Supply Chain Protocol VeChain Seeks Consensus to Enforce Major Upgrade

Vechain (VET) Launches Voting Process for VeChainThor Proof of Authority 2.0 Upgrade

Blockchain-powered supply chain platform VeChain is looking to implement ‘mass adoption’ of its blockchain solution. In a recent release, the protocol called on community members to vote on adopting a new consensus algorithm.

PoA 2.0 Best Of Both Worlds

VeChain set out to address the issues in the supply chain industry, and to a large extent, it has been successful. However, the protocol seeks more adoption and is planning on launching its upgraded blockchain protocol.

A blog post reported that this new upgrade would be the best of both worlds, combining the prestigious Nakamoto mining algorithm with the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism.

This is expected to form a new proof-of-authority (PoA) consensus algorithm, PoA2.0, which will enable higher throughput and high scalability while ensuring no data loss and a secure platform.

The upgrade called SURFACE is geared towards enabling more institutional adoption of the VeChainThor blockchain. SURFACE, which stands for a Secure, Use-case-adaptive, Relatively Fork-free Approach of Chain Extension, will comprise three major components. This includes a VRF-based source of randomness, a committee-based block-producing process, and a passive block finality confirmation process.

So far, the VeChain Foundation has been able to implement the first part of its VIP-193 upgrade. Also known as the VRF-based source of randomness. It balances the unpredictability and unbiasedness of the block-proposing schedule while allowing for the highest level of data security. This component is expected to make it impossible for anyone to predict and subsequently doctor the block proposers ahead of time.

The two remaining components are currently up for votes, with the VeChain Foundation requiring all stakeholders to either accept or reject the new upgrade.

The voting is expected to last for a week and commenced on October 11, continuing to October 18.

VeChain Closes Deal With Blue Aqua

The new upgrade will take into account three sets of key stakeholders. This will be the Authority Masternodes with 40% voting authority, Economic X nodes with 40% voting authority, and the Economic nodes making up the remaining 20% voting authority.

Stakeholders will be required to cast their vote to adopt the PoA 2.0 Phase 1 upgrade of the VRF-based source of randomness on the VeChain Thor Mainnet or choose to discard the upgrade.

However, the news has not positively impacted VeChain’s price, with the digital asset largely trading in the red.

Trading currently at $0.10518, VET is down 5.94% on the daily chart, with the market valuation dipping 5.85% as well.

VeChain recently partnered with Singapore-based aquaculture service provider Blue Aqua to adopt blockchain traceability in the shrimp farming industry. This will see the urban farming company integrate with VeChain’s ToolChain for implementing a traceability system for seafood source, quality, and sustainability of their farming operations.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Dallas Mavericks Owner, Mark Cuban, Calls for Proof of Authority Basis to Crypto Regulation

Dallas Mavericks Owner, Mark Cuban, Calls for Proof of Authority Basis to Crypto Regulation

Crypto regulation in the United States remains a hot-button topic, especially following recent moves by regulatory watchdogs in the country. While many are wary of these regulators and their views on the industry, some pro-crypto names are welcoming the possible developments.

A Trade-Off for Privacy

Earlier this week, crypto enthusiast and billionaire businessman Mark Cuban said on Twitter that he would be open to the idea of crypto regulation as long as it would be centered around existing fraud laws.

Cuban, whose Dallas Mavericks are one of the few NBA teams to accept crypto payments, explained that the ideal crypto laws would require identity and Proof of Authority. This way, it keeps innovation alive and protects consumers.

As Cuban explained, implementing a regulatory regime based on Proof of Authority will reduce cryptocurrencies’ anonymity and privacy – two tenets on which digital assets stand. However, it seems to be a healthy trade-off considering the stability that the market will be getting from stable regulation.

While Cuban has grown into one of the crypto industry’s biggest spokesmen, he remains steadfast in his push for regulations. In July, following the bank run on decentralized finance (DeFi) stablecoin protocol, Iron Finance, Cuban called for increased stablecoin regulation.

