Coinbase Adds Customizable Crypto Watchlists, Online Trading Platform Now User-Friendly

Coinbase, the crypto exchange bull, rolled out a new feature on Thursday, December 13, 2018, making its online trading platform more ergonomic. It has officially issued a watchlist feature to its online user interface. The notice is part of Coinbase’s 12-day announcements event.

The watchlist feature enables users to maximumly customize their Coinbase dashboards. Using a tweet, the platform said the customers can select the data to be unfurled on their personal dashboards. They can also choose a digital currency along with price charts plus other market information.

“The crypto industry moves fast. It’s hard to filter information on the many assets out there. On Day 4 of 12 Days of Coinbase, we’re rolling out watchlists so Coinbase customers can customize their dashboards with assets of interest,” Coinbase said.


Days of Coinbase
The watchlist further stretches to cryptos which are not traded by the exchange platform (Coinbase). The exchange revealed that they have been planting in users’ logged-in experience for half a year now. This effort was carried out to provide users with the capacity to customize the Coinbase App to their digital currency interests.

“Over the past 6 months, we’ve made several investments in customers’ logged-in experience. Each new feature serves a greater purpose: to give customers the ability to tailor the Coinbase app to their crypto interests. We look forward to building more features that make your dashboard more personal,” Coinbase revealed.

At press time, it has made the 5th day of announcing. The expansion of the exchange’s e-gift card program is so far the largest update that has been proclaimed. The e-gift card program lets the users buy e-gift cards using digital assets.

On day 2, the exchange platform gave away ZCash as a donation to help more than 50 Venezuelan households.

On day 3, Coinbase released a video revealing that crypto was the next-big-thing in money and finance. The video indicates that digital asset will more likely become a ‘democratizing force’ for the entire globe.


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Author: Coin Idol
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Privacy-Friendly Cryptocurrency Zcash Goes Live on Coinbase.com

Following the launch of Zcash (ZEC) on Coinbase Pro last week, Coinbase has announced support for the cryptocurrency on Coinbase.com and on the crypto exchange’s Android and iOS apps, enabling users to buy, sell, send, receive, or store ZEC throughout the company’s platforms and services.

Zcash Now Available on Retail Brokerage Coinbase

At the moment, Zcash support is available to customers in most jurisdictions, with the exception of New York state and the United Kingdom. According to the announcement, other jurisdictions may later be added.

It will be recalled that following the price rise recorded after the initial Coinbase Pro integration last week, the cryptocurrency defied the so-called “Coinbase Effect” by falling 17 percent in a single day on November 30. Explaining how the privacy-focused capabilities of Zcash will be supported on Coinbase, the company revealed that it would offer partial support for shielded transactions until such a time as local regulations allow for full implementation of transaction shielding.

An excerpt from the Coinbase statement reads:

“In both cases, the unencrypted/transparent version of the protocol allows third parties to see metadata associated with the communication or transaction, while the encrypted/shielded version protects this information. Initially, customers can send ZEC to Coinbase from both transparent and shielded addresses, but only send off Coinbase to transparent addresses. In the future, we’ll explore support for sending ZEC to shielded addresses in locations where it complies with local laws.”

Differing Responses to Listing

Following the announcement by Coinbase on Twitter, responses have veered from positive to distinctly unimpressed. Some have speculated that the development may have implications for the continued privacy of Zcash. According to this school of thought, this core feature of the cryptocurrency which is secured using zero-knowledge cryptography, might be compromised by going live on Coinbase. This is because Coinbase is based in the United States and is thus subject to state and federal laws, including supervision by the SEC and FINRA KYC/AML requirements. The deployment of KYC for the purpose of trading ZEC, in theory, would contradict the spirit of the cryptocurrency by effectively exposing the identity of every customer who trades ZEC on Coinbase.

On his part, Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox has expressed optimism about Coinbase upholding the privacy enhancements created by Zcash in spite of the many arguments to the contrary.

Speaking recently in a tweet he said:

“As the industry matures, we believe privacy protections will be mandated by most exchanges, governments and other financial institutions, leading to the broad adoption of Zcash.”


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Author: David Hundeyin
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Coinbase is Exploring Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar Lumens, Zcash, and 0x

We are exploring the addition of several new assets, and will be working with local banks and regulators to add them in as many jurisdictions as possible.



Today we are announcing that we’re exploring the addition of the following assets to Coinbase:

• Cardano (ADA)
• Basic Attention Token (BAT)
• Stellar Lumens (XLM)
• Zcash (ZEC)
• 0x (ZRX)

We are making this announcement internally at Coinbase and to the public at the same time to remain transparent with our customers about support for future assets.

