Litecoin Mimblewimble Testnet on Track to September Launch

While sharing the June progress, Grin developer David Burkett who is working on Mimblewimble implementation to the Litecoin network, said the testnet launch is coming by the end of Q3, which is in September 2020.

In June, Burkett wrote very minimal implementation supporting MW transactions as the existing LTC mempool logic ended up being quite a bit more complex than the developer initially thought. As such, it will be revisited after the testnet launch.

Additionally, code was written to support mining extension blocks; however, they need a lot more testing, and a few “edge cases are still left to be handled.”

Talking about his concerns on the way they were storing mimblewimble block data in a separate database, Burkett shared with the community that “It was originally designed this way to be a clean separation from the existing code, to facilitate merging future bitcoin commits.”

Separated databases, however, are a “bad idea,” he said, because then they don’t have the ability to make atomic updates. This leads to problems, some that can be exploitable by remote attackers.

As such, Burkett has decided to take more time to modify the code for serializing and deserializing MW blocks & transactions to disk. But he didn’t need to make any changes to the existing block storage format thanks to the groundwork laid down as part of the Segwit enhancement. He said,

“As a result, upgraded nodes can successfully save extension block data to disk the same place they’ve always saved blocks, without having to introduce an additional database.”

However, the side effect of the changes is that it was relatively straightforward to add support for sharing mimblewimble transactions over the p2p network — the first step toward July’s goal of handling MW data.

Still, the big plan for the summer remains the same, and Initial Block Download will be happening in July, followed by Chain reorg logic in August. This means activation logic and testnet launch is coming in September.

With the MW upgrade, the idea was to enhance the scalability and privacy of the Litecoin network, much better than the likes of Zcash and Monero, said Litecoin realtor Charlie Lee, in an interview last month.

“It does privacy and scarcity very well compared to other implementations,” he had said at that time.

The development part is making good progress, and Litecoin has also been recording an increase in wallets.

But this 7th largest cryptocurrency by market cap is not doing well price-wise.

Currently trading at $41.42, the digital asset is down 2.57% YTD, the third biggest loser among the top twenty cryptocurrencies. LTC is also down 89% from its all-time high of $373.

According to analyst Mati Greenspan, “the slow and dangerous decline resembles a slippery slope.”

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Author: AnTy

Ripple CTO Bullish on Bitcoin But Has Been Selling His Stash for Years

David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple, recently shared that he is still bullish on bitcoin but is currently selling his BTC stash.

On being asked by Adam Back, co-founder and chief executive officer of the blockchain technology company, Blockstream, “aren’t you pro-BTC and converting XRP into Bitcoin?” Schwartz shared,

“Nope. I’ve been slowly selling bitcoin for the past several years.”

And the reason behind selling bitcoin is the risk. “I’m still bullish on bitcoin, it’s just the level of risk that has me selling,” he said.

This snippet is from the discussion about who is the pseudo-anonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Stop Searching for Satoshi; We are all Satoshi

A Twitter user declared Adam Back as Satoshi Nakamoto to which the cryptographer replied with a simple “not me.”

Some also see Hal Finney, a cypherpunk and early Bitcoin contributor and Nick Szabo, a cryptographer who designed BitGold, as the pseudo-anonymous creator. Both are among the top runners for being Satoshi.

“FWIW they both said it wasn’t them also. We’ll never know – many cypherpunks had no social media footprint, and anon posts. Probably a digital ghost, who burned the nym to be safe,” said Back about Finney and Szabo being Nakamoto.

“Bitcoin is better as a decentralized digital commodity without a founder. We are all Satoshi,” he added.

This is where software engineer and Director at Ripple, Nik Bougalis, came who agreed with Back about Bitcoin being better without a founder.

“Abandoning the Satoshi Nakamoto persona and leaving Bitcoin to the world was a brilliant move,” he said.

A Ripple enthusiast also feels Ripple CTO Schwartz could be Satoshi Nakamoto. Still, Bougalis dismissed this, stating Schwartz has publicly denied it and that “his code & writing style simply don’t match Satoshi’s.”

And, “unfortunately” for Schwartz, he “didn’t find out about bitcoin until 2011.”

Schwartz chimed in to say that he thinks it’s plausible that instead of just an individual, Satoshi was a small group of people.

And that’s where Schwartz shared that he doesn’t have millions of Bitcoins, but he hasn’t lost the keys to his BTC holdings either, which he has been slowly selling for the past some years now.

“Bullish on X but Selling the X? Charlie is that you?,” a user commented on this statement.

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Author: AnTy

The XRP Ledger May Allow Third-Party Asset-Backed Tokens In the Future: Ripple CTO

According to Ripple’s head of tech, David Schwartz, the firm is creating a new feature which will let clients mint new asset backed tokens on its XRP ledger.

