The Silk Road Report - Bitcoin Magazine

Rehashed News: WSJ article is FAKE news about alleged bitcoin exchanges' ties to Silk Road

Rehashed News: WSJ article is FAKE news about alleged bitcoin exchanges' ties to Silk Road submitted by bitjuicy to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Monero - The Elephant in the Room

The state of financial privacy in 2020
Note: You can read this in a friendlier format with images over on Medium - https://medium.com/@johnfoss/the-elephant-in-the-room-34e061f5912a
The erosion of personal privacy is gaining momentum since the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Worldwide, there have been numerous calls by governments and social commentators to increase the surveillance of citizens in hope of controlling the virus. Corporations such as Google and Apple, along with countries such as Singapore, Germany, Belgium, USA, and South Korea have been utilizing smartphone data in different capacities to monitor the movements of citizens.
Many believe the implementation of new surveillance measures will calcify and become the new norm, setting precedence for further encroachment.
Mainstream media has also begun supporting the notion of increased surveillance to serve social and financial needs. A recent Bloomberg opinion piece discussed the need for increased surveillance, pointing out the financial system we operate within is fractured and inefficient when dealing with wide spread social and economic problems.
Once again, government over-reach of citizens’ privacy is a considered solution to our problems.
Countries such as Sweden (which is expected to go entirely cashless by 2023) have been leading the charge in moving to a cashless world, and in Australia the government is preparing to ban cash transactions over ten thousand dollars in order to increase monitorization.
This road to a cashless society is being sped up by the coronavirus pandemic. There is correlation between countries where ‘cash is king’ and a high number of coronavirus infections. Many retail stores are now too afraid to accept cash due to possible virus transmission, with some outright refusing to transact with cash.
The erosion of privacy, and the gradual transition from cash to digital financial transactions leads us to murky waters. Will we be able to conduct private financial transactions five to ten years from now?
Throughout the past decade, unorthodox individuals turned to Bitcoin in order to transact privately. This led to the inception of popular online darknet markets such as the Silk Road. However, many of the darknet markets proved to be unreliable and short-lived. It soon became apparent to Bitcoin users that Bitcoin is not private, and many of those conducting transactions in relation to darknet markets were identified and prosecuted.
Blockchain analytic companies such as Chainanalysis gained traction and suddenly Bitcoin tumblers were found to be ineffective. Blockchain analytic companies take advantage of Bitcoin’s transparent blockchain, analysing data and tracking transaction outputs. The blockchain analytic company then sells this information to cryptocurrency exchanges and government organisations so they can link Bitcoin addresses to specific users. Many Bitcoin advocates tout Bitcoin can be used privately via the use of newer tumbling technologies, however this is a somewhat arduous process with no guarantee of its effectiveness. In December 2019 Chainanalysis demonstrated how they tracked transactions mixed via Wasabi Wallet that were associated with the PlusToken scam. Tumbling also leads to the possibility of coin taint, whereas certain Bitcoin may be perceived to be less valuable because they can be identified as being associated with nefarious activities, and as a result exchange services may confiscate coins when a user attempts to sell them.
While Bitcoin holds many desirable characteristics of sound money, many prominent figures within the Bitcoin space have repeatedly discussed on the need for default privacy and fungibility. However, as was seen in previous years’ block size dispute, the issue of privacy will come with great lengthy debate as stakeholders attempt to reach a consensus that does not impact upon the characteristics of Bitcoin.
As change within the social and financial landscape continues to accelerate, those seeking financial privacy may turn to Monero.
Monero is the elephant in the room.
Monero is a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin and shares many of the same characteristics of sound money, however it also provides default privacy. Unlike other privacy focused cryptocurrencies, privacy isn’t opt-in, so all transactions and wallet amounts are unknown and indistinguishable from one another. Every unit of Monero is valued equally as no matter its history. This allows Monero to be truly fungible, and eradicates any possibility of coin taint. It has proven this in a number of cases. For example, exchanges have been hesitant to list Monero due to KYC/AML compliance issues it raises because it is impossible to determine transaction history.
If Monero provides financial privacy solutions, why is Monero being ignored?
Firstly, while most deem privacy to be important, many are yet to find it necessary to adopt privacy technologies. There are many easy to use privacy solutions such as Signal or DuckDuckGo, however these are not widely used as users opt for convenience instead. As surveillance increases and data collected is harnessed to marginalize or punish users, it is like that privacy technologies will become extremely desirable. Additionally, acquiring Monero can be difficult or inconvenient for some, as cryptocurrency exchanges must comply with laws and regulations, and may perceive it to be a risk listing an untraceable cryptocurrency. This also leads to lower liquidity than other cryptocurrencies.
Monero remains a community driven project. Public figures such as John McAfee and Crypto Vigilante continue to advocate the use of Monero ahead of Bitcoin. Due to its humble and open-source nature, Monero isn’t widely promoted even though it maintains the third largest cryptocurrency community on Reddit after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In respect to the technology, Monero’s hashrate has steadily been increasing over time, and the number of daily transactions taking place on the Monero blockchain are higher than ever. The Monero Research Lab continues its research in order to improve the protocol. Over the past few years these improvements resulted in reduced transaction fees, and enhanced scalability and privacy.
In just a few years from now, it is extremely likely traditional financial systems will not provide the capacity to transact privately. Banks will be required to ask questions regarding why certain transactions took place, and recorded transaction data will be sold to third parties. As the erosion of our privacy continues to accelerate, it won’t be long until Monero gains the use and recognition it deserves, and price reflects this.
Monero is what people think Bitcoin is.
Feel free to share or publish this article as you wish.
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Particl Marketplace: Where Sellers Meet Buyers

Particl Marketplace: Where Sellers Meet Buyers
People had been speculating since the dawn of crypto when the world’s largest online marketplaces, the ones of the Amazon caliber like eBay, Etsy or AliExpress, and, well, Amazon itself, would start to accept cryptocurrencies. There were a slew of rumors, opinions, and theories thickly interspersed with false reports popping up here and there of Amazon and its little cousins being on the verge of embracing cryptocurrencies. On top of that, someone has actually posted a petition on change.org to add Ether to Amazon as a payment method.
by StealthEX
Long story short, that was a waste of time. High hopes fell flat, and people lost religion. But not all. As the common wisdom goes, when hope dies, action begins. This exposition describes one such effort which tries to bring to fruition the idea of a decentralized marketplace for trading goods and services. And as you might have already figured it out, with a cryptocurrency as a means of payment. So let’s welcome Particl Marketplace and see what it has to offer – and what Amazon has missed.

What is it, in simple words?

Particl Marketplace is an online marketplace where you can trade goods and services. Not a big deal, you may think. However, what distinguishes it from places like Amazon as well as cryptocurrency-enabled marketplaces is the decentralized nature of purchases on Particl. You can think of it as a variety of a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (aka DEX) where trades are being conducted on-chain. But in case of Particl, it is goods and services that are being traded, not fiat or crypto, with deals on-chain as well, fully encrypted and decentralized.
Particl is a global peer-to-peer privacy-centered marketplace that uses an automated two-party escrow system. It is crypto-agnostic and designed to work with any cryptocurrency, creating a secure, highly-scalable environment supported by a privacy-focused blockchain-based platform. The team behind the project sees its mission in developing “a new decentralized, private and democratic economy” that is governed by the network of its users, with no central authority or middleman getting in the way.
In the project developers’ own words, Particl enables everyone to participate in a free, anonymous exchange of all kinds of goods, without paying any fee and regardless of geographical location. To be sure, you are already thinking about Silk Road and its dark fate, and that the government is going to crack down monumentally on Particl one day. Well, the outcome may vary as the payments on the platform are made using its own cryptocurrency PART, with its laser focus on privacy and anonymity. But more on this later.

How did it grow up?

The development of the Particl project started in early 2017 with the release of the white paper describing the team’s vision for the marketplace, which was shortly followed by a successful seed funding that brought in enough funds ($750,000) to support the development of the project for a year (it turned out sufficient to last for over two years).
These donations helped to establish the Particl Foundation, a non-profit Swiss organization with the goal of providing legal protection for the project to ensure its sustained development and compliance with government regulations. It receives 10% of all the staking rewards generated on the Particl network, making the project self-sustainable and free for most uses.
Unlike other such projects in the crypto arena, Particl has been using its own blockchain from day one, which happened to be July 17, 2017. It was specifically designed to be crypto agnostic by supporting and working with any cryptocurrency. Additionally, it supported the smart contract tech out of the box, giving users an ability to build all kinds of decentralized applications (dApps) that can be directly integrated into the Particl marketplace.
On May 31, 2018, the Particl Marketplace, the Holy Grail of the entire endeavor, was made available for alpha testing on the testnet of the project, which later split into development and stable branches. It went live with the mainnet release of the Particl Open Marketplace on August 12, 2019, which featured Particl Desktop 2.0.0, a client-side application providing user interface and built-in wallet functions.
On November 25, 2019, the Particl Desktop 2.3.0 client was released that enabled Bitcoin payments and marked the introduction of untraceable transactions. With the help of the new in-wallet exchange module, everyone can easily swap their bitcoins for the native PART coin. Moreover, the module allows seamless integration of third-party accountless exchange services right into the marketplace, with StealthEX being one of them.

How is it different from other marketplaces?

The common solution many P2P marketplaces implement to protect buyers and sellers from the other party failing to honor their end of the bargain is through third-party escrow, where the “third-party” in the majority of places and cases is the platform itself that the market participants must mutually trust. In short, it is a single point of failure. And the selling (pardon the pun) point of the entire Particl’s marketplace is its decentralized escrow, which is a thing entirely between the two parties engaged. No middlemen allowed here!
And these are not empty words. Particl implements the concept best known as Mutually Assured Destruction (aptly shortened as MAD), a military doctrine you are certainly familiar with, and probably even afraid of, that consists in a mutual destruction of two belligerent parties in an all-out nuclear holocaust. If you are curious, the idea stems from the game theory and has a lot to do with the Nash Equilibrium, of John Nash’s fame. In a nutshell, Particl removes the need for a trusted escrow agent by introducing MAD escrow smart contracts.
A MAD escrow contract allows to lock funds in a multi-signature address that can be released only if all the parties sign off on the transaction. So both the seller and the buyer lock in the contract an agreed amount for a specified period of time, with the buyer also depositing the payment for the items purchased. The escrowed funds are released when both parties confirm the fulfillment of the agreement. Should one party break the terms, the funds remain locked for good causing a mutual financial loss until both parties agree to sign off.
Another crucial aspect of Particl Marketplace is its end-to-end privacy. The problem with conventional marketplaces acting as an escrow agent is that the communication between the parties should be open to the agent for it to serve as an arbitrator. With Particl, it is no longer required, and all messages between the buyer and the seller are encrypted. Despite being public, only their recipient can decrypt them, which effectively makes messages untraceable.
This is also where the PART coin turns up quite handy. It enables three different privacy modes, and with the most secure mode, the Anon mode, PART transactions utilize the RingCT privacy protocol, which hides both the amount transferred and the identity of the parties transacting. Accordingly, every part of the entire Particl trading environment is thoroughly decentralized, and the full anonymity of market participants is maintained at all times, making the platform a completely trustless marketplace. Big Brother is no longer watching you.
Aside from that, you can stake PART and generate a source of passive income for yourself. Particl uses a custom Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol, allowing you to get a piece of the pie in the form of new coins created at each block according to the scheduled inflation process. The annual inflation rate is initially set to 5% and goes down 1 percentage point every year until it finally floors at 2% indefinitely. Moreover, these rates are a bare minimum as they assume that all PART coins have been staked. Otherwise, the income will be bigger and better as the same rewards are paid to fewer coins.
Additionally, your passive income through staking PART will be augmented by the fees generated through the everyday marketplace operations. Whether it is network fees collected via PART transactions or marketplace listing fees paid by the sellers, all of them contribute to the stakers’ rewards. At the end of the day, staking PART can turn into a profitable business once the Particl platform starts to attract more traffic. In simple words, the more popular the market gets, the more fees it generates, the more coins the stakers earn.
As PART is a standalone cryptocurrency, it can be used outside Particl Marketplace as well. So if you plan on using it for purposes other than eCommerce, it is traded on several exchanges, for example, HitBTC and Bittrex, with more exchanges to list PART in the future. There are native Particl wallets available for storing PART such as Particl Qt with Ledger support, Particl-cli, and Particl Copay Wallet, with the latter available for both the desktop and the mobile. There is also a third-party multicurrency Flare Wallet, enabling cold staking for Particl.
Running Particl is a collective effort, which means no operational costs and no company bagging profits from it. The marketplace buyers don’t pay any commissions other than tiny network confirmation fees, while the sellers are only charged a small listing fee to keep spam listings to a minimum. This creates a highly competitive environment, with the sellers making more profits and the buyers having access to cheaper goods and services as a result.

What’s in the pipeline?

The next major release of the Particl Marketplace should have been Particl Desktop 2.4.0, but it was later rebranded as Particl Desktop 3.0 to reflect its breakthrough nature. It is set for release in the second half of 2020 and will enable the addition of user-created markets and storefronts, effectively turning the Particl marketplace into a network of specialized markets.
And if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Say, you have a social network account highly merited and full of karma that you want to sell, whatever your reasons might be. Then creating a dedicated market for trading such accounts privately and securely may look extremely appealing to you. Whether it is the right thing to do is another matter, of course.
Kidding aside, it is obviously not about selling or offering something that the society on the whole doesn’t approve of or frowns upon. If you are a freelancer, for example, a graphics designer or a translator, you would be certainly interested in the future freelancer markets – along with your potential employers. Put simply, birds of a feather should flock together.
To keep things in perspective, popular freelancer markets that exist today charge up to 10-20% of what you would get from your client if you negotiated directly. All in all, establishing communities across the marketplace seems to be the next logical step in the natural evolution and growth of the platform. In fact, it is a little surprising that the Particl team didn’t come up with this idea earlier.
Meanwhile, we wish Particl success and good luck in achieving their goals and aspirations.
And remember if you need to exchange your coins StealthEX is here for you. We provide a selection of more than 250 coins and constantly updating the list so that our customers will find a suitable option. Our service does not require registration and allows you to remain anonymous. Why don’t you check it out? Just go to StealthEX and follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to PART.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your PART coins!
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected].
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/08/26/particl-marketplace-where-sellers-meet-buyers/
submitted by Stealthex_io to StealthEX [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to ethereum [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to privacycoins [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to ethtrader [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi

Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block.
https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/n0euarkifu951/player
This is the second post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
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Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption.
Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block.
Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in…
https://preview.redd.it/1ugdxoqjfu951.jpg?width=650&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36edde1079c3cff5f6b15b8cd30e6c436626d5d8

Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency

There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up.
Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
  1. Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
  2. Store Value With nothing but a smartphone, you can become your own bank and store your own funds. Nobody can seize your assets. The funds are digital and stored on a blockchain. Your money no longer needs to be stored at a bank, in a vault, or under your mattress. I covered a few inspiring use-cases in a previous post. They include banking the unbanked, protecting assets from government seizure, mitigating the risk of a bank run, and protection against hyperinflation (like what recently happened in Venezuela).
The fact that there are so few things one can do with Bitcoin is one of its greatest strengths.
Its design is simple, elegant, and focused. It has been 10+ years since Satoshi’s white paper and no one has been able to crack or hack the Bitcoin network. With a market cap of $170B, there is plenty of incentive to try.
https://preview.redd.it/bizndfpkfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=456c53b798248e60456a65835a33c69b2fe8daf0

Public Awareness

A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase.
However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto.
As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light.
Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more.
As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s).
Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.
https://preview.redd.it/dnuwbw8mfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f1f135e3effee4574b5167901b80ced2c972bda

Ethereum: Programmable Money

When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum from Linda Xie or Vitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
One of the first major use-cases on Ethereum was the ability to mint and create your own token, your own cryptocurrency. Many companies used this as a way to fundraise from the public. This led to the 2017 ICO bubble (Initial Coin Offerings). Some tokens — and the apps/networks they powered — were fascinating and innovative. Most tokens were pointless. And many tokens were outright scams. Additional token reading from Fred Ehrsam, Balaji, and Naval.
https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/b5b1jh9ofu951/player

Digital Gold Rush

Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high.
https://preview.redd.it/tytsu5jnfu951.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe3425b7e4a71fa953b953f0c7f6eaff6504a0d1
That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.

DeFi: Decentralized Finance

So as a reminder, tokens are cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies can carry value. And value is a lot like money. Because tokens are natively integrated with Ethereum, it’s been natural for developers to build applications related to financial services — things like lending, borrowing, saving, investing, payments, and insurance. In the last few years, there has been a groundswell of developer momentum building in this area of financial protocols. This segment of the industry is known as DeFi (Decentralized Finance).
https://preview.redd.it/f0sjzqspfu951.png?width=461&format=png&auto=webp&s=8e0a31bf29250fc624918fbd8514b008762f379e
In Q2 of 2020, 97% of all Ethereum activity was DeFi-related. Total DeFi transaction volume has reached $11.5B. The current value locked inside DeFi protocols is approaching $2 Billion (double from a month ago). DeFi’s meteoric growth cannot be ignored.
Most of that growth can be attributed to exciting protocols like Compound, Maker, Synthetix, Balancer, Aave, dYdX, and Uniswap. These DeFi protocols and the financial services they offer are quickly becoming some of the most popular use-cases for blockchain technology today.
https://preview.redd.it/wn3phnkqfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=02f56caa6b94aa59eadd6e368ef9346ba10c7611
This impressive growth in DeFi certainly hasn’t come without growing pains. Unlike with Bitcoin, there are near-infinite applications one can develop on Ethereum. Sometimes bugs (or typos) can slip through code reviews, testing, and audits — resulting in loss of funds.
Our next post will go much deeper on DeFi.

Wrap Up

I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more.
Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps.
After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users?
In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole.
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Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]

Bitcoin’s Mainstream Adoption

Bitcoin’s Mainstream Adoption
How financial system has changed its rigid views in favor of cryptocurrencies.
by StealthEX
It goes without saying that the real value of anything can be judged only through practical, everyday use of it. With Bitcoin, as with cryptocurrencies in general, it is no different. Although the concept of a decentralized digital ledger as it is represented by the leading cryptocurrency may seem enticing and masterly on its own, ultimately, it still comes down to the actual application and usability in real life. And this is where BTC adoption within the existing financial system comes into play as one metric to gauge its genuine success or utmost failure, arguably the most telling and important one.

A medium of exchange

Bitcoin was envisioned as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, synonymous with the idea of using it as a medium of exchange or means of payment (the latter two being essentially six of one and half a dozen of the other). As everything big out there, Bitcoin started small. What went completely unnoticed in 2008 now came to be a major factor capable of affecting the entire global financial system.
But before that, Bitcoin was used as a means of exchange and payment in the markets which shouldn’t have been there in the first place. These were the days when the Dark Web was the primary and likely only driver behind Bitcoin adoption rate, and that’s also happened to be the reason why so many governments turned heavily against it back in the day. Bitcoin had received a bad rap as a currency for conducting illegal operations, mostly selling drugs on black markets like now-defunct Silk Road.
It was not until late 2012 that Bitcoin started to attract attention of the general public after the launch of Coinbase in the summer of that year. Around that time the first attempts to regulate the top cryptocurrency had begun, and the overall negative attitude toward BTC started to change. All in all, the period between 2008 and 2012 was likely the only time in Bitcoin’s eventful and intense history when most of its adoption came about through using it as a real currency and a means of payment, even if primarily for illegal purposes and criminal activities.

A store of value and investment asset

Bitcoin today as we know it has only become possible after many thousands of speculators and investors started to pour their money into the cryptocurrency in the hope of earning off the future growth. No matter how you look at it, whether you like it or not since 2013 Bitcoin adoption has been expanding mostly by attracting people who are interested in it as an alternative, non-sovereign store of value and investment asset. Today Bitcoin as an investment asset and store of value totally took over the Bitcoin as a means of payment and exchange.
The godfather of all cryptocurrencies has seen plenty of ups and downs, which posed a valid concern regarding how it would perform as a grown-up investment asset. Now that we have seen oil prices go into negative territory and fall as low as -37 dollars per barrel, a lot of these doubts have been dispelled. It is little wonder that institutional investors are nowadays looking into Bitcoin as a robust hedge against inflation and sinking economies in a world fraught with recession risks and plagued by the coronavirus pandemic. For example, in 2019 alone cryptocurrency assets under the management of hedge funds more than doubled – to over 2 billion dollars, with around 150 hedge funds actively investing in cryptocurrencies today.
It is no surprise either that during the last couple of years Bitcoin has risen substantially in the eyes of the institutional beholders, all the way up from the bottom, from an outcast, and sometimes even an outright outlaw, to a level on par with such an established store of value as gold. The famous hedge fund manager and billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, who manages around 22 billion dollars through his BVI Global Fund, recently confirmed that he has invested a few percent of his assets in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and central banks printing money out of thin air. Altogether, this leaves no doubt that Bitcoin has become a viable and legit investment choice in the realm of institutional money.

A value transfer vehicle

International money transfers have always been a pain in the neck – slow, costly, complicated. As Bitcoin needs no banking institutions to conduct money transfers, be it domestic or global, it has become a value transfer vehicle of choice for people willing to send money with no involvement of banks and payments processors. Historically, making overseas remittances with Bitcoin was among the first use cases of this cryptocurrency.
Cross-border remittances have been recognized as an important source of private capital flows for developing countries. Bitcoin and its crypto brethren have firmly established themselves in this niche for the simple reason many people in poor countries don’t have a bank account and thus can’t access bank services, aside from overall poor banking infrastructure there along with reasonable concerns about the stability of national currencies in backward economies.
Without cryptocurrencies, it would be impossible to receive financial support from abroad provided by migrant workers to their families. This led to an emergence of a wide variety of bitcoin-based remittance services such as BitPesa, Rebit, Bloom, Payphil, to name but just a few, that offer such services for African and Asian countries. They are typically using Bitcoin as a value transfer medium concealing the cryptocurrency from users by converting the sender’s fiat currency into bitcoins and then converting back to the receiver’s fiat currency.

Problems and solutions

One of the major problems Bitcoin faces is not strictly specific to it as it stems from an innate conflict between the two major functions of money. As it happens, a medium of exchange function doesn’t live quite well with a store of value function. A good medium of exchange, or means of payment, should be inflationary to facilitate its use as a currency that you pay with, say, in a grocery store. On the other hand, a good store of value should be the opposite of that to maintain and possibly increase its value over time. Realistically, such a dilemma cannot be effectively resolved from within Bitcoin itself.
As a result, the main cryptocurrency has developed into a trusted, battle-tested investment asset which already established a firm foothold in the corporate investment sector. This is in stark contrast to its promise as a functional currency where Bitcoin still massively lags behind fiat. Is there any way to fix that? The solution probably lies in the separation of different functions between Bitcoin and altcoins. The former will most certainly continue to evolve as a solid store of value. Whether the latter can live up to their collective role of an efficient means of payment, we have yet to find out.
And remember if you need to exchange your coins StealthEX is here for you. We provide a selection of more than 250 coins and constantly updating the list so that our customers will find a suitable option. Just go to StealthEX and follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your coins.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected].
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/07/07/bitcoins-mainstream-adoption/
submitted by Stealthex_io to StealthEX [link] [comments]

N00b Quick Guide on How To Buy (buying BTC anonymously, encryption, wallet, & Tor)

Feel free to downvote and/or offer improvements. I'm putting this up in the hopes someone else doesn't have to go through what I just went through. It was way more complicated than it needed to be.
  1. Download Tor *(see note in edits below regarding config / Javascript)
  2. Find marketplace you wanna use (Check /onions' sidebar: How the heck am I supposed to find .onions and other stuff)*
  3. Access market with Tor. Don't use a VPN*, there are tons of articles/threads/comments that explain why VPNs + Tor are not advisable. All you need is Tor.
  4. Use local BTC ATM. There are some that only ask for SMS # to send confirmation code. Use Google on your phone to find a temp SMS number you can use while you're standing there at the kiosk. There are tons of sites, most don't ask for registration. Buy BTC with cash.
  5. From kiosk, send directly to market account, or whatever wallet you're using.
  6. See this thread for encryption steps. Thread is 7 years old, but first comment from I_DONT_HAVE_AIDS/ is still accurate and works.
  7. Do not use the market's auto-encrypt feature. Do it yourself.
Hoping this thread can stay up/doesn't violate any policies (I don't think it does....) If you want to downvote, that's your choice, but some constructive feedback is better for everyone, I'll edit the post.
Fuck TAILS*, fuck tumbling, fuck Coinbase/Coinmama (Coinmama is a nosey bitch tracking your coin)/etc.... just go the ATM route. It's far, far easier. If you buy with a burner number and cash there's really no way to track it. They'd have to subpoena shopkeepekiosk owner for video cameras (assuming there even are any) and unless you're doing something really wild, no one is going to go to that trouble. This allows you to skip over a ton of OpSec steps that are, frankly, just obnoxious AF (albeit necessary - but this conforms to the OpSec).
EDITS:
submitted by Osceana to darknet [link] [comments]