Unlike the ongoing process of adding Ethereum Classic, which is technically very similar to Ethereum, these assets will require additional exploratory work and we cannot guarantee they will be listed for trading. Furthermore, our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet. We may also only enable certain ways to interact with these assets through our site, such as supporting only deposits and withdrawals from transparent Zcash addresses. Finally, some of these assets may be offered in other jurisdictions prior to being listed in the US.

As part of the exploratory process, customers may see public-facing APIs and other signs that we are conducting engineering work to support these assets. While we cannot commit to when or whether these assets will become available at this time, we will provide updates to our customers about the process and what they can expect via the Coinbase blog and Twitter.

Going forward, you should expect that we will make similar announcements about exploring the addition of multiple assets. Some of these assets may become available everywhere, while others may only be supported in specific jurisdictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you tell me more about these assets?

You can find information on the assets being explored at their respective websites:

• Cardano (ADA)
• Basic Attention Token (BAT)
• Stellar Lumens (XLM)
• Zcash (ZEC)
• 0x (ZRX)

Q: Why explore these assets at this time?

In evaluating these assets for exploration, we relied as much as possible on the criteria in our published Digital Asset Framework, but found that many of the criteria required communication with external parties to fully evaluate. Regardless, here’s what we found notable about each of these assets.

Cardano (ADA)

The Cardano protocol was created by Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of Ethereum. Cardano’s Bitcoin-like Settlement Layer (CSL) mainnet is live and it has a functional wallet for its built-in ADA cryptocurrency. It has also taken a different technical direction from other blockchains on several axes, like its Ouroboros proof-of-stake algorithm, its use of Haskell, and its focus on formal verification. While Cardano’s Computation Layer (CCL) is not yet live, the project has published long-term roadmaps, has shipped working software, and appears to have a growing community.

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the internal token of the Brave browser. The initial purpose of the BAT is to allow advertisers to pay for user attention when they view ads via Brave, but it can potentially be used as a general digital currency for Brave user interactions with arbitrary websites. Brave announced that they have recently passed 3 million monthly users and are in the top 10 list in the Google Play store in more than 20 countries. More than 18,000 verified publishers are using Brave across 4,500 websites and 13,500 YouTube and Twitch streamer accounts. The CEO of Brave is Brendan Eich, the inventor of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, and the company is funded by Founders Fund and Digital Currency Group, among others.

Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Stellar is an open-source protocol for value exchange developed by Stanford CS professor David Mazieres, Rust language author Graydon Hoare, and Jed McCaleb. Lumens (XLM) are the native asset of the Stellar network. Stellar’s consensus protocol is different from proof-of-work in that it allows and requires individual nodes to choose the set of other nodes they trust as a group (a “quorum slice”) to give them accurate information about the state of the Stellar network. Stellar allows for the creation of anchors that can issue assets, use bridge servers to interface with existing banks, and follow Stellar’s compliance protocol.

Initially funded by Stripe, Stellar’s board members include Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois, Stripe cofounder Patrick Collison, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, YCombinator President Sam Altman, MIT DCI head Joi Ito, and AngelList founder Naval Ravikant.

Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash is a cryptocurrency which uses recent advances in cryptography to allow users to protect the privacy of transactions at their discretion. The distinction between Zcash’s “transparent” and “shielded” transactions is analogous to the distinction between unencrypted HTTP and encrypted HTTPS. In both cases, the unencrypted/transparent version of the protocol allows third parties to see metadata associated with the communication or transaction, while the encrypted/shielded version protects this information. The Zcash protocol has been live since 2016 and the development team has published technical improvements that may reduce the memory consumption associated with transaction privacy by 98%.

0x (ZRX)

0x is an open protocol that allows ERC20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain. ZRX is the native utility token of the 0x protocol, and several dozen independent projects have been built with the 0x technology, including relays and decentralized exchanges with tens of millions of dollars in collective transaction volume to date. The project has shipped a number of tools for developers, including JavaScript, Solidity, and Web3 libraries, and has mostly adhered to the roadmap outlined in their whitepaper.

Q: What is the status on adding Ethereum Classic (ETC)?

We are underway with engineering work to add Ethereum Classic (ETC), and it is proceeding as planned. We are making this announcement so that we can begin the next phase of work to explore adding more assets to the platform.

Q: What is the status on adding Ethereum Classic (ETC)?

We are underway with engineering work to add Ethereum Classic (ETC), and it is proceeding as planned. We are making this announcement so that we can begin the next phase of work to explore adding more assets to the platform.

Q: What is the status on adding ERC-20 assets?

We announced our general intention to support ERC20 assets in March. The BAT and ZRX assets are the first specific ERC20-based assets we are exploring for addition to the platform.

Q: How will you decide what countries to launch these assets in?

