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MultiChain source code release

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Now available to view, review, compile and fork

Two years after starting to develop MultiChain, we’re delighted to release its source code under the GNU General Public License (GPLv3). The code, along with compilation instructions for Ubuntu, is now available at Github. You are free to browse and review it, compile it for yourself, or fork MultiChain in accordance with the GPL license.

Why now?

The code was originally scheduled for release with the first beta of MultiChain 1.0, but we decided to bring it forwards, as source code access has become crucial for many of our users and platform partners. Releasing the code allows enterprise users of MultiChain to perform independent security audits, and guarantees freedom of choice in the unlikely event that we stop developing the product.

So why did we wait so long? First, we needed to invest time in tidying up the code for public consumption, and preferred until recently to focus our efforts on pushing the product forwards. With the feature set for version 1.0 nearing completion, we could spare the distraction. Second, we didn’t want to be too helpful to some of our competitors who seemed rather desperate to see MultiChain’s code, judging by the (ahem) peculiar phone calls and email requests we’ve received. Now that the product is reasonably mature and well known, this is less of a concern.

Business models

If MultiChain is open source, how will we generate the revenue necessary to support its long-term development? To start with, we are already offering Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to customers who need guaranteed response and solution times for their questions and problems. Even though MultiChain is still officially in alpha, we already know of cases where it’s being used in production in the finance and government sectors.

In parallel to offering SLAs, we’ve started preparing the groundwork for a premium version of MultiChain, which will include extra features relating to security, scalability, analytics and performance. If you’re already working with the free version of MultiChain, there are two important things to know about the premium product. First, it will be possible to connect free and premium nodes in a single network, so each participant can independently decide which version to use. Second, any applications built on MultiChain today will work unmodified on the premium version – all APIs and parameters will remain backwards compatible.

Roadmap to 1.0 beta

In the meantime, we still have more to do before MultiChain 1.0 reaches beta. A full list can be found in the TODO file inside the source code repository, but here are some of the most important items:

  • Add support for automatic “checkpoints” in a node, to permanently lock down changes in a blockchain’s governance model (admin and mining permissions).
  • Allow control over the mining of empty blocks. This is useful for minimizing disk usage in blockchains with periods of low activity.
  • Add a “mining turnover” parameter, which balances between (a) all permitted nodes mining blocks at random, and (b) round-robin mining which prevents forks but can still recover quickly if a mining node goes down.
  • Finish the mechanism for notifying external processes of new transactions relating to a wallet address and/or subscribed stream/asset.
  • Increase the maximum size of transaction metadata (whether raw or as part of a stream item) from the current limit of 8 MB to at least 32 MB (and hopefully more).
  • Review and reduce the size of logs and other files whose primary purpose is to help with debugging.
  • Complete the port of MultiChain to Mac OS.

The first three of these have already been implemented (see the development branch on Github). We’re hoping to complete the rest, along with smaller tweaks and changes, by the end of Q1 2017.

The beta phase

We define a “beta” version as “without known shortcomings”, i.e. when we’re not aware of a single bug or important unaddressed issue in the product. So the purpose of the beta phase, which will probably last 6 months or so, is to enable any hidden problems to be discovered through our user base and internal test suite, both of which continue to grow. No doubt we’ll also receive feature requests during this period, but we’ll only implement those which are very low risk in terms of product stability. Major new features will have to wait until MultiChain 1.1, 1.5 or 2.0, as appropriate.

However, one aspect of development will continue during the beta phase – performance optimization. MultiChain’s transaction throughput, which can reach 800 tx/sec under ideal conditions, is already more than enough for most blockchain applications. Nonetheless, some use cases require more, and there is no reason why MultiChain cannot reach thousands of tx/sec with the appropriate optimizations. Naturally, we won’t be making any significant architectural changes during the beta phase. Instead, we will focus on local optimizations, such as caching intermediate results.

