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Author Archives: Amelia Tomasicchio

hold bitcoin

Price tripled in 1 year: why you should hold bitcoin

Bitcoin price is nearing its all-time high price of $1,277, maybe because of the impressive growth within the Japanese bitcoin industry. Read here why you should hold bitcoin.

Experts argue that bitcoin price will increase consistently in the mid-term if Japan and the US sustain their growth and if small markets such as India will decide for a massive change related to bitcoin regulation.

Bitcoin price drove by India and Japan

India has always been considered the more important Bitcoin markets because of its poor banking system.

Right now, in fact, 40% of India population can be defined as “underbanked“.

The greatest part of people in India cannot rely on banks and financial institutions to manage their funds.

Recently, the demonetization of 500 and 1,000 bank notes decided by the Indian government led to a national financial crisis, as banks and ATMs ran out of cash to dispense, so Indian citizens cannot obtain cash for their daily basic needs.

Also, PwC explained that 233 mln Indians didn’t have any access to bank accounts since October of 2015 and 43% of adults in India made no deposits or withdrawals in any banks or financial institutions.

Bitcoin hold: why?

Bitcoin exchanges in India – such as Zebpay and Unocoin – began to see a huge growth in their user base and trading volumes.

One key factor that would allow the Indian Bitcoin industry to grow at a rapid rate similar to China, South Korea and Japan is the legalization of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin regulation in India should arrive this summer, according to recent press releases.

This way millions of new users would emerge, and Bitcoin price will rise in the mid-term.

That’s why you should hold bitcoin and store them in a safe place.

Open your bitcoin wallet here on the HolyTransaction multicurrency wallet. You can store more than 10 digital currency within the same account, so it is very easy to manage.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

A new proposal for the Bitcoin block size debate: UASF

Amid the Bitcoin block size debate, an anomymous developer recently talked about a project related to a new solution called UASF or user-activated soft fork.

Many in the community are skeptical about this proposal, but there are enough circumstantial evidences to back it up, and a new movement is growing in the hopes of pushing through the change that miners are now being accused of blocking.

Usually, miners are tasked with pushing through a similar fix. But some in the bitcoin community are calling for a different (and older) method of making a change to bitcoin based on support of the known “economic majority”, instead of miner support.

Coinkite founder Rodolfo Novak, an advocate for this new born movement, explained that it aims at correcting perceived inequities that used to dominate the scaling debate.

“Miners trying to centralize bitcoin is an unacceptable thing. It goes against what bitcoin is supposed to be. This UASF is really like saying, ‘No, we control bitcoin, not you.'”

However, UASF-related support seems to be increasing.

Even if the code is not safe yet, a few users are now supporting it with their nodes.

Node support for this change has grown to 4.8%, or by about six times.

“On a technical level, signaling it that way does absolutely nothing, it does however help the case on a social level and prevents users from running an outdated version of the code when enforcing starts,” developer Damian Mee commented.

Due to UASF system, it might be necessary to have an explicit support from the “economic majority,” or exchanges, wallets, and other bitcoin players.

This support is so far at about 6% since the BIP was put out on March 12th.

However, a sizable percentage of bitcoin nodes are running Bitcoin Core, and SegWit, which Mee thinks is a good indicator that the so-called “economic majority” supports SegWit, and the UASF version.

The code is backwards-compatible, so the 80% of nodes that are now ready for SegWit.

That said, we have to tell that the code implementation hasn’t already fully tested or reviewed.

The original activation for SegWit was put at October 1st, 2017, but recently it was moved to August 1st.

Updates: UASF proposal has been changed. Click here to read more about it.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin block size

Bitcoin block size: UASF updates its proposal

A controversial Bitcoin block size proposal has been upgraded.

UASF, in fact, is a new idea proposed by a pseudonymous contributor called Shaolingfry.

She/he wants to solve the bitcoin block size debate with a user activated soft fork (UASF), a possible method arount the actual deadlock over the Segregated Witness (Segwit) solution.

Right now, the need for a majority consensus in order to make a decision means  that any mining pool with enough hashing power has the veto power over any proposal; this might be the reason why SegWit is tardy to arrive.

Conversely, UASF wants to bypass the veto power and put the decision only into the hands of bitcoin’s users.

After a first general UASF proposal, Shaolinfry suggested a change – BIP148 – in order to moving the power out of the miners’ decision and give it to the “economic majority”.

Gregory Maxwell and other bitcoin developers refused this proposal because it could undermine the bitcoin blockchain stability.

