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Ripple’s XRP the least Loser in the Last 7 Days & Daily Life Uses

The San Francisco based crypto-startup Ripple, since its debut, is close connected with deviation of traditional cryptocurrency philosophy. The delivering of traditional banking infrastructure solutions for efficiency, the centralized nature of XRP and the team’s comments in favor of the fiat standard has made the community engage a hate sentiment towards the coin.

XRP

As commented by the CEO of Arrington XRP Capital – Michael Arrington, saying that indeed the only thing in common and that everybody agrees on in the cryptoverse is that they all hate the token.

But, this does not impact the company at all to grasp success as they are offering financial solutions to traditional banking systems and ordinary users also.

After partnering with Wirex, the company was able to add XRP token support to its Visa card. Subsequently, the number of sign-ups and transactions on the platform had a considerable boost.

Another user mentioned that XRP is an excellent tipping option. This case of microtransactions is essential because many cryptos have been attacked because of the high costs of uploading a transaction to the blockchain. The use of XRP allows for fast and cost-free transactions, providing an excellent opportunity for adoption in real-life scenarios.

The Crypto-Market

The last week has been a constant violent sell-off for the digital crypto-assets as even the leading coins by market capitalization are over 20% in the red. The only that is in a single digit loss is Ripple’s famous XRP against the US Dollar as it has been able to stand in mid of the two major mark $0.40 and $0.50 [per time of writing $0.4400]. Other leading coins like BTC or ETH are dangerously surfing just above the important holding levels of $7,010 and $406.50.

Source: coinmarketcap

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Below $400: 'Death Cross' Hits Ether But Damage May Be Done

Like bitcoin at the close of March, ethereum’s ether token has been hit with a “death cross” indicator today.

The scary-sounding death cross occurs when the 50-day moving average (MA) crosses the 200-day MA from above.

However, it’s worth noting that the 200-day MA includes almost one-year-old data, while the 50-day MA marks data that goes back close to three months. So, such events tend to lag the trend by at least three months.

For instance, ether (ETH) topped out at a record high of $1,424 on Jan. 13, according to Bitfinex data. As of writing, ether is changing hands at $399 on Bitfinex – down 72 percent from the all-time high. So, the sell-off has already taken place and today’s death cross effectively indicates the bear market is three months old.

Hence, it should come as no surprise if ether bottoms out now the death cross has been confirmed. Further, it’s likely no coincidence that the sell-off ran out of steam around $360 just a few days ago.

Daily chart

ETH attempted to form a double bottom breakout on Monday, having formed a base around $360 since the end of March. However, the influence of a sell-off in bitcoin made sure the cryptocurrency closed (as per UTC) well below the neckline resistance of $418.

ETH has also formed a doji candle at the neckline hurdle, indicating indecision in the marketplace.

Nevertheless, the relative strength index has cleared the descending trendline hurdle and has risen from the oversold territory (to back above 30.00), suggesting scope for a double-bottom breakout.

View

A close above $418 (neckline hurdle) would confirm a double-bottom breakout (short-term bullish reversal) and open the doors for a rally to $475.

Bearish case: A close below $358, if accompanied by a BTC sell-off, could yield a drop to $300.

Ether and chart 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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High Stakes: Ethereum's Fight Over Lost Funds Explained

The “world computer” is ensnared again in a heated debate.

Sparked by a controversial code proposal called EIP 867, ethereum’s development forums have become something of a battleground, crowded with bitter commentary, snide pull-requests and coordinated attempts to erase the idea from the platform’s repository.

For those unfamiliar, the conflict surrounds an effort to make it easier for ethereum users to reclaim lost ether (ETH), the network’s cryptocurrency (now valued at $870), outlining a process by which such requests could be submitted in a clear and executable format to those who maintain the technology.

No small problem, fund losses on ethereum have become frequent.

High-profile cases, such as the deletion of a code library from leading software company Parity Technologies saw 513,774.16 ETH or $421 million rendered inaccessible last year. Just months before, the same company lost 150,000 ether, or $123 million, due to a code error.

