Monero and Zcash Conferences Showcase Their Differences

Leigh Cuen

Leigh Cuen Jun 30, 2019 at 10:00 UTC

Last weekend, two privacy coin conferences heralded the future of cryptocurrency governance: the hybrid startup model versus grassroots experimentation.

Over 200 people gathered in Croatia for Zcon1, organized by the nonprofit Zcash Foundation, while roughly 75 attendees gathered in Denver for the first Monero Konferenco. These two privacy coins are fundamentally different in a variety of ways on clear display at their respective events.

Zcon1 had a gala dinner with a seaside backdrop and programming that displayed close relations between companies like Facebook and the zcash-centric startup Electronic Coin Company (ECC), as evidenced by Libra being widely discussed with team members in attendance.

The quintessential funding source that distinguishes zcash, called the founder’s reward, became the center of passionate debates during Zcon1.

This funding source is the crux of distinction between zcash and projects like monero or bitcoin.

Zcash was designed to automatically siphon off a portion of miners’ profits for creators, including ECC CEO Zooko Wilcox. So far, this funding has been donated to create the independent Zcash Foundation, and support ECC contributions to protocol development, marketing campaigns, exchange listings and corporate partnerships.

This automated distribution was scheduled to end in 2020, but Wilcox said last Sunday he would support a “community” decision to extend that funding source. He warned that otherwise ECC might be forced to seek revenue by focusing on other projects and services.

Zcash Foundation director Josh Cincinnati told CoinDesk the non-profit has enough runway to continue operations for at least another three years. However, in a forum post Cincinnati also warned the non-profit shouldn’t become a single gateway for funding distribution.

The amount of trust zcash users place in the asset’s founders and their various organizations is the primary criticism levied against zcash. Paul Shapiro, CEO of the crypto wallet startup MyMonero, told CoinDesk he’s not convinced that zcash upholds the same cypherpunk ideals as monero.

“Basically you have collective decisions instead of individual, autonomous participation,” Shapiro said. “There’s been perhaps not enough discussion about the potential conflicts of interest in the [zcash] governance model.”

While the simultaneous monero conference was much smaller and slightly more focused on code than governance, there was significant overlap. On Sunday, both conferences hosted a joint panel via webcam where speakers and moderators discussed the future of government surveillance and privacy tech.

The future of privacy coins may rely on such cross-pollination, but only if these disparate groups can learn to work together.

Shared zk-SNARKs

One of the speakers from the joint panel, Monero Research Lab contributor Sarang Noether, told CoinDesk he doesn’t see privacy coin development as a “zero-sum game.”

Indeed, the Zcash Foundation donated almost 20 percent of the funding for the Monero Konferenco. This donation, and the joint privacy tech panel, could be seen as a harbinger of cooperation between these seemingly rival projects. Cincinnati told CoinDesk he hopes to see much more collaborative programming, research, and mutual funding in the future.

“In my view, there is a lot more about what connects these communities than what divides us,” Cincinnati said.

Both projects want to use cryptography techniques for zero-knowledge proofs, in particular a variant called zk-SNARKs. However, as with any open-source project, there are always trade-offs.

Monero relies on ring signatures, which mix small groups of transactions to help obfuscate individuals. This isn’t ideal because the best way to get lost in a crowd is for the crowd to be much bigger than ring signatures can offer.

Meanwhile, zcash setup gave the founders data often called “toxic waste,” because the founding participants could theoretically exploit the software that determines what makes a zcash transaction valid. Peter Todd, an independent blockchain consultant who helped establish this system, has since been an adamant critic of this model.

In short, zcash fans prefer the hybrid startup model for these experiments and monero fans prefer a completely grassroots model as they tinker with ring signatures and research trustless zk-SNARK replacements.

“Monero researchers and the Zcash Foundation have a good working relationship. As for how the foundation began and where they’re going, I can’t really speak to that,” Noether said. “One of the written or unwritten rules of monero is you shouldn’t have to trust someone.”

Shapiro added:

“If certain people are dictating large aspects of the direction of the cryptocurrency project then it raises the question: What is the difference between that and fiat money?”

Different strokes

Stepping back, the long-standing beef between monero and zcash fans is the Biggie vs. Tupac divide of the cryptocurrency world.

For example, former ECC consultant Andrew Miller, current president of the Zcash Foundation, co-authored a paper in 2017 about a vulnerability in monero’s anonymity system. Subsequent Twitter feudsrevealed monero fans, like entrepreneur Riccardo “Fluffypony” Spagni, were upset by how the publication was handled.

