The Daily: Mimblewimble Coins Prepare to Launch, New Remittance Platform Announced


With the New Year around the corner, startups as well as established players in the cryptocurrency industry have announced plans for new products and services. In The Daily today we cover the upcoming premieres of two Mimblewimble-based coins, the planned launch of a low-fee, crypto-based remittance service in Asia, and the intentions of two leading Chinese crypto companies to focus on core business activities.

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Customizable Privacy Coins Coming Soon

The Daily: Mimblewimble Coins Prepare to Launch, New Remittance Platform AnnouncedTwo crypto projects using Mimblewimble, a protocol designed to increase privacy and scalability, have announced the upcoming premieres of their new coins. The Mimblewimble concept was introduced back in 2016 and is now ready to be implemented at the beginning of 2019. Challenges during the development of the two cryptocurrencies have postponed both launches.

A startup called Beam is preparing to issue what has been described as the first Mimblewimble-based cryptocurrency on Jan. 3, after earlier reports that it would go live by the end of this month. Beam has been developed as a privacy-oriented crypto, but according to its creators it will be highly customizable, unlike other offerings in that niche.

“Lack of transaction confidentiality and poor scalability are some of the major issues that hinder crypto adoption,” Beam’s CEO Alexander Zaidelson told Distributed. The company will offer users the ability to set the privacy level for their transactions so that they can still report them to tax authorities, for example.

Another blockchain project based on the Mimblewimble protocol, Grin, was announced even earlier than Beam. However, its coin is now scheduled to launch on Jan. 15, 2019, to become the second Mimblewimble-based cryptocurrency.

Remittance Platform to Use Crypto Conversion

Atom Solutions, a Japan-based fintech company, is planning to launch its new remittance service on March 1, 2019. The platform uses a crypto wallet system that provides an alternative to traditional channels such as those based on the banking network Swift, which can be quite expensive and in some cases very slow.

The Daily: Mimblewimble Coins Prepare to Launch, New Remittance Platform Announced

Initially, the service will be available to users who want to send money between South Korea and the Philippines. However, the Japanese startup plans to expand the coverage to include at least 10 countries by the end of next year.

Atom Solutions promises low exchange rates and fees for fiat transfers thanks to using cryptocurrency conversion, but also addresses the issue with volatility that concerns crypto remittances by providing fast exchange through its wallet. The company has developed a system that quickly exchanges the fiat amount a user wants to send into cryptocurrency and then again into local fiat for the receiver.

Chinese Crypto Giants Focus on Core Businesses

The Daily: Mimblewimble Coins Prepare to Launch, New Remittance Platform AnnouncedTwo leading cryptocurrency companies with Chinese roots have announced plans to optimize their operations and focus on core business activities. The news comes at the end of a bearish year that saw digital asset markets losing billions of dollars in capitalization compared to the all-time highs of late 2017.

Bitmain Technology, the world’s leading producer of bitcoin mining equipment, has confirmed recent reports regarding planned job cuts that first spread on Chinese social media. In a statement quoted by the South China Morning Post, the Beijing-based company said it’s undergoing “some adjustment to our staff this year.” Emphasizing that it’s continuing to build a sustainable business, Bitmain denied rumors that it will lay off half of its employees. The company explained:

A part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary. As we move into the new year, we will continue to double down on hiring the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

In a similar announcement, the operator of Huobi, currently the third largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume, said it’s working to optimize staffing. The Chinese Huobi Group intends to do so by laying off its “worst-performing employees.” A spokesperson for the company noted however that the Singapore-based exchange is still hiring people for its core businesses and emerging markets.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Beam, Atom Solutions.

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The post The Daily: Mimblewimble Coins Prepare to Launch, New Remittance Platform Announced appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019


Another year is coming, filled with fresh optimism and newfound determination to make 2019 the year when cryptocurrencies take over. Having gotten their calls badly wrong for 2018, so-called experts will be hesitant to make bullish price predictions for 2019. That’s probably for the best since there are far more interesting things to focus on than price action. Here are seven trends that should dominate the cryptosphere over the next 12 months.

Also read: Bitcoin History Part 6: The First Bitcoin Exchange

2018 Didn’t Play Out the Way it Was Promised

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019This time last year, all kinds of bold predictions were being issued for what 2018 would hold for the crypto space. In the event, the biggest trend of the year was one which few futurologists foresaw – stablecoins. 2018 will go down as the year the markets went south and ICOs died off, leaving a new wave of digital assets to shine – dollar-pegged stablecoins.

Love, hate or tolerate them, there’s no denying that stablecoins were a recurring motif this year. Whether they will continue to dominate in 2019 depends to a large extent on how conventional crypto assets perform. Should the current bear market persist, or bite deeper still, stablecoins will remain ubiquitous. If more favorable market conditions return, however, stablecoins will be forced to take a back seat, leaving the following trends to joust it out in 2019.

