Bitmain, which was founded in 2013, is a company that mines Bitcoins and designs ASIC chips. They also operate Antpool which is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pools. Application-specific integrated circuit, popularly known as ASIC, is a hardware that is known to have mined Bitcoins for years now.
Bitmain released a new ASIC miner called the Antminer X3 also known as a CryptoNight miner on 15th of March 2018. It was originally designed to mine the CryptoNight hashing algorithm used by Monero [XMR].
Nevertheless, this act is not welcomed by Monero and they have opted for an update for their software to v0.12.0.0, which is due in April. This new update will change the rules of the system entirely which will block the hardware form of mining the cryptocurrency. They have also taken a step ahead by taking the decision to perform such an update twice a year.
The core developer of Monero, Riccardo Spagni declared on a forum:
“In my opinion, If SHA3 ASICs are commoditised to the point of being common place, our move to block this effort from Bitmain makes total sense.”
There is a possibility of the Antminer X3 leading to certain kinds of attacks such as; those ones in which the mining pool takes over the majority of a cryptocurrency’s hashrate. This leads to the creation of false transaction histories, double spending coins and censoring payments. Developers are of the opinion that forking away from ASICs is a bad move.
The reasons for the distrust between developers and Bitmain include the secret move from Bitmain which took advantage of a weakness in Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm, through a process called ASCIBoost which enabled its three mining pools to perform 20% faster than its competitors and the discovery of a mining chip vulnerability called Antbleed.
Bitmain also built an ASIC that can be used in mining Siacon [SC], which is a small cryptocurrency. All these moves made Monero’s creator Ricardo Spagni to defend his cryptocurrency’s ASIC resistance.
“Their actions with the bitcoin community and more recently the sia community are clearly those of a bad actor.”
The Monero team added on the risks of ASIC centralization, including government bribery or even the introduction of a ‘kill switch’ that could shut down the miners remotely.
In response to a Twitter’s comment that ASICs are good for security, Ricardo replied:
“Really? Removing all of the hashrate distributed among tens of thousands of miners, in favour of a handful of miners that can afford an overpriced machine from a single manufacturer is GOOD for security? I doubt even you believe that.”
Bitfinex partners with EOSIO as a Blockchain Producer
Bitfinex, headquartered in Hong Kong is the largest Bitcoin trading platform with over 10% of the exchanges’ trading. They offer state-of-the-art services for digital assets and liquidity providers. While their search for advanced technologies with the capacity to meet high-demands of a high-volume blockchain both legally and technically was in process, they came across EOSIO community to which they believe they can contribute significantly.
Latest tweet by Bitfinex:
“Bitfinex is pleased to present itself as an EOS Block Producer candidate.”
Bitfinex will act as an incubator to fund, nurture and advise teams that are serious about the future of EOS. Their team is an assortment of more than 100 experts from the industry including a highly versatile development team, legal experts, technical support agents, and industry advocates.
“Our team has gained invaluable industry experience along the way, and we aim to make use of this to enrich the teams around us — sharing information and providing guidance whenever possible.”
Being a block producer candidate, they pledge to grow the open-source nature of the decentralized digital asset space. This is done through intense research, collaborations, and community development. They aim to combine the potential of EOSIO with their own terms of research, development, and adoption at a much higher level.
A high-performance decentralized exchange platform, EOSfinex also aims to combine the scalability and potential of EOSIO. It is built on EOSIO technology, along with the financial/development expertise of the Bitfinex development team. EOSfinex looks forward to delivering a highly-scalable, on-chain trading platform.
“EOSfinex has been developed by considering speed, transparency and scalability and will be the first trust less exchange to be implemented on EOSIO-based networks.”
Apart from the development of a trustless exchange, EOSfinex will be leading the development of a secure and intuitive EOS wallet as well. The partnership is meant to leverage EOSIO’s platform for horizontal scaling of DApps. As their continuous search led them to the EOSIO platform, they aim to process tens of thousands of transactions per second with the lowest fees.
Judy Steven, a Bitfinex user says:
“This is exciting. I’m interested in learning more about this “intuitive wallet” you are developing.”
Ariana Paul, a speculator says:
“Congrats Bitfinex! Looking forward to seeing what great accomplishments Bitfinex will bring to the EOS ecosystem. I can see a three-digit price for EOS soon.”
Lessie Grundon, a market observer said:
“Honestly, I don’t think this is good. To me decentralisation is all about random people having a right to produce blocks and vote the way ahead.”
EOS has been one of the top gainers in the market that has turned bearish recently displaying significant volume gains up to 52% and currently trading at $13.19. The market cap has also noticeably gained and is worth $10 billion roughly as seen at press time.
Jed McCaleb talks about the foundation of Stellar Lumens [XLM]
The BayPay Thought Leadership event was held on 19th April, where Jed McCaleb, the Co-Founder, and CTO of Stellar Development Foundation spoke about the past, present, and future of Stellar.
He started by explaining how the transactions on Stellar work and about how they get banks on board. He says that banks are not the first ones to take up this system of transaction. However, smaller financial institutions like money transfer operators that focus on payments will be more open to adopting this method of sending money.
“We are working with a few banks and none of them are in production. I don’t think of the banks using cryptocurrency are in production… I don’t think they’re going to do anything until they see a lot of money flowing somewhere else in the ecosystem first because they are the most risk-averse, they have the most to lose essentially.. we spend most of our time outside the US – mainly focus in South Asia, Africa.”
He further explains that there is a lot of friction in places where people do not have bank accounts, wherein the adoption of the Stellar network makes it easier for them to adopt the system.
When asked about how much responsibility they have as a network to allow ICOs to function, Jed talks about the company being unable to stop anyone from issuing a token on the network but they wouldn’t be involved in the same. However, he says “Our responsibility falls on the ones that we do work with.. we want to make sure there is reputable and valuable projects”.
He also says that people need to be careful while investing in ICOs as these are the early days in the space, due to which there are a lot of scams and fraudulent activities.
A crypto enthusiast commented:
“This was a great discussion. I loved how Jed did a great job answering the questions even though they were irrelevant. I think it could have been more detailed about the backstory of Stellar and the challenges the faced instead of talking about Jed’s life history. Im sure the audience wanted to know more than just unnecessary things.”
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