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Life beyond Ethereum: What layer-one blockchains are bringing to DeFi

Republished by Plato



Issues with Ethereum congestion and high fees have led to many companies adopting layer-one solutions like Optimistic Rollups, OMG Network and many others. These platforms allow transactions to be created outside of the Ethereum network on what are known as “sidechains,” which then can be reconciled on the main Ethereum network in one simple transaction.

These layer-two options are gaining a lot of traction in anticipation of the release of Ethereum 2.0, which aims to solve the current high gas fees through sharding and splitting transactions throughout multiple blockchains.

Many projects have been adopting both layer-one and layer-two solutions to give users alternatives to the current demanding fees seen on the Ethereum blockchain. Among these projects, decentralized exchanges like SushiSwap and 1inch stand out. Sergej Kunz, co-founder of 1inch Network, told Cointelegraph: “We are ready to expand to any other blockchain with enough DEXes, tokens and users. No matter if it is a separate blockchain like BSC, NEAR, TRON, Solana or it is an L2 solution like Optimism or zkSync.”

Binance Smart Chain: Complimenting while competing

In the meantime, layer-one projects like Binance Smart Chain, or BSC, give users cheaper and faster trading and liquidity provision options. BSC is one of the most popular alternatives to Ethereum, due to all of the advancements already made by Binance. Zhenwu Shi, founder of InfStones — one of the top 10 validators on the BSC network — told Cointelegraph:

“Making a transaction on BSC only takes $0.1 and is confirmed within 5 seconds, while it takes $20 and a few minutes on Ethereum. Such excellent performance has attracted a lot of developers to migrate their projects to BSC. Moreover, Binance is dedicating a significant amount of engineering resources on developing BSC, and the technology progress of BSC is much faster than other projects.”

While BSC can be seen as Ethereum’s current number-one competitor, there are other ways of looking at the present scenario. BSC provides an alternative for projects and users that frees up space on the Ethereum chain and allows for cheaper gas prices on this currently overburdened blockchain. Some, however, have slammed BSC for being centralized, so there are many factors to consider when thinking about efficiency and decentralization.

Many believe that the future of blockchain and smart contract platforms will be distributed once there is no single project that will hold total domain over the market. Multiple projects will have different advantages and features to offer users. Sometimes, even branding can make projects stand out from each other. As so, it’s unlikely that Ethereum will remain the dominant decentralized finance powerhouse it has been so far. Ilya Abugov, an advisor to a DeFi data platform DappRadar, told Cointelegraph:

“ETH 2.0 is significantly far away that competing blockchains can establish their own ecosystems. When ETH 2.0 launches, it will likely be just one of the options for project teams. It should improve things for the Ethereum ecosystem, but it will not take things back to Ethereum as the only viable option.”

A community-driven project, Cardano

Many other projects offer different approaches to smart contract and DeFi technology that may compete with and complement the current paradigm that has so far been dominated by Ethereum, which has achieved a strong network effect. Alongside BSC, Cardano is often viewed as one of the leading contenders to Ethereum.

The Cardano community has a passion, and the community has seen rapid expansion. Love him or hate him, Charles Hoskinson can move a crowd. Cardano was built from the ground up with the backing of academic research. Many in the blockchain industry consider Cardano to be one of the best-designed blockchains in the crypto space. The industry heavily criticized Cardano for its initial slow development. However, as the system becomes operational, the thought, planning and engineering may allow for rapid acceleration and adoption.

Cardano is one of the pioneers in an emerging contract model, extended UTXO. Extended UTXO builds on the “box” transaction framework that was brought to market by Bitcoin. However, UTXO boxes gain custom logic and programmability. Rather than the contract model, which gained adoption starting with Ethereum, the extended UTXO has a unique property by which the majority of the contract logic does not run on the blockchain itself. The extended UTXO model prevents the chain bloat that account-model smart contracts accumulate.

