to use cryptocurrency for WhatsApp transfers
today that popular social media giant Facebook intends to dip its does deeper
into the waters of cryptocurrency.
According to unnamed sources, Facebook is working on making
a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money via the WhatsApp messaging
app. The newly implemented cryptocurrency will apparently be a stablecoin pegged
to USD and will initially focus on the remittances market in India.
“Facebook is far from
releasing the coin, because it’s still working on the strategy, including a
plan for custody assets, or regular currencies that would be held to protect
the value of the stablecoin,” Bloomberg further adds.
Facebook has been flirting with crypto ever since they hired
David Marcus, former PayPal president and a member of Coinbase’s board of
directors, to lead the company’s blockchain research sector. This sector
currently employs over 40 people and is clearly making moves to leverage the
India being considered as the launch ground for this project
makes plenty of sense, even if merely 480 million out of 1.3 billion people
living in the country currently have access to the internet. Researchers
predict that this number will increase to above 700 million by 2022, presenting
a massive market for Facebook and WhatsApp to tap into. Indian internet market
is dubbed as the world’s fastest growing one and the two companies plan to grab
a share of that by releasing cheap handsets (dubbed “WhatsApp phones”) that’ll
provide internet access even in rural areas. The creation of a remittance-focused
cryptocurrency makes sense as well, since Indians working abroad sent $69
billion back home during 2017.
creates a new cryptographic hash function
IOTA Foundation, a non-profit foundation focused on building
distributed ledger technology (DLT) and a permissionless ecosystem, announced
Troika, a new lightweight trinary cryptographic hash function. The function has
been built in collaboration with CYBERCRYPT A/S, a provider of robust
cryptography and cyber security.
Troika was commissioned by the IOTA Foundation, built by
Cybercrypt’s “expert cryptographers” and is expected to become an important
part of the final IOTA protocol. Both teams are confident that the function is
able to withstand all known cryptoanalytic attacks; their confidence is so high
that they plan on hosting a Troika analyzing competition which will have a
total prize pool of €200,000.
“The IOTA Foundation is honored and excited to be
collaborating with CYBERCRYPT, to ensure we achieve world-leading security for
the IOTA protocol. We hope that this competition will bring the cryptographic
community together on solving security in the Internet-of-Things,”- saidDavid
Sønstebø, Co-Founder and Co-chair of IOTA Foundation.
This new function is expected to bring increased performance
and computation to IOT cryptography, mostly thanks to the trinary-based
hardware supporting it.
“We are excited about this collaboration with IOTA and
have used the latest design principles and our best people to develop this
state-of-the art hash function, coined Troika,” said Peter Jerry Sørensen, Chairman
of CYBERCRYPT A/S. Read the complete announcement here.
reviews the year behind
Zilliqa, one of the more successful Ethereum clones and a
project often cited as being very close to full implementation of the sharding
a post on its Medium page detailing their experiences in the year behind. The
post revealed that the project was quite busy, as they managed to achieve
several key milestones.
Overall, the big accomplishments of the year for ZIL wouldn’t
have mattered without the launch of their Shan Wang public testnet, which gave everyone
a glimpse of what the actual, sharding-ready mainnet will be able to do. A
native smart contract Scylla was developed as well, while several important
partnerships and collaborations saw Zilliqa explore potential application in
use cases such as digital advertising, Insurtech, digital content and gaming. The
team further mentions work on programmatic advertising (done alongside
Mindshare on Project Proton) and describes the #BuildonZIL Ecosystem Grant
Programme, an initiative seeking applications for scalability (e.g. layer 2
solutions), gaming SDKs, DApps, and Scilla additions.
The team acknowledged that while a lot has been done on the permissioned
prototype platform, a lot of work lies ahead of them before Zilliqa can offer
true sharding-powered public blockchain. They themselves have expanded from 5
to 20 to face this work with increased intensity and have noted that more
tools/documentation/tutorials will be provided for budding developers looking
to build with Zilliqa. With all that in mind, they confirmed that their focus
for 2019 will be the rollout of a complete operational mainnet and addition of
real world use cases.
to expand onto 6 new markets
Popular US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase decided to
expand its relatively narrow scope of operations with 6 new countries. So far
available in 33 countries, they’ve confirmed that they’ll be expanding onto the
following European markets:
- Isle of Man
With this expansion, Coinbase will now offer the full usage
of the Coinbase.com platform to users from cited countries. These people will
now be able to access the platform by either downloading the official iOS and
Android apps or by using a web browser. For now, Coinbase Pro and Prime
features will remain out of the scope of these new countries; the project
announced their desire to bring these services as well to the mentioned regions.