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Blockstream’s Liquid pushes for DeFi with new decentralized exchange

Bitcoin DeFi is coming, but it’s not really on Bitcoin.

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A decentralized exchange built on the Liquid network is opening for early access on Monday.

Called TDEX, the project has announced its entry into an Open Alpha stage. It’s being built by Sevenlabs — a firm that provides consulting and white-labeling services in addition to its current work.

The exchange provides a fairly unique twist to the Automated Market Makers currently dominating on-chain exchange volume. The TSWAP protocol used by the exchange focuses on ad-hoc atomic swaps, a way of conducting a trade between two counterparties without intermediaries. 

Unlike AMMs, there are no mathematical formulas involved that would force a particular exchange price. As Claudio Levrini, CEO of Sevenlabs, told Cointelegraph, “TDEX leaves to the liquidity provider full control on using a fixed price strategy or add external price feeds and custom trading logic.” The flipside of this is that providing liquidity on the platform is likely to be more involved than on platforms like Uniswap.

Atomic swaps are often proposed as a decentralized method for exchanging assets on Bitcoin and other UTXO blockchains. While adoption has been limited so far, the Taproot and Schnorr proposals could allow simpler mechanisms through Adaptor signatures. 

Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, said that “TDEX is an exciting example of the increasing number of DeFi solutions emerging on Liquid — or as we like to call it, LiFi.”

But the relative level of centralization on Liquid has been the subject of criticism in the past, especially in the context of introducing concepts traditionally associated with Ethereum like non-fungible tokens.

Liquid is a Bitcoin sidechain that relies on a federation of “functionaries” to both ensure a peg to Bitcoin and validate the network. These functionaries are business entities tied to Bitcoin, primarily exchanges. The federation and design of the peg system present a significant point of trust in the network, as an incident in June briefly made Blockstream the sole controller of 870 BTC in network reserves.

Some in the Bitcoin community often push for creating “Bitcoin DeFi” that could open the network to the world of decentralized trading and lending which, until now, has primarily been seen on Ethereum.

Atomic Loans is currently among the only projects that uses native Bitcoin as collateral for borrowing, though it uses Ethereum for the rest of its logic. Other “Bitcoin DeFi” projects include MoneyOnChain, a MakerDAO analog on RSK, and now, TDEX. 

None of these projects are built natively on Bitcoin, primarily due to smart contract limitations. These same limitations make it difficult to create trustless bridges to the blockchain, forcing sidechains to adopt federated peg mechanisms. 

But demand for Bitcoin in DeFi is clearly strong, as evidenced by the success of WBTC. There is more Bitcoin locked on Ethereum than in Liquid and the Lightning Network combined. It remains to be seen if demand for DeFi on Liquid will be as strong.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockstreams-liquid-pushes-for-defi-with-new-decentralized-exchange

Blockchain

TrustToken and Syscoin Partner on a Stablecoin Bridge

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Decentralized marketplace and e-commerce protocol Syscoin has partnered with the stablecoin platform TrustToken.

The goal of the collaboration is to speed up payments and to provide further solutions to Ethereum’s blockchain. It also means that the five stablecoins of TrustToken, namely TUSD, TGBP, THKD, TCAD, and TAUD, will run on Syscoin’s blockchain and be available for users.

A Collaboration Between Syscoin and TrustToken

According to a release shared with CryptoPotato, the popular decentralized marketplace and e-commerce protocol Syscoin has teamed up with stablecoin platform TrustToken.

Right off the bat, this means that the stablecoins provided by the platform will now run on Syscoin’s blockchain as well. These are TUSD, TGBP, THKD, TCAD, and TAUD.

Stablecoins have grown in popularity over the past few months, mainly because of the DeFi boom, where they are used to enable staking, liquidity provision, and so forth. However, there was also an obvious challenge with all of it – scaling. Supposedly, Syscoin is intended to help with that. Using Z-DAG (Zero Confirmation Directed Acyclic Graph), the protocol claims to be able to settle transactions in less than 10 seconds with comparatively low fees.

The partnership will also enable users to mine two cryptocurrencies at the same time – SYS and BTC.

Distribution of the Roles

While Syscoin’s task would be scalability, TrustToken comes in for the stablecoin part. It’s a platform that aims at an open financial system through a selection of stablecoins.

The stablecoins it offers are collateralized, and it has also partnered with Chainlink, as well as other protocols.

The overall partnership is aimed at creating a solution for scalable and secure token payments at a lower risk interoperability with Ethereum’s network. It should make TrustToken’s stablecoins function quicker and cheaper following the enabling of the bridge.

Speaking on the matter was Syscoin’s Foundation Chairman Jag Sidhu, who said:

“Digital assets have growing needs for better usability, robust decentralized security, and a scalable way of ensuring every transaction complies with regulations. Syscoin uniquely aligns with all of these requirements. We look forward to TrustToken’s family of stablecoins becoming future-proof and gaining significant advantage with Syscoin.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/trusttoken-and-syscoin-partner-on-a-stablecoin-bridge/

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Visa And BlockFi Partner To Release A Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

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  • The US-based cryptocurrency lending company BlockFi has partnered with the American multinational financial services corporation Visa to bring Bitcoin to the masses.
  • Bloomberg reported that the two US companies will offer a credit card that rewards clients’ purchases with the primary cryptocurrency, instead of traditional options such as cash and airline miles.
  • Dubbed the Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card, it will allow customers to receive 1.5% of their purchases back in BTC. 
  • Should the user spend more than $3,000 in the first three months after receiving the card, he will be entitled to a bonus of $250 in bitcoin. However, the innovative card will come with a $200 annual fee.
  • Evolve Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Evolve Bancorp Inc, will be the card’s issuer. All three parties involved plan to launch the card in early 2021.
  • Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BlockFi, Zac Prince, commented that his company is “excited to add credit cards to our suite of products and expand Bitcoin’s accessibility to a broader set of customers.”
  • With the BlockFi partnership, Visa has doubled-down on its endeavors with bitcoin-related collaborations. Earlier this year, the US giant and the BTC-friendly shopping app Fold launched a Visa co-branded debit card that rewards users with up to 10% of BTC back for every dollar purchase on retailers like Hotels.com, Nike, Starbucks, and Uber. 
  • BlockFi raised $50 million in Series C funding earlier this year, and Morgan Creek Capital’s Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano joined its board of directors.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/visa-and-blockfi-partner-to-release-a-bitcoin-rewards-credit-card/

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Australian Crypto Exchange Accidentally Exposes Over 270,000 Customer Emails

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The Australian cryptocurrency exchange, BTC Markets, has inadvertently exposed more than 270,000 emails of its customers. The company apologized for the inconvenience and reassured that all other data, including users’ funds, is safe.

BTC Markets Exposes Customers’ Emails

A user going by the Twitter handle Stevosxrp.crypto took it to Jack Dorsey’s social media giant and Reddit to first complain about BTC Markets’ screw up. The Australian-based exchange later confirmed the breach on its official Twitter account.

The statement explained that BTC Markets “uses an external system to send client-wide emails.” Although the exchange has used this service for years “without an incident,” including sending test mails, this time, the testing “didn’t pick up that the sample email addresses in the batch were added to the same email, rather than sent individually.”

Consequently, the names and email addresses of account holders were exposed. BTC Markets claimed that this process was instant; therefore, “it was not possible to stop the batch send once the error was realized.”

The CEO of BTC Markets, Caroline Bowler, later revealed that all account holders were affected because the emails were sent in batches.

Funds Are SAFU, But The Damage Is Done

The exchange said that it will “self-report” to the Office of Australian Information Commissioner and “fully comply with the data breach reporting requirements.” Furthermore, the company plans to conduct an internal review.

Despite the data leak, BTC Markets reassured its users that the platform is still secure, no passwords were revealed, and all customers’ funds are safe.

Nevertheless, the exchange suggested that users’ should enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to enhance the security of their accounts.

None of those reassurances seemed to have an effect on the users, though. The Twitter thread explanation was met with numerous complaints from customers.

While most highlighted their disappointment with having their personal emails and names revealed, some took it a step further. One user claimed that the BTC Markets’ name is “now as good as dog s**t.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/australian-crypto-exchange-accidentally-exposes-over-270000-customer-emails/

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