Spagni, Noether, and Shapiro all told CoinDesk there are ample opportunities for cooperative research. Yet so far most mutually beneficial work is conducted independently, in part because the source of funding remains a point of contention.

Wilcox told CoinDesk the zcash ecosystem will continue to move toward “more decentralization, but not too far and not too fast.” After all, this hybrid structure enabled funding for fast growth compared to other blockchains, including the incumbent monero.

“I believe something not too centralized and not too decentralized is what’s best for now,” Wilcox said. “Things like education, promoting adoption worldwide, talking with regulators, that’s the stuff that I think a certain amount of centralization and decentralization are both right.”

Some fans of both projects see the benefits of that collective approach. Zaki Manian, head of research at the Cosmos-centric startup Tendermint, told CoinDesk this model has more in common with bitcoin than some critics care to admit.

“I am a big proponent of chain sovereignty, and a big point of chain sovereignty is that the stake holders in the chain should be able to act collectively in their own interests,” Manian said.

For example, Manian pointed out the wealthy benefactors behind Chaincode Labs fund a significant portion of the work that goes into Bitcoin Core. He added:

“Ultimately, I would prefer if protocol evolution was mostly funded by the consent of token holders rather than by investors.”

Researchers on all sides acknowledged their favorite crypto would require significant updates in order to deserve the title “privacy coin.” Perhaps the joint conference panel, and Zcash Foundation grants for independent research, could *inspire* such cooperation across party lines.

“They’re all moving in the same direction,” Wilcox said about zk-SNARKs. “We’re both trying to find something that has both the larger privacy set and no toxic waste.”

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Above $300: Ether Price Clocks 10-Month High

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole Jun 22, 2019 at 05:32 UTCMARKETS

The price of ethereum’s native cryptocurrency ether (ETH) surpassed $300 today to hit ten-month highs.

The world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization climbed above the psychological hurdle at 01:10 UTC and extended gains further to $306 – a level last seen on August 19, 2018.

As of writing, ETH is changing hands at $304, representing 9.7 percent gains on a 24-hour basis and 129 percent gains on a year-to-date basis, according to data source CoinMarketCap.

Ether has more than doubled this year with the price currently reporting more than 260 percent gains on the low of $82.00 seen in December. The price, however, is still down 78 percent from the record high of $1,431 registered in January 2018.

Further, the cryptocurrency has retraced meager 16 percent of the sell-off from $1,431 to $82. On the other hand, BTC has retraced more than 40 percent of the bear market slide and is currently trading at a 15-month high of $10,800.

Looking forward, ether looks set to extend the ongoing rally, as technical charts are biased bullish.

3-day chart

The 50- and 100-candle price averages on the three-day chart have produced a bullish crossover for the first time since in two years. It is worth noting that prices had rallied by more than 900 percent in three months following the confirmation of the bull cross in May 2017.

So, if history is a guide, then the cryptocurrency looks set to challenge the April 2018 low of $364 in the next couple of months. A break higher would expose resistance at $401 – 23.6 percent Fibonacci retracement of the bear market drop.

Supporting the bullish case is the solid rise in ether’s non-price or on-chain metrics in the last few months. For instance, ETH volumes on decentralized applications (DApps) registered record highs in April, according to crypto analytics firm Diar.

Meanwhile, network activity, as represented by daily gas usage, rose to lifetime highs in May. Gas is the fuel of the ethereum blockchain. The token is required to conduct a transaction on etherum’s network.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency at the time of writing

Ether via Shutterstock; charts by TradingView

Bitcoin Automated Trading System

So what is exactly that Bitcoin Auto-trading system everybody is talking about?

Making money from trading is why we are all here. But being online and trading for hours on either your PC or mobile app can also be time consuming. Traders spending hours online and trying not to miss any market opportunity that can help them earn money can sometimes be an overwhelming situation … Not to mention the amount of financial market knowledge you need to have to place the right trades at the right time that will eventually earn your money…

What if I were to tell you that trading online doesn’t necessarily have to be a confusing and overwhelming experience? That you can say goodbye to endless financial analyses and can enjoy trading using a safe and easy-to-use automatic statistical method? How about feeling like your own personal Broker as you will be in total control of your own trading experience?

The Auto-trading system!

What is it?

Auto-trading system gives you the ability, to place trades automatically on any financial assets and in the trading volumes you choose, when you are not next to your PC or mobile phone. Not only that, the BATS offers you full risk management with the “Take Profit” and “Stop Loss” features. These features let you set your desired daily profit and loss, and once the BATS reaches that amount, it will pause itself for the rest of that day and resume the day after.
 
 A known fact is that 95% of successful deals in the financial markets globally are made by Auto-trading systems/trading algorithms.

What is the success rate of the Auto-trading system?

Ah, that is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? 
Can this Auto-trading system make me money?

First, there is NO such thing as a “magic robot” that earns money consistently, as there are no free gifts in life. If there were, everybody would be using it already. Any company or salesman that promises you that their “robot” will earn big money consistently is basically lying to you.

Now that we have established that, we can move on.
Success rate changes on a daily basis and based on market conditions.

Bitcoin Automated Trading System

How can I get a high success rate on my BATS? 
 
The combination of the trading strategy that you choose and your attention to the volatility of the asset you are trading on. Volatility means the frequency of the movement in the price of the asset.

“The trend is your friend” . This is the rule of law for many traders. Following the trend is one way traders attempt to predict the future direction of an asset’s price. The Auto-trading system is using the trend as a signal indicator.

“Trend” strategy goes better with less volatile assets.

Less volatile assets go well with a “Trend” strategy because it exploits the MILD movements in the asset’s price. If the asset is less volatile, it means that statistically there is a higher chance that the price of the asset will continue in the same trend. The “Trend” strategy will automatically buy the asset if it reaches a new high point.

“Reversal” strategy goes better with more volatile assets.

More volatile assets go well with a “Reversal” strategy because it exploits the SHARP movements in the asset’s price. If the asset is more volatile, statistically there is a higher chance that the price of the asset will reverse its trend. The “Reversal” strategy will automatically buy when the asset reaches a new high point.

Let’s take an example of a two-week period to understand.

In the first week the Bitcoin is more volatile, so the “Reversal” strategy is more successful than the trend (above 80%), because the Bitcoin is volatile and the “Reversal” strategy is able to exploit it. The following week the Bitcoin is much less volatile, so the “Trend” strategy is much more profitable (above 85%!). But one needs to understand that it doesn’t say that this is a guarantee, and although it is an Auto-trading system (NOT A “MAGIC ROBOT”) you need to be alert to market conditions and asset volatility and react to it. if you follow these guidelines you can significantly increase your chance of earning money.

The beauty about the BATS is that it’s 100% automated treading system and you don’t need to have previews knowledge in trading.

Why Private Blockchain is the Future of Cryptocurrency?

Why Private Blockchain is the Future of Cryptocurrency?

If you’re reading this, you probably already know what’s Blockchain. The term, that became one of the most popular ones in recent years, beholds a whole new world of options and opportunities. Alongside all the good things, it holds a big misconception — Not all Blockchains are the same, and there are many different technologies based on the idea. The same applies to Crypto, where we can assume that all the various digital coins share the same security system, but by going deeper, we can see not only that the situation is totally different, but there’s also two major groups with a vast difference: Private and Public Blockchains. So, what’s all the fuss about?

Public Blockchains are pretty much straightforward: They are using one of the strongest encryptions today, but not in an exclusive way. A lot of Cryptocurrencies use Ethereum’s Blockchain system, which has proven to be a solid and secure way to deal with digital currencies. The pros are obvious: You can save quite a lot of time in using a “template” instead of investing more time and money in creating your own Blockchain technology, thus allowing you to focus on other elements.

But when it comes to private Blockchains, we get a different picture. Why? Because the effort that was given in, created extra advantages, for example:

Faster Transactions: The shared foundation between all cryptocurrencies that use the same Blockchain can be overloaded sometimes. The more coins used, and actions done, the more traffic it needs to host successfully. A private network will only need to monitor its exclusive content, thus ensuring faster rates.

Safer Process: Sure, Blockchain is safe, but if you manage to somehow hack through a private network, chances are all of the cryptocurrencies hosted on it are in grave danger. When there’s a private system, you need to analyze a whole different set if you want to hack it. A similar factor is that open-code systems are usually safer than closed one, due to the various alterations that can be done on it.

Full Customization: Let’s face it, no public system can fully interact with the individual concerns, will and demand. A private Blockchain allows you to fully integrate your ideas and goals with every aspect, thus fulfilling your full potential.

Not losing edge: When there are many players in the field, there needs to be some sort of consolation between all of them. When they’ll demand changes in the masses, you may be one of those who need them, or maybe be the one to lose from them instead. With a private Blockchain, you’re the boss — And you do whatever you need to keep YOUR product at the best state possible. Democracy is nice, but in this case — Being a single ruler is way better.

As we can see, the two groups might seem almost identical at first, but in the end — It’s apples and oranges, hardcore mode. Know your differences before you dive in, not only as an ICO entrepreneur, but as an investor or even someone who just checks the surface. Either public or private — Go for the right cause!