Debunking Cryptocurrency Myths

Debunking Cryptocurrency Myths

https://preview.redd.it/bly69bsxwu051.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4ddf296c34fc92b73ef0655d05e7d689909fa161
Now that we almost familiarized ourselves with the basics of cryptocurrency, the Swipe team would like to shed light on the most common misconceptions about it.
In this article, we aim to discuss the reasons why these myths exist and correct the common tales behind them.
1. Cryptocurrency is A SCAM
NOT. We have to set this record straight once and for all. Cryptocurrencies are the digital counterpart of physical currencies. The only difference is this kind is purely virtual, meaning it doesn’t physically exist. Instead of going through any central authority (bank), it runs in a blockchain, a digital ledger that lets users safely and easily transact and store cryptocurrencies.
So why do people think that it is a scam? It is because of the bad players who try to take advantage of this new technology. A lot of new and naïve crypto investors fall into Ponzi-type schemes that promise huge investment returns at a little or no risk at all.
Scammers will also try to lure people in making them believe they offer related services in return for crypto payment. The concept of cryptocurrency is to make the current financial transactions easier, which is why some fall for this bait. These types of investments and services should be viewed skeptically. If there are people who are trying to scam you of your money, there will also be people who will try to scam you of your cryptocurrencies. But this doesn’t mean that money and cryptocurrencies are a scam.
In cryptocurrency, there is no central authority to re-check the user’s transactions. In cryptocurrency, there is no central authority to re-check the user’s transactions. Users must be responsible enough when managing their crypto assets and activities.
2. It is NOT SAFE
AGAIN WRONG. Cryptocurrencies are safe unless people expose themselves to illicit transactions. Remember, even the most successful businesses get highjacked, so what is the possibility that cryptocurrencies will be immune to it?
Most of the cryptocurrency transactions run in a blockchain, a digital ledger that uses cryptographic measures to process and transactions, making it more likely impossible to be compromised. However, this doesn’t mean that your cryptocurrencies are totally immune to hacking and phishing.
Some users choose to manage their cryptocurrencies themselves, but there is also a number who rely on exchanges or digital wallets run by different parties. When using devices and software such as mobile applications to manage crypto funds, one must make sure that their device is free from any malware and viruses and that they set strong passwords for wallets and accounts that deal with their cryptocurrency funds. Remember, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, so one must make sure that their devices and applications are virus-free and secured.
But how can the users prevent this from happening? Prior to purchasing cryptocurrency, do proper research on which exchange and digital wallets are perfect for their lifestyle. Check if the company is properly regulated and compliant with the existing laws.
Swipe Wallet carries numerous licenses around the world. At present, it has a Virtual Currency Wallet License, and Virtual Currency to Fiat Exchange License issued both in Estonia covering the European Economic Area.
Aside from this, setting up a strong password and enabling two-factor authentication (if applicable) are strongly recommended. This adds an extra layer of security to your software, making it less prone to any cyberattacks.
3. It DOESN’T HAVE A VALUE
THERE IS. In fact, as of writing, one Bitcoin is priced at $9,096.37, which you can spend and convert any time through the use of your digital wallets. Cryptocurrencies offer a faster way of receiving and sending money through the use of blockchain technology, a better alternative to the usual bank remittances people do. It actually works like fiat currencies, only that cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not run by any central or governing authority.
Skeptics don’t believe in cryptocurrency because they think it doesn’t have any intrinsic value just because of its digital nature, and it is not backed up or supported by anything (government or central authority).
So, why the prices go high even if some people say it doesn’t have any value? Simple explanation: though cryptocurrencies are prone to volatility, remember it has a finite supply. As more demand for crypto supply increases, its prices go higher. This shows that cryptocurrency users have trust in the system, giving it more value. Proving that you always don’t need to see it physically in order to believe in it.
A good cryptocurrency user must realize that due to the relatively new concept or market of cryptocurrency, it is prone to a lot of constant gains and losses. When acquiring these, one must have an open mind that the prices may increase and decrease anytime. Having a diverse investment portfolio (not just in cryptocurrency) helps to reduce the risk of huge losses.
4. Cryptocurrency SUPPORTS Illegal Activities
DEFINITELY WRONG. This is one of the biggest myths that surround the cryptocurrency industry. The reason behind this is the misconception that cryptocurrency transactions are entirely anonymous, making people believe that it was made for illicit activities.
Most cryptocurrency transactions are traceable through the public address shown in the blockchain. However, it is only limited to the amount and address, not the identity of the sender. This concept made bad entities try to abuse the latest technology discovery. But this doesn’t mean that tracking their details is a difficult task.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies, and wallets implement their own ways to track transactions through a KYC or Know Your Customer service without asking too much of personal information than most of the normal banks do.
5. Funds are EASILY STOLEN
YES and NO. How so? There is a big possibility of funds getting stolen if the users will not practice precautionary measures when managing their cryptocurrencies. Even in fiat currencies, if people will just leave their money somewhere unsafe or in shady institutions, it will be prone to theft.
As a general rule, having tight security measures on a chosen crypto trading platform and wallet will help lessen any tendency of experiencing unfortunate events. Users have to make sure they are only dealing with reputable trading platforms and wallets. There are a lot of users who fell victim to fake wallets. To avoid making this big mistake, ALWAYS do a background check and don’t just trust what search engines show right away.
People who are not careful enough to make security actions and discern any fraudulent sites will be prone to having their cryptocurrencies stolen. Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, and if you fell into these traps, your money will be long gone for good. Remember: everything is digital in Bitcoin. People must be extra cautious in making transactions as there are a lot of bad people who are evil enough that will try to steal your hard-earned money.
Wherever people go, there will always be bad players who will try to find ways to outsmart people. These myths sprouted because there are people who are victimized by scammers. It is important to stay vigilant and do proper research before making necessary transactions to avoid fraud. There are no shortcuts to success. No matter how advanced the technology is, nothing beats the decisions made by a responsible and critical consumer.
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This blog article is also posted at: https://sw.pe/blogcryptomyths
submitted by SwipeWallet to Swipe_io [link] [comments]

Chinese authorities are testing the digital yuan: is it worth waiting for the digital dollar?

