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Iota Partners With Jaguar Land Rover on Crypto Rewards Program, Price Jumps 20%

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United Kingdom car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover will use blockchain network Iota to reward drivers with cryptocurrency for data reporting, the companies confirmed in a press release on April 29.

Part of a plan to gather better information on road conditions and vehicle performance, Jaguar will distribute Iota’s Iota tokens to Smart Wallets tied to participating drivers.

The drivers will then be able to redeem them for various products including road tolls and even coffee, Jaguar says.

“In the future an autonomous car could drive itself to a charging station, recharge and pay, while its owner could choose to participate in the sharing economy — earning rewards from sharing useful data such as warning other cars of traffic jams,” Russell Vickers, a software architect at the company, commented in the press release.

The partnership with Iota forms part of Jaguar’s Destination Zero scheme, which aims to tackle accidents, congestion and emissions within the automotive industry.

Iota has jumped almost 20% in the 24 hours to press time on Monday.

“Our distributed ledger technology is perfectly suited to enable machine-to-machine payments for smart charging, parking and tolls, in addition to creating opportunities for drivers to earn their own digital currency,” Iota’s head of partnerships, Holger Köther, added.

Last week, Cointelegraph reported on how South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai had opted to use blockchain-related technology to pair its electric vehicles with drivers’ smartphones.

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Russian Gold-Backed Crypto Slams the Global US Dollar Standard

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By CCN Markets: Russia is continuing to explore the possibility of a gold-backed cryptocurrency for use as a cross-border settlement alternative with other countries.

Under heavy sanctions from the US, the potential of a value-pegged cryptocurrency could help Russia escape from the usage of the Dollar as a currency standard.

Russia’s State Duma member Vladimir Gutenev proposed the creation of this digital asset. He suggested the tying of the value to gold would alleviate issues found in cryptocurrencies, and that this offering would be likened to a stable coin.

Breaking US Dollar bonds

Russia has honed in on gold reserves as a way to fight the US Dollar hegemony already. Boosting such reserves allows them to diversify foreign exchange and reduce reliance on the US dollar. It has, of late, been part of Russia’s national policy.

The central bank reported in May that their gold holdings amounted to nearly $492 billion.

The possibility of tokenizing and digitizing their stores would give them a lot more freedom and power with the value of their gold reserves. However, cryptocurrencies launched by the central bank are still being met with resistance.

The head of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) Elvira Nabiullina said: “As for mutual settlements, we will consider, of course, a proposal on a cryptocurrency that is tied to gold. But, in my opinion, it is more important to develop settlements in national currencies.”

Crypto the answer

Nabiullina explains that the CBR is still unsure of cryptocurrencies being launched into Russia’s monetary system, but the idea of a volatility-free digital asset is more inviting.

“The CBR, in principle, is opposed to cryptocurrencies being launched into our monetary system. We do not see the possibility that cryptocurrencies fulfill the function of monetary surrogates,” Nabiullina said.

She added:

“We have prepared an analytical report and will soon present it which will analyze what cryptocurrency is, what is happening in the world, what approaches different countries to have, and what regulation is envisaged. And, if the phenomenon of cryptocurrency in any perspective may cause risks to our macroeconomic stability, we need to understand that.”

She did add, however, that the regulator could study the possibility of creating stablecoins while there is a real asset behind their provision. This is Gutenev’s point; having a gold-backed cryptocurrency would alleviate volatility concerns, and tap into a powerhouse of wealth for the Russians.

Big boost for Russia

Currently, Russia is under significant sanctions from the US, and more so, suffers at the hands of the global US dollar standard. Trading done with other countries can potentially also be hampered because of the close reliance on the US dollar.

If Russia can successfully launch a gold-backed cryptocurrency, they will be able to liquefy their massive reserves and trade more freely across the border. Moreso, they could start shifting the needle away from the Dollar and towards their asset-backed currency, globally.

This post was last modified on 16/06/2019 08:48

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Luxembourg University Postdoc: Central Bank Digital Currencies Too Attractive to Ignore

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The thought of issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is simply too horny to forget about, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Luxembourg wrote in a find out about. The analysis was once shared by way of the Oxford Business Law Blog on Friday, Feb. 22.

Hossein Nabilou, a postdoctoral researcher on the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Finance of the University of Luxembourg, introduced his findings in a find out about entitled “Central Bank Digital Currencies: Preliminary Legal Observations.” The record inquisitive about attainable demanding situations that launching a CBDC may reason for the European Central Bank (ECB).

