Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer

An Ethereum developer is claiming the state-backed petro (PTR) cryptocurrency, a plaything to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, has taken substantial amounts of its newly published whitepaper from Dash (DASH). Indeed, at least at first glance, it does appear there are close similarities between the altcoin and the world’s first national cryptocurrency.   

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Speaker Series II Brings Leading Bitcoiners Together

Venezuela’s Newly Published Whitepaper Appears to Have a Great Deal in Common with Dash

Readers familiar with altcoin dash will recognize its salient features: instant send, masternodes, consensus combination, an X11 mining algorithm, and so on. That these elements have found their way into the recently published Petro whitepaper caught the attention of at least one keen reader, Ethereum developer Joey Zhou.

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer
Joey Zhou

The coincidences appeared to be so strong in his reading and subsequent comparison that Zhou took to Twitter, announcing “Lol Venezuela’s new Petro token is a blatant dash clone (at least the whitepaper, page 11).” He then linked to a graph that’s prominent in both the whitepaper (page 13 in the PDF) and the Dash Github.

Under the heading “Technical Description” (Section 11.6, “Staking o Tenecia”), the petro whitepaper seems to propose a consensus algorithm combination of Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS), which is similar to that of dash. Petro begins by allocating 85% of its rewards to “Nodos Maestros,” or masternodes, with the remainder left to users. But to be fair, Dash’s breakdowns are not nearly as skewed.  

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer
The offending image found by Mr. Zhou. Compare it to dash’s Github svg.

Masternodes, Instant Send, X11 Mining =
Highest Form of Flattery?

Sunacrip, the self-proclaimed autonomous entity that oversees all of Venezuela’s cryptoasset-related matters, features prominently in the Petro whitepaper. Though Petro supposedly has masternodes, a key part of dash governance, Sunacrip is given a lot of relative power. For example, it is allowed to change the consensus for the network’s “convenience.” Yet the whitepaper claims masternodes will “make decisions in the network and support transactions carried out by themselves.”

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer

Whether it’s straight plagiarism or a friendly open-source lifting might depend on who is judging the whitepaper. However, if petro were to be so “blatant,” as Mr. Zhou claimed, dash would be a logical choice. Venezuela has a history with dash, and as recently as this summer the world’s 12th-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization caught a double-digit price bump, apparently due to a rush of Venezuelans racing to escape notorious hyperinflation.

An even deeper dive into petro shows what appears to be a pattern when it comes to dash similarities. Indeed, both instant send and X11 mining have been woven into petro, which are also critical features of dash. Described as “most important” to petro are “the instantaneous sending (less than five seconds) of the transactions, which represents an innovative advance with a significant impact compared to existing cryptocurrencies.” That sentence omits, of course, the most famous crypto using masternodes, dash.

Do you believe Venezuela copied dash, or are the similarities in its petro whitepaper simply a coincidence? Let us know in the comments below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Crypto-Community Debates Bitcoin Core Bug and a ‘Forced Upgrade’

Crypto-Community Debates Bitcoin Core Bug and a 'Forced Upgrade'

This week the cryptocurrency community has been discussing and dealing with the critical vulnerability that was found in the Bitcoin Core (BTC) reference client. Many observers are calling the bug one of the worst issues BTC has had in years, comparing the exploit to the March 2013 mandatory hard fork. In fact, in the eyes of many, the network is still vulnerable to massive inflation from an attack that costs a mere 12.5 BTC ($83,000).

Also read: Critical Bug Found in Bitcoin Core Invokes the Multiple Client Argument

Peter Todd: ‘The Most Dangerous Time Is Not *Prior* to It Being Patched, but Rather *While* It Is Being Patched’

Crypto-Community Debates Bitcoin Core Bug and a 'Forced Upgrade'The Bitcoin Core (BTC) community has been dealing with a critical vulnerability over the past few days. reported on the bug two days ago and some BTC supporters said because the exploit was patched now, “it wasn’t a big deal” anymore. However, if one was to observe social media and forums they would find that CVE-2018-17144 was a very big deal, and still to this day the bug poses a threat to the BTC network because not everyone has upgraded. Throughout yesterday and today, there are many subjective valuations from crypto-devs and well-known community members. For instance, the software developer Peter Todd explains the network can be the most vulnerable while the community is in the process of upgrading the recent patch.  

“The recent DoS vulnerability in Bitcoin, the most dangerous time is not *prior* to it being patched, but rather *while* it is being patched,” explains Todd. “Why? Because we have multiple implementations with different behavior, and thus potential chain splits — A 100% DoS crash is safer.”

So take the time this weekend to upgrade your nodes if you haven’t already, to get us back to ~%100 of the nodes running essentially the same implementation, and (hopefully!) the same protocol.

Theymos: ‘Updating to 0.16.3 is REQUIRED, and Anything Less Than 200 Confirmations Has a Low Probability of Being Reversed’

Crypto-Community Debates Bitcoin Core Bug and a 'Forced Upgrade'
Rather than being just a DoS issue the Bitcoin Core bug really could have caused a massive inflation issue.

On the Reddit forum r/bitcoin, Theymos explains that new information on the Core bug has escalated the importance of upgrading. “Updating to 0.16.3 is REQUIRED,” Theymos emphasizes in a stickied Reddit post. Moreover, Theymos says transactions with less than 200 confirmations have more of a probability they could be reversed. The stickied post written by Theymos stirred up an argument online on whether or not the upgrade was “forced.”

“For the next week, consider transactions with fewer than 200 confirmations to have a low probability of being reversed (whereas usually there would be essentially zero probability of eg. 6-conf transactions being reversed),” explains Theymos.

“Watch for further news. If a chain split happens, action may be required,” Theymos adds.

Furthermore, the Core contributor Matt Corallo explains that he believes most of the companies and mining pools have upgraded to the latest Core release that contains the patch.  

“Now I can breathe — No attempts to exploit,” Corallo explains on Twitter. “Most hash power upgraded — Most companies upgraded.”

Crypto-Community Debates Bitcoin Core Bug and a 'Forced Upgrade' owner Cobra explains his opinion of the situation.

Luke Jr: ‘It’s Not Too Late for Bitmain to Exploit It — the Network Has a Long Way to Go Until We’re Safe Again’

Even the Core developer Luke Jr says it’s not too late for miners to exploit the vulnerability, but also smears the mining pool Bitmain while he explains the network is still not safe.

“Unfortunately, it’s not too late for Bitmain to exploit it — The network has a long way to go until we’re safe again,” Luke Jr states on Twitter. When asked what he thinks Bitmain would do if they chose between “option A: create inflation and destroy the bitcoin network, and dump the price, or option B: fix the bug and maintain network and price stability.” Luke Jr believes Bitmain might choose option A.    

“Considering the situation Bitmain is in, option A might be very tempting,” explains the Core developer.

