A Twitter poll by bitcoin evangelist Pierre Rochard discussed whether the Lightning Network is a suitable tool for BTC transactions on crypto exchanges.
Poll Signals to Lightning Network Curiosity
Proponents of LN believe it would be a good fit for crypto exchanges.
Lately, exchanges have become extremely skeptical of inbound transactions, especially after a series of partial spending or 51% attacks affecting coins based on their core technology. It is not unusual for bitcoin exchanges to require as much as 100 node confirmations for networks that have fallen prey to double-spending. The most notorious cases include Bitcoin Gold (BTG), as well as Ethereum Classic (ETC).
On-chain bitcoin transactions are hardly threatened by attacks, and exchanges only require a few confirmations when processing a deposit/withdrawal. But the Lightning Network is still experimental and may lead to unexpected consequences.
LN still has a relatively small capacity in comparison to exchanges, which trade millions of bitcoins each day. The entire lightning network capacity is still pegged at 818 BTC.
Microtransactions to Boost BTC Adoption
LN is viewed as an opportunity to allow Satoshi transactions with zero fees and no time lag, to drive popularization for BTC micropayments. Exchanges function on a higher tier, often having a relatively high minimum threshold, or adding extra fees for the smallest on-chain transactions.
Adding the Lightning Network would then allow small-scale clients to move funds with ease. But so far, not one of the leading exchanges has seriously looked at implementing the technology.
Comments also included the possibility for veiled sending, as LN nodes are still pseudonymous and do not track their users. Currently, large-scale coin movements trigger whale-watching bots, which signal big fund movements. However, it is also uncertain if large-scale whales would be ready to entrust their funds to a network of voluntary peers. Loss of coins is still possible and may have happened before a recent bug was discovered and disabled.
The bitcoin network works out on-chain transactions close to $1 billion every day. The LN only managed to process $6,536, or around 0.784 BTC in the past 24 hours, as the real-life usage remains small.
What do you think about the potential of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images via Bitcoinist Media Library, Twitter: @pierre_rochard, @LNstats
At Devcon 5 last week, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen sat down with MyCrypto CEO Taylor Monahan to chat about user adoption and the state of ethereum.
Founded in 2015, MyCrypto makes the blockchain more accessible through customer-first products for ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.
As Monahan told CoinDesk, MyCrypto focuses on the customer experience:
“People are used to the Googles and the Facebooks and you type in your username and your password and if you forget it like they’ll recover it for you and everything’s fine. And then they enter crypto and it’s like, ‘No, that’s not how the world works.’”
As a wallet provider, MyCrypto is the first touching point for many crypto newbies, and onboarding non-crypto customers to crypto has its own set of unique challenges.
“How can we make this similar to existing systems? And where it just is different, how can we educate the user? Because at the end of the day, we do want people to hold their own crypto.”
CoinShares, Blockchain Wallet, and MKS Introduce Gold-Backed Token
CoinShares, a leading digital assets management firm, has joined forces with Blockchain wallet and MKS, a Geneva-based precious metals trading firm, to develop DGLD, a gold-backed token powered by the Bitcoin distributed ledger technology (DLT) network. The team claims DGLD has all the qualities of physical gold with none of its limitations, according to a press release on October 15, 2019.
Real Gold on the Blockchain
In an effort to make it possible for both retail and institutional investors to invest in gold without having to go through the stress associated with the ownership of physical gold bars, CoinShares, Blockchain and MKS are launching the DGLD token.
Per sources close to the matter, DGLD token has been under development since 2017 and the project is built upon the Bitcoin blockchain, giving the token the entire attributes of real gold, gold exchange-traded funds (ETF) and the decentralized, borderless nature, robustness and security of the Bitcoin distributed ledger.
The team claims that the DLGD blockchain is linked to the Bitcoin network via CommerceBlock’s Mainstay protocol, ensuring that the record of gold ownership remains tamperproof.
$20M Worth of Physical Gold
The team says the DGLD network holds more than $20 million in digitized gold, with the physical gold stored in a Swiss vault.
What’s more, the team has revealed that each DGLD token is the digital equivalent of 1/10th of a troy of the London bullion market (LBMA) gold, and for every new DGLD token created there must be a corresponding LBMA gold allocated and stored in the vault.
This fosters transparency, while also ensuring that each DGLD token can be redeemed for its exact equivalent in physical gold and vice versa.
Interestingly, the team has hinted that unlike gold-backed ETFs and other synthetic gold investments, DGLD comes under category 5 of FINMA’s stablecoin taxonomy, which gives DGLD token holders direct ownership to the physical gold, without any form of intermediaries.
DGLD will initially be available to both retail and institutional investors via Blochain’s PIT crypto exchange before the end of the year.
Commenting on the development, Danny Masters, Chairman of CoinShares said that:
“DGLD combines the stability of the world’s most enduring asset, gold, with the security of the world’s most resilient network, Bitcoin. You can now have the peace of mind of Swiss vaulted physical gold, with the same convenience, but not the same layers of middlemen, as owning a gold ETF.”
