Conflux blockchain to integrate Celer’s layer-2 scaling solution

Celer Network, an advanced layer-2 scaling platform, has announced a new strategic partnership with Conflux, a blockchain protocol that optimistically processes concurrent blocks without discarding any as forks. It is the first and only Proof of Work (PoW) and Tree Graph (TG) structured public chain system that realizes high transactions per second number, or TPS number (3000–6000TPS under real-time network testing without sacrificing decentralization).

Integrating Celer’s layer-2 scaling solution with Conflux’s novel consensus algorithm, the partnership aims to boost the mass adoption of decentralized applications and equip developers with tools to tackle blockchain scalability, security, and extensibility.

With a solid technical team background, Conflux mission is to create the next generation of distributed systems. The core team consists of an array of top-grade scientists, led by Co-founder Dr. Fan Long, an MIT Ph.D. holder & ACM SIGSOFT Award winner, and Chief Scientist and Turing Award Winner Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao. The team believes the value of a truly decentralized blockchain system is phenomenal, which could be the next generation revolution. Therefore, Conflux will encourage the incentive program for developers to break through on mass adoption of blockchain. Conflux has launched testnet one month ago, and community activity plan is now undergoing.

In the traditional, single-layered blockchain architecture, blockchain system faces a well-known challenge called “scalability trilemma” — it is implausible to build a blockchain that achieves scalability, decentralization, and security all at once. “Layer 2”, or off-chain platforms in its formal name, are infrastructures built on top of underlying blockchains designed to break such trilemma, facilitating a new level of scalability, privacy, and usability for the broader ecosystem. Advantages of off-chain solutions over other scaling solutions lie in its instant finality and low cost, with no compromise to decentralization.

As a leading layer-2 scaling platform, Celer Network enables fast, easy and secure off-chain transactions for payments and generalized off-chain smart contracts, which has already achieved 10,000X transaction latency reduction compared to transactions on the blockchain. More significantly, Celer’s layer-2 technology-driven dApp gateway mobile application CelerX has a strong focus on refining user experience and expanding development framework features, which has gained 18,000 monthly active users from 88 countries with a 20% 7-day retention rate.

Celer Network and Conflux share the same vision on layered architecture and mass adoption of blockchain technology. Both parties have been in constant discussion on technical integration, seeking more interactive user experience and higher throughput performance.

“A blockchain protocol cannot sacrifice the decentralization for high performance, meanwhile the interactive user experience is essential to mass adoption. Celer is a leading a layer-2 scaling platform to provide users with interactive and smooth experiences in the decentralized world at a minimal cost. Conflux is keen to integrate Celer’s layer-2 scaling technology into our ecosystem and collaborate with the great team from Celer to provide necessary features to support layer-2 better from the layer-1 blockchain. We believe the cooperation between Celer and Conflux could take a further step on blockchain technical implementation and blockchain application mass adoption.”

Dr. Fan Long, co-founder of Conflux

“Blockchain layer-2 scaling platforms cannot succeed without truly decentralized and high-performance layer-1 foundations. Conflux is offering such a foundation with high transaction throughput and convenient developer interface. Celer Network is excited to partner with the Conflux team who share our vision and technical insights. We are impressed by the team’s strong technical background, as well as the new algorithms and systems being developed. We believe Celer + Conflux will further push the boundary of blockchain application and adoption.”

Dr. Mo Dong, co-founder of Celer Network

The partnership will start off from an initial integration of Celer Network’s generalized state channel functionality with Conflux’s blockchain protocol, with details such as design pattern and technical integration to be settled upon final research and discussion of both parties.

As both parties get a deeper understanding of technology stack of each other, Celer and Conflux plan to jointly provide a development kit in the near future, enabling developers to easily build dApps on Conflux with Celer’s off-chain potential. Meanwhile, both parties will continue to educate the global community by co-hosting educational events and posting videos on the need for a layered blockchain, its technology, design pattern, and usage pattern.

Bitcoin exchange HitBTC improves infrastructure with data center relocation

Bitcon and cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC, announced it has started the process of rolling out the new and improved infrastructure of its exchange core and the migration thereof along with other services including its automated custody to LD4 data center in London, UK.

The updated architecture enables HitBTC to maintain high-performance to keep up with a growing number of trading options, new traders, and unexpected jumps in trading activity. The improvements made will better allow for the ability to react more quickly to changing market conditions resulting in sharp price movements. HitBTC’s preliminary benchmarks indicate mean door-to-door latency of 600 μs and 5 ms when utilizing FIX and Websockets/REST, respectively.

As mentioned, the automated part of the exchange company’s custody is also being moved to a highly secure LD4 datacenter. HitBTC’s custody solution is not susceptible to human factors due to its high degree of automation, and for 6 years since inception, it has never been breached.

Scalable, high-performance co-location services are an integral component for supporting the increasing demand for high-throughput access. HitBTC’s move seeks to ensure low-latency, versatile, and robust connectivity by hosting a data center in London. Along with its partner company BEQUANT, the updated infrastructure will provide brokers, hedge funds, and banks, among others, with the required infrastructure to access reliably the digital asset space.

“At HitBTC we are dedicated to providing institutional-grade connectivity solutions while maintaining system resilience, both of which are vital to expanding the reach of digital assets trading. HitBTC is the industry-leading provider of digital asset trading solutions with 150% more trading pairs than the nearest competitor and with an average throughput of over 10,000 orders per second. As such we are committed to continuously improving our infrastructure and delivering trading and market data connectivity with the lowest latency and maximum security possible.”

The HitBTC Team

DMG Blockchain and SixtyOneC to co-develop cooling solutions for crypto mining

DMG Blockchain Solutions, a diversified blockchain and technology company, announced that it has signed a letter of intent with SixtyOneC Technology Corporation to co-develop and co-market turnkey immersion cooling solutions optimized for the needs of cryptocurrency mining.

DMG brings experience distributing power to crypto mining equipment, most recently demonstrated at its 85-megawatt-capable mining facility in eastern British Columbia. The company’s partnership with SixtyOneC seeks to advance cryptocurrency mining technologies through the introduction of immersion cooling solutions.

“By partnering with SixtyOneC, DMG gains a competitive advantage by offering solutions with more crypto mining power per dollar, accelerating DMG’s ability to expand its Mining as a Service (MaaS) hosting business while enabling its customers to enjoy greater profits. SixtyOneC’s technology also enables DMG to enter the HPC market with an immediate competitive advantage and scalability for rapid growth.”

Sheldon Bennett, Chief Operating Office at DMG

SixtyOneC designs immersion cooling technology that increases the efficiency and performance of any computing hardware. By using SixtyOneC technology, companies can increase the output of their computing hardware through a process called ‘overclocking.’ In a traditional air-cooled environment, this process will quickly cause hardware to overheat and malfunction.

However, with SixtyOneC’s technology, the hardware is safely pushed beyond a 50% increase in performance. This technology also allows for a significant increase in hardware density, lower electricity costs and near silent operation.

“DMG is an ideal partner, as it brings the data center and system-level expertise required to bring immersion cooling to the mainstream. We look forward to a long-term relationship, which should be a catalyst for profitable growth for both companies.”

SixtyOneC CEO, Dieter Morgan

OpenSea launches new marketplace for Ethereum Name Service (ENS)

OpenSea, a marketplace for crypto collectibles, today announced support for ENS (Ethereum Name Service) names on OpenSea. With the recent upgrade to the ENS permanent registry, registering an ENS name is easier than ever: just two transactions through the ENS manager app.

It’s worth mentioning that ENS names are now native ERC721 assets, the free, open standard that describes how to build non-fungible or unique tokens. While OpenSea previously supported ENS through the ENS Nifty web app, now the process to list on OpenSea is even simpler. There are already a gathering of names for sale on OpenSea, as it is the first marketplace to support the permanent registry.

“At OpenSea, we’re excited to play a role in the beginnings of the decentralized web. One of the core building blocks of the decentralized web is a naming service that allows web3 users to send funds, interact with contracts, and use dapps using human-readable names. We think the liquidity of these usernames will be vital for driving the space forward.”

Devin Finzer, Co-founder of OpenSea

Hyperledger introduces Aries; infrastructure supporting interoperable identity

Hyperledger, the open source collaborative created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, this week has introduced Aries – the newest Hyperledger project. Aries is a shared infrastructure of tools that enables the exchange of blockchain-based data, supports peer-to-peer messaging in various scenarios, and facilitates interoperable interaction between different blockchains and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs).

Hyperledger Aries intends to:

  • Provide code for peer-to-peer interaction, secrets management, verifiable information exchange, and secure messaging for different decentralized systems.
  • Foster practical interoperability in support of ongoing standards and extend the applicability of technologies developed within Indy beyond its current community components from the Hyperledger stack into a single, effective business solution.

It includes:

  • A blockchain interface layer (known as a resolver) for creating and signing blockchain transactions.
  • A cryptographic wallet for secure storage (the secure storage tech, not a UI) of cryptographic secrets and other information used to build blockchain clients.
  • An encrypted messaging system for off-ledger interactions between clients using multiple transport protocols.
  • An implementation of ZKP-capable W3C verifiable credentials using the ZKP primitives found in Ursa.
  • An implementation of the Decentralized Key Management System (DKMS) specification currently being incubated in Hyperledger Indy.
  • A mechanism to build higher-level protocols and API-like use cases based on the secure messaging functionality described earlier.

The generic interface of Aries will initially support the Hyperledger Indy resolver but is flexible enough so that someone could build a pluggable method using other DID method resolvers such as Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, or another DID method resolver they wish. These types of resolvers would support the resolving of transactions and other data on other ledgers.

Additionally, Hyperledger Aries will provide features and functionality outside of the scope of the Indy ledger to be planned and fully supported. The Aries development team has already reached out to other groups, including Ethereum-based decentralized identity efforts and others participating at the W3C to contribute to this code base.

With all of these capabilities, the open source community will now be able to build core message families that are necessary to facilitate interoperable interactions with a wide variety of use cases involving blockchain-based identity.

One of the main purposes of this project is to change the client layers in Hyperledger Indy to be interoperable with other identity projects. Hyperledger Indy has been incubating protocol work for peer interactions between identity owners for some time but as the development community has grown, it has become clear that the scope of that work extends beyond the functionality provided by Indy for support of other systems and networks.

Hyperledger Aries provides a shared, reusable, interoperable tool kit designed for initiatives and solutions focused on creating, transmitting and storing verifiable digital credentials. It is infrastructure for blockchain-rooted, peer-to-peer interactions. It includes a shared cryptographic +++wallet for blockchain clients as well as a communications protocol for allowing off-ledger interaction between those clients.

The Aires project consumes the cryptographic support provided by Hyperledger Ursa, to provide secure secret management and decentralized key management functionality. Hyperledger Aries was initially contributed by developers from Sovrin Foundation, the Government of British Columbia, and other Indy community developers.

Kudi Exchange ready to launch African based cryptocurrency app

Kudi Exchange, an African based bitcoin and cryptocurrency mobile app that allows users to transact, do business, and to send and receive payments, today announced it has successfully completed their beta test and now will be launching publicly next week.

The exchange in the only in West Africa where users can purchase Gemini’s U.S. dollar backed stable coin directly with local currencies like the Nigerian Naira. Kudi also allows users to send real money to others using their WhatsApp or SMS numbers.

Also interesting, Kudi has built features directly into the app for business owners large and small. The Kudi Business service feature turns a phone into a powerful point of sale (POS) system and payroll system.

Blockchain computing cloud iExec upgrade introduces data renting

iExec, a blockchain-based decentralized marketplace for trading cloud resources, this week announced the release of V3, which introduced a new ‘Data Wallet’ feature that makes secure data renting possible. With this major upgrade, for the very first time, individuals can connect to iExec and contribute their computing power to earn money. iExec has also launched its Enterprise Edition for corporates wishing to do business with blockchain.

The main addition of iExec V3 is the Data Wallet, allowing for new business models through ‘data renting’. Data providers can list their valuable datasets or AI models, and through iExec, these can be used with an application combined with remote computing power. The providers of the datasets, applications, and computing power are all rewarded through the decentralized iExec Marketplace.

Trained neural networks are an example of valuable datasets that can be rented and monetized through the iExec Data Wallet. They are highly valuable as their training requires time, money and huge amounts of data. Such valuable and sensitive data can be monetized and used in a wide range of industries from healthcare to fintech to cyber-security.

In the past, companies could only sell datasets or charge subscription fees, therefore losing ownership over their data. The innovation of data renting on iExec allows for business relationships whereby enterprises can execute code using specific data on a remote machine, with the guarantee that this machine will never be able to inspect, copy or tamper with the data. Data providers are able to choose who can have access to their data, and revoke this access when needed.

Faster and More Secure

iExec V3 introduces a range of new technical features. The distributed computing middleware has been upgraded. Now named ‘iExec Core’, it allows for individuals to join public ‘worker pools’ and become computing power providers. In addition to the Data Wallet, iExec V3 also integrates the iExec Trusted Execution Environment solution (TEE).

This ensures the protection of data running on remote and untrusted machines. Also as part of V3, the overall efficiency of the iExec Marketplace has been increased through a dedicated bridge that is compatible with sidechains, and decentralized brokering. Finally, iExec V3 allows for the creation of decentralized oracles to give blockchain applications access to real-world data.

iExec for Enterprise

iExec V3 will introduce ‘iExec Enterprise’, proposing custom offers for corporates to address their specific needs. This will involve paid support and consulting services with the option to adapt the iExec offering to private or consortium blockchains. Enterprises can benefit from selecting which partners or clients have access to specific resources.

In this context, iExec announced its work with EDF, one of the worlds largest electricity providers, to optimize its cloud computing infrastructure. By combining distributed computing, blockchain consensus, and trusted execution environments, iExec can address the needs of enterprises and consortiums to do business with blockchain.

Finix Solutions to deploy CoinRoutes crypto exchange order routing platform

Finix Solutions, an automation provider for all activities surrounding alternative asset transactions, and CoinRoutes, a provider of algorithmic trading strategies and market data for crypto/digital assets, have announced a strategic partnership whereby both partners are jointly marketing their products as extensions to their platforms.

The partnership will commence with Finix’s deployment of CoinRoutes’ Smart Order Routing (SOR) platform to provide Finix clients with immediate and intelligent electronic access to over 40 crypto-asset trading exchanges.

CoinRoutes will include the product suite from Finix Solutions as extensions for institutional clients needing cost-effective digital assets trading, administration, and custody.

Finix Solutions will market CoinRoutes’ digital-asset SOR that delivers smart routing to achieve the best aggregate price across all selected crypto exchanges immediately. The platform provides aggressive and passive algorithmic strategies allowing clients to trade while retaining complete control over their exchange keys and wallets.

The algorithmic trading suite is informed by the full order books of all crypto exchanges and includes:
  • SmartPost to intelligently capitalize on exchange economics
  • Scheduled algorithms to ensure trading is completed within a time period
  • Time Weighted Average Price algorithms to trade uniformly throughout a period

All trading can be subdivided into individual users or strategies. Trading strategies can be assigned limits which are enforced throughout.  Margin trading, including allocation of available loans to traders/strategies, is supported.

“The partnership with CointRoutes to deliver Crypto SOR is another step in deploying intelligent solutions that simplify cryptocurrency trading for our global clients. Our partnership with CoinRoutes allows brokers/dealers, traders, and enterprise treasury management to leverage sophisticated SOR and algorithmic strategies to achieve the best execution.”

Aleks Buterman, CEO at Finix Solutions

CoinRoutes will market Finix Solutions’ blockchain platform for digital asset custody.  Built on distributed ledger technology (DLT), the platform enables everyone — investors, advisors, broker-dealers, exchanges, and fund custodians to interact, transact and administer securely and in a near-real-time mode.  Finix has already delivered its platform to chartered custodians that administer billions of dollars in alternative assets.

“We are very pleased to be working with Finix to deliver efficient electronic access to crypto-asset exchanges and to provide digital asset custody solution that’s frictionless, secure and cost-effective. As Finix is a trusted leader in the FinTech space, we are excited with our joint capabilities in providing innovative solutions that continue to transform the industry.”

David Weisberger, Co-Founder, and CEO at CoinRoutes

Cryptocurrency payment app Zeux adds support for NEM (XEM)

Zeux, a mobile crypto payment application, today announced the addition of XEM, the native token of blockchain ecosystem NEM on its digital payment wallet. Integration with Zeux allows users to spend XEM directly with merchants that accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

“The utilization of XEM as a payment option is an important part of the NEM blockchain. Partnerships like these are win-win opportunities to promote awareness and engagement in this industry. NEM Foundation wants to continue to cultivate collaborative engagements with all ecosystem partners across the world. We are looking forward to working with Zeux as integration with key payment platforms would position the utilization of digital currencies for mass adoption favorably.”

Jeff McDonald, Co-Founder of NEM Foundation

“We’re excited to add NEM to our list of payments. NEM has been a major player in developing its easy-to-integrate blockchain protocol. Now NEM holders have added benefit with Zeux; allowing them to pay XEM tokens at any point-of-sale terminal with Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. This collaboration is another milestone in bringing the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain to everyday life.”

Frank Zhou, Founder and CEO of Zeux

In recent months and weeks, Zeux has added support for NEO, VET, and IOTA.

Gemini the first crypto exchange to support WebAuthn security

Gemini, the New York regulated bitcoin exchange company, announced that it has introduced support for hardware security keys via WebAuthn (Web Authentication). Users of the exchange can now apply USB security keys (e.g., Yubikeys, Feitian keys, Trezor, and Ledger hardware wallets, MacOS TouchID, etc.) as their two-factor authentication (2FA) method when signing in.

Using hardware security keys via WebAuthn to secure a Gemini account provides hardware-backed, cryptographic proof that it is the real user signing into their account. This helps stop someone else from signing into their Gemini account even if they have the password. Using hardware security keys via WebAuthn also ensures users only submit two-factor credentials to the actual Gemini website and not a malicious website pretending to be the Gemini website.

To further boost security, two weeks ago, Gemini released a self-service tool called Withdrawal Address Whitelisting. When enabled, a user’s assets may only be withdrawn from their Gemini account to specific crypto addresses.

“We’ve added many layers of security throughout the years to help you keep your digital assets safe. Since our launch in 2015, we have always required 2FA for all account sign-ins; this has never been an opt-in security feature. Authy Push, Whitelisting, and today’s announcement of WebAuthn, give you the advanced tools you need to secure your Gemini account. We will continue to strive to be the most secure place for you to buy, sell, and store your crypto today and tomorrow. “

Marcin Wielgoszewski, Gemini Security Engineering Lead

Note that the Gemini Mobile app does not currently support WebAuthn for 2FA because native support for WebAuthn on mobile is limited and not all iOS and Android devices can physically accept a security key.