Ripple Scores Small Win Against Investors Claiming XRP Is a Security

Ripple Scores Small Win Against Investors Claiming XRP Is a Security

Ripple’s efforts to consolidate the lawsuits filed against it are proceeding successfully. As previously reported by CoinDesk, Ripple Labs, which has been sued by a number of parties claiming that the XRP token is a security for the company, has been pushing to have the various class action lawsuits against it combined, or at least coordinated, to limit the number of cases it fights at once. And Wednesday, a California Superior Court suit filed by investor David Oconer was formally designated as “complex litigation” – meaning it will now be coordinated with the remaining suits. According to public filings, this follows another California case, filed by investor Vladi Zakinov, which has already been deemed complex as of June 2018. Under California court rules, one of the requirements for a complex designation is that a case involves “securities claims or investment losses involving many parties.” With the new designation, a single judge should oversee actions relating to the case to prevent duplicated efforts and potentially different results due to different cases. However, one result of the Oconer action is the case is now assigned to Judge Marie Weiner, who Ripple successfully moved to disqualify from presiding over the Zakinov case. It is unclear whether Ripple will again move to have the judge disqualified from the new preceding. Ripple filed to coordinate the Zakinov and Oconer lawsuits earlier this month, claiming that the two class actions concern “‘all or a material part of the same subject matter’ and involve ‘all or substantially all of the same parties.'” Another related class-action lawsuit, filed by investor Ryan Coffey, was voluntarily dismissed by the investor last week. That case was moved to the District Court of the Northern District of California by Ripple, though Coffey tried to move it back to a lower court. His voluntary dismissal comes after that effort was rejected. Legal counsel for Coffey, Oconer and Ripple did not respond to requests for comment by press time. XRP token on bullseye 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 cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Report: Miner Spends Only $1567 per Bitcoin

Report: Miner Spends Only $1567 per Bitcoin

Mining Electricity is the number one cost for cryptocurrency mining, giving an edge to whoever can secure it for the lowest price. Bitfarms, which has access to cheap renewable energy in Canada, reports that mining a single BTC cost the company just $1567 in the first half of the year. Also Read: The Daily: Huobi Nears Backdoor Listing, Musk Still Loves Scambots $1567 Per BTC Tel Aviv Stock Exchange listed firm Bitfarms Technologies Ltd. (TASE: BLLCF), today reported its consolidated results for the half-year period which ended June 30, 2018. The report shows that the company generated 1,923 BTC, 2,222 BCH, 3,324 LTC, 567 ETH and 220 DASH during the first six months of 2018. And the figures also reveal that it cost Bitfarms just $1567 to mine each BTC. Financial highlights for the period include mining operations segment revenue of $21.1 million, gross profit of $12.3 million (58% gross profit margin), gross mining profit of $17 million (80% gross mining margin), operating income of $8.1 million (38% operating margin), EBITDA of $13.9M (66% EBITDA margin) and net income of $6.2 million. Bitfarms also executed an acquisition of a company with 40 electricians specialized in building infrastructure for computing centers, and installed over 6,500 ASICs at a St. Hyacinthe, Quebec facility producing about 91 PH/s of hash power. Low-Cost, Clean Energy Bitfarms has bought land and two industrial properties in Sherbrooke, Quebec where it plans to build a “mega-facility”. It negotiated energy purchasing agreements with Hydro-Sherbrooke to secure 98 MW of low-cost electricity, enough to grow its mining operation five times their current size. The company also reports it completed the construction of leasehold improvements and installation of all electrical infrastructure for a new 10MW facility in Magog, Quebec. “We are very proud of the tremendous progress made in the first half of Fiscal 2018,” commented CEO Wes Fulford. “Through disciplined execution and responsible financial management, our team has successfully completed several key initiatives that align with our strategic objectives of securing low-cost, clean energy, growing mining infrastructure and operations, vertically integrating to minimize dependence on costly third-party service providers and exploring exciting new business verticals within blockchain technology. Contrary to industry trends, we achieved strong revenues and robust margins throughout the period. Our impressive…

