Popular Messaging Platform, Discord, CEO Hints They Are Exploring Ethereum Compatibility

Popular Messaging Platform, Discord, CEO Hints They Are Exploring Ethereum Compatibility

Social network platform Discord is exploring the possibilities of a partnership with the popular DeFi-enabling protocol, Ethereum.

Discord-Ethereum Integration

The firm’s CEO, Jason Citron, hinted at the possibility of linking Discord with Ethereum via a tweet in the late hours of Monday, November 8.

The tweet was accompanied by a screenshot of the Discord settings page. It displayed the option to connect to Ethereum using the Metamask wallet or open-source wallet connector, WalletConnect, and a caption tag, ‘probably nothing’ attached to it.

Citron’s Twitter post was a sequel to a previous tweet from Packy McCormick, where he laid out the endless possibilities of Discord as a Web3 Sleeper and its application in the crypto community in his NotBoring newsletter.

The settings options were not available earlier that day on the platform, indicating that it was still in its developmental stages and was not ready to be released to the public just yet.

Discord originally served as the place where gamers could come together and share experiences of laughter, frustration, nostalgia, and achievement. It can easily be utilized to host virtual games with friends and swap art. The gaming world has experienced a seamless integration into the crypto industry.

Cryptocurrency allows gamers to play internationally without security, exchange rate issues, and identity constraints.

Seamless Gaming Experience and Transactions

The play-to-earn model in the gaming industry provides players with several ways to earn by doing what they love the most. Some gamers buy a character off the game, upgrade and sell it to make money off it. Crypto helps them transfer funds faster from anywhere in the world without any restrictions.

With Discord being the number one social platform for gamers, the inclusion of the Ethereum wallet into the social network could amount to more seamless and secure transactions for gamers.

In his article on the possibilities of Discord as a Web3 sleeper, Packy McCormick stated that it had become the platform of choice for many new entities, from protocols to NFT projects to DAOs, building in the lustrous, inchoate world of web3.

The platform is currently housing a ton of gamers, with crypto enthusiasts partaking in tasks and challenges to earn spots and roles for airdrops of new tokens just hitting the market. These tokens serve as a valid means of exchange for these virtual contests.

The incorporation of the Ethereum-based wallet would help streamline the variety of tokens currently available on the platform.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Private Messaging App Telegram Ready to Go Public In Next Two Years, Valuation Between $30-$50B

Instant messaging app Telegram is reportedly planning to go public.

According to Vedomosti, a Russian business newspaper that cited multiple sources familiar with the matter, Telegram plans to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) within the next two years with a possible valuation in the region of $30 to 50 billion.

The details of the intended IPO are yet to be made public or finalized, according to Vedomosti. Amongst the possible scenarios for Telegram’s listing are market dynamics, a traditional IPO model, direct listing, or a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

While details of the IPO are yet to be made known, Telegram is reportedly conducting pre-IPO analysis and is looking to decide on the most appropriate region for going public.

Telegram’s Historic User Growth

Telegram has had an exponential year after an additional 25 million new users were onboarded on its platform within three days. According to a report, these new users were spread out across all parts of the world, with 38% from Asia, the largest of the entire figure. Pavel Durov, CEO of Telegram, stated,

“We’ve had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time is different.”

Durov did not fail to acknowledge that the influx of new users was due to the changing of WhatsApp’s privacy policy, its rival app.

At the time, WhatsApp threatened users that they were now required to share their data with Facebook or stop using the service. This prompted concerns from users, such that they opted for Telegram instead.

Why Telegram May Snub US For China

Although Vedomosti’s sources said a preferable choice for Telegram’s shareholders would be a direct listing on either Nasdaq or Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the latter is more likely the destination due to the platform’s Asia-centric user base.

At the moment, 40% of Telegram’s users are based in Asia. Due to a projection that the number would reach 50% in two years, and with the total number of users expected to have grown to 1 billion, Hong Kong may be the messaging app’s destination.

Another reason why the US may not be a preferred place for the company to be listed is its long-running confrontation with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company had to abandon its Telegram Open Network (TON), an ambitious project that raised $1.7 billion from investors in a private Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which the SEC labeled illegal and subsequently folded up.

With TON, Telegram aimed to integrate a decentralized economy, thereby enabling its users to move money around outside of governments’ purview. But the project was dead on arrival as the SEC forced Telegram to shut it down.

The post Private Messaging App Telegram Ready to Go Public In Next Two Years, Valuation Between -B first appeared on BitcoinExchangeGuide.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Privacy-Focused Messaging App, Signal Launches Crypto Payments Through MobileCoin

  • Signal, the private messaging app, launches a mobile payment system.

