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House Rules Politicians Must Disclose Crypto Investments Above $1K

Members of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress, must begin disclosing cryptocurrency investments that exceed $1,000.

The guidance was laid out in a June 18 memo drafted by the House Ethics Committee. According to the memo, the committee determined that cryptocurrencies are “other forms of securities for purposes of the EIGA (Ethics in Government Act) and financial disclosure with respect to individuals who are subject to financial disclosure requirements and who file their reports with the Clerk of the House.”

It’s a notable determination and one that was issued on the same day that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) – the ethical watchdog of the federal government – said in its own guidance release that public officials must disclose their crypto-holdings. The House memo was first reported by Bloomberg.

Whether this policy will extend to the Senate, the upper chamber of Congress, remains unclear. A representative for the Senate Ethics Committee was unavailable for comment.

Notably, the document also touches on initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token sales. As it stands, the committee said that “it is unclear which ICOs, if any, may be considered to be ‘the subject of an initial public offering’ for purposes of the IPO prohibition.”

As a result of the STOCK Act, members of Congress are prohibited from taking part in any kind of special-access security offerings that aren’t extended to the general public.

“Accordingly, any House Member, officer, or employee who is considering participating in an ICO is strongly encouraged to contact the Committee for guidance before doing so,” the memo states.

Capitol Hill image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Bithumb – Details Still Sketchy After $30 Mln Hack

South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is scrambling to protect users funds after a large scale hack.

Initial reports from the Yonhap new agency indicate that over $30 million worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen during a cyber attack on June 19.

Cointelegraph Japan was informed that the hot wallet was hacked during the night and cryptocurrency stolen included Ripple. Once the exchange was made aware of the attack, it froze deposit and withdrawal services. Bithumb has already assured customers affected by the hack will be compensated for their losses.

“We checked that some of cryptocurrencies valued about $30 million was stolen. Those stolen cryptocurrencies will be covered from Bithumb and all of assets are being transferring to cold wallets.”

Furthermore, the exchange began moving all cryptocurrencies into a cold wallet on June 16, in conjunction with a security system check and database upgrade as per its Twitter account:

It is understood that the exchange also moved a large amount of Ether to its cold storage wallet as well.

South Korean authorities on the case

The country’s Ministry of Science and Technology has already launched an investigation into the incident, according to the Yonhap news agency.

The hack has also prompted the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) to get involved in order to figure out how the hack took place, working closely with local police and other agencies. Authorities reportedly sent officers to Bithumb’s headquarters in Seoul to collect data and records from company computers.

Not the first time

This is not the first time that Bithumb has been compromised by a hacker. In July 2017, an employee’s computer was compromised, leading to 30,000 customers’ personal details being stolen.

It’s understood that the data was stolen from the personal computer of the employee, and not the company’s servers. The data did not contain passwords, but it was enough to enable fraudsters to use the information to dupe users.

This led to numerous Bithumb customers falling prey to scam calls and messages asking for account authentication codes. Those that fell for the scam saw funds stolen from their Bithumb accounts.

Details still unclear

At this stage, it is not yet clear which specific cryptocurrencies were stolen from the exchange. Ripple tokens have been identified as one of the virtual currencies stolen, but we still don’t know how many of the 37 cryptocurrencies traded on the exchange were taken as well.

EOS and Tron are the top two cryptocurrencies traded on the exchange, amount to 34 percent and 21 percent of trade volume respectively.

Bithumb

Image source: Coinmarketcap

Wake up call for Bithumb

Social media reacted in kind to the confirmation of the hack.

Industry journalist Joseph Young was of the opinion that the exchange could easily cover the losses of users – while calling the event a ‘wake-up call’ for Bithumb:

He also pointed out that Bithumb, the sixth largest cryptocurrency by trade volume globally, has been hacked three times in the last year, while highlighting five of the biggest exchanges not to have been hacked:

Another Twitter user raised concerns after Bithumb deleted its initial tweet which had promised compensation to users affected by the cyber-attack.