Beyond 1.0 and Premium

Apart from the well-defined path to MultiChain 1.0 and its premium version, what’s the longer term roadmap for the MultiChain platform? How do we see the product developing over the next five to ten years?

I should start by clarifying that, as a technology, we don’t see blockchains as specific to banks or the finance sector. While platforms such as MultiChain can indeed be used to implement shared ledgers of financial assets, their applications go far wider. We view blockchains as a fundamentally new type of database, which can be directly shared between separate companies or organizations, without requiring a central intermediary. This ability to span trust boundaries sets blockchains apart from today’s common database platforms, whether they are of the SQL, NoSQL or NewSQL variety. Indeed, in the long term, we should probably call these “peer-to-peer databases” rather than “blockchains”, because a product’s purpose is more important than a description of its underlying technology.

Version 1.0 of MultiChain provides three high-level abstractions for peer-to-peer database application development: permissions (to control access and activity), assets (ownership tokens that are transferred or exchanged), and streams (general purpose data storage and retrieval). Over the coming years, we’ll be studying the strongest use cases for this new type of database, to see what else should be added to this list.

We already know of some obvious possibilities, such as virtual machines and zero-knowledge asset transactions. But the more interesting abstractions will probably be those that we can’t yet imagine. What is the blockchain equivalent of foreign keys in relational databases, map-reduce in big data stores, or the HyperLogLog of in-memory databases? As we continue developing MultiChain in conversation with our users and partners, we intend to find out.

 

Please post any comments on LinkedIn.

 

Source: https://www.multichain.com/blog/2017/01/multichain-source-code-release/

Blockchain

Grayscale Buys Another $186 Million in Bitcoin: Approaching $6B Crypto Assets Under Management

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Grayscale has enlarged its Bitcoin Trust, as 17,100 BTC were added to Grayscale’s funds at current prices, as the investment is worth approximately $186 million.

grayscale_sep28
Grayscale BTC Trust. Data by Bybt

Crypto AUM Approaches $6 Billion

The total assets under management (AUM) for all Grayscale Investments crypto funds totaled $5.8 billion according to its last market report for the week ending September 25.

The Bitcoin Trust, or GBTC, is by far the largest fund, containing 82.75% of the total investment, or $4.8 billion. Following that is the Ethereum Trust, which has almost $784 million invested, or 13.5% of the total.

The rest is divided into smaller funds for Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, XRP, Zcash, and a couple more.

Grayscale buys shares for its investors so that they do not have any direct exposure to the underlying asset. Its BTC shares are currently trading at $11.23, and the Bitcoin holdings per share are up almost 46% so far this year.

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The move signifies continued institutional interest in Bitcoin and crypto assets despite having corrected almost 20% since its peak this year. Grayscale also stated that there would be a huge wealth transfer over the next quarter-century, and the younger generation is interested in Bitcoin and crypto;

“$68 trillion will be transferred from older generations to younger generations over the next 25 years. It’s time to pay attention to the behaviors of the next generation of investors.”

Bitcoin Closes Bullish on The Weekly Candle

The weekend has seen Bitcoin grind slowly higher again in an attempt to reclaim the psychological $11K price level.

Analyst Josh Rager has observed the weekly candle close, adding that Bitcoin has up-trended for the third week in a row and remains bullish.

A retest of the monthly high is also a sign that there are more buyers than sellers at the moment though the next level is critical, and BTC must hold the $11k zone to register further gains.

The $150 million KuCoin hack did not cause any significant sell-off over the weekend, which is a testament to how resilient cryptocurrency markets have become to such incidents.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/grayscale-buys-another-186-million-in-bitcoin-approaching-6b-crypto-assets-under-management/

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Almost 2 Million Test ETH Currently Staked on Ethereum 2.0’s Medalla Testnet

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Validator participation in Ethereum 2.0’s Medalla testnet is on the rise. And with the growing number of them, the number of staked test ETH is about to close in on a new high of Almost two million test ETH tokens, that are now staked on Medalla.

This comes amid the launch of the Optimism Layer for Ethereum and DeFi TVL clocking $11 billion.

Ethereum 2.0 Medalla Testnet: The Numbers Say It All

As per the latest update, validators have staked a little close to 2 million Goerli test tokens on the Ethereum 2.0 Medalla test net. Active validators are just above 62,000, with network participation ranging between 72 percent to 80 percent in the last 24 hours.

staked eth against validators
Close to 2 Million Test ETH Staked by More than 62,000 Validators, Source: Beaconcha

As of now, close to two million test ETH tokens are eligible for voting whereas only little more than 1.5 million Ethers have actually voted to validate Medalla.

According to the last update on test ETH staking, around 38,000 participants had plugged in more than 1.1 million Goerli Ethereum tokens. Since then validator participation has gone up to 63.2% in a month’s time.

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ETH Layer 2 Testnet Launched To Give an ‘Optimistic Shape’ To Scaling

As seen above folks are actively working to make Ethereum 2.0 a roaring success. But besides Medalla, Plasma Group developers have been hard at work to reduce the activity load on the Ethereum main net.

Dubbed as ‘Optimism Layer 2,’ the test net will find deployment over the currently trending projects to test Ethereum’s scaling capabilities.

In its entirety, Optimism is OVM, a fully-featured Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compliant execution environment. It’s objective is to work off the root chain to process data and transactions faster.

Optimism is the only generic L2 solution for Ethereum. This means that it does not need to include specific functionality to support existing L1 protocols.

DeFi protocol Synthetix will take the beginning shot at trialing Optimism. And in the process will offer 200,000 SNX in rewards to their users for participating. Synthetix said that currently, the test net is open to the public, but is not available for public contract deployment.

Total Value Locked In DeFi Clocks $11 Billion

Speaking about defi, recent data points to a resurgence in USD deposits in decentralized finance protocols. As per the latest numbers, the total value locked (TVL) has topped $11.13 billion.

defi tvl
Total USD Value Locked in Defi Tops $11.13 BIllion, Source: DeFi Pulse

The recent rise in activity comes after decentralized exchange Uniswap clocked around $2.3 billion in liquidity, an all-time high for the Ethereum based DEX. This has made it the top DeFi project with an almost 19% dominance.

DeFi lending projects Maker and Aave are also closely trailing behind Uniswap with $1.95 billion and $1.53 billion in USD deposits.

But the current star of the ecosystem is dForce which is designed to be an ecosystem that offers a full-stack solution for DeFi. The project has experienced a near 150% infusion of funds which parabolically pumped its TVL number from $104 million to $257 million in the last 24 hours.

Despite the explosive trend in the DeFi market, ETH has portrayed a lackluster price action. The token is trading sideways $357 a coin.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/almost-2-million-test-eth-currently-staked-on-ethereum-2-0s-medalla-testnet/

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Huobi Guide & Exchange Review: How to Trade Options, Futures, and Perpetual Swaps

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Founded all the way back in 2013, Huobi Group is one of the leading blockchain companies in the industry.

It’s safe to say that the company has come a long way since then and it’s currently offering a variety of services for its wide user base. Employing people globally, Huobi offers a myriad of crypto-related services, including digital asset trading, wallet, mining pool, incubation, research, proprietary investment, and so forth.

Cryptocurrency trading has surged in interest throughout the past few years and exchanges such as Huobi have worked hard to expand their offerings. Derivatives products, apart from traditional spot trading, have exploded in interest, and Huobi is doing its best to accommodate.

Among its popular trading products are the futures, perpetual swaps, and options platforms. In this guide, we will take a closer look at how these tools operate and provide a step-by-step explanation of how to use them.

Quick Navigation:

Huobi Futures

UI/UX 10.0
Security 9.2
Coin Variety 10.0
Liquidity 10.0

Pros

  • Simplified trading interface with a variety of features, veteran exchange
  • One stop shop for trading futures, options, and perpetual swaps
  • An abundance of trading pairs to choose from

Cons

  • Limited assets for perpetual swap trading
  • Verification is mandatory for Huobi Futures

How to Register on Huobi?

Before anything else, however, you’d first have to register for an account. The process is fairly simple. There’s no mandatory Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedure for spot trading, but if you want to start using the derivatives platforms, the ID verification is obligatory.

This is how the registration screen looks like:

Huobi_1

All that is needed here is an email address that has to be verified through a verification code later on.

Once you have your account opened, it’s highly recommended to take a few additional security steps. First, it’s important to enable the Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), using the Google Authenticator app.

In addition, Huobi has taken a few extra steps that protect your account in the event of it being hacked such as email verification codes, phone verification codes, a designated fund password to ensure fiat asset security, and so forth.

If you want to trade on the derivatives platform, you’d have to go through an additional ID verification step which requires you to input your names, a government-issued passport, driving license or ID number, and upload a picture of it.

We’ve completed all the steps and, in our experience, the process was seamless and the KYC took no more than a few minutes to be completed and approved by Huobi’s team.

How to Deposit and Withdraw Funds?

Now that you have your account set up, it’s time to load it with some funds. Depositing is fairly straightforward and users can choose between a myriad of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, ETH, USDT, and many others.

From the top navigation bar, you need to hover over “Balances” and choose the account you wish to fund. Regardless of where you deposit initially, you can easily transfer the funds between the accounts – it’s instant.

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After you select the cryptocurrency you want to deposit, all you need to do is click on the “deposit” button, which will pull up this screen. In this case, we’ve deposited the stablecoin USDT.

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In any case, regardless of the cryptocurrency you deposit, make sure to correctly select the transaction network (when applicable) – in our case, we used USDT on Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard.

From here, you can make quick, zero-fees transfers between the different internal accounts and fund your derivatives one. All you need to do is open the account, select the currency that you want to transfer, specify the amount, and confirm the operation:

Huobi_4

Once this is done, you are ready to begin using the offered derivatives products. Let’s have a look at all of them.

How to Trade Bitcoin Options on Huobi?

Options contracts are one of the most popular derivatives, used constantly in traditional finance. Lately, there’s a huge demand for cryptocurrency options as well. However, keep in mind, derivatives and options are not recommended for beginners as they carry more risk.

Huobi Futures has a dedicated options platform where currently users can trade both Bitcoin and Ethereum options. In this guide, we will focus on Bitcoin.

By definition, an options contract represents an agreement between two parties to facilitate a transaction on the underlying asset (in this case – Bitcoin/USDT index), at a preset price (known as the Strike Price), prior to the expiration date.

Purchasing a CALL option means that the buyer has the right to buy BTC corresponding to the contract face value at the strike price. On the other hand, a PUT option means that the buyer has the right to sell BTC under the same conditions.

In the below example, we will show how you can buy a CALL contract on Bitcoin and all the necessary details. First, when you land on the Huobi Options trading platform, that’s what you will see: Huobi_5

In the top left corner is where you select the type of Bitcoin options contract you want to trade with. For this example, we’ve used the Weekly BTC contract with a strike price of $8,500 and expiry on September 18th, and a leverage level of 5x.

Below is the board where you can monitor the prices for the different contracts based on their strike price factor.

As can be seen in this example, our contract costs around $2,400 to buy (bid). Huobi uses a system where traders can open positions based on contracts, where one BTC options contract equals 0.001 BTC or about $10 at current rates, as of writing this guide.

The par-value for a contract of ETH option equals 0.01 ETH, or about $3 at current rates. Unlike other margin exchanges, users can join options trading on Huobi with fairly low entry barriers.

Now, let’s see how to open a CALL position, as we assume the price of Bitcoin will close above the strike price of $8,500 on September 18th.

Huobi_6

From the order menu, we’ve selected a price that we want to buy the contract at – it’s $2414 and the number of Contracts that we want to purchase, in this case, it’s the maximum amount of 25 contracts, which is about $250.

As soon as we hit the Buy Call button, our Limit order will be placed and when the Mark price of the contract reaches it, the order will be executed and we will have 25 Contracts ($10 each) giving us the right to buy Bitcoin at $8,500 (strike price) when the contract expires on September 18th.

If the price of Bitcoin is above $8,500, we will realize a profit, if it’s below that, we will lose the options premium.

Below is our open position – we managed to get in at a price of $2,459 – and we got 24 contracts open. Below the order box is where you can track your positions and their performance. Huobi_7

If you want to close the position, you can specify the price at which you want to close and the overall amount of your position that you want to close.

Now, in this example, we’ve only shown how to buy a CALL option for Bitcoin, but users can also buy PUT options and they can sell contracts as well. For detailed information on how to do those operations, you can check the official guide.

How to Trade Bitcoin Futures on Huobi?

Moving on, Bitcoin futures are also available on Huobi. Here, users can buy these contracts and speculate on whether or not the price of Bitcoin will be above or below the current price on a pre-set date.

Huobi_8
Huobi Futures interface

From the left pane, users can choose from a verity of the over 60 cryptocurrencies and the available futures contracts. For Bitcoin, Huobi offers weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, and bi-quarterly contracts, and supports leverage up to 125x.

Basically, if you believe that the price of Bitcoin will be higher than the current price at the expiration date of a given contract, you should open a long (buy) position. If you think it’s going to be lower, you should open a short (sell) position.

How to Trade Bitcoin Perpetual Swaps

Perpetual swaps are probably the most popular cryptocurrency derivative instrument. They are like traditional futures with the exception that they don’t have an expiry date. In other words, traders can open and close them whenever they want to.

Huobi_9
Huobi Perpetual Swaps

It’s worth noting that Huobi even offers USDT/USD perpetual swaps with leverage of 1X -1000X, becoming the industry pioneer in USDT derivatives.

Besides, for the non-stablecoins,  traders can use perpetual swaps with extremely high leverage of up to 125X for BTC swaps and 75X for other swaps. In other words, you can open a position worth 125 times the amount you have in your account.

Huobi Futures offers different leverages such as 1x, 3x,5x,20x, 125x, and even 1000x. Users can choose freely according to their needs.

While this brings opportunities for big profits, please be aware that it’s also extremely risky as the slightest movement in the opposite direction of your position can liquidate your position, causing you to lose your capital. Using high leverage is definitely not recommended for inexperienced traders.

Customer Support

Huobi’s overall customer support is very satisfying. From our test experience, the team is very responsive and easy to communicate with.

Elsewhere, the KYC verification process is particularly quick. After we submitted the documents needed for the identity verification, the team took no more than a few minutes to have them checked and approved the account for trading.

Security: Is it Safe to Trade on Huobi Futures?

Huobi is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It’s an established company with thousands of employees. While it’s never recommended to keep a large amount of crypto in an exchange, Huobi is regarded as being very safe to use.

The team has also added a myriad of additional security features that users can opt in to further protect their accounts. Of course, you should also beware of scam artists and phishing attacks.

Trading Fees on Huobi

When it comes to the trading fees, Huobi has various fees on its platforms, so let’s have a look at a detailed breakdown for individual traders:

  • Futures Trading Fees

Huobi_10

  • Huobi Perpetual Swaps Trading Fees

Huobi_11

  • Huobi Options Trading Fees

Huobi_12

It’s also worth mentioning that Huobi Futures also provides VIP Sharing Program and Market Maker Program to lower big user’s switching costs to Huobi. For example, Huobi options maker fee rebate is as high as 0.003 USDT per contract.

Conclusion

In general, Huobi is one of the most reputable exchanges out there and they live up to the statements. The customer support is quick and easy to communicate with, the exchange offers a range of different tools to accommodate the needs of various traders.

Their Bitcoin Options trading platform is convenient, rather intuitive, and easy to work with. There’s a range of different contracts with various leverage options and expiration dates.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/huobi-guide-review-how-to-trade-options-futures/

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