The DApp Revolution: Rebuilding Society Through Decentralization

The DApp Revolution: Rebuilding Society Through Decentralization

Op-Ed This article about the DApp Revolution was written by Heidi Yu. Heidi is a serial entrepreneur, influencer marketing evangelist, and AI enthusiast. Heidi founded BOOSTO.io, a decentralized app store that returns power to creators and makers.  If you can dream it, a decentralized application can do it. According to a report from UK market intelligence firm Juniper Research, there will be “a significant expansion” in the implementation of blockchain-based DApps within the next year. The adoption is happening fast, and it behooves us all to familiarize ourselves with this revolutionary technology.  Also read: Under the Tent: A Look at the Latest Openbazaar Marketplace Software Windsor Holden of Juniper predicted in Forbes earlier this year that users should be able to download dApps to their Androids or iPhones by the end of the year. So what are dApps and how do they work? In order to gain an understanding of dApps, it is first necessary to have some knowledge about blockchain technology, the technology that underlies decentralized applications. If you aren’t already an authority on the actual crypto backbone, here’s a lightning fast crash course. The blockchain is simply an immutable ledger of records that is organized into “blocks” stored on a decentralized network of computers instead of in one location like on a conventional centralized database. Strategist and blockchain specialist William Mougayar explains this using Google Docs as a comparison: “With Google Docs (or Google Sheets), both parties have access to the same document at the same time, and the single version of that document is always visible to both of them. It is like a shared ledger, but it is a shared document. The distributed part comes into play when sharing involves a number of people.” This type of system beats the traditional method of sending records back and forth, allowing only one person to view and edit the record at any given time. At first glance this may seem like a security risk, but most of us trust the blockchain because of its unmatched level of safety and security. In a blockchain-based system, there is a copy of the database on each computer in the decentralized network, and each transaction processed must be validated by every single computer in this database, or the transaction cannot be completed.…

Venezuela’s Petro White Paper ‘Blatantly’ Copied Dash, Ethereum Developer Says

Venezuela’s Petro White Paper ‘Blatantly’ Copied Dash, Ethereum Developer Says

Venezuelan state-owned cryptocurrency Petro has apparently plagiarized parts of its white paper from the GitHub repository of Dash. Core developer of Ethereum Joey Zhou pointed this out in a tweet posted Tuesday, Oct. 2. Zhou has tweeted that Petro, which has just been officially launched by president Nicolas Maduro, is “a blatant Dash clone.” To illustrate this, he posted a link to the Venezuelan coin’s white paper, which had an exact copy of an image from Dash’s repository on Github. An image from Dash’s repository on Github, added to p. 11 of Petro’s white paper with an added title in Spanish. Screenshot: Cointelegraph The “clone” image is not the only thing that Petro apparently borrowed from Dash. The technical description of the coin says that it will use the X11 Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining algorithm, the same that is used by Dash. While many cryptocurrencies use common cryptographic algorithms – such as Bitcoin’s SHA-256 – Petro also uses “nodos maestros,” or masternodes – a well-known mechanism used by Dash to regulate its ecosystem. The last but not least of the coincidences is Instant Send – Dash’s mechanism for fast transactions and also one of the most important characteristics of Petro, as per its white paper: “One of the most important characteristics of Petro is instant send (less than 5 seconds) of the transactions, which represents an innovative approach and Petro’s significant impact in comparison with existing cryptocurrencies.” The news comes shortly after Venezuela’s president announced the official sale of Petro, which is slated to start November 5. Maduro has also stated that the oil-backed cryptocurrency is about to begin trading on six major crypto exchanges. However, as of press time, it has not yet been listed on any of the largest trading platforms such as Binance, OKEx and Huobi, according to CoinMarketCap. Earlier in August, Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group, has said that Venezuela had become the second largest market for Dash. According to Taylor, almost one hundred merchants in Venezuela begin to accept the coin each week, partly caused by the fast devaluation of bolivar – the nation’s official currency.

Testing for Ethereum’s Upcoming Hard Fork Is Being Delayed

Testing for Ethereum’s Upcoming Hard Fork Is Being Delayed

Ethereum core developers announced a delay in plans to launch Constantinople, Ethereum’s upcoming system-wide upgrade, on the test network Ropsten on Thursday. As explained in a tweet by Peter Szilagyi, team lead at the Ethereum Foundation, the main reason for the delay is to offer more time for clients – the individuals and businesses running “nodes” or computer servers supporting the ethereum network – to address a vulnerability found in one of the five Constantinople upgrades. In addition to this, the delay would also give space for Ropsten users testing other ethereum projects – such as the off-chain scaling solution Raiden – to prepare for the possible network split that could occur as a result of implementing Constantinople. Requiring what is known as a “hard fork,” the upgrades comprising Constantinople include changes to block reward issuance, code execution, data storage and more. The active nodes of the Ropsten testnet would need to implement such changes simultaneously or risk splitting into two separate blockchains. As a result, Lefteris Karapetsas, a developer for the Raiden network, told ethereum developers in a public forum that causing a potential network split for even a temporary period on Ropsten would “effectively make testing almost impossible” for their project, which is “rather close to mainnet release,” in response to an open call for input on the postponement date. To avoid intentionally causing complications on the ethereum testnet, one idea proposed by ethereum core developer Alexey Akhunov as an alternative was to launch a separate temporary testnet to Ropsten and resolve obvious problems in code there before implementation for further testing by existing users of the Ropsten network. The new release date for Constantinople on Ropsten is now set for October 14th, estimated to be block 4.23 million, as agreed to by core developers and testnet users together. And as warned by Szilagyi, any further delay would push into an even busier season for ethereum core developers heading into their fourth annual developer conference, dubbed Devcon, scheduled for October 30 in Prague. Ethereum image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in…

Bitpay Phases Out Crypto-Debit Cards for European Cardholders

Bitpay Phases Out Crypto-Debit Cards for European Cardholders

News The global cryptocurrency payment service provider, Bitpay, has announced the company’s loadable cryptocurrency debit card services will no longer work for European customers later this month. Bitpay has emailed all of its European card holding customers and revealed it is in the midst of sunsetting all Bitpay accounts related to the Wave Crest-issued Bitpay card. Also read: Bitcoin Cash Speaker Series II Brings Leading Bitcoiners Together Bitpay Is Phasing out Debit Services for European Cardholders Eight months ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on a slew of cryptocurrency debit cards forced to shut down services because of issues tied to the bank Wave Crest-Holdings. Many crypto-cards had to stop debit card operations because the issuer Wave Crest had its license from Visa revoked. Because of the banking issues, this week the cryptocurrency payment processor Bitpay has revealed that it is phasing out its Wave Crest-issued Bitpay card and associated services.     “As you know, your Bitpay card’s issuer Wave Crest Holdings Ltd. stopped providing service for your Bitpay Card as of October 2017 or January 2018,” explains the Atlanta-based firm. Bitpay adds:   We are now working to sunset Bitpay accounts related to the Wave Crest-issued Bitpay card — In 30 days, we will be turning off access to your Bitpay card dashboard. If you need to store your card’s transaction data for any purpose, please export your transaction data before your card dashboard access ends on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018.        The Need for More Crypto-to-Debit or Something That Bypasses the Traditional Frictions Associated With Fiat European Bitpay card users will need to use another card provider if they haven’t already switched over the last six months. At the moment residents from that area can use popular crypto-card issuers such as Revolut, and Wirex for their crypto-to-debit needs. Moreover, there are a few new crypto-to-debit card startups entering the space that plan to provide these services for European customers. The advent of crypto-debit cards has made it easier for digital asset enthusiasts to spend their coins but the system is still tethered to the traditional financial network. In many ways, the model is still dealing with a fiat exchange and trading those coins for the user’s purchases. Additionally, former Bitpay cardholder can access a guide to…

