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| May 24, 2019

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Ryan Hampton: Congress should focus more on the drug epidemic and less on Robert Mueller

May 18, 2019 |

The victims of the drug epidemic are nameless, faceless, and powerless.
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Altran Technologies S.A. (EPA:ALT) Investors Should Think About This Before Buying It For Its Dividend

May 18, 2019 |

Altran Technologies S.A. (EPA:ALT) Investors Should Think About This Before Buying It For Its DividendToday we'll take a closer look at Altran Technologies S.A. (EPA:ALT) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a…

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Rosenstein unloads on Comey, says he broke ‘bright lines that should never be crossed’

May 14, 2019 |

Rod Rosenstein unloaded on former FBI Director James Comey in remarks to the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) on Monday, slamming Comey’s turn as a “partisan pundit,” reiterating that he deserved to be fired, and faulting him for trampling “bright lines that should never be crossed.”
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Schnorr Signatures Are Coming to Bitcoin Cash – Here’s What You Should Know

May 12, 2019 |

A Brief Explanation of the Next Bitcoin Cash Upgrade — Schnorr Signatures

On Wednesday, May 15, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network will be upgraded to incorporate the highly anticipated Schnorr signature algorithm, a digital signature scheme widely known for its simplicity.

Also read: Bitcoin History Part 12: When No One Wanted Your BTC

Schnorr Sigs Are Coming

Next week, the Bitcoin Cash blockchain will be upgraded by adding two specific elements to the network’s underlying mechanics — Schnorr signatures and Segwit recovery exemption. Schnorr signatures will be a distinctive upgrade feature that gives the BCH chain a leading edge due to the signature schemes’ ability to promote privacy and scaling. The Schnorr signature algorithm was invented by the renowned cryptographer Claus Schnorr and cryptocurrency developers have been eager to implement Schnorr signatures for quite some time. Currently, BCH uses what’s called the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm or ECDSA for transaction signatures. After May 15, however, the chain will offer both legacy style ECDSA transaction signatures and the ability to use basic Schnorr signatures as well.

Schnorr Signatures Are Coming to Bitcoin Cash – Here’s What You Should Know

Bitcoin cash transactions have a few elements that utilize basic cryptographic procedures. In a BCH transaction, a cryptographic signature is used to validate the owner of the funds. Alongside this, the cryptographic method ECDSA is employed to encrypt data so only a specific recipient can decrypt the information. The combination of these factors proves a BCH user’s ownership which constitutes the owner’s right to spend the bitcoin cash. Signatures also have to be provided for every BCH input within the transaction itself. ECDSA properties give two parties the ability to communicate BCH public and private keys securely. Schnorr signatures added to the Bitcoin Cash chain will offer the same properties as ECDSA, but will be far more efficient and powerful.

Schnorr Signatures Are Coming to Bitcoin Cash – Here’s What You Should Know
The Electron Cash feature slated for next release will show Schnorr signed signatures.

Hidden Payment Channels, Atomic Swaps and Multisignature Aggregation

BCH developers are adding Schnorr signatures because the method is a cleaner way to encrypt and decrypt data. With next week’s upgrade, developer Mark Lundeberg has detailed that Schnorr will be an optional replacement for ECDSA signatures. Lundeberg explained that users won’t have to generate new addresses to start using Schnorr signatures. With Schnorr, the developer has said that transactions can be 4% smaller due to signatures being 64 bytes of data in contrast to the usual 70. The feature basically enhances the effectiveness of signature data required for every bitcoin cash transaction. After the upgrade on Wednesday, BCH will have the added ability to utilize payment channels hidden as ordinary payments. Atomic swaps can be hidden as payments and in the future developers can add more sophisticated concepts like multisignature aggregation.

“From a UX point of view, Bitcoin Cash users and merchants accepting Bitcoin Cash via consumer-oriented wallets, such as the wallet app, aren’t likely to notice anything different at first glance,” Lundeberg noted. “But, if you view a new transaction after the May 15th upgrade, you may notice (and appreciate!) that its size is ~4% smaller than it would have been before.”

Schnorr Signatures Are Coming to Bitcoin Cash – Here’s What You Should Know

Lundeberg has also clarified that public signature aggregation would provide wallets with the ability to replace many transaction signatures with just one signature. This alone could enhance scaling in the future by adding a “~20% transaction size decrease, making the network faster and more efficient.” Further down the line, smart contracts or sign-to-contract concepts can be built, the programmer expounded, which will further enhance bitcoin cash privacy. The attributes provided by Schnorr and some clever engineering added by BCH developers and infrastructure providers like wallets will further enhance both privacy and scaling.

In just a few days the Bitcoin Cash network will be adding a sexy new feature and well before Bitcoin Core (BTC), whose developers have just announced a proposal to add the upgrade. There’s a lot of value pouring into BCH development-wise right now such as the Simple Ledger Protocol, Badger Wallet, Cash Accounts, Cashshuffle, the Bchd client and its privacy-enhancing wallet Neutrino. With Schnorr signatures coming, the BCH chain will be able to solidify its foundation and continue to provide fungible, peer-to-peer electronic cash to the masses.

If you want to learn more about Schnorr signatures, check out these explainers below from two prominent BCH developers:

What do you think about Schnorr signatures coming to the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Electron Cash Wallet, Twitter,, and Coin Dance.

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The post Schnorr Signatures Are Coming to Bitcoin Cash – Here’s What You Should Know appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

'He doesn't even know how many lives he saved': Should private guards be used more in schools?

May 11, 2019 |

'He doesn't even know how many lives he saved': Should private guards be used more in schools?A security guard was credited with capturing one of the suspects in Colorado shooting. "It's not as simple as you think," a former officer says.

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Trump obstruction: More than 500 former prosecutors say president should face 'multiple felony charges'

May 8, 2019 |

Trump obstruction: More than 500 former prosecutors say president should face 'multiple felony charges'More than 560 former federal prosecutors have signed a letter saying Donald Trump should be charged with obstruction of justice.The statement claims there is “overwhelming” evidence of corrupt intent to block the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election.“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the statement reads.US senator Richard Blumenthal said he was “proud” to add his name to the list of signatures, which includes officials who worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations stretching back to Dwight Eisenhower.He was joined by Bill Weld, a former US attorney who is standing against Mr Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, and Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general under George HW Bush. Mr Weld said the evidence “goes well beyond what is required to support criminal charges of obstruction of justice.”The letter was drawn up in response to Attorney General William Barr’s conclusion that the evidence was insufficient for a charge of obstruction of justice.It argues there is evidence that Mr Trump attempted to fire Mr Mueller, limit the scope of the investigation and prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators.“To look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice – the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution  –  runs counter to logic and our experience,” the letter says.The statement had gathered around 370 signatures by Monday afternoon and by Tuesday morning the total stood at 566, according to the list updated by the non-profit Protect Democracy project.It came as members of the House Judiciary Committee announced plans to vote on Wednesday on whether to hold Mr Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to meet a deadline to provide a copy of the full, unredacted report and its underlying evidence.

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McConnell says Mueller investigation should be put to rest at last

May 8, 2019 |

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., re-emphasized putting the Mueller investigation “to rest” Tuesday in an exclusive interview on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
FOX News

President Trump Should Rediscover Regulatory Reform

May 7, 2019 |

President Trump Should Rediscover Regulatory ReformPresident Trump, who made regulatory reform a priority early in his term, claims to have reduced federal regulatory burdens by $ 23 billion in fiscal year 2018. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he has hinted at declaring premature victory and given indications of abandoning the issue altogether.After losing the House in the 2018 elections, congressional Republicans may have blown their best chance in decades at passing significant regulatory-reform legislation. It may be years before they have another opportunity. What can reformers do until then?One patch of fertile ground is addressing what we term regulatory “dark matter” — interpretive rules and policy statements that do not go through the public notice-and-comment requirement that applies to ordinary regulations, yet still carry regulatory weight. There is much that the executive branch can do on its own here.Dark matter can take the form of guidance documents, memoranda, notices, circulars, or even press releases indicating a policy change, such as Labor Department designation of independent contractors. Guidance is not supposed to be legally binding on citizens, or even the issuing agency, yet as the Administrative Conference of the United States has detailed, those who are regulated by agencies have reason to feel obliged to comply with the policy content of such pronouncements.There is a serious lack of transparency and accountability for guidance. The amount of guidance is unknown and defies official attempts to inventory it all. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently attempted to confront the guidance issue — ironically, by issuing a guidance document. The directive reinforces existing requirements for agencies to report and submit both rules and guidance to Congress and the Government Accountability Office for potential disapproval, as required under the Congressional Review Act — a requirement that some agencies have been ignoring.This is an important development to build upon. Further executive actions should extend existing transparency requirements to independent agencies, which are those below cabinet level. These are currently exempt from OMB regulatory review, yet they produce a lot of rules.Annual regulatory-agency “report cards,” similar to the ones that we compile in our new report, Ten Thousand Commandments, should be standard procedure, and could be established via executive order. These would contain summary information, such as the amount of both rules and guidance an agency issued during the year (and at what cost), how many of those rules underwent cost-benefit analysis, plans for upcoming rules, and more. The report cards should be in a standardized, easily searchable format and made publicly available in a central location such as OMB’s website.Another executive order could implement a regulatory cost budget, which would build on early Trump executive orders implementing a one-in, two-out requirement for new regulations and a zero-net-new-costs policy.Just as the government compiles an annual spending budget, there needs to be greater accountability for rules and the costs they impose. To that end, another executive order should reaffirm the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act’s unfulfilled requirement that the federal government prepare an annual aggregate cost estimate.Based on various sources, including available government data, we arrive at a ballpark cost figure of $ 2 trillion annually as a placeholder for federal regulatory compliance and economic drag. At that level, if the regulatory state were its own country, it would be the world’s ninth-largest economy, ranking behind India and ahead of Canada. That’s a cost of more than $ 14,000 per U.S. household, more than any other expense except housing.Even with a slowdown in the pace of new rulemaking, agencies still issued 3,368 new regulations in 2018, though this time several hundred were deemed “deregulatory” in nature. Some 3,534 regulations are currently in various stages of the pipeline. These figures do not include “dark matter,” which by its nature is more difficult to quantify or outright non-quantifiable. To give an idea of scale, agencies issued 22,025 “notices” last year.Congress has shown interest in executive-branch transparency in matters concerning Trump himself. It should extend that interest to regulatory agencies over which President Trump wields power.For its part, the administration should pursue regulatory transparency and accountability reform to help economic growth continue. Even if President Trump were to become distracted by higher-profile issues, his early regulatory reforms have contributed to the nation’s current healthy economic growth. He should expand on that success and encourage Congress to join in — after all, they’re incumbents, too.Wayne Crews is the vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the author of the new 2019 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State. Ryan Young is a senior fellow at CEI.

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Trump appears to claim he should receive two extra years as president amid increasing fears he won't accept result of 2020 election

May 6, 2019 |

Trump appears to claim he should receive two extra years as president amid increasing fears he won't accept result of 2020 electionDonald Trump has appeared to claim he should receive an additional two years as president in “reparations” for the Mueller investigation. The US president shared on Sunday a tweet by Jerry Falwell Jr, president of evangelical Christian university Liberty University and a prominent supporter of Mr Trump. “After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring,” Mr Falwell falsely claimed. In fact there is no evidence to suggest former president Barack Obama had any role in probing the Trump campaign, and special counsel Robert Mueller has provided multiple instances in which Mr Trump attempted to impede his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. “I now support reparations,” Mr Fallwell added in the tweet the president shared on his account. “Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.” Though Mr Trump did not explicitly endorse the message he shared, he regularly and almost exclusively retweets messages he agrees with.He followed up the retweet with posts of his own bemoaning two years “stollen” (sic) by the special counsel’s probe, which was launched in May 2017 and concluded with Mr Mueller’s 448-page report, which was published last month. “Despite the tremendous success that I have had as President, including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY and most successful first two years of any President in history, they have stollen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back,” he tweeted. “The Witch Hunt is over but we will never forget. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” The allusion to an extended presidency came just hours after Nancy Pelosi suggested Mr Trump might not voluntarily leave the White House if Democrats fail to win “big” in 2020. The Democratic house speaker said Mr Trump may contest the result and refuse to give up power if her party’s candidate won only by a narrow margin. “We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” she told The New York Times.Michael Cohen, Mr Trump’s former lawyer and personal fixer, raised the prospect of Mr Trump ignoring the results of the election during congressional testimony in February. “Given my experience working for Mr Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” Cohen, who will be jailed today for his role in Trump campaign finance violations, said during his closing remarks.

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Deontay Wilder Should Star In ‘Creed 3’ Says ‘Creed 2’ Star Wood Harris

May 5, 2019 |

Deontay Wilder has yet another ally in his goal to star in “Creed 3,” because another huge star in the franchise is totally down with, actually advocating for, Wilder to hit the big screen in the next flick. Wilder told us some time ago that one of…