Stellar Co-founder Brands 90% of Crypto Projects ‘B.S.’

Most financial institutions will not use Bitcoin (BTC), payment network Stellar’s co-founder and CTO Jed McCaleb stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance Dec. 31.

Speaking to the online news outlet, McCaleb — who is also known as one of the founding fathers of defunct Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, as well as the co-founder of Ripple — made an argument in favor of the use of permissionless, open blockchains in finance. He told reporters bluntly:

“It doesn’t need to be the bitcoin blockchain, but if it’s not a public chain, then you’re missing the point.”

McCaleb also levelled criticism at cryptocurrency projects that were not Bitcoin, Ethereum or his own Stellar.

“Ninety percent of these projects are B.S. I’m looking forward to that changing,” he said when asked about the outlook for the cryptocurrency industry in 2019, continuing:

“Things like Tron, it’s just garbage. But people dump tons of money into it, these things that just do not technically work.”

Billed as an alternative token development platform to Ethereum, TRON (TRX) has upped its publicity efforts this year, with CEO Justin Sun regularly lambasting the Ethereum network over its alleged shortcomings.

Celebrations of TRON accruing its one millionth user account this month were likewise met with skepticism.

For McCaleb, however, no single cryptocurrency network or associated token forms an all-encompassing solution — including Stellar and its in-house coin, Lumens (XLM).

“There are some things bitcoin is good at, some things Ethereum is good at, and some things Stellar is good at,” he said, adding:

“And none of them can do all the things well. That’s just not how software works.”

Going forward, McCaleb was bullish, rejecting the idea that 2018 represented a bear market in crypto and instead describing it as “calming down.”

Stellar partnered with cryptocurrency wallet provider last month to expand the circulation and uptake of XLM with a massive $125 million airdrop to users.

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Interview: Joe Fanelli, Co-Founder of Top 21 Block Producer EOS Asia

Since going live a couple of months ago, EOS has generated a lot of column inches for good or for bad. One man who knows a things or two about the cryptocurrency, fifth-largest by market cap, is Joseph Fanelli.

He is the co-founder of EOS Asia, which is an active block producer on the EOS network, and he is also an EOS Go key contributor, a guest writer for NEO City of Zion, and a co-founder of WeBao, an advertising agency.

He has seen first-hand how community cooperation can push adoption and innovation forward, and hescribes himself as passionate about bridging the gap in the EOS community between the East and the West.

I caught up with Joseph recently to ask a few questions about the EOS launch and the success of his company’s product, MyEOSKit.

CCN: Before anything else, I’d like to know your thoughts on EOS. Is it really going to be the ‘Ethereum Killer’ and if so, what exactly will it do that no other blockchain has done before it?

If we’re talking about pure technology, EOS has already killed Ethereum. The fact is that Ethereum and EOS are two different blockchain platforms for two different kind of users. To understand why EOS is so innovative, we just need to look at what users and developers are already doing with EOS, and how many transactions per second EOS can handle (thousands of transactions per second to Ethereum’s 30 transactions per second).

The team at EOS Asia believes EOS is the only decentralized platform that can take DApps mainstream. That’s the goal we need to reach with blockchain technology. A blockchain can be the best in the world but if it doesn’t have a strong community and intuitive DApps, it will fail. Only EOS has the potential to be the first blockchain that can reach mainstream adoption.

CCN: EOS experienced a fair bit of turbulence around its launch period. What caused this in your opinion, and what do you think needs to happen for EOS to start achieving its full potential?

Many news outlets and crypto community members often state EOS is a “centralized” blockchain because of its 21 Block Producers. If this was the case, we wouldn’t have the turbulence we’re seeing today. Launch timing, platform updates and development decisions would be deployed and enacted much faster than they are currently. Turbulence is proof of how decentralized a system is.

The reality is Block Producers contribute to a three-party system that composes the EOS governance architecture. EOS token holders are the second element of the EOS ecosystem, while the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) function as arbitrators.

