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The Human Rights Foundation Is Now Funding Bitcoin Privacy Development, Starting With CoinSwap

The Human Rights Foundation has launched a fund to support development that makes Bitcoin more private. To start, $50,000 will go to the developer of CoinSwap.

The post The Human Rights Foundation Is Now Funding Bitcoin Privacy Development, Starting With CoinSwap appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) was already promoting Bitcoin’s privacy features. Now, it will also fund the development of them.

HRF, the New York-based nonprofit that promotes and protects human rights globally, has launched a fund to support Bitcoin developers who make the Bitcoin network more private, decentralized and resilient. The first grant, worth close to $50,000, has been gifted to London-based Bitcoin developer Chris Belcher to realize an implementation of his CoinSwap protocol. A second grant of the same size will be announced soon.

“At the moment, the Bitcoin network is improving but is far from as usable and private as it needs to be with authoritarianism and surveillance on the rise in many countries,” said Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation. “With more support, developers like Chris can make it possible for activists to receive donations and continue their important work under increased pressure.”

A Grant to Make Bitcoin More Private

The Human Rights Foundation was founded in 2005 by Venezuelan film producer and human rights advocate Thor Halvorssen Mendoza, and is currently chaired by Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. It has been a strong advocate for Bitcoin and its privacy features for some time, with Gladstein in particular frequently promoting the digital currency as a financial tool for human rights activists, civil society organizations and journalists living under oppressive regimes.

“Human rights defenders and reporters around the world face increasing financial repression in the form of frozen bank accounts, restrictions on foreign funding, payment surveillance and general difficulty in earning income or receiving donations,” Gladstein said. “Bitcoin can be a powerful tool for them to use moving forward alongside encrypted messaging apps like Signal and projects like Tor Browser and SecureDrop.”

The Human Rights Foundation was contacted last week by a private individual (who preferred not to have their name disclosed) who heard of the Human Rights Foundation and Gladstein’s work on Bitcoin, and wished to donate $100,000 to Bitcoin development. The money was gifted with no strings attached, trusting that the foundation would find a good home for it. The HRF in turn wanted to award two Bitcoin projects in line with the organization’s own goals.

To pick the recipients, the Human Rights Foundation conducted an informal poll among Bitcoin privacy experts to find two projects that are furthering Bitcoin’s privacy, decentralization and resilience. Belcher and his recent CoinSwap proposal came up as a unanimous suggestion, Gladstein said.

“CoinSwap stands out because, if a robust mobile wallet could be developed with native integration, it would give transacting parties a much higher degree of privacy and protection from chain analysis,” he explained.

How CoinSwap Can Improve Bitcoin Privacy

CoinSwap is a privacy technique first proposed in 2013 by former Bitcoin Core developer and Blockstream cofounder Gregory Maxwell. Leveraging Atomic Swaps, the trick that also enables the Lightning Network, users can essentially exchange coins without revealing any link between the exchanged coins, and without the swap being identifiable as such on the Bitcoin blockchain.

If done right, that is.

Belcher, one of the world’s foremost experts in Bitcoin privacy, recently published a detailed outline of how the CoinSwap technique could, in fact, be done right. The developer — who previously authored the Bitcoin privacy guide and helmed development of both JoinMarket and the Electrum Personal Server — addressed a range of potential privacy leaks, and envisioned a JoinMarket-type of liquidity market to mix coins. (Additional solutions include multi-transaction swaps to counter amount correlation, transaction routing to avoid single points of trust for privacy and fidelity bonds to make denial-of-service attacks costly.)

A working CoinSwap implementation would represent another big step forward for Bitcoin privacy. Although tools like CoinJoin are out there, and do offer privacy, these do often still reveal that the tools themselves were used. CoinSwap transactions, in contrast, could be made indistinguishable from regular transactions. This not only benefits CoinSwap users themselves, but everyone else too, as blockchain analysts could no longer safely assume that regular-looking transactions were in fact regular transactions — they might just as well have been CoinSwap transactions.

“The Human Rights Foundation teaches activists in authoritarian countries how to use cypherpunk technology like Signal, encryption and more… and a lot of these activists also have a use for Bitcoin because they keep getting banned from having bank accounts,” Belcher told Bitcoin Magazine. “Obviously if they used Bitcoin without privacy, their governments can spy on their transactions and cause them problems. Privacy tools like CoinSwap can help with that.”

