The XRP Ledger Foundation Launches To Accelerate XRPL Adoption And Development

The XRP Ledger Foundation, a non-profit, announced its official launch on September 24. The Ledger Foundation would be responsible for supporting the development as well as accelerate the adoption of the XRP Ledger across the globe.

The non-profit organization has received multiple grants from several organizations, including the remittance firm, Ripple and content moderation firm, Coil, and the crypto wallet service provider GateHub. The XRP Ledger Foundation also hopes to raise more funds in the near future from other stakeholders of the decentralized space.

The XRP Ledger has grown in popularity within the banking and financial industries, which make use of the ledger for facilitating instant cross-border transactions at a minimal fee.

The XRP Ledger Foundation aims to expand and accelerate the adoption of its dedicated ledger while also improving the underlying technology behind it. Apart from working on the XRP ledger, the foundation would also create a unique node list, support community-based initiatives, and help the developers to strengthen the ecosystem.

The key role of the foundation also includes securing capital for its developers. Wietse Wind, one of the most prominent XRP developers, which is also a member of the Fund’s board, suggested that they have already paid developers who would exclusively work for the XRPL.

The foundation would also work to create a dedicated XRP community fund, with the sole purpose would be to bring formal engagement to the community.

The announcements made by the foundation met with great enthusiasm from the community. David Schwarz, Ripple’s CTO, commented that Ripple is committed to supporting the growth of XRP ledger, and the foundation would further their goal in enhancing the ecosystem.

David Schwarz said:

“We and the community have worked over the past 8 years to dramatically increase the decentralization, performance, and feature set of the XRP Ledger and remain committed to its future growth and innovation.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Uniswap Tanks After SushiSwap Successfully Migrated with Over $1 Billion in Liquidity

SushiSwap is now live after the migration was completed in the wee hours of Thursday. And with the official launch of the Uniswap clone, SushiSwap has sucked out all the liquidity and volume from the project that has been up until today, leading the market.

The legal billion dollar-heist resulted in Uniswap’s TVL tanking from $1.8 billion — previously among the top four DeFi projects to fall to the 9th spot with a 75% reduction — to almost $350 million of total value locked in now, as per DeFi Pulse.

A fork of Uniswap, SushiSwap, migrated the liquidity into its own protocol, currently recording $1.32 billion with the volume on the DEX climbing to $120 million.

Wrapped Ether is contributing the most to the volume followed by SUSHI, USDT, USDC, and YFI, much like Uniswap.

Unlike Uniswap, SushiSwap had its own token, and it allowed traders to pour tokens representing deposits in Uniswap liquidity pools into SushiSwap to earn SUSHI rewards. Keeping them through migration also got them extra tokens.

The migration involved swapping Uniswap LP tokens for the underlying asset and putting those tokens on SushiSwap.

Uniswap is currently recording $530 million worth of liquidity, down from nearly $2 billion liquidity on Sept. 4th. Daily volume on the platform has also gone down under $400 million from over $950 million on Sept. 1st.

Uniswap’s figures had come back to where it was before SushiSwap entered DeFi but are still up 50% from $285 million before the copycat was launched.

“Liquidity has no loyalty,” said yEarn creator Andre Cronje, who is against the narrative that SushiSwap took TVL from Uniswap because “Uniswap TVL pre/post Sushiswap remains unchanged. Sushiswap simply took their liquidity locusts with them. Only the liquidity locusts win.”

SushiSwap DEX, which is just shy of a fortnight old, has already experienced years’ worth of drama. Just over this past weekend, the original creator of the project, an anonymous Chef Nomi, sold their dev shares and handed over the control of the protocol to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who has been involved in farming SUSHI right from the start.

As expected, the liquidity fragmented, but still, it all turned out good for DeFi in the end. As analyst Ceteris Paribus said,

“Honestly thought Sushi would just make things worse for traders, but uniswap liquidity is 2x since this and sushi has >$1B. Quite impressive…”

SUSHI token is also enjoying market enthusiasm and bullishness as it rebounds from its $1.2 low to over $3. At the time of writing, SUSHI was trading at $2.69 as per CoinGecko.

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Author: AnTy

Algorand To Record Chess Player Data And Ratings For FIDE Online Arena on Its Blockchain

The official online Body of Chess has selected Algorand’s blockchain platform to record FIDE Online Arena World Chess Player’s data, which would include ratings and titles of players updated in real-time. People would be able to view the details of the online chess tournaments with a click of a button.

FIDE was founded in 1942, and it acts as a governing body for the sport of Chess and also responsible for creating various international chess tournaments. Fide Online Arena is the server which is often used to host official online tournaments and world champions where participants can earn global ratings and titles.

Silvio Micali, the founder of Algorand, also played a game of Chess against grandmaster Sergey Karjakin as the inaugural game for the FIDE Online Arena, and was recorded on the Algorand’s blockchain and broadcasted via World Chess.

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Сhess, commented on the decision to move to blockchain stating that it would bring more transparency in record keeping. He said:

“It’s exciting to continue bringing innovation to Chess. The advent of digital games on the internet made Chess more popular than before, and now we can’t wait to further explore blockchain innovation for digital Chess.”

How Algorand’s Blockchain Would be Utilized?

The Official online body of Chess aims to use Algornad’s blockchain to store game results and verify player’s ratings in a way that cannot be manipulated or altered. World Chess would also make use of the blockchain ledger to develop new reward systems and offer incentives to players in using the internal currency.

Blockchain-based ledger would help World Chess to explore the extents of blockchain technology, and they would also like to examine various aspects of the nascent technology.

Sean Ford, COO of Algorand, called their association with World Chess as a historical event and believe the blockchain technology would not only help World Chess to create a robust system for record-keeping but also help in mainstream adoption of the decentralized tech. He said:

“This historical moment brings the blockchain community one step closer to mainstream adoption, as a widely popular competitive game like chess leverages distributed ledger technology to serve as the official record for the trust of millions of online chess players and fans.”

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Author: Hank Klinger

Institutional Grade Crypto Custodial, Copper Technologies, Joins Global Central Bank Think Tank, OMFIF

Institutional-grade crypto custodian, Copper Technologies, joins the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum’s (OMFIF) Digital Monetary Institute (DMI) as a founding member. The non-profit organization launched in May 2020 aiming at formulating economic policy, public investment and central banking ideas for new and improved digital payment instruments.

Copper Technologies joins DMI as founding member

The London-based crypto firm becomes the latest founding member of DMI joining Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology GmbH, Cypherium Blockchain and multinational bank, ING Group. The mission of the association is to provide an open platform for discussions and research on digital payment systems and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The Institute will be publishing regular data, convening meetings with experts on new digital developments and innovations.

The statement from Dmitry Tokarev, CEO at Copper Technologies, showed delight in joining “policy makers, technologists, financiers and regulators” to develop new ideas and policies in the digital finance world. According to Dmitry, the OMFIF DMI forum opens up a gateway for public and private organizations to collaborate in “creating open and productive discussions” on the future of global finance and the opportunities digital payments offers. He added,

“As more and more institutions are beginning to see beyond the 2017 retail-driven image of the space, the real and long-term value of crypto, and blockchain more generally, becomes apparent. OMFIF has the potential to advance this cause, and move the needle on how the entire financial system views crypto.”

Copper Technologies promises an institutional grade custodial service with a keen eye on “accessibility, security and aligned compliance” aiming to bridge the gap between the digital asset world and the traditional finance systems.

Governments accelerated efforts

Governments, central banks and financial regulators across the globe are accelerating their efforts for a digital payment system in the wake of COVID-19. The spread of the pandemic through physical contact has shown the need for increased innovation in digital cash systems.

Moreover, the announcement of the Facebook-led Libra token also forced central banks to look into developing their own CBDCs. In his welcome statement to Copper Technologies, David Marsh, Chairman and Co-Founder at OMFIF addressed this saying,

“Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) has become a more pressing priority for central banks, first with the unveiling of Libra by Facebook, and more recently with the challenges of distributing financial help to citizens during the COVID-19 crisis.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Top UN Blockchain Expert Believes Digital Currencies And CBDC’s Pose a Threat To Bank Accounts

  • Top U.N. official says digital assets, particularly central bank-issued digital payment systems may soon replace bank accounts due to the low-interest rates.

Massimo Buonomo, a United Nations global blockchain and fintech expert, said the rising development of CBDCs and the low interest (negative) rates offered in commercial bank accounts may act as a catalyst to make corporate bank accounts obsolete.

The corporate banking system deficiencies are getting exemplified over the years and the monopoly on digital payments finally being challenged by cryptocurrencies, opening a way to the extinction of bank accounts, Buonomo explained.

In another interview on City AM this Thursday, Buonomo urged the need for adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic and the state of the current Bitcoin market.

Massimo sees the exponential growth of digital currencies development killing off the need for bank accounts completely. The global monetary system does not give any signal of getting better any time soon either. For instance, the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, called for more financial stimulus in the economy, and Trump called for a possible extension of negative interest rates.

‘CBDCs over public blockchains’

While Massimo remains a big fan of public blockchains such as BTC and ETH, he believes the implementation of a central bank based is more suitable to be used as a national currency. The scalability and congestion issues combined with the technological limitations on the legacy blockchain systems still hinder mass adoption hence the call for the central bank to step in.

Research published by the Philadelphia Fed Reserve on June 1, shared the opinion that the development of a CBDC may replace the role of commercial banks. The proposed implementation of a digital USD by the Digital Dollar Foundation, the ECB’s plans of a retail CBDC, and China’s accelerated efforts on launching a digital Yuan all culminate in a possible commercial bank death spiral as the middleman.

U.N. takes on cryptocurrency and blockchain development

United Nations has taken a keen interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency implementation over the past few years. The World Food Program has run tests of a blockchain food distribution system in African countries to ease the refugee aid process.

In October 2019, UNICEF opened up a donation website accepting Ethereum, ETH Foundation donating 100 ETH (~$20,000 at the time). UNICEF also opened up tests on blockchain projects in different fields – providing internet to Kyrgyzstan schools, a bounty token system, and extensive donations to blockchain projects.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BitMEX Adds Japan to its List of Restricted Jurisdictions Starting May 1st

  • Cryptocurrency derivatives platform BitMEX will no longer serve Japanese users.

As per the official announcement on Tuesday, the Seychelles-based exchange is restricting access to its users who are Japanese residents starting 30 April 2020, 23:00:00 JST for new users, and 1 May 2020 for existing registered users.

As such, a first time Japan resident user will be unable to trade while any registered Japan resident customer will no longer be able to open a new position or increase an existing open position, open positions will be unaffected.

This is not the first time BitMEX is restricting users, back in August, the exchange added Seychelles, Hong Kong, and Bermuda to its list of restricted jurisdictions that already included USA, Quebec, Hong Kong, China, Crimea, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Sudan, from accessing its platform.

Why the restriction?

This new restriction has been in response to the amendments to the Japan Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA) and Japan Payment Services Act (PSA) effective as of 1 May 2020.

As per the amending regulations, crypto exchanges have to register with the regulatory authorities and comply with the relevant provisions.

Crypto exchanges also have to manage users’ money separately from their own cash flows. In a move to tighten restrictions on the crypto custodians, the agency now requires the exchanges to find a third-party operator to hold their clients’ money.

Moreover, they are required to use “reliable methods” like cold wallets and in case they are using hot wallets, exchanges would have to hold “the same kind and the same quantities of crypto assets” so that users can be reimbursed in the event of theft.

“We support the efforts of regulators to help establish standards for cryptocurrency products that will underpin the advancement of this rapidly growing asset class,” said the exchange.

“We will continue to work with the Japanese regulatory authorities to support their aims for the Japan market and will keep our Japan users updated.”

As we reported, since Black Thursday, BitMEX has lost nearly 32% of its market share and much of that has been grabbed by Binance.

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Author: AnTy

South Korean National Assembly Passing Of Two Amendments, Making Crypto Legal

  • Crypto trading and holding gets an official entry in the legal system of the South Korea
  • President Jae-in Moon to sign it into law that will take about 18 months
  • The law requires exchanges to be in full compliance, verify their customers with an approved Korean bank & obtain ISMS certification

First, it was India, now South Korea has taken a positive step towards cryptocurrencies. The recent amendment of the Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Information passed today during a session of the National Assembly, which officially allows crypto trading and holding.

After 2-years of deliberations, trial and error, South Korean lawmakers officially passed this amendment, which provides crypto traders official entry into the legal system of the country, according to The News Asia. However, this new amendment requires crypto exchanges to comply with the legal requirements.

For the amendment to be enacted, it still needs an official sign-off by President Jae-in Moon. Once he signs the amendment, the enactment process will begin one year from then, including a 6 months grace period. It also means the crypto exchanges have to be in full compliance by Sept. 2021.

New AML Laws to Combat Financing of Terrorism

Up until now, crypto exchanges in South Korea have been self-governing. But now, exchanges, wallets, trusts, along with ICOs will be required by law to verify their customers with a Korean bank that has been endorsed to prevent money laundering. The verification system of real names went into effect in early 2018, by South Korea’s top financial regulator Financial Services Commission (FSC).

Information security management system (ISMS) certification will need to be acquired from the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) by all Crypto-related companies. Once crypto companies obtain these credentials, they will be legally allowed to operate within S.Korea. It’s a costly certification to obtain, however, with all exchanges now need to require one, or they will run the risk of shutting down.

While individuals like Hanbitco’s CEO, Sunga Kim, have applauded this new development, adding that,

“a foundation has been created to wash away the stigma of cryptocurrency exchanges, fraud, and debauchery and establish itself as a transparent and reliable industry. It will lead the development of the industry with the inflow of new capital.”

Others haven’t been so optimistic with the scrutiny and tighter regulations.

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Author: AnTy

IOTA Trinity Wallet Is Under Attack, Coordinator Node Has Been Turned Off

Through its official Twitter handle, IOTA Foundation revealed that the Trinity wallet is under a possible hacker attack. After various IOTA holders complained about missing coins, the foundation said it was suspending its platform’s node known as the Coordinator as investigations are ongoing, an IOTA status update indicated on Feb. 13.

According to a report by Cointelegraph IOTA emerged as one of the dominant innovations during the 2017 crypto bull run. The IOTA coin is not developed on blockchain technology, making it one of the unique cryptocurrencies in the market. The virtual asset that is contained on the tangle via Directed Acyclic Graph platform which is shortened as DAG.

The Coordinator is run by the IOTA Foundation which is a temporary protection measure within the Tangle platform. While IOTA still depends on the Coordinator but had initiated a discussion to eliminate the node in 2018.

The Trinity wallet was released last summer to store IOTA. on Feb. 12, a team from IOTA Foundation used its Twitter account to urge IOTA holders not to access their private wallets until all the investigations are finished.

After preliminary investigations, the team of investigators from IOTA Foundation revealed that the culprits had acquired the private keys of the affected accounts. The investigators also found that about 10 accounts had been affected and all of them comprised of the use of Trinity wallet. The investigators also stated that about 50% of the affected people had reported cases.

The IOTA Foundation also said that it will provide a full report of the prevailing events after the conclusion of the investigations. The Foundation stated that it was limiting the information released to the public in efforts not to provide the hackers with information they can use to enhance their activities. The Foundation also stated that the current data is not yet fully decisive.

IOTA has faced various troubles since its inception in 2017. In December 2019, the platform shutdown its mainnet for 24 hours.

We will update you as we get more information about the issue.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitcoin Payment Processor BTCPay Launches New ‘Vault’ App With Multi-Wallet Interoperability

BTCPay, a Bitcoin (BTC) payments processor integrated its new Vault app to its platform according to an official report by the company. The app will allow users to directly connect their desktop wallets and hardware wallets on the platform without giving up the private key. It enables communication with BTCpay using its node to increase user experience and satisfaction while still keeping users security and privacy as its top priority.

The official BTCpay blog stated that the vault wouldn’t store the users’ private keys but rather directly connect the user to multiple wallets on their desktop to allow transaction without giving up their private keys, which the users will have total control over.

The vaults main objective would be providing a cross platform that enables compatibility with more external wallets while improving the hardware wallet user experience. With all funds being verified against users Bitcoin full nodes, users can transact on the platform without having to give up their private keys.

BTCPay extends Compatibility

The initial internal wallet that was launched by BTCPay was only compatible with external wallet options such as Ledger Nano S and ColdCard. However their newly launched product extends compatibility with other external wallets such as Digital BitBox, KeepKey, Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X, Trezor Model T and Trezor One cited the blog.

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Author: Lujan Odera

After SEC Scrutiny, Telegram Speaks Out To Settle TON Blockchain and GRAM Tokens Rumors

Telegram has made an announcement on its official website, saying it’s not going to launch its new blockchain platform called TON and the Grams cryptocurrency until it has the green light from the US regulators.

It has also been mentioned that, even while some websites are already offering Grams presales, the token doesn’t exist, as the company didn’t issue it yet. It seems the TON Blockchain that’s going to use the tokens is still in Beta Test and only after its launch, the Grams will become available for buying.

TON Will be a Decentralized Community of Third-Party Developers

As clearly pinpointed by Telegram, TON is going to be decentralized and maintained by third party contributors. This means others will contribute to its ecosystem by developing apps and smart contracts. More than this, the third parties will have the responsibility to both adopt and implement the apps and smart contracts they’re creating for TON however they see fit. Further on, Telegram has mentioned it may never maintain the platform, nor create any app for it.

Telegram Won’t Be in Control of TON

The TON Blockchain code is going to be open source and visible to anyone. Telegram won’t be in control of it, nor it will have any unique rights or managerial responsibilities when it comes to the platform. However, it will be possible for the company and its employees to hold Grams after TON is launched.

Grams Holders Shouldn’t Expect to Automatically Get Rich

As a third point, Telegram mentions that holding Grams doesn’t necessarily mean getting rich, nor that shares at Telegram will be owned by those who have bought the tokens. It clearly says Grams are not investment products and only meant to be used as exchange tokens in the TON ecosystem. It’s even stated that since the crypto market is quite risky at the moment, Grams can even make their holders poorer.

A Crypto Wallet Won’t Yet Be Integrated with the Messaging App

Telegram won’t yet create a crypto wallet for its instant messaging app, at least not until the US regulators will give their approval for such a service. This has also been posted on Telegram’s official website on January 6. Both announcements arrive just before the company’s CEO will make a deposition on January 7 in Dubai.

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Author: Oana Ularu