Ep202: Bitmain ASICBOOST Hysteria, TokenCard will Debit ERC20 Tokens, Kraken Trades DASH

Wells Fargo is facing a lawsuit over suspension of outgoing wire transfers for Bitfinex. Stampery verifies documents on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains while you work with this new Windows Office plugin. Bitcoin extension blocks offer a third solution to the blocksize issue. Purse is developing Bcoin which looks to be a fourth solution? to the bitcoin blocksize issue. BitCrust looks to be tackling a major problem with bitcoin, the UTXO bloat! Bitmain claims to have never used ASICBOOST on the mainnet, furthermore there is no evidence that anyone is using ASICBOOST on the mainnet. It is revealed that Kraken is the next major exchange to trade DASH. Charlie Shrem has a Forbes article in the German print version. Porsche is looking into the Blockchain for a variety of applications. Steemit founder and lead developer Dan Larimer has called it quits. Storing and exploring Ethereum-based tokens is getting easier! Gold-backed tokens and a new Ethereum-based debit card capable of handling ERC 20 tokens; meet DigixGlobal and Monolith Studios. The Golem Project identifies a flaw with how an exchange was handling GNT. Ethereum Name Service postponed launch and now has a live bug bounty.

All this and more on the Neocash Radio podcast, episode 202 — Wednesday, April 12th, 2017!

We’ve written out short overviews of the topics discussed on today’s show below! Be sure to listen in to the whole podcast to get more information, insights, and thoughts on each of them from JJ, Darren, and PEDRO!


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Traditional Financial Markets Cryptocurrency Markets
Gold $1,287 Bitcoin (BTC) $1,222
Silver $18.45 Ethereum (ETH) $47.50
Oil $52.82 DASH $67.59
Dow Jones 20,591 points Zcash (ZEC) $63.77
30Y UST Yield 2.89% Monero (XMR) $22.47
Litecoin (LTC) $11.77

Wells Fargo Facing Lawsuit Over Suspension of Outgoing Wire Transfers for Bitfinex

Towards the end of last month Wells Fargo Bank suspended the outgoing wire transfers for Bitfinex and correspondent accounts with no explanation or appeal. This is not a new story when it comes to bitcoin businesses and banks. The twist here is that the incoming deposits are still working just fine. This is reminiscent of the recent situation with Chinese Exchanges allowing deposits while halting withdrawals [Ep199: Chinese BTC Exchange Goes Full Retard].

The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern District of California, San Francisco Division and list four plaintiffs: BFXWW inc., BFXNA inc., iFinex Inc., and Tether Limited. They are demanding a jury trial. The lawsuit claims that Wells Fargo has, “substantially interfered with plaintiffs’ ability to operate their businesses and honor their contractual obligations to their customers”. Bitfinex will be seeking damages to be determined by the jury and the plaintiffs are also requesting at least $75,000 in compensatory damages and anything else the court wants to toss in.


Stampery Blockchain Add-in for Microsoft Office

Stampery provides the ability to certify and verify documents against both Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains via a web page or API.

Once the hash data is present on the public blockchain, the document can’t be changed without invalidating the hash. This approach guarantees both the document’s privacy and the data availability for future validation purposes.

Stampery provides this functionality today by creating hashes of documents submitted through the web and storing them on the Ethereum and Bitcoin public blockchains.


Bitcoin Extension Blocks are Ready for Liftoff

Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited may have some new competition for the Bitcoin Blocksize Solution. In this scenario the current block being mined, referred to as the Canonical Block,  would remain relatively the same and an Extension Block would be stapled onto the end of it. This is an Opt-in situation where the Extension block will have advanced technology built-in including Lightning Network compatibility. Also included in this solution is a malleability fix needed to further enable smart contracts on Bitcoin.

Older clients will be able to use bitcoin as it is now and only those that upgrade will see the new features and technology. There will be a way to move funds between the Canonical block and the Extension block.

This seems like a win-win for all interested parties. The core Bitcoin block will remain the same while an opt-in block will result in an immediate increase in block size with lightning network capabilities.


What is Bcoin?

Purse doesn’t just want to be a wallet, they are building a whole new crypto-currency on the backend. Bcoin is a bitcoin spin-off that boasts full node implementation with support for Segwit, Lightning Network (bcoin-plasma), Versionbits, CSV, BIP70, BIP151, BIP152, BIP150, and MAST. Currently the coin is being developed and implemented privately. It is unclear how this coin will function with regards to the current bitcoin network.


BitCrust: Fast Parallel Block Validation Without UTXO-Indexing

The UTXO is the Unspent Transaction Output database that the Bitcoin software creates from the blockchain upon initialization. This database is updated each time a transaction is validated and is done so in a one-at-a-time sequential fashion. The current number of UTXO is just under 50 million. BitCrust is looking to do away with the UTXO bloat by using a compact representation of the blockchain called a Spend Tree. Spend trees will be able to verify transaction in parallel and even deal with competing blocks. They claim this method will be much more memory cache efficient.

