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Chatter Report: Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work, Chris Pacia Discusses Big Blocks

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In this latest roundup of crypto chatter from social media, Vitalik Buterin sparks debate by declaring that he doesn’t believe in proof of work. Also, developer Rhett Creighton is accused of foul play in the Bitcoin Private pre-mine scandal. Finally, Chris Pacia clarifies his stance on large block limitations.

Also read: A Look at Some of 2018’s Most Popular Cryptocurrency Traders

Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin turned a lot of heads recently when he tweeted to Bitcoin maximalist Giacomo Zucco that he doesn’t “believe in proof of work.”

Crypto Twitter erupted with responses. One commentator, Crypto Domains, pointed out the ridiculousness of Vitalik’s comment, comparing it to not believing “in oxygen.” Crypto Domains’ remark resonated widely, not least since Ethereum itself currently runs on a proof of work model.

Bitcoin Community Skeptical of Rhett Creighton

The Bitcoin Private team recently released an official statement explaining that they had no prior knowledge of the BTCP coins that were covertly created during the fork that birthed the project. Instead, they were mislead by developer airk42, they insist. Airk42 had started out innocently by accepting a bounty the team had placed. He then managed to became a BTCP developer and was promoted to contributor on Github. However, when airk42 merged his own code, he left out one crucial line and a bad actor exploited this bug, creating approximately 2 million additional coins.

Many in the cryptocurrency community were suspicious of the BTCP team and their official response. In a recent live stream by bitcoin trader Tone Vays, developer Jimmy Song pointed out that former BTCP developer Rhett Creighton left the project in a rather cryptic manner that foreshadowed the hack.

Likewise, Vays expressed skepticism at Creighton’s sincerity and quickly theorized that he may have secretly been airk42. Cryptocurrency trader Nick Core also agreed with Tone, explaining that scammers are prone to “leave projects before they are finished.”

Chris Pacia Clarifies Tweet on Blocksize Limitations

Bitcoin commentator u/satoshi_vision 1 recently called out Openbazaar developer Chris Pacia on the r/bitcoincashSV subreddit for Pacia’s comments that bitcoin software will start to break down when blocks reach about 22 MB in size. u/satoshi_vision 1 was criticizing Pacia, as Coingeek had mined a 64MB block at block height 557335.

We were told by Chris Pacia that 22MB blocks would not work, not we have blocks nearly 3x that size. from bitcoincashSV

Pacia was unable to defend himself on the subreddit, as he had been banned from participating on r/bitcoincashSV, despite never having commented on it before. Instead, Pacia took to Twitter to defend himself, explaining that his tweet wasn’t about the ability to mine a single large block.

Rather than large single blocks, Pacia was referring to the ability to mine many large blocks in tandem. He then went on to point out that the average blocksize over a one-hour period never went above 7 MB when BSV was mining 32 MB blocks.

What do you think of Vitalik’s thoughts on proof of work? Let us know in the comments below.


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Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

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Madison Holdings Group Ltd. has agreed to buy 67.2 percent of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitocean for 1.68 billion yen ($15.12 million). Inclusive of fees, the wines and alcoholic beverages company will pay a total $30.12 million. According to local media reports, the deal is to be completed through a subsidiary, Madison Labs.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

Acquisition to Diversify Operations and Expand Income Sources

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

Madison is an investment holding company popular for selling top-end French wines. The $546 million-valued company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM), a junior segment of the bourse. The company also has interests in corporate finance activities, financial advisory services and asset management.

Bitocean is registered as a crypto exchange with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but has not commenced trading yet. According to papers filed with GEM, sometime this month, Madison is buying the stake from “independent third parties,” in what management said was part of the company’s “diversification strategy.”

A report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) also detailed plans by HDR Cadenza Management – a unit of HDR Global Trading, owners of crypto exchange Bitmex – to acquire a 51 percent stake in Madison Labs for $17.14 million. Both deals have yet to be closed. Raymond Ting Pang-wan, chairman of Madison, stated:

Our wine business is stable and profitable, but then it is small. It is hard to make wine trading into a very big business. This is why we have to diversify into financial technology and the cryptocurrency business – to achieve a better return for our shareholders. Virtual currencies and blockchain are getting more popular. Investing in the virtual currency sector will expand our income source.

Lured by Japan’s Robust Crypto Regulation

Pang-wan told SCMP that his company was not concerned about the current market slump, which has seen the price of bitcoin core (BTC) plummet by more than 80 percent from its December 2017 all-time-high of almost $20,000. “Bitcoin is cheap, which has created a good opportunity for us to enter the market. We are eyeing the long term, so we are not worried about short-term volatility,” he was quoted as saying.

