Microsoft Files Patent To Mine Cryptocurrencies With Verified Body Activity Data

Giant software manufacturer, Microsoft is seeking to capitalize on the new crypto hype. The firm is seeking to introduce its own cryptocurrency that will be mined using human energy replacing the costly mining process that is used today, Bitcoinist reports.

As per patent documents, the proposed Microsoft cryptocurrency will utilize body activity data. The company states that this will allow individuals in mining getting rid of the ASICs. The patent states that various forms of human body activities like the heat produced when a user executes different tasks online can be used in mining and be used as a proof-of-work. Microsoft explains:

“A brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing an advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.”

The documents goes on to explain that body activities will help in replacing intense computation work that must be used in various crypto systems. Users will be able to solve computationally challenges unconsciously serving as proof-of-work.

As per te patent documents, various tasks will increase or reduce the computational energy in regards to the activity being generated. Use of human body activity data for mining will work via a server which will command through wearable devices. The crypto system which is linked to the user’s device will then verify if the body activity meets the set conditions of the crypto system. Crypto will then be awarded to the user.

Currently, Microsoft is yet to reveal if the new cryptocurrency will be developed on a blockchain network or the company will develop its own framework. Similarly, it is not also clear if the new crypto project will happen soon.

The innovation comes at a time when crypto mining has been on the spotlight for excessive use of energy. It is claimed that the Proof-of-Work system utilizes more energy compared to Chile. The new system will also help in dealing with e-waste problems in the crypto space.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Crypto Lender Nexo Now Allows Retail Investors To Use PAX Gold (PAXG) As Collateral

Renowned crypto lending firm Nexo has opened up the possibility of retail investors to use PAX Gold (PAXG) as a collateral option against loans. The firm had previously launched a pilot scheme on the same but the services were only available to institutional investors only. The pilot saw a high demand for the gold-backed credit lines and the firm has decided to extend the service to retail investors.

The announcement signifies that collateralized borrowing backed by high-grade gold can be extended to everyone and not only the rich.

PAX Gold token was introduced in September last year and is entirely backed by as well as redeemable for actual gold which is currently kept in Brink’s vaults. Every token is backed by ‘fine troy ounce of London Good Delivery Gold’ that allows the user to own gold which is a safe-haven asset. Tokenization adds to the convenience of the safe-haven asset.

During the pilot phase, there was a high demand for its gold-backed credit among the institutional customers such that the firm had to invest an extra $5 million in PAXG to satisfy the investors demand.

The expanded scheme that will rope in the retail customers will enable everyone to take advantage of gold-backed PAXG assets using it as collateral within the Nexo platform.

According to Nexo co-founder, gold backed PAXG is highly relevant more so during high volatility times like currently and majority of retail clients have been seeking for such a service. He explained:

“Especially in high-volatility times, as in the present, gold is sought after by many of our retail clients and we have worked towards reflecting their wishes.”

The crypto loans sector has been growing rapidly in the recent past as the majority of crypto owners or holders are looking to use their assets as collateral as opposed to liquidating them.

Nexo enjoys the backing of Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder, and was able to raise $52.5 million during a private token sale back in 2018.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Blockchain Firm HashCash Consultants Plans Inverse ETF ‘CFIX’ Tied To Coronavirus Outbreak

Blockchain firm, HashCash Consultants is set to launch a new crypto asset with a promise of potential profit despite the ongoing turbulent times in the financial market.

HashCash announced on Mar. 23 of its latest inverse ETF dubbed Corona Fund Index Cryptocurrency (CFIX) where traders will have an opportunity to gain profits at the current corona-driven bear market.

As per the press release, the new offering will be inversely linked to the S&P 500. In other words when the S&P 500 loses value the new offering gains its value. This will be achieved through holding different assets as well as derivatives to acquire an inverse exposure as well as create profits after the underlying index drops.

The new CFIX is set to be paired against the USDT and will be rolled on April 2.