The website goes on to say that the vast majority of inputs are spending a recent output and for those transactions a spend index is used. A spend index is a very compact bit index with one bit for each transaction and one for each output. The spend index serves as a Broom Wagon which may lag a few blocks behind until the Spend Tree catches up.

Further addressing the UTXO bloat, the BitCrust software would prioritize transactions that have more inputs than outputs.


Bitmain Responds to ASICBOOST Critics

In a blog post on the Bitmain site the Admin looks to clear the air. ASICBOOST is a circuit design that allows for an increased efficiency of about 20% with ASIC Bitcoin mining. It does so by adjusting how the circuit performs the SHA256 algorithm. Bitmain’s blog post states that while they have tested it on the testnet, there is no evidence that they or anyone else is using ASICBOOST on the mainnet.

“Bitmain holds the ASICBOOST patent in China. We can legally use it in our own mining farms in China to profit from it and sell the cloud mining contracts to the public. This, however profitable, is not something we would do for the greater good of Bitcoin.”

“Adversarial thinking is not the only way. We suggest working with the patent owners so that the patent could be used by the public. If all mining equipment could use ASICBOOST, it will lower the J/GH cost and the total network hash rate will increase, making the Bitcoin network even stronger. So, the ASICBOOST method is not a “covert attack” on the Bitcoin PoW function. It is an engineering optimization.”

The Bitcoin Network uses a tremendous amount of electricity to safeguard the blockchain. Being more efficient with energy resources ought to be encouraged not punished.

DASH (Digital Cash) cryptocurrency with instant send & private send features like coin mixing
Kraken enables Dash Trading

Charlie Shrem in Forbes Germany


Porsche looking into Blockchain

Last week Porsche announced a contest for Blockchain solutions from the start up community.  Prizes are a chance to work with Porsche, 25,000 Euro prize, 3 month participation at the SpinLab accelerator” program and of course media attention.

According to the release, “Porsche aims to obtain external input on the disruptive potential of the blockchain transaction system by collaborating with the start-up scene.”
Car manufacturers are showing interest in Blockchain technology for security, pay-on-the go features, and data management.

Innogy, a German energy company recently demonstrated an eWallet for electric cards where the car eWallet uses blockchain technology to pay for highway tolls, electric charging, and parking fees.


Dan Larimer Resigns from Steemit

Founder and Lead Developer Dan Larimer has resigned from Steemit, a blockchain-based social media platform. The initial goodbye was done with a two sentence post and threw the community into turmoil. Dan later answered some questions and gave more of a reason for the sudden move.

“Steem is dominated by politics beyond my ability to control or fix. The code is in good hands, the team is more than capable of implementing any thing the community desires. Let’s hope the community chooses wisely”

Steemit Inc. will continue and a post from Ned hypes the coming changes to the platform.


Storing Ethereum-based tokens (Golem, REP, etc.) on a hardware wallet

At the end of last Wednesday’s podcast, Randy said he’d put together a blog post detailing how you can store your Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens on a hardware wallet (like a Ledger Nano S, KeepKey, or Trezor). He kept his promise and put the blog post up on Friday! Check it out to learn more about hardware wallets as a secure way to store cryptocurrency and Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens like Golem (GNT), Augur (REP), SingularDTV (SNGLS), Iconomi (ICN), DigixGold (DGX), and more.

Related resource: Ethplorer—Ethereum Tokens Viewer
Ability to view token information including description, contract information, holders, and activity.



Gold Token Debit Cards on the Ethereum Blockchain

DigixGlobal, the DigixDAO [DGD], is partnering with Monolith Studio to bring tokenized gold to a debit card. The Tokencard has been unveiled. Powered by the Ethereum blockchain the card will hold Ether and ERC20 Tokens. Monolith Studios will be holding a crowd sale soon for the Token Card.


The Golem Project Finds Critical Flaw in ERC20 Tokens

Pawel Bylica writes about the discovery of a bug with the GNT token transfer transaction from a crypto exchange. Upon examination the bug could be used to potentially empty the exchange of all Golem tokens. Peter Vessenes chimed in and noted that this exploit could have been used to attack any ERC 20 tokens. The bug has been fixed with the exchange but the word is out to take additional steps to improve the security of the ERC20 token standard.


Ethereum Name Service Bug Bounty is Live

First launch attempt for ENS last month was cancelled due to a bug that would allow someone who bid during the reveal phase, could wait until they know what their opponents bid and then either outbid, underbid, or do nothing.  A check for this is needed.

ENS is now included in the Ethereum Bug Bounty Program.

The Ethereum Bounty Program provides bounties for bugs. We call on our community and all bug bounty hunters to help identify bugs in the protocols and clients. Earn rewards for finding a vulnerability and get a place on our leaderboard. See Rules & Rewards section for details.


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