Regional support will depend on a case-by-case analysis that looks to legal, compliance, and other factors that are relevant to that jurisdiction. In some cases, you should expect certain assets to be available in other jurisdictions before coming to the US.

Q: Does this mean Coinbase has deemed these assets to not be securities under a particular country’s laws?

No. That legal analysis is ongoing and will vary by jurisdiction. As we only plan to launch assets which are compliant with local law, some assets may only be available in specific jurisdictions.

Q: Why is this just an exploration, rather than an announcement that Coinbase is adding these assets?

In an effort to be as open and transparent as possible, we’re announcing that our teams are exploring the feasibility of supporting these assets. This is consistent with our process for adding new assets. But unlike Ethereum Classic, which is technically very similar to Ethereum, these assets will require additional exploratory work that may result in one or more of them being listed only in specific.

Q: Which Coinbase platforms will support these assets?

We have not made this determination at this time, but we hope to offer support for each asset across the widest variety of products in each jurisdiction.


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Zeroing In: Zcash Sets 2-Year Course for Better Crypto Privacy

Nearly two years after launch, Zcash is entering what could be a crucial period of iteration.
Speaking at Zcon0, zcash’s first ever conference in Montreal, Tuesday, project founder and the CEO of the Zcash Company Zooko Wilcox discussed the company’s informal roadmap for the next two-year period.

Presented mere hours after the first mandatory upgrade of the software powering the cryptocurrency, the keynote set a precedent for the day’s discussion, in which, through a series of lectures and workshops, the community sought to define the values and challenges that would guide the privacy-focussed blockchain into the future.
“We have already succeeded on a technical level, but we have not succeeded on a usability and adoption level, so that’s the priority you’ll see,” Wilcox said.



Dealing with topics such as increased privacy, security, usability and decentralization, the roadmap was published on the company’s official blog Tuesday. However, speaking at the conference, Wilcox emphasized that the plan is not yet final, but is due to be published as a more formal commitment in August.

“This roadmap that we published for the company is an invitation to conversation,” Wilcox said, “If you believe that the company should prioritize something else instead, or if you feel you can contribute in a specific way, this is the time to begin that conversation.”
With presentations from cryptography researcher Mary Maller on traceability concerns in zcash, and discussion of zcash’s usability challenges by UX researcher Linda Naeun Lee, several topics of the day touched on a critical note.

But as research builds toward scalability and transitioning the blockchain into privacy by default, zcash is reaching the stage where it can fully confront these issues.
“I think so far we focused a lot on base-level safety, but if it’s not usable and low adoption that has limited impact, and we are starting to turn our attention to usability and adoption,” Nathan Wilcox, CTO of the Zcash Company, said.

Speaking to the audience, Wilcox concluded:
“We want to have a clear feedback loop between innovation and protocol design so that the two evolve together.”

Privacy and usability
Toward that end, several presentations broke down what Sapling, the network’s upcoming hard fork, will do for the network.
Currently planned for October this year, the protocol upgrade is said to substantially improve the scalability of private transactions on the blockchain, to the point where the anonymous and transparent transactions that comprise the protocol will be ubiquitous.
“Sapling is effectively the same construction [as before] but much more efficient, bring proving times down to a second or two,” Matthew Green, a founding scientist at zcash, said.

In an in-depth presentation on the upgrade, zcash engineer Sean Bowe outlined these performance enhancements. Following the upgrade, shielded transactions are small enough that they can be performed on a mobile phone, Bowe said, and there’s ways to make them function on hardware wallets as well.

It’s notable because at the time of writing, zcash is lacking in wallet software, consisting only of Linux or Windows tooling that is capable of sending shielded transactions.
“It requires a very highly motivated person with specific needs to be motivated to use zcash,” UX researcher Linda Naeun Lee told the audience, “I have a MA in computer security from Berkley and I was still confused.”

Lee also warned that users need to be better informed about the difference between the transparent and shielded transactions on zcash. “Hey you know what thing that zcash does that do other coin does?” she quipped, “You think you’re using it, but you’re not.”
And it’s notable considering, as detailed by Maller, transparent transactions on the zcash blockchain can damage the privacy of shielded addresses as well.
As such, much of the discussion circulated on the necessity, and challenges, involved in removing the possibility of transparent transactions from the network, or “privacy by default”.

While there’s challenges to transitioning to a fully private system, and plenty of tooling that needs to be constructed as well, now that zcash has built the basis of the protocol developers have time to research these kinds of more substantial changes.
Matthew Green summarized:
“I love fancy crypto, I also just want to take out my phone and make anonymous transactions.”


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The question of mining
As the day broke up into workshop sessions, a group of stakeholders from the mining landscape sat together to discuss the cryptocurrency’s attitude to ASICs, a type of highly efficient mining hardware that has been the cause of tension in the community.
Featuring GPU miners, ASIC miners, representatives from ASIC manufacturers Bitmain, Innosilicon and Obelisk, as well as the Zcash Company and the Zcash Foundation, the workshop resolved to commit to a timeline for the issue.

“If you chose not to decide you still have made a choice. You can make this change, or you can publically state we have chosen not to make a change,” a workshop participant said.
For example, if the Zcash Company takes action to remove ASICs from the network, this would need to be decided quickly, participants collectively stated.
Depending on the complexity of the change, the soonest action that can be taking is “roughly April next year,” Wilcox said in the workshop.

Such a change would be a simple tweak to the proof-of-work algorithm in order to drive ASICs off the network. However, participants warned that by that point, ASICs are likely to comprise the majority, and zcash could risk damaging its security by changing the algorithm.

Wilcox also proposed longer term research into a hybrid proof-of-work algorithm, where the issuance would be split between both factions, GPU and ASIC miners, respectfully.
“The general idea is to appeal to both camps,” Wilcox said.

However, participants warned that such an endeavour could complexify the protocol and come with unknown security risks. Plus, as it is a substantial developer undertaking, it would extract from other priorities of the Zcash Company.
Other solutions, such as a longer term ASIC-resistant algorithm, trusted partnership with hardware manufacturers, and a push toward open-source hardware design, were discussed.
“We haven’t figured it out yet,” Wilcox said in the workshop.
However, members of the Zcash Company said that a decision needs to be reached prior to the Sapling upgrade in October, in order to allow developers ample time to prepare for changes, if any are required.
“Ideally, we need to reach a consensus before Sapling. We need an 8-month lead up,” zcash developer Daira Hopwood said.

Future facing
And other, more experimental discussion that was held throughout the day as well.
For example, speaking in a lecture, Matthew Green spoke about implementing novel scaling solutions, such as payment channels, and even transitioning to different zero-knowledge proof systems in the future.
Proof-of-stake, a more ecological form of consensus, was also discussed, as many participants in the mining workshop agreeing that proof-of-work is not sustainable long term.

Plus, there’s other ways in which zcash can self-articulate.
“Why are we using just cash? We could build smart contract systems, all kind of things that are well beyond what we’re doing today,” Green said.
Still, as well as the various technical challenges: easy-to-use wallets often come with privacy trade-offs, and there’s plenty of tooling that needs to be created before zcash can transition into a fully private system, shadowing the presentations was the challenges such changes pose for governance.

Led by the Zcash Foundation, an independent entity that offloads some of the decision-making power from the Zcash Company, zcon0 is the first steps toward a more decentralized governance structure. Day three of the conference, for example, is entirely devoting to community and governance questions.
And it’s notable considering the degree of change which zcash will endure in the years to come.

For example, Wilcox noted in his keynote, the “founders fee,” from which, he told the audience, he receives 0.9% of monthly ZEC issuances, is set to run dry in two years.
After this, the total of 20% allocated to zcash development will cease, and the community will need to coordinate on how to fund development going forward.
“Sustainability is a critical question that the community has to decide for itself,” Wilcox said, “The question is, how should the development of zcash be funded after the funding ends in two years?”

Wilcox also urged that while the Overwinter and Sapling upgrades were “no brainers,” going forward, other changes to the protocol are likely to be less well received.
Wilcox concluded:
“If zcash is to satisfy its mission, the community will have to make many decisions that are vigorously opposed by a faction, possibly by a large faction. That’s my belief. So the process of coordinating and deciding that is the most important question.”


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Crypto Non-Profits Are Flawed – Zcash Thinks It Can Change That

On the eve of the Zcash Foundation’s first major gathering, cryptocurrency aficionados worldwide are watching to see if the year-old non-profit can rehabilitate a long-maligned model of governance.



Earlier this month, dozens of privacy tech fans from across the ecosystem, from lawyers to monero community veteran Justin Ehrenhofer, joined the foundation’s online forum to vote for two new additions to the board of directors by the Monday deadline. The election will bring the total number of board members up to five, in addition to one elected runner-up in case any member steps down.

The ballot results will be discussed at length during Zcon0, which kicks off the next day in Montreal, drawing 145 attendees.

The election is noteworthy for several reasons. One is the relative transparency of the process. The community panel voters, many of whom are not affiliated with the Zcash Foundation or the start up that created Zcash, are clearly listed on the foundation’s online forum.

More strikingly, one of the nine candidates for the two board seats is Robert Viglione, co-founder of Zencash – a competing privacy coin that uses some of Zcash’s source code.

