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Privacy Cryptocurrency Grin Votes to Fund Third Full-Time Developer



Long-time Grin coder “Ignotus Peverell” will receive financial support to work on the cryptocurrency, a move that makes him the nascent project’s third paid team member.

In a weekly governance meeting Tuesday, developers voted to fund Peverell for his work on Grin with roughly $10,000 per month. With 4,919,040 GRIN tokens in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap, the estimated market capitalization of the cryptocurrency is well over $13 million.

Grin, being a relatively new blockchain, went live in mid-January in a bid to implement the privacy-enhancing protocol “MimbleWimble,” designed to obfuscate transaction details such as amount and account addresses. Named after a tongue-tying curse in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter books, the name Ignotus Peverell itself is a pseudonym that references a character within the series.

In the context of the Grin community, Peverell was one of the original creators of the Grin project who back in 2016 started the first implementation of the mimblewimble protocol on GitHub.

A user by the name of “Antioch Peverell” – another Harry Potter character reference – was similarly voted up by the community in late February. Before this, user “Yeastplume” was the sole full-time funded Grin developer.

Yeastplume told CoinDesk:

“There’s no [official] roles. We just continue to work on what we see fit, which so far seems to be working okay.”

Emphasizing in a public Gitter channel that being funded for Grin development work was “risky employment,” Yeastplume later characterized the financial support as more akin to donations.

Audit ahead

Tuesday’s governance meeting also confirmed the “contract and payment” of security auditing firm Coinspect.

Having decided to conduct a third-party review of Grin’s “cryptographic and consensus-critical code,” community members unanimously voted to employ Coinspect over other auditors such as Quarkslab and NCC last month.

Now, having paid a fee up-front to the company of roughly $17,000, Grin community members expect a draft report by April 20. “It’s going to come quickly. They’ve also already produced one excellent vulnerability report,” stated Ignotus Peverell.

As stated on a Github, the estimated cost of the audit is roughly $80,000.

Funds are sourced from the “Grin General Fund,” which back in December of last year raised 17.28 BTC, with an estimated worth at press time of $66,500 specifically for the purposes of this security audit.



IBM’s blockchain platform collaborates with GMEX to support multi-cryptocurrency transactions



The cryptospace has been striving to get their cryptocurrencies adopted by the mainstream world of finance. With Ripple and R3 converting one financial institution at a time to use its digital asset support solution, IBM Blockchain Platform has also has been making strides in the field. The blockchain platform strengthened its relationship with GMEX Technologies Limited, with the latter announcing the release of its hybrid solution for institutional investors, GMEX Fusion Digital Capital Markets technology suite (GMEX Fusion).

This product will support multiple digital assets, including cryptocurrencies and security tokens and is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, announced the blog.

Among existing financial services companies, DAG Global has started the use of this product to execute and settle Bitcoin and Ethereum trades. DAG Global transfers BTC/ETH between customer accounts held by Coinbase and Kraken. The CEO of GMEX Group and Chairman of GMEX Technologies expressed his pleasure at collaborating with IBM to meet the growing demands for digitally enabled market infrastructure. He added,

“This is a unique industry approach as it will enable multiple pools of liquidity to connect with multiple custodians with a single aggregated trading, clearing and settlement solution.”

DAG’s experience while using this technology affirmed that IBM Blockchain Platform was addressing financial services industry demands, claimed Jerry Cuomo, VP of IBM Blockchain Technologies. He continued,

“It is a foundational technology that can help merge old architectures with new, creating a hybrid approach to support the growing demand for digital assets and we’re excited to be working with GMEX on this pioneering approach.


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Arab Bank’s Swiss Arm is Launching Cryptocurrency Services



The Swiss branch of one of the top financial institutions in the Middle East is launching a suite of cryptocurrency-based services.

Arab Bank (Switzerland) announced on Thursday that it will offer clients a range of services including custody and brokerage of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

The bank – based in the canton of Zug in Switzerland, sometimes dubbed “Crypto Valley” – said it’s the launch comes following demand from “existing and younger clients who seek to include digital assets as one asset class in their diversified portfolios.” It said clients include serving high-net worth clients such as “business leaders and family entrepreneurs.”

Serge Robin, CEO of Arab Bank (Switzerland), said:

“We firmly believe that blockchain will disrupt the financial industry as we know it and we intend to be amongst the first banks to offer digital asset services to our clients in a secure and regulated environment.”

For its crypto services, the bank has partnered with digital assets-focused Taurus Group – also based in Switzerland – and will utilize the firm’s a custody platform. Taurus also assisted the bank prepare operational policies and procedures for the new crypto services.

Supporting “innovative players” like Arab Bank (Switzerland) developing infrastructure to support digital assets “is a necessary step to
ensure that the next generation of financial market infrastructure is based on blockchain,” said Lamine Brahimi, managing partner at Taurus Group.

A number of Swiss banks have now launched services for crypto assets, including Julius Baer, UBS and Falcon Group.

The CEO of UBS previously come out as an advocate for blockchain technology, saying it’s “almost a must” for business.


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North Korea may now have the required expertise to deploy its own cryptocurrency



North Korea [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] has been making headlines in the crypto-ecosystem over the past few months, ever since the news of cyber-attackers based in the country surfaced. North Korean hackers were able to get away with $670 million in fiat and cryptocurrencies. With international sanctions being imposed on the country’s trade by international regulatory bodies, North Korea is moving ahead with the plan of mapping out its own cryptocurrency, to avoid its economy from being paralyzed.

This can also be argued to be DPRK’s attempt to dodge the American-dominated marketplace. Towards this effort, Pyongyang has been accelerating its efforts to gather more information on the wider use of cryptocurrencies. In fact, according to reports, home-grown experts are being appointed for boosting the applications of blockchain and cryptocurrency in the country.

Till date, North Korea has kept its gates closed to foreign fiat currencies. Yet, with continuous trade bans from regulatory bodies, DPRK sees no option but to move towards the world of digital assets. According to Cao de Benos, the man in-charge of North Korea’s cryptocurrency conferences,

“We are still in the very early stages in the creation of the token. Now, we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it, There are no plans to digitize the [North Korean] won for now.”

According to these reports, the North Korean regime already has the expertise that is required to build and deploy its own cryptocurrency.

If these reports are true, North Korea will be following the efforts of other countries such as Iran and Cuba, both of whom are experiementing with cryptocurrencies to evade the effects of American sanctions.


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