Kvě 24

From Russia with Love: How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are Finding Their Feet

· May 23, 2018 · 9:00 pm

In the West, crypto markets continue to battle with the regulatory uncertainty as the SEC and other regulatory bodies take their time to decide which camp they sit on. At the same time, things are not much rosier in the East either where China is yet to warm up to cryptocurrencies.


Blockchain has been around “long” enough to show the proof of concept in that by utilizing blockchain it is possible to streamline a number of processes, both on the governmental and also corporate levels. This then has prompted an exponential rise in fintech start-ups looking to challenge the status quo and disrupt the standard ways of storing, organizing, and extracting data sets. However, the actual implementation of blockchain technologies across much of Western Europe and even the US has been constrained by the regulatory uncertainty.

On the one hand, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are yet to put a fundamental framework forward to appease concerns surrounding utility vs security token model. While in Europe, an introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is perfectly suitable for blockchain applications, is being rushed through by compliance and HR departments with such haste that blockchain is far away on their radar.

In Blockchain We Trust

In Blockchain We Trust

Russia is an interesting case when it comes to the world of ICOs. On the one hand, it is a great place to source technical experts for your blockchain related ventures. The price tag might be astronomical but at least you know what you are getting for the labor and that is quality, reliability and of course security. So, with one piece of the puzzle sorted comes the tricky bit, finding a suitable business partner and this is where things go wrong… really wrong.

One of the most depressing and worrying statistics that has come out of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB) is that around half of the ICO funds in the country that were raised in the past year – amounting to $300 million – have gone to pyramid schemes.

Economic and political uncertainty, together with numerous corruption scandals has really dented investor appetite for projects in the country. It is very much high-risk, high-reward based game when it comes to investing in Russia and when combined with the volatile nature of the currency, this perception is unlikely to change anytime soon. The regulation and oversight by the government can help alleviate some of the concerns relating to fraudulent activities but at least for now, the crypto community is yet to “sanction” Russian projects altogether.

In the meantime, the likes of Blackmoon (BMC) will remind budding entrepreneurs and investors of the success stories and there is, of course, hope that the government, which is actively looking at ways to promote and integrate digital economy, will not be overly involved in regulation aspect.

On the subject of regulation, it was reported that the Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code. The initiative itself does not mean that digital currencies will now become a legitimate means of payment and instead, a separate law developed by other regulatory bodies, will outline conditions for using digital currencies as a payment method. The initiative will also look to treat a digital confirmation by a user in a smart contract is equal to his written consent.

What Does Russia’s Future Hold?

Over the course of 19-20 May 2018, Moscow hosted one of the largest cryptocurrency summits of 2018, with over 200 speakers and over 3000 participants taking part in the event. While the event may not carry the same weight as Consensus, which took place earlier this month, or d10e, it was an important event for the country that stands at a crossroads with the technology. The decisions that will be made by the government need to be made in the spirit of blockchain and with the aim to further technological, as well as economical, advancement as opposed to being the means to destabilize the Dollar.

The commissioning of the crypto-rouble is not far-reaching enough. Anyone looking for inspiration should turn to Dubai and their smart-city plans. According to Smart Dubai, which is conducting government and private organization workshops to identify areas that will benefit from the overhaul, the strategy could save 25.1million man hours, equivalent to $1.5 billion in savings per year for the emirate. It has been noted that the fast majority of improved efficiency will come from moving to paperless government.

What do you think of the latest developments in Russia and can it reform and lead the way in providing a sound base for crypto projects? 


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

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Pro 27

Back from the Dead – Segwit2x Fork Announced for Later This Week

· December 27, 2017 · 4:30 am

The New York Agreement, also known as Segwit2x, was planned for mid-November but was canceled in the weeks leading up. But just recently, the fork is set to launch again.


The Resurrection

The announcement was made on December 16th, with the fork date set for December 28th. Some Segwit2x futures markets are still live on some exchanges, and this attempts to finish the project that was started. HitBTC and YoBit are already supporting the fork, saying that the people who’ve purchased B2X tokens receive their coins.

Segwit2x - The Resurrection

The fork is not the same as the one originally proposed in the NYA but shares some features. The most important part of the Segwit2x fork is the increased block size to 4MB, double what the original proposal called for. It also decreases the block production time from ten minutes to two and a half minutes. It has built-in replay protection along with its own unique address format. The fork already has a planned roadmap, with a functioning Lightning Network and Anonymous transactions to be coming in the next year.

Redistributing Old Coins

The one point about the fork that raises some concerns is that the developers plan to redistribute the coins from the very beginning of bitcoin that are assumed to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto is assumed to be in control of just around one million bitcoins, which will be revoked and given to current Bitcoin holders proportionate to their holdings. The developers have stated that the reason for this airdrop will be a “reward for the progress commitment.”

Redistributing Old Coins

This fork is coming in a long line of random Bitcoin forks. Ever since the Bitcoin Gold fork back in October, a bunch of random Bitcoin forks have come to light. Bitcoin Silver, Bitcoin Platinum, and other silly names have plagued the market. The fork has yet to be listed on any other exchanges, and other than a single press release not much media coverage has marketed the soon to be fork.

What do you think about this fork? Do you plan to recover your coins? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pexels

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