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Zcash Doubles Efforts On Investigating ASIC Resistance



Zcash’s efforts in investigating ASIC resistance have been renewed, thanks to the announcement of an upcoming ASIC from Bitmain. While the Zcash Foundation isn’t committing to anything as of yet, they are continuing to take community feedback on this topic.

Zcash Foundation Commits to Researching ASIC Resistance

While they are in the already looking at a proposed ballot for their election process concerning how to handle ASICs, the community believes “that the community expects more from us than waiting until June to act.”

This quote from the official blog post best explains the rationale behind their actions, of thoroughly analyzing the situation, weighing the pros and cons, before making a permanent decision.“Sometimes miner manufacturer claims are hot air. What if the efficiency gains are minimal compared to new GPUs? Would it be worth engaging in a potentially contentious fork, or splitting the community, if GPUs were still competitive?

Or, more gravely, perhaps these new ASICs are more advanced than we thought and could handle different parameters of Equihash. One of the “easy wins” that is often suggested in the community is to update Equihash parameters (which would still take a while to thoroughly test) to maintain ASIC resistance, but if this AntMiner has the ability to adapt to new parameters, then such a fork would be a waste of effort.

Simply put, there are too many unknowns to commit to any particular path yet. By putting resources into investigation we can make better decisions and have options available.”

This has led to an investigation of ASIC presence on the Zcash network as it stands, as well as a proposal for a Technical Advisory Board, in order to have science-backed input for the investigation.

The Foundation has also made the R&D of a more ASIC-resistant strategy the immediate technical property for next year. This priority is joined by others on the technical roadmap, such as Bolt payment channels, alternative wallets, as well as an independent, consensus-compatible implementation of full node software. While Monero tweaked their algorithm to make ASICs obsolete, the plan of changing the algorithm every six months is seen by many as a ‘band-aid solution.’

The miners that have been the catalyst for this ever-present issue are the Antminer Z9 minis. Bitmain’s specifications claim the miner will have a hashrate of 10 k/sols, while only using 300W of power.

A GTX 1080 ti, which requires 300W to comfortably mine, in comparison only has a hashrate about 700 sol/s. This is a 1400 percent increase in efficiency, and it would allow the new ASIC to net revenue of around 3.6 ZEC per month, and break even in two months with current difficulty.

While Bitmain has limited orders to one per user in an attempt to mitigate centralization, many of the Zcash community is against ASICs in general. With ASIC resistance, everyone will have an equal opportunity to earn some of the initial money supply, while specialized machines could make existing wealth inequalities worse.

ZenCash And Other Equihash Cryptos Mull Algorithm Change

Bitcoin Gold, another cryptocurrency that the Z9 Mini can mine due to utilizing the same Equihash algorithm, has already posted an official response, to the threat of the ASICs. Bitcoin Gold has always had a focus on wresting control back from ASICS, and into the hands of GPU miners so they are taking more definitive action, looking into possibilities on making the ASICs ineffective as fast as possible.

ZenCash has also posted a statement on a possible change in the Equihash parameters ‘n’ and ‘k’ to make ASICs ineffective, the memory required is close to 2.5GB for n=144 and k=5; this modification is called Equihash-144-5.

Such a change could delay Bitmain from producing another ASIC, as outlined in their statement:“The members of the ZenCash community do not know if the Bitmain Z9 Antminer can be modified to mine Equihash with adjusted N and K parameters, as no one has shared the actual architecture of the device… Depending on the architecture, changing the Equihash N and K parameter may delay Bitmain from producing a purpose built Equihash-144-5 miner for a period of time.”

After porting the Sapling upgrade in a July 1 fork, the ZenCash will determine the feasibility and desirability of changing the Equihash algorithm to nullify ASICs in the following four to six weeks. The discussion surrounding the steps forward for ZenCash can be found here.

The full Zcash post can be read here, going into detail about what they are doing, how community members can help, as well as a talk for a more elegant long-term solution.


Cryptocurrencies and esports: reshaping modern gambling




Over the course of many centuries, gambling has proven to be very versatile and adaptive to innovations. Presently, it is going through the phase of transition from being reliant on brick-and-mortar casinos, with their limited capacity, regulatory issues, and inability to reach a broad audience, to running the operations solely on online platforms. The emergence of blockchain only incentivized the process of digitization of this industry. 

Cryptocurrencies are the next evolutionary step for gambling

While Bitcoin, the first and the most influential cryptocurrency that still exerts total dominance over all other coins, wasn’t created to serve the needs of the gambling industry specifically, it paved the way for other representatives of this space.

Projects like TRON and EOS are fundamentally designed to disrupt the world of gambling by providing it with such tech solutions as provably fair algorithms for casino games, decentralized gambling applications, and, of course, cryptocurrencies to fuel these ecosystems.

But in order to apprehend the benefits of a symbiosis between cryptocurrencies and the industry of gambling, it is necessary to understand what is crypto, how it works, and what it can bring to the table.

A cryptocurrency is a type of digital asset with strong cryptography features at its core, designed to eliminate the need for a trusted third party, such as banks, to confirm and/or carry out the financial transactions. But what makes crypto and gambling go together like peanut butter and jelly is the nearly total anonymity of digital currencies, the promptness and cheapness of transactions, and the substantially enhanced security. While traditional casinos demand plenty of sensitive information from gamblers (i.e., banking details, real name, date of birth), the crypto enthusiasts have to reveal nothing but public keys when making a deposit/withdrawals. The transactions usually take no longer than a few minutes and are carried out at an almost negligent fee.

These are the primary reasons why the industry is currently witnessing the emergence of all-for-crypto gambling platforms, such as 1xBit which accepts more than 30 cryptocurrencies, assures total anonymity through the provision of the one-click registration, effortless and low-cost deposits/withdrawals, and, of course, an abundance of casino games and sports betting opportunities.

1xBit places a particular emphasis on esports since this up-and-coming phenomenon represents another disruptive factor for the gambling industry that moves in parallel with the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Esports make the grand entrance

For decades, video games have been considered as nothing more than a form of recreation. However, the rapid development of Internet technologies and the overall sophistication of online games, along with the acquisition of the global audience, had turned this form of activity into a fully-fledged sport. 

Nowadays, world championships in such disciplines as Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends draw millions of spectators from around the globe. The recognition of esports has reached such a level that the International Olympic Committee considers introducing esports to the official program of the 2024 Olympics in Paris. 

Such an unprecedented surge in popularity made esports one of the main destinations for tech-savvy online sports bettors who are well aware of the benefits that cryptocurrencies will bring to this space. The crypto-oriented platforms, particularly 1xBit, took on the task of being a meeting point for cryptocurrencies, esports, and betting. There is no doubt that this combination will shape the future of the gambling industry. 

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Japanese Publication Evaluates Term “Cryptographic Assets,” Investigating Opinions Of Investors



Japanese Publication Evaluates Term “Cryptographic Assets,” Investigating Opinions of Investors

In Japan, there have been many changes in the regulatory measures staked in favor of and against certain processes in the crypto world. Recently, the government chose to amend some of the information found in the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law and the Fund Settlement Act. The new changes tighten the reins on trading and the involvement of exchanges. One of the big changes involves the transition from the terms “virtual currency” or “digital currency” to be “cryptographic assets.” As such the amendments also state that the exchanges much have the funds to reimburse customers, in the event of a theft via cyber-attack, as stated in a report from Nikkei.

The registration system in Japan for crypto exchanges was first added to the regulations in April 2017 by the Financial Services Agency. The goal was to create regulations that govern cryptocurrency but hacking attacks and a lack of oversight of anti-money laundering protocols have spread out throughout the industry. The FSA had set up a meeting to discuss the creation of stricter regulations, due on March 18th, and they have been trying to engage the public in the discussion.

Obviously, one topic that should interest the public is the renaming of cryptocurrency to “cryptographic assets.” The use of the term “crypto assets” has been seen a lot in mainstream media at even at conferences. Even if the crypto industry does not expand from here, the terms need to be the same across the border to prevent confusion with fiat currency, like yen or the dollar.


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Ethereum (ETH) Price Loses Its Gains by 7% while Dropping Back to $139



The market has been euphoric with greens with Ethereum yet again leading the market with over 11 percent gains. The 2nd largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $17.3 billion that has been changing hands at $164.96 with 24-hours gains of 11.63 percent lost 7 percent and went back to $139 in a matter of few hours. In the BTC market, it is down by 1.94 percent, as per the data provided by Coinmarketcap.

Ethereum Price chart, Source, Coinmarketcap

This time, the daily trading volume has taken a bigger spike than the last time as at press time it has been at $5.7 billion in comparison to last weekend’s $4.2 billion. Given the surge in price until a few hours back as well as the trading volume, the next week could have been seen bringing new greens. However, the red has made the entry.

Without reds, the next target has been $170, with $200 seems like the real possibility here as well. When Ethereum price first surged, it has been expected that $170 will be soon coming in as crypto trader, Moon Overlord had said at that time,

“$170 feels like a magnet to me.”

With Ethereum already crossing $160, the real fun has been expected to start now.

“First target here at $163 reached, watching this level closely for what type of reaction we have. Ideally would like to buy any dip from here targeting $190-200.”

With Ethereum Constantinople hard fork coming this week on Thursday, Ethereum could be seeing the green. However, as we reported earlier, fundamentally this upgrade is not a bullish event rather a bearish one given the fact that without this upgrade, the supply issuance of Ether would have been less than what would be after this hard fork but the narrative currently is bullish and that matters.

However, as crypto trader Squeeze has called out for a short, the dip came as other analysts have also been calling out for but only once Constantinople passes through.

In the current red market bitcoin is also seeing a dump but like any other bear market, altcoins are seeing an even more crash. Though the market is bearish right now, it would be interesting to see if Ethereum breaks the $150 level again to reach $200 and if will further register more gain or will pop and fizzle once we make through the next week.

Where do you think Ethereum will go from here? All the way to new lows from here or another rise is sure to come? Let us know what you think!


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