Microsoft’s Decentralized Identifier Network (ION) Goes Live on the Bitcoin Network

Microsoft’s Decentralized Identifier Network (ION) Goes Live on the Bitcoin Network

The new framework for authenticating online identities was launched on the Bitcoin mainnet on Monday. A layer 2 technology, DID is similar to Bitcoin’s scaling solution Lightning network with the exception that instead of payments, it uses the largest blockchain to create digital IDs.

Microsoft’s ION has had contributions from Bitcoin and the likes of BitPay, Casa, ConsenSys, Gemini, and Protocol Labs, as well as from Cloudflare, Spruce, and others. The teams from Transmute and SecureKey, who are building their own DID networks, worked on ION too.

“We are excited to share that [version 1] of ION is complete and has been launched on Bitcoin mainnet,” wrote Microsoft’s Daniel Buchner in a blog post.

“We have deployed an ION node to our production infrastructure and are working together with other companies and organizations to do so as well. ION does not rely on centralized entities, trusted validators, or special protocol tokens. ION answers to no one but you, the community.”

As an open-source project, anyone can download the code and run an ION node and start using the service. For this, ION makes use of an open-source protocol for decentralized identifiers, Sidetree, which is built by the developers of ConsenSys, Transmute, Mattr, and Microsoft.

The ID network, ION, authenticates identity online that may no longer require users to fumble with emails, phone numbers, or passwords for verification.

The project has been in closed beta since June 2020 and is finally open to the public.

To verify that a user owns an ID, ION uses a public key and its associated private key, much like Bitcoin’s transaction layers. These IDs are anchored to the largest network’s blockchain through the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol.

The nodes can process up to 10,000 ID requests in a single transaction. Anyone who wants to run ION can do that either via a remote node or by downloading it directly on a native device. For those who wish to interact with the service but don’t want to download a node or wallet, Microsoft has developed an API for them.

The team said now that version 1 of ION is launched, to bootstrap nodes faster, it will focus on releasing a “light client.” This will also streamline ID resolution by authorizing an ID while the related transaction is still in the mempool, where valid transactions wait to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network.

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Author: AnTy

NFT Deposits and Withdrawals are Now Live on FTX US for Institutional Favorite Solana (SOL)

NFT Deposits and Withdrawals are Now Live on FTX US for Institutional Favorite Solana (SOL)

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX.US has launched the non-fungible (NFT) marketplace for Solana-based NFTs.

“NFT deposits/withdrawals live on FTX US for Solana!” announced FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried late on Monday.

While currently limited to Solana-based NFTs, soon FTX.US will also add support for Ethereum-based NFTs.

The buying and selling of NFTs on FTX.US’s marketplace have been limited to those minted directly on the website before this launch. Additionally, the Solana-based collection didn’t have an established marketplace either, with the majority of them being traded on Digital Eyes and Solanart.

But now, FTX has joined in to “provide both US and global users with a regulated marketplace that is intuitive and responsive to their needs,” FTX.US president Brett Harrison said in a statement.

“We’re live!” announced Harrison on Twitter while noting that both “buy now” and auction options are supported on the platform. In case your NFT isn’t verified, FTX will also verify the authenticity of your NFT.

While there is no listing fee on FTX.US, the platform will charge a 2% exchange fee from the seller plus creator royalties.

All the NFTs will be listed in SOL. So, to get started, the user has to fund their exchange wallet with crypto or US dollar to get some SOL tokens.

Solana has actually become a favorite among institutional investors, with $12.5 million of inflows recorded in SOL investment products last week. Overall, this year, Solana has seen $96 million in inflows, bringing its AUM to $119 million — the fifth largest after Bitcoin, Ethereum, Multi-asset, and Binance, according to CoinShares.

On Monday, derivatives platform FTX also increased its instant Signet transfers to allow 10 million per day in withdrawals and deposits to be auto-credited. Earlier this month, the rapidly growing exchange had integrated Signature Bank’s instant Signet deposits and withdrawals for institutions with initial rollout limiting withdrawals to 100k/day.

In other news, CEO Bankman-Fried is stepping down from quant trading firm Alameda Research to focus on crypto exchange FTX. Sam Trabucco and Caroline Ellison will now head Alameda Research as co-CEOs.

The crypto trading behemoth, which made a $1 billion profit last year, is involved in investments, trading, market-making, and yield farming in the crypto space.

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Author: AnTy

AXS Renews Pumping as Staking Goes Live, More than 10 Million Axie Infinity Tokens Staked Already

AXS Renews Pumping as Staking Goes Live, More than 10 Million Axie Infinity Tokens Staked Already

In a matter of two days, $1.17 billion worth of AXS tokens has been staked at 227% APR. The team plans to introduce voting rights to AXS stakers and have a say over the use of the Community Treasury, holding over two billion dollars worth of tokens.

With a pump of 70% in the past 24 hours, the AXS token has surpassed $100 to hit a new all-time high of $121. The $6.9 billion cryptocurrency is up 191x year-to-date.

Interestingly, back in November 2020, when the price of AXS was less than $0.50, Axie Infinity struggled to get investors. At the time, the project reported selling 4% of its total supply token to raise $864,000 in a private sale of 10,800,000 AXS to strategic investors in the middle of 2020.

The investors, including the likes of Arca, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), DeFiance Capita, DeFi Capital, and others, along with angel investors including Alex Svanevik of Nansen, purchased AXS at a 20% discount.

“Craziest thing is at the time of the round, it was so undersubbed that many people invested just to support ecosystem without any expectation of returns,” noted Su Zhu, co-founder, and CEO of 3AC. “World is unbound growth.”

AXS first gained traction this year between July and August, during which the price went from $6 to $79. After experiencing the woes in September, where it dropped to $50, AXS has started October or, as the crypto community calls it, “Uptober” with a bang.

This latest uptrend coincides with staking going live on the protocol on Sept. 30. So far, 10.36 million AXS worth $1.17 billion have been staked at an estimated reward of 227% APR.

According to the team, “Staking is a way for us to reward our community members for having a long-term mindset and locking up their AXS tokens.” The team also plans to introduce voting rights to those who stake their AXS and have a say over the use of the Community Treasury, which now holds over two billion dollars worth of tokens.

Staking the AXS tokens allows the users to earn the token rewards. Currently, 64,516 AXS are being distributed as rewards daily.

AXS tokens are distributed to the founding community member based on the snapshot taken on October 26th, 2020.

The NFT blockchain game is already the second-largest revenue generator in the last three months at $783 million after Ethereum, according to Token Terminal. Overall, it stands at 3rd spot, having earned $805 million so far after Ethereum’s $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion by Filecoin.

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Author: AnTy

Chainlink (LINK) Blockchain Oracle Goes Live on Solana (SOL) Devnet

Chainlink (LINK) Blockchain Oracle Goes Live on Solana (SOL) Devnet

The Solana ecosystem has been making some expansion plays recently as it hopes to sign on more developers and create an enabling environment for crypto projects.

The blockchain has successfully integrated Chainlink – the most popular blockchain network oracle in its recent round of integrations.

Offering Real-Time Price Data to Developers

Blockchain oracles are third parties that are integrated into blockchains to feed them live information. They serve as bridges between a blockchain network and the real world, offering off-chain data to smart contracts and expanding their scope of operation. When it comes to blockchain oracles, none quite measures up to Chainlink.

Chainlink has become especially popular in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space for providing accurate real-time data metrics to protocols. Now that it is live on Solana, the latter appears to have taken another bold step towards being a hub for DeFi. According to a tweet from Chainlink, the protocol’s Live Feeds are now able on the Solana blockchain, making it easy for Solana developers to access the data.

In a separate announcement, Solana explained that the Chainlink price feeds could be used in most DeFi apps, allowing developers to save time and money by leveraging on its offering. Solana already reports sub-second updates, capturing the volatility in crypto prices. With Chainlink now in the picture, the blockchain would become even more accurate.

