According to a local Romanian news outlet Ziar de Cluj and others, Vlad Nistor — the CEO of Romania-based Bitcoin exchange CoinFlux — has been detained on behalf of the US government and is awaiting extradition. He was arrested in the city of Cluj-Napoca on Tuesday, according to another outlet. The crypto exchange has not disclosed
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About a year ago, Google searches for “Bitcoin” surpassed searches relating to Donald Trump. Now that Google has published its 2018 year-in-review of search terms, “What is Bitcoin” is among the top questions that people are asking Google, at least in the US. Last year, the largest cryptocurrency ranked in two categories globally, both in
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Russia’s cryptocurrency draft bill will not be edited in any “significant” way, according to deputy prime minister of Russia Maxim Akimov
In the Netherlands, cryptocurrency service providers will soon be required to obtain a license issued by the Dutch central bank
Russia’s Parliament will discuss a bill on blocking suspicious financial websites — including those relating to financial pyramids — that may cover “scam” ICOs
IBM Research teams up with U.S.-based agritech firm Hello Tractor to boost the African agriculture industry with blockchain and AI
The most potential use case of bitcoin today is the store of value. But an analyst thinks otherwise. Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda, a New York-based forex firm, believes that the world’s leading digital currency is due for another drop because it hasn’t provided the world a “significant use-case” yet. The Bitcoin
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While trustless interactions on Ethereum are native to the protocol, trustless interactions between the Ethereum blockchain and other blockchains are difficult to implement. Interoperability protocols heavily rely on atomic swaps, which typically come with a free option problem.
For this episode we're joined by James Prestwich, CEO at Summa. Summa designs and implements cross-chain financial contracts and instruments such as swaps, options, futures, and auctions. Summa recently conducted a dutch auction spanning the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains: Ethereum NFTs were auctioned off trustlessly to bidders on the Bitcoin network. We also discuss Riemann, a framework for deploying transaction scripts to UTXO-based chains, as well as the advantages of the predictability of transactions in UTXO-based chains and how to bring some of those advantages to Ethereum smart contracts.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- James background in Japanese and how he became interested in blockchain
- James contributions to Bitcoin Script
- Summa's recent cross-chain auction in which Ethereum NFTs were auctioned off to participants on the bitcoin network
- Riemann, a framework for deploying script based transactions to UTXO blockchains
- Atomic swaps leading to free options
- Advantages of transaction predictability in UTXO based chains
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Summa Website
- Cross-chain Auctions via Bitcoin Double Spends (article)
- Statesless SPV (article)
- Declarative Smart Contracts (article)
- Introducing Reimann (article)
- James Prestwich on Twitter
- Azure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks
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Epicenter is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain, Sƒbastien Couture, Meher Roy & Sunny Aggarwal.
Canadian city of Calgary creates Calgary dollar, allows holders to pay for local goods and services
A crypto exchange will be launched in the first half of 2019 due to the collaboration between SolarisBank and the Stuttgart Exchange Group
The CEO of Allianz Global Investors, an investment management firm with $595 billion in assets under management, has called for crypto assets to be “outlawed”
Gamers invest considerable sums in the GPU chips that power their computers. However, even the most hardcore “Fortnite” player will leave his or her gaming rig on idle for a significant chunk of each day while they go to work, attend school, or — at the very least — sleep. Hardware manufacturer Razer says that
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Subodh Sharma is a professor of computer science at IIT Delhi, one of the most prestigious universities in India. While he's not teaching, Subodh conducts research into the formal verification of distributed systems, and his work on the automated formal verification of smart contacts has drawn international interest.
I called up Subodh because I was looking for someone to explain an approach to writing software called the actor model. The actor model essentially involves sandboxing tasks in such a way that complexity is minimized and all behaviors of a software system can be known under all conditions.
Currently the actor model is applied to the management of telecommunications networks through the Erlang language, and also in secure servers. Understanding the way robust distributed systems are constructed assists in the assessment of platform designs and gives us a view into the future of the ultimate distributed system - the Third Web.
What is the actor model, what are its origins, where is it usedMessage Passing Interface (MPI) is very similar - is a standard for communication between processors.The Actor Model is an abstract model of computation for capturing concurrent interaction in a system.An actor is a primitive entity of computation.An independent component of a system with its own address spaceLike an object or a taskActors are not like threads which communicate via shared memoryActors communicate via explicit messages.Every actor has an addressCommunication is asynchronousAllowing concurrent execution and message passing
Why is concurrent execution and message passing so challenging?Concurrency is difficult to reason about because there is so much to take into account.If the order of arrival of messages from a number of worker processes to a manager process effects the correctness of the manager process output, every possible order of arrival needs to be considered by the programer.
DeterminismOutput determinism means that for a given input to a program the output is always the same.Non-determinism allows higher performance. Determinism is easier to reason about.The actor model allows us to have non-deterministic message passing inside a system but maintain deterministic output.Deterministic messaging involves the sender announcing their intention to send a message and the receiver announcing their intention to receive the message from the sender.Non-deterministic messaging is where the receiver does not care where the message is coming fromThis requires all entities to have names or addresses.
Where is this used?In telecommunications networks.Also in secure servers.Scientific computing.And because in blockchains all entities have names/addresses, it is an environment that is ideal for actor model based programming.
Smart ContractsNothing more than software modulesTransactional in natureEither the transaction meets specifications or it does notSmart contracts must execute deterministically and be oblivious of the environment in which they are running.
History of the Actor ModelMid 70sIrene Greif, Gul Agha laid the foundations for the model.Large community of non CS engineers - aerospace, bioscience, chemical engineering - adopted the MPI for scientific programming. MPI was influenced by the actor model.Applications existed for concurrency. The complete system needed to be developed for this to emerge.
Subodh's work on autonomously verified smart contractsProvided sound guarantees of bug free codeTook smart contract source code & created a semantic preserving translation to an intermediate language that was verification friendlyThe translated program preserved all of the behaviors that could have emerged in the original.Feed this to an automated tool that performs symbolic model checking.Analyzed smart contracts in generality.Found many buggy smart contracts.
Chinese tech giant Tencent has opened its payment platform on WeChat for electronic blockchain invoices Shenzhen, Guangdong Province
On December 7, Coinbase, a leading crypto-to-fiat exchange, announced it is exploring 31 crypto assets to integrate into its exchange. One of the cryptocurrencies the exchange has been looking into is Ripple (XRP), the second most valuable asset in the cryptocurrency market with a market valuation of over $12 billion. Although Coinbase expressed its intent
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India’s telecom regulator and major telecom firms have completed blockchain pilots with IBM to improve mobile network data records
President of Monex’s U.S. subsidiary TradeStation reveals the company will operate as a crypto exchange in U.S. starting in Q1 2019