‘Nothing Is Decentralized’: Crypto Springs Confronts Tech’s Shortcomings

‘Nothing Is Decentralized’: Crypto Springs Confronts Tech’s Shortcomings

When Crypto Springs conference co-organizer Meltem Demirors took the stage on Wednesday, watermelon margarita in hand, her “nothing is decentralized” rallying cry drew thunderous applause. That may seem counterintuitive for a poolside gathering of cryptocurrency industry veterans in Palm Springs, California. But the tone distinguishing this event from the plethora of blockchain conferences was an acute focus on shortcomings and open-ended questions. “Decentralization is not a myth,” Demirors, founder of Athena Capital and chief strategy officer at the asset manager CoinShares, told the audience. “It just hasn’t been implemented properly yet.” She was hardly the only one to espouse this view. In his presentation, Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer even went so far as to lambaste the Bitcoin Core team for the “centralized way” in which they fixed the recently discovered bug in bitcoin’s code, which involved coordinating with bitcoin miners behind closed doors. Palmer also said there is a “complete lack of transparency” about who manages the Bitcoin Core code base, and that he believes the whole bitcoin ecosystem suffers from a lack of diversity regarding both programming languages and implementations. “A lot of people in the space are afraid to reflect on bitcoin,” Palmer told CoinDesk, questioning why retail adoption is still a rarity. “If bitcoin was a startup, it would be dead. It hasn’t reached product-market fit.” Addressing one of these criticisms, Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corallo told CoinDesk that diversifying bitcoin might require a great deal of extra work to maintain consistency across the complex network, at best, and lead to network forks that reduce bitcoin’s usability at worst. “If you have multiple implementations that people run, then [nodes] have to run both,” Corallo said. “With multiple languages, you’re going to have different behaviors…you don’t want to rewrite too many things because that’s how you end up with lots of bugs.” Peer review One point of broad consensus at the event, though, was that the godfather of cryptocurrencies requires more peer review. “There needs to be more talent working on [bitcoin] full-time,” Palmer told CoinDesk. Corallo agreed, adding the shortage of code reviewers isn’t caused by a lack of funding opportunities. In Corallo’s mind, the problem is a lack of skilled engineers willing to devote their time to this space. Referring to…

Another US Indictment Links Bitcoin to Covert Russian Intelligence Activity

Another US Indictment Links Bitcoin to Covert Russian Intelligence Activity

A newly-published indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice charges seven alleged Russian intelligence agents with using cryptocurrencies as part of a broad “influence and disinformation” scheme. The government alleges that Aleksei Sergeyevich Morenets, Evgenii Mikhaylovich Serebriakov, Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov, Artem Andreveyich Malyshev, Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin, Oleg Mikhaylovich Sotnikov and Alexey Valerevich Minin are members of the Russian intelligence agency and hacked into computer networks used by anti-doping and sporting officials, as well as groups investigating Russia’s alleged use of chemical weapons. To hide their financial tracks, they reportedly used cryptocurrencies, though, in the indictment, bitcoin is the only one named directly. The document states: “In those instances where conspirators purchased hacking infrastructure, payments were made using a complex web of transactions involving operational accounts in fictitious names and typically utilized cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to further mask their identities and conduct.” Further, while the conspirators used a variety of currencies, including U.S. dollars, bitcoin was the primary form of payment for purchases including buying servers and registering domains, according to U.S. officials. Many of these payments went to U.S.-based companies, and “the use of bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds.” The conspirators also mined their own bitcoin as part of an effort to generate funds, according to the indictment. It adds: “To facilitate the purchase of infrastructure used in their hacking activity—targeting anti-doping and other sports-related organizations and releasing the stolen documents—defendants … together with conspirators known and unknown, conspired to launder money through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.” “The use of bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds,” it said. That being said, the indictment indicates investigators were able to track the machines used to initiate bitcoin transactions, noting that the defendants sent bitcoin payments from the same computers used to conduct some “hacking activity.” While not directly related to the ongoing investigation into suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s national security division, said during a press conference Thursday that three of the named…

