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11
Сryptocurrency exchanges / Crypto Analyst Identifies 5 Al...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
Crypto Analyst Identifies 5 Altcoins To Buy That Could Be A Good Bet

Crypto analyst Altcoin Sherpa recently outlined five altcoins that could provide crypto investors and traders with significant gains. He noted that these coins were looking "pretty strong" at the moment despite a lot of other tokens looking like "crap."


Five Altcoins To Keep An Eye On


In an X (formerly Twitter) post, Altcoin Sherpa mentioned Injective, Wormhole, JasmyCoin, Stacks, and Toncoin as the altcoins that are looking strong at the moment. He revealed that he has eyes on these coins and is looking to actively trade them at some point. In a series of other X posts, he explained why he believed some of these coins were strong. 



In one X post, he talked about Wormhole and claimed that it was one of the strongest coins. He advised traders to keep an eye on it if they are actively trading. He further revealed that he would be looking to buy Wormhole if it breaks out. He added that if Wormhole pulls back strongly, it will likely continue to trade within its current range as it is not ready for that "big move."


Altcoins 1

In another X post, Altcoin Sherpa touched on JasmyCoin and stated that the coin is "extremely strong," seeing as it didn't "budge" despite the pullbacks in the crypto market. He claimed that JasmyCoin could rise to as high as $0.067 before it experiences any significant pullback. He added that he wasn't actively trading it, but it is one to watch. 


Altcoins 2

 


Altcoin also provided insights into Toncoin's price action, which he claimed was "weird," with the top end being a supply zone and its price pulling back. However, he remarked that he is still bullish on the coin because it is enjoying a lot of attention, mainly thanks to Notcoin. The analyst views the $6 price range as a level to bid for anyone who believes that Toncoin will still break past its previous highs. 


Altcoins 3

Altcoin Sherpa also seems bullish on Notcoin. He recently claimed that he has changed his mind about the token since its price action has calmed down and there is less volatility. He highlighted the consolidation pattern that has formed on Notcoin's chart, which suggests that it is still primed for major moves to the upside. 


Altcoins 4

A Meme Coin To Watch Out For


Altcoin Sherpa is also bullish on Dogecoin and suggests that it is a meme coin to watch out for. He noted that Dogecoin is still looking pretty good on the high-time frame charts despite many memes looking choppy in the short term. He added that he expects Dogecoin to still do "big numbers" later in the year. 



For now, he revealed that he is still expecting more chops for the next stretch and that he won't be rushing to buy any fresh positions for Dogecoin at its current price level. Altcoin Sherpa had previously predicted that Dogecoin would eventually rise to as high as $1 in this market cycle as it still has a lot of firepower. 


Crypto total market cap excluding BTC from Tradingview.com

Source: Crypto Analyst Identifies 5 Altcoins To Buy That Could Be A Good Bet
12
Сryptocurrency exchanges / Crypto Expert Reveals Top 7 AI...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
Crypto Expert Reveals Top 7 AI Tokens For Massive 100x Growth - Don't Miss Out!

The fusion of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology has captivated the crypto market, propelling the introduction of new tokens and their subsequent listings on prominent exchanges like Binance. 


Interestingly, Binance recently published an updated article exploring the synergy between blockchain and AI, underscoring the potential of combining these two technologies. 


Crypto analysts known as “Crypto Symbiote” confidently predict that this emerging trend and increased acceptance of AI will result in 10 AI-related tokens experiencing significant price surges, with the potential for gains ranging from 10x to an astonishing 100x.


After analyzing approximately 500 similar projects, “Crypto Symbiote” handpicked the top 10 AI tokens poised for exponential growth.



AI-Related Tokens Poised For Major Growth


Omni Network (OMNI): OMNI is an Ethereum-native protocol that facilitates rapid communication between Ethereum rollups. According to the analyst, unifying Ethereum as a single operating system provides a comprehensive learning, development, and operations environment. Given its use cases, this could increase its prospects for further price growth. OMNI is currently trading at $15, with a market cap of $163 million.


Numerai (NMR): Numerai presents a data science competition where participants build machine learning models to predict the stock market using obfuscated financial data. Stakeholders can earn or lose based on the performance of their models. With a current price of $24, NMR commands a market cap of $168 million.


SSV Network (SSV): SSV is a decentralized Ethereum staking network using Secret Shared Validator (SSV) technology. This approach splits validator keys into multiple KeyShares, allowing for fault-tolerant and non-custodial staking across multiple nodes. With a price of $36, SSV is one of the most popular AI tokens, and it has a market cap of $278 million.


Crypto

From Crypto Web3 Domains To AI Monetization


Space ID Protocol (ID): SPACE ID serves as a universal name service network, providing a comprehensive platform for discovering, registering, trading, and managing web3 domains. 


Its offerings include a multi-chain name service, software development kit (SDK), and application programming interface (API) for developers. ID is currently valued at $0.6, with a market cap of $279 million.