Following an impressive year in the messaging industry, Signal, the popular private messaging app, is launching mobile payments system, mobilecoin (MOB). According to a statement by Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike, who has been an adviser to the project for the past three years, the new payment system aims to provide a simple and private platform to send payments. The platform is built on Stellar blockchain leveraging the blockchain’s scalability and instant payments network.

The platform will launch a beta project first before rolling out the full product, a blog post confirmed on Tuesday. At launch, the beta phase of Signal’s payment service will only be available to U.K. customers enabling them “to send and receive privacy-focused payments as easily as sending or receiving a message.”

Users will send funds, receive funds, keep track of their balances, and review their transaction history directly from the Signal app. MobileCoin aims to improve privacy in financial transactions; hence the app will not have access “to your balance, full transaction history, or funds.” The app also allows users to transfer funds when they switch to another app or service.

The coin will be available to eligible users only on FTX exchange.

However, some analysts look at this as a step back for Signal, who have made their name in enhancing privacy via encrypted messages. “Signal as an encrypted messaging product is really valuable,” Matthew Green, a member of the Zcash Foundation board, said.

“Speaking solely as a person who is really into encrypted messaging, it terrifies me that they’re going to take this really clean story of an encrypted messenger and mix it up with the nightmare of laws and regulations and vulnerability that is cryptocurrency.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

SEC Proposes $5 Million Settlement in Kik’s $100 Million ICO for KIN

Kik Interactive, the embattled Canadian messaging startup, seems to have finally reached a settlement deal with the SEC regarding its illegal ICO back in 2017. Since the summer of 2019, the two parties in court have gone back and forth, with the latest ruling by a New York judge, favoring the SEC.

With barely three weeks since the ruling, the SEC has now proposed that Kik should settle with a fine of $5 million with the market watchdog. Kik’s ICO had raised a total of $100 million, intended for a crypto network dubbed ‘KIN.’ This was, however, cut short by the SEC, which sought to pursue Kik on account of issuing an illegal security.

According to the SEC’s court document, the two parties have agreed on a proposed judgment and are now seeking the court’s approval. Other than the $5 million in penalties, Kik will be required to give a 45-day notice if they want to launch another Kin token sale. The document states,

“The proposed Final Judgment, if approved by the Court, would permanently enjoin Kik from committing future violations of Section 5, according to Section 20(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77t(b); impose a conduct-based injunction, as outlined in the proposed Final Judgment, under Section 21(d)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78u(d)(5); and require Kik to pay a penalty of $5 million, under Section 20(d) of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. § 77t(d). The proposed Final Judgment would conclude this action.”

Unlike Telegram, which had a similar encounter with the SEC, Kik has not been obliged to return its investors’ funds. This means that the project’s tokenization dreams could be realized despite the SEC’s 16-month long legal battle. Notably, Kik has previously argued that its Kin token was sold based on its underlying utility instead of a speculative nature suggested by the SEC.

If the court approved the proposed judgment, Kik would only settle for $5 million; this amount is equivalent to what they collected during their fundraising initiative dubbed ‘Defend Crypto’ Campaign. Other ‘illegal’ ICOs like EOS and Telegram have had it a bit rougher, with each settling at $24 million and $18 million, respectively.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Leading Japanese Messaging App, LINE, Launches Crypto Lending Services on BITMAX Exchange

LINE, the Japanese messaging app giant, is launching crypto lending services for its clients through its subsidiary crypto exchange, BITMAX. The news, which was first reported by CoinDesk Japan, highlighted that BITMAX users will be now be permitted the option of lending their crypto holdings to the exchange service, with BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, or LTC as the underlying collaterals.

This service is set to function similarly to bank loans; only instead of interest, the lenders will receive a ‘rental fee.’ LINE filed a statement with the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Oct 9, noting the firm will be running a campaign up to Oct 30, where users could earn as much as a 10% rental fee for lending their digital assets. This should start accruing from the day the rental is deposited.

With LINE’s 80 million local outreach, the new lending services become bullish to the Japanese crypto market. The country which has had historically low-interest rates will probably benefit from the exposure in crypto volatility, although at the cost of accommodating the high risk.

LINE made it’s crypto debut onto the Japanese market last year after being granted an operational license by the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). They recently launched a blockchain development platform and digital wallet as part of scaling LINE’s crypto services footprint.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

At 3M Monthly Users, KIN Has Outgrown the Forked Stellar Blockchain, Proposes Move to Solana

The Kin token, launched by the popular social messaging app – Kik – has been embroiled in controversy since its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2017.

While the crypto token has been dealing with a protracted legal battle with the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), there have been several technical issues at its core.

Kin conducted its ICO on the Ethereum blockchain but clarified that it would make use of Ethereum for security purposes while the transactions would be validated on Stellar blockchain.

Later, they forked the Stellar blockchain to create a modified chain of their own. However, the hard-forked stellar chain is now proving inadequate for the Kin cryptocurrency. As a result, the digital currency would migrate to Solana blockchain in the coming month.

