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Shelley mainnet arrives to enable many blockchain-based potential use cases for Cardano

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IOHK, the blockchain research and development company developing Cardano has successfully implemented the most important upgrade to the Cardano blockchain yet, the Shelley hard fork. The upgrade will deliver true decentralization through its advanced Ouroboros consensus algorithm and scientifically researched incentives scheme.

From now onwards the Cardano mainnet will be running Shelley. This means that stake pools will be able to register on-chain and be visible to delegators, and that delegators will be able to delegate to stake pools as soon as they are registered. This delegation process allows any individual who holds ADA to delegate their ADA – the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano blockchain, to a stake pool to earn rewards, and thus be financially incentivized to keep the network running accurately. It will also include stake pool operation where ADA holders with the required knowledge can operate a stake pool and receive a monetary award for doing so.

“Decentralization is at the core of everything IOHK does, from the way we structure our company to the blockchain which we have painstakingly built over the last 5 years. The possibilities that this upgrade creates are enormous, this time next year we could see hundreds of assets and decentralized applications running on Cardano, as well as countless innovations and some truly world-changing blockchain use cases.”
Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK

Cardano is set to reach equilibrium around 1,000 stake pools, a number already achieved during the platform’s ‘testnet’ phase, making it far more secure than other networks, which are often controlled by less than 10 mining pools, exposing them to serious risk of compromise. Following the launch, 485 of these stake pools are already up and running.

Pool operators will be able to set up and register their pools immediately after the hard fork is complete. Since many pools will have been already running on testnet, this should only take a few hours of configuration time. These pools will then show up in Daedalus immediately after they have been registered, and ADA holders will be able to pick any active pool they want to delegate their stake to.

Shelley represents just the first step in a series of network improvements over the months ahead that are set to transform the entire industry. In fact, by the end of 2020 IOHK expects to have delivered Project Catalyst, a democratic governance model, which will enable the Cardano community to vote on the development of the blockchain, including software updates, technical improvements, funding decisions and the broader long-term future of the system.

“The Shelley hard fork is the culmination of 5 years’ hard work to create a robust blockchain which is not only built to last, but solves all of the fundamental problems that blockchain technology has encountered since its creation such as interoperability, scalability to meet global demands and, crucially, sustainability. It’s a monumental achievement, but this doesn’t mean we’ll be standing still, and we’re looking forward to the delivery of the Voltaire and Goguen phases of the Cardano roadmap, which will see robust governance arrangements and smart contracts functionality put in place this year.”
Aparna Jue, Product Director at IOHK

More Info: cardano.org

Source: https://www.cryptoninjas.net/2020/07/30/shelley-mainnet-arrives-to-enable-many-blockchain-based-potential-use-cases-for-cardano/

Blockchain

Eyeing EU Banks, Hex Trust Teams With SIA on Crypto Custody

A multinational payments firm is partnering with cryptocurrency custodian Hex Trust to help its European banking clients hold digital assets.

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Multinational payments firm Sia is partnering with cryptocurrency custodian Hex Trust to help its European banking clients hold digital assets.

“When you have one bitcoin, it’s not a big problem, but when you start adding 10, 20 or 100, you have a treasury and you have to decide where to store this,” said Daniele Savarè, SIA’s innovation and business solutions director. “We are discussing digital custody needs with banks in Europe.” 

The firm is also helping banks manage and safekeep security tokens and central bank digital currencies, he added.

Through SIA, Hex Trust plans to offer European banks the software to custody digital assets on behalf of their customers. Hex Trust will also act as a sub-custodian for banks that don’t want to directly offer the service, said Hex Trust CEO Alessio Quaglini. 

Currently, Hex Trust works with three banks – Mason Privatbank Liechtenstein AG and two unnamed Asian banks. Quaglini said Hex Trust has 10 other banks that are exploring the custodian’s products.

Going forward, SIA will be the primary distribution partner for Hex Trust to offer digital-asset services to banks in Europe, Quaglini said. 

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/hex-trust-sia-crypto-custody-eu-banks

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Collider Labs Raises $1M to Invest in Blockchain Startups

The venture builder is seeking to invest in early-stage startups with a focus on transparency, privacy and “fairness.”

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Collider Labs has raised $1 million to be invested in early-stage blockchain and cryptocurrency startups.

In an announcement Thursday, the venture builder said the raise had brought on board several notable limited partners including Efficient Frontier CTO Alon Elmaliah and Follow [the] Seed Founding Partner Andrey Shirben.

Collider provides funding and liquidity and actively participates in building up startups alongside their communities and founders, according to the firm’s founding partner, Avishay Ovadia.

The company is actively seeking to invest in early-stage blockchain and crypto startups globally, with a focus transparency, privacy and “fairness.”

Collider “is a venture builder that somewhat resembles an accelerator” Ovadia said. With some “key characteristics” that differentiate it from a typical accelerator.

Venture builders, also known as startup studios, pair with early-stage startups and utilize their own ideas and resources to, if all goes according to plan, construct viable enterprises.

According to Ovadia, Collider forms partnerships with founders, invests in teams and works alongside them as what he calls “Investors in Residence.”

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/collider-labs-raises-1m-to-invest-in-blockchain-startups

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Voyager Agrees to Buy LGO Markets and Merge 2 Firms’ Tokens

Two cryptocurrency trading firms are merging, and in a rare twist, so are their tokens.

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Two cryptocurrency trading firms are merging, and in a rare twist, so are their tokens.

Voyager Digital, a publicly traded digital asset brokerage with offices in New York, has agreed to buy LGO, a French crypto exchange primarily serving institutional investors, as the company expands to Europe.

The transaction requires regulatory approval, which the parties said they expect to receive by the end of this year, along with the token swap. The value of the deal will depend on the value of Voyager’s shares, and the firms’ tokens, at closing; at current prices, it would be in the low seven figures.

As such, this deal is dwarfed by this year’s blockbuster crypto M&A deals such as Binance’s acquisition of CoinMarketCap, estimated to be worth $400 million, and FTX’s $150 million deal to acquire Blockfolio.

Read More: ‘They Have the Users’: Binance CEO Explains Why He Bought CoinMarketCap

What makes this deal unusual is that the two companies’ utility tokens, VGX and LGO, will be swapped into newly minted tokens featuring decentralized finance (DeFi) functions such as community governance and staking at an initial interest rate of 7%.

“We think this is really taking the old-school mergers and acquisitions to the token world, which hasn’t been done before,” Steve Enrlich, Voyager’s co-founder and chief executive officer, told CoinDesk.

Upon completion, Voyager, which is publicly listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, will issue one million shares for the acquisition and operate in the European retail market with LGO’s Virtual Asset Service Provider registration with the French Financial Markets regulator (AMF). All activities will be conducted under the Voyager brand and LGO will discontinue its institutional services on Oct. 31. Shares of Voyager closed at C$0.67 ($0.51) on Wednesday. 

Read More: Voyager to Pay Interest on DeFi Tokens to Gain Brokerage Clients

Hugo Renaudin, co-founder and chief executive officer of LGO, told CoinDesk that the French company made the deal after it decided to shift its focus from institutional clients to increasing value for its token holders.

“The key decision-maker is what will bring the most value to our tokens,” Renaudin said. “So we have this token. We have token holders and they’re mostly retail [clients].”

LGO launched an initial coin offering (ICO) in February 2018, according to its website, which raised 3,600 bitcoin (worth about $36 million at the time). The company’s white paper shows that 60% of the tokens were distributed through a pre-sale process, while 20% of the supply went to LGO’s founders and advisors.

At its peak in April 2018, the LGO token’s market cap was nearly $40 million, according to data from CoinMarketCap. On Wednesday, that value was calculated to be $1.5 million. 

Renaudin told CoinDesk that the company’s other option would have been focusing on better serving its institutional clients, which means its spot exchange would have to provide new and exotic derivatives products. After consideration, he said that the team had decided to change its focus to retail customers instead.

The merger comes during a time of regulatory crackdown on crypto derivatives trading around the globe. Popular crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX was charged by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with facilitating unregistered trading activities, while in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned crypto derivatives for retail consumers.

This is not the first acquisition by Voyager, which went public in early 2019 in a reverse merger with the shell of a Canadian mineral exploration company. Previously, it acquired wallet startup Ethos.io for about $4 million.

Read More: Voyager CEO Says Revenue Growth Accelerates 8-Fold as DeFi Trading Surges

Voyage’s revenue in the most-recent fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30, surged to about $2 million, compared with $1.1 million during the fiscal year ending in June.

“We are becoming the financial service firm of the future, which means I will look at acquisitions that can add products, customer assets to the platform, or tokens and other communities that can be accretive to what we are trying to do,” Enrlich said. “And adding these pieces together we are going to either do it organically or through more acquisitions.”

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/voyager-acquires-lgo-token-merger

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