Golem Project (GLM): Golem is a decentralized platform that facilitates the sharing and access of computational resources. Users can share their unused computing power or utilize additional resources, with the GLM token facilitating transactions between providers and requestors. Priced at $0.44, GLM boasts a market cap of $445 million.


AltLayer (ALT): AltLayer is a decentralized protocol designed to enhance rollups’ security, decentralization, and interoperability. With a current price of $0.29, ALT’s market cap stands at $449 million.


NFPrompt (NFP): NFPrompt introduces a Web3 tool that enables users to monetize AI-generated content. Leveraging blockchain technology provides verifiable ownership of AI art, empowering users to express their creativity and profit from it. Priced at $0.43, NFP holds a market cap of $110 million.



Ultimately, the crypto analyst firmly believes that these selected AI tokens possess tremendous growth potential due to their underlying technology, potential for widespread adoption, and current undervaluation. However, investors must conduct thorough research and exercise caution when making investment decisions.


Featured image from DALL-E, chart from TradingView.com


Source: Crypto Expert Reveals Top 7 AI Tokens For Massive 100x Growth - Don't Miss Out!
13
Сryptocurrency exchanges / Toncoin (TON) Flips Ethereum I...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
Toncoin (TON) Flips Ethereum In Daily Active Users, Fueling $10 Price Target Predictions

Toncoin (TON), the native token of The Open Network, experienced a 12% price drop from its recent all-time high of $7.76 over the past week, following the overall market correction led by Bitcoin (BTC). 


However, despite the temporary setback, the optimistic sentiment surrounding TON and its network has led crypto analysts to speculate on a potential continuation of the halted uptrend, with some even predicting a surge beyond the current record levels toward double-digit territory.


Setting The Stage For $10 Price Target


Crypto analysis firm Delphi Digital made an intriguing observation, noting that TON’s daily active addresses have surpassed those of Ethereum (ETH) for the first time. 



This surge in activity is attributed to the substantial 900 million user base of Telegram, the social media platform behind TON. Delphi Digital recognizes that TON’s success hinges on leveraging Telegram’s distribution capabilities. 


Toncoin

In a recent social media post, renowned crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) analyst known as “Crypto King” recommended newcomers to explore TON, highlighting its super-fast and user-friendly blockchain infrastructure. 


The analyst also emphasized the credibility of TON’s development team, which is the same team behind Telegram. Crypto King believes TON could experience a significant price spike, potentially reaching as high as $10 in the coming weeks.


Market expert Alex Clay shares a similar viewpoint, noting that despite the market downturn, TON maintains its bullish structure and is poised for double-digit gains. 


According to Clay, TON is on track to reach $10, with the potential for short-term targets of $10.5 and $11.6. Clay also mentions the presence of a Daily Cup & Handle pattern, further bolstering the positive outlook for TON.


Toncoin Price Dips Despite Favorable Market Metrics


Token Terminal data reveals notable figures for TON’s blockchain by examining key metrics that indicate bullishness over the long term. The fully diluted market cap has seen a 3.6% increase over the past 30 days. However, trading volume for the token has decreased by 11.6% over the same period. 


Toncoin

On the other hand, the number of token holders has witnessed a significant surge of 76.3%. In terms of revenue and fees, there have been positive increases of 26.0% and 26.0% respectively over the past 30 days. 


Interestingly, the active user base on TON’s network has skyrocketed by an impressive 245.1%, with approximately 5.42 million monthly active users.



Toncoin

Despite the positive growth seen in various metrics over the past 30 days, Toncoin has experienced a 3% decrease in price during the same timeframe, resulting in a current trading price of $6.82. 


In the short term, bullish investors will need to closely monitor the nearest support level at $6.80, effectively preventing the token from further declining to lower levels. Conversely, the nearest resistance level is $7.53, representing the last obstacle before a potential retest of Toncoin’s all-time high.


Featured image from DALL-E, chart from TradingView.com 


Source: Toncoin (TON) Flips Ethereum In Daily Active Users, Fueling $10 Price Target Predictions
14
Is Ethereum's Price Under Pressure? Here Is What Futures Data Signals

Recent data from CryptoQuant has revealed a bearish phase for Ethereum (ETH), as futures traders exhibit strong selling activity.


The crypto community closely monitors these developments, especially with Ethereum struggling to hold above the $3,500 mark, adding tension to an already volatile market.



Ethereum Market Sentiments And Technical Indicators


Data from CryptoQuant has shed light on the current market conditions for Ethereum, suggesting a potential continuation of the current downtrend. The analysis focuses on the ‘Taker Buy Sell Ratio,’ a key indicator of market sentiment in the futures arena.


This metric assesses the balance of buying versus selling activity; a ratio above 1 indicates dominance by buyers, reflecting stronger buying pressure, while a value below 1 highlights aggressive selling.


Unfortunately for Ethereum investors and enthusiasts, this ratio has recently dipped below 1, signaling that sellers are overpowering buyers.


Ethereum (ETH) taker buy sell ratio.

