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Metamask Browser Extension Default Settings Broadcast ETH Addresses to Visited Websites

Leading Ethereum browser extension Metamask reportedly broadcasts ETH addresses to all visited websites.

Leading Ethereum (ETH) browser extension Metamask reportedly broadcasts ETH addresses to all websites a user visits in its default settings, a GitHub issue submitted on March 20 states.

Metamask is a browser extension featured in the Brave browser — compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera — that enables its users to interact with Ethereum-based decentralized applications (DApps). According to the aforementioned GitHub issue, Metamask broadcasts its users’ ETH address to all the websites visited in its default settings, with the post specifying that the ETH addresses are shown in data objects contained in message broadcasts as opposed to window objects.

According to the issue report, this can lead to the identification of users and precludes Metamask use by privacy sensitive DApps. More precisely, the user cites the recently hacked porn DApp Spankchain and health DApps as examples.

Moreover, not only the administrators of the visited websites have access to users’ Metamask addresses, but also so-called trackers such as Facebook like or share buttons, Twitter retweet buttons and similar systems that can fingerprint the browser. The user also noted on GitHub that he expects that “these message broadcasts will significantly decrease the value of ETH over the long-term.”

In his answer to the GitHub issue, developer Dan Miller argued that enabling private mode solves the problem, to which the user who created the report responds that it does not. ConsenSys software developer Daniel Finlay admitted that they agree that there is a need to enable privacy mode by default, and that the extension’s privacy could be improved upon.

Lastly, Finlay also responded to the user’s allegations that the reportedly lacking privacy features of the software are malicious in nature:

“We definitely reject all your claims that this is some weird malicious act on our part. That would be the craziest move we could ever make on a totally open source crypto project.”

As Cointelegraph reported in November last year, Metamask showcased a mobile version of its software in the past, but it hasn’t been released yet. However, a malware impersonating the tool appeared on Google Play and was subsequently removed from the store in February.

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Ethereum (ETH), EOS, and Tron (TRX) Users Will Be Able to Interact With Each Other Thanks to Loom Network

Deciding which blockchain will be most suitable for a Dapp
is the most critical choices of any developer; however, the Loom Network team
seems to have achieved the dream of interoperability that kept many developers
and enthusiasts fantasizing on social networks (and working hard to make it
happen).

In an announcement published on its official blog, the Loom Network team explains that thanks to the development of PlasmaChain, dAPPS running on Tron and EOS will be able to communicate smoothly with each other, and interact with Ethereum (the blockchain on which PlasmaChain runs).

Over the coming weeks, Loom Network will be releasing integrations for Tron and EOS into PlasmaChain – effectively allowing DApp developers to offer their DApps to users on all three chains simultaneously.

Loom’s team says they took a blockchain-agnostic approach, to develop a product that would be useful for as many users as possible, but they are aware that such a decision “is bound to ruffle a few feathers.”

Loom Network developed PlasmaChain as a “universal layer 2” that will make it possible to share data among TRX, EOS and ETH users. Image Courtesy: Loom

Although Ethereum is the second most important blockchain in the ecosystem, the growth of other DApp-oriented blockchains is undeniable. Coming up with a solution that allows developers to expose their product to users of “rival” blockchains without having to do any kind of reprogramming is a wise decision, both economically and technologically .

Bottom line is, DApp developers want the maximum number of users possible using their DApps and spending money on their services- and they’re going to gravitate toward whichever platform offers that.

The Loom Network team explains that PlasmaChain
generates a kind of common ground in which, from a user’s perspective, it is
irrelevant to decide which blockchain to use, since anybody can access the DApp
and pay with any token (ETH, EOS, TRX, or any ERC20 token). According to the
developers, PlasmaChain is a kind of “universal layer 2”.

In other words, Ethereum, EOS, and Tron users will be able
to interact as seamlessly with PlasmaChain DApps as if they were native
DApps on each of those platforms.

Loom network allows users to “make a purchase transaction on Layer 1 Ethereum, and receive the purchased game item (or other digital asset) on Layer 2. This operation takes less than 3 seconds and does not have additional costs associated.

