The World’s Fifth-Largest Electrical Company Is Using an Ethereum Dapp

The World’s Fifth-Largest Electrical Company Is Using an Ethereum Dapp

One of the world’s largest electrical companies is teaming up with ethereum app iExec on a new test. EDF, the fifth largest electrical utility company with a $33 billion market cap, has launched its visual simulator software GPUSPH on iExec, a decentralized application that operates on ethereum mainnet. With this, EDF can test how the program operates on a blockchain rather than a more normal computing environment. Specifically, the simulator explores a field called “smoothed particle hydrodynamics” for modeling fluids. It’s technical in nature, but the general idea is that the GPUSPH application is useful for studying all sorts of things, like water dams, for example, or even lava cooling. EDF is trying to determine whether ethereum adds any benefits to the simulator, which typically runs on a GPU. As EDF blockchain engineer Gilles Deleuze told CoinDesk: “In a wider perspective, […] development of distributed computing is a credible scenario for the future, and blockchain may be a nice lever in this scenario. So, let’s explore it.” Originally an extension of a decade-old research project, iExec is one of the longer-running ethereum apps, launched in 2016 to explore the concept of cloud computing on the blockchain. While the world of cloud computing is currently dominated by large companies, like Amazon, they’re trying to decentralize the form of computing on ethereum. iExec head of innovation and adoption Jean-Charles Cabelguen argued to CoinDesk that the advantages of using iExec for GPUSPH are many, including clear monitoring of the state and computational power of the app and increased “resilience” of the app, as it’s running on a decentralize network. But perhaps one of the most pressing problems ethereum faces is that it doesn’t scale well, at least not yet. But iExec argues they’ve come around with their own scaling solution to at least ensure their dapp is scalable. “The heavy computing is done off-chain and does not overwhelm ethereum. Afterward, blockchain is used to reach a consensus on the validity of computation’s results. A hash of this result is stored on the blockchain,” Cabelguen said. That said, EDF thinks the technology is worth exploring. Deleuze even added that EDF plans to launch other experiments on iExec in the future, stating: “The plan is to continue with other open scientific…

Blockchain Project Thundercore Releases Code for ‘Pala’ Consensus Protocol

Blockchain Project Thundercore Releases Code for ‘Pala’ Consensus Protocol

Public blockchain platform provider ThunderCore has just released proof-of-concept code for a new consensus protocol, dubbed Pala, on GitHub. According to Elaine Shi, chief scientist for ThunderCore, the work represents “a dream consensus protocol.” As stated on the newly released GitHub page: “Pala is a byzantine fault tolerant consensus protocol…It can achieve low latency and high throughput in a partially synchronous network setting.” In layman terms, for blockchains that use a system of block creation and transaction validation known as proof-of-stake (PoS), Pala is way in which to switch out certain bad actors from the network without sacrificing speed or liveness. ThunderCore was previously reported by VentureBeat to have raised $50 million in their pursuit of a highly-scalable PoS blockchain. The startup’s public blockchain network, also called ThunderCore, launched this month and is fully compatible with applications running on the world’s second largest blockchain platform, ethereum. The ThunderCore blockchain also leverages the ethereum network for chain finality. On the newly released ThunderCore blockchain, bad actors in the PoS system are detected and switched out by leveraging finality on the ethereum blockchain. The ethereum blockchain essentially acts as a network for the ThunderCore blockchain to fall back on should consensus be broken. However, confirmations of blocks and transactions on the ethereum blockchain takes roughly 10 minutes to generate, according to Shi. “When we want to use the slow chain for the fall back detection…we are going to suffer from slow chain confirmation times,” said Shi. “This is what ThunderCore is doing right now.” With Pala, ThunderCore is able to rotate out bad actors without touching the “fallback” chain.   Shi emphasized that Pala will be integrated into ThunderCore’s mainnet network once fully tested. Shi told CoinDesk: “Open-sourcing the Pala protocol is an important milestone for us. It means other projects can use the protocol for other blockchain platforms if they need fast consensus.” Elaine Shi image by Christine Kim for CoinDesk

Keep Track of Important Crypto Events With Coindar

Keep Track of Important Crypto Events With Coindar

The cryptocurrency space is abundant with events, from blockchain upgrades to platform launches and informal meetups. Coindar is a free calendar tool that helps crypto enthusiasts closely follow what’s happening in the industry and make better investment decisions. Also read: Track Rising Crypto Prices With Cryptowat.ch Online Calendar Tracks Coin-Related Developments Coindar is an online platform where users can track upcoming events related to various digital coins and tokens. Acquiring this type of information can be crucial for any crypto investor who wants to be successful in the long run. Some events may significantly influence the prices of cryptocurrencies, creating opportunities for traders in the loop to profit or even to claim electronic cash. These include periods with halvings, hard forks and airdrops. Coindar provides multiple filtering and sorting options. Events can be sorted by date or time period but users can also choose to display only those that have been added recently or just the most popular. The website currently shows almost 800 upcoming events, 26 of which have been added in the last 24 hours. Events can be filtered by tags such as announcement, update, meetup, and brand. You can also pick those that have been added from what has been determined to be a reliable source, the ones that the platform considers important or your own favorites. Users interested in a particular cryptocurrency can find the events that pertain to their favorite coin. For example, typing BCH in the search bar will show you the upgrade which introduces Schnorr signatures to the Bitcoin Cash network. It has been marked as an important event and the website links to the Bitcoin.com Company Blog where you can get more detailed information about it. Coindar also maintains a Forecasts page as well as a Coins page, which is a cryptocurrency market cap aggregator offering real-time data for hundreds of digital currencies. What other crypto calendars do you know or use? Tell us more about their features in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or…

Bitcoin Falls Under $8,000 Again as US Stock Market Sees Discrete Gains

Bitcoin Falls Under $8,000 Again as US Stock Market Sees Discrete Gains

Wednesday, May 15 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate gains on the day by press time, as bitcoin (BTC) has fallen below the $8,000 mark again. Market visualization courtesy of Coin360 Bitcoin is nearly a percent down on the day, trading at $7,975 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is up over 25.7%. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, the CEO of instant cryptocurrency exchange platform ShapeShift told Bloomberg that bubbles are an essential part of the industry’s growth. Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $24.5 billion. The second-largest altcoin, XRP, has a market cap of $17.9 billion at press time. CoinMarketCap data shows that ETH is up over 11% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $231. On the week, the coin has also seen its value increase by over 26.8%. Ether 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin recently said that the Ethereum blockchain will become about 1,000 times more scalable in 18 to 24 months. XRP is up over 5.6% over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.427. On the week, the coin is up over 29%. XRP 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the ones reporting the most notable gains are tezos (XTZ), which is up nearly 22%, binance coin (BNB), which is up over 14.5%, tron (TRX) and ethereum classic (ETC), both up over 12%. At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $244.3 billion, nearly 24% higher than the value it reported a week ago. Total market capitalization 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap In traditional markets, the United States stock market is seeing discrete gains so far today, with the S&P 500 up 0.55% and the Nasdaq up 0.98% at press time. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), on the other hand, has lost a solid 6.26% on the day at press time. Major oil futures and indexes are seeing mixed movements today, with WTI Crude up 0.19%, Brent Crude up 0.73% and Mars US up 1.56% at press time. The OPEC Basket is down…

Blockstream Launches Security Token Platform on Bitcoin Sidechain

Blockstream Launches Security Token Platform on Bitcoin Sidechain

Bitcoin startup Blockstream is launching a platform that lets users launch their own tokens by utilizing its bitcoin sidechain, Liquid. Launched at CoinDesk’s Consensus conference 2019, the Liquid Securities platform is the first product Blockstream has launched on top of its Liquid Network sidechain, a network tied to the bitcoin blockchain with faster coin transfers and better built-in privacy. The app will allow users to issue and manage security tokens on top of the Liquid Network. “Businesses around the world are racing to take advantage of the tokenization of securities,” Blockstream CSO Samson Mow said in a statement, adding: “Unfortunately, blockchain platforms like ethereum are failing them due to issues with scaling, privacy, and reliability. […] Now, with the launch of Liquid Securities, businesses can quickly issue Liquid-based security tokens with the click of a button, and establish sophisticated rulesets to conform with their regulatory requirements with no engineering experience required.” A few partners are lining up to launch coins on the platform already, including BnkToTheFuture, TokenSoft, Zenus Bank, and Pixelamatic. You might think you have to be a coder to launch a token. But the Liquid Securities platform will provide a web interface, like the one you’re on right now, on which businesses can issue and monitor tokens. To create one, instead of coding up the rules, the app will feature options to set up the rules, such as regional restrictions and “investor accreditation.” Under the hood, they’ll be enforced by bitcoin’s multi-signature smart contracts. And to deal with the question of regulation, especially seeing as regulators are starting to crack down on tokens in the space under securities regulations, Blockstream will also offer a Liquid Securities API for “additional compliance and legal services.” Liquid Securities image via Blockstream

Staking-as-a-Service Startup Raises $2 Million From DHVC, Plug and Play

Staking-as-a-Service Startup Raises $2 Million From DHVC, Plug and Play

InfStones, a Silicon Valley staking startup, has raised a $2 million seed round to expand its block-producing capacity in proof-of-stake (PoS) networks. The company said in an announcement on Wednesday that leading investors in the round include venture capital firms such as Danhua VC (DHVC) and Plug and Play Ventures, which is known for investing in the early stages of PayPal and Dropbox. InfStones, which was founded in 2018 and operates as a full node and block producer for PoS blockchains, said it will use the new equity financing to expand its existing five-person team and bring its service to additional PoS chains. “While proof-of-work has become stable and well-established thanks to early participants, we believe PoS will be the driving force to bring exponential growth to the blockchain industry in the future,” said InfStones founder and CEO Jonathan Shi, a former engineer at Oracle. Currently, the firm is a block producer for nine PoS blockchains including EOS, Tron, Cosmos and Tezos. The company aggregates PoS token holders’ votes to participate in the block producing process of PoS chains in order to receive mining rewards. InfStones then distributes these rewards to holders who cast votes but takes a 10–30 percent commission, depending on the design of the different chains. For instance, ranking data for the EOS blockchain shows InfStones’ full node has over 90 million votes, staking over $450 million worth of EOS on its node, based on the current price of EOS. In addition to its investment, Shi said DHVC helped InfStones get large EOS holders to use the service for staking EOS. Staking image via Shutterstock

Bitcoin Price Rally Stalls As Ether, XRP Shine

Bitcoin Price Rally Stalls As Ether, XRP Shine

View Alternative cryptocurrencies are flying high while bitcoin is having a breather above $8,000. Notably, ether (ETH) has hit a seven-month high of $235 and looks set to extend gains further toward $256 (Sept. 22 high) in the near-term. XRP, meanwhile, has confirmed a bull breakout. With hourly chart indicators diverging in favor of the bears and the daily relative strength index (RSI) reporting overbought conditions, bitcoin is looking increasingly vulnerable to a price pullback to the key rising trendline, currently placed above $7,200. Bitcoin could challenge Tuesday’s high of $8,335 and possibly break toward $8,500 if the lower highs pattern seen on the RSI is invalidated. With bitcoin (BTC) price rally showing signs of exhaustion above $8,000, investors have begun diverting money into relatively cheap alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins). The world’s leading cryptocurrency by market value jumped to a 10-month high of $8,335 in the early European trading hours on Tuesday. The rally, however, stalled with BTC witnessing a minor pullback to lows near $7,600 in the U.S. trading hours. As of writing, BTC has returned to levels just below $8,000, representing little change on the day. While bitcoin is showing signs of bullish exhaustion, the altcoin market is a sea of green with prominent coins like ether – the second largest cryptocurrency by market value – rising to $235 on Bitstamp, its highest level since Oct. 1, 2018. At time of writing, ether is trading at $232 – up 12 percent on the day – having witnessed a golden crossover, a bullish cross of the 50-day and 200-day moving averages (MAs) last month. Even ether’s strong performance, however, is being overshadowed by XRP, which is the best performing top cryptocurrency of the last 24 hours. The price of a single XRP jumped to $0.45 earlier today, the highest level since Dec. 24, confirming a double bottom breakout (a bearish-to-bullish trend change) on the three-day chart. As a result, the third largest cryptocurrency could rise further toward $0.50 in the near-term. XRP has appreciated by 14.7 percent in 24 hours, with prices hitting 4.5-month highs near $0.45 across major cryptocurrency exchanges. Stellar (LM), cardano (ADA) are also up by nearly 12 percent each. Bitcoin cash is flashing red, having hit a six-month high of $410 on…

US Regulator Joins Canada in Fining Blockchain Firm CEO for Securities Act Violation

US Regulator Joins Canada in Fining Blockchain Firm CEO for Securities Act Violation

Blockchain entrepreneur Alex Tapscott has been fined $25,000 by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC,) according to a filing on May 14. Tapscott is the CEO of NextBlock Global, and in the filing, the SEC said neither the Canadian company nor its securities had ever been registered with the commission. The 33-year-old and his company have also been ordered to cease and desist from committing further violations of the Securities Act. According to the SEC, NextBlock was founded by Tapscott and three others in June 2017 for the purpose of investing in blockchain companies and related digital assets. During an offering that raised $16 million, the entrepreneur and his company made false representations that four prominent blockchain professionals were serving as advisors. The SEC document adds: “These misrepresentations were part of the selling point of NextBlock’s fundraising effort: that NextBlock and Tapscott had access to, and unparalleled relationships with, opinion-makers, the best entrepreneurs, and the highest profile figures in the blockchain community. NextBlock and Tapscott knew or should have known that the statements to investors regarding these advisors were inaccurate.” The SEC said this conduct amounted to a violation of the Securities Act. Earlier this week, Tapscott was fined $148,000 by the Ontario Securities Commission, and he agreed to lead ethics seminars at Canadian business schools as part of the settlement. NextBlock itself has paid a $520,000 penalty. These previous fines were taken into account when the SEC made its ruling. The furor involving NextBlock emerged in 2017 when Forbes reached out to the four high-profile individuals listed as advisors — including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. All of them denied having any involvement, prompting the company to return funds to investors.

Upbit Operator Dunamu Invested $46 Million in Blockchain Startups in Last Year

Upbit Operator Dunamu Invested $46 Million in Blockchain Startups in Last Year

South Korean fintech firm Dunamu, operator of cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, says it invested 55 billion won ($46 million) in 26 blockchain startups over the past year. The firm said Wednesday that the investments have been made mainly via its subsidiary Dunamu & Partners, which was launched in March 2018. At the time of the launch, the firm announced a three-year plan to invest 100 billion won ($84 million) in the blockchain industry. The investments have been into companies that are focused on developing core blockchain solutions, as well as those related to fintech and games, Dunamu said, which also operates the Kakao Stock trading app. Portfolio companies now include stablecoin-based payments network Terra, fintech startup Rainist and gaming software firm Dalcom Soft, according to the announcement. Peer-to-peer lending platform Honest Fund, online travel agency Tide Square and blockchain-based investment platform Finhaven have also seen investments from Dunamu. Ryan Lee, CEO of Dunamu and Partners, indicated that the firm will continue to invest in blockchain and fintech startups this year, regardless of their size, stage and region. “Our goal is to contribute to the healthy growth of the blockchain ecosystem by actively investing in startups with world class technology and services with potential for real-life implementation,” said Lee. In particular, the firm will focus on companies that will help drive mainstream adoption of blockchain-based services and mobile fintech services, as well as those centered around individual content creators, according to the announcement. Indeed, earlier this year, Dunamu backed a $3 million seed round for blockchain startup Band Protocol, which incentivizes reliable content producers with token rewards and staking. The firm added Wednesday that it also partnered with games developer Neptune in April 2018 to set up a 100 billion won ($84 million) fund to invest in blockchain-based gaming companies. South Korean won image via Shutterstock 

Crypto Exchange Binance Restarting Services After Post-Hack Upgrade

Crypto Exchange Binance Restarting Services After Post-Hack Upgrade

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced that it is back online after completing a security upgrade prompted by a recent hack. Kicking off at 03:00 UTC Wednesday, the upgrade meant that all services were suspended during this period, according to a Binance support message. A two-hour extension to the upgrade was announced this morning as some tasks took “longer than expected.” Following the upgrade, Binance published an update saying that trading will recommence at 13:00 UTC.  Users can now cancel open orders and process deposits, while withdrawals “will be available shortly after trading resumes,” it said. Deposits and withdrawals have been offline since the hack last week, which Binance said saw 7,000 BTC (worth about $41 million at the time) stolen from the exchange’s hot wallet. Exchange customers would not be affected by the losses, Binance said. Following the breach, CZ said in a blog post that the exchange would make “significant” changes related to its application programming interface (API), two-factor authentication (2FA) and withdrawal validation to reduce the risk of future hacks. The exchange did not disclose full details regarding these efforts due to security concerns, but did say it’s also improving risk management and know-your-customer procedures to fight phishing, among other measures at the back-end. Changpeng Zhao image via Binance