This downtrend is mirrored by the significant drop in the Taker Buy Sell Ratio, which has steeply declined, showing a clear shift toward seller dominance.


Such aggressive selling could stem from traders aiming to capitalize on speculative gains or seeking to mitigate risks amidst heightened market volatility.



The persistence of this trend is a concerning signal for Ethereum’s short-term price outlook as it struggles to find support levels that could stabilize its value. The crypto analyst, Shayan BTC, who posted this update on the CryptoQuant quick-take platform, particularly noted: 





This significant drop in the metric is a bearish signal, suggesting that the current downward retracement could persist if this trend continues.



Implications: ETH’s Current Trading Behaviour


The bearish indicators are more than a fleeting concern; they have tangible impacts on Ethereum’s market position. Over the past week, Ethereum has seen a 2% decline, with a sharper drop of nearly 6% in the last 24 hours alone, bringing its price down to $3,471.


Ethereum (ETH) price chart on TradingView

This correction follows a recent high of nearly $4,000 in late May, illustrating the volatile swings that can affect investor sentiment and market dynamics.


Furthermore, Ethereum’s challenges are compounded by the rise of competing platforms like Polygon, which recently reported a higher monthly active user count than Ethereum.



While this does not directly influence Ethereum’s price, it signals shifting preferences within the blockchain ecosystem, potentially diverting attention and investment from Ethereum.



Such shifts are crucial for investors to monitor, as they could dictate the strategic directions of Ethereum and its emerging competitors in blockchain technologies.


Featured image created with DALL-E, Chart from TradingView


Source: Is Ethereum's Price Under Pressure? Here Is What Futures Data Signals
15
Сryptocurrency exchanges / In Good Hands: Bitcoin Builds ...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
In Good Hands: Bitcoin Builds A Better Future

Bitcoin is still a young protocol by every measure. These adolescent years are arguably more formative than any other period in its short history because the stakes are already quite high for a groundbreaking project with less than two decades of testing and growth. As I have watched new investors, developers, users and marketers flock to Bitcoin over the past 18 months, the fundamental reasons why a so-called Bitcoin Renaissance matters seems to be given a backseat.

Over this period of time I have been asked countless questions like "What do you think of this new L2?" or "Will this new L2 actually work?" In almost every case, my answer has been, "I don't know." Building on Bitcoin is hard, and many people do not know how. Thus, it is hard to know what exactly someone is building, let alone if it will work, if they themselves do not know what they are doing. But this reality has certainly not discouraged founders and investors from trying to earn a profit.

In short, this new era of Bitcoin activity is largely defined by marketing instead of real innovation.

Engineering First, Marketing Second

My academic and professional background is in mathematics and cryptography, not marketing. I understand the importance of developing a strong brand for a winning product or protocol, but marketing alone is at best not enough and at worst very dangerous. Innovative ideas need strong foundations, not fluff. Satoshi's last forum post started with the words every Bitcoin builder should take to heart: "There's more work to do [...]" Bitcoin projects backed by marketing are doomed to fail and disserve their users, investors, and the community as a whole.

One symptom of this dynamic is a simple lack of whitepapers. While these documents are often boring and seem optional to most people, whitepapers are intended to be a tool for explaining new ideas as clearly as possible to invite critiques, imitations, and actual implementation. But well-written whitepapers seem to be an afterthought for most of these new projects claiming to build on Bitcoin. Instead, the industry landscape has become defined by marketing materials.

Signals of this type of project are easy to spot. Rhetoric like "bitcoin powered," "bitcoin aligned," or "bitcoin hybrid" are often used. In many cases, this language is communicated to veil the fact that these protocols are not actually built on Bitcoin. In other cases, this marketing is used to distract from the reality that nobody - even the founders - know what they're building, but they want to leverage the Bitcoin brand anyway.

What comes to mind when I consider this unfortunate reality is a principle from the world of cryptography called security through obscurity. In short, this idea means nobody knows how a given thing works, so it might actually be secure. To be clear, this is not something for a serious engineering team to aspire to.

At Botanix Labs, we are building an EVM-equivalent layer with a testnet running on Bitcoin at the time of publishing. Instead of launching with a new token and chasing exchange listings, we are focused on building a simple and secure protocol. Instead of playing marketing games, we are focused on building an ecosystem of self-sovereign applications people want to use.

We started conceptualizing the Spiderchain in late 2022.

We launched a testnet in November 2023.

We plan to launch the first version of our mainnet this summer.

We believe that building is the best way to help Bitcoin succeed.

We Are The Watchmen

Scrutinizing new Bitcoin projects is not an activity that is only accessible to the most experienced software engineers and cryptographers. Anyone using Bitcoin can and should ask simple questions, like:

  • "Who has the keys?"
  • "Is this Sybil resistant?"
  • "Can operators execute a hostage attack?"
  • "What are your basic security assumptions?"