His presence on the ballot is no fluke: Zcash Foundation director Josh Cincinnati has made a point of inviting members of competing projects to help govern his cryptocurrency’s community.

Despite the bitter rivalries between crypto tribes, Cincinnati said his foundation would also gladly sponsor research related to other rival projects, such as Monero.

He explained:

“Having privacy and fungibility technology on a payment system, worldwide, is a net benefit to society. Whether that work comes from Zcash or Monero or Mimblewimble, it doesn’t matter to us in the end which coin has the higher market cap.”

By offering such opportunities for external input, and taking other steps to ensure transparency and independence from the company that created Zcash, Cincinnati said he aims to dispel the notion that crypto foundations are nothing more than a legal workaround for nepotistic funding or free marketing for start-ups.

“I hope we can demonstrate over the long-term that this is not the case,” he said.

Shaky foundations

Yet the foundation model to date has been plagued by countless mishaps related to governance and management.

Stepping back, the Zcash Foundation is one of a long line of non-profits that have been created around cryptocurrencies since the Bitcoin Foundation was established in 2012.

These early organizations have had varying degrees of success (with the Bitcoin Foundation even failing entirely).

However, the idea was given new life when ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin established the Swiss-based Ethereum Foundation with proceeds from a token sale in 2014, with many projects following his footsteps to Switzerland.

In the view of sceptics such as Stephen Palley, a partner at the law firm Anderson Kill in Washington, D.C., some of them did so to exploit legal workarounds.

“People looked at the Ethereum Foundation’s model and thought, ‘if we want to avoid U.S. securities laws we can create this thing in Switzerland and use that to sell in the U.S.,'” Palley said.

Regardless of motive, using a distant foundation to manage a cryptocurrency created by a start up complicates governance.

For example, the Tezos project illustrated a worst-case scenario after its $232 million token sale when the president of the project’s Swiss foundation had a falling out with the California-based token creators, leading to a complex legal battle that delayed development for almost a year.

Despite the Ethereum Foundation’s numerous accomplishments, Twitter trolls often disparage Buterin and ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin, who currently heads the start up empire ConsenSys, because events sponsored by the non-profit offer superb marketing opportunities for start-up’s like ConsenSys and OmiseGo, the latter of which Buterin is himself an advisor for. (The Ethereum Foundation declined to comment.)

Several other foundations suffered from rumors of deliberate secrecy and nepotism. For instance, critics accused the Bitcoin Foundation’s board of keeping quiet about early evidence that the early bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox was bankrupt.

“There seems to be very little advantage to setting up a foundation at all,” Monero project lead Riccardo Spagni said. “It just seems to create this façade of being a super benevolent, decentralized, not-for-profit.”

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Funded, yet independent

The Zcash Foundation is hoping to avoid the pitfalls of its predecessors, in part because it has an unusual setup.

For example, instead of a token sale, its main source of funding is a fixed share – 1.44 percent – of all the Zcash that is mined. This comes out of the 10 percent “founders reward,” collected from all Zcash miners, that goes to the creators of Zcash, several of whom work at Zerocoin Electronic Coin Company (ZEC), the start up that still indirectly profits from and promotes the currency.

ZEC’s CEO, Zooko Wilcox, joined half a dozen other Zcash founders in signing contracts compelling them to donate the 1.44 percent directly to the foundation. This structure imposes more discipline on the foundation than a token sale in a white-hot market would have, according to Cincinnati.

“Since the founders’ reward is structured like a four-year vest, the foundation’s access to capital is much more restricted compared to other crypto foundations, which encourages a longer-term view and more measured spending,” Cincinnati said.

Beyond the financial arrangement, though, Wilcox isn’t directly involved with the foundation or the community election. This, too, is unusual: Buterin, who has a roughly analogous figurehead role in the ethereum community, was still the president of the Ethereum Foundation board as of last year, Swiss records show.

Explaining his preference not to join the Zcash Foundation, Wilcox told said:

“Zcash users need an independent organization that can serve as a check-and-balance on the actions of the Zcash Company that I lead.”

That said, Wilcox has openly challenged the foundation to establish its own trademarks, hire staff software experts, and find sources of independent funding.

And when it comes to the controversial debates about whether and how to combat the centralizing effects of specialized mining chips, the foundation already takes an independent approach.

Rather than wait for Wilcox, who is not prioritizing software updates to help Zcash resist mining consolidation, Cincinnati is hiring a developer to build tools for reducing corporate influence on the network.

This mining issue is also an issue in the election. In addition to choosing new board members, the digital ballots due Monday also include a question asking if the foundation should prioritize so-called ASIC resistance. “It’s going to be a good moment for the foundation to figure out what the community will is for where we go forward,” said Cincinnati.

