’ll see your pending rewards increase in real-time in the app, and once your initial holding period completes (35–40 days), you’ll receive rewards in your account every 3 days.


You will always maintain control. Your Tezos always stays in your wallet; you just earn rewards while keeping your crypto safely on Coinbase. You can opt out any time you want.

In the future, the company is ready to expand the staking rewards and also list other tokens that can be used in the system. However, the name of no other token that will receive rewards was divulged in the blog post.

Latest XTZ Coin Price News and Tezos Market Updates

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Author: Gabriel Machado

BitMEX: Only User Emails Were Leaked as They Update Clients on the New Indices

BitMEX crypto exchange released an apology on its blog post after email data was disclosed from their system over the weekend. The firm has assured its clients that their team is working 24/7 to ensure all security concerns are addressed.

BitMEX Email System Leak

Crypto trader emails were recently leaked when BitMEX was ending an index weighting upgrade update to its users. The digital exchange has come out to say that they rarely send emails and the recent disclosure was unfortunate. BitMEX found themselves in this situation after their internally designed email distribution system included a concatenated “To” function which resulted in the leak.

Basically, the email recipients can see other users’ addresses under the “To” function. BitMEX further defended themselves noting that their engineers were not to blame but the processes. According to the publication by its Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Vivien Khoo, the firm had not done a proper QA for the single SendGrid API.

The leak has affected most BitMEX users and the firm recommended self-diagnosis for its users to determine whether their emails were leaked. Users who received an email addressed to them only are not victims but those who “To” contained other addresses are at the risk of exposure. Some BitMEX clients, however, did not get any emails as the process was stopped immediately when they detected a leak.

Security Steps Taken by BitMEX

Since the disclosure was discovered, BitMEX employees have been working round the clock to minimize the risk affiliated with the event. Most notably, they have taken the initiative to flag accounts with suspicious activity between now and when the disclosure occurred. This includes those that do not have a 2FA or may have requested to withdraw BTC to an unfamiliar address.

In addition, BitMEX urged its clientele to be vigilant against phishers who intend to scam them online using their “name”. They should also make sure that they have enabled two-factor authentication and rely only on BitMEX’s official communication channel.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Litecoin’s Loafwallet, Cornerstone Team up for New Crypto Pay & Pension Plan (CP3) Program

In a blog post published on October 22nd, Cornerstone Global Management announced a partnership with Litecoin Foundation to integrate Loafwallet into its Crypto Pay & Pension Plan (CP3).

This strategic collaboration will make Loafwallet, Litecoin’s native wallet, the preferred destination for Cornerstone’s highly anticipated employee pay program, CP3, which is set to be officially unveiled on Saturday, October 26th on Cornerstone’s website.

Crypto Pay & Pension Plan is targeted at US-based employees through which they will get the option of converting a part of their income to any or all the three cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum – at the time of receipt. The converted crypto assets will then be automatically transferred to the wallet of the employee’s choice.

The aim of CP3 is to encourage wider use of cryptocurrencies by allowing US employees to participate in the cryptocurrency wave without putting in the effort of visiting an exchange to receive the crypto assets.

The partnership would work well for Cornerstone’s vision as Litecoin Foundation is a renowned non-profit organization whose mission is to advance Litecoin for the good of society by developing and promoting state-of-the-art blockchain technologies. It described Loafwallet as one of the most active and ‘real world adoption’ using groups within the entire crypto space.

The Loafwallet, managed by Litecoin Foundation, has already achieved the milestone of 50,000 customer downloads worldwide and this proposition will only further its popularity among employees and pensioners.

Charlie Lee, Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation, expressed his happiness at the partnership by saying that the CP3 program will be great for getting Litecoin into the hands of as many people as possible.

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Author: Sakshi Jain

Coinbase Launches New Coinbase Pro Mobile App for Trading On The Go

Coinbase has officially announced via its blog that Coinbase Pro is about to receive a mobile app. The app will be focused on institutional and professional traders and its main goal is to provide a more smooth experience for the users.

The service was designed to provide the traders with more information and the tools that could enable them to trade at any time without any risk. Crypto markets are generally open 24/7, so the traders need ways to access it wherever they are.

Before now, the retail customers of the company already had access to an app that could be used to track bitcoin prices as well as the bigger crypto market, but this is the first fully optimized mobile experienced launched that caters to professional investors.

Coinbase affirmed that several features have been asked since the launch of the desktop app. Now, traders can check order books, advanced orders, check portfolios and real-time price candles all via their phones.

The post affirmed that users had to choose between usability and mobility until now, the app is a option for them so not to struggle with making this choice anymore. They can simply choose both without any problem and have access to all the necessary features.

This is a huge move from Coinbase. The company is currently the largest crypto exchange based in the United States and the one that attracts more institutional users. With this move, the company is set to make the lives of its clients easier and to acquire more clients, too.

Right now, the app is only available for iOS. However, the Android app was also announced and it will be released


“}” data-sheets-userformat=”{“2″:13057,”3”:{“1″:0},”11″:3,”12″:0,”15″:”Open Sans”,”16″:11}”>Latest Coinbase News and Coinbase Pro Updates

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Author: Gabriel Machado