Litecoin MimbleWimble Testnet Launched, Privacy Will Finally be Here in 2021

Litecoin MimbleWimble testnet is here, which will bring privacy to the network. Scheduled for launch on Sept. 30, not many participated in keeping it running as such MimbleWimble testnet has been relaunched. The protocol is designed to enhance privacy and obfuscate the traceability of distributed ledger transactions.

Only a few nodes connected and mined, so not “enough blocks to activate mimblewimble yet,” but as more peers get onboard, they will be able to activate the testnet, said Grin developer David Burkett who has been working on this implementation.

MimbleWimble is a modified implementation of the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm that underpins Bitcoin. In this, blocks appear as a single large transaction, preventing the individual inputs and outputs of a transaction from being identified. Burkett also wrote,

“I’m still roughing in very minimal cli wallet support, but hopefully we’ll have a simple way to create mimblewimble transactions by the time it activates.”

Despite this news, LTC failed to pump and continues to trade around $46, down 87.55% from its all-time high. One of the worst performers of 2020, LTC saw returns just about 8.65% YTD.

Now that “Mimblewimble Extension Block” (MWEB) testnet is working, the developer will be focusing on making it easy for non-technical Litecoin users to test it out as well — this means wallet support, automated builds, and better documentation. He said,

“Once I’m confident everything is working as designed, I’ll start looking for ways to break the testnet, to make sure we find and resolve any security or stability weaknesses.”

Burkett also stated that next month, he would share a detailed plan about the remaining work required to get MWEB merged to the main repo, so that node operators and miners can start signaling for activation sometime in 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s Key Psychological Level Showing ‘Strength’ But Price Could Still Drop Another 30%

The weekend didn’t bring any reprieve for digital currencies, rather resulted in bitcoin falling to $9,850 briefly before going back above the $10,000 level.

The good thing for bitcoin is that the key psychological level of $10k, although broken a few times, has managed to hold the fort.

While bitcoin is keeping above $10,000 for the most part, for now, Ether, which has been leading this rally, lost nearly 35% of its value last week.

Ether’s loss resulted in the DeFi’s TVL declining by $2 billion, while a whopping $78 billion were wiped out from the overall crypto market. Su Zhu, CEO of Three Arrows Capital said,

“Eth 320 as a bottom made sense and played out; btc i am actually flabbergasted by the strength shown at 10k and prob means 100k is more likely than 5k at this stage.”

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading around $10,150, with ‘real’ volume still low at just $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, Tether is currently recording over 3x of bitcoin’s volume.

In late July, the flagship cryptocurrency broke the $9,000 – $10,000 range in which bitcoin traded between May and July to form a new higher range of $11,000 to $12,000.

Bitcoin / US Dollar on Bitstamp
Source: TradingView — Bitcoin YTD performance (+38%)

The current situation, however, doesn’t bring any confidence to bulls, as per analyst DonAlt, who has been bearish on BTC for quite some time.

He is “full-blown beartard” on bitcoin until the digital asset has a significant daily close above $11,200. Such an upward move would invalidate his bearish stance, but if not, he is looking for $8,000 or even $6,000 – $7,000.

Already, the last week which saw the digital currency briefly going to $12,000, bitcoin has fallen 17.5%. But a move to about $7,000 would put the pullback into the 40% drop category, which will be in-line with the previous pullback of 30%-40% recorded during the last bull cycle to the top.

As such, on-chain analyst Willy Woo says while “Local on-chain switching bullish (looking at the next few weeks out),” he is “not calling this has bottomed,” although it may have.

However, he also says, “it’s not a bad time to buy back in.”

A lot of Bitcoin’s next move depends on the stock market. Last week, after hitting a new all-time high, they experienced a correction, and a sharp reversal in tech stocks saw bitcoin responding as well.

However, unlike the crypto market, the stock market will remain closed on the occasion of Labor Day on Monday. Although stocks reversed some of their losses on Friday, markets are expected to still be choppy after investors return from the long weekend, which means bitcoin still remains in danger.

