We are back with yet another crypto round up this week. It’s February 24 and we are excited to highlight the latest developments from around the world of crypto and blockchain.
Stick around and find out what the latest and most exciting news are. We bring you the world’s best coverage of the crypto industry.
Stanford Researchers Privacy Mechanism
The first great news comes from Stanford University and Visa Research. The pair of institutions have developed a new privacy mechanism that can be successfully applied to Ethereum smart contracts, which will help boost the overall security of these crypto transactions.
On February 20, Stanford published a detailed paper looking into how this new technology would help Ethereum users to bolster the overall security of the segment. Here’s a short abstract:
Blockchain-based smart contract platforms like Ethereum have become quite popular as a way to remove trust and add transparency to distributed applications. While different types of important applications can be easily built on such platforms, there does not seem to be an easy way to add a meaningful level of privacy to them.
Based on the information in the paper, researchers have been able to create a fully-decentralized mechanism that is also completely secured. This is the main selling point of the new technology. It offers safety as well as reliability, which is a great rarity and definitely the reason for much inspiration.
“Zether”, as the new safety net is named, allows users to use Ethereum smart contracts in full confidentiality while remaining completely off bounds for any ill-meaning third party. Should this innovativeness prove successful, this will indeed be one of the most significant advancements in the field of crypto & blockchain.
Zether is described in the full paper, with the report outlining the following specifications:
We describe an extension to Zether that can also hide the sender and receiver involved in a transaction among a group of users chosen by the sender. Though the overhead associated with anonymity scales linearly with the size of the group, no trusted set-up is needed and no changes to the underlying smart contract platform are required.
There’s even more. The Zether contract will make sure that it’s double-checking burn or transfer proof which will further enhance security. Even if Zether is caught in the midst of a maliciously-written piece of code, the contract will simply shut down any attempt to commit a fraudulent transaction, the creators explain.
So, What’s the Upside Here?
Privacy coins will always provide users with a fair bit of anonymity which will allow everyone to be on the same page. Of course, bringing more anonymity to the segment is not everyone’s favorite development. Take governments for example. Are they happy? We hardly think so. In reality, making sure that cryptocurrencies are even more secure could actually mean an end to the continuous stealing of funds that happens every now and then.
QuadrigaCX Comes into the Scrutiny of Canadian Banks
Canadian banks are now looking into assets owned by QuadrigaCX, a crypto exchange. The national broadcaster first released news about the ongoing investigation on February 22.
The investigation has been occasioned by the untimely death of founder Gerry Gotten who was the only person to have access to the cold wallets of the crypto exchange, posing an existential threat to the very survival of QuadrigaCX.
Presently, QuadrigaCX also owes users the amount total of $260 million, a substantial number of funds that might need to be paid back immediately.
Liechtenstein’s Creates Crypto Trading Platform
After JP Morgan announced that they are launching their own crypto asset, the next place to launch itself into crypto activities is none other than Liechtenstein. Bank Frick, located in the country, is going to be operating its own independent crypto exchange.
With a very solid offer and financial backing, Bank Frick is definitely not to be ignored. The bank currently holds assets worth 3.8 billion francs, a very significant amount through and through.
The Continuous Fight for Bitcoin’s Survival
Bitcoin was once upon a very good idea. Looking at the figures today, we might wonder why we thought as much. It’s actually very easy to understand. Back in the day, Bitcoin was easy to mine, quick to sell, and a chance to make a very quick buck.
Trust us, we know a handful of people who fetched $70,000 in less than a year from mining and then decided to sell off. It was a quick buck and a nice little way to generate funds without having to raise too many questions.
Of course, taxing the money in places like Eastern Europe wasn’t exactly easy. Palms had to be greased, and the palms in question demanded quite a bit. Some of the people we knew, gave up and just transferred their funds, starting to use them from offshore accounts with their salaries piling up.
Others decided to dive deeper into the segment and explore it in full. Many of these people are today at an amount that is worth far less than their initial investment.
We’ve always been sceptical of Bitcoin investment as the means to get rich, really. And for a lot of people Bitcoin was just that. Today the price of Bitcoin is struggling at $4,000, which – compared to its one-time high is just a shadow.
Russian State Duma to Introduce New Crypto Regulation
Russia is a place for many things. Having followed the news in the native tongue, I can for one say that a certain stilting of the truth is very common. Words are often taken out of context and corruption is rampant to put it very mildly.
In any event, the country’s Parliament, the Duma, is now considering to regulate cryptocurrencies in a new way. The objective? Establish a petroleum-backed cryptocurrency, a new digital asset that is pegged to the worth of the oil.
This is largely done with the single purpose of giving Russia a little more leeway against the United States who have been slapping President Vladimir Putin’s regime with a series of steep penalties. By diversifying digitally, Russia can counterweight any penalties that target the country, at east insofar as fuels are concerned.
Paying Your Taxes in Ohio – It’s All About Cryptocurrencies
Well, it has happened. Certain companies in Ohio have chosen to pay their taxes in crypto and that’s just kick-ass. Of course, one might wonder – how is this possible exactly. After all, Ohio is definitely a no-go for crypto activities and the following statement proves it:
We will never accept won or renminbi or francs or cryptocurrency, or any other currency. You have to relieve your debts to the state of Ohio with U.S. dollars. That’s what we’re currently accepting. This platform just allows for that exchange, basically before that debt is settled to the state of Ohio.
However, the case of Ohio is slightly different. In fact, its all about exchanging crypto tokens into FIAT currency so that the State Treasury has been able to obtain the due payments.
California – Time to Use Blockchain for Medical Purposes
If you think blockchain can’t be used to quite the great ends, think again, please. Academics from the University of California have suggested that blockchain can be used to use a comprehensive medical data blockchain-based system.
The system would facilitate the collection of relevant scientific data. This would allow you to stay on the same page with other researches in a similar field. Similarly, patients will be given access to their records so that they can modify any data input they see fit.
If, at some point, researchers suspect that someone is tinkering with their data, a previous back-up copy of the data can be produced in a bid to make sure that no such changes are part of the official data.