During the launch period, there were other issues related to the EOS governance layer. This is to be expected as we’re experimenting with new theories that have never been used before. The system is still bootstrapped, and we are making fast improvements and learning from everything that happens. Block Producers are confident EOS is going to achieve its full potential once we optimize the governance layer and introduce features like the Referendum, the Worker Proposal System and Inter-Blockchain Communication.

CCN: Let’s talk a bit about MyEOSKit. What useful functionality does it have for Block Explorers and what will it offer to users as EOS gets bigger?

We’re excited to share MyEOSKit is the fastest and most efficient Block Explorer available in the EOS ecosystem. We achieve that by automatically selecting the fastest API endpoint to your location. Everything added in MyEOSKit needs to have the best implementation available in the space.

When we talk about MyEOSKit to new EOS users, we like to compare it to MyEtherWallet. MyEtherWallet is an interface that allows users to generate Ethereum wallets and interact with their tokens. With MyEOSKit, we not only allow users to create wallets and manage their digital assets, we also give users the chance to utilize all of the functions available on EOS. This is one of the many reasons we didn’t call it “MyEOSWallet” — it’s way more than that.

In the future EOS will have a wide range of features like the Referendum. At EOS Asia, we intend to continue updating MyEOSKit so it supports the latest tools, while keeping it the most valuable portal available to interact with EOS.

CCN: What has been the response of the EOS community to MyEOSKit so far? What are your projections or aspirations for it in terms of uptake?

MyEOSKit has been live for over a month now. We’ve already received so many suggestions and valuable feedback from the community — it’s been overwhelming to see how much our audience appreciates and cares about the tool we’ve created.

In just the last month, MyEOSKit has already changed a lot. In response to the community, we added many new features and account tools on top of what we launched with including account creation via exchange, easy transfers, more complete transaction explorer, and much more. We care deeply about our users and with MyEOSKit, users voices are heard. We will continue to evolve and improve the website according to their feedback. We believe MyEOSKit will be one of the most used portals of EOS.

CCN: You founded EOS Asia earlier this year and you have already achieved tremendous growth with a team from 3 different continents. Going forward, where do you see EOS Asia over the next couple of years?

The last few months have been really busy for us here at EOS Asia. We’re happy to have such a strong and engaged community supporting us, and that the greater EOS community at large has recognized the effort we have put forth.

Going forward, EOS Asia is going to focus on community building, on development and on incubation of new DApps. In the next few years, we see ourselves as not only one of the most influential Block Producers, but as one of the main entities in the crypto space that will deliver the best DApps with the most widespread usage.

Images from Shutterstock



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It Took Just A Day for Tron's Founder to Win His Own Blockchain's Election

An unconventional candidate has triumphed in tron’s ongoing blockchain elections: its own founder Justin Sun.

After announcing his candidacy to become a tron “super representative” (a node on the software elected by token holders to validate transactions, create blocks in the network and compete for its rewards) just one day ago, Sun has successfully garnered enough votes to run one of just 27 nodes that will operate the $2.5 billion tron network.

As of press time, Sun had acquired over 120 million votes according to tron’s Tronscan feature. Candidates must receive over 100 million votes to be elected, with each TRX counting for one vote. (For context, it took other candidates several days to a week to be elected, and only 11 representatives have been elected thus far.)

As reported by CoinDesk, tron kicked off its election in June as part of the launch of its own proprietary blockchain. The project was originally meant to run on the ethereum blockchain, and is currently in the process of migrating its TRX tokens from that network to its new platform.

Sun wrote in his Wednesday announcement on Twitter:

“I hope that my candidacy will make all the TRX holders, supporters and believers see the significance embedded in voting. I hope it will enable all of us to contribute to the establishment of a truly democratic, decentralized tron community.”

Sun’s decision was not wholly unexpected, as it was foreshadowed in an April Medium post in which he wrote, “I myself will participate in the tron super representative election along with all other candidates.”

Later, Sun clarified in his statement that his candidacy was “a completely personal action” and will not represent the Tron Foundation, of which he is the CEO. He previously promised that the foundation would not use its 34 billion tokens to vote in the election, though he did not disclose his personal TRX holdings in the announcement.

At the time, Sun largely sought to downplay the potential impact that his influence in the community could have on the election. “I am determined to go through the selection process like everyone else, which displays tron’s inclusiveness and openness as a decentralized and autonomous community,” he said.

Unlike other super representative candidates, Sun did not publish an election “manifesto,” which typically contains information on the candidates and the hardware they plan to use to run the node.

New ‘democracy’

Still, tron’s ongoing election is part of a broader trend among public blockchains, one that finds notable projects experimenting with novel ways to coordinate stakeholders to update the software.

Most recently, neo, the 12th largest blockchain by total value, saw its founders take on a prominent, almost exclusive, role in its election, despite claims the process was decentralized or democratic.

As such, Sun’s announcement was greeted with some skepticism by tron users. “Hey Justin that’s not good for us, this is unprofessional,” one Twitter user commented on Sun’s post.

A Reddit user questioned Sun’s rhetoric of democracy, commenting: “Create democracy. People love it. Huge media presence and influence. People love you. Run for head office. Everyone follows. Easy win. Now in control of said democracy. Seem strange? No? I give up.”

Others suggested that Sun’s candidacy would bolster criticism of the project, which was previously accused of plagiarizing its white paper and failing to properly attribute code in its Github repository.

However, with the results only recently concluded, it remains to be seen whether the move will have any lasting impact on the project, which after making global headlines by acquiring BitTorrent in June, remains one of the more prominent to have emerged over the last year.

The Tron Foundation and Justin Sun did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Justin Sun image via Tron Foundation Facebook 

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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Founder of $150 Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Offers Compensation to Victims

The mastermind behind the infamous bitcoin ponzi GainBitcoin has offered to compensate thousands of victims who incurred losses during the scheme which raked in an initial 1,000 crores in cryptocurrency (approx. $150 million).

Now under arrest, Amit Bhardwaj has been found out as the kingpin behind India’s biggest cryptocurrency scam. The founder of now-defunct bitcoin mining pool GBminers and the investment scheme, commonly known as ‘GainBitcoin ‘, has offered to repay investors their initial investments in Indian rupees according to local publication Factor Daily.

GainBitcoin began as a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme in 2015 and amassed over 100,000 investors by its own admission, all of whom were promised monthly returns of 10% on their investment. When authorities caught on, Bhardwaj moved his base of operations to Dubai while continuing operations in India. He is alleged to have purchased multiple properties in Dubai including an office space at the Burj Khalifa tower – the world’s tallest building – according to an ongoing investigation into the sweeping scam. Authorities also discovered a number of companies in countries including Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, Estonia, Dubai and the United States registered by Bhardwaj.

Authorities have also discovered two bitcoin wallets controlled by Bhardwaj, previously containing a total of 5,372 bitcoins, about $40 million in current prices. At the time of discovery, the wallets contained a total balance of 3.31 bitcoins.

Authorities have also sought out major cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay after determining that ‘a large volume of transactions between the victims and Bhardwaj took place via its platform’, according to the report.

“Zebpay is the platform through which investment and sale of bitcoins were done in this case, which is why they were called for an enquiry,” a police official from the cyber crime cell at the Indian city of Pune told the publication.

Curiously, Bhardwaj has offered to repay investors their initial bitcoin investments with their corresponding value Indian rupees. His victims are understandably opposed to the move, demanding their dues in today’s market value of their original bitcoins. “Today, the Bitcoin price is much higher than what it was when we invested,” an anonymous victim was quoted as stating. “It is like Bhardwaj will keep the profits and just return the principal amount which is wrong.”

Dozens of investors have reportedly filed police complaints in a number of cities including Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and other cities.

As reported previously, police have also raided and shuttered an Ethereum mining installation involved in the MLM scheme, seizing 100 Ethereum mining rigs as well as 500 GPUs and servers.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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