Speaking with Blomberg, Cuban blamed himself for being “lazy” and not doing enough research on Iron Finance. But, he also called for additional regulations to the space. Despite the pushback he got, Cuban reaffirmed that regulation could be a good thing.

At the same time, the billionaire hasn’t been all pro-government. He criticized the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate last month and looks to impose tighter reporting rules on crypto businesses.

Regulators Moving in On Crypto, Stablecoins

The current regulatory landscape remains unstable, although agencies are working hard to bring some clarity to the industry. Earlier this week, Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), told the Senate Banking Committee that he and his team are “working overtime” to regulate crypto and protect investors.

In the hearing, Gensler explained that ensuring oversight hasn’t been easy – considering that there are well over 6,000 digital assets and more people are getting into the space by the day.

The policymaker requested additional time – as well as people – to get regulations past the goal line.

Besides the SEC, the Treasury Department is also working towards stablecoin regulation. A recent Bloomberg report showed that the Department is preparing a review showing the challenges posed by stablecoin redemptions and the possible effects of a run on the crypto market.

As the report states, Treasury officials are looking to mitigate “the most urgent risks” associated with Tether (USDT) and other stablecoins while also pointing out the threats that a “fire-sale run” on cryptocurrencies could have on broad financial stability.

USDT remains the most dominant stablecoin, holding about 56 percent of the market. Criticism has slammed the asset’s redemption process and backing, with some holders claiming that they’re unable to redeem their tokens for fiat.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

BIS to Build Proof of Concept Network for Testing Cross-Border Payments Using CBDC’s

BIS to Build Proof of Concept Network for Testing Cross-Border Payments Using CBDC’s

The Bank of International Settlements’ Innovation Hub (BISIH) announced this week that one of its highest priorities is the continued research and testing of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), along with five other areas of focus.

This news is according to this year’s annual work program, which lays out its intention to “explore the feasibility of faster and cheaper cross-border payments” using central bank digital currencies. The BISIH further added that it would dedicate its work this year to exploring prototypes in the creation of “tiered retail CBDC distribution architectures” along with “tokenized green bonds to retail investors.”

To drive these priorities forward, they will be headed up by the company’s Innovation Hub Centres in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Switzerland while also coordinating with local central banks. The BISIH’s Innovation Center in Singapore, for example, has its sights set on the development of an ‘International Settlement Platform’ where regulated banks and payment entities can conduct and settle transactions using a range of CBDCs.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Innovation Center will be working on green bonds, specifically with the intent of tokenizing green bond assets for retail investors. Additionally, Hong Kong’s center will work on building a bridge to enable foreign exchange transactions of approved CBDCs, along with stablecoin issuance.

Switzerland’s BISIH Center is one of the furthest ahead in terms of development. It has already completed two functional proofs-of-concept for linking payment systems to test out payment settlements using tokenized assets and wholesale CBDC. This was done through its initiative dubbed ‘Project Helvtica.’ Discussing the details of BISIH’s work program, Innovation Hub’s Head, Benoit Coeure, said the following:

“This work programme shows our commitment to exploring in the most practical ways how best to harness technological change for the benefit of central banks and create public goods to support the global financial system.”

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Author: James Fox

Polkadot (DOT) Launches The First Parachain Implementation Testnet, Rococo

Polkadot introduces parachain functionality with Rococo testnet, a Proof of Authority (PoA) network, allowing users to send direct messages to the Relay Chain and other parachains as well as connect a Substrate-based chain as a parachain. The announcement on August 6 stated the testnet would start with three parachains – Tick, Trick, and Track.

Polkadot (DOT) aims at scaling transactions across blockchains through sharding implementations on its parachain network. Sharding breaks down the data components on a blockchain, making them smaller hence a faster transaction speed. However, shards require constant communication between each other to enable cross-shard transfers and records not to be scattered as different blockchains.

One parachain

This system is what Polkadot’s parachains aim to accomplish with the Rococo testnet, teased on August 4 by Parity developer Bastian Köcher. The testnet will work to improve the internal communication of shards within the Polkadot blockchain.