According to Nabilou, cryptocurrencies have considerably impacted the banking sector. He writes how their capability, very similar to cash issued by way of a central financial institution, first drew banks’ consideration. Banks had been additionally preoccupied with the concept that cryptocurrencies may spoil their monopoly on controlling the stream of cash and affect the stableness of present monetary methods, Nabilou believes.

Thus, CBDCs can also be handled as a coverage reaction to the rising acclaim for cryptocurrencies, he continues. Despite the existing scepticism in opposition to crypto and several other failed makes an attempt to release a state-backed coin, such because the Venezuelan Petro, central banks are actively studying the generation in the back of virtual currencies. Some of them also have the potential of launching a CBDC of their schedule, the researcher writes.

However, if the ECB launches a virtual forex, it will result in banking disintermediation, Nabilou continues. Customers gets direct get admission to to the central financial institution’s stability sheets, and in consequence there will probably be no reason why for them to carry balances inside a industrial financial institution, which may result in general banking sector instability.

Moreover, this kind of transfer would centralize the credit score allocation and undermine the primary of an open marketplace economic system with loose festival, violating the constitutional constraints set by way of the EU. For the ones causes, the ECB is not going to factor a CBDC except the suitable laws are offered, Nabilou concludes.

Venezuela was once probably the most first nations to release a state-backed coin in 2018. Despite the efforts taken by way of the federal government, the Petro has seemingly failed to lend a hand bail out the rustic’s economic system. Several banks in Iran have additionally supported a gold-backed virtual forex dubbed PayMon, whilst Egypt is still considering a chance of launching a CBDC.

Some central financial institution officers have publicly shared Nabilou’s view on CBDCs. For example, South Korea’s central financial institution has recently issued a caution over CBDCs, pointing out that they’d lead to mass withdrawals of budget from non-public establishments, squeezing liquidity and pushing up rates of interest.

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Principality of Andorra to Implement Blockchain Tech for Digitizing Academic Degrees

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The executive of Andorra will enforce blockchain era within the nation’s upper education machine, Spanish-language information outlet EuropaPress reported on Feb. 21.

The Principality of Andorra, a sovereign landlocked state at the Iberian Peninsula, will digitize nationwide upper schooling through imposing blockchain era for storing all educational levels.

The initiative is geared toward making a extra protected registry processes, EuropaPress stories. Academic levels recorded by way of blockchain tech can’t be eradicated or changed, and the tech will even permit for the aid of “administrative expenses derived from the current analogue process,” the object notes.

The get admission to to the blockchain is to be supplied through Andorra Telecom, the nationwide telecom corporate, which is answerable for the distribution of virtual terrestrial and radio broadcast services and products within the Principality of Andorra.

Europa Press additionally states that blockchain tech would permit for more straightforward get admission to to raised schooling:

“It opens the possibility that in the future the Hague Apostille in the recognition of titles at an international level will not be necessary.”

The Hague Apostille is a certificates by which a file issued in one of the vital signatory international locations can also be qualified for criminal functions in the entire different signatory states.

As Cointelegraph reported the day before today, the Maltese executive signed a two-year contract with a tool corporate to retailer all tutorial certificate, together with secondary faculty certificate issued through the state, church and unbiased faculties, with blockchain era.

Earlier this month, the Russian Federal Service for Supervision within the Sphere of Education and Science introduced plans to enforce blockchain era within the nation’s primary commencement exam beginning this yr, as Cointelegraph wrote on Feb. 5.

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Validators Create New Attack Vectors for Decentralized Systems

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Pascal Thellman is CMO at Bounty0x, a easy provider for incomes crypto, and an guide at PolyGrowth, a crypto PR company.

As proof-of-stake (PoS) networks tools up with the intention to compete with proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains, vital consideration has been put on their validator mechanisms and incentive constructions for keeping up legitimate consensus.

In explicit, ethereum has been brewing the improvement milestones for its transition to PoS consensus as a part of its ‘Serenity’ improve for a number of years.

Binance lately launched the main points of its upcoming ‘decentralized’ alternate which is able to rely on 11 validator nodes – all managed via Binance – for confirming transactions at the alternate. The corporate has since come below fireplace for even calling their alternate decentralized and has gone on the defensive.