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Author: AnTy

HM Treasury to Establish Regulatory ‘Gateway’ For Cryptocurrency Promotions

The British government intends to bring some certain cryptocurrencies in to the scope of financial promotions regulations in a bid to protect UK based consumers. They announced at the beginning of this week that they would be looking to put an end to misleading adverts that put retail investors at risk.

According to a proposal published today that was tabled by John Glen, UK financial sector City Minister, the Crypto firms would have channeled through a regulatory gateway before being greenlighted to advertise crypto assets. The Financial Conduct authority (FCA) would play the oversight role for the promotions. Therefore, companies seeking to access the products from these unauthorized firms would require approval from the financial watchdog.

This was after a report from the 2018 crypto taskforce collaborative efforts from the HM treasury, FCA and Bank of England, highlighted that in as much as the crypto sphere and the underlying Distributed Ledger Technology potentially had a lot to offer, they should take steps to protect consumers and markets from looming risks. The risks identified include: Money laundering and terrorist funding and consumer and firm understanding of regulatory framework.

In the statement, the Minister remarking at the deficiencies of the current regulatory framework to catch up with the dynamic products flooding the markets, insisted that the proposal would look to categorize crypto promotions as other financial product promos.

Notably, a recent FCA crypto survey estimates that at least 1.9 million Britons translating to almost 4% of their population own some sort of cryptocurrency. With the number of citizens that have possessed crypto assets increasing to 5.35% in 2020 from last year’s meagre 3%. Bitcoin is the most popular crypto product, with almost 22% of the respondents acknowledging to have heard of Facebook’s Libra initiative despite not being operational yet.

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Author: Lujan Odera

SmartPy, Cryptonomic Devs Bring Chainlink Pricing Oracles to Tezos Blockchain

Blockchain based oracle, Chainlink partners with independent Tezos developers to bring decentralized data solutions to the decentralized staking platform.

In an official announcement, a pair of Tezos developers will be working with Chainlink to bring decentralized oracle solutions to the staking platform. Smart Chain Arena and Cryptonomic are part of the wider Tezos development community aiming to increase Tezos blockchain adoption. The partnership will allow SCA and Cryptonomic to receive live aggregated data feeds from multiple sources enabling the development of better platforms.

“Oracles are like a big onion … [T]he more you dig into them the more layers of problems you discover.” – Chainlink CEO on partnership with Tezos. “The depth of the problem initially isn’t obvious.”

Smart Chain Arena launched the SmartPy language which will provide the bridge –through smart contracts –to deploy Chainlink’s decentralized oracles. Cryptonomic stack will support deployment, indexing and querying.

Several blockchain platforms have turned to Chainlink to offer reliable data as the various external data sources are a barrier to development. Speaking on the integration of Chainlink’s oracles, Cryptonomic co-founder Vishakh said,

“We recommend Tezos developers use Chainlink when building smart contracts as Chainlink’s secure decentralized oracle network makes possible a plethora of new use cases across DeFi, Equities, Insurance, and much more.”

The partnership project will be fully funded by the Tezos Foundation through a grant in order to allow the quick completion of the project. The Foundation has been an important pillar in Tezos development offering universities and crypto developers several grants to improve the Tezos ecosystem.

Sergey believes Tezos will use the decentralized oracles in decentralized finance and insurance as its DeFi space grows. He further said,

“And having a good oracle mechanism is basically now a prerequisite for having a well-functioning DeFi application. And I think people are starting to realize that building oracle mechanisms is akin to building a blockchain.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

VeChain Partners with Fashion Brand H&M to Use Blockchain for Supply Chain Traceability

H&M, a fashion and clothing brand has partnered with VeChain to bring Blockchain traceability to manage its supply chain and offer more data to the customer on the products they are purchasing. Cos, a high end subsidiary of H&M has reportedly incorporated the blockchain system in their supply chain.

The official announcement has not been made public on the use of the VeChain blockchain as of yet, but the primary investor is already discussing various fields where the two companies can collaborate and expand their partnership.

The news came into the public domain during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) by Sunny Lu, the chief executive officer at VeChain, During an AMA Blockchain-based Supply chain management firm announced “more than 4,000 sustainability products were traced” using ‘MyStory’ —traceability platform for the new partnership.