ICO Advisor Satis Claims $96K Bitcoin Price Possible in 5 Years

ICO Advisor Satis Claims $96K Bitcoin Price Possible in 5 Years

Initial coin offering advisory firm Satis Group believes bitcoin’s price might jump to $96,000 over the next five years, according to a new report published Friday. Satis Group published the latest report in its five-part analysis of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, this time examining how the cryptocurrency market is valued and whether this valuation matches the actual assets underlying token prices. The report, written by researchers Sherwin Dowlat and Michael Hodapp, also created predictions for how the market might look over the next few years. Notably, the report attempted to predict how different currencies might look over the next five years if valued based on the underlying assets rather than speculation, saying that coins like bitcoin, monero and decred should see their prices spike as they are “cryptoassets which apply unique value propositions within deep and viral markets.” On the other hand, the researchers believe that coins like bitcoin cash and other “cryptoassets which attempt to inherit brand recognition and provide minimal technological advantage to incumbents” will drop. Coins like XRP received the harshest predictions, with the Satis Group saying the token would drop to $0.01. The report explained: “Within the currency networks, we continue to see upside in networks that have cultivated relatively organic growth and community (such as LTC), meaningful downside from networks that have inherited brand recognition and potentially short-lived adoption during hiccups from their fork-parent (such as BCH), and very little value in networks that are misleadingly marketed and not even required for use within their own network (such as XRP).” The paper also addressed “platform networks” like ethereum, predicting that over the next 10 years, a smaller percent of token projects will be built on top of ethereum rather than other networks when compared to the present (a previous Satis Group report noted that ethereum has roughly 86 percent of the market share for projects being built on top of existing platforms). That being said, “at current levels we still believe ETH to be undervalued relative to the share of the cryptoasset market’s TAM it targets,” citing the cryptocurrency’s liquidity and reputation as supporting the overall network. Miniatures on bitcoin 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…

VMware Claims Greater Scalability With Open-Source Blockchain Project

VMware Claims Greater Scalability With Open-Source Blockchain Project

Cloud computing and virtualization firm VMware said Tuesday that it has developed an open-source blockchain infrastructure designed to be both scalable and energy efficient. Dubbed Project Concord, VMware’s blockchain aims to provide a base for blockchain implementations which can solve certain scaling issues by modifying the Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm commonly found in blockchain networks. Senior researcher Guy Golan Gueta wrote in a company blog post that the project’s algorithm uses a different communication procedure than existing consensus protocols that “exploits optimism to provide a common case fast-path execution” and utilizes new cryptographic algorithms. These upgrades from current protocols allow for a higher network throughput, he said. VMware, a Dell subsidiary, has been working on Project Concord for roughly two years, and while some of its research has been published over the last few months, this week’s release marks the first time the company has publicly acknowledged how much work has gone into developing a blockchain infrastructure. “Project Concord’s foundations stem from years of academic and industrial research on Byzantine Fault Tolerant replication, cryptography and distributed computing,” Gueta said, adding: “The cryptocurrency revolution and, in particular, bitcoin and ethereum have also tremendously influenced our understanding of this emerging field of trust decentralization. The Project Concord library is designed to be used as a core building block for replicated distributed data stores and is thus especially suited to serve as the basis for highly scalable, permissioned enterprise blockchain systems.” The team’s source code has already been posted to Github, with Gueta noting that the company intends to add a number of other features going forward. Among these, he wrote, is an execution engine for ethereum virtual machine-based smart contracts. Other additions include support for Windows, Apple’s OSX and some Linux distributions, as listed by Project Concord’s Github. The Github page adds that the team “welcomes contributions from the community,” though contributors will be required to sign a license agreement. VMWare 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 cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Payment Platform Bitpay Adds Bitcoin Cash Settlement Services

Payment Platform Bitpay Adds Bitcoin Cash Settlement Services

News On Wednesday, August 29 the Atlanta-based firm Bitpay announced that its merchants can now receive settlement in bitcoin cash (BCH). Not only can Bitpay merchants accept the decentralized digital currency and keep all the bitcoin cash, but they can also split their funds into a fraction of fiat and BCH as well. Also Read: Nchain Publishes Bitcoin SV Alpha Release Bitpay Adds Bitcoin Cash Settlement Services The cryptocurrency payment processor Bitpay has made a lot of changes since its inception in 2011, and just recently the firm added bitcoin cash support for merchant invoices and the company’s debit card loads. On the merchant side Bitpay has always allowed clients to settle in BTC, and now the firm has added support so merchants can settle in BCH. Bitpay merchants can settle for all of the funds in bitcoin cash or they can choose fiat settlement instead in their local currency in order to avoid price volatility. Merchants using Bitpay’s services can also get a fraction of BCH and a fraction of fiat as well. “Most businesses still do business in national currencies — But more are starting to hold and use digital currency, too, from making bill payments to managing their treasuries,” explains Bitpay during the announcement.   Now we’re excited to announce the second digital currency settlement option for Bitpay merchants: Bitcoin Cash. Users can get 100% BCH or 100% fiat. Or they can settle with their own desired ratio. Bitpay Wants to Make It Easier to Accept Blockchain Payments Since bitcoin core (BTC) had severe issues with scaling, which led to network fees rising above $50 per transaction this past December, a bunch of merchants and businesses who accepted BTC in the past have changed over to BCH. Bitcoin cash network fees have remained extremely affordable at $0.003 per transaction, giving many businesses a strong economic incentive to switch from BTC to BCH. This past Spring Bitpay gave people the option to choose either BCH or BTC during the payment invoice process. Adding a BCH address and selecting the settlement percentage. In order to use Bitpay’s merchant services and get a settlement in bitcoin cash, users must register with the firm and find their way to the Bitpay merchant services dashboard. From here a…

