Mitsubishi Electric to Develop A Blockchain-Based Energy Trading System With Tokyo Tech

Mitsubishi Electric to Develop A Blockchain-Based Energy Trading System With Tokyo Tech

The adoption of blockchain technology has received a massive boost as a university R&D team, and an electronic giant is collaborating to launch an energy-based blockchain system.

The two parties Tokyo Tech, and Mitsubishi, said the project, upon completion, will support a more scalable and flexible peer-to-peer trading on energy.

High Demand for Blockchain Platforms

Blockchain-based platforms are now in very high demand, as some countries are currently developing different blockchain-based platforms that will support different sectors of the economy. The technology has been hailed as a futuristic technology, leading to more efficiency and improved flexibility.

Not long ago, an Australian firm, Power Ledger, partnered with Thailand’s Digital Energy Development (TDED) to develop a blockchain-based digital energy platform in the country.

Similar Energy Blockchains Available in the Past

Thailand is among the Asian countries with plans to increase their electricity generation via renewable energy. The collaboration with Power Ledger is expected to increase electricity generation through renewable energy sources, and blockchain is the technology.

Power Ledger also revealed that it wants to leverage the collaboration with TDED to collaborate with other organizations that may be interested in using its blockchain energy trading technology.

In the Mitsubishi-Tokyo Tech partnership, the plan is to roll out a peer-to-peer energy trading system that can engage both prosumers and consumers as buyers and sellers via the blockchain platform.

This new distributed-optimization algorithm is a bit different from several blockchain technologies. This one, after completion and testing, will allow customer computers to share trading goals and data. With blockchain technology, the users can match buy and sell orders.

Tokyo Tech and Mitsubishi call this technology a “new mining method,” which can be carried out on a micro-computer server.

Four Steps for Energy Trading Method

There are four steps requires to complete the energy trading method.

Firstly, the buy and sell information will be on a common trading goal and shared by the computing servers at a determined period.

Afterward, each of the servers can search for the buying and selling orders that match the common goal in the first step.

The third step involves each server sharing their search results. Then finally, each of the connected servers gets the search results and generate a new block, allowing the selection of trades that meet the desired shared goal.

Additionally, to make sure participants engage in fair trading, each shared goals are executed in a decentralized way. This means that no single server has the monopoly of deciding the outcomes, as equivalent matches are selected from random.

Ensuring Maximum Availability of Surplus Electricity

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech also announced that the system’s flexibility means that both the sellers and buyers can trade below or above the bid price as long as the right match is seen.

Those who cannot execute any trade can update the terms of their next offer to assess the previous bid/offer condition.

The partnering parties said the end goal is to ensure a maximum amount of surplus electricity for trading on the market.

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Author: Ali Raza

South Korea Finalizes New 20% Tax Regime on Crypto Starting in 2023

South Korea has been working towards a suitable tax system for crypto trades and profits for a while now, with different proposals and deadlines.

However, after much deliberation, the government has now put forth a viable tax plan for crypto gains.

Pay the Tax Man

Asia Today reported this week that the South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance had issued an amendment to introduce a new tax rate for crypto trading profits. The amendment could be enacted into law in February, following a legislative notice that will last until January 21, according to the reports. However, the new tax rates won’t be levied until 2023.

Per the report, the government’s new proposal will introduce different additional taxes on capital gains. Crypto traders who make annual incomes of over 2.5 million won ($2,300) will be taxed 20 percent from their trading activities. Comparatively, the threshold is much lower for traditional stocks, with only gains higher than 50 million won ($46,000) receiving the same tax rate.

The tax rate goes even higher, reaching 25 percent for assets over 300 million won. Investors with annual profits of over 50 million won will also need to pay transfer taxes, regardless of whether they are major shareholders or not.

As for cryptocurrencies owned before the tax schedule’s 2023 implementation, authorities are still considering imposing taxes on the market price immediately before 2023 or the acquisition price.

What Date is Appropriate?

The new tax rate isn’t especially a novel development. The Ministry of Economy finalized the regime last July, following a Tax Development Review Committee meeting. The meeting concluded the government’s mission to ensure effective taxation of individuals’ and corporations’ virtual asset holdings – which, up to that point, had been non-taxable.

However, the new regime also ran into a bit of a hiccup, with industry insiders asking that the government delays its implementation. In October, the Korea Blockchain Association (KBA), one of the country’s most powerful blockchain advocacy groups, asked that the government delay implementation until January 2023

Per a report from News1 Korea, the KBA had explained that companies require a “reasonable period” to prepare for the new tax regime. The advocacy group explained that there was a short window between regulations applying to the old tax scheme and the expected start of the new one as crypto exchanges would still be allowed to report on trades falling under the previous tax code until September 2021.

Since the Income Tax Act is expected to be enforced from October 2021, companies would find it challenging to comply with the new regulations in less than 24 hours.

Last month, the South Korean national assembly ruled to extend the tax regime’s implementation to January 2022. With the new ruling setting an implementation date for 2023, crypto companies now have enough time to get in line.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Russian Parliament Pushes Forward With the Waves-based Blockchain Voting; Despite ID Issues

  • Russia’s blockchain-oriented voting system set to be used in the upcoming national elections is yet to be fully efficient but will be implemented nonetheless.
  • According to the country’s Central Election Commission, this initiative’s user tests have been successful, although some improvements need to be made on voter identification.

First reported by Russian media, Kommersant, the newspaper, highlighted that Yaroslavskaya and Kurskaya parliamentary elections scheduled for September 13 would leverage this blockchain solution for remote voting. So far, around 15,000 people have registered to vote through this blockchain-based ecosystem, while at least 3,500 had participated in the project’s testing.

The Technical Underpinnings

This project was developed under Russia’s state back telco giant, Rostelecom, which will also host the blockchain nodes on its company servers. Built on the enterprise version of Waves blockchain, the e-voting system leverages some advanced solutions, including encrypted tech that is yet to be battle-tested. Dubbed ‘homomorphic encryption,’ this tech keeps the votes encrypted until voting is over when they can finally be decrypted.

While the value proposed is better than what was used in Moscow’s e-voting, homomorphic encryption poses a challenge when it comes to voter identification. MixBytes Co-founder and Cybersec expert, Sergey Prilutsky, told Coindesk that authorities could meddle with the votes if they are in control of the list. In addition to this, the embedded encryption in homomorphic ‘elliptic curves’ is not considered secure by Russia’s counter-intelligence agency, FSB.

“It uses elliptic curves that are not considered secure by the FSB,” said the Chief Product Officer of Waves, Artem Kalikhov.

He, however, went on to assure stakeholders that the firm is working on this and noted progress with other functions such as e-signatures, which have already been certified by the FSB. Also, Kalikhov said that getting the ‘homomorphic encryption’ certification is unlikely to be a challenge that might stall development.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Nervos Network Integrates Chainlink’s Decentralized Oracles To Enhance Smart Contract Development

  • Nervos Network is the latest blockchain project to integrate Chainlink’s decentralized oracle system to enhance the data quality and enable more data-rich decentralized apps (DApps) to build onto the network.

In a published blog post on Medium, the Nervos Network announced its integration with Chainlink to utilize the latter’s decentralized data oracles. Chainlink provides a distributed feed of independent node operators that allow blockchains to pull data from trusted third-party data feeds.

Blockchain collect data form themselves and do not provide native access to these external data feeds. Decentralized oracles offer blockchains this access allowing them to collect data and ease the execution of smart contracts. With the integration of Chainlink, the developers on Nervos unlock a new layer tech to the platform allowing the creation of DeFi, insurance products, investment products, and gaming products, etc. Speaking on Chainlink-Nervos integration, Chainlink’s founder, Sergey Nazarov said:

“We’re excited to help integrate Chainlink’s secure and reliable oracles into Nervos […] By making off-chain data resources available on-chain, Nervos can now offer more value to both its developers and users, leading to additional use cases in DeFi, Gaming, Insurance, and more.”

Chainlink has seen rapid growth due to its reliability and secure properties in the past few months. The blockchain offers a wide range of decentralized node operators and oracle data feeds and external adapters “that can be written in any programming language to give the oracle read/write capabilities with any API.”

The co-founder of Nervos, Terry Tai, aims at a fully decentralized platform powered by fair and unbiased information from random oracle feeds. With Nervos planning to provide a platform to build executable and data-enabled smart contracts, the integration of real-world data on the blockchain is essential, Tai said,

“We’re excited to see a plethora of new products built on Nervos using real-world data and off-chain connectivity.”

Chainlink’s utility value has seen the crypto spike into all-times growing to hold 4% of the total crypto market capitalization. According to Coingecko charts, LINK is currently trading at $18.90, representing a 135% increase in the past 30 days to place 5th on the market cap listings.

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Author: Lujan Odera

yEarn Expanding its Ecosystem to Bring in Hot DeFi Tokens into the Mix

DeFi craze continues to get hotter as the system grows.

yEarn’s zero supply valueless token YFI climbed to a new high today at $5,300 and is currently trading at $4,700.

Today, it also announced integration with Aave with the launch of the Credit Delegation service.

Built on the Aave platform, “Credit Delegation supports smart contract to smart contract.” Delegate to a yVault and farm yield with the borrowing asset you prefer.”

Credit Delegation is a transaction where an Aave protocol depositor delegates a credit line to someone they trust; it can also be delegated to another contract that executes predefined functions.

“Credit Delegation might be a way to source liquidity from Aave Protocol across DeFi and into traditional finance without demanding borrower side collateral,” states Aave in its official announcement.

yVaults to have significant market implications

This is just the latest of what yEarn is offering to the DeFi users. Back in June, yEarn was also the one that further pushed the yield farming craze into high gear by rolling out automated yields for hot tokens like COMP, BAL, and CRV.

Now, with yVaults, Yearn is ready to welcome even more exciting DeFi projects into the mix. LINK is the first project the yEarn community has chosen to go with to provide liquidity with a delegated vault.

Chainlink’s LINK was chosen with nearly all (99.47%) of the votes. Currently, voting is going on to add Synthetix (SNX) to yVault as well.

How this works is; first, a liquidity provider (LP) deposits LINK into the vault and receives yLINK. In the next step, the LINK is deposited into Aave and activated to be used as collateral. In the third step, borrowing a stablecoin, which is then deposited into yVault to generate APY returns. Now, any stablecoin earned above the debt, that is, profits, are sold for LINK, which then increases the LINK in yVault.

If these yVaults gain steam, “they are going to have significant market implications,” said analyst Ceteris Paribus as he explains, “‘Fundamental’ value, P/E, etc. don’t matter as much if you have a significant amount of supply locked up by long-term holders passively auto-buying every day.”

This will also mean LINK would be bought in the open market, giving a constant daily dollar bid to LINK, which will continue to become more pronounced. Also, “LINK vault users are effectively long Link with compounding returns,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Filecoin to Begins its Incentivized Testnet This Week Ahead of Project Launch Next Month

Crypto project Filecoin which proposes to create a peer-to-peer storage system, will begin its incentivized testnet this week. This testnet will allow users to earn Filecoin by testing the scalability and robustness of the network.

The project is also expected to go live next month, Colin Evran, Filecoin’s ecosystem lead told Bloomberg.

Lately, it has been gaining a lot of interest from Chinese speculators, with the majority of its miners on the testnet also being Chinese miners.

The idea here is to build a decentralized version of the internet where no single authority, like the tech giants, Google and Amazon, have full control.

Created by Protocol Labs and raising $200 million in 2017, Filecoin is aiming to solve this issue through its distributed storage system, making it impervious to attacks on the internet. The added advantage of a P2P storage system is the lack of a central point of failure.

“It’s one of the missing pieces of the Web 3 ecosystem,” said Evran. “Anyone can become a data-storage provider, not just the big companies that do that now.”

The company has partnered with ConsenSys Labs to encourage the development of Filecoin and its Interplanetary File System, or IPFS, protocol. With this partnership, the firm will be distributing $1.6 million in grants to developer teams.

Just last week, ConsenSys introduced the Filecoin launchpad accelerator, which is powered by Tachyon. This cohort will focus on “startups building more open, interoperable, and programmable tools, infrastructure, and applications for the distributed web through IPFS and Filecoin.”

Once the project is released publicly in September, users who want to store their data on the decentralized system will have to buy that capacity using its cryptocurrency. The users who will provide the data storage will earn the cryptocurrency for their contribution as well.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin is in a ‘Consolidation Zone,’ We’ll Move to $14k Once BTC Gets Above $10k: Novogratz

Bitcoin is about system change, said Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, in his latest interview with Barron’s Carleton English.

While talking about the catalysts that could propel the price of Bitcoin higher, he shared how a revolution is going on between black lives matter and people looking for economic injustice, and COVID-19 pandemic has exposed it. So, in this macro backdrop, “that gives us a tailwind.”

Price-wise, bitcoin is doing fine, said Novogratz. After the March sell-off that saw everything crashing, BTC recovered more than 160% in the next two months. But since then, Bitcoin has been ranging sideways — “we are in a consolidation zone.”

The $10,000, however, remains a critical psychological level, and “once we get above it, we move to $14,000,” he said.

Bitcoin is Hard to Buy

Novogratz shared that it is hard to buy bitcoin.

He explained how, when billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones bought it, there was much excitement. But the next hedge funds can’t just buy it the next day. They have to go through the same process of operation due diligence, checking their docs, and talking to their investors.

It is a slow process to get people on board, into institutionalizing this, he said although he believes in the next “two to five years every major bank is gonna have a crypto desk because they’re gonna need to.” According to him, the bitcoin market is still dominated by retail investors.

“Bitcoin is still hard to buy. If it was easier to buy, it would be a lot higher. And there are more and more people making it easier to buy: funds being set up, custodies being done, at one point we’ll get an ETF,” Novogratz echoes these thoughts in an interview with CNBC’s Fast Money that was published earlier this week.

During the interview, Novogratz also told the public to hold more gold than bitcoin even though he believes “bitcoin way outperforms gold.” This is just because of the volatility of the digital asset.

Bitcoin volatility has taken a dive recently because of the weak price movement, falling to the level of the S&P 500.

Gold also has been on a tear lately, in the past month, while bitcoin was stuck in a rut, the precious metal rallied. Recently, it broke above $1,800 to a nine-year high.

Stock Market Bubble

While bitcoin has been boring, stocks are rallying hard, which reminds Novogratz of bitcoin in 2017 when the leading digital currency climbed to a new ATH.

“We’re at really dangerous valuations on the growth side, on the tech side,” he said. “If it’s Zoom or Tesla or Beyond Meat, whatever stock has a story, everyone’s rushing in. That gets me worried.”

The stock market, according to him, is “unhinged from reality,” and he advised small investors to get out before it crashes.

“We are in irrational exuberance — this is a bubble,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The economy is grinding, slowing down, we’re lurching in and out of COVID-19, yet the tech market makes new highs every day. That’s a classic speculative bubble.”

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Author: AnTy

BTCPay Server Update Streamlines Refund Process; Adds Notification for Payment Status

The open-source bitcoin payment server BTCPay Server introduced a new system update called Update 1.0.5 on Friday. The updated aim is to ease the interaction between the server and the merchant. This update would make it easier for the merchants to manage their crypto transactions on their website.

The latest update brings a set of new features, including notifications, pull payment, and refunds, along with a few upgrades to the wallet. The BTCPay Server was launched back in 2017 and helped merchants in processing their bitcoin transactions. It also kept all the invoices organized for the owner. The server also has a native wallet that can be used to store bitcoins.

The most talked-about feature of the update is the refund, which streamlines the otherwise quite cluttered process of re-issuing of coins. The update feature would allow merchants to decide a certain amount of bitcoin that can be pulled from the escrow. Before the update, merchants had to manually authorize the payment, where the sender and receiver had no common platform to connect onto, which made the process complex and challenging.

