Posted on

Privacy and Scalability? ZoKrates Devcon Announcement Brings Both to Ethereum

Scalability and privacy are top of mind for ethereum developers.

And Jacob Eberhardt’s new programming language, ZoKrates, aims to address these topics – providing ethereum developers with a toolkit that could help the network realize the full potential of privacy tech zk-snarks. Zk-snarks was popularized by anonymous cryptocurrency zcash, but ethereum’s recent hard fork Byzantium included a couple procedures that pave the way for easier use of the tech on its blockchain.

Revealed during Devcon3, ethereum’s annual developer conference, today, ZoKrates allows information to be obscured off-chain and then uploaded into a smart contract that can be verified on the ethereum blockchain without exposing any of the contract’s information.

The implications of ZoKrates are vast. For one, it’s designed to be so simple to use that any ethereum developer can deploy the technology, which could mean privacy features start emerging across ethereum use-cases, from decentralized applications (dapps) to ERC-20 tokens. And second, because zk-snarks compress information, ZoKrates has the potential to help scale the ethereum platform. by moving computations off-chain and lifting some of the burden off the blockchain.

As Eberhardt, a PhD researcher at the Technical University Berlin, told CoinDesk:

“zk-SNARKs were discussed a lot in the community over the last two years, but the gap between the theoretical concept and its practical application seemed huge. This gap, I try to bridge.”

Privacy – which has generally been seen as a shortcoming of ethereum – and scalability are hot topics at this year’s Devcon3 as ethereum developers prepare to put their heads down to make ethereum live up to its high expectations.

Private and smart contracts

With ZoKrates, an ethereum smart contract – which only executes if certain pre-conditions are met – serves as a way to transfer a zk-snark operation onto the blockchain and to verify that that information is valid.

As Eberhardt describes, a ZoKrates contract verifies that an unknown computation occurred correctly, or in his words, a ZoKrates, “transforms a program into a set of conditions.”

This moves ethereum one step closer to offering private transactions on its blockchain, the “practical implementations” that ethereum’s zk-snarks lead Christian Reitwießner, told CoinDesk in September would be missing to make the technology useful directly following the Byzantium hard fork.

But like bringing privacy to ethereum in the first place, the endeavor is complex.

For one, verifying a zk-snark is still expensive. When encrypted information is read and accepted onto the ethereum blockchain, it costs a lot of computational effort, which in ethereum is measured in units of ‘gas’.

While ZoKrates gets around this in some ways by moving privacy computations off-chain, the on-chain verification process is still quite costly.

Although, Eberhardt has said that ethereum could, through future upgrades, make this process less expensive. Byzantium, for example, already introduced some mechanisms for making private transactions more affordable like gas-subsidized pairings.

Steps towards scalability

Although, the cryptography still has hurdles to overcome. Right now it requires quite a lot of “gas”- about a quarter of the overall limit placed on ethereum blocks.

Crucially though, the cost of verifying a ZoKrates contract remains stable at all times, regardless of the complexity of the computation it represents. At present, a ZoKrates verification fee is about 1.6 million gas. Put simply, anything above this figure would be cheaper to run on ZoKrates.

The same applies for anything that can’t fit inside a single block- because the size of a ZoKrates verification is consistent. So if deployed, the blockchain would be filled with strings of verifications, rather than transactional information. Eberhardt explains that this could “lead to higher throughput,” as more verifications could fit inside a block than the computations themselves.

But that’s not to say there aren’t a few roadblocks in the way.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Eberhardt identified two major challenges to the software to date. For one, although Eberhardt is currently dedicated to making the language “more expressive, intuitive and easy to use,” it’s still very much under development.

Eberhardt open sourced the language today, but specifies it’s still in the prototyping stage and is not yet ready for deployment. On top of that, Eberhardt is currently working on the project alone, with some input and discussion from zk-snarks ethereum lead Christian Reitwießner, so for that reason, says he can’t predict the development timeline.

The other major concern- less of a problem with ZoKrates as it is with zk-snarks itself- is the unfortunate “trusted setup.”

In the generation of a zk-snark, information is generated that could totally destroy that data’s integrity. There’s ways around this- for example, zcash used a setup phase in the generation of its blockchain to ensure its integrity- but it’s hard to demonstrate that the process was foolproof, and the zcash team are still putting on audits on the matter.

