New Mimblewimble Code & Community-wide Testnet Launch Might Come in Q1 2021

Implementation of privacy features on Litecoin while other privacy coins getting delisted have people bullish on LTC.

“The first implementation of non-interactive txs is finally ready for testing!” said David Burkett while sharing the update on implementing Mimblewimble to bring privacy to the network.

In the month of December, the first-ever implementation of one-sided txs on Mimblewimble is completed and ready for testing and review and MWEB components have also been added to the GUI.

Going forward, one more week would take to prep Grin++for the final planned hard fork of Grin. And once the new version is released, Burkett will get the new MWEB code ready and launch the new community-wide testnet. This will allow everyone, regardless of technical abilities, to test out the MWEB and provide feedback.

However, there is still no exact date ready for when the code will be finished, but Burkett did ensure that he is “getting very close” but with a lot of automated tests to backfill still, a few outstanding questions about max weight for the EBs & peg-in/peg-out maturity, and lots of small cleanup tasks remaining. He said,

“I’m still expecting to have the code finished sometime this quarter (Q1 2021) though, so it won’t be long.”

Making it a Reality

As per the original plan, the MWEB was to be completed in a year but the team is already two months behind. Burkett said,

“While we didn’t quite meet our original timeline, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I’ve put in countless late-night hours working to make MWEB a reality.”

“But there’s simply too much at stake to release anything less than perfection. LTC deserves it, and we’re all doing everything we can to deliver on that.”

The delay has been because of completely rewriting the code from scratch, while initially it was thought that Grin++’s code would be reused but it didn’t mesh well with the LTC codebase.

Additionally, the original plan included only interactive transactions but that meant users had to be online to receive funds, which would’ve been a whole lot worse for usability, noted the developer who further shared that “at the time, non-interactive txs were not even considered possible in MW, but we figured out a way to do it.”

Enjoying the Greens

During the update, Burkett also urged the community to continue with more donations as he said, “despite huge LTC gains, only 0.25 LTC were donated this month.” Every donation would be matched to litoshi-for-litoshi by Bitcoin creator Charlie Lee.

The price of LTC has been enjoying a rally since 4Q20, moving in tandem with Bitcoin. While Bitcoin went crazy with its over 315% gains in 2020, Litecoin surged just over 220%.

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $10.21 billion is currently trading above $153, up 190% since Oct.

Amidst the ongoing delisting of privacy featured coins, like Zcash (ZEC), Monero (XMR), and DASH from crypto exchanges, some speculate it could make LTC more valuable. Crypto analyst Alex Saunders said,

“More privacy coin delisting news today. My thesis & narrative around Litecoin’s 2nd coming strengthens. With XRP out of the picture & LTC’s regulatory certainty (age, distribution, decentralization, Grayscale Trust) it could regain #3 as it implements privacy features.

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Author: AnTy

Bitfinex Introduces Lending Service To Compete With The Booming DeFi Ecosystem

  • Bitfinex launches borrowing and lending features to its exchange.
  • Users can take up crypto collateralized loans, paid out in USD or Tether.

Bitfinex exchange is launching the ‘BitFinex Borrow‘ feature aiming to compete with the growing decentralized finance ecosystem. This is a peer-to-peer platform that will allow users to borrow short-term loans directly from the exchange to avoid selling cryptocurrencies. Despite an ongoing investigation by the New York State on BitFinex and its sister company Tether, the exchange is experiencing exponential developmental growth – the latest feature proving a testament.

BitFinex Borrow will allow users to place either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) as collateral to take up a loan in USD or Tether stablecoin, USDt.

The launch follows a resurgence of the DeFi ecosystem in the past few days following a month-long breather that saw investors rush back to Bitcoin. BitFinex Borrow will be competing with decentralized lending platforms such as Aave, Maker, and Compound in a burgeoning market. The exchange also joins Binance, who introduced lending services to its users earlier in the year.

Paolo Ardoino, BitFinex chief technology officer, clarified that BitFinex Borrow is strictly a borrowing platform. Unlike the DeFi lending protocols, users will not pool their funds to obtain a return rate; he further explains.

“This particular offering isn’t about lending out your crypto and obtaining a rate of return on it. The crypto loan is obtained via Bitfinex’s peer-to-peer lending platform, though it may consist of a pool of available credit.”

Once you obtain a loan, the collateralized assets are then offered to a different user through BitFinex Funding – a separate product from the Borrow feature. The two are connected using the Lending Pro feature creating a peer-to-peer web of lending and borrowing.

