DapperLabs’ CryptoKitties Moves From Ethereum To Its Custom Made Flow Blockchain

  • CryptoKitties, one of the most popular crypto collectable games developed by Dapper labs is all set to make its move to the Flow blockchain from its current platform Ethereum.

CryptoKitties made headlines when it partnered with the NBA to create digital collectables for the NBA and players. It also crashed the Ethereum network when it was launched back in 2017. The game would remain interoperable with Ethereum but it would move to flow with new upgrades and game features.

The new features would include animated 3D attributes, scalable nature due to the custom-built blockchain and users could also use the digital assets of the game in other games on the Flow blockchain.

While scalability was one of the key reasons behind the move to Flow, the CEO of Dapper Labs, Roham Gharegozlou, also mentioned that the platform was getting costlier for generating new cats in the game. The CEO further explained:

“Everyone on Ethereum will be able to take their cat to Flow. They’ll get upgraded powers, and will be able to be used on all kinds of Flow applications. The vision we had with KittyVerse: Hats on Cats, Kitty Races…will be much easier to be created around the kitties, in a way that millions of people, hundreds of millions of people can actually play with.”

DapperLabs Aims to Make Digital Collectables A Valuable Asset

The move to Flow is seen as a small step towards a long term goal of making digital collectables mainstream and valuable. Dapper Labs aims to continue in its aim of providing its users with true in-game ownership, thanks to its underlying Non-fungible tokens. All of which can be traded, exchanged and used to play within the game and community.

Dapper Labs hopes that as development progresses, and people and developer communities realize the potential, more games with similar digital collectables will be launched on Flow, making it a complete ecosystem and a marketplace of its own.

In the past couple of months; in the run-up to the Flow launch, Dapper Labs made several new announcements and promotional events.

It also invited developers to its new platform PlayGround and created a new programming language called Cadence specifically meant to ease the process of developing new smart contracts for creating Non-Fungible Tokens on the Flow blockchain.

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Author: Silvia A

IOV Labs Launches Light Client for the Lumino Network to Boost BTC’s Smart Contract Capability

IOV Labs, an early-stage firm focusing on scaling solutions for Bitcoin’s blockchain, has launched a new layer to further enhance its course. The Gibraltar based startup released a light client for the Lumino payments network on May 13.

This milestone was confirmed in a statement issued to Cointelegraph by IOV Labs,

“IOV Labs announced the launch of its Light Client for the Lumino Payments Network, a third-layer Bitcoin scaling solution.”

Notably, the Lumino payments network is set to rival the popular Lightning scaling solution for Bitcoin. This initiative, however, enjoys a competitive advantage as it is compatible with smart contracts designed to leverage Bitcoin’s ecosystem.

Lumino Network Fundamentals

Bitcoin’s rise has not been short of challenges given its limiting tech infrastructure when it comes to scaling. This has resulted in slower transactions than stakeholders anticipated with approximate 7 transactions per second (Tps). The Lumino network comes as one of the solutions to increase throughput within Bitcoin’s blockchain.

With the new light client for Lumino, Bitcoin’s network can be boosted to 100 Tps accompanied by a possibility of scaling to 20,000 in the near future.

In order to achieve this efficiency, IOV Labs has boosted the so-called ‘layer three solution‘. This basically means that the platform leverages Bitcoin’s network to secure smart contracts and ERC-20 based tokens. RIF Labs had earlier launched sidechain solutions dubbed ‘Rootstock’ (RSK) for smart contract integration. The recently released light client will further reduce the resources required by developers to create DApps based on BTC’s network.

Lumino’s new light client allows the developers to build blockchain-based solutions without operating complete nodes. Instead, they can develop innovations with online web access and mobile hardware. This will, in turn, allow more focus on bootstrapping Bitcoin’s network given node availability hence a higher Tps.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Central Bank of Argentina to Test IOV Labs PoC Blockchain Clearance System Built on RSK

  • Blockchain Proof of Concept (PoC) by IOV labs backed by Argentinian Central Bank (BRCA) already undergoing tests seeking approval.
  • It is set to be onboarded by big players in the Argentinian financial realm including the central bank.

Reports have surfaced that IOV labs – the Blockchain solutions firm – has developed a proof of concept for a Blockchain supported clearing system. The project is now undergoing testing, which is being carried out by the Argentinian Central Bank (BCRA). The BCRA will need to approve this system before it’s to be used by the financial institutions.

The system was designed to streamline payments, rendering them more efficient, while increasing transaction traceability as it makes its way to the intended destination.

Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar, CEO of IOV Labs, was confident that the incorporation of its cutting-edge tech, with the legacy financial systems, would put them in the big boys’ league.

He remarked especially now faced by a global pandemic there was a need to fill the gap with tech to better serve their people:

“We need now more than ever to use technology in order to optimize processes and provide better services to our citizens.”

Greenlighted By Industry Titans

Most notably, if the network is approved, it will be onboarded by industry titans like Santander and BBVA, the BCRA several clearinghouses and various financial institutions. Despite not being fully approved the BCRA cited that it could be used as an alternative meanwhile.

Blockchain for Non-Cryptocurrency uses

The BCRA has been at the forefront in adopting new tech including Blockchain and others beyond cryptocurrencies.

They were keen to dissuade their citizens from using cryptocurrencies as a source of value; citing fraud concerns in 2014. The scope of the project would also shed a light on other uses of Blockchain, zeroing in on smart contracts.

The project is similar to a previous one:

Gasnet, by the country’s national gas regulator, Gasnor smart contract-based certification platform. They supply gas to more than 2 million residents. Running on an enterprise model of the RSK smart contract, Gasnet was developed to bolster Argentina’s gas certification processes.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Lightning Labs New LSAT Protocol Promises To Do Away With Usernames And Passwords

A statement from Lightning Labs CTO, Olaoluwa Osuntokun, revealed the specs of the Lightning Service Authentication Tokens (LSAT) which is expected to act as a ticket of some sort. The new protocol can be used as both a medium of exchange and authentication token replacing passwords and login credentials for a minimal fee.

“LSAT is a new protocol standard for authentication and paid APIs (using the Internet’s preferred currency: sats!) developed by Lightning Labs which leverages the widely underused HTTP 402 (payment required) status code.”

The statement further released the Aperture, a reverse proxy for LSAT, and is currently in use on Lightning Loop. Olaoluwa released the specifications of the LSAT network, which will enable businesses to leverage infrastructure.

The LSAT authentication ‘key’

Imagine you wanted to log in to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat and all you needed is to pay a very small fee and keep the receipt. Then you do away with the need for a login process – no forgetting passwords, no logins. Notwithstanding, this system will make your account safe from hacks.

Well this is what LSAT promises its users by acting as an authentication key for an online service. This new system that has combined the Bitcoin Layer 2 solution and HTTP 402 (payment required) systems will also allow users to pay directly online using satoshis.

LSAT like regular cookies…but cryptographically secure!

“One can view LSATs as a fancy authentication token or cookie.”

LSAT, however, registers credentials that are cryptographically verifiable ensuring security on accounts. Olaoluwa further explained the system is “useful for system providers who expose an end API to the user” especially in large data storage services, access to rights on various data indices and also metered video streaming services such as the Aperture, also unveiled in the statement. Olaoluwa explained,

“Aperture can be used to easily create a new LSAT-aware paid API or service, and even seamlessly upgrade an existing web resource or API to make it LSAT-enabled, creating a portal from the existing web to the new Lightning-native web.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cryptokitties Developer Dapper Labs Brings UFC Collectibles To Ethereum Blockchain

Quick Read:

  • CryptoKitties founder, Dapper Labs, partners with UFC to register fighters on the blockchain.
  • The partnership allows users to buy, sell and trade collectibles on UFC fighters.

Blockchain is taking its place in the octagon after a partnership announcement between highly rated Ethereum based game, CryptoKitties’ creator, Dapper Labs and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The partnership will see the blockchain-based firm create tradable collectibles of UFC fighters such as Conor McGregor and Khabib.

Dapper Labs is widely known for its CryptoKitties game, a dApp on Ethereum blockchain that was so prominent in 2018 that it crashed the blockchain for a number of hours.

The agreement states the two firms will develop a new digital experience that will offer the fans across the globe a platform to trade, buy, sell and own their own UFC-branded collectible cards on the blockchain. Dapper Labs platform, The Flow, which launched at the end of 2019 will host the users’ collectibles.

Speaking on the partnership with UFC, CEO of Dapper Labs, Roham Gharegozlou, said,

“Working with the UFC, we are showing what’s possible when you give an engaged fan base a real ownership stake in the game they love and the communities they’re a part of.”

UFC is widely known for embracing digital solutions for the future having previously advertised Litecoin (LTC), a cryptocurrency, in the Octagon. Notwithstanding, Ben Askren, a prominent UFC fighter has also shown his love of cryptocurrency promoting the industry in the past few months.

Tracey Bleczinski, UFC Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Products, hopes the latest partnership with Dapper Labs will promote digital solutions in the field even further. Bleczinski further said,

“UFC is thrilled to partner with Dapper Labs to offer a new form of digital collectibles to our global fan base. UFC prides itself on being innovators in sports technology, and Flow is another way to provide our fans with the best entertainment experience.”