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

He said the decision to enter Japan, which controls about a fifth of the global cryptocurrency trading total, was motivated by the existence of a comprehensive regulatory framework in the Pacific island nation. “We wanted to invest in a platform that was under proper regulation,” said Pang-wan.

Japan is building one of the strongest regulatory frameworks for the cryptocurrency industry, ostensibly to prevent cases of theft of investor funds. The $530 million Coincheck hack in January marked a crucial turning point in crypto regulation in the country. Today, Japan has the Virtual Currency Exchange Association, a self-regulatory body, while exchanges applying for a license with the Financial Services Authority have to go through a rigorous verification process.

According to the SCMP report, Gary Cheung Wai-kwok, chairman of the Hong Kong Securities Association, said:  “This is a small investment for the company (Madison), so it will not take too big a risk. It makes sense for the company to diversify its business to achieve higher income.”

What do you think about Madison’s deals with Bitocean and Bitmex? Let us know in the comments section below.


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

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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.

Also read: BTCP Bug Exploited by ‘Bad Actor’, Binance Lists New Pairs

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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Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

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Kucoin has delisted 10 digital assets, including bitcoin gold and mobius, and Huobi has put 32 trading pairs on notice. Both exchanges cite issues to do with weak liquidity and trading volume as reasons for their action. But the flurry of delistings also point to how the cryptocurrency market downturn has taken a toll on many altcoins.

Also read: Bitcoin Equipment Maker Ebang Reapplies for Hong Kong Listing

Delisting Result of Low Liquidity

Kucoin said it had “disqualified” tokens such as bread, bitclave, wepower and ethlend for failing to meet the Chinese exchange’s listing requirements as set out in its “special treatment rule (ST).” Digital coins at risk of being delisted are placed under the so-called ST for “mandatory review over a specified period of time.”

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

Tokens are indicted particularly for low liquidity or when the project is faced with the risk of bankruptcy or liquidation, security breaches and other issues. “The exchange may delist … the project (if it) fails to meet the basic liquidity requirements by the end of the observation period,” explains Kucoin on its “special treatment rule” page.

Any trading or deposits of the 10 delisted cryptocurrencies has now been suspended, even though withdrawals are permitted for a time. Kucoin said the decision had been taken in order “to provide a solid user experience” on the exchange.

Kucoin is the world’s 54th largest digital currency platform by daily trade volume, with $20.35 million worth of coins traded in the last 24 hours, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Currently, the exchange offers over 300 token trading pairs.

Altcoins on the Brink as Markets Struggle

The rout in global cryptocurrency markets this year has left hundreds of altcoins haemorrhaging value against the U.S. dollar and struggling to retain liquidity. Many are down by 90% or more from their all-time high, making the tokens almost worthless in some cases.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

The latest Kucoin purge comes in the same week as an announcement from Huobi, the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange, that it is planning to remove about 32 digital assets from its platform. The tokens were cited for low trading volume and have been placed in Huobi’s version of the ST risk category.

“In order to promote the healthy development of the blockchain industry and protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors, Huobi regularly carries out comprehensive reviews of the listed tokens in accordance with the Token Administration Regulations of Huobi,” said the exchange.

Huobi is to reexamine the affected assets on Dec. 26, and those that fail to meet the listing requirements will effectively be trading under caution, with a real risk of being delisted. Some of the affected tokens include enigma, datum, my token, medishares, wepower, appcoins and bitcapital vendor. Salt, tieron, untrust, quantstamp, medical chain and others are also at risk of being delisted.

Do you think more low cap altcoins are in danger of being delisted from major exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Investment Robo-Adviser Wealthfront Adds Support for Coinbase Accounts

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Wealthfront, one of the largest independent robo-advisers in the U.S. market, has added support for Coinbase accounts. The Wealthfront team explained that high customer demand was the reason for incorporating the new feature, stating: “We’re especially excited because this has been one of our clients’ most requested features.”

Also Read: Bitcoin Private (BTCP) Bug Exploited by ‘Bad Actor’

Wealthfront Adds Coinbase Support

Investment Robo-Adviser Wealthfront Adds Support for Coinbase AccountsWealthfront Advisers LLC (formerly known as Wealthfront Inc.) is a Redwood City, California-based robo-adviser providing automated, software-based portfolio management services, which was established in 2008. The company has recently announced that its users can now track holdings of cryptocurrency for the first time by connecting their accounts with the Coinbase exchange to the automated investment service.

