|Cosmos is finally launching its one blockchain to connect them all
Cosmos was one of the most anticipated projects of this year, and it’s just launched its first working product. This week the startup launched Cosmos Hub, a proof-of-stake blockchain that’s intended to act as a bridge between multiple blockchains – creating one interoperable ecosystem that’s simple and straightforward for users, as well as institutional clients (some of whom are already considering launching custodial services on the platform).
This Bitcoin bank is back from the dead – with billions at stake
After Mt Gox collapsed five years ago, losing $400M in customer funds in the process, few believed it would be revived. Improbably, however, its assets are now worth nearly $1.2B – and someone else claims to own them all. Brock Pierce (co-founder of Block.one) is now engaged in a dispute with former CEO Mark Karpeles, alleging that the latter signed an agreement effectively handing over control of the company to Pierce. Karpeles, for his part, denies the allegations – even as he prepares to begin his 2-year prison sentence that was issued this week by a Tokyo court.
Bitcoin, pizza, and the Lightning Network
One of the best ways to understand how the Lightning Network really works might be to just order pizza. That’s what one team of researchers at Circle did, and the result is this technical breakdown of how a payment process works on Lightning, from beginning to end. Through platforms like Fold, ordinary users can now spend their crypto with businesses like Starbucks and Uber, all using the Lightning Network.
Tether is finding itself in trouble again over its “USD-backed” token
This week, Tether courted controversy yet again after it was revealed that the company recently changed key claims about its stablecoin on their own website. The most egregious change was the revelation that Tether occasionally loans its cash reserves out to other crypto startups – making the claim that its token is USD-backed dubious at best. The company remains under a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice, which is focused on its alleged cryptocurrency price manipulation during market downturns.
Crypto mogul Moshe Hogeg’s ICOs have unusual characteristics
Perhaps best known for being the CEO of Sirin Labs, crypto entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg has come under fire in recent weeks for running several ICOs allegedly structured to enrich himself more than stipulated in the original ICO terms. One ICO in particular, Stox, saw its funds potentially mismanaged (or even moved) into Hogeg’s Sirin Labs without client consent. The tangled web of transactions was unraveled by a team of blockchain researchers, who quickly discovered the suspicious nature of the transactions.
An investor’s guide to this year’s Bitcoin technical roadmap
Bitcoin is on track to have a banner year, development-wise. The protocol is set to see the implementation of Schnorr Signatures, which will enable faster transaction validation and decreased block size. Another key innovation on the horizon is Dandelion, a project aimed at making Bitcoin more private than ever through an additional layer of anonymization that would take place before a transaction is broadcasted.
Researchers are worrying Ethereum’s new economic model isn’t viable
Ethereum researchers are in the midst of finalizing the details of its new consensus algorithm, but some researchers believe the scalability fix might not work out as planned. This is because under the new rules, there’d be no token sales to incentivize profit – and researchers at Delphi Digital believe that if the ecosystem doesn’t reward participants equitably, some validators will be deterred from securing the network (particularly given the standard two-year lockup time for funds).
It’s getting harder than ever to send Bitcoin’s Lightning Torch – here’s why
The Lightning Torch was originally invented as a way to test the limits of current crypto payments protocols, but now it’s getting harder for some users to retrieve the torch. This is primarily due to an insufficient amount of liquidity, as there are very few channels that now have enough liquidity for this large of a transaction (even though this transaction is still only about $150). Even if Lightning isn’t designed for large-scale payments, the difficulty of transferring even a relatively small amount is indicative of how much work still needs to be done on scaling the network.