Jameson Lopp: ‘[Upgrade] Optional, but Recommended if You Disagree With Unbounded Inflation and Crashes’

Crypto-Community Debates Bitcoin Core Bug and a 'Forced Upgrade'Some developers seemed to think the upgrade was not considered “forced.” Jameson Lopp says to the r/bitcoin moderator ‘Bashco,’ that maybe some people were triggered by the phrase “forced upgrade.” “I think some of them are triggered by the “forced” upgrade — Perhaps you should rephrase it as “optional, but recommended if you disagree with unbounded inflation and crashes,” Lopp states on Twitter.

“Exactly — Nobody is required to upgrade, anyone can audit the code before doing so,” Core contributor Eric Lombrozo explains in a response. “Critically, there are no deviations from expected consensus behavior — Language matters.”

The recent 2018 Core CVE is still being debated ferociously online in regard to whether or not the network is safe, if people really need to upgrade, and if the bug was handled correctly. As far as everyone saying it wasn’t a “big deal” most of the comments online from both developers and crypto-luminaries suggest the vulnerability was and still is an issue until everyone updates.

What do you think about the critical bug found in the Bitcoin Core client? What do you think about the debate over whether or not it was a big deal? Do you think this is a forced upgrade? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below. 

Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay,, and Twitter. 

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

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Op-ed: The Case for Adding CTOR to Bitcoin Cash in November

Op-ed: The Case for Adding CTOR to Bitcoin Cash in November

The following opinion piece on Canonical Transaction Ordering (CTOR) was written by Jonald Fyookball the lead developer of Electron Cash. 

Canonical Transaction Ordering (“CTOR”) is one of the planned changes for the November 2018 Bitcoin Cash protocol upgrade. There has been quite a bit of discussion in the Bitcoin Cash community about this change.

Also read: Philippines Okays PDAX Crypto Exchange

I had previously published an article explaining in simple terms what the change is.
Although that article satisfied some readers and convinced them that CTOR is not dangerous, others were still critical and wanted to know if the change is necessary.
The questions on many people’s minds are: “Why do we need CTOR? Why do we need it now? And are there other proposals that could accomplish the same thing?”

I attempt to answer those questions here.

CTOR is part of a comprehensive technical roadmap designed to help Bitcoin Cash become peer to peer electronic cash for the entire world. More specifically, there is a clear and major benefit in CTOR which is that of faster block propagation. There are also some additional minor benefits.

Unfortunately, much of the technical discussion about CTOR has been in the area of block validation rather than block propagation, which has brought considerable complexity and confusion to the overall debate.

Op-ed: The Case for Adding CTOR to Bitcoin Cash in November

Review of Four Different Transaction Ordering Schemes

Let’s begin our analysis by considering four different ways we could do transaction ordering in Bitcoin Cash.

1.TTOR – Topological Transaction Ordering Rule

This is the current consensus rule for Bitcoin Cash. Transactions have a partial ordering rule. They can be in any order but must enforce the topology which puts parent transactions before child transactions.

2. ATOR – Any Transaction Ordering Rule

This ordering would remove the current TTOR rule and allow any order of transactions. It’s an idea that has been discussed as both an alternative to CTOR and also a precursor.

3.GTOR – Gavin’s Transaction Ordering Rule

This was proposed by Gavin Andresen in 2014. It is essentially a canonical transaction ordering, but the ordering is not mandatory (non-consensus) and it also preserves the current TTOR rule.

4. CTOR – Canonical Transaction Ordering Rule

This is the current proposal. “Canonical” refers to the requirement that only ordering is permitted. The current proposal is also “lexical” or “lexicographic” meaning that all transactions in a block except the coinbase are sorted in dictionary order. This aspect is referred to elsewhere in discussions as “LTOR”.

For the sake of simplicity, the remainder of this document will typically use “CTOR” to refer to the current proposal (which also happens to be LTOR) even if a particular point applies more to the lexical property.  

Block Propagation

Let’s start at the beginning. In 2014, Gavin proposed a new approach to block propagation and one ingredient of his idea was the canonical ordering for transactions in a block. The “secret sauce” of his proposal was the use of Invertible Bloom Lookup Tables (IBLTs) to communicate the differences in the set of transactions in a node’s mempool with that of a peer.

This line of thinking formed the roots of the now famous Graphene protocol.

Gavin’s original ordering proposal is not currently part of any BCH implementation proposal but it is important historically to show the roots of the idea. The most obvious application for CTOR today is that it helps Graphene work better.

A more intuitive explanation of why a unique ordering helps propagation is that you can save bandwidth if you only have to transmit data for missing transactions without communicating anything about the order of the transactions in a block. Thus, a canonical ordering can help other block propagation schemes such as Xthin; its benefits are not just limited to Graphene.

In a published critique, a developer had implied CTOR isn’t beneficial for block propagation because a miner can choose to re-order his own transactions under the current rules. However, no explanation is given how that would improve efficiency, except to provide a link to a forum post which states “… The rest of the transactions are completely free to be reordered. For instance by sorting them by txid…”

In other words, avoid canonical ordering so miners can be free to choose… a canonical ordering?

If the point is freedom of choice, we will address that consideration later.

It is also noteworthy that the author of the critique (Awemany) shifted his opinions on CTOR subsequent to his publication and after the Bangkok miner meeting… and he emphasizes that none of the proposed changes are worth splitting the coin over.

Block Validation

A benefit of the CTOR proposal is to simplify parallel processing for block validation. This is a result of removing the topological ordering requirement. However, parallelization is not a unique benefit; you can still parallelize the process even under the existing topological ordering scheme.

The entire debate over block validation is a bit of (an unintentional) red herring since block propagation is a much bigger bottleneck than block validation.

Still, it may be helpful to readers to review the history of the main arguments on this specific topic. The original debate went something like this:

CTOR critics noted that (at least in a naive implementation) nodes can verify transactions more quickly under TTOR since the dependencies for each transaction will have already been processed. CTOR supporters pointed out that the topological restriction is an additional burden that needs to be verified. (In other words you cannot simply divide up the transactions in a block into parallel partitions and be done.)   

Jonathan Toomim then published an algorithm showing how parallel validation can be accomplished using the current topological ordering by processing outputs first, then inputs (e.g. “OTI”).

The OTI method can be applied to both TTOR and CTOR. In the case of TTOR, a map of positions for each transaction needs to be generated in the first loop, and the second loop ensures that each transaction only spends coins that are older than itself. The requisite multiple loops here render the TTOR advantage in the naive implementation a moot point.  

To summarize, both TTOR and CTOR can be parallelized. Initial tests produced roughly equal performance. But to reiterate, this is a tangential issue because CTOR clearly helps block propagation which is a more important bottleneck.

Other Benefits of CTOR

There are some other benefits to CTOR. UTXO handling may be improved because sequential inserts can make the use of tree structures for the UTXO cache more efficient as well as expanding the possibilities for UTXO commitments.

SPV/Light wallets may also enjoy a minor benefit of transaction exclusion proofs. CTOR can also allow routing to shards to coincide with merkle construction and validation.

But the biggest secondary benefit seems to be a simplification of the code. Allowing any transaction order makes the code more complicated as any order must be supported. By contrast, assuming the lexicographic ordering allows blocks to be constructed the same way each time and makes testing easier.


Some of the arguments surrounding the validation issue are not specific to CTOR; they are more of a TTOR vs ATOR issue. In other words, should we keep this topological ordering requirement or get rid of it?

Some experts have pointed out that fundamentally, the ordering of transactions holds no inherent value. I interpret this to mean that while it’s true that topological order handles dependencies, there is a cost to creating that order initially. Most developers do not oppose removing TTOR. This even applies to the lead developers from Nchain.

Furthermore, once the topological requirement is discarded, it is a relatively small change to adopt a canonical ordering. This is one of the principles behind the CTOR proposal. In the ABC implementation, adding CTOR on top of ATOR is 20 lines of code.

The “Central Planning” Objection

One objection to CTOR (that does not seem valid) is the idea that miners should be free to come up with their own order — that they should be allowed to “compete” for the best ways to structure blocks and that forcing an order on them is tantamount to “central planning”.

I am a staunch supporter of the free market in all its forms. However, this idea that miners should compete on transaction ordering doesn’t make any more sense than competing on transaction formats, or ECDSA curve parameters, or any number of protocol details.

There are certain parts of the protocol that are simply infrastructure “plumbing”. It may even be counterproductive to the system as an inefficient ordering scheme must be supported by all nodes.

The “Optimize First” Objection

Certain developers (Tom Zander in particular) have expressed a desire to continue efforts to optimize the code using the current topological ordering. They do not want to upgrade or modify the transaction ordering because they believe we should explore and exhaust the possibilities of the existing scheme.  

Protocol development should not be stalled for the sole reason of a developer wishing to continue exploring on a certain trajectory.

Although optimizing within the current protocol limits is a possible approach, it is not necessarily the best approach. At the end of the day, we must choose a distinct path even if that means discarding other paths.

More importantly, this approach prioritizes optimizations over choosing correct data structures, which runs counter to best practices in computer programming.

Development Roadmap

Bitcoin ABC has published a technical roadmap that details how we can improve the protocol and meet our goals of better scaling, usability, and extensibility for Bitcoin Cash. It is the best example of a comprehensive and practical plan for our future.

CTOR is one small but important building block in this roadmap.

Although the Bitcoin Cash community is much larger than Bitcoin ABC, it should be noted that the ABC roadmap is compatible with the other roadmap statements published from various groups following a multi-group meetup in London in November 2017. In fact, the exact same canonical ordering proposal appeared on Nchain’s roadmap in December, 2017.20  

A Holistic Approach May Be Best

CTOR should be evaluated not as an independent protocol change, but as an integral part of the well planned technical approach that Bitcoin ABC is spearheading.

There is more than one way to scale the Bitcoin Cash protocol, but it makes more sense to take a “holistic”, logical approach rather than one based on isolated changes and “hacky” fixes.  

For example, we could use GTOR to get some of the benefits of the canonical ordering, but it would require a topological sort during graphene block reconstruction, and would be more complicated.

It would also be possible to implement the OTI algorithm to handle parallel validation with the current topological ordering, but why take a piecemeal approach when CTOR also allows this, provides tangible benefits, and simplifies the code?    

Is CTOR a Safe and Proven Protocol Change?

Op-ed: The Case for Adding CTOR to Bitcoin Cash in NovemberAs explained in the “ELI5 article”, a different transaction order is fundamentally NOT a radical change.

Although more testing and benchmarking would be nice, it is necessary to have the correct data structures in place before further development can commence. It is unrealistic for some groups to work for months building on protocol changes that are not guaranteed to exist later.

There is a risk/reward tradeoff for most protocol changes. I have seen a misguided comment that changes should be proved for 3-5 years on testnet before deploying. But attempting to mitigate risk with hyperextended caution beyond the point of reasonableness is not necessarily prudent.

We are in a race against payment solution competitors, both traditional and other cryptocurrencies, as well as in a race with ourselves to grow the transaction volume ahead of the block reward halvings. Some thoughtful calculated risks are required, and there is also risk in stagnating.

CTOR has been on the roadmap for nearly a year and has been discussed at large for multiple years.

As a challenger to the incumbent systems, we must be an order of magnitude better. And we must establish the technical base for scalability sooner rather than later so that businesses and applications have the confidence to choose Bitcoin Cash as a platform.

On a final note, solid evidence that Graphene will benefit greatly from CTOR can be found from data collected during the BCH stress test.


There has been considerable debate, discussion, and confusion over the CTOR proposal. After review, it seems that CTOR is a sensible change with clear benefits and no significant drawbacks. It is part of a well-planned roadmap for scaling Bitcoin Cash. Miners, developers, users, and businesses should support its inclusion in the November 2018 protocol upgrade.

What do you think about Canonical Transaction Ordering (CTOR)? Let us know in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, and Bitcoin Cash 

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

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Student Faces Charges for Stealing $5 Million in Crypto via “SIM Jacking”

Student Faces Charges for Stealing $5 Million in Crypto via "SIM Jacking"

Motherboard has reportedly obtained court documents pertaining to the arrest of Joel Ortiz, a 20-year-old from Boston, who is accused of stealing $5 million USD in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Mr. Ortiz and his currently unidentified accomplices stole crypto from roughly 40 victims through a hacking technique known as “SIM jacking.”

Also Read: Archaeologists Argue Micronesian Stone Money Comprises Bitcoin Predecessor

20-Year-Old Arrested For Part in Theft of $5 Million in Crypto

Student Faces Charges for Stealing $5 Million in Crypto via "SIM Jacking"It has been reported that on the 12th of July, Californian police arrested a college student accused of being part of a group of criminals responsible for the theft of more than $5 million in cryptocurrencies.

Mr. Ortiz was reportedly arrested at Los Angeles International Airport whilst on his way to Europe donning a Gucci bag presumed to have been paid for with stolen money. The 20-year-old now faces 28 charges, including 13 counts of hacking, 13 counts of identity theft, and 2 counts of grand theft.

Ortiz is currently in jail awaiting his plea hearing on August 9th. His bail was set at $1 million.

First Reported Instance of Crypto Stolen Through ‘SIM Jacking’

Student Faces Charges for Stealing $5 Million in Crypto via "SIM Jacking"Motherboard has claimed that the case comprises the first reported instance in which the increasingly prevalent technique of “SIM jacking” has been used to steal virtual currency.

According to the publication, “SIM swapping consists of tricking a provider like AT&T or T-Mobile into transferring the target’s phone number to a SIM card controlled by the criminal. Once they get the phone number, fraudsters can leverage it to reset the victims’ passwords and break into their online accounts (cryptocurrency accounts are common targets.) In some cases, this works even if the accounts are protected by two-factor authentication.”

Hackers Target Consensus Conference in May

20-Y/O Faces 28 Charges for Stealing $5 Million via "SIM Jacking"Several of Mr. Ortiz and his yet-to-be-identified accomplices’ victims included attendees of the Consensus conference in New York City in May. One conference attendee who wishes to remain anonymous lost more than $1.5 million from one individual – nearly $1 million of which had been raised through initial coin offering.

“I looked at my phone and it was dead,” the individual told Motherboard. “We were having a meeting and all of a sudden he says ‘Fuck my phone just stopped working.'” The individual added that his friend later texted him: “My fucking SIM got hacked.”

Motherboard reported that “According to court documents, Ortiz took control of the entrepreneur’s cell phone number, reset his Gmail password and then gained access to his cryptocurrency accounts. The entrepreneur ran to the AT&T store to get his number back, but it was too late.”

What is your response to the arrest of Joel Ortiz? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The Bitcoin universe is vast. So is Check our Wiki, where you can learn everything you were afraid to ask. Or read our news coverage to stay up to date on the latest. Or delve into statistics on our helpful tools page.

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PR: SoPay – Blockchain Payment Platform Lists on Three Major Exchanges to Create Digital Assets “Alipay”

SoPay - Blockchain Payment Platform Lists on Three Major Exchanges to Create Digital Assets “Alipay”

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. does not endorse nor support this product/service. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

SoPay has announced its arrival in three exchanges (CoinEx, and BCEX) with an emphatic announcement of the trading contest that will feature 30 million SOP tokens.

SoPay is a new blockchain payment platform that brings a disruptive experience in the money market. Also, it has innovative operating models that it wants to leverage to make the digital asset trading environment more convenient.

Besides, SoPay will allow users to transact at no handling fee and with quicker processing duration of just 1 second. The platform supports transaction between numerous digital assets as well as cross-platform transactions. Furthermore, users can exchange digital assets for goods and services available in traditional offline and online businesses.

SoPay for Users
The SoPay experience is truly disruptive for users since it introduces a human touch to transactions. The platform eliminates the need for complicated passwords, elaborate processes and unnecessarily long confirmation durations. It has a simple, safe and user-friendly interface that is only comparable to Alipay.

How SoPay Works and its Reward Model
The simple process at SoPay involves registering a mobile phone number and a 6-digit transaction password. These two are equivalent to the average login information. This is all that users need to be able to make payment.

The platform hopes that this simple process will make blockchain payments open to everyone. Right now, the global population of participants in the blockchain space is a paltry 30 million. The platform foresees this number growing to 200 million by 2020 following the advantages that SoPay offers.

The SoPay platform rewards people that use the platform through its payment-mining model. This model gives incentive to users that deposit, lock assets or pay using the platform. The mine pool on SoPay comes from the income of service provider.

The First Target – The Gaming Space
SoPay is alive to the consumption barrier of digital assets among the gaming companies. To this end, it already has 40 gaming companies from the Orient, Europe and the U.S. in its pocket. These companies represent some 20 million players.

Market predictions estimate that blockchain payments in the gaming environment will reach US$ 100 billion in just three years. SoPay, therefore, sees it as a good starting point on its onslaught that also targets enterprises operating in the financial management, e-commerce and other allied industries. This strategy will enable it provide comprehensive services to all kinds of digital asset holders.

A New Consensus with Heightened Safety and Efficiency
SoPay is a product of extensive research and innovation in technology. The efforts intended to create a product that is different from existing payment platforms. Importantly, it’s SO Chain application gives users a chance to create accounts and virtual assets, transfer, confirm, transact, pledge and witness transactions, to name just a few among many other basic online transaction functions.

In addition, the platform offers users increased privacy at high operational speeds and enhanced security. The improvements and innovations are possible because the platform combines the benefits of EOS and third-generation consensus Delegated Proof of Stake (DPos).

More information about the SoPay platform:
Official website:
Telegram group 1:
Telegram group 2:

Press Contact Email Address

Supporting Link

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Omni Layer Fork Called ‘Wormhole’ Debuts for Bitcoin Cash

Omni Layer Fork Called 'Wormhole' Debuts for Bitcoin Cash

According to a report on the social media platform, software developers associated with the mining giant Bitmain plan on launching a smart contract protocol for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. The project called ‘Wormhole’ will utilize the increased data-carrier-size and OP_Return transactions alongside a protocol based on the Omni Layer project.

Also read: Group or Tokeda? A Look at the BCH Color Coin Debate

Bitmain Developers Debut the Omni Layer-Forked Wormhole Protocol for Bitcoin Cash

Omni Layer Fork Called 'Wormhole' Debuts for Bitcoin Cash On July 16 a report written on the platform detailed that Bitmain developers are in the midst of creating a smart contract system for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. The article written by the China-based, Cindy Daily, explained that Bitmain programmers introduced a token proposal called “Wormhole” in Chinese Wechat groups on Monday. The reporter explained that her news was roughly translated and said that Bitmain would officially reveal the concept in the coming days.

Within the Chinese Wechat conversations, the developers state that innovation requires a “permissionless community” and they have been studying ways to implement smart contract solutions on the BCH chain without utilizing a consensus upgrade.  

“After tremendous research effort, we have paid attention to the Omni Layer protocol, a scheme to realize token issuance through the OP_Return opcode — It is the technical basis for daily distribution and circulation of USDT (Tether),” explains the report.  

The Omni Layer runs on top of Bitcoin blockchain — Since the Omni Layer protocol uses the MIT license (open source), we forked the Omni Layer protocol and implemented the tech feature on Bitcoin Cash blockchain to achieve token issuance. We named this technical solution Wormhole protocol, and the original token in the protocol is named Wormhole Cash.

Omni Layer Fork Called 'Wormhole' Debuts for Bitcoin Cash

Two-Layer Security Approach

The reporter’s account also explains that Wormhole will utilize Bitcoind nodes and consensus will not need to be changed. Wormhole Cash (WHC) will use a two-layer security approach and the first layer will be BCH transaction security. The second layer run on Bitcoind will consist of nodes that won’t process data that doesn’t meet the Wormhole protocol requirements.

Another tokenization project reported on this past February is Counterparty Cash which is different from Omni layer but has similarities. It will be interesting to see an attempt to deploy a token creation mechanism for BCH alongside smart contract capabilities. A few members of the BCH community has been asking developers to create a fork of Omni Layer for quite some time now. Reportedly the Chinese-based mining firm will reveal the full details of this project soon.

What do you think about an Omni Layer-like idea for the Bitcoin Cash network and the Wormhole Cash currency? Let us know your thoughts on the Bitmain developer’s new idea in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, and Cindy Daily. 

Want to get a few bits of BCH to test out this awesome technology check out our Bitcoin Cash Faucet today!

