DARMA Capital Rolls Out Liquidstake Loans As An Answer To Ethereum 2.0 ‘Lockup’

The long-awaited launch of Ethereum 2.0, a proof-of-stake (POS) network, is facing a problem; the risk of locking up the holders’ ETH for several months or staying liquid and opening up various options.

In efforts to solve this issue, DARMA Capital rolled out Liquidstake on Wednesday, enabling ETH stakers to acquire USDC stablecoin loans easily. The loans will be issued against staked assets and will allow stakers to earn rewards within the new network.

DARMA, a US licensed investment fund, started by ex ConsenSYS executives James Slazas and Andrew Keys, announced that it would devote about $50 million in value of its own ETH holdings for the new Ethereum deposit contract. The firm explained that this would enable individual and institutional investors to contribute towards Ethereum 2.0 and, at the same time, remain liquid.

Andrew Keys, DARMA Capital co-founder, explained that the initiative comes with economic incentives for those who will take part in Ethereum’s upgrade. Staking will see participants earn 15% of their assets in the course of the many months it might take to finish the network’s upgrades. He explained:

“Participants will not be able to ‘unstake’ those assets. So we’ve created LiquidStake, wherein users can earn staking rewards and have their staked ETH be pledged as collateral to receive a USDC loan. This is very different from BlockFi and Celsius and other lenders because, in those cases, you can’t stake the Ether, and you can’t earn the reward.”

Ethereum 2.0 (phase zero) is forecast to be rolled out on December 1 and will involve around 16,384 validators. The validators are expected to commit at least 32 ETH ($14,768) to a deposit contract. The network seeks to enhance Ethereum’s transactions by migrating from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. Currently, the project is 10% finished, with about 53,000 ETH now deposited.

Although the network might begin validating blocks after being launched, stakers will essentially be locking up their assets for an unforeseeable future. They will not be allowed to withdraw them or utilize them elsewhere.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitcoin Wallet Reveals Wasabi 2.0 With Stronger Privacy Features through WabiSabi Debut

Leading privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet, Wasabi Wallet announces the launch of its long-awaited update, Wasabi Wallet 2.0. The new update is expected to integrate CoinJoin-ed payments on its platform to enhance privacy automatically. According to the statement, the new improvements on Wasabi 2.0 aim at making Bitcoin payments private, faster ad effortless for non-technical users.

In a blog statement by Wasabi Wallet, three key improvements will be implemented on the new updated version – including rewriting the UX design, integrating easy-to-use and automatic UX for CoinJoin enabled payments launch of the WabiSabi protocol. The latter will facilitate faster and more cost-effective transactions on the Wasabi 2.0 wallet, laying the foundation for automatic CoinJoin Bitcoin payments and transactions.

CoinJoin (CJ) is a privacy enhancement method that mixes several Bitcoin transactions into one pool, obscuring the transaction sender’s view and receiving address.

According to the lead developer and co-founder at Wasabi wallet, Adam Ficsor, the new update will allow users to choose between implementing the CoinJoin privacy feature or making transactions on the public chain. Wasabi Wallet 2.0 users will have a selection of privacy targets, including “none, some, high and Snowden,” Ficsor further stated.

Not only will the updated wallet focus on privacy but user-experience as well, the statement reads. The Bitcoin wallet provider will offer an effortless method for novice users allowing automatic CoinJoin payments. It further reads,

“Manual CoinJoining will be a thing of the past or for power users only.”

However, de-anonymizing such transactions on CoinJoin can be easy if the number of transactions in the pool is low. This raises privacy issues that WabiSabi is looking to solve once it launches together with the Wasabi Wallet 2.0 update. According to the statement, WabiSabi will allow users to put in any amount of Bitcoin in the CoinJoin pool – independent from other users – which increases the levels of privacy on CoinJoin.

Ficsor finally stated many users would prefer privacy-enhanced transactions instead of normal wallet transactions despite the CoinnJoin transactions taking some time before being released. Hence the firm’s goals in introducing automatic CoinJoin transactions. He finalized by stating,

“To improve upon these, we’re planning to make CoinJoining automatic by default and build upon the realization that coin control is mostly friction when the user would like to spend conjoined coins, so we should be able to introduce a simple send for that.”

Wasabi 2.0 is expected to launch in the coming six months – with the time interval set anywhere between 3 and 14 months.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Augur (REP) Delays v2 Prediction Market Launch To June; v1 Cutoff Date Extended

Augur announced its long-awaited version 2 (Augur V2) will be delayed to give the community time to switch from the older V1 versions to the new updates. The team announced most of the work on the new platform is done with a little polishing up and bounty finding hanging in the way.

Augur dev team delays V2 till June

After months of work on the new Augur V2, the dev team announced the new update will launch in the ‘first weeks of June.’ The decentralized betting platform will launch on the Ethereum blockchain bringing fresh aspects in addition to a DAI-denominated coin, a switch from the ERC-20 standard token to the lucky token contract, the ERC-777 and a new tool to focus on the exposure of fake markets.

According to the blog post every REP, the blockchain’s native token, users will need to migrate to the new version before the cut-off date to avoid being left out. The team will offer more information on how to migrate tokens to the new update.