The extended UTXO model is relatively new. However, many researchers believe it is equivalent to moving from 8 bit to 64 bit. Some had speculated that Cardano’s real challenge to compete with BSC and Ethereum might as well be the path to mass developer adoption of this new model, as it is relatively new. The Plutus testnet certainly puts these fears to rest, as there have been overwhelming interest and signups before its launch.

The extended UTXO alliance in Ergo

Ergo is a project that lacks the hype-driven marketing that tends to be so prevalent in the crypto space. Perhaps this is because its research-first approach and high-level content produce a lot of confusion for the average crypto investor.

Ergo is a proof-of-work, or PoW, smart contract blockchain, and was the first blockchain to introduce the extended UTXO smart contract model. This led to a strategic research partnership with Emurgo and IOG, the two primary companies building Cardano. Joint research has created oracle pools, a radical new approach to broadcasting read-only oracle data in the blockchain space.

NIPoPoW’s, or non-interactive proofs of proof-of-work, allow full PoW node security on ultra-light client environments, mainly cell phones. The founder and core developer of the Ergo platform, Alexander “Kushti” Chepurnoy, told Cointelegraph:

“Ergo is acting in a Bitcoin-like UTXO model, which is far more friendly to known scalability and privacy solutions than Ethereum and other account based block chains. Ergo has native tokens, not contract based, which is cheaper. Also, it is enforcing developers to do computations off-chain, with just necessary checks and minimal storage to be on-chain, achieving rollups level of blockchain bloat compression.”

The path to PoW full node security on mobile devices and potentially wearables is undoubtedly an exciting development. Joint research has also built the framework for an extended UTXO algorithmic stablecoin protocol, AgeUSD. The AgeUSD protocol can be customized to be a derivative representing any asset or commodity with relative ease.

While Ergo is not a native privacy coin, it already has one of the most advanced layer-two privacy applications on the blockchain: a noninteractive mixer. Ergo was launched with Schnorr signatures called sigma protocols.

The Ergo/Cardano alliance certainly is something that can drive further development. After completing the Goguen rollout, joint sidechain research may plug these two chains together, creating an extended UTXO network, bringing together the strengths of both PoW and proof-of-stake blockchains.


Waves is a blockchain protocol that seeks to create a larger ecosystem of interconnected blockchains. Solving this fragmentation and interconnection, the blockchains’ cumulative functionality is one of Waves’ critical points of focus. Rather than squeeze everything into one chain, the solution lies in interchain interaction that is genuinely blockchain agnostic, without a new native token, but with its tokenomics based on participating chains’ respective economies.

When asked about the advantages being brought to DeFi by Waves as a layer-one protocol, the head of growth at Waves, Max Pertsovskiy, told Cointelegraph that since the smart contract scripts are not Turing complete, it is easy to predict their complexity, and as such, “A blockchain transaction fee doesn’t depend upon what script is used and is fixed at 0.005 WAVES, or $0.05 at the current exchange rate.” He added further:

“Another factor is staking, which, thanks to the Waves protocol’s underlying LPoS consensus algorithm, facilitates locking WAVES coins at 6% annually and, based on that, building attractive DeFi mechanics, as the Neutrino team has done.”

The blockchain space is famous for its tribalism — one chain to rule them all. The Waves protocol is working to develop gateways that remove borders to interconnect the blockchains. Waves would allow each blockchain to potentially hyper-specialize while evolving together as a whole. However, it is debatable whether the different tribes will unite and form a society.

Is DeFi adoption here to stay?

It is hard to say with any level of certainty what the future of DeFi will look like. The current DeFi environment has many notable projects all building toward a common goal. The race might be decided by technology, or perhaps community adoption, or maybe use will be the deciding factor.

It’s worth noting that, much like traditional finance, the world of DeFi may have room for many competing and collaborative solutions. For example, Polkadot believes this to be the case and focuses heavily on building interoperability solutions.

One thing is clear: The increasing level of research, innovation and adoption certainly shows that the DeFi movement is only going to grow. Michael Gord, managing director at the XDB Foundation — a nonprofit organization focused on supporting DigitalBits and related technologies — told Cointelegraph:

“Over the past year, the industry has more than proven its ability to hyperconnect all manners of network participants, and now, there are more places than ever to build. We are witnessing the rise of protocol layer blockchains, such as Polkadot, Cardano, Stellar and DigitalBits.”

Gord believes that the future of DeFi is not about one chain or the other but about a cross-chain one. Though difficult, “Cross-chain solutions are absolutely imperative to keeping DeFi truly open.”

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A pillar of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Robert J. Brown, will keynote a global blockchain leadership event.

Republished by Plato



Blockchain and Liberty for All

Broadcast live from Washington DC, June 18-19, 2021, with contributions from chapters around the globe, GBA will virtually present its’ annual state of the union to the world. The GBA global leadership team will present their blockchain results so far and discuss where we are headed for the next decade. 

The featured Keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Brown will share his wisdom gained from decades of working with world leaders, industry titans, and civil rights leaders. The Washington Post called him a “World Class Power Broker”. Just some of his many accomplishments include:

  • Key advisor to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • Involved in the Robert Kennedy campaign
  • Special Assistant to President Richard Nixon
  • Close friend and confidant of Nelson Mandela 
  • Consulted with many prominent US corporations on race relations and crisis management
  • Worked on the committee that established the legislation creating the Office of Minority Business Enterprise within the US Department of Commerce
  • He signed the documents that increased funding for historical black colleges & universities under President Nixon
  • Serves on the boards of numerous universities and corporations 
  • He holds eleven honorary doctorate degrees from prestigious institutions of higher learning.

Dr. Brown has handled communications and race relations during pivotal moments of the civil rights movement. His ability to build bridges between Democrats and Republicans during the Civil Rights heyday, makes him an exceptional choice for blockchain leaders who will face inevitable backlash as this technology revolutionizes the landscape for many in power. How are we to move forward in a respectful and mutually beneficial manner? 

As blockchain technology continues to disrupt every industry, GBA influencers will need to hear the lessons learned from this icon of history.

The Government Blockchain Association, (GBA), is honored to have Dr. Brown as a keynote speaker for Blockchain and Liberty for All.

Political freedom must be accompanied by economic freedom for people to be truly free. Blockchain Technology is a new frontier in the economic landscape.” -Gerard Dache, Executive Director, GBA


You do not want to miss this event. For more information, go to

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TrustSwap Launchpad hosts token offering for RegTech platform Sekuritance

Republished by Plato



Sekuritance, a CeFi/DeFi ecosystem delivering compliance, regulatory, transaction monitoring, and identity management solutions, is collaborating with TrustSwap, a full-service blockchain asset platform, to support the execution of its SKRT token offering starting on May 8th, 2021 at 9:00 AM PST.

Introducing Sekuritance

The cryptocurrency economy has taken the world by storm and it is here to stay. Just like traditional finance, the risk of fraud, misuse, abuse also exists in the crypto space. Due to the decentralized and semi-anonymous nature of blockchain, these factors can be compounded resulting in hesitation of adoption by financial regulators and banking institutions. While there may not yet be a bulletproof solution, there are ways to mitigate risk and potential losses, and blacklisting.

Most people who are active in the DeFi space are also using some form of traditional banking service (credit cards, bank accounts, mortgage/insurance payments, retail commerce, etc.). When crypto proceeds start moving between these realms, the banks and regulators want to know where the money came from, whether it has been declared or taxed effectively, whether it has passed through unauthorized darknet services, and so many more questions needing specific answers. In the event that any of the above questions result negatively, the traditional finance ecosystem is most likely to reject the onboarding or the use of those proceeds to pass through their networks.

The Sekuritance RegTech Suite addresses this by making available specific services and modules to address the various regulatory and compliance requirements.

Sekuritance recognizes that there are many jurisdictional challenges in the RegTech niche so, rather than competing with other software-as-a-service providers in the RegTech industry, they are invited to make their API offerings available also through the Sekuritance Partner Marketplace so that merchants and individuals around the world can enjoy an All-In-One RegTech Gateway.

Sekuritance Ecosystem

The Sekuritance ecosystem is comprised of 8 main products:

1. Sekur.Vault (Data Tokenisation Vault)

Sekur.Vault is a unique omni-vault, audited to the highest level of industry security standards and tweaked to not only store what is commonly referred to as “Rubbish In, Rubbish Out” but to add value to the output upon retrieval by cross-consumption of the other Sekuritance modules such as BIN checks, KYC checks, AML checks and more.

The platform’s robust and simple to use API set and dedicated user interface allows the secure storage of Card Data (Debit, Credit, Alternate); Crypto Wallet Private & Public Keys; Sensitive Personal Data; Confidential Corporate Data; KYC, KYB Related Data; Transaction Data for BI and AI and more.

2. Sekur.MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)

This omni-auth module caters primarily to 3D Secure services for the traditional card payment industry. Development has also started for an on-chain decentralized identity management and claiming process. Our own unique acquirer-agnostic 3D Solution allows merchants to validate and process 3D checks (both versions 1 and 2) before taking payment.

3. Sekur.Connect (RegTech Marketplace)

The Sekuritance RegTech SekurSuite platform is a powerful toolkit on its own but trying to stay ahead of all the global jurisdictions, updates to regulations and policies, AML guidelines, etc. is a mammoth task. So, rather than try to outsmart all the other valuable and recognized players in the industry, Sekuritance is creating a RegTech marketplace where software-as-a-service providers and developers can showcase their solutions and participate in the SKRT token economy.

4. Sekur.Alert

Sekur.Alert functionality connects to specialized datasets to help keep our customers safe and help them ensure that they are doing business with wallets and identities of good standing. To help grow this dataset, the crypto community is invited to report any fraudulent activity to Sekuritance so that the whole community can be better protected. Every new unique and verified report gets to participate in the SKRT Loyalty and Reward program.

5. Sekur.Transact

KYC, KYB, KYT, AML, Sanction Screening, and other rule engine applications are all available on the Sekuritance platform. Businesses and institutions can use these tools to identify who customers are and their eligibility for specific product offerings. They can use the Sekuritance RegTech platform to get transaction and IP “Risk Scores” and sub-scores as well as other data in order to prevent fraud and abuse.

7. Sekur.Trace

The anonymity of cryptocurrencies is a myth. Very few mixing services can outwit modern de-anonymization technologies for Bitcoin tracking and other cryptocurrency alternatives. No one has a clear understanding of how fast the RegTech niche will be evolving but one thing beyond question — regulation of the cryptocurrency space will tighten and all will have to accept the new rules and play by them.

Sekuritance strives to become one of the leading vendors of RegTech solutions for the crypto and fiat industry and believes that the openness of financial data on blockchains will be a driver for regulatory institutions to reinforce control. With a powerful blockchain analytics toolset like Sekuritance, regulatory bodies could end money laundering and make financial reporting easy and transparent.

8. Sekur.Certify

The Sekuritance Sekur.Certify Blockchain Wallet Verification service allows for a user to claim controlling power certification on a particular wallet once a number of actions would have been performed, KYC & AML checks confirmed and crypto investigation on the wallet completed.

Details of Sekuritance Token Offering

The Sekuritance token offering will be executed by leveraging the TrustSwap Launchpad. Upon the successful conclusion of the offering, a Uniswap pool will be created on May 13th, 2021, and trading can commence for use of SKRT in the Sekuritance network. Alongside the offering, Sekuritance will be showcasing a preview of its RegTech Suite and Partner Platform.

TrustSwap technology utilizes secure peer-to-peer transactions via TrustSwap SmartLaunch; which ensures that Sekuritance and its community can transact securely and without fear of participants or team members negatively impacting the markets following the public offering. TrustSwap’s time-based SmartLock ensures a methodical distribution to mitigate the risk of unauthorized token transfers.

Sekuritance will use TrustSwap SmartLocks for:

  • Team token vesting
  • Token holder vesting
  • Liquidity locks

For more information about Sekuritance visit

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Shanghai Man: VeChain on TV, DOGE flips BTC volume, Hotbit hack and more …

Republished by Plato



This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.

Will DOGEmania ever stop?

Dogecoin has officially flipped Bitcoin in a few categories here in China, with DOGE trading volume on leading Chinese exchange Huobi surpassing that of leading assets ETH and BTC. On May 6th, according to CoinGecko, DOGE volume made up more than 15% of total exchange volume, whereas BTC and ETH were around 8% each. Searches for ‘Dogecoin’ on WeChat surpassed searches for Bitcoin, with 2.3 million versus 1.7 million on May 5th. Dogecoin has become increasingly appealing to the Chinese retail community since earlier this year as many are attracted to the virality and get-rich-quick potential of the colorful DOGE community.

Hacking attempt fails, but causes a major ruckus

Centralized exchange Hotbit was the victim of a hacking attempt on April 30th. The good news was that assets appear to be safe on the platform. The bad news was that user data was compromised, leading to a corrupted database. Trading, deposits and withdrawals have all been paused while the exchange attempts to restore normality. The Chinese exchange has been communicating actively via Twitter, with the interrupted service lasting potentially another week. Hotbit is well known for listing a diverse range of assets, making it a popular spot among more risk averse investors.

Shenzhen-based HOO launches Smart Chain contender became yet another exchange to launch an Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM-based, smart chain, attempting to bridge their CeFi users into the DeFi space. The chain, currently in testnet, boasts low fees of just 0.001 USD per transaction and over 500+ transactions per second, as well as compatibility with Ethereum, BSC, and HECO. Since the start of the year, Hoo’s token has increased by over 350%. Other Chinese exchanges, including OKEx and Gate, have also launched smart chains. Smart chains are proving an attractive way to let users maximize yield while still letting the exchange capture value from the process.

VeChain on national TV

English-language and state-run business channel CGTN created a short expository video on blockchain’s growth post-COVID19. The video and article featured a close look at VeChain’s progress in developing business solutions, explaining how the technology could be applied to the food safety and infection control industry. The media company shot a short video inside the office and interviewed a few of the developers, indicating that the company has done well to comply with regulatory requirements in the tightly run country. It’s no secret that VeChain has a top position and close relationship with many government backed organizations, which is an enviable position for any enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service provider.

Rising salaries for blockchain devs

The Beijing Human Resources and Social Security Bureau recently released the 2021 Beijing Human Resources Market Salary Survey Report (First Quarterly)”. According to the report, new and hot jobs, which included the tech space, had a median average monthly salary mainly in the $3,000 to $4,600 range. Blockchain engineers comfortably eclipsed that with a wage of $6,700 per month, showing the growing demand for the skills. By contrast, the average annual salary of a blockchain developer in the U.S. often exceeds $12,500 per month, according to recruitment firm, nearly double the going rate in Beijing.

Miners back up and running… away?

Mining appears to have resumed as normal following the outages after a deadly coal mine accident last month. The incident required rigorous inspections of mining facilities, forcing many ASIC miners to turn off their machines. Hashrates have currently recovered to near the rates they were prior to the incident in the middle of April. One interesting shift, however, is that the industry appears to be gradually shifting from China to North America. F2Pool founder Chun Wang noted that for the first time in 8 years, more than half the BTC hashing power was coming from outside of China. This may have been partially tied to the incident, but is a trend that many experts are following as mining regulations in China appear to be growing stricter.

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