STEEM Community Launches Soft Fork To Limit Justin Sun’s Potential Voting Power

STEEM blockchain prepares for a soft fork in light of the recent acquisition of Steemit, the most prominent platform on the blockchain, to prevent a concentration of power on the chain. According to the statement released by the STEEM witnesses (similar to Bitcoin miners), the fork will effectively stop the top holders of the STEEM token from voting in key decisions.

The STEEM community has mumbled on the future of the blockchain following the acquisition of Steemit by Justin Sun, TRON’s founder, earlier in the year. The Steemit platform reportedly owns over a fifth of the total STEEM tokens, which creates an issue on the delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus system.

Sun’s Steemit.com acquisition raises fear

The system is quite similar to EOS, whereby a smaller number of decision-makers are able to influence the development and management of the blockchain accordingly. With Justin Sun making a purchase of the dying Steemit platform and incorporating it with Tron, questions and fears across the community raise on the influence Sun will have on the blockchain given the reported fund (approx.. 20% of total token supply) Steemit holds.

While the STEEM community, witnesses and developers praised the entrance of a well-resourced and marketed figure (Justin) to its platform, security and decentralization issues crept in, hence the soft fork. The statement reads,

“To this end, we have updated to a temporary protective protocol to maintain the status quo currently established in regards to Steemit Inc.’s stake and its intended usage. This update is reversible, and is simply to be used to ensure that the security and decentralization of the Steem blockchain remains intact.”

Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake

STEEM holds a particular amount of tokens minted at the genesis of the chain to ensure the development of the blockchain holds longevity – Steemit Inc. ninja mined stake. So far, the fund has been used for its intended development purposes and to be non-voting in governance issues. However, all this has been done under good faith by the community, but with the addition of a new owner, the chance presented itself for STEEM to turn the fund into a trustless platform.

While the community is yet to give a way forward on the ninja mined stake, a proposal has been brought forward to place all stakeholders at the decision-making table. The statement reads,

“For now, because there has not been a clear declaration from Steemit Inc on the use of this ninja-mined stake, Soft Fork 0.22.2 has been deployed to allow for the entire community to discuss how best to achieve the original goals that this ninja-mined stake exists to support.”

Sun responds to the Steemit community

With the qualms of the soft fork on the blockchain raising, Sun released an open letter to the Steemit community asking the community to be patient as the TRON Foundation starts development on Steemit 2.0. He said,

“We have so much to work to do to make Steemit.com the power that it really can be.”

Sun further invited the top 50 witnesses to STEEMit 2.0 Town Hall meeting, which will be held tentatively on March 6th.

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Author: Lujan Odera

IOTA Urges Users To Use New Seed Migration Tool After Trinity Wallet Hack

Following IOTA’s recent hack on its Trinity Wallet, the development team is urging the users to protect their wallets by changing their passwords and implementing a secure way for users to protect their funds. Here’s how.

One of the most highlighted news stories in the past month is the hack that happened on IOTA’s top wallets on Trinity, raising concerns on the overall security of funds in the crypto industry. The hack, which compromised a number of wallets, as reported by Iota Foundation. The official tweet read,

While fears of the hack spread to mobile based Trinity wallets and desktop wallets as well, the Foundation confirms only the desktop wallets were compromised calling everyone who used their Trinity wallet to take necessary steps to secure their wallets.

Hardware wallet users have nothing to worry about at the moment but the team calls on users to switch their passwords for extra security.

Securing your IOTA trinity wallet

According to the post mortem carried out on the nature of the hack, the compromise started on the MoonPay feature that allows users to buy IOTA on the desktop wallet. The breach allowed the hackers to obtain private keys on the wallets hence allowing the stealing of funds.

In order to secure the wallet from the breaches, password changes are not the only security measure the Foundation proposes. Users are urged to upgrade to the new patch developed to protect themselves, as the new patch does not include the MoonPay feature. The users will need to acquire new passphrases (seeds), an 81 character keys that hold the IOTA tokens on the Tangle coordinator.

The IOTA protocol will be reopened once the new tool is launched.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Mind Capital Gets Issued Fraud Warning by National Securities Market Commission in Spain

According to a recent report by Behind MLM, the National Securities Market Commission announced that Mind Capital, a crypto investment firm, is committing securities fraud.

The announcement warns:

“The CNMV warns that: MIND.CAPITAL is not authorised to provide the investment services detailed in Article 140 of the Securities Markets Law; and is not authorized to perform the activities reserved for collective investment institutions.”

Further, the report indicates that Mind Capital has not registered with the National Securities Market Commission, and its founder, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo, is allegedly not based in Spain.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes: Ripple (XRP) Was The Best Fit For The Company

In a recent CNN International interview, the CEO of MoneyGram Alex Holmes explained that Ripple and the services provided were very important for the company considering they were performing a deep digital transformation. At the same time, he talked about how XRP is helping the company to reduce costs.

Alex Holmes Talks About Ripple

In this recent conversation, Mr. Holmes explained that 60% of all transactions around the world are performed using cash. However, in the last 24 months, MoneyGram expanded its digital capabilities to 60 countries and improved its digitalization strategy.

Ripple has also invested $50 million in MoneyGram and Alex Holmes has also talked about their relationship with Ripple and the XRP cryptocurrency, one of the largest in the market. He explained that moving money cross border is quite complicated because money itself doesn’t move.

Holmes said that what moves across borders is data, which is very different from money itself. MoneyGram is currently using 122 currencies with funds in bank accounts so as to provide users with cash around the world and instant liquidity.

With Ripple and the cryptocurrency space, Holmes believes that there is a technology available to move money and data among countries. Ripple allows companies such as MoneyGram to reduce their trapped liquidity around the world, which is located in different accounts and cannot be used for other things.

At the moment, Ripple has the best platform to efficiently move money across borders. Ripple can reduce costs and make it simple for firms to transfer funds from one country to another. Furthermore, he stated that the XRP cryptocurrency is very innovative and that Ripple is already helping banks and other financial institutions to improve the services and solutions they offer to their clients.

It is worth mentioning that the CEO of the company explained that he does not currently own any XRP and the company tries to sell the XRP it usually handles as soon as possible due to regulatory issues.

He finally stated that regulations are changing at all times and that this does not allow them to hold, for any period of time, any crypto assets.

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Author: Carl T

Dash Core Group’s CEO Releases Plan To Improve Market Performance – PoS Coming?

In a recent presentation at the Dash Evolution Open House in Arizona, the CEO of the Dash Core Group, Ryan Taylor, explained that they are working in order to improve Dash’s market performance. One of the possible solutions is to move to a proof-of-stake (PoS) network if the community decides to do so.

Ryan Taylor Presents New Plan To Improve Dash

Mr. Taylor has released a new plan in order to help Dash improve its performance in the cryptocurrency market when comparing it to other digital currencies in the space. He mentioned that several price crashes and spikes were highly related to specific initiatives and incentives in the network.

Dash reached its highest point in the market at the end of 2017 when many other cryptocurrencies were reaching their all-time highs. Moreover, during 2017 Dash had a very high BTC price that started to fall in early 2018 without being able to recover part of the price it lost.

Ryan Taylor wants to improve Dash attributes as a store of value, which is going to be a very difficult task considering the digital currency lost a large part of its value in the last few years. Indeed, Dash is making new lows in several years with a price per coin of $50. This represents a decrease from it’s all-time high of over 96% when it was traded close to $1,550.

Mr. Taylor explained that the financial incentives are used to pay for labor, electricity and mining equipment. This makes the profit margins very small for miners, a very important part of the whole blockchain network.

At the same time, Taylor said that the coin is affected by boom-and-bust cycles that can be related to the fact that the cryptocurrency works with Masternodes that require 1k in Dash in order to run.

The CEO of the Dash Core Group proposed a series of changes that could massively change the way in which Dash works.

For example, block rewards going towards PoW mining could be reduced and minimize the pressure on Dash’s price or the PoW consensus algorithm could be changed for PoS relying on the masternode network. Nevertheless, the community will have to debate these changes and whether they are going to be implemented or not.

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Author: Carl T

Tim Draper’s Still Bullish On Bitcoin, Calling For $250k By 2022 Based on Infrastructure Not Halving

Tim Draper remains bullish about the future of the cryptocurrency market. In a recent interview, he mentioned that Bitcoin (BTC) could reach a price per coin of $250,000 between 2022 and 2023.

Moreover, he explained why the next price surge will not necessarily be related to the halving Bitcoin will experience in May 2020.

Bitcoin Could Grow As Much As 3200%

Tim Draper, a recognized venture capitalist that invested in major platforms such as Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, and Coinbase, among others, is forecasting Bitcoin to be worth $250,000 in the next 3 to 4 years. That means that the leading cryptocurrency would have to grow as much as 3200% from current prices if it wants to reach that level.

At the same time, Draper predicted in 2014 that Bitcoin price could reach $10,000 by 2017. Although many considered that his prediction was far from being realistic, it was proved to be a conservative one, when Bitcoin surged to $20,000 at the end of 2017, two times more than what Mr. Draper predicted.

According to Draper, he is much more confident in the $250,000 prediction that he made for Bitcoin by 2022 or 2023 than his prediction of Bitcoin being worth $8,500 on December 31st this year.

In order for Bitcoin to reach that price level, it would be necessary for it to become an alternative currency. He said that the currency business is today worth around $86 trillion. In the future, this market is expected to be worth $120 trillion which is going to be opening up huge opportunities for Bitcoin.

“My prediction was really based on creating enough of an infrastructure for Bitcoin to get a 5% market share around the world, as a currency.”

Currently, Bitcoin has a market capitalization of $134 billion and a price per coin of $7,400.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that can be used all over the world without having to rely on a centralized authority, government or institution. This is going to be very valuable in a future that is moving towards decentralization.

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Author: Carl T

Update on BitConnect Class Action Sees More Defendants Dismissed

According to a recent report by Behind MLM, a class action against BitConnect does not appear to be going well. The report indicates that the Court dismissed Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint, along with several defendants.

Since September 13th, Defendants Glenn Arcaro, Ryan Maasen, Joshua Jeppesen, Craig Grant, and Nicholoa Trovato, were dismissed from the suit. Even though the Court dismissed the Second Amended Complaint, Behind MLM reported that the Plaintiffs have been permitted by the Court to file a third-amended complaint, and that if filed, it must not include any additional parties and/or allegations.

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Author: Silvia A

Research by Bitmex Reveals That Bitcoin Decentralization Is Due to Scalability Improvement

A recent study by BitMex shows that software improvements have made it easy for Bitcoin node synchronization. The study calculated Bitcoin Core’s Initial Block Download times of software released between 2012 and 2019. These are the number of times required to download and verify the blockchain. The comprehensive report on the study was published on November 29.

According to the report, it was impossible to synchronize using the older Bitcoin Core software version. The improvements in the newest version of the software have made it easy to operationalize the network.

Bitcoin Core software versions before 0.8.6 could not synchronize in the period between 2015 and 2016. When the research team tried to run older versions of the software in significantly powerful hardware, they were not operational. They run Bitcoin Core 0.7.0 in a new machine with 8 intel i9 processor and a 64GB RAM, but the node still could not synchronize past the year 2016.

“Were it not for the software enhancement, Bitcoin would be dead by now due to the inability of older versions to synchronize and the significant reduction in IBD times,” the team reported.

The major improvement was on speed after developers of version 0.12.0 employed a signature verification library for Bitcoin instead of using the standard one. However, this version could not support Segregated witness (SegWit) and therefore failed to validate signatures for such transactions, further leading to a cut on sync times.

When Bitcoin Core version o.14.0 was launched, speed and sync times significantly increased due to the scalability improvements. It was after this particular node version that Bitcoin network popularity began to grow faster than scalability updates made to the software. This imbalance resulted in longer synchronization times. The research team came to the conclusion that the blockchain is growing faster than the technological innovations can keep up with and that there is a possibility of IBD times increasing.

Bitcoin developers are focused on decentralization and keeping requisite hardware specifications necessary to run Bitcoin Core software seamlessly. They have maintained a block weigh limit of 4MB with SegWit and a block time of 10 min in order to lower requirements and check the blockchain’s growth.

The blockchain currently has a size of 293.37GB, with 1MB as the average block size. According to Bitnodes, a monitoring resource, Bitcoin Blockchain has more than 9.5 thousand nodes around the world.

Bitcoin Core version 0.19.0.1 is the latest software update, and it supports Segregated Witness transactions using Bech32, further improving on scalability.

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Author: Denis Miriti

United American Corp Fights Lawsuit Dismissal Against Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain

In a recent report, the United Corp claims the courts should not dismiss Bitmain from the U.S. antitrust suit, as Bitmain had asked. However, Bitmain is insisting that the court should wave off the case because the crypto company had missed a deadline to serve its claim against Bitmain.

After Bitmain’s request to the court, United Corp replied by denying the claims made by Bitmain. It claimed that Jihan Wu, Bitmain’s CEO, already knew about the suit against the company.

United Corp Disagrees With Bitmain

On the 12th of this month, Bitmain filed a motion against United Corp and asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit against them because United Corp missed the deadline by four days. According to Bitmain, they were not notified of the suit and should not be forced to honor a notification when they were not aware it.

Bitmain also said that its company does not have a strong link in the United States to be able to face a jury there. However, United Corp disagreed with Bitmain’s claim by pointing out that Jihan Wu, Bitman’s CEO, lives in San Francisco, presently.

Additionally, United Corp claimed to show that there are strong ties between The US and Bitmain. They believe there is enough proof to dismiss Bitmain’s claim stating otherwise.

United Corp Determined To Carry On With The Lawsuit

United Corp demonstrated its readiness to bring evidence to that effect by pointing out that Bitmain recently filed for an IPO in the US. Also, United Corp said Bitmain and its CEO share the same counsel with other related entities in the US.

The Crypto firm also has more evidence to prove Bitmain is wrong by sharing Bitmain’s entire historical business dealings in the United States.

Furthermore, the company said that Bitmain recently invested in a data center firm that’s based in Texas in a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars. United Corps concluded that Bitmain’s claim of having no ties in the US does not have any basis.

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Author: Ali Raza

Blockchain Could Save The Food Industry $31B By 2024 By Eliminating Supply Chain Related Fraud

A recent study done by Juniper Research on how blockchain and Internet of Things could transform global supply chains has shown that they can save the food industry up to $31 billion lost in fraud. Blockchain Tech has proven to be a good tracker in supply ecosystems as well as an efficient network for verification.

According to the study, combining blockchain technology with IoT trackers or sensors will not only streamline supply chains but also ease compliance processes. This will be a major boost in the fundamental value of food industries whose operations involve sourcing and distribution as well. More notably is a solution to ecosystem loopholes that make fraud rampant during the supply process.

Dr Morgane Kimmich, the author, further emphasized on Blockchain’s potential within the food industry;

“Blockchain and the IoT provide an immutable, shared platform for all actors in the supply chain to track and trace assets; saving time, resources and reducing fraud.”

The study also revealed that implementing these technologies could yield significant results for the food industry as early as 2021. In addition, the cost of regulatory compliance is projected to have dropped by 30% before 2024.

Blockchain Tech in the Hospitality Industry

The digital ledger tech is slowly gaining fame within big industries like Tourism, Accomodation bookings and Food & Beverages. Carrefour and Nestle are among the big boys in Hospitality whom have given a report on how their initiatives built on blockchain are doing so far.

IBM’s blockchain ‘Food Trust’ built on the Hyperledger Fabric is so far the leading tech adopted by a number of stakeholders in Hospitality. The product is one year old having been launched in Q4 of 2018; reports show that millions of food products have since been tracked on the IBM Food Trust network. Given the opportunities digital ledgers provide, this trend is expected to pick up as the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) gains momentum.

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Author: Lujan Odera