The cut-off time is delayed to the 15th of May (12:00pm UTC), giving users ample time to switch to the new version as soon as it’s launched. Users can continue creating the betting markets at the moment, as the report reads,

“At this time, we’ve decided to extend the v1 cutoff date until May 15th (12:00pm UTC). This allows users to continue to create markets through the UI while also budgeting a good deal of time between then and the anticipated deployment (to ensure resolution).”

Few steps to go

The team is just a few steps from launching the V2 main net as the community works on a few bugs, polishing the Augur user interface and the integration with DeFi product Uniswap V2. The announcement reads,

“The bulk of the remaining engineering work for the initial v2 launch involves polishing the Augur UI, preparing for integration with the launch of Uniswap v2, and performance and end to end testing of the contracts on Mainnet.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum’s Hard Fork ‘Muir Glacier’ Launches In 2 Days, Will The ETH Community Be Prepared?

While the entire world is preparing for the New Year, Ethereum has scheduled Muir Glacier, its long-awaited hard fork, for January 1 of the year 2020.

The Ethereum (ETH) Istanbul hard fork that happened just a few weeks ago didn’t make things easier when it comes to Ethereum’s so-called “difficulty bomb”, so many are expecting Muir Glacier to change everything. As the holiday season is one of the busiest in a year, the hard fork is still waiting on support from the most important infrastructure providers, exchanges and mining pools.

SBI VC Trade to Support the Hard Fork

The Japan-based virtual currency exchange, SBI VC Trade, which is an SBI subsidiary, said it will support the hard fork. Its customers have been informed about the hard fork lasting until January 3, 2020 and being planned to reach the 9,200,000 block height. SBI VC Trade has also cautioned people about the blockchain instability caused by the hard fork by saying:

“If ETH is received by us during this period, we may not be able to confirm it properly due to blockchain stability issues. In that case, please note that we cannot respond at all.”

Bittrex and Bitso Ready for Muir Glacier

The CSO of Blockstream, Samson Mow, has said in a tweet that platforms are not ready for Muir Glacier, while others members in the ETH community have expressed their confusion over the strange choice made by Ethereum Foundation for the hard fork’s date. The only crypto exchanges ready for Muir Glacier seem to now be only Bittrex and Bitso.

The Istanbul Hard Fork Had Some Readiness Problems Too

It looks like the Ethereum project didn’t have enough support from its team of developers, as these were focused on upgrading the ETH 2.0. The Istanbul hard fork had the same problem and updated most of the nodes last minute. However, it still was successful, so Muir Glacier has all the chances to be a hit too.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Telegram Breaks The Silence About Its $1.7 Billion TON Blockchain Project

Telegram is finally ready to talk about its long-awaited Telegram Open Network (TON). After raising $1.7 billion USD last year in one of the most successful Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) ever, the Telegram network has decided to finally go public with its involvement with TON.

This week, the company mentioned the project officially for the first time, as Terms of Service page for the Gram wallet was created on the company’s site. According to it, the wallet will be integrated into Telegram’s main app, but it can also be used as a standalone product for people who are not interested in it.

The document affirmed that Telegram has no direct control over the TON blockchain, as it is a decentralized product, so people are responsible for the safety of their own information and the company can ensure that any transaction will be confirmed.

Gram’s new wallet will be created by Telegram FZ-LCC, one of the subsidiaries of Telegram which works as an official publisher for Android-based Telegram applications.

Telegram will not keep any kind of private information of the users nor its public and private keys on its servers, affirming that the user is fully responsible for handling this information by itself, just like it would be with a Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet.

The company also clarified that it has no control over the verification of each transaction that will happen on the TON blockchain. In order to keep the network as decentralized as possible, all transactions cannot have any kind of interference made by the company.

This was the first time that the TON blockchain was officially acknowledged by Telegram, despite how everybody knows that it was in development. So far, only the private investors who bought GRM tokens have a connection to it.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bakkt Announces Physically-delivered Bitcoin Futures Launch on Sep 23

Finally, the long-awaited Bakkt is launching next month, on September 23rd.

A year later since Bakkt first shared this idea, it is all set to launch the custody and physically delivered daily and monthly bitcoin futures contracts.

Kelly Loeffller, CEO of Bakkt shared in the medium post that they have received the green light from the CFTC via self-certification process.

User acceptance testing has already begun.

In addition, Bakkt warehouse — that will custody Bitcoin for physically delivered future — has gotten approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services to create a qualified custodian Bakkt Trust Company.

Bakkt’s bitcoin futures will be exchange-traded on ICE Futures US and cleared on ICE Clear US, both federally regulated by CFTC.

These contracts will be further covered by the existing guaranty fund at ICE Clear US. Additional $35 million is contributed to this fund.

Bakkt Warehouse that will provide regulated, secure custody of Bitcoin is protected by $125 million in insurance.

To build a trusted ecosystem, the platform will be employing an institutional compliance and anti-money laundering program. It further involves a guaranty fund contribution and insurance and settlement prices that are distinct from unregulated spot prices.

Loeffller said all the concerns related to market quality and regulation, operational risks, lack of liquidity, and issues with reliability and fees will be addressed with a transparent offering.

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Author: AnTy