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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.

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Vitalik Buterin Sees Ethereum (ETH) Dominance Fading… And He’s Not The Only One

Vitalik Claims Ethereum Is Losing Its Lead “To Some Extent”

Earlier this week, the one and only Vitalik Buterin sat down with prominent crypto journalist Laura Shin to talk all things Ethereum. In the interview, this being the first live episode of “Unchained,” Buterin was surprisingly candid, letting a few things slip out of his lips that may have caught some on the back foot.

According to BreakerMag, Shin started it out with a toughie: “is Ethereum losing its lead?”

Surprisingly, Buterin conceded, remarking that yes, Ethereum is losing its command over the smart contract blockchain ecosystem “to some extent.” The Russian-Canadian coder chalks this up to his brainchild’s nascency, explaining that as the industry swells, there will naturally be competitors that rear their heads. He adds that time gives projects time to build off their predecessors.

The 26-year-old programming wiz goes on to touch on potential competitors. Polkadot, a yet-to-launch crypto project that raised a purported $100 million+. Buterin explains that he doesn’t see the blockchain replacing his own. Yet, he explains that he wouldn’t be entirely disheartened if the privacy-centric ZCash or even Ethereum Classic were to usurp his project’s own hegemony.

On the other hand, he poked fun at Tron, explaining that if the Justin Sun-run venture manages to take over Ethereum, he ”
will have lost a certain amount of hope for humanity.”

Losing Steam

Buterin isn’t the first to have brought up issues with the narrative that Ethereum will always be the go-to platform for decentralized applications.

Kyle Samani, the co-founder and managing partner of Multicoin Capital, noted that well-funded, high-potential blockchains could eventually pose a threat to Ethereum’s multi-year supremacy. The Multicoin executive noted that Cosmos and the a16z-backed Dfinity, two projects that found their roots in 2017, could take a large piece of the smart contract development and deployment pie.

World-renowned venture capitalist Fred Wilson echoed this thesis. In a blog post, Wilson, the co-founder of Union Square, remarked that “‘next-gen’ smart contract platforms” will begin to ship and challenge the long-standing leader in 2019, especially in terms of its leadership in this “super important area in the crypto sector.”

In a recent Forbes interview, Alex Sunnarborg, a Tetras Capital representative, noted that recent layoffs at Consensus Systems, better known as ConsenSys, should have a negative effect on the broader Ethereum ecosystem.

He added that the fact ConsenSys is an integral part of this subsector and underwent purportedly drastic staff cuts should have some worried. Generalizing DApps and products on the platform, Sunnarborg explained that many promising offerings have yet to launch, and the ones that have are “pretty difficult to use” and have little-to-zero active users.

Case in point, the Tetras capital founding partner drew attention to the mere $40,000 currently staked on Augur, a multi-million dollar ICO. Thus, he claimed:

“There’s this massive disconnect between how much money is still tied up in these projects and how much people actually use them.”

Sunnarborg added that Ethereum may also become pressured by competition blockchains, like Dfinity or Polkadot, along with the fact that the chain’s development is losing momentum and steam.


Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

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Ethereum Founder Vitalik Could Be Worth $100M+, Crypto Investor Speculates

Vitalik Still Owns $50 Million In Ethereum

Crypto investors are curious folk. Almost every stakeholder wants to know who Satoshi really is. So, it should come as no surprise that some have delved into blockchain data to determine the net worth/asset value of some of this space’s leading figures. Alex Sunnarborg, who heads cryptocurrency hedge fund Tetras Capital, recently divulged a bit about the financial status of Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum.

In a six-part thread, Sunnarborg did his utmost to analyze the publicly-known wallets of the Russian-Canadian coder. It was explained that per Etherscan, Buterin currently owns the keys to the 24th most valuable Ethereum (not counting ERC tokens) account.

The wallet in question has custody of 350,003 Ether, 0.332% of the asset’s current circulating supply. At current valuations, such a cryptocurrency stash is valued at $50,000,000 by the market — evidently no small sum. 350,003 ETH is drastically less than the 500,000 coins he received during Ethereum’s genesis block, presumably for his work building the blockchain from the ground up.

Sunnarborg speculates that the disparity between the Ether amount Buterin initially received and his current balance is due to a series of cash outs, which were purportedly completed between June 2017 and February 2018. The investor adds that these sales likely netted Vitalik approximately $40 million, which has likely funded Buterin’s little-known living habits.