The Loom team has not announced an official release date,
however, according to their statements, PlasmaChain should already be in a phase
of final development.

The post Ethereum (ETH), EOS, and Tron (TRX) Users Will Be Able to Interact With Each Other Thanks to Loom Network appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Neither Dominant Nor Defeated, EOS Still a Work in Progress

Despite a billion-dollar valuation, an EOS glitch shows the pitfalls of blockchain for finance.

Blockchain projects that comprise the greater cryptocurrency sector’s market cap are unquestionably bootstrapped — a product of ingenuity and crowdsourced blockchain fundraising.

But with the industry evolving further in the last few years, gaps between mature projects and less developed ones are more noticeable, exhibited by issues that a well-funded or more thorough team of development experts could avoid. The latest example of this came from EOS — a competitor with Ethereum — when a user figured out how to broadcast a fake transaction to the network for 1 trillion EOS (a single transfer for $3.6 trillion).

While the incident was entirely harmless, it cast doubts on the sanctity of a platform that’s meant to oust Ethereum from its position as the de facto decentralized computer. Using an exploit in an EOS idea called deferred transactions, the user set up a payment that would be settled at a later date — and it was published to the network, even though it was 1,000 times as large as the EOS market cap itself.

EOS block producers EOS New York noted that the transaction that created the deferred incident can only determine whether the create request was submitted or whether it failed, thus getting around the limitations. Once that happened, “it is subject to normal validity checks.” These events cast the upstart “Ethereum-killer” in a less-than-positive light, but they do create an opportunity for an updated, in-depth look into this promising platform.

The EOS evolutionary timeline

EOS is an auspicious blockchain project and remains a top market contender, vying for fifth on the list of top market capitalizations at any given moment. It began as a competitor to Ethereum in 2017, arriving as that solution began demonstrating issues with scaling and transaction speed. EOS had similar ideas: decentralized storage, bandwidth and incentives. In turn, EOS announced its intention to create a similar idea to Ethereum but with a different consensus, mining and other foundational concepts that would solve Ethereum’s transactional bottlenecks.

The initial coin offering (ICO) for EOS was astoundingly successful, thanks to its ambitious timeline, outlook and circumstantial trends. It garnered over $4 billion worth of ETH, setting records but, at the same time, demonstrating the inflated the value of most cryptos and the sector’s unsustainable optimism.

EOS’s founding team, Block.one, accordingly owned one of the fattest ETH wallets, using it it to push EOS through several releases and upgrades, sponsor international partnerships, launch a bug-bounty program, and deliver a working mainnet. The latest release, EOS 1.6, released in January 2019, brought with it upgrades including enhanced tools for smart contract development and faster remote data processing.

DApps on EOS are plentiful, and many of the most-used DApps are from EOS rather than competitors like Tron and Ethereum. While games such as BetHash and PokerEOS find audiences, blockchain development companies like LiquidApps use EOS as their permanent sandbox — and not only make working with it more fluid, but have also released new platforms like vRAM, which is a decentralized, Video RAM storage solution that is much more efficient than any alternatives.

However, various successes of the EOS platform aren’t substantial enough to hide its flaws. LiquidApps CEO and co-founder Beni Hakak notes about EOS that “blockchains today don’t yet scale. EOS […] which has solved many issues on the transaction speed side, still has resource limitations which are critical for the extensive dApp developer that is so needed for user adoption.”

Though several DApps have been deployed, the platform has been found lacking in many ways in 2019 alone, and the circumstances of its existence beg serious questions about the blockchain fundraising model and the ability of other firms to produce innovations reliably.

Peter Todd, who has expressed bearish views on EOS at times, claims that the platform’s problems are features rather than bugs. Speaking of EOS’ scalability, Todd notes that “it was more likely than not deliberately designed to be terrible,” so that it would make it difficult to access the validator set, due to its permissioned nature. The result is less competition and an unscalable platform.

EOS exploits display blockchain discrepancies

The bug bounty program launched by EOS came in handy this year, though its effectiveness had the secondary consequence of revealing just how fickle the platform remains. A Chinese cybersecurity firm found a false top-up vulnerability that would allow hackers to deposit EOS tokens into certain exchanges and wallets without actually transferring them. Several buffer overflow vulnerabilities were also found in EOS repositories, and the company has already paid in excess of $50,000 to white-hat hackers in the first three months of 2019.

