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Grin Cryptocurrency Just Executed Its First Hard Fork

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The privacy altcoin named Grin has just executed its first backward-incompatible upgrade – known as a hard fork. The Grin cryptocurrency upgrade was planned for today and just concluded – introducing key changes to the nearly $60 million worth network that will optimize for maximum miner decentralization and usability.

For all of you who haven’t followed our coming altcoin news, Grin launched in January 2019. However, as a Grin developer named John Tromp said, the hard fork was planned before.

“It was planned since way before Grin launched. We would do four hard forks in the first two years, at regular six-month intervals, to introduce new features.”

The developer at Grin cryptocurrency was featured in the latest cryptocurrency news for stating that the upgrade did not result in a network split. Rather than that, the Grin network simply halted “in its tracks” which forced users to update their software. The upgrade was completed at 9:45 UTC.

“In a classical fork, the chain can split into two mutually incompatible continuations. … In Grin, there is no way to continue growing the ‘old’ chain since the old code refuses to accept any blocks past the [hard fork] height,” he explained.

One of the most integral changes for the Grin cryptocurrency and the Grin network in general today has been a tweak to one of two mining algorithms. As we previously reported in our altcoin news, Grin supports a mining algorithm which is friendly towards both general-purpose computing devices (GPUs) and specialized hardware called ASICs.

Another developer at the Grin cryptocurrency and a software engineer at the blockchain startup BlockCypher named Quentin Le Sceller, recently said:

“It’s not really forking ASICs from the network but ensuring that no one is building ASICs for the [GPU-friendly mining algorithm.]”

Therefore, the Wednesday update ensures that the playing field remains free of ASICs for the short-term future of the Grin protocol, preventing a monopoly on the Grin mining industry.

Many best cryptocurrency news sites report that additional tweaks to the newly implemented mining algorithm will be activated by the Grin cryptocurrency developers in the coming months. Tromp also affirmed that for the second Grin fork, developers will add payment channels to the network.

“[Payment channels are] a way for two parties to perform many off-chain transactions between them,” Tromp concluded. “[It requires] one on-chain transaction at the outset and one settlement at the end.”

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Syrian Refugee Is Teaching Cryptocurrency Basics In A Camp In Iraq

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One Syrian refugee has just proved that the crypto industry is best understood through proper education. Despite the obstacles and fact that refugees in refugee camps do not have access to information about cryptocurrency, this refugee decided to teach everyone more about cryptocurrency.Situated in the Arbat refugee camp in Iraq, the 16-year old Yousif Mohammed Nor Aldeen teaches other people about cryptocurrency. As he says, “I want to solve a problem in my community. We have a lot of problems, like corruption."Aldeen still has some of his family left behind in Damascus and is particularly fond of the idea that they could all earn and send money among their social networks regardless of borders or the strict regulations in recent years.
“People really need to know all the things about the internet and their phones and laptops,” the Syrian refugee claims. “We are in an advanced world and we should learn."
Aldeen now owns a small amount of Ether (ETH) which he said he earned through a local education program run by the nonprofit Hello Future. However, as he claimed in the ETH news, his possessions are too little to spend so he is eager to earn more.As we could see from the Hello Future founder Charlie Grosso, most of the students in Aldeen's class think of mobile devices and computers in the same way like old-school Nintendos. They know that they could play games on them but are unfamiliar with Internet or access to global networks.
“The idea of searching to verify information is unknown to them,” she said. “They just don’t have that framework.”
The Syrian refugee is obviously looking to change this and teach them everything about cryptocurrency and the latest crypto news. Even though the learning curve is steep for people in this camp, Grosso is confident that all 44 teens who took her computer literacy class quickly grasped the concept of stateless digital money.
“Two years ago, I got my first phone. Now everyone in my family has a smartphone,” Aldeen said. “I like games like Minecraft because I can build things, design things and improve my English.”
The Syrian refugee also stated that cryptocurrency "might be good for saving money because if you put your money inside a bank, the bank might steal it."
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Sweden Plans To Roll Out Crypto Krona In 2020

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Sweden plans to roll out a crypto Krona as many of the world’s central banks jumped on the crypto train. In our latest altcoin news, we take a closer look at the new plan for the new digital asset.The Swedish central bank wants to make a deal with the multinational professional services company Accenture to start the plot testing for its central bank digital currency, the e-krona. According to the reports, the new partnership is for an initial year-long run until the end of 2020. A statement from the Riksbank states:
 “The primary objective of the e-krona pilot project is to broaden the bank’s understanding of the technological possibilities for the e-krona.”
The cash usage has already started declining in Sweden which is why Sweden plans to launch a crypto version of its national krona. The central bank of the country is now working on this plane since 2017. The Accenture partnership will involve the development of the payment platform with the user interface that will enable the e-krona transactions from cards and smartphones. There has also been no confirmation from the bank that the crypto krona will see any actual use but it is highly likely because of the given circumstances.The industry observer Rhythm Trader linked crypto to the space race of our generation and it still maintained that bitcoin was the king of all crypto. Sweden has been extremely proactive towards the crypto assets than other regional countries and earlier this week the Swedish Financial supervisory Authority approved the Swiss crypto ETP provider Amun. According to the announcements, Amun is the first issuer that will deliver fully collateralized and passive investment products with cryptocurrencies as the base asset. The president of Amun Ms. Ophelia Snyder added:
 “Our mission is clear and that is to help investors more safely, cost-effectively and easily invest in crypto asset classes through our crypto ETPs. We recognize that the regulatory framework in Sweden has been supportive of such initiatives and we welcome its deliberation.”
The company wants to expand in the future especially its product offerings of crypto-asset Exchange-traded products into EU countries. Sweden is also one of the latest countries with a growing list of central banks engaging in CBDC research and development.
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QuadrigaCX Victims Request To Examine Cotten’s Death And Body

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The law firm from Canada, Miller Thomson, which is involved with the QuadrigaCX victims and case in general has made a specific request to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to conduct an exhumation and post-mortem autopsy of the body of Gerald Cotten who is the deceased owner of the now-defunct crypto exchange.On December 13, a letter to the RCMP sent from Miller Thomson lawyers explained that the request to exhume and examine Cotten's body was appropriate given the “questionable circumstances surrounding Mr. Cotten’s death and the significant losses” sustained by the users of the cryptocurrency exchange which is no longer in operation.The law firm also pointed to the publicly available information about the debacle which surrounded the Canadian crypto exchange. The QuadrigaCX users are still in shock but the law firm highlighted “the need for certainty around the question of whether Mr. Cotten is in fact deceased.”Over the past year, the QuadrigaCX exchange has been engaged in a lengthy court case with its creditors. Some of them have speculated wildly to the fate of the lost cryptocurrency and some were convinced that Cotton could have faked his own death.For those of you who were not following the crypto news at the time, Cotton reportedly died in India from a fatal disease in December 2018, taking the private keys and passwords to the crypto wallets along with him. This resulted in users losing around $190 million and the exchange being engaged in lengthy court cases with its creditors.In October, the widow of Gerald Cotten named Jennifer Robertson handed over $9 million in assets to the users of the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange. As she announced in a personal statement, she would be transferring the majority of the estate assets to EY Canada, the Big Four auditing firm which acted as the bankruptcy trustee for QuadrigaCX users during the insolvency hearings.
"I have now entered into a voluntary settlement agreement where the vast majority of my assets and all of the Estate’s assets are being returned to QCX to benefit the Affected QuadrigaCX victims," Robertson explained.
For now, we are awaiting a response from the RCMP which will be crucial for the next events.
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Lagarde Suggests ECB Has To Set Objectives For Digital Currencies

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Lagarde suggests that the European Central Bank will have to determine objectives for the cryptocurrencies taskforce in 2020 according to her speech at the first policy meeting. The ECB president Christine Lagarde is known to be one of the major supporters of crypto in the community.Following our latest cryptocurrency news, Lagarde suggests that the ECB will have to reconsider its status on crypto. The Governing Council met to decide about the interest rate and the monetary policies and Lagarde held her first press conference there along with the ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindo. She said that the central banks want to figure out new objectives for a digital currency before the first half of the year saying that the ECB will have to get ahead of the ‘’curve’’ on that matter.The ECB has to also set new priorities and determine what it wants to achieve with the new taskforce and Lagarde said:
‘’Are we trying to reduce costs? Are we trying to cut out the middleman? Are we trying to have inclusive finance at no cost? There is a whole range of objectives that can be pursued.’’
Lagarde admitted to the increased demand for stablecoins ignoring Bitcoin and referred to the interest shown by the Canadian and British counterparts as well:
‘’My personal conviction is that given developments we see, not so much in bitcoin but in stablecoins projects… we’d better be ahead of the curve because there is clearly demand out there that we have to respond to.’’
Last month, the bank was thinking about launching a digital currency and the proposal was a part of the new draft that seeks to ban the high-risk crypto projects. At that time, a target for ECB was Libra and the global digital currency projects developed by some entities such as Facebook which have been repeatedly criticized by European leaders. With a digital currency that will be parallel to the euro, the consumers will have a cheaper means of payment option and this will also have a huge impact on the bank’s fiscal policy.  The Central bank will also be able to inject funds into the economy to achieve inflation targets which the ECB left unchanged so far.
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