But all of these questions should already be answered with plain English in a whitepaper. Any project without a clear design, without clearly documented security risks, and without clearly worded analysis of its tradeoffs and objectives is part of the problem. Unfortunately, this seems to quickly have become the norm in Bitcoin's second-layer landscape. At Botanix Labs, we carefully articulate our protocol design, attack vectors, and more in our whitepaper, which is available on our homepage.

Cyperpunks write code. But the surge in new second-layer Bitcoin protocols (many of which are undeserving of that title) have forgotten this simple truth. Regulators and auditors cannot and should not be relied on to correct this. We, the Bitcoin community, should remain focused on the long-term mission and ignore short-term gimmicks.

What someone builds should matter more than how they market it. And for any serious project building on Bitcoin, marketing is never more important than security. Normalizing this principle across all corners of the Bitcoin industry is a responsibility shared by every single person in Bitcoin.

The Fight Against Fiat

Bitcoin is a movement, not a money grab. And I believe that we can and should do better than the ideas and projects that are being offered to the market in this ongoing Bitcoin Renaissance. Do not stay silent. Do not accept this behavior. Do not expect that the market will remove these bad actors on its own.

We are in a fight against a fiat regime that desperately needs us to fail in building a decentralized, permissionless financial system that runs on Bitcoin for centuries. But most new Bitcoin-branded projects are not thinking more than 12 months into the future.

In what sense does this improve the world or achieve our shared mission?

Satoshi Nakamoto exited the world of Bitcoin by writing, "I've moved on to other things. [Bitcoin] is in good hands." Those hands are our hands, and everyone who cares about the future of money should be vigilant to ensure that they remain good. 


Source: In Good Hands: Bitcoin Builds A Better Future
16
Сryptocurrency exchanges / 'Asia's MicroStrategy' Metapla...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
'Asia's MicroStrategy' Metaplanet Buys Another ¥250 Million Worth of Bitcoin

Longstanding Japanese hotel and services provider Metaplanet announced on X it purchased another ¥250 million ($1.8 million) worth of Bitcoin. This latest buy comes as Metaplanet mimics MicroStrategy's high-profile corporate bitcoin accumulation strategy.




As of June 11, Metaplanet holds approximately 141 Bitcoin acquired for ¥1.45 billion at an average per-bitcoin price of ¥10,278,391 ($65,000). The firm adopted Bitcoin as its treasury reserve asset in April 2024 with an initial ¥1 billion purchase. It has made several buys since.

Metaplanet's stock rose 10% following its latest million-dollar Bitcoin acquisition, the third such purchase in just 7 weeks. The company's share price has increased nearly fivefold since first announcing its Bitcoin strategy in April, validating its Bitcoin pivot.

By accumulating Bitcoin, Metaplanet aims to hedge against Japan's massive national debt burden and rapidly devaluing yen currency. The firm is closely following MicroStrategy's influential Bitcoin corporate treasury playbook.

For Japanese investors, owning Metaplanet shares provides exposure to Bitcoin's upside without incurring Japan's tax on crypto unrealized gains, which can exceed 50%. Metaplanet also enables access to Bitcoin without regulatory hurdles by trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The embrace of Bitcoin by public Asia-based companies like Metaplanet further legitimizes Bitcoin as a solid treasury reserve asset. Firms across continents are now awakening to Bitcoin's promise as an inflation hedge and store of value asset in their balance sheet.


Source: 'Asia's MicroStrategy' Metaplanet Buys Another ¥250 Million Worth of Bitcoin
17
Сryptocurrency exchanges / Trump Is The Best Choice For B...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
Trump Is The Best Choice For Bitcoin

One in four Americans own Bitcoin.

That's more Americans than are over the age of 65, but how often do you hear candidates talk about senior concerns compared to concerns of crypto owners?

President Donald Trump has been making a concerted effort in the 2024 campaign trail to appeal to Bitcoiners.

At the recent Libertarian National Convention, President Trump vowed to "stop Joe Biden's crusade to crush crypto," and assured Bitcoin holders specifically that he supports the right to self-custody.

"I say this with your vote, I will keep Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from your Bitcoin, and I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency," President Trump said.

It's clear which candidate this November is the best choice for Bitcoin owners and the entire industry - President Trump. He appears to see the wisdom of the pro-Bitcoin stances taken by popular leaders around the world, such as Presidents Javier Milei of Argentina and Nayib Bukele of El Salvador

Accordingly, he is staking out a clear position.

Trump acknowledges our right to self-sovereignty, and perhaps no one better understands the value of decentralization, as people have been losing trust in institutions like the government and banks. Trump has been the target of unprecedented lawfare politicizing the justice system, and Trump-affiliated organizations have been debanked and de-platformed.

President Biden, meanwhile, just vetoed legislation that would have ensured a customer's right to have their preferred regulated financial institution custody their Bitcoin or other digital assets--laughably--in the name of "consumer protection."