Uncle Cat Found that H&M’s Luxury Brand Cos is Likely Using VeChain Powered MyStory Platform

This revelation by the VeChian CEO gave rise to the speculations about their partnership with H&M as the clothing brand in the past have utilized VeChain’s infrastructure for verifying organic manufacturing for its subsidiary Arket’s apparel back in 2018.

Soon after doing the math and realizing that H&M is likely the clothing brand partner, the Chinese media platform Uncle Cat found that H&M’s luxury sub-brand Cos is the new partner after they found one of their Jumper with MyStory tag.

VeChain Partnership with H&M’s Subsidiary Cos Likely to Expand Further

The partnership was later confirmed by an investment and blockchain firm, CREAM, which is considered as a driving force behind VeChain. CREAM released a blog confirming Cos is using VeChain’s blockchain tool and also revealed that the partnership is likely to expand further and can be utilized to bring blockchain traceability of Cos second-hand marketplace called “Resell”.

The partnership could see creation of a non-fungible token which will be tagged with each product and offered to the original buyer at the time of sale. This token could act as proof of originality in the second-hand market.

Under the partnership, VeChain would enhance the value of the premium clothing products offered by Cos, the technology would prove the authenticity of the products purchased by the customers and also reveal the sustainability of the raw products to the customers. Cos sustainable products must contain at least 50% sustainable fiber which the company claims is the minimum amount and the actual product would contain a much higher percentage of the fabric.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

US Congress Drafts Bill ‘Crypto-Currency Act of 2020’ To Bring Clarity To Digital Asset Regulation

A draft bill that will bring more regulatory clarity when it comes to the crypto sector has been introduced by an US congressman.

The bill named the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 and will help to determine which federal agencies should regulate in the crypto space. This newest draft comes after the US lawmaker Warren Davidson earlier this year was looking to make regulations clearer by reintroducing the Token Taxonomy Act.

SEC to Regulate Crypto Securities

As reported, the US lawmaker who introduced the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 bill was the Republican Arizona congressman Paul Gosar. This bill has cryptocurrencies divided into securities, cryptocurrencies and crypto commodities.

The draft has been proposed that for each of the mentioned categories above, to have a federal crypto regulator that provide updated announcements to the public on any required registrations and licenses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been proposed for the crypto securities category, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for the cryptocurrcey category, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the crypto commodities.

The Bill Defines Cryptocurrencies

What’s even more interesting about the bill is that it defines the cryptocurrencies types. According to the draft, crypto commodity represents “economic goods or services”, crypto securities are “all debt, equity and derivative instruments that rest on a blockchain”, whereas cryptocurrency stands for an US currency representation or “synthetic derivatives resting on a blockchain”.

The bill also says that acting via the FinCEN, the Secretary of the Treasury should issue rules for cryptocurrencies, synthetic stablecoins included, that make it possible for transactions in the crypto space to be traced, just like currency transactions of financial institutions do at the moment.

Market Participants and Lawmakers Have Been Long Looking for Regulatory Clarity

Regulatory clarity is something lawmakers and the crypto market players have been looking for. Through the Token Taxonomy Act, congressman Warren Davidson wants to help cryptocurrencies stand legally in the US.

Only recently, SEC, FinCEN and CFTC have issued together a statement in which they’re saying the cryptocurrency industry needs to comply with the US financial services and banking laws. All crypto players can do for the moment is wait and see if the bills introduced by Gosar and Davidson are going to bring regulatory clarity.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bank of America Becomes Newest Member of the Marco Polo Blockchain

Bank of America has joined the Marco Polo consortium. The goal of this partnership was to bring more efficiency to the bank during international trades and settlements.

The Marco Polo network was created by TradeIX and the R3 consortium. The platform has the goal of connecting several institutions in real-time to let them access capital more easily and increase their visibility in trading relationships.

Bank of America’s main reason for starting the partnership is that the institution has always strived to offer to its clients excellent financial and trade solutions and the Marco Polo network offers more services that can be important for the company to achieve these goals.

The head of global trade at the bank, Geoff Brady, stated that joining the network is important for the company to achieve its long-term objectives and to offer the solutions that the clients need the most. It makes the process more transparent and the clients can see it happening this way.

