Compound to Release a New Cross-Chain Protocol with CASH Token Next Year

Compound Finance has released a new Compound Chain project — “a distributed ledger capable of transferring value & liquidity between peer ledgers.”

The team is currently building a testnet implementation, which is expected to be released in the next quarter. The project will also be bringing other popular DeFi projects like Polkadot, Solana, Quorum, and Celo into the protocol.

Designed to complement the Ethereum contracts, it would be controlled by COMP governance and extend DeFi network effects.

COMP, the $694 million digital asset, is currently trading at $158, up 40.4% in the past 30 days but down 36% YTD. The white paper reads,

“The Compound Chain is designed from the ground up to enable bridging value between its connected ‘peer’ chains.”

The Compound Chain will have CASH as its native unit of account, created through borrowing, much like MakerDAO’s DAI. CASH will be borrowable against any supported asset as collateral.

This CASH unit will be used to pay traction fees on the Chain, and interest would be paid to the CASH holders.

The value of one CASH is set at one US dollar, but through governance, it would later begin to track an alternate index, such as a basket of currencies.

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Author: AnTy

Microsoft Warns Cybersecurity Threat Posing as XMR Miners Attempts to Extract Data

A recently released Microsoft report has revealed that threat actors at the state level are now using coin miner techniques to cover their tracks or blend in. The report, which was published on Nov 30, highlights a recent attempt by state threat actor ‘BISMUTH,’ which leveraged Monero coin miners to infiltrate both government and private sector institutions in Vietnam and France.

While crypto-related cyber-crime activity is considered low risk, it appears that malicious attackers are now capitalizing on the nascent technology to advance their agendas. Per the Microsoft report, BISMUTH used the Monero coin miners as a decoy to distract security teams from tracking their real activity, which was data extraction. The report reads,

“The coin miners also allowed BISMUTH to hide its more nefarious activities behind threats that may be perceived to be less alarming because they’re ‘commodity’ malware.”

BISMUTH also used the DLL replacing tactic to further reduce their conspicuousness, given that it takes long time periods to extract information from the compromised applications. The group, famous for blending in techniques, pulled a new one with crypto miners, although the report notes a consistency in their pattern.

“The use of coin miners by BISMUTH was unexpected, but it was consistent with the group’s longtime methods of blending in.”

The report recommends that organizations prioritize reducing surface attacks by elevating and inspecting common threats such as phishing and coin miner techniques in a more advanced manner.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

WEF Report Says Blockchain Is A Core Component in Sustainable Digital Finance

The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently released a new report about the future of digital finance on Wednesday. The WEF report noted that blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile platforms represent a core element of digital finance’s sustainable future.

The report noted that blockchain combines coming of age technologies with a sustainable environment-conscious business model. In the report, UBS executive Karin Oertli noted that all these nascent technologies could help organizations and governments to meet their sustainability goals. Oertli wrote,

“We believe that sustainable digital finance will play an essential role in efficiently channeling this capital to fuel innovation, growth, and job creation, at the same time supporting the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”

Currently, many European countries and top silicon tech firms’ save pledged to reduce their carbon footprint to zero in the next decade owing to the growing concern over climate change and global warming. Thus it has become even more important to bring sustainable business models to rescue the planet earth before it’s too late.

New WEF Report In Line With OECD Research

The latest sustainability report from WEF is not the first report of its kind, which has touted Blockchain as the key to sustainable future business models. It reinstates the research conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD report had made similar claims regarding blockchain and said,

“The core properties of blockchain and other DLT can enable deeper technological integration, standardization, and the possibility of new business models.”

Carbon dioxide emissions are growing significantly with each passing year. Some of the western countries have taken it upon themselves to make sure to cut their carbon footprint from now onwards.

The emergence of blockchain as key to a sustainable future comes just in time as crypto space has been battling the criticism over Bitcoin’s network electricity consumption and carbon emission.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Ethereum Rallies Above $400 as Proof of Stake Launch “ETH 2.0” Scheduled for Dec 1

Ethereum 2.0’s v1.0 has been released along with its mainnet deposit address. With this release, ETH 2.0 will have a genesis of 1606824000 — December 1, 2020, at 12 pm UTC.