Chinese authorities are testing the digital yuan: is it worth waiting for the digital dollar?

Chinese authorities are testing the digital yuan: is it worth waiting for the digital dollar?
The development of the digital renminbi is proceeding rapidly: a few days ago it became known that companies and customers of the largest banks in several cities of China were testing it. Moreover, corporations such as McDonald’s and Starbucks will take part in the test, among others. + Why is China in a hurry to release a national cryptocurrency, at what stage is development and why its main opponent is not Bitcoin or Libra from Facebook, but the US dollar, DeCenter found out.
For a long time, almost nothing was known about China’s national digital currency (DCEP), or the digital renminbi, except that the Chinese authorities were working on it. Information was officially confirmed only in 2018. Moreover, it turned out that research and development has been ongoing since 2014. And in the summer of 2019, the deputy head of the department of the National Bank of China (NBK) Mu Changchun, who is called the main ideologist of the digital renminbi project in power, said that he was “almost ready.” This was preceded by the sensational announcement of the cryptocurrency project Libra from Facebook, which officials in many countries took with hostility.
As DeCenter wrote, cryptocurrencies have pushed the Chinese authorities to create DCEP by the growing competition with fiat currencies. Despite the formal ban on cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs, Chinese people are still actively using crypto assets. The digital yuan could be an alternative to decentralized coins. In addition, the main capacities of world mining of the Bitcoin network are concentrated in China, the blockchain startup industry is developing rapidly and with government support. Such a contradictory and motley picture.
According to the professor of Fudan University, Michael Song, the real impetus for accelerating the development of the digital renminbi was not so much the Libra coin, but the keynote address by President Xi Jinping in October 2019. Then he called on officials to “make every effort” to develop the blockchain and introduce solutions based on it into the real economy. At the same time, Xi noted the importance of implementing technology in digital finance. According to Song, this was a signal for central authorities to accelerate the release of DCEP and facilitate its distribution in China and beyond.
Mobile App First
But the real details about the digital yuan became known recently, in April. Then, WeChat published screenshots from the test mobile application of the Agricultural Bank of China (SBC) for operations with DCEP. Some of the application’s functions were visible on the screenshots: wallet, function of payment via QR-code (a popular payment method in China), receiving and sending money, as well as “pairing” wallets of two users for transactions through convergence of devices (probably using NFC-technology)
Mobile app interface for the RMB.
Later, the NBK confirmed the authenticity of the screenshots and added that the digital renminbi is being tested in cooperation with several commercial banks, and its territory is limited to four major cities. As The Block later clarified with reference to Chinese media, in one of the cities — Suzhou — municipal officials in May will receive half of the subsidies for travel on public transport in “digital yuan”.
The authorities did not disclose the official launch date for DCEP, but added that the next test of the digital national currency will be held in 2022, during the Beijing Winter Olympics. Probably, then the scale of the test will be much larger and will also affect foreign citizens.
It is curious that on the same day, the State Committee for Development and Reforms of the PRC — the former Gosplan, now in charge of strategic economic planning, announced the inclusion of blockchain in the national technology development strategy. Now it is a priority for the state along with other promising areas, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of things.
Commerce and trading in the digital yuan
The NBK is not limited to banks and individual users of the digital yuan: thanks to a report from the Chinese publication InterChain Pulse, another test was revealed, but with the participation of almost two dozen companies. The project will be held on the territory of the New Xun’an District (something like a special economic zone, but an urban type).
The project includes companies in the field of catering, retail, transport and entertainment. The list also includes American companies McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway, as well as a number of local chains: fast food Qingfeng Baozi, supermarkets JD (operated by the leading online retailer of the same name in China), Jinfeng cafe and others. Four state-owned banks provide financial infrastructure, as well as fintech giants Ant Financial (formerly Alipay) and Tencent. Administrative support is provided by local governments.
Xun’an — a kind of testing ground for the “digital city”. All government services have already been digitized here, 5G mobile networks, unmanned vehicles and much more are used. At the end of March, a blockchain laboratory was opened in the city, which will be engaged in the implementation of DLT-based solutions in urban infrastructure and services.
At the same time, InterChain Pulse did not provide data on the date of the start of the digital renminbi experiment in Xiongang or the timing of its implementation.
Ram against the dollar
Given that the digital yuan is a project of the Chinese authorities, it is not surprising that, in addition to domestic economic interests, they also pursue political goals. Namely, the victory over the global “hegemony” of the US dollar. So, the DCEP developer Mu Changchun in September last year said that “the digital yuan is necessary for China to protect the monetary sovereignty of the country”.
The Ledger Insights portal cites an article by the Chinese political science center Zero One Think Tank, which states that the digital yuan will help “internationalize” the Chinese currency. In particular, through transactions in large-scale foreign economic projects of the PRC. Among them is the One Belt, One Road initiative, which brings together many of China’s neighbors as part of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Sea Silk Projects. High scalability of DCEP will solve the problem of increasing the share of settlements in RMB in foreign trade. So far, China has failed.
State-owned Chinese companies already have the infrastructure needed for cross-border operations in the digital yuan. For example, last fall, the Chinese Construction Bank (the third largest in China) released the second version of its financial blockchain platform for international settlements after the volume of operations on it exceeded $ 50 billion. The platform users are mainly foreign banks and Chinese exporters.
All four major Chinese state banks, which recently announced their participation in the project for the commercial testing of the “digital yuan” in Xiongang, have their own foreign trading platforms based on a distributed registry.
Digital dollar
The U.S. currency really dominates global finance: in 2019, 90% of international transfers and 60% of government reserves were in US dollars, while the yuan in both segments accounted for only 2%. Such data are quoted by Voice of America.
The dollar is needed by private companies and banks to hedge the risks of depreciation of national currencies in international transactions. However, the widespread use of the dollar also gives the US government leverage — for example, with the introduction of economic sanctions.
The emergence of alternative international currencies could undermine US influence. In a commentary on Voice of America, Special Assistant to the President Tim Morrison expressed confidence that Beijing’s intention to “dominate this new financial technology should be alarming”, referring to cryptocurrencies.
Apparently, while the US authorities do not plan to issue their own digital dollar.
In late February, speaking in the Senate, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said that Washington does not intend to issue a national cryptocurrency at this time, but may return to this issue in the future.
The day before Mnuchin’s statement, Jerome Powell, the head of the US Federal Reserve System, spoke in the House of Representatives. Congressmen called on him and colleagues in the government’s financial bloc to step up work on the digital dollar until they got ahead of the Chinese. To this Powell replied that the conditions in the USA and China are different: “For example, the idea of a registry where everyone will see each other’s transactions is unlikely to be attractive in the context of the United States. This is not a problem for China.”
As for Libra, last year’s announcement of which was accompanied by mass criticism of Western officials, on April 20 an updated version of the white paper project was released. In the new document, the developers officially abandoned the concept of a single global stablecoin, decentralization and anonymity and pledged to comply with all regulatory requirements.
submitted by Smart_Smell to Robopay [link] [comments]

