Binance to Supports Ontology Network 2.0 Upgrade Tomorrow; Swap NEP5 ONT Tokens Today

  • Binance is supporting the upcoming Ontology 2.0 network upgrade planned for Tuesday of this week.
  • The top crypto exchange stopped the deposits and withdrawals of ONT tokens on Monday, 9 AM GMT.
  • The ONT trading competition also came to a close with over $50,000 worth of ONT distributed.

In a press release on July 6, the Binance media team announced its support for the upcoming Ontology (ONT) major network upgrade slated for July 7, 2020. As such, deposits and withdrawals of ONT tokens on the exchange has been disabled from 9 AM GMT till the network upgrade is complete. The official statement reads:

“Binance will support the upcoming Ontology network upgrade. Deposits and withdrawals of ONT will be suspended starting from 2020/07/06 9:00 AM (UTC). Please note that the trading of ONT will not be affected during the upgrade.”

Ontology 2.0 upgrade will integrate new governance and staking protocol updates and further “lower the requirements for users to participate in Ontology governance.” The upgrade is expected to encourage several of its users to participate in staking and governance on the Ontology blockchain.

Users are not obligated to do anything during the upgrade with Binance handling the technical updates needed. Moreover, staking proceeds on the Ontology network, ONG rewards, will be active during the Ontology 2.0 network upgrade.

The Ontology network employs a dual system token using its native token – ONT – and Ontology Gas (ONG). ONT is a coin that can be used for staking in consensus, whereas ONG is a utility token used for on-chain services. ONT releases ONG periodically.

Binance also announced the completion of the ONT trading activity competition with over $50,000 worth of ONT rewards successfully deposited to winners accounts. Winners are alerted through email, and the records can be checked on the distribution page.

Developments on Ontology

Ontology’s partnership with Binance is stronger than ever with the exchange recently listing an ONT-backed token, ONT-33D, on Binance Chain. The token, which started trading on Binance’s decentralized exchange platform in April, is backed on a 1:1 ratio to ONT.

Ontology also announced a partnership with a decentralized oracle platform, Chainlink, at the end of June in a bid to boost the overall DApp development on the blockchain using data oracles from the former.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Kyber Network to Roll Out Katalyst Upgrade on July 7th; Launching KyberDAO & Liquidity for DeFi

Kyber, an on-chain liquidity protocol, has announced July 7 as the date for the launch of its Katalyst upgrade, which would bring some significant changes to the in-house token, to attract more consumers.

The announcement suggests that the upgrade aims at lowering the friction liquidity contributions along with DApp integration to the Kyber network and the introduction of rebates for the high-performing reserves.

Another major upgrade would be the launch of KyberDAO, which would be a community platform allowing KNC holders to participate in the essential on-chain governance process. KNC holders can participate in this process by staking their tokens, which will enable them to vote on significant protocol parameters and changes along with the KyberDAO proposal.

Loi Luu – CEO of Kyber Network – talked about the upcoming major upgrade and believed the update would prove pivotal in their effort to offer on-chain liquidity for taker and maker. He said:

“Katalyst will harmonize our efforts towards providing a single on-chain liquidity endpoint for all takers and makers, and establish a long term virtuous loop where the success of the DeFi space, growth of the Kyber ecosystem, and value creation for KNC holders go hand in hand.

The Katalyst upgrade and KyberDAO support three key groups of Kyber stakeholders: reserves who provide liquidity to Kyber, DApps who connect takers to the Kyber protocol, and KNC holders who form the heart of the network.”

Luu further commented on the plans for the network, and how it aims to bring in more options for KNC token holders that can do more by staking their tokens. These plans also include integration to new wallets, which allow easy access to Kyber.org and its dapp ecosystem. The firm also plans to add more third-party staking options.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Bitcoin Core Upgrades to Version 0.20.0; 117 Devs Contributed to the Protocol Changes

The latest Bitcoin core upgrade, 0.20.0, has been released marking the 28th one since the first protocol was rolled out by Satoshi. In the new upgrade, a number of features were removed while others were added in a bid to fix underlying bugs and improve the performance of Bitcoin’s ecosystem. A blog update by Bitcoin Core reads that the release,

“includes new features, various bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as updated translations.”

