Litecoin Users Can Choose to Use the Privacy Tech or Not After Mimblewimble Integration

  • Charlie Lee speaks on LTC’s Mimblewimble integration.
  • The hidden inflation on privacy chains.

In a recent interview, Charlie Lee, the Founder of Litecoin (LTC), talked about the current plans to integrate the Mimblewimble privacy mechanism on the blockchain. Lee answered several questions from LTC users including the several developmental concerns that may arise on the blockchain once implementation is complete.

Furthermore, Lee explained the concept of ‘hidden inflation’ that is common on privacy-based blockchain stating users wanting privacy will not care much about it.

Charlie Lee Speaks on LTC’s Mimblewimble Integration

Some of the questions focused on the future of LTC transactions and how to integrate the privacy features of Mimblewimble on the blockchain.

Users were curious about whether the normal blockchain will take precedence or the Mimblewimble-enabled chain. According to the planned privacy enhancements, users will be able to select on exchanges whether to carry out a privacy enhanced transaction or a public one.

Responding to the confusion building up, Lee said he has talked to several exchanges on the regulatory issues that surround the privacy enhanced transactions with most agreeing to go along with it. He further said,

“Initially the use of Litecoin post-MimbleWimble implementation will be difficult; it’s going to be a learning curve. Not all wallets will support it from the start[…] Since it is a soft fork, the whole ecosystem won’t need to care about it until they want to.”

Lee, however, believes the current upgrades will benefit Litecoin’s privacy as a coin stating the privacy features may draw more users to LTC.

The Hidden Inflation on Privacy Chains

In what has become a raging topic across the privacy coins communities, Charlie said “hidden inflation” on privacy coins may not affect users willing to own privacy enhanced crypto.

In March, crypto analyst and developer, Tim Ruffing, exposed that there may be a bug on all privacy blockchains cryptography that makes “inflation undetectable” on the blockchain.

While this makes the blockchain more susceptible to attacks from hackers who may inflate the cash in the system, Lee believes this is a risk privacy-focused users are willing to take. On how Litecoin aims to prevent such an attack Lee said:

“The good thing about our ecosystem is the extension block for Litecoin; it would be kind of isolated by itself. So even if something happens to that, it won’t infiltrate the main chain because one won’t be able to withdraw more coins.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Beam Privacy Cryptocurrency to Undergo Second Hard Fork at Block 777,777 in June 2020

Beam, a privacy centered altcoin which was launched on top of the Bitcoin mainnet on January 3rd, 2019, has announced the date and timeline for its second hard-fork which would be executed on June 28, 2020 on the 777,777th Block of the network. The announcement was made via a blog post,which was published on April 22nd, detailed that the new hard-fork would see the Proof-of-Work based mining consensus change from BeamHash II to BeamHash III.

Some of the major changes that would be implemented with the second hard-fork would include,

  • PoW algorithm will change from BeamHash II to BeamHash III. More details on BeamHash III will be shared closer to the time.
  • Activate support for Confidential Assets
  • Activate support for Lelantus Mimblewimble
  • Activate support for One-Sided Payment

The upgrade to the PoW mining consensus is expected to bring significant improvement to the present mining network and enhance the GPU card capabilities along with it.

The beam would also avail a testnet a few weeks prior to the scheduled hardfork and the launch of the testnet would depend on the block time. The hardfork would only require users to make a software upgrade. The platform is planning to release the node and desktop wallet binaries a month in advance to give necessary amount of time to its users to upgrade to the latest version.

The users would be required to upgrade to the latest version of the wallet called Eager Electron 5.0 prior to the hardfork as the upgrade won’t support the earlier versions and that is one of the key reasons for releasing it a month prior. The firm also assured that the funds will remain safe even if some people forget to upgrade in the given time frame.

The Second Hard-Fork Comes Within a Year of the First One

Beam network’s first hard fork came in August 2019 which also saw major upgrades in the mining consensus software changing from Beam Hash I to Beam Hash II at block 321,321. The first hard fork resulted in the decline of the mining difficulty, which was found because some miners forget to upgrade their software on time.

Beam being a privacy-focused altcoin uses Mimblewimble privacy protocol. Although a research study from Dragonfly Research analyst, Ivan Bogatyy claimed that the protocol in question cannot be seen as an alternative to Monero or Zcash, due to certain privacy breaches in the past, Beam challenged the study claiming their implementation of the protocol was not used in the study.

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Author: James W

Brave Teams Up Binance For In-Browser Crypto Trading on Latest Nightly Release

Popular privacy browser Brave teams up with top cryptocurrency exchange Binance in the latest release of Nightly. Giving its 13 million users a direct connection to easy buying, depositing, and trading all within the browser.

While this new feature hasn’t been rolled out to everyone just yet, it is available for download if you accept the Brave Nightly versions, which is more of an experimental playground for developers. It will roll out to all versions sometime in April.

The Binance Widget will allow Brave enthusiasts to trade crypto without having to leave the browser. Brave’s CEO Branden Eich explained how the new partnership is going to work by saying:

“Our focus has always been on our users. This time, it’s about making crypto more usable by more people.

We already have 1.6 million users who are crypto-savvy, they have signed up for the BAT Rewards Program; now they’ll be able to make crypto trades without leaving the browser”.

How Is Brave Going to Look?

Brave’s Binance Widget will be present in the new Nightly release from Brave, a version that is a test and development ground for playing with new features within the browser. While it doesn’t sound ideal for most users, if you want to play with the latest features Brave is updating this nightly (hence the name). Sometime next month, the Binance Widget is going to become available to the full version, making it possible for Binance account holders to log in and start trading.

Here is a sneak peek at how the new browser looks:

Source: Brave Nightly with Binance

Eich said the widget is going to be mainly focused on trading, whereas Binance advanced features will be missing from it. However, it will have all the exchange’s trading pairs. This means Brave can rely on Binance when it comes to the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. Here’s what Changpeng CZ Zhao, Binance’s CEO, said about the Brave integration:

“The Binance widget on Brave’s privacy-oriented browser instills a safer way to buy and sell crypto and also reduces user friction to onboard, trade and interact with the Binance ecosystem.

We are looking forward to our long-term partnership with Brave to make it even easier to interact with crypto and encourage more utility in the near future.”

What Does the Future Hold for Brave?

Eich mentioned a few things about Brave’s future and said the browser may extend to messaging, and computer/smartphone operating systems, but for now, it’s only about the browser. He also talked about how the fully decentralized internet doesn’t seem to be in the cards at the moment, the more realistic projects being blockchain-based VPNs such as Brave VPN0.

In the meantime, Google has abandoned the launch of Chrome M82, focusing its resources for development on M83 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In case Binance manages to capitalize on the wide userbase at Brave, the battered crypto markets may meet a new liquidity influx.

Want to try Brave browser yourself? Click here to download the full version, or test out the Nightly release. Be sure to check out in the new browser to see that we are a Verified Brave Publisher.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Brave Files GDPR Complaint To Enforce Privacy Laws Against Google’s Data Monopoly

Privacy eccentric browser, Brave, filed a formal GDPR complaint to European authorities on Google’s violation of the Act and its own privacy policies. Ireland, the headquarters of the European data privacy regulators, U.K, France and Germany have all received the complaint, with Dr. Johnny Ryan, Brave Chief Policy Officer, leading the charge.

Brave files formal GDPR complaint against Google

Dr. Ryan wrote on Twitter on Mar. 16 that Brave browser filed a formal complaint to relevant European authorities on Google’s infringement of Article 5 (1) of the General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) Act and its own privacy policies. The Act puts forward the “purpose limitation” principle which states that companies should only use data collected for a specific purpose for that purpose only. Dr. Johnny Ryan said,

“But merely having everyone’s personal data does not mean Google is allowed to use that data across its entire business, for whatever purposes it wants. Rather, it has to seek a legal basis for each specific purpose, and be transparent about them.”

For example, Google Weather should only use your location data to better your experience in giving accurate weather predictions and not anything else. If they wish to use the data for something else, then they need to formally apply from the authorities to extend their scope.

Google’s internal free data for all

However, according to Brave’s complaint, Google’s free data for all policy, violates the set rule as it spreads data across a number of websites, advertisers, apps and operating systems. According to a study by Brave, “Inside the Black Box”, Google “collects personal data from integrations with websites, apps, and operating systems, for hundreds ill-defined processing purposes.”

Vaguely defining the purposes has seen Google share users’ data across a number of purposes with in turn violated the GDPR Act. Ryan said,

“Brave’s new evidence reveals that Google reuses our personal data between its businesses and products in bewildering ways that infringe the purpose limitation principle. Google’s internal data free-for-all infringes the GDPR”.

Why is the filing important?

Well, the widespread data privacy issues hanging in the balance of this formal complaint are gigantic to future privacy laws on data. According to the complaint, a ruling in favor of Brave’s proposition and Google’s enforcement of the GDPR would “be tantamount to a functional separation, giving everyone the power to decide what parts of Google they chose to reward with their data.”

This will increase the privacy of your data and kill off the monopoly around Google’s internal data free for all policy.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Brave Privacy Browser Partners With Wayback Machine to Reveal Lost Internet Pages

The issue of data privacy in today’s internet linked world is a hot discussion amongst regulators and stakeholders who carea about browsers protecting their information. A recent study done by Dr. Douglas Keith, the computer systems chair at Dublin’s Trinity College, has revealed that Brave is the currently most private browser in use today.

Brave ranked better than any other popular browser, although Google and Safari followed closely. According to the study, Brave does not share personally identifiable information making it the only browser with this level of privacy. The study details;

“Used ‘out of the box’ with its default settings Brave is by far the most private of the browsers studied. We did not find any use of identifiers allowing tracking of IP address over time, and no sharing of the details of web pages visited with backend servers.”

On the other hand, both Safari and Google have identifiers that are consistent with browser restarts. However, re-installing these two browsers  eliminates existing identifiers that may have already been exposing some personal data. Yandex and Edge are at the bottom of the list, even reinstalling the browsers will not eliminate these identifiers.

Brave’s New Feature to Access Internet Archived Pages

Brave’s ambition to fulfill user experiences has pushed the browser to partner with Wayback Machine to solve a large number of 404 errors which displays the ever frustrating phrase: ‘page not found’. The new alliance between Brave and the ‘Internet Archive’ will allow its browser users to check for saved versions of missing internet pages on Wayback Machine.

For efficiency, the Brave privacy browser will not only check the 404 error but 14 other HTTP error codes. Wayback Machine is confident that a significant number of pages will be found given its archive hosts over 400 billion and 900 billion Web pages and URL’s respectively.

As of press date, the Wayback machine support can only be accessed by desktop users operating within the brave browser. However, with other players, Google and Safari leading the pack can also find these functionalities within their browser extensions.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitcoin’s Privacy Update Schnorr/Taproot Reaches a New Milestone

  • One of Bitcoin’s biggest upgrades that will improve the privacy of the network has been published on the GitHub as BIP 340, 341, and 342

One of Bitcoin’s largest to date upgrades that would bring privacy and scalability to the world’s biggest network has passed a new milestone.

Earlier this week, a BitcoinCore contributor, Pieter Wuille published the update Taproot as the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal. A pull request, however, doesn’t mean it is official rather that it is now ready for developers to take a look and for it to get accepted into the ecosystem.

What’s most interesting is that because Bitcoin isn’t controlled by a single entity, major changes like these have to be agreed by everyone in order for it to be implemented.

Bitcoin Core contributor Anthony Towns conducted a review group for developers to assess the BIPs and submit their comments and suggestions. Towns said:

“This is a way to make sure more people understand the proposal as early as possible.”

16 of the developers submitted their feedback and everyone approved of the changes. Jake Chervinky, General Counsel at Compound Finance pointed out:

“Schnorr/Taproot is not only a significant upgrade for Bitcoin, but also an important data point for the ongoing study of Bitcoin’s governance model.”

If the community agrees to Taproot, it could be the biggest change to the world’s leading digital currency since the scaling upgrade Segregated Witness (SegWit) in 2017.

The Schnorr/Taprioot proposal is published on GitHub as BIP 340, 341, and 342. Schnorr is a cryptographic signature scheme to prove the ownership of BTC. It eliminates the need for a multi-signature scheme by combining the signatures of all the transaction inputs into one.

Schnorr signatures do not reveal any information about the inputs which means only the owners of the private keys are capable of unlocking scripts.

In comparison to traditional ECDSA signature, these signatures are easily verifiable and offer a higher degree of flexibility and robustness.

Using Schnorr, Taproot strengthen privacy by adding smart contract-like capabilities to Bitcoin. This technology makes Bitcoin transactions look exactly the same on a blockchain explorer, hence boosting Bitcoin’s privacy.

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Author: AnTy

TRON Dev Team, TRONZ, Forks ZCash’s Privacy Tech, Zk-SNARKs To Add to MainNet

TRONZ team is set to implement privacy protocol which is poised to be the biggest Multi-party Computation in blockchain’s history. Tron states that a setup ceremony will be held soon claiming that it will become a Guinness World Record.

TRONZ is made up of community developers who have come up with the anonymity protocol found in TRON’s main chain. Now, the team is finally through with public testing as well as testnet and is now set to introduce anonymous transaction in the TRON MainNet. Currently the TRONZ team is looking at the MainNet MPC process and in the coming days it will roll on MPC Torch Project based on the MPC process.

Cointelegraph reports that the project aims at integrating Zk-SNARKs which is the main privacy protocol found in Zcash (ZEC), within the Tron blockchain. Although the team boasted that the implementation of the new technology is the most efficient, there were no technical details given about the protocol.

The main aim of the TRONZ is to launch the privacy protocol to enhance Tron smart contracts which will enable developers to roll on private data within the smart contracts. Also, the team looks forward to provide blockchain-based MPC solution to enhance private computing needs.

An analysis of Tron GitHub page indicates that different repositories were directly forked or copied from the source code of Zcash. Most of the repositories meant for privacy looks like they have not been updated for a couple of months. The MPC code was also directly copied from Zcash. However it is probable that the TRONZ team was more concerned with the original Tron repositories meant to integrate the privacy protocol.

Meanwhile, according to Utoday, Tron has surged into the top ten following the announcement of the new developments. In addition, Tron’s founder Justin Sun has also said that the firm is working on a decentralized stablecoin which will be based both on TRX and BTT.

The surge could also have been brought by the recent rallying of cryptos where TRX is now back to top 10 as per the CoinMarketCap scale having being absent for almost a year.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Coinbase CEO Makes 11 Big Cryptocurrency Predictions for the 2020s

  • The 2020s is all about scalability and privacy feature, and consolidation
  • Just like dot com craze kicked off internet startups, this decade will see crypto startups
  • Crypto adoption in emerging markets will scale to hundreds of millions of users
  • Also, more than half of the world’s billionaires will be from cryptocurrency

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has big expectations for this decade as reflected in his big 11 predictions.

According to him, we will see a more scalable blockchain in terms of layer two solutions with privacy features with about 1 billion users by the end of the decade.

Scalability he says means new applications will start to develop more rapidly. As for privacy, it will be integrated into “one of the dominant chains in the 2020s,” projects Armstrong adding a “privacy coin will also get mainstream adoption”.

While some will gain a lot, consolidation is also in order. Coinbase CEO said,

“We will see consolidation of chains (in developer mindshare, user base, and market cap) in the decade to come.”

This will mean, those that make the most progress will see most gains. And those that don’t will get consolidated which could take the forms of M&A and even a reverse-fork. According to him, there will be many tokens but only a handful of chains.

The Rise of Crypto Startups, just like the Internet Startups

Speculation and investment contribute the most to the crypto activity and this is expected to continue in the 2020s. But the best new companies would be that will be about driving the utility phase such as staking, borrow/lend/margin, debit cards, earn, and commerce, he said.

As such, we will see the rise of the crypto startup, just like we saw internet startup idea kicked off by the dot com craze. These startups, Armstrong says will raise money using crypto, issue tokens to early adopters, and bring together global communities and marketplaces at a pace not seen with traditional startups.

But they will also evolve to resemble the market structure of the traditional financial world that will mean SEC or others would create a crypto index fund for retail investors.

Crypto Adoption in Emerging Markets

As for adoption, it will happen in emerging markets where the “existing financial systems are a much bigger pain point,” has high inflation rates and large remittance markets. Armstrong who also founded GiveCrypto predicts,

“In the 2020’s, I think we will see cryptocurrency adoption in emerging markets scale to hundreds of millions of users, with at least one country ‘tipping’ so that the majority of transactions in their economy happen in cryptocurrency.”

What Will Drive the Demand for Crypto assets?

Most crypto startups will not be the only ones to embrace crypto but larger institutions will also come on board. Another of his big prediction for the next decade is:

“Most funds will keep a portion of their assets in cryptocurrencies, partially due to the uncorrelated returns. Something like 90% of the money in the world is locked up in institutions, so this will likely drive a lot of demand for crypto assets.”

Governments will also join-in in a big way. China has already made its move, the US could also implement their own digitized dollar using blockchain or turn to USD Coin, envisions Armstrong.

Over half of the World’s Billionaires will be from Crypto

Overall, decentralization, crypto-to-crypto, will grow into a separate world. Here, DEXs, Dapps, DeFi, and non-custodial wallets will grow and will be regulated like software companies, he forecasts.

As decentralized crypto-economy grows, it will really start to move the needle on global economic freedom.

And “more than half the world’s billionaires will be from cryptocurrency,” is what Coinbase CEO sees in the 2020s.

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Author: AnTy

ECB Builds a Proof of Concept using Corda to Explore Anonymity in CBDC

  • European Central Bank finding the balance between allowing privacy and compliance with regulations
  • The purpose of the research is to be ready should the need arise for a CBDC in the future

European Central Bank (ECB) is now exploring anonymity in central bank digital currencies that would safeguard the privacy of those users who conduct low-value transactions but ensure high-value transfers are subject to anti-money laundering (AML) checks.

The research paper published by the central bank talks about the “major challenge” for the payments ecosystem in the digital economy. This challenge is striking a balance between allowing a degree of privacy and ensuring compliance with regulations.

As such, ECB has established a proof of concept for anonymity in digital cash, which is the central bank digital currency (CBDC). The paper reads:

“The proof of concept drawn up by the ESCB demonstrates that it is possible to construct a simplified CBDC payment system that allows users some degree of privacy for lower-value transactions, while still ensuring that higher-value transactions are subject to mandatory AML/CFT checks.”

The network is developed using Corda by the ESCB’s EUROchain research network, with support from R3 and Accenture using distributed ledger technology.

The proof of concept provides the bank with a digitization solution for AML/CFT compliance procedures where central banks or intermediaries other than that chosen by the user can’t see the user’s identity and transaction history.

The limits on anonymous electronic transactions, imposed via “anonymity vouchers,” are automated and additional checks are further delegated to the AML authority.

This proof of concept, however the bank says is just part of its ongoing research on CBDC. It clarifies that it doesn’t mean that they are proceeding with the CBDC.

“There is no immediate need to take concrete steps towards the issuance of CBDC in the euro area.”

They continue to analyze CBDC with the purpose of exploring new technologies and to be ready should the need arise in the future. Also, the proof of concept will help the bank in the assessment of how a CBDC will work in practice and how the specific technical features will affect its potential implications for an economy.

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Author: AnTy

We Are In a Blockchain Browser Battle We Can Win, Claims Privacy-Focused Brave Founders

The developers of Brave browser are adamant that they can win the privacy battle based on their firm’s capacity to innovate faster, CryptoSlate reports. The co-founders were responding to questions from Reddit users during an AMA session.

After Brave 1.0 was introduced in the market, several Reddit users raised their concerns in regards to the measures adopted to secure data as well as prevent tracking. It is on this basis that the co-founders engaged the Redditors to answer some of their concerns.

Since its release, Brave has witnessed several wins over the year ranging from introduction of fresh features to recruiting new publishers like Wikipedia. In addition, the co-founders revealed that this week, the browser had closed 9 million monthly users.

The success of the new browser can largely be credited to the high demand for online privacy but the browser has taken some of the aspects of the conventional browsers in the market and upgraded them.

One of the co-founders Brendan Eich, who also developed JavaScript programming language as well as being the Mozilla co-founder, engaged Reddit users on some of the aspects of the Brave browser. Although the aim of the AMA session was to explain the components of Brave 1.0, the Redditors were quick to compare the browsers with the competition.

Eich explained that it is easier and quicker to innovate on Brave compared to Mozilla. He stated that Mozilla is a large organization and changes take time before they can be approved and it makes it harder to come up with risky innovations.

However, Eich was taken to task by one Redditor who asked what would happen once Brave grew to the level of Mozilla. Eich replied that he hopes to be through with the risky projects prior to Brave becoming a big organization.

Eich highlighted that prevention of data tracking as well as collection of user data were crucial to the success of Brave. He explained that the entire data in Brave is encrypted and only the user can access it making it hard for data collection. He added that to enhance transparency, it is easier to audit the company since it operates on open source.

Please add a valid coin_id. You can get it from coin page’s url (slug or short name).

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Author: Joseph Kibe