According to the press statement, about 90% of the fees collected from CFIX is set to be used on Corona relief efforts. The firm will divert this money to its Corona Relief Fund where it is donating to organizations that are actively fighting the Corona crisis.

HashCash states that the new project aims at ensuring that the requisite resources essential in the development of vaccines, treatments, and drugs for the Corona pandemic does not get depleted.

The firm also revealed that not-for-profit organizations can apply. However, it did not reveal the names of partners or charities it is currently funding.

Raj Chowdhury, HashCash CEO, explained that the development of CFIX is in tandem with the startup’s aim of offering financial help to nonprofits as well as research organizations fighting the Coronavirus crisis across the globe. He stated:

“The ETF backing incentivizes CFIX, which benefits not only the traders but enables us to raise more funds for all who are affected by Novel Coronavirus, which is the ultimate goal of this initiative.”

HashCash is not the first firm to launch such an initiative. 4Chain introduced the CoronaCoin (NCOV), which is an ERC-20 token which has a supply equivalent to the global population, on Feb. 12.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Cred Teams Up With NBA Star Spencer Dinwiddie To Offer 10% Interest On Crypto Loans

Crypto lending and borrowing firm, Cred, has signed an agreement with NBA Brooklyn Nets basketball star and tech entrepreneur Spencer Dinwiddie to enhance crypto lending. Cred rolled out a new post on their website to encourage Dinwiddie’s fans to start using their current holdings to earn interest.

As per the partnership, Cred will allow clients to make money by using stablecoins as well as other crypto-assets. The users will earn a 10% annual interest as per the advert. The users will also access lending services by collateralizing their crypto assets.

The new deal specifically targets Dinwiddie’s fans by allowing them to earn money from their stablecoins. Dinwiddie praised the deal saying that he will use the opportunity to create awareness about crypto and blockchain among his fans. He stated:

“This partnership comes at a critical time, where I can educate my fans on the power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain while they earn interest on their digital assets.”

The partnership will require the users to lock their assets in Cred platform for about six months. However, interests will be paid on a monthly basis in the form of fiat or crypto.

Part of the proceeds from the partnership will be given to Dinwiddie Family Foundation that offers college scholarships to disadvantaged youths in the society.

Although Dinwiddie has made his name in the basketball space, he is also actively involved in the blockchain and crypto space. The NBA star launched the Dream Fan Shares which is a tokenization initiative developed on Ethereum in September last year. The initiative aims at introducing ‘Professional Athlete Investment Tokens’ that allows accredited investors to buy securities linked to an athlete’s success.

As per the project, Dinwiddie’s contract was set to be the inaugural security but the NBA was reluctant to approve the idea, however, the status of the project remains unclear to date.

While the partnership with Cred may look strange, it is a huge boost for the NBA star whose belief in the crypto world has never been in doubt if his Twitter activity is anything to go by.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

2017 Tech Rolls Out On Coinbase; Bitcoin Batching Will Help Reduce Network Fees by 50%

Coinbase has announced rolling out Bitcoin Batching for its transactions going forward. The firm posted a blog on March 12 noting that they’ve officially launched this feature and are optimistic it will save users up to 50% in fees.

Despite the extremely volatile crypto market in the past 24 hours, Coinbase proceeded to pioneer Bitcoin Batching within its network. Prior to this development, the exchange has been broadcasting single BTC transactions on the chain but this will now be done in batches. The blog highlighted that the move will not only reduce operation costs but ease congestion on Bitcoin’s network;

“we anticipate that this will reduce our load on the Bitcoin network by more than 50%, and the network fees our customers pay will automatically be reduced by an equivalent amount when sending.”

With this innovation, Coinbase is hopeful of improving the BTC protocol in order to facilitate scalability and reduce processing time. The blog further noted that general Bitcoin network fees will be fairer if transactions were to be executed in a timely fashion.

Stakeholders Reaction to Coinbase BTC Batching

As one would expect, Coinbase users stand to benefit the most from this initiative. The blog said that no action was required from them given the launch; they, however, should start realizing the fee benefits of Bitcoin batching immediately.