There must be at least 16,384 32-ETH validator deposits made a week before the deadline for the genesis to trigger. In case the threshold is not met on time, the genesis will be kicked off whenever it does, as per the official announcement.

As expected, the price of Eth jumped above $407 in response to the much-anticipated news. Yesterday, ETH dropped under $375 despite bitcoin rallying.

But today, as BTC went back above $14,200, the crypto market turned green in tandem, and so did ETH, which continues to rise.

As Binance noted last month, the locking of ETH for staking could see a potential supply shock, which means a “dramatic price surge and trigger” due to “unprecedented levels of retail FOMO.”

Unlike the usual when ETH leads the rallies, this time, Bitcoin has been stealing the thunder as it increased by 30% in value than Ether’s mere 12% in the month of October.

But despite Bitcoin being back on the move today to the important $14k level, Ether is the one up 6%, the biggest gainer among the top 35 cryptocurrencies.

And with this, green has splashed across the crypto market.

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Author: AnTy

Canada-Based Voyager Digital Announces Nearly 2000% Growth In Customers’ Assets Growth In 2020

Quick Read:

– Voyager released its latest financial report for the year with impressive figures

– Recording Increases in customer asset growth, brokerage accounts, and revenue


In a press release, Canadian publicly listed cryptocurrency broker, Voyager announced an impressive 1,159 % surge in revenue, registering approx. $1.1 million over the fiscal year ending June 2020. The total brokerage accounts also grew massively across the past year from 10,000 accounts to 89,000, representing 750% growth. Finally, brokerage accounts’ growth is well reflected in the customer assets growth – a 1,959% growth to $35 million in 2020 from about $1.7 million in June 2019.

Voyager Digital also made several partnerships and strategic acquisitions across the fiscal year, including partnerships with leading traditional trading platforms, including Market Rebellion, Sterling Trading Tech, and RoundlyX. Voyager Digital also acquired the crypto wallet services firm Ethos Universal Wallet and Circle Invest, intending to accelerate its growth.

The company also launched the Voyager Interest Program offering 17 digital assets with interest-bearing qualities. To market and sensitize users on the program, the Canadian crypto broker announced an advisory relationship with NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, who will help educate customers on the platform.

Stephen Ehrlich, CEO at Voyager Digital, is looking forward to a bigger 2021 for the company – as they “bolster the platform’s capabilities and meet the demands of the customer base.” In the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, Voyager expects $2 million in revenue, representing a growth of over 200% from Q1 2019. Ehrlich also expects users to witness new products that will enhance their experience and drive them to the digital asset platform.

Some of the upcoming milestones for the firm include integrating Circle’s Stablecoin (USDC) platform services on Voyager, expand globally to other regions and continents (currently available in Canada), list more tokens on its platform and obtain a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) allowing them to carry out digital currency activities in the U.S. Speaking on the expansion, Ehrlich said,

“At the same time, we are focused on accelerating our international expansion by moving into new regions in North America as well as into Europe and Latin America.

Over time, we expect to make the Voyager App available to customers worldwide”.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Launches a Visa Rewards Debit Card for US Users; Earn 4% Back in XLM or 1% in BTC

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has released Coinbase Card to allow its users to spend crypto everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. It also offers the ability to earn up to 4% back in crypto rewards in Stellar Lumens (XLM) or 1% in Bitcoin (BTC).

The debit card is funded by the users’ Coinbase balance, which is touted by the exchange as the “easiest, quickest way to spend your crypto worldwide.”

With Visa partnership, it can be used in millions of locations around the world. For now, the supported countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US, with additional markets to be added later. While it will be open to these countries, the rewards program will only be available to US customers initially.

The card can be used for everyday purchases and works offline, online, and internationally. It can further be used at ATMs for cash withdrawals.

The card has many fees attached to it, starting with £4.95 / 4.95 € fee being the Plastic Card Issuance Fee for customers in the EU and UK, as per its FAQ page, but according to the announcement, there will be no fee for the card itself to US customers.

The page is slim with details on fees, but here is what we see for the EU and UK customers: While for domestic cash withdrawal, for both ATM and Over The Counter “OTC” withdrawals, it charges 1% of the amount per transaction over and above £200 / 200 € per month, for international cash withdrawals, the charge increases to 2% with no changes to the limit.

There is no fee on domestic purchase transactions but 0.2% of the value of POS transactions for Intra-EEA Purchase and 3% internationally.

Coinbase Card has a Chargeback Processing Fee of £20.00 / 20,00 € and a Crypto Liquidation Fee of 2.49% on every transaction.

While it isn’t clear yet what the fees associated with each transaction, you need to be wary of the tax nightmare that you will also need to deal with.

Given Coinbase’s history with sharing data with the government agencies, the crypto community isn’t feeling overly excited to provide them with more information.

However, Coinbase does point out that they go to “great lengths to keep all of your sensitive information safe.”

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Turned Over Info on 1,914 Users; 96.6% Were Criminal-based Law Enforcement Requests

As part of its commitment to be a trusted venue, Coinbase has released its first Transparency Report.

Much like other financial service providers and technology companies, Coinbase says it received requests from the law enforcement and government agencies seeking information and financial records in connection with civil, criminal, and other investigative matters in the form of subpoenas, search warrants, court orders, and other formal processes.

Because these requests are valid under the applicable laws, Coinbase must respond, wrote Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer at the San Francisco-based exchange, that currently serves over 38 million customers worldwide.

As per the report, the exchange received requests for information on 1,914 customers during the first six months of 2020. 58% of this request was from US agencies, and 16% was from state or local authorities like FBI, HSI, DEA, SEC, IRS, DOJ, and others.

Of the request, the majority, 96.6%, were criminal, while the rest was a civil or administrative type.

Overall, 90% of all requests came from just three jurisdictions — the US, UK, and Germany.

Coinbase Transparency Report
Source: Coinbase

“Great to see this transparency from coinbase. After some controversy re: privacy, this is a strong step forward,” said Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound. “Also worth noting, this comes from new CLO Paul Grewal (who I still think of as Judge Grewal), an extremely well-respected tech lawyer & big asset to the company.”

Coinbase also noted in the report they have been pushing back when appropriate; back in late 2017, they won against IRS over customer policy.

“I hope they’re pushing back on inappropriate gag orders as well,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, a DC-based crypto think tank.

“Glad to see Coinbase publishing a transparency report, joining companies like Kraken. Hopefully this becomes an industry standard,” he added.

More Reading: After US Secret Service, Coinbase Strikes a Deal with IRS to Sell its Data

Also Read: #DeleteCoinbase Trending After the Coinbase’s Deal with DEA & IRS Becomes Public

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Author: AnTy

FSB Publishes 10 High-Level Recommendations to Regulate ‘Global Stablecoins’

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has released 10 high-level recommendations for regulation, supervision, and oversight of “global stablecoin” in its latest report on Tuesday.

The international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system says global stablecoins must adhere to all applicable regulatory standards before commencing operation.

While these so-called fiat-backed stablecoins have the potential to “bring efficiencies to payments and to promote financial inclusion,” they may also challenge the existing regulatory oversight and generate risks to financial stability, says the report.

As such, the 10 high-level recommendations have been made that follow the “same business, same risk, same rules” principle.

To enhance the cross-border payments commissioned by the G20, the FSB has agreed to complete the international standard-setting by December 2021. Necessary adjustments must be made by that time, too, and a framework consistent with the FSB recommendations must be enabled at the national level by July 2022.

The report came the same day the financial officials of the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Britain said digital payments should be “appropriately supervised and regulated.”

Until adequate regulatory, legal, and oversight standards are set, no global stablecoin project should begin operation, said the G7, without explicitly mentioning Facebook’s Libra, which has been the one that pushed them into action.

The officials also called on all countries to implement FATF standards to reduce the exploitation of criminals’ financial services. The emphasis was put on coordinated response through information sharing and economic measures.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Commerce Attempts at ‘Be Your Own Bank’ & Launches a Self-Custody Crypto Wallet

Coinbase has released Coinbase Commerce to allow businesses and merchants to accept cryptocurrencies.

“With Coinbase Commerce, we’re building the most trusted and secure way for merchants anywhere in the world to accept cryptocurrency payments, and in turn, enabling more ways for customers to spend their crypto,” said John Zettler, Senior Product Manager at Coinbase.

The latest service by the San Francisco-based exchange is advertised as fast and free, where it gives full control of the crypto ownership to the merchant itself.

With no middleman, the idea is to allow everyone to “be your own bank.”

An Open Finance System

Coinbase’s latest step is towards the company’s mission to create an “open financial system” where it wants to help connect an increasing number of participants in the crypto-economy, reads the official announcement.

Commerce merchants were needed to transfer their crypto to an exchange before selling their crypt for cash or fiat-backed stablecoins, but with Coinbase Commerce, they can convert their crypto payments into USD, EUR, GBP, or USD Coin right from its platform for a 1% fee.

For now, the service is available for merchants with Coinbase.com accounts; connection for Coinbase Prime or Coinbase Pro accounts will be coming soon.

According to Coinbase, decentralized finance is an important part of growing the crypto-economy; thus, they now support new Dapps on its Coinbase Wallet – the “self-custody crypto wallet app.”

Wallet users can now also sign-up and purchase cryptos right from the app — a feature available on Android devices in the US that will soon expand to iOS and more countries.

The exchange is cutting down the extra step of buying the crypto from an exchange and then transferring it manually to Wallet apps.

Most of the assets supported by the exchange are available within the Wallet, which supports debit card purchases. Wallet users can now store their crypto, send them or start using dapps like Uniswap and Compound from one place.

“With the addition of a simple and secure fiat onramp service, developers can build dapps with just one easy app install for their users,” said Sid Coelho-Prabhu, Group Product Manager at Coinbase.

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Author: AnTy

Aztec 2.0 Launches Ethereum Layer 2 Scaling Solution for Privacy Using zkSNARKs

Aztec, an Ethereum based protocol, has released its L2 scaling solution coupled with the project’s fundamental aspect of privacy. The startup announced this news in a Medium post earlier today, noting that Aztec 2.0 is now live on the Ropsten testnet. This comes as one of the many reliefs to an ailing Ethereum ecosystem due to network congestion and high gas costs.

According to the post, Aztec’s L2 scaling solution has been derived from the zero-knowledge (zk) rollup tech. This infrastructure is basically part of Ethereum’s zero-knowledge proofs that have come up to make transactions private. Based on the PLONK research, Aztec claims that its newly debuted L2 scaling network enables the protocol to leverage zkSNARKS tech in two distinct ways.

For starters, zkSNARKS is used to encode every transaction as part of protecting Aztec users’ data. It also plays a role in the ‘roll-up’ of these transactions, hence the batching into one proof that is, in turn, sent to Ethereum’s on-chain. Aztec has since said that this approach could scale its network throughput up to 300 TP/s and preserve on-chain data simultaneously.

“Using this technique, the network can scale on-demand up to a hard limit of ~300 TX/S, while preserving on-chain data availability.”

The firm further claims that gas costs will be slashed by 200x in Aztec 2.0 compared to prevailing costs within its 1.0 ecosystem. Other than scalability solutions, Aztec has also introduced an open-source scripting language dubbed ‘Noir.’ This will allow developers to easily compose the zkSNARKS transactions code compatible with the new L2 scaling solution by Aztec.

Aztec plans to upgrade this innovation in November to integrate DeFi access while maintaining scalability and privacy. The post reads,

“This upgrade allows users to anonymously access DeFi transactions at a fraction of the gas price. And, without having to port DeFi protocols to layer 2.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui