Decentralized Trading Platform Slingshot Launches Open Beta On Polygon (MATIC)

Decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator Slingshot has launched on Ethereum’s layer two protocol Polygon network, per an official tweet.

Slingshot Chooses Polygon Over Ethereum

According to the rebranded DEX platform (formally DEX.AG), the upgrade will enable users to execute faster trades, pay fewer transaction fees, and get the best prices on Polygon. This is following a run-up of DeFi platforms launching in the past year. Slingshot is in open beta on Polygon.

Slingshot noted that its reason for using the Polygon instead of launching on the Ethereum blockchain was due to high gas fees and slow transaction issues the decentralized finance (DeFi) facilitator experienced. Polygon is a multichain solution that runs alongside Ethereum’s network.

The Ethereum network is the second most active blockchain ecosystem after Bitcoin. In a year that has seen cryptocurrencies gain more followers, the Ethereum network has attracted more developers riding on the decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT) craze.

But this adoption has brought up issues previously left unattended. First, the insane gas fees users have to pay before executing a trade on the platform.

Another major hiccup has been the network congestion issues prompted by the explosion of NFTs. NFTs, which are predominantly built on the Ethereum network, are unique virtual assets stored on the blockchain. Recent successes in the digital collectibles circle have seen the Ethereum network battle with slow transaction speeds.

These issues have seen the upsurge of layer two protocols like Polygon. Given their swift execution timelines and lower gas fees, developers are now shifting to alternative platforms to access the burgeoning world of DeFi.

Speaking on the recent announcement, Slingshot’s CEO, Clinton Bembry noted that the DEX platform ran multiple pilots on both the Ethereum and Polygon network for some time before settling with Polygon. All trades would now be executed on the Polygon network, while the Ethereum network integration would come much later.

ConsenSys Launches Developer-friendly Tools

Ethereum is aware of the challenges facing its platform and is reportedly preparing to migrate to a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol in the coming months. According to founder Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum 2.0 will see the end of high gas fees and network congestion and make the Dapps facilitator scalable.

Meanwhile, Ethereum software studio ConsenSys is working to make the Ethereum platform more developer-friendly. According to the blockchain company, it will be adding tools to scaling solution Polygon to make it easier to develop and run dapps on the platform.

The tools named Infura and Truffle would be added to its already extant Ethereum and IPFS offering. Infura would allow developers to connect to the Ethereum network using an application programming interface (API) without running a full node.

Its Truffle tool would help developers build and deploy dapps easily like boilerplate projects.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Report: Tor Network Users Were Spied On Via Compromised Exit Relays

Report: Tor Network Users Were Spied On Via Compromised Exit Relays

Anonymous communication network Tor Network was reportedly under a continuous large-scale attack as up to 25% of its exit relay capacity was hijacked. This is according to a report published by cybersecurity researcher and Tor node operator Nusenu.

Malicious Tor Network Servers Spell Doom For Users

The attack, which was reportedly initiated in early 2020 by an unidentified hacker, went undetected for over 16 months. According to the report, users of Tor Network were spied on and might have had their data stolen as the malicious servers added to the network’s exit relays, tracks. and intercepts crypto-related data.

The Tor Network is open-source software that allows users to anonymize their Internet traffic by sending it through a network of servers operated by volunteers. This is done by directing network traffic through a series of relays to mask a user’s IP address and location and usage from surveillance or traffic analysis.

While the middle relays typically take care of receiving traffic on the network and pass it along–the exit relay is the final node that Tor traffic passes through before it reaches its destination.

The hacker allegedly took advantage of the system by adding their malicious nodes, disguising them as “exit relays” to the network. The plan was to intercept sensitive information like crypto addresses in transaction requests made by users to switch and redirect their cryptocurrencies to their wallets.

The report says the hacker has also recently started modifying downloads made through Tor, but it is unclear to what end or what other techniques they might be using.

Most of the malicious relays have been removed by developers, Nusenu revealed. However, the hacker has not backed down as it is still constantly rebuilding its network. If going by Nusenu’s estimations, up to 10% or even more of Tor’s exit relay capacity could still be controlled by the attacker to this day. Nusenu said,

“The recurring events of large scale malicious Tor relay operations make it clear that current checks and approaches for bad-relays detection are insufficient to prevent such events from reoccurring and that the threat landscape for Tor users has changed.”

Cybercriminals Continue to Torment the Tor Network

The Tor network’s history with malicious actors is well documented. In December 2019, hackers distributed a compromised version of the official Tor Browser, which had malicious tools to spy on users and steal their Bitcoin.

The scammers had reportedly used forums and the Pastebin website to distribute their offering, targeting Russian-speaking users of the Tor network. The cybercriminals were first documented and exposed by researchers at IT security firm ESET.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Open Wireless Network, Helium, is Coming to a Phone Near You

Helium Network has partnered with FreedomFi, a connectivity company that manufactures open-source 5G devices. This is an important milestone for the network’s path to 5G.

By voting to pass HIP 27, the community has come together to make the Helium Network “the first consumer-owned 5G network in the world.” Basically, if you have a phone that supports 5G, you would soon be able to connect through hotspots powered by the Helium. Ryan Watkins of Messari commented,

“In just 21 months, Helium has built a global wireless network for IoT devices whose infrastructure is entirely community-owned and operated.”

“Their next step is replicating this success and deploying a similarly community-owned and operated 5G wireless network. Web 3 is coming.”

Founded in 2013, Helium Network, also known as the People’s Network, is a decentralized open wireless network built on a new blockchain. Relying on Proof of Coverage and a new consensus algorithm (HoneyBadger BFT), Helium is used to route data for long-range, lower power IoT devices.

The network is live with over 28,000 hotspots in over 3,800 cities worldwide with a backorder of 200k.

FreedomFi meanwhile has announced the presale waitlist of the inaugural batch of its Gateways, a connectivity device that pairs with 5G antennas and is compatible with the Helium Network.

This year, the project expects the Helium 5G network to be available in selected cities in the US and then expand into other countries as early as next year.

Hosts will also be able to earn a variable amount of HNT, depending on radio power, location, and amount of data traffic passing through their Hotspot.

The native token is currently trading at $17.54, down 16.4% from its ATH of 20.85 earlier this month.

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Author: AnTy

OKEx Adds Lightning Network Support for Cheaper and Faster BTC Deposits & Withdrawals

Crypto Exchange OKEx Adds Lightning Network Support for Cheaper and Faster BTC Deposits & Withdrawals

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has added Lightning Network deposits and withdrawal support. The integration was first announced in February.

With this integration, OKEx will bring scalability, instant payments, and low cost to its users. As of now, it is live on the exchange’s desktop website, with mobile support to follow soon. OKEx tweeted,

“If you thought layer one of BTC was something else, wait until you use layer two for the first time.”

Launched in 2018, Lightning Network is a second layer on top of the Bitcoin network that facilitates faster and cheaper transactions.

On OKEx, this support is expected to bring down the average cost of Bitcoin transactions to under 0.01 cents and the average confirmation time to be reduced to mere 1-3 seconds.

Over the past year, a number of crypto exchanges have adopted Lightning Network in a bid to lower the deposit and withdrawal fees for their clients. Before OKEx, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, OKCoin, and River Financial announced the integration, while Gemini and Coinbase have yet to provide support.

Kraken is also expected to follow suit this year.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Payment Network, BitPay, Joins Square-Led Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)

Bitcoin Payment Network, BitPay, Joins Square-Led Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)

The alliance promotes sharing open-source patents and projects across partners.

BitPay is the latest in a string of big crypto companies to join the Square-led Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a blog post released on Wednesday confirmed. The alliance aims to enhance development across the crypto industry by promoting open-source projects and shared patents among members.

Launched in 2020, COPA is an alliance working towards ensuring Bitcoin and crypto remain completely free and open – as first envisioned by Satoshi. Square and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has been at the forefront in calling for cooperation across the crypto field, stating the alliance will “help the crypto community defend against patent aggressors and trolls,” just like they recently did with Faketoshi, Craig Wright.

With cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies becoming mainstream, firms in the space are changing their way of business, with patent protection and court battles becoming the order of the day, Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, said.

“We see both business and consumer adoption accelerating as a result of COPA industry leaders working together to advance technology innovation, making the blockchain easy to use for both businesses and consumers.”

As one of the oldest Bitcoin payment channels, BitPay saw it fit to release their patents to the alliance to enhance innovation in the crypto payment space. The platform processes cryptocurrency payments to enable borderless payments using assets such as BTC, ETH, DOGE, BCH, and stablecoins such as USDC, PAX, and BUSD.

BitPay joins Coinbase (a COPA founding member) as the second high-profile company in the COPA alliance to push forward an ‘open patents policy’ to boost the growth in developments and innovation in the crypto ecosystem, a statement from Coinbase read at the time.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Plasm Network Partners with Secret Network to Launch the First Polkadot-Cosmos Cross-Chain Bridge

Plasm Network Partners with Secret Network to Launch the First Polkadot-Cosmos Cross-Chain Bridge

Polkadot-based Plasm Network partners with Secret Network to launch a cross-chain bridge between the two projects. This bridge will allow users to directly send and receive assets across the two platforms in a new kind of “layer zero” protocol.

Announced on Tuesday, the ‘bridge’ results from an ongoing partnership between Plasm Network (PLM) and Secret Network (SCRT), a Cosmos blockchain-based transaction privacy solution, which allows users to transact assets on any of the two networks. Built on Plasm testnet, the bridge will allow private transactions on Secret Network and access to decentralized finance, DeFi, provided on SecretSwap, the platform’s automated market maker (AMM).

“We’ve completed building our bridge with Secret Network,” the blog post reads. “This build will start on our testnet before deploying to mainnet down the road.”

Plasm Network users will be limited to enjoying “secret” transactions and DeFi products built on the Secret DApp hub at launch. By turning their assets to “Secret Tokens,” synthetic tokens on Secret built using ERC-20 standards and privacy features of coins such as Monero and Dash, users can enjoy encrypted transactions, “viewable only to address owners or holders of their viewing key.”

Notwithstanding, the bridge also brings DeFi to Plasm users through Secret DeFi, which allows the building of privacy-preserving DeFi apps.

The mainnet launch will follow the testnet launch once Kusama Network (KSM) is ready for launch and Plasm becomes a parachain on Polkadot. Kusama is a Polkadot parachain testnet unveiled by Polkadot’s co-founder Gavin Wood in 2019.

Speaking on the recent partnership, Plasm co-founder Sota Watanabe said,

“We have considered the light client implementation. And we are highly likely to take this approach after becoming a Kusama Parachain. The implementation we have today is an MVP [minimum viable product].”

Secret Network and Plasm partnership is the first time the Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM) blockchain has a direct connection. This is made possible through the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC) on Cosmos, which allows direct communication between different blockchains.

“This is the first commercial trial that brings Cosmos assets to the Polkadot ecosystem and vice versa.”

“We would like to make the idea of ‘Cosmos vs. Polkadot’ obsolete.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

CoinList’s Rally Network Liquid Token Sale Attracts 40k Users to Buy $22 Million in RLY

CoinList’s Rally Network Liquid Token Sale Attracts 40k Users to Buy $22 Million in RLY

Rally, an open network powered by the Ethereum blockchain, has raised $22 million from its liquid token sale on CoinList, a crypto asset issuance platform.

44,000 Investors Join The Rally Family

Investors numbering 40,000 purchased the RLY tokens for $0.60 each between April 1 and 4, 2021, per a CoinList post. The sale was originally approved in March through community governance.

The investments were limited to $1,000 per person, with nearly two-thirds of the offerings with 115,000 registrants missing out on participating.

Commenting on the sale of the liquid token, Rally founder Kevin Chou explained that the project aimed to advance the number of people personally involved on the Ethereum-based platform that mints “social tokens” for digital asset holders to flex their crypto clout.

To make up for the RLY that was locked up for 12-month a linear, the token pricing, which was set at $0.60, was determined by a 20-day trailing average from March 11, 2021, to March 30, 2021, minus a 30% markdown.

Some weeks ago, investors had the privilege to purchase RLY for less than half the price offered by CoinList on the open markets.

With 40 million RLY sold having previously been allocated to Rally’s Community Treasure, the liquid token sale got approved through community governance last month.

Following the sale, the share price of Rally has increasingly been gaining momentum. So far, close to 250% since trading for less than $0.29 on March 12. RLY consistently traded between $0.25 and $0.35 from mid-January until mid-May. At the moment, RLY last changed hands for $1.

However, half of the tokens will become tradable on October 4, after which the remaining RLY will unlock gradually monthly.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Keep Network to Launch An Updated Bitcoin to Ethereum Bridge, tBTC Protocol V2

Keep Network to Launch An Updated Bitcoin to Ethereum Bridge, tBTC Protocol V2

The Keep Network has released more details of tBTC, a Bitcoin bridge on Ethereum. Keep Network developer Evandro Saturnino disclosed this in a blog post.

Keep Network Unveils tBTC V2

Saturnino made it known that the network considered different changes to address tBTC past issues with collateralization.

The developer said that while the tBTC v1 relies on a 200% outside collateral, it has struggled to scale without more ETH into the network, despite being on top of $300M Total Locked Value (TVL). He said the system works perfectly, but the economic constraints are still present.

This second iteration of tBTC (v2) is expected to require stakers to only lock up Keep rather than both Keep and Ether (ETH), alongside introducing changes to its wallet-generation mechanism.

tBTC is a fully Bitcoin-backed ERC-20 token pegged to the price of Bitcoin. It facilitates Bitcoin holders acting on the Ethereum blockchain, accessing the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, and earning with their Bitcoin.

The network is fully trustless, using a system of “signers” selected by a random beacon to safeguard the deposited BTC. tBTC can be converted to BTC, and vice versa, at any time, with no intermediary needed to sign off.

According to Saturnino, this v2 of tBTC would greatly decrease the staking assets’ collateral ratio.

He added that insurance coverage pools would be used to protect against malicious validators to neutralize risks to the peg. He described the coverage pools as perfectly suited to ensure against fraud in tBTC v2.

tBTC And Existing Bitcoin Tokenized Solutions

First announced in April last year, tBTC was built as an application to allow trustless storage of the Bitcoin-backed tBTC tokens. It was officially launched in May but had issues with a smart contract bug, after which it relaunched in September 2020.

The developer said the team had learned a lot since the protocol launched the second time.

The tBTC protocol works on both the Bitcoin and Ethereum public blockchains, with users locking up BTC so that nodes in the Keep network can mint tBTC while staking 150% of the BTC’s value in ETH.

Bringing Bitcoin to Ethereum is considered to be an exciting prospect by many as the tokenization of Bitcoin gets increasingly popular. It can be split into custodial and non-custodial. Popular custodial solutions like Wrapped BTC (wBTC) are one of the largest, while non-custodial solutions like renBTC have followed closely since its launch last year May.

Meanwhile, the Keep network’s tBTC is still trying to gain ground among DeFi users.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

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

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