Blockchain News 11.10.2018

Zaif exchange reveals refund plan for $60M crypto hack

Tech Bureau, the firm behind the Japanese crypto exchange Zaif, has revealed a refund plan to compensate users after a $60 million hack that happened on the platform last month. Tech Bureau said it signed an agreement with Fisco – a publicly listed investment firm in Japan – to transfer the business of Zaif to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange.

Zaif, currently one of the 16 licensed crypto exchanges in Japan, experienced a hack on Sept. 20 when some $60 million worth of cryptocurrencies got stolen, including nearly 6,000 Bitcoin. As part of the business transfer deal, Tech Bureau said Fisco would resume the customer compensation process, which would use its own Bitcoin to refund users who lost the crypto asset. Tech Bureau said after that, it would dissolve its cryptocurrency exchange business and abolish the license registered with the Financial Services Agency, Japan’s financial market regulator.

Bitcoin sidechain “Liquid” goes live

3 years in the making, bitcoin’s first sidechain “Liquid” is now live. Launched by Blockstream, Liquid is arguably the most advanced implementation of a technology called sidechains that’s long been a holy grail for Bitcoin coders (though what’s being launched today may be a watered-down version of the original “trustless” vision). Still, that doesn’t dilute the capabilities of what the company, founded by bitcoin’s top open-source coders in 2014, has created. Built off of the live blockchain, Liquid will now be used to carry large volumes of transactions at a higher speed for several of bitcoin’s largest companies.

Today is a milestone as the network is finally opening up for all of Blockstream’s partners to use on Bitcoin’s main network, that is, for real transactions. Blockstream COO Samson Mow said “This will bolster the bitcoin ecosystem because you can trade more securely and rapidly… It’s ready for commercial use. At this point, it’s just a matter of getting exchanges to integrate… It will potentially be transacting billions of dollars worth of bitcoin a day.”

On a more technical level, an exchange converts its bitcoin into “LBTC” – the liquid bitcoin token – which is pegged to actual Bitcoin. Once sent there, exchanges can move money around securely and much more quickly than on the main bitcoin chain. On top of that, in the coming weeks, Blockstream will be releasing a wallet specifically made for Liquid transactions. Plus, the company’s bitcoin wallet GreenAddress already supports Liquid. Hardware wallet providers Ledger and Trezor have unveiled plans to adopt the technology also.

Harvard, Stanford, & MIT endowments invest in crypto funds

At least 5 major educational institutions including Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, and the University of North Carolina have each invested in at least one cryptocurrency fund through their respective endowments.

These 5 university endowments have invested tens of millions of dollars in these funds, which in turn invest in both physical cryptocurrencies and equity in cryptocurrency companies. Information journalist Jon Victor explained: “A move by endowments into funds that will directly bet on cryptocurrencies signals a major shift in investor sentiment toward the asset class, in the same way that institutions over the past decade became more willing to invest in private tech companies. Backing from such closely watched institutions could help validate cryptocurrencies, which are still considered too risky by many institutional investors.”

Blockchain News 11.10.2018

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