EOS is also one of the primary projects used as an example of counterproductivity and paradoxical ideas in the blockchain fundraising sphere. With well over $4 billion in ETH in the mid-2017 bull market, the then-tiny project was worth more than many multinational corporations — and all without a real product.

Furthermore, companies that fund themselves with cryptocurrency are stuck with volatile balance sheets by the nature of their ICO, and must therefore sell to have more fungible and predictable working capital. This has raised questions about how funded blockchain projects represent a liability for the value of their blockchain’s underlying currency, with EOS one of the stronger sell pressures as the market receded in the year following its launch.

Though, according to Ethereum blockchain explorers, it had sold 2.5 million ETH by June 2018, the still-massive valuation of EOS doesn’t mean it’s any more successful than Ethereum. In fact, Ethereum’s volunteer developer community has arguably done more to make it a reliable user experience, without a centralized authority. EOS is criticized for its centralization, but some of the project’s advocates argue that it’s less of an issue than people think. According to renowned investor Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, “EOS’ critics say it’s not decentralized enough, and that’s a very fair debate,” though he believes that “there will be markets for many different blockchains.”

EOS is still finding potentially groundbreaking errors despite a huge pool of funding to draw from, plus the resources of an organized company able to make policy decisions immediately rather than relying on the consensus of peers.

EOS outlines possible obstacles for competitors

Throughout its short lifespan, EOS has made a strong example of the pitfalls of centralized ICO fundraising. One of the biggest is that the SEC now defines projects like EOS more strictly and sees ICOs for these projects as issuing a security. By nature of its concentrated foundation, EOS and similar platforms must grapple not only with retroactive regular compliance, but also the fluctuating value of their working capital. Fully decentralized ideas without an official raise of funds — like Ethereum — encounter none of these obstacles because progress isn’t impacted by price and it has escaped new SEC classifications.

The largest boon for any decentralized idea is therefore not the amount of money it raised, nor the promises it made, but its ability to inspire peer-to-peer participation. People like to feel that they’re a foundational part of a new paradigm, and if the enthusiasm is not organic, enthusiasm for the project can wane. For projects that put investors on equal footing with developers and forego the executive board, failures are also a community problem to be solved rather than an injustice. When casual network peers can take roles of authority if they choose, and volunteer developers are responsible for fixing bugs, this community feeling of “mutually assured success” outweighs the momentum of a fat ICO wallet 10 times out of 10, and this is a lesson EOS is still learning.

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Token 2049: Vitalik Buterin Says Non-Financial Blockchain Use Cases Are a ‘Harder Pitch’

Vitalik Buterin says that blockchain applications outside of finance face more difficulty gaining traction.

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin says that blockchain applications outside of finance face more difficulty gaining traction, as the primary added value they offer is decentralization. Buterin made his remarks during a speech at crypto event Token 2049 in Hong Kong on March 13.

Buterin began by noting that finance is “realistically the first blockchain [application] that will probably achieve wide scale adoption,” and that even though he is a self-declared huge fan of other applications:

“The problem is that decentralization is basically their value add. With finance you’re competing with banks that take five days to do something interesting. With anything that’s not financial, chances are there is some internet thing that does what you want, that’s just centralized. So it’s a bit of a harder pitch.”

As examples of areas where blockchain can catch on beyond finance, Vitalik isolated digital identity, reputation and digital certificates in particular — all of which have use cases that are not necessarily confined to the use of cryptocurrencies or financial markets.

In his further discussion on the current state of blockchain adoption, Buterin appealed to event attendees to identify real-world applications that are developing “not just in theory, but on the ground.” Audience examples included micro-insurance, non-fungible tokens and gaming.

On the latter, Buterin said that while many people are committed to blockchain innovation from their conviction that it can tackle real-world problems with positive social impact, entertainment use cases such as gaming are valuable areas where the technology can draw high numbers of early adopters.   

