Top Crypto News – 25/06/2018

China’s New Crypto Rankings – EOS First, Ethereum Second, Bitcoin Drops to 17th

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China Now Ranks 30 Crypto Projects

China’s Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, has revised its crypto project rankings. The second monthly Global Public Chain Technology Evaluation Index was officially released on June 20 at the Shanghai Science Hall, consisting of 30 crypto projects.

China's New Crypto Rankings - EOS First, Ethereum Second, Bitcoin Drops to 17thThe first index, introduced last month, has 28 projects, missing the two newly-added EOS and Nebulas.

According to the CCID Network, the center’s media network under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the CCID Public Chain Technology Assessment Working Group has made some changes to the ranking structure of the index:

The second-phase assessment model has been optimized compared to the first phase. The security assessment algorithm has been improved and the evaluation indicator for ease of deployment of public-chain nodes has been added.

However, the basic model of technology assessment has not changed since the index was, the group explained. Evaluation criteria for the rankings are still focused on three aspects of the overall crypto projects: the basic level of technology displayed, the usefulness of the application, and the innovativeness of the project. There was no mention of typical factors used to rank cryptocurrencies such as liquidity, volume, adoption, or price.

EOS First, Bitcoin Dropped to 17th Place

China's New Crypto Rankings - EOS First, Ethereum Second, Bitcoin Drops to 17thEOS, which was not included on the original list, tops the second list overall. Ethereum, which ranked number one last month, has now been bumped to second place. Bitcoin has dropped from 13th place to 17th place. Bitcoin Cash fell slightly from 25th place to 28th place.

“The EOS main network went live on June 10. Although there was an accident such as a short-term suspension, it was highly active in technological innovation, and the software update speed was still one of the new generation public chains that are currently most concerned by the industry,” the CCID explained. “However, due to its short on-line time, the stability of the network remains to be observed.”

The center elaborated:

The results showed that the evaluation index of EOS…was 161.5, ranking first in the evaluation index list. Ethereum, the first player in the previous period, took the second place with a combined score of 138.4…Bitcoin’s public chain technology assessment index is 91.5, ranking 17th.

Two days after the Chinese index was released, the EOS Core Arbitration Forum issued its first censorship order, demanding its miners to refuse “to process transactions of any kind for the affected EOS account names and/or public keys, pending further review of the claims by an arbitrator.” 27 different wallet addresses are included in the order.

China's New Crypto Rankings - EOS First, Ethereum Second, Bitcoin Drops to 17th
The second index (left). The first index (right).
Written by Bitcoin.com

 

So Hard to Say Goodbye: Blockchain.Info Goes Dot Com

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Blockchain.Info Moving to Blockchain.com

“Later this month,” a notice on the Blockchain.info blog of read, “we’ll be consolidating all pages on blockchain.info under our one and only blockchain.com domain. We’ve been looking forward to this merger for quite some time, because it means you’ll only have one place to go for all of your crypto needs, instead of two. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to access all of your .info favorites from blockchain.com.”

Info routinely ranks in the top 1,000 global websites, according to Alexa. The Luxembourg-based company took off Summer of 2011, and was widely known as a dependable block explorer. It grew to much more than that. Transaction data, charts, wallet, mined blocks information, developer resources, along with forum and media links. Their Android mobile app is also very popular.

So Hard to Say Goodbye: Blockchain.Info Goes Dot Com

The halcyon days in 2013-2014 saw Info become the most visited bitcoin-related website in the world, some 120 million views. It was the first to reach one million wallets. It was such a staple of the nascent community, when Apple nixed its iOS version, apeshit would be an understatement in terms of the reaction (people smashed their iPhones!). It was also during this time Info got its monetary sealegs, boasting tens of millions in venture capital. Street cred wasn’t dampened at all, as its wallet earlier embraced Tor.

Fast forward years later, and they’re “now one of the oldest, most established company in the industry and so much more than a bitcoin explorer,” theyacknowledge. “We’re the world’s leading crypto wallet where 25 million users invest in and store Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). We also allow users to analyze the top cryptocurrencies via our markets page and are continually expanding our widely used API services to make it even easier for developers to build on top of the block chain.”

Looking Forward

They continue to rake-in cash. During the 2017 run up, Info snapped up another $40 million in venture dough. It took a bold step that same year by partnering with Unocoin to bring greater crypto awareness to India. They’ve also become something of an exchange, operating in nearly half of US states as a way to buy and sell crypto. So Hard to Say Goodbye: Blockchain.Info Goes Dot Com

The domain move keeps a solid team intact, including co-founder Nicolas Cary. Mr. Cary was an early business leader in the space, attempting to marry commerce and philanthropy. He has a particular passion for encouraging youth entrepreneurs, founding Skies the Limit project. They “use data provided from our entrepreneur and volunteer users – such as their skills or needs, location, and stage of business – to predict and recommend high-quality matches. Then, we monitor and support these matches over time to help our entrepreneurs develop skills, build businesses and create jobs for themselves and others in their communities.”

The company promises a seamless transition to its dot-com digs. “We’ve done a lot over the years,” they conclude, “but have a lot more to do in building the future of finance. As we move forward through 2018, we know that your needs are ever-changing, and we need to be prepared to offer you the end-to-end experience you’ve been waiting for.”

Written by Bitcoin.com

Overwinter Ahead: What Should Happen When Zcash’s First Hard Fork Hits

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Privacy-oriented cryptocurrency zcash is about to undergo its first-ever hard fork.

Called “Overwinter,” the update requires all users of the nearly $800 million blockchain to switch to a new software. But while these kinds of system-wide changes can be high-risk – if some users reject the change, it can split the blockchain and create a rival cryptocurrency – zcash developers are saying there might not be anything to worry about with this particular update.

Set to activate at block number 347,500, which according to current block times, will happen early on Tuesday morning, Overwinter is being described as a low-impact intermediary step, one that prepares the network for another upgrade in October that has broad support.

That’s because the next hard fork upgrade, called Sapling, is all about eliminating the weight of the protocol’s private transaction types so that zcash can scale to more users. Essentially, there isn’t expected to be much dissent as Overwinter aims to improve on a core attribute of the code already.

According to the zcash website, a total of 12 exchanges, mining pools and startups have come forward to support Overwinter, while further parties – MinerGate, Bitfly and Huobi – have publicized support on Twitter.

As such, Simon Liu, an engineer at zcash, said he does not anticipate risks in the rollout.

“There is unanimous support from all parties,” Liu told CoinDesk.

And the cryptocurrency’s creator, Zooko Wilcox, echoed this confidence in interview with CoinDesk.

“We’ve been working with a whole bunch of industry partners and they are all on board with the rollout program,” Wilcox said, adding:

“Basically the entire company almost is dedicated to executing [the upgrade] safely and smoothly in order to increase security for all users.”

That said, the run-up to the hard fork hasn’t been without its drama.

D. Jane Mercer, the developer of the zcash Windows wallet, WinZEC, threatened to stop contributing to the wallet’s code and a chain split on June 20 if he didn’t get further funding to support his work. However, the situation was resolved quickly, with anonymous donations pouring into the developer.

At the same time, disenfranchisement within the zcash mining community, still grappling with the introduction of an ASIC for zcash mining has continued to build.

However, developers are confident that this is unlikely to impact Overwinter given the nature of the upgrade.

Simple changes

One of the reasons for zcash developer’s optimism about the Overwinter hard fork is that those backing the protocol have taken various steps to make sure everything goes smoothly.

For example, the upgrade is low on features, said zcash engineer Jack Grigg. Primarily, it’s designed to prepare the network for its October upgrade, Sapling, by adding features that protect the network during system-wide upgrades.

Aside from that, Grigg said, the only code changes are useful optimizations – such as a new form of transaction expiry, that cancels payments if they aren’t processed after a certain period of time, and the removal of a hashing bug that makes certain transactions heavier.

Speaking of the latter, Grigg said, “There is good incentive for the network to support it in order to improve performance for transparent transactions with many inputs,” adding that because of that the risk of a contentious chain split is low.

That said, there are still inherent risks involved.

Because several features have been added that look to protect users from any harm that can come from future chain splits – like so-called “replay protection” – those features don’t exist now and so could cause problems should a chain split occur during Overwinter.

Speaking to this, Grigg told CoinDesk:

“The Overwinter network upgrade is specifically intended to make future network upgrades safer, so by definition there is more risk during its rollout than for future network upgrades, since some of the features it introduces can’t be leveraged for itself.”

Soft-coded safety

Still, there are additional features that developers can fall back on to minimize the risk of the upgrade.

For example, one hour before the Overwinter is set to activate, a mechanism called “safe mode” will be relayed across all nodes running pre-Overwinter software, so that no transactions can occur on the legacy chain- unless that mechanism has been actively disabled on individual nodes.

According to Grigg, this feature protects users from accidentally losing money by transacting on old versions of the software.

“The use of safe mode for old releases is specifically about protecting users who for some reason or another didn’t realize there was an upgrade coming,” Grigg said.

Zcash code also contains a feature, named auto-senescence or “EOS halt,” that disables older software iterations after a period of 16 weeks.

While formerly optional, zcash developers recently opted to remove the ability to disable auto-senescence code, which according to developer Jason Davies, ensures zcash users keep up with new releases.

“Permanent use of EOS is intended to simplify the relationship between zcash and its users,” Davies said, “The default state of the zcash client is to require that you keep your software up-to-date.”

But these risk-mitigations aren’t the only strategies the zcash team has deployed to make sure the Overwinter upgrade doesn’t go awry. Wilcox said that Overwinter has been extensively tested – indeed, a third-party software review was done in March and failed to show any vulnerabilities within the upgrade.

Wilcox told CoinDesk:

“I want us to demonstrate to the world that we can execute difficult, cutting-edge innovations and we can do so reliably and without disrupting or endangering the growing ecosystem.”

Frost on window image via Shutterstock
Written by CoinDesk.com

 

 

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