Also, this technology can be used to eliminate paper records, which are considerably expensive to keep and can make the whole trading process considerably slower.

David E. Rutter, the CEO of R3, has become a part of the Bank of America group now and affirmed that other banks should join Marco Polo as well. According to him, the blockchain technology is growing a lot and transforming how the financial market works.

Mastercard also joined this consortium recently, which shows how important Marco Polo has become. The Bank of America itself is a huge company. It is the 13th largest bank in the world and the 6th largest public company in the U. S.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Russia’s S7 Airlines Ticketing Platform Processes Over $1 Million In Sales via Blockchain During July

Russia's S7 Airlines Ticketing Platform Processes Over $1 Million In Sales via Blockchain During July

The blockchain is here to bring us the future. S7 Airlines, a major aviation company that is a part of the Oneworld alliance, has recently revealed to the media that it was able to process $1 million USD in its new blockchain payment system during the month of July. This made July the best month of the platform so far.

S7 is the largest domestic airline company of Russia and it has been benefiting a lot from the new platform. S7 Airlines’ blockchain technology is powered by the Hyperledger Fabric platform, an open-source tech that is the basis of several blockchains at the moment.

Now, the goal is to deploy the first online agent of the company. This is set to be done sometime during 2019, according to Ekaterina Dmitruk, the group sales director.

The CEO of the company, Pavel Voronin, affirmed that the company was the first airline to execute the sale of a ticket using the blockchain last year and that the services got only better since then.

Since Its Start, The Platform Has Processed $4 Million In Payments

This new platform was officially launched back in January and each month is seeing more people using it. During these seven months, $4 million USD in transactions were processed using the system.

Part of the reason for the growth now is because of a partnership that was started with Alfa-Bank, a private bank from Russia. According to the executive director of the tech lab of S7 Airlines, Nikolai Mukhanov, not only the number of payments has been increased, but also how much of the process is automated today.

One of the main advantages of using the blockchain in this kind of operation is how much more efficient it gets. It considerably speeds up the process of handling the transactions, especially as no paperwork is required at all. This is very important for the B2B market as well, which is one of the most benefited by the decision.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Facebook Is Looking To Achieve Global Regulatory Compliance as Libra Vies for New York BitLicense

Facebook-Is-Looking-To-Achieve-Global-Regulatory-Compliance-Company-Applied-for-New-York-BitLicense

Facebook’s Libra coin, the new initiative from the company in order to create its own crypto and bring a frictionless and globally-available currency to all its clients is looking to get the New York BitLicense, considered the hardest regulatory approval to get in the United States.

The company is taking all the steps to appease regulators all over the world before the launch of Libra, but many experts seem to be concerned that the company will not have a fully successful enterprise this time.

In order to achieve its global regulatory compliance, Facebook will have to carefully deal with central banks and financial regulators from several countries. This will involve thousands of officers from dozens of countries.

According to Sean Park, the founder of CIO of Anthemis, a venture capital company, Facebook is far from having won the battle so far. This is not to say that the company has not made any kind of progress. Calibra, the subsidiary that will oversee the token and its wallet, has been already registered with the U. S. Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN), for instance.

Trying to obtain the BitLicense from New York’s Department of Financial Services is another smart move because it generally takes a long time and Facebook may even get rejected, so the company needs to work very carefully here.

Obviously, Facebook is not only dealing with U. S.-based regulators. The company has already been talking with Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Bank of England and FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator. Recently, the Russian Ministry of Finance also affirmed that Libra will be treated just like any other token in the country, too.

Facebook Will Not Get A Free Pass

Even if Facebook is right in making all these steps as soon as possible, the company is far from having a free pass, in Park’s opinion. As soon as the product is launched, the authorities of the United States, European Union and India are going to be looking closely to the new coin.

The Central Bank of Singapore also seemed somewhat skeptic of the token and affirmed that it would require more information about the project before being able to allow it.

As you may know, Facebook is also being accused of leaking private information, so the global confidence in the company is far from high right now. If Facebook already had troubles with regulators, things are bound to take a turn for the worse with Libra.