Some Bitcoin enthusiasts, on the other hand, have criticized the project on twitter. They said that Coinbase was late to the game as its peer competitors such as Kraken that rolled out bitcoin batching as early as 2017. This tech, while not new, has the potential for privacy issues and has become a somewhat hot topic in the past. According to industry experts, BTC batching exposes the addresses of recipients in that particular batch. One does not necessarily know the exact PII but will have the information that you both received BTC funds from a certain exchange.

Coinbase said that they are currently in the process of integrating both the normal exchange and Coinbase Pro. They, however, added that users who operate on the latter will not feel the effect as they already recover 100% of their network fees.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

South Korea Remittance Firm, Coinone Transfer, Attributes 50% Monthly Growth to RippleNet

  • A South Korean firm leveraging Ripple’s technology has grown exponentially according to a release on March 4.
  • Coinone Transfer operates as a financial services firm leveraging RippleNet to solve the shortcomings in Korea’s International remittances.
  • The firm has attributed its success to Ripple’s blockchain as per a recent Swell discussion.

Coinone began product development on RippleNet back in 2018; immediately after South Korea lifted a ban which earlier sidelined non-bank institutions. With new rules in place, Coinone aimed at using Ripple’s blockchain to tap into the S.Korea’s $33 billion remittance market. This partnership was initiated through SBI Ripple Asia in the same year.

According to the Coinone’s Business Development Manager for Transfers, Camille Jeong, Ripple’s involvement has been more beneficial than they had imagined.

Speaking at the Swell discussion, Camille said that volumes have grown 50% every month since integrating RippleNet. In addition, the International remittances services provider has managed to retain over 80% of its clientele.

Behind the Success

Ripple’s blockchain has featured in a number of discussions on how to answer the questions of lag time and cost in sending payments/remittances across borders. Coinone attributed its success to RippleNet’s ecosystem, which consists of other financial services leveraging its blockchain.

With such a network, the South Korean firm has been able to settle its transactions far faster than conventional banks. It’s this, coupled with the country’s real-time settlement on domestic transactions that have made Coinone Transfer’s remittance product Cross a truly niche enterprise.

Another factor that accelerated Coinone’s adoption is Ripple’s tracking feature. Basically, users get live updates on the progress of their transactions; this has been a strong marketing point for Coinone.

Looking at this development, both Ripple and Coinone are set to achieve greater things in 2020. However, this is only a mere projection that can significantly change given the crypto market volatility.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

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

Bitmain’s Antminer E3 Reportedly Halts Ethereum Classic Mining; Ethereum Will Be Next

According to a report by altcoin mining firm 2Miners, miners started to report an unexpected drop in Antminer E3 hashrate on Ethereum Classic (ETC) cryptocurrency mining pool while Ethereum (ETH) mining was working fine. As per the report, the hashrate dropped by almost seven folds from 80-200 MH/s to 30 MH/s. This prompted the firm to start an investigation to establish the cause of the problem.

The mining firm realized that the problem was being experienced by all pools dealing with Ethereum Classic all over the world. However, the Ethereum pools’ ASICs were performing as expected with no problems reported.

U.Today reports that from the onset of the investigations, the miners saw this as a normal problem which is mostly caused by enhanced DAG file volume. DAG, a short form for Directed Acyclic Graph File, in most cases generated in each mining epoch as it is utilized in starting ethash or the Dagger Hashimoto algorithm to produce block solutions during the process of altcoin mining.

This file’s volume is enhanced on each mining epoch that takes about 30,000 blocks, approximately 5 days for Ethereum as well as Ethereum Classic. In 2017-2018, the increase of DAG files led to slowing of GPUs used in ethash mining.

With this assumption, 2Miners investigators contacted Bitmain support to enquire what was going on and the firm issued a response today. Bitmain stated:

“E3 miner is a 4G video card. E3 is related to ETH algorithm, and DDR capacity is up to the upper limit, so E3 will not be able to continue mining.”

