“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret” Gabriel Garcia Marquez
As 2018 becomes 2019, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide our readers a quick recap of some of the interesting takes and viewpoints on the current state of cryptocurrencies and what the future of cryptocurrencies could potentially be. As can be expected, the posts have been authored by angular folks with very strong views, and are unique in the perspective they provide, cutting through all the clutter we have seen in crypto literature, especially over the past 12 months or so
Privacy is a topic that is very close to the essentially libertarian heart of crypto. We have covered privacy coins frequently in the past, including most recently here and here. The Big Two here are of course Zcash and Monero, and we have extensively covered the similarities and differences between these two, as well as key concepts such as ZK-snarks and bulletproofs. In addition, Grin and Beam are both secrecy coins based on the marvellously named mimblewimble protocol, and are both gaining significant attention.
Privacy is not an option, as the tech behemoths that have made fortunes monetizing user data are now discovering. A good privacy coin is also ‘anti-fragile’. Every time a sovereign tries to abolish or censor the coin, it is just going to pop up in another shape or form, thus kicking off a never-ending game of ‘whack-a-mole’ between the enforcers and the community.
This is not to say that privacy coins will not be misused by bad actors. Like any new technology, the technologists and the regulators have to work together continuously to make sure the bad guys fail most of, if not all, the time. An appropriate parallel would be the introduction of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology to internet browsers. While Governments initially opposed the idea for fear of the money launderers and the child pornographers, the companies supporting and adopting the technology came together to work with Government to drive significant levels of self-policing. SSL has been critical in enabling payments over the internet, and therefore the birth of most of the commerce that we now take for granted online.
Having said that we are still some distance away before any crypto, let alone privacy coins, will be accepted on a large scale by major Governments. The immediate concerns around untraceable/unauditable capital flows, will take precedence over the long-term benefits of this promising technology; Especially in a polarized global political climate, with an economy possibly heading into some recessionary headwinds.
An Overview of Privacy Coins by Phil Glazer
This is a great post for readers who are new to crypto. Phil provides a great introduction to privacy coins, which are essentially currencies that allow private transactions on the blockchain without giving up any of the unique advantages of the underlying technology. He also briefly talks about some of the more prominent privacy coins and why they’re important.
On Grin, MimbleWimble and Monetary Policy by Myles Snider
Grin is currently one of the most followed projects in the domain of privacy coins. We at Satoshi have also had a fascination for Grin as well as the underlying technology that powers it – MimbleWimble. Myles’ piece is a quick read to broadly understand Grin and its token economics but do also read our short intro to Grin before diving deep!
Zcash vs. Monero: Blockchain’s Fundamental Need for Privacy by Nir Kabessa
A detailed, borderline-philosophical but objective piece on the top two coins in privacy – Monero and ZCash. The article also shines light on the technologies that power the two currencies and the fundamental design flaws that persist in them.
Monero (XMR) Analysis by Joe Kendzicky
DEEEEEEP dive into Monero. Enter at your own risk.
“French Politicians Propose EUR 500 mil Investment in Blockchain Programs” Two pro-crypto members of the French Parliament (Parlement français) want the country to invest up to 500 million euros in blockchain programs to elevate France as a “blockchain nation”. Deputies Jean-Michel Mis and Laure de La Raudière released a report outlining 20 proposals to support the development and mainstream adoption of blockchain.
“Boerse Stuttgart to Launch Crypto Trading” Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, Boerse Stuttgart Group, is set to launch a cryptocurrency trading platform in the first half of 2019. The firm announced Wednesday that it has partnered with a local fintech company solarisBank to create an engineering infrastructure for digital assets trading. solarisBank, which operates with a banking license in the country, will also be Boerse’s banking partner for the venture.
“Monex to Launch Trading in the US” Online broker Monex Group, known for buying hacked Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck in April, has announced it will launch cryptocurrency trading in the United States. TradeStation, the company’s US subsidiary has already joined the series B funding round of new U.S. crypto exchange ErisX, whose crypto services will soon launch pending the country’s financial regulators’ approval.
“Square’s Cash Leads Play Store Downloads” Days after been named the hottest download on the iOS application store, Square’s cryptocurrency-friendly Cash App has been named as the most downloaded financial application on the other leading operating system’s app store, Google Play. The Cash App is currently being downloaded more than apps from PayPal and Venmo.
“BlockFi raises $4 million”BlockFi, a startup that offers U.S. dollar loans against crypto collateral, has raised another $4 million. The funds have been raised in convertible debt investments in a round led by Akuna Capital, with participation from Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Ventures, Susquehanna Government Products and Fidelity-linked Devonshire Investors. BlockFi plans to grow its team and launch new products, including an interest-earning crypto savings account (slated for Q1 2019), and a portfolio line of credit and crypto-backed credit cards.
Bitcoin’s Tech Trends of 2018: What This Year Brought Us (Part 1) by Aaron Van Wirdum