Privacy above profit

Another way the Zcash Foundation stands out is by eagerly courting contributors from other crypto communities. The non-profit says its ultimate goal is to promote privacy tech as a human right, regardless of whether the ultimate solution benefits Wilcox’s start up.

One such effort is allowing a community panel, separate from the foundation board, to approve funding for research grants. Despite the well-publicized rivalry between Zcash and Monero, that review committee includes Brandon Goodell from the Monero Research Lab.

“It’s a weird hybrid between having a group of insiders decide everything, which is the way that most organizations are run, and entirely crowdsourcing our decisions,” said Sonya Mann, the Zcash Foundation’s communications manager, acknowledging that the model is an experiment.

“At this point, it’s an open question whether our approach will be effective or whether it will be a good way to direct our efforts going forward,” she said.

One more departure from the norm: The Zcash Foundation is registered not in Switzerland, but Delaware. This helps with transparency, because as a U.S. non-profit, it must share financial documents such as employee salaries and some tax forms.

“It’s all public information, as it should be,” Cincinnati said.

Being located in the same country as Colorado-based ZEC may produce a further benefit: it could simplify the legal process in the event any Zcash founders attempt to renege on their funding obligations to the foundation, reducing risks of a Tezos-style fiasco.

It remains to be seen if Cincinnati’s unorthodox methods will give his foundation a unique role in the broader ecosystem, beyond its namesake cryptocurrency.

But William Mougayar, the founder of Token Summit, said so far the Zcash Foundation appears to have one of the most mature foundation models in the industry.

All of the cryptocurrencies that sprouted up in the wake of ether need “a neutral party that will look after the community before anyone else,” Mougayar said.

“Eventually there should be a separation” between such stewards and the issuers or creators of the coin, he said. “I think Zcash is working on it.”



Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Leigh Cuen
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Get Ready to Defend Privacy Coins

Crypto enthusiasts, heed this warning: Japanese regulators are veering into the unknown.
A country that once served as a beacon of hope for the development of blockchain-backed initiatives in the region has abruptly changed its stance in recent months, reconsidering the role that cryptocurrencies should be allowed to play in Japan’s commercial ecosystem.
And this is no more apparent than when discussing the current state of privacy coins.

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Earlier this week, the Japanese Financial Security Agency (FSA) announced that on June 18, there will be an outright ban on all cryptocurrencies that provide a sufficient degree of anonymity to its end users.

For the most part, Japanese exchanges are listening, pulling four major privacy coins — monero (XMR), dash, Augur’s reputation (REP), and zcash (ZEC) — from their platforms.
As the wider crypto community begins to assess the implications of this decision, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the January hack on Japanese cryptocurrency exchange CoinCheck, which resulted in the theft of 523 million NEM tokens (worth an estimated $524 million), has created a ripple effect that has had repercussions for the future of the space.
To understand the road ahead, I posit that crypto companies — especially those in the privacy space — should consider the advantages, instead of the disadvantages, that privacy coins will provide to the greater community so that they can better advocate for regulatory leniency in both Japan and beyond.

Making the case
Stepping back, if you were to ask any industry expert what the fundamental aspects of cryptocurrencies are, they would likely say immutability, fungibility, decentralization, and confidentiality. At first glance, these attributes may seem incongruous; however, they are all uniquely important to the long-term success of the industry.

For a platform to truly be considered “decentralized,” it must eliminate the possibility of manipulation or control exhibited by centralized entities, which cannot happen without confidentiality. And, as evidenced by the recent incidents at major multinationals Equifax and Facebook, the need to protect one’s identity has never been more top-of-mind.
In fact, at present, there have been an estimated 12,918,657 exposed records thus far in 2018 alone, and that number is only expected to increase. This is why blockchain-based cryptographically secure projects are so necessary — to shield the general public from major multinationals (or hackers) looking to take advantage of their valuable information.
Similarly, for a platform to be considered “immutable,” it must provide unprecedented transparency to the exchange, which cannot effectively occur unless there is an added layer of privacy. Every time a cryptocurrency transaction occurs, a user’s information is viewable to the entire community.



On its surface, it might seem as if most cryptocurrencies — from bitcoin to ethereum — satisfy these criteria. However, as of late, bad actors have found ways to outsmart the system. And once they do so, not only can they connect an individual to one transaction, but they can connect them to their entire crypto history.

It’s becoming an undeniable truth that traditional coins will simply not fit the bill. Exchanges of the future will require more secure platforms that protect users with strong cryptography.

Privacy scapegoated
So where do we go from here? In their assessment of privacy coins, the FSA explicitly stated that a primary justification for its preemptive ban was to eliminate bad actors from being able to conduct criminal activity under the guise of anonymity.

Admittedly, the justification is sound. In the wake of the CoinCheck hack, the presence of anonymity has undoubtedly proven to be an obstacle for authorities looking to find the culprit of the attack.

But don’t be fooled. There are myriad reasons for why this hack occurred in the first place, and none of them are anonymity. If the hack on CoinCheck was a primary justification for the FSA’s decision, then privacy coins were an unfortunate scapegoat.

To ensure a domino effect doesn’t occur in countries around the world, crypto companies should take the initiative and educate regulators about the potential value proposition that privacy coins provide to the blockchain industry.

The FSA decision is one of the first instances where a government entity has questioned the status of privacy coins and their ability to positively impact our commercial ecosystem. It won’t be the last.

By taking precautionary action, companies can quell any misconceptions about the use-cases of the technology, and ensure long-term sustainability of the space for years to come.



Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Robert Viglione
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Another Major Asian Exchange Delists Privacy Coins!

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Major South Korean exchange platform Korbit has today discontinued sales in five cryptocurrencies, as the country’s exchanges attempt to restore public faith in their services.

The so-called “anonymous” Zcash, Monero and Dash coins were delisted, in addition to the Augur and Steem cryptocurrencies. The move was reminiscent of a similar decision last week by Japan’s Coincheck, which announced it would remove Augur, Zcash, Monero and Dash from its own platform.




Korbit, which will allow customers to sell any of their remaining holdings in the five cryptocurrencies until June 21, has left the door open for re-listing at a further date, stating, “We have yet to determine a date for the resumption of trade in the affected coins. We advise customers to protect their interests by either selling or withdrawing the said cryptocurrencies.”

In Japan’s case, the regulatory Financial Services Agency is urging licensed exchanges to de-list any coin that offers “anonymity,” as it believes such tokens can be used to launder money or fund terrorist groups. The FSA is thought to be prepared to introduce formal guidelines if exchanges fail to comply.

Although the South Korean government is yet to introduce an official licensing system through its own financial regulator, Korbit’s decision may come as part of industry-wide self-regulatory efforts. Public confidence in exchanges has been badly shaken in the wake of Bithumb’s controversial plans to list the Popchain token, and charges of financial irregularities leveled at Upbit.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Tim Alper
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ZCash (ZEC) Announces Starkware Partnership

The ZCash (ZEC) project continues to struggle for prominence.

The latest news concern a partnership with an applied cryptography company, StarkWare Industries.

The company was founded by former ZCash developers and scientists professor Eli Ben-Sasson and professor Alessandro Chiesa. Now, the early developers return as advisors and partners to the ZCash project, attempting to unroll the STARKs technology for anonymization.

Zero-knowledge (ZK) proof systems are already used on ZCash, in the form of ZK-SNARKs, and the StarkWare company plans to introduce an alternative workup.
Price Continues to Sink

ZEC has always been a niche coin, and somehow missed a more dramatic appreciation. The digital asset has received both accolades and criticisms, the latter coming from the Monero community.

Due to its low supply, ZEC has always commanded a relatively high price, but now the asset continues to slide below $300. In the past week, ZEC sank more than 16% to $259.43.

Zcash Company

Going to #Consensus2018? Don’t miss the good stuff! Turing Award winner and cryptography legend @WhitfieldDiffie and @zooko will discuss the implications of the widest deployment of public key cryptography ever known. Monday, 5:20pm.

It is unknown whether the Consensus 2018 event would bring a change of tides for the price. The event was recently boycotted by Vitalik Buterin for being connected to a potential exposure of users to an airdrop scam.

The biggest disadvantage for the ZEC asset is the inactive trading. Due to the high price, few investors jump in, as they would into cheaper coins. Also, the coin’s marketing is directed to large-scale investors, and ZEC has so far hovered locked within a range, not achieving rapid growth that would introduce panic-buying.

Recently, a team of British scientists tested the ZCash system, and discovered that users were compromising their privacy through address usage. Using a mix of transparent and shielded address makes ZEC transactions easier to trace, or at least reveal patterns of usage.

Additionally, the ZCash team faces research and a decision on the Antminer Z9 ASIC. Part of the community supports an ASIC-disabling fork, and threatens to leave the project in case large-scale ASIC mining is allowed to continue.


 

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Christine Masters
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Explaining the Crypto in Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have gained immense popularity thanks to their decentralized, secure and anonymous nature, which supports the peer-to-peer architecture and makes it possible to transfer funds and other digital assets between two different individuals without a central authority.

How does this automated and anonymous system of cryptocurrency ensure that all transactions are processed with due diligence and authenticity without any intervention? Enter the underlying concept and tools of cryptography, which form the backbone of cryptocurrency processing.

