EOS Block Producers Reach ‘Strongest Consensus’ In Approval Of Worker Proposal

The EOS Worker Proposal, which is famous for being very controversial, was announced by the most important EOS block producers that it went into its first execution stage and is supported by many participants to the network.

One of the leading EOS block producers, EOS Nation, reported that many Eosians agreed to support the new proposal and nothing could have changed their mind. On March 24, it also announced that a number of 34 both active and standby producers approved the EOS Worker proposal. It seems that until now, this is the strongest consensus achieved by any proposal in the EOS Mainnet.

The Eosio.wps System Launched

The March 24 first multi-signature approval launched the eosio.wps account that stores funds needed for new operations on the system. After this approval and the MSIG execution, eosio.wps will receive 50,000 EOS tokens in transfers from eosio.names, while the 3rd MSIG is going to deploy the Worker proposal smart contract to the same account, namely eosio.wps. After the 4th approval, the new proposal will have the whole network’s voting system reconsidered.

A Proposal Surrounded by Controversy

According to the new scheme and outlines, anyone can make a proposal on how the EOS blockchain should work, in exchange for a small EOS fee. After that, the block producers, regardless if they’re active or standby, need to vote on the proposal with +1, -1, or 0. In order to pass, a proposal has to gather 20 points. Here’s what the co-founder and CEO at Block.one, Brendan Blumer, had to say about the strategy employed by EOS:

“Socially authorising the BP’s to direct token-holder funds into projects without a clear or measurable return of value is risky, and may open the door to corruption and external scrutiny.”

Many voices don’t agree with him, but it remains to be seen how things are going to work for the EOS Worker Proposal in the future.

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Author: Oana Ularu

After Being Voted ‘CEO’ of Dogecoin Last Year, Elon Musk Tweets His Love For DOGE

Tesla CEO and famous billionaire Elon Musk has shared his thoughts on crypto again, tweeting that DOGE is his favorite coin.

So many tweets about crypto reveal Elon Musk is interested in the industry. Here’s what he said earlier in 2019 about DOGE, in a response to an April Fool’s poll that had him voted as a potential DOGE CEO:

Podcast Talk and Another Tweet on BTC

Musk seems to have a rather interesting attitude when it comes to crypto, seeing he makes comments on the subject sometimes, while when asked to dig deeper into the matter, he prefers to remain silent. He also recently said in a podcast that cryptocurrencies are a possible replacement for cash, yet without seeming to enthusiastic. Before that, he tweeted that Bitcoin (BTC) is not his safeword as a joke. However, the crypto community concluded he may have a special interest in BTC.

DOGE Pulling the TSLA Stunt?

DOGE is not known to aim for rapid appreciation and currently trades at $0.002, which means it occupies the 33th position according to market capitalization. There are over 123 billion DOGE circulating and above 31,000 DOGE transactions every day. The coin has had a stable presence in the crypto space, especially after it has adopted the famous doge meme.

With the stablecoins’ arrival, it was displaced as a base pair coin. More than this, it’s not being used very often for arbitraging trades and moving coins from one exchange to another. While the crypto community was very happy to see Musk endorsing DOGE, it’s still too early to determine if the coin will pull the Tesla (TSLA) stock stunt.

DOGE Daily Trading Volumes at Over $150 Million

Reawakening ever since the beginning of 2020, DOGE had the amazing daily trading volumes of over $150 million this month, which is a record since 2017. Since it hasn’t seen a pump in some time, its volumes are mostly concentrated on the BKEX exchange. It has even signaled an increased altcoin sentiment. While its price is currently low, this can change, especially since there’s the potential for it to very quickly add Satoshis.

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Author: Oana Ularu

R&B Artist Akon to Launch The Akoin Utility Token on Stellar’s Blockchain

Famous artists and platinum-selling records Akon has a made the decision to build Akoin, his own cryptocurrency, on the Stellar blockchain.

The president and co-founder of Akoin said Stellar was chosen for having similar values with him and the artist, explaining on February 28 that:

“Akoin selected Stellar’s distributed, hybrid blockchain due to a shared vision for creating global financial inclusion, particularly in areas such as Africa.”

Stellar is on a mission to help banking the unbanked, and a spokesperson for Akoin wanted to mention its involvement with African businesses and the micro-loans and Dapp project.

Swapping Currencies Will Be Possible

Stellar wallets-compatible and interoperable with all Stellar-supported fiat currencies and digital assets, Akoins will be available for swapping currencies in order to ensure an “efficient cross-asset transfers of value”, which means the value of prepaid minutes will be realized.