New Privacy Protocols Will Gain Traction

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019With the Mimblewimble-powered Grin and Beam cranking into life, the stage is set for 2019 to be the most private year in crypto in a long time. The last few years of encroaching blockchain surveillance have stripped away a lot of the anonymity that cryptocurrency users once took for granted, but the fight back has begun. It’ll take more than a single privacy protocol to restore the imbalance of course, so it’s just as well there’s a host of privacy-minded tools set to come onstream.

Aside from the Mimblewimble coins, there’s the prospect of Bitcoin Core getting Schnorr signatures next year, which could open the door to privacy tech such as Coinjoin at some point. Before then, we’ll be seeing a lot of other pro-privacy platforms, apps and protocols gaining traction. Wasabi Wallet, a privacy-focused BTC wallet, will hoover up new users, while Ethereum may get its own take on confidential transactions courtesy of Aztec protocol. Stablecoins could get private too should Zkdai – zero-knowledge DAI transactions – become a thing. Pro-privacy projects like Dust and Loki should also make progress, while new projects such as Resistance, a privacy coin and accompanying DEX, are in the works.

STOs Will Replace ICOs

2018 was meant to be the year of security tokens until it wasn’t. That prediction can be rolled over to 2019, however, when it might just come true provided the technical and regulatory hurdles can be cleared by enough applicants. What’s beyond dispute is that 2018 killed the ICO, and no one is tipping the crowdfunded utility token model to rise again. The increased legal and compliance costs of holding an ICO, which now average around $1 million, have put paid to the vast majority of initial coin offerings.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019
The ICO market died off dramatically in 2018.

Amazix head analyst Jose Macedo believes the security token offering (STO) will become the standard model most crypto-based projects deploy. “While utility tokens are far from dead, what the industry has now realized is that few of these token economic models actually made sense in terms of long-term value capture,” he explains. “As a result, we’re seeing a lot of projects come to us looking for help in either launching their STOs or restructuring their ICOs as STOs,” adds Macedo. He continues:

We’re also seeing a lot more STO infrastructure be built out in terms of quality legal, token sale platforms, book-building firms, exchanges etc … As of right now, we have about $1B worth of STOs partnered with us looking to launch in 2019.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019While security token projects are poised to launch in proactive territories like Malta and Gibraltar, where regulatory frameworks have been drawn up, slower progress is expected in the U.S., where fundraising options are limited. There, the SEC will likely deem most ICOs to be issuing securities. American crypto-based projects are no closer to being granted Reg A+ approval to launch an STO, despite some, such as Gab, having filed the paperwork over a year ago.

Decentralized Credit Networks Will Take Off

Decentralized credit networks made huge strides this year in terms of infrastructure development. The tools necessary to facilitate collateralized loans, social credit and open finance have been fine-tuned and proven to work. 2019 will be when they scale up and start to serve the sort of users they were envisioned for – global citizens who’ve been excluded by the current financial system.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019Crypto debt markets and credit networks will be bolstered by the growth of projects like Dharma Protocol, GEO Protocol, Nexo, and Maker DAO. Maker’s system of multi-asset over-collateralization will be emulated, having proven its robustness through extreme market volatility this year. Multi-collateral dai will see a wide range of applications in 2019, as the number of users grows with the number of assets that can be collateralized. 2018 was all about ETH, but in 2019 Maker will accept BTC, ERC20s and other crypto and non-crypto assets.

Other Trends to Expect in 2019

It’s possible that 2019 could be the year when one or more dapps finally sees mass adoption, but don’t count on it. It may also prove to be the year when the first viral  blockchain game arrives. At the very least, crypto collectibles and virtual reality projects will attract fresh investment, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) tethering them to public blockchains to facilitate the trading of digital assets. Once Decentraland’s virtual world launches in 2019, a meeting ground for all kinds of crypto games and projects will be established.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019The Bitcoin Cash community will continue to find new ways to spend and receive peer-to-peer cash, while the BTC brigade will have optimism that 2019 will finally be the year when the Lightning Network proves its suitability for something more than purchasing stickers. Custodial services for institutional investors will improve, bringing new money into the crypto space (but probably not propelling crypto assets to new highs). NYSE’s Bakkt will launch, bringing physical BTC futures contracts, and there’s an outside bet the SEC might approve a bitcoin ETF.

Stripped of much of the greed that characterized the dawn of 2018, and with 12 months of robust infrastructure work completed, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting time for cryptocurrency users from all tribes, countries and continents.

What other trends do you expect to see in 2019? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Tokendata.

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The post Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019 appeared first on Bitcoin News.