The Biden administration has been extraordinarily hostile to Bitcoin as well as the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem. The administration launched "Operation Choke Point 2.0" whereby regulators effectively instituted new rules via press release instructing banks to stop doing business with companies in the digital asset space. Further, the White House proposed a 30 percent tax on the energy used to mine Bitcoin, which would make it unprofitable and completely uneconomical for the industry to do business in the United States. Their Energy Department also attempted to collect information regarding Bitcoin miners' energy contracts as a step towards regulating them out of business. The Justice Department even broke with long-standing Treasury Department guidance when it attempted to regulate via court filing to say that self-hosted wallets should be treated as money transmitting businesses. This is all by design. They want to effectively ban the industry.

It all starts to make sense when you consider that the Biden administration has also laid the groundwork for a Central Bank Digital Currency.

Certain politicians support the creation of a CBDC because they desire complete control. They want to be able to track our transactions and tell us how we can and cannot spend our money. Bitcoin represents the polar opposite: freedom from government-driven collectivism and the empowerment of the individual.

To be clear, there are many pro-Bitcoin leaders in the Democratic party, such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Ritchie Torres and Wiley Nickel, just to name a few. Over 70 Democrats in the House of Representatives recently voted for favorable market structure legislation. But there needs to be many more.

President Biden has surrendered governance of his administration on these issues to the self-appointed "anti-crypto" Senator Elizabeth Warren and her acolytes. This has resulted in policies that mirror the Chinese Communist Party's approach to Bitcoin, and anything of which the ruling party disapproves: cut off financial services, attempt to cut off access to energy in the name of environmentalism, impose impossible market regulations, and essentially do anything they can to handicap the Bitcoin network while they work towards the ultimate tool of control over their populace: a CBDC.

Sen. Warren herself has even proposed legislation that would effectively ban Bitcoin mining in the United States by treating miners the same as financial institutions by requiring anti-money laundering standards despite the fact that miners do not custody any customer assets. As she well knows, if there are no Bitcoin miners, there are no Bitcoin transactions, and the path to a CBDC would be much easier without any private alternatives.

The good news for Bitcoiners this November is that they have a clear alternative. This is critical because a whopping one-third of voters say they are weighing candidates' views on digital assets for their choice in the election.

The choice is clear. President Trump will protect your right to own Bitcoin, to mine Bitcoin, to transact with Bitcoin, and for many of us, to work in the Bitcoin industry. We believe he will support Bitcoin miners' ability to help revolutionize the finance and energy industries in the United States and maintain American economic leadership for the future. And he will ban a CBDC, protect self-custody, and stop out of control regulators from trying to put us out of business. If you are a Bitcoiner, President Trump is the best candidate this year to, dare I say, Make Bitcoin Great Again in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Brian Morgenstern is the head of public policy for Riot Platforms. He previously served as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury and White House deputy press secretary.

This is a guest post by Brian Morgenstern. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.


Source: Trump Is The Best Choice For Bitcoin
18
Сryptocurrency exchanges / Bitcoin's First ZK Rollup Is G...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
Bitcoin's First ZK Rollup Is Gearing Up For Launch

Bitcoin & Beyond is an educational series by the team at The Rollup focused on a new and emerging class of builders in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Through spaces, panels, and interactive presentations, the objective is to provide deep technical insights into innovative scaling projects.

In this episode, the crew discusses building Bitcoin's first ZK (zero-knowledge) rollup with Orkun from Citrea. Rollups are a new technology that promises to enhance Bitcoin's utility, allowing for different scalability improvements while preserving the security of the Bitcoin infrastructure.

"A rollup is a blockchain that uses another blockchain as the data availability layer," Orkun says emphatically.

Plenty of other elements are considered in rollup design but he believes they shouldn't be part of the definition. "Where does the settlement fit in, the bridging? ZK or optimistic? The execution layer? It doesn't matter."

The Motivation Behind Citrea


                       
                       
                       
                   

                   

Citrea's motivation behind building a zero-knowledge rollup on Bitcoin stems from Bitcoin's unparalleled security and censorship resistance. Despite these strengths, Bitcoin has limitations in block size and script capabilities. Orkun noted, "What you can do with Bitcoin beyond simple payments is extremely limited today. We want to do more using Bitcoin's block space security."

Overcoming Bitcoin's Limitations with Modularity

Citrea is attempting to address these limitations through modularity. By building a rollup, developers can customize their stack to create various applications, such as payment rollups, gaming rollups, and EVM rollups. This flexibility allows for different optimizations that might scale blockchains without requiring changes to their core protocol. The combination of different services becomes a fertile ground for experimentation that wasn't possible before.   

Security is paramount for Bitcoin and any layers built on top of it. "Building a rollup is the only way to actually get that security. If you are not building channels like Lightning or Mercury, which are still limited by Bitcoin's functionality."

Citrea's innovation is to use Bitcoin as a data availability layer. Thanks to historical changes like SegWit and Taproot, developers are discovering new ways to inscribe data in Bitcoin transactions. This makes it feasible to use Bitcoin as a data availability layer for rollups. "So you can publish data into Bitcoin, but that data can be arbitrary because it doesn't get executed ever in the blockchain," Orkun explained.

Using Bitcoin for data availability involves trade-offs. While it ensures high security, it may not be suitable for high-speed, low-cost applications. "If you want full Bitcoin security, you must use Bitcoin as your data availability layer. However, for high-speed, low-cost applications, other layers like Celestia may be more appropriate."

The Clementine Bridge


                       
                       
                       
                   

                   

To move bitcoins in and out of the system, Citrea has built Clementine, a BitVM-based two-way peg that optimistically verifies ZK proofs. This mechanism aggregates proofs from Bitcoin, reducing the need for frequent settlements and enhancing security. "We are just inscribing these proofs on Bitcoin every hour. Other rollups can read the proof from there and execute based on that," Orkun explained.

The evolution of BTC bridges has seen a shift from custodial and federated threshold bridges to modern crypto-economic security bridges. Federated bridges rely on a majority consensus within a committee, while crypto-economic bridges like Stacks or tBTC use staked assets to ensure security. Orkun detailed, "In crypto-economic security, you are still trusting a federation, but those people actually stake some other assets. If they steal the money, then you can slash that asset."

Clementine, however, takes this a step further. It uses an optimistic approach inspired by BitVM to verify ZK proofs, which is cost-effective and secure. This approach allows for the aggregation of proofs, making the process efficient and scalable.

The core idea behind Clementine is to provide optimistic settlements for ZK rollups. "We just aggregate the Bitcoin proofs from Bitcoin to settle less frequently because you cannot settle in every single block. It will be expensive," Orkun explained. By inscribing data periodically and aggregating proofs, Clementine ensures that the state remains accurate and secure.

To achieve this, an operator will initially cover user withdrawal requests out of pocket then aggregate the necessary proofs into a single submission to the network. If other operators suspect foul play, they can challenge the submission. Successful challenges result in the dishonest operator losing their initial bond and being removed from the network. If the operator's submission is not challenged, they can then reclaim the equivalent amount they disbursed from users' original deposits.

This setup introduces a trust-minimized assumption where only one participant needs to be honest to ensure security. "We call it trust minimized because now we have this 1-of-N assumption. As long as one person in this N people is honest, then your money is secure," Orkun emphasized. This is a significant improvement over traditional models that require a majority consensus for security.

Future Plans and Ecosystem Impact

Looking ahead, Citrea plans to introduce volition, a hybrid model balancing on-chain security with off-chain cost efficiency. This allows applications to choose their data storage method based on their specific needs. Orkun also emphasized the importance of transaction fees for Bitcoin's long-term security, with Citrea's use of Bitcoin as a data availability layer contributing to maintaining miner incentives and network security.

"So depending on your usage, if you want to deploy now a gaming application, you can use off-chain data. It is very cheap, very fast, but still gets this Bitcoin interoperability. If you want to build a Bitcoin-backed stablecoin application, you can use on-chain data so your stablecoin is fully on-chain secured, fully Bitcoin secured. A bit expensive but you still get this interoperability between the gaming application and the stablecoin application."

Bridging Bitcoin's resilience with the flexibility of rollups could push the boundaries of what's possible with Bitcoin. Check out Citrea's website to learn more about their work. Follow our Bitcoin & Beyond series at therollup.co to learn more about the evolving state of Bitcoin scaling solutions.

This is a guest post by The Rollup. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.


Source: Bitcoin's First ZK Rollup Is Gearing Up For Launch
19
Сryptocurrency exchanges / Cashu: A Vision For A Bitcoin ...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
Cashu: A Vision For A Bitcoin Powered Ecash Ecosystem

Ecash is becoming an unavoidable topic these days. In a climate of contention over pretty much every proposal floating around these days ecash stands out as a protocol that can be deployed today without any alterations or changes to the Bitcoin protocol.

The ability to deploy an application or protocol without depending on changes to Bitcoin is an incredibly valuable thing in the current climate, so it is no surprise that the Cashu ecash protocol is starting to rapidly take hold on the fringes. Adoption is starting to occur on platforms like Nostr, and inter-mint settlement across the Lightning Network makes Cashu wallets a viable alternative to things like Wallet of Satoshi as easy to use Lightning wallets.

Ecash is likely going to become an increasingly popular piece of the Bitcoin ecosystem, and Cashu in particular has been incredibly successful at encouraging multiple compatible implementations.

Cashu developers have a comprehensive plan for an ecosystem built around the protocol to address some of the fundamental trust model issues of ecash, as well as different use cases specific needs. Let's go through the vision for the Cashu ecosystem.

Blinded Tokens

The core of all ecash protocols is a blind signature scheme. This is the mechanism that enables a centralized entity to process ecash payments in a privacy preserving manner.

To start, users minting a token must generate a random value. This is the actual ecash token. Generating it themselves ensures that the token is securely held in their possession and no one else's. But that isn't enough, anyone can just generate a random value. The ecash mint operator needs to notarize the token with a signature.