$1B Bitcoins On The Move: Owner Transfers ~$100M to Bitfinex And Binance In 10 Days

$1B Bitcoins On The Move: Owner Transfers ~$100M to Bitfinex And Binance In 10 Days
This is the third post of a series of articles dedicated to investigate $1B worth of bitcoins (111,114 BTC/BCH/... BXX) that were dormant since 2014 and started moving actively. The BTC coins were originally located at this address (1933phfhK3ZgFQNLGSDXvqCn32k2buXY8a).
The origin of the bitcoins is discussed here.
A deep-dive into the wallet activity was discussed here.
Today, I will focus on the transfer to major exchanges wallets that could indicate that the owner is selling his coins or exchanging it with alts or mixing it to cover his back.
I built a graph in order to deep dive into the transactions originated from the 111,114-BTC wallet and to follow it. This is the resulting graph were red indicates transactions <1 day, yellow <1 month, blue <1 year, green else.
https://preview.redd.it/nk3iov045vj11.png?width=1677&format=png&auto=webp&s=176d5b5bda930abf870dbea7edd1ba5b654158be

I found that at least 15,593 BTC originated from the 111,114-BTC wallet have been moved to Bitfinex and Binance wallets. This represents 14% of the original funds and more than $110M.

Bitfinex wallet

https://preview.redd.it/m8fryy8s5vj11.png?width=2038&format=png&auto=webp&s=117806763f7fc79909ee0358755e43c6de652749

11,114 BTC have been transferred to Bitfinex wallet 1Kr6QSydW9bFQG1mXiPNNu6WpJGmUa9i1g and the majority of these coins have been transferred in the last 7 days (August 24th - September 2nd).
Here is the list of the transactions:
https://preview.redd.it/8e9l0lqf0vj11.png?width=471&format=png&auto=webp&s=c63fa6ce9479efd4f27ce8f8cd456de19712fc9e

Binance wallet

https://preview.redd.it/i1v5lv3j9vj11.png?width=2025&format=png&auto=webp&s=bc6c893b684d2c97206565219ff4d5ce8eb721a2

4,421 BTC have been transferred to Binance wallet 1NDyJtNTjmwk5xPNhjgAMu4HDHigtobu1s and the majority of these coins have been transferred in the last 10 days (August 21st - September 2nd).
Here is the list of the transactions:
https://preview.redd.it/2cs6ufabavj11.png?width=453&format=png&auto=webp&s=5cdcb45cbe44f3f61251317036c6738aa0f3a9cd
Bitmex wallet(s)

I tracked Bitmex as well but "only" found 210 BTC transferred in with the following 6 major transactions:
https://preview.redd.it/2oondki1ovj11.png?width=432&format=png&auto=webp&s=9ae358b80e747b62d6940ef9022df2734ed001f0

Also, I have found 350 BTC transferred from Bitmex wallets though, maybe after being "washed out":
https://preview.redd.it/sx2g36jnovj11.png?width=546&format=png&auto=webp&s=26f0ac6c64e6aa9aedb7f76c90fb8ebea1beefcc

Update 1
If anyone finds if the owner of this address is an exchange : 3PtJRj5xKUKJ21TshP5u2G6dQMPNz2yUSc, I would be interested, thanks.

Update 2
Here is a full resolution version of the graph requested by u/rush717:
https://preview.redd.it/xwvn0l9yxxj11.png?width=2705&format=png&auto=webp&s=cc01b3bfc8aed64af4323a485e35ce459f498327


Update 3
MtGox vs SilkRoad origin and September 6th BTC price impact is now discussed here: https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/9dvaj1b_bitcoins_on_the_move_mtgox_vs_silkroad_origin/

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Surprisingly BTC price was pumping since those funds were starting to be transferred to Bitfinex and Binance wallets (see Binance transactions' list, August 11th)
How do you think this will impact the market?
Do you want me to continue this investigation? If yes let me know what you would want me to focus on.
submitted by sick_silk to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Is It Possible To Become A Crypto Millionaire?

Flamboyance, elegance, class, luxury, living lavish, name it all. These are the thoughts that come to every naive soul’s mind at the mention of wealth. It gets even more exhilarating if the wealth in this case is to the tune of millions or even billions. For some reason, being rich oftentimes goes together with power, fame and respect. There are a lot of ways to become a millionaire and, as the saying goes, someone can't become a millionaire over night but now it's made possible by the emerging market of cryptocurrency and blockchain. Cryptocurrency is an internet-based medium of exchange which uses cryptographical functions to conduct financial transactions. Cryptocurrencies leverage blockchain technology to gain decentralization, transparency, and immutability. The most important feature of a cryptocurrency is that it is not controlled by any central authority: the decentralized nature of the blockchain makes cryptocurrencies theoretically immune to the old ways of government control and interference. The big question is, is it possible to make millions on this newly acquired innovation? The answer is definitely "YES".
There’s a common theme among wealthy cryptocurrency investors and it’s all relative to how soon they invested or became involved in a project. Two age old sayings to ponder : the sooner the better and there’s no time like the present. As said in this article, Kingsley Advani, a 26 year old crypto millionaire, illustrates an interesting narrative that has developed in the fast-paced world of crypto tech. There are dozens of young people under the age of thirty that have realized the massive potential of blockchain technology and have invested, only to see their gambles pay off in a big way. The unique profit growth of these projects has allowed young people with relatively small amounts of capital to create legitimate wealth in a way that has rarely been seen before. Advani was first introduced to cryptocurrencies in 2012 by a friend and, despite the limited use of Bitcoin at the time to Silk Road, and Dark Web transactions, he saw that there was so much more this technology was capable of. He began digging into whitepapers and doing research on the technology that laid the foundation for the blockchain. Being a crypto millionaire is possible and it's not too late for someone to make money from it. Proper adaptation to this emerging market of cryptocurrency can bring a bright future everyone.
submitted by tradetoBusan to ICOAnalysis [link] [comments]

Man pays 50 bitcoins for 100 micrograms of acid using Silk Road

Man pays 50 bitcoins for 100 micrograms of acid using Silk Road submitted by salec1 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Nuvmining | Reasons That Bitcoin Cost Is So Unstable

Rate differences in the Bitcoin spot rate on the Bitcoin trading exchanges is driven by several factors. Volatility is assessed in classic markets by the Volatility Index, additionally called the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). Volatility in Bitcoin does not yet possess a totally approved index since cryptocurrency as an actual possession class is still in its starting phases, yet we do comprehend that Bitcoin is able of volatility in the type of 10x changes in rate contrasted to the United States buck, in a rather short amount of time. In this post are just a handful of the different factors in back of Bitcoin's volatility:
nuv mining
  1. Price of possession is influenced by negative press.
Information situations that discourage Bitcoin customers contain geopolitical events and declarations by government authorities that Bitcoin is more than likely to be regulated. Bitcoin's first adopters covered many mal stars, creating headline newspaper article that developed worst anxieties in investors. Heading creating Bitcoin information involves the personal bankruptcy of Mt. Gox in early 2014 as well as much more recently that of the South Korean market exchange Yapian Youbit, and others like the high profile utilize of Bitcoin in medicine deals via Silk Road that completed with the FBI shutdown of the market area in October 2013. All these events as well as the public panic that followed forced the value of Bitcoins contrasted to fiat currencies down swiftly. Nevertheless, Bitcoin respectful financiers saw all those occasions as proof that the industry was growing, generating the worth of Bitcoins vs the US buck substantially back up in the short period instantly complying with the info occasions.
nuvmining
  1. Bitcoin's acknowledged worth changes.
One cause why Bitcoin might change versus fiat stock markets is the recognized shop of worth vs the fiat money. Bitcoin has components that make it similar to gold. It is ruled by a layout resolution by the designers of the core technology to max capability its creation to a taken care of quantity, 21 million BTC. Because that varies substantially from fiat money exchange, which is handled by government authorities that intend to preserve reduced inflation, high employment, and appropriate development throughout investment in funding properties, as economies established with fiat values reveal indications of power or weakness, traders might mark basically of their properties right into Bitcoin.
  1. Way too much deviation in understanding of Bitcoin's store of worth and also method of worth.
Bitcoin changability is additionally driven in massive part by varying understandings of the implicit worth of the cryptocurrency as a conserve of worth as well as method of worth transfer. A shop of value is the action by that a possession can quickly be advantageous in the future using some predictability. A shop of value can easily be maintained as well as altered for some great or solution in the future. A method of value transfer is any example or principle used to move home in the sort of possessions from one entity to one more. Bitcoin's unpredictability at the here and now creates it a rather uncertain shop of value, yet it ensures nearly frictionless worth transfer. As these two chauffeurs of the recent area value of Bitcoin vary from the United States buck as well as other fiat foreign currencies, we see that Bitcoin's worth can move based on news occasions very much as we discover with fiat stock markets.
  1. Little selection worth to massive owners of the currency.
Bitcoin unpredictability is likewise somewhat driven by holders of huge proportions of the overall amazing float of the money. For Bitcoin investors with recent holdings above about $10M, it is not apparent exactly how they would eradicate a placement that big right into a fiat placement with out dramatically relocating the market. Considering that Bitcoin's amount resembles a tiny cap stock, the currency has not strike the mass market possession rates that might be called for to use choice value to huge owners of the cryptocurrency.
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Bitcoin Falls on Silk Road Sale -- CEX.io 51% Attack Nonsense -- TORcoin The Bitcoin Group #63 -- Coinbase $75M -- Silk Road Trial -- Bill Gates -- Winklevoss Exchange On the Silk Road: the Dark Side of Cryptocurrencies The Bitcoin Group #33 -- eBay, PayPal, Apple, Silk Road, Mt. Gox and Bitcoin BITCOIN DUMP WARNING - Bitcoin Today [July 9th 2020]

For better or for worse, Silk Road has been a fixture in the Bitcoin economy ever since the currency first caught the attention of the mainstream media in early 2011. The service is an online black marketplace for goods such as drugs, pirated digital goods, books on topics such as computer hacking and drug manufacture, counterfeits and forgeries, complete with an Ebay (or Bitmit)-style user ... But when bitcoins lose their value, investors cannot mine each bitcoin to pay off their loans—a fate that struck Mark Karpeles, a Tokyo-based owner of the world's largest Bitcoin exchange who ... Roger Clark, the alleged senior advisor to the Silk Road marketplace, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute massive quantities of narcotics. She doesn’t remember exactly how the Silk Road case got opened in New York, but she recalls Senator Chuck Schumer read a Wired article that prompted him to wonder why the marketplace was allowed ... Silk Road was an anonymous online trading platform located in the zone .onion of the anonymous tor network and worked from 2011 to 2013. Most of the products was to prove to delegate, however, recently site banned pair-the sale of raw details of bank cards, about money, children's section, personal data, services of a killer and a weapon.

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Bitcoin Falls on Silk Road Sale -- CEX.io 51% Attack Nonsense -- TORcoin

Bitcoin Cash currently trending on Stack Exchange Staging zone Bitcoin Cash was recently proposed as a new topic for the StackExchange website, a question and answer site home to household names ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue June 12, 2014 -- Atlanta, GA -- And now, for a MadBitcoins. Bitcoin in the Beltway Fundraiser Update More than 33 donors have donated more than 2.89 Bitcoins... Donate: 18EQEiQBK1X2DyDL5Y18j78iw4NuNHoLej Featuring... Chris Ellis (http://feathercoin.com), Will Pangman (http://bitcoinmke.org), M.K. Lords (http://bitcoi... Bitcoin may crash soon, we break it down in our in depth technical analysis. Cardano and Litecoin Maybe be working together in the future. In today's article we talk about Bitcoin jumping above ...

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