Bitcoin Cash prepares for upgrade: nChain on 32MB blocks

Bitcoin Cash prepares for upgrade: nChain on 32MB blocks, OP_Code resurrection for smart contracts

nChain likes big blocks and they cannot lie.

May 15 is a big day for Bitcoin Cash supporters as the community prepares for the first of a series of big upgrades for the blockchain. The upcoming hard fork will trigger the following upgrades:
• Increasing the size of blocks on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain from 8MB to 32MB;
• Restoring certain OP_Codes for advanced functionality; and
• Increasing OP_Return data carrier limit to 223 bytes.

The 32Mb increase in block size will supposedly enable a capacity of 100 transactions per second, or 8.64 million transactions per day. This is a precursor to the Terab project’s long-term goal of scaling to 1 terabyte blocks—which would theoretically bring in 7 million transactions per second, or a whopping 604.8 billion transactions per day.

In a press release, Jimmy Nguyen, CEO of leading blockchain R&D company, nChain, comments:

“Increasing the Bitcoin Cash block size from 8MB to 32MB begins to ignite the true power of the BCH network, significantly increasing throughput capacity, in terms of the number of transactions that can fit into each block.It will also keep transaction fees very low – and thus ensure the BCH network has capacity to operate efficiently as usage continues to increase as the global peer-to-peer electronic cash. After this May 2018 upgrade, expect more steps toward massive on-chain scaling of the Bitcoin Cash network. We envision a future with massive block of 1 gigabyte (1000 MBs), and even 1 terabyte (1 million MBs), to achieve a powerful BCH data network that will re-invent how global business is done.”

Reinstating previously deactivated OP_Codes from the original code of Bitcoin, according to Nguyen, has huge implications for Bitcoin Cash as it unleashes smart contract and tokenisation capabilities that would bring Bitcoin Cash on the forefront of the industry.

“The second key upgrade is restoring certain OP_codes that had been deactivated in the Bitcoin script language.  These OP_codes are being brought back to Bitcoin Cash to enable the ability for tokenisation and smart contract execution on the BCH network.  This will be a game-changer in the cryptocurrency space because it makes Bitcoin Cash the clear leader, with the ability to do all in one coin-efficient payments and advanced technical functions such as tokenisation and smart contracts – what many other coins and blockchains separately claim to do.  We at nChain and other groups have already been working on new tokenisation solutions to implement on Bitcoin Cash.”

The press release also states that the upgrades will enable Bitcoin Cash to do what Ethereum does.

“The restoring of certain OP_codes in the Bitcoin scripting language will bring advanced technical functionality to the Bitcoin Cash network. In computing, operating codes are the section of automated language which dictates what operation must be performed. The restored OP_codes will enable tokenisation and smart contracts to be executed on the BCH blockchain.  More advanced functions will be possible with future upgrades to the Bitcoin Cash network.

Tokenisation – of financial instruments, assets, rewards, or for Initial Coin Offering (ICO) purposes – and the ability to make use of smart contracts, means that Bitcoin Cash can be used to do anything that other blockchains such as Ethereum, can do. Bitcoin Cash is already a superior payment system, because it is fast, low-fee and allows borderless transactions to anywhere in the world. With these additional technical capabilities, Bitcoin Cash can be the all-in-one coin.”

Given these improvements, Nguyen says it’s a win overall. “These changes will make BCH faster, stronger and more powerful. Win, win, win,” Nguyen says. Using a bit of wordplay, he adds: “Bigger blocks are the only way to make Bitcoin a viable payment option for daily transacting. That is why, here at nChain, we like big blocks and we cannot lie!”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
ERC20 deposits blocked on OKEx over critical smart contract bug

ERC20 deposits blocked on OKEx over critical smart contract bug

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has put the brakes on all ECR20 deposits following the possible discovery of a bug in at least 12 smart contracts that are built to the ECR20 standard. The news came out Tuesday, forcing the exchange into action to prevent attackers from exploiting the bug.

The smart contract bug, called “BatchOverFlow,” allows an attacker to create tokens from thin air and then deposit them into a verified Ethereum wallet. In a statement, OKEx said attackers who exploit the bug “can generate an extremely large amount of tokens, and deposit them into a normal address,” which “makes many of the ERC-20 tokens vulnerable to price manipulations of the attackers.”

“To protect public interest, we have decided to suspend the deposits of all ERC-20 tokens until the bug is fixed. Also, we have contacted the affected token teams to conduct investigation and take necessary measures to prevent the attack,” according to the exchange.

