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Samsung, LG And Hyundai Tap Into “Consortium-Type” Blockchain Network

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Eleven South Korean companies including Samsung, LG And Hyundai are in the blockchain news today for teaming up and taking a new government-backed initiative for a “consortium type” blockchain network which will allow citizens to ditch paper-based certificates, employee ID cards, degree certificates, insurance claims documents and more in favor of a new mobile-based blockchain solution.

According to the Kyunghyang Shinmun media outlet, the release date has been recently brought forward to December this year. The consortium which includes Samsung, LG And Hyndai had initially planned to roll out the platform at some point in 2020.

The consortium was established in July this year, with all of the three major telecoms companies such as KT, SK and LG U+, teaming up with Samsung as well as banks such as KEB Hana and Woori and the financial IT company Koscom.

Still, the size and scope of the project have increased substantially and the credit card issuers BC Card and Hyundai Card are joining on October 20, along with the banks Shinhan and Nonghyup (NH).

Besides Samsung, LG And Hyundai which are now in the crypto news for accepting this blockchain network project, NH was in the news for saying that it wants to use the platform to crate a blockchain-powered mobile “pass” as an ID solution for its banking services. BC Card, on the other hand, wants to use blockchain technology for card issuance. Hyundai Card, meanwhile, says it wants to “streamline internal and customer services” using the solution.

The project was also backed by numerous government agencies and ministries and its operators could soon look to the international market. The solution will also be compatible with GSM mobile protocols.

According to the media outlet Chosun, even six South Korean universities have already indicated that they will offer blockchain certification via the new platform. The names of Samsung, LG And Hyundai are obviously the most vocal of them all.

However, the consortium counts 11 companies strong and its operators say that it will also allow citizens to use the following blockchain-powered and mobile based documentation which will include:

  • Proof of earnings
  • Proof of employment
  • Medical receipts for insurance claims, and
  • Proof of purchase for valuable works of art.

 

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Dragonfly Researcher Exposed Critical Vulnerability On MimbleWimble

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Dragonfly researcher Ivan Bogatyy was able to use as much as $60 per week on the Amazon Web Services to expose a critical vulnerability on the MimbleWimble privacy architecture as we are reading further in our blockchain latest news today.The flaw discovered in the MW protocol could leave a hole in the network’s aspiration of being a viable alternative to the other privacy-focused blockchains such as Monero and Zcash. In a recent Medium post, the Dragonfly researcher said he was able to expose the critical vulnerability of about 96 percent of the GRIN transactions on the Mimblewimble. According to Bogatyy, this issue of the MW protocol only cost $60 per week on Amazon’s cloud computing platform.An excerpt from the blog post by Bogatyy showing the complexity of the problem and the ease which the attackers were able to exploit the vulnerability reads:
‘’In my attack, I was able to link 96% of all transactions while only connecting to 200 peers out of the total 3000 peers in Grin’s network. But if I wanted to spend a bit more money, I could easily connect to 3000 nodes to disaggregate almost all transactions.’’
Bogatty referred to the process of preventing the transactions from coupling along with the MW coinjoin which guarantees anonymity. While some of the other privacy-focused cryptos use decoy UTXO or shielded transactions, the mimblewimble protocol provides anonymity by means of massive coinjoins. Each one is an amalgamation of a few transactions in one block to create the anonymity set.Bogatyy did explain that the vulnerability was known to the MW developers but his findings prove that it requires a lot less capital outlay to exploit the weakness in the protocol’s privacy architecture. For the Dragonfly researcher, the easiness with which the attackers are able to take advantage of the vulnerability also makes MW a very poor alternative to coins such as Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR) and according to him:
‘’The problem is inherent to Mimblewimble, and I don’t believe there’s a way to fix it. This means Mimblewimble should no longer be considered a viable alternative to Zcash or Monero when it comes to privacy.’’
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BTC’s Halving Event Could Create Huge Security Issues

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BTC’s halving event could create even bigger problems for the network than what there is already there since the security largely depends on block rewards and not transaction fees. How can the fees alone be enough to sustain the network if the halving continues to erode the miner revenues? Let’s find out in the Bitcoin news updates below.Bitcoin’s network hashrate, the sum of all of the mining devices that are operating at any given time, should not be analyzed simply under an umbrella of terms. The cost and hashing efficiency of these devices can vary by many of the orders of the magnitude which impacts the cost of conducting a 51 percent attack.When bitcoin was only created, mining could be done only on home computers and today, the extremely efficient application-specific integrated chips are the ones responsible for virtually all of the network’s hashrate. The difference is astounding since high performing CPU in 2013 could mine at a speed of 64 Megahashes per second while the new ASICs mine at 53 terahashes per second. A bigger increase in the network’s hashrate generally happens for two reasons, to increase Bitcoin’s price to advance in the ASIC technology. In both ways, the increases keep on rising until they reach a new economic equilibrium defined by the profitability of the most efficient machine.As the block reward continues to halve, more of the network’s security will depend on fees. When the block rewards stop entirely, the network will have to run entirely on transaction fees unless something dramatic changes to the Bitcoin code. BTC’s halving event can, therefore, prove problematic. The daily revenue from the fees reaches up to $350,000 or about 2 percent of the daily block reward revenue of $15.8 million. As the block reward halving stops, the fees will have to increase by 22 times to cover the shortfall in revenue or the hashrate will drop and the security of the network will decrease.Back in 2017, the Bitcoin hashrate reached up to 10 Exahashes per second or about 740,000 Bitmain S9s worth $1.5 billion. If Bitcoin were to halve today, it will have to be even more secure than when it halved when the price was at $20,000.
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Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork Set To Happen On December 4

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Ethereum’s Istanbul hard fork and network upgrade will happen on December 4 where the network will receive efficiencies and new compatibility with Zcash but most importantly, the element that everyone was expecting, will be on hold until early next year as we are reading further in the ETH News.The developers of the network are aiming to unleash the blockchain’s latest upgrade which is the Istanbul hard fork on December 4. Istanbul promises to improve the network’s security and efficiency but also plans to make Ethereum ASIC-resistant. However the latter is on hold until early next year. The date for Istanbul was set during the core developer call on October 25 and was firmed up by Peter Szilagy via Twitter on Thursday. He is a core developer as well and he tweeted that Geth v1.9.7 which will enable Ethereum’s Istanbul hard fork has been officially released.Istanbul is the latest hard fork in the network’s eventual transition to 2.0 which will begin to roll out somewhere in early 2020. The update will provide fixes and upgrades to the world’s second-largest blockchain network and will be implemented in two parts. The first part- Istanbul, will take place on December 4 and the second one dubbed Berlin will happen during the first quarter of 2020. These improvements are set to optimize the network and to lower the gas costs but also increase compatibility with Zcash and address scalability. Also, the contracts will be allowed to introduce more creative functions as well.The most controversial change for the network which is the Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1884 will increase the cost of recalling data on the ETH blockchain for the application developers. As the size of the blockchain increases, these operations could overload the network. Ethereum core developers have agreed that all of the increased fees will better safeguard the platform from possible denial-of-service or spam attacks.In September, the leaders from governance platform Aragon noted some concerts that the code changes will bring to about 680 contracts that manage the governance of decentralized applications that are run on the ETH blockchain. The group also claimed that further upgrades would be needed to ensure that decentralized autonomous organizations built on the Aragon platform, will run smoothly. Istanbul will also enforce new fork upgrades to avoid the users getting left using older versions of the blockchain.Ethereum’s last system upgrade Constantinople, had to be delayed because of the critical code vulnerability discovered only 48 hours before the rollout.
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EU Finance Ministers Will Discuss New Regulatory Draft For Libra

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EU Finance ministers this Friday might discuss a new draft that urges the Union to develop a common approach to the cryptocurrencies with the possibility to ban projects that are deemed as high risk. Also, it states that the ECB should consider issuing a public digital currency according to the latest reports that we have in our Libra news today.The reports show that the document was prepared by the Finnish EU presidency, which will be subject to possible amendments that could escalate the EU regulatory campaign against cryptocurrencies. So far, the cryptocurrencies have been regulated in some EU states according to the documents and this is why with the latest draft, they could be adopted by EU Finance ministers in December:
"The ECB and other EU central banks could usefully explore the opportunities as well as challenges of issuing central bank digital currencies including by considering concrete steps to this effect.’’
The agency also stated that an ECB official believes that in its most ambitious version, the crypto project could allow consumers to use electronic cash which would be deposited at the European Central Bank without the need for bank accounts and financial intermediaries. While the central banks realize that they cannot ignore crypto, the digital fiats any more, Facebook’s Libra is facing some serious resistance in the EU.The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, said in September that because of the systemic financial risks and sovereignty risks, the potential of market dominance abuse, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil. In October, the Group of Seven (G7) instructed the members to compete with cryptocurrencies and stablecoins by improving the current financial system and consider issuing digital fiats.Also, regarding the hearing of Facebook’s Libra, Congress seems to hate Libra even after the announcement which came from Zuckerberg himself. The Facebook CEO and his opening remarks were published on October 22, when he committed to Facebook not launching Libra anywhere in the world without all the appropriate US regulators. During his line of questions, the congressman asked what Facebook response would be if the Libra Association insists on launching without the American regulatory approach. Zuckerberg was confident and said, “Then I believe that we would be forced to leave the association.”
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