The Blockchain Paradox

The Blockchain Paradox

Pindar Wong is the chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd and a member of CoinDesk’s advisory board. An internet pioneer, he co­founded the first licensed Internet Service Provider in Hong Kong in 1993. The following article originally appeared in Consensus Magazine, distributed exclusively to attendees of CoinDesk’s Consensus 2019 event.
Gemini Is Now the Largest Bitcoin Exchange to Add ‘Full’ SegWit Support

Gemini Is Now the Largest Bitcoin Exchange to Add ‘Full’ SegWit Support

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced Monday that it has added “full” support for segregated witness (SegWit), an important bitcoin code change that paves the way for scaling improvements. While many bitcoin companies have adopted SegWit to some degree, Gemini is unique in it’s the largest bitcoin exchange thus far to roll out support for “native SegWit addresses,” a newer type of bitcoin address which helps to scale the cryptocurrency even further but has been adopted to a lesser degree.
This New Lightning App Aims to Make Getting Paid in Bitcoin Easier

This New Lightning App Aims to Make Getting Paid in Bitcoin Easier

A new app today has launched that aims to tackle the problem of “inbound capacity” on bitcoin’s lightning network. One of the challenges facing the still-in-development payment network centers around the need to have sufficient funds on the opposite end of their lightning channel, known as inbound capacity. Put more simply, users need to undertake several steps before they can actually receive money – a complicating factor for users such as merchants that want to accept funds via the network.
Former Obama Tech Officer Raises $3.7 Million for Blockchain SaaS Startup

Former Obama Tech Officer Raises $3.7 Million for Blockchain SaaS Startup

Offchain Labs, a startup co-founded by a former Obama administration official, has raised a $3.7 million in seed funding. The round was led by Pantera Capital and included participants such as Compound VC. Offchain Labs co-founder Ed Felten, a computer science professor at Princeton University and former deputy U.S. chief technology officer in the Obama White House, told CoinDesk his software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup will focus on “scaling smart contracts” for enterprise use cases.
A New Twist On Lightning Tech Could Be Coming Soon to Bitcoin

A New Twist On Lightning Tech Could Be Coming Soon to Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s lightning network may be just starting to send transactions over the blockchain, but already its developers are looking to rearchitect the technology. That’s because, while touted as a way to significantly boost bitcoin’s capacity, the network itself does require users to store a significant amount of data, which makes it difficult to download and run. As such, several lightning developers – Lightning Labs co-founder ‘Laolu’ Osuntokun and Blockstream’s Christian Decker and Rusty Russell – have published a new proposal which imagines an alternative, “simplified” way of making off-chain transactions called eltoo.

Ethereum Mainnet Welcomes Alpha Version of the Raiden Network

There are plenty of potential developments which can make Ethereum a more versatile and robust cryptocurrency project. Scaling remains its main problem, albeit that can be said about most currencies and digital assets on the market. Raiden, one of the heavily touted solutions has now made its way to the Ethereum mainnet. At least, the Red Eyes release has done so. Raiden Red Eyes is Promising It has been a while since people actively discussed the Raiden Network.

Waves Sets New Throughput Record of 6.1 Million Network Transfers

In the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, building scalable solutions is an ongoing process. While it seems to be only a matter of time until a major breakthrough occurs, the Waves team has achieved an interesting milestone. Network statistics indicate the network handled 6.1 million transactions without any problems. Waves Transaction Throughput Soars Over the past few years, there have been numerous attempts at setting new transaction throughput records.
Monero Transaction Fees Reduced by 97% After Bulletproofs Upgrade

Monero Transaction Fees Reduced by 97% After Bulletproofs Upgrade

After the recent hard fork upgrade of its protocol, Monero has seen its transaction fees shrink by approximately 97 percent, dropping from 60 cents to just 2 cents. Crypto analytics firm Coinmetrics shared a tweet confirming the drop in fees and their corresponding reduction in transaction size, falling from 18.5kb pre-fork to 3kb — an 80 percent change. The upgrade, called “Monero 0.

Sidechains: Why These Researchers Think They Solved a Key Piece of the Puzzle

New blockchains are born all the time. Bitcoin was the lone blockchain for years, but now there are hundreds. The problem is, if you want to use the features offered on another blockchain, you have to buy the tokens for that other blockchain. But all that may soon change.

Blockstream Releases Lightning Charge, Launches Test E-Commerce Store

Following the release of the first Bitcoin Lightning Network white paper, published in February 2015, developers have been working on Lightning Network implementations to enhance the throughput and usability of the Bitcoin network.

How Bulletproofs Could Make Bitcoin Privacy Less Costly

Bulletproofs, presented in a paper titled “Bulletproofs: Short Proofs for Confidential Transactions and More,” describe a new zero-knowledge proof system. The proposal uses on-chain scaling for privacy and suggests a new, faster and more compact way to verify privacy-enhancing Confidential Transactions (CTs).