Interchain initiatives like Cosmos and Polkadot are gaining traction amongst proponents of interoperability and fast-finality consensus blockchains the usage of Tendermint BFT and DPoS consensus fashions, respectively. And Cosmos is preparing for the launch of its mainnet Cosmos Hub quickly. While PoS cryptocurrency networks be offering higher power potency and sooner finality than PoW, they have got but to be confirmed at scale and include myriad considerations in more than a few assault vectors and misaligned incentives.

Further, even though maximum interchain blockchain initiatives focal point on the usage of validators for his or her community consensus, others have maintained the emphasis on the usage of PoW by the use of nuanced approaches. Block Collider makes use of an optimized model of Nakamoto Consensus for an interoperable chain of a number of blockchains with out the want to trade its safety style to that of PoS or the usage of validating nodes.

PoW is the battle-tested and sustainable consensus set of rules that bitcoin introduced a whole trade with, so it can be crucial to evaluate probably the most attainable quandaries with the fast onset of PoS cryptocurrency networks.

The myriad kinds of validating

Networks that deploy validator mechanisms of their consensus use a lot of names – from “hubs” to “masternodes.” However, all of them make use of equivalent design fashions the place validators ensure the legitimate state of the community via “validating” or “producing” blocks in frequencies that correlate to their stake of the local token within the community.

Validators exchange the position of miners in a PoW blockchain community and are incentivized to behave truthfully inside the machine as a result of their stake is locked into the community whilst they carry out their process. They are rewarded within the local token of the community for original validating efforts, and their stakes are slashed in the event that they act maliciously.

If you’re searching for a deep dive into the mechanics of PoS validating programs, Vitalik Buterin supplies explanation on ethereum’s CBC Casper (PoS) mechanism and an preliminary design philosophy for PoS. Similarly, Cosmos supplies some helpful developer documentation for the way their interchain validating works.

PoS mechanisms are exceptionally complicated as a result of they require complex recreation theoretic approaches and their immutability is subjectively interpreted. The supply of the validation of the blockchain ledger derives from validator assurances of its integrity, moderately than power expended by the use of mining the place the cardinal assault vector is power itself moderately than human interpretation — a really perfect social scalability assemble for minimizing accept as true with.

Additionally, many interchain frameworks require compatibility of blockchains which are plugging into the community. For example, Cosmos calls for subchains that use fast-finality consensus, precluding the facility of PoW blockchains to hook up with the community.

Properly inspecting probably the most pitfalls of validator networks calls for that specialize in two number one spaces:

  1. Attacks vectors
  2. Misaligned incentives

The main fear of validator networks is their trade-off of scalability for safety.

Cost financial savings by the use of PoS networks and sooner finality that assist the community scale come at an equivalent price in long-term community integrity, which is likely one of the basic price propositions of blockchains.

Attack vectors

The misaligned incentives of validator networks frequently at once correspond to the assault vectors that require sophisticated engineering round to keep away from. Two of the long-standing problems with validator consensus are the assault vectors of Long-Range Attacks and Sour Milk Attacks.

Long-Range Attacks (LRA)

An LRA is the place a malicious birthday celebration may just acquire the personal key of a sizeable token stability that used to be utilized in validating prior to now. The birthday celebration may just then wield this stability to generate an alternate historical past of the blockchain from when the personal key held the stability, successfully enabling them to award themselves expanding rewards according to the PoS validation.

The proposed technique to this drawback is checkpointing, however checkpointing the state of the chain calls for nodes regularly be on-line and has been criticized as a complex and centralized solution. Moreover, LRAs show that within the long-run, PoS validator networks fail to ensure the validity of the ledger – specifically in previous states of the blockchain.

The result’s that validator networks don’t seem to be developing an everlasting, immutable ledger with their consensus, however moderately just a “temporary consensus” inside of a given context of time.

Sour Milk Attacks

A bitter milk assault is the place base validators push their friends to doubt fair friends via publishing authentic and fraudulent blocks to friends at the same time as. At the similar time, those base nodes coordinate with different malicious friends to do the similar, muddling the facility of fair friends to discern between legitimate and invalid blocks.

The necessities for undertaking those assaults are concerningly low, as just a fraction of the community validators can successfully freeze the community, create forks and lock the consensus.

Other assault vectors

Some different outstanding assault vectors for PoS validating networks come with the “Fake Stake attack,” stake grinding and DDOS assaults in opposition to validators which are required to stay on-line — forcing them to lose cash.