Obviously, it should be remembered that Libra is not set out to be the new Facebook Coin. The new token is also managed by the Libra Association, which contains companies such as Uber, Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and others and is based in Geneva.

While Facebook is expecting the scrutiny, nobody knows how harsh the global regulators will actually be. The Bank of International Settlements, for instance, is already expected to place some restrictions on this new currency. The chair of the Financial Stability Board, Randal Quarles, is also reported to have affirmed that the company needs bigger scrutiny in order to be allowed to launch Libra.

According to representatives from Facebook, Libra is not planning to acquire any local banking licenses and all the value that the token will have will come from investment in government bonds and currencies, just like governments do with their sovereign fiat currencies.

These reserves, as affirmed by a Representative of the company to Reuters, will also fully follow the monetary policies of the countries that hold these assets.

At the moment, not a lot is known about Facebook’s ability to discover money laundering and tax evasion or fraud, so the company will have to take care of that before it can be whitelisted by international regulators which are often worried about this kind of question.

Jeff Bandman, a former U. S. Commodies Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) executive, has affirmed that Facebook has not yet fully considered the position that it is taking. To him, the company will use this year to figure that out and to narrow (and rescale) its project.

He affirmed this because he believes that such a huge project in an attempt to disrupt the global financial system is a very audacious plan and it has to be laid out well if it is supposed to work.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Unified Exchange (UXT Token) Review: Safe Cryptocurrency Trading Platform?

Unified-Exchange

The Unified Exchange aims to bring a new solution through direct integration of a social platform into the trading experience.

The social platform has unique features that set it apart from other exchanges, including the add-on/overlay function that enables it to integrate with other exchanges and increase its social exposure.

The initial set of features will immediately draw traders to the Unified Exchange and UXT (the base currency on the platform) will benefit the exchange by creating the most cost-effective trading experience. The Unified Exchange will offer several more unique benefits that are currently rare in the crypto space.

  • The exchange comes with a ranking system that will cause the most skilled and helpful traders to stand out in the crowd.
  • Traders will increase their trading power and social reach by sharing real-time trades with their followers.
  • A reward system will motivate highly ranked traders to allow them to accumulate UXT.
  • Advanced traders will also have the opportunity to sell or give away subscriptions services for advanced trades and expert chart analytics.
  • Group and private charts will be based on rank to reduce spam or coin shilling.

Platform Features

Integrated social system: Social platforms are the way of the future that will enable traders to take their experience to the next level. Traders can increase their trading power and reach by sharing real-time trades with their followers.

24/7 Support Staff: Exchange support is one of the platform’s priorities. They can have the ability to submit tickets or talk to a live support agent anytime.

Third party modules: Traders can custom applications to increase their trading reach and power. Developers can improve the way they and others trade.

Hard Fork support: when it comes to Hard forks, the platform is there for its customers. They will support every fork offered and allow them to withdraw their coins without issues.

Social Features

The Unified Exchange platform combines social aspects in trading and information sharing by using the Unified Exchange Token (UXT). Apart from being a centralized token that offers all the benefits it entails, the Unified Exchange Platform also delivers the following features:

Social Media Alignment

The platform is dedicated to aligning users of social media and cryptocurrencies under one roof. This leads to the much-needed platform for seamless interaction between crypto traders and those using mainstream social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Bitcointalk, Telegram, and others.

Skilled Trader Subscription

Unified Exchange gives traders the opportunity to gain subscribers and sell subscription services for advanced trades and expert chart analytics or give them away free.

User-friendliness

The platform seeks to incorporate a 24/7 support system to utilize ambassadors to assist users in various languages.

Cross-exchange Social System

With a browser add-on system, users will have an overlay to existing trading websites. Various functions in the add-on, with the user’s permission, will gather information used on other trading websites, including chats, notifications, alerts, and customized alerts chosen by the user.

Operations: this includes hiring new staff, leasing high-end office space, and others.

Security: this is the number one priority that requires a dedicated team of experts to make the Exchange airtight including ongoing security audits.

Marketing: the platform will need to get the word out and to many people. Therefore, it’s budgeting 20% to cover long-term marketing.

Legal: Establishing the Unified Exchange and developing future partnerships will require an extensive amount of legal support.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team