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Ethereum Daily Mining Rewards Аre at Lowest Level Ever Reported

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Acochain.com – New Ethereum (ETH) being generated through mining is at its lowest rate ever, Etherscan data reveals on Feb. 11.

According to Etherscan, on Feb. 10, 13,370 new ETH have been created, down from over 20 thousand in December 2018 and an all-time-high of over 39 thousand reported on July 30, 2015. The recent sharp decrease in the quantity of newly mined ETH was evidently caused by a sudden increase in Ethereum mining difficulty, which Etherscan data revealed on Feb. 10.

As Cointelegraph reported in September last year, Ethereum’s core developers decided on their regularmeeting on August 31, 2018 to delay the so-called “difficulty bomb,” by agreeing to include the code for such a change into the upcoming Constantinople hard fork.

The difficulty bomb, also known as Ethereum’s “ice age,” is a mechanism implemented on the Ethereum chain which makes Proof of Work (PoW) mining ETH progressively harder (increasing the difficulty).

The reason for the implementation of this feature is to prevent miners from continuing their activity on the chain after Ethereum’s switch to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Still, PoS implementation has been delayed multiple times, which is why Ethereum developers have delayed the difficulty bomb though updates as they plan to do with the Constantinople hard fork.

Moreover, delaying the ice age also lowers mining difficulty. To compensate for the easier mining process, Constantinople will also feature the so-called “thirdening”: a reduction of the reward for every miner block from 3 to 2 ETH.

Such an update would raise the quantity of daily minted ETH again, by making the creation of new blocks easier. This upgrade is currently scheduled to happen at block 7,080,000, which forecasted to be mined on Feb. 27, according to a Consensys blog post.

Last week, the Ethereum Foundation refuted alleged plans to spend a prospective $15 million on the development of Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs) for use in its transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network. (Cointelegraph)

Market Review

Japan’s Line Reportedly Close to Obtaining FSA License for Japanese Crypto Exchange

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Acochain.com – LVC Corporation, the digital asset- and blockchain-focused arm of Japanese messaging giant Line, is allegedly close to obtaining a crypto exchange operating license from Japan’s financial regulator. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan on June 20.

According to the report, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) could issue the company with an exchange license as early as this month.

The trading service, to be dubbed BitMax, would enable Line’s 80 million users in Japan to buy and sell multiple major cryptocurrencies, as well as Line’s native token Link, CT Japan notes.

Per a press release recently shared with Cointelegraph, Line counts 187 million global users monthly, with an estimated 50 million users registered its mobile payment service, Line Pay.

BitMax will reportedly use the same back-end infrastructure as the Singapore-based, global user-focused crypto exchange BitBox, which was launched by Line in July 2018.

BitBox notably remains inaccessible for Japanese users given the country’s exchange license requirements. The license has been mandatory for all crypto exchanges operating within Japan since the amendment of the country’s Payment Services Act back in April 2017, and the FSA has since then continued to ratchet up requirements for applicants.

A report from local English-language newspaper The Japan Times has today contextualized Line’s accelerating foray into cryptocurrencies and blockchain against a backdrop of sluggish user growth which has ostensibly driven the firm’s shares to their lowest since listing in 2016.

Meanwhile, the firm awaits a banking license that would authorize deeper integration of cryptocurrencies with its other services, including e-commerce, The Japan Times notes, but it is allegedly only likely to be issued in 2020.

As previously reported, Line rolled out its Link cryptocurrency in late summer 2018, and has continued to develop its token ecosystem based on the firm’s in-house service-oriented blockchain, Link Chain. The blockchain network also enables decentralized applications to be directly applied to Line’s messaging platform.

Earlier this month, Line partnered with American payment services firm Visa on new blockchain and digital payments solutions.

American social media behemoth Facebook has meanwhile this week unveiled its white paper for its libra cryptocurrency, which would — according to earlier reports — prospectively be used by the 2.7 billion monthly users of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. (cointelegraph)

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Breez Reveals Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Payments App for iPhone

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Acochain.com – Breez, a non-custodial wallet and payment platform, is launching its services for the iPhone. This is the first payment project built on Neutrino, a bitcoin lightning network client, according to the company announcement.

Additionally, Breez has resolved the issue of how to dispute purchases and receive refunds, “so it’s suitable for every kind of purchase right down to a cup of coffee or paying back a friend,” said company founder Roy Sheinfeld, in a statement.

When a user — whether an individual or a merchant — installs the app, Breez automatically opens a payment channel to the Breez hub, which is connected to other Lightning nodes, allowing users to transact with anyone on the network.

Both parties cryptographically sign an updated balance sheet whenever a transaction is made to reflect the changing amounts of Bitcoin stored in the parties’ respected wallets. When the transaction is finished, the resulting balances are registered on the blockchain. In the event of a dispute, both parties can use the most recently signed balance sheet to recover their share of the wallet.

The project, now in beta, builds on the success of Breez’s open network for Android, which the firm says gained hundreds of users in just two months. The beta for iPhone will initially be running on Apple Developer’s TestFlight, the publishing platform for beta apps. Sheinfeld said developing an iOS product allows the company access to around 98 percent of mobile users worldwide.

This announcement is concurrent with a $500,000 investment from Recruit Strategic Partners and Fulgur Ventures. Breez spokesperson Nishal Ratanji views the investment as validating the company’s vision for a “Lightning Economy,” where transactions happen without the expense and hassle of intermediaries such as banks, credit cards, online payment processors, and other custodians.

“Bitcoin has the potential to make all other mediums of exchange  – including crypto and fiat currency – obsolete,” said Sheinfeld. “Unfortunately, until other technologies caught up with it, bitcoin was expensive, cumbersome and difficult to move.”

The company states the additional capital will help develop Breez’s point-of-sale Lightning app used by merchants to accept bitcoin payments. Yuki Tanaka, Vice President at Recruit Strategic Partners and investor in Breez, anticipates “rapid uptake” of the POS technology in markets such as Japan.

Breez’ technology has undergone testing in sandboxes and other multi-tiered environments, according to the company. (coindesk)

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Market Review

Bitcoin Surpasses One Million Daily Active Addresses

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Acochain.com – Bitcoin (BTC) surpassed one million daily active addresses on June 14, according to blockchain statistics website CoinMetrics.

Twitter user Kevin Rooke pointed out the current number of daily active on-chain addresses on June 15, resulting in mixed reactions from the community. For instance, one Twitter user noted that “using it and trading it are different things.”

A different user attributed the current number of on-chain transactions to mixers, but failed to notice that even if an increase in mixer use were the reason for the rising active address count, it would still mean that more people are using bitcoin. Some replies claim that bitcoin is only preparing a fertile ground for Facebook’s upcoming rumored Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain. One user said:

“We just getting the seat warm for Libra.”

Another user cited concerns that bitcoin’s adoption is actually decreasing, as Cointelegraph reported in August last year:

“Yea, it’s getting used so much that merchant adoption is…decreasing.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, JPMorgan Chase thinks the Bitcoin industry has changed considerably since 2017, citing an increase in institutional interest and the high volume of bitcoin futures transactions.

Last week, the official Twitter account of Coinbase Custody, a cryptocurrency custody firm aimed at institutions, revealed that it holds $1.3 billion in assets under custody and expects to hit $2 billion AUC soon. (cointelegraph)

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Market Review

Startup Raises $3.9 Million in Tokenized Equity on London Stock Exchange Platform

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Acochain.com – Blockchain startup 20|30 has raised £3 million ($3.93 million) in a sale of tokenized shares on a platform operated by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

While a trial effort looking at using tokenized equity to modernize the financial markets, the share offering involved real cash and was issued on the LSEG’s Turquoise equity trading platform.

20|30 sets out to tokenize equity and other securities using distributed ledger technology. The firm was notably part of the fourth cohort of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox, announced last July.

As CoinDesk reported, LSEG and the FCA previously said they were working with 20|30 and distributed ledger technology startup Nivaura toward demonstrating for the first time that equity in a U.K. company can be tokenized and issued within a fully compliant custody, clearing and settlement system. With today’s news, the first stage of that plan looks to have been successfully carried out.

The project set out to explore “tools to help companies raise capital in a more efficient and streamlined way,” said the LSEG.

After the primary issuance of an equity token based on ethereum, “the next step will be to offer secondary transfers. Then we can work our way up the ‘capital stack’ to reinvent private equity and, public markets,” Tomer Sofinzon, co-founder of 20|30, told the Financial Times at the time.

Speaking to CoinDesk about the project in July, Dr. Avtar Sehra, CEO and chief product architect at Nivaura, said: “Someone can use our technology to do all the legal documentation, tokenize these assets and execute them. LSEG has then been forward-thinking enough to help get these orders out to the existing market.” (coindesk)

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