“You have always been able to connect a wide variety of account types and asset classes to our Path advice engine — from bank and brokerage accounts to real estate, mortgages, and student loans. But we know many of you like to dabble in other innovative financial products, like cryptocurrencies. So now, we make it possible for you to add information about your cryptocurrency holdings in your Coinbase account to Wealthfront to get a more holistic view of your financial picture. And even more importantly, we factor that information into your free financial plan,” the Wealthfront team stated.

Over $11 Billion in Managed Assets

Investment Robo-Adviser Wealthfront Adds Support for Coinbase AccountsThe Wealthfront robo-adviser has over $11 billion in client assets under management, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), making it one of the largest independent robo-advisers in the U.S. market. The company has reportedly raised a total funding of $65.5 million since its creation, from backers such as Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Benchmark Capital, Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz and Jeff Jordan.

On Friday, the SEC announced it had found that Wealthfront made false statements about a tax-loss harvesting strategy it offered to clients, claiming to monitor accounts for transactions that might trigger a wash sale, but failed to do so. It also found that Wealthfront “improperly re-tweeted prohibited client testimonials, paid bloggers for client referrals without the required disclosure and documentation, and failed to maintain a compliance program reasonably designed to prevent violations of the securities laws.” Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, the company agreed to pay a $250,000 penalty.

Have you integrated your Coinbase account with Wealthfront? Share your experience in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 ‘Deaths’ in 2018

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According to the Bitcoin Obituaries webpage, the cryptocurrency ‘died’ 90 times in 2018. Since the inception of Satoshi’s great invention, almost a decade ago, economists and financial news publications have informed the public that bitcoin has passed away a grand total of 336 times.

Also read: Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

Dead Currencies Have ‘No Chance of Success’

Ever since the general public started hearing about cryptocurrencies, many financial bigwigs, well known pundits, Keynesian economists, and Wall Street executives have explained in great detail how Bitcoin has ‘died’. This has occurred on numerous occasions over the years. Mainstream media outlets have also stated time and again that Bitcoin was officially deceased. The Bitcoin Obituaries webpage hosted on the site 99 Bitcoins has around 336 recorded bitcoin ‘deaths’ over the years. 2018 has claimed 90 of those deaths during a spell when the crypto-economy was extremely bearish all year long.

Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 'Deaths' in 2018

One would think that because cryptocurrency markets did so well in 2017 there would be fewer deaths declared than in 2018. However, the cryptocurrency bull run last year resulted in 125 obituaries for the digital asset. In 2018, most of the top cryptocurrencies lost more than 80 percent of their values since hitting all-time highs last year in December. The last death call of 2018 was a post written by Seeking Alpha author Anthony Garcia titled “Bitcoin: the decline is fundamental, unsolvable, and the end of BTC.” In the post Garcia states:

Bitcoin is literally worth nothing — Bitcoin has no chance of success because it’s worthless. It has nothing backing it but an illusion; no gold or silver or even a decree that it’s legal tender. It has no intrinsic value and no one needs it.

2017 and 2018 Had the Most Bitcoin Deaths per Year

Before that article, Santa Clara University Professor of Finance Atulya Sarin’s opinion piece on the financial publication Market Watch said that bitcoin is “close to becoming worthless.” Sarin explained in his 1,049-word document that the digital asset was the victim of the infamous “death spiral.” This past October the notorious Nouriel Roubini, otherwise known as Dr. Doom, sparked controversy when he said that “bitcoin represents the ‘mother of all bubbles.’” Roubini, a professor of economics at the New York University Stern School of Business, called digital currency advocates “crypto scoundrels.” The professor emphasized that the bubble is “clear” enough to see and “blockchain technology is nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet or database.”

Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 'Deaths' in 2018
Nouriel Roubini’s post got crypto advocates all upset on Twitter in October.

It’s safe to say that as long as financial pundits like Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffet’s opinions are still catching headlines then Bitcoin will continue to die in 2019. To these bigwigs and many others, Bitcoin is a gimmick, and yet some of them like “blockchain technology” as long as it is centralized. One interesting phenomenon is the fact that even though bitcoin has grown immensely in value since 2010, it has died increasingly year after year. Bitcoin ‘died’ the most consecutive times throughout 2017 and 2018 with close to ¾ of the deaths during those years. Otherwise, 2015 was a distant third with 39 total bitcoin deaths. Bitcoin’s oldest published obituary according to 99 Bitcoins was written in 2010, which claimed the asset could never be a currency. When bitcoins were worth $0.23, the Underground Economist author stated at the time:

Either it will remain a novelty forever or it will transition from novelty status to dead faster than you can blink.

What do you think about bitcoin dying 90 times this year? Why do you think the cryptocurrency has had so many obituaries over the last two years? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images Shutterstock, 99 Bitcoins, and Pixabay.