Ether’s Two-Week Price Uptrend Looks Set to Continue

Ether’s Two-Week Price Uptrend Looks Set to Continue

Ether (ETH), the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has staved off an attempt by the bears to break a two-week uptrend. The cryptocurrency defended the trendline connecting the Sept. 17 low and Sept. 25 low yesterday, boosting the odds of a bullish break above the recent lower price high of $240. ETH also briefly dropped to third place in the rankings on CoinMarketCap after a mini-rally by XRP saw it take second place at the start of the month. However, it appears ether is beginning to stage a comeback having quickly regained the second place mantle. A retest of the upper trendline – which has consistently plagued the wider crypto markets since the bear breakdown began at the start of 2018 – now looks likely As of writing, ETH is changing hands at $224 on Bitfinex, after bouncing from the bullish hammer seen on Oct. 3. Daily chart Symmetrical triangles are continuation patterns that provide an indication of a bullish or bearish break and are dependent upon the direction in trend for the correct signal. The previous symmetrical triangle, seen Aug. 10–Sept. 5, shows a rapid decline in price after it broke bearish. From there prices recovered after the bulls managed to stem the bleeding, as evidenced by the long bull wick (marked by an arrow) A drop in total volume over the period, as prices began to consolidate and contract, can also be seen. The case this time around benefits the bullish view of a breakout due to a small change in the direction of the trend. For over two weeks now, the bears have been unsuccessful in their attempts to drive prices lower and have briefly lost momentum required to cross the upward trendline, signaling another major move may be imminent. 4-hour chart Looking at the 4-hour chart, we can see how ether recently achieved a 22-day high in total growing volume, levels not seen since prices began to break down toward the end of last month. A bull cross on the moving average divergence convergence (MACD) is beginning to intersect and confirm a small trend change on the intraday timeframes, likely courtesy of bitcoin’s bullish charge above $6,600 seen earlier today. While crossing below 0.00 on the MACD does not instill the greatest sense of confidence…

Cybersecurity Firm: Fortnite Gamers Targeted by Malware That Steals BTC Addresses

Cybersecurity Firm: Fortnite Gamers Targeted by Malware That Steals BTC Addresses

Cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes has found that scammers are using malware that targets the Bitcoin (BTC) wallet addresses of Fortnite gamers, according to a post published October 2. Fortnite is currently one of the most popular video games in the world, with reports suggesting that 125 million people are active players. Malwarebytes has investigated the game’s online ecosystem and found that “con artists” are sneaking malicious data theft code into downloads that apparently promise “free” season six Fortnite Android versions, among other “bogus cheats, wallhacks and aimbots.” So-called “free V-Bucks” – an in-game currency that can be used to purchase additional gaming content – also conceal malicious packages of code, according to the investigation. Malwarebytes found that these deceptive links are promoted via scammers’ youtube channels, which redirect users to downloads that conceal the malware. For one malicious file, the investigation reportedly found that over 1,200 downloads had already been completed; Malwarebytes’ detection methods identified the file as “Trojan.Malpack,” and found that it was a data stealer targeting Bitcoin wallets, browser session information, cookies, and other data. The file in question reportedly attempted to redirect the siphoned information “via a POST command to an /index.php file in the Russian Federation, courtesy of the IP address 5(dot)101(dot)78(dot)169.” Malwarebytes further warned that the accompanying readme file to the malware advertises the option to purchase more Fortnite game cheats “for $80 Bitcoin.” The investigation noted that other types of suspiciously packaged code use a process known as “Stealer.exe,” and post the ill-gotten data to “to /gate.php instead of index.php.” As previously reported, multiple cybercrime threat analyses this year have emphasized the rising popularity of crypto mining malware – or cryptojacking – among hackers. In late September, McAfee Labs released data suggesting that total samples of one type of such malware known as “coin miner” had risen by 86 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

Ether’s Two-Week Price Uptrend Looks Poised to Continue

Ether’s Two-Week Price Uptrend Looks Poised to Continue

Ether (ETH), the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has staved off an attempt by the bears to break a two-week uptrend. The cryptocurrency defended the trendline connecting the Sept. 17 low and Sept. 25 low yesterday, boosting the odds of a bullish break above the recent lower price high of $240. ETH also briefly dropped to third place in the rankings on CoinMarketCap after a mini-rally by XRP saw it take second place at the start of the month. However, it appears ether is beginning to stage a comeback having quickly regained the second place mantle. A retest of the upper trendline – which has consistently plagued the wider crypto markets since the bear breakdown began at the start of 2018 – now looks likely As of writing, ETH is changing hands at $224 on Bitfinex, after bouncing from the bullish hammer seen on Oct. 3. Daily chart Symmetrical triangles are continuation patterns that provide an indication of a bullish or bearish break and are dependent upon the direction in trend for the correct signal. The previous symmetrical triangle, seen Aug. 10–Sept. 5, shows a rapid decline in price after it broke bearish. From there prices recovered after the bulls managed to stem the bleeding, as evidenced by the long bull wick (marked by an arrow) A drop in total volume over the period, as prices began to consolidate and contract, can also be seen. The case this time around benefits the bullish view of a breakout due to a small change in the direction of the trend. For over two weeks now, the bears have been unsuccessful in their attempts to drive prices lower and have briefly lost momentum required to cross the upward trendline, signaling another major move may be imminent. 4-hour chart Looking at the 4-hour chart, we can see how ether recently achieved a 22-day high in total growing volume, levels not seen since prices began to break down toward the end of last month. A bull cross on the moving average divergence convergence (MACD) is beginning to intersect and confirm a small trend change on the intraday timeframes, likely courtesy of bitcoin’s bullish charge above $6,600 seen earlier today. While crossing below 0.00 on the MACD does not instill the greatest sense of confidence…

Melonport Co-Founder Joins the Decentralized Crypto Exchange Race

Melonport Co-Founder Joins the Decentralized Crypto Exchange Race

A co-founder of one of the most talked-about blockchain projects of recent years has launched a decentralized exchange (DEX), aspiring to make such platforms easier to use. Announced today, Reto Trinkler has opened the new DEX, dubbed Agora Trade, in Malta – a nation that has become increasingly crypto-friendly with the passing of several pieces of legislation around the tech. Trinkler is best known in the industry for his work at Melonport, the crypto asset management platform he started in 2016 with Goldman Sachs veteran Mona El Isa. The project earned the then 28-year-old Trinkler a spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list of up-and-comers in European finance. The new venture joins an increasingly crowded field of DEXs, which employ a variety of models but generally seek to address a longstanding problem with traditional, centralized crypto exchanges by allowing traders to control the custody of their assets. Trinkler told CoinDesk that Agora will differentiate itself from the DEX pack in several ways. For example, Agora will offer trading of cryptocurrencies across different blockchains. While that’s not quite unique (Plasma DEX, for instance, does this too), it will set Agora apart from the many DEXs that run on top of ethereum and can only trade ether or other tokens created for that blockchain. To start, users can trade NIM (the native cryptocurrency of the Nimiq blockchain) or ether, and Agora plans to add bitcoin, ethereum classic, EOS, NEO, and tezos next. Further, orders to buy or sell on Agora Trade will be made off-chain and stored and matched on a central server. As a result, orders can be placed free of charge and trades can be completed faster, Trinkler said. “This allows us to have efficient order matching, while users don’t compromise [on] security.” Trinkler hopes these features, combined with the security and autonomy of self-custody, will attract more critical mass than the trickle of trades most DEXs have seen to date. He told CoinDesk: “Our goal is to be the cross-chain, non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange with the most unique visitors per day and the highest daily volume.” Between the chains Even for a DEX like Agora, a partly centralized solution in which orders are matched on one server is still the best option right now, Trinkler argued. “Synchronicity is difficult to achieve…