And with that, Sunnarborg concluded that Buterin’s finances can be broken down as follows: $50 million worth of Ether in primary address, $40 million in fiat reserves, and likely millions worth of Ether, ERC tokens, and project equity.

Long story short, Buterin is doing rather well for himself.

Bone To Pick With Ether?

While Sunnarborg did not divulge his reasoning for issuing the aforementioned thread, some have speculated that he has a bit of a bone to pick with Ethereum. One Twitter user with the moniker “Yanay” asked if this thread was meant to shame Buterin, who has been rather closed about his private life throughout his seven or eight years in the industry. And in the eyes of some, this may be the case.

In a recent Forbes interview, the Tetras Capital representative noted that recent layoffs at Consensus Systems, better known as ConsenSys, should have a negative effect on the broader Ethereum ecosystem.

He added that the fact ConsenSys is an integral part of this subsector and underwent purportedly drastic staff cuts should have some worried. Generalizing DApps and products on the platform, Sunnarborg explained that many promising offerings have yet to launch, and the ones that have are “pretty difficult to use” and have little-to-zero active users.

Case in point, the Tetras capital founding partner drew attention to the mere $40,000 currently staked on Augur, a multi-million dollar ICO. Thus, he claimed:

“There’s this massive disconnect between how much money is still tied up in these projects and how much people actually use them.”

Sunnarborg added that Ethereum may also become pressured by competition blockchains, like Dfinity or Polkadot, along with the fact that the chain’s development is losing momentum and steam.

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Vitalik Buterin: High Ethereum (ETH) Prices are Good For Development

Ethereum ETH price Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder for Ethereum, has an interesting view on the price development of ETH.

While current investors would be happy to see the price of Ethereum return to its all time high of $1432 in the early days of Jan. 2018, Buterin believes that a high ETH price is healthy for both network security and ecosystem development.

Buterin made his comments in a crypto-focused interview held by Laura Shin at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism on Mar. 20, which was live-streamed for outside viewers. Shin asked the ETH co-founder whether project leads and designers–such as Buterin–should be focused on the price of cryptocurrency, particularly in light of the high volatility and the current “crypto winter” market conditions.

In response, Buterin pointed to what he called “earlier rhetoric” for ETH which downplayed the importance of cryptocurrency valuation in light of industry growth in development. In particular, Buterin explained that efforts to downplay price talk were both a way to distinguish ETH from other crypto pump and dump schemes, while also keeping the currency from treading in murky legal territory.

Buterin told Shin,

“In part, it was counter-signaling to distinguish ourselves [Ethereum] from other crypto projects that do pumping and lambo-ing way too much. But it was also about minimizing legal risk by basically trying to make the project seem more distant from something that would be covered by financial regulation.”

Since the release of Ethereum in July 2015, Buterin reports that the landscape of cryptocurrency has shifted dramatically. As opposed to earlier perceptions and conversations surrounding crypto, which hinged upon illicit use and other miscreant behaviors, regulators in today’s context are much more open to digital assets and blockchain projects. However, these regulators are unlikely to ignore coin projects just because developers claim they have no interest in the market price, with Buterin explaining,

“Even if people try to claim the price doesn’t matter at all, they are totally going to see through that.”

The cryptocurrency co-founder went on to share his view of ETH’s price, and how increased valuation would benefit the project as a whole instead of just pumping investor wallets,

“I can tell you what things are clearly important about why the price being higher rather than lower is good. One of them is obviously security. If the price is zero, then the network can’t be secure. That’s true in proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.”

Finally, Buterin outlined the value of incentives in cryptocurrency adoption and development, specifically claiming that coin developers and community members are better positioned both in terms of resources and rewards if the currency’s price can continue to grow higher.

The interview concluded with the audience being poised the question “Are Ethereum developers focused enough on the price of Ethereum?,” to which 21 percent reported “yes” with the largest pool of respondents at 38 percent responding “don’t care.”

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Ethereum (ETH) Co-Founder Predicts Blockchain Will Dominate Economy in 10 Years

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin made the prediction that blockchain will be a primary catalyst for the growth of the global economy over the next 10 to 20 years.

Speaking in a keynote at the SXSW conference in Austin on Mar. 14., Lubin claimed that he expected the global economy to grow ten times larger over the next decade or two, and fully expected blockchain to be involved in the majority of enterprise and market growth.

Lubin explained his prediction by comparing the current of blockchain and cryptocurrency to that of the internet and email in the years before it became a mainstream sensation. Speaking on the issue of mainstream adoption and the room left for blockchain to grow, Lubin said

“There weren’t a lot of ‘normal’ people firing email around in 1983.”

