Peter Todd, a Bitcoin core developer has outlined his view that more regulation on all levels is on the way for the digital currency sector; Stellar adopts SCP protocol proposed by a Stanford professor; Gavin Andresen has called ex-Bitcoin Foundation board members Shrem and Karpeles a “black eye” for the organization, and other top stories for April 16.
Peter Todd expects greater, and more in depth, government regulation of Bitcoin
Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd warns that he expects increasing governmental regulation within the digital currency sector, not only at the level of exchanges and services, but possibly also within the core projects of cryptocurrencies. Such regulation would bring digital currency more in-line with the conventional financial sector, but will reduce the anonymity and decentralization prized by some community members.
“I keep talking to regulators at conferences who believe bitcoin simply must change to bring it in line with other payment systems; unfortunately this means adding identity information to bitcoin transactions and making it possible to blacklist funds.”
Stellar adopts Stanford professor's SCP protocol
Having based his new cryptocurrency around the idea of consensus formed through social trust of selected partners within the system, Stanford Professor David Mazières' SCP protocol has been adopted by Stellar following problems with their Ripple based platform hard forking. The professor claims the system allows for fast and more secure transactions by removing the proof-of-work system built into Bitcoin.
“It is, however, theoretically possible for SCP to break down if participants choose trusted partners in such a way that there aren’t enough overlaps to tie the network into one whole—or if an attacker orchestrates that situation, says Sirer. Just how unlikely that is will depend on the actions of the people who adopt SCP.”
Gavin Andresen calls Mark Karpeles and Charlie Shrem a ‘disgrace’ to cryptocurrency
Speaking at DevCore London, the Bitcoin core developer Gavin Andresen has called the actions of Shrem and Karpeles a “huge black eye” to the digital currency industry in general. Both Shrem and Karpeles were forced to resign as Bitcoin Foundation board members, after Shrem went to jail for unlicensed money transmission through his exchange BitInstant, and Karpeles lost 650,000 BTC from Mt.Gox. Andresen blames under-funding of Bitcoin core development on the pair's actions.
“We didn't have enough money to support all the projects we planned last year because, frankly, two of our board members had to resign in disgrace," Andresen said. "That was a huge, deplorable, terrible hit to the foundation - a huge black eye. If I could go back in time, both of those people would not be on the foundation board.”
MIT Media Lab launches a Digital Currency initiative
Hoping to bring together experts from around the globe, at what the Media Lab sees as a “pivotal” moment in digital currency, the MIT department has announced the beginnings of its digital currency initiative. The unit seeks to unite disparate members of the digital currency community, and produce evidence-based research to support future policy and regulatory standards.
“[T]oday, building off of the work of the MIT Bitcoin Club and Bitcoin Project, the Media Lab is making a commitment to work with developers, academics, the private sector, governments, and nonprofits to conduct the research necessary to support the commercial and social viability of this technology.”
Factom announces plans to sell 85-100% of the BTC raised in their crowdfunding round
Mirroring actions by Ethereum, Factom has announced it intends to reduce its exposure to the bitcoin price instability until it's trading at a much higher sales volume. The company explains that as its liabilities are all in USD, it makes more sense for them to hold the assets raised in the given currency.
“The foundations liabilities are primarily denominated in USD, and in order to maximize the runway provided to the Factom Foundation development team, we will hold the majority of the foundations endowment in USD denominated, low risk, fixed income assets.”
Blocknet creates think-tank to work on inter-blockchain applications
Praising the potential value of inter-blockchain communication and consensus, Blocknet has formed a think-tank to work on the potential benefits of such a system. The proposal aims to avoid the “balkanization” of blockchains, and instead move towards a system more in-line with the vision of the internet of things, in this case that being a network of interconnected blockchains.
“The idea of an internet of blockchains is a paradigm-shifter – it can take a bit of thought before people realise what they are dealing with and the vast potential it offers – and so it needs creative and critical thinking. As such, the first locus of activity in the Blocknet’s swarm is its brand new think-tank.”
Brawker plans to make its code open source
Citing difficulties in preventing fraud on the card side of this bargain, the Brawker team has announced the service will close by the end of the month. However, the code behind the marketplace will be deposited as open-source on GitHub.
“We are really looking forward building something new in the bitcoin space. Though we are not quite sure about the project, we are planning to open sourcing our decentralized multisignature framework, to hopefully help the community building more secure systems.”
QuadrigaCX plans Canada-wide installation of bitcoin ATMs
One of Canada's leading exchanges, QuadrigaCX, has announced plans to install a network of bitcoin ATMs across the country. Working in partnership with the national firm Gateway Newstands, the exchange will begin by installing the BitAccess machines in major cities.
“We’ve done our research.We know the owners of every major bitcoin ATM company. We have used many of them and spoken to previous owners. We have conducted extensive due diligence and feel as though our track record with regard to bitcoin ATM distribution across Canada will allow us to continue to provide a superior service.”
BURST market opens aimed at trading smart contracts
Based around the concept of smart “if-then statement” contracts, upcoming digital currency BURST has launched a market for these opportunities. With individuals offering music downloads, and article writing services on the site in exchange for BURST coins, the service aims to decentralize this trading process.
“As BURST has the benefit of a free marketplace without fees, no taxes and no central authority setting the rules and being truly decentralized, the reasons to use a centralized marketplace such as eBay are less. In addition, further research is pursued, which will make BURST MARKET even more attractive, creating one huge market for AT implemented coins.”