China Planning to Legalize Digital Yuan; Forbids Yuan-backed Digital Tokens

China continues to lead in developing its central bank digital currency (CBDC) as it now considers giving it a legal foundation in an upcoming law revision, reported South China Morning Post.

In the past few weeks, the trial of the digital yuan in the real world took place through the giveaway of 50,000 digital “red packets”— a series of trials have been conducted in Suzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Xiongan — and now the central bank is also addressing all the problems that emerged in the pilot tests.

According to the media report, The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) published a draft law on Friday that would give the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system a legal status.

For the first time, it included the digital yuan, which was also defined as part of its sovereign fiat currency.

As per the draft law, issuing yuan-backed digital tokens by any party or any plans to replace the renminbi in the market would be forbidden.

DCEP, meanwhile, will be allowed to be circulated and converted like coins and physical banknotes.

“Its centralised management will be good to fight against cryptocurrencies and global stablecoins and prevent their erosion of currency-issuance rights,” Mu Changchun, head of the central bank’s digital currency research institute, said on Sunday at the Bund Summit in Shanghai.

The central government has already made clear that DECP won’t replace cash, but there are some domestic concerns related to its convertibility, privacy, and safety. Mu touched on these potential pitfalls as he said,

“The PBOC will also face anti-counterfeit issues in the digital era, and we must lower the cost.”

He further added that the central bank would be asked: “to coordinate the construction of digital currency application scenarios for the purpose of identification.”

A digital yuan product suitable for those senior citizens that don’t use smart terminals is also in development.

As for the threat the government-led project poses to private mobile tools like WeChat Pay and Alipay, Mu said they are just electronic wallets while the DCEP is the money inside them as such “not competitors.”

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Author: AnTy

ConsenSys to Lead Phase Two of Hong Kong and Thailand’s Cross-Border CBDC Project

ConsenSys has been awarded the contract to lead phase two of the cross-border payments ‘CBDC’ project between Hong Kong and Thailand. Dubbed project ‘Inthanon-LionRock,’ the initiative follows successful research by the central banks of both jurisdictions, which found an additional value case in building a cross-border CBDC.

According to the press release by ConsenSys, they will work alongside industry giants Forms HK and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) towards implementing the second phase. Notably, the project has been in the works since May 2019 when the Bank of Thailand (BoT) and Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) signed a memorandum of understanding to dig deeper into the value proposition CBDC’s.

With ConsenSys now in the picture, the joint CBDC between Thailand and Hong Kong will move past the research phase to a more practical era. ConsenSys has since been tasked with building a proof-of-concept (PoC) cross-border corridor to enable Hong Kong’s Lionrock and Thailand’s Inthanon networks to interact seamlessly. The press release reads,

“Using its enterprise Ethereum stack, ConsenSys will test solutions that prioritize scalability, security, and interoperability.”

This is not the first time ConsenSys works collaboratively with a particular authority towards designing and developing a CBDC. The blockchain software technology firm has, in the past, worked with the South African Reserve Bank and Monetary Authority of Singapore to create decentralized payment networks. ConsenSys Hong Kong Director, Charles d’Haussy, noted that they are thrilled to take on a new initiative in a similar line,

“ConsenSys is thrilled to lead this implementation of CBDC for cross-border payments. We are humbled to work on the development of Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

ChainLink Partners With Crypto.com to Integrate Price Feeds Into Its DeFi Wallet

  • Crypto.com has revealed that it has inked a deal that will lead to the integration of Chainlink’s price feeds with its decentralized finance (DeFi) wallet product.

On Monday, the wallet and payment card provider based in Hong Kong, stated that Chainlink’s Price Reference Data has been directly integrated with its DeFi wallet which will give its clients ready access for its price feeds.

The addition of Chainlink’s price feeds into Crypto.com’s DeFi wallet is in line with the latter’s expansion program towards booming spaces. According to Eric Anziani, Crypto.com’s chief operating officer, the partnership will add more value to its customers. Anziani explained:

“I would say with the partnership with Chainlink is kind of our first integration with a DeFi protocol, it brings value to our customers in terms of providing transparency in the prices that we’re giving them in our DeFi wallet and also making sure our ecosystem token CRO can be integrated into the external protocol by building a price feed for CRO specifically thanks to the Chainlink architecture.”

According to a press release shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, the firm will start with its native token in receiving the decentralized price feed, CRO/ETH but plans are underway for the addition of CRO/USD. Anziani clarified that the firm will kick off with DeFi tokens, however plans are underway to utilize Chainlink’s price feeds for the rest of the tokens within its ecosystem.

Anziani also explained that the expansion is not intended to take advantage of the current hype, but is driven by the basic belief that each person is entitled to have the control of their money, identity as well as data and the blockchain tech-based firms should lead towards this achievement.

Speaking on the recent controversy surrounding top exchanges listing the much-hyped SUSHI token, Anziani explained that his firm’s clients trust that Crypto.com has solid due diligence protocols before a new asset is listed which informed the firm’s decision not to list it.

Crypto.com rolled on its wallet at the start of this year touting it as a user friendly wallet to capitalize on the buzz around DeFi space.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Aave & Synthetix Dominate FTX’s DeFi Index; Replacing Maker & COMP

  • Aave (LEND) continues to lead the decentralized financial (DeFi) sector, accounting for the highest 17.82% share of the marketplace.
  • This dominating DeFi lending protocol, which has a total locked value (TVL) of $1.52 billion, is now the second most weighted digital asset in the derivatives platform FTX’s DeFi Index.

FTX’s DeFi perpetual contracts were launched in mid-June with Compound (COMP) and Maker (MKR) having the dominant position with 20% share each, which has now fallen to 11.2% and 6.1%, respectively.

It makes sense, given that while COMP and Maker were hot at the beginning of this DeFi craze but now as the market grows, other projects are gaining strength.

While Maker saw the biggest reduction in its weightage in FTX’s DeFi Index, Kyber Network (KNC), 0x (ZRX), Augur (REP), and Bancor (BNT) also recorded a lower end single-digit decrease.

Meanwhile, emerging projects like Kava, Loopring (LRC), and REN registered a jump in their weightage.

However, the biggest gainer has been Synthetix (SNX), the 6th largest DeFi project with just over $745 million in deposits, as per analyst Ceteris Paribus.

Together LEND and SNX account for 46.6% of FTX’s DeFi Perpetual contracts.

Since the launch of the DeFi futures contract in mid-June, LEND and SNX are the biggest gainers while Maker has actually suffered losses.

The DeFi PERP is currently trading at $2,607 with a volume of $3.2 million, up from around $1,200 level it was at during the launch but down from nearly $3,500 high on Sept. 1st.

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Author: AnTy

Another Fork of the Fork? Bitcoin Cash Upgrade Coming in November

Bitcoin ABC and its lead developer Amaury Sechet are forking Bitcoin Cash now, according to BCH proponent Roger Ver.

“Bitcoin ABC and @deadalnix have announced that they are forking away from #BitcoinCash on Nov 15th. We wish them good luck with their new coin and thank them for the free airdrop to all BCH holders,” tweeted Ver.

Ironically, November 15th is also the day when Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was hard forked into Bitcoin SV (BSV) back in 2018.

However, it is just an upgrade, as a month back, Sechet published an update about Bitcoin ABC where he talked about making primary improvements such as a new Coinbase Rule and change to the Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm to the blockchain.

“The addition of this new rule represents a significant step. […] node implementations, have developed a financial reliance on powerful interests such as mining corporations, venture capital funds, and angel investors,” read the blog.

Ver’s reaction came following Bitcoin ABC’s 0.22.1 release, which will activate the new coinbase rule, diverting 8% of all newly minted BCH to a development fund on Nov. 15.

Cointext CTO Vin Armani, who sees a split to be a more desirable outcome than infighting, says the most important thing about the event is that “there will finally be a Bitcoin network, with the roadmap necessary to become peer-to-peer cash at a global scale, that doesn’t include vocal and influential humans who believe you can fund such a project with donations.”

He further shared that the vocal people in the council have cryptographically proven that they are major miners and holders in the network, and their incentives are aligned with increasing the value of the network. If these influential people get “overthrown,” it will be by those with an even greater stake.

In the Bitcoin Cash network, Bitcoin ABC has 533 nodes (42%), while BCHN’s 126 nodes represent just a 10% share in the network’s 1,260 total nodes.

Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) implementation that has the largest share 44%, with 565 nodes, however, is opposed to the coinbase rule. And if BU and BCHN come together, they can reject the November upgrade.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Classic Core Developer, ETC Labs, Onboards CipherTrace to Investigate 51% Attacks

Ethereum Classic’s lead development team, ETC Labs, is investigating the recent 51% hack after hiring Kobre & Kim, an investigations firm to lead its legal proceedings. The firm will also use blockchain analysis firm, CipherTrace services, who will work together with U.S. authorities to pursue criminal charges on the perpetrators of the $5.7 million hack.

In a press release this Friday, the core development and accelerator organization of the ETC blockchain stated they would also be working on better security systems after multiple 51% attacks in the past 20 months or so.

Terry Culver, the CEO of ETC Labs, rightly termed the hack as “manipulating a public blockchain to steal,” further stating there will be severe consequences.

“Together, we will cooperate with stakeholders and agencies in the United States and wherever else the investigation leads to analyze the transactions and to identify the responsible parties with the knowledge and motive to carry out these attacks,” Culver said.

“We are determined to protect the integrity of the ecosystem.”

The blockchain has been a victim of 51% attacks in the recent past – facing two successive attacks on July 31st and August 5, losing upwards of $5.5 million in a double spend. According to the statement, the second attempt was similar to the first as the hackers reorganized 4,236 blocks after probably buying hash power from Nicehash DaggerHashimoto, also used previously.

Hashing similar tones to Culver, CEO of ChipherTrace, Dave Jevans said,

“We are proud to help solve this pivotal case, which represents more than a major theft because it is an attack on the integrity of a major blockchain.”

Ethereum Classic has shown resilience in the past after facing 51% hashing power attacks. In January 2019, the blockchain suffered a reorganization attack but little changed on the market, as ETC only lost 6% following the attack. ETC currently trades at $6.84 on Coingecko charts, a sharp 17% fall from highs achieved on August 2, days before the second attack.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Custody and IOHK Partner to Provide Institutional-Grade Staking For Cardano’s ADA in Q4

IOHK, the lead developer of Cardano blockchain, and Coinbase Custody, the institutional-grade custodian launched by Coinbase Inc., announced a partnership to allow users to stake their ADA tokens. Along with staking, the partnership also allows assets to remain safely locked in a cold storage wallet.

In the announcement emailed to us on Friday, the staking-custody service offered by Coinbase, a first of its kind, will be rolled out in the latter stages of the year when the staking service on Cardano blockchain goes live.

This service will ensure that users of ADA on Coinbase will be able to reap the rewards on Cardano’s proof-of-stake (PoS) network while keeping the digital assets secure in the cold wallet storage facilities. The statement reads:

“Agreements like these are essential to driving widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, as they allow institutional and large investors to safely and securely manage their funds while also keeping in line with regulatory requirements.”

This is also expected to sway the regulators’ view on the use of cryptocurrencies without the worry of a security breach, which previously provided a barrier to digital assets being widely adopted.

Speaking on the partnership with IOHK, Sam McIngvale, Head of Product, Coinbase Custody, said the exchange tested the Cardano staking testnet protocol with over a thousand stake pools sampled. Sam concluded,

“We are pleased to have been selected as the custodian, and we’re proud to be a full-service, regulated, comprehensively-insured, and 100% offline staking provider in crypto.”

Cardano’s founder and CEO at IOHK, Charles Hoskinson, was equally pleased with the partnership stating the aim is to include the unbanked population and provide a gateway to financial investments to people who have previously were neglected. On the custody- staking services, Hoskinson said:

“This custody agreement allows us to offer the same secure storage solutions that can be found in traditional finance to ADA holders, without sacrificing what makes Proof of Stake blockchains special – being able to participate in the network.”

Cardano’s native token, ADA, is on a sustained rise since the announcement of the launch of the Shelley-era in the coming weeks. IOHK has already deployed the Shelley node on the Cardano mainnet, signaling everything is ready for the hard fork.

The token currently places seventh on Coinmarketcap charts with a total market capitalization of $2.6 billion after an 8 percent surge in price the past 24 hours.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Goodbye Stellar, Kin Project Approves Switch To Solana Blockchain Due To Scalability Issues

In a move to increase the scalability and speed of its platform, Kin Foundation, the lead development team of the Kin crypto, voted to move from its Stellar blockchain fork to Solana blockchain.

The Kin Foundation lead team voted on the proposal to move to Solana blockchain to solve the scalability constraints on the Stellar blockchain. According to a the KIN community, the company has been exploring the possibility of the move for the past month, raising the proposed move to Solana.

The proposal on GitHub, raised by Kik Interactive Inc., was overwhelmingly supported by the board and community of the project set off plans to start the move in the coming weeks.

The journey of Kin crypto started in mid-2018, with the founder of the Kik messaging app, Ted Livingstone, building it on the Ethereum network. Scalability issues on ETH caused Kin to move its transactions to Stellar’s blockchain and successively create its fork on the blockchain.

The trouble with Stellar

Stellar’s latency times of five seconds and the scalability constraint of only 100 transactions per second is “not great consumer experience,” the report on GitHub reads. With a growing customer base, currently, at 3 million and over 50+ partnering applications, Kin Foundation turned to Solana for solutions.

Solana’s co-founder, Anatoly Yakovenko, says the platform can settle over 6000 times more transactions per second and 400ms block times. This will boost the overall transaction speeds while reducing latency times on the Kin platform. Anatoly further said,

“In addition to speed, Solana’s natural ability to scale turned out to be a major determining factor in their (Kin’s) decision.”

Despite the progress of the Kin crypto project, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is on the company’s neck challenging its ICO process. These recent troubles with the SEC are causing a slow growth to Kin’s project, one analyst argued.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitmain Losing its Market Share as Customer Base Moves More and More Out of China

  • MicroBT eating into Bitmain’s lead, having a share of 35% in 2019
  • Bitmain still leading in energy efficiency with its brand new Antminer S19 Pro followed by MicroBT’s Whatsminer M30S++, Canaan Avalon 1146 pro, and Ebang

“Competition has tightened within the ASIC manufacturing industry,” stated BitMEX in its latest research report noticing the presence of big players like Bitmain, Canaan, Ebang, and MicroBT.

According to the report, post halving, both the ASIC manufacturing and mining farm operating sector will consolidate further.

Meanwhile, China which is still dominant in ASIC manufacturing has already started losing share in the mining farm operator business to Europe and North America.

“The customer base is moving more and more out of China,” said MicroBT marketing manager Elsa Zhao. The average customer size is also growing considerably but instead of longer small businesses or individuals, they are now larger funds, he said.

The Race to Lead

In late 2012 to early 2013, Butterfly Labs was leading the bitcoin mining industry but after it was shut down on the request of the US courts, it left Avalon as the market leader.

However, from 2015 to 2018, it was Bitmain who had the dominant position with the most efficient products.

“At the height of Bitmain’s power during the 2017 bull market, its market share was around 75%.”

The largest bitcoin mining manufacturer Bitmain’s dominance has been reducing, significantly so in the last 18 months or so. The largest player in the space is currently going through a power struggle between the company co-founders Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu.

Amidst the increasing competition, MicroBT is the one gaining traction and eating into Bitmain’s lead, having a share of 35% in 2019.

Relatively new to space, the company is founded by the former director of design at Bitmain which completed a round of financing in January 2019 at a valuation of $700 million.

The IPO Failures

Bitmain unsuccessfully attempted to IPO in 2018 but it remains on their agenda, however, BitMEX cautioned,

“it seems almost impossible to imagine Bitmain conducting a successful IPO until the above management difficulties have been resolved.”

Canaan however, did have a successful IPO and is the first Bitcoin ASIC manufacturer to market it to the public markets. But it’s performance has been extremely bad since the IPO, generating a full-year net loss of US$149.8 million in 2019. Canaan attributed these losses to COVID-19 but,

“going forward it may be challenging for the company to regain trust from investors following on from the write-down so shortly after the IPO.”

CAN shares are down 77% since the IPO while Bitcoin price is up 17% during the same period.

Just like Canaan, Chinese ASIC manufacturer Ebang is struggling with declining sales and inventory write-down driving losses. The company has also filed for an IPO in the US after a previous failed attempt to list in Hong Kong. The risk here, however, is lower.

Product Strength

When it comes to technology, Bitmain lost its lead in energy efficiency as well in the last year or so. MicroBT’s products have been more efficient than bitcoin, with the Whatsminer M30S++ operating at around 31 J/TH. However, it is marginally behind Bitmain’s brand new Antminer S19 Pro product at 30 J/TH.

Meanwhile, Canaan might release its 5-nanometer products in the market by 2021. In its quarterly report, it also mentioned the new Avalon 1146 pro, which will have an efficiency of 42 J/TH, compared to the currently on sale Avalon A1166 at 47J/TH. The new product, however, would still place it behind MicroBT and Bitmain.

Ebang’s latest product has an efficiency of about 57 J/TH, ranking it behind all of the other three players.

According to BitMEX, the lifespan of ASIC mining machines is likely to extend considerably.

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Author: AnTy

Law Firms Jump in to Lead Plaintiffs in EOS’s Block.One Securities Litigation

Two teams of lawyers have filed competing motions to lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Block-one, the company behind the cryptocurrency EOS for selling unregistered assets in violation of federal securities laws, reported Reuters.

Lawyers at Selendy & Gay and Roche Cyrulnik Freedman are representing investor Chase Williams, Token Fund I and others while lawyers at Grant & Eisenhofer and the Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law are representing the Crypto Assets Opportunity Fund.

The latter ones filed a class action lawsuit last month, alleging that the blockchain software firm defrauded investors through a year-long illegal initial coin offering (ICO) that left them with tokens that become virtually worthless.

Both the firms filed their motions on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In a separate announcement, the Schall Law Firm said it is investigating the claims on behalf of EOS digital tokens’ purchases against Block.One for violations of the securities laws.

The national shareholder right litigation firm’s investigation is focusing on whether the company issued false or misleading statements and if it failed to disclose information pertinent to investors.

“Specifically, Block.one failed to create and file a Registration Statement for the securities it was offering and selling.”

The law firm is also encouraging investors with losses of $100,000 to contact the firm.

EOS was the biggest ICO ever that raised $4 billion in 2017. Last year, it paid a $24 million settlement to the SEC, leaving investors holding the bag of the 9th largest token that currently values at $2.66, the biggest loser among the top 25 cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, Daniel Larimer who created EOS wrote about “Revisiting Transactional Statistics of High-scalability Blockchain,” where he talked about EOS processing 2x the transactions throughput as Ethereum, the second-largest network is capable of.

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Author: AnTy