Taproot and Schorr Merged into Bitcoin Core to Enhance Privacy

Earlier today, Schnorr and Taproot proposals were implemented to Bitcoin Core.

The Bitcoin network rarely undergoes such big changes, but after a decade still, as the network continues to grow and mature, it innovates along the way.

The much-awaited updates to Bitcoin, when finally activated, will increase the leading cryptocurrency’s privacy features and enhance its transactional capabilities.

Last month, Bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille made a pull request, meaning other developers were invited to review the code before its release. Taproot proposal alone had more than 150 developers review the code.

After a month of testing, the proposals finally made it to bitcoin, as per commit history on Github.

The activation mechanism for these proposals haven’t been decided yet; once chosen, it may still take time, even a year, before it is activated.

Formally, these two updates are Bitcoin improvement proposals (BIP) 340 and 341, which represent perhaps the biggest changes to the network since Segregated Witness (SegWit) was implemented to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit in 2017.

Schnorr targets the size by combining multiple keys to a single one when facilitating transactions from a wallet while providing the added benefit of privacy.

Taproot allows Schnorr signatures to be used to allow new ways for users to define conditions to spend Bitcoin. This upgrade is designed to add smart contract flexibility to Bitcoin.

The Taproot implementation was also part of the Bitcoin 0.21.0 release, which also included support for Tor’s anonymous communication software.

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Author: AnTy

SEC Not Approving Bitcoin ETF for Price Manipulation Fears while Stock Market & Oil in Free Fall

To date the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected several Bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals, the latest one was shot down just last month with no pending proposal left for approval anymore.

The primary reason behind these rejections has been “fraudulent and manipulative” acts in the industry.

However, as we have been seeing in the past few weeks, the stock market has been experiencing its worst fall since the 2008 financial crisis. Since the weekend, oil prices have been in free fall as well.

“3x Oil ETN dumps ~52% in a day. No regulator can ever again tell me that a Bitcoin ETF may be too volatile or manipulated. Oil, the single most traded commodity, tumbled 30% as a result of a weekend decision from a small non-sovereign/intergovernmental organization (OPEC),” said Gabor Gurbacs, digital asset strategist at VanEck.

A bitcoin ETF would allow investors to invest in the digital currency without having to purchase or store it.

Earlier this year, ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees also called for the need for a bitcoin ETF in the light of 41% premium on Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

“Is it fair to say that premium is the cost the SEC has imposed on investors by coercively preventing an ETF from coming to market? Which party is being helped by them, exactly?” said Voorhees at that time.

According to Nate Geraci, host of ETF Prime, in the absence of bitcoin ETF, institutional or accredited investors can “profit from this premium at the expense of retail investors.”

Impeding Innovation

In a recent conversation on CNBC, Chris Hempstead, the director of institutional business development at ETF and hedge fund provider IndexIQ said the Bitcoin ETF has a bigger chance of approval if the retail demand for the product grows.

“I doubt very heavily that it’s going to be the last straw. I think everyone will continue to listen to the feedback and the notes from the SEC, what their comments are, and they will continue to address it,” said Hempstead.

When investor and market demand will push, the SEC will have another look and have different considerations. However, he is not expecting any “significant changes” in SEC’s decisions in the near future at least.

Bitcoin enthusiast Hodl wave feels it’s good that the bitcoin ETF isn’t approved yet as there’s “code to write, infrastructure to build, and sats to stack.”

“Let the Hodler base and maturing market take us to $250k / BTC and let the boomers handle the next 10x,” said Hodl Wave.

In the light of the Wilshire Phoenix’s Bitcoin ETF rejection, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce also published a dissenting statement where she slammed the SEC for its biased treatment of the bitcoin-related products.

Hester whose term at SEC is expiring on June 5 said this conservative approach “impedes innovation in this country and threatens to drive entrepreneurs, and the opportunities they create, to other jurisdictions.”

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Author: AnTy

Developers Endorse Two Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) for the Next Istanbul Upgrade

Developers Endorse Two Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) for the Next Istanbul Upgrade

Two Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) have been approved to be included during Ethereum’s next majorupgrade scheduled for October, CoinDesk reports.

The two nodes are the first to be officially endorsed among the 28 EIPs that have been submitted for review and inclusion in Ethereum’s next system-wide upgrade or hard fork which has been dubbed, Istanbul.

On Friday, during a bi-weekly call, the devs deliberated on the EIPs to be endorsed and the ones to be rejected or postponed for a future system-wide upgrade. Most of the EIPs will need further deliberations but two have officially been endorsed for the October upgrade.

The Two Proposals in Details

The first EIP is 2024 in some documents or 131 in others. The node will add a fresh precompile to the Ethereum digital machine. According to the notes released precompiles are explained as costly operations within the Ethereum blockchain which deploy for a fixed cost or gas cost.

EIP 2024 will introduce a precompile for a fresh hush function known as Blake 2. This function is touted to be faster when it comes to verification as well as authentication of blockchain data compared to the traditional hash functions that are found in SHA-3.

Different strands of Blake 2 are at the moment being utilized in different crypto projects like privacy coin Zcash as well as domain-name network Handshake. EIP 2024 will introduce a precompile replacing Blake2 with Blake 2B. The statement explained:

“Blake2B means that we could interop with zcash on the ethereum main network,” said James Hancock, one of the three authors behind EIP 2024. “Wrapped ZEC within ethereum, [shielded] transactions, a whole lot of cool stuff.”

The second node is EIP 1702 which was proposed by Wei Tang from Parity Technologies. The node is set to enhance smart contracting in the Ethereum network.

Currently, all the decentralized apps (Dapps) which are running on Ethereum network are based on virtual immutability, the auto-executing lines of codes referred to as smart contracts. The smart contracts are assembled and executed using the Ethereum virtual machine that is touted as the central aspect of the blockchain platform which operates as the engine distributing the numerous Dapps built by developers.

The proposal seeks to upgrade the ethereum virtual machine that is in use to WebAssembly code but in the long-term. This will provide more flexibility in terms of programming language as well as performance.

The EIP 1702 also proposes the introduction of a fresh methodology for hard forks known as ‘account versioning’ in order to upgrade the ethereum virtual machine or bring forth fresh virtual machines in the platform in an easy way.

Will the first two Ethereum Improvement Proposals to be endorsed for inclusion in the next hard fork enhance the functionality of the blockchain? Share your views with us in the comments section.

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Author: BEG News Desk