Zk-snarks on ethereum would require a version of this- and it would need to be flexible enough to work in the generation of every ZoKrates contract. Towards this, Eberhardt attends zk-starks- the lightweight privacy equivalent that as previously detailed by CoinDesk, does away with the set-up phase entirely. This protocol is expected to be released within the next year- and one of its main authors, Eli-Ben Sasson, will be presenting the tech this Thursday at Devcon.

Socrates quote via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

REALISTO Announces ICO to Launch Global Crowdfunded Real Estate Investment Marketplace

This is a paid press release. Ethereumworldnews does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. Ethereumworldnews is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.


Berlin, Germany — October 30, 2017 — REALISTO, a Berlin-based decentralized real estate investing marketplace, has officially announced its November 7 ICO pre-sale and November 15 ICO, which will last one month through December 15. REALISTO’s blockchain-based platform bridges the gap between real estate experts and investors by giving experts a chance to tokenize projects and crowdfund capital from investors around the world, both casual and professional.

The two-sided marketplace will initially launch with curated Berlin properties selected by REALISTO’s team of local real estate experts. These projects will be tokenized, added to REALISTO’s platform and then crowdfunded, providing both sponsors and investors a platform to foster projects globally. ICO participants can contribute Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) to acquire REALISTO tokens (REA) to be used in active real estate investments.

REALISTO Co-CEO, Rouven Rosenbaum, explains, “The inspiration behind REALISTO was to create access to investment opportunities that have so far been fraught with danger and inefficiency for the individual investor. Additionally, it is our goal to provide a stable and reliable platform for real estate experts to capitalize their projects. With REALISTO, you can select what project to invest in, manage your investment on our app, track real-world market value, and then receive proportional returns.”

2018 Product Roadmap Includes Global Expansion and Security

REALISTO ICO funds will be used to implement a transparent and fraud-proof trustee-wallet system that will make misappropriation and misuse of funds impossible. A Data Room will also be provided for investors to view bank protocols and fund activity.

Leonard Zobel, REALISTO Co-Founder, states, “This secure system will be different than conventional real estate investment funds and other ICOs that offer asset-backed tokens. We will use a rigorous system of checks and balances that guarantee the safety of international investors who take a leap of faith and invest in global projects.”

REALISTO will also be expanding globally with projects ranging from commercial spaces to small residential objects, with a carefully curated portfolio mixed with various project types that cater to different investment goals, yield-to-risk ratios, budgets, and more. All projects will be featured on REALISTO’s mobile application that is built on the Ethereum Blockchain, with full-functionality to search and invest in selected projects.

REALISTO ICO Schedule (November 7 – December 15)

The pre-sale and ICO dates listed will occur at 12:00 (UTC) and will be open to Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) contributions:

PRESALE [30% BONUS] [MIN. CONTRIBUTION 5 ETH OR EQUIVALENT IN BTC]

November 7 [12:00 UTC] – November 14 [12:00 UTC]

ICO WEEK 1 [15% BONUS]

November 15 [12:00 UTC] – November 22 [12:00 UTC]

ICO WEEK 2 [10% BONUS]

November 22 [12:00 UTC] – November 29 [12:00 UTC]

ICO WEEK 3 [5% BONUS]

November 29 [12:00 UTC] – December 06 [12:00 UTC]

ICO WEEK 4 [NO BONUS]

December 06 [12:00 UTC] – December 15 [12:00 UTC]
About REALISTO:

Founded in 2015, REALISTO is a decentralized, global platform dedicated to crowdfunding the world’s best real estate opportunities. Using blockchain technology, the REALISTO platform allows real estate experts to present unique projects, tokenize them, and offer them as curated investment opportunities. From rental properties to new developments, tokenized investments will be governed by an escrow-backed trust, providing security to high-yield investment projects.

Because there is no minimum or maximum investment requirement, investors can choose which projects to participate in and how much to invest. REALISTO was founded in Berlin by two real estate professionals with hundreds of successful real estate transactions in the Berlin market.

Media Contact: jared@cryptomediagroup.com

Website: www.realisto.io

Whitepaper: REALISTO Whitepaper

Posted on

London Stock Exchange Exec: Fiat Cash Impeding Blockchain Trials

Fiat currencies are hampering blockchain innovation – at least according to David Harris, head of commercial innovation at the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

In a keynote address at the third annual London Blockchain Summit today, Harris told a crowd of about 150 global bankers, insurers and technology providers that he looks forward to a day when central banks will issue their own cryptocurrency.