Following OKEx’s suspension, another cryptocurrency exchange followed suit. Changelly, which operates as a broker between exchanges and users, announced via Twitter that it would be suspending deposits following “an exploit check.” Changelly promised to bring the tokens back as soon as they’re certain “there is no vulnerability in deposits received.”

The bug was first identified over the weekend and published in a post on Medium. The author of the post, “ranimes,” claims that it could affect over 20 ERC20 smart contracts. The post includes several proofs-of-concept, showing the validity of the bug.

How much damage has been done and what tokens were affected isn’t known. However, BeautyChain, a beauty-themed ecosystem, was already exploited. Once the exploit of its coin, BEC, was identified, exchanges began suspending BEC trading, and some rolled back BEC trades.  OKEx rolled back BEC/BTC, BEC/ETH and BEC/USDT to 1:18 PM April 22, Hong Kong time.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
nChain obtains patent to enable video

nChain obtains patent to enable video, music streaming services, smart contracts on blockchain

CEO Jimmy Nguyen says the key IP assets invented by nChain will be free for use within the Bitcoin Cash community.

nChain, one of the leading development teams for Bitcoin Cash, has secured its first approved patent granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) today. The invention, led by nChain chief scientist Dr. Craig S. Wright, will enable the deployment of mainstream services and applications on blockchains—video and music streaming services, and other applications requiring data transfer.

The method, “Registry and Automated Management Method for Blockchain-Enforced Smart Contracts,” as its title implies, comes in very handy for digital rights management and auto-renewing contracts on any blockchain. nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen says the patent approval is a historical moment for the company, one that will be followed by many more.

“This first patent grant by the European Patent Office marks a major milestone in nChain’s ambitious research and patent program, which started approximately two years ago.  We expect this will be the first of many more patents to come, as our portfolio of blockchain patent applications is among the largest – if not the largest – in the world.”

This isn’t the first and only patent nChain has filed within the past year. The company has been continuously building up its arsenal of tools to accelerate development and adoption for blockchain technology. Just last year, they released a set of “anti-Goxxing” mechanisms called deterministic key generation and the secure split key technique, which would enforce a higher level of security for any digital data and ultimately help blockchain technology gain business and consumer confidence.

Nguyen says they are determined to deliver the benefits of blockchain technology through Bitcoin Cash, and to do so, he says the company’s key inventions will be open for all to use and develop within the Bitcoin Cash community, facilitating rapid, massive merchant adoption for the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

“While we are building enterprise value through our patent portfolio, nChain is committed to using our intellectual property to benefit the Bitcoin Cash community.  We intend to make key IP assets available for free usage only on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain – through our new ‘nChain Open Bitcoin Cash License.’  This will give Bitcoin Cash significant advantages over other blockchains, and will incentivize businesses to operate on the BCH blockchain, which represents the original vision of Bitcoin,” Nguyen said.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
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34,200 buggy Ethereum smart contracts are in danger, some ‘suicidal,’ study finds

Using a tool called MAIAN, 2,365 of the vulnerable smart contracts fell to an exploit within ten measly seconds.

Ethereum can’t catch a break: In the midst of a hard fork debate to recover stolen or locked ETH as more and more funds are lost to hacks and bugs on smart contracts, a new study has been released attesting to Ethereum’s glaring vulnerabilities. While the blockchain itself isn’t at risk, the growing number of smart contracts being built on top of it aren’t as rock solid as they should be.

A study conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University College London (UCL) has concluded that 34,200 out of nearly one million smart contracts on Ethereum are vulnerable to attack, with 2,365 of them only needing ten seconds to exploit using an analysis tool they built called MAIAN.

“Our analysis of nearly one million contracts flags 34,200 (2,365 distinct) contracts vulnerable, in 10 seconds per contract,” the researchers wrote in the paper. Their analysis has flagged close to $13.8 million worth of ether at risk at the time they did the study.

Through MAIAN, the researchers were able to classify the trace vulnerabilities into three classes: greedy, prodigal, and suicidal.

The prodigal class covers smart contracts that surrender funds to “arbitrary addresses,” or an address that is not the owner’s and has no previous history with the account—in other words, an attacker. This is common for individual users, and the research says that such a vulnerability can be forced to cough up ETH in as little as a single function invocation.

“The above contract requires a single function invocation to leak its Ether. However, there are examples of contracts which need two or more invocations (calls with specific arguments) to cause a leak,” according to the paper.

The greedy contract, on the other hand, stays alive but freezes the Ether within it and never lets go of the funds—much like the $285 million Parity lock-up. And unfortunately, Parity hits ticks the criteria not only for the greedy contract classification but also the suicidal contract class—which pertains to contracts that can be killed by anyone. Parity’s library contract was accidentally killed by an unwitting user.

As more and more amateur developers and developer-wannabes will probably try to cash in on the cryptocurrency hype, more vulnerabilities can be expected. It’s hard to think of a way to enforce a higher level of standard and quality control in the open network, and investors are suffering the severely expensive consequences. Meanwhile, erring and even blatantly negligent developers are seemingly getting off unscathed, prompting some to call for accountability.

During the height of the Parity mess, blockchain development company Vulcanize engineer Rick Dudley said in an article on CoinDesk: “My thoughts are we should seriously consider as a community what the limit of our forgiveness is. At what point do we have to start ostracizing people for security failures?”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Smartbtc announces smart contract written in Python

Smartbtc announces smart contract written in Python

Smartbtc recently produced a novel concept to smart contracts, creating one that is based completely on Python. To showcase their product, the contract’s developers worked with Twitter to create a proof of concept. The contract was written so that once the Twitter account reached 1,000 within 60 days, it would pay .011 BTC. The goal was met, and the contract was initiated on February 19.

The startup was created to facilitate smart contracts tied to payouts on the BTC blockchain. The contracts are coded so that a transaction is defined as being complete if, using Python’s language, the “def contract()” in the coding returns a value of True. Smartbtc is a centralized service that executes contracts until they are either fulfilled or they expire. However, the contracts depend a great deal on Smartbtc’s servers, as well as a little bit of trust, which results in the need for a centralized contract infrastructure that is still tied to BTC payments.

Smartbtc hopes that more users, including financial institutions, will see the benefit of maintained agreements, instead of a completely decentralized system, and move towards adoption of applications such as the one it has developed. The application’s developers point out that even with other platforms, such as Ethereum’s Solidity codebase, there is still a trust factor that comes into play during transaction resolution.

Transaction will incur a small fee, which is based on the agreement period and execution interval, and can range between 1-2%. If the transaction is not completed, the owner will pay 0.5% of the cost, and the rest of the sum will be returned back to the originator. However, if the smart contract is fulfilled, the receiver will be delivered the agreed amount minus a miner fee.

The code is written entirely in Python 2.7, and is available for review on Github. Smartbtc chose to use Python because they feel that it’s easy for users to understand. All contracts have execution limits of a maximum of 500MB of memory and a time-out execution period of 30 seconds. The contracts can only be terminated if they are fulfilled or if they expire.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Roberto Capodieci: Blockchain is going to bring revolution

Roberto Capodieci: Blockchain is going to bring revolution

The revolutionary aspects of blockchain technology can be extended from its current use with cryptocurrency to other use cases that require facts and verifications. CoinGeek.com asked Blockchain Zoo’s Roberto Capodieci about what he sees as the emerging future of blockchain-based technologies.

Roberto Capodieci is a blockchain expert and infotech hacker, who started programming at 6 years old with his father as his instructor. Now a blockchain expert based in Asia, Capodieci is the first to apply blockchain to supply chain and trade finance.

In an interview with CoinGeek.com, the Nxt Foundation co-founder explained how blockchain can change our daily lives: “Blockchain is solving one problem for bitcoin but can solve many other problems. It’s going to bring a revolution in our life, as much as internet brought a revolution in our life. Blockchain is going to change the way that we operate online.

Basic services that once required tedious paperwork can leverage blockchain to optimize and secure their backend processes. According to Capodieci, “[in the next future] blockchain is going to move from an embryo stage that is now, to a natural full-working technology, and it’s going to be applied in how we live our life.”

Capodieci, who also works as a tech consultant for law enforcement agencies, provided an example of blockchain usage: “If the police officer is going to stop us on the street, is going to check our driver license status in the blockchain and is going to give us a fine for speeding, and register it in the blockchain. The court later, are going to check it in the blockchain later, see that it’s been digitally signed by a proper officer ask us to pay, then we’re going pay with a cryptocurrency on the blockchain. That’s why blockchain is going to be everywhere.

Capodieci specializes in lawful interception systems and big data analysis. His work with Blockchain Zoo and DeBuNe (Decentralised Business Network) has given him insight into open and decentralized platforms for tech. In Capodieci’s opinion, blockchain’s impact on government will be crucial in “eliminating corruption, making the process to flow fast.”

With blockchain, “there is no need to wait somebody to open a drawer find a piece of paper which somebody owns compromised. We are going to be guaranteed of the truthiness of data,” he said.

Recent projects launched in the blockchain startup space reflect Capodieci’s optimism. There is a vast space for innovation and disruption, applying blockchain to the most vital and critical components of our daily lives.

When asked about the security aspects of blockchain, Capodieci said: “Blockchain is a new technology, new invention, but it’s made with old technology. It’s like a new recipe made with old ingredients. Blockchain is made a peer-to-peer network, which is a network of computers worldwide where no computer is more important than the others, and it’s impossible to kill because if you shut down a computer somewhere, two more will comes up somewhere else.”

These advances in security principles are what hold and comprise the basis of blockchain’s usefulness. Because of its mathematical foundation, blockchain is more secure than second-layer software. “This (security) is guaranteed by the fact that it cannot be destroyed. It cannot be stopped. At the same time it uses mathematics as protocol for security, not software that can be hacked by hackers, that can contain bugs, but mathematics,” said Capodieci, adding that “mathematics is not an opinion, which is a guarantee of security and truthfulness.”

With blockchain technology, the future is secure and more open. Today, blockchain-based applications for digital identity, digital signatures, smart contracts, and other digitally-based records are sprouting up and rising to prominence like the Internet did in the past two decades. It is important to keep track of these disruptive developments and be informed. Major inroads in cryptocurrencies have led to global adoption, permission-less innovation, and decentralized development.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

State Bank of India announces Blockchain Beta test for smart contracts

The State Bank of India has unveiled fresh plans for a blockchain smart contracts beta test, with plans for a rollout of more blockchain processes on the horizon.

The bank, which is owned by the Indian government, looks set to trial smart contracts within the next month, in addition to rolling out plans for a blockchain-based system to handle know-your-customer, or KYC, compliance obligations.

The blockchain systems have been devised as part of the bank’s work with BankChain, a consortium of different banks and financial services companies researching industry-specific applications of the technology.

Established only in February of this year, BankChain now comprises some 27 members, and has already devoted resources to a number of different projects in support of banking-specific use cases for blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

The State Bank of India’s head of innovation, Sudin Baraokar, said that the initial smart contract trials will deal with “simple things”, like processing non-disclosure agreements, speaking in support of the work of the BankChain consortium.

“A lot of internal processes can be contracted. We do a lot of IT procurement, a lot of it can be implemented using blockchain…By next month, we should have two beta production solutions ready for use by the 27 banks. We will also invite further participation. The beta production that will be ready are smart contracts and second is KYC.”

At the same time, SBI has announced plans that would see the bank establish a new centre for innovation in Mumbai, which will work with other companies in blockchain research to supplement the efforts of the BankChain group – expected to come on-stream by mid 2018.

Addressing the work of the BankChain consortium, Baraokar said that by bringing multiple industry partners on board at the same time, the group was reducing the risks of investing in blockchain technology.

“BankChain is a big move. It is getting all banks together and collaborating. It is also de-risking our investment in emerging tech, so that all banks can come and invest at once…we can also share knowledge and reduce the cost.”

“We can also use each other’s technical teams to take this forward. We focused on solutions that the bank does not have…things like smart contracts, which is not regulatory heavy. We focused on those solutions.”

State Bank of India announces Blockchain Beta test for smart contracts

The State Bank of India has unveiled fresh plans for a blockchain smart contracts beta test, with plans for a rollout of more blockchain processes on the horizon.

The bank, which is owned by the Indian government, looks set to trial smart contracts within the next month, in addition to rolling out plans for a blockchain-based system to handle know-your-customer, or KYC, compliance obligations.

The blockchain systems have been devised as part of the bank’s work with BankChain, a consortium of different banks and financial services companies researching industry-specific applications of the technology.

Established only in February of this year, BankChain now comprises some 27 members, and has already devoted resources to a number of different projects in support of banking-specific use cases for blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

The State Bank of India’s head of innovation, Sudin Baraokar, said that the initial smart contract trials will deal with “simple things”, like processing non-disclosure agreements, speaking in support of the work of the BankChain consortium.

“A lot of internal processes can be contracted. We do a lot of IT procurement, a lot of it can be implemented using blockchain…By next month, we should have two beta production solutions ready for use by the 27 banks. We will also invite further participation. The beta production that will be ready are smart contracts and second is KYC.”

At the same time, SBI has announced plans that would see the bank establish a new centre for innovation in Mumbai, which will work with other companies in blockchain research to supplement the efforts of the BankChain group – expected to come on-stream by mid 2018.

Addressing the work of the BankChain consortium, Baraokar said that by bringing multiple industry partners on board at the same time, the group was reducing the risks of investing in blockchain technology.

“BankChain is a big move. It is getting all banks together and collaborating. It is also de-risking our investment in emerging tech, so that all banks can come and invest at once…we can also share knowledge and reduce the cost.”

“We can also use each other’s technical teams to take this forward. We focused on solutions that the bank does not have…things like smart contracts, which is not regulatory heavy. We focused on those solutions.”