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ConsenSys Leads Investment into AZTEC, a General-Purpose Protocol, to Enable Private Transactions on Ethereum

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AZTEC can deliver the benefits of public blockchain technology with bank-level privacy, thanks to zero knowledge proofs running on the Ethereum mainnet
ConsenSys Labs announced it led a $2.1 million seed investment into AZTEC, a protocol on the Ethereum mainnet facilitating private transactions across the public blockchain. Other investors in the round included Entrepreneur First, Samos Investments, Jeffrey Tarrant (Mov37) and Charlie Songhurst, and leaders from the financial industry.
AZTEC was founded by Dr. Zachary Williamson and Tom Pocock. Zachary, the inventor of AZTEC, holds a PhD in Neutrino Physics from the University of Oxford. AZTEC uses zero knowledge proofs to allow transactions to be fully executed through the Ethereum mainnet while retaining bank-level privacy for users. AZTEC is the first implemented protocol to achieve this on Ethereum, and is twice as efficient as other known technologies on the network.
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AZTEC presents an enormous opportunity in the financial sector, allowing market participants to transact in a private and frictionless manner, and eliminating counterparty risk. The business value-add of blockchain technology is expected to exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030 (Gartner), with applications to financial services forecasted to account for a significant portion. With its zero-knowledge technology, AZTEC can support transactions for anything from existing ERC-20 tokens to real financial assets.
“ConsenSys is proud to support this breakthrough from AZTEC and CreditMint, bringing zk-SNARKs-based privacy, confidentiality and scalability to a wide variety of asset transactions on public Ethereum,” said Joe Lubin, co-creator of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys. “Ethereum is currently the only viable platform for rigorously trustworthy digital assets in a broad spectrum of forms, and AZTEC takes this to the next level with an important new protocol that Ethereum developers can configure for a variety of use cases.”
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AZTEC’s first commercial user is CreditMint, a corporate debt issuance and trading platform running on Ethereum. CreditMint partners with leading banks and asset managers to allow faster settlement in loan markets.
“The success of the Internet and the Web clearly shows that importance of the alignment between protocols and Open Source endeavors implementing those standards,” said Jim Jagielski, Co-Founder Apache Software Foundation, Director Emeritus Open Source Initiative. “The combination of AZTEC with Ethereum, in addition to the forthcoming release of the underlying smart contracts under an Open Source license, will enable true collaboration and ensure wide adoption.”
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The smart contracts underpinning AZTEC’s private transactions have been temporarily released under copyright at AztecProtocol.com, and will subsequently be released under a permissive licence to build AZTEC into an open-source decentralised exchange. AZTEC is currently raising additional funds to build out the protocol to provide on-chain privacy for all transactions. The academic paper describing the details of the protocol can be found here.
“I am thrilled we have been able to release Zachary’s protocol today, and excited that AZTEC will bring Ethereum’s public ledger to the capital markets for the first time, aiming to reduce economic frictions and increase transparency of execution,” said Tom Pocock, CEO, AZTEC Protocol. “We look forward to developing AZTEC with a wide community of technologists, digital asset builders, payment providers, decentralised marketplaces and more.”
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ConsenSys Labs announced it led a […]
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Fire Lotto: Blockchain-Based Lottery Platform Announces Its Next Jackpot Win

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This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.
Fire Lotto, the world’s first truly decentralised lottery platform, today announced that its next jackpot is likely to be won any minute from now. During the announcement, the firm reiterated that the jackpot in this lottery has already been won four times. Moreover, the winners have long received their money. Fire Lotto runs a 4×20 lottery on a blockchain platform.
Announcing the imminent win, Fire Lotto CEO said
“From a mathematical viewpoint, the probability of winning the jackpot in the 4×20 lottery is 1:4,845. Currently, 23,758 tickets have already been sold. Therefore, working on a rough estimation based on the tickets sold rather than the number of unique combinations available, it is clear that the next jackpot will be won any time before 24,225 tickets are sold.”

The size of the Fire Lotto jackpot is essential when compared to the cost of the ticket. Fire Lotto players wishing to win the prize should know that the expected payoff is 0.003 * 4,845 = ETH 14.535. And, this does not include payouts for those players who matched two or three numbers. Clearly, the next jackpot will soon scale to above ETH 11! For a 4×20 lottery, this is incredible. And, this could happen even tomorrow! Given the 1 in 4,845 chance to hit the jackpot, the players pay less for a ticket than what they receive.
Mathematically, it is a proven fact that 4×20 lottery is favorable for a player who pays ETH 0.003 ($0.6) for the chance to win, for example, ETH 15 ($3,000). Since Fire Lotto blockchain lottery relies on Ethereum smart contracts, players can always be guaranteed of fair play, instant payments to players, and anonymity granted to winners. Play, win, and make your dreams come true!
About Fire Lotto
FireLotto.io is the world’s first truly decentralised lottery platform based on Ethereum blockchain and managed by smart contracts. Fire Lotto provides two types of the lottery: a draw lottery and an instant win. The lottery platform features a licensed crypto exchange with a user-friendly interface to allow users to buy lottery tickets with fiat and cryptocurrency.

What 30 million transactions tell us about the state of Ethereum

Click here to view original web page at bravenewcoin.comAt the launch of Ethereum in July 2015, smart contracts were welcomed as revolutionary — promising trustless, automated transactions in industries as diverse as social media and supply chain management.
Since then, the price has soared, and for many the metric for success has become not levels of adoption, but the size of the market cap. However, the promise of smart contracts has not been forgotten, and three years after Ethereum’s launch, institutional trading platform SFOX have released a report that assesses the metric that really matters: the number of transactions.
As it turns out, the top ten highest-transacting smart contracts have a range of different functions, but all belong to either cryptocurrency exchanges, ICOs, or crypto-collectibles.
50 percent decentralized exchanges
Most smart contracts, it turns out, are not performing any revolutionary function — but simply moving Ether between addresses, exchanging Ether for other cryptocurrencies, and swapping Ether for Ethereum-based tokens.
At the top of the charts, the highest transacting smart contracts are on decentralised exchanges — Etherdelta and IDEX, both of which rely heavily on smart contracts to execute trades directly on the Ethereum blockchain.
The number one smart contract, which has processed over ten million transactions, is part of Etherdelta, a DEX that has rapidly gained popularity for hosting new tokens that are difficult to get elsewhere. Close behind is the IDEX smart contract, with over four and a half million transactions.
However, even with a daily trade volume of 209 BTC (1,343,908.35 USD), IDEX — which is reportedly the number 1 Dapp in the world by volume — pales in comparison to centralised counterparts like Binance, which posts a daily trade volume of 104,410 BTC ($672,532,424 USD) and is thought to have more than eight million users.
Given the recent trend for leading exchanges to announce their own decentralised counterparts, we could expect the use of smart contracts in this sector to continue to grow. Binance released a demo of its decentralised exchange in August, which will be built on its own blockchain, and Bitfinex have released a "trustless trading platform" built on Ethereum — Ethfinex.
40 percent ICOs
Unsurprisingly, the second major use of smart contracts is for ICOs — where they are frequently used for the automated release of ERC 20 tokens. The smart contracts used to facilitate the EOS, Tron, and OmiseGo token sales have all made it into the top ten in terms of numbers of transactions.
With almost three million transactions, the EOS smart contract is ranked number three by total transactions and number two by uniques. Having secured a record 4 billion in a year-long ICO, it is not surprising that this contract is also ranked number one by revenue.
If the ICO mania of 2017 is cooling off, as some data suggests, then this sector of smart contract use could be set to reduce.
10 percent crypto-collectibles
Cryptokitties, which famously congested the Ethereum network last December, is responsible for the fourth highest transacting smart contract, which accounts for about 2.6M transactions — lower than EOS, but higher than Tron.
Although such numbers for a prototype peer-to-peer marketplace are promising, they seem unlikely to last — interest in the game has waned in recent months as the market has fallen.

In a final note, the report concludes that applications of smart contracts outside the world of cryptocurrency have yet to show real promise, and that despite having the potential to change finance, Ethereum needs to overcome its scaling and security issues before that can happen:
"While smart contracts are a powerful tool that has the potential to change the world of finance, the technology is still early. The Ethereum network has scaling issues, making it expensive to execute smart contracts in times of high network congestion. Meanwhile, developers have to be mindful of a number of security issues that can lead to costly failures."

Head of Cardano Foundation Replaced Following “Puzzling” Conduct

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Michael Parsons, Chairman of the Foundation Council of the Cardano Foundation, has relinquished his title, according to an official announcement.
Council Member of the Foundation Council of the Cardano Foundation to Chairman of the Foundation Council of the Cardano Foundation
He is replaced by one Pascal Schmid, formerly Council Member of the Foundation Council of the Cardano Foundation. Schmid, of Switzerland, is a qualified accountant.
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This is significant because Cardano’s cryptocurrency, ADA, is one of the more valuable coins, with a market value of $1.8 billion according to coinmarketcap.com.
The Cardano Foundation is one of the three organisations involved in the development of the Cardano “developed from a scientific philosophy” blockchain, which, despite its high market value, is still being developed.
The foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Zug, Switzerland. The other two are IOHK, the engineering company that is developing the blockchain, and EmurgoHK, which promotes the creation of decentralised applications on Cardano from Hong Kong.
The whole setup was begun by Charles Hoskinson, who also co-founded Ethereum. He is the CEO of IOHK.
I’ll be going live in a few minutes for a community update: https://t.co/YocyipS0u9
Regarding the resignation, Hoskinson said: “Now that Parsons is gone, the Foundation needs to work very hard to restore its trust, faith, and credibility within the Cardano community…”
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What was the problem?
Hoskinson and Ken Kodoma (CEO of EmurgoHK) co-authored an open letter in October in which they complained that the Cardano Foundation was not pulling its weight. Its aim is “to promote the Cardano protocol, to grow and inform our community and address the needs of the community,” but “a lack of activity and progress on the assigned responsibilities of the Cardano Foundation and its council” have led to “great frustration”.
They explain that the foundation had failed to lay out its goals, failed to be transparent in its working methods, and misleadingly claimed that it owned the Cardano trademark. It had been behaving in a “puzzling” way – for example, failing to attend a meeting with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology with IOHK and informing IOHK via email that it “was to be the single guardian of the Cardano brand and protocols”.
More damningly, the letter says that the foundation refused to reveal where it holds its funds, and Parsons (the founding chairman as of September 2016) installed his stepson as general manager, and his stepson’s wife as his (Parson’s) assistant. Parsons also failed to refill vacancies on the board, so that there were eventually only two members, with him being the principle.
These are but a selection of the complaints detailed. IOHK ceased working with the foundation and demanded that it submit to an audit by the Swiss authorities, noting that Parsons could not be compelled to step down because the foundation is an independent legal entity.
It also noted that the separation of powers in the Cardano network was deliberate, so there was no risk of Parsons’ behaviour destroying the project. It proposed that IOHK and EmurgoHK take over the functions that the foundation was supposed to execute.
In May, ratings firm Weiss placed Cardano (and EOS) above 91 other cryptocurrencies in terms of ‘technology/adoption’ and ‘investment risk/reward’.
ADA has been selected to be the base currency of IronX, the new cryptocurrency exchange of foreign exchange broker IronFX.
You’re telling the CEO of iohk, founder of cardano and ethereum to use the support email? Just wanted to ask about the chrome delisting.
Source: reddit.com

Boost VC Issues Call for Crypto Startups

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Technology startup accelerator Boost VC has announced that it is accepting applications from crypto startups to join Tribe 12, its latest accelerator program cohort. Since 2012, Boost VC has graduated several cohorts with more than 75 crypto-related projects including prominent blockchain projects like Etherscan, Aragon, and MyCrypto.
According to the announcement, which appeared in a Medium post, the company is seeking to invest in blockchain startups that provide solutions for cross chain functionality, front end blockchain solutions, crypto team building and maintenance, and general blockchain scaling.
‘Missing Puzzle Pieces’
Boost VC describes its investment focus for Tribe 12 as an attempt to fill in missing pieces in the blockchain and crypto adoption puzzle from an infrastructure point of view. While investors like Goldman Sachs continue to grab headlines with eye-catching investments in startups focused on crypto custody and trading solutions, Boost VC is taking its investment from a wider perspective, seeking out startups that can build nuts-and-bolts blockchain solutions such as cross-chain navigation interfaces and management solutions for the peculiar challenge of distributed crypto teams.
Applications are welcomed from startups interested in creating decentralised frameworks for commerce, communication and government similar to ConsenSys, but operating on other non-Ethereum blockchains. According to Boost VC, the goal is to explore studio builder models for quick iterations on bringing crypto mainstream. Boost VC is also looking for projects focused on the creation and management of crypto teams, which come with the unique and unprecedented challenge of being almost entirely remote, contractor-heavy instead of employee-based, and having the near-instant liquidity offered by crypto payments, which creates a different incentive model from traditional startups.
In addition, projects that create cross-chain interfaces outside of custody, exchange and wallet solutions are particularly prized for investment. This is because Boost VC sees such projects as essentially land grabs offering the opportunity to build a blockchain interaction utility that can be recreated across the other top 5 – 10 blockchain networks.
The company also says it is looking for the “Coinbase for other blockchains/dapps” as well as a possible solution for legal gambling that takes advantage of differing regulatory environments across jurisdictions. Country-specific custody solutions and security trading solutions are also mentioned.
An excerpt from the announcement reads:
“Regulatory arbitrage plays. We invest globally. Therefore we will look at teams using certain jurisdictions to their advantage. Areas of legal gambling. Custody designed for specific countries. Trading securities.”
Projects working on such solutions are encouraged to apply to Boost VC’s Tribe 12 accelerator batch.
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