How bitcoin could benefit from the post-crisis privacy debate

When the markets crashed in mid-March, investors appeared to dump bitcoin along with nearly every other asset in their pursuit of cash, leaving enthusiasts to wonder whether it really is a “safe-haven.” After all, bitcoin has underperformed the equity market for much of the time since the crisis hit. But even though bitcoin as an asset […]
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May 6, 2020, 8:02PM UTC

Ethereum’s scalability has potential to improve 2,000x due to Istanbul update, says StarkWare

StarkWare, a project that is working to help blockchains scale, has said that Ethereum has massive potential to scale due to its recent Istanbul network update. According to StarkWare’s “measurements (not approximations, nor estimates),” Ethereum’s scalability has the potential to improve by 2,000 times over Ethereum Layer-1 after the Istanbul update. Post-Istanbul Ethereum can handle […]
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Jan 7, 2020, 9:50AM UTC

Monero's lead maintainer ‘Fluffypony’ steps down after 5 years of heading the project

Riccardo “Fluffypony” Spagni, the lead maintainer of privacy-oriented cryptocurrency monero (XMR), has stepped down. Fluffypony led the monero project since its launch in 2014 and will now continue as a backup maintainer, according to an announcement Monday. Snipa, a “longtime” contributor to Monero, is taking over Fluffypony’s role. It is not clear why Fluffypony has […]
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Dec 18, 2019, 6:55AM UTC

If you build a blockchain, will anyone come?

Paul Brody is the EY Global Blockchain Leader, driving EY initiatives and investments in blockchain technology across consulting, audit and tax business lines. Blockchains thrive as network systems. They allow companies to manage and track assets and complex interactions across large business ecosystems. This technology has been long overdue, because while companies themselves have transformed […]
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Dec 11, 2019, 2:45PM UTC

Privacy-focused Brave browser crosses 10M monthly active users

Privacy-focused internet browser Brave says that it has passed 10 million-mark in terms of monthly active users (MAU). Brave’s MAU figure was 8.7 million in October and jumped to 10.4 million at the end of November, witnessing nearly 20% growth during the period and almost 100% in the last one year, according to an announcement […]
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Dec 6, 2019, 8:15AM UTC

PayPal stops processing Pornhub payments for models

Payments processing giant PayPal has cut off services for adult entertainment site, Pornhub. In a Wednesday night blog post, Pornhub said it is “devastated by PayPal’s decision to stop payouts” adding that “over a hundred thousand performers” on the website rely on these payments for their “livelihoods.” A PayPal spokesperson told VICE’s Motherboard that “Following […]
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Nov 14, 2019, 11:00PM UTC

Anonymous fund plans to invest and donate $75M in bitcoin to startups working on enhancing privacy

The Unknown Fund, organized by a group of anonymous people, plans to invest and donate $75 million in bitcoin (BTC) to those startups working directly or indirectly on enhancing privacy. Announcing the news on Wednesday, the Unknown Fund said it would prefer startups working on four niches – personal data protection, tools for online anonymity, […]
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Nov 14, 2019, 1:41PM UTC

Samsung unit adds privacy tech to its enterprise blockchain solution Nexledger

Samsung SDS, an IT subsidiary of the South Korean conglomerate, has added privacy-enhancing technology to its enterprise blockchain solution Nexledger. The firm has partnered with Israeli tech startup QEDIT for the effort, according to a press release shared with The Block on Thursday. QEDIT leverages zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) cryptography to help enterprises control business data […]
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Nov 14, 2019, 11:20AM UTC

Zcash maker passes trademark ownership of the cryptocurrency to Zcash Foundation for free

Electric Coin Company (ECC), the maker of privacy-oriented cryptocurrency zcash, has transferred the ownership of zcash trademark to the Zcash Foundation “at no cost.” Announcing the news on Thursday, ECC said the decision has been taken after “months of negotiations” and it will help with further decentralization of zcash. ECC and the Zcash Foundation executed […]
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Nov 7, 2019, 7:40AM UTC

BitMEX exposes customers' email addresses; Deputy COO says it affected the 'majority' of users

