Supply Chain Protocol VeChain Seeks Consensus to Enforce Major Upgrade

Vechain (VET) Launches Voting Process for VeChainThor Proof of Authority 2.0 Upgrade

Blockchain-powered supply chain platform VeChain is looking to implement ‘mass adoption’ of its blockchain solution. In a recent release, the protocol called on community members to vote on adopting a new consensus algorithm.

PoA 2.0 Best Of Both Worlds

VeChain set out to address the issues in the supply chain industry, and to a large extent, it has been successful. However, the protocol seeks more adoption and is planning on launching its upgraded blockchain protocol.

A blog post reported that this new upgrade would be the best of both worlds, combining the prestigious Nakamoto mining algorithm with the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism.

This is expected to form a new proof-of-authority (PoA) consensus algorithm, PoA2.0, which will enable higher throughput and high scalability while ensuring no data loss and a secure platform.

The upgrade called SURFACE is geared towards enabling more institutional adoption of the VeChainThor blockchain. SURFACE, which stands for a Secure, Use-case-adaptive, Relatively Fork-free Approach of Chain Extension, will comprise three major components. This includes a VRF-based source of randomness, a committee-based block-producing process, and a passive block finality confirmation process.

So far, the VeChain Foundation has been able to implement the first part of its VIP-193 upgrade. Also known as the VRF-based source of randomness. It balances the unpredictability and unbiasedness of the block-proposing schedule while allowing for the highest level of data security. This component is expected to make it impossible for anyone to predict and subsequently doctor the block proposers ahead of time.

The two remaining components are currently up for votes, with the VeChain Foundation requiring all stakeholders to either accept or reject the new upgrade.

The voting is expected to last for a week and commenced on October 11, continuing to October 18.

VeChain Closes Deal With Blue Aqua

The new upgrade will take into account three sets of key stakeholders. This will be the Authority Masternodes with 40% voting authority, Economic X nodes with 40% voting authority, and the Economic nodes making up the remaining 20% voting authority.

Stakeholders will be required to cast their vote to adopt the PoA 2.0 Phase 1 upgrade of the VRF-based source of randomness on the VeChain Thor Mainnet or choose to discard the upgrade.

However, the news has not positively impacted VeChain’s price, with the digital asset largely trading in the red.

Trading currently at $0.10518, VET is down 5.94% on the daily chart, with the market valuation dipping 5.85% as well.

VeChain recently partnered with Singapore-based aquaculture service provider Blue Aqua to adopt blockchain traceability in the shrimp farming industry. This will see the urban farming company integrate with VeChain’s ToolChain for implementing a traceability system for seafood source, quality, and sustainability of their farming operations.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Uniswap’s Latest Proposal Calls for Funding an Organization for Regulatory Defense of DeFi

Leading centralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap is currently running a voting process on its latest proposal that wants to know if the UNI governance should allocate 1-1.5 million UNI, worth $26 million – $40 million at the current price, to fund a policy operation to defend the protocol and DeFi from legal and regulatory threats.

As of writing, 68.69% of votes are in favor of the proposal, but there are still three days left in the voting process.

According to the proposal called Funding a Political Defense of DeFi, the idea is to create and fund a community-overseen organization that would finance existing and new political groups engaged in crypto policy/lobbying.

Given that governments are weighing how to regulate decentralized finance, “we need to defend the ecosystem and decentralized ideals,” it suggests.

The goal will be to educate policymakers to preempt regulatory, legal, political, and tax threats to DeFi, achieving regulatory clarity, advancing laws to support the space, and spurring other DeFi protocols’ governance communities to contribute to the effort.

The need for such an organization is urgent because governments around the world are rushing to regulate the projects without being properly educated on their benefits.

“Currently, DeFi is not at the table—but on the menu,” it warns.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

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.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

‘Ops’ Curve Finance ‘Overreacted’ & Seized Nearly 80% Voting Power for First Proposal

Curve Finance, the decentralized exchange liquidity pool on Ethereum, is currently voting for its very first proposal. As per this proposal, the project is looking to introduce a new Compound COMP-enabled pool to Curve Finance with DAI and USDC. It also proposes to boost incentives for liquidity providers of COMP.

Additionally, the proposal further involves a suggestion to introduce a withdrawal fee of 0.02%, which would be used to burn CRV, governance token of Curve, for this pool.

To vote, users have to obtain a separate voting token veCRV. Those who want to vote through the Curve DAO have to lock their tokens and vote with veCRV. Having large amounts of veCRV means, one can submit their own proposals as well.

Interestingly, the voting power is affected by the length of the period, a maximum of four years, the token is locked. As such, the longer the CRV tokens are locked, the higher the voting power.

Launched less than ten days ago, only a small portion of CRV tokens has been locked up, just 6.7% of the 10 million CRV tokens, which has been because of the gas prices, making it difficult for smaller liquidity providers to claim and lock their CRV.

According to the Curve Finance team, the goal of its CRV token is to “incentivise liquidity providers,” and get the users involved in its governance.

CRV meanwhile is struggling as it currently trades 94.4% lower than its all-time high, hit the day of the launch. Unlike the token price, Curve Finance enjoyed a growth of 338% during the same period to surpass $1 billion in total value locked in its protocol. The project has also crossed $2.5 billion in cumulative volume.

Concentration of Power

The voting process for the proposal saw the founder of Curve Finance take over 79.8% of the voting power, noted yEarn Finance founder Andre Cronje. He added,

“Since founder rewards are significantly higher than LPs and other voters, pretty much locked everyone else out. So guess voting is pointless now.”

Cronje further shared that he doesn’t mind any of this and thinks it’s “good the founder has arguably the most control, and there is nothing wrong with that.”

Curve reacted to this with, “Ops. Too bad,” adding,

“That was a reaction to 0x431 taking 50%, but the founder overreacted. The founder will abstain from voting now until more people votelock.”

The community has until August 28th before the governance system is up. To decrease the founder’s power to 50%, they only need to lock up to 150 million CRV.

Currently, in limbo, the project is waiting for a quorum to pass it, which is expected to be fixed in the coming days as voting power balances.

The decentralized nature of DeFi governance systems has been coming into question lately. The concentration of tokens in these systems is actually not better than the ownership structure in JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America, said TokenDaily in its report.

For instance, over 13% of voting power for Compound is controlled by the top 10 addresses.

This is because DeFi governance tokens offer a “unique opportunity to influence the direction of open protocols that are otherwise nearly impossible to control,” a power not unlike what is allotted to shareholders.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

86% of Polkadot Stakeholders Voted to Create A 100x DOT Split; Raised $44.4M in Private Sale

Polkadot has finally conducted its first token-based voting for multiplying DOT supplies by 100 folds. The voting was a success, with 86% of members voting for ramping up the amount by 100 fold, while 20% voted for an increase of 10x. 24% voted in favor of raising DOT supply 1000x. Only 4% of participants voted against increasing the supply.

The voting on the Polkadot network lasted for two weeks, and 2.86 million out of a total of 5.4 million tokens participated in the voting process. Earlier, the two leading developers behind Polkadot, Arity Technologies, and Web3 Foundation did not cast their votes and wanted to redenominate the tokens without the token holders’ vote.

What Led to the Decision to Increase DOTs Supply?

DOT only has one lower Denomination in the form of Plancks, where 100 million Plancks equals one DOT. This made Planck a non-usable and abstract denomination where a unit of Planck equals to lower than a cent. After the passing of the proposal to increase DOT’s supply by 100 folds, Polkadot’s supply would be five times that of Ethereum.

However, there hasn’t been an increase in the overall DOT supply; instead, once the redenomination occurs, 1 DOT would be equivalent to 100 DOTs. The redenomination is set to occur 72 hours after DOT transfers are enabled.

Polkadot is currently conducting public sales of 300,000 DOTs, which were earlier valued at $125. The startup declined to comment on anything related to the transactions as of now due to regulatory obligations. However, it was discovered through an address that the firm has collected $44.4 million worth of bitcoin (3,982.07 BTC) in a private sale.

Read Original/a>
Author: Hank Klinger

Russia’s Supreme Court Employs Blockchain Technology To Vote Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Russia’s Supreme Court uses blockchain technology to finalize voting decisions.
  • Polys, a blockchain based voting platform by Kaspersky Labs, enhances transparency and security in voting systems.

An official statement published on the official website of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Plenum of the court used Polys blockchain technology, developed by Kaspersky Lab, to vote in light of the current social distancing protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kaspersky- developed Polys blockchain is built on the Ethereum aiming to build completely secure and immutable online voting platforms to enhance transparency and accountability in elections.

The Supreme Court participants used Kaspersky Lab’s Polys blockchain to “make decisions” which were then “deployed on the basis of Softline’s Russian cloud storage.” The successful implementation of the blockchain solution pushed a recommendation on its use in the upcoming meeting in July. The statement reads,

“As a result, this system is recommended for use in the framework of the next plenary meeting of the Council of Judges of the Russian Federation, which will be held in July 2020. The meeting is supposed to include the maximum possible number of representatives of the Russian judicial system.”

Blockchain voting adoption in Russia

Russia is heavily focusing on blockchain voting systems in a bid to improve their elections – both at the state and national level. In 2019, the Moscow’s city parliament, known as Duma, successfully conducted a regional election while in December 2018 another regional election in Saratov Oblast, with over 40,000 participants, was conducted on a blockchain platform.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Arizona State Republican Party Convention Used Voatz Blockchain Voting App to Cast Ballots

Voatz, a blockchain-based voting application has officially been used by Arizona State’s Republican Party during a virtual convention which saw participation from 1,100 individuals.

The votes were even distributed among delegate users and cast on May 9th. The continuing coronavirus pandemic necessitated this otherwise exciting test-run.

Voatz has gained significant popularity for its remote, mobile-based voting solutions and has been actively considered for use by different states within the US.

While blockchain ensures that the casted votes are private and immutable, the use of the technology arose only because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which rendered voting by conventional means impossible.

Nimit Sawhney co-founder and CEO of Voatz commented on another successful use case of their application and said:

“This is a critical moment for our democracy, and we have to ensure that we have safe alternatives to voting in person. We believe deeply in expanding access to voting, and with many voters’ health at risk, we are proud to leverage our experience to support the Arizona Republican Party’s mandate to represent their delegates’ voices.”

Prior to use in the virtual convention in Arizona, Voatz was earlier used in the state of Utah and county Republican convention and it saw a total of 7,000 votes being cast during the mentioned events.

While federal agencies, up until now, have discarded any mass use of remote blockchain voting systems, the ongoing lockdowns and the new “normal” may force them to re-evaluate this position.

On the other hand, a GOP survey of participant voters suggested that 80% of the Utah voters were satisfied with the blockchain voting system, while more than 50% were comfortable in casting their votes using their mobile phones.

Blockchain Voting a Viable Solution to Traditional Time Consuming Process

The ongoing pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world. But it has also made way for viable alternatives to traditional processes: be it working from home, virtual conferences or video meetings.

Similarly, systems of voting need to be reevaluated, especially in how the age-old process of queuing up at voting centers and waiting for hours can be made more efficient.

A couple of weeks ago, Ohio senators proposed a blockchain voting system as well, which suggests that the government are looking into blockchain technology for voting solutions.

However, the Ohio proposal also highlighted certain shortcomings with these mobile-based voting systems, the biggest being hacking or 51% attacks where if someone gains more than 51% of the system resources they can manipulate the votes.

The same stands true for Voatz app as well, where its use in the 2018 elections for overseas military personnel came under scrutiny due to a hacking attack. A group of researchers at MIT also claimed that the Voatz voting app is not suitable for elections as it has many vulnerabilities which could allow hackers to manipulate the votes.

Despite criticism Jennifer Gardner, West Virginia’s Deputy Press Secretary for the Secretary of State’s Office is planning to use the Voatz app in the 2020 election for overseas military personals.

Read Original/a>
Author: Silvia A

HackerOne Cut Ties With Blockchain Voting App Voatz Over Breach of Partnership Standards

HackerOne, a bug bounty platform has severed all ties with popular blockchain voting application Voatz. The cutting of ties is first of its kind for HackerOne which has over 1800 partners across various business ventures, not once before it has come down to cutting off ties.

HackerOne is known for helping different corporations to find any security vulnerabilities in their system or software. Samantha Spielman, a representative for HackerOne noted that the breach of partnership terms made it impossible for them to continue working with Voatz, despite them not doing this ever in their 18 years of existence. However, Spielman declined to elaborate on what standards Voatz breached which led to the decision.

Voatz Reveal What Led HackerOne Cut Ties

Voatz in their statement noted that they regret the hindrance that has arisen in the partnership and was working to mend their ways. On the question of what led to the cutting off ties between the two firms, they revealed that a small team of researchers at HackerOne along with few other community members believe that Voatz reported some of their research to the FBI. The statement read,

“This falsehood and misinformation has been a source of animosity toward Voatz and our partners, who face consistent attacks from these researchers,”

Back in October 2019, it was reported that the FBI was investigating a possible breach on the Voatz app during pilot program run of 2018. West Virginia has been testing the Voatz app for their various pilot projects and Secretary of State Mac Warner said that there has been no problem with the application whatsoever and maintained that not a single vote cast through the app has been altered.

However, an independent group of MIT researchers has recently contradicted Warner’s claims and started a scathing attack on the Voatz app for a range of issues. The researchers pointed out that the blockchain voting app has a several security flaws, lack transparency and even warned election commission for giving a second thought before using it in any election.

Voatz responded to the attack in a sarcastic manner calling the research report unfair and even assigned Trail of Bits to analyze their platform. However, the move backfired on them as Trail of Bits found the claims made by MIT researchers to be valid. Later West Virginia also secured ties with the blockchain voting application.

Read Original/a>
Author: Rebecca Asseh

Vulnerabilities Shake Trust In Blockchain Voting App; West Virginia Turns Back to Paper

  • Blockchain-Based Voting App Voatz to No Longer Be Used in West Virginia
  • Citing its vulnerabilities, Voatz will be replaced by a Democracy Live service

The blockchain-based voting app, Voatz, will no longer be used by West Virginia. The news comes after researchers discovered vulnerabilities within the app.

On February 29, it was reported by NBC News that West Virginia’s secretary of state, Mac Warner, announced that disabled and overseas voter will not be able to use mobile apps in to vote for the state’s primaries.

Democracy Live Service to Be Used Instead

Instead of Voatz, W. Virginia voters will have to use a Democracy Live service, which allows them to fill out an online ballot and return it through the post.

The Voatz app was piloted by West Virginia in the 2010’s general midterm election.

In February, legislation that mandates electronic voting in all state’s counties was introduced. As reported by NBS, an agreement was signed between the state of West Virginia and Voatz, which means the app would have had to be used for voting throughout 2020.

MIT and DHS Studies Put Down Voatz

West Virginia began to lose confidence in Voatz after a couple of studies demonstrated serious vulnerabilities within the app. One such study was published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and another one by MIT in February, revealed Voatz app’s security vulnerabilities.

These vulnerabilities could have led to the ballot being hacked and the identity of voters being compromised.

However, the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reached the conclusion that there were no active threats on the Voatz network during the US midterm elections from September 2019.

Voatz commented that it has addressed the recommendations made by the DHS.

Bugs Discovered by MIT Could Not be Exploited in Practice

An election auditor that was responsible for supervising the Voatz system during the Utah County’s rollout said that some of the bugs discovered by the MIT researchers couldn’t be exploited in practice.

Here’s what the general counsel to the West Virginia’s secretary of state, Donald Kersey, said about the matter:

“If the public doesn’t want it or is skeptical to the point they’re not confident in the results, we have to take that into consideration.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu

Justin Sun Responds To TRX Coin Burn Criticism, Tron Super Reps Voted To Increase Cap

  • TRON foundation passed its 27th proposal altering the method by which voting and block rewards are issued
  • TRON’s stakeholders (Super Reps and partners) have been the key decision-makers of the networks’ decisions

When TRON Foundation was founded in 2017 they initially started with the ERC-20 token which restricted their hard cap to only 100 billion TRX. However, in June 2018 when they had just announced their mainnet, TRON’s executives took the DPoS (Delegated Proof of Stake) approach. On which they introduced block and voting rewards for TRON’s Super Reps and those that held TRX stake. This resulted in the lifting of their hard cap.

Founder Justin Sun responded to TRX holders that went to social media to call out Tron for not running a coin burn since Justin promised to not let the supply cross 100 billion.

With an estimated reward of close to 500 million TRX annually, the blocks rewards are more often than not reserved for the super reps while the voting rewards are subject to division by the total votes.

Rewards per year = (SR rewards per block + voting rewards per block) * (seconds of one year/seconds of block time)

Therefore;

Rewards per year = (32 + 16) * 365 * 24 * 3600 / 3 = 504,576,000

The 27th proposal.

TRON’s 27th proposal sailed through on the 2nd Nov 2019, whose main objective was to change the Super Reps block rewards to around 16 TRX while altering voting rewards awarded to the 127 partners (27 Super Reps and following 100 partners) to around 160 TRX.

This brought about a substantial increase in TRON’s reward program encouraging more people to pick up Super Reps and partners and be active participants in voting and staking of TRON mainnet. Now all the functions are decentralized with close to 90% of rewards being pocketed by those who have a stake in TRON. This would mean that TRON’s hard cap would be subject to decision by block and voting rewards. Their rewards have since skyrocketed to 1.85 billion TRX annually.

Rewards per year = (SR rewards per block + voting rewards per block) * (seconds of one year/seconds of block time)

Rewards per year = (16 + 160) * 365 * 24 * 3600 / 3 = 1,850,112,000

Notably, TRON foundation doesn’t govern the TRON mainnet. It is mainly controlled by those who hold TRX and the community around TRX. The last decision TRON foundation made in regards to the Network was the original issuing of one hundred billion TRX, while all other key decisions were completely made by the super Reps and partners.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera