French Multinational Bank to Launch a Digital Euro Pilot Using Tezos Blockchain

Blockchain firm Tezos has been selected to spearhead the French central bank’s digital currency pilot program, one of a kind in Europe.

Societe Generale – Forge, a tech startup founded by French investment bank giant Societe Generale, has opted for Tezos to spearhead the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot program.

The French central bank Banque de France selected Societe Generale – Forge in July after a successful review of applicants in development of a CBDC to ease interbank settlements. France is carrying out an experiment to become the first European country to launch a digital Euro.

Tezos is a peer-to-peer public blockchain that has features such as on-chain governance, capacity to verify smart contracts as well as consensus algorithm that is primed on proof of stake. The blockchain platform comes with a vibrant ecosystem inclusive of research and development offshoot dubbed Nomadic Labs that is located in Paris and will play a vital role for the CBDC piloting. Nomadic Labs President, Michel Mauny explained about the deal:

“The Tezos project, strengthened by its technical capabilities, its adaptability, and its strong community, is already present in various projects, both in France and abroad. We are especially pleased to see this technology selected by Societe Generale – Forge, and to reaffirm, once again, that the quality and expertise of our engineering is rewarded.”

Francois Villeroy de Galhau, Banque de France’s governor, in December last year said that he was optimistic that France will be the inaugural European country to offer digital currency. The governor explained that the central bank is exploring how technology can be leveraged in enhancement of the financial markets more so when it comes to interbank regulations.

Although France seems to be on the forefront in development of a CBDC, other European countries such as Italy, Netherlands and Lithuania are also exploring the idea of CBDC. Additionally, the European Central Bank is also working on trials although details remain scanty.

Currently, Tezos is only one of the handful public blockchain platforms participating in development of a CBDC that could culminate to a digital euro.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Tezos Foundation to Pay XTZ Token Sale Investors $25M to Settle Class Action Lawsuit

After three years, a long-running class-action lawsuit against Tezos Foundation has come to a close. A U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg from the Northern District of California approved a $25 million payment by Tezos Foundation to aggrieved investors.

The class-action lawsuit alleged that Tezos Foundation conducted an unregistered initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017.

According to the court documents filed last week, Tezos, as well as its founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, will part with $25 million to the aggrieved investors. The settlement was first put on the table in March earlier this year but was settled last week.

According to the settlement agreement, the attorneys will be paid about $8.5 million of the total sum. The investors who underwent a loss after taking part in the Tezos ICO will share the remaining $16.5 million. However, the investors who gained after participating in the ICO will not be included in the sharing of the funds.

Tezos Foundation, in March, resolved to settle the class action lawsuit since it was expensive as well as time-consuming. However, the firm maintained that the case lacked merit.

In 2017, Tezos conducted one of the most successful ICOs of the year, raising more than $232 million through the sale of its XTZ governance token. However, before the firm could celebrate the success, a California based law firm filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Tezos sold unregistered security to US-based investors.

According to the Federal Securities Law, a company should not sell security tokens before registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These types of tokens must pass the Howey Test, and XTZ failed.

Following the filing of a class-action lawsuit, Tezos asked the court to dismiss the case as it lacked merit, but Judge Seeborg dismissed the lawsuit filed by Tezos attorneys.

Judge Seeborg’s order also states that the plaintiffs cannot make a future claim against Tezos as well as other defendants.

Although the class lawsuit has been settled, the issue of whether XTZ is a security or not remains unresolved.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Tezos (XTZ) Launches Delegated, Pre-Funded, Self-Sustaining Harbinger Price Oracles

Tezos has announced Harbinger — it’s very own oracle to deliver signed price feeds based on market data from multiple crypto exchanges to its network.

With Harbinger, Tezos is expecting the algorithmic stablecoins, lending platforms, and insurance products to kick off the new use cases.

Initial versions of the contracts are already deployed on mainnet and CarthageNet.

It’s not surprising that the network is delving deep into oracle as oracle projects have been having a lot of attention and gains in the crypto market. The crazy growth of Chainlink (LINK) is evidence of how much traction the decentralized off-chain data feed providers are getting.