While not a new aspiration, the reason Harris gives for wanting to move to a cryptocurrency equivalent notably stems from LSEG’s role on the Borsa Italiana project, which looks to issue some types of securities on a blockchain.

Even with tests underway, in which multiple unlisted companies have been given access to services normally reserved for public firms, LSEG continues to encounter obstacles related to paying for securities with cash.

“Eventually, and hopefully, central banks will issue their currency in a digital form on a blockchain, because then that will facilitate collateral movement,” Harris said.

The statements underscore that while some central banks have deemed cryptocurrencies a threat and moved to ban them, others are in fact exploring the potential benefits of issuing fiat currency on a blockchain.

But, Harris is conscious that there are factors that could impede a swift embrace.

As blockchain technology was in large part developed to make banks and other middlemen unnecessary, once a central bank decides to issue a cryptocurrency, that could call into question the entire concept of commercial banking, Harris said.

As Harris puts it, “nothing is easy.”

He concluded:

“You’re not going to wake up one day and suddenly have a crypto-dollar facilitating collateral movements. The policy decisions you have to make from here to there are huge.”

David Harris image via Michael Del Castillo

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

SEC Alleges Day Trader Used Bitcoin Hide Fraud Profits

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing a Philadelphia day trader for alleged fraud, claiming they used bitcoin to hide their profits.

On Oct. 30, the SEC filed suit against Joseph Willner, accusing him of illegally taking over more than 100 brokerage accounts and using the victims’ funds to artificially inflate stock prices that he would then trade against advantageously.

In order to hide the profits of those activities, the SEC said, Willner used an unnamed bitcoin exchange to convert the funds from U.S. dollars to bitcoin. Those proceeds were then transferred to another individual, who was not named in the lawsuit.

The agency said in a release:

“To mask his payments to the other individual as part of a profit-sharing arrangement, Willner allegedly transferred proceeds of profitable trades to a digital currency company that converts U.S. dollars to Bitcoin and then transmitted the bitcoins as payment.”

According to the complaint, the two made at least $700,000 in profits through the alleged account take-over scheme. The SEC added that its investigation is still ongoing.

The case was investigated through the SEC’s Cyber Unit, which was unveiled in September and is aimed in part at crimes involving cryptocurrencies.

“Account takeovers are an increasingly significant threat to retail investors, and it is exactly the type of fraud our new Cyber Unit is focusing on,” Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement.

Gavel image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Blockchain Will Keep Growing Even After the Bans, Chinese AI Startup

In early September, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and a week later Chinese authorities shut down major cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. In this article, we will delve into how this ban impacted the whole crypto economy not just in China, but around the world.

Currently in China, many are still concerned about ICO regulation. Despite this worry, business keeps on going as usual with companies saying they cannot stop now that the trend has begun. Even with the bans on the technology the market should keep going. Although the marketing has been paused everyone is waiting to see what happens next.

Hope dies last

Yet, it seems China’s ban will be temporary. Countries like the US and Japan are looking to create new regulations that will help legitimize cryptocurrencies by providing investors protections under already existent securities laws. The new rules can open up a whole new market, allowing companies to raise capital through alternative methods in the future.

Even though the ban is in place, the Chinese are getting creative and trading digital currencies via WeChat and even turning to Telegram, further demonstrating that cryptocurrency is much needed and still have a future in China. Where there is a will, there’s a way.

However, reacting to the news Bitcoin prices immediately fell up to 25 percent – instigating sudden panic in the market. Several Blockchain events – including our BlockShow meetup in Shanghai – were called off fearing China’s strict stance on the cryptocurrencies. Startups that had raised money through initial coin offering had to return all the funds to the investors.

Hope doesn’t die at all

One such company is Atmatrix, a next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) Blockchain with the smart-contract platform, held a successful crowdsale raising approx $50 mln before the ban but had to send all the money back to its investors. They will be taking part in the BlockShow Asia, readily willing to share inside information on the latest situation, as well as their experiences with the current regulation of ICO’s in China. In addition, Atmatrix will gladly be joining the BlockShow as exhibitors and speakers.

Meantime, we got a chance to catch up with Atmatrix to closely understand what’s going on in China. The Atmatrix team was very supportive in answering all our questions. Here’s a brief rundown of the interview:

Q. What are the main targets of Atmatrix at this very moment?

A. We’ve fulfilled the compliance from the regulations of China and developed a legal structure to ensure Atmatrix goes along smoothly. The plan is to launch our decentralized AIaaS Market in November to global AI market, which will grant mobile Apps & DApps with AI capacity. Atmatrix Foundation is working aggressively to develop the international community for both developers and crypto enthusiasts.

Q. Since you raise close to $50 mln through a token sale, but had to return funds to the investors due to China’s regulations, are you planning to do another crowdsale?

A. We will fully comply with the Chinese regulation regarding the ICO. We’ve started Atmatrix.org as an international Blockchain project from the beginning, and the foundation is registered in Singapore. We may launch another round of token sales globally under the certain compliance environment.

Q. We’re all desperately waiting for the final from the Chinese government on ICOs and cryptocurrencies in general. What are your thoughts and plans for this? Are you targeting international marketing only for now or Chinese investors are still on your radar?

A. We’ve done a good job in taking care of the compliance issues as per the requirements of Chinese regulators, and we always have the plan to make Atmatrix grow globally. It is important to understand that there is no border for the Blockchain world, or any limitation for our clients to use our public and decentralized AIaaS platform. We have been aiming for the global market since our launch. That being said, Chinese tech giants such as Huawei, Baidu, Tencent, Ali and so on, will also be part of the ecosystem which Atmatrix is building right now.

Q. What is your and your company’s general view with regards to the growth of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry after the ICO ban and shutdown of exchanges in China?

A. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industries will continue to grow even after the bans and shutdowns in China.

Join the reigning optimism

Clearly, Atmatrix is very optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies in China and the rest of the world. It is the new Internet, so to speak. Without a doubt, we will continue to keep a close eye on further developments around this whole “Blockchain regulations vs. startups” situation.

Atmatrix and other prominent Blockchain companies such as Qtum, Achain, XAIN, Changelly, Bluzelle, Nebulas, among many others, will be present at our BlockShow main conference in Singapore on Nov. 29-30.

Additionally, some popular Blockchain-focused YouTubers and bloggers such as Ameer Rosic, Ivan on Tech with two mln+ views will be in attendance. You will have a unique opportunity to meet them in person at our special Media corner, and perhaps even get a chance to take that selfie you always dreamed of!

So what are you waiting for? We’re almost sold out. Grab your tickets before the prices dramatically increase in two weeks once again: https://blockshowasia.com/buy-ticket

We’ll see you on the other side!

Posted on

Survey: Younger Americans More Interested in Cryptocurrencies, ICOs

Younger Americans appear to be more interested in cryptocurrencies compared to other age groups. 

That’s according to the latest survey published by digital student loan servicer LendEDU, which asked roughly 1,000 U.S. citizens about ether and Ripple’s XRP token at the end of October. The questions ranged from whether people had heard of ether and XRP to if they would invest in the cryptocurrencies. 

According to the survey, 31.6 percent of respondents have heard of ethereum (with 18.2 percent planning to invest in it) while 22.2 percent have heard of XRP (with 14.8 percent intending to purchase some).

After breaking the results down by age, the data shows that roughly a third of respondents between the ages of 18 and 44 planned to invest in ether, while another third did not. The final third was uncertain.

A far smaller portion of adults aged 45 and up planned to invest in ethereum, with between 89–98 percent of respondents saying they were either not going to invest or were unsure.

The results of the research closely match LendEDU’s previous survey, which instead took a focus on bitcoin. In that survey, the majority of respondents who had heard of bitcoin were also in the younger age ranges, while older respondents indicated less awareness of the cryptocurrency.

The latest survey also looked at initial coin offerings (ICOs), finding that roughly a quarter of respondents had heard of the blockchain funding model, while 75.1 percent had not. However, there was some uncertainty around the status of ICOs among even those who had heard of them.

LendEDU said of the results:

“In our September survey, we found that 10.69 percent of Americans believed that owning bitcoin was illegal in the United States. In our October survey, we found that 21.00 percent of respondents believe that investing in an initial coin offering is illegal. And, 61.10 percent of respondents were unsure about the legality of investing in an initial coin offering.”

On the other hand, 15.1 percent of respondents said they plan to invest in an ICO in the future.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

Survey image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Swarm Closes $5.5 Million ICO for Alternative Investment Fund

Swarm, a cooperative ownership fund for investment assets, has raised $5.5 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).

Philipp Pieper, a partner at the company, told CoinDesk that 637 contributors took part in the token sale, which was split into two phases. All told, those backing the project gave 18,048 ethers in exchange for 8,171,014 SWM tokens, with almost all of the funding being raised during the pre-sale.

Owners of Swarm Fund tokens can vote now on the way in which their tokens will become liquid on the open market, reflecting a pivot the company made two years ago, to focus on decentralized governance.

Swarm Fund seeks to enable people to buy into investments that they might not be able to otherwise access. In order to make decisions about investments, Swarm designed a voting system that uses the SWM tokens to determine the outcome.

The first test of its voting system is underway now, according to the firm. Token holders have four options to choose from, ranging from large, infrequent distributions to smaller, more frequent ones, according to a blog post describing the vote.

“This is kind of a big deal,” Pieper wrote CoinDesk, “as this directly influences the behavior of the token and it draws in buyers to become ‘active investors’ right away.”

Voting will run through Nov. 6, with token holders ballots being proportional to their overall holdings.

Of the funds gathered, 25 percent of funds raised will be used to support the foundation that will manage the token, with the remainder going toward software development. According to its whitepaper, Swarm’s goal had been to raise $55 million.

The completed sale represents the latest utilization of the blockchain use case this year. CoinDesk’s ICO Tracker shows that more than $2.6 billion has been raised through token offerings to date.

Bee hive image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Vertcoin Clocks Record High Ahead of Reward Reduction

Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency trading at all-time highs today.

At press time, the vertcoin-U.S. dollar (VTC/USD) exchange rate is $5.55, its highest level ever. Week-on-week, VTC has witnessed a 69 percent appreciation in value, while on a monthly basis, its price has gone up by an astonishing 431 percent.

So, what’s behind the rally? The boost for the lesser-known crypto appears to be occurring as it closes in on a reduction of its block reward, expected on Dec. 12.

The term “block reward” refers to the amount of the cryptocurrency received by miners for creating a block. As a result of a coded halving mechanism, production of new coins will drop from the current level of 50 VTC to 25 VTC in a matter of weeks.

With this drop in supply on the cards, simple economics suggests that value of existing vertcoins might be likely to rise. Traders would seem to agree, as volumes have climbed 79.22 percent in the last 24 hours, most notably on the Bittrex and Poloniex exchanges.

Another reason for the rally could be increased attention on the coin following the introduction of cross-chain atomic swaps, which allow direct trades between its blockchain and other compatible networks.

On Sep. 20, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee tweeted the news of a successful swap between the litecoin (LTC) and vertcoin blockchains using the technique, making it one of the first to support the innovation. Looking back, VTC began its record rally in late September, indicating the positive impact of the technology may have been priced-in.

However, at press time, the rally looks to be stalling and the price action analysis indicates the potential for a healthy correction.

4-hour chart

If the current candle closes in the red, a bearish price-relative strength index (RSI) divergence would be confirmed. A bearish divergence occurs when the price forms higher highs and the RSI forms lower highs. It indicates a weakness in the trend.

View

  • VTC could see a healthy pullback to $4.00 if the bearish RSI divergence is confirmed.
  • The RSI is overbought on the daily chart as well, hence a short-term consolidation in the range of $4.00 to $6.00 is more likely.

Circular saw image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

Posted on

Smart Contracts, Explained

What is a smart contract?

A smart contract is a protocol for regulating contracts.

A smart contract is a special protocol intended to contribute, verify or implement the negotiation or performance of the contract. Smart contracts allow to perform credible transactions without third parties. These transactions are trackable and irreversible. Smart contracts contain all the information about the contract terms and execute all envisaged actions automatically.

How did smart contracts appear?

The idea was originally described by computer scientist and cryptographer Nick Szabo in 1994.

He defined the main principles of work, but at the time there was no appropriate environment to realize them. A lot has changed since Blockchain technology emerged. Bitcoin laid the basis for contracting on the Blockchain. However, its tools couldn’t meet all needs. The appearance of Ethereum put smart contracts into operation for everyone, giving further impetus to dealmaking.

How do smart contracts work?

The main principle can be compared to the work of vending machines.

They execute only the instructions given to them automatically.

At first, assets and contract terms are coded and put into the block of a Blockchain. This contract is distributed and copied multiple times between the nodes of the platform. After the trigger happens, the contract is performed in accordance with the contract terms. The program checks the implementation of the commitments automatically.

What do I need to create a smart contract?

To create a smart contract you need:

  • Subject of the contract

The program must have access to goods or services under contract to lock and unlock them automatically.

  • Digital signatures

All the participants initiate an agreement by signing the contract with their private keys.

  • Contract terms

Terms of a smart contract take the form of an exact sequence of operations. All participants must sign these terms.

  • Decentralized platform

The smart contract is deployed to the Blockchain of this platform and distributed among the nodes of the platform.

Where can smart contracts be used in real life?

Smart contracts can apply to different fields.

Voting results will be put in the Blockchain and distributed among the nodes of the network. All the data is encrypted and anonymous. This method eliminates any possibility of manipulation with the ballot.

The supply chain is generally long and includes a lot of links. Each link has to get a confirmation from the previous one, hold up its end of the contract and send the information further. It takes a lot of time and is unproductive, while with a smart contract each participant can see the progress and do the work in time. Smart contracts ensure transparency in the contract terms, fraud protection. It can also provide shipments tracking with the integration of the Internet of Things.

There are some other possible applications, i.e. in management, bank system, insurance, estate, IoT, and others.

What are the benefits of smart contacts?

Smart contracts use all the benefits of Blockchain technology.

Smart contracts provide:

The smart contract is encrypted and distributed among nodes. This guarantees that it will not be lost or changed without your permission.

  • Economy and speed

Most processes are automated, and most intermediaries are eliminated.

  • Standardization

There is a wide range of different types of smart contracts nowadays. You can choose one and change it according to your needs.

What are the cons smart contracts have?

Smart contracts are not that perfect, after all.

Here are some of the issues smart contracts might have:

  • Human factor

The code is written by people, and they can make mistakes. If the smart contract is in the Blockchain, it couldn’t be changed. A good example of the human error is The DAO. Developers’ mistakes in the code were costly for the users and the company – some hackers exploited errors and stole about $60 mln.

  • Uncertain legal status

Currently, smart contracts are not regulated by any government. So there is a potential issue if governmental institutions decide to make a legislative framework for smart contracts.

  • Implementation costs

Smart contracts cannot be performed without programming. It is essential to have an experienced coder on the staff to make fail-proof smart contracts and adopt the internal structure of the company for Blockchain technology.

Where can I create a smart contract?

Nowadays smart contracts are implemented in most Blockchains to varying degrees.

Different projects are facilitating smart contract implementation. They vary with their possibilities, diversity of smart contracts templates, required programming skills. Nowadays platforms improve and develop evolve towards:

  • Complete support of deals

The support team will help you at every stage if you have any problems or questions.

  • Being suitable for non-programmers

Most platforms require programming skills or programming services.

  • Arbitration availability

Conflict resolution is a weak point for a lot of platforms. The involvement of the third party requires additional unnecessary waste of time and resources.

Posted on

Vietnam's Central Bank Announces Ban on Bitcoin Payments

Vietnam’s central bank is prohibiting the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in payments.

According to an Oct. 30 statement, the State Bank of Vietnam said that cryptocurrencies are not a “lawful means of payment” in the country, and the “issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited.”

From next year, it goes on, illegal use of cryptocurrencies in payments will be subject to penalties of between 150 million ($6,600) and 200 million ($8,800) Vietnamese dong (VND).

The central bank states:

“As from January 1, 2018, the act of issuing, providing and using illegal means of payment (including bitcoin and other similar virtual currency) may be subject to prosecution.”

The moves comes as part of a new legal framework for cryptocurrencies instigated by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. That process has now been completed and the framework submitted to the government, the State Bank indicates.

Local reports suggest that the ban may already be having an impact on local institutions.

News source VietnamPlus said that FTP University in Hanoi, which recently announced it would allow students to pay for tuition in bitcoin, could now be forced to reverse that decision. Representatives of the State Bank reportedly stated that, if the university continued to treat bitcoin as a “legal means of payment,” it would be “committing an act of violation under the current law provisions, and may subject the university to the appropriate sanction.”

The move by the central bank is likely to come as a shock to many in the domestic cryptocurrency space. When the prime minister requested the framework to be drawn up in August, there were hopes the country might formally recognize bitcoin as a form of payment next year.

However, the country has previously issued warnings about bitcoin and blocked credit institutions from offering digital currency services.

State Bank image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.