Developers Release Lightning Protocol 1.0; Perform Successful Interoperability Tests

Blockchain developers ACINQ, Blockstream and Lightning Labs, are announcing the 1.

Scriptless Scripts: How Bitcoin Can Support Smart Contracts Without Smart Contracts

Bitcoin’s capacity is limited. Meanwhile, smart contracts can be resource intensive. So even though Bitcoin has always supported basic smart contract functionality, the two have never been a natural match. But a recent topic of research spearheaded by Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra could help fix this.

This New Scaling Layer Could Make Payment Channels Ten Times More Effective

There is no disputing the fact that the Bitcoin network has scalability problems. Micropayment channels are a solution to increase the transaction rate and speed. Yet, this is not the golden solution … This micropayments solution needs a fixed amount of funds to be locked into each channel’s multisignature wallet and requires a transaction for each channel creation and closure.

The Lightning Network Now Supports Transactions Across Blockchains

Although still in testing phase, the lightning network can now be used to send transactions across different blockchains.

Xapo President: Biggest Bitcoin Companies Could Move to Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum

Xapo will integrate SegWit after all, after the SegWit2x hard fork was called off by leading supporters including Blockchain, BitGo, ShapeShift, and its lead developer Jeff Garzik. But, Xapo President Ted Rogers cautioned the bitcoin industry and community that some of the biggest companies in the bitcoin market may move to more flexible and supposedly scalable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum, taking millions of users and large transaction volumes with them.
How to Stop Worrying and Love the Fork

How to Stop Worrying and Love the Fork

Marc Hochstein is the managing editor of CoinDesk and the former editor-in-chief of financial industry publication American Banker. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday, exclusively to our subscribers.
Hold the Fork: No 2x But Everything Else Goes at Scaling Bitcoin Event

Hold the Fork: No 2x But Everything Else Goes at Scaling Bitcoin Event

"Bitcoin is the currency of enemies." If adversarial thinking like Tadge Dryja's was on display, its target was relegated to theoretical targets on day one of Scaling Bitcoin Saturday. Held this year at Stanford University, the event's fourth edition, first started to bridge bitcoin's then-scaling crisis, saw noticeably less discussion of issues currently facing the open-source project's roadmap.
ZoKrates Seeks to Bring Best of Zcash to Ethereum with Devcon Debut

ZoKrates Seeks to Bring Best of Zcash to Ethereum with Devcon Debut

It's perhaps no surprise Jacob Eberhardt is being given the stage at ethereum's annual developer conference. With scalability and privacy top of mind for the blockchain network, now valued in the billions, the Ph.D. researcher at the Technical University of Berlin is set to debut a new programming language at the Cancun, Mexico, event, one designed to help ethereum improve on these key weaknesses.

What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet

Development of the lightning network, the highly-anticipated second-layer Bitcoin protocol for instant microtransactions, continues to inch forward.

Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Today, Scaling Bitcoin, the international engineering conference focused on Bitcoin and blockchain research, released its program for the 2017 edition. The conference, to be held in Stanford, California, in the first weekend of November, will also introduce a new side event this year: Bitcoin Edge, a bootcamp for starting Bitcoin developers.
Blockchain Forks Are All the Rage, But Can They Ever Be Safe?

Blockchain Forks Are All the Rage, But Can They Ever Be Safe?

Hard forks have earned a bit of a bad name. Long portrayed as dangerous (or at least disruptive), the mechanism is also one of the more intuitive for upgrading blockchains. Quite simply, since blockchains are built on common rules, it can seem like the easiest way to improve them is to introduce new rules (or change existing ones) – and that's exactly what hard forks, one type of a wider variety of forks, seek to do.
Just SegWit? Bitcoin Core Is Already Working on a New Scaling Upgrade

Just SegWit? Bitcoin Core Is Already Working on a New Scaling Upgrade

Bitcoin's core developer team isn't yet done scaling the cryptocurrency's protocol. Despite the fact that a years-in-the-making change called Segregated Witness (SegWit) activated on the network just over six weeks ago (with businesses and users now slowly updating and average block sizes inching upward), the upgrade has already started a chain reaction of work on other optimizations geared toward accommodating more users.

51.1%: Bitcoin Dominates Cryptocurrency Market For First Time Since May

For the first time since May, the Bitcoin Dominance Index surpassed 51.1 percent, solidifying its position as the cryptocurrency market’s most valuable, secure, and widely utilized blockchain network. #bitcoin dominance over the cryptocurrency market hits 51.1 percent for the first time since May.
Bitcoin Meets Netflix? Laolu Is Building a Lightning-Powered App for That

Bitcoin Meets Netflix? Laolu Is Building a Lightning-Powered App for That

A principal developer of the Lightning Network, Olaoluwa "Laolu" Osunokun is understandably interested in tools that could be made possible by bitcoin. But while most developers have been focused on ironing out bitcoin's much-discussed protocol-level problems, Osunokun is taking a notable step in that he is actually considering launching a production application on top of the network.