Other popular oracles in the market are Band Protocol (BAND) and Augur (REP).

Take on the DeFi World

Now, Tezos, a liquid-proof of stake crypto network, is ready to make the most of the decentralized finance (DeFi) world through its oracle.

Oracles are critical to the fast-growing DeFi space, which has a total value locked (TVL) surpassing $7 billion, in order to have trusted price feed.

In its official announcement, Tezos announced that in Harbinger, “an account that pays for fees to update the price oracle can be delegated and pre-funded with tez,” much like staking.

This, it says, will enable the development of “self-sustaining” price oracles where the block rewards for participating in PoS consensus offset the fees required to keep the oracle data current.

“Having a reliable feed for on-chain price data is critical for DeFi lending platforms. Harbinger is an important building block for the decentralized finance ecosystem on Tezos,” said Robert Leshner, founder of Compound.

After taking inspiration from MakerDAO in StakerDAO, this latest one is based upon Compound’s Open Price Feed.

Harbinger is a set of tools and reference contracts, allowing anyone to become a ‘poster’ who retrieves prices from ‘signers,’ which are crypto exchanges to deploy a price oracle on the Tezos network, which then publishes cryptographically signed prices.

Moreover, Tezos smart contracts use callbacks to receive data to avoid reentrancy attacks.

In the meantime, the 13th largest crypto by market cap of $2.5 billion, XTZ is falling alongside the broad crypto market, trading at $3.43.

Also Read: Is the DeFi Craze Killing Tezos? XTZ’s Main Selling Point “Staking” Is Losing Appeal

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Author: AnTy

Bolt Labs to Bring zkChannels, Private Payment Channels, to Tezos Blockchain

  • Bolt labs will collaborate with the Tezos dev team, Nomadic labs, and Metastate in a bid to integrate their private payment channel zkChannels on Tezos Blockchain.
  • ZkChannels, launched early this year, is utilizing a zero-knowledge proof protocol that will conceal private data attributed to the client.

Bolt Labs announced a partnership with Tezos that will see their payment channel hosted on the Blockchain. They will work with Nomadic labs and Metastate, developers of the Tezos Blockchain, to make a 2021 integration possible.

Anonymous Remittance channel

The alliance with zkChannels, the brainchild of the Bolt labs launched earlier this year, will enable private Blockchain-based payments leveraging zero-knowledge proof (ZKPs) protocols with a sharp focus on Bitcoin and Zcash. Unlike popular remittance solutions integrated with the Bitcoin Blockchain, Lightning Network discloses that some private features such as people’s bank accounts may be exposed, zkChannels seeks to hide this information from the merchants.

“Customers can transact anonymously with Bitcoin without revealing their identity to a merchant.”

The announcement from Bolt labs highlights that both the client and the merchant will have access to data from the zkChannels only viewing different fields. The customer will be notified of the cash distribution, whereas the merchant will be able to tell the amount of cash transacting on the channel without necessarily revealing the identity of the client. However, the protocol leaves allowance for channel closure at any given time to be initiated by either party, individually, or with consent from both parties.

Notably, Bolt labs were launched in 2018 by J. Ayo Akinyele alongside two Zcash cofounders Ian Miers and Matthew Green. They received $1.5 million last year in April in seed round funding that was participated by Xpring, Lemniscap, and angel investor Zooko Wilcox also a cofounder at Zcash.

They settled on Tezos Blockchain due to their flexible governance to facilitate test runs of the channel before it is taken up by other Blockchains. Tezos Blockchain is also best suited to gel with their BLS12-381 protocol with Ethereum currently not extending support for the pairing curve, pending the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0.

Meanwhile, the Tezos XTZ is currently sitting on the 12th spot, with a market capitalization of $1,790,099,395. They have recorded trading volumes of $65,821,412 in the past 24 hours, with 734,831,569 XTZ currently in circulation at the time of this writing.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Tezos (XTZ) Class-Action Securities Lawsuit for the $232M ICO Sees $25M Settlement Pending

A class-action lawsuit against Tezos during its 2017 ICO may end in a $25 million settlement. The lawsuit was filed against Tezos for the illegal raising of over $232 million worth of Ether during its ICO.