Bitrefill CEO Sergej Kotliar noted that Bithumb’s moving of crypto assets to its cold wallet had caused a spike in fees on the Bitcoin mainnet:

This also seems to be confirmed by transaction fee data from blockchain.info:

Total Transaction Fees in USD

Image source: Blockchain.info

Clarity needed

As with all cyber attacks, details are always sketchy in the first few hours and days after the event. Bithumb is expected to give clarity on the theft and advise when normal trading, and deposits and withdrawals will resume on the exchange.

The latest situation once again casts a spotlight on South Korea. This latest hack comes just a couple of weeks after fellow South Korean exchange Coinrail was hit by a cyber attack. In that instance, the exchange lost $37 million worth of cryptocurrency to the hack.

Bithumb was only recently cleared of any wrongdoing after a three month long investigation into its practices by South Korean authorities.

The National Tax Service (NTS), Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU) had been investigating the exchange for any illegal activities, from fraudulent business practices to tax evasion.

Having declared a 71-fold increase in profits in a 12 month period, Bithumb was ordered to pay a tax bill of $28 million after the probe.

In the grand scheme of things, this latest Bithumb hack pales in comparison to some of the biggest cryptocurrency hacks in history. What is more, the exchange seems to have moved quickly to protect users funds, and has already promised to refund those who were affected by the theft.

Bithumb’s integrity will be tested in the weeks to come, and the spotlight is firmly on the South Korean exchange.

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U.S. Mobile Giant Sprint Joins Blockchain Frenzy

Cryptocurrency–Sprint, the United States’s fourth largest mobile network provider, has announced a partnership with blockchain startup NXM Labs. The companies are combining efforts to launch a 5G connected car platform that will utilize blockchain to improve rider features. Sprint joins the likes of Volkswagen (via IOTA), and Porsche in seeking ways to integrate the blockchain protocol made popular through cryptocurrency into improved vehicle function.

The cellular company has outlined a number of possible uses for integration in vehicles, including mobile WiFi and automobile health tracking,

The platform will provide on-demand, unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, powered by the Sprint LTE network that’s ready for even faster speeds and more capacity when Sprint 5G service begins in the first half of 2019. Drivers and passengers can connect their favorite devices in their vehicle and choose to order cellular broadband by the day, week or month without relying on their smartphone plan.

Inevitably, the announcement of Sprint backing blockchain will bring both supporters and detractors to cryptocurrency. The common refrain among technology enthusiasts–but not investors–is in the distinct value of blockchain as an innovation to drive new industry, in addition to correcting existing inefficiencies. However, these blockchain proponents are also quick to point out the lack of real purpose for cryptocurrencies, and instead see the coins as speculative driven commodities that have made a handful of investors astronomically rich while leaving the rest of the market playing catch up. These detractors, time and again, are only proven half right. Crypto–in general–has failed to live up to the initial hype and expectation outlined throughout most of the past decade. But the currencies also fall under the typical exponential roadmap common to all disruptive technologies, from the internet to 3D printers. The scale of time necessary for widespread acceptance and adoption is inherently difficult to predict in terms of timing, but a familiar process when examined in stages. 

Sprint choosing to back a blockchain startup, as opposed to an established cryptocurrency such as Ripple or Bitcoin, is a blow for cryptocurrency adoption in the short term, but a benefit to the larger scale of the industry. Greater blockchain use draws attention to cryptocurrency, while also increasing the chance of greater development interest in existing currency projects. Cryptocurrency is the vehicle for blockchain integration. You don’t build an engine each time you need transportation–you use an existing car. Most companies on the scale of Sprint are distancing themselves from a direct partnership with a coin, given the volatility of the cryptomarket, to protect their own brand and investor shares. But that perception could change as the market turns, or as domino-effect of adoption follows a group of industry-leaders backing cryptocurrency.

Sprint, in its press release confirming the partnership, has voiced a plan for blockchain that sounds remarkably familiar to other association with cryptocurrency, most notably that of IOTA targeting the world’s 8-billion-plus IoT devices,

“Through the power of blockchain technology, NXM provides an advanced level of security and advanced capabilities to vehicles that might not otherwise have it, even extending Wi-Fi,” said Ivo Rook, SVP of IoT for Sprint. “With the power of Sprint’s high-speed LTE and upcoming 5G network behind the technology, consumers will be able to experience the latest in automotive technology, even in early-model vehicles.”

It will remain to be seen how Sprint’s model evolves, and whether that includes incorporation, or at the very least accessibility, of cryptocurrency.

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Stablecoin Project Secures Backing From Peter Thiel, Coinbase, 40 Others

A new project for a stabilized cryptocurrency that would function “like normal money,” has received backing from Peter Thiel, Coinbase, Distributed Global, GSR.IO and 40 others, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph June 20.

The developmental-stage stable-value crypto project is dubbed “Reserve,” and closed a collective $5 mln seed round to develop a fully decentralized cryptocurrency that works “by locking up other cryptoassets in a smart contract in order to provide backing to the Reserve token and stabilize its price.”

According to Reserve co-founder Nevin Freeman, the seed funding was intentionally kept “small,” with the round focusing on partnership-building rather than amassing capital.

In response to a question from Cointelegraph, Freeman clarified what distinguishes the Reserve protocol from other stablecoin crypto projects, saying that:

“The key piece of the Reserve approach is to use cryptoassets from outside of our own ecosystem to maintain a peg, especially at the start. The problem with supporting a peg via cryptoassets that are all within a stablecoin’s smart contracts is that loss in confidence in that particular stablecoin can spiral out of control. We’ve worked hard to make that as unlikely as we can.”

Reserve considers that a price-stable cryptocurrency would offer a solution for countries where failing fiat currencies and high inflation rates jeopardize citizens’ savings.

While unpegged existing cryptocurrencies can already protect citizens from governments by being decentralized, their price volatility nonetheless limits them from serving most retail uses. In Freeman’s words:

“Put simply: nobody wants to spend a token that may be worth twice as much next month to buy a carton of milk, and nobody wants to store their savings in a token that may be worth nothing in a year.”

The project has notably sought an advising relationship with a financial services consultancy headed by a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner, that also includes former officials from the CFTC, Federal Reserve, OCC, and Treasury Department.

Earlier this month at MoneyConf Dublin, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire made a strong case for stablecoins in a “tokenized global economy,” giving the example of debt obligations as a key use case that would require denomination in an asset with a less volatile price baseline.

Unlike Reserve, Circle’s focus is on fiat-stabilized coins – of which Tether (USDT) is the most famous, if controversial, example. Circle recently closed a $110 million fundraising round to partner with mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain on the development of its own US dollar-backed stable coin, reportedly to be released in summer.

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Rapper Akon Creates ‘Akoin’ Cryptocurrency for Use in Senegal’s ‘Akon Crypto City’

Rapper and singer Akon of twelve Billboard Top Ten Hits, including the famous “Smack That,” has announced the creation of his own cryptocurrency for use in his new African “Akon Crypto City,” Page Six reported yesterday, June 19.

During a panel at Cannes Lion, Senegal-descended Akon said that his cryptocurrency, the Akoin, will be available in two weeks for use in the 2,000 acres of land recently given to him by the president of Senegal.

The new Akon Crypto City describes itself as a “100% crypto-based city with Akoin at the center of transactional life […] blend[ing] leading Smart City planning designs with a blank canvas for cryptonizing our daily human and business exchanges, towards inventing a radical new way of existence.”

Akon, who has already been involved with bringing solar power to Africa through his Lighting Africa project, said that bringing cryptocurrency to Africa can help empower its public:

“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency system and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.”

When asked about the specifics of the technology, Akon demurred, noting, “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.”

The singer also mentioned the possibility of his running for U.S. president in 2020, imagining a future debate between himself, current president Donald Trump, and rapper Kanye West:

“And the debate stage will be set where it’s all about me. It’s perfect, a masterplan. I’m going to come in with a team so crazy, man, it’s all going down. I’m not holding my tongue. The way I look at it, win or lose, at least I get the movement going, I get the conversation going.”

Both Akon’s cryptocurrency and presidential ambitions mirror those of John McAfee, formerly of McAfee Anti-Virus software and now well-known crypto enthusiast. McAfee announced recently that he would be releasing his own fiat currency backed by crypto, as well as plans to run for president in order to gain a wider platform for promoting cryptocurrency.