Ripple released a press statement explaining that its tech engineers are developing exciting fresh features which will lead to the broadening of the ledger’s functionalities which will also allow third-party users to roll on other cryptos on top of the XRP Ledger network.

While Schwartz was economical on the details of the fresh features, he explained that they will help in rolling on fixed-value tokens within the XRPP Ledger. He explained:

“Stablecoins is the obvious use case, but it’s not just stablecoins it’s essentially assets pegged to some external value.”

CoinDesk reports that such features are present in various blockchain platforms with the most notable one being Tether that operates stablecoin layers on different platforms simultaneously. However, Schwartz explained that asset-backed tokens running on XRP platform will be assured of guaranteed liquidity based on the ledger’s mechanics.

In a previous interview, Schwartz had explained that a entirely collateralized XRP stablecoin can be highly liquid. He added that instead of developing different markets for every virtual asset, the trades will happen in XRP ensuring liquidity of the stablecoin its popularity notwithstanding.

This will not be the first instance that Ripple is venturing into markets outside its settlement business. Xpring, the firm’s investment wing, purchased a decentralized payments platform known as Logos Network late last year. During the acquisition period, Xpring had stated that the new platform would allow Ripple to develop financial products and services on XRP Ledger.

Schwartz explained that the firm’s engineers had realized that the XRP Ledger has properties of algorithms that allow the firm to operate the same way as a decentralized exchange. It is these features that the firm aims to capitalize on and add several aspects which will let users easily offer their own digital assets.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Ripple CTO Proposes ‘Deletable Accounts’ On The XRP Ledger (XRPL) Via An Amendment Process

A new feature was proposed by Ripple’s CTO David Schwartz in the amendment process of deletable accounts. This feature will allow XRPL accounts to be removed from the ledger and recovers most of the reserve locked in the account to prevent spam.

In the past deleting accounts was impossible as an account always existed, said software engineer Nik Bougalis who is leading the C++ team at Ripple and drafted the spec for deletable accounts. But now, someone that is able to sign a transaction on the account can now delete that.

Amendment Process to Introducing New Features

Schwartz in his latest article, “Amendments: Ensuring Sensible Evolution of the XRP Ledger,” talks about one of the key governance mechanisms that XRPL uses, the amendment process.

Purposely designed and built for broad participation, the amendment system provides a means of “introducing new features to the decentralized XRP Ledger network without causing disruptions.” The system utilizes the core consensus process of the network to approve any changes. Schwartz said,

“The activation of any changes to the XRP Ledger protocol are coordinated by the community through this process.”

The Power to Coordinate Activation of Amendments

Amendments are now assigned to a feature discussed by the community to be introduced to the XRP Ledger (XRPL) which needs 80% support to enable it. The community is then given two weeks to voice their opinion on the amendment and if enabled, those who did not agree to will become ‘amendment blocked‘ —

“a security feature designed to protect applications that depend on XRP Ledger data.”

XRPL, Shwartz explained, is to provide a robust feature for the foundation of the digital asset XRP, in addition, to exchange digital token ad settling payments. Schwartz explained,

“The purpose of this amendment process is to empower the community to coordinate activation of amendments that do have broad support with minimal disruption and to avoid an accidental fork if servers do not agree on network rules.”

Validators can’t activate amendments that don’t have broad support. Previously, support for multi-signing, ledger’s on-chain escrow and payments channel features were enabled by amendments.

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Author: AnTy

Congressional Blockchain Caucus Members Ask IRS To Clarify Guidance on Airdrops And Forks

The US representatives involved in the letter include Tom Emmer, Bill Foster, David Schweikert, Darren Soto, Lance Gooden, French Hill, Matt Gaetz, and Warren Davidson.

These individuals pushed the IRS to clarify if any changes made would be applied retroactively or from the current date going forward.

The guidance and laws surrounding the cryptocurrency industry are still rather complicated in the United States. However, it is becoming more and more fundamentally clear that the industry needs more than some tax laws, as eight members of the US House of Representatives jointly issued a letter to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

According to reports from The Block, reps. Tom Emmer, Bill Foster, David Schweikert, Darren Soto, Lance Gooden, French Hill, Matt Gaetz, and Warren Davidson penned the joint letter on December 20th. In it, they voice their concern over the lack of guidance on token airdrops and blockchain network forks, specifically. The letter follows much of the same path of a request sent earlier this year that urged the IRS to offer more information to taxpayers regarding crypto-related obligations. Emmer filed a bill separately in July to request a “safe harbor” that would protect taxpayers in the event of a fork.

The letter states:

“We wrote in April of this year urging the issuance of guidance for taxpayers who use cryptocurrencies and we are pleased to see that you have issued guidance and addressed many questions we posed. We are, however, concerned that this recent guidance creates many new questions related to the topics it seeks to address, namely forks and airdrops. Moreover, the guidance appears inequitable as it comes almost two years after the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash fork and three years after the Ethereum fork.”