Filed back in November 2017, the lawsuit by Block & Leviton on behalf of investors that participated in the ICO, claimed that Tezos violated several security laws. The Tezos Foundation also announced its settlement proposal on Mar 20th and stands strong on the belief that the lawsuit itself is baseless.

Block & Leviton informed all investors that participated in the Tezos ICO between July 1, 2017, and July 13, 2017, that they might be eligible for a share of the $25 million settlement offer.

ICO investors were asked to submit the claim of their settlement via [www.TezosFoundationSettlement.com]. Investors have until Aug 6th to object to the settlement offer and until October 16th to submit their claims.

The lawsuit accuses Tezos of being an unregistered security offering and might be the reason why Tezos has decided to settle rather than prolong the case. If Tezos is found to be an unregistered security, it may cost them up to $150 million in direct fines.

United States District Judge Richard Seeborg approved the settlement offer proposed by Tezos on April 30th. In addition, during the final hearing – scheduled for Aug 27th – will determine the legal procedure for initiating the settlement to investors. The court statement approving the settlement offer read:

“The court will likely be able to approve the settlement, subject to further consideration at the Settlement Hearing.”

Looking at recent cases like Telegram and Kik ICO’s, which were deemed as unregistered security offerings. Telegram, which conducted one of the biggest ICOs back in 2017, raising billions of dollars in the process, are now unsure if they will ever be able to launch their blockchain Gram token.

Tezos, meanwhile, wants to try and avoid falling into that same legal quagmire and appears to be considering the settlement offer.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Coinbase, Who Controls Over 11% of Tezos, Rolls Out XTZ Staking in UK and 3 EU Countries

Over 6 months back, Coinbase launched Tezos staking for its US customers and now they are rolling this feature out for its users in the UK and other EU member countries including France, Spain, and The Netherlands.

“With yields on savings accounts and government bonds at record lows — and in many cases negative — in the UK and across Europe, staking offers our customers a simple way to earn rewards on assets,” said Rhea Kaw, Product Manager.

In its official announcement, Coinbase pitched that staking Tezos on your own or via a delegated staking service can be confusing, complicated, and even risky.

This is where Coinbase comes in, which allows its users to have an estimated annual return of 5% with an initial holding period of 35-40 days.

In comparison, Binance offers a 6.12% return, OKEx 6.32%, KuCoin 5.49%, Kraken 5.37%, and Gate.io 4.23%, as per StakingRewards.

Coinbase stakes Tezos on behalf of its customers and since the US launch of staking rewards, its customers have earned more than $2 million in Tezos staking rewards.

The US-based exchange currently controls over 11% of the Tezos network consensus with 74.4 million XTZ staked at Coinbase. The amount of XTZ staked on it grew +13% month-over-month (+8.2M tez) in May.

In May, the amount of Tezos staked reached a new all-time high of 80.1% of its all circulating supply. A spike in staking means the staking yield has fallen to its all-time low of 0.94%.

The tenth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Tezos is currently trading $2.86, up over 6.20%. In 2020, so far, the digital asset has recorded returns of +115%.

Since Tezos staking was first launched on Coinbase, the digital asset has spiked over 200% in value.

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Author: AnTy

Tezos Staking Reaches A New ATH at Over 80%; Top 5 Exchanges Holding 18% of XTZ Supply

One of the hottest cryptocurrencies in the crypto sphere, Tezos (XTZ) has been enjoying a rally throughout 2020. In mid-February, XTZ jumped 183% YTD only to fall 65% during the March sell-off.

Since then, the 10th largest cryptocurrency has risen 113% and is now trading at $2.75. This growing interest in the cryptocurrency has been because of baking or staking. Already, the network-wide staking ratio reached a new all-time high of 80.11% in mid-May.

However, much of this staking is via exchanges, as such the custodial staking trend remains unbroken but slowed down “significantly” in Q2.