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Step Inside a Massive Ethereum Farm Powered Entirely by Renewable Energy

Right now, in an undisclosed location in northern Sweden, industrial-strength computers are at work cracking the codes to unlock new cryptocoins and strengthen the blockchains upon which they are secured. It may sound like an operation shrouded in secrecy—but HIVE Blockchain’s new mining farm is not as mysterious as it might seem.

In fact, the large-scale mining operation is available for tour by the public, thanks to a 360° VR tour experience that just launched.

Last week, HIVE Blockchain (TSX.V: HIVE) released a 360° VR tour inside of their massive Swedish mining farm. This particular farm can currently power over 24 MW of computing power with another 20 megawatts planned for September

Those who are still unclear on how cryptocurrency works can see for themselves that there’s no actual mining involved. And for those who are clearer on the details of crypto mining but still want to witness what a massive store of crypto mining computers at work looks like, this 360° experience is a unique opportunity.

Industrial-scale crypto mining operations are rare. But it’s even rarer that those operations’ management offers the public a glimpse into their round-the-clock operations through an experience as immersive as virtual reality.

The 360° experience is part of HIVE’s aim to help clear up any blockchain-related confusion through transparent operations that allow unprecedented access into their facilities by anybody who is interested. That means a virtual trip over the snow-packed forests of northern Sweden and into the halls of a cutting-edge mining operation.

To take the 3-minute interactive tour inside their newest mining farm, click HERE.

(Please note that the VR experience is not viewable from a mobile browser and must be viewed on either the YouTube app or from your desktop.)

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA: Price Analysis, June 20

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Bitcoin’s rolling 30-day annualized volatility has declined to about 61 percent from the highs of over 150 percent in 2017. The Blue Line Futures president believes that this is a sign that selling has exhausted, and cryptocurrencies are in a bottoming process.

We have also held a similar view for the past few days and have therefore been advising the long-term investors to build their portfolio on sharp dips.

Earlier this month, the hacking of the South Korean exchange Coinrail allegedly led to a sharp fall in the cryptocurrency prices. On June 20, Bithumb, the sixth largest crypto exchange by trade volume reported that it had been hacked and with more than $30 million worth of digital currencies stolen. Though this led to a knee-jerk reaction, the damage has been limited, which shows that the selling intensity has reduced.    

So, should the traders start buying? Let’s see.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin is trying to pull back from the lows. It has major resistance at the downtrend line. The 20-day EMA is also located just above this line at $7,011. If prices turn down from the overhead resistance, a retest of the June 13th lows at $6,277.23 is probable.

BTC/USD

If the bulls manage to break out of the 20-day EMA, the BTC/USD pair should rally to $7,700 levels. The 20-day EMA is flattening out, which shows that the selling pressure is waning.

Though the initial risk to reward ratio is not attractive, we recommended a long position in our previous analysis because we believe that Bitcoin will be range bound and from the current levels, the rally can extend to $8,500 and then to $10,000 on the upside.

The traders can go long if prices sustain above $7,050 levels for four hours. The SL can be kept at $6,000.

As the initial risk to reward ratio is not attractive, please use only 40 percent of the usual position size.

ETH/USD

Ethereum is showing short-term outperformance as it has continued to move up in the past couple of days. It has broken out of the resistance line of the descending channel and is on the verge of breaking out of the final resistance at the 20-day EMA.

ETH/USD

Once the bulls break out and close above the 20-day EMA at $545, the ETH/USD pair should rally to the overhead resistance at $628.99. If the bulls succeed in breaking out of this level, a rally to $700 will be on the cards.

Hence, the traders can initiate long positions once the digital currency sustains above $550 levels for four hours. The stop loss can be placed below the $470 levels. As the sentiment is still negative, please keep the position size small.

XRP/USD

Ripple couldn’t break out of the overhead resistance at $0.56270 on June 19. Lack of buying support even at these low levels is a bearish sign.

XRP/USD

If the bulls don’t scale above the overhead resistance within a couple of days, the bears will attempt to break down of the $0.45351 levels. If successful, the XRP/USD pair can sink to $0.24, which is the next major support.

Such a fall will dent sentiment, and it will take a long time for the digital currency to recover higher. We shall wait for a buy setup to form before suggesting any trade on it.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash is facing resistance at the downtrend line. If prices turn down from here and break below the $817.8709 levels, the fall can extend to the next support zone at $777.5304-$736.0137.

BCH/USD

Above the downtrend line, the bulls might hit a roadblock at the 20-day EMA or just above it. However, once the BCH/USD pair sustains above the $1,000 mark, chances of a rally to $1,200 increase.

Hence, we retain our buy recommendation provided in our previous analysis. Please keep the allocation size 40 percent of the average one.

EOS/USD

EOS has been trading close to the $10.3384 levels for the past few days. Attempts to break out or break down of this level have failed.

EOS/USD

The EOS/USD pair will turn bearish if it breaks below the $9.0887 levels, which can lead to a fall to $8.

On the upside, any attempts to rally will face resistance at the 20-day EMA, the downtrend line, and the 50-day SMA.

Therefore, we shall wait for a new buy setup to form before proposing a trade on it.

LTC/USD

Litecoin has not seen a follow-up selling after the breakdown from the bearish descending triangle pattern. Currently, the price is stuck inside a small range of $102.974 on the upside and $90.994 on the downside.

LTC/USD

A breakdown of the $90.994 levels can extend the fall to $84.708 and $75.131.

On the other hand, if the bulls succeed in breaking out of the overhead resistance at $107.102, it will confirm that the markets have rejected the lower levels and the digital currency is ready to move up. A failure of a bearish pattern is a bullish sign.

Hence, the traders can go long on the LTC/USD pair if it breaks out and closes (UTC) above the $108 levels with the stops below the recent lows. The target levels on the upside are $127 and $140.

ADA/USD

Cardano has been consolidating close to the $0.16 levels for the past six days. It is following a similar trend it had between mid-March to early-April of this year.

ADA/USD

The RSI is showing firsts signs of positive divergence. We shall turn bullish if the ADA/USD pair breaks out and sustains above the 20-day EMA for a couple of days.

On the downside, $0.13 is major support, which should attract buying. Any break of this will invalidate our assumption of a range and can lead to a fall to $0.078215.

XLM/USD

Stellar has been trading inside a tight range of $0.21529463 on the downside and $0.24588302 on the upside for the past six days. A breakdown from this range will push prices towards the critical support at $0.184.

XLM/USD

On the upside, the XLM/USD pair has a slew of resistances close to the $0.25 mark. If the bulls succeed in scaling above this level, a rally to $0.31 is probable.

The traders can buy on a breakout and close (UTC) above the 20-day EMA with the stops below the $0.21 levels. This is a risky trade, hence, please keep the allocation size 40 percent of usual.

IOTA/USD

IOTA is struggling to move up. The recovery attempt on June 19 could not even reach the overhead resistance at $1.33.

IOTA/USD

The IOTA/USD pair will slide to the major support at $0.9150 if it breaks below the June 18th lows of $1.0795. We anticipate buying to emerge close to the $0.9150 levels as this level has not been broken since November 27 of last year.

We should wait for a bounce from the lows to sustain before suggesting any long positions because a break of $0.9150 can sink the digital currency to $0.666.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Chairman of Korean Gaming Giant Predicts Use of Blockchain in ‘All Industries’ in Future

The chairman of Netmarble, one of the largest South Korean gaming companies, believes that blockchain technology will soon be applied across all industries, local news outlet EDaily reports June 20.

Netmarble reported revenue of 1.5 trillion won (about $1.35 billion) in 2016, with a market cap of 12.86 trillion won (about $11.59 billion) today.

During the 9th Annual Strategy Forum held in Seoul, chairman Bang Joon-hyuk responded to a college student’s question about the future of blockchain and business with an optimistic prediction for blockchain’s use:

“Blockchain with objectivity, reliability and security will be applied to all industries in the future,”

When asked if blockchain’s current popularity was a bubble, the chairman then compared the innovation of blockchain with that of the Internet:

“The Internet was not a bubble. The Internet has made all industries convenient […] [Blockchain]

is not a bubble because there are people who have invested in bitcoin. It is a bubble for those who do not know, but an opportunity for those who know.”

Bang Joon-hyuk continued with his comparison, noting that since blockchain is in its nascency, taking advantage of the technology could bring success similar to the Internet entrepreneurs of the 1980s:

“It seems that this time comes once every ten years […] now we are expecting blockchain.”

South Korea’s central bank has begun exploring the idea of using blockchain in order to achieve their aim of a cashless society by 2020. Furthermore, the South Korean government announced a new positive direction for their cryptocurrency and blockchain legislation at the end of May, when they announced a plan to make initial coin offerings (ICO) legal again.

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Robinhood CEO: It's 'Very Foolish' to Rule Out Bitcoin

More than a million people signed up to trade cryptocurrencies in the days after mobile trading app Robinhood first announced the feature, co-CEO Vlad Tenev at the Future of Fintech conference on Wednesday.

The co-founder of the investing app and web platform was bullish on bitcoin despite the price declines seen over the last few months, saying “this asset has staying power, significant staying power.”

Tenev noted that bitcoin’s price, in particular, has fluctuated in similar patterns before, adding:

“It’s very foolish to say bitcoin is done.” 

Robinhood, a micro finance investing app which sought to open access to stock trading to the general public, jumped on the cryptocurrency wagon earlier this year, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

Tenev said Wednesday that “around that time a lot of the biggest crypto exchanges and brokerages a lot of the exchanges … were just not staying up. [They were] down for days at a time. [We’re] focused on stability and reliability. We were able to sustain the customer orders … hundreds of thousands of accounts [added in a single day].”

At present, according to Tenev, the company is trying “to get people into the overall ecosystem.”

“What we’ve seen a lot is people hearing about us because of crypto, opening accounts … and become sort of customers of the entire Robinhood ecosystem,” he said.

That being said, “blockchain as a concept has become a little bit over-rated,” he noted, explaining that startups are trying to jump on the bandwagon by using decentralized ledgers where a normal database would suffice.

Still, Tenev admitted that “we want to be there as a market leader over the span of decades.”

Vlad Tenev image via CB Insights

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Enigma Protocol to Integrate Smart Contracts Tech With Intel Systems

Intel is working with blockchain startup Enigma to help secure its privacy-enhancing smart contracts.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, secret contracts are a type of smart contract for public blockchains that use cryptographic tricks to keep transaction data hidden from view. Enigma – a startup that grew out of efforts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with the goal of creating a more private platform for decentralized applications – wants to boost their privacy by incorporating Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX), a move slated for the second half of 2018.

An Enigma spokesperson told CoinDesk:

“Privacy is currently the biggest barrier to smart contract adoption. Blockchains are good at correctness, but bad at privacy by design. Smart contracts and decentralized applications will need to be able to use private and sensitive data to see global adoption.”

Enigma plans to work with Intel and other industry partners to develop applications that support the protocol and SGX, later this year launching a proof-of-concept that showcases the potential of combining the two technologies.

Both teams are also conducting R&D into trusted execution environments (TEEs), which are an integral part of Intel’s SGX technology that securitizes data and code. Specifically, TEEs refer to space on a device’s main processor that is separate from its operating system and is responsible for storing and protecting data in a secure environment. In this regard, Intel and Enigma’s goal is to create “production-level software that can be used at scale.”

The collaboration is a timely one, given that high-stakes attacks have already taken place. The most prominent of these is perhaps the DAO hack in 2016, where 3.6 million ether, valued at around $50 million at the time, was stolen from the decentralized and autonomous venture capital fund as a result of vulnerabilities in a smart contract.

In an April Medium post, Enigma CEO Guy Zyskind highlighted the need for secret contracts given the issues affecting other forms of privacy tech. These include problems with coin-mixing and zero-knowledge proofs, the latter of which he said are particularly vulnerable in multi-party cases where several “untrusted and pseudonymous” parties are executing computations.

Therefore, Zyskind said, secret contracts provide the “missing piece” by executing computations using encrypted data that stays hidden from network nodes.

Looking further ahead, Enigma will also be launching its testnet and mainnet – a fully functioning, live network– in Q1 and Q2 of 2018, respectively, according to its roadmap.

Padlock image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.