Tweeting on June 3, the Bitcoin Core team said that this new upgrade is now available for download on its website.

Source; Twitter

According to Jameson Lopp, a BTC veteran, this milestone is a result of a combined effort by 117 people over a period of 6 months. Notably, the contributing number of developers was 102 higher than in the previous upgrade, 0.19.1.

Bitcoin Core 0.20.0 Updates

The new update for Bitcoin’s protocol sets out to make the nodes more stable and efficient. As a result, the developers came up with Autonomous System Numbers to serve as a new configuration in Bitcoin’s IP mapping. While it does guarantee full efficiency in node connectivity, the 117-developer team is optimistic of more responsive BTC nodes going forward.

Another major change is the removal Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 61 which had been deployed under the 0.19.0 update. This feature would allow BTC node operators to broadcast ‘reject messages’ to other network participants in the case where a block or transaction is rejected. Ideally, this should help sort out throughput challenges faster but it appears it did not work as expected. Marco Falke, a Bitcoin Core contributor highlighted that,

“[n]odes on the network can not generally be trusted to send valid (“reject”) messages, so this should only ever be used when connected to a trusted node.”

Bitcoin’s open software library, OpenSSL has also been removed in the new core upgrade. London Bitcoin Devs, Michael Folkson, who contributed ‘a little’ in this upgrade has echoed that the OpenSSL was a source of bugs. In fact, this feature began being phased out as early as 0.12.0 with BTC developers favoring secp256k. According to Folkson, the complete elimination of OpenSSL in the 0.20.0 upgrade offers more security and “reduces attack surfaces”.

It is quite noteworthy that there are more underlying changes other than the ones highlighted. Folkson emphasized that,

“more significant things happening below the surface that users won’t see.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Steem is ‘Overly Centralized’ Says CZ While Announcing Support for the Controversial Hard Fork

The leading spot exchange Binance has received a request to upgrade the STEEM network to version 0.23.

This controversial hard fork earlier this week aimed to freeze 23.6 million STEEM tokens worth $5 million of 65 accounts and reduce the un-staking time to 4 weeks from 13 weeks.

In an attempt to prevent the takeover of these funds, they were sent to crypto exchange Bittrex but as we reported the exchange has decided to not turn over these funds to their owners as they would be following the “consensus of the blockchain.”

Now, Binance has also agreed to support the upgrade and allow the users the “freedom to use their STEEM tokens as they see fit.”

“We don’t want to support this upgrade. But there is a flip side. If we don’t support it (technically), no users can withdraw any STEEM coins. The wallet stopped syncing at a certain height, and there are no other forks,” said Binance co-founder and CEO Chagpeng Zhao.

Over the next two months, the exchange will further reduce support for STEEM by cutting down its trading pairs to just one from the current 3 pairs.

CZ also advised one of the victims who reportedly lost $1 million due to this fork to “create a fork of STEEM just before the hard fork, and we will likely support that.”

As CZ himself wondered, “Thought you would have sold those for HIVE long ago,” the Twitter user They Call Me Dan shared it was because he “fought in the voting war and kept my steem powered up until Hive was born.”

He powered down his Steem but as it takes 13 weeks to fully unstake Steem, which has now been reduced to just 4 weeks, they remained stuck on the Steem network.

Earlier this month, when Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun had a hostile takeover of the Steem, which he acquired late last year was with the help of Binance, Huobi, and Poloniex, a crypto exchange also acquired by Sun last year.

Later on, Binance and Huobi retracted their influence, which they gained through the tokens staked on the exchange.

Although this time there is no “power-up and voting” involved, this one is tricky, because this upgrade turns the asset balances on a few addresses into zero of which Binance is against, explained CZ.