The letter also adds that the IRS needs to examine more of the cryptocurrency industry and products, which would help them “to provide guidance to taxpayers as to how income related to all crypto transactions will be treated for tax purposes.” The group also placed blame on the agency for their inability to offer “any clarity for withholding and tax information purposes.”

The letter asked a series of questions, aimed at helping the IRS to better work with the industry. The questions ask the IRS if and when the IRS will clarify the airdrop and fork policies, if and when the IRS plans to set a standard for establishing dominance. Furthermore, if new guidance is implemented, the representatives want to know if it will be applied retroactively or just from this point forward.

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Author: Krystle M

Movie Piracy Investigation Leads New Zealand Police to Seize $4.2 Million in Cryptocurrency

  • Police state that Jaron David McIvor has been laundering money through his PayPal and bank accounts, thanks to his online streaming movie website.
  • McIvor’s attorney states that the client is denying these allegations.

Cryptocurrency has dealt with many different scams, but one recent issue arose in a separate arrest in New Zealand. The national police force reportedly seized a total of NZ$6.2 million and NZ$6.7 million in cryptocurrency. The seizure came as a result of a local man who is believed to have been involved in online movie piracy, performed in the United States.

Based on the police report, the New Zealand police restrained about NZ$6.7 million at 5:00am local time on November 23rd. There was another NZ$1.1 million in bank funds, based on the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act, which were allegedly confiscated by Jaron David McIvor, a 31-year old software programmer.

An hour after this interaction, a press statement was released by authorities that claimed that the authorities had seized $6.2 million in cryptocurrency, plus $800,000 in bank funds over the summer, though they did not name the suspect. Another $472,000 in cryptocurrency and $377,000 in bank funds from in November from an associate.

A high court judge is part of the CPRA process, required to decide if the wealth and benefits accrued by an individual has been done through criminal activity. If the processes confirm this method, then the assets related to the alleged criminal activities can be frozen and confiscated.

For this case specifically, the local police believe that McIvor is participating in money laundering, since he helped to create an illegal movie-streaming website that has seen the inflow of millions of dollars. Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Kay stated that he and his team received a tip from the IRS, which had been tipped off by suspicious activity reports from PayPal. This path eventually led the tax officials with the Asset Recovery Unit in Waikato to McIvor, who was located in New Zealand.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, the police stated that McIvor’s streaming site had brought him about $2 million, which went into his bank accounts after processing through PayPal, Stripe, and international wire transfers. Kay added:

“Introducing illicitly-obtained funds into New Zealand constitutes money laundering and police will thoroughly investigate and restrain the assets of those who undertake such activity […] regardless of where in the world the crime is committed.”

The lawyer handling McIvor’s case, Truc Tran, stated that his client is presently denying allegations against him for money laundering, but no other details have been released.

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Author: Krystle M

Premier of Bermuda: Crypto Assets Balance Out the Powers of ‘Big Tech’ and Government

Edward David Burt, the Premier of Bermuda, has recently affirmed that cryptocurrencies can work as a great equalizer against “big tech”. He affirmed this during a recent interview with Forbes. According to him, cryptos are important to ensure that citizens are not at the mercy of big corporations and the government.

The Premier has a background as a programmer and entrepreneur, so he is pretty excited about the prospects of Bitcoin. He affirmed that crypto can be used to make a society that is more equal and that micropayments will completely change how the technology landscape is today. His direct quote was;

“Facebook and Google make money because they have your data, but they don’t pay for access to your data. However, when you talk about the ability to have infinitesimally-sized pieces of value so someone can pay you […] for using your data … […] the promise of cryptocurrency is to actually take power away from those large companies.”

Today, he affirmed, large companies such as Facebook and Google are able to make a lot of money by selling the data of the customers. Cryptocurrencies can be used to take that power away from them, as they would, for the first time, have to ask permission to be able to sell the data, and pay something back to the people.

Despite not trusting Facebook, he did affirm that most regulators were too afraid of the Libra and that they should be focused on innovation instead of pushing it back. According to him, you simply can’t stop the future and trying is a futile effort.

During his interview, he also talked about how fintech innovation is important for the national strategies of countries. According to him, the industry is growing in Bermuda and seeking talent abroad, as the government understands how important it is for the economy to invest in this nascent industry. Adding;

“Whether it’s Libra, when we talk about ICOs and different things, the fact is that it’s no different from when stocks and bonds were startup financial services.” […] “It’s going to happen. The Internet can’t be shut off.”

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Author: Saad U

Ecash Creator David Chaum To Launch New Quantum-Resistant Crypto Called Praxxis

David Chaum, a pioneer in the crypto world, has recently decided to launch a new cryptocurrency called Praxxis. According to him, Praxxis will be a token that will follow his original vision for digital money.