In related news, in September 2019, Paxos announced the launch of PAX Gold (PAXG), a cryptocurrency backed 100 percent by real gold.
Bitcoin Is a Weapon for Free Speech in the Face of Government and Corporate Censorship
The latest skirmishes in the bruising trade war between the U.S. and China have led to the unlikely politicization of the NBA. But how did the views of a basketball executive become such a political football? And what does China’s ideological commitment to censorship say about the value of free speech and of free speech money, as bitcoin is sometimes known?
US-China Censorship Spat Highlights the Value of Free Speech
The Communist Party’s gangsterish demands on private companies is nothing new, but the recent decision by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to tweet support for pro-democracy protestors amid bedlam in Hong Kong quickly exposed just how fragile the notion of ‘free speech’ really is. In the face of opprobrium from Beijing, Morey’s climbdown, augmented by groveling input from Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and NBA spokesman Mike Bass, was pitiful to behold. But it hinted at the wider problem of gutlessness among companies that have provoked the ire of the Chinese government.
Basic Rights and Backdoor Entry Points
A curatedlist of companies that have kowtowed to Chinese censorship requests, maintained on Github, is damning. As well as the NBA, the roll of shame includes Apple, Marriott, Nike, ESPN, several of the world’s largest airlines like British Airways, Qantas and American Airlines, and Versace. With trade talks between the US and China underway in Washington, the specter of censorship, while not on the agenda, will loom large over proceedings.
Both nations have a lot to answer for as far as free speech, privacy, money and other basic human rights are concerned. China’s persistent assault on freedom seems more flagrant, but the U.S. – and, for that matter, other western nations – hardly cover themselves in glory. Attorney General William Barr recentlysqueezed major tech companies to provide government agencies with backdoor entry points for encrypted devices and software. It remains perfectly legal for citizens throughout the world to be fired by their employer or interrogated by customs for something they’ve said on social media – even when it occurred years ago.
Who Watches the Watchers?
Edward Snowden’s exposè of rampant state surveillance shows that when it comes to assembling a digital panopticon that’s always watching, the Americans are even more ruthless than the Chinese. At least in China you can see the cameras observing you; there’s no such courtesy when the U.S. agencies activate your webcam and start recording.
Speaking of surveillance and its insidious incursion into people’s lives, the Washington Post justreported that more than 400 police departments across the U.S. have entered into surveillance partnerships with Amazon’s camera-enabled doorbell company, Ring. It’s yet another way in which the government is utilizing tech, while co-opting big business to bear down upon civil rights and liberties.
In the modern world, digital freedom is everything. The bulk of our lives now unfold online: our conversations, our financial transactions, our very identities. What we are witnessing, increasingly, is free speech being smothered via the deplatforming of certain voices and an attempt by governments to introduce regulatory oversight on financial transactions which goes beyond ensuring proper taxation, but – under the guise of crime prevention – impinges upon privacy at a fundamental level. When governments seek to blunt-force encrypted devices and software, it requires a stupefying level of naivety to assume that their motivation is cracking down on kiddie porn.
Value and dignity exist in an internet where speech, financial autonomy and other basic rights are not controlled by government agencies or international conglomerates. Where our private data is not commoditized and sold to the highest bidder, and where we have the right to lives that are not the object of constant and unforgiving scrutiny.
The Value of Free Speech Money
Avoiding inference from third parties in the form of censure (deplatforming) and restriction of speech are basic desires shared by all digital citizens. This is why, when the topic of censorship and governmental overreach rears its head, Bitcoin isn’t far behind. Being able to process payments on the internet without permission or risk of confiscation is a privilege that provokes a desire to exercise the same level of freedom in other realms. To harness fully open source, secure and private systems of expression that are immune to the tentacles of power.
If the convergence of state and corporate interests continues unchecked, we are all imperilled; Chinese, American, or otherwise. Seized bank accounts, stolen information, frozen assets and ever greater attempts to stifle free speech and freedom of association will become the norm, and not just for those existing on the fringes, but for the masses. Is it any wonder that protestors harness technology to combat the might of the state? Tools such as PGP, Bitcoin, and decentralized networks allow individuals to conduct their affairs without permission from any bank, corporation or government.
A Time for Reckoning
While the summit in Washington is focused on matters such as trade imbalances and intellectual property violations, at an individual level we have bigger questions to ask of ourselves. Are we prepared to endure online censorship and a veritable onslaught on our civil liberties? Or are we willing to fight for an internet that does not function as an arm of the state but as an open platform for the free exchange of ideas and value? A censorship-resistant internet benefits everyone. It also benefits Bitcoin, for where there’s free speech, there’s demand for free speech money.
Do you think free speech and financial sovereignty as provided by Bitcoin are interlinked? Let us know in the comments section below.
Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Kai’s been manipulating words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $12. It’s long gone. He’s previously written whitepapers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.