SegWit Finally Embraced by Coinbase and Bitfinex 287

Today, Coinbase — cryptocurrency exchange, brokerage, wallet, and operator of GDAX — and Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex have announced the implementation of P2SH Segregated Witness (SegWit). As per the companies’ tweets, users will experience improved transaction processing times and lower fees across the Bitcoin network.

Our engineering team has finished testing of SegWit for Bitcoin on Coinbase.

We will be starting a phased launch to customers over the next few days and are targeting a 100% launch to all customers by mid next week.

— Coinbase (@coinbase) February 20, 2018

We are proud to announce support for SegWit.https://t.co/FTCmRrRo2K pic.twitter.com/Kk2cA71wNN

— Bitfinex (@bitfinex) February 20, 2018

For Coinbase, this process began in December, when vice president and general manager Dan Romero indicated to investors and users that the exchange would adopt the SegWit protocol in early 2018

The protocol, an oft-debated measure introduced as a means of scaling Bitcoin to meet increased demand, is expected to decrease congestion in the cryptocurrency’s network, resulting in faster transaction times and lower fees.

Fees have been a huge problem for Bitcoin users — although they have fallen to recent lows at an average of $0.79 on Sunday. In December, amidst an upsurge in use and value of the cryptocurrency, prices reached peaks of up to $34.00.

What is SegWit?

SegWit is a Bitcoin protocol improvement that facilitates scaling. The SegWit implementation will provide Coinbase and Bitfinex users with lower transaction fees and improved processing times on transactions across the Bitcoin network. This happens by increasing block size limits by separating signature data from transaction data.

In addition to increasing capacity, SegWit will also effectively fix transaction malleability, a potential attack based on the modification of transaction IDs prior to network confirmation. Further, SegWit also lays the foundation for future Bitcoin development efforts like the implementation of Lightning Network, which will permit the network to process millions to billions of transactions per second.

Looking ahead

Moving forward, the question is what will happen as the Bitcoin network continues to grow. A hard-coded limit on the size of blocks limits how many transactions the network can process per second.

Some in the bitcoin community wanted to simply raise the block size — see Bitcoin cash. Instead of increasing the maximum block size, SegWit separates cryptographic signatures from the rest of the blockchain data, so these signatures aren’t counted against that one-megabyte block-size limit — consider it a de facto block-size increase.

That said, SegWit is not the be all end all: If 100% of transactions use the new protocol, it will roughly double the network’s capacity — but that’s it. Further increases will require more radical changes.

Coinbase

Romero said the exchange has carefully considered the implications of adopting SegWit:

“In terms of our engineering priorities, securely storing customer funds remains our top priority. Our next priority is to ensure that our platform remains performant during periods of peak volume,” Romero said.

The adoption of SegWit is a huge undertaking for the Coinbase because its platform is much larger than most other digital currency exchanges. The exchange has millions of users active each month, and it accounts for a significant portion of all Bitcoin trading. This means the impact of its decision to adopt SegWit could have repercussions on the entire cryptocurrency space.

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Prescryptive Health Announces Free COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Solution to Support Independent Pharmacies Nationwide 4472

Prescryptive Health, a healthcare technology company, announced a free vaccine scheduling solution for pharmacies across the country. This service builds on their successful COVID-19 testing partnership with the State of New York, and will be available nationwide beginning today. The initiative is part of a larger commitment by Prescryptive Health to empower pharmacists and consumers through its digital platform to improve the way healthcare is delivered, making it more affordable and accessible to all.

“Local pharmacies play a critical role providing vaccines, yet they don’t have a solution that can meet their needs and address their specific challenges with COVID-19 vaccines,” said Chris Blackley, CEO of Prescryptive Health. “Our solution closes that gap, is easy to use and is now available at no cost to pharmacies nationwide.”

Prescryptive’s scheduling solution is designed for pharmacists by pharmacists to provide the security, flexibility, and ease-of-use required to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in today’s fluid environment. Pharmacists can configure when and where they provide vaccines, customize patient screening criteria to comply with state and local guidelines, and manage patient demand with a new “waitlist” function that allows them to invite patients directly for appointments to prevent over-booking. Equally important, Prescryptive’s solution is architected on blockchain, fully encrypted, and HIPAA-compliant.

Patient success has also been engineered into Prescryptive’s solution. The mobile-first design allows patients to minimize time spent onsite at the pharmacy and to receive real-time notifications from pharmacists when appointments become available. Patients receive a digital proof of their vaccination with links to additional health and safety information—including the CDC v-safe program. Beginning in April, patients will also have the ability to book appointments directly with a local pharmacy at MyRx.io.

Huobi Tech’s Subsidiary Huobi Asset Management Got the Approval to Launch 100% Virtual Asset Funds and Plans to Launch 3 Virtual Asset Funds 4409

Huobi Technology Holdings Limited (“Huobi Tech” or the “Company”, stock code: 1611), is pleased to announce that Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited (the “Huobi Asset Management”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has obtained the Securities and Futures Commission’s (the “SFC”) approval to manage and distribute 100% virtual asset funds with effect from 3 March 2021. Huobi Asset is the second licensed virtual asset manager in Hong Kong to fall under the SFC’s “Proforma Terms and Conditions for Licensed Corporations which Manage Portfolios that Invest in Virtual Assets” (“T&C”) since October 2019.

As the first licensed virtual asset fund manager approved by the SFC to issue virtual asset funds with an active investment strategy, it is the first virtual asset fund manager in the Hong Kong market to accept fiat currency or virtual asset subscription channels. Huobi Asset Management plans to launch three virtual asset funds: BTC tracker fund, ETH tracker fund, and multi-strategy virtual asset fund. Besides, Huobi Asset Management is launching its multi-asset fund with 10% allocation to virtual assets whilst 90% into traditional assets such as equities and fixed income.

A senior investment team will manage Huobi Asset Management’s virtual asset funds. The main business partners include Sidley Austin, Mourant, DBS, Fidelity Digital, and other world-renowned institutions. Ms. Gillian Wu, CEO of Huobi Asset Management, said, “We aim to provide various choices to investors with different risk appetites. We have covered comprehensive perspectives through in-depth dialogues with SFC and made full preparations on corresponding solutions. We are confident that our funds could offer one of the most secure and reliable channels for Professional Investors to access this novel asset class conveniently.”

The management of Huobi Tech said, “We are delighted that Huobi Asset Management team has secured such a breakthrough. The approval’s timing is perfect, coinciding with the mainstream institutional adoption of virtual assets starting from this year. We will continue to explore the possibility of diversifying our businesses in relevant areas to enhance our growth prospects and bring long-term sustainable returns to our shareholders.”

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 4838

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has frequently denied EB-5 applications that list Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds as a legitimate “source of funds”. Yet, in an unprecedented approach that included forensic reporting analysis, attorney Max Dilendorf provided an expert legal opinion and due diligence report proving that a green card applicants’ source of funds met the standards to be qualified under this program.

Because USCIS only requires a “preponderance of evidence” showing the legal acquisition of investment funds in EB-5 petitions and offers little guidance for applicants whose funds originated in cryptocurrency, Dilendorf’s confirming evidence was a significant achievement.

The Dilendorf Law Firm, NYC’s top law firm for the digital age, represented several clients in EB-5 matters with the USCIS concerning the clients’ EB-5 investments funded with cryptocurrencies. By submitting blockchain and cryptocurrency expert reports in these cases, the firm has provided evidence to support the legitimate “source of funds”.

The firm’s clients were software engineers and early cryptocurrency adopters who, in the opinion of the crypto compliance law firm, are legally qualified for obtaining EB-5 investor green-cards, as there was little doubt on the legality of the source of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds.

Dilendorf’s legal opinions and blockchain forensic reports, as submitted to the USCIS, included an expert assessment of the following:

  • legality of the specific digital assets and regulatory framework for the involved financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies;
  • origin and flow of cryptocurrencies funding the EB-5 investments;
  • mechanism and sufficiency of digital wallets, private cryptographic keys, crypto trading platforms and accounts establishing ownership of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds;
  • KYC/AML compliance measures taken at each point of the funds’ journey by clients and third parties, including crypto exchanges and OTC traders.

Max Dilendorf, Esq. is also a top forensic Bitcoin and crypto expert witness. His expertise has also made him one of the top cryptocurrency consultants for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Dilendorf’s recent speaking engagements have included the Thailand SEC, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, and New York University, to name a few.

The9 Appointed Cai ZhiFang as the CEO of NBTC Limited to Lead the Development of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Business 4758

The9 Limited (Nasdaq: NCTY) (“The9”), an established Internet company, today announced the appointment of Cai Zhifang as the Chief Executive Officer of NBTC Limited (hereinafter referred to as “NBTC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The9, to lead the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency business in NBTC. Mr. Cai has been on board.

Mr. Cai is an early pioneer in the blockchain industry. In 2013, Mr. Cai co-founded YiBit Digital Technology Company Limited, one of the earliest integrated platforms in blockchain industry in China. In 2015, Mr. Cai served as the general manager of WeiTui Technology Limited Company, which self-operated Bitcoin mining by the purchase of AvalonMiners from Canaan. The peak hash rate managed by Mr. Cai at that time accounted for nearly 4% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin. Afterwards Mr. Cai established a strategic partnership with Canaan, responsible for assisting its customers in establishing, operating and maintaining AvalonMiners. At that time Mr. Cai managed and operated more than 300,000 AvalonMiners, with an accumulative hash rate exceeding 5,000 PH/S, accounted for nearly 5% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin at that time.

After joining the NBTC team, Mr. Cai will be responsible for leading the expansion of NBTC blockchain and cryptocurrency business, making full use of his industry experience and resources to formulate and execute NBTC’s business strategy, and to implement the cooperation between NBTC and worldwide cryptocurrency ecosystem partners with the goal to accelerate the establishment of The9’s global leadership in the cryptocurrency industry.

In January this year, The9 announced the establishment of the wholly-owned subsidiary NBTC to engage in blockchain and cryptocurrency related businesses. Immediately within two months, Bitcoin and Filecoin mining machines had been acquired as the first step to build The9’s cryptocurrencies mining business.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited (The9) is an Internet company based in China listed on Nasdaq in 2004. The9 aims to become a diversified high-tech Internet company.

Online Blockchain plc: Umbria DeFi Platform Announces First Airdrop of its UMBR Token 5130

Decentralised Finance (DeFi) protocol Umbria is airdropping 100,000 of its governance utility tokens to its users. Umbria, an opensource project on a mission to demystify and simplify DeFi and get people earning income on their crypto, will be rewarding eligible crypto enthusiasts with its tokens. Holders of UMBR tokens – available on Uniswap – or UMBR-ETH Liquidity Pool tokens (tokens issued for adding liquidity to the UMBR-ETH pool on decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Uniswap) on March 1st, 2021 will be able to participate in the airdrop. They will need to have a Metamask wallet.

UMBR and UMBR-ETH LP holders (minimum 100 UMBR or 2 UMBR-ETH LP) simply have to visit airdrop.umbria.network and press the “Claim Airdrop” button to get their share of the airdrop. The tokens will then be distributed directly into their Metamask wallets on April 2nd, 2021. The airdrop will be on chain facilitated by Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Users of the Umbria platform will soon be able to swap tokens and earn interest on their cryptocurrency positions on the Umbria website with other facilities coming online which will utilise the Umbria protocol and its utility token. UMBR tokens will give holders the ability to shape the future of the Umbria ecosystem itself.

“The Umbria project is a collective effort, which is already gaining good traction and seeing a lot of interest,” said Oscar Chambers, Co-Lead Developer at Umbria. “This first airdrop is a great way to reward existing participants and encourage more early adoption of Umbria, which will hopefully be a steppingstone to unlocking the mass adoption of DeFi.”

Margex Launches Globally and Announces $1,000,000 Bonus Giveaway Campaign Making Cryptocurrency Derivatives Trading More Accessible 6431

Margex announces its global launch. Along with the launch, every new client will be able to try Margex for free, with an included $100 bonus to settle trading commissions and funding fees on the platform. During the promotional campaign, Margex plans to distribute up to $1,000,000 in bonuses for a total of 10,000 users.

  • 100X scalable leverage for all of its trading pairs such as BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, and YFI;
  • Combined liquidity of multiple liquidity aggregators, allowing for the best possible entry and exit prices;
  • AI-based Price Manipulation Protection systems, monitoring for irregularities across all trading pairs and mitigating the risk of accidental liquidations and short-squeezes;
  • Bank-grade security;
  • Scale-on-demand infrastructure, capable of handling up to 100,000 transactions per second;
  • High-Class User Interface.

Margex’s goal is to provide traders with a world-class user experience, a fair, secure, and easy-to-use trading platform with the highest class of financial technologies in the world. The platform has received a lot of positive feedback from various trading communities for the deep liquidity achieved through the combination of multiple liquidity providers, extremely fast order execution speeds, and an MP-Shield system that uses artificial intelligence to automatically detect irregularities in the trade feed submitted by liquidity pools, eliminating the risk of accidental liquidations.