Brazil’s New Blockchain Data Tool Cost $250K, Runs on Quorum

Brazil’s New Blockchain Data Tool Cost $250K, Runs on Quorum

Brazilian financial regulators’ new PIER data-sharing blockchain cost about $250,000 to build and it runs on the Quorum blockchain.Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) began developing PIER in 2017 and launched it in early April. In total it cost the bank R$1,300,000, roughly equivalent to $252,700 USD, Press Officer Ivone Portes told CoinDesk.But BCB is confident that PIER will pay off. PIER is a unified data clearinghouse for BCB, the securities regulator (CVM), the private insurance regulator, (SUSEP) and eventually the social security superintendency (PRIVEC), replacing Brazil’s paper-based record sharing procedure with a fully digitized bureaucratic trove. Tasks like business authorization “that took many hours or days” under the old process “now can take even seconds, since data is available online,” Portes said in an email. PIER also makes that data more reliable by pulling it from the source, Portes said. It runs on JP Morgan’s open source Quorum blockchain, an Ethereum-based platform that BCB said is overlaid on a “private IT infrastructure.” BNamericas reported that PIER also utilizes Microsoft Azure cloud computing. The blockchain gives each regulator easy access to its sister agencies’ records. That will help them process information – from vetting political appointees, to conducting financial investigations, to authorizing companies – more quickly and cheaply.Disclosure Read More 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 cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Chain of Events Post-BSV Halving Mirrors BCH’s, Loyalists Propping Up the Network

Chain of Events Post-BSV Halving Mirrors BCH’s, Loyalists Propping Up the Network

Bitcoin SV (BSV) has seen its first halving since its creation in late 2018, hours after Bitcoin Cash (BCH) also completed its 50% block reward reduction event. The cryptocurrency first came about as a result of disagreements between opposing factions within the BCH community, which led to a group backed by self-proclaimed Bitcoin (BTC) creator Craig Wright and billionaire Calvin Ayre forking the chain to form Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision, or Bitcoin SV.As was the case with BCH, BSV also saw a reduction in hash rate as miners moved their computing power to the BTC chain, which is currently the most profitable to mine among all three blockchains. BSV proponents say the hash rate reduction is only a temporary trend and will do little to negatively impact miner revenue.During the hash war between BCH and BSV, the concentration of computing power in those two chains almost led to a mining death spiral for Bitcoin. This period was also the last leg of the 2018 bear market, with the price of BTC bottoming out at $3,800 in December 2018.With both the BCH and BSV halvings completed, attention now turns to the BTC block subsidy reduction, which is set to take place in mid-May. Given the migration of miners across the blockchains during this halving season, the aftermath of Bitcoin’s 50% inflation drop might provide a clearer picture of the hash rate distribution for the three chains.On the price side of things, the BSV and BCH halvings have coincided with a downward slide for all three cryptos. Bitcoin has fallen below $7,000 after failing to surpass $7,500 during the fifth time of asking since Black Thursday on March 12, when the price fell sharply to $3,800.BCH saw a swift retracement after its halving, eroding the 11% gain that followed the event. As of press time, BSV is down more than 15% in the last 24-hour trading period, with the halving failing to trigger any upward momentum in its price action.BSV in the middleBSV, while being the youngest of the three “major” Bitcoin chains, saw its halving occur between those of BCH and BTC. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the block reward subsidy reduction for BCH occurred a full month ahead of that of BTC due to a change…

Ledger Expands Crypto Payment Options with Crypto.Com Partnership

Ledger Expands Crypto Payment Options with Crypto.Com Partnership

Leading hardware wallet producer, Ledger, now allows online customers to pay using Crypto.com’s wallet app.According to an April 9 announcement, the firm has chosen to accept payment in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Crypto.com Coin (CRO) via Crypto.com’s application. This is not the first time that Ledger has allowed its customers to pay with crypto. They already accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and XRP via their crypto payment processor, Bitpay.An update on an old collaborationBack in December 2018, the two firms signed a memorandum of understanding, which was mean to allow Ledger’s customers to purchase products with digital currency using Crypto.com’s service.In a separate announcement, Ledger indicated that the first 20 users who make a purchase using this new payment method will receive a limited edition Crypto.com Ledger Nano S. Users who purchase Ledger hardware wallets from now until May 31 using Crypto.com will also have access to 10% cashback. They note that this offer is capped at €50 in CRO per purchase.Blockchain’s use in payments Payments are among the most important use cases for blockchain technology. Crypto is used for direct payments less frequently than some might suspect, however. As Cointelegraph reported in mid-March, under 1% of Australians used cryptocurrencies to pay for services last year.Also in March, major cryptocurrency firm Bakkt announced a new direct payment integration which allows customers to pay for Starbucks’ coffee with Bitcoin.

XRP Price Bottom May Be Here as Bulls Try to Prevent New All-Time Low

XRP Price Bottom May Be Here as Bulls Try to Prevent New All-Time Low

While Bitcoin (BTC) is currently showing weakness with the recent retracement from $7,500 to $6,900, XRP price is remaining relatively stable as the XRP/BTC pair is stabilizing. But it’s not only the price of XRP that is remaining reasonably stable against BTC, but Stellar Lumens (XLM) is also showing strength. Would this imply that the inverse correlation is back? Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360XRP breaks back above the crucial level on the BTC pairAs discussed in the previous article, the red area was a vital level for XRP to reclaim to sustain any bullish momentum. The price wasn’t allowed to drop below the monthly level of 0.00002360 satoshis, which was held as support. After that, a breakout above the 0.00002500-0.00002550 satoshis level was crucial. Luckily, the breakout occurred.XRP BTC 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewThat’s the first step for some momentum on the chart. The next crucial step would be a successful support test of the red zone. If such a test confirms the support level here, any further upwards momentum is likely to occur. Overall, as many altcoins are showing a similar structure, the price of XRP is stuck in a sideways range between 0.00002350 satoshis and 0.00003300/0.00003800 satoshis, as the price has been hovering around here for ten months.Remarkably, the price of XRP against BTC is on the same level as one month ago, just before the big crash of Bitcoin occurred. Given that the price is stabilizing and not being affected by the movements of Bitcoin shows strength and a possible bottom formation for XRP. Older investors probably remember the good old days, during which XRP had an inverse correlation with BTC. The moment Bitcoin started to drop, XRP started to bounce upwards in the BTC pair, showing strength. This inverse correlation could be back and may become apparent in the coming period — the moment Bitcoin might continue its retracement.USD pair facing resistance and needs to flip crucial supportXRP USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewThe USDT pair is facing a resistance level, which was the last area before the significant drop of Bitcoin occurred. This resistance zone is marked red on the chart and is at the $0.20-0.22 level.For bullish momentum, reclaiming this level would create a solid floor for continuation towards $0.28-0.30 as the next resistances.However, claiming…

Bitcoin Cash Could Face 51% Attack for $10,000 in Rented Hashpower

Bitcoin Cash Could Face 51% Attack for $10,000 in Rented Hashpower

The recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) block reward halving has wreaked havoc on the cryptocurrency’s hash rate — with an apparent miner exodus plummeting hash power more than 80% over two days.As a result, launching a 51% attack on BCH currently costs less than $10,000 per hour, raising concerns regarding the security of the network.BCH Hash rate plummets 80%In response to BCH’s block rewards dropping from 12.5 BCH to 6.25 BCH, many miners appear to have migrated their hash power to the Bitcoin (BTC) network.According to f2pool, BCH hash rate dropped from nearly 4,200 pentahashes per second (PH/s) to as low as 720 PH/s within two days of the halving taking place. Over the past five hours, the Bitcoin Cash hash rate has more than doubled from the local low to hover at 1,600 PH/s.BCH hashrate over seven days. Source: f2poolMining data site fork.lol reported a more than 30% increase in Bitcoin hashrate amid BCH’s aggressive decline.BTC and BCH hashrate over 30 days. Source: fork.lolPrice of 51% attack on BCH drops below $10,000The sudden dip in hashrate has also left BCH highly exposed to the threat of 51% attacks — with Crypto51 estimating that it would cost $9,130 per hour to launch an attack on the Bitcoin Cash network using rented hashpower.On May 24, 2019, the two largest mining pools on the BCH network — BTC.top and BTC.com — executed a white-hat 51% attack to prevent an entity from exploiting a vulnerability that would have had left some coins “up for grabs.”Will the Bitcoin hash rate follow suit post-halving?The crypto community is speculating as to whether the crash in BCH hashrate is a sign of things to come for Bitcoin as the network prepares for a block reward reduction to be implemented in roughly 33 days. On Reddit, one user posted:“[T]he BTC miners are more f***** than the BCH miners if the hash rate suddenly drops 75% in a single day. BCH adjusts its difficulty every 24 hours. BTC adjusts its difficulty every 14 days. So miners must mine at a loss for a much longer period until the network can operate as normal again (unless there are some last minute panic changes in the difficulty adjustment protocol).”Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency with a looming…

How Edge Computing Can Make Us More Resilient in a Crisis

How Edge Computing Can Make Us More Resilient in a Crisis

Jalak Jobanputra is founder of FuturePerfect Ventures.“Edge computing” has been heralded as a way to increase access to real-time information and to analyze that information more efficiently. But in this moment of public health crisis, we should recognize a potentially significant opportunity that these technologies offer beyond efficiency: the ability of edge computing to weather massive disruption.To see why, it’s worth remembering what edge computing involves. These technologies move computer workloads to “the edge” of networks, shifting the collection, processing, and storage of data from central locations (like servers or the cloud) to individual devices such as cell phones.See also: Rebuilding the Resilience Economy, Feat. Anthony PomplianoThis is significant because of the massive increase of computing power seen in devices that live away from the center of networks. In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore famously observed that computer processing doubles every two years, while the cost of that processing power halves in the same time period. The effects of Moore’s Law mean our smartphones now have more processing capability than NASA’s computers when they sent a man to the Moon. This, combined with the associated proliferation of data, enables our devices to get “smarter,” as well as to make select information available to more centralized applications (such as Uber or Instacart) in a more efficient way.Edge computing during coronavirusWhat does this mean for emergency situations like the current pandemic? In times of crisis, the systems on which we depend are closely examined. Dangers test our preparedness, our ability to improvise and our capacity to act and think locally. Globalization through technology over the past few decades has led to an unprecedented level of interconnectivity, but with it has come a vast and complex chain of dependencies. The locus of control is unclear, and often too far from where the crisis occurs. A shock to the system puts pressure on the supply chain and reveals just how extensive and interwoven these dependencies are. Hidden vulnerabilities are revealed and there is no timely way to respond effectively. A shock to the system puts pressure on the supply chain and reveals just how extensive and interwoven these dependencies are.The spread of COVID-19 epitomizes this kind of shock. While the virus continues to multiply in waves around the world, the…

More Profit-Taking? Bitcoin Price Sags 7% Ahead of Easter Weekend

More Profit-Taking? Bitcoin Price Sags 7% Ahead of Easter Weekend

Major cryptocurrency markets fell 7 percent over the past 24 hours, with bitcoin (BTC) retreating below $7,000.While traditional stocks saw modest gains during early trading hours Friday, the crypto market shed more than $13 billion over the past 24 hours, according to Nomics. Most large-cap cryptos fell more than 8 percent in that time period, with BTC’s 6.8 percent dip being the only exception.The sell-off appears to have begun early UTC Friday.According to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, the world’s oldest cryptocurrency fell from about $7,300 at 01:00 UTC Friday to just above $6,800 as of press time, losing nearly $500 over 14 hours. “Given some of the abruptness of the overnight move, it suggests that some larger holders were inclined to take profits at these relatively favorable prices,” David Nuelle, managing director of Hehmeyer Trading + Investments, told CoinDesk. “Other than that, I don’t see anything that would precipitate the market move.”Still, Nuelle called bitcoin’s recovery from mid-March lows of roughly $4,100 “pretty impressive.”“With other markets closed and it being a U.S. holiday, the crypto markets are generally feeling less liquid,” CMS Holdings Partner Bobby Cho told CoinDesk. “I don’t see this being an issue with crypto fundamentals, rather, short term market liquidity issues.”In contrast to the crypto markets, traditional stock markets capped largely positive weeks. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Index saw major gains in the last four days of trading (markets were closed Friday for the Easter holiday), despite the economic hit caused by record job losses.The U.S. saw 10 percent of its workforce laid off over a three-week period as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Jobless claims grew 6.6 million on Thursday, for a total of 16 million, according to CNBC. Economies worldwide are bracing for an economic shock due to the pandemic. Germany and France are already seeing their economies slide into a recession, the New York Times reported Thursday.Zack Seward contributed reporting.Disclosure Read More 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 cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Money Reimagined: As Tech, Politics and COVID-19 Collide, a Global Reset Looms

Money Reimagined: As Tech, Politics and COVID-19 Collide, a Global Reset Looms

Money is a shared fiction. Our mechanism for storing and exchanging agreed-upon units of value, a tool so powerful that wars are fought over it, springs entirely from our collective imagination. Some might find that unnerving. The age-old desire to attach a currency’s value to something earthly, precious and finite is partly founded on a false hope that these tokens, in which we place such faith, have intrinsic value. It’s an understandable instinct, and there’s a strong gold standard argument for curtailing the sovereign’s power to debase people’s savings. But the sense of innate value is just a belief. As with people’s beliefs in other ephemeral concepts – in religion, for example, or in the concept of a nation – the ones most difficult to challenge are those fundamental to society. Indeed, one could argue that if everyone were to acknowledge that money is a fiction, it would cease to function. You’re reading Money Reimagined, a weekly look at the technological, economic and social events and trends that are redefining our relationship with money and transforming the global financial system. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk’s newsletters here.The imaginary nature of money is not a weakness, however; it’s a strength. As Israeli historian Yuval Harari, author of the seminal “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” explains, our capacity to conceive of and commonly believe in stories is the primary reason why we humans rule the earth, instead of, say, the chimpanzees. It’s what enabled us to organize into communities and, ultimately, to build civilization. The modern world is a direct outcome of our capacity, not just to imagine, but to imagine together. Now, as a terrifying pandemic forces a retreat from globalization and challenges the foundations of the international capitalist order, society could be in for one of its periodic narrative shifts, a sweeping reimagining of its core tenets. Our idea of money, which Harari describes as “the most successful story ever invented and told by humans,” could experience the most significant transformation of all.Our money narrative was already gearing up for a new act, even before an omnipresent antagonist called COVID-19 was added to the cast of characters. That’s because an intense competition was underway to establish a programmable standard for digital currencies. This radical…

Factom’s Two Employees Press On Despite Lead Investor’s Call to Liquidate

Factom’s Two Employees Press On Despite Lead Investor’s Call to Liquidate

After years of being unable to close a Series B, enterprise blockchain company Factom, Inc. slashed its staff from 10 to just two.The company isn’t going into receivership, however, as its lead investor, FastForward Innovations, claimed last week, said Factom COO Jay Smith. “They’ll be putting out a correction,” said Smith. “This has been a long-running argument between us and FastForward.”FastForward did not respond to multiple requests for comment.FastForward had been pressuring Factom to put a resolution before Factom’s board of directors to have the company go into receivership. Smith said he put the resolution forward knowing that the board would vote “no” on it. He claims FastForward jumped the gun in issuing a press release. Read more: Factom Inc. ‘Faces Liquidation’ After Investors Refuse Request for More Funding“There was a miscommunication and FastForward heard that we were going to put this proposal to the shareholders,” Smith said. “Because they’re a public company, anything that has a significant impact on the valuation, they have timelines to publish that. They printed out the press release, and we didn’t get a chance to see it. … There wasn’t any malicious intent on anybody’s part.”Aside from Smith, only CEO Paul Snow is employed by the company.The firm says it is now renegotiating the financial engineering of the Series B raise, proposing solutions such as having FastForward’s note be converted into common stock once the raise reaches a high-enough threshold. Smith said the amount of control FastForward had in Factom was scaring off other investors.Government contractsFounded in 2014, Factom conducted one of the earliest token offerings, raising $1.1 million in 2015 by selling “factoid” tokens. Users don’t need factoids, however, to operate the Factom protocol, which is separate from Factom, Inc. and decentralized among 27 different authority node operators (ANOs). The protocol is often used for recording data. Currently, Factom, Inc. makes most of its money from contracting its services with the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other entities. For DHS, Factom’s technology secures data from Border Patrol cameras and sensors. Factom is also part of a project securing data from the national power grid for the U.S. Energy Department.Despite these high-profile contracts, the company didn’t have the cash flow to be able to survive the market downturn without cuts,…

Coronavirus Has Erased 33% of Crypto Scammers’ Revenue: Chainalysis

Coronavirus Has Erased 33% of Crypto Scammers’ Revenue: Chainalysis

The economic impact from the COVID-19 outbreak is even hitting crypto scammers, forensics firm Chainalysis found.Research out Friday shows profit made through cryptocurrency scams has dropped considerably since the start of the year. On a seven-day moving average, revenue earned by scammers plummeted from $800,000 worth of crypto in the middle of January to below $300,000 at the beginning of April – almost entirely due to the dramatic market drop earlier this year. Researchers initially thought the coronavirus might make people less susceptible to scams. But they found that just as many people were being affected. The number of individual transfers – the number of payments sent to scammers – actually hit a year-to-date high at the start of April. What Chainalysis concluded was that the major sell-off in cryptocurrencies sparked by the coronavirus – total market cap fell by $100 billion in mid-March, according to CoinGecko – had a knock-on effect on scammers’ revenue. “We believe scammers are still receiving those same payments from roughly the same number of victims per month. The payments are just worth less now due to cryptocurrency price drops,” Chainalysis said in its report.”In short, while COVID-19 is providing phishing and blackmail scammers with new fraudulent stories to entice victims, the cryptocurrency price drops spurred by the pandemic have drastically reduced the revenue of the Ponzi schemes and investment scams that make up most cryptocurrency scamming activity.” This drop in scam revenue is likely to be temporary; cryptocurrencies are already rebounding and CoinDesk data shows bitcoin has regained most of its losses since the coronavirus sell-off. As market fortunes return, scammers may be one of the first groups to feel the benefits.Disclosure Read More 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 cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.