The “Crypto” in Cryptography

The word “crypto” literally means concealed or secret – in this context, anonymous. Depending upon the configuration, the implemented cryptography technology ensures pseudo- or full anonymity. In principle, the cryptography guarantees the security of the transactions and the participants, independence of operations from a central authority, and protection from double spending.

Cryptography technology is used for multiple purposes – for securing the various transactions occurring on the network, for controlling the generation of new currency units, and for verification of the transfer of digital assets and tokens.

Lets draw an analogy with a real world transaction – like signing a bank check – that needs your signature. A trustworthy and secure signature requires it to have the following properties:

  1. it should be verifiable by others that it is indeed your signature;
  2. it should be counterfeit-proof such that no one else can forge your signature, and
  3. it should be secure from any possibility of denial by the signer later – that is, you cannot reneg on a commitment once signed.

Cryptocurrencies emulate the concept of real world signatures by using cryptography techniques and the encryption keys. Cryptography methods use advanced mathematical codes to store and transmit data values in a secure format that ensures only those, for whom the data or transaction is intended for, can receive, read and process it, and ensure the authenticity of the transaction and participant, like a real-world signature.

How Does Cryptography Work?

Think about receiving radio signals on your car’s radio that allows you to listen to the broadcast. This broadcast is public knowledge and open to everyone. By contrast, think about defense level communications, like that between soldiers on a combat mission. This communication will be secure and encrypted. It will be received by and known to only the intended participants instead of being open to the whole world. Cryptocurrency’s cryptography works in a similar way.

In the simplest terms, cryptography is a technique to send secure messages between two or more participants – the sender encrypts/hides a message using a type of key and algorithm, sends this encrypted form of message to the receiver, and the receiver decrypts it to generate the original message.

Encryption keys are the most important aspect of cryptography. They make a message, transaction or data value unreadable for an unauthorized reader or recipient, and it can be read and processed only by the intended recipient. Keys make the information “crypto”, or secret.

Many cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, may not explicitly use sending of such secret, encrypted messages, as most of the information that involves Bitcoin transactions is public to a good extent. However, there is a new breed of cryptocurrencies, like ZCash and Monero, which uses various forms of cryptography encryption to keep the transaction details secure and completely anonymous during transmission. (For more, see What Is Monero (XMR) Cryptocurrency?)

Some of the tools that were developed as a part of cryptography have found important use in cryptocurrency working. They include functions of hashing and digital signatures that form an integral part of Bitcoin processing, even if Bitcoin does not directly use hidden messages. (See also, How Does Bitcoin Work?)

Cryptography Methods Used in Cryptocurrencies

Multiple methods exist for encryption in cryptography.

The first one is Symmetric Encryption Cryptography. It uses the same secret key to encrypt the raw message at source, transmit the encrypted message to the recipient, and then decrypt the message at the destination. A simple example is representing alphabets with numbers – say, ‘A’ is ‘01’, ‘B’ is ‘02’, and so on. A message like “HELLO” will be encrypted as “0805121215,” and this value will be transmitted over the network to the recipient(s). Once received, the recipient will decrypt it using the same reverse methodology – ‘08’ is ‘H’, ‘05’ is ‘E’, and so on, to get the original message value “HELLO.” Even if unauthorized parties receives the encrypted message “0805121215,” it will be of no value to them unless they know the encryption methodology.

The above is one of the simplest examples of symmetric encryption, but lots of complex variations exist for enhanced security. This method offers advantages of simple implementation with minimum operational overhead, but suffers from issues of security of shared key and problems of scalability.

The second method is Asymmetric Encryption Cryptography, which uses two different keys – public and private – to encrypt and decrypt data. The public key can be disseminated openly, like the address of the fund receiver, while the private key is known only to the owner. In this method, a person can encrypt a message using the receiver’s public key, but it can be decrypted only by the receiver’s private key. This method helps achieve the two important functions of authentication and encryption for cryptocurrency transactions. The former is achieved as the public key verifies the paired private key for the genuine sender of the message, while the later is accomplished as only the paired private key holder can successfully decrypt the encrypted message.

The third cryptography method is Hashing, which is used to efficiently verify the integrity of data of transactions on the network. It maintains the structure of blockchain data, encodes people’s account addresses, is an integral part of the process of encrypting transactions that occur between accounts, and makes block mining possible. Additionally, Digital Signatures complement these various cryptography processes, by allowing genuine participants to prove their identities to the network.

Multiple variations of the above methods with desired levels of customization can be implemented across various cryptocurrency networks.

The Bottom Line

Anonymity and concealment is a key aspect of cryptocurrencies, and various methods used through cryptographic techniques ensure that participants as well as their activities remain hidden to the desired extent on the network.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Author: Shobhit Seth