“We should use the least disruptive mechanisms available and the BIP148 proposal does not meet that test,” he wrote

For this reason, Shaolinfry announced he/she is working on a redraft of the proposal to address some of the concerns suggested by Maxwell and other developers.

Shaolinfry published an announcement post saying that the reason for this changes is related to technical criticisms of how UASF would upgrade the network.

“BIP 148 is certainly not what a normal UASF would or should look like. While support for BIP 148 is surprisingly high, there are definitely important players who support UASF in general but do not like BIP148 approach.”

This revised proposal suggests the use of BIP8, but this concerns how soft forks are implemented.

Segwit and BIP8

Right now, if the 95% hashrate support for the Segregated Witness option is not reached by November 15th, the proposal will be discarded by default.

Anyway, the technical changes made in a proposal (BIP8) would be automatically locked in at the end of the time period, even if they could be adopted sooner.

Shaolinfry’s idea is that after the November 15th, a UASF SegWit proposal will be edited according to the BIP8 changes.

This means that the bitcoin community would have 1 year to prepare the upgrading of a UASF, removing the possible destabilizing effect of a short-term.

“I believe this approach would satisfy the more measured approach expected for bitcoin and does not have the issues Maxwell brought up about BIP148.”

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
decred

Decred 1.0. claims to have a decentralized governance

Decred, a creation of Bitcoin developers, rolls out decentralized governance, claiming a first in blockchain technology.

Decred is a cryptocurrency project and platform built from the ground up to leverage the will of its constituents to drive change. This approach eliminates the conflicts that arise when powerful entities attempt to assert control over a cryptocurrency.

Tomorrow, April 25, 2017 marks the release of Decred v1.0. This historic release puts Decred stakeholders in charge of shaping the future of Decred through direct community consensus voting.

For the first time in the history of cryptocurrencies, governing control moves away from centralized authorities, such as developers and miners, and is given to the community of stakeholders. Decentralization struggles without decentralized governance; this is especially true when it comes to a rapidly growing global currency.

Most cryptocurrencies distinguish themselves by how they secure the transactions on their network.

For example, Bitcoin is famous for using a proof-of-work algorithm that rewards miners for finding solutions to a cryptographic hash puzzle. Other cryptocurrency projects rely on proof-of-stake algorithms that reward users who hold the currency in a “staking” wallet with interest on the balances they carry.

Both approaches have strengths and limitations; Decred takes advantage of the best of both worlds with a hybrid proof-of-work and proof-of-stake consensus system. This allows the platform to strike a balance between benefits to both miners and stakeholders, giving rise to a more robust notion of consensus.

The 1.0 release of Decred will include the first community vote on two important issues.

After 75% or more of miners and stakeholders have updated to 1.0, Decred stakeholders will be able to vote on one consensus change and one signaling vote. Due to the rapidly growing popularity of Decred, the number of stakeholders buying vote tickets has increased dramatically, leading to large oscillations in the ticket price.

This is a good example of an unanticipated condition which needs to be resolved though community consensus. A new ticket price algorithm will aim to ease the large oscillations in ticket price and lead to better ticket price discovery while still maintaining the target ticket pool size.

A consensus change of this magnitude is very difficult to achieve in more traditional cryptocurrencies and requires the voluntary acceptance of the code by miners that may or may not have their own agendas. If it passes, the new ticket price algorithm will activate seamlessly for everyone with no further intervention. The second vote will allow stakeholders to signal support for Lightning Network development.

The Lightning Network is a payment layer that makes it economical and fast to process payments, especially small payments, like buying a cup of coffee without having to pay a large transaction fee to process the transaction. If this signaling vote passes, the developers will begin work on integrating Lightning Network on the Decred blockchain. Once development is complete and tested, a future consensus vote can be taken to automatically activate the Lightning Network code.

The recent 2017 roadmap highlights some of the other massive innovations that the team hopes to put up for a vote throughout the year. In addition, a new improvement proposal system will be put in place soon to allow for the community to contribute directly to the agenda.

The release of Decred 1.0 is a watershed moment in the cryptocurrency movement. This digital currency finally does what has never been done before, putting the power of change in the hands of the very people that care about it most. Decred is celebrating version 1.0.0 release with a puzzle challenge.

The ‘Autonomy Puzzle’ challenge features an initial prize of 500 decred (DCR) to the first solver, equivalent to approximately USD 7,500 at the time of this release. However, players will be working against the clock, as the prize will be reduced every 24 hours. The puzzle difficulty level has been rated ‘easy to medium’, as Decred is aiming to include participants of all skill levels.

Decred Wallet

We recently added Decred among the available digital currencies you can store on the HolyTransaction multicurrency wallet.

We define it as “multicurrency” because you can store more than 10 different cryptocurrencies within the same account and login details.

Open your Decred Wallet here and store it right next to your own Bitcoin, Ethereum and more.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
nasdaq blockchain

Nasdaq Blockchain: new investments in more startups

Nasdaq Blockchain – related venture initiatives include new investment in distributed ledger based startups.

Today Nasdaq Ventures announced it has decided to invest in startups and companies that work with blockchains and/or artificial intelligence, next-generation data analysis and machine learning.

Nasdaq Blockchain budget is $10m to be awarded to deserving startups that are focused on both seed-stage and late-stage placements.

This Nasdaq Blockchain effort is a natural extension of the firm’s work in the blockchain field.

Back in 2015, Nasdaq started a partnership with Chain, an enterprise-grade blockchain infrastructure that enables organizations to build better financial services from the ground up.

This effort saw the two companies develop a distributed ledger market focused on pre-IPO offerings.

President and CEO of Nasdaq, Adena Friedman, explained in a statement:

“With the launch of our new venture investment program, we are reinforcing our focus on driving growth and innovation by evaluating, distributing, licensing and integrating disruptive technologies for the long-term benefit of our global clients.”

Nasdaq has been testing the blockchain even in other areas.

In fact, back in February 2016, Nasdaq announced its blockchain tests on e-voting prototypes with Estonia’s sole securities exchange.

Also, in January, Nasdaq published a report arguing that the distributed ledger is also useful beyond transaction settlement.

Read more about Nasdaq Blockchain – related projects by clicking here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin users

Bitcoin users growth: read the University of Cambridge’s research about cryptocurrencies

According to a recent research conducted by the University of Cambridge, bitcoin users number has increased by four times in five years.

The research explains that bitcoin active wallets surged from 8.2 mln in 2013 to nearly 35 mln in 2016, suggesting that the number of active wallets ranges from 7.5% to 30.9% of the total number.

The Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge suggested an estimated number of unique active bitcoin users wallets to be grown from between 0.6 mln and 2.6 mln in 2013 to currently between 5.8 mln and 11.5 mln in 2017.

This study – led by Dr. Garrick Hileman & Michel Rauchs – is the first of its kind to examine the growing global cryptocurrency industry and its exchanges, wallets, payments and mining platforms.

The research, in fact, is not only focused on bitcoin users, but also on cryptocurrencies in general.

“81% of wallet providers are based in North America and Europe, but only 61% of wallet users are based in these two regions,” the study which collected non-public data from nearly 150 companies and individuals states. “Almost half of all wallet providers are located in the United States and the United Kingdom. If we break down origin by world region, Europe is leading with 42% of wallet providers, followed by North America with 39% and Asia Pacific with 19%.”

North American wallet providers think that the current regulation is good and 57% of European and 2% of Asian-Pacific wallet services seem to be satisfied with the existent regulation.

Exchanges have to gain more popularity yet as only two of the 51 exchanges included in the research can provide a decentralized platform: 40% of North American wallet platforms said that the existing regulation is excessive and too strict – a point of view shared by 14% of European companies.

Another focus of this study is the innovative and rapidly changing of the cryptocurrency economy that is becoming more fluid in a few countries.

It says the line between exchanges and wallets is more and more “blurred” and several other digital currencies after Bitcoin are now supported by a growing environment as they are able to be used in a wide range of use cases.

Also, it argues that security-related problems and the lack of clarity about digital currencies regulation will continue to be prevalent in the next future.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin in Japan: a new way to evaluate blockchain projects

While there is lack of clarity related to the regulation of Bitcoin in Japan, one of the Japanese government ministries has worked to develop a new way in order to evaluate projects related to the distributed ledger tech.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), in fact, announced a few details about this new methodology, that was created by the Information Economy Division of the ministry’s Commerce and Information Policy Bureau.

According to a presentation  published a few days ago, METI will exploit this process to consider projects for a variety of use cases, by evaluating more than 30 different characteristics including project scalability, privacy and overall reliability.

People involved with the creation of this new methodology explained it was developed to impartially weigh blockchain-related projects.

The official presentation explains:

“No evaluation indices or criteria had been established to adequately assess the features of the technologies and to compare them with existing systems. This causes the public anxiety, misunderstanding, and unreasonable hopes to blockchain technologies, and leading to a potential unwillingness to introduce the technology.”

It is not a big surprise that the Japanese ministry is involved in this project, as it has already supported the blockchain technology in the past.