As a result of banking problems and inflation, Nigeria and other African countries use phone minutes just like digital currencies, so Akoin will swap minutes for crypto and fiat currencies. It has been mentioned the token’s price is going to be fluctuating.

The Unbanked Will Be the Main Focus

Akoin’s aim is to provide the unbanked financial services not only in 54 African countries, but also in other developing nations from all over the world. Its total supply will be 400 million. Supposed to launch in 2018, the project is almost sure to be revealed very soon. Here’s what Akon had to say about it:

“It’s a global platform that we’re building and Africa is our target market because as we see it now, Africa has the most challenges.”

Akon, Incredibly Popular in Africa

Akon enjoys immense popularity in Africa, where he intends to create the $2 billion-worth Akon Crypto City. In the next 10 years, this futuristic and sustainable community will be built on a 2,000 acres surface close to Senegal’s capital, Dakar. The land was given as a gift to Akon from the President of Senegal. The artist’s charitable projects include the Akon Lighting Africa and some others, but Akoin will be a profitable endeavor for him.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Tether (USDt) Adds Chainalysis KYT Tool to Improve Its AML Compliance

The famous stablecoin issuer Tether and the blockchain forensics company Chainalysis have closed a partnership for Tether to improve the tools that it uses against money laundering.

The announcement that Tether will apply the token issuers’ Know Your Transaction tool from Chainalysis was made on Wednesday. By using this tool, the stablecoin issuer will be allowed to monitor transactions and to understand what risk every token holder presents.

Secure Compliance with Regulators’ Demands

Tether has issued the US dollar-pegged stablecoin USDT that is at the moment live on the Ethereum, Algorand, Omni, Liquid, EOS and TRON blockchains. Other tokens it has issued are the gold-pegged (XAUT), the Euro-pegged (EURT), and the Chinese yuan-pegged (CNHT). Here’s what Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer at Tether had to say about his company applying the Chainalysis’ tool:

“This solution allows us to ensure a secure compliance program that fosters trust with regulators, law enforcement agencies and users. This is achieved without sharing our user’s identifying information, as such data is only kept on our servers.”

Preparations for Regulators

While Tether didn’t talk that much about the reasons why it has made the decision to improve their compliance measures, things are very clear seeing as regulators from all over the world have started to send signals that stablecoins need to be scrutinized more deeply.

In October last year, Kenneth Blanco, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) director, said stablecoins won’t be exempt from AML laws’ compliance. Regulators categorize issuers of stablecoins as money service businesses (MSB) that should adhere to their specific regulatory standards.

While the money flow in and out of a stablecoin network is happening without any problem, regulators from all over the world have identified some serious risks associated with stablecoin transactions, so tracking the networks is very important. Tether can’t confiscate high-risk tokens, yet it does have the option to freeze the wallets containing them.

Chainalysis Is Spread Across 40 Different Countries

Since being created 5 years ago, Chainalysis has expanded. Now they offer tools and services not only to exchanges but also to financial institutions and even government agencies from 40 different countries in the world. In 2019, it won $5 million worth of contracts only from the US government.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Vo1t Partners With IBM’s Hyper Protect Crypto Service To Offer Private Key Custody

Vo1t, the famous cold storage custody provider, and IBM have closed a partnership to offer Vo1t clients secure data centers for holding and encrypting their private keys.

This new option is included in the IBM’s Hyper Project. It makes sure clients’ keys are kept safe regardless of what’s happening with the Vo1t data centers. Customers can install the data center on-premise or access it remotely from a computer used by another client. The data is kept encrypted in the enclave, no matter if it’s transited or in memory. This is what Vo1t’s general manager Sebastian Higgs had to say about the new option:

“Having this means our clients get to sign with their key in a separate transaction with IBM.”

Vo1t Has Been Offering Cold Storage Services Ever Since 2017

Vo1t is a London-based company with a name that reminds people of a bank vault. It provides, lending, trading, staking and custody products for not less, nor more than 35 digital assets. Ever since 2017, firms that are listed on the Financial Times Stock Exchange have been offered cold storage with Vo1t. The firm has also been offering the same services to financial institutions and trust companies from all over the world. It seems that withdrawals for assets in cold storage with Vo1t last only 45 minutes.

Banks and Large Firms More Interested in Offering Crypto Custody Services

Custody has only been offered by crypto exchanges and wallet providers for a while. However, large firms and banks are becoming more and more interested in offering this type of service to institutional investors that want to invest in cryptocurrency. This is what IBM Z as-a-Service director Rohit Badlaney had to say about IBM’s involvement in the digital custody space:

“We’ve been looking at the digital custody space and how we could make our servers and our cloud platform be a killer value proposition for this specific market.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Is CryptoMom’s 3-Year Safe Harbor Proposal For Token Sellers Good For The Crypto Industry?

The famous Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce, also known as the CryptoMom in the blockchain community, wants crypto projects to have a real chance at being successful without worrying about US securities laws.

She unveiled her proposal while holding a speech at the Chicago International Blockchain Congress on Thursday, and said crypto startups should be given a 3-year period of grace since they have sold their first token, in order for them to achieve enough decentralization and pass the evaluations conducted by SEC, the Howey Test conducted by the US Supreme Court included. Here is what some notes in the proposal are saying:

“The analysis of whether a token is offered or sold as a security is not static and does not strictly inhere to the digital asset.”

This means some tokens may seem like a security at the launch, but when mature enough, they no longer appear to be one.

Peirce Has Brought Safe Harbor Up Before

It’s not the first time that Pierce has come up with the idea of a safe harbor, but on Thursday, she made her proposal official. If other SEC commissioners adopt it, crypto projects would have to conform to some strict requirements when it comes to raising funds through a token sale. Code and personal disclosures, also public notices would have to be released. This is what Peirce’s notes say about this:

“The safe harbor is also designed to protect token purchasers by requiring disclosures tailored to the needs of the purchasers and preserving the application of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws.”

Consumer Protection Increased

In an effort to increase consumer protection, Peirce said the project’s source code, token economics, transaction history and a history of other token sales that took place in the past should also be disclosed. She added the proposal is dependent upon development teams taking action in good faith, so it can’t be available to those teams that have disqualified members for the reason of being bad actors under the securities laws. Also, projects resulted from fraud or illegal activities would not be protected, as she exactly said:

“SEC enforcement has played an important role in combating fraud in connection with token sales.”

“The safe harbor would not provide immunity from such actions.”

Exclusivity Won’t Be Offered

Projects involved can still make operations under the existing federal securities laws. However, the proposal wouldn’t apply to already operational projects, but more to those in their early development stages, so that communities and networks are getting built more easily.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Crypto Trading Platform Uphold Drops Fees Across The Board To Entice Traders

The famous cryptocurrency trading platform Uphold is no longer charging its users a commission, this was announced on Tuesday by the company.

Ever since TD Ameritrade and Schwab have begun to stop charging their traditional markets customers commissions for trading, it’s very likely other companies in the same category, including Uphold, have seriously thought of doing the same.

The Move Was Made After More Liquidity Providers Have Been Gained

JP Thieriot, the CEO of Uphold says the move was made because Uphold is now able to net trade at lower costs, after it has gained more liquidity providers. These are Thieriot’s exact words:

“In the old paradigm you charged a spread and a fee. Now, the fee part has gone away, there’s a spread on anything that’s traded. We’ve gotten to a level of precision in the way the platform functions to be able to operate on spread and have a lower spread overall.”

Supported Assets to Be Traded in Real-Time on the Platform

Fees for the Uphold customers who are funding their Uphold accounts with debit or credit cards are going to be eliminated too. Aside from removing the fees, the company has also announced the launch of a new feature that allows customers to trade supported assets in real-time on its platform, so the need for a bridge currency like the US dollar for converting between assets is eliminated. Uphold has simplified the trading interface on its platform soon after completing the integration with the ledgers holding the currencies that it supports, also the native pre-currency of the same ledgers.

Uphold Supports 27 Cryptocurrencies

Known in the past as Bitreserve, Uphold rebranded itself back in 2015. It provides international remittances and exchange services in Bitcoin (BTC) and fiat currencies. At the same time, it offers efficient e-commerce services. The Uphold platform works in 182 countries and has support for 27 cryptocurrencies and 29 fiat ones. Back in January 2018, the chief risk officer at Ripple, Greg Kidd, made a $57.5 million in the company, in order to create its research and development arm, Uphold Labs.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Japanese Crypto Exchange Liquid to Offer Bitcoin Perpetual Contracts

The famous Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has announced on Monday that its platform will support Bitcoin (BTC) perpetual contracts offering 100x leverage to traders.