The problem is if they see the token when they sign it, then they will know who they signed it for and can know who made a payment when someone else comes to them to redeem it. To address this, a second random value, a blinding factor, is generated by the user before having the mint notarize a token. The binding factor is essentially multiplying the token value by the blinding value.

The user then provides the blinded token value to the mint to sign it. This leaves you with a problem though, the mint signed the blinded token value, not the plaintext one. Because of how the blinding protocol and underlying cryptography works, you can do the reverse operation done to blind the token in the first place to unblind the signature.

This leaves you with a valid signature for the plaintext token value, and ensures that when it is redeemed the mint has no idea when, what, or for whom it signed it. That's ecash in a nutshell (get it?).

Small Local Mints

The goal of Cashu is to be a lean and lightweight protocol that is easy to implement, easy to integrate, and easy to build on. The vision is an ecosystem of large numbers of very small mints running locally all interconnected over the Lightning Network. Rather than focus on larger mints with network effects allowing direct token transfers between users, incentivizing the concentration of massive amounts of bitcoin in the hands of a few trusted counterparties, the developers envision much more small value and localized operators.

This allows users to place trust in people they have closer relationships with, and each user to depend on an operator much closer in their social circle of trust. Lightning enables this, because rather than having to convince everyone to accept tokens from your mint, you simply redeem them and allow them to receive tokens form their own mint.

The strategy here tries to lean into the reality of Dunbar's number, the maximum number of people someone can mentally have a meaningful relationship or degree of trust with.

Mint Discovery Over Nostr

Feeding into the general idea of encouraging numerous mints local to people's circle of trust, the newish Nostr discovery protocol is a huge component of the long term functioning of a Cashu ecosystem. Nostr is built around the idea of users' identities being tied to self-custodied cryptographic keys, guaranteeing that no one else but them can broadcast messages attributed to their identity.

Nostr's primary use case currently is social media, which combined with the key based identity scheme provides a powerful foundation for a very old concept in cryptography: webs of trust. Cashu is leveraging this to allow users to discover mints that they could possibly use.

With their Nostr key, anyone using a Cashu wallet supporting the feature can locate mints, and will be able to see what mints people they know, trust, and interact with use. This can form a reputational system allowing them to make more informed decisions on which Cashu mints to trust their funds with rather than blindly guessing and hoping that they don't get burned at some point.

The more mints that come online, and the more people using them who have Nostr identities, the stronger this reputational web of trust will become overtime. This should naturally sift out malicious or unknown mints, and give users a solid set of trustworthy and honest mint operators to choose from.

Using Multiple Mints

The basic concept of a diverse ecosystem of mints for users to choose from is a solid foundation for a market based system of open and competitive optionality for users. But things can be taken even further. A single user can make use of multiple mints.

Users can have their balance spread across multiple mints, and utilizing a variant of multipath payments, can initiate a payment over the Lightning Network to a single destination with pieces of the payment originating from many different mints they have balances with. This allows the counterparty risk of storing your funds with custodians to be spread across many of them, without sacrificing the ability to make smooth payments to people using different mints than you.

This is made possible by the mints running customized software to enable a mint to only partially pay a Lightning invoice, allowing other mints you have funds with to pay other chunks of the invoice. As long as each mint successfully routes their payment to the final destination, the payment will succeed.

It is even possible with further customization of their Lightning nodes to allow users to receive a payment to multiple mints. If the mints support a users wallet generating the preimage to finalize the payment instead of the mint, each mint being used to receive funds can issue their own invoices where the receiving user controls the preimage release. As long as each participating mint receives the routed HTLC, the user can release the preimage to all of them and successfully distribute their received funds across the mints.

This scheme can massively reduce the risk of fund loss due to any one mint, and in combination with the Nostr discovery protocol and associated webs of trust can drastically improve user security.

Programming The Money

One of the most useful aspects of the Cashu is the ability to program script functionality into an ecash token the same way that a real bitcoin UTXO is lockable with a program using Bitcoin script. Cashu tokens can encode script conditions before blinding the token for the mint to notarize, and when they are later redeemed the mint can refuse to redeem the token unless those arbitrary script conditions are fulfilled.

Currently Cashu has implemented a lock to public key script, requiring a signature from the specified public key in order to redeem the token. This enables minting tokens that are locked and only redeemable by the holder of a specific private key. Once the token is minted with the public key lock, it is impossible for anyone else to redeem it.

This can be used to enable secure payments where the receiver is offline. Even without an internet connection, as soon as they receive the token from the sender they can be sure once they verify the mint's signature that no one else can redeem the token. They can safely accept it as payment knowing they can redeem it later at a convenient time.

This introduces a bit of complexity, as a sender has to lock tokens to a specific receiver ahead of time if they do not have an internet connection at the moment of spending. Given that people very frequently don't know exactly how much they will spend somewhere, this creates a problem of potentially allocating too much money with no way to take it back if they don't spend it.

But script can support many things, tokens could be created that require a signature from a specific public key, or anyone after a certain amount of time has passed. Something analogous to an HTLC. The Cashu spec also defines an actual HTLC token script.

