Week 4 - 2020 News Recap
SunContract (SNC) Listed on Tokens.net
Tokens.net just added a brand-new token to the list of live trading cryptocurrencies and digital assets, this time listing SunContract (SNC), one of the latest projects to receive a grant of 2.3 million US dollars from the European Union Ministry of Economy. SunContract is a blockchain-based project with a focus on electricity consumers and energy providers, while pioneering the idea of decentralization in the sector of energy. The centerpiece of this innovative project is a unique blockchain-based marketplace that works based on the peer-to-peer model, and where electricity consumers and sellers can trade renewable energy through utilization of SNC tokens without the involvement of third parties or intermediaries.
The project is set to support producers of renewable energy in Slovenia and the European Union, while the EU European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) granted 2,3 million dollars for research and development in domain of introducing artificial intelligence and automated trading, as noted in the plan of the SunContract company and their blockchain-based decentralized platform. The peer-to-peer platform is used for trading energy equally by industrial-scale businesses, households, as well as commercial facilities. Over the course of the next three years, counting to 2023, SunContract will have the possibility to showcase the positive business effects of blockchain technology in the sector of renewable energy, combined with automated and P2P trading, and upgraded with AI. SNC tokens are presently available for trading against BTC, as Tokens.net added SNC/BTC trading pair, acknowledging the potential of innovation and technological advancement noted in SunContract project.
Is Your PGP Key Up-to-Date?
According to a paper published in early January 2020, crypto analysts claim that SHA-1 hashing power can be used for identity theft. SHA-1 was once a popular hashing function created by the National Security Agency, and almost completely forgotten in the beginning of 2000s when the function failed to stand against hacker attacks in theory. Still, SHA-1 (shaw-one) is still used for some source code programs and sending secure transmissions, as emphasized by Gaetan Leurent of France’s National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology and Thomas Peyrin of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, the minds behind the mentioned paper. Despite urging various companies and government agencies not to use SHA-1 as their hashing function of choice, the function is still being used for certain operations although it offers no security in reality.
The team decided to prove that theory in practice, so they decided to rent the hashing power via SHA-1 to Bitcoin miners while impersonating a hacker attack. The team behind the paper managed to conduct the planned impersonation of a security breach by forging a fake key that was assigned to a different identity. PGP, a hybrid cryptosystem, contains a one-time session key, which when paired with a public key can enable users to send information in a safe and secure way. Allegedly and in accordance with the paper, PGP can be broken down with rented hash power at the value of approximately 50,000$. This can be done with a collision attack, which would result in two parties having access to the same key.
BIS Survey Reveals a 10% Increase in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Activity
The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) conducted an annual study which involved 66 central banks, questioned on the potential issuance of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Among the central banks that were involved in the study regarding their activities in the domain of issuing digital currencies, up to 80% of the 66 central banks confirmed engagement in a form of CBDC interest. Additionally, 40% of the questioned central banks claim that they are either developing proofs of concept or working on researching and testing forms of CBDC. In general, comparison between the study conducted for CBDC activity in 2018 and the latest study created for 2019, shows that there is a 10% increase in the number of central banks that are in some way involved with a form of CBDC.
Moreover, around 30% of the central banks that participated in the study claim that they have plans regarding CBDC projects in the future, while these banks represent 90% of the global economic output, from which 21 banks out of 66 central banks belong to developed economies. Around 10% of the questioned banks claim that their specialized teams are already working on CBDC projects. In the meanwhile, the Bank of International Settlements has formed a working group, including the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England, with the purpose of sharing their findings of the overall interoperability of CBDCs, as well as its technical, economic and functional design.
Does the Price of CME Bitcoin Futures Depend on the Upcoming 2020 Halving?
CME global head of equity products, Tim McCourt, announced the launch of new Bitcoin options, which took place in January 2020, with positive predictions that involve the general increase in the involvement of institutional infrastructure in support of asset class that describes Bitcoin. Analysts believe that Bitcoin options will have a positive impact on the market of cryptocurrencies in the long run. This model of investing in Bitcoin will surely attract institutional investors that now have options for investing in one of the fast-growing asset classes. The very fact that a multi-billion-dollar worth company is taking interest in Bitcoin options, tells a story about positive traction and the potential that Bitcoin has alongside the rising demand for BTC.
Moreover, there is an increased interest in the upcoming halving that should take place in May 2020, so many analysts are trying to foresee whether the next halving of BTC mining rewards should influence the price of Bitcoin in the market, also affecting the value of Bitcoin options. As trading volumes are rising simultaneously with the increasing demand for Bitcoin options, most institutional investors are not aware of the upcoming halving despite having interest in Bitcoin options. According to historical data on the price momentum of BTC in relation to past halvings, it is evident that halving doesn’t have an immediate effect on the price of Bitcoin, rather taking from 6 to 12 months for the value to head on a rally. The way halving may affect Bitcoin is through cut supply of mining rewards, which could as a consequence affect the value of BTC and Bitcoin options.
Is Ripple Eyeing the Market of IPOs? Ripple CEO Claims Crypto Firms Will Go Public in 2020
On January 23rd, 2020, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Brad Garlinghouse spoke about cryptocurrency and blockchain companies following a natural and consequent economic evolution, hinting that Ripple company might soon be joining the market of IPOs and become a publicly-traded company. Ripple’s CEO claims that their company might not be the first of its kind to do so, and certainly not the last, emphasizing the company’s hopes to be on the “leading side” of the next crypto evolution.
While crypto and blockchain companies found an alternative way of presenting their corporate shares to the wider public by the use of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), the next logical evolution of the crypto and blockchain space as Garlinghouse claims, would be to expose the company to the public through Initial Public Offerings (IPO). As a consequence, IPOs would help crypto showcase more stability and maturity while gaining attention and facilitating confidence that should attract institutional investors and make investing in crypto and blockchain businesses mainstream. Silvergate Bank for example, has already went public in November 2019, trading as an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, while the bank is operating with digital currency businesses. That may be a clear sign that the market of IPOs might be ready for more crypto and blockchain businesses.