Ethereum’s co-founder also took the opportunity to address the advantages he sees in the development of Ethereum 2.0 over cryptocurrency market leader Bitcoin. In particular, Lubin explained that the Ethereum development team is specifically targeting the inefficiencies of Bitcoin as areas of advantage for Ethereum 2.0, presenting what he believes will be a cryptocurrency capable of overcoming the current industry hurdles,

“In Bitcoin and currently in Ethereum, you need to have specialized hardware, burn lots of electricity, waste lots of computation, to basically keep everybody in sync. [With Ethereum 2.0, in 18 months] we’ll have a blockchain system much more powerful and scalable that uses orders of magnitude less energy.”

While Ethereum is still a year and a half away from launching its anticipated major update, one that will witness a monumental switch from a Proof of Work system to Proof of Stake, the developer is already looking to how Ethereum can revolutionize the industry and improve upon its current framework.

Lubin made headlines earlier in the week for similar comments related to the benefits of blockchain, when he claimed that the decentralized technology could be of substantial benefit to content creators. Lubin singled out artists as a subgroup that would “benefit quite dramatically” from the adoption of blockchain, allowing them greater control over the distribution of their content while dictating the parameters of its consumption.

During that talk, Lubin went on to state that blockchain removed the need for middlemen in content creation and distribution, a factor that would greatly benefit the bottom line for musicians and other creative performers,

“I think artists in the music industry on average capture about 11 or 12 percent of the value in the industry and those big record companies are sucking up 70 or so percent. We can replace those record companies with smart contracts on the Ethereum platform.”

Cryptocurrency, as a whole, has seen positive price traction in 2019 after an abysmal year for coin prices in 2018. While there have been periods of price oscillation, Bitcoin reached its lowest 30-day price volatility earlier in the week since November 2018. In addition, the majority of top cryptos have experienced double digit price gains since the start of the year, with altcoins leading the market. Ethereum has managed a nice rebound in price after falling in valuation with the rest of the industry from it’s all time high established in early 2018. 

Last week, analytic firm Electric Capital reported that Ethereum had the most robust monthly developer contribution, generating twice that of second-place Bitcoin.

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Ethereum (ETH) Is Not a Security, SEC Chairman Hints on Official Response to Congressman

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton confirmed an existing analysis stating that Ethereum and other tokens of similar characteristics did not fall within the securities category under SEC standards.

Comm. Jay Clayton

Mr. Clayton issued that statement in an official response to US House Rep. Ted Budd, who requested a formal pronouncement from the commission asking to clarify certain positions regarding cryptocurrencies. One clarification he asked for was to corroborate whether the opinions expressed by William Hinman, SEC Director of the Division of Corporate Finance, were representational or personal in nature.

As previously reported by Ethereum World News, Mr. Hinman was invited to the All Markets Summit organized by Yahoo Finance on Thursday, 14 June 2018 as a member of the SEC, and during that event explained that because of its characteristics, ETH (the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network) was not considered a security:

“When we think about how ether today is operating, at least, we see a highly decentralized” network, not the type of centralized actor that characterizes securities offerings. In its current state, we don’t see value regulating it.”

However, despite the positive effect this opinion had on the markets, the non-formal nature of this event raised doubts in the community. This motivated Mr. Ted Budd and a group of congressmen to ask the SEC for greater clarity regarding cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the like:

Ethereum and Other Projects Don’t Pass The “Howey Test” 

Mr. Clayton’s official communication on behalf of the SEC points out that while each cryptocurrency, token or ICO must be evaluated individually, the general criteria allow the civil society to have an approximate understanding of whether a token is a security by applying the Howey Test.

“We also apply tests developed through case law, including the well-established “investment contract”* test articulated by the Supreme Court in SEC v. Howey and its progeny, including United Housing Found, Inc. v. Forman. As those cases explain, the “touchstone” of an investment contract “is the presence of an investment in a common venture premised on a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others.” The determination of whether a digital asset is an “investment contract” depends on the application of Howey and its progeny to the particular facts and circumstances of the digital asset transaction.”