The service charges a variable and fixed rate ranging between 5.5% and 18.5% depending on several factors, including the amount loaned, the term of the loan, and previous history on the platform, the statement noted. The interest rate is also calculated based on the BitFinex Flash Return Rate (FRR) – offering both a fixed and floating rate.

The FRR is a “moving average of interest rates proposed on BitFinex’s peer-to-peer financing market,” Ardoino stated.

“The moving average of what is available in the market is recalculated every hour,” he added.

“The crypto loan is provided on a peer-to-peer basis through Bitfinex’s financing matching engine (separate and apart from the trading matching engine).”

BitFinex Borrow will offer short term loans with a maximum of 120 days limit on each loan. The loan service is only available to verified customers who have completed the know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BitMEX Launches Its Full-Control Mobile App to Crypto Traders In Over 140 Countries

BitMEX launches mobile-based trading app allowing users to enjoy the crypto exchange’s features on the go. According to an announcement on Sept 1, BitMEX Mobile is available on both iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

The mobile trading app aims at improving the user experience on the exchange even when off your work desk. Additionally, its will enable swift crypto futures trading with access to all account features available on the desktop site.

Speaking on the launch of the new mobile trading app, Ben Radclyffe, commercial director of 100x, the parent company of the crypto derivatives exchange, confirmed BitMEX mobile is now available in over 140 companies after a successful test period across 28 countries earlier in the year. He further said,

“Our global audience, many of them are mobile first, so having an innate mobile application that allows them to access our product and our services should help increase our user base.”

The application offers users a host of features including direct deposits and withdrawals on their wallets and trading features including market orders, limit orders, take profits and stop losses. The BitMEX Mobile app provides an easy to configure and clear user interface allowing quick buy options by swiping the page.

The app also provides push notifications, price alerts, biometric logins and authentication as well as better security protocols. The on-the-go app however will not be as complex as the desktop version, Radclyffe said in a statement obtained by BEG. “It’s a slightly degraded experience as you can imagine,” Radclyffe on the differences between the desktop and new BitMEX Mobile app.

BitMEX currently is the fourth largest Bitcoin derivatives exchange in daily trading volume recording $1.80 billion in Bitcoin futures on Sept 1, Skew Market reports. This represents a slight $0.4 billion increase in trading volumes in BTC Futures in the past 24 hours.

BitMEX’s extended efforts to launch the Mobile app follows an announcement that new and existing users are subject to KYC requirements by February 2021 in a bid to be more compliant.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Uniswap Version 2 Goes Live On Ethereum Mainnet Promising Enhanced Features

  • Uniswap v2 goes live on Ethereum mainnet
  • Flash loans are among the new features of Uniswap v2

Uniswap v2 Goes Live on Ethereum Mainnet

In an announcement on May 19, 2020, decentralized finance platform, Uniswap, announced that its new set of updates are live on Ethereum mainnet. This follows the successful testing of the platform on Ropsten, Rinkeby, Kovan and Görli testnets.

According to Uniswap’s project lead – Hayden Adams – the second iteration aims to solve the piercing challenges faced on the premier version including running all token swaps through ETH.

The Uniswap v2 will also add a new oracle system to complement its already running price oracle in a bid to onboard new users to DeFi projects.

The Uniswap v2 Upgrades

Following the announcement of Uniswap’s latest version back in March, the Uniswap v2 platform is finally live on the Ethereum network.

While the platform greatly differs from its predecessor, three features are highlighted in the post including:

  • Flash loans
  • Manipulation-resilient price oracles
  • The ability for anyone to create any token pair they want, if it’s on Ethereum.

Uniswap v1 supported an Ethereum-only swapping feature which always required two trades to complete ERC 20 token pair exchanges.

The second iteration is expected to have a direct pair of ERC 20 tokens; lowering the cost of the transaction while allowing liquidity providers to reduce their volatility on one side of the pool if paired with stablecoins.

The new v2 platform will include flash loans: a topic that has been met with a collective raising of eyebrows for many across the crypto industry.

To summarize: Flash loans permit a user to borrow any amount up to the total liquidity available, so long as the whole sum gets returned in the same transaction. The Uniswap v2 flash loans are expected to lower the overall number of transactions a user makes, saving them on fees.

Another distinctive feature is the introduction of manipulation-resistant price oracles that will provide backup for the Uniswap price discovery system. Uniswap will not use these price oracles as a main point of reference, however. But as a way of improving its own systems. Adams said:

“There is this huge demand for oracles, and it’s a very valuable thing to have an on-chain price feed, especially a decentralized one.”

Uniswap currently holds over $43 million in locked value on the platform representing a 2.3% drop in the past 24 hours.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Adds New Feature to XRP Ledger 1.5.0 To Increase Efficiency and Use Cases

XRPLedger’s team announced the addition of several new features on the platform to increase the efficiency, scalability of the network and also increase its real-world use cases. The new features were added on the platform last week. XRP Ledger acts as a gateway for XRP based payment settlement and also facilitate the exchange of the digital asset.

Over the years, even though XRP has been at the center of controversy and centralization debate, XRP Ledger has turned out to be the choice of numerous banks around the globe where Ripple has partnered with over 200 commercial and central banks for cross-border remittance systems. The Blog Post detailing the new features and services read,

“support for gRPC API, API versioning, UNL propagation via the peer network, new RPC methods, augmented submit method, improved tx methods, improved CLI parsing, improved protocol-level handshaking protocol, improved package building, and various other minor bug fixes and improvements.”

The XRP developer team also notified that in the coming week they will be updating the XRP Ledger mainnet, Ripple servers as well as clusters and validators to the latest 1.5.0 version. XRP Ledger which was introduced a year back as an enterprise solution helps different financial organization to utilize the open-source software and integrate it to their existing financial infrastructure by leveraging XRP. This ledger is then used for cross-border remittance in any currency.

The XRP Centralization Dilemma

Ripple has maintained that XRP is a decentralized currency and the firm has no control over it, however, their claims are not easily believed as a majority of the token is held by Ripple themselves. Out of the 100 billion pre-mined XRP at the start, Ripple owned 80% of the total supply which it releases in the market.

While the debate over the centralization continues, Ripple is also involved in several class-action lawsuits where it has been alleged that XRP is a security, and as per the regulatory guidelines any firm cannot sell these securities unless they have been cleared by the SEC. This is the reason Telegram’s GRAM token is yet to be issued to its early investors, even though the firm was supposed to launch its mainnet back in October 2019.

Ripple, however, maintains that XRP is decentralized and there is no control over the functioning of the ledger, and even if Ripple Labs closes tomorrow the XRP Ledger would continue to function as it does today.

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Author: James W

Bittrex Global Rolls Out Ability To Buy Crypto With Credit Cards and Referral Program

Bittrex just made the announcement that it has introduced new features onto its platform, such as credit card support, mobile app upgrades and a referral program.

Bittrex Global users from the UK, France, the Netherlands and Germany will be offered the credit card support, while the exchange is trying to expand to users from all over the world. When it comes to the mobile app users, these will soon have the option of placing conditional trade orders like risk management stop-limit orders.

The Commission Price Structure Not Yet Disclosed

In spite of talking about the new share trading fees referral program, Bittrex didn’t mention anything about its program’s price structure for commissions. The company’s COO, Stephen Stonber, said the exchange has plans to launch some new features in the following months. Here are his exact words about this:

“We are continually working on ways to provide a better experience for users. An enhanced mobile trading experience is one of our top priorities and creating this new credit card gateway is an important way of lowering the barriers to digital asset trading for new and existing customers alike. These features are the first of many we have planned that will underline Bittrex Global’s ambition to provide the best and most secure platform for digital trading.”

Partner Biteeu Announces the Launch of Australian Exchange

The Bittrex-powered and Estonia-based company Biteeu also made the announcement of an Australian exchange launch. Biteeu is at the moment registered as a crypto exchange provider with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). It provides exposure to over 70 cryptocurrencies present on the market in Australia. Biteeu crypto purchases can be made through wire transfers or debit card in Australian dollars.

Bittrex’s Trading Volume Declined

Ever since the 2017’s high bull run, Bittrex’s share of crypto trading volume has continuously declined. As reported by CryptoQuant, the exchange attracted 40% cryptocurrency inflows of the entire market. Since February, the inflows are under 10%, whereas the Bittrex’s Bitcoin (BTC) inflows decreased from 88% to 2%. Currently, the exchange has a $45.6 million 24-hour volume, occupying the 90th place in the crypto exchanges top of exchanges with the largest trade activity.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Tron Launches A New TIP While BTFS Prepares to Deliver Next-Gen Decentralized Storage

  • Sprinkle of good news: TPS to add new features to TVM, number of accounts on Tron Network exceed 4.7 million, partnership with Steemit, and BTFS mainnet launch
  • Deluge of bad news: Community upset Justin Sun gets involved in SR election and Tron-based $300 million USDT migrating back to Ethereum

A new TRON Improvement Proposal (TIP) number 32 has been launched on Friday, announced Tron CEO Justin Sun on Twitter.

If approved, this proposal will introduce three new features in Tron Virtual Machine (TVM). These features will include support for parallel signature verification, multiple signature verification, and judging whether the address is the contract address. Justin Sun said,

“After the proposal is approved, it will further enrich the application scenarios of smart contracts.”

Sprinkle of Good News

While a new proposal has been put forward to add more functionality to TVM, the total number of accounts on Tron Network surpassed 4.7 million, as per Tron Scan.

With the total number of accounts now reached 4,713,075, “the TRON ecosystem is growing at a steady pace,” and welcoming more developers and users to join their community.

Amidst the ever growing Tron network, it recently also partnered with Steemit and in less than five days, it would launch the BTFS mainnet v1.0.2 in Beta, before which it supported prod upload payment, fixed crash bugs, implemented offline signing javascript sdk, and added documentation on opening static ports on Linux, Mac, and Windows. BitTorrent Inc. wrote.

“With this revolutionary upgrade, BTFS will deliver a next-gen decentralized storage service to countless users.”

Deluge of Bad News

The Tron community has many milestones and partnerships to be excited about, but earlier this week, Sun voting in the Super Representative (SR) election left the community angry.

The election was to be “100 community driven” when the Tron-Ace and Tron-Bet received favoritism from the main guy, Sun himself. The Zion addresses, that is the same one that received 99 billion TRX during the network’s mainnet launch, voted 200 million and 310 million to Tron-Bet and Tron-Ace respectively.

Naturally, the community demanded an explanation as despite the Tron documentation clearly stating that Justin Sun or Tron Foundation, both not to be engaged in community voting, there was involvement.

As we already know, Binance is already the top Tron SR controlling majority, over 50% of the network.

In yet another news, Tether took a shot at Tron by choosing Ethereum over it. The company announced the conversion of $300 million dollars worth of USDT back to the Ethereum network.

USDT first joined Tron last year and the issuance of USDT-TRX grew rapidly to the point of reaching $1 billion. But now, Tether is migrating a third of Tron-based USDT back to Ethereum that already dominates with more than half of $4.6 billion USDT.

For now, there’s no clarity on what prompted this change, neither from Tether or always active Tron’s side.

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Author: AnTy

NEXO Introduces 50% Interest Discount on Instant Crypto Credit Lines to Reduce Supply

  • NEXO’s utility features will now show a significant rise with the Discounted Interest of 50% on its Instant Crypto Credit Lines, using the Nexo Token.
  • The company is hard at work on the Utilities 2.0 Overhaul of their NEXO Token with a goal of bringing a host of new utility features.

NEXO will begin to execute a new improved policy of the 50% Interest Discount on its Instant Crypto Credit Lines, starting February 10th, announced the company on Wednesday. With the upgrade, the company says NEXO holders will see gains as “NEXO Token will experience a notable boost in its utility features.”

To collect the whole 50% discount, the company says customer’s wallets need to have sufficient Tokens to “cover the interest for the entire period from the moment of withdrawing funds from the credit line up to their desired moment of repayment.”

Customers that own staked NEXO Tokens for only a portion of the length of their loan, will collect on the discount that corresponds with the amount of days.

Customers that would like to benefit from the new Discount can also now use, NEXO, AUD, Stellar, USD, EOS, Bitcoin, as well as Bitcoin Cash, GBP, Ether, Litecoin, XRP, EUR and with all major stablecoins, with more assets coming soon for making repayments using all the assets accessible on the platform.

NEXO Token Holders Benefits

With the new changes, the company says it was designed to benefit the customers and owners of the tokens. Apart from providing the entire 50% Discount from the staking of their tokens, it allows holders to collect higher dividends.

Already, the company says it has allocated more in profits than all others in the blockchain ecosystem. Its dividend yield NEXO says has reached an “impressive 12.73%,” that surpasses “each of the highest dividend-paying stocks in the S&P 500.” Also, this “balances market volatility and results in a higher, more stable demand for NEXO Tokens.”

The company further says this upgrade will help in all long-term investors confidence by attracting customers to stake their NEXO Tokens over longer periods, which will lower the available market supply.

The 65th largest cryptocurrency currently has 560,000,011 NEXO tokens in circulating supply. At the time of writing, NEXO/USD has been trading at $0.139897 with 24 hours gains of 3.56%. If the supply of NEXO gets reduced while demand either stays the same or increases, the price is expected to take a jump.

Meanwhile, NEXO is planning further improvements and is working on revamping the NEXO Token Utilities 2.0, which can quickly usher in several utility features including higher Nexo card cashback, higher affiliate commissions, and better interest rates on both our ‘Instant Crypto Credit Lines’ and ’Earn Interest’ products.

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Author: AnTy

Algorand Is Now Supporting Smart Contracts that Are Non-Turing-Complete

On Thursday, the Algorand Foundation has launched an update for its blockchain protocol.

Algorand has added features for decentralized finance (DeFi) and smart contracts to its Algorand 2.0. This is the largest expansion for the network, after its June 2019 launch. The company’s CEO Steve Kokinos said about the release:

“With this release, new features and simple developer resources enable new use cases and broader adoption of blockchain overall.”

Algorand Employees Were Talking about the Development for Months

The company’s employees have been sending hints about the new development for months. This is the first time Algorand is supporting smart contracts, which are contracts driven by code that tracks and executes the formal agreements’ terms over time. The ASC smart contracts from Algorand are different from the ones powered by other blockchains. This is due to the fact that Algorand has an in-house programming language that’s non-Turing-complete. The language is called Transaction Execution Approval Language or TEAL.

Algorand’s Technology is Quite Unique

Turing completeness is measuring how able a programming language is to simulate another language and to manipulate its instructions. While all programming languages are Turing-complete, Algorand’s isn’t. What makes TEAL different is a feature and not a bug, as it makes the contracts developed on it safer to execute and to write. However, it’s quite limited when it comes to functionality because it doesn’t support recursive logic.

On the other hand, this means increased security and a more direct path to make sure that ASC contract coders are not inadvertently losing assets. According to Hacker Noon, a smart contract can be more easily and rapidly checked for errors when it’s written in a programming language not based on recursive logic.

Additional Upgrades to Algorand 2.0

Algorand has also introduced a function for standard asset issuance (ASA), which brings more various tokenization features and is a powerful DeFi tool. On the foundation’s developer page, it’s being claimed that any asset can be stored on-chain and digitized with ASA. The company has also introduced the Atomic Transfers feature for batch transactions. This new tool allows users to perform the most complex token transfers, including account settlements and circular trades, with only one transaction.

It was mentioned that Algorand 2.0 doesn’t interfere with the company’s sharia compliance certification because its key features haven’t changed. The market cap of Algorand is $108 million, ranking the foundation on the 48th position in the largest blockchains list.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Brave Web Browser to Release Native Reddit and Vimeo Tipping With Virtual Currencies

Brave Web Browser to Release Native Reddit and Vimeo Tipping With Virtual Currencies
  • Brave is working on new features to allow users tip creators on Reddit and Vimeo
  • There are other services that offer similar solutions on Twitter, Reddit and Discord

Brave decided to introduce a new feature that would allow users to tip other content creators on Reddit and Vimeo. Individuals will have the possibility to send these tips using Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Although these features are currently being tested in Brave’s Developer on desktop, they may be released to the market in the near future. This is according to what a company representative said on Reddit.

Tipping Using BAT Tokens

Brave is currently working in order to allow its users to tip other content creators using the Basic Attention Token currency that was developed by Brave to use on its web browser. The web browser was found by Brendan Eich, which is the current CEO of the company, and Brian Bondy, Brave’s CTO.

The firm is now working on this new feature that has not been officially announced but it has been added to Reddit and Vimeo feeds. As reported by a moderator for the Brave Reddit community, the company is testing these features for both platforms.

About it, the company representative commented:

“The features in our developer preview build make their way into our BETA and then MAIN on a 3-week development cycle, so they’ll be in MAIN soon!”

The new implementation is expected to be rolled out in some months rather than a few weeks, as many users would expect. However, users can already begin verifying their Reddit and Vimeo accounts to receive tips in beta. In addition to it, Brave is also testing a new feature that would allow users to tip some tweets.

The main goal behind these tips is to help creators reduce their dependency on ads. Moreover, this is only available for Brave Nightly, a testing development version of the web browser.

Furthermore, Brave is competing with Reborn 3, a desktop web browser that was released by Opera Software and that has an integrated crypto wallet, unlimited VPN data and also web 3 support. In addition to it, the wallet that is integrated to Reborn enables users to store collectibles in the browser that can also be synchronized with the Android version of the wallet.

At the moment, there are other tipping options for users on Twitter, Reddit and Discord. Users can send XRP tips to individuals in these platforms by adding a comment. Moreover, Tippin released a new service that allows individuals to send Bitcoin through the Lightning Network (LN) on Twitter and became very popular earlier this year when it was embraced by the CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey.

Basic Attention Token is currently the 31st largest cryptocurrency in the market with a valuation of $390 million and a price per coin of $0.306.

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Author: Carl T