[Also Read: CryptoKitties’ Dapper Labs also partnered with the NBA last year]

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Author: Lujan Odera

RSK Parent Launches ‘Crucial’ Interoperability Bridge To Connect Bitcoin And Ethereum Blockchains

IOV Labs, the parent company of the Bitcoin-based contract platform RSK, has released a new token bridge for Ethereum.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, reported by Coindesk, and mentions that the bridge will permit clients to,

“Cross RSK and Ethereum-based digital assets, ERC-20 tokens included, across protocols.” per Gibraltar-based developer IOV Labs. And “When a user transfers tokens, the bridge’s smart contract locks the originals and mints a corresponding amount of new tokens on the other chain.”

This system allows Ethereum-based tokens to be transformed into RRC20 tokens, which are RSK’s, which can conversely be turned into ERC777 tokens from Ethereum.

Interoperability Protocols Make Operations on Different Blockchains Easier

Interoperability protocols are known for making projects less complicated to work on individual blockchains. Apps or dapps that are decentralized can accommodate to a larger variety of clients. If not using dapps, these users would be stuck in networks that are closed. Besides, dapps help projects leverage some specific characteristic of blockchains at the same time. This is what the RSK strategist for IOV Labs, Adrian Eidelman, said about the RSK interoperability bridge:

“Interoperability has been a cornerstone of the RSK vision from the start. We believe being able to offer Bitcoin’s benefits to Ethereum users and to connect these respective developer communities is a crucial step for the blockchain ecosystem as a whole.”

Wanchain’s 2018 Token Bridge for BTC and ETH

The RSK interoperability bridge is not the only one of its kind, as Wanchain released a token bridge between Bitcoin and Ethereum back in 2018. However, Eidelman explained that Wanchain acts as an intermediary between the blockchains, whereas RSK actually combines the networks and allows the leverage of strengths for both ecosystems. The Money on Chain Bitcoin protocol utilizes the RSK bridge for navigating the stablecoins onto the Ether ecosystem.

Its co-founder, Max Carjuzaa, mentioned interoperability is going to combine the global recognition and security of Bitcoin with Ethereum’s vibrant DeFi ecosystem. In September 2019, IOV Labs mentioned something about integrating RSK tokens into Taringa, the company’s newly acquired social media network. More information about the new interoperability bridge will be launched soon, said an IOV Labs spokesperson.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Lightning Labs Raises $10M And Launches ‘Loop’ Beta For Faster LN to BTC Payments

Lightning Labs has managed to raise $10 million in a Series A funding that is meant to help the company launch the first merchants’ service for Bitcoin (BTC) payments.

The round was led by Craft Ventures. Managing Director Brian Murray joined the board of directors at Lightning Labs, while other investors were David Heller, the former head of securities at Goldman Sachs, Slow Ventures, Ribbit Capital and Avichal Garg of Electric Capital. This is what Murray said about the service Lightning Network is providing for BTC:

“If Bitcoin is going to reach its potential of being a global currency then it’s going to need to go much faster and cheaper than the base layer. Visa is the payment network that facilitates a lot of the ways currency moves around the world, this is like the service the Lightning Network provides for Bitcoin.”

Lightning Labs LND Raised $2.5 Million in a Seed Round

Back in 2018, Lightning Labs launched the beta version of LND, its scaling solution. It has raised $2.5 million in a seed round. In June 2019, it launched a mobile wallet app.

Starting today, it’s offering the Lightning Loop paid service. Loop is meant to help with the management of merchants’ payment channels, as Lightning channels need to have BTC in them if they are to remain open. Only a balanced in-and-out flow allows them to remain open, so those who are using them have a serious problem. Lightning Labs’ CEO, Elizabeth Stark, had this to say about Loop:

“Loop ‘in’ helps people put funds into their existing channels… kind of like a prepaid debit card for a lightning account. Loop ‘out’ is currently the most popular product because it allows people to continue receiving funds on lightning.”

Loop Hels with Maintaining Liquidity in the Channels

The Loop service will charge only a small percentage from each loop, helping exchanges and merchants keep liquidity in the channels. Stark thinks Lightning Labs is different from other startups offering the same services because it’s turning into an “infrastructure provider”.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Trezor Hardware Fixes the ‘Critical Flaw’ Found by Kraken Security Labs

  • Kraken Security Labs had been able to extract seeds from both Trezor One and Trezor Model T
  • Kraken discloses the vulnerability to Trezor in Oct. 2019 and as the hardware wallet team had found the fix, Kraken made the flaw public

In shocking news, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken’s Security Labs announced that they were able to find a “critical flaw” in Trezor hardware wallets.

Kraken Security Labs announced on Friday that they have devised a way to extract seeds from both crypto hardware wallets of Trezor One and Trezor Model T.

The attack relies on voltage glitching to extract an encrypted seed that required several hundred dollars of equipment but could be mass-produced at $75. This encrypted seed which is protected by a 1-9 digit PIN, was then cracked which is “trivia to brute force.”