Belcher plans to realize his CoinSwap protocol both as a standalone application and a software library that other wallets can use to add it as a feature. He will be developing it as a software project to which anyone can contribute, and hopes to have a minimal viable product ready in about six to nine months.

“The Human Rights Foundation fund directly helps the CoinSwap project,” Belcher said. “Sometimes I would do freelance coding work unrelated to Bitcoin when I needed the money. With grants and donations like this I won’t need to do that, and can instead just focus on the CoinSwap project and Bitcoin privacy.”

More Bitcoin Privacy Development to Come

The fund’s second gift, also worth close to $50,000, has already been earmarked for another developer, who’s working on strengthening Bitcoin pseudonymity at the network level, and will be announced by the Human Rights Foundation in the near future.

The grants represent the first donations to Bitcoin development from a human rights group, and some of the first from a non-profit organization. Adding to several for-profit companies that fund Bitcoin development, Gladstein hopes that more non-profits will follow in the future, adding to the diversification of the Bitcoin development ecosystem.

“In today’s world, Bitcoin developers are often free agents, relying almost exclusively on the generosity of exchanges and corporations,” said Gladstein. “Hopefully, HRF’s fund can inspire other organizations in the non-profit and academic space to support Bitcoin research and software development.”

Moving forward, the organization will continue to raise support for Bitcoin development on a rolling basis via a crowdfunding campaign. Any donations will be used to support individuals or teams working on specific projects to help improve the Bitcoin network. The fund will aim to support worthy projects on an ongoing basis. Ninety-five percent of donations will go directly to the winning developers, while 5 percent will support the foundation’s human rights advocacy in general.

Proposals for future grants from the Human Rights Foundation can be sent to dev.fund@hrf.org. Belcher also accepts donations for his CoinSwap development on his own funding page.

The post The Human Rights Foundation Is Now Funding Bitcoin Privacy Development, Starting With CoinSwap appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/the-human-rights-foundation-is-now-funding-bitcoin-privacy-development-starting-with-coinswap?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-human-rights-foundation-is-now-funding-bitcoin-privacy-development-starting-with-coinswap

Blockchain

Opimas estimates that over US$190 billion worth of Bitcoin is currently at risk due to subpar safekeeping

Republished by Plato

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May 2021. Safekeeping of cryptocurrencies presents a challenge for institutions holding cryptocurrencies on their clients’ behalf. Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible and anyone with full access to a wallet’s private key controls the cryptocurrencies that reside within it. Frighteningly, a number of institutional participants and even some large cryptocurrency exchanges rely on subpar custody approaches, leading Opimas to estimate that over US$190 billion worth of Bitcoin is currently at risk due to subpar safekeeping.

Luckily, a number of companies have emerged to address this problem. A new research report from Opimas—Crypto Custody: No More Excuses, authored by analysts Suzannah Balluffi and Anne-Laure Foubert—looks at the landscape of cryptocurrency custody-enabling technology providers and institutional-grade cryptocurrency custodians as well as the size of the market for cryptocurrency custody and brokerage services.

Some key findings in the report include:

Many of even the largest holders of Bitcoin and other digital assets continue to rely on storage devices meant for individual investors. Although some of these self-custody devices and wallets are secure and reputable, the operational risk posed by this approach is significant for institutional investors. Furthermore, a chunk of institutionals’ cryptocurrency holdings sit in hot wallets on exchanges. In total, about 22% of institutional cryptocurrency holdings are safeguarded in these relatively risky manners (Figure 1).

Figure 1. CUSTODY METHODS UTILIZED BY INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS 

 

Source: Opimas analysis.

There are no more excuses for lackadaisical safekeeping – institutions can now choose from several reputable cryptocurrency custody-enabling technology providers and institutional-grade cryptocurrency custodians. Yet no custody solution is equal – there is still no best practice when it comes to security and governance relating to private keys. For example, some providers may rely on time-tested Hardware Security Modules (HSMs), while others use a newer technology known as Multi-Party Computation (MPC) – see Figure 2.

Figure 2. A COMPARISON OF HSM AND MPC TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS

Source: Ledger, Fireblocks, Opimas analysis.

Some cryptocurrency custodians have followed in the footsteps of traditional capital markets by adding prime brokerage services to their offerings, including trading and settlement, lending, margin finance, staking, reporting, and capital introduction services. Opimas estimates that the current annual revenues generated by the institutional crypto brokerage and custody market are roughly US$2 billion and will grow to nearly US$8 billion by 2026 – a sizeable portion of this coming from brokerage services (Figure 3).

FIGURE 3. THE MARKET FOR CRYPTO CUSTODY & PRIME BROKERAGE SERVICES IS GROWING 

Source:  Opimas analysis. 

  • Regulations surrounding institutions’ ability to store cryptocurrency have become clearer (and in some cases more favorable) in numerous jurisdictions. Notably, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ruling in the US has allowed banks to store cryptocurrencies for their customers. This regulatory clarity has led a number of financial institutions around the world to provide trading and custody for digital assets. With the advances in brokerage and custody solutions, Opimas expects institutional cryptocurrency holdings to grow from 20% of the cryptocurrency market cap to over 50% by 2026 (Figure 4).

FIGURE 4. INstitutional cryptocurrency holdings over time 

Source:  Opimas analysis.

Source: PlatoData Intelligence

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Blockchain

Kraken Daily Market Report for May 08 2021

Republished by Plato

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Overview


  • Total spot trading volume at $2.86 billion, 9% higher than the 30-day average of $2.63 billion.
  • Total futures notional at $797.5 million.
  • The top five traded coins were, respectively, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Tether and Ethereum Classic.
  • Strong returns from Gnosis (+14%) and Ethereum (+12%).

May 08, 2021 
 $2.86B traded across all markets today
 Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP, CHF, AUD 
ETH 
$3914.1 
↑12% 
$797.5M
XBT 
$58953. 
↑2.7% 
$795.7M
XDG 
$0.6368 
↓7.6% 
$636.4M
USDT 
$1.0014 
↑0.05% 
$285.3M
ETC 
$128.55 
↑7.0% 
$104.4M
ADA 
$1.6234 
↓1.9% 
$79.3M
LTC 
$347.39 
↑0.6% 
$50.5M
XRP 
$1.5653 
↓1.0% 
$48.7M
DOT 
$39.923 
↑0.07% 
$43.9M
BCH 
$1400.7 
↑4.4% 
$42.4M
USDC 
$1.0 
↑0.0% 
$40.4M
LINK 
$48.693 
↓1.3% 
$30.8M
EOS 
$10.361 
↓0.26% 
$29.7M
TRX 
$0.1431 
↓3.0% 
$17.1M
FLOW 
$28.668 
↓2.9% 
$16.1M
SC 
$0.0405 
↓4.7% 
$15.6M
STORJ 
$2.2312 
↓0.4% 
$14.7M
ATOM 
$29.510 
↑3.0% 
$11.8M
XLM 
$0.6155 
↓2.5% 
$11.6M
DASH 
$409.86 
↑1.3% 
$11.2M
XTZ 
$6.9881 
↓1.3% 
$10.0M
QTUM 
$25.576 
↓4.3% 
$9.83M
XMR 
$476.08 
↑4.6% 
$9.7M
KSM 
$435.0 
↑1.3% 
$7.39M
ZEC 
$315.75 
↓1.3% 
$6.91M
FIL 
$148.15 
↓1.4% 
$6.82M
WAVES 
$32.449 
↓0.14% 
$6.57M
UNI 
$40.532 
↑2.0% 
$6.55M
ALGO 
$1.5198 
↓3.7% 
$6.03M
DAI 
$1.0011 
↓0.01% 
$6.0M
OMG 
$11.829 
↓0.15% 
$5.87M
LSK 
$8.4918 
↓6.0% 
$3.77M
COMP 
$782.88 
↑9.6% 
$3.71M
ICX 
$2.6909 
↓1.6% 
$3.63M
NANO 
$9.7242 
↓0.6% 
$3.63M
AAVE 
$466.93 
↑5.7% 
$3.39M
GRT 
$1.5855 
↓0.6% 
$3.05M
OCEAN 
$1.4907 
↑2.0% 
$3.02M
KEEP 
$0.6183 
↑6.5% 
$2.98M
GNO 
$291.84 
↑14% 
$2.91M
SNX 
$18.448 
↓1.1% 
$2.72M
MANA 
$1.4419 
↓1.7% 
$2.67M
KAVA 
$6.2917 
↓2.8% 
$2.6M
BAT 
$1.4187 
↑0.6% 
$2.57M
CRV 
$3.5639 
↓2.6% 
$2.41M
KNC 
$3.4433 
↓2.6% 
$1.93M
REPV2 
$48.252 
↑1.0% 
$1.83M
OXT 
$0.6666 
↓1.1% 
$1.68M
BAL 
$69.63 
↑7.8% 
$1.52M
ANT 
$10.317 
↓3.2% 
$1.31M
YFI 
$54058. 
↑1.3% 
$1.3M
PAXG 
$1877.6 
↑0.8% 
$1.12M
EWT 
$13.644 
↓4.1% 
$772K
REP 
$46.85 
↓0.3% 
$714K
MLN 
$108.99 
↑0.5% 
$425K
TBTC 
$58915. 
↑1.6% 
$43.3K



#####################. Trading Volume by Asset. ##########################################

Trading Volume by Asset


The figures below break down the trading volume of the largest, mid-size, and smallest assets. Cryptos are in purple, fiats are in blue. For each asset, the chart contains the daily trading volume in USD, and the percentage of the total trading volume. The percentages for fiats and cryptos are treated separately, so that they both add up to 100%.

Figure 1: Largest trading assets: trading volume (measured in USD) and its percentage of the total trading volume (May 08 2021)



Figure 2: Mid-size trading assets: (measured in USD) (May 08 2021)



Figure 3: Smallest trading assets: (measured in USD) (May 08 2021)


###########. Daily Returns. #################################################

Daily Returns %


Figure 7: Returns over USD and XBT. Relative volume and return size is indicated by the size of the font. (May 08 2021)



###########. Disclaimer #################################################

The values generated in this report are from public market data distributed from Kraken WebSockets api. The total volumes and returns are calculated over the reporting day using UTC time.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blog.kraken.com/post/9008/kraken-daily-market-report-for-may-08-2021/

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Blockchain

Legendary Pelé NFT Set to Drop on Ethernity May 8

Republished by Plato

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[Press Release – Los Angeles, California, 8th May, 2021]

Iconic Brazilian footballer Pelé will be immortalized in NFT form on May 8.

The legendary striker, named FIFA World Player of the Century, is getting the tokenized treatment with the release of a licensed aNFT – authenticated non-fungible token – exclusively on the Ethernity Chain at 12pm EST.

The coveted collection features several aNFTs of the soccer star, the result of a collaboration between Visual Lab and Rafa Zabala, whose credits include The Hobbit and Planet of the Apes.

The digital presentation includes “THE KING OF FOOTBALL,” an immersive video tracing the player’s humble origins on the streets of Brazil to a packed stadium witnessing his brilliance. The eponymous “Pelé” aNFT, meanwhile, is represented by a hyper-realistic digital bronze bust of the star in his heyday.

As part of the Pelé aNFT collection, Ethernity will be releasing multi-pack trading cards that make a nod to the player’s Panini trading cards of the past.

Ethernity’s special digital trading cards include “Gilded Bicycle Pelé,” which showcases the player executing his signature bicycle kick. The limited edition cards will be part of the Ethernity Cards and Packs Collection launching this summer, 2021.

90% of aNFT sales will go to The Pelé Foundation, a charitable organization that strives to empower young people facing poverty around the world.

Ethernity’s recent Muhammad Ali aNFT auction, which raised over $550,000, also resulted in a significant donation being made to the Muhammad Ali Foundation.

About Ethernity

Ethernity is exploring applications for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) within the context of art and philanthropy. It provides a way for celebrities and public figures to endorse digital artwork created by renowned artists. Anyone can purchase each limited edition artwork, with a portion of the proceeds going to charitable causes that the celebrity supports. Ethernity was founded by early Bitcoin investor and NFT innovator Nick Rose Ntertsas.

Learn more: http://ethernity.io/

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cryptopotato.com/legendary-pele-nft-set-to-drop-on-ethernity-may-8/

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