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The biggest upgrades providing a tailwind for the upcoming ETH 2.0

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2021 will be a year of progress for Ethereum as it undergoes some of the major network upgrades to make a big leap forward from its Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). Every year the Ethereum network goes through regular upgrades to make necessary improvements to the underlying architecture. Two of the most prominent upgrades to make headlines this year, however, are Berlin and London Hard Fork for good reason.

Hedge fund letters, conferences, and more in the first quarter of 2021

The Berlin and London hard fork aren’t the regular, non-controversial upgrades we see every year. They are bringing together a number of changes in the network to continue the natural progress of Ethereum towards Ethereum 2.0, also known as the serenity. This article discusses the details of the Hark Fork upgrades in Berlin and London and why they are a stepping stone into Ethereum’s sustainable future.

The Ethereum Berlin hard fork

The naming convention behind the Berlin Hard Fork is inspired by the first Ethereum DevCon, which took place in Berlin, the capital of Germany. The Ethereum Foundation officially announced this upgrade on March 8, 2021. The Berlin Hard Fork followed the upgrades of Istanbul and Muir Glacier and went live on April 15, 2021 on the Ethereum mainnet in block 12,244,000.

The Berlin Hard Fork implements a series of four Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that introduce new transaction types and tinker with the gas costs associated with complex transactions. The changes to the Berlin Hard Fork are a stepping stone for the upcoming London Hard Fork, which will be introduced this July.

The EIPs contained in the Berlin Hard Fork are:

EIP-2565: Lowers the cost of a specific set of transaction types that use modular exponentiation, ie ModExp (0x00..05).

EIP-2929: Increases the cost of transaction types that use state access opcodes on initial initialization. These transaction types have been a major cause of denial of service attacks on Ethereum in the past, and EIP-2929 addresses this issue.

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EIP-2718: Introduces a new type of transaction called Envelope Transactions, which is backward compatible with all new types of transactions.

EIP-2930: Adds a new type of transaction that allows users to create future complex transaction templates (based on EIP-2718 envelope transactions) to reduce gas costs and improve processing.

The Berlin Hard Fork upgrade is not backward compatible, which means that node operators and miners need to update their Etherum client to the latest version that supports the upgrade. Before going live on the Ethereum mainnet, the Berlin Hard Fork was rolled out on March 10, exactly two days after the announcement, on Ropsten (the Ethereum testnet), followed by its implementation on Goerli and Rinkeby.

Next stop, the London Hard Fork

The London Hard Fork is the most anticipated upgrade in the Ethereum community that aims to solve the decade-old problem of high transaction fees on the Ethereum network. Network congestion and high transaction fees with Ethereum have long been a topic of discussion. Over the years the Ethereum network has become very congested and transaction fees skyrocket, raising serious concerns about scalability and performance.

Ethereum fork

Source: Etherscan.io

To solve the underlying scalability problems, we have promising Layer 2 scaling solutions like Celer Network that enable ultra-fast and low-cost transactions on Ethereum. Celer is a Generalized State Channel Network with advanced rollup technology that is reducing transaction costs by 100 times with its project called Layer2.Finance, which is a pretty big leap given the massive volume of transactions on Ethereum thanks to DeFi.

Layer 2 solutions not only solve the scalability problem, but also go beyond the boundaries of the underlying platform to provide various services that are otherwise not possible on Layer 1. A perfect example of this is Celer cBridge, which enables cross-chain asset transfer between the main chain of Ethereum and any Layer 1 or Layer 2 platform at lightning speed and securely.

The London Hard Fork doesn’t come close to the scalability and flexibility of Layer 2 scaling solutions, but it does help lay the groundwork for improving the transaction fee mechanism by eliminating the incorrect fee estimation problem that is inherent in the ‘The model of the first price auction that Ethereum is currently using.

The London Hard Fork implements the EIP-1559, first proposed by Vitalik Buterin in 2018. This improvement suggestion brings the following major changes:

Exclusion of ‘single fee’: Ethereum has a “single fee” that is estimated by the “first price auction” model. EIP-1559 suggests that instead of a single fee, two fees should be charged; Basic fee (which is set per block depending on the block size) and admission fee (an optional fee that goes directly to the miners).

Deflationary pressure on Ethereum: The base fee is burned permanently, which in the long run puts deflationary pressure on Ethereum.

Elastic block size: The block size on Ethereum will now be dynamic, depending on the state of the network congestion. The maximum gas limit per block is now 25 million, which is twice the current gas limit per block of 12.5 million.

The London Hard Fork is good news for Ethereum users, but certainly bad news for the miners. In the last month alone, Ethereum miners generated $ 2.35 billion in revenue, of which $ 1.35 billion came from transaction fees. Over the past few months we’ve seen this trend that almost half of all miner’s income comes from transaction fees. With the implementation of EIP-1559, miners could potentially lose ~ 50% of their total sales.

Ethereum fork

Ethereum fork

Source: The Block

The London Hard Fork is scheduled to launch in July, but the tentative date has not been finalized due to concerns from the large mining pools. Sparkpool, one of the largest Ethereum mining pools with a combined hash rate of over 50%, is on the opposite side, while F2Pool, which controls 11% of the network hash rate, is on the supporting side for the implementation of EIP- 1559 stands.

Wrap up

The Berlin and London hard fork are among the most anticipated upgrades that will be the stepping stone for the transition from Eth1 to Eth2. The Berlin Hard Fork introduces several transaction types and brings optimizations for a specific series of transactions, while the London Hard Fork puts deflationary pressure on Ethereum by omitting the first price auction model, introducing a basic fee and burning up the transaction fees overall.

About the author

Haroon Baig is an ex-Microsoft employee, a programming freak turned freelance researcher and writer. He works with companies of all sizes in the blockchain space to establish, expand, and improve their online presence through his writings. He got involved in the crypto space back in 2012 and was fascinated by the underlying technology. Since then, he has enlightened people about this space through his content.

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Chinese Police Arrest 1,100 People for Money Laundering With Cryptocurrencies

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Authorities in China escalated their campaign against cryptocurrencies and arrested more than 1,100 people suspected of using the digital assets to launder illegal funds and order the closure of mines in one of the western provinces.

In a nosedive over 23 provinces, regions and cities, Chinese police arrested more than 170 criminal groups engaged in cryptocurrency trading to launder money received through phone and online fraud, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement . The suspects had repeatedly converted the assets from one cryptocurrency to another in order to cover their tracks, it said.

The illegal activities “caused severe social damage,” added the ministry.

The arrests came after a powerful Chinese superregulator promised last month that it would “crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behavior” as part of a broader effort to protect against financial risk and reduce energy consumption in the country. Regulatory crackdown concerns contributed to a sharp sell-off in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is still struggling to recover from its recent trading range. It traded near $ 36,755.77 on Thursday after trading at $ 64,802 apiece in mid-April.

Many proponents of cryptocurrencies had dismissed China’s recent warnings as a repetition of previous bans. However, there are signs that after months of volatile trading and mounting concerns about their carbon footprint, Chinese authorities are now more serious about curbing crypto-related activity.

“China has always had a very strong stance on cryptocurrencies. Now they are stepping up part of their narrative, ”said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst in London at brokerage AvaTrade.

Several cryptocurrency mining platforms have started blocking internet addresses in mainland China from accessing services in the past few weeks.

On Thursday internet searches were for several major crypto exchanges such as Binance, Huobi and OKEx on Baidu. empty Inc.’s

popular search engine and Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service. The exchanges have been a popular choice for people in mainland China to trade virtual currencies in what is known as the over-the-counter market. The accounts of several Weibo users known for posting about cryptocurrencies were also suspended last week.

The huge appetite for cryptocurrency mining, an energy-intensive process where computers compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles to unlock new bitcoins, runs counter to Beijing’s energy goals. President Xi Jinping is determined to make China the climate champion and has set ambitious goals to reduce coal consumption.

Regional governments have recently stepped up their anti-mining campaigns. In late May, authorities in the coal-rich Inner Mongolia region published detailed draft rules against the deal.

The government in western Qinghai Province has also announced a ban on cryptocurrency mining, state news agency Xinhua Finance reported on Thursday. Authorities were said to be investigating mining operations that allegedly operate as big data or supercomputing centers.

While China has tried to contain cryptocurrency miners, others are trying to woo them. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said Wednesday that he had directed the country’s state-run geothermal electricity company to come up with a plan to provide Bitcoin mining facilities using cheap, renewable energy from the country’s volcanoes. The announcement came hours after the small Central American country first introduced Bitcoin as legal tender.

Some of the pressure on Bitcoin from measures taken by China could ease, said Joel Kruger, strategist at LMAX Digital cryptocurrency exchange. The spread of cryptocurrency mining to more countries, leading to a decentralization from its current concentration in China, has fueled optimism, as has the prospect of greener energy sources than coal used by some Chinese miners.

“This is positive in that it forces mining to become more prevalent and forcing the narrative to shift to more environmentally friendly ways of mining,” said Mr Kruger.

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum: cryptocurrency markets

Chinese bitcoin miners have long dominated the global computing power that powers the bitcoin network with sophisticated equipment and access to cheap electricity. But now a group of US miners with deep pockets are looking to capture a bigger share of the industry. Photo: Adam Chapman for The Wall Street Journal (video dated 2/17/21)

Write to Elaine Yu at elaine.yu@wsj.com and Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the print edition of June 11, 2021 as “China Cracks Down on Crypto Laundering”.

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UAE: Who will own your cryptocurrency after you die? – News

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Experts reveal everything you need to know about digital asset sharing and inheritance.

In the past two years, the global user base of cryptocurrencies as measured by trading volume has grown by almost 190 percent. A survey by Statista of consumers in 55 countries ranks consumers in the United Arab Emirates 19th with the highest probability of owning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in 2020.

But unlike “fiat currencies” like the dollar or the dirham, which can easily be passed on, exchanged or used for transactions, we still need to understand what will happen to the digital currency when its owner dies. We know cases where assets were lost forever – in 2019, a crypto exchange lost $ 145 million after its CEO suddenly died and no one had access to the digital wallet’s password.

Keeping passwords secure is important, and it is just as important to let your loved ones know about them. “I’ve been thinking about this question for some time. I have investments worth $ 100,000 in various cryptocurrencies. I bought this through a broker and not directly through the stock exchange, which means that I can name a beneficiary. So I suspect if my wife wants access to it when I’m gone, she should be able to. But I’m not sure how to proceed. I still have to keep my cryptocurrencies in a digital wallet; For now, they’re only in my account, which I know can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. I plan to do more research and make my cryptos more secure and also to inform my better half about it, ”says Bawa K., who has been investing in digital currencies since 2017.

How are cryptos bought?

Cryptocurrencies can be bought “peer to peer” by people, directly from organizations “over the counter” that offer their own tokens for sale, or from public exchanges such as Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance, Bithumb, Huobi etc.

“These are the channels for most people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. And there are many other ways to get digital assets, such as transferring C2C (customer to customer) that are not normally used much, ”says Ola Lind, Director, SoBitX.

How are they saved?

The cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology and are stored in a so-called wallet. Each wallet corresponds to a key pair, a public key and a private key. The public key is used as the address to receive coins and the private key is used to identify the owner.

“Every owner should keep the private key safe. Anyone with this private key can access the assets in this wallet, ”says Lind.

“In terms of storage, cryptocurrencies are stored in digital wallets. A person has a number of options in this regard, including holding their digital assets in wallets for exchange, in software wallets such as Metamask, or in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger. In any case, individuals must make their own judgment about security and accessibility, ”said Blaise Carroz, vice president, global acquisition, Idoneus.

United Arab Emirates Digital Currency and Wills Act

“While legally the answer is yes, like any other type of asset, loved ones can claim digital assets, and if your passwords, passphrases, and key locations die with you, it is unlikely to happen. Without these things, your crypto assets are inaccessible, ”said Carroz when asked whether families could inherit the cryptocurrencies of their loved ones after their death.

Currently, under UAE federal laws, the status of crypto is not clear enough to be sure of adding crypto to your will. “However, a UAE resident can use a DIFC will to cover all of their global assets, including crypto assets. This is possible because DIFC applies the laws of England and Wales that recognize crypto assets as property. DIFC Wills also has a provision for including a “sealed” document so that a private key can potentially be left for the beneficiary and used to retrieve the cryptocurrency, ”advises Carroz.

“As with all things of this nature, because of the complexity involved, it is best to consult a professional law firm for advice on creating wills with cryptocomponents,” adds Carroz.

When including digitally held assets in an estate planning tool, Century Maxim recommends that you outline the following in an estate planning tool:

a. A clear list of the assets held digitally

b. Information from the digital wallet (s)

c. A memorandum to record the passwords and PINs

d. A step-by-step guide that explains how beneficiaries can access these assets when executing the estate planning tool

“Without access to the identifiers to access the exchange or wallet, it would be nearly impossible to access the assets, regardless of whether they are briefly mentioned in an estate planning tool. In such a case, it is likely that the digitally held assets are on a highly secure and encrypted network – a function that investors in currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or, more recently, Dogecoin choose because it is so difficult to intercept ”, says Farhat Ali Khan, Managing Partner of Century Maxim International, an Abu Dhabi licensed legal advisory firm.

Suneeti Ahuja Kohli

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle in Koi Samui, Thailand to spend her sunset years by the sea. Right now she writes a lot on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health, and just about anything her editor has assigned. Her stays can be followed on Instagram (suneetiahujakohli), messages and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and there is a Facebook account for the rest.

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What Is Chainlink and Why Is It Important in the World of Cryptocurrency?

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gopixa / iStock.com

Blockchain has seen a huge surge in popularity since the introduction of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency in 2010. Blockchain has a number of advantages, including decentralization and security. The demand for a decentralized currency has catapulted Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to worldwide popularity.

Support: It’s not too late to nominate your favorite small business to be featured on GOBankingRates – extended until June 5th

But blockchain has its limits. These systems are inherently isolated from the rest of the world, which is good for security and integrity, but also limits the input data they can accept.

Therefore, there is a need for some kind of bridge that can help these systems to see what is happening in the outside world. However, for the system to work, the input cannot come from a single source. Why? Because it would then have to rely on a centralized data source, which contradicts the nature of the blockchain.

More: What is a Non-Fungible Token and Why Are They Booming?

That is exactly what Chainlink can solve, as we will find out.

What is chain link?

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that will play an important role in the real implementation of blockchain technologies. The purpose of this network is to provide input to a variety of external data sources.

While the blockchain is great at what it does – providing a decentralized, secure ledger for digital transactions – it’s not that good at taking input for things that happen outside of the blockchain. There are many “off-chain” forces influencing the markets, including fiat currencies, credit cards, and even weather and sports scores. As a decentralized oracle, Chainlink can provide input for so-called smart contracts.

Find Out: Why Some Money Experts Believe In Bitcoin And Others Don’t

These smart contracts help the system respond to a variety of inputs (if X, do Y). As the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and the associated blockchain can only process a small part of this input. But newer blockchains like Ethereum have a wider reach. This includes support for programmable smart contracts.

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With this in mind, Chainlink was launched on the Ethereum blockchain in 2019, but is said to be agnostic. Therefore, it can also work with other blockchains.

Read: Bitcoin Cash (BCH): How Is It Different From Bitcoin And What Is It Worth?

What is LINK and what is it worth?

LINK is Chainlink’s native token. The token is intended to help fund the project’s growth and is similar to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Both cryptocurrencies work on their respective blockchains. Just like BTC and ETH act as incentives for users to mine, LINK does the same thing.

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The LINK token was launched in 2017 with a price below 20 cents and stayed below USD 1 through 2019. In 2020 the price began to rise steeply. In fact, the price soared from under $ 2 in early 2020 to a high of $ 36 on February 20, 2021.

Despite LINK’s meteoric surge, it has since fallen from its high of $ 36 and has not yet returned to that level. In fact, the price fell nearly $ 10 by March 1, 2021.

Should you invest in LINK?

As you may have seen from the above, LINK’s value has remained volatile despite its huge gains since early 2020. Hence, it may be best to only invest in LINK to support the underlying technology. Otherwise, the high volatility can become too much for most investors.

Read: How Does Cryptocurrency Work – And Is It Safe?

Still, Chainlink appears to be an important technology as cryptocurrencies move forward. Having an oracle like Chainlink will be key to the long-term stability and viability of cryptocurrency in general. Hence, LINK can be a solid investment if you believe Chainlink will become the industry standard as the most widely deployed, decentralized oracle network.

This article is part of GOBankingRates’ ‘Economy Explained’ series to help readers navigate the complexities of our financial system.

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Last updated: April 1, 2021

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: What is Chainlink and why is it important in the cryptocurrency world?

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