Kin also shared an improvement proposal regarding its move to the Solana blockchain, suggesting that while its operations saw great scalability on the forked stellar chain. There are certain limitations that have caused the disruption in running the network operations smoothly and thus they have decided to make a move to Solana.

Pointing to the issues they are facing on the forked stellar chain, the proposal read:

“While Stellar offers most of the features needed to do basic functions like sending Kin between accounts, there is a limited amount of space for metadata on transactions.

Stellar allows up to 30 bytes of metadata (called a ‘memo’) per transaction, which is far short of what Kin needs to perform its basic functions”

Talking about the benefits of the Solana blockchain, the proposal read:

“Solana solves both the latency and the feature set problems. Solana uses a Proof of History consensus model, along with a number of other novel innovations that unlock significant improvement in throughput and latency.

Additionally, Solana would allow significantly more metadata in transactions since it has a Virtual Machine implementation, offering more flexibility.”

The Proposed Transition

In order for the transition to be possible, the majority of the Kin developers have to agree with the move. If enough developers agree, Solana could facilitate the transition in a matter of months. This transition could be completed by Jan. 7, 2021.

Tanner Philp, head of corporate development at Kik said that Kin ecosystem has registered a massive uptick in the number of users in the past 6 months, and a significant rise in the core metrics during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has lead to severe lockdowns across the globe.

During the beginning of March when the world started to realize the severity of the COVID-19, the total users who have spent Kin token were evaluated to be around 1.5 million, however, the number jumped almost three times to 4.4 million by April 20th.

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Author: James W

Kin Releases its Transparency Report, Revealing Foundation Budgets and Structure

The Kin Foundation that’s behind the social messaging app Kik has been involved in a long-drawn out legal battle with the US Security and Exchange Commission over the distribution of its Kin token.

Kik created the Kin token back in 2017.

The SEC alleged that Kin tokens fall under a Security bracket, and thus it must be registered with the regulatory body before the sale. The total market supply of Kin token has been kept at 10 trillion out of which 1.45 trillion are currently in circulation.

The Kin Foundation has now released a transparency report in association with the Messari group revealing crucial financial details. The transparency report was published on the 21st of May, and gave a glimpse at the operation of the Kin token.

The report revealed that the foundation drafts their budget one year in advance, which determines what funding would go towards developers, user grants, node incentives, and marketing and operations.

The Kin Foundation is currently headed by a two-member board consisting of Ted Livingston, the CEO of Kik Interactive and William Mougayar, author of “The Business Blockchain.” The report further revealed that the board members are selected annually by the members along with a Kin Representative who acts as a medium for the developer community and token holders.

The foundation currently has only one Representative in the form of Matt Hannam, however, the foundation plans to add a couple more representatives in the coming year. The Kin foundation also comprises of an informal community of 10 members who look over the kin rewards and disagreements.

The report revealed that around 28 million users have acquired kin from various sources since its creation in 2017 and around 300 million kin was spent per day this year alone.

The Legal Battle Over Security Tag

The United States is counted among nations with a tough regulatory stance towards crypto. This is because any security token offering which promises a profit on the token over a course of time need to be registered with the SEC. The same issue has led to the halt and several postponements of Telegram’s TON blockchain and GRAM token issuance. The Kin Foundation has maintained, since the beginning that,

“the SEC cannot meet its burden to prove that Kin purchasers were primarily led to expect profits from the managerial efforts of others.”

The foundation also believes that the SEC’s legal case against them is heavily inspired by the Telegram case. Eileen Lyon, Kik’s general counsel said:

“Our take on the SEC’s opposition is that it relies heavily on the recent Telegram case, which we think was poorly reasoned and wrongly decided.”

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Author: James W

US Navy Awards $9.5M To SIMBA Chain To Secure Messages On Blockchain Tech For The DoD

  • SIMBA Chain awarded a $10 million contract to develop a secure decentralized messaging solution for the U.S. Navy.
  • This is the first and largest SBIR phase III fully dedicated to Blockchain Solutions.

SIMBA Chain was awarded a 5 year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract, at close to $10 million, by the Naval Air Warfare Center. The SBIR phase III contract is non-competitive and carries a non-compete clause, as announced by the U.S. Navy Blockchain solutions firm.

Secure Decentralized messaging solution

They have been tasked to develop a secure decentralized messaging solution for the Naval Forces. The platform is to be used to service the Navy’s crucial communication capabilities over its land and sea assets. The project is set to improve communications among its stakeholders while providing a secure environment under which they would share confidential materials.

To be developed on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform as Simba chain CEO, Joel Neidig, stated;

“We plan to deliver a ‘bulletproof’ platform that meets all objectives.”

He also expressed his excitement at the opportunity to work with the DOD who he congratulated for prioritizing the platform that would be essential for their operations. He also promised that the platform would be deployed this year with a series of updates over the course of the next 4 years.

“This is a win not just for SIMBA and our partners, but also for the DoD, which has pursued with single-minded focus, a solution to conduct sensitive, mission-critical operations in a manner that is immutable and non-refutable. We plan to deliver a ‘bulletproof’ platform that meets all objectives.”

Previous DOD partnerships

This is notably not the first time that Simba Chain has worked with the DoD. In August last year, they were contracted by United States Air Force (USAF) to secure their supply chain. They set out to develop a tamper-proof Blockchain prototype for tracking additive manufacturing components over the course of their lifecycle. Last September they also worked with the US Navy on tracking Aircraft parts using blockchain technology. They’ve also worked on the current platform DOD is using during the building and testing phase in an earlier SBIR contract.

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Author: Lujan Odera

After Being Banned on Telegram, ISIS Adopts Blockchain-Based Messaging for Propaganda

It has been reported by Vice that the organization has already started testing a blockchain-based messaging app in order to spread propaganda and communicate anonymously. This app is known as BCM Messenger and comes after the group has already tried using Riot, TamTam, Hoop, and RocketChat. BCM is more advantageous for the terrorists because it’s encrypted and those using can remain anonymous.

BCM Messenger Available on Both iOS and Android

Working on iOS and Android too, the BCM Messenger is advertised as very secure, as its messages are strictly encrypted, and a third party could never decipher their content. Besides, it has the option to create supergroups with more than 100,000 people. Different from other similar platforms for instant messaging, BCM doesn’t require a phone number or an email address. This means anyone can use it without providing personal details, which furthermore indicates law enforcement agents can’t track criminals sending messages on it. This is what Brenna Smith, a disinformation researcher, had to say about BCM in her latest newsletter:

“The app’s core features of anonymity, encryption, and large group-chat sizes also pose a great risk for adoption. Extremists covet technologies that can get their message out to thousands all while concealing their identity.”

Telegram No Longer Accepts Terrorists

Terrorist organizations have been using encryption-enabled instant messaging (IM) platforms to distribute their propaganda for quite a while. Telegram has been their choice in the recent past, since Decrypt reported in August that this platform has been used widely by terrorists from all over the world, as the DC-based Middle Eastern Media Research Institute (MEMRI) says. This is what the MEMRI’s executive director, Steven Stalinsky had to say about the situation back then:

“Telegram is the number one source for terrorist organizations online.”

The EU Made an Effort to Discover and Destroy ISIS IM Accounts

The European Union (EU) made an effort to discover and destroy the ISIS IM accounts, which means the same can happen with BCM. This is what Pavel Durov, Telegram’s CEO has declared in the past about ISIS using Telegram:

“ISIS and their likes will have [a] hard time on Telegram if they continue to spread their message of violence and hatred.”

ISIS isn’t using the blockchain technology for the first time. As a matter of fact, it has been raising funds through cryptocurrency transfers, regardless of the fact that the group is employing public ledgers and are quite easy to track.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Telegram Introduces A Desktop Test Wallet For Its GRAM Token Amid Ongoing SEC Case

Encrypted messaging app giant Telegram has rolled out a desktop test wallet for its testnet of the yet to be released crypto network, Telegram Open Network (TON).

According to CoinDesk, the test app is now available for download for Linux, macOS as well as Windows. Interested individuals can access the app from Telegram’s website and they will be able to create a wallet as well as a set of private keys. In addition, users will be able to get and send test Grams, however, at the moment, the wallet will not hold anything of value.

Currently, the test wallet can only accept Grams as it is not indicated whether other cryptos are supported. Users are awarded from 5 to 20 Gram tokens by a bot to transact.

Telegram started a blockchain project and dubbed it TON and went ahead to get funding of $1.7 billion through a private token sale in 2018. Telegram went ahead and told the investors the network would be launched before Oct.31. In this case, the releasing of the Test Gram Wallet seems like a plot to beat the deadline.

Telegram’s plans to launch TON has been put in jeopardy by SEC after it was sued by the regulator saying that the token was equivalent to security. The regulator pleaded with the courts to stop the selling of the Gram token. Telegram has insisted that the token is not a security and has asked the court to set aside the ban.

In the recent past, Telegram and the regulator have come into an agreement where Gram tokens will not be distributed until the court has heard and determined the case which will take off in February.

Telegram has since received relief from investors after they agreed to postpone the selling of the Gram token to April 31, 2020, giving the company enough time to settle issues with the SEC. it turns out that Telegram has a lot to do to convince the regulator that Gram is not a security token or risk returning the $1.7 billion to investors.

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Author: Joseph Kibe