A lot like futures but different from the traditional contracts, perpetual contracts don’t expire at a certain date. This is how Liquid explained the newly offered perpetual contracts product:

“A perpetual contract has no expiry date and has no interest fees. Instead, a funding swap occurs between all open perpetual long and short contracts on Liquid. When trading perpetual contracts on Liquid you are trading contracts based on the price of BTC. Perpetual BTC contracts are represented by the P-BTC ticker on Liquid.”

The New Investment Instruments Still in Beta Phase

The date for the public launch if the new investment instruments hasn’t been given yet, as the project is still in the closed beta stage. For now, Liquid is inviting traders to perform tests on its platform and talks about a promotional offer of free services for one month. The company has been launched back in 2014. It’s a subsidiary of Quoine, the Japanese fintech behemoth. Its platform grants users access to crypto exchanges from all over the world. Besides, it’s valuated at more than $1 billion.

Liquid Will Be a Direct Competitor of Huobi and Binance

After the new instruments are going to be launched, Liquid will compete directly with giants like Huobi and Binance. Back in 2019, FTX backed by Binance launched a similar instrument that tracks 8 of the most popular crypto projects in China.

The financial regulator in Japan is thinking of putting a 2x leverage cap that depends on the crypto margin trading at exchanges, while Liquid is continuing to offer its very large client base more crypto-based services. For example, last year it redefined and improved trading services by introducing an isolated margin trading. More than this, its platform held a public sale for the Gram token created by Telegram, only to recently cancel it.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Litecoin Dev Says LTC Could Soft Fork To Activate Taproot-Schnorr On Same Timeline As Bitcoin

Soon after a famous crypto analyst, Lucas Nuzzi made his 2020 prediction for the Bitcoin’s (BTC) soft fork, one Reddit user asked several in the Litecoin (LTC) community questions section, about the plans for the Shnorr-Taproot upgrade.

On January 19, this Reddit user, who is very curious about how cryptocurrencies are developing from a technological point of view, asked if the Blockchain silver network is going to go through a Schnorr-Taproot upgrade. The LTC developer responded with this:

LTC before or after BTC?

Another user who’s always asking the most interesting questions about blockchain projects decided to talk about LTC developers’ plans, trying to uncover what they’re intending to do. Therefore, he addressed the question regarding the network upgrade being made with the roll-out of Taproot schemes and Schnorr signatures for the reason that this would highly increase security.

Losh11, another user who may be the LTC developer Loshan T, decided to answer him by saying neither BTC, nor LTC, have any business to implement this type of upgrades. Lucas Nuzzi thinks the upgrade may be a soft fork for the Bitcoin (BTC) network this year.

Litecoin (LTC) is Being Very Private

All in all, the Schnorr-Taproot upgrade will change the way transaction mechanism of signing in on to the Litecoin (LTC) network is taking place, allowing multi-signature options to be developed. The same upgrade is sure to be complementary with the MimbleWimble protocol implementation into the same network. It can be used to hide transaction data and to make things more confidential in the blockchain.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Swiss Crypto-Friendly SEBA Bank To Raise An Additional $96.5M 2 Months After Getting License

SEBA, is the famous crypto bank which obtained its regulatory license last year in November from the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The crypto asset bank is looking to raise a secondary capital of 100 million Swiss Francs which is equivalent to $95 million US Dollar, reported Financial News London.

SEBA and its competitor Sygnum were among the very first and one of its kind crypto banking service providers to receive a regulatory clearance from FINMA. The crypto bank in question had massive success with the first funding round as well where they raised $103 million and this is the reason they are quite confident of their secondary fundraiser.

The crypto bank which was officially launched just six months ago is already planning to expand in 9 countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Although Seba hasn’t launched any branch in these countries, the institutional investors can still open their account with the crypto bank.

The crypto banking service providers currently support five major cryptocurrencies on their platform which includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic. The crypto bank also offers a range of banking services to make crypto transactions and handling quite easy. They offer SEBA wallet app, e-banking services, and SEBA card along with the provision for crypto to crypto and crypto to fiat conversion as well.

Switzerland is a Crypto Heaven

Switzerland is considered among the most crypto-friendly countries on earth due to progressive and user-friendly regulations. This is the reason it has become the alternate choice for many crypto service providers who fails to obtain regulatory clearance in their native country. Switzerland was the choice for Facebook to register their nascent crypto project Libra as they were aware of regulatory scrutiny back home in the United States.

Given Seba’s rapid expansion plans, a significant portion of the funds raised from the second funding round could be utilized towards that aspect.

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Author: James W