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What is Proton Chain? Introducing the Next Evolution in Fintech

Cashless transactions are on the rise, with credit cards and debit cards already having overtaken the greenback as the payment method of choice back in 2018. Although these payment methods are convenient from a user perspective, the underlying infrastructure is sluggish, often taking days for a transaction settlement to happen.  Furthermore, with credit card theft and account hacking so commonplace, users are increasingly asked to compromise more of their privacy and personal data in an attempt to increase security. These days, it’s often the case that you’ll need to provide an additional layer of authentication for transactions, but this is

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Cashless transactions are on the rise, with credit cards and debit cards already having overtaken the greenback as the payment method of choice back in 2018. Although these payment methods are convenient from a user perspective, the underlying infrastructure is sluggish, often taking days for a transaction settlement to happen. 

Furthermore, with credit card theft and account hacking so commonplace, users are increasingly asked to compromise more of their privacy and personal data in an attempt to increase security. These days, it’s often the case that you’ll need to provide an additional layer of authentication for transactions, but this is usually sent via insecure channels such as email or SMS. 

Blockchain offers a solution for many of these issues, including instant encrypted transactions secured by private keys. However, cryptocurrencies are still often shunned by traditional finance due to the fact that they don’t have any inbuilt compliance tools, meaning banks are naturally suspicious. As such, there is no easy way to push or pull funds between a blockchain and traditional finance using any of the existing payment rails. 

Enter Proton Chain.

What is Proton Chain? 

Proton Chain is a blockchain protocol that aims to overcome the challenges described above. The core feature is the concept of a verified account. Consider what happens if you search for “Vitalik” on Twitter – you get a list that looks like the one below. 

However, we know the top one belongs to the real Vitalik Buterin, thanks to the blue checkmark. This tells us he’s gone through a process with Twitter that’s verified it’s really Vitalik Buterin sitting behind that account. 

Proton takes this concept and applies it to payments. So Vitalik Buterin could claim his @VitalikButerin username on Proton, and a network of KYC checkers would verify that it’s actually him. 

Once verified, users can then attach their fiat accounts to their Proton account, and push and pull funds between the two. Users can find one another via their verified accounts and exchange funds. 

Perhaps most importantly, this can be done via any application using the Proton protocol. 

Under the Hood – the XPR Token

XPR is the native token of the Proton blockchain, which runs on a delegated Proof of Stake consensus. This operates in a very similar way to dPoS on EOS, in which Proton has its roots. For that reason, Proton also uses terminology similar to EOS, such as RAM for data storage and CPU for network processing power. 

XPR is used to reward block producers and can be staked by holders in block producer elections, on a one-token-one-vote basis. Stakers must agree to lock up their tokens for at least a month to become eligible for staking rewards. 

There is an initial supply of 200 million XPR, with 5% newly created tokens released each year. Half of these will go to block producers as rewards, a further 30% to stakers, and 20% to the Proton Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is also organized under a dPoS governance model, and is responsible for making decisions such as whether to increase fees for network resources. 

XPR tokens are available for trading via Metal X, HitBTC, Bithumb Global, and Bilaxy exchanges. They can be stored in the Lynx Wallet.  

Metal Pay 3.0 – Bringing Proton Chain’s Capability To Reality

Proton supplies the rails, but Metal Pay is the first application that will make Proton’s capabilities available to users. Metal Pay is an established blockchain payment processing platform, developed by Metal, that will incorporate Proton as part of its 3.0 launch. 

The Metal Pay 3.0 roadmap is split into three separate phases. The first phase will be to launch an open SDK for Proton. The second, dubbed “Red Falcon” will establish Metal Pay as the first wallet capable of interacting with the Proton blockchain. It will introduce the following features: 

  • The Proton username protocol so that every Metal Pay user will have their own unique @handle stored on  the Proton blockchain
  • Functionality for the new Metal Pay wallet to react to Proton Chain payment push payment requests
  • A  non-custodial “crypto tab” available to Metal Pay users globally enabling sending and receiving of XPR tokens
  • The ability for Metal Pay to wrap tokens from the Metal X “exchange” tab within the app and move them to the non-custodial “crypto” tab, and vice-versa. 

In general, the third phase (called Snow Owl) is lighter, bringing in support for additional currencies, and a Proton-based stablecoin, among other features. 

History of Proton Chain, Metal Pay, and Lynx

The relationship between Metal Pay and Proton isn’t a coincidence. Metal came together with Lynx to develop the Proton blockchain. Metal had established its Metal Pay payments platform as a means of achieving the vision of onboarding more users to cryptocurrency by making it more accessible. 

Meanwhile, Lynx had been working on its own project with similar goals in mind. It had developed the Lynx Wallet, the biggest EOS wallet in the US. It had also created its own blockchain as a fork of EOS, using the same dPoS model as its predecessor. Lynxchain offers much of the same functionality of EOS but with free account creation, making dApps more accessible to non-holders of EOS tokens. 

The two companies came together and merged early in 2020, launching the Proton blockchain in April. Proton is actually variant of Lynxchain, but with the identity layer built-in. 

Team 

Proton’s leadership team reflects the makeup of its predecessor companies. 

Marshall Hayner and Glenn Marien co-founded Metal and now serve as CEO and CSO respectively of the newly merged project. Hayner previously worked on projects including Dogecoin, Stellar, and Block.io, where he worked on the acquisition of the Dogecoin.info wallet, developed by Marien. 

Fred Krueger and Jacob Davis co-founded the Lynx Wallet and EOS Lynx. Krueger, who holds a P.h.D in Statistics from Stanford, is now President of Metal. Jacob Davis is CTO and has 19 years of experience in the IT sector, including SAS and Microsoft. 

Conclusion

Many projects claim to want to make crypto more accessible to the masses. However, invariably, they end up producing a fiat on ramping service that isn’t necessarily discernible from what’s already on the market today. By creating a blockchain that can interact with existing fiat payment gateways, Proton has an opportunity to tap into an established user base that could number into billions, depending on which companies it can onboard. 

Therefore, ensuring that Metal Pay is a success, and can be well-marketed as such, will be a core component of Proton gaining adoption. If the team can deliver on its roadmap and direct the right resources into getting the attention of payment industry players, it could be among the few projects to achieve the vision of mass adoption. 

The post What is Proton Chain? Introducing the Next Evolution in Fintech appeared first on The Merkle News.

Source: https://themerkle.com/what-is-proton-chain-introducing-the-next-evolution-in-fintech/

Blockchain

Litecoin, STEEM, Dash Price Analysis: 19 October

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Litecoin’s value dropped on the back of a bearish divergence, but at the time of writing, it was close to a critical level of resistance. STEEM appeared to enter a period of consolidation, while Dash was unable to breach and hold its level of resistance. It is likely that DASH will register more losses over the next few trading sessions.

Litecoin [LTC]

Litecoin, Steem, Dash Price Analysis: 19 October

Source: LTC/USD on TradingView

LTC was moving within an ascending channel (white) and exhibited a bearish divergence (orange) when LTC made a higher high as the OBV formed a lower high.

This showed that the price was making gains, even in the face of diminished buying volume, and the price was subsequently forced to correct to $47.

A level of resistance lay at $50.45 for LTC. The crypto-asset has not been able to close and defend this level since early-September and would be a target for the market’s bulls in the coming days.

A close above this level would be bullish and LTC could soon rise to $54.

Steem [STEEM]

Litecoin, Steem, Dash Price Analysis: 19 October

Source: STEEM/USD on TradingView

The Bollinger Bands were tightening around STEEM’s price, with the same indicating a period of lowered volatility.

The crypto-asset, while it noted a bullish divergence (orange), gained by 1.4% on a move upwards. The asset has been trading between $0.17 and $0.152 for most of the past three weeks.

A phase of consolidation near the support level might break out to the upside. However, more time and data would be needed to confirm both the consolidation and then, a potential breakout.

Dash [DASH]

Litecoin, Steem, Dash Price Analysis: 19 October

Source: DASH/UDST on TradingView

The 20 VWMA (volume-weighted moving average, green) was moving some distance beside the 20 SMA (white) over the past week. Alongside the heavy trading volumes seen in individual sessions, it can be concluded that DASH’s recent spike to $73 and the equally rapid descent to $66 was a violent tussle between the bulls and the bears on the charts.

Further, the price appeared to have flipped the $69.8-level to support, but the bears were able to undo all the recent gains as they pushed the price even lower.

DASH was also trading under the 100 SMA (pink), which highlighted the fact that DASH has been trending lower since late-August.

A reversal in trend would necessitate the capture of the $69.8-level. However, the past few trading sessions have seen the crypto-asset post gains while the trading volume was well below average, suggesting some more losses could be seen shortly.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/litecoin-steem-dash-price-analysis-19-october

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Trial of Alexander Vinnik, accused of Bitcoin fraud, begins in Paris today

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Suspected of a BTC fraud, the alleged owner of the Russian cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik will start his long-awaited trial in Paris today. The trial begins after Vinnik was arrested in 2017 while holidaying with his family in Greece, and later being imprisoned in France.  

According to French prosecutors, Vinnik has been suspected of being the main creator of the ‘Locky’ ransomware which led to the encryption of users’ data after which he allegedly demanded ransom in bitcoin. Back in 2016 and until 2018, several entities in France were targeted through this malware which resulted in twenty victims paying the ransom through BTC-e. 

In this Paris trial, 41-year-old Vinnik has been accused of this ransomware fraud amounting to 135 million euros ($157 million) and faces up to ten years in prison. Furthermore, Vinnik who claims that he is innocent faces 21 charges from U.S. law agencies accusing him of laundering billions of dollars connected to criminal groups, as well as identity theft and for even facilitating drug trafficking. So far, Vinnik maintains that he was only a technical consultant at BTC-e and has denied all the aforementioned accusations. 

He is also wanted in Russia, in fact Vinnik had gone on a hunger strike demanding to be extradited to Russia where he faced lesser fraud charges for the amount of 9,500 euros ($11,200). 

Earlier in June, New Zealand police had seized assets worth $91 million from a Russian man who laundered billions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Police claimed that the assets involved were held in a New Zealand-registered company, Canton Business Corporation, that allegedly operated the now-defunct BTC-e exchange. 

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/trial-of-alexander-vinnik-accused-of-btc-fraud-begins-in-paris-today

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Uniswap could be a stumbling block for DeFi decentralization

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Unsiwap’s governance vote has been a hot and controversial topic, with questions raised surrounding its centralisation

There are concerns that an Ethereum flash crash may happen when UNI mining is concluded in November. Industry experts have embarked on finding more flaws in addition to the centralisation concerns resulting from Uniswap’s first governance vote.

The last whale account took the proposing side of Dharma. The conclusion of the vote, therefore, means only a handful of addresses with the majority of UNI tokens will have governance power.

It is worth noting that three addresses accounted for nearly all 39.5 million votes in support of the proposal, with only about 700,000 in opposition. The Dharma and Gauntlet proposals’ approval gives them a majority if they agree on any upcoming decision. However, this isn’t the only thing to worry about.

According to Ryan Berckmans from Predictions Global, the governance could be a hindrance to the DeFi sector. Berckmans also predicts that the central control could impact volatility on Uniswap.

Another concern is the conclusion of UNI liquidity mining on November 17. Berckmans points out that about $800 million in Ethereum will be pulled out from the pools when they ultimately expire. This, in turn, could result in a flash crash and even disrupt the whole decentralised finance sector.

In his opinion, the feasible way of keeping the sector stabilised is by perpetuating the UNI farming incentive. He also recommended designating executives to act as governance officers similar to what Ethereum has adopted with Tim Beiko and the new EIP 1559 fee proposal.

Source: https://coinjournal.net/news/uniswap-could-be-a-stumbling-block-for-defi-decentralization/

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