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Why Governance is the Greatest Problem That Blockchains Must Solve

Why Governance is the Greatest Problem That Blockchains Must Solve

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and in a blockchain that link lies in the form of its founders. Getting nodes to achieve consensus is easy compared to the difficulty of getting humans to achieve consensus. The greatest challenge that new blockchains must solve isn’t speed or scaling – it’s governance.

Also readHave You Tried Blockchain 5.0 Yet? Nobody Else Has Either

Governance: Easy to Define, Hard to Achieve

There wasn’t much thought given to on-chain governance when bitcoin was created; Satoshi was too busy reinventing the wheel on several other fronts. But the arrival of bitcoin spawned a wave of blockchains, and with it, the first faltering attempts at introducing a means of reaching consensus between network users, over and above that attained by validating nodes.

Dash first popularized the concept of blockchain governance, which is achieved through the use of masternodes, whose operators can vote on budget proposals. Its system provides a simple means of reaching agreement among community members who are most heavily invested in the project. Scores of subsequent crypto projects, including many that don’t use masternodes, have since copied Dash’s governance model. Often, they’ll tack voting rights onto their token as a means of shoring up its weak use case, but not all projects are as slapdash or cynical with their approach to governance – some aim to genuinely innovate, and in doing so, to overcome the weaknesses that are inherent to human structures.

Why Governance is the Greatest Problem That Blockchains Must Solve

The Quest for Human Consensus

While bitcoin core has muddled on without any sort of governance, and is all the more decentralized for it, other blockchains have tried to enact more formalized systems of governance. The idea is that by enacting an efficient means of achieving consensus among token-holders, decisions can be made promptly, without sacrificing the decentralized principles that make blockchains so appealing in the first place.

When Tezos was birthed last summer, governance was one of its big selling points. Its protocol promised, “a formal process through which stakeholders can efficiently govern the protocol and implement future innovations”. The subsequent fallout between Tezos foundation members emphasizes the frailties of humans, whose squabbles and power struggles can stymie even the most well-intentioned of projects. Tezos’ off-chain failures, ironically, may have strengthened the case for its onchain system of governance.

Governance is a Tough Nut to Crack

As well-known crypto commenter Nic Carter mused, “Creating a cryptocurrency corrupts… creating a billion-dollar cryptocurrency corrupts absolutely.” Due to the huge economic incentives at stake, getting token-holders to act in the interests of the community, rather than fixating on their own pecuniary gains, is a tall order. Storecoin is a zero-fee, high throughput blockchain whose most interesting feature is not a technical one – it’s a human one.

Why Governance is the Greatest Problem That Blockchains Must SolveIts creator, Chris McCoy, explains: “For today’s public blockchains to move past prototypes and low usage dApps – to where entities trust a decentralized blockchain enough to process $10 million+ of utility-based daily transaction volume – blockchains need an enforceable rules engine that has no centralization of power, that key network participants trust, and that is censorship resistant. To shape the future of trade and commerce, blockchains need an enterprise-grade governance [model] that is trusted, enforceable, and reaches finality in a democratic process.”

Storecoin’s governance is inspired by the US constitution, with consensus on change, McCoy explains, “reached by four separate branches that check and balance each other on protocol-level, key people, and monetary policy decisions”. Another blockchain that relies on a constitution, EOS, has come in for flak, prompting its founder Dan Larimer to return to the drawing board to draft a new one. MakerDAO, meanwhile, has been conducting deep research into a “governance risk framework” that aims to diversify trust in trustless systems.

Why Governance is the Greatest Problem That Blockchains Must Solve

The history of cryptocurrency is littered with hard forks, acrimonious splits, exit scams, lawsuits, and public fallouts. The case for governance does not need to be overstated. But the means of achieving it is a complex task that has taxed some of the cryptoverse’s brightest minds. So long as humans are in charge, internecine conflict and greed will be inevitable. Blockchains can’t eliminate avarice, but that won’t stop their architects from trying their damnedest to divest protocols from the fallible humans who control them.

What blockchain do you think has the best system of governance? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Blockchain Conferences Are the New Music Festivals

Cryptocurrency conferences provide a chance to absorb seminars, panel discussions, and keynote speeches from leading industry figures, and to conduct business face-to-face. At least that’s their official purpose. Unofficially, they’re an experiential extravaganza that puts some of the world’s most famous music festivals to shame.

Also read: Japan’s GMO Upgrades Margin Services, Launches Wallet and In-Game BTC Rewards

Crypto Conferences in 2018: Less Studying, More Partying

There were moments at the Futurama Blockchain Innovators Summit, held in Dubai on May 3-6, when you could have sworn you were at Burning Man. It wasn’t so much the appearance of Brock Pierce as star panelist, a man so enamored with Burning Man he actually got married there. Rather, it was the daily itinerary in which blockchain talks were squeezed in around networking events instead of vice-versa.

“The most likely way to get me to attend your conference is to throw really good parties,” chuckles Brock Pierce midway through an Altcoin Buzz video of the event. The organizers of Futurama, which included Coinsbank, duly obliged, throwing a lavish series of parties and meetups that included a harpist playing in the middle of the desert; fireworks; dune-riding in 4x4s; and a lavish final party hosted on one of the largest yachts in Dubai. Instead of adhering to a rigid schedule, the conference would start once everyone had assembled each morning, which meant that everything ran fashionably late. No one seemed to mind.

Blockchain Conferences Are the New Music Festivals
The setting for the Futurama after-party in Dubai

Face-to-Face > Inbox-to-Inbox

Blockchain Conferences Are the New Music Festivals
Catering aboard the yacht at the Futurama Blockchain Conference

One of the reasons why conferences such as Futurama and Consensus have come to be defined by their hospitality rather than their itinerary owes less to one upmanship and more to the power of face-to-face interactions. As attendees as these and many other blockchain conferences this year will attest, the most valuable deals weren’t sealed in the meeting rooms or conference halls; they were concluded with bumped fists while sharing shiskas at the Desert Rose Party; in the hot tub aboard a yacht with the city lights glittering across the bay; in the rooftop bar 37 floors up a New York skyscraper.

Tickets for cryptocurrency conferences don’t come cheap, with admission to a three-day event typically running into the thousands of dollars. Delegates are only too happy to pay up though, and to avail themselves of the open bars and sumptuous banquets, and to mingle with the “experience girls” enlisted to address the gender imbalance and make the Instagram pictures prettier. But that’s not really what it’s about. Such trappings are more a means to an end; an ice-breaker that enables strangers from opposing sides of the world to form fledgling friendships and profitable partnerships. That’s why delegates don’t calculate an event’s value by the cost of admission – they base their assessment on the value of the business generated.

Music Meets Crypto

Just as attending a music festival is more about cutting loose than it is about the music, blockchain conferences aren’t really about cryptocurrency. Sure, there’s a panel discussion on blockchain scaling you might squeeze in if there’s time, and a keynote on AI that looks interesting, but these things are optional. The parties are where the real action happens.

Blockchain Conferences Are the New Music Festivals
No yacht party would be complete without multiple screens displaying crypto prices

There’s a strong case for bemoaning the more egregious examples of excess at crypto conferences; the Aston Martins given away aboard a luxury cruise at Consensus and the celebrity rapper after-parties, which do little to enhance the industry’s perception. Eliminate the social element altogether, however, and you’d be left with a bunch of men in suits taking notes in a draughty conference hall. Due to the digital nature of cryptocurrency, whose proponents are as distributed as the bitcoin ledger itself, conferences are one of the few opportunities for interacting in the same physical space. Blockchain events are the new music festivals.

Do you think cryptocurrency conferences are getting more flamboyant? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinsbank, and The Void.

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DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

Investigations are all about the crypto ecosystem, but a recent report regarding a US Department of Justice price manipulation crackdown was widely said to be the cause of market caps falling, and by a lot. Fundstrat, the ecosystem’s favorite financial professional crypto bull, is on record as welcoming government regulation, what it calls “adult supervision.”

Also read: Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision of Crypto

Legacy media, thanks to a Bloomberg article, ran wild with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) this week, regarding a supposed US Department of Justice investigation of price manipulation. Weaker hands in response effectively sent bitcoin core (BTC) well below $8K, heading for 7, and the entire crypto market cap slid accordingly.

Debate about regulation in the US and around the world has raged the entirety of cryptocurrency’s near decade-long life. Bitcoin licensing in New York, senate hearings, G20 central bankers urging global crypto laws, the requisite jockeying and lobbying for exclusive access to regulators, taken together, seems to be slouching toward something major coming down from financial minders. And well-publicized recent hacks haven’t helped confidence. There seems to be a new initial coin offering scam daily. 

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

Rumors the DOJ is teaming with US bitcoin futures regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and possibly patching-in the US Securities and Exchange Commission can spook animal spirits, of course. Anecdotal evidence abounds. Add to that six rather frightening words, when strung together by regulators, that make speculators’ ears perk, “neither confirm nor deny an investigation” becomes all the evidence anyone needs to dump positions. Even large exchange Bitfinex has been subpoenaed by the CFTC.

The ecosystem’s favorite bull, Thomas Lee of Fundstrat, in a client letter, put a finer point on happenings: “These stories have pressured the crypto market, as regulatory action (and related headline risk) reduces risk appetite and also is a further deterrent for near-term inflows from new investors. However, these actions signal that adult supervision is coming to crypto and adding such oversight incrementally improves the structural integrity and legitimacy for crypto-currency investor. In other words, in order for institutional investors to be more actively engaged in crypto markets, such adult supervision is a necessary precondition.”

Regulation is an Anathema to Bitcoin

Prior to welcoming crypto regulation, Mr. Lee ate a giant, warm slice of humble pie following his Consensus conference bump prediction of many thousands in BTC price increase. Just the reverse, of course, happened, and Mr. Lee, to his credit, reappeared on as many shows to take his medicine. He acknowledged getting it badly wrong, but ultimately attributed the decline due to unforeseen regulatory rumors and, ironically, saturation at the conference of hype.

In a slide presentation graphic, Fundstrat continued to use “welcome,” as in crackdowns being “welcome and also widely anticipated.” On price specific manipulation investigations, they urged “this probe is again, a very welcome development.”

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

To crypto enthusiasts, they are decidedly torn. On the one hand, nearly everyone will agree bitcoin was developed to essentially leave government regulatory environments. Government regulations are not issued out of benevolence toward the hoi polloi. No, rather they’re instead an effort to pick winners and losers in terms of which sector of businesses lobbied the hardest, greasing wheels of states in their direction. Regulations enforce burdens often on startups, insulating more established and connected businesses from too much competition. Corruption, then, can and does become institutional. Present day banking is proof enough. Bitcoin, in Satoshi’s vision, releases adopters from financial cartels, at least in theory. To invite regulators goes against everything crypto stands for.

On the other hand, regulation does seem to be inevitable. And if it is, shouldn’t the ecosystem get out in front? Seems rational enough, and that’s a generous reading of Mr. Lee and Fundstrat’s comments. Nevertheless, the company remains bullish on bitcoin core (BTC). They point to Coinbase in particular and its staggering growth to 20 million customers, and BTC related wallet downloads of more than 3.5 million. They do, however, hold to a degree of caution if headlines remain negative and mining rewards/price reach parity.

Do you think regulation of crypto is inevitable? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Pixabay, Fundstrat.

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$25,000 in 2018: Bitcoin Bull Tom Lee Sticks to Strong Forecast Despite Failed Prediction

Widely followed cryptocurrency analyst Thomas Lee’s short-term market forecast may not have materialized, but he’s sticking with his bullish long-term prediction despite the setback. If anything, Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Lee is digging in his heels even further, reportedly reiterating his forecast for a $25,000 BTC price by year-end. What Happened Lee placed a great deal of stock

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Fundstrat’s Bitcoin Price Rally Prediction Fell Flat: Tom Lee Explains Why

Fundstrat Global Advisers is a finance market strategy firm well-known for making bullish predictions on cryptocurrency prices. Co-founder Thomas Lee posted the group’s predictions that the bitcoin price would reach up to $64,000 by the end of 2019, citing the future trajectory of Bitcoin mining infrastructure growth as an underlying cause. He also predicted $91,000

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Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

St. Louis Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, was recently interviewed at this year’s Consensus conference in New York City. That a top US economic policy maker was in attendance is victory enough; however, he was asked his opinions on cryptocurrency going forward by CNBC Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody. He explained he found the phenomenon “interesting,” and how more cryptos being issued all time necessitates keeping an “eye” on them. Mr. Bullard also compared the use case for cryptocurrencies with that of the dollar, and whether the former posed a threat to the latter.  

Also read: Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments

Federal Reserve President Attends Crypto Conference

Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, gave a presentation at this year’s giant Consensus conference in New York City. Reread that sentence. A sitting Fed policy maker thought it important enough to attend a crypto soiree. That’s news enough. But more importantly, President Bullard gave a presentation on the government’s current thinking about cryptocurrency.

In his talk, he acknowledged crypto is facilitating trade that might otherwise not occur. He couldn’t help himself by mentioning illegal activity (and we all know fiat currencies are never used in illegal activity), but he did describe decentralized money’s lean toward frictionless transactions (especially with regard to costs/fees) as being an advancement.

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto
Mr. Bullard and Ms. Mody

The Fed policy maker reserved the bulk of his comments, both in the presentation and during a post-game interview with CNBC, to talk about the problems in crypto as he sees them. One issue is simply the number of currencies being offered. The 12th St. Louis Fed President feels this over complicates matters, especially with regard to exchange rates and volatility.

Asked if cryptocurrencies pose a threat to the dollar, Mr. Bullard, 56, answered he didn’t think so. Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody, who is covering Consensus for CNBC this year, quickly followed up with a “but it could be?” The Fed President was noncommittal, choosing instead to shrug and give the pat answer about no one really knowing what the future holds. He emphasized how since its creation the US dollar has vanquished nearly all currency competition due to its being backed by the world’s strongest economy. It’s abundantly clear, Mr. Bullard suggested, people want the dollar and not crypto … at least at the moment.

Fed Coin on the Horizon?

Ms. Mody pressed Mr. Bullard about his presence at the conference, asking if this was a hint of things to come with regard to a future coin birthed by the Fed, a Fed Coin? Interestingly he didn’t dismiss the idea outwardly, and instead said they’d for sure look at the possibility, as the Fed does with many different types of financial innovations. He also assured there wasn’t any plan being hatched at the moment, no imminent Fed Coin coming. Mr. Bullard also wondered aloud what the gains would be by creating such a coin. He smiled subtly, assuring he’s keeping an “open mind.”

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

His comments seem to be less strident than statements issued by the St. Louis Fed on the very subject not even one month ago. “The St. Louis Federal Reserve has published an essay critically evaluating the notion of cryptocurrencies that are issued by central banks,” we detailed. “The article is highly dismissive in presenting what it describes as ‘the non-case for central bank cryptocurrencies,’ concluding that ‘a central bank will not issue cryptocurrencies in the sense of a truly decentralized and permissionless asset that allows users to remain anonymous.’”

A rather curious fact about the St. Louis Fed, one of twelve jurisdictions in the Federal Reserve system (the 8th district serves Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas), is how it has recently become very chatty about crypto. As these pages reported back at the beginning of this year, “Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schär of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have recently published an article that emphasizes many of the benefits of cryptocurrencies. The article states that ‘cryptoassets are well suited to become an important asset class,’ in addition to offering praise regarding a number of the major applications associated with cryptocurrencies.”

Do you think a Fed president attending a crypto conference is meaningful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Bitgo Launches Institutional Grade Custodial Services Suite

Bitgo Launches Institutional Grade Custodial Services Suite

This weekend the leading cryptocurrency security platform, Bitgo, announced the launch of custodial storage solutions for institutional investors. The new custodial program aims to offer a multi-level suite for digital asset security in partnership with the firm Kingdom Trust.

Also read: Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend

Bitgo Offers a Secure Custodial Platform for Institutional Investors

Bitgo Launches Institutional Grade Custodial Services Suite The Palo Alto-based firm Bitgo is now offering institutional investors custodial services due to a partnership with Kingdom Trust. The news follows the recent announcements from the Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs launching a cryptocurrency product, and companies like Coinbase offering services to institutional clientele. The latest institutional grade suite offered by Bitgo and Kingdom Trust provides custody services like treasury controls, advanced security solutions, and 24-7 monitoring.

Multi-level services for the new custodial products include self-managed custody, institutional custody with multi-sig wallet, and the Bitgo offline vault. The vault stores keys offline and when tethered to a multi-signature wallet it can be programmed to require co-signers.        

Secure your digital assets in an offline multi-signature vault in minutes An offline vault generates and stores private wallet keys on a clean air-gapped computer,” Bitgo’s offline storage white paper explains.

To spend funds from an offline wallet securely, you can sign transactions with your private keys offline using Bitgo Offline Vault This means your private keys are never online or linked to a computer connected to the internet.

Bitgo Launches Institutional Grade Custodial Services Suite

Bitgo Will Face Competition from Others Providing Services to the Crypto-Wealthy

The company’s website which details the new custodial services says the products are more robust due to the partnership with Kingdom Trust. The services will be backed by individuals with digital asset solutions expertise, while also meeting the regulatory compliance requirements around custody of digital assets. The news follows the company’s implementation of seven new cryptocurrencies including  Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ether, Ripple and Royal Mint Gold. Further, the Bitgo revealed its enterprise-grade Ethereum wallet has seen a lot of growth and on April 17 Bitgo added support for ERC-20 tokens.

The latest Bitgo custodial services offering digital asset security for institutional clientele will also compete against a product offered by a former Bitgo employee Jameson Lopp. The former Bitgo engineer will also provide institutional grade security for cryptocurrency millionaires. The firm Casa also aims to serve the crypto-wealthy was launched six months ago raising $2.1Mn USD from groups like Boost VC, and Compound. Bitgo’s CEO Mike Belshe stated back in January when the firm first acquired Kingdom Trust that he believes Bitgo’s new services marry technology with security.

“Bitgo and Kingdom are building products for the future – marrying the new technology with the safety and controls all investors require,” Belshe explained at the time.

What do you think about Bitgo offering custodial solutions for institutional clientele? Let us know in the comments below. 

Images via Shutterstock, and Bitgo. 

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NYC Blockchain Week: What to Expect from Consensus 2018 This Week

NYC Blockchain Week

Big things are happening in the crypto and blockchain sector this week. In fact, this week is what the financial industry calls ‘NYC Blockchain Week’ and Consensus 2018 has kicked off. Companies will be announcing various things throughout the week, so stay vigilant; you are not going to want to miss some of these meetings and announcements. 

NYC Blockchain Week Has Arrived!

In New York, the largest digital currency conference has kicked off. The name of this conference is Consensus. It is thought that Consensus 2018 will see a dramatic increase in attendance. In fact, it ...

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How to Survive a Blockchain Conference Without Getting Hacked

How to Survive a Blockchain Conference Without Getting Hacked

Blockchain conference season is here, the industry’s equivalent of Hollywood’s awards season. It’s an opportunity for crypto celebs to tread the red carpet and for everyone from minnows to whales to mingle, network, and learn. But if you’re not careful, it’s also a chance to get your devices pwned and your cryptocurrency swiped.

Also read: Xapo Estimated to be Housing 6.25% of Total BTC Supply

May Is the Month for Blockchain Conferences

There are cryptocurrency conferences all through the year, but May is when they reach their zenith. Last weekend saw Futurama in Dubai, a glitzy event whose guests included Brock Pierce and whose closing party took place on a yacht in the Gulf. Next week it’s the turn of Consensus NYC, the industry’s largest event that will welcome 7,000 attendees and hundreds of delegates.

The cumulative value of the portfolios swilling around inside New York’s Hilton Midtown will comfortably run into the billions of dollars. The vast majority of that wealth will have been left at home on hardware devices and paper wallets stashed in secure vaults, but that doesn’t mean attendees will be immune from thieves.

How to Survive a Blockchain Conference Without Getting Hacked

For one thing, you probably have more of your crypto holdings on an exchange, readily accessible via the 2FA app in your pocket, than you’d care to admit. And for another, hackers don’t have to strike at the event. They can phish or social engineer now and strike later when you’re on the other side of the world, or when you’re on the long-haul flight home and unaware that your SIM card has just been swapped.

Keep Calm and Be Prepared

The first rule when attending any public conference, especially one as high profile as Consensus, is to avoid insecure wifi networks. How do you know if a network’s insecure? You probably don’t, which is why you’re best relying on mobile data only. That wifi point named after the conference you’re attending could just as easily be a honeypot.

If you must connect via wifi while at the conference or your hotel, be sure to use a VPN. In addition, keep your cellphone’s bluetooth and NFC turned off and don’t plug it into a USB point to charge. You don’t know what’s on the other end of that cable, and while it could be innocuous, it could just as easily be extracting your data.

Be Careful What You Share and Who You Share It With

How to Survive a Blockchain Conference Without Getting HackedThe best thing about blockchain conferences isn’t the panel discussions and it certainly isn’t the ICO pitches. No, the best part is the after-parties. All those networking opportunities and chances to bump fists with crypto bros you’ve previously only known as an avatar in a Telegram group. Some words of caution are necessary though.

Literally anyone can whip together a business card purporting to be an investor or OTC broker, pull on an expensive shirt, and extend a firm handshake. Due to the public nature of crypto conferences, there is no means of vetting participants, and no easy means of telling who’s legit and who’s a snake. That ICO whale who’s befriended you and returned to your room for drinks could be the real deal…or they could just be waiting for an opportunity to slip something in your vodka and pilfer your laptop once you’ve passed out.

Crypto People Are Good People

This advice isn’t intended to be alarmist. Crypto people are some of the friendliest and most generous people you could ever hope to meet IRL (the less said about their Twitter personas the better). Provided you follow basic op-sec, you will be able to relax at the conference, enjoy yourself, and forge friendships that will last for years. Be careful, though, not to brag about gains, share portfolios, or engage in any other behavior that could mark you out as a target.

If possible, leave your primary laptop and smartphone at home and travel with a burner. That way, whatever happens, you’ll wake up regretting nothing more than that last shot of tequila. Be discrete, conceal your wealth, and remember that there’s no such thing as free wifi. Do all that and you’ll be sure to have a ball.

What other precautions do you think conference delegates should take? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Cryptocurrency Projects Aiming to be ‘ASIC Resistant’ Have Little Success

Cryptocurrency Projects Aiming to be 'ASIC Resistant' Have Little Success

Just recently the Bitcoin Gold (BTG) developers announced the project’s consensus algorithm Equihash was “threatened” in a blog post called “A Response to the ASIC Threat.” In the post, the BTG project’s team members explain that they might change the cryptocurrency’s current Equihash algorithm due to the recent launch of the Antminer Z9 mining rig. The firm Bitmain Technologies has once again produced a device that breaks the mold of digital currency networks that claim to be ‘ASIC resistant.’

Also read: Researchers Find Bitcoin Network 3X More ‘Evil’ Than the Public Internet

The Bitcoin Gold Project Aimed to be a ‘Better Bitcoin’ by Trying to Remain ‘ASIC Resistant,’ but the Idea Failed Miserably With the Launch of the Z9 Mini

Cryptocurrency Projects Aiming to be 'ASIC Resistant' Have Little SuccessLast year a project called Bitcoin Gold (BTG) forked the Bitcoin Core (BTC) protocol in hopes of creating a more fair and decentralized mining environment that would remain ‘ASIC resistant.’ The BTG project basically cloned the BTC codebase (Segwit included), and changed the consensus algorithm from SHA-256 to the Equihash algorithm, a popular mechanism used by the digital asset zcash and others. This week the Bitcoin Gold development team wrote a blog post that detailed a new Equihash mining rig that’s been released to the public “threatens” their dream of a “one CPU one vote” network. The mining rig manufacturer Bitmain has caused a stir throughout multiple cryptocurrency communities, by launching various miners this year that process algorithms most thought were ‘ASIC resistant.’ The latest Antminer Z9 mini was announced on May 3 and costs $1,999 USD per unit and the machine processes an Equihash hashrate of about 10k Sol/s ± 5%.

“We are pleased to announce the Antminer Z9 mini, an ASIC miner to mine Equihash-based cryptocurrencies — To prevent hoarding and to let more individuals worldwide get one, we’ve set a limit of one miner per user,” explains Bitmain the day they launched the Z9 mini.

Cryptocurrency Projects Aiming to be 'ASIC Resistant' Have Little Success
The Antminer Z9 mini mines the Equihash algorithm and has caused trouble for the Bitcoin Gold (BTG) team. 

After Feeling ‘Threatened’ by the Z9 the BTG Development Team Plans to Modify or Change the Current BTG Equihash Algorithm

The announcement has shaken development teams who believed their blockchain consensus models would be free from these high-efficiency semiconductors. But now that Bitmain has released the Equihash mining Antminer Z9, the BTG project may attempt to modify or change its consensus algorithm.

“This week, we learned that the dominant specialty crypto mining hardware maker (Bitmain) has released an “ASIC” miner for Equihash, which means it would be able to mine BTG if we were to allow that to happen,” explains the BTG organization.

The Bitcoin Gold dev team is now working to fix this. We’ve been planning to do this for some time – either by modifying how the Equihash algorithm is implemented, or by changing to an entirely different algorithm. Perhaps we’ll do each, over time.

Cryptocurrency Projects Aiming to be 'ASIC Resistant' Have Little Success
Due to the launch of the Antminer Z9 mini the BTG team plans to change or modify its consensus algorithm.

Is ‘ASIC Resistance’ a Pipe Dream?

Bitcoin Gold isn’t the only project that attempted to create an ‘ASIC resistant’ cryptocurrency that failed to meet that goal. The Litecoin (LTC) network utilizes a different hashing algorithm called scrypt, and when the project first launched everyone thought it would never see ASIC miners processing the LTC’s blocks. However, the once claimed ‘ASIC resistant’ Litecoin scrypt algorithm turned out to be minable by application-specific semiconductors and at the time when this was discovered in 2013 it was quite controversial.

Last month Bitmain released its Antminer E3 that processes the Ethhash (an ethereum, ETH) hashing algorithm. The launch of this device sparked a discussion between Ethereum users who wanted to become ASIC resistant quickly. One Ethereum proponent writes “a regularly scheduled PoW change, like Monero” is needed. The Monero (XMR) development team ran into the same situation as a Bitmain produced mining rig was launched before the E3, that mined cryptocurrencies that utilized the cryptonight algorithm.

As far as different types of Proof-of-Work algorithms there hasn’t really been a cryptocurrency yet that has maintained full ASIC resistance. Most people believe the goal to produce an ASIC resistant PoW is a mythical pipe dream as there are warehouses full of ASIC machines that mine these digital currencies that once claimed to be immune from ASICs.

What do you think about the goal to create an ASIC resistant PoW cryptocurrency? Is this goal attainable without going full PoS? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments below.

Images via Pixabay, Shutterstock, Bitcoin Gold blog, and Bitmain Technologies. 

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