And it’s not just Parity. Last year, a faulty ethereum address generator saw Kraken exchange and wallet provider MyEtherWallet lose hundreds of thousands of customer funds. And many more, whether due to glitchy software or simple typos, have lost money on platform — one address even holds a total of $6.3 million in ether because it too closely mirrors a call code that automatically locks up funds.

But while some users think refunding the lost ether is acceptable, a side effect of enabling digital fund ownership and the accountability that entails, others are vehemently opposed, believing that such efforts threaten the integrity of the ethereum platform, while raising potential legal liabilities.

Indeed, one core developer even stepped down from his role as code editor citing legal consequences that might ensue down the line.

Still, the conflict is nothing new, harkening back to a controversial decision enacted on the platform in 2016 — in which ethereum refunded 3.6 million hacked ether in a system-wide upgrade, or hard fork.

Founder of ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, wrote on Twitter:

“To those who thought that the DAO fork set an unbounded slippery slope and lasting precedent, I encourage you to see the reactions on this thread.”

In this way, the conflict emerging from EIP 867 shows the two sides of this debate have yet to reconcile, and that there’s subtleties at work within each subset. Broadly, each side can be understood as having a differing interpretation of ethereum.

What is EIP 867 anyway?

In ethereum software development, an EIP, or ethereum improvement protocol, is the process by which code changes get accepted onto the platform.

To add new features to ethereum, software changes are executed in the form of platform-wide upgrades (sometimes called hard forks), but to get to this stage, proposals are subject to a rigorous acceptance process, consisting of roughly four steps:

  • First, if a developer has an idea for a software change, it should be presented as a draft. As a draft, changes can be easily made onto the proposal, and community feedback is welcomed. Here, it also falls under the scrutiny of the EIP editors.
  • If the EIP editors find the draft to be technically correct and in tune with the “ethereum philosophy,” they can “merge” the draft into the next stage.
  • Once merged, software implementations, in the form of various ethereum clients such as Geth and Parity, can occur, and if they work, the proposal can be finally “accepted.”
  • Once accepted, the platform can be updated with the EIP– providing the various nodes running ethereum software decide to upgrade.

However, in this process, EIP 867 is a little different. For one, it doesn’t propose any software changes in itself, but simply documents a framework for proposals to follow.

In this, it falls into another category, called a “meta EIP,” which is a way to collect and formalize EIPs that fall within a certain category — in this case, recovery proposals. Because of this, the developers of EIP 867 have given the meta EIP a unique name: Standardizing Ethereum Recovery Proposals, or ERPs.

There have been a few proposals of this type.

Following the $421 million fund freeze last year, Parity Technologies drafted up several options to recover the funds – all of which were harshly rejected at the time. There is also an EIP named EIP 156, which, written by Buterin, that details a method to return funds lost by Kraken and MyEtherWallet, as well as some other popular cases of lost funds.

According to EIP 867, the failure of such proposals is due in part to “the relatively ad-hoc nature of such requests and the subjectivity that is often required to evaluate the merits.” As such, the EIP provides “a standardized format for fund recovery EIPs and an objective standard by which to measure future proposals.”

Finally, if accepted, the class of EIP named ethereum recovery proposals (ERPs), would be subject to the same evaluation process of any code proposal on the platform.

Currently, EIP 867 is stuck at phase two of the EIP acceptance process — it is an unmerged draft. Former EIP editor Yoichi Hirai initially rejected the proposal on account of its failure to align with the “ethereum philosophy”– one of the categories of judgement in the formal EIP process.

Hirai later stepped down from his position as EIP editor, citing legal concerns that may result from permitting the draft to continue.

And due to its divisive nature, ethereum developers have said that prior to any further action, the EIP process itself needs to be further reevaluated, to clarify whether things like subjective judgement can come in to play.

View 1: “Code Is Law”

When ethereum upgraded to restore funds lost in a hack of 3.6 million ether — now valued at over $3 billion — a portion of the community abandoned the platform, to create a new cryptocurrency named ethereum classic.

On ethereum classic, which is now valued at just under $1 billion, the ethereum platform exists as if The DAO fund recovery of 3.6 million ether never occurred, but instead, remain permanently lost on the platform.

Influencing this decision was the belief that “code is law,” which means that on a blockchain, all executions and transactions are final and immutable, and cannot be overwritten or corrected, especially when regarding real money.

In this perspective, code errors, like software faults that can be hacked or broken, are painful but necessary lessons for development.

Because EIP 867 could make such corrections more frequent, hundreds have stepped up to voice their opinions on Github– with some threatening to migrate to ethereum classic.

“If you don’t like the possibility of recovering funds use $ETC…. This debate was settled two years ago,” blockchain architect Cody Burns tweeted.

Because The DAO was largely led by ethereum developers with ties to the Ethereum Foundation, many saw the 3.6 million refund as a “bailout,” an allegation of developer corruption that persists in the EIP 867 debate.

“If you want bailouts you should stick to fiat,” leading voice on the opposition, Marius Kjærstad, wrote on the thread.

Arguing that such changes damage the incentive to maintain decentralized ledgers, software developer Charles Cooper wrote, “If this process exists then ethereum can no longer be called a blockchain, it is just a central bank which happens to use miners to validate the majority of transactions.”

Shadowing this, is the concern that EIP 867 would give developers too much power over the ethereum platform. Citing a Japanese law, Hirai argued that the movement of funds, especially in the case of unclear ownership, was beyond the capacity of developers, and could make them liable to corruption, coercion and bribery.

“I want to be a software developer, not a lawyer,” Alexey Akhunov posted on the thread.

On the more moderate side, other voices argue that The DAO was a once-off, and software-wide upgrades for fund recovery should be “rare and increasingly exceptional” as the platform matures — a position which Buterin has supported.

Toward this, developer of ethereum’s Mist browser Alex Van de Sande has proposed a system whereby fund recovery could be possible without software upgrades, by setting up an insurance pool for ether refunds.

View 2: “Code is a process”

On the other side are some of ethereum’s top developers, who argue that, in cases which fund ownership is clear and indisputable, recovery should occur.

“It really seems to me that the case for recovering lost ether where it’s easy to identify the true owner, and recovering it imposes a low burden on everyone else, ought to be fairly clear and uncontroversial,” ethereum core developer, Nick Johnson, wrote on Twitter.

And such cases are relatively common.

In the examples cited in Buterin’s EIP 156, funds lost in certain cases could be redeemed, and according to some, rightfully so.

Jesse Powell, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange, wrote in response to EIP 156 two years ago:

“Speaking on behalf of Kraken, I would characterize this more as recompense than rescue. We did take on some not insignificant losses as a result of the mentioned bug in the old ethereum javascript library. At the time, losses were covered out of Kraken’s pocket to protect our clients.”

And Kraken isn’t alone. Indeed, EIP 156 is littered with commentary from others who have been impacted in various ways, each appealing to the community for justice regarding funds lost at no fault of their own.

“MyEtherWallet just burned me for 121 ETH,” an infuriated user wrote on Reddit.

According to some, ethereum has a responsibility toward its users in these cases. Plus, by providing protection for lost funds, the risk of using the platform would minimize, leading to increased adoption.

And while community consensus is essential for changes to occur on the platform, concern has been expressed that the strong opposition to EIP 827 isn’t representative of the wider set of ethereum stakeholders. Speaking to CoinDesk, James Tevy from Taptrust, one of the developer leading the proposal, said, “one of the tricky things now there’s a vocal minority, I don’t take it for granted that the public response was totally representative.”

Tevy added:

“The large silent minority want the network to function and the value of ether to grow. They don’t have a dog in this race”

Finally, because EIP 867 isn’t a lost fund proposal in itself, but rather, a standard with which to formalize lost fund proposals, there’s the argument that the current EIP in itself won’t necessitate any controversial changes at all.

Instead, if accepted, ethereum recovery proposals (ERPs) would go through the same rigorous vetting process as standard EIPs. In the end, if a controversial proposal is implemented, users could choose not to update their software – thus falling out of sync with the dominant chain.

Broken glass  via Shutterstock

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

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Zk-Snarks Everywhere: Ethereum Privacy Tech Hits Tipping Point

“I was expecting maybe 15-20 people to care about zk-snarks, but wow.”

Despite his reservations, the crowd scrambled for seats as zcash researcher Andrew Miller took to the stage at Devcon3 today. But the response, at times elated, perhaps shouldn’t have been a surprise as the third day of ethereum’s flagship developer conference featured a selection of sessions devoted to zk-snarks and other privacy advances made possible by ethereum’s latest software upgrade, Byzantium.

Based on more advanced cryptography, the newly ethereum-compatible updates are being heralded as not only a privacy solution, but potentially a way to scale the network to keep up with its expanding user base. And while the event marked the first official meetup since zk-snarks were made possible on the platform, the raw potential of the tech is already beginning to demonstrate. 

For example, Newcastle University’s Patrick McCorry presented The Open Vote Network, a system that enables anonymous voting on the ethereum platform. Long been touted as an ideal application of the tech, blockchain voting has been held back by the potential risks inherent with a transparent blockchain.

But because the cryptography now allows for statements to be verified on the blockchain, without revealing sensitive transactions, possible use cases like McCorry’s could stretch far and wide.

Miller went so far as to predict an “upcoming boom” in “zapps” – his term for ethereum decentralized applications (dapps) that will deploy the privacy tech. And although the community has encountered some hindrances, the zapps are quickly becoming a reality.

As Jacob Eberhardt, author of ZoKrates, a brand new zk-snarks development toolkit, told CoinDesk:

“It’s a bit like the early days in ethereum – it’s not clear what will happen, but everyone can see the potential.”

Overcoming obstacles

Announced earlier at Devcon3, Eberhardt has created a zk-snarks compiler that will allow developers to easily create zk-snarks-infused smart contracts. The potential of this is clear, as it allows projects like the Open Vote Network to reach fruition for the first time.

However, there’s one problem that was also evident from the outset – the unfortunate “trusted setup.”

As profiled by CoinDesk, the trusted set-up is a security phase in the generation of a zk-snarks, one that’s necessary because it protects from malicious behavior, but problematic in that it’s expensive, risky and reliant on faith in the very people responsible for the so-called trusted set-up.

At great expense, zcash used a trusted setup in the generation of its blockchain, and the process, which was only a once-off, is still being criticized for not achieving a security optimum. Complicating matters is that this set-up phase would be even more complicated to perform on ethereum, because it would need to occur every time a zapp is created.

But potential ground was broken here on solutions as well.

Announced to the crowd at Devcon3 today, zcash researchers Sean Bowe, Ariel Gabizon and Ian Miers proposed a new set-up ceremony – one that they believe can scale to hundreds of thousands of participants. And the best thing about this is: the more participants are added, the more secure it becomes.

As put forward in the paper, the ceremony would only require one agent to act honestly in order to function – and so would be resistent to potential malicious actions by set-up participants.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Eberhardt summarized these developments: “The two things come together that hindered adoption before – better abstractions and improved setups.”

Off-chain computations

Of equal potential is that because the cryptography compresses information, zk-snarks are believed to be a potential building block that can be used to scale the ethereum network. Currently, they’re still quite expensive to verify, but Eberhardt envisages a day where costs will decrease.

Under his proposed scheme, expensive computations could be performed off-chain and then stored on the blockchain a succinct translation of that computation. But because zk-snarks are still relatively expensive, it won’t surpass other scaling methods until this cost is lowered – or the tech itself becomes more lightweight.

Toward this, a professor at the Israeli Institute of Technology, Eli-Ben Sasson, is working toward zk-starks, a privacy equivalent that promises to increase speed and vastly decrease storage. However, it’s still very much in production, leading zcash researcher Sean Bowe to remark that researchers might be better working around existing solutions today.

“We’re stuck with zk-snarks for probably for a long time, at least until they’re destroyed by quantum computing,” he said.

But there’s still a lot of faith that one day, the booming research area could become the scaling solution that ethereum is waiting for.

As Eberhardt described:

“It’s beautiful, and it has this inherent privacy property. It combines two unsolved properties in one technology.”

Blurred light via Shutterstock

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