As time goes on and more use cases are desired, the scripts that people can lock Cashu tokens with can be expanded arbitrarily based on the needs of users and mint operators. I expect this to become a very powerful aspect of the protocol in the long term. It could support escrow services, multisignature tokens, and a large variety of arbitrary smart contracts. Cashu mints can enforce any script condition that Bitcoin can, and much more.

The Big Picture

People use custodians, it is something people have always done, and will likely always do regardless of how much flexibility is offered by non-custodial solutions. It's just a fact of life that some people can't or don't want to take the responsibility or deal with the complexity of self custody.

Cashu aims to be a radical improvement for users of custodial services. Something that can bring privacy, censorship resistance, and flexibility to users who otherwise would not have access to these things with the way traditional custodial services are architected.

The goal of the Cashu project is not to "scale Bitcoin" using custodians, but to offer an improved and private system for users of custodial services. I think this is a laudable goal, and one that in the long term has massive potential to be a huge benefit for these users. 


Source: Cashu: A Vision For A Bitcoin Powered Ecash Ecosystem
20
Сryptocurrency exchanges / Over Half Of Top US Hedge Fund...
Last post by Bitcoin - Jun 12, 2024, 08:03 am
Over Half Of Top US Hedge Funds Own Bitcoin ETFs

In hindsight, all it took for real institutional adoption of Bitcoin to take place was the introduction of a risk-minimized, easy-to-use product in the form of an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In January, the SEC approved nine new ETFs that provide exposure to Bitcoin through the spot market, a strict improvement over the futures-based ETFs that began trading back in 2021. In the first quarter of trading, both the size and number of institutional allocations to these ETFs have blown away consensus expectations. Blackrock's ETF alone set a record for the shortest time an ETF has hit $10 billion in assets.

Beyond the eye-popping AUM figures these ETFs have drawn, this past Wednesday marked the deadline for institutions with over $100 million in assets to report their holdings to the SEC through 13F filings. These filings reveal a complete picture of who owns Bitcoin ETFs--the results are nothing short of bullish.

Institutional Adoption is Broad-Based

In years past, a single institutional investor reporting ownership of bitcoin would be a newsworthy, even market moving event. Just three years ago, Tesla's decision to add bitcoin to their balance sheet sent bitcoin up over 13% in a single day.

2024 is clearly different. As of Wednesday, we now know of 534 unique institutions with over $1 billion in assets that chose to begin allocating to bitcoin in Q1 of this year. Ranging from hedge funds to pensions and insurance companies, the breadth of adoption is remarkable.


                       
                       
                       
Source: River

                   

                   

Of the largest 25 hedge funds in the US, over half now have exposure to bitcoin, most notably a $2 billion position from Millennium Management. Additionally, 11 of the largest 25 Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are now allocated.


                       
                       
                       
Source: River

                   

                   

But why are Bitcoin ETFs so appealing to institutions who could've just bought bitcoin?

Large institutional investors are slow moving creatures from a financial system steeped in tradition, risk management, and regulations. For a pension fund to update its investment portfolio requires months, sometimes years of committee meetings, due diligence, and board approvals that are often repeated multiple times.

To gain exposure to bitcoin by purchasing and holding real bitcoin requires a comprehensive vetting of multiple trading providers (e.g. Galaxy Digital), custodians (e.g. Coinbase), and forensics services (e.g. Chainalysis), in addition to forming new processes for accounting, risk management, etc.

To gain exposure to bitcoin by purchasing an ETF from Blackrock is easy by comparison. As Lyn Alden put it on a TFTC podcast, "All the ETF is, is in developer terms, it's basically an API for the fiat system. It just allows the fiat system to plug into Bitcoin a little bit better than it used to."

This is not to say that ETFs are the ideal way for people to gain exposure to bitcoin. In addition to the management fees that come with owning an ETF, there are many tradeoffs that come with such a product that may compromise the core value provided by Bitcoin in the first place--incorruptible money. While these tradeoffs are beyond the scope of this article, the flowchart below depicts some of the considerations at play.


                       
                       
                       
                   

                   

Why hasn't Bitcoin rallied more this quarter?

With such a strong rate of ETF adoption, it may come as a surprise that the price of bitcoin is only up 50% year-to-date. Indeed, if 48% of the top hedge funds are now allocated, how much upside could really be left?

While the ETFs have broad-based ownership, the average allocations of the institutions that own them are quite modest. Of the major ($1b+) hedge funds, RIA's, and pensions that have made an allocation, the weighted average allocation is less than 0.20% of AUM. Even Millennium's $2 billion allocation represented less than 1% of their reported 13F holdings.

The first quarter of 2024, therefore, will be remembered as the time when institutions 'got off of zero'. As for when they will get past dipping their toes in the water? Only time will tell.

This is a guest post by Sam Baker from River. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.


Source: Over Half Of Top US Hedge Funds Own Bitcoin ETFs
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