Broadly, according to the Howey Test, a transaction is an investment contract if:

  1. It is an investment of money
  2. There is an expectation of profits from the investment
  3. The investment of money is in a common enterprise
  4. Profit comes from the efforts of a promoter or third party

Good News For The Ecosystem

For further clarity, Mr. Clayton specifically referred to the words of William Hinman, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance. In the letter, Comm. Clayton confirmed that Ether (and tokens of similar characteristics) were not considered Securities:

 “Your letter also asks whether I agree with certain statements concerning digital tokens in Director Hinman’s June 2018 speech. I agree that the analysis of whether a digital asset is offered or sold as a security is not static and does not strictly inhere to the instrument. A digital asset may be offered and sold initially as a security because it meets the definition of an investment contract, but that designation may change over time if the digital asset later is offered and sold in such a way that it will no longer meet that definition. I agree with Director Hinman’s explanation of how a digital asset transaction may no longer represent an investment contract if, for example, purchasers would no longer reasonably expect a person or group to carry out the essential managerial or entrepreneurial efforts. Under those circumstances, the digital asset may not represent an investment contract under the Howey framework.”

Mr. Clayton’s statements are of special importance for traders of ETH and other similar tokens since they open the doors to American exchanges to operate freely without the uncertainty of being accused in the future of illegal operations with undeclared securities.

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Vitalik Buterin Proposes Gas Fee “Norm” For Ethereum (ETH) Wallet Transactions

Ethereum co-founder and cryptocurrency industry mainstay Vitalik Buterin has proposed a controversial method for increasing ETH developer fund support: imposing gas fees on wallet transactions.

On Mar. 8, Buterin tweeted his proposal, making a clear distinction that his plan would involve the creation of a “community norm,” which users could choose to follow as opposed to being mandatory. However, the idea of the gas fee standard is to encourage the fee being paid on wallet transactions, while discouraging the current practice of users attempting to circumnavigate fees.

I propose we consider supporting a community norm that client/wallet devs can/should charge a 1 gwei/gas fee for txs sent through their wallet, we don’t try to circumvent such fees, and we support protocol changes to make such fees easier (eg. abstraction enabling multisends)

According to the numbers Buterin presents, increasing average user gas costs 7 percent would equate to at least $2 million per year in increased funding for Ethereum developers, without going through the traditional routes of securing more capital that could involve market bias.

While Buterin was floating his idea to the community as opposed to announcing an actual development by the Ethereum team, the proposal was met with conflicting opinions. On user pointed out that an imposed gas fee negated the ability of wallet devs to set their own transaction prices, thereby limiting free enterprise.

“So much for free enterprise? Shouldn’t wallet devs be allowed to charge what they want, even if this is zero?”

Other users were quick to counter that Buterin’s plan involves creating a “community norm” around wallet transaction gas fees, rather than making it a definitive part of transactions. Buterin reiterated this point in a subsequent tweet, clarifying that he was not advocating a mandatory fee increase, but rather hoped to jump start an ETH community initiative to support devs through an alternative method of fee collection,

“To be clear, I am NOT advocating a norm *mandating* the 1 gwei fee. I am arguing for a norm diacouraging overly complaining about and/or trying to circumvent the fee if/where it exists.”

Buterin’s plan, despite the controversy it may have stirred among Twitter responses, does provide a community-generated source of funding for Ethereum developers that promotes decentralization over other forms of fee-collection. However, as some users pointed out, it’s a tough sell to get people to pay for something they were previously receiving for free, even if it comes with good intentions. While wallet operators are free to impose fees to compete on the market, a blanket gas fee–even one that is imposed through community good will or Buterin’s “norm”–would be hard to gain broad adoption.

Despite the lackluster response to Buterin’s proposal, Ethereum has benefited from positive news in the last week surrounding its development. Over the weekend, as reported by EWN, research firm Electric Capital published data showing Ethereum led the industry in active developer support, with over twice that of second-place Bitcoin (BTC). Ethereum has also benefited from the successful launch of its long-awaited Constantinople upgrade at the end of February. 

 

Title image courtesy of beatingbetting.co.uk

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Report: Ethereum (ETH) Has Twice the Monthly Core Dev Support as Bitcoin (BTC)

A new report confirms the industry belief that Ethereum has the largest coding development support of any cryptocurrency.

Despite sitting in the number two spot by market capitalization, and trailing Bitcoin by $55 billion, a report published by crypto management firm Electric Capital on Mar. 7 found that Ethereum has the most developers working on its protocol of all cryptocurrency projects.

Ethereum, helmed by co-founder and industry figurehead Vitalik Buterin, has consistently been one of the top cryptocurrency projects to attract both core and community development, particularly when evaluating its monthly core commits. Research collected by Electric Capital reviewed 20,000 code repositories with 16 million commits to obtain data in their evaluation of different coin projects, determining that Ethereum averages 216 developers contributing code each month. Electric Capital also included in their post that this figure is likely less than the actual number of developers, because their review did not include community-base projects such as Truffle, one of the leading sand boxes for Ethereum and smart contract testing,

“This is undercounting the number of Ethereum developers since we do not include ecosystem projects like Truffle.”

The report also found that Bitcoin has amassed a healthy developer ecosystem, nearly a decade after being launched. While Electric Capital calculated BTC developer support to be 50 per month–around a quarter of what they found for ETH–the company again noted the figure to be likely under-represented, considering they do not account for cryptocurrency wallet projects.

When looking strictly at contributors to both coin’s core protocol, the numbers become more even, albeit with Ethereum still holding a significant lead. Electric Capital reported finding ETH to be “by far” the most active project, averaging 99 monthly core developers–more than twice that of BTC which claimed the second place spot at 47 core devs per month.

Overall, the report is extremely positive on the industry of cryptocurrency and its current development pace. Despite coin prices falling more than 80 percent over the last year, constituting a “crypto winter,” development support has continued to be on the rise. Electric Capital reported that the number of devs working on public coins has doubled in the last two years, with total industry figures being 4,000+ developers per month contributing code to 2,800+ coin projects.

In addition, the report found that development interest has largely been immune to depressed coin prices, a sign of both industry adoption and growing interest,

“Developers who entered the crypto ecosystem have continued to build despite market conditions. From Jan 2018 to Jan 2019, the number of monthly active developers fell 4% while the markets fell more than 80%.”

Electric Capital also found that the majority of abandoned coin projects are currencies forked from existing “high network value coins,” citing Bitcoin Diamond and Bitcoin Gold as both having fewer than 5 developers per month since Oct. 2018. Core protocol development for platform currencies have also drawn the most interest in projects observed, with the report finding 25+ monthly devs for EOS, Cardano and TRON.

With Ethereum trail-blazing the industry in developer support, the cryptocurrency welcomed the launch of its long-awaited Constantinople upgrade two weeks ago.

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Fidelity’s Crypto Head: Ethereum Upgrades Could Delay ETH Integration

Bitcoin First, Ethereum Later

At long last, Fidelity’s cryptocurrency subsidiary, the fittingly-named Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS), is nearing a full launch. FDAS chief Tom Jessop, formerly of Goldman Sachs, Standard & Poor’s, among other Wall Street institutions, touched on the subject matter in an interview with CoinDesk. He told the outlet that while the branch’s advent is nearing, they have yet to integrate Ethereum (ETH).

Jessop remarked that his organization has created an evaluation process for cryptocurrencies, likely much like Coinbase’s, in a bid to support bonafide projects with potential. Currently, FDAS has only given Bitcoin (BTC) its stamp of approval, even though Jessop has stated that Ether and other popular cryptocurrencies may see support eventually. He elaborated:

We’re currently supporting bitcoin, we have designs to support other coins over the balance of the year center to various criteria including our [in-house selection framework], where we obviously look … at client demand and other things.

These “other things,” which are universally applied to other assets, like Ethereum, include the decentralization status of a coin (presumably the number of nodes/miners, consensus mechanism, hashrate distribution), the level of demand from the Boston-based firm’s clientele, the peculiarity of the blockchain, which would affect how FDAS integrates the asset. While Jessop did hint that his crypto firm’s clients have expressed interest in Ethereum-related services, he noted that with upcoming hard forks/blockchain upgrades, like this October’s Istanbul or the following years’ steps towards Serenity, Fidelity may need to “see how those things work out.”

If Jessop is serious, that means that ETH services may not launch on FDAS until late 2019, months after the initial launch of the startup. But to give his reasoning some more credence, he drew attention to Ethereum Classic, which suffered a 51% attack to its blockchain earlier this year. While the same isn’t likely to occur to the ETH chain, Jessop & Co. may be worried about the stability of the chain following a further step towards PoS (which miners may find contentious).

Crypto Services Live For Eligible Clients

While the lack of Ether support may irk some of Fidelity’s thousands of institutional clients, the bottom line is that the service is live. A recent tweet from the Wall Street-backed startup corroborated this. Citing a company update which Ethereum World News reported on previously, FDAS revealed that it is now live, or at least in a limited capacity. The firm tweeted the following seemingly in tandem with the Coindesk report:

Moving ahead into 2019, Jessop intends to see his firm scale, specifically in a bid to see FDAS consume 90% of the States’ institutional crypto market. He claims that this scaling will take the form of regulatory green lights, along with ironing out any bugs in the platform. This will be of utmost importance, as the FDAS head noted that Fidelity has seen a “significant amount of demand” in regards to cryptocurrencies, from crypto-native firms to hedge funds.

This could finally be a positive sign for this market moving forward. Just yesterday, prominent analyst The Crypto Dog took to Twitter to lay out a number of reasons why Bitcoin bears shouldn’t, well, be bearish. A primary facet of his list, which includes Binance’s ventures, Argentinian government blockchain involvement, and Bakkt’s (potential) Starbucks integration, was the launch of Fidelity’s cryptocurrency arm. CNBC contributor Brian Kelly touched on this too, explaining yesterday that this is one reason why it appears that the “crypto winter” is starting to thaw.

Title Image Courtesy of Descryptive.com Via Unsplash

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Has Native Support For Ethereum, Not Bitcoin: Pre-Release Device

S10 May Only Support Ethereum, Not Bitcoin Out Of The Box

Just weeks ago, Samsung hosted its Unpacked event, unveiling the Galaxy S10 lineup. But, at the time of the event, little was known about the offering, save for the fact that it was named the “Blockchain Keystore,” which would store keys for blockchain-enabled mobile applications. In the days that followed, however, details and images reached media claiming that Keystore was actually a fully-fledged crypto wallet that supported Bitcoin, Ethereum, and potentially ERC-20 tokens.

Yet, a pre-release/early-release version of the device sent to a Youtuber going by Jorozu was revealed to only support Ethereum, not even the flagship cryptocurrency.

In a nine-minute video, Jorozu unboxed the device, which seems as bonafide as can be. He drew attention to Keystore on his device, seemingly the Korean release rather than the international release, and showed it depicting an Ethereum transaction’s information.

Funnily enough, however, when Jorozu opened Keystore, he was greeted with a visual representation of Bitcoin, but still claimed the offering only supported Ethereum out of the box.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that wallet providers have seemingly opted to support Ethereum before its ‘father’ in Bitcoin.

Opera, the popular web browser, only supports Ether and ERC tokens on its built-in wallet. This is likely due to Opera’s centricity on Internet applications, with Ethereum being a much more popular platform for DApps than Bitcoin.

Moreover, Coinbase Wallet (different than Coinbase.com), formerly known as Toshi, just recently added support for Bitcoin, Litecoin, among a few other assets, after supporting Ethereum and tokens on the ‘world computer’ blockchain for over a year.

How About Cosmo And Enjin?

Interestingly, the Youtuber that recorded this video made no mention of Cosmee and Enjin either, two other digital assets reported to play a role in Samsung’s first consumer-facing cryptocurrency offering.

For those who missed the memo, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung took to the stage to reveal that its S10 devices are “financial transaction ready,” and would support cold storage for Enjin (ENJ), Cosmee (COSM), and the two aforementioned.

Considering the fact that official Samsung representatives have expressed approval to the aforementioned altcoins, the lack of support for COSM and ENJ may just be temporary or region-locked.

Still To Boost Crypto

Even if the wallet application doesn’t support Ethereum from the get-go, many argue that Samsung’s first noticeable array into the blockchain realm could spark widespread adoption. Industry commentator Satoshi Flipper noted that KeyStore & Co, along with Square’s potential integration of the Lightning Network, could do more for Bitcoin adoption than “Bakkt and all the ETF’s in the pipeline combined.”

Per statistics gathered by Flipper, a real estate developer by trade but Bitcoin lover by night, Samsung shipped 70 million units in Q4 2018 alone. All the devices shipped likely weren’t flagships. But, considering the popularity of Galaxy devices, it wouldn’t be nonsensical to claim that a minimum of 25 million individuals will pick up S10 smartphones over the course of the coming year.

Even if this offering isn’t actively used by common Joes and Jills with S10s in their pockets, White Rabbit, a long-time Bitcoin miner & respected investor, remarked that custody (security) remains one of the largest problems facing this space today. And as such, he determined that the introduction of proper security solutions, like KeyStore, could be “interesting” to watch in the coming months and years.

Alec Ziupsnys, better known as Rhythm Trader on Twitter, noted that Samsung’s latest move in the blockchain realm should spark competition from Apple and Google, thus catalyzing adoption even further.

Photo by Tinh Khuong on Unsplash

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