Top five cryptocurrency exchanges combined hold 18% of total Tezos supply in staking and more in non-staking wallets.

Coinbase particularly is controlling 11.2% of the Tezos network consensus, after gaining another 13% month-over-month, over 8.2 million XTZ.

The growing staked XTZ has the staking yield falling to its all-time low of 0.94% with the inflation rate at 5%. Alexander Eichhorn, Founder at Blockwatch Data noted,

“Absolute inflation in Tezos is almost constant, so inflation rate slowly decreases over time.”

“However, since the amount of coins generated per block is dynamic to discourage attacks the future inflation rate may fluctuate slightly.”

“Long-term holders who dominate Tezos are very loyal to their bakers,” wrote Eichhorn. He found 77.5% of active delegators never switch their bakers while 14% do so multiple times.

Adoption seeing an increase as well

When it comes to growth, 35.5k new funded accounts joined in April, while many small investors entered the ecosystem, whales were few. But still, the top 1k accounts hold 63% of total supply with 78% of supply not moved for over 3 months now.

The network meanwhile has been seeing less growth in developer activity in terms of deployed contracts and calls but “the rising gas usage suggests, the contracts that are developed are getting more sophisticated.”

Interestingly, the largest private bank in Brazil Banco BTF is set to launch its $5 million real estate tokens on Tezos.

In February, last year, $10 million were issued on Ethereum blockchain but they “don’t want to be tied to just one blockchain,” and “want to have other options, other blockchains that might serve better the pieces of tokenization and issuing tokens that represent real assets.”

The Zug-based Tezos Foundation meanwhile is on a hiring spree to reduce its involvement in daily decision-making. David Fuchs, the former digitization manager at Swiss bank Vontobel is also being hired as a head of the enterprise adoption in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In 2017 Tezos raised $232 million via initial token offering (ICO) and $25 million of the proceeds were paid to the Foundation to settle a US lawsuit over the ICO. As such, the Foundation runs independently of Tezos founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman.

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Author: AnTy

SmartPy, Cryptonomic Devs Bring Chainlink Pricing Oracles to Tezos Blockchain

Blockchain based oracle, Chainlink partners with independent Tezos developers to bring decentralized data solutions to the decentralized staking platform.

In an official announcement, a pair of Tezos developers will be working with Chainlink to bring decentralized oracle solutions to the staking platform. Smart Chain Arena and Cryptonomic are part of the wider Tezos development community aiming to increase Tezos blockchain adoption. The partnership will allow SCA and Cryptonomic to receive live aggregated data feeds from multiple sources enabling the development of better platforms.

“Oracles are like a big onion … [T]he more you dig into them the more layers of problems you discover.” – Chainlink CEO on partnership with Tezos. “The depth of the problem initially isn’t obvious.”

Smart Chain Arena launched the SmartPy language which will provide the bridge –through smart contracts –to deploy Chainlink’s decentralized oracles. Cryptonomic stack will support deployment, indexing and querying.

Several blockchain platforms have turned to Chainlink to offer reliable data as the various external data sources are a barrier to development. Speaking on the integration of Chainlink’s oracles, Cryptonomic co-founder Vishakh said,

“We recommend Tezos developers use Chainlink when building smart contracts as Chainlink’s secure decentralized oracle network makes possible a plethora of new use cases across DeFi, Equities, Insurance, and much more.”

The partnership project will be fully funded by the Tezos Foundation through a grant in order to allow the quick completion of the project. The Foundation has been an important pillar in Tezos development offering universities and crypto developers several grants to improve the Tezos ecosystem.

Sergey believes Tezos will use the decentralized oracles in decentralized finance and insurance as its DeFi space grows. He further said,

“And having a good oracle mechanism is basically now a prerequisite for having a well-functioning DeFi application. And I think people are starting to realize that building oracle mechanisms is akin to building a blockchain.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

ACCA And Tezos Enter Into An MoU To Promote Blockchain In The Accounting Industry

The U.K based accounting standards club, the ACCA, is partnering with Tezos Southeast Asia (TSA) to introduce blockchain technology to the accounting field.