With the new update, merchants won’t have to send and receive numerous messages as the process is automated, where the refund is generated via invoices without the need for any formal communication between the two parties.

The other notable feature is notifications, which comes with an API integration option and allows merchants to monitor their payment status, whether it is confirmed or not. It would also include the status of partial payment and many other similar payments related notifications. All of these will be managed through a dedicated notification page.

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Author: James W

ING Bank Launches ‘Travel Rule Protocol’ to Ease FATF Compliance for Crypto Businesses

  • Top Netherlands bank, ING, introduces a new protocol system to ease crypto exchanges and firms aiming at implementing the recommended FATF’s Travel rule.
  • The new protocol, Travel Rule Protocol, or TRP, in short, sets ING as the first bank ever to comply with the Travel Rule affecting virtual assets.

In a report released earlier on Tuesday, ING launched the TRP joining forces with Standard Chartered, Fidelity Digital Assets, and several crypto-native firms, including BitGo, Crypto Broker AG, Metaco, 21 Analytics and OSL/BC Group.

The protocol aims to take a “regulatory first approach,” allowing firms dealing with digital assets to comply with the FATF recommendations easily. In a statement released on the launch, Hervé Francois, Blockchain Initiative Lead on Digital Assets at ING said:

“With a regulatory first approach, we are actively involved in different working groups to support standardization of this emerging ecosystem and ultimately pioneer mass adoption.”

The protocol, however, will steer away from the public cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether favoring to work exclusively in decentralized ledger technology (DLT) projects. Hervé continued:

“ING, as an innovation leader on blockchain/DLT, sees increasing opportunities concerning Digital Assets on both asset-backed and native security tokens.”

“More Like SWIFT”

According to the statement, the new partnership aims at developing an infrastructure that offers virtual asset service providers (VASPs) a direct way to “query for the existence of contact or address,” such as a legal entity identifier and essential public information.

One source familiar to the matter stated the platform was more like SWIFT transfers, the interbank messaging and settlement system. The protocol also offers a hybrid system (permissionless and permissioned network) promoting an open, transparent solution to firms having trouble with the FATF Travel Rule compliance.

ING Bank in Blockchain

ING is a big digital assets player since opening its blockchain branch in 2018. Since the Travel Rule recommendation became public in 2019, the bank set out plans to get an understanding and look for opportunities in the crypto space that banks can fit into.

The Travel Rule is a recommendation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to include any virtual asset service provider in the global anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing rings.

In a meeting scheduled for June 24th (tomorrow), the FATF committee will look into the overall progress of the implementation of the rule giving further recommendations.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Market Data Aggregator, Coingecko, Rolls Out Reward System; But It’s Not Crypto

  • Coingecko launches its loyalty points reward system, Candy, which are redeemable for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and in-built free bonuses.
  • The loyalty points are non-transferrable, at the moment, but a plan to add crypto-based loyalty points is in development.

In a tweet thread sent out by Coingecko’s media team, the crypto analytics firm added its own loyalty based points system to boost user traffic and engagement on the site. The Co-founder and COO of Coingecko Bobby Ong explained:

“You can think of Candy as similar to Reddit karma points, where we reward users for usage. The candies are currently a centralized loyalty points system ,though it is not hard to imagine them as ERC-20 tokens to make them transferable in the future.”

Similar to Candy Crush, the popular mobile-based game, the Coingecko Candy Loyalty Program will offer rewards to users every time they visit the website platform or log into their iOS or Android phone app. Users visiting in seven consecutive days will also receive a big bonus, the post states:

“Beyond providing independent and neutral market data, Candy is our way of saying thanks to all of our supporters.”

Redeeming your Candies!

At the moment, users can only redeem the candies with limited collection NFTs, vouchers from crypto staking wallet, Cobo Wallet, and Coingecko’s merchandise, including its “How to DeFi” book, jumpers, T-shirts, etc.

Some of the limited NFTs will be collected in Blockchain Heroes, Axie Infinity, and Proof of Attendance Protocol.

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Author: Lujan Odera