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

Weiss Ratings Upgrades Bitcoin to A- “Excellent” & Predicts 2020 High Above $13,900

  • Bitcoin rating upgrade the result of positive price action and improved fundamentals
  • Weiss Rating expects BTC to surpass 2019 high, “confirming the new BTC bull market that began in December of 2018”

Bitcoin has gotten a rating upgrade from Weiss Ratings, an “independent” rating provider of cryptocurrencies, stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and financial institutions.

The overall rating of the world’s leading cryptocurrency has now improved to A- which is “excellent.” This upgrade has been the result of positive price action as BTC moves from $3,200 on Dec. 2018 to the current $9,800. Also, the improved fundamentals in the form of increasing active addresses, transaction value, and transaction count.

While the technology and adoption of the cryptocurrency get an A “excellent” from Weiss Ratings, market performance grade is a B- because of the risk involved.

Listed on 126 exchanges, there are 7,359 trading pairs available in the market of BTC with other cryptos and fiat currencies. BTC/USDT is the top pair that accounts for 47.9% of the trading pair share.

BTC to surpass 2019 high & confirm the new BTC bull market

Bitcoin’s price has been trending up since bottoming out in December 2018 at $3,200. In 2019, Bitcoin surged over 85% and made a yearly high at $13,900.

In 2020, BTC/USD is up 33.50%. Weiss Rating, however, expects BTC to surpass 2019 high, “confirming the new BTC bull market that began in December of 2018.”

Towards the end of last month, Bitcoin made a long term trend reversal by breaking above 200 day moving average. Historically, this means, Bitcoin would see an average of 200% returns in the following six months.

So a new two-year could be very well expected, it is also possible Bitcoin will finally break into a new all-time high, $20,000 this year.

But Correction before $15,000?

The upcoming halving event is also expected by some to give a boost to price as Jehan Chu, co-founder of blockchain-focused venture firm Kenetic Capital, told CNBC that “BTC is poised for a breakout run to $15,000 by mid-2020.”

“The bitcoin halvening as well as the recent surge fueled by pandemic fears and public market jitters is yet another reminder that bitcoin is much less risky and offers potentially outsized returns.”

However, according to Weiss Ratings, we would first see a correction before moving onto hitting those highs.

“First, don’t be surprised if BTC suffers a short-term correction,” said Weiss Ratings.

In the long-term get ready for $8 Trillion Market Cap

Meanwhile, Andy Edstrom of investment advisory firm WESCAP Group says over the next ten years a number of factors may boost BTC price to take it to $8 trillion market cap.

“When I set the upside case from an investment point of view, I take a 10-year view. And I think the total valuation on 10 years that I use is about $8 trillion and that comes from various buckets,”

that includes share from gold, or fiat, offshore assets, other stores of value like real estate, micropayments, Lightning, Abra, or new uses that are either under construction or not thought of yet.

Moreover, Fidelity and New York Stock Exchange’s parent company ICE entering the market through Bakkt he said is the real deal.

Also, when Bitcoin takes out the previous peak and we’re back above $20k, “that’s going to be a catalyst that some people who aren’t paying attention now will pay attention to.”

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Author: AnTy

IOTA’s Chrysalis Upgrade To Increase The Usability Of The Blockchain Prior To Coordicide

  • IOTA Foundation launched the Chrysalis upgrade on Monday, Feb 3, 2020.
  • Chrysalis, a series of upgrades on IOTA bridging the blockchain to Coordicide, features a number of updates.
  • IOTA co-founder, Dominik Schiener, expects the full upgrades to be complete by Q2 2020.

In what has been a successful week for the IOTA community so far, the launch of Chrysalis updates (also known as IOTA 1.5), is bringing hope of mass adoption of the blockchain in the coming years. In an interview with CT, Dominik explained the aim and goals Chrysalis is trying to improve on the IOTA blockchain. He expects a number of major changes in the technical aspects and minor changes on security and management protocols. He said,

“Some of the changes are more radical, but they pose great opportunity for IOTA as they have been consistently requested from our community and corporate partners.”

Features upgraded by the Chrysalis update

Some of the features set to be introduced with the Chrysalis update include introducing issuance of tokens on IOTA, a new cryptographic signature that will enable holders to re-use their addresses and new transaction recording for the future.

A. IOTA 1.5, issuance platform

Ethereum (ETH) has for a long time been regarded as the ICO platform, which provides a platform for blockchain projects to issue their crypto tokens. According to Schiener, IOTA holds similar capabilities of leading the field in issuance of tokens with the improvement in the Unspent Transaction model (UXTO) and atomic transactions on the blockchain. Dominik explained,

“UTXO allows for a safer, faster and clearer representation of a ledger. By combining UTXO with Atomic Transactions we will also get rid of bundle constructs, which in turn makes the development of core software much easier (and safer) and significantly increases the performance of IOTA. The biggest advantage of UTXO is an obvious one: colored coins.”

B. New cryptographic signature

The Chrysalis update will also implement new cryptographic signature scheme labelled “Ed25519” that aims to keep the same wallet address in transactions. This new signature will reduce the block space used and increase the rates of transactions per second.

C. The trytes degrade

Most of the computers today store info in bytes, or use the binary system, but as the name above suggests, IOTA had placed its systems in a trytes scheme that uses base-3 algorithms. However, the technology is way ahead of its time and the new Chrysalis update will degrade the system back to the binary system with an aim to boost adoption at the moment.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum Classic Agharta Hard Fork Rolls Out In 36 Hours, Only 50% of ETC Nodes Ready

The Agharta upgrade is slated for the Ethereum Classic (ETC) protocol, but it will not divide the chain or produce a new cryptocurrency. Agharta is only a standard upgrade for the ETC protocol, so all software will need to be updated by all node operators on or before January 12th, as it will no longer work after the upgrade.

ETC to Add ETH Constantinople Operating Codes

The network upgrade will be adding Ethereum (ETH) Constantinople fork’s operating code, CREATE2. CREATE2 allows the implementation of EIPs (145, 1014, 1052) to the ETC network that wasn’t possible to be used previously.

However, looking at ETCNodes, 50% of the nodes have updated yet. Node operators must upgrade in order to stay in consensus. As there are still an estimated 36 hours to go, operators still have time. The ETC Cooperative recommends using Hyperledger Besu installer.

Exchanges Are Already Showing Support For Agharta

As far as exchanges go, Coinbase, KuCoin, Huobi, and Bitflyer have announced they’re ready to support the Agharta update, with Binance announcing today that:

“Binance will support the upcoming ETC Agharta Network Upgrade. Deposits and withdrawals of ETC will be suspended starting from 2020/01/11 0:00 AM (UTC). Please note that trading of ETC will not be affected during the upgrade.”

Others that joined them were Bittrex, HitBTC, Bitfinex, and Bibox.

ETC Will Remain True to the PoW Consensus Protocol

James Wo, the founder of ETC Labs said ETC will remain true to the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus protocol and doesn’t have any plans to go Proof-of-Stake (PoS) like Ethereum (ETH) 2.0. According to Wo, PoW guarantees a 100% decentralized blockchain, as opposed to PoS, which renders the blockchain in a more centralized manner.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Ethereum’s Muir Glacier Upgrade Happening on Jan. 1, 2020

  • Starting 2020 with a bang with the scheduled upgrade at block number 9,200,000
  • The upgrade includes only one EIP 2384 – the difficulty bomb delay
  • Nodes to upgrade before Dec. 30

Ethereum is ready to start 2020 with a bang as the team announced the scheduled upgrade at block number 9,200,000. It is currently predicted to occur on Wednesday 1, 2020.

Ethereum network nodes are meanwhile asked to upgrade before, Dec. 30, 2019 to account for the variable block times.

Exchanges, web wallet service, mobile wallet services or hardware wallets aren’t required to do anything. But the node operators and miners need to download the latest version of Ethereum client, Latest geth client (v1.9.9), Latest Parity client (v2.5.12-stable), Latest Besu client (v1.3.7), Latest Nethermind client (v1.2.6), Latest ethereumJS client (v4.1.2), and Latest Aleth Client (v1.8.0).

After Istanbul, Constantinople, and Spurious Dragon, this new upgrade is called Muir Glacier.

Just this month, Istanbul upgrade occurred and now within a month another one. Reportedly, the bomb was estimated to be unnoticeable until mid-2020 but it turned out to be wrong.

This upgrade has only one Ethereum Investment proposal (EIP) 2384, which is the difficulty bomb delay.

This will delay the difficulty bomb for another 4,000,000 block or about 611 days, which is the same approach like the one taken in the past.

There have been discussions about removing the difficulty bomb altogether from the network but due to a short frame of time, the core developers decided to move forward with this change.

As for the difficulty bomb, it is one piece of the difficulty retargeting mechanisms built into Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work algorithm. This mechanism maintains an average block time by manipulating mining difficulty required to mine a new block. If a block is too long or too short, it increases the difficulty accordingly.

The difficulty bomb itself separately adds to the difficulty and every 100,000 block the value of how much it adds is increased as well. But the amount is so small, it doesn’t have any visible effect and because it is increasing very slowly it is known as “Ice Age”. But over time, “this will start making the chain bloated and more costly to use.”

Muir Glacier upgrade will be activated only on the Ropsten network and will be deployed on the testent and mainnet both on the same day.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Ethereum Booming in Preparation for Istanbul Network Upgrade

There is now just a day left before Ethereum goes through the Istanbul network upgrade. Scheduled for Saturday, December 7, this upgrade will occur at block number 9,069,000.

After Byzantium and Constantinople, Istanbul is yet another long-awaited upgrade which is part of the Ethereum network’s move from proof-of-work (PoW) to Proof-of-stake (PoS). This would be the final hard fork before Ethereum moves to Casper.

Upcoming Improvements

The latest Istanbul update involves a total of six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). One of the EIP 152 implements the compression function to allow interoperability between the EVM and Zcash.

EIP 1108 will re-price the precompiles that would “greatly assist” with the privacy and scaling solutions on Ethereum. EIP 2200 is net gas metering changes for SSTORE opcode, reducing excessive gas costs, and enabling new usages for contract storage.

Due to the growth of the Ethereum state, certain opcodes have become more resource-intensive than they were previously as such EIP 1884 will raise the gas codes for those opcodes.

EIP 2028 is another one that will reduce the gas cost of Calldata from the current value of 68 gas per byte to 16 gas per byte. The reason behind this is

“higher bandwidth of Calldata improves scalability, as more data can fit within a single block.”

To take advantage of this lower gas fees, IDEX, a decentralized exchange (DEX) for ERC20 tokens is launching a new DEX on top of Rollup technology. Rollup is a layer two scalability protocol that has been made possible by this latest hard fork only.

The reduced gas fee has the Rollup-based smart contracts become a suitable scalability tool. This could help reduce gas on the new platform by as much as 90%, according to IDEX CTO Jason Ahmad.

The Growing Addresses

Before the Istanbul network upgrade is finally implemented, EtherScan announced the release of Beacon Chain 2.0 Testnet explorer.

Also, those running the nodes are required to upgrade to the latest version of Parity Ethereum, v2.5.11-stable and v2.6.6-beta, to make sure you are Istanbul ready.

Just before Istanbul, the new wallets on Ethereum shot up by 38,164 in just 24 hours. Just a couple days before on Dec. 2, 70,000 new addresses were also created.

The growing numbers on Ethereum Network are the result of the growth seen by DeFi (decentralized finance) that has about $450 million tied up in DeFi applications.

Ethereum price meanwhile is trading at $147, down 5% in the past 7-days, as per Coincodex.

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Author: AnTy

Dash Explorer To Get Fresh ‘Insight’ Update On Jan 7th; API Users Will Have 3 Months To Changeover

  • Users of the interface will need to upgrade to the Insight API to prevent incompatibility.
  • Dash has been delisted from OKEx Korea and UpBit, due to compliance concerns.

The current Dash Explorer program is already based on the Abe API, but marketing manager of Dash Michael Seitz believes that this interface is “outdated” and that it offers “limited functionality.” To improve the system, Seitz published a blog post on December 4th to explain the “new and improved API” that the Dash Explorer will upgrade into – Insight.

The open-source Dash blockchain explorer will be ideal for apps that require more advanced blockchain queries, like web wallets, according to an article by CoinTelegraph. Users will easily be able to build their own services from the Dash network, due to the newly convenient way of reading data on it.

Furthermore, every user will be impacted by the upcoming update, since there will be differences between the current software and Insight. To prevent incompatibility issues, users need upgrade to the Insight API when the time comes.

At the end of October 2019, Dash Latam announced the end of their operation in eight countries, as well as 20 cities. The organization, which previously pushed for Dash adoption in Latin America, had formerly been available in Tobago, Colombia, Trinidad, Venezuela, Peru, Spain, Ecuador, Brazil, and Guatemala.

George Donnelly, the executive director of the organization, had previously stated that Dash Latam was left without funding, forcing the layoff of about 80 employees as operations shut down.

In the same month, OKEx Korea announced that they would no longer support Dash trading on their cryptocurrency exchange, along with other assets, due to regulatory issues.

The exchange had received recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force, pushing OKEx Korea to stop and review the “Travel Rules” and Dash’s compliance with them.

Dash was already delisted by UpBit, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume to operate in South Korea. The delisting, which happened in September, cited money laundering concerns as the reason for withdrawing support for Dash, as well as the possibility of “inflow from external networks.”

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Author: Krystle M

Binance ‘Heisenberg’ Mainnet Hardfork Activation Scheduled for November 28, 2019

The Binance hardfork upgrade is scheduled for the 28th of November following the successful Heisenberg testnet. Validators within the Binance ecosystem have agreed on block height 51,467,800 as the perfect time to execute this milestone.

Binance through its official blog noted that once the hardfork is complete full node facilitators and validators will have to upgrade their software to v 0.6.3. This will however not be necessary for the Binance exchange and BNB token users according to the blog;

“If you use any exchanges which support BNB [such as Binance.com, BitMax or Gate.io], one of the wallets, or a hardware wallet [such as Ledger, Cool Wallet], you do not need to do anything unless your exchange or wallet service specifies otherwise. There are no changes to Binance DEX matching engine logic.”

Binance Hardfork Upgrade Features

The new upgrade will increase the scope of Business that Binance chain can handle through blockchain logic. In addition, the performance for addresses within Binance’s ecosystem will be enhanced to deliver as per the current market standards. Binance is also looking to gain on Lot-size enhancements with the new upgrade; BNB tokens will be used for this calculation. Finally, the new Binance chain will allow for both quote asset and base asset owners to list transactions within its network.

Earlier on, Binance had published a report that detailed this update and a couple of other WIP’s. The Decentralized Exchange project also highlighted that they had approved over 10 proposals to commence operations within its DEX with 2 more in the pipeline.

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Author: Lujan Odera

New York’s NYDFS to Hire a New Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has recently decided to upgrade its crypto-focused staff with a new hire. A new job advert posted online this week shows that the organization is now looking for a new Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency.

This new employee will have the task of creating and maintaining the compliance rules for digital currencies in the state of New York. Not an easy task considering that this the more strict region of the U. S. when it comes to cryptos.

Also, the person will work together with a special unit that works in crypto and blockchain cases, known as the Division of Research and Innovation, which was recently created.

Why is the company doing this? Possibly to be more efficient in the distribution of its famous BitLicense. The infamous license requires companies to operate under very strict regulatory standards if they want to have access to these markets. In almost five years since its creation, only 20 companies received the BitLicense.

All candidates that apply for this job have to understand the blockchain very well and have some experience in the crypto market or another relevant capital market. An MBA or Law degree is also required. Applications are open right now and will conclude on October 31.

At the moment, the special crypto division of the NYDFS has only four people in it. Two of them are superintendents, Olivia Bumgardner and Matthew Siegel. The division answer to a state legislative body known as the Digital Currency Taskforce.

The goal is to hire specialized personnel so that the regulators can be able to protect the financial stability of the state while letting the most innovative companies enter the market.

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Author: James W

Ethereum Classic (ETC) System-Wide Atlantis Hard Fork A Success; Improving Stability And Performance

Ethereum Classic has effectively completed a system-wide upgrade of its software in an effort to enhance its interoperability with Ethereum, the blockchain platform from which it split from back in 2016.

The upgrade referred to as ‘Atlantis’ hard fork means that all the platform users will have to upgrade their customers so as to remain within the rules and guidelines of the network. According to a press release by the Ethereum Classic Labs, the startup behind the Ethereum Classic, there were 10 Ethereum improvement Proposals (EIPs) which were all taken care of by the Atlantis hard fork to enhance stability, performance, update opcodes, precompiled contracts, zk-SNARKs as well as enhance security, CoinDesk reports.

Afri Schoedon, the coordinator of hard fork congratulated everyone who was involved in the upgrade while the director in charge of developer relations, Yaz Khoury explained that the fork brought about long-lasting debates before consensus was reached saying that it was all worth for a strong network.

The Atlantis hard fork was slated to be executed before the end of summer but disagreements especially on EIP 170 led to postponement.

The hard fork was coordinated by ETC Labs in conjunction with community members such as Chainsafe System as well as ETC Cooperative. This means that there was no single actor that coordinated the hard fork.

CoinDesk reports that At the start of this week, about 60 percent of the nodes as well as approximately 75% of the hashing power had authenticated the upgrade. Various renowned crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, Poloniex, Shapeshift as well as OKEx have indicated to ETC Labs they have updated their platforms in support of Atlantis.

According to ETC Lab’s head Terry Culver, the aim of Atlantis is to work closely with Ethereum saying that most of the EIPs added to Atlantis have been running on Ethereum for a while and this will make it easy for a crossover between the two platforms, moreso for dapps. Culver added that the hard fork was necessary to ensure the two platforms support each other.

Ethereum Classic originated in 2016 as an Ethereum hard fork after the DAO saga which was a hacked funding scheme which led to confusion in the crypto industry.

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Author: Joseph Kibe