In explicit, the faux stake assault unearths that PoS validating is not as efficient at scaling as perceived, because of the upper prices of checking PoS blockchains in comparison to PoW blockchains. The assault vector used to be lately disclosed and would allow attackers with minimum stakes to crash nodes working the community’s tool.

Misaligned incentives

One of the principle considerations with validator networks is their attainable for supplementing the wealth of the “crypto 1 percent” the place simplest validators with vital stakes will reap the rewards of staking. With the wealthiest stakeholders in a position to keep watch over a sizeable portion of the total provide, the motivation for moderate stakeholders to take part in validating is lowered.

Reduced incentives are inextricably connected to some of the cited and high-profile pitfalls of validator networks — the low participation in staking by users. The downstream results of low participation are community centralization, front-running trades with worth cartels, and lots of extra hostile penalties.

The recreation idea complexity of validator networks could also be frequently criticized. To the hammers — engineers in recreation idea and incentive constructions — the entirety in PoS consensus design looks as if a nail. As such, the style turns into exceptionally convoluted and corresponding to engineering new answers to issues that outdated answers collaterally produced.

Further, misaligned incentives draw from the sheer complexity of such programs. In explicit, the “Nothing at Stake Problem” is likely one of the main considerations of PoS validator networks. The Nothing at Stake drawback is a well-documented factor in validator PoS networks the place PoS consensus can not adequately clear up the issue of 2 blocks being produced at equivalent occasions.

PoW solves this by the use of a randomized mechanism involving essentially the most labored chain of power expenditure. However, PoS passes this burden onto the validators, main to at least one block probably having extra stake than the opposite. The drawback materializes when validators understand that staking on two competing chains is high quality to them. By the usage of their stake on each chains, it turns into difficult to discern which chain is the legitimate chain.

Criticisms of proposed answers to the Nothing at Stake drawback once more spotlight the layers of abstraction had to obfuscate the basic factor of staking with out if truth be told addressing the issue itself – resulting in much more design convolution.

Conclusion

As networks that rely on validators proceed to garner reinforce amongst next-generation blockchain platforms, it’s prudent to position the brand new consensus designs into the context of practicality. PoW is the one confirmed allotted consensus for blockchain networks. Only time will inform if PoS validators end up sustainable fashions for scalable blockchains, and being conscious about their shortcomings is the optimum way in a sea of blockchain innovation.

Network image by the use of Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Has a Florida Problem

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Justin Wales is senior recommend and co-chairs the Blockchain and Virtual Currency follow at Carlton Fields.

———

No one turns out to grasp what to do about bitcoin.

Since its genesis, regulators and courts around the globe have struggled with whether or not to and control it. Depending on the place you’re within the United States, for example, it both is or isn’t unlawful to promote your bitcoin for money with out a state license. That’s as a result of relying on the place you’re, bitcoin is both cash or it isn’t, and promoting bitcoin is both cash transmission or it’s now not.

And in some puts, it can be, however nobody has determined. So, you wish to have a license to promote your bitcoin… except you don’t.

As a first-generation member of the unexpectedly rising crypto criminal neighborhood, I’ve noticed how regulatory inconsistencies build up the price of innovation and power companies from jurisdictions that lack transparent steering or take a adversarial view of the blockchain and digital foreign money trade. Following the Third District Court of Appeal’s Florida v. Espinoza choice, Florida now does each.

As defined underneath, that is because of a popular and elementary false impression of the very nature of bitcoin.

Espinoza says bitcoin is a fee device

The contemporary appellate opinion determined that promoting bitcoin calls for a Florida cash carrier trade license, overruling the trial court docket’s order that disregarded prison fees in opposition to Mitchell Espinoza who used to be speculated to be running an unlicensed cash carrier trade by means of promoting bitcoin.

The trial court docket disregarded the fees, concluding that bitcoin used to be now not a “payment instrument” beneath Florida legislation, and that promoting bitcoin used to be now not cash transmission. The Third District disagreed with either one of those conclusions, conserving that bitcoin is a “payment instrument” for the reason that Court had proof that people had been prepared to simply accept bitcoin in change for items and products and services.

The Court cited no technical government in regards to the building, makes use of or construction of Bitcoin for non-financial functions, however as an alternative fascinated by the truth that Bitcoin may well be used as a way to put across price.