VMWare Claims Greater Scalability With Open-Source Blockchain Project

VMWare Claims Greater Scalability With Open-Source Blockchain Project

Cloud computing and virtualization firm VMWare said Tuesday that it has developed an open-source blockchain infrastructure designed to be both scalable and energy efficient. Dubbed Project Concord, VMWare’s blockchain aims to provide a base for blockchain implementations which can solve certain scaling issues by modifying the Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm commonly found in blockchain networks. Senior researcher Guy Golan Gueta wrote in a company blog post that the project’s algorithm uses a different communication procedure than existing consensus protocols that “exploits optimism to provide a common case fast-path execution” and utilizes new cryptographic algorithms. These upgrades from current protocols allow for a higher network throughput, he said. VMWare, a Dell subsidiary, has been working on Project Concord for roughly two years, and while some of its research has been published over the last few months, this week’s release marks the first time the company has publicly acknowledged how much work has gone into developing a blockchain infrastructure. “Project Concord’s foundations stem from years of academic and industrial research on Byzantine Fault Tolerant replication, cryptography and distributed computing,” Gueta said, adding: “The cryptocurrency revolution and, in particular, bitcoin and ethereum have also tremendously influenced our understanding of this emerging field of trust decentralization. The Project Concord library is designed to be used as a core building block for replicated distributed data stores and is thus especially suited to serve as the basis for highly scalable, permissioned enterprise blockchain systems.” The team’s source code has already been posted to Github, with Gueta noting that the company intends to add a number of other features going forward. Among these, he wrote, is an execution engine for ethereum virtual machine-based smart contracts. Other additions include support for Windows, Apple’s OSX and some Linux distributions, as listed by Project Concord’s Github. The Github page adds that the team “welcomes contributions from the community,” though contributors will be required to sign a license agreement. VMWare 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 cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

India Eyes State Digital Currency to Cut $90 Million Banknote Bill

India Eyes State Digital Currency to Cut $90 Million Banknote Bill

India’s central bank is researching how to introduce a rupee-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC) into its monetary policy in a bid to reduce its hefty annual bill for minting physical cash. The news was revealed in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) annual report, published Wednesday, which indicated an inter-departmental unit has already been formed within the organization to study the “desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency.” The effort apparently comes in response to a rapidly changing landscape of digital payments and the “rising costs of managing fiat paper/metallic money,” the bank said. A news report from the Economic Times on Thursday further indicated the RBI also said that, for 2018, the cost of printing paper notes alone totaled nearly $90 million. While the RBI did not reveal whether the potential CBDC may be blockchain-powered, it claimed the utilization of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in payment and settlement solutions “holds the promise of significant economic benefits in future.” Meanwhile, in contrast to its support for adoption of DLT at a state level, the RBI again toughened its stance on crypto trading in the report, shifting its focus to transactions between individuals following its ban on bank accounts for exchanges announced in April. “Developments on this front need to be monitored as some trading may shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer mode, which may also involve increased usage of cash,” the RBI warned in its yearly report, adding: “Possibilities of migration of crypto exchange houses to dark pools/cash and to offshore locations, thus raising concerns on anti-money /CFT and taxation issues, require close watch.” Since the RBI’s bank account ban went into effect in July, local exchanges have been adopting various methods to find new revenue models, including moving business focuses to peer-to-peer trading. Indian rupees 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 cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

The Daily: Huobi Nears Backdoor Listing, Musk Still Loves Scambots

The Daily: Huobi Nears Backdoor Listing, Musk Still Loves Scambots

The Daily In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover stories that show how Houbi is nearing a possible backdoor listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, why Elon Musk is still impressed by the quality of cryptocurrency scambots on Twitter, and an Italian football club bought with crypto. Also Read: Binance, Okex, Huobi and Upbit Back New Stablecoin, Terra Huobi Nears Backdoor Listing Huobi Global has issued a joint announcement with Pantronics Holdings (HKEX: 1611), a firm listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, about the acquisition of shares in the public company by the cryptocurrency exchange operator. Huobi is now the majority shareholder in Pantronics, which it can use to perform a backdoor listing for itself. This means that the cryptocurrency exchange now has the option of becoming a public company without having to go through an IPO, giving it the credibility that such a status holds among traditional investors and an ability to raise funds by selling stocks, options or bonds. The companies have not responded to questions about the deal yet, and investors are probably interested to know if the companies have approached HKEX management to see if they won’t raise difficulties in such a process. Musk Still Loves Scambots The founder of Tesla and Spacex, Elon Musk, seems to still be impressed by Twitter scambots – algorithms that automatically reply to messages by high profile accounts with false promises of giveaways. Back in July he sounded like he wanted to offer the programmers behind them a job, tweeting: “I want to know who is running the Etherium (sic) scambots! Mad skillz …”. He’s apparently so impressed with their performance, he’s now joked, “At this point, I want ETH even if it is a scam.” At this point, I want ETH even if it is a scam — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2018 Italian Football Club Bought With Crypto Cryptocurrency trading companies, ICO projects and others in the ecosystem have been using sports sponsorships deals to reach a mass audience for a while now. And the latest example of this comes from Italy, where according to local media, a football team was bought with digital tokens. UAE-based Heritage Sports Holdings reportedly paid with Quantocoin (QTC) for 25% of the…

Polychain Leads Ether Wallet MyCrypto’s $4 Million Fundraise

Polychain Leads Ether Wallet MyCrypto’s $4 Million Fundraise

Ethereum wallet MyCrypto just raised $4 million in its ongoing effort to make its product more user-friendly, the startup announced Thursday. Led by Polychain Capital, the Series A funding round also saw investments from Boost VC Fund 3 LP, ShapeShift, Ausum Blockchain Fund LP, Mainframe founder Mick Hagen, Coefficient Ventures partner Chance Du, early Dropbox employee Albert Ni and Earn co-founder Lily Liu, according to a press release. The funds will go toward upgrading MyCrypto’s user experience to help new customers more easily purchase and transact with ethereum, said founder and CEO Taylor Monahan. Monahan told CoinDesk that one of the biggest issues she sees in the space is the difficulty in actually buying or transacting with cryptocurrencies. To that end, MyCrypto intends to hire developers and designers to target consumers who are beginning to interact with cryptocurrencies for the first time. She said: “Right now our team is really all engineers and customer support people and I think we need to build out a team that just advocates for the user more and has a ton of experience in user interface and design. Specifically, I’m looking for experts that don’t have a cryptocurrency background to join the team because their strength is outside the space.” And part of this push means changing MyCrypto’s target user base, according to Monahan. “The example to this is the ICO [craze] that took off last year, our user was someone who had ether and wanted to participate in an ICO. That’s our market, that’s the type of person that we targeted back then, that’s the type of person we’re targeting right now and our experience is satisfactory for that user,” she explained. Going forward, she intends to ask different questions about users. “When a brand new person comes to our site, what happens, what does the flow look like, what do we recommend they do and how do we really build their confidence up, whether it’s buying cryptocurrency or sending someone some ETH or whatever it is,” she said. MyCrypto does not have a firm timeline for its development goals yet, but Monahan plans to be ready for the next time interest in cryptocurrency spikes. She pointed at the late 2017 bull run as an example of what…

8 Blockchain Projects Enlist Early to Test Secret Enigma Contracts

8 Blockchain Projects Enlist Early to Test Secret Enigma Contracts

Can you keep a secret? For many blockchain projects – whose underlying architecture is a public ledger of transactions – that can be a challenging ask. But Enigma, a project incubated at MIT Media Lab that raised $45 million in an ICO last year, is hoping to make that possible by developing privacy-enabled smart contracts it calls “secret contracts.” And in a sign of the broad applicability of that idea, as revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, eight diverse blockchain projects will be incorporating Enigma’s protocol into their services when the contracts launch later this year. These “launch partners,” said Enigma co-founder and CEO Guy Zyskind, are already building on the current version of the technology, called “Discovery,” within the testnet, so when the protocol actually goes live, they’ll be processing user’s data without revealing it to any outside party. Blockchains have always had a complicated relationship with privacy. Despite bitcoin’s early adoption by Silk Road drug pushers, the cryptocurrency has proven to be far from anonymous. And in recent years, smart contract platforms such as ethereum have struggled to reconcile the public nature of on-chain data with users’ privacy demands – especially when it comes to sensitive use cases. Enigma’s protocol is notable in that it works on top of existing blockchains. Sure enough, several of the launch partners – Colendi, Datawallet, Ocean Protocol, ReBloc and Datacoup – are built (or are building) on ethereum. The protocol ensures user data “stays completely encrypted from the point of view of the network parties that are executing these secret contracts,” said Zyskind, while remaining “tamper proof” like a normal smart contract. He added: “If you’re thinking about true blockchain adoption, you’ve got to have both. No one is going to build applications where sensitive information is just live on the blockchain for everyone in the world to see.” Stop oversharing We live in a world of oversharing – from what people ate for lunch to what they think about their boss to how much they drank last night. And while that has proven problematic for some, it’s generally seen as the prerogative of the poster. But some data needs to stay private. For instance, Colendi – one of Enigma’s launch partners – is building an ethereum-based application for both decentralized credit scoring…