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Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

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After an intense 2017, filled with cryptocurrency market spikes, the following year was loaded with letdowns as a great majority of digital assets plunged well over 80 percent in value since their all-time highs. 2018 was also filled with lots of headlines about digital currency regulations, exchange hacks, and postponed exchange-traded funds.

Also read: Feed 7 Different Species at the River Forest Farm’s ‘Bitcoin Cash Zoo’

2018 Saw Hundreds of Billions Shaved Off the Entire Cryptocurrency Market Cap

It’s safe to say that 2018 was the exact opposite of 2017 as far as the year-over-year cryptocurrency market price changes. On Dec. 31, 2017, the top ten market capitalizations and the prices of each coin were vastly different than today. The top five coins had considerably more fiat value at the time with bitcoin core (BTC) trading for $13,170 per coin, ripple (XRP) $2.12, ethereum (ETH) $721, bitcoin cash (BCH) $2,459, and cardano (ADA) $0.69.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

Throughout the entire year, all of the biggest coins by market valuation have lost more than three-quarters of their net worth since December 2017. The entire ecosystem’s market valuation saw an all-time high of more than half a trillion dollars and today that metric is just above $100 billion.   

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

South Korean Regulation

Throughout most of January and February, talks of digital currency regulation began to heighten across the globe. These two months, in particular, saw a lot of regulatory discussions stemming from South Korea. Headlines deriving from Korean government officials were so frequent and very similar to the countless People’s Bank of China (PBOC) ‘ban’ announcements in the past. At the end of January 2018, for the first time ever a South Korean court ruled that bitcoin has economic value. Moreover, the country introduced a nationwide cryptocurrency account system, which banned the anonymous trading of digital assets in South Korea.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
After the country became a cryptocurrency hotbed in 2017, the first quarter of 2018 saw a lot of digital currency regulation in South Korea.

Compromised Exchanges

In addition to all the news about South Korea, the Japanese exchange Coincheck was compromised for $400-534 million USD worth of the cryptocurrency NEM, on Jan. 26. While digital asset proponents witnessed yet another historic exchange hack, the platform’s loss didn’t affect markets that much. Another hack took place this past April, when the Indian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure’s wallet was breached for $2.7 million worth of BTC. At the time, the company blamed it’s CSO Amitabh Saxena for playing a role in the incident. Last September, Indian law enforcement filed charges against a few suspects and explained that an insider had helped facilitate the crime.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Coincheck and Coinsecure were the biggest exchange hacks of 2018.

Lots of ICOs Fail Miserably

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories2018’s Q1 saw the beginning of big initial coin offerings (ICOs) having lots of troubles with special agencies like the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). One of the first busts last year was when the Texas Department of Banking Commissioner issued a cease and desist order to an alleged ‘decentralized cryptocurrency-bank.’ The Bitshares-connected Arise Bank was one of the first of many ICOs that started having troubles with the law. In February, the cryptocurrency community had learned that 46 percent of 2017’s ICOs had already failed. All year long, there have been numerous crackdowns throughout the world specifically targeting ICO operations. U.S. regulators charged music producer DJ Khaled and the boxer Floyd Mayweather this past November for failing to disclose payments they took for ICO promotion.

Maduro’s Petro

Another interesting story this year was the introduction of the world’s first state-issued cryptocurrency in Venezuela. Well, no one’s really sure if the ‘petro’ works yet, but all year long Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has touted the benefits of the ‘oil-backed’ token. This past November, the Ministry for Communication and Information enacted a new law which established the petro for commercial transactions inside the country. Further, just recently, Maduro raised the petro’s price from 3,600 to 9,000 bolivars. The entire world has been watching the Venezuelan people suffer from economic hardships, while Maduro and fellow associates toy around with a so-called ‘multi-asset backed’ cryptocurrency created in secrecy.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro is pushing the first state-issued cryptocurrency called the Petro. 

Delayed Institutional Trading Products

Even though markets dumped all year long, cryptocurrencies did see a lot of institutional interest this year. Crypto-advocates will remember patiently waiting for a U.S.-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval once again in 2018. Back in July, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) filed an application for a BTC-based ETF that will be tethered to the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust. The same month, the SEC postponed its decision concerning five bitcoin-related ETFs filed by NYSE Arca.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
US regulators postponed many ETF decisions in 2018.

This was the case throughout all of 2018, as Bitcoin ETFs were delayed all year long. U.S. regulators had also asked for public opinion concerning Cboe’s ETF filing and received an overwhelming response. On Dec. 6, the SEC delayed its decision again and explained it will decide on the fate of the Vaneck Solidx bitcoin ETF in February 2019. Moreover, bitcoiners have been waiting for the Bakkt bitcoin daily futures contracts offered by the Intercontinental Exchange, which was supposed to start trading this month, but the product was also delayed.     

Bitcoin Cash and the Tale of Two Forks

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network had an interesting year, to say the least, as it underwent two forks in 2018. The first fork in the spring was quite successful, resulting in a bunch of new features like re-enabled opcodes and a 32MB block size increase. Since the upgrade, BCH saw a huge influx of development, including many new applications like Memo.cash, Blockpress, Joystream, Marco Coino, Coinfundr, Akari, Telescope, Simple Ledger Protocol, Wormhole, and more. In the first week of September, the Bitcoin Cash network processed millions of transactions on a daily basis during a week-long ‘stress test.’

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Back in May, the BCH protocol upgraded successfully with new opcodes and a 32MB block size increase. However, in November the scheduled fork on the 15th became contentious and led to a blockchain split.

On Sept. 1, BCH miners confirmed 2,060,041 transactions (tx) in 24 hours and statistics showed that the BCH chain had processed 85,835 tx per hour, and 23.8 tx per second.

However, after the stress tests, the planned hard fork for Nov. 15 became contentious and the fork resulted in a blockchain split. After gaining the most proof-of-work and a majority of the infrastructure support, the Bitcoin ABC side of the fork was rewarded with the “BCH” ticker, and the other network’s ticker is listed as “BSV” across global exchanges. The BCH community is steadily moving on from the split, and the decentralized cryptocurrency saw a 140 percent increase in value over the last week.

In 2019 the Crypto-Landscape Is Sure to Be Interesting

Most crypto-markets have done much better during the end of this December, and many enthusiasts are curious about what next year will bring. Of course, most cryptocurrency supporters believe the long haul will pay off in the end, and there will always be some hurdles along the way. There was a whole lot of other interesting events in 2018 and 2019 is sure to be just as intriguing. One thing is for certain, no matter what year it is — There’s never a dull day in Bitcoin-land.

What do you think about 2018 and cryptocurrencies this year? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Steemit.


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Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019

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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.


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The Daily: BTCP Bug Exploited by ‘Bad Actor’, Binance Lists New Pairs

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The main story featured in today’s edition of The Daily is an official conformation from the Bitcoin Private team that someone has premined millions of BTCP. We also report about the latest currency pairs made available for trading on the Binance exchange.

Also Read: Report: Over 300 British Blockchain Companies Shut Down in 2018

Bitcoin Private Bug Exploited by ‘Bad Actor’

The Daily: BTCP Bug Exploited by ‘Bad Actor’, Binance Lists New PairsThe team behind Bitcoin Private has issued an official statement regarding a Coinmetrics report alleging that there was a covert premine of about 2 million BTCP at the creation of the token. The developers say they preformed an investigation after being made aware of the issue and determined that the findings are “mathematically accurate.” However, they claim that they have no connection to whoever was behind this exploit.

According to their internal audit, an open source developer became a BTCP developer to work on a specific issue in exchange for a bounty. This developer was given access to the project on Github in January, wrote his code, collected the reward, and hasn’t been heard of again. But one line of code was missing which enabled the exploit due to the nodes not properly verifying the falsified fork blocks.

And during the publicly announced fork-mine, a “bad actor” exploited this bug, the developers say. “As the code was open source, and the fork-mine was announced on Twitter, anyone with sufficient blockchain development knowledge could have exploited it. At this point, the only thing we can be sure of is that the BTCP Contribution Team did not know about the exploit until it was uncovered by Coin Metrics.”

The developers have put forward two possible plans for fixing the issue using hard forks to choose from, based on community feedback. In the meantime, they requested that all exchanges close deposits and withdrawals of BTCP to mitigate any damage that could be done. Users are also advised to proceed with caution when moving coins.

Binance Exchange Lists New Pairs

The Daily: BTCP Bug Exploited by ‘Bad Actor’, Binance Lists New PairsBinance, the popular international cryptocurrency exchange, has announced it is adding two new trading pairs (TRX/XRP and XZC/XRP), with Ripple’s XRP as the quote asset into the new Combined ALTS Trading Market (ALTS). The move naturally created a lot of excitement and buzz among Ripple’s cheerleaders on crypto social media.

Alongside this development, Binance also announced that the original ETH Trading Market (ETH) will be renamed into the ALTS Trading Market. This is done to reflect the fact that the trading venue now wants to support more trading pairs with different quote currencies.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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