The team reveals that the attack took advantage of inherent flaws within the microcontroller used in Trezor wallets, meaning it is difficult for the Trezor team to do anything about this vulnerability at least without a hardware redesign.

Fix released by the Trezor team

A couple of weeks back, Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell advised that people shouldn’t store their coins on any cryptocurrency exchange even on Kraken, rather they should use Ledger or Trezor.

And now the Kraken Security Labs has found a vulnerability that means even hardware wallets aren’t safe either.

But there is a solution. Do not allow anyone physical access to your Trezor wallet or you could permanently lose your crypto.

Well, Trezor has found the fix and released it because as Kraken states, they “disclosed the full details of this attack to the Trezor team on October 30, 2019.” It continued,

“We are going public with this vulnerability disclosure now so that the crypto community can protect themselves before a fix is released by the Trezor team.”

Do hardware wallets remain the best option?

The user must enable the BIP39 Passphrase with the Trezor Client because it is not stored on the device, this can prevent the attack.

Passphrase feature is an “exceptionally” secure layer of active protection against physical attacks, said Trezor in its response to the attack.

It is not stored anywhere on the device and is used only temporarily whenever you enter it. The passphrase is case sensitive and it belongs with recovery seed.

However, Crypto Twitter was aghast to hear the news but Trezor tried to calm everyone and clarified,

“Trezor is an open-source hardware wallet: we indeed don’t use a secure element to let anyone verify our code, but that is also why the Passphrase feature exists – to fully mitigate the physical attacks, which are a case for 6-9% of people according to our research.”

While assuage any concerns of having such vulnerability itself, Trezor competitor Ledger stated, “Not to worry: we’re not affected by this as we use a Secure Element.”

Ledger also emphasized that despite this, “Hardware wallets remain the best option for keeping your crypto safe.”

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Author: AnTy

Celo Labs Hires Ex-DOJ and Capital One AML Expert To Lead Its Regulatory and Compliance Matters

Celo Labs is a budding mobile crypto payment startup that is building user-friendly mobile crypto payment tools. The firm has announced today that they have hired Jai Ramaswamy, former chief of asset forfeiture and money laundering at the U.S. Department of Justice.

As the chief of AML compliance at DOJ Ramaswamy played a pivotal role in prosecuting financial institutions for violating sanctions and money laundering.

The interest of Celeb Labs towards Ramaswamy is understandable given his vast experience in monitoring the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit activities and prosecutions surrounding it. Given the complexities surrounding crypto regulations in the United States, having someone on board from the DOJ is a big bonus.

Ramaswamy also worked extensively in the private sector after his stint at DOJ. Before joining Celo labs he has worked at Capital One and prior to that he worked at Bank of America.

Celo Labs hired Mr. Ramaseamy for his vast experience in the regulatory sector and most importantly around AML compliance. He said,

“I’m interested in helping [Celo Labs] understand its overall risk profile, ”

“The industry is trying to figure out how to deal with this technology in ways that traditional regulation has potentially not thought about or where principles have to be extended in areas that are somewhat novel,”

Celo Labs, on the other hand, looks to have something interesting up its sleeve as it has over 60 backers worldwide including World Bank Group and the UN; Google, Square, Microsoft, Apple, PayPal, and Morgan Stanley. In addition, they have MIT, Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley on board.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

French Law Enforcement Agency Uses Smart Contracts Running On Tezos (XTZ) To Validate Expenses

According to a recent press release published on LinkedIn by Nomadic Labs, as of September 2019, the first smart contract ever developed by a public authority was deployed in the Tezos (XTZ) blockchain.

French Law Enforcement Agency Uses Smart Contracts

Tezos is one of the most popular blockchain networks in the market. In the last year, it expanded as an innovative solution for companies and institutions to deploy their smart contracts.

This time, The French Armies and Gendarmerie’s Information & Public Relations Center (SIRPA) has been validating judicial expenses incurred during investigations. In addition to it, the law enforcement agency has also been recording this information on the Tezos blockchain.

The Gendarmerie’s cybercrime division (C3N) is the one that was using smart contracts on a public distributed ledger to improve its processes and keep control of its tasks and data.

The report explains that this is one of the first examples of how a government organization is able to use smart contracts for operational purposes. At the same time, the C3N is able to acquire cryptocurrencies from the Europol funds to cover operational costs.

The press release goes on by saying that the smart contract deployed was designed to only provide access to authorized individuals, allowing the division to justify expenses without disclosing information about their operations.

Other governmental agencies around the world have been using blockchain technology in order to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency. A provincial government in Argentina is currently using Bitcoin and Ethereum to store copies of documents.

In Switzerland, blockchain technology is being used to conduct local minor elections and help citizens increase their participation in the community.

At the time of writing this article, XTZ is the 17th largest cryptocurrency in the market with a valuation of $814.69 million. At the same time, each XTZ can be purchased for $1.23.

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Author: Carl T