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX today sent a mass email to its users with their email addresses in the “To” field, affecting their privacy. Confirming the issue, BitMEX announced Friday that it is “aware that some of our users have received a general user update email earlier today, which contained the email addresses of other users.” […]
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Nov 1, 2019, 8:25AM UTC

Deloitte adds privacy tech to its enterprise blockchain solution ‘EduScrypt’

“Big Four” professional services giant Deloitte has added privacy-enhancing technology to its enterprise blockchain solution “EduScrypt,” which helps organizations track, share and validate qualifications of staff.  Deloitte has partnered with Israeli tech startup QEDIT for the effort, according to a press release shared with The Block on Tuesday. QEDIT leverages zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) cryptography to […]
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Oct 29, 2019, 11:45AM UTC

Incognito is building a sidechain to bring privacy to cryptocurrencies

One of the major drawbacks of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether is the lack of privacy features offered by their networks. Incognito hopes to change that. Incognito is building a blockchain-agnostic sidechain to bring privacy features to various networks. Founded in 2018, the firm is entirely self-funded with $1 million from the founding team. Incognito […]
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Oct 9, 2019, 6:00PM UTC

A startup aiming to be crypto's "clearinghouse" has come up with a way to decrease risk in OTC

A cryptocurrency settlement solution provider now enables over-the-counter (OTC)desks to avoid the responsibility of cryptocurrency custody while also minimizing counterparty risk. KeyTango, an Israel-based startup that offers non-custodial clearing services, recently piloted options trading with OTC firm GSR Markets, in which the OTC desk did not receive the seller’s collateral in advance. Instead, the seller […]
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Oct 7, 2019, 3:58PM UTC

UK and US set to sign treaty allowing UK police "back door" access to WhatsApp and other "end to end encrypted" messaging platforms

UK police will be able to force US-based social media platforms to hand over users’ messages, including those that are “end to end encrypted,” under a treaty that is set to be signed next month. According to a report in The Times, investigations into certain serious criminal offenses, including pedophilia and terrorism, will be covered […]
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Sep 28, 2019, 3:54PM UTC

Coinbase removing Zcash support for UK customers

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is removing the support for privacy cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC) for its U.K. customers. From Aug. 26 onwards, Coinbase’s UK customers “will no longer be able to hold a Zcash balance,” the exchange said in an email sent on Friday.  Accordingly, its customers in the country will either have to convert Zcash into […]
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Aug 12, 2019, 6:15AM UTC

Facebook’s Libra crypto project faces new heat from global privacy regulators

Data protection and privacy authorities in the U.S., U.K., EU, Australia, and Canada have issued a joint statement sharing concerns about Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra. The regulators said Tuesday that Facebook has “failed to specifically address” privacy concerns in the past, and the crypto project further amplifies the concerns as the Libra Network “may instantly […]
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Aug 6, 2019, 6:15AM UTC

Privacy coin Zcoin's new protocol launches on mainnet

Zcoin, an anonymity-focused cryptocurrency, is hoping to ramp up adoption by launching the Sigma protocol on its mainnet today, the firm shared with The Block on Tuesday. Zcoin was among the first cryptocurrencies to use zero-knowledge proofs but is now replacing its Zerocoin protocol with the Sigma protocol, aiming to fix underlying vulnerabilities. In particular, […]
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Jul 30, 2019, 8:00AM UTC

Let's stop the Libra FUD

Facebook announced the launch of Libra just a couple of hours ago. And it’s very different from what was anticipated. The code is open source, transactions will be pseudo-anonymous and even though it is a permissioned blockchain to start, it is set to transition to permissionless over time. What’s most important, though, is that Facebook […]
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Jun 18, 2019, 10:36AM UTC

Enigma launches testnet developer release of Discovery protocol to enable secret contracts

Blockchain startup Enigma announced the release of  its Discovery protocol testnet, which allows for the creation of privacy-preserving “secret” smart contracts. The protocol allows developers to build smart contracts without revealing the identity of participants. This enables “computations over encrypted data” where sensitive data can be used as inputs.  “By enabling privacy for general computations, […]
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Jun 11, 2019, 6:07PM UTC