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What Is Qtum (QTUM)?

Qtum (QTUM) is a public blockchainRead More →

The post What Is Qtum (QTUM)? appeared first on Crypto Core Media.

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Qtum (QTUM) is a public blockchain platform that reportedly “leverages the security and simplicity” of Bitcoin’s UTXO (unspent transaction output) protocol. Similar to other cryptocurrency platforms such as Ethereum and NEO, the Qtum network also allows users to issue smart contracts.

“Decoupling Applications” Through Account Abstraction Layer

According to the explainer video on Qtum’s official website, Qtum uses an “account abstraction layer” to “decouple applications” from a blockchain’s base protocol. Separating application processing from the “underlying protocol” helps to “maintain the performance” of the blockchain network, Qtum’s developers claim.

Decoupling software programs from the underlying protocol on which apps are built allows developers to “add more smart contract capabilities in the future”, Qtum’s development team notes.

Proof-of-Stake (PoS)-based Consensus Mechanism

The Qtum blockchain uses the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to implement a “decentralized governance protocol.” Qtum’s community members are able to collectively decide whether to modify block sizes, how much to charge in gas fees, and make other decisions  related to network management.

Although most proof-of-work (PoW)-based blockchains also allow users to make decisions regarding ongoing development, Qtum’s developers note that governance-related matters on Qtum are settled “without ecosystem disruption.” Contentious hard forks such as the most recent PoW-related Bitcoin Cash (BCH) upgrade on November 15th, 2018 resulted in two separate blockchains and coins.

Following the controversial fork, there was a great deal of confusion regarding which chain should be assigned the BCH ticker. There had also been reports of serious security-related issues involving the Bitcoin (“Satoshi Vision”) SV chain which reportedly allowed users to engage in double spending. Because of these critical problems with PoW-based consensus protocols, many second and third-generation crypto platforms including Qtum are based on PoS consensus protocols.

Is PoS More Secure Than PoW?

Developers who prefer PoS over PoW, including Qtum’s creators, claim that PoS is a more secure and better approach to achieving distributed consensus on a blockchain. At present, there are reportedly over “5,000 active nodes online” that are running the Qtum protocol. The Qtum network has also been operating without any down time for more than a year, according to the platform’s development team.

Facilitating “Mainstream Adoption” Of Smart Contracts

As developers worldwide work to create improved implementations of the Lightning Network (LN) protocol (a second-layer solution that reduces transaction processing times), Qtum’s design team is set to introduce the “QuantumX86 virtual machine (VM)” and “Unita.” Both of these technologies are described as “significant innovations” as the quantum VM aims to “better facilitate mainstream adoption of smart contracts.”

The Quantum VM will support widely-used programming languages including C, C++, Rust, and Python. There’s also a complete standard set of software libraries, “native tool chains”, and parallel contract execution” features that reportedly “improve gas efficiency.” Meanwhile, Unita (also known as Quantum Enterprise Edition) is designed to enable organizations and individuals to “rapidly deploy” blockchain-based solutions for real-world applications.

As mentioned in Qtum’s whitepaper, PoS-based blockchain networks “promise significant performance advantages” compared to PoW solutions. Moreover, Qtum’s development team states in the platform’s whitepaper that the industry needs “stable backwards-compatible smart-contract systems” that can “automate cross-organizational information-logistics orchestration with lite mobile wallets that support simple payment verification (SPV) techniques.”

Better Data Processing, TX Validation With SPV Techniques

Due to frequent hard forks (backwards incompatible upgrades) that are activated by many different cryptocurrency platforms, it can become challenging to update smart contract-enabled applications. In order to solve this issue and to also make it easier to manage data on blockchains, Qtum’s developers will use SPV techniques for transaction processing – as these don’t require downloading the entire blockchain to verify transactions.

On January 9th, 2019, Qtum’s development team announced they had completed the Qtum platform’s first atomic swap with bitcoin (BTC). As crypto enthusiasts know, atomic swaps enable on-chain exchanges between digital currencies that reside on two separate and independent blockchain networks. Intermediaries, or third-parties, are not required to complete atomic swaps.

Implementing Atomic Swaps With HTLCs

 This development indicates that trustless interoperability between two separate blockchains is not only possible, but that it has also been carried out successfully. As explained in Qtum’s official blog post, the atomic swaps were implemented using Hash Time-Locked Contracts (HTLC). These types of contracts lock funds until both blockchains involved in a transfer confirm the transaction. After both chains have confirmed the transfer, they are able to claim their funds.  

Some advantages of atomic swaps include: not requiring third-parties for transaction settlement, and being able to conduct transfers between two separate networks without having to trust the other party (trustless). A few drawbacks of atomic swaps are: a “price-matching tool” is needed so that both parties can negotiate and decide how many tokens will be swapped; confirmation times are dependent on the “transaction confirmation time of both blockchains”, which makes the process a lot slower slower than using a centralized exchange, Qtum’s blog notes.

Learning More About PoS After 51% Attacks On PoW Networks

In response to the recent 51% attacks on top 20 cryptocurrency platforms, including the Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Dash (DASH) networks, Dev Bharel, a blockchain solutions architect, published a post on “Qtum’s 101” Medium account that explains how PoS works. The blog mentions that there are many different implementations of PoS, with “some like Qtum [that] require no minimum stake, others like DASH [that] have PoS and PoW working in tandem, while others still, like Cosmos, work through a Delegated Proof-of-Stake system, where only a subset of nodes are validators.”

The post further explains that Qtum’s consensus protocol is “PoS version 3”, meaning that it is supposed to be animprovement over version 2. First introduced in a paper (published in 2012)  authored by Scott Nadal and Sunny King, PoS’s second and third versions have been developed by Pavel Vasin while working on the Blackcoin project.

PoS version 3 (PoSv3) is “built for UTXO based blockchains”, according to Qtum’s blog. The version of PoS on which Qtum is based on reportedly “mitigates” the Nothing At Stake problem

through its “decentralized governance protocol which manages how forks work on chain. Launching an attack on this type of PoS network is “significantly expensive with a low enough reward based on the UTXO PoSv3 consensus”, the blog states.

More Later On Qtum’s Business Partnerships, Ongoing Development 

Despite the prolonged cryptocurrency bear market, the blockchain industry continues to grow as there are a lot of improvements being made to the ecosystem’s infrastructure. New products and platforms are also being developed to better serve retail and institutional investors. In future posts, we shall take a look at Qtum’s business partnerships and other updates related to its ongoing development. 

Source: https://cryptocoremedia.com/what-is-qtum-qtum/

News

US House Financial Services Chair Waters Recommends Joe Biden Rescind OCC Crypto Guidance

House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters told President-elect Joe Biden to undo the OCC’s crypto guidance after he takes office next year.

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U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, who chairs the powerful House Financial Services Committee, recommended that President-elect Joe Biden rescind or monitor all of the cryptocurrency-related guidance issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

In a letter sent to the incoming president Friday, Waters wrote that her committee has “conducted extensive oversight” over President Donald Trump’s administration, and listed a number of actions Biden’s administration could take to undo what she described as the harms of Trump’s term.

Waters’ comments come weeks after other Financial Services Committee members, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia criticized Brooks’ crypto-related actions during the COVID-19 pandemic and just days after the lawmakers introduced a bill that would require stablecoin issuers to seek bank charters and regulatory permission to introduce stablecoins.

“As you begin to carry out the mandate given to you by the American people to restore trust in the federal government, I would like to highlight several areas where you and your team should immediately reverse the actions of your predecessors,” she wrote.

She also recommended that Biden monitor the OCC’s advanced notice of rulemaking around digital activities conducted by banks and the public input period.

“Your appointed officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) must also not assume, as their predecessors have, that a law Congress passed over 150 years ago somehow gives, them authority to provide a national bank charter to non-bank fintech or payment companies,” she wrote.

Each of these recommendations would undo work conducted by Brian Brooks, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency. Brooks was recently nominated to serve a full five-year term by Trump.

Under a section on financial stability, Waters wrote that the Financial Stability Oversight Council and Office of Financial Research should publish their analysis on developments and the existing regulatory framework around digital assets and distributed ledger technology.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/financial-services-waters-recommendations

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Intellectual Capital Firm Calls XRP One of the Most Intriguing Assets in Crypto

The publicly-traded risk management firm FRMO Corp. is making the case for XRP. In its latest letter to shareholders, the firm outlines its bullish stance on the crypto markets and specifically outlines XRP as a unique digital asset due to the fact that it’s not mined and is deflationary in nature. “XRP, itself, is one of the […]

The post Intellectual Capital Firm Calls XRP One of the Most Intriguing Assets in Crypto appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

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The publicly-traded risk management firm FRMO Corp. is making the case for XRP.

In its latest letter to shareholders, the firm outlines its bullish stance on the crypto markets and specifically outlines XRP as a unique digital asset due to the fact that it’s not mined and is deflationary in nature.

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“XRP, itself, is one of the more intriguing currencies, as it is explicitly deflationary. There is a modest cost for transacting in XRP, which is not actually paid to any intermediary. The fee, which is a very small fraction of a unit of XRP and which is used to protect the network, is simply destroyed. Therefore, the number of XRP units is constantly decreasing.”

XRP has a total supply of 100 billion coins, and each time an XRP transaction is sent, 0.00001 XRP is burned. The firm says that could become a factor in XRP’s value proposition if the coin is widely adopted in the mainstream.

“If the transaction velocity of XRP were to rise greatly, the number of currency units would decline greatly, thereby creating a substantial return even if the coin itself did not experience an increase in market capitalization. It would, however, experience an increase in value per unit.”

FRMO says its private partnership investments now hold positions in Bitcoin and many of the top 10 largest crypto assets by market cap.

The firm is also mining Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

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Source: https://dailyhodl.com/2020/12/04/intellectual-capital-firm-calls-xrp-one-of-the-most-intriguing-assets-in-crypto/

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America Is Beating Asia for Once in the Field of Crypto Trading

Bitcoin is growing like there’s no tomorrow, and for once, it looks like Asia is being beaten out by North America in terms of cryptocurrency love and adoption. North America Is Becoming Number One More coins and cryptocurrencies are flowing into North American exchanges than into Asian exchanges. This is an odd occurrence considering Asia

The post America Is Beating Asia for Once in the Field of Crypto Trading appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

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Bitcoin is growing like there’s no tomorrow, and for once, it looks like Asia is being beaten out by North America in terms of cryptocurrency love and adoption.

North America Is Becoming Number One

More coins and cryptocurrencies are flowing into North American exchanges than into Asian exchanges. This is an odd occurrence considering Asia has typically outdone all other regions in terms of crypto appreciation. There was a time when South Korea accounted for more than one-quarter of the world’s crypto transactions, and no doubt China has been the biggest influencer in the space.

But as of late, North America is moving up the financial ladder and proving itself to be a major hub for crypto trading. In fact, weekly inflows to American exchanges have surged by more than 7,000 times what they were at the beginning of the year. Overall, 216,000 bitcoins – worth approximately $3.4 billion at the time of writing – made their way into American exchanges in mid-November.

Ciara Sun – a representatives of Huobi Global Markets in Seychelles – commented in a recent statement:

The sudden influx of institutional interest from the North American region is driving a shift in bitcoin trading, which is rebalancing asset allocations across different exchanges and platforms.

Some are claiming, however, that the call of North America as a leader in the crypto space is coming a bit early. Chainalysis figures show, for example, that East Asia is still a major exporter of crypto funds, and still serves as one of the largest regions for digital asset activity. In addition, many others claim that regulation in Asia is quite different than what it is in North America. This puts a dent in the overall figures, and they claim that it cannot be deciphered just yet which one is more dominant.

Curtis Ting of the U.S. exchange Kraken in San Francisco explained:

You’re increasingly starting to see distinctions in the market between those that have no regulatory or little regulatory clarity versus those that do. Larger institutions seek the predictability that a regulated venue offers.

Putting this aside, however, Chainalysis shows that the activity occurring in major North American exchanges – i.e. Coinbase, Kraken, etc. – is considerably larger than what’s happening in Asian exchanges. In the past, North America has edged forward like this, but never by such a big margin.

It is estimated that approximately 1.6 million in bitcoin is making its way into North American trading platforms each week. By contrast, Asian exchanges are seeing only 1.4 million units.

Regulation Is the Key

At this stage, it looks like America is offering a stricter, more regulated environment, which appears to be attracting larger traders. Christopher Matt of 3iQ in Canada states:

A lot of U.S. funds are trading with large U.S. counterparties. It tells you right there how important the regulatory nature of the space is and having venues to trade on that are regulated.

Tags: Asia, bitcoin, North America Source: https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/america-is-beating-asia-for-once-in-the-field-of-crypto-trading/

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