Anatoly Yakovenko, founder and CEO of Solana Labs, explained that this integration would be especially beneficial as it combines a high-quality oracle with a high-speed blockchain network. This integration, as he explained, could take DeFi to the next level.

Meanwhile, the recent integration is only available on the Solana devnet. Mainnet deployment is expected to be complete in the last quarter of the year.

Expanding to Accommodate DeFi

The integration between Solana and Chainlink has been months in the making. Late last year, Raj Gokal, the operations chief at Solana Labs, confirmed that they were working on integrating Chainlink’s oracle as a standard across all decentralized applications (dApps) running on the blockchain. Gokal said,

“By doing so, Dapps will get secure access to all the inputs and outputs they need while avoiding the major pitfalls with trying to deploy self-made oracles, such as long time delays, additional expenses, and even fatal security flaws.”

The Chainlink news is only the second major oracle-related development coming from Solana. Earlier this week, Pyth Network – a cross-chain, decentralized data oracle built on Solana – went live. The oracle had only been available on Solana’s devnet for a while, but today, a full mainnet launch is expected to occur.

Pyth is already gaining some traction, with backing from several organizations – including top crypto exchange FTX. With a mainnet launch, developers will integrate its real-time market data into their DeFi protocols.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Multi-Blockchain Communication Protocol Wormhole Goes Live, Bridging Solana, BSC, Ethereum, & Terra

Multi-Blockchain Communication Protocol Wormhole Goes Live, Bridging Solana, BSC, Ethereum, & Terra

Wormhole, an interoperability protocol that connects Solana with other networks, has announced the launch of its mainnet. With the launch of the mainnet, Wormhole would now support inter-blockchain message transfers.

Wormhole: Communication Bridge Supporting Arbitrary Data

Wormhole is not just an asset or communication bridge, it also supports arbitrary data. This means it enables the cross-chain transfer of any information. This information includes oracle data, governance votes, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), amongst others.

The protocol aims to fill the interoperability gap by connecting messages to other chains through a verifiable, trustless network. This network is supported by validator nodes, also known as Guardian nodes.

According to the announcement, the Wormhole mainnet would also support Ethereum, Terra, and Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The protocol plans to add other prominent chains in the near future.

The Wormhole protocol testnet was first announced in October 2020 by Solana. At the time, it only supported cross-chain transfers between Solana and Ethereum. The added support of the Terra and BSC blockchains is an improvement from Wormhole’s testnet phase.

Wormhole describes itself as a messaging protocol that allows information to flow freely cross-chain between previously siloed blockchains.

Furthermore, Wormhole comes with 19 validators where projects can monitor if an asset is locked up in one chain and is copied before freely moving to the next chain.

The protocol is built to be asynchronous, enabling low-latency consensus. This capability ensures information is utilized freely without any delays.

With this mainnet, Wormhole opens a faster and simpler route for non-native assets to enter Solana’s bustling decentralized finance ecosystem. Projects like Serum, a decentralized exchange (DEX) platform backed by FTX, could unlock added cross-chain liquidity through Wormhole.

Wormhole was formed as a result of a partnership between Solana and Certus One, a premier validator for distributed ledger technology (DLT). As of October, it was intended to connect ETH and ERC20 tokens to SPL Tokens, the fungible tokens of the Solana blockchain. Wormhole was formed to be the first of many bidirectional cross-chain bridges planned for the Solana network.

Founded in 2017, Solana is a high-performance Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain that aims to solve problems in decentralized finance (DeFi). The blockchain focuses on solving problems surrounding speed, scale, and transaction fees, making it a preferred platform for decentralized applications (DApps).

Wormhole’s Partnership With Pyth Network

Wormhole had previously partnered with Solana-based network, Pyth in May this year. Pyth is an oracle protocol designed to retrieve data on-chain instantaneously. The partnership enabled Ethereum users to connect to the Solana network, including gaining Pyth’s data sourcing access.

Meanwhile, the Solana blockchain continues to thrive alongside the decentralized platforms built on it. Solana recently joined hands with music streaming service Audius and NFT marketplace Metaplex to launch a $5 million fund to attract artists and musicians to its platform.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Largest Stablecoin, Tether (USDT), is Now Live on Ethereum Scalability Solution, Hermez Network

Largest Stablecoin, Tether (USDT), is Now Live on Ethereum Scalability Solution, Hermez Network

  • The solution will lower the rising gas and transaction fees on Ethereum.
  • Competition for Tether is on the rise.

Tether’s stablecoin, USDT, is now live on Hermez, a scaling solution on Ethereum based on the ZK-rollup solution. Announced on Monday, the move to Ethereum Layer 2 is set to reduce the hiking gas fees, which have been rising as the DeFi and NFT space grew on the blockchain.

Hermez zk-rollup solution launched earlier this year to ease the load on Ethereum. Rollups provide a solution by batching up many transactions into one transaction, reducing the blockchain fees and data storage costs. The key to rollups is the concept of having a small fraction of data on the L2 chain (Hermez) represent all important data on Ethereum.

In this case, every Tether transaction completed, balance, and user accounts on the Hermez rollup will be available on the Ethereum network despite only a fraction of the information being broadcasted on the second-largest blockchain. Hermez leverages the zk-SNARK rollup solution that allows bundling transactions into one single transaction.

Speaking on the move to a nascent layer 2 solution, Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s CTO, said the solution would “solve the issues of scalability and high transactions on the Ethereum network.” Tether became the first stablecoin to launch on Hermez. He added,

“Tether takes its pivotal role in the digital token ecosystem seriously. We’re committed to overcoming technical hurdles while doing our utmost to make manifest the many great projects that developers are working on in our space.”

Tether’s move to Hermez will help free up storage on the blockchain, effectively reducing ETH fees. Data from Ycharts shows that the average fee for a single transaction on ETH is $22, as of writing, locking out users with small amounts of funds from using the platform. Hermez promises over 90% reduction of the average tx fee, which would lower the transaction fee to less than $2.

Tether’s move to Hermez follows the integration of Tether on Polkadot blockchain and Kusama networks earlier this month.

Competition for Tether

The rising gas fees on Ethereum are causing many exchanges and users to move to better solutions and cheaper blockchains. Tron, the 18th largest blockchain, has grown to become the leading competitor to Ethereum on the value of USDT transferred across networks.

Data from Coinmetrics confirms USDT transferred on Tron has reached parity with Ethereum raising concerns for the largest smart contract network.

Tether, which represents about 70% of the total stablecoin market, has significantly grown to a $48 billion market cap placing itself sixth on Coingecko rankings.

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Author: Lujan Odera

TrueUSD (TUSD) Stablecoin to Go Live on Tron Network Tomorrow

TrueUSD (TUSD) Stablecoin to Go Live on Tron Network Tomorrow

USD-backed ERC20 stablecoin TrueUSD (TUSD) would launch on Tron’s TRC20 blockchain in two days. This was made known by Tron’s CEO, Justin Sun, via Twitter.

TrueUSD Finally Coming to Tron

TrueUSD’s decision to launch on the Tron network comes barely a month after the stablecoin launched on the Avalanche (AVAX) blockchain, an open-source platform specializing in hosting decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. It currently runs on Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, and Ethereum.

The company had also disclosed that many other TrustToken products would go live on Avalanche and play a vital role in DeFi applications on the platform.

Created in 2018, TrueUSD is one of the five largest fiat-backed stablecoins by market capitalization. It is one of several stablecoins developed by TrustToken.

TrustToken also offers stablecoins backed by pound sterling, the Hong Kong dollar, the Canadian dollar, and the Australian dollar.

Tron’s TRC‌20 standard is a technical protocol for smart contracts on the Tron blockchain for implementing tokens with the Tron Virtual Machine (TVM).

The Tron Foundation, the Singapore-based non-profit organization that runs the network, had previously said that the TRC20-based USDT would enable interoperability with TRON-based protocols and decentralized applications (dApps) while allowing users to transact and exchange fiat pegged currencies across the Tron Network. TRX 9.41% TRON / USD TRXUSD $ 0.12
Volume 6.35 b Change $0.01 Open $0.12 Circulating 71.66 b Market Cap 8.84 b
4 h TrueUSD (TUSD) Stablecoin to Go Live on Tron Network Tomorrow 1 d Tether (USDT) to Become First Stablecoin on Polkadot (DOT) And Kusama (KSM) Network 1 d Bitcoin Takes A Dive & Altcoins’ Drop Hard, But People Are Still ‘HODLing and Not Selling’

TUSD Joins USDt On Tron Blockchain

TrueUSD (TUSD) will be the second dollar-powered stablecoin to run on TRC20 following USDt’s integration.

Tether launched on the Tron network in March 2019 and has since circulated thousands of USDt on the blockchain.

The stablecoin has enjoyed market dominance since its entrance into the market in 2014. Even though alternative stablecoins [like USDC, DAI, BUSD, PAX, & GUSD] have followed since then, it has retained its position as the number one stablecoin due to its first-mover advantage.

Tether was created in response to the growing need among traders to quickly allow movement of funds between different exchanges while benefiting from the USD’s stability. Despite its successes, Tether has had its fair share of criticisms. And it all boils down to its reserves—and whether or not it has enough cash reserves to meet its obligations when needed.

However, in a recent assurance report by accounting network Moore Cayman, Tether proved that it was fully backed by cash reserves, which is sufficient for redeeming all of the circulating USDt.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bancor Now Burns BNT with Every Swap With The Vortex Burner (vBNT) Launch

The Bancor Vortex vBNT burner is now live, announced by the team on Monday as the Bancor Vortex Burner gets deployed on the Ethereum mainnet.

Under this new feature, the burner will collect 5% of swap fee revenue and uses it to buy and burn vBNT. The team will be making the burn rate a critical part of BancorDAO’s flexible monetary policy and may even push it to 15%. The team says,

“vBNT will now be burned with every swap — locking BNT in the protocol forever and putting deflationary pressure on the circulating supply of BNT.”

This obviously means good things for the prices for the $1.30 billion market cap BNT, which is currently trading at $7.50, up 476% YTD.

The decentralized exchange (DEX) currently manages about half a million dollars worth of volume in a week and accounts for 3.5% of the market share, as per Dune Analytics.

Through continued buyback and burning, vBNT burning increases locked liquidity, reduces the circulating supply of BNT, and increases lending capacity. The team states,

“The full powers of the Bancor Vortex can now be accessed to perform key actions on the network that drive increased value to traders, LPs and the protocol’s owners, BNT holders.”

These actions include swapping, staking, and borrowing. Using the liquidating pools means generating fees, and in turn, the amount of vBNT bought and burned which means, as the volume rises, the burning of vBNT accelerates.

As for borrowing against staked BNT, it will allow one to earn additional yield by providing more liquidity.

“When you sell your vBNT, you’re effectively betting that if/when you eventually buy back the vBNT needed to retrieve your full BNT stake, the revenue you’ve earned with your borrowed tokens is of greater value than the amount of vBNT you originally sold.”

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Author: AnTy

Saturday Night Live (SNL) Answers “What the Hell’s an NFT” in An Eminem Style Rap

Saturday Night Live (SNL) Answers “What the Hell’s an NFT” in An Eminem Style Rap

If you still don’t know what non-fungible tokens (NFTs), “Saturday Night Live” has you covered.

On the Weekend, SNL posted a clip on Twitter called “what the hell’s an NFT” that has received 10k retweets and 39k likes so far. While Tesla CEO Elon Musk called it “Nice,” Justin Sun of Tron (TRX) cryptocurrency wants to know, “where can I buy the NFT of this video.”