According to the response, Bitmain also stated that E3 will cease mining ETC after January 2020. 2Miners conducted some calculations and established that Ethereum (ETH) mining is set to be stopped in 5 week, April 8, since it is only 10 epochs behind Ethereum Classic.

Some crypto community commentators discussed the issue on social media and through a tweet, Kristy-Leigh Minehan, Ethereum mining algorithm writer, suggested that this was an opportunity for production of other capable miners by Bitmain’s competitors.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

DeFi App Celsius Partners With Simplex to Integrate Fiat Onramp To Buy Crypto Direct

The UK-based crypto lending firm Celsius Network has just closed a partnership with Simplex so that it can offer in-app crypto purchases, an announcement from February 18 says.

More and more crypto business from all over the world are trying to integrate into their operations the fiat onramp options for their customers to jump into crypto more easily. Simplex is very popular for being a fiat-to-crypto payments provider, especially since it services exchanges like Binance and now it will unlock direct crypto purchases for the users of the Celsius app.

Celsius Clients Will Be Able to Buy BTC and ETH via Credit or Debit Cards

The partnership enables Celsius clients to buy cryptocurrencies such as the Bitcoin (BTC) or the Ether (ETH) just by using their credit or debit cards. Just like other fiat onramps powered by Simplex, the feature supports payments made with via Visa and Mastercard.

Aside from making in-app crypto purchases possible, the partnership will greatly cut the costs of unloading BTC on the Celsius platform. This means transaction fees will be reduced by 50% and the credit or debit card crypto purchases will only charge 3.5%.

The US Dollar Accepted as the Only Currency

When it will be launched, the Celsius platform will accept only the US dollar as a new payment option, says a Celsius spokesperson. More than this, the monthly crypto purchases will have to remain at under $20,000. Simplex was founded back in 2014 as a crypto-enabled payment processor. On February 14, it has unlocked another 15 fiat currencies for Visa and Mastercard payments on Binance.

In the past, Simplex was also providing its services to OKCoin and KuCoin. The Celsius Network reached at the end of 2019 the total crypt loan origination of $4.25 billion.

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Author: Oana Ularu

DeFi Startup Amber Raises $28M From Pantera, Coinbase To Expand Operations

The Hong Kong-based firm offering crypto finance services Amber Group has managed to raise $28 million in Series A round of funding.

The main investors were Pantera Capital, Paradigm, Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Fenbushi Capital and Blockchain.com. Dragonfly Capital invested as well. On Friday, Amber Group said the funds are going to be used to add fresh attributes to the platform and expand operations so that client demands are met. Here’s what Michael Wu, the CEO at Amber Group had to say about what the company is planning to do:

“While the industry has come a long way, there is still plenty of work to do in order to meet the growing demands of clients in a fragmented market. We’re thrilled to partner with some of the world’s leading investors and crypto companies to accelerate our mission of strengthening the crypto finance ecosystem.”

Amber Offers its Clients a Plethora of Services

Amber Group offers its clients services like collateralized lending, automated OTC trading and crypto electronic market making. It serves mining pools and companies, hedge funds, wallets and exchanges. The CEO and founder of Pantera Capital, Dan Morehead, had this to say about the investment its company made in Amber:

“Our most successful investments have been when we’ve found companies doing something better than we can ourselves. Amber dramatically improved our electronic execution across a wide spectrum of assets.”

Amber AI Was the First Ever Created Amber Structure

In 2015, Amber started as Amber AI, a company providing artificial intelligence algorithms for trading Chinese stocks and securities. In 2017, it switched to crypto as there were huge opportunities for arbitrage. They could, for example, buy from one exchange Bitcoin (BTC) for $7,300 and sell it on another exchange for $7,700, making this way a 5% profit. In the October – December 2017 time period, Amber gained 100% to 200% each month, even though its total assets were only a few millions of US dollars.

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Author: Oana Ularu