He affirmed that the new project is set to have upgraded security and be quicker and more scalable than the other cryptos in the market. The idea is, like Bitcoin’s main goal, to replace cash. Chaum was recently interviewed by The Block Crypto and revealed more details about the asset.

He affirmed that it is based on the Elixxir blockchain and that it will also follow Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of cryptocurrencies. He believes that Bitcoin is a great way to store value, but it is currently missing some key features in order to be used properly as cash. His goal is to create a currency that can fully satisfy scalability, decentralization and security.

This new protocol is also set to be “quantum-resistant”, meaning that even quantum computers will not be able to hack it. This is the kind of threat that many people are already predicting that the future will bring, so it is certainly a good idea.

At the moment, the new revolutionary currency is being backed by private investors. However, a token sale will probably happen whenever the protocol is finally ready.

The Father of Digital Currencies

David Chaum is the real father of all digital currencies. While the figure nicknamed as Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin and ushered us into the current era of crypto, Chaum was the first to come up with Ecash back in 1982.

He started a company to create it in 1990, only to went bankrupt in 1998. The idea of Ecash inspired Satoshi and led to the creation of Bitcoin.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Puts Wall Street Veteran David Gross To Head Global Sales

Galaxy-Digital-Hires-David-Gross-To-Lead-Global-Sales

David Gross, an important executive who already worked in companies such as Credit Suisse, Cumberland and Lehman Brothers, was hired by Galaxy Digital. The cryptocurrency merchant bank has decided to hire the executive to be the new head of global sales of the company. This information was originally unveiled during an internal memo sent out to investors.

Cumberland was one of the major rivals of Galaxy Digital in the over the counter (OTC) trading market. Because of this, in hiring Gross, the company is probably also hiring some expertise from its main rival.

Now, the exec will use his 15 years of experience in order to make Galaxy Digital have a better 2019 than in 2018. The company was reported to face severe losses during the bear market last year, so it is in a dire need of getting some profit.

Gross is set to coordinate sales across all the business units of the company. He will report only to the president of the crypto merchant bank in his new position. The company also hired Tim Plakas recently, who worked as Coinbase over the counter department’s head before leaving the company.

Galaxy Digital is far from the only company hiring. Cumberland is also on a hiring spree in order to improve the quality of its ranks. The company has recently decided to hire James Radecki, Jason Leung and Bobby Cho, all for executive positions.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple’s David Schwartz Attacks Bitcoin And Defends XRP From Negative Comments

Ripple's David Schwartz Attacks Bitcoin And Defends XRP From Negative Comments
  • Ripple’s Chief Cryptographer, David Schwartz defends XRP from attacks from Bitcoin users.
  • XRP could be affected by the growth of new permissioned networks and blockchains.

Schwartz Answers Back To Max Keiser

David Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Ripple, has defended XRP from negative comments that it receives from the community. In a recent article released by Yahoo, the author quoted the Bitcoin supporter Max Keiser saying that XRP should be worried about the upcoming launch of Facebook’s GlobalCoin.

There are several Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts that believe that XRP is the digital currency used by banks and that it does not follow the ethos of the crypto space. Max Keiser wrote on Twitter that Facebook’s stablecoin is going to harm other digital currencies such as XRP, among other altcoins.

Is Ripple A Permissioned System?

About it, Schwartz said that he likes to see opinions about XRP that do not show any evidence of understanding how XRP works. He said that this is just how Bitcoin “minimalist thinking” works.

Schwartz has also talked with other individuals on the popular social media network, including the Twitter user Noryn Syra. The crypto enthusiast wanted Schwartz to admit that Ripple was a permissioned system such as the one that other companies have.

Ripple is currently working in order to provide services to different financial companies, including banks. The goal is to offer them cheaper and fast cross-border payments in a compliant way. At the moment, they have signed partnerships with a large number of companies from all over the world.

There are some companies like Facebook that have a large user base and that are working with blockchain technology. Indeed, Facebook wants to launch a digital currency called GlobalCoin that is expected to help users make cheap cross-border payments and other payments. If that initiative expands, Ripple could be damaged.

Currently, XRP is the third largest virtual currency after Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC). At the time of writing, XRP has a price of $0.42 and a market capitalization of $17.72 billion.

Latest Ripple News and XRP Market Updates

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

[Domain Disclosure] The crypto-community content sourced, created and published on BitcoinExchangeGuide should never be used or taken as financial investment advice. Under no circumstances does any article represent our recommendation or reflect our direct outlook. We b-e-g of you to do more independent due diligence, take full responsibility for your own decisions and understand trading cryptocurrencies is a very high-risk activity with extremely volatile market changes which can result in significant losses. Editorial Policy \ Investment Disclaimer

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Author: Carl T