Speaking of his personal commitments, Buterin highlighted decentralized applications (DApps), which allow multiple actors to share and cooperate on applications that are based on an underlying, decentralized blockchain protocol.

He proposed that the DApps use case can potentially redraw the existing technology and power landscape by leveraging a decentralized ecosystem to allow smaller players to compete with tech giants’ monopolies.

In a recent interview, Buterin stated he was trying to solve Bitcoin’s (BTC) limited functionality with the creation of Ethereum. He compared Bitcoin’s ability to do one thing and do it well, with the aspiration to make Ethereum more like a canopy for apps that can do almost anything.

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Opera Web Browser Crypto Wallet to Expand Services to iOS Users

Opera plans to expand its built-in crypto wallet to iOS users after a successful experience with Android.

Major web browser Opera has announced the upcoming launch of Opera Touch for iOS, according to an official press release published Tuesday, March 5. Opera Touch is a Web 3 browser with an integrated crypto wallet and support for Ethereum (ETH) and interactions with decentralized applications (DApps).

Back in December, Opera launched its “Web 3-ready” browser with a built-in crypto wallet for Android users. Opera explains the decision to expand its services to iOS as the result of the successful integration of the crypto wallet and DApp explorer for Android.

Although the launch date of Opera Touch for iOS had not been stated, the press release notes that users can sign up to test the app through its site.

On Feb. 6, Opera added a new service that allowed users in  Sweden, Norway and Denmark to purchase Ethereum through the Android version of the browser. The new service was enabled via a partnership between Opera and brokerage firm Safello. Safello, according to Opera, is registered with the Financial Supervisory Authority in Sweden.

Back in July 2018, Opera announced the addition of a built-in cryptocurrency wallet to its browser. Product manager Charles Hamel then said that Opera was “ the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0.”

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Tron and Tether Partner to Issue USDT on the Tron Network by Q2 2019

Blockchain protocol Tron and USDT stablecoin issuer Tether have announced a partnership.

Blockchain protocol Tron (TRX) and Tether, issuer of stablecoin USDT, have announced a partnership to introduce USDT to the Tron network by the second quarter of 2019. The news was shared with Cointelegraph in an email on March 4.

The forthcoming TRC20-based USDT — a term that indicates adherence to a technical token standard supported by the Tron blockchain — will be interoperable with all Tron-based protocols and decentralized applications (DApps), and allow for the transaction and exchange of fiat-pegged coins across the blockchain.

The USDT, which launched in 2014, has traditionally facilitated frictionless fiat on- and off-ramping to the crypto markets, allowing users to store and exchange value without the onus of slow fiat transfer processing times.

Tron — which positions itself as a competitor to Ethereum (ETH) by coupling decentralized finance with a wider decentralized internet ecosystem — claims that the addition of USDT will therefore “elevate its existing decentralised applications (DApps) ecosystem, improve overall value storage, and increase Decentralised Exchange (DEX) liquidity.”

The press release continues that USDT on Tron will also purportedly make the blockchain as a whole more amenable to enterprise-level partners and institutional investors.

As recently reported, Tron CEO Justin Sun had announced the imminent roll out of a hard fork, which took place on Feb. 28, designed to deliver institution-friendly functionality, alongside features such as multi-signature abilities and account management options.

The expansion of the Tron ecosystem took a significant step last year with its acquisition of popular peer-to-peer torrent client BitTorrent. The latter launched its native, Tron-based BitTorrent (BTT) token at the start of 2019, which will power the pair’s plans for an evolving decentralized content distribution platform.

As Cointelegraph has reported, the BTT initial coin offering on the Binance Launchpad platform netted $7.1 million dollars, with the sale of 50 billion tokens in under 15 minutes.

Tether, which continues to command the lion’s share of the stablecoin market, is nonetheless seeing increasing competition from a steady stream of new fiat-pegged offerings as of last year.

The stablecoin has previously faced controversy, after critics had suggested that the dollar reserves did not match the amount of tokens in circulation. Last December, Bloomberg stated that it believes Tether does have the appropriate amount of fiat reserves. Tether has not released an official audit of its holdings.

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Tech Firm Plans to Transform Advertising on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter Via Blockchain

A new DApp says it enables an ad payment model based on results. Publishers are only compensated when the campaign’s goals have been satisfied.

Paying for the ultimate result of an advertising campaign, and not just impressions or clicks, has always been the dream of advertisers. There have been attempts to solve this fundamental problem, but despite technological advancements, inefficiencies have remained. Fraud has been an issue, with underperforming publishers lacking of transparency,  which means that advertisers have been unable to guarantee whether their campaigns have reached the demographics they were promised.

Atayen Inc., a United States-based company that was founded in 2014 — and was, until recently, engaged in developing Facebook apps —  has proposed what they call an “oraclized” distributed application that acts as an “efficiency calculator” for ads placed across multiple venues.

Atayen has created a decentralized application based on the Smart Advertisement Transaction Token (SaTT), which means that the objectives of an ad are woven into a smart contract. The DApp independently measures the number of user interactions with advertising content, and as soon the goals agreed upon between the advertiser and publisher are met, the DApp releases the payment in SaTT to the publisher.

To achieve this, the DApp uses a plethora of external sources of data — or “oracles” — connected to various advertising platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

Transparency in ad sales

Gauthier Bros, Atayen’s co-founder, sees this app as a herald of the “transparency revolution”  in online advertising. According to him, this technology may provide a common basis for calculating advertising transactions payments. Bros argues that this improvement is beneficial for advertisers as well as for publishers. He says:

“Defining a common rule of calculation and payment of advertising operations would bring transparency, security and a faster speed for payments to the advertising sector. It is about creating the constitution that governs an advertising transaction.”

Atayen’s DApp is coded in the Solidity language and allows parties to set a range of conditions that trigger the release of advertising payments to the publisher. The actual transaction closure, the number of clicks, the number of views and the total financial expenses are among these parameters.

Atayen says the technology isn’t necessarily bound to stay within the digital world, though. Since it supports an unlimited number of oracles that supply information of real-world events to the DApp, the technology use can be extended to direct marketing, print, billboards and TV ads — to any ad channel that can be independently, reliably and automatically measured.

Result-based ad purchases

The company sees their technology as a response to the radical change that the internet has seen during the last 10 years. Since the vast majority of traffic now circulates on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, simply measuring clicks is no longer relevant to advertisers’ bottom line, the company argues.

Being an enabler of a pay-per-result model for any conceivable advertising vehicle, Atayen’s ad tech aims to allow publishers to charge higher, but more justifiable rates. Bros, who is also Atayen’s CEO, says:

“Oracles feed the transactions, which can be a number of clicks, a number of views, a number of leads. After that, the smart contract calculates the amount owed by an advertiser to a publisher and automatically processes the payment. It’s simple, but efficient.”  

To bolster the adoption of its technology, Atayen presented an easy-to-use wallet to manage SaTT, that, according to its spokesman, makes transactions in Bitcoin, Ethereum or SaTT as easy as sending an email.

Token liquidity

SaTT is required to buy and sell advertising transactions in Atayen’s DApp. The company says it has taken measures against hoarding, hodling and speculations around this token. Bros explained:

“The purpose of cryptocurrency is to be liquid — to be able to buy products and services. In fact, mere speculation is not enough. Take the example of fiat: It is possible to speculate on forex, but the real utility of trading is consumption. Cryptocurrencies must also be bought for a specific purpose, which cannot be exclusively speculation. In the case of SaTT, it’s purpose is to buy advertising.”

SaTT’s ICO is currently in progress. At the time of writing, it’s ICOBench score is in the top five ongoing ICOs — with a 4.6 out of 5 star rating — and is the number one ongoing ICO in terms of the number of rating opinions, as of the “Week 8 of 2019” report. The company sees it as a sign of recognition of its business model and technology by the expert community.

Learn more about Atayen

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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2018 Was the Reality Check. 2019 Starts the Crypto Comeback

Micah Winkelspecht is CEO and founder of Gem, a crypto portfolio app company based in Los Angeles, The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  If 2017 was the year of irrational exuberance, 2018 became the year of reality checks when the market sputtered and crashed. I predict that this year will […]