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Report: ‘The State of Stablecoins’ Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency

February 22, 2019 |

Report: The State of Stablecoins Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency

A new report published this week shines a light on the stablecoin ecosystem. Authored by George Samman and Andrew Masanto in conjunction with Amazix, the report traces the rise of digital currencies against a backdrop of high inflation in 16 countries. The report claims these conditions will create a need for fiat-pegged digital currencies that aren’t beholden to the volatility of local currency in inflation-hit nations.

Also read: Company Evades SEC Penalty Despite Illegally Issuing Security Tokens

Making the Case for Stablecoins

“Sixteen countries today face annual inflation rates of more than 20%, whereas other economies face hyperinflation – like Venezuela, where inflation hit 80,000% in 2018,” begins the report by Samman and Masanto. It continues: “The high volatility of today’s cryptocurrencies hinders their usefulness. Average citizens need a way to protect their money, a way to send money to/receive money from their families in other countries, and merchants need a stable means of exchange in which to do business. The stablecoin market emerged to fulfill those needs.”

40 cryptocurrency and stablecoin companies were surveyed during the creation of “The State of Stablecoins 2019.” The wide-ranging report makes a number of conclusions regarding the nascent stablecoin economy:

  • Developed nations with “stable” fiat currencies will not be early adopters of stablecoins – instead developing nations with high inflation will drive adoption.
  • While most stablecoins are currently tethered to the USD, in the future it is expected that a diversified basket of tokenized assets will become the norm.
  • The next step in stablecoin evolution is for them to be integrated into decentralized banks that will serve the needs of people in emerging markets, especially authoritarian regimes .

Ethereum Dominates the Stablecoin Trade

The 82-page report reveals the extent to which the Ethereum network dominates for stablecoin issuance and trade volume. 68.4 percent of the stablecoin projects surveyed are built on Ethereum, although some expressed a desire to migrate to another blockchain or to their own native network. Ethereum-based coins include DAI and USDC. Stellar ranked a distant second in the survey, with just 7.9 percent of projects built on its chain.

Demonstrating the extent to which most stablecoins are highly centralized, more than one third of the projects surveyed viewed regulations favorably. Just 13.2 percent of projects did not view regulations favorably, insisting that self-governance and complete decentralization were more important.

Amazix, the community management firm that co-sponsored the report, quotes Reserve CEO Nevin Freeman as saying: “The stablecoin market has made significant strides in the past year, but there is still much work to be done. What’s needed is greater coordination amongst projects, and greater focus on the application of stablecoins to solving real-world problems in the places where they are needed the most.”

Report: ‘The State of Stablecoins’ Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency
Countries that have suffered a currency crisis at some stage

While focused on digital currencies, “The State of Stablecoins” also highlights the dangers of reliance on fiat currency, listing dozens of countries that have experienced a currency crisis since the 1980s. The report signs off with no less than 24 findings, including the assertion that “The holy grail of stablecoins is to become the decentralized central bank for the internet. However, in order for this to be achieved and for a global reserve currency to emerge the internet needs to be truly decentralized.”

Do you think citizens of inflation-hit nations might turn to stablecoins? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Report: ‘The State of Stablecoins’ Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett’s bond set at $100K following arrest for false report of a hate crime

February 21, 2019 |

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s bond was set at $ 100,000 on Thursday after the actor was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.
FOX News

Mueller Report Could Come as Early as Next Week: Sources

February 20, 2019 |

The special counsel’s Russia investigation is wrapping up after nearly two years. Sources tell CNN the Justice Department is preparing for Robert Mueller’s report to come in as early as next week, after which Attorney General Bill Barr will submit a summary of the confidential report to Congress. It’s not…
Newser

Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for a System Without Censorship

February 19, 2019 |

Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for the Creation of a System Without Censorship

A recent report published by the Bank of Spain states that Bitcoin is a solution for the creation of a system without censorship. This is in contrast to public comments made by most central bankers who are prone to attack cryptocurrency with little insight into why it is needed.   

Also Read: Survey: ‘Blockchain’ Was Most Overrated Buzzword of 2018

Explaining Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash to Bankers

Banco de España, Spain’s central bank and supervisor of the Spanish banking system, recently published a report aiming to explain how Bitcoin works. The document details the functions of the cryptocurrency, as well as analyzing its strengths and weaknesses from the point of view of the established financial order. It also explains that the best way to understand the aims of the new system is by consulting the original Bitcoin whitepaper written by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for a System Without Censorship

The report mentions that according to Nakamoto the world needs “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.” Thus the goal is to create an electronic payment system similar to cash which allows remote payments without the need for the intermediation of institutions such as banks. This is meant to enable truly irreversible payments and reduce intermediation costs.

A System Without Censorship

The report concludes that cryptocurrency was envisioned as a payments system without the possibility of transaction censorship or a central authority with the power to authorize or reject transactions. It states that “bitcoin is an imaginative and elegant solution to this problem” of “the creation of a system without censorship.” However the central bank’s report also determines that traditional payment systems do not seek to resolve this problem and therefore cryptocurrency is not an alternative to them.

Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for a System Without Censorship

In line with the common position usually expressed by central bankers, the report ends by saying: “Taking into account that for most agents the existence of trusted intermediaries is not a problem, along with the costs and inefficiencies generated when an attempt is made to eliminate these intermediaries, it does not seem that bitcoin, as it currently stands, is going to have a significant impact for the financial sector as an alternative payment system to the traditional channels.”

What do you think about the conclusions of this report? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for a System Without Censorship appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

In the Daily: Shapeshift Beta, Coinsquare Acquisition, Grayscale Investment Report

February 18, 2019 |

In the Daily: Shapeshift Beta, Coinsquare Acquisition, Grayscale Investment Report

In this edition of The Daily we cover the beta launch of a new platform from Shapeshift, an acquisition by one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada – Coinsquare – and the latest Grayscale digital asset investment report.

Also Read: Startups-Focused Law Firm Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments

Shapeshift Unveils Beta

Noncustodial crypto changing service Shapeshift is opening signups for a beta trial of its new combined user interface which incorporates a number of services. CEO Erik Voorhees tweeted: “The new ShapeShift is at beta.shapeshift.com. We built it to give the world a true non-custodial crypto platform in an easy and beautiful package. This is the foundation for financial self-sovereignty.”

In the Daily: Shapeshift Beta, Coinsquare Acquisition, Grayscale Investment Report

The new platform is part of an overall update to Shapeshift’s brand and user interface. The company updated its logo, typeface, color palette and imagery earlier this month. Its new visual style is said to be influenced by the art deco, futurism and constructivist art movements. In a blog post the team explained that “These 20th Century art movements also had a significant influence on literature. In particular, futurists such as George Orwell, Ayn Rand, and Aldous Huxley (all of which believed in a decentralized future). We feel this is a nice subconscious tie to Shapeshift.”

Coinsquare Acquisition

One of the leading digital asset exchanges in Canada, Coinsquare, recently announced it has acquired Stellarx, a trading app and decentralized exchange. The move comes on the heels of Coinsquare’s December 2018 acquisition of Blockeq, which will be rebranded to become the anchor wallet for the decentralized platform. Stellarx will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Coinsquare, based in Bermuda, and will look to apply with regulators there to become licensed to operate and scale its offering under Coinsquare’s compliance guidance.

In the Daily: Shapeshift Beta, Coinsquare Acquisition, Grayscale Investment Report

Megha Bambra, Blockeq cofounder, will now lead Stellarx and her new team of Toronto-based developers will continue to build the service according to the product roadmap announced last fall. It is said that in time they will also add features that weren’t possible under Stellarx’s previous leadership such as new fiat tethers and securities tokens.

In their last blog post, the Stellarx team commented that: “Coinsquare is the perfect fit. They are already the leading Canadian cryptocurrency platform. They have very close relationships with regulators in the U.S., Europe, and Canada. The Bank of Montreal is their banking partner.”

Grayscale Investment Report

Grayscale Investments, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group which offers trusts for BTC, BCH, ETH, ETS, XRP, ZEC, and LTC, recently released its 2018 Grayscale Digital Asset Investment Report, detailing activity across its line of products for last year. The report shows that in spite of the ongoing crypto winter, Grayscale raised almost $ 360 million of investment into its products in 2018, marking its strongest fundraising year yet with nearly triple the total capital that was raised in 2017.

In the Daily: Shapeshift Beta, Coinsquare Acquisition, Grayscale Investment Report

The team wrote: “Despite a deceleration of investment into digital assets in the fourth quarter, Grayscale raised $ 30.1 million over the last three months, bringing our full year 2018 inflows to $ 359.5 million. This marks the strongest calendar year inflows since the inception of our business. The full year inflows of $ 359.5 million were nearly 3X those recorded during the 2017 digital asset bull market and nearly 2X the inflows from previous four years combined (2014-2017), demonstrating that long-term investors remain bullish independent of the recent price action.”

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post In the Daily: Shapeshift Beta, Coinsquare Acquisition, Grayscale Investment Report appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Abe Nominated Trump for Nobel: Report

February 17, 2019 |

President Trump on Friday said that Japanese PM Shinzo Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, and had given him “the most beautiful copy” of the five-page document, but Japanese newspaper Asahi is reporting on Sunday that Abe did so only at the request of the US government….
Newser

Report: FBI Has Launched Investigation of Ryan Adams

February 15, 2019 |

Fans once called Ryan Adams “the new Bob Dylan.” But after allegations of sexual misconduct , he might become the new Anthony Weiner. Sources tell the New York Times that the FBI has launched an investigation of the singer and is trying to determine whether he broke the law by exchanging…
Newser

Report Claims 85% of the Monero Network Dominated by ASIC Miners

February 12, 2019 |

Report Claims 85% of the Monero Network Overshadowed by ASIC Miners

Over the last few years, certain cryptocurrency networks have tried to block ASIC mining with many fruitless attempts to forge ASIC-resistant protocols. Multiple cryptocurrency developers have attempted to brick ASIC miners, but with scant success. A perfect example is the privacy-centric digital currency Monero, a project that has tried to fork the software multiple times in order to gain ASIC resistance. Monero developers have once again failed in that respect as a recent analysis shows more than 85 percent of the Monero network is currently dominated by ASICs.

Also Read: Core Developer’s 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

Despite ASIC Resistance Attempts, ASIC Miners Dominate Monero

In April last year, XMR developers forked the Monero software in order to block companies like Bitmain and Innosilicon from developing XMR-based ASIC miners. The end result was the birth of three other Monero forks with each project claiming to be the original version. Monero also forked again in October last year with another attempt to implement “Cryptonight variant 2” which was supposedly less ASIC friendly. A few months later on Feb. 7, a researcher published an analysis of the XMR network which detailed once again the protocol’s hashrate was dominated by ASIC machines.

Report Claims 85% of the Monero Network Dominated by ASIC Miners
XMR network nonce distribution vs. block 1,500,000 to block 1,761,369 vs. network hashrate. Source.

The analysis was written by a pseudonymous critic who used nonce forensics to figure out whether or not XMR’s nonce distribution processed at random numbers. In the blockchain world, a nonce is a random number that is employed just once in cryptographic communication and many patterns can be analyzed from queried data sets. For example, the BTC network exerts a 32-bit (4-byte) field, a value that is customized by miners so that the hash is less than or equal to the current target of the network. ASIC miners produce patterns, which are easily identified and distinct when looking at data sets.

Report Claims 85% of the Monero Network Dominated by ASIC Miners
The author notes a sudden increase of XMR network nonces in the sub 1.342*10⁹ area while all other areas dramatically decrease.

ASIC miners do try to hide by mimicking nonce selection with patterns that resemble non-ASIC machines. The April XMR fork that produced an extremely controversial four-way split saw large mining farms rejoin the network in just three days. The author notes, though, that miners had realized how to obfuscate nonce patterns. “ASIC manufacturers had learned from past mistakes and implemented random nonce picking,” the analysis explains. The report also adds that after the October fork last year, XMR developers had some success with the new Cryptonight variant, but ASIC miners quickly returned on “December 31st, 2018 near block 1,738,000.”

“At the time of writing the network hash rate has increased to 810 Mh/s or 255 percent since the first signs of the ASICs at the end of December 2018, or approximately 40 days ago,” the study explains.

The report further details:

With the given numbers and methodology we can finally conclude that the current network hashrate likely consists of 85.2 percent ASICs (5400 ASIC machines) and some die-hard GPU miners and botnets.

Report Claims 85% of the Monero Network Dominated by ASIC Miners
XMR network showing ASIC-free periods and then the hashrate dominated by ASICs.

ASIC Resistance Continues to Fail

The Monero network is not the only project that has failed to thwart ASIC miners. In May last year, the Bitcoin Gold (BTG) protocol felt threatened by ASIC miners after the creation of the Equihash-based Antminer Z9 mining rig. Not too long after that, the BTG network was hijacked by a 51 percent attack and double spends. Similarly, another project that has tried to avoid ASIC domination is the Zcash protocol, but as of May 2018, research detailed that 30 percent of the network was mined by ASIC machines. Ethereum users last year were also concerned when Bitmain released its Antminer E3, a miner that processes the Ethhash (ETH) hashing algorithm. One Ethereum proponent explained at the time that “a regularly scheduled PoW change, like Monero” was needed.

Report Claims 85% of the Monero Network Dominated by ASIC Miners
ASIC resistance has never fared well since the creation of Litecoin (LTC).

ASIC resistance promises have continuously enticed manufacturers to produce machines that mine these coins. Another great example is when Sia network developers attempted to brick companies like Bitmain from creating Sia-based ASICs. Of course, the ASIC resistant endeavor met with disaster and the developers created the Obelisk algorithm. Ironically, ASICs rigs that mine Obelisk today are the most profitable ASIC mining rigs on the market and a decent machine will rake in $ 42 a day. Old school veterans will also never forget Charlie Lee’s attempt to create an ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency when he developed the Litecoin (LTC) network’s scrypt algorithm. When LTC first launched, ASIC resistance was supposed to be one of the project’s greatest benefits, but not too long after the launch, it turned out to be minable by application-specific semiconductors.

Once again, Monero developers are faced with a decision of whether to continue trying to fork off so ASIC miners cannot dominate the network. The threat comes at a time when ASIC mineable networks with very low hashrates are extremely susceptible to 51 percent attacks and reorganizations. With lots of studies detailing how easily ASIC farms command these protocols, the question remains: is ASIC resistance just a cat and mouse game that’s destined to bring little more than fleeting results?

What do you think about the research paper that explains ASIC miners control more than 85 percent of the XMR hashrate? Do you think developers should continue fighting ASICs or is ASIC resistance a waste of time? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, MoneroCrusher, Pixabay, and Jamie Redman.  


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Report Claims 85% of the Monero Network Dominated by ASIC Miners appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Theresa May ‘to quit as British prime minister in the summer in bid to stop Boris Johnson getting the job: report

February 12, 2019 |

Theresa May is preparing to resign as British prime minister this summer so she can influence who succeeds her, Cabinet ministers now believe.
FOX News

Report Alleges Brother of Bezos’ Mistress Is Leaker

February 11, 2019 |

Ever since racy texts between Jeff Bezos and mistress Lauren Sanchez turned up in the National Enquirer , a big unanswered question has been the identity of the leaker. The Daily Beast now quotes multiple sources within Enquirer parent company AMI to point the finger at Michael Sanchez, brother of Bezos’…
Newser