Stellar Network Rolls Out Protocol 15 Upgrade, Adding Two New Payment Features; XLM Surges

Stellar blockchain network has upgraded to protocol 15, according to a blog post announcement on Nov 23. The publication was sent out by Stellar Development Foundation Ecosystem lead, Justin Rice; it highlights two new features: ‘make it easier than ever to build user-friendly apps on Stellar.’ The new functions are Sponsored Reserves and Claimable Balances.

According to the blog post, these new features are already changing Stellar’s ecosystem when it comes to hosting user-friendly DApps,

“We’ve already seen both deployed to great effect on the testnet, and we’re excited to see what you can do with them in a production environment.”

Notably, Stellar skipped protocol 14 after a critical bug was discovered in this update while in the testing phase. The previous protocol ‘13’ had been voted for by the validator nodes in June; improvements in this upgrade included fee bump transactions and advanced asset authorization control.

Stellar’s Protocol 15 Upgrade

This milestone was first announced in October, although the project had been a work in progress for several months. The upgrade went live on Nov 23 at 1600 UTC, and users have since been advised to install software that supports the latest protocol. According to the blog,

“Stellar Core will immediately throw an error if it’s not up to date, but Horizon and the Stellar SDKs may function as normal for a bit until they encounter — and are baffled by — one of the new operations.”

The value proposition in claimable balances can split payments into two by creating a new ledger entry. Stellar users can create a balance and claim a balance, which means that they can send an asset, regardless of the receiving account’s state.

On the other hand, Sponsored Reserves open up the window for funding innovations with Lumens (XLM) while maintaining control. An earlier blog post highlighted that,

“It also adds new extensions to account entries and ledger entries to record pertinent information about sponsorships.”

XLM Price Bullish

Meanwhile, the XLM price is currently bullish, having gained 72.6% within the past 24 hours. The coin is currently trading at $0.189 while its total market cap is well over $3 billion, according to metrics site Coingecko.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Coinbase Launches Staking Program For Cosmos, ATOM Holders Can Earn 5%

In a blog post released on Wednesday, Coinbase introduced staking on ATOM, promising up to 5% return per annum on the value staked. The Cosmos Staking Reward will be available to select customers across 48 states in the U.S and across Europe, including the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and France.

This is an automatic process generated by Coinbase. Users only need to deposit ATOM or buy the tokens directly on the exchange to start earning rewards. At launch, ATOM rewards will be distributed every seven days – Tezos (XTZ) rewards are distributed every three days.

‘Coinbase is always looking for ways to enable easy and secure participation in the crypto-economy,” the statement reads.

Cosmos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that allows users to “stake” their tokens to participate in the governance of the network and receive rewards in the process. The blockchain provides interoperability across blockchain and their native tokens.

A spokesperson from Coinbase to The Block states ATOM staking will charge a commission of 25% is lower than that of XTZ. The latter offers a 15% annual return being the only staking platform on the exchange before ATOM joined. Since launching in Q4 2019, Tezos holders have received more than $2 million in rewards from Coinbase.

Coinbase stated they would be adding more tokens to its staking program in the future.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Twitter Found the Solution to Bitcoin Scams, No More Cryptocurrency Addresses Allowed

That’s right!

It was this easy, just not let anyone post cryptocurrency addresses on Twitter, no more crypto scams.

When trying to post a tweet containing a cryptocurrency address, Twitter prompts the message “Something went wrong, but don’t fret — let’s give it another shot” in a glaring red strip.

Well, given that hackers are smart and always one step ahead of companies, it won’t be long before they find a solution. They don’t even need addresses; their one-page website seems to do the trick already. Soon, deep-fakes are expected to “revolutionize the scam market” already, as reported by the Crypto Whales in its report.

Moreover, companies are not proactive, it takes several attempts to report a scammer, and it still doesn’t get it down.

Twitter’s latest ban of crypto addresses altogether from the social networking platform could be just a fix before they find the solution, which comes after last night’s major Twitter accounts including the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and many more getting hacked and used to promote bitcoin-related scams.

Twitter is currently investigating the hack, which is believed to be a “coordinated social engineering attack” by using the “internal systems and tools.”

All the accounts hacked asked people to send them bitcoin in order to get it double, and the hacker was able to swipe nearly 13 BTC, worth about $120,000.

These kinds of scams aren’t anything new. They have been going on for a long time, given that the scammer was able to get only 13 BTC out of it.

As we reported, in just the first six months of 2020, scammers made off with about $24 million in BTC, which is predicted by Crypto Whale to reach $50 million by this year-end, over twenty-fold since 2017.

Also, BTC giveaways bearing the name of Tesla CEO and the founder and CEO of SpaceX, Musk has already been raking in more than $2 million in a matter of months.

Earlier this year, Musk called out the scams saying, “the crypto scam level on Twitter is reaching new levels,” in response to such a giveaway scam.

He urged people to “report [the scam] as soon as you see it,” and encouraged Twitter to delete the bots and scammer accounts.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Celo Dollar (cUSD) Stablecoin Launches as the Libra Rival Eyes Digital Ecosystem Dominance

Celo Dollars (cUSD) stablecoins are now live on the platform’s mainnet according to a medium post by the foundation on June 29. This comes barely two months since Celo’s mainnet went live; the project has been making aggressive moves in both development and community growth. With Celo’s stablecoin (cUSD) now accessible, the foundation is optimistic that its vision of an all-inclusive financial ecosystem will be realized.

Notably, Celo’s infrastructure has been gaining popularity as its Alliance membership surged following its debut in March with an initial 50 members. Two months in, the number had grown to 75 as more players collaborate to expand Celo’s ecosystem. Prominent names contributing to this project include Bison Trails, Alpha Wallet, Paxful, Polychain, and Mercy Corps, to mention a few. Currently, the Alliance’s focus is in four areas; communications, policy, remittances, and international aid.

The Celo Dollar (cUSD)

As cryptocurrencies take the center stage of digital asset innovation, programmable money is a no brainer for today’s economy. It is, therefore, not surprising that the digital currency trend has been resilient since Bitcoin recorded ATH back in 2017. Consequently, crypto market players have come up with ways to eliminate some aspects of volatility hence the rise of stablecoins over the course of 2019.

Celo Dollar (cUSD) is designed to further enhance the grown of $34 billion P2P markets, $1.4 trillion PoS market, $248 billion gig economy, and $87 billion remittance market. Users can leverage the cUSD to make touchless merchant payments in the wake of COVID-19 preventive measures. They can also send or receive Celo Dollars locally and internationally at friendly fees that are as low as $0.01.

Finally, this Celo based stablecoin can be used to access financing by borrowing at interest. This is especially valuable in economies with a high unbanked population given the increase in smartphone accessibility hence the opportunity to operate on Celo’s network instead.

Celo’s Prospects

The Celo Alliance is considered a Libra rival in the digital currency space but may soon be in the clear should regulatory pressures favor its existence. It has been making significant milestones since we began 2020, including a $700k grant allocation to startups building on the Celo blockchain network. cLabs, Celo’s founding company, also raised $10 million in the Celo Gold (cGLD) token sale on CoinList in which around 509 global investors participated.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

The ‘Worst is Yet to Come’ for Altcoins as Capitulation Expected Soon

Post halving, the price of bitcoin has surged more than 10%. However, cryptocurrencies with small-cap have been leading after surpassing bitcoin last week. The Small Cap Index is up about 10% so far.

The Large Caps Index continues to run behind which is also reflected in the market capitalization dominance this week with most coins losing their shares. From Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) to XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Dash all saw a small decline in their share.

Mid-cap cryptos fared the worst and are still in red this month, down 1%. This index has been struggling since the beginning of May.

When Alt Season?

After making several attempts to take over $10,000, Bitcoin has found a place under $9,500, for now.

A drop in BTC price means altcoins are also boring right now. Top cryptocurrencies are in the mix while small-cap altcoins like Electronium (+64%), Hyperion (+11.61%) are enjoying gains while DigiByte (+7%), Ethereum Classic (+3.88%), Maker (+3.10%), and Hedge Trade (+2.34%) are also recording some greens.

According to trader SalsaTekila, altcoins will continue to capitulate in the coming couple of months. If during this time, bitcoin surged to new highs, it would set the stage for alt season.

“I hope BTC keeps mooning while ALTS capitulate in the next few months because that would be the perfect conditions for altseason. If bitcoin breaches ATH media coverage will give crypto a lot of visibility and retail newcomers just love owning 10 gazillions XRP over 1 BTC…”

But this also means altcoins will feel more pain in the coming months as analyst Pentoshi also sees the alt market getting ready to “capitulate soon.”

“Seems like the worst is yet to come but afterwards should provide huge opportunities,” he said.

Ether is currently heading for levels not seen since 2016 while Litecoin is trading below 2014-2016 prices and XRP is heading for levels from 2014, 2016, and 2017. Pentoshi said,

“If BTC breaks out and heads towards 10.5k. Have some absolute stink bids on alts. If we see the 19′ highs soon. Alts will likely be lower than you could have ever dreamed of. Holders, or people over exposed will unfortunately likely be in more pain than at any point in 3 years.”

Most of Bitcoin Investors End up in Altcoins

A recent report from Coinbase revealed that while bitcoin is a dominant cryptocurrency, the customers of the exchange show a relative preference to altcoins as well. It reads,

“Bitcoin’s position as the blue-chip asset has remained unchallenged. That said, we do see a trend where bull markets show increasing traction among alternative assets.”

Customers with at least five purchases, 60% of them start with bitcoin but only 24% stick exclusively to bitcoin. More than 75% of Coinbase customers eventually buy other crypto assets.

The reason for the same is largely psychological — winning investments. As seen in the 2017 bull run, with over 1,300% returns Bitcoin was the 14th largest gainer.

The winner of the bull run was XRP with 36,000% gains followed by NEM (29,800%), Ardor (16,800%), Stellar (14,400%), and Dash (9,200%).

However, during the market crash as fear grips the market as seen in 2018 and 2019, “a flight to crypto safety drove Bitcoin back to the forefront.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

No Mass Adoption Coming for Ethereum? Reddit’s Ether Is Just A Small-Scale Experiment

Recently, a user post revealed that Reddit is looking to implement an ERC-20 token for Community Points that represents ownership of a subreddit. These Community Points are a measure of reputation and constitution within a community and can be used in different ways without restriction, control or permission of Reddit.

These will be live on the Ethereum blockchain to guarantee that the owner owns and controls them and “even Reddit cannot take them away.” Once used these Points are permanently burned.

Also, there is a new section of the Reddit app called “Wallet” where users can manage and use their Points. It is a way to access the Ethereum blockchain and when created also generates a public address and a private key.

Given that Reddit is the most popular social media website with more than 400 million users, it has the Ethereum community excited who are expecting this to introduce Ether to a massive user base and get them familiar with wallet management and private/public keys.

“400 million people are about to get introduced to the Ethereum ecosystem. Imagine if they decide to explore what else they can do with their newfound wallet,” said Jack Purdy of Messari.

Although Reddit is working on such a system, it is focused on only one community. A company spokesperson told Decrypt,

“We continuously experiment with ways to support communities on Reddit. In this instance, we’re working with one community to test a feature that represents a user’s involvement in a community. We value and seek out community feedback as we continue to explore features that engage our users and communities.”

However, VR meetup organizer Udi Wertheimer bashed “Eth community” for going with this “flat out fake news.” This is all just another small-scale experiment that Reddit has “ran in the past and eventually killed.”

“It’s a trial that started literally years ago, and to this day is running (and failing) on one single subreddit,” said Wertheimer adding, “The year is 2020 and people are still stupid enough to think that a built in ERC20 wallet in a semi-mainstream app could bring mainstream interest to failing “DeFi” companies? For real? You mean like Samsung and Opera did?”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Cambodia’s CBDC Initiative, Project Bakong Payments App, Countdown Has Begun

The Phnom Penh Post reports that within the next couple or more months, Cambodia’s central bank is going to launch its own blockchain-based peer-to-peer money platform.

The system is called Project Bakong and it will be a central bank digital currency (CBDC) – backed payments app. Chea Serey, the chairman of the National Bank of Cambodia, said it’s going to be “the national payment gateway for Cambodia”. At the moment, the Bakong implementation is linked to users’ bank accounts, and it will allow the exchange between the CBDC and hard currency.

Bakong Cheaper than Debit and Credit Cards

An executive from one of the participating banks at the project said Bakong is a more convenient and cheaper alternative to debit and credit cards. It was also noted that banks are going to lose from their market share, but not in the long run.

Bakong Being Tested Since July 2019

Bakong has been undergoing tests ever since July 2019. The central bank expects it to be completely operational until this quarter ends. The system is currently supported by 11 banks, not to mention it will be rolled out in all the bank branches in the country very soon. According to a December World Economic Forum release, Bakong is looking to connect a payments economy that has been fragmented and continues to be dominated by cash.

Payments Frictions Reduced and Financial Inclusion Achieved

The National Bank of Cambodia’s new system will have merchants, commercial banks and the Cambodian people that don’t have a bank reducing payments frictions so that the country gains financial inclusion. Earlier this week, it was reported by Hard Fork that a European central banks’ raft which included the Bank of International Settlements has started to explore how CBDCs would work with international payments and how much they would help when it comes to interoperability.

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu

This Uncannily Accurate Bitcoin Chart from Dec. 2018 Predicts a New ATH in 2020/21

  • Analyst ‘s post from Dec. 2, 2018, correctly predicts Bitcoin’s bottom and momentum in 2019

Bitcoin price is currently hovering around $9,000 after surging over 21% to date in 2020. With Bitcoin reward halving coming up in May 2020, investors are extremely excited to see if this historically bullish event will end up pushing BTC to the moon or as some commentators say a dump because halving is priced in.

According to an analysis posted by PentarhUdi on TradingView, Bitcoin price is onto a big rally that will see it hitting a new high by the end of this year. The post has garnered 133,200 views to date.

The analysis is his vision of Bitcoin’s future price dynamics in the context of the broken time log trend. “Bitcoin lost its huge momentum to stay in this trend,” which he said was going to happen sooner or later.

Because as Bitcoin and blockchain technology gets adopted, it starts losing its “blowing popularity,” and leave the straight-style log trend. But all the while it continues to grow in SQRT-style trend more smoothly.

Posted on December 2nd, 2018 when Bitcoin was trading just above $4,000, the analysis called for a local bottom between $1,500 and $3,000 in that month. The world’s leading digital currency won’t be breaking previous lower low at $159, obviously, but he said, “it should be 4-digits,” in the coming weeks. On Dec. 15, we hit the low at about $3,200 level.

As BTC dropped fast, going from $6,400 to $3,200 in just over a month, he said it should bounce fast to retest the last $6,000 level and “log trend at around 10000-20000. 2019-2020 AD,” and “then it should fall back to ~6000 support. This should happen up to 2020 AD.”

Interestingly, he has been right this time as well with Bitcoin hitting $13,900 in June 2019 only to drop back to $6,500 level in mid-Dec. 2019. The next step he says is “Go to new highs. Beyond 2020 year.” Although the analysis calls for a $70,000 peak, he is calling for a new all-time high in 2020-21 without an exact figure.

In 2020 AD, he is expecting bitcoin to find its place in society and its price to become relatively stable in the mid-term but continue to slowly climb in the long term.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Church Members Expose Pastors Who Use Bitcoin to Buy Expensive Vehicles

A recent report by the Huffington Post indicated that former members of SPAC Nation, a mega church, have exposed rouge pastors in their ranks.

The church, which inspired hope in former gang members and impoverished individuals, also exploited these same people for money. According to the report, some of the church’s pastors pressured young congregation members to take out loans totaling up to 5,000 pounds.

In one such instance, the church leader asked that the member transfer him the funds from the loan. The church member was then told by the pastor that he would be set up as a “crypto-trader.”

The report also indicates that when it came out, the church distanced itself from its pastors’ actions and stated because of the large size of the community, not every pastor can be monitored. Further, individual pastors have denied the allegations.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

Keiser: Bitcoin Doesn’t Require Settlement Time, Giving It an Advantage Over Fiat Currency and Gold

  • Bitcoin’s transactions post directly to a ledger, connecting the settlement and the transaction directly.
  • Max Keiser criticized Brad Sherman for his negative stance on Bitcoin.

Max Keiser is the host of the Keiser Report, and he is a well-known bull of Bitcoin. Considering his stance, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he sees Bitcoin as a superior option to fiat currency and gold. However, breaking down the cryptocurrency asset on November 7th, Keiser explained that Bitcoin manages to beat out both gold and fiat currency for its lack of required settlement.

Bitcoin inherently weaves together the transaction and settlement of any transaction, since moving Bitcoin between wallets is as simple as updating a ledger. The update means that miners confirm the transactions in real time, instantly settling and posting to the blockchain.

Keiser noted,

“There’s a lot of friction, both in paper and in gold. Bitcoin, uniquely, is self-settling – the transaction is the settlement. When the transaction hits, it settles.”

The episode featuring this topic coincided with the support from governments for paper fiat, while digital currencies from any country have been a major point of discussion. China appears to be interested in issuing a digital yuan. However, other central banks are looking to do the same, like the European Central Bank.

The use of digital transactions would make for a positive change in the cost and settlement times, but the connection with the fiat system makes these changes more of a political move. Keiser believes that the US dollar would ultimately be weaponized for sanctions, though the fact that they’d be controlled by central banks leaves them prone to censorship and other centralization issues.

Keiser took the time to criticize Brad Sherman, a US congressman and long-time Bitcoin critic who has pushed for cryptocurrency to be banned.

Keiser commented,

“Brad Sherman is going to a gunfight with a knife, he has failed to take on board exactly what the dimension of this battle is going to be.” He added that Sherman fails to see that “he’s already lost.”

As international sanctions plague Russia, the country has been rumored to be purchasing substantial amounts of Bitcoin to circumvent the policies.

Read Original/a>
Author: Krystle M