“The fact that this can happen on a blockchain means it is overly centralized,” he said. And in that case, “fork away from it.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Classic’s ‘Phoenix’ Hard Fork In June Will Bring Compatibility With Ethereum

Ethereum Classic set to undergo its third network upgrade in efforts to fully allow inter-blockchain compatibility with its sister-chain, Ethereum. According to the press release by lead developers, ETC Labs, the “Phoenix” upgrade will be activated at block number 10, 500, 839, expected to be mined around the start of next month.

The Ethereum community has had a quick and fast development start in 2020 with both forks – ETC and ETH – making major developmental steps in the first five months. The bigger blockchain, Ethereum completed its Istanbul hard fork earlier in the year and the community dev teams are working on launching the Phase 0 Ethereum 2.0 later in the year.

ETC Labs announces the third hard fork – Phoenix

Ethereum Classic’s third hard fork, Phoenix, follows previous improvements with the successful Atlantis and Agharta hard forks completed in September 2019 and January 2020. The hard fork aims at total inter-blockchain compatibility with Ethereum, “inclusive of the Ethereum Istanbul network protocol upgrades on the ETC network.”

Various Ethereum Classic test nets have successfully passed the Phoenix upgrade including the Mordor TestNet and Kotti TestNet. Now, the Ethereum Classic Mainnet system, led by the Core developers from ETC Labs, will undergo the hard fork on July, 3rd 2020 to successfully implement compatibility between the ETH and ETC blockchains.

Ethereum Classic’s latest upgrade is a testament to the recovery in Ethereum Classic, a blockchain once considered dead after the Ethereum chain forked from it. Terry Culver, CEO of ETC Labs said,

“This upgrade demonstrates the robust development underway on Ethereum Classic, as it is the third hard fork in the last year; and reflects the strong community consensus among ETC stakeholders.”

Upgrade your node clients

The post further urges users to update their systems to the latest node software to ensure a smooth and fast hard fork come June 3rd. The post reads,

“Phoenix hard fork is being implemented in the Core-geth, v1.11.0 or later and Hyperledger Besu, v1.4.1 or later versions.”

The new upgrade is set to provide a gateway for developers to easily collaborate make technical contributions to boost the innovation on both the Ethereum and Ethereum Classic platforms. James Wo, the founder and chairman of ETC Labs, said,

“This supports the founding mission of ETC Labs and reinforces our values of transparency, collaboration and accessibility for all.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Litecoin Core Major Release Builds ‘Functional Testing Framework’ for Privacy & Fungibility

Litecoin has released the latest version of Litecoin Core 0.18.1 and is recommended for everyone to upgrade which comes with new features, performance improvements, and various bug fixes.

This new major version release is supported on the Linux kernel, macOS 10.10+, and Windows 7 and newer. It should also work on most other Unix-like systems but is not as frequently tested on them.

In order to upgrade, you need to shut down the older version. Once it is completely shut down, you have to run the installer on Windows or copy /Applications/Litecoin-Qt on Mac or litecoind/litecoin-qt on Linux.

The issue in this version is with Wallet GUI as such is recommended not to use coin control features with multiple wallets loaded.

As for the notable changes, there have been new RPCs, configuration option changes, and when called to getblocktemplate, it will fail if segwit rule is not specified in relation to mining.

Also, when creating a fee above the default 0.1 LTC, as the feeRate argument is specified in LTC per kilobyte, not litoshi per byte, instead of rounding down the fee, the RPC commands, walletcreatefundedpsbt and fundrawtransaction will now fail.

Furthermore, in about next year, starting with Litecoin Core 0.20, Litecoin Core will default to native segwit addresses (bech32) to provide additional fee savings. If they see enough additional adoption, they will instead default to bech32 receiving addresses in Litecoin Core 0.20.

Mimblewimble Implementation Update

On May 1st, David Burkett, Grin++, and Litecoin developer posted April progress update on the Mimblewimble integration of Litecoin, claiming that a “functional testing framework” has been built.

Burkett has started integrating with the Litecoin codebase, which began with ConnectBlock logic that validates blocks before adding them to the chain, and has mostly completed end-to-end block validation tests.

Back in March, Burkett had predicted that the Mimblewimble would be running on the Litecoin testnet by the end of this summer.

As for Grin++, they have prepared to have the first non-beta version of Grin++.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Upgrades Wallet App to Simplify Crypto Transactions In A Bid to Boost Adoption

Coinbase exchange has announced an upgrade of its digital wallet in a bid to make crypto transactions much easier. According to a blog post on April 8, the firm intends to create an ecosystem where sending or receiving digital currencies will be initiated with only a few taps. This will be facilitated in over 100 countries supported by Coinbase as well as transfers to other crypto wallets.

The new changes were made on the platform’s interface and are set to improve three major front-end functions within Coinbase. They include discoverability, execution, and confidence while leveraging Coinbase for its crypto trading services.

With the new upgrade, Coinbase users can initiate a crypto transaction through the action button as long as they are operating anywhere on the app. The update will further facilitate quick and simple currency swaps giving an opportunity for new users to intuitively navigate the Coinbase ecosystem. Finally, the exchange cleaned up its visual design; this will allow more transparency and build confidence as users will better understand the underlying of their crypto transactions.

Following this milestone, Coinbase is optimistic that it will enhance its service delivery to realize an open financial ecosystem as envisioned. The blog reads,

“Along with helping you manage your crypto and earn rewards, we believe sending and receiving will be a critical element of the open financial system.

We are excited to make this service accessible to more customers on Coinbase.”

Coinbase’s Recent Changes

This exchange has made a number of fundamental developments since the year began. Last month, Coinbase updated its address features to accommodate simple usernames such as @BEG instead of the normal complex string of characters.

Coinbase also introduced Bitcoin batching to free up space within its network and save on operational costs. This move was however criticized by some crypto stakeholders who noted that the exchange was late to game given its peers had integrated this feature two years earlier.

Another notable milestone is Coinbase Pro which was launched on android for advanced and pro traders. The San Francisco based crypto exchange is currently among the leading platforms in daily volumes traded globally.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Apple’s New Intelligent Prevention Tracking (ITP) on iOS Threatens Burner Wallets Existence

  • Apple’s recent upgrade on the Safari WebKit might soon phase out the convenience of burner wallets within the cryptocurrency space for its users.
  • These changes come as the phone maker moves to protect users’ data amid the rising privacy concerns in today’s existing connected ecosystems.
  • Burner wallets have since been identified as possible collateral damages given the new Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) by iOS.

This digital currency storage platforms currently run as nun-custodial accounts; basically, they leverage local browsers to store the private keys of crypto owners. The operation of burner wallets in iOS is now set to change as per a recent blog by David Mihal. According to the publication, Apple will reduce its client-side cookies expiry period to 7 days in a bid to curb 3rd party tracking.

“The seven-day cap on script-writable storage is gated on ‘after seven days of Safari use without user interaction on the site.”

Source: David Mihal

Based on this development, burner wallets will primarily serve as short-term storage within the iOS browser. Ideally, crypto holders leveraging the Safari platform for burner wallets will be safer backing up their private keys.

They can, however, avoid this hustle if they regularly use the burner wallets more often as the expiry periods will unlikely be met. Furthermore, they could add the burner wallet web applications to their home screens which have more counter days of use compared to pages on the Safari browser.

“Web applications added to the home screen are not part of Safari and thus have their own counter of days of use”

Unfortunately, this approach may not be as easy as it sounds since users must add the websites to home screens from their end. The blog notes that future burner wallets may have to prompt users to integrate the application on a home screen in order to guarantee funds security.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

IOHK Reboots Byron Codebase, A Big Step Towards Cardano’s Shelley Blockchain Upgrade

IOHK Team has released a statement that the Byron upgrade is now complete. As per a press release, the upgrade will allow a seamless changeover to the Shelley mainnet. The upgrade will now make Cardano (ADA) be fully decentralized.

The new Byron upgrade or reboot that is set to be rolled on Mar. 31, 2020. This is the most significant software upgrade on Cardano since it was launched back in 2017.

IOHK Team explained that the new release means the entire design of all elements within the Cardano (ADA) blockchain. The upgrade will enhance various elements such as the Cardano’s node performance, the wallet backend, the Cardano wallet as well as Daedalus wallet itself.

The team stated that one of the most significant aspects that come with the Byron reboot is the reorganization of all the logics of the interaction among the blockchain components. The fresh release will make the codebase modular, which will separate the ledger, components of the network node as well as consensus. As a result, this will allow “any one of them to be changed, tweaked, and upgraded without affecting the others.”

The new release means that Cardano (ADA) network is increasingly moving just inches to the launching of the Shelley mainnet. The upgraded Byron network, the system will now have the capacity to support every Shelley feature in addition to various future developments.

The fresh node update is set to be launched to more cores as well as relay nodes on top of the Cardano mainnet for the coming few weeks. This will be followed by more reboot improvements as well as a Daedalus beta in the future.

[Also Read: IOHK Releases Ouroboros Hydra Protocol to Improve Micropayments on Cardano Network]

IOHK CEO, Charles Hoskinson, explained that the release of an upgraded Byron will enhance the overall performance of the Cardano network. He also explained that the upgrade will also improve the transaction throughput capacity. The network is also going to handle an increased demand as well as more transactions every second.

Hoskinson also expounded that the new codebase will allow the Cardano system to be operated using less costly computational equipment that has a weak internet connection. Hoskinson also said,

“I am extremely proud of the IOHK developer team’s endeavours to rewrite the Byron era node from the ground up. Their work represents a significant investment in the network-critical infrastructure required to support the Shelley era of Cardano as we move forward on our mission to build a global-scale financial and social operating system.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitcoin Cash Dev Proposes ‘BCH Node’ To Avoid An Unwanted Chain Split, Roger Ver On Board

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) client upgrade scheduled for May, 2020 has raised heated arguments on some of its aspects. However, one BTC developer on Github by the name ‘ftrader’ is creating an alternative for the ‘disputed’ Bitcoin ABC v0.21.0 client.

According to ftrader’s post on reddit, the proposed version is unfit for upholding blockchain integrity. The developer defended this position by noting a chain split possibility in the near future due to lack of an activation method and consensus.

Bitcoin Cash Node (BCH Node)

In a bid to prevent the underlying risks, a group of BCH developers have come up with ‘BCH Node’ as a substitute to Bitcoin ABC v0.21.0. Basically, the former is a minimally altered version of the latter. The BCH Node as a modified client version will exclude a diversion code, signal and activation prompts for Coinbase rewards.

Current Bitcoin Cash ABC users will receive the proposed alternative as a ‘drop in’ replacing their old ecosystem. Notably, Roger Ver supports this version; the strong BCH advocate commented under ftrader’s post; “Looks like we now have the right software to run for the May 15th upgrade”

In addition, significant players in past BTC forks are set to contribute in the development of BCH Node. Some of the participating developers have featured in Bitcoin Cash ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin XT forks.

A Proposed Developer Tax on Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash in its proposal has suggested a developer tax in the new client upgrade; this is meant to contribute towards growing the platform’s infrastructure. The proposal was however met with a resistance forcing BCH to review the tax from an initial 12.5% to 5%.

BCH came out to clear the air highlighting that they need to keep innovating within the Bitcoin Cash platform or face the risk of going down. It is still unclear what will be of the new BCH client version but some skeptics are of the opinion that this is an avenue to mint more coins.

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Author: Edwin Munyui