With Rococo, users will be able to register a Substrate, “blockchain building kit for other networks to interoperate as a Polkadot parachain,” and send messages across them. Additionally, users will be able to write logic on parachains and share these messages (tokens) across other parachains.

Rococo testnet integrates Polkadot with Cumulus and Horizontal Relay-chain Message Passing (HRMP). The latter allows messages and tokens to be sent and received between parachains and the Relay Chain. This testnet is the first step towards having an ecosystem of directly connected blockchains through the Cross-Consensus Message (XCM) format, which removes the need for a Relay Chain.

Not so Ready Proof-of-Authority (PoA) Network

Rococo employs a PoA consensus algorithm, a decentralized consensus mechanism that integrates an admin key. This is due to the incomplete state of the testnet. Dev leads at Parity Technologies will hold the admin key. The testnet kicks off with three internal parachains, tick, trick, and track, with custom parachains also interoperable.

However, the platform is yet to be fully stable, the Polkadot dev team warns, saying the Rococo testnet will be reset severally to check on it and upgrade it.

Recently, Polkadot holders voted overwhelmingly to create a 100x DOT split that saw the project raise nearly $45 million in a private sale of the resulting tokens.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Proof of Stake Alliance Proposes New Guidelines That PoS Networks Should Follow

Industry advocacy alliance, Proof of Stake Alliance (POSA), is set to release a number of recommended standards that firms involved in proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus will follow in order to lessen the regulatory hurdles posed to various networks.

According to the alliance, they held consultative talks with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the start of the year to talk more candidly in regards to their proposals and also give out their white paper that contains various industry recommendations.

The alliance brings together some of the major industry players such as Polychain, Cardano Foundation, Tezos, Coinbase as well as Bison Trails.

The alliance is seeking to enhance the use of proof-of-stake (PoS) protocols which succeeded Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW), as it is perceived as highly scalable and efficient.

The meetings with the SEC were conducted in February and were meant to explain to the regulator how PoS technology works and how the regulatory framework could work.

According to POSA founder and President, Evan Weiss, the members were extremely impressed that the SEC took the time to understand the concept of staking and how it can be successful in the US. Weiss stated that the discussion brings an opportunity for the alliance and the regulator to learn from one other.

Weiss explained:

“We’re coming out with some industry-driven solutions around staking as a service which we believe will really help push the ecosystem forward and ensure that staking as a service and staking can grow in the U.S. without being subject to some regulatory landmines and hurdle.”

According to Coinbase’s product manager, Bryce Ferguson, it is essential that industry players engage in an open discussion with the relevant authorities and regulators. He also stated that it is imperative that staking service providers adhere to various standards. He added that it is only through acting as a group that Proof of Stake will succeed.

According to the announcement, Cosmos (ATOM), as well as Tezos (XTZ), were used as proof of stake examples that are already live.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Central Bank of Argentina to Test IOV Labs PoC Blockchain Clearance System Built on RSK

  • Blockchain Proof of Concept (PoC) by IOV labs backed by Argentinian Central Bank (BRCA) already undergoing tests seeking approval.
  • It is set to be onboarded by big players in the Argentinian financial realm including the central bank.

Reports have surfaced that IOV labs – the Blockchain solutions firm – has developed a proof of concept for a Blockchain supported clearing system. The project is now undergoing testing, which is being carried out by the Argentinian Central Bank (BCRA). The BCRA will need to approve this system before it’s to be used by the financial institutions.

The system was designed to streamline payments, rendering them more efficient, while increasing transaction traceability as it makes its way to the intended destination.

Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar, CEO of IOV Labs, was confident that the incorporation of its cutting-edge tech, with the legacy financial systems, would put them in the big boys’ league.

He remarked especially now faced by a global pandemic there was a need to fill the gap with tech to better serve their people:

“We need now more than ever to use technology in order to optimize processes and provide better services to our citizens.”

Greenlighted By Industry Titans

Most notably, if the network is approved, it will be onboarded by industry titans like Santander and BBVA, the BCRA several clearinghouses and various financial institutions. Despite not being fully approved the BCRA cited that it could be used as an alternative meanwhile.

Blockchain for Non-Cryptocurrency uses

The BCRA has been at the forefront in adopting new tech including Blockchain and others beyond cryptocurrencies.

They were keen to dissuade their citizens from using cryptocurrencies as a source of value; citing fraud concerns in 2014. The scope of the project would also shed a light on other uses of Blockchain, zeroing in on smart contracts.

The project is similar to a previous one:

Gasnet, by the country’s national gas regulator, Gasnor smart contract-based certification platform. They supply gas to more than 2 million residents. Running on an enterprise model of the RSK smart contract, Gasnet was developed to bolster Argentina’s gas certification processes.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Blockstack Introduces New Consensus Mechanism, Proof Of Transfer (PoX), For Miners

  • Blockstack released their whitepaper on a new consensus mechanism, Proof of Transfer (PoX) on Bitcoin blockchain.
  • Muneeb Ali said Blockstack chose Bitcoin, given the potential it holds over other blockchains.
  • Will PoX consensus mechanism survive on Proof of Stake (PoS) coins?

Blockstack, a blockchain-based solutions company, released its whitepaper on a new consensus mechanism, the Proof of Transfer (PoX). The consensus mechanism is set to integrate the Blockstack onto blockchain allowing users to gain returns by “stacking” their Bitcoin (BTC) and gaining Stacks (STX) token.

According to Muneeb Ali, the CEO and Founder of the Blockstack, the new consensus mechanism will boost the adoption of the Stacks platform as the system becomes more dependent on Bitcoin’s growth prospects. BTC is the largest and most prosperous cryptocurrency in value and security offering a stable blockchain for dApps and other layered platforms. He said,

“We are saying that Bitcoin is already so dominant and so secure that it’s entirely possible that Web 3.0 emerges on top of Bitcoin.”

And how does Blockstack’s PoX consensus mechanism come into play?

Bitcoin uses the proof of work (PoW) consensus mechanism – whereby miners are rewarded with BTC for using their electricity and computing power to secure the blockchain. Blockstack, which is built on Bitcoin, then does not need to use the same energy and scares resources to secure its own platform hence the adoption of a proof-of-transfer (PoX) mechanism.

Miners on the Blockstack platform will be able to commit BTC to verify transactions and in return gain STX tokens. The BTC that is collected is then distributed across the network – “stackers” or the full node runners gaining a portion of the coins and the rest sent to the development fund.

Will PoX move to proof of stake mechanisms?

At the moment, the PoX consensus mechanism is targeting only PoW chains with no plans to move to the ever-growing proof of stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. For miners to gain the best returns, the price of STX should follow the growing price of BTC (according to Ali), and if the price of BTC collapses, Blockstack’s PoX consensus system will move to a different chain.

However, Ali does believe in the future prospects of Bitcoin as every new entrant in crypto (whether a user or project) deals with the coin. He concluded saying,

“Bitcoin is a reserve currency. Everyone has it. Everyone’s using it.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Proof of Keys Day Sees More Funds Flowing in Exchanges Than Going Out

Have you started moving your crypto assets off exchanges has been the question on the of Proof of Keys day held on Jan 3rd.

But the data suggests the opposite held true and just like last year’s inaugural Proof of Keys day, we didn’t see massive amounts of BTC withdrawn.

As per the data provided by researcher TokeAnalyst, Binance, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Bittrex, OKEx, and Huobi all recorded more inflows than outflows.

BitMEX and Kraken were the only ones who see more outflows. However, Kraken registered the net outflow of a whopping $18 million. The largest net inflow meanwhile has been of $15 million which was recorded on Bitfinex.

Overall, taking these prominent eight cryptocurrency exchanges into account, the total net inflow has been $36 million while $23 million was the net outflows.

About the net inflows seen by Binance for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, its CEO Changpeng Zhao said,

“It has become a day for people to withdraw from exchanges they trust less well to ones they trust more. Let’s do it more often.”

However, Proof for Keys day marks, “Not your keys, not your Bitcoin (crypto)” that requires the holders to take their crypto assets off the exchanges and withdraw their funds from these platforms and other third parties as well.

Enthusiast Trace Mayer started the day by sharing, “Happy birthday Bitcoin! And happy #ProofOfKeys day!”

“All you HODLers of Last Resort, I encourage you to declare and enforce your monetary sovereignty,” said Mayer.

Mayer also shared the data regarding the amount lost in the exchanges hack last year to remind and urge people to claim ownership of their property.

In 2019, the market lost $130 million in Quadriga and $16 million in Cryptopia in January, $23 million by Bithumb and $7 million by DragonEx in March and then in May, Binance lost $40 million in BTC along with the latest one of $50 million by Upbit in November.

This 2019 list includes more exchanges, some doesn’t even have the estimated amount that has been lost.

However, as we saw, instead of moving the funds out of the exchanges, overall, investors put more money into them.

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Author: AnTy

Trace Mayer: Remove Bitcoin (BTC) Away From Centralized Exchanges During Proof of Keys 2020

The organizer of Proof of Keys, Trace Mayer, wants you to take your Bitcoin (BTC) away from centralized crypto exchanges and to “take control” of it. On a recent social media post, Mayer affirmed that there are only 60 days before the beginning of the event.

Proof of Keys is an event that defends the idea that the BTC is not really yours if you do not possess the private keys. According to Mayer, exchanges often implode or are hacked. This creates a huge problem for holders, as they may end up losing their money for no fault of their own if someone happens to the company. Most funds are not even provided with insurance.

A promotional video made by the initiative affirms that a lot of people don’t really want to hold their private keys or to participate in the consensus of the network, but they should know that this is important for their security.

What is the event all about, though? Participants are expected to use a handle on Twitter and to withdrawal all of their crypto holdings from centralized wallets on January 3. The idea is to weaken the power of centralized exchanges over the network and to empower the users once more, which is basically the original goal that Satoshi Nakamoto had when creating Bitcoin.

According to the event’s website, companies and exchanges are yet to prove their trustworthiness. Often, new traders don’t know how to hold their keys properly, so they go to centralized solutions, despite how open they are to cyberattacks. Fortunately, there is still time to change that and to decentralize the community even more.

Also, for those of you who are not hip to who bitcoin pioneer Trace Mayer is, you can get a quick understanding and how he operates within the space by taking a listen to any number of interviews, including a recent one just like this:

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitcoin Blockchain Brings the Hammer in Hitting a Hash Rate of 80 Quintillion For First Time Ever

Bitcoin-BTC-Hits-Hash-Rate-of-80-Quintillion-For-First-Time-Ever

The Bitcoin market is growing a lot lately. Do you want proof of that? Just look at the hash rates. According to data taken from Bitinfocharts, the BTC hash rate has overcome 80 quintillion SHA256 hashes for the first time in its history.

When there is more computing power being used in order to mine BTC, the hash rates go up, so this means that now the network has more miners than it ever had before.

In recent months, the hash rates had been reaching several new all-time highs. A downtrend was started during the second half of last year, but it has reversed now, starting around April 2019.

With the rise of the hash rates, though, it becomes harder to mine Bitcoin. The difficulty goes up and it takes more time to accomplish. This happens when the network is set to have around a single block mined every ten minutes.

Higher Hash Rates Means More Security

A high hash rate can represent a boost in investor confidence. With more people mining, the network will be more prepared to withstand 50% attacks, which happens when someone is able to control half of the hash power alone. This way, a person can use double spending to basically fake transactions.

With more security, the result is obviously more confidence. Several people criticized the network last year when Bitmain got close to having 50% of the hash power and we are very far from that. More hash power means that the network is often more decentralized and that it will be more stable for the years to come.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Gabriel Machado