The NFT mania reached the late-night show when former cast member Maya Rudolph, acting as the parody of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, gets asked by a university economics class what is an NFT.

In an Eminem-inspired rap, cast members Pete Davidson dressed as Batman’s sidekick Robin and Chris Redd as Morpheus from “The Matrix” series tries to explain NFT in the roughly 3-minute skit.

“Now what the hell’s an NFT?!” starts Robin, rapping, “Everyone’s doin’ it like Gronkowski.”

Special musical guest Jack Harlow as a janitor, arrives with his more concise explanation.

“Non-fungible means that it’s unique. There can only be one like you and me. NFTs are insane, built on a blockchain. A digital ledger of transactions, it records information on what’s happening. Once it’s minted, you can sell it as art,” Harlow rapped.

NFTs are all the rage right now, helping the artists make a fortune, which according to the artists and crypto market participants, is just the beginning.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Layer 2 Solution, Hermez Network, Mainnet is Live; Using ZK-Rollup’s For Cheap Payments

Ethereum Layer 2 Solution, Hermez Network, Mainnet is Live; Using ZK-Rollup’s For Cheap Payments

Hermez Network, a layer 2 blockchain scaling solution on the Ethereum network, is now live on the mainnet. Hermez’s launch on Ethereum hopes to solve some of the transaction bottlenecks that have plagued the network.

Cheaper and Faster Transaction Speed

This is a major relief for developers who rely on Ethereum to run their applications.

Hermes uses the Zk-rollup, which compiles hundreds of transactions into a single transaction while eliminating data storage and gas fees for verifying transaction blocks.

Hermez’s zk-rollup is set to address this issue with the off-chain aggregator and promises to increase transaction speed 100 times over.

Jordi Baylina, head of tech at Hermez, said this latest release would see users save around 90% in gas fees.

With each transaction on the Ethereum network costing roughly $17, a 90% discount would see developers pay a meager $1.60 per transaction.

The first set of digital assets supported by Hermez includes Tether, Ether, Wrapped Bitcoin, Dai, and Hermez’s token HEZ.

The development team says other crypto-assets will be added as time goes by.

The Ethereum blockchain has witnessed network congestion and higher gas fees in recent months.

This is due to many reasons. Chief of which includes the popularity of the decentralized finance (DeFi) of 2020 and the non-fungible token (NFT) frenzy of 2021.

These bottlenecks have seen gas fees climb as high as $40 per transaction making the Ethereum network unfavorable for users.

Gas fees are not the only issues that have plagued Ethereum. The transaction speed or throughput, as experts call them, is also a major problem. Ethereum presently averages 15 transactions per second (TPS) which is slow compared to Polkadot’s 1000 TPS.

Layer 2 blockchain solutions using rollups have helped Ethereum stay in the DeFi game despite its challenges. Rollups are of two types zero-knowledge proof (zk-rollup) and optimistic rollup (ORU).

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has spoken highly of zk-rollups being the future as the world waits for the deployment of Ethereum 2.0. Buterin said zk-rollups would win in all use cases, both in the medium and long-term scenario.

In speaking of the sister scaling solution, Buterin said ORU would address short-term computational needs.

Hermez Pursuing Full Decentralization

The Hermez zk-rollup is a big win for the Ethereum community, which is seriously challenged in the DeFi market by blockchain projects like Polkadot and Cardano. The layer 2 scaling solution is just an overlaying blockchain on the Ethereum mainnet and is a nested blockchain.

Operating mostly off-chain and consuming as little as 10 bytes per smart contract transaction, Hermez’s zk-rollup solution is touted as a major plus for the Ethereum network. In contrast to the optimistic rollup offering, funds are easily withdrawn from the network without a lockdown window.

Pol Lanski, lead of ecosystem development Hermez, said there are still some parameters the development team is working on to make it a fully decentralized network. The company said 40% of all gas fees they receive would be channeled towards building more decentralized software.

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Author: Jimmy Aki