Ethereum Layer 2 Solution, SKALE Network, Launches Its First Phase On Mainnet

SKALE – an open-source scaling solution backed by Gemini exchange founders Winklevoss brothers for scaling the Ethereum network – has started to roll out the first phase of its mainnet.

The Web 3.0 centered startup has been in the development mode for years with backing from the likes of Arrington Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Consensys, and more.

The main goal of the startup is to help decentralized applications (DApps) on the Ethereum network to scale better. The startup offers an elastic validator which can be utilized by developers and is fully compatible with the second-largest blockchain by market cap. In the first phase of the rollout, SKALE promises 2,000 transactions per second along with sub-second block time and also offers smart contract compatibility.

The second-phase rollout would see the addition of new features such as bounty and staking rewards facilitated via the Consensys Activate Platform. In contrast, the third and final phase rollout would see the removal of all kinds of transfer and exchange restrictions.

Jack O’Holleran, CEO of SKALE labs, commented on the first-phase rollout of SKALE protocol and how it would save a ton of cost and time by offering dapp scaling solutions. He said:

“SKALE pricing supports Ethereum by giving dapps their blockchain with a charge for the amount of server space over some time, rather than by transaction. On SKALE, it will be thousands of times less expensive to run transactions while not losing sync with Ethereum.”

The Second and Third Phase Rollout Will Coincide With Consensys Activate Platform Launch

Consensys is all set to launch a token sale platform called Consensys Activate which, would be a more structured and secure form of fundraising platform as an alternative to the scam ridden ICO boom in 2017. The phase two and three rollouts of SKALE protocol will coincide with the launch of the Consensys fundraising platform.

The ICO boom of 2017 saw many new projects and tokens being launched with millions and billions in raised funds. However, a majority of those projects turned out to be a scam that never made it to any exchange.

Consensys Activate platform would eliminate the fraudulent factor associated with the ICOs, where the platform would require strict identity verification and would require investors to have at least a basic knowledge of the project they are investing in.

Consensys Activate also aims to eradicate the technical complexities involved with buying and managing a new token. The platform promises to bring a simplified user interface for its platform allowing users to stake tokens and interact with the protocol easily.

O’Holleran while talking about the upcoming Activate platform explained what would be new with the platform saying:

“We have been working towards this moment for over two and a half years and, we could not have gotten to this point without such an amazing team, community, and supporters. The best thing about a network launch is that it marks not the end, but the end of the beginning.”

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Author: Hank Klinger

Gemini’s Winklevoss Twins, Coinbase CEO Among Founding Donors Of Crypto Lobbyist Group

  • Gemini founders, the Winklevoss twins, Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong and other top crypto personalities join in the HODL Political Action Committee (PAC)
  • HODL PAC lobbies for crypto in Congress alongside helping crypto/blockchain friendly senators into the house.

HODL PAC, founded by Tyler Whirty of VC firm, the Takoma Group, has since raised over $20,000 USD from various investors within and without the crypto community. The PAC hopes to bring change in congressional laws regarding crypto and blockchain by helping electing crypto minded leaders. The HODL committee aims to raise cash from the public and offer a token voting platform to select the preferred candidate that the voter wishes to donate to. The official report reads,

“The time is now to set policy that allows the decentralized economy to thrive and enables Americans to lead this revolution. We want to support the candidates that support that vision of the future.”

HODL PAC receives massive support from crypto

HODL PAC has received support from some of the biggest names in crypto including Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of the Gemini exchange and Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong. Other founding donors to the lobbying group include Olaf Carlson-Wee, chief investment officer at Polychain Capital; Nathan McCauley, CEO of Anchorage; and Don Wilson, CEO of DRW.

As explained above, HODL PAC has received over $21,000 USD, with a portion of this amount, about $5,000, spent on operations of the commission so far.

However, the big names will not have complete control of who the money goes to as the public (whoever contributes to the fund) will have a “vote” on the sharing. While the PAC currently does not intend to accept cryptocurrencies, the idea to offer voting tokens is in development.

The voting mechanism on HODL PAC

A contributor will be entitled to an equivalent number of “votes”. The votes can be shared towards different participants but in a quadratic voting system. This means that for each subsequent vote a voter places, it will give the next politician a smaller portion of the donation than the prior politician. Tyler Whirty said,

“It’s the idea that each traditional vote costs the square of that vote. So one vote costs one, two votes cost four, three costs nine and so on.”

The quadratic voting mechanism is set to regulate the power of big players by ensuring they don’t have increased influence on where the funds are directed.

So far, the committee is yet to donate to any politician with a limited number of senators and representatives showing up for crypto. Since Andrew Yang dropped out of the Democratic Presidential race 2020, and Eric Swalwell of California dropped out of the governor race, a limited number of politicians are accepting crypto, let alone champion.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Gemini’s Winklevoss Twins Win Six Patents To Increase Usability Of Stablecoins

Gemini cryptocurrency exchange founders, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss recently obtained patents related to six stablecoins, according to filing data obtained from the US Patent & Trademark Office.

The filing information indicates that three out of the six patents, namely the 1st, 2nd, and 5th patents in their list all have something to do with altering the stock of a stablecoin based on a public blockchain.

Of the three, the first part provides a description of how trustworthy third parties, e.g., banks and crypto exchange platforms can produce the stablecoin on demand.

Stablecoins and Traditional Currencies

Of the remaining three patents, the 3rd and 6th patents provide a description pertaining to the process of generating a stablecoin on a public-based blockchain. The 3rd patent also goes as far as stating that stablecoins with official backing can also be used as collateral when dealing with financial transactions that are to be undertaken through the use of smart contracts.

According to the filing information, the 4th patent, which was officially filed on 23rd April 2018:

“relates to the use of a stable value digital asset to pay dividends for securities and other financial instruments tied to a blockchain.”

The Fight for Crypto-related Patents

The growth and maturity of the crypto-verse have forced many firms to invest more in research and crypto-related technologies. As the research results start to trickle in, firms are resorting to patenting technologies that they deem viable.

In late January 2019, Cointelegraph reported that IBM, the technology giant had received a patent that would help it create what is referred to as a “self-aware token.” IBM stated that the development of this token would enable it to record all events pertaining to offline transactions.

Not to be left behind, other notable people who have patented new technologies include Brian Armstrong, the Coinbase CEO. Brian was awarded a patent for a system that would make it possible for Bitcoin holders to send and receive BTC via traditional email.

As 2019 was coming to a close, his company was also awarded a patent for the development of a system that was capable of identifying and recording accounts that were not compliant.

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Author: Daniel W

Digibyte (DGB) Still Tradeable on Poloniex Exchange Days After Threatening To Delist It

  • Days after Poloniex announced it was going to delist Digibyte (DGB) following its founder’s criticism of of TRON’s Justin Sun as well as Binance, the crypto is still tradable in the crypto exchange platform.

According to Beincrypto, Poloniex had announced its intention to buy Tron but later removed the announcement from its Twitter account. The crypto exchange firm had stated that it was going to delist Digibyte from its platform but its now eight days later since their announcement and nothing has changed.

Rudy Bouwman, Digibyte Foundation vice chair, asked Poloniex to clarify the issue in a tweet account. Rudy also indicated that Digibyte was ranked 15th on the exchange on the basis of trading volume.

Poloniex did not give a substantive reason as to why it was planning to delist Digibyte only saying that the crypto does not meet its listing standards. In addition, the crypto exchange platform did not reveal it listing standards and why Digibyte did not meet them. The exchange has also failed to give any update on the matter after the delisting announcement. This has led to speculations that it is a punishment for the crypto’s founder criticizing Sun.

The delisting announcement has led to massive transfer of DGB assets from Poloniex. Recently, more than 100m DGB coins have been drawn from Poloniex. Despite the mass exodus, about 500m DGB coins still remain in Poloniex’s wallets. Majority of people within Digibyte community are urging more users to transfer their funds from Poloniex and make the exchange suffer more than the users.

Some DGB users and holders have expressed concerns that coins stored in Poloniex may be subjected to freezes or manipulation leading to future problems. To avoid this, the users are urging for quick withdrawals and transfer to other exchanges.

To date, Poloniex has remained silent on the issue after it issued the threats last week. It is anticipated that DGB could be delisted before the end of the year. However, their silence could be taken as a sign that they are rethinking their earlier announcement.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Phoenix Fund Investments Linked to The OneCoin Money Laundering Scheme, Stole $110 Million

OneCoin was recently charged with fraud and money laundering. The founder’s brother, Dr. Rija Ignatova, admitted guilt to the charges and also accused Phoenix Thoroughbreds of being funded using the money laundered through OneCoin. Ignatova claims that the racehorse investment company Phoenix received $110 million from the OneCoin scam.

Phoenix Thoroughbred’s founder Amer Abudlaziz, however, denied the allegations against his company, saying it was not funded using money stolen through the OneCoin scheme. Contrary to Abdulaziz’s claims, the federal government has reported that Phoenix Thoroughbred received $110 million through an unnamed account with an Irish bank from OneCoin back in 2017.

It was also confirmed that the said account was used by Mark Scott, a former advocate, to launder money for OneCoin. The lawyer was found guilty and convicted for fraud and money laundering last week and stands to serve 50 years in federal prison.

According to a statement report released recently, Phoenix Fund Investments has denied the allegations brought against it and the founder Mr. Abdulaziz during the criminal proceedings against OneCoin. The company is determined to defend itself in a court of law and prove it was not linked to the fraud scam in any manner. The fund claims that Abdulaziz and his company have always acted in accordance with the stipulates of the law and is ready to contest the allegations.

There have also been allegations that the company misrepresented itself by saying it is a regulated thoroughbred fund while it is actually not regulated according to Racing Post. It is also held that the firm has not been operating as an investment fund despite it claiming to be one.

Recently, Phoenix Fund Investments entered into voluntary liquidation. It is not clear yet whether the liquidation decision is due to the recent allegations of money laundering in connection to the OneCoin scheme or otherwise.

The British Horseracing Authority has issued a statement to the Irish authorities confirming that it is aware of the case and already working on it with the aid of relevant authorities.

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Author: Denis Miriti