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I have been noticing on many online bitcoin districts that various users are unable to understand the concept of Segregated Witness. This post will clear up any doubts, uncertainties, and myths regarding SegWit.

So, what happens in SegWit?

SegWit is short for Segregated Witness and it’s a proposal presented by the developers of Bitcoin Core. Originally it was aimed to solve the transaction malleability, which is a well-known weak spot in the Bitcoin system. The idea behind SegWit is that the signatures in a transaction, also known as the “witness data” are skipped when calculating the transaction id.

Basically, SegWit will update the 1MB size block limit to 4-million unit block weight limit. This counts serialized
witness data and one unit and core block data as four units. This is an entirely new transaction format, meaning the block size is increased. SegWit counts each byte in a witness as 0.25 bytes towards the 1MB block limit, thus the maximum size of a block becomes just under 4MB.

It’s not that the data gets smaller, it’s just counted in a way that allows for the block limit to be increased.

The short/easy version

In simple words, signature related data is removed from bitcoin transactions, causing them to appear smaller in size. Also, making the block size smaller, further, allowing more transactions to take place.

 

Clearing up myths and rumors

Myth: SegWit as a soft fork is much more dangerous than a hard fork

A soft fork ensures that the backward and forward compatibility is under control. Also, when a soft fork is set up, old versions of Bitcoin software will be able to function without any faults. On the other hand, a hard fork requires every Bitcoin user to update to the new software to support the consensus rules. Any user that fails to upgrade to the new software might be under the risk of getting thrown off the Bitcoin network.

 

Myth: SegWit is more complicated than a super simple hard fork

Similar to a hard fork, SegWit proposes the same idea of increasing the block size limit. No doubt, it is pretty complex and introduces several changes, but it is a relatively simple conceptual change. Basically, SegWit ignores the signatures when calculating the transactions, but as a soft fork, some additional changes must be made to make SegWit transactions compatible with non-segwit nodes. These changes then have side effects which can be beneficial to Bitcoin. It also contains more functionality than a hard fork increasing the block size limit. The hard fork to increase the block size limit also appears simple, but additional changes need to be made to support the deployment and to solve the quadratic hashing issue with transactions.

 

Myth: Miners who don’t upgrade to segwit will be forcefully told to quit the bitcoin network

This is false since SegWit will be deployed using the BIP9 versionbits which uses a 95% threshold. A miner would not run into any trouble, as long as he follows certain rules. However, if he fails to follow these rules, he could end up with transactions including witnesses but he wouldn’t be having the witnesses nor the witness root hash in the Coinbase. This would be an invalid block that would be in the orphan pool.

 

What are the benefits of SegWit?

Besides the obvious benefit of having to increase the capacity, there are several other benefits that come with the introduction of SegWit. Some of those benefits are:

  • Node performance is tested based on how weighting data
  • Signature covers value
  • Linear scaling of sighash operations
  • MultiSig gets more security
  • Script versioning
  • Increased security to almost-full-nodes

Why hasn’t SegWit been activated yet?

If there is not enough support shown, it might result in a contentious fork. That means a part of the network switches to the new client while some remain to use the older version. This leads to two sets of cryptocurrencies with different rules, co-existing and competing for users and legitimacy.

In order to avoid such a situation, the developers of SegWit have programmed a specific rule in the software proclaiming that it will only activate once it reaches the 95% mark.

Currently, the support is hovering around 32-33%. 

Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

 

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Australia Introduces Regulations for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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According to the latest information on the website of AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre), digital currency exchanges must have to be registered with authorities now and should also commit to several identity checking and reporting procedures. It’s been confirmed by the Australian government as well that the Australian cryptocurrency exchanges are abided by the new AML (Anti-Money Laundering) rules.

The Australian authorities are trying their best to close the remaining loopholes in cryptocurrency usage, concerning identity management and taxation of cryptocurrency. In contrast to a backdrop of discontent due to such sharp upsurge in scams, last week, the Australian Taxation Office was asked for taxpayer’s contribution into how deductions rising from the cryptocurrency returns should be assembled efficiently.

cryptocurrency exchange

Four-Principle Rules

Meanwhile, exchanges now must follow the four prime rules so that they can function above board, as a part of the security reformation. Following are the four rules:

  • Identification and verification of identities of their clients.
  • Keeping particular records for 7-years.
  • Accepting and maintaining a CTF/ AML program for the identification, alleviation, and management of terrorism financing perils and money laundering.
  • 6 months refinement period that will escort the new regulations, in which AUSTRAC will be a lot more compassionate on operators who “fall short of requirements.”
  • Reporting to AUSTRAC sceptical issues, and transactions linked to the physical currency of $10,000 and even more.

The laws relating to cryptocurrency exchanges regulations in Australia are also getting stricter, while the government has guaranteed that the investors wouldn’t feel left out. The Australian government took feedback from the public to know what their views are on the cryptocurrency taxation structure and are they going to like it or not.

The ATO (Australian Tax Office) had also posted:

“We’ve timed this consultation to coincide with an update to our website, which should address some of the feedback we have received to date about our cryptocurrency guidance. We’re eager to hear your feedback about cryptocurrency and its tax implications as the technology may impact how business operates in the future.”

Feedback from Taxpayers

Many governments across the world are getting stricter, especially when it comes to the taxation of cryptocurrencies. Many exchanges are being forced by the governments to disclose the data of consumers and to send out subpoenas to investors who have high net-worth. While many governments are getting stricter, the decision of Australian government to get the feedback from taxpayers before applying these tax laws is notable.

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Jay Clayton Believes ‘All ICOs Are Not Fraudulent’

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According to the chairman of the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), Jay Clayton, ‘all ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are not fraudulent’. These remarks were made by Clayton, on 5th April, during a speech at Princeton University. Clayton also added that stamping out fraud in the cryptocurrency market is perilous to protect customers. As well as, the improved regulatory analysis will essentially benefit the industry by removing fraudsters from it and con artists who give the whole place a bad name. Since there’ve been many ICO fraud cases before, the remarks of Clayton became viral.

SEC Investigation

Jay Clayton’s Remarks

Clayton said:

“Is the approach taken in Washington by the SEC adversely affecting distributed ledger technology in other areas? My hope is that it’s actually helping because this technology is being used for fraud… And to the extent that it’s being used for fraud, history shows that government comes down harshly on that technology later.”

He also added:

“If we don’t stop the fraudsters, there is a serious risk that the regulatory pendulum – the regulatory actions – will be so severe that they will restrict the capacity of this new security.”

Clayton signalled about SEC investigations, in February 2018, that his agency would be investigating cryptocurrencies and at that time, he said:

“I believe every ICO I’ve seen is a security.”

However, a few weeks later, ICOs were again targeted by the SEC as it issued dozens of subpoenas to the tech-companies related to cryptocurrencies, and counsellors to explore how ICOs are organized.

ICOs Ceased for Scam

Fraud charges were filed against the co-founders of Centra Tech, Robert Farkas and Sohrab Sharma on April 2, by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Centra tech co-founders were accused of raising $32 million by vending unregistered securities throughout the Centra ICO, as it was promoted by Floyd Mayweather (boxing champ) and DJ Khaled (record producer).

According to public documents, the SEC is now looking forward to two bitcoin exchange-traded funds for listing on the NYSE Arca, which is the first “all-electronic” exchange in the US. The name of these two-bitcoin exchange-traded funds are:

  • The ProShares Bitcoin ETF
  • The ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF

 

SEC to Allow Cryptocurrency ETFs

Cboe president, Chris Concannon advised the agency to permit crypto ETFs and soon after that, the SEC consideration of bitcoin ETFs showed up. In a letter, that was sent to the SEC, on23rd March, Concannon sacked criticism that virtual currencies are extremely volatile to be treated like other dependable commodities.

Concannon wrote in the letter:

“Because of its innovative features as a digital asset, bitcoin has gained wide acceptance as a secure means of exchange in the commercial marketplace and has generated significant interest among investors.”

Concannon also added that there is sufficient reliable price info from the bitcoin futures market on CME and Cboe Futures Exchange that must alleviate the regulatory uncertainties about its impenetrability as an asset-tool.

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Why Bitcoin Is Wonderful (In 2 Minutes) – Vanessa Collette With Mike Maloney

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Why Audi Is Also Interested In Blockchain?

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blockchain startups

Thanks to Bitcoin and all the related cryptocurrencies, blockchain startups no more a mystery. All those who are somehow related to the crypto market know that the blockchain technology is infact a decentralized technology that keeps the record of digital transaction and has so far its use been specific for the crypto transactions. To be more precise and accurate we can state that a global network of computers uses blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. Blockchain is considered to be invincible because it can continuously replicate itself on multiple computers and databases.

So far Blockchain had been used in case of cryptocurrency transactions only but with the passage of time its use expanded for example in determining identity of digital assets, smart contracts, digital voting and distributed storage etc. Porsche can be considered a pioneer who for the first time decided to utilize Blockchain technology in car manufacturing. Let us see how they did it.

First Use of Blockchain in Automobile industry

With the help of  Berlin-based XAIN, Porsche has become the very first automobile manufacturer to successfully test blockchain in its cars. Blockchain technology based digital processes are both secure and super fast than anything that has come before. Test which was carried by the manufacturer of Porsche included locking and unlocking of the vehicle via an app, access authorisations and encrypted data logging. It is a part of further planning to improve autonomous driving functions of Porsche with the help of Blockchain technology.

What is the Plan of Audi?

For the time being Audi is planning to use Blockchain technology for its physical and financial distribution processing. In short Audi is just making an innovative effort to make its global supply chain more transparent and foolproof. For this purpose the car manufacturer also released a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of its Blockchain system last year. As a result of positive feedback the manufacturer has now decided to advance the project beyond the PoC stage.

Moreover, the management of Audi is further researching on Blockchain in order to improve the process of data transfer and make it more safe and effective.

Interest Shown by other Car Manufacturers

Like Porsche other German car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes have also hit the news with announcements of their interest and expected experiments with Blockchain technology. According to authentic reports, BMW is planning to expand its portfolio by partnering with a Blockchain startup. Mercedes Benz has even took a step forward and has announced that it may issue its own cryptocurrency by the name of MobiCoin. According to the initial announcements Mobican will be used to reward drivers for their environmentally cautious driving.

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Cryptocurrency Market Continues to Improve as Ethereum Records 6.06% Increase

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Multiple major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, have recorded major gains, as the cryptocurrency market continues to recuperate at the rapid rate over the past 24 hours.

Ethereum’s Hefty Gain:

The native cryptocurrency of Ethereum network, Ether, demonstrated an astounding 6.06% increase in the price over a night and is currently trading at $1,224. The recent surge in the Ether’s price can be attributed to the progress in the Ethereum open-source development community that has directed in scaling the network.

Over 899,005 transactions have been settled by Ethereum within 24 hours, indicating a daily transaction volume that is seven times larger than that of the Bitcoin network.

There’s an increase in the daily transaction volume of the Ethereum which indicates the exponential rate of decentralized applications (launched on the top of the Ethereum Protocol). Over the past few months, applications like CryptoCribs, EtherDelta, Radar Relay and 0x have gained a considerable amount of active users.

Cryptocurrency Market

Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, also commended CryptoCribs, which is a decentralized Ethereum-based Airbnb like platform with a non-ICO model. It is quite hard to find commercially successful decentralized applications in the cryptocurrency industry, that had not conducted ICOs. This is because ICO has become an easy way of cash grab for the actual developers.

Luis Cuenda, who is a co-founder of Aragon, said in July of 2017, that he literally doesn’t know any Ethereum developer who’s not a millionaire because of the ICO market. Cuende noted manifestly, that there are many developers who are trying to take advantage of this opportunity because they have heard by many that they might make a lot of money from it, and that’s why a large-scale of investors are trying to dive into the Ethereum market.

Furthermore, as we can already see that the scalability of the Ethereum network continues to recover through advanced solutions such as Sharding and Plasma, Ethereum will be able to offer an improved ecosystem and infrastructure for decentralized applications.

The market evaluation and price of Ethereum uniquely depend on the performance and implementation of decentralized applications that are launched on the Ethereum protocol. The price of Ether will imitate the success of decentralized applications if they continue to perform well.

Market Trend:

Over the past week, the cryptocurrency market has shown positive signs of recovery. To bring the market to its previous highs, major cryptocurrencies in the global market like Ethereum, Ripple, bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Cardano will have to record some hefty gains in the upcoming weeks.

However, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash and Ripple are down by almost 50% from their “all-time highs” and with the exemption of bitcoin and Ethereum, most major cryptocurrencies have not performed so well.

Based on multiple factors like the entrance of institutional investors through bitcoin futures and the acceptance of cryptocurrencies by large-scale financial firms which also includes the Robinhood, analysts are still enthusiastic about the short-term growth trend of the cryptocurrency market.

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