METI, in fact, is conducting some researches about the technology since 2015, commenting that the government should play a supporting role. Also, the Japanese ministry has sponsored a trip abroad for local bitcoin and blockchain-based startups.

Click here to read more about Bitcoin in Japan news.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
zcash-logo-gold

ZCash Bug: team releases software fix

A ZCash bug has been discovered a few days ago and now the development team has released a new software update to fix this denial of service (DoS) vulnerability.

In fact, in a new blog post, Zooko Wilcox and Paige Peterson – both developers at ZCash – explained how the bug could allow an hacker to crash a zcash node remotely by sending a specific kind of transaction.

ZCash bug found on Wednesday

The bug was found in an update included in the ZCash’s 1.0.4 release, related to how transactions are given priority in a node’s mempool.

This vulnerability was discovered back on Wednesday (April 12nd, 2017).

The blog explains:

“ZcashCo, and several exchanges, wallet vendors, and miners have already deployed a mitigation as well as detectors for this attack vector. No attacks have been detected.”

Zcash published a software update to address this bug, asking users to upgrade their platforms in order to delete the denial of service risk.

The Zcash team  also commented that, should signs emerge that an attack attempt is being made, it would issue alerts and coordinate with related services on a response.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Zcash is a digital currency with the special feature of total anonymity thanks to its zero knowledge proof of work called zk-snarks.

Read more about Zcash here.

ZCash Wallet – Open yours at HolyTransaction

Recently, we at HolyTransaction implemented the ZCash Wallet on our multicurrency wallet platform.

Together with Bitcoin, Ethereum and more than 10 other digital currency, from now on you can use HolyTransaction to store also ZCash coins.

Open your ZCash wallet here in 1 minute.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
intesa sanpaolo blockchain

Intesa Sanpaolo Blockchain: a new trial for recordkeeping

The newest Italian Banca Intesa Sanpaolo blockchain – related  project has been tested with the main goal of validating trading data.

Thanks also to a partnership with Deloitte and the Italian startup Eternity Wall, Intesa San Paolo started to test a new proof-of-concept at the end of 2016.

Heart of the project is the open-source OpenTimestamps protocol, developed by Peter Todd, a Bitcoin Core contributor, that Eternity Wall moved to implement.

The Intesa Sanpaolo blockchain project uses the bitcoin distributed ledger to notarize transactions and create a publicly available database trail for future referral.

Information security officer for the bank, Carlo Brezigia explained:

“Relevant data has been hashed to produce a short unique identifier – a digest – equivalent to its digital fingerprint. This fingerprint has been associated to a blockchain transaction and hence registered on the blockchain: the blockchain immutability provides robust non-refutable timestamping that will always prove without any doubt the existence of that data in that specific status at that precise moment in time.”

According to a Deloitte statement, Intesa Sanpaolo tested this tool between October and February with tht idea of including support for other blockchains, potentially including also private ledgers.

This Italian blockchain trial shows the will of regulated financial institutions to test public blockchains.

In an official announcement, the bank’s retail innovation accelerator officer, Gianni Cavallina, explained the interest in experimenting these protocols beyond the main use case of digital currenciese:

“In particular, considering public blockchains, we are exploring the applicability of different use cases, abstracting from the value of its native digital currency. Notarization is one of the most interesting applications.”

Intesa Sanpaolo Blockchain projects– also member of the R3 distributed ledger consortium – also include tests on several blockchain use cases made during the previous years, including trade finance and digital identity.

Read more about previous Italian projects related to the Blockchain here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin in russia

Bitcoin in Russia: transactions will be monitored

Bitcoin in Russia will be officially “recognized” by 2018, but each transaction will be subjected to monitoring.

In a recent statement by the Russian central bank, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev explains – in an interview quoted by Bloomberg – that a legal position about Bitcoin in Russia will be taken in the next future.

Recently, bitcoin and altcoins had been put aside regarding regulation, with users and companies operating in Russia threatened with takedowns and jail.

In October, Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked access to a peer-to-peer marketplace called LocalBitcoins, but developers responded by setting up a new mirror site, LocalBitcoins.net.

“The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain. If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations,” said Moiseev about the Russian government position.

While digital currencies are still yet to receive an official status, Bloomberg reports that they will be treated as assets, cash or security by mid-2017.

Back in January, Deputy Olga Skorobogatova (Bank of Russia) commented that authorities “would not like to concretely block anything” instead of “understanding how to approach cryptocurrency and from this generating a basis for regulation.”

Read more about Bitcoin in Russia by clicking on the blog post titles below.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio