10 years ago, Hal Finney tweeted about a revolutionary software (Bitcoin protocol) he was running. View in browser
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"Every day that goes by and Bitcoin hasn’t collapsed due to legal or technical problems, that brings new information to the market. It increases the chances of Bitcoin’s eventual success and justifies a higher price.” ~Hal Finney

Market State

On 10th of January, the crypto market experienced an intense fall as the price of Bitcoin dropped by 11% and fell below $3800 again. Most cryptocurrencies witnessed a price drop between the range of 11%-20%. Ether lost its second position to Ripple. Ripple is now the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ethereum Classic’s 51% attack reminded people of the risks of blockchain security. The attacker decided to return some of the funds after stealing around $1.1 million worth of ETC. The price of ETC dropped by 21% due to the attack.

In a bear market, miners are mining at loss and forced to turn off their mining equipment as they can no longer pay for electricity. Instead, miners rent their computing power which increases the odds of 51% attacks on smaller coins. The larger and more decentralized the network, the more difficult and expensive to have enough computing power to execute 51% attack. There is a company called NiceHash which lets people to rent computing power to different blockchains without having to purchase mining equipment. NiceHash also provides a tool that shows how much it would cost to rent enough computing power to perform an 51% attack per hour on different blockchains using their service.   

Check the latest Bitcoin Price
Quiz of the week

What do you call a wallet that requires two or more keys to send a transaction?

  1. A multisig wallet
  2. A multi-key wallet
  3. A multiwallet  

Scroll down to see the answer at the end of the newsletter.

Top stories of the week
Ethereum Classic 51% Attackers Returned The Stolen Funds

Last week Ethereum Classic experienced a 51% attack. 51% attack means when a hacker manages to collect over 51% of the computing (hashing) power on the network. With 51% of the hashpower a hacker can’t steal or spend other people’s coins. Instead an attacker spends their own coins (ie sell them on an exchange) then announces an alternative version of the blockchain that they have been secretly mining where their coins are not spent. Since they have 51% of the computing power, that blockchain will be the valid blockchain accepted by the rest of the network and the attacker can respend their coins again which they had already spent before. During the hack a total of 219,500 ETC (around $1.1 million) has been double spent. In reaction to the event exchanges have increased the block confirmations for Ethereum Classic transactions to 400 (roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes) or more. The price of ETC dropped by 21% over the last week. However a crypto exchange Gate.io has reported that the hacker has returned the $100,000 worth of ETC back to Gate.io with no explanation.

Yellow Vests' Bank Run In France

Last Saturday the French anti government demonstrators, Yellow Vests did a bank run to collapse the Euro, which meant that the protestors would withdraw all of their deposits  from banks. The Yellow Vests movement started in November 2018 due to fuel and tax increases introduced by the French President Emmanuel Macron. In response French banks began to close not allowing withdrawals. What does this have to do with crypto? Banks around the world operate a Fractional Reserve Banking, which means banks only hold fraction of people’s money. If there's another financial crisis like 2008 and a large number of people demand their money at the same time, banks won’t be able to meet the demand. Whereas in cryptocurrency people own their own money outside the control of banks and governments.

Ethereum’s Hard Fork Constantinople

The Ethereum Constantinople hard fork will activate on 16th of January. A hard fork is an update to the network that is not compatible backward. Contentious hard forks create two seperate blockchains if people are still using the old version. This is how ETC was created from Ethereum and BCH from BTC when there’s a disagreement within the community. The Constantinople hard fork is not contentious. Everyone in the network will update and start using the new Ethereum blockchain. If you are an Ether holder you have nothing to do. Exchanges and wallets will handle all the technical requirements without you even noticing. However be aware of scam coins such as Ethereum Nowa and Ethereum Classic Vision, that are taking advantages of this hard fork and ask users to enter their private keys.

NASA is interested in blockchain

Ronald J. Reisman, an aero-computer engineer at NASA has published a research paper on NASA’s plan to use blockchain technology in their air traffic management system. The paper introduced “Aviation Blockchain Infrastructure” (ABI) which will enable secure, private and anonymous communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorized member.   The system will be launched in 2020. The ABI is based on an open source blockchain platform called “Hyperledger Fabric”. Hyperledger is an open source project created by the Linux Foundation. Hyperledgers are used to build custom-fit enterprise blockchains that has smart contract features and private channels where authorized members communicate privately.

tZERO Begins Distributing Its Tokens to Investors

tZero a security token trading platform, which is a subsidiary of Overstock, began distributing tokens. Overstock is the first major online retailer to accept Bitcoin as a payment method in 2014 and they recently announced that they would use Bitcoin to pay a portion of its taxes in Ohio. tZero is developing a regulated exchange for security tokens that will bring traditional Wall Street stocks to blockchain. tZero raised $134 million from over 10,000 global investors during its security token offering (STO). In October, 2018 tZero completed its issuance of the tZERO security tokens. In order to ensure compliance with federal securities law and regulations the tokens themselves that were locked up in the custodial wallet until 10th of January 2019. Holders of the tZero will receive 10% dividend on a quarterly basis.   

Brave Passes 5.5 Million Users

The crypto-powered Brave browser that blocks ads and trackers, has surpassed 5.5 million monthly active users and now features over 28,000 verified publishers. At the beginning of 2018 Brave browser had 1 million monthly active users and now over 5.5 million. Brave will release Brave 1.0 with Brave Ads that will reward users for their attention with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). BAT is a built-in Ethereum token in Brave browser for websites support and rewarding content authors. The new Brave Ads feature is currently being tested and is designed to reward users with BAT for sharing data and watching ads. BAT is consistently improving their browser and has recently improved content loading time by 22% on desktop.

Tweet of the week

10 years ago, Hal Finney tweeted about a revolutionary software (Bitcoin protocol) he was running.

Meme of the week
Crypto word of the week

Coinbase transaction is the first transaction in each Bitcoin block. It is a special transaction because it creates Bitcoins from nothing. The coinbase transaction contains the block reward (which is currently 12.5 BTC) plus the sum of transaction fees from all the transactions included in the block. It is the reward that miner gets for successfully mining a block.

Quiz answer

What do you call a wallet that requires two or more keys to send a transaction?

The correct answer is “A”.

It's called multisig wallet which stands for multi-signature because you need two or more private keys in order to send from that wallet.

Thank you for reading :) 

Have a great day!

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