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Private Payment System for Central Bank Digital Currency Possible, Says ECB

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Private Payment System for Central Bank Digital Currency Possible, Says ECB

Recent research by the European Central Bank (ECB) claims that it is possible to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC) payment system that protects user privacy.

Per the report dubbed “Exploring anonymity in central bank digital currencies,” the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) established a proof-of-concept (PoC) for anonymity in CBDCs, which came as part of its ongoing research of CBDCs and their potential benefits to the public. The dedicated PoC was developed in collaboration with tech companies R3 and Accenture.

Corda-based PoC

The ESCB used R3’s open-source blockchain platform Corda to develop a PoC featuring four parties such as two intermediaries, a central bank and an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) authority. Each party was represented in the network by a node that operated a CorDapp, which enables assets to be transferred between the entities.

Within the PoC, the bank built a solution for AML/combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) compliance procedures, which kept user identities and transaction histories anonymous i.e. neither the central bank nor intermediaries other than those chosen by the user could see the data.

“To protect users’ privacy, the notary has no access to data such as transaction values, users’ addresses or states’ histories,” the report read, adding:

“The proof of concept shows that it is possible, using the Corda platform, to build a simplified CBDC payment system that safeguards users’ privacy for lower-value transactions, while still ensuring that higher-value transactions are subject to mandatory AML/CFT checks.”

Issues to be improved

However, the bank noted an array of issues that purportedly needed to be improved including reducing the amount of information visible to parties that are not involved in the transactions, and users’ ability to access or spend CBDC balances when the intermediary is unavailable.

The ECB stated that privacy could be further improved by applying mechanisms such as rotating public keys, zero-knowledge proofs and enclave computing.

The bank further noted that issues of scalability were not addressed or tested in the PoC and that interoperability with a real-time gross settlement system must also be researched.

Regulator concerns abound regarding CBDCs

The ECB’s research seems to nominally address concerns previously expressed by world regulators regarding digital currencies. Earlier in December, European Union authorities outlined multiple risks and issues associated with the adoption of stablecoins, arguing that if adopted on a global scale, stablecoins pose a threat to monetary sovereignty, privacy and cybersecurity.

Just recently, the president of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, said that the financial institution should be ahead of the curve regarding the demand for stablecoins. In late August, the ECB released a paper in which is stated that stablecoins with a clear governance framework may be hampered by uncertainty coming from a lack of regulation.

Published at Tue, 17 Dec 2019 14:33:00 +0000

Blockchain

QAN Raises $2.1 Million in Venture Capital to Build DeFi Ecosystem

QANPlatform has successfully closed a $2.1 million funding round and it looks to build a quantum-resistant DeFi infrastructure.

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QANPlatform – a project that is on a mission of building a quantum-resistant hybrid blockchain protocol, secured investment from various venture capital funds to build a DeFi ecosystem.

QAN Successfully Closes a Funding Round of $2.1 Million

The question of whether or not existing blockchain-based PoW networks would stand the test of a quantum computer is one that’s been discussed for quite some time. To this date, many believe that a quantum computer is the most serious threat to Bitcoin as it would be able to solve math problems a lot quicker compared to traditional mining machines.

In any case, in an attempt to tackle these issues, along with others, QANplatform has raised $2.1 million to fund the development of an ecosystem where developers would be capable of building various software applications within DeFi quicker.

Leading the round were the likes of DeltaHub Capital, BlackDragon, Insignius Capital, Fairum Ventures, and so forth.

Speaking on the matter was Johann Polecsak, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at QANplatform, who said:

“Our key mission is to lower the entry barriers for developers so startups and enterprises can build their Proofs-of-Concept (PoC) and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as fast as possible to reach mass adoption. We stick to this view and let only community-driven VCs invest in this strategic pool”

Quantum Computing and its Threats

According to a well-known report from one of the largest auditing and security service companies in the world – Deloitte, quantum computing does pose a threat to Bitcoin.

Of course, it’s important to factor in the possibility of such a computer being created and used for this particular purpose, but, in theory, it could cause damage, according to the experts.

For instance, there are around 4 million bitcoins that are potentially vulnerable to a quantum attack. Yet, there are plenty of things to keep in mind when thinking about this. For instance, it’s important to note that these are mostly p2pkh addresses, and only those which have never been used to spend bitcoins are safe because their public keys are not yet public. In other words – if one transfers their BTC to a new address, they should not be vulnerable to a quantum attack.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/qan-raises-1-8-million-in-venture-capital-to-build-defi-ecosystem/

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Balancer V2 is Live Promising Lower Fees and Improved Experience

Balancer V2 goes live today and it promises users lower fees and substantially improved user experience.

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The automatic market maker (AMM) running on top of Ethereum, Balancer, announced that Version 2 of its platform is already live. It promises lower gas costs, a redesigned interface, and an enhanced user experience.

Balancer V2 Arrives

Built on Ethereum, Balancer is a DeFi protocol enabling users to trade ether and ERC-20 tokens in a trustless, permissionless environment. By providing liquidity to a Balancer pool, they can also earn a portion of the trading fees paid to the network for the use of their funds in the form of the native token BAL.

The team behind Balancer announced the arrival of its long-anticipated Version 2 platform in a press release shared with CryptoPotato. It comes with a new user interface, indicating that the user experience has been simplified.

The statement outlined there will be an easy-to-follow migration procedure for users to transfer their funds from Balancer V1 to V2, and it will be released as a full tutorial later.

The team believes that V1 will continue to “provide the best price until a substantial amount of liquidity migrates to V2.” At that point, Balancer expects trades to be routed through V2’s Protocol Vault resulting in “lower gas costs and better pricing.” The project’s estimations envision the fee reduction to be up to 50%.


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Multi-Sig and Liquidity Mining

The upgrade has signified Balancer Protocol’s transition to a community multi-sig for its governance execution. As a result, the new signers include Alexander Lange (Inflection), Fabien Marino (Snapshot Labs), Kain Warwick (Synthetix), Kevin Owocki (Gitcoin), Trent McConaghy (Ocean Protocol), and Mariano Conti (Ethereum).

They will be responsible for “executing all transactions passed as Snapshot as Balancer continues to be run by those who care most – the community.”

V2 will also provide a new and “more trustless program” for BAL liquidity mining. Upon its launch, liquidity providers (LPs) will be able to stake positions in different pools and receive BAL tokens.

Each pool will be assigned to one of three different tiers, with each tier slot getting a pre-determined amount of coins per week.

The team also informed that it will release further details in the following weeks on the “changing Balancer landscape.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/balancer-v2-is-live-promising-lower-fees-and-improved-experience/

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Palantir Accepts Bitcoin for Payments and Considers Adding BTC to Balance Sheet

Major software and analytics company Palantir is the latest to accept BTC and even considers adding it to its balance sheet.

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Software & analytics company Palantir has announced that they will be accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Palantir will also consider purchasing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to store on their balance sheet.

Thiel Bets Big on Bitcoin

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Palantir (and, notably, PayPal), has been a long-standing cryptocurrency advocate. The company announced that it now accepts BTC for payments and even considers adding it to its balance sheet.

As early as three years ago, Thiel has been seen investing in cryptocurrency mining startups, exchanges, and more, making a bid on the come-up of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Earlier today, Block.one (another Thiel-backed software company) announced a bold new venture: a new cryptocurrency exchange named ‘Bullish,’ backed by a whopping $10B in funding. Thiel Capital was one of the leaders in this funding round.

A Growing Trend

The air is changing: big companies are slowly warming up to cryptocurrency. What started with a wave of small underdogs, like the Ethereum Hotel in China, has blown up this year with a flood of large new players accepting Bitcoin – even tech giants like Tesla.


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As more companies join the trend and more investors start storing portions of their wealth in cryptocurrencies, there is a very real financial opportunity cost on the horizon for archaic companies that choose not to adopt what’s coming, as they risk alienating a large section of demand.

Whereas some firms are resistant to change due to the additional hiring and costs associated with adding cryptocurrency terminals, many are of the opinion that there will soon come a point where it becomes far more expensive not to accept Bitcoin as a payment method.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/palantir-accepts-bitcoin-for-payments-and-considers-adding-btc-to-balance-sheet/

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eBay Now Allows the Sale of NFTs on its Platform

One of the largest online marketplaces, eBay, now allows the sale of NFTs.

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E-commerce giant eBay has become the first in its industry to catch the non-fungible tokens (NFT) mania, as the company is now allowing the sale of NFTs on its platform.

  • According to Reuters on Tuesday (May 11, 2021), eBay said that it would enable the sale of NFTs for digital collectibles such as video clips, images, or trading cards on its marketplace.
  • Meanwhile, the ability to list and sell NFTs would be open only to whitelisted sellers. This could mean that the platform may have an authentication protocol for listing NFTs.
  • The latest development comes on the heels of a recent statement made by eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, who said that the company was exploring the NFT sector.
  • Commenting on the company’s upcoming plans, Jordan Sweetman, eBay’s senior vice president, and General manager for the platform’s North American market, said:

“In the coming months, eBay will add new capabilities that bring blockchain-driven collectibles to our platform.”

  • The NFTs industry continues to see increased adoption across different sectors, with celebrities and sports stars tapping into the NFT industry.
  • Meanwhile, eBay’s foray into the NFT sector is another indication of the growing e-commerce crypto and blockchain adoption. From PayPal to JD.com, online merchants are increasingly interfacing with the emerging tech.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ebay-now-allows-the-sale-of-nfts-on-its-platform/

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