Marathon’s Bitcoin Mining Pool Will ‘No Longer Filter Transactions’ — Marapool Begins Signaling for Taproot

Marathon’s Bitcoin Mining Pool Will ‘No Longer Filter Transactions’ — Marapool Begins Signaling for Taproot

On Monday, the publicly-listed enterprise mining firm Marathon Digital Holdings announced the company has adopted the latest codebase offered by Bitcoin Core developers that features Taproot. Marathon is now signaling for Taproot according to the announcement. The North American bitcoin miner further noted that the firm’s mining operation Marapool will “cease filtering transactions.”

Marathon Adopts Bitcoin Core Version 0.21.1 With Taproot Privacy Features

The firm Marathon Digital Holdings (Nasdaq: MARA), has been making a number of business moves in the bitcoin mining sector in 2021. In December 2020, the firm announced the purchase of 70,000 Antminer S19 bitcoin miners from Bitmain for $170 million. Last week, Marathon revealed that Compute North’s mining farm in Texas will host 73,000 of Marathon’s mining rigs. Furthermore, in more recent times, Marathon made headlines for censoring specific bitcoin transactions in a mined BTC block.

At that time, Marathon revealed to the public that Marapool dedicated 10.37 exahash toward mining KYC/OFAC compliant transactions only. Although, on May 31, Marathon explained in its Taproot signaling announcement that the bitcoin mining pool will “cease filtering transactions.” The company said that the North American mining pool Marapool “has adopted and implemented Bitcoin Core version 0.21.1.”

The new 0.21.1 codebase hosts the Taproot feature, an addition that developers say will add privacy enhancements, scaling improvements, and other technical advancements.

“Marathon is committed to the core tenets of the Bitcoin community, including decentralization, inclusion, and no censorship,” said Fred Thiel, Marathon’s CEO. The company’s mining pool will “no longer filter transactions” and “begin validating transactions in a manner consistent with all other miners who use the standard node,” the announcement emphasizes.

“Over the coming week, we will be updating all our miners to the full standard Bitcoin core 0.21.1 node, including support for Taproot,” Thiel said during the announcement. “By adopting the full standard Bitcoin core node, we will be validating transactions on the blockchain in the exact same way as all other miners who use the standard node,” the Marathon CEO added.

Taproot Awaits Activation

Taproot is in the midst of “Speedy Trial,” an activation mechanism that was initiated on May 1. Basically miners are dealing with six sub-phases between each difficulty change. During the last difficulty change, more than 95% of miners were signaling for Taproot activation. Taproot’s actual ruleset will be followed in November and enforced via soft fork at block height 709,632.

“We look forward to continue being a collaborative and supportive member of the Bitcoin community,” Thiel further remarked. “And to realizing the vision of Bitcoin as the first decentralized, peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users rather than a central authority or middlemen,” he added.

What do you think about Marathon signaling Taproot and detailing that Marapool will cease filtering transactions? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Cardano (ADA) Co-Founder: Crypto Space Will Replace the Traditional Financial System

Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson has revealed he believes the cryptocurrency space will take over the traditional finance system and change the world in the near future thanks to the innovation within it.

In a video published on YouTube, Hoskinson explained why he believes the nascent industry will become a dominant force solving some of the problems that the traditional financial system currently deals with. He said the industry is the “antidote to the excesses, corruption, and nepotism that we found.”

To Hoskinson the traditional financial system has “now been replaced by an industry of creativity and innovation. We’re going to change the world; it’s just that simple.” To the co-founder of one of the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, there are simply too many people for the crypto space to be forgotten now, and the “markets are too large” while the “innovation is simply too vast.”

He added that it’s “no longer a question of if, it’s when, and how will these dinosaurs find a way to survive in this new world order.” Hoskinson also said that while cryptocurrencies may still be in their infancy, he sees the industry mature quickly and said that over the next 10 years “there’s going to be more advancement in monetary policy from our industry than the last 100 years of central banks.”

The co-creator of Cardano added that in the next decade he sees the cryptocurrency space become more advanced in financial engineering and the construction of financial products than there was in the last 100 years on Wall Street. Similarly, he sees more progress being made on the constant movement of wealth in crypto than through the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and other fixed protocols.”

Hoskinson also believes that while the cryptocurrency market has largely been following BTC’s price movements, some projects may decouple from the flagship cryptocurrency this year. As the Daily Hodl reports, he said:

Unlike the past cycles in 2017 and 2018 compared to today where we’re at, we’re now in a situation where we’ve decoupled from Bitcoin, and people are starting to realize that while [Bitcoin] was a great experiment, it’s not the end-all-be-all and that there’s more to the story

As CryptoGlobe reported, Hoskinson has revealed in an ask me anything (AMA) session that he is now a cryptocurrency billionaire, even after the cryptocurrency market crash that saw the prices of some cryptoassets drop by as much as 40% and commented on the drop.

DISCLAIMER
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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Andreessen Horowitz Discusses Raising Third Crypto Fund to $2 Billion, Sources Say

Andreessen Horowitz Discusses Raising Third Crypto Fund to $2 Billion, Sources Say

In May 2020, back when the crypto economy was still tumultuous from the coronavirus outbreak fears and gloomy global financial outlook, in general, the private venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) revealed the 500 million-dollar “Crypto Fund II.” A report published on May 27 by the tech writer Eric Newcomer indicates that Andreessen Horowitz is contemplating $2 billion in financing for the next crypto fund.

Former Bloomberg Reporter Says ‘a16z in the Process of Tripling Down on Crypto’

The well known venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz back in 2009 has been a driving force in the crypto industry in regard to financing projects and startups. Marc Andreessen has been a firm believer in bitcoin for quite some time now and a16z has funneled millions of dollars into the industry during the last eight years.

In recent times, Andreessen Horowitz launched two funds dedicated to the development of “crypto networks and businesses.” Bitcoin.com News reported on the last venture revealed by the a16z executives Katie Haun and Chris Dixon when the two revealed the Crypto Fund II.

That specific fund invested $515 million into networks, startups, and businesses dedicated to the blockchain and crypto asset industry. Now the former tech writer for Bloomberg, Eric Newcomer, details that a16z third crypto fund is “in talks to raise $2 billion.”

“Andreessen Horowitz is in the process of tripling down on crypto, raising its third crypto fund since 2018,” Newcomer said. “Sources tell me that Andreessen Horowitz is targeting $2 billion for its third crypto fund. That’s double the size of what many people are expecting,” he added.

Someone Familiar With the Matter Told Newcomer a16z Sold ‘at Least Some of Its Ethereum Holdings’ Before the Market Downturn

Newcomer’s source also disclosed that Andreessen Horowitz has “distributed at least some of the Coinbase shares soon after Coinbase went public.” Moreover, the firm had ethereum (ETH) holdings and a source familiar with a16z’s operations said “the firm sold at least some of its Ethereum holdings at around $3,800 before the price crashed.”

The report further added that there seems to be an “arms race” in cryptocurrency investments as Fred Ehrsam and Matt Huang’s Paradigm have been making waves. “The Andreessen fund and Paradigm have frenemy status. I hear that some Andreessen Horowitz partners are limited partners in Paradigm,” the author’s report details.

On the same day, a16z revealed an investment into the crypto firm Talos, Newcomer also said he hears “a lot of buzz about investment Uniswap.” Of course, similar to Bloomberg’s reporting, Newcomer’s source is someone familiar with the matter.

“It will be just as interesting to see who dives into crypto as it will be to see who decides to sit this goldrush out. But Andreessen Horowitz looks like it will be well positioned to fund the next Coinbase,” Newcomer concluded.

What do you think about Andreessen Horowitz tripling its crypto fund to $2 billion? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

How relevant is the $900M open interest on Bitcoin options above $100K?

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Ireland: Central Bank Official Warns Against Popularity of Cryptocurrencies

Ireland: Central Bank Official Warns Against Popularity of Cryptocurrencies

According to Derville Rowland, a leading official at Ireland’s central bank, the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is of grave concern. The central bank’s CFO stated that crypto assets are speculative unregulated investments, and individuals have to be really aware that they can lose the entire investment.

Why Crypto Threatens Bank Representatives

Bank of England Governor, Andrew Bailey, has also warned that cryptocurrencies have no fundamental value and only if you are ready to lose your money should consumers purchase it. Last week, the Governor Haruhiko Kuroda of the Bank of Japan added his voice to the chorus of concern, stressing the extraordinary volatility of Bitcoin. 

Crypto assets have been developed as an alternative to standard banking infrastructures that do not need an intermediary and are not tied to central government, banks or agency capabilities. The trust is put into the blockchain code and the distributed nature of the blockchain instead of depending on centralized intermediaries in these transactions.

Cryptocurrencies enable peer-to-peer transactions without a regulated intermediary, allowing users to swiftly move their funds without transaction fees needing to be paid. The transactions are linked to the transaction ID on the blockchain rather than identify the transaction via a bank’s account.

A Point of Concern

Many banks who are concerned by the absence of anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer rules (KYC) concerning digital currency transactions are also concerned about this type of “pseudonym.”

Over their short lifetime, in general, the price of cryptocurrencies (bitcoin in particular) was erratic. There are many causes, including market size, liquidity and the number of participants in the market. Banks consider that to be a risk, as prices were not historically stable. They fear that currency may not stay a reliable vehicle of investment throughout time.

Due to these, central banks may require ventures into digital currencies to preserve monetary sovereignty. According to PwC, more than 85% of central banks investigate, experiment, or move to pilot projects in the digital version of their currencies.

The Controversial Side

However, various technical challenges, privacy, and other difficulties need to be overcome in digital currencies. For one reason, it can enable monitoring on private-party transactions easier for governments. 

The Chinese authorities have stated that its CBDC will maintain privacy rights, but otherwise, critics still assert. According to the Center for a New American Security, the new CBDC could strengthen its digital authoritarianism.

As the system’s administrators, the banks continue to enjoy enormous benefits and utilize CBDCs to promote other services. Most sophisticated CBDC projects are for wholesale banking rather than consumer banking, like clearing and settlement. The ECB, for example, has stated that in a rollout that may only start in 2025, it could limit customer holdings to EUR 3,000 or $3,600.

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Binance Smart Chain Faces yet Another Flash Loan Attack: Belt Finance Loses $6.3 Million

Binance Smart Chain Faces yet Another Flash Loan Attack: Belt Finance Loses $6.3 Million

Belt Finance, a Binance Smart Chain-based decentralized lending protocol, lost $6.3 million in a flash loan attack last week. The attackers took advantage of a series of inefficiencies in the smart contract to manipulate the price of the set and obtain profit from a series of transactions. This is just the last of a series of attacks that seem to be pointing to Binance Chain protocols due to their vulnerabilities.

Belt Finance Loses $6.3 Million in Flash Loan Attack

Belt Finance, a borrowing and loaning protocol that operates in the Binance Smart Chain suffered a flash attack last week that caused losses of over six million dollars. The attack, that used Pancakeswap as a tool for executing its strategy, used a series of operations to manipulate its belt/BUSD pool, a stable token in the protocol, and profit due to this inefficiency. The Belt Finance team declared in a post mortem report that the attackers managed to exploit this bug eight times before being detected.

The team of Belt Finance immediately suspended withdrawals and deposits to the affected pools and claimed the attack vector that was used for the attack has been patched after the attack. In addition to this, they are studying how to reimburse the users affected by this event. The team declared:

We are currently working to create a fair and comprehensive compensation plan for those affected with a snapshot of the accounts that were affected by this attack. We will release a compensation plan within the next 48 hours, a time frame necessary for us to get and go through all the logs to see exactly which users need to get compensated.

The team also denied allegations and rumors surrounding the sale of tokens by part of the members of Belt Finance. While some point in the direction of a possible rug pull, the similarity with other attackers can lead to believe this is yet another flash loan attack directed to poorly secured Binance Smart Chain (BSC) protocols.


Not the First Time

The BSC network has become a magnet for flash loan attacks in recent days. Just this month, PancakeBunny, another liquidity protocol in the chain, also suffered an attack that made them lost three million dollars, and Bogged Finance, a similar project, lost almost the same amount in a flash loan attack too. Alongside this, the defi protocol Burgerswap was siphoned for $7.2 million in a flash loan attack.

This has led developers to believe there is an organized group targeting BSC protocols. This is what the official account of the Binance Smart Chain declared on Twitter, advising these protocols to stay on guard for this kind of attack and to work with audit companies to double-check their code for vulnerabilities.

What do you think about the recent attack on Belt Finance? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

3 on-chain indicators suggest the Bitcoin price sell-off is losing steam

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India: RBI Instructs Banks to Provide Uninterrupted Crypto Trading Services to Customers

India: RBI Instructs Banks to Provide Uninterrupted Crypto Trading Services to Customers

India’s central bank clears ambiguity over crypto regulations in the country.

Banks Can’t Advise Against Trading in Crypto

In a tweet posted today, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cleared clouds of confusion regarding the regulatory nature of cryptocurrencies in India.

According to the circular tweet by the RBI, no bank in India can caution its customers against dealing in crypto assets citing an old 2018 circular that was successfully overturned by the Supreme Court of India in March 2020.

For the uninitiated, in March last year, the Supreme Court of India quashed the RBI’s 2018 diktat that prohibited banks and other financial institutions in the country from dealing in virtual currencies.

However, of late, despite the Supreme Court of India’s verdict, several Indian banks continue to make life tough for their crypto-enthusiast customers by sending them notices of account closure should they not stop trading cryptocurrencies.

“It has come to our attention through media reports that certain banks/regulated entities have cautioned their customers against dealing in virtual currencies by making a reference to the RBI circular dated April 06, 2018,” the RBI said in a circular released Monday. “Such references to the above circular by banks/regulated entities are not in order as this circular was set aside by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on March 4, 2020.”

The statement adds:

“As such, in view of the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the circular is no longer valid from the date of the Supreme Court judgement, and therefore cannot be cited or quoted from.”

Practice Due Diligence

While the RBI’s circular brings a sigh of relief for the Indian crypto community, it adds that banks would be required to carry out customer due diligence processes to be compliant with existing regulations such as KYC, AML, combating of financing of terrorism, and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for foreign remittances.

Despite the typical anti-crypto stance shown by India, recent developments in the country show signs of positivity and the possibility of a conducive regulatory environment for digital assets.

In recent news, BTCManager reported that India’s former finance secretary Subhash Chandra came out to state that instead of overlooking the crypto industry, the Indian government must find ways to efficiently regulate it.

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Former PBOC Official Says Digital Yuan Not Developed to Monitor Transactions

Former PBOC Official Says Digital Yuan Not Developed to Monitor Transactions

A former official of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) argued that contrary to opinions about China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan was not developed for monitoring purposes. 

Digital Yuan Not For Tracking Citizens’ Payments 

According to Bloomberg on May 30, Yao Qian, the former director of the PBOC’s Digital Currency Institute said that the digital yuan was not a surveillance tool to check citizens’ transactions in real time. The ex-PBOC official made the comment while on a panel at the International Finance Forum held in Beijing. 

Instead, Qian said that the digital yuan was developed to counter the impact of private payment platforms like Alipay and WeChat Pay, which maintain a duopoly in China’s mobile payments sector. Back in March, a PBOC official said that one of the important objectives of creating a CBDC was to act as a backup for Wechat Pay and Alipay.

Meanwhile, Qian’s statement seems to counter a comment made by Jerome Powell, the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair, in April. Powell said that digital currencies like the digital yuan would not work in the U.S., adding that it would enable the Chinese government to “see every payment that’s used in real time.”

Also, there have been concerns that China’s CBDC would usurp the U.S. dollar’s dominance as the world’s reserve currency. Consequently, the Biden administration revealed that it was closely monitoring the digital yuan project. 

Even Macau’s gambling industry is not too pleased with China’s upcoming sovereign digital currency. According to the casino operators in the region, the use of a traceable digital yuan for gambling could negatively impact an already struggling industry. 

Meanwhile, Qian, who left the PBOC in 2018 to work at the China Securities Regulatory Commission as the director of the science and technology supervision bureau, said:

The digital yuan needs to achieve a balance between protecting users’ privacy and cracking down on crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion and the financing of terrorism.”

China continues to make significant progress in its digital yuan trials, with plans to expand testing of the CBDC for cross-border payments. Apart from China, other countries like Indonesia, South Africa, Japan, and South Korea, are involved in various digital currency researches and pilots. 

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