The Court when compared the language of Florida’s Money Transmitter Act (Ch. 560, Fla. Stat.) to that of the federal legislation and, according to its studying of the obvious textual content of Florida’s legislation discovered that it didn’t expressly require {that a} 3rd birthday party be incorporated in a transaction for that transaction to represent cash transmission.

Accordingly, the Court discovered, promoting one’s personal bitcoin constitutes “money transmission,” which calls for a license, a written compliance protocol, and intensive report protecting. Not best is that this choice at odds with the Federal view of what constitutes a cash carrier trade, it additionally contradicts steering from the state regulator, Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, which said in a declaratory observation in re: Cryptobase that events who purchase and promote their very own bitcoin don’t wish to download a cash transmission license.

It additionally demonstrates a elementary false impression of what Bitcoin is and the way it’s setting up into a strong community supporting quite a lot of use instances, together with non-financial makes use of.

Bitcoin isn’t cash. It does cash

Bitcoin lacks a number of elementary traits that we acknowledge as required for one thing to be “money.” It isn’t centrally subsidized or technically fungible. Despite this (and most likely for the reason that phrase “coin” seems in its identify), it’s steadily described as “digital money” or “digital gold.”

In reality, Bitcoin is neither of this stuff. It is a world international community of computer systems that permits individuals to
authenticate information with out first acquiring permission from a centralized authority. The first utility of that community simply occurs to be one thing like cash.

The international community is named Bitcoin with a capital “B” and the general public ledger that data and validates information entries at the community is named the Bitcoin blockchain. Prior to Bitcoin, safe peer-to-peer digital transactions of information had been inconceivable as a result of virtual knowledge is straightforward to duplicate; virtual representations of price may well be copied and spent two times. Bitcoin solves this factor by means of the usage of cryptographic equipment, in a recreation concept primarily based device that incentivizes individuals that make investments computational power to validate new information by means of paying a praise for this paintings.

That inside community praise mechanism is confusingly referred to as bitcoin (with a lower-case “b.”) Without bitcoins to incentivize mining, Satoshi’s community may now not paintings. First, as a result of customers who want to upload or trade information tracked on Bitcoin’s blockchain wish to pay charges in bitcoin, there’s a charge so as to add new information and subsequently the Bitcoin community is not going to be flooded with phony or low- price transactions (necessarily fighting a denial of carrier kind assault).

Second, as a result of miners that make investments their assets to validate adjustments to the blockchain will have to be depended on to behave in truth, and now not certify false information, the bitcoin praise supplies a financial incentive to individuals to just settle for legitimate transactions.

The Third District’s choice and what Florida will have to do about It

The Third District’s opinion focuses completely on bitcoin’s economic makes use of. However, their research ignores different makes use of of the Bitcoin community, together with as a censorship-resistant newsletter community, a time-stamping instrument, a record authenticator, a sensible contract platform (the usage of RSK Rootstock) with extensive utility throughout many industries, and the facility to facilitate varieties of micro-communications (using Bitcoin’s lightning community) that aren’t differently technologically imaginable.

Each of those non-financial makes use of calls for a consumer to simply download bitcoin to take part in each the economic and non-financial actions facilitated by means of the Bitcoin community.

By ignoring the State’s present coverage of allowing people to promote their virtual assets with out acquiring a cash products and services trade license, the Court has reworked Florida from some of the extra innovation-friendly states for the blockchain and digital foreign money trade into some of the least. By now not spotting the price and setting up makes use of of the Bitcoin community, the Court necessarily made it cost-preclusive to begin a trade that is helping to develop or facilitate the still-developing makes use of of Bitcoin’s international decentralized community and created upper burdens for events who want to transact at the Bitcoin community.

The State’s want to forestall illegal conduct is easily based, however it will have to be overly wary when endorsing overbroad or technologically restrictive insurance policies. The Third District Court of Appeal’s choice is at odds with Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation and its right kind working out of the various facets — each non-financial and monetary — of the Bitcoin community. Fortunately, a new bill has been introduced earlier than the Florida House that will shape a running workforce to advise the State, amongst different issues, of control bitcoin. However, a legislative resolution would possibly take months or years.

In the period in-between, it’s crucial that regulators and courts take some time to grasp the Bitcoin community’s packages past its use as price so they don’t let Florida fall in the back of.

Florida symbol by the use of Shutterstock

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