According to an official press release: the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding, enabling them to explore the place blockchain technology can inhabit in accounting.

ACCA Explores Blockchain with Tezos

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (“ACCA”) has now partnered with the Singapore-based blockchain firm TSA, which is a non-profit organization that promotes the development of solutions on Tezos blockchain.

Blockchain technology has the potential to transform the accounting field, as it provides an immutable ledger, enabling secure auditing and management processes to move along efficiently and easily.

The President of TSA, Caleb Kow, praised the partnership with ACCA, promising the two will work together to find solutions to problems facing the accounting sector. He said,

“We believe that by partnering with ACCA, there can be mutual understanding to find solutions that could help reduce pain points and benefit finance functions for practitioners within the accountancy sector.”

The report states that ACCA will contribute to the accounting standards part in the MoU, with TSA providing their blockchain expertise to improve the systems of accounting.

Notwithstanding, the two will co-create an educational and strategic planning platform to promote the adoption of blockchain tech in accounting. Caleb continued,

“The Tezos blockchain takes this further by future-proofing widespread adoption through its unique and proven self-amending feature that can embrace future standards to meet the ever-changing industry needs of tomorrow.”

The Head of ACCA in Singapore, Reuter Chua, expressed excitement at kicking-off the partnership with Tezos, and hopes to integrate the blockchain-based positives into accounting practices in the near future.

This is in a bid to “enhance members’ workflows and prepare them for the outside auditing industry.” He further says,

“The potential applications of blockchain technology in the accounting sector are extensive, ranging from better validation procedures in auditing to accelerating settlement times for transactions, and automating and streamlining compliance processes.”

Mixed Feelings for Blockchain in Accounting

A number of companies, including some of the big four of the accounting world, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and PwC, have come forward purporting a possible adoption of blockchain technologies.

However, in late 2019, the top international accounting firm, International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), categorically stated Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot be considered as legal tender.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Binance.US to Add Tezos (XTZ) Staking on April 16; No Action Needed To Start Earning

Binance.US, the US subsidiary of the Binance crypto exchange is all set to launch Tezos staking service on its platform from April 16. As per the official announcement, the Tezos staking services will be activated by 9.00 EST on Thursday.

Tezos staking has gained a lot of traction from around the globe in recent months and Binance being a leading exchange service provider had the Tezos staking facility on its global platform. The announcement also clarified that Tezos holders on the platform would not have to go through any complex procedures to start earning rewards. The exchange will be solely responsible for determining the rewards for Tezos holders.

Binance.US would take an hourly screenshot of Tezos holders on its platform to determine the reward for the customers. The process will be quite similar to other staking services available for different tokens on the platform. Binance would calculate the staking rewards on a daily basis, however, the allocation of rewards will be done on a monthly basis. At preset Binance.US support a couple of major Tezos trading pairs namely XTZ/USD and XTZ/BUSD, which are available on the Binance.US mobile application as well as website and API.

How Staking Services Help Customers Earn Reward

Binance as a global exchange offers a number of services, be it a fiat-crypto gateway to make trading easier or staking of various tokens without having to run a full node and earn a reward for staking those tokens. The global Binance platform introduced staking services on the platform towards the end of 2019, while its US counterpart introduced staking services in early 2020.

A users can avail the rewards by simply holding the available staking tokens in their exchange wallet for a certain period of time, the longer the staking time, bigger is the reward. Currently, there are two tokens available for staking, one being Algorand, and another being ATOM. With the Tezos listing on April 16th, the Binance.US would join the likes of Coinbase and Kraken who are offering Tezos Staking services.

Binance has become a giant crypto ecosystem in itself, right from having its own utility token BNB which was one of the best-performing assets in 2019 to have their own blockchain. The platform has also been on an accusation spree out of which CoinMarketCap is the latest one which created a lot of noise in the decentralized space on whether acquiring an independent crypto data monitoring services would be good for the crypto ecosystem. Recently, it was also revealed that Binance uses a significant portion of its profit for acquisition.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh