Monero, a leading privacy coin and top twenty cryptocurrency by market cap, is due to have one of its two scheduled upgrades this month. Monero 0.15 will bring it with it some new security and privacy features, a new proof-of-work algorithm called RandomX, and other changes.
I spoke to Justin Ehrenhofer, the Monero Community Workgroup organizer, to shed light on the new update, RandomX, and other developments occurring at Monero.
The interview went as follows:
The Monero 0.15 software update is coming this month, could you tell us about that?
Monero 0.15 is one of Monero’s scheduled upgrades that happen twice annually. It contains new privacy and security features, more refined code, and a better GUI user experience. New users will now connect to the network in a more decentralized manner, and they will have the option of connecting with an effective anonymizing network (i2p). Users can now easily connect to Monero nodes that are run behind firewalls, such as school or apartment connections. These changes substantially will improve the robustness of the Monero network. The largest change is RandomX, a new take on ASIC-resistance. While the long-term effectiveness of RandomX is yet to be seen, a tremendous amount of effort has gone into designing, developing, testing, and auditing the new mining algorithm. This algorithm is the strongest effort to-date to prevent ASICs from dominating the Monero network.
What is RandomX, and why is it being implemented?
RandomX is a new Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm that is optimized for general-purpose CPUs. The idea is over a year in the making and relies on random code execution that is difficult for specialized hardware to manipulate. RandomX isn’t meant to be “ASIC-proof,” but it hopes to close the efficiency gap so significantly that other financial factors discourage significant network control. ASIC manufacturers’ small efficiency gains must be compared to the lost financial option to sell used generic hardware, for instance. In a volatile market, the flexibility of CPUs in particular shine.
The Monero community rigorously discussed the best paths forward for this update. For two of the last three updates, Monero’s proof of work tweaks were easily incorporated by ASIC manufacturers, who dominated the network in just a few months. RandomX is a significantly more aggressive change than a tweak to CryptoNight, Monero’s current base algorithm. Presented with RandomX and ASIC-friendly algorithms as options to adopt for this update, the community decided that RandomX better retained Monero’s long-standing principles. Hopefully this remains the situation for a long time.
Can you tell us about the coming Tor and i2p improvements?
Tor and i2p allow users to better conceal their network metadata, such as their IP address, from other Monero users. The Monero CLI supports Tor and i2p. The GUI supports i2p. The GUI now works well with Tails, a privacy-focused operating system. While network metadata isn’t the only piece of information to worry about protecting, users can now easily defend against network surveillance and adversaries that attempt to correlate user IP addresses with transactions.
What are the regulatory challenges Monero faces? How will these be dealt with?
Monero is a decentralized project in an ever-changing regulatory landscape. It is supported on many US-regulated exchanges and other cryptocurrency exchanges abroad. I believe that Monero faces more of a perception problem than anything else. Conservative exchanges and services may avoid Monero if they lack the resources to justify their compliance decisions. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic that the importance of privacy is better understood now by the public than it was when Monero launched in 2014. Monero is also a much healthier project with hundreds of contributors who want to do good.
How can people stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the Monero ecosystem?
Users should subscribe to the [Monero-announce mailing list](https://lists.getmonero.org/postorius/lists/monero-announce.lists.getmonero.org/) at the bare minimum to learn about network updates. Beyond that, they can watch the monthly [Coffee Chats](https://youtube.com/c/monerocommunityworkgroup) or join the biweekly [community workgroup meetings](https://reddit.com/r/MoneroCommunity). Developers can follow projects on GitHub and join the biweekly developer meetings in #monero-dev.
The second edition of Mastering Monero is coming soon, can you tell us about the book?
Mastering Monero is a free, community-contributed resource that introduces readers to many of the idealistic and technical concepts of Monero. You can get print and digital copies from https://masteringmonero.com. The second edition is still in the early stages.
What might we see happen in the Monero ecosystem over the next 12 months?
As far as major protocol changes are concerned, keep an eye on ring signature upgrades. Omniring, Lelantus, and RingCT 3.0 offer alternative ways to improve Monero’s privacy and efficiency, though these still need further evaluation before being used in production. On the community side, I hope that the decision-making process is more formalized and accessible to newcomers. There are talks of the next Monero Konferenco in Europe, and Monero will hopefully have its own village at Defcon again next August.
For information on how Monero works and how to use it, you can also check out our Beginner’s Guide to Monero.
Digital Payment Solution Utrust to Hold Exclusive Listing Sale on ProBit Exchange
Following the success of the ProBit Exclusive Lite debut for Travala and its token AVA spiking over 260% from the discounted Exclusive price, ProBit Exchange has rolled out details on the follow up to their exclusive listing platform for Utrust (UTK).
Starting on September 28, 2020, at 11:00 KST, participants holding ProBit Exchange’s native token PROB will be able to subscribe to UTK with 50% discounts offered during the exclusive 24-hour sale.
A minimum of 500 PROB is also required to join and all participants can increase their purchasing power to a maximum of 6,000 USDT in UTK by increasing their PROB stakes.
Utrust is a firmly established presence in the digital payment sector, having already secured significant partnerships with brands such as Travala, allowing for travelers to pay for reservations and other travel resources across its vast travel service ecosystem.
With UTK already trading on the exchange’s fluid KRW markets, additional trading pairs of UTK/USDT and UTK/BTC will also be added September 25 at 17:00 KST to avail access to additional liquidity for traders.
Both ProBit Exclusive and ProBit Exclusive Lite showcase many premier tokens such as those already listed on ProBit Exchange as well as those looking to launch on their secondary markets. The Exclusive features provide ample opportunities for newer token investors to get their hands on some of the top tokens around at generous discounts as ProBit Exchange continues onboarding prospective teams for these coveted spots.
The Utrust platform allows merchants to accept digital currencies as a means of payment. It aims to bring digital currencies to mainstream consumers while providing the buyer protection and credibility of traditional payment platforms. With plugins and an API for merchants and UX for buyers. Utrust stands at the intersection of e-commerce, mobile payments, and cryptocurrency.
ABOUT PROBIT EXCHANGE
ProBit Exchange is a global Top 20 crypto exchange in real daily trading volume that has successfully completed over 200 rounds of IEO. ProBit Exchange also features over 800 trading pairs – one of the highest in the market.
ProBit Exchange Key Figures
100,000+ community members
800,000+ monthly active users
2,500,000 monthly web visitors
40,000,000 users on partnering aggregators and wallets such as CoinMarketCap
Global outreach in 8 key languages & markets provided
Multilingual website supporting 40 different languages
Join our active programs and get a multitude of benefits!
4. Referral Program: Earn 10-30% of trading fees for referring friends to ProBit
ProBit Global: www.probit.com
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‘Apple Store of DeFi’ Is Bringing Yield Farming to Bitcoin, XRP
With Harvest.io, Kava wants to bring order to DeFi. And expand it beyond just Ethereum.
- Harvest.io is Kava’s new automated money market protocol.
- It’s a little like Aave and Compound, only on Kava, designed to support assets beyond just Ethereum, such as Bitcoin and XRP.
- Kava aims to make decentralized finance as safe and easy to use as apps on the Apple Store.
The cofounder of Kava, a blockchain network focused on interoperability, wants to bring the trimmed haircuts, tucked in t-shirts, and “it just works” attitude of your local Apple Store to the world of decentralized finance.
With the launch of one of its first DeFi protocols, automated money market Harvest.io, Kava cofounder Brian Kerr hopes to bring order to the chaos of the DeFi market, as well as support for Bitcoin, Ripple’s XRP, and other assets besides just Ethereum.
DeFi refers to a slew of non-custodial financial products, most notably decentralized lending protocols, decentralized exchanges and synthetic assets. At the moment, Ethereum dominates the DeFi market; there’s about $9.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency locked up in DeFi smart contracts, and all of it’s in Ethereum-based protocols. Kava, built on “blockchain of blockchains” platform Cosmos, is one of several blockchains seeking to diversify DeFi beyond Ethereum.
Kava announced Harvest.io on Monday and will launch the product on October 15. Harvest.io supports crypto loans and investments in liquidity pools—pools of money that ensure loans always have counterparties. It also rewards those that use the protocol with a governance token, HARD, which stands for HARvest Decentralized. (Governance tokens are cryptocurrencies that holders can use to vote on proposals to upgrade the network, or sell on secondary markets).
Harvest.io appears very similar to Compound and Aave, two decentralized lending protocols housed on Ethereum, only Harvest.io supports Bitcoin and XRP, as well as Binance’s BNB and BUSD. In comparison, Ethereum supports synthetic, Ethereum-based representations of coins native to other chains, such as Bitcoin, through projects like tBTC, renBTC and wBTC, but not the coins themselves.
But Harvest.io’s silver bullet is its permissioned blockchain, Kerr tells Decrypt. Each application on Kava has been rubber-stamped with the approval of the community. Though many of the major Ethereum protocols have been audited and vetted by the community, Ethereum houses many dangerous and volatile decentralized finance protocols, whose creators can scam investors out of lots of money or lose their users’ fortunes through poorly-written code.
“We want to make sure, kind of like Apple does when they check applications for new apps in their app store, that they’re of quality and meet certain standards. We’re just doing the same,” said Kerr. Those operating nodes on Kava include some of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, such as Binance, OKEx and Huobi.
From within this bulletproof glass box, Harvest.io’s users can watch the unwashed, savage swarms of DeFi degens rip open stomachs with the jagged edges of broken protocols and scoop out the entrails of their compatriots—dinner.
“That’s something that we’re trying to avoid,” said Kerr.
Kerr said that this “decentralized but curated approach” will prevent the community from running riot on the blockchain, and stop people from “from spamming the network with CryptoKitties and other things that take up blockchain bandwidth.”
Kerr also thinks that people may use Harvest.io as, at least for now, it promises to be cheaper to use than Ethereum analogues. “Fees are just nonexistent on Kava, and they’re almost prohibitive in the Ethereum ecosystem unless you have $100,000s to play with…when something costs $90 to just open a position or to lend, that might be 10% of their capital,” he said.
In addition, Kerr said it’ll be easier to use. While Ethereum’s DeFi offering still baffles most users (by their own admission) due to its high level of difficulty, Kava, and by extension Harvest.io, is among the first to integrate with major exchanges, meaning “it’ll be a very nice experience for those users.”
Harvest.io will eventually decentralize. To put control in the hands of the community, the team have implemented yield farming—the practice of earning governance tokens by using the platform—in Harvest.io. The team will issue 40% of the token’s 200 million supply to users, and a further 20% to those that stake Kava.
When it launches on October 15, it will support deposits of BTC, BNB, HARD and USDX, a US dollar-pegged stablecoin. On December 20, Harvest will launch Harvest v2. This will add support for Chainlink, the coin that powers the eponymous decentralized oracle. It’s one of the most popular DeFi coins, with a market cap of $3.2 billion.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.
Bitcoin Is REALLY Worth $15,000 Based On This Key Adoption Metric
The bitcoin price has ballooned 40% on a year-to-date basis. The OG cryptocurrency has performed particularly well amid the pandemic partly because it acts as a reliable store of value like gold.
However, BTC is desperately clinging to the $10K level at the moment. But according to one bullish analyst, the cryptocurrency is undervalued by an insane margin.
Mike McGlone, Bloomberg’s senior commodity strategist, believes bitcoin’s fair value is $15,000 which the asset fails to reflect. Based on a key adoption metric, BTC is presently trading at roughly 50% below its fair market value.
Bitcoin Price Is Massively Undervalued
At the current price of $10,642.12, bitcoin still has a long way to go to reach its fair value.
In a recent report by Bloomberg, analyst Mike McGlone indicated that bitcoin has more runaway for gains. McGlone based his analysis on the historic highs in bitcoin’s hashing power, and most importantly, bitcoin addresses. Based on the 30-day average of BTC’s addresses, in particular, bitcoin should be worth around $15,000.
“The Bitcoin hash rate continues to increase and recently reached new highs. Also advancing are addresses used. A top metric for adoption, the 30-day average of Bitcoin addresses is equivalent to the price closer to $15,000 when measured on an autoscale basis since 2017.”
A Strong Argument For A Sustained Bitcoin Bull Run
The important thing to remember is that, even with the latest pullback, bitcoin’s fundamentals remain stronger than ever. In fact, according to on-chain analyst Willy Woo, the market correction caught most BTC investors with their pants down as there wasn’t the usual on-chain activity that precedes a sell-off. He cites the correlation to stocks as the reason why BTC suddenly took a tumble.
While a deeper pullback in the stock markets could pull the price of bitcoin down in the near-term, the crypto-asset is bound to soon decouple from the legacy markets owing to its bullish fundamentals as an inflation hedge, Woo posited.
Moreover, McGlone, who has remained a bitcoin diehard despite the flagship crypto’s wild rollercoaster ride, suggests that the price of bitcoin will continue increasing in the foreseeable future.
“Our graphic depicts primary on-chain metrics that would need to reverse for Bitcoin to not keep appreciating in price — the hash rate and active addresses.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the robust fundamentals could be the variable that helps kickstart the next bull market — despite bitcoin currently being deep in the bear territory.
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