Cryptocurrency

Polkadot & Kusama to Access Global Decentralized Bridge Via Wormhole

At the last count, there were more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies currently in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap. While most of these will be built upon the Ethereum blockchain, many are not. In the current iteration, the value stored on each of those networks can only flow to others via exchanges. While that’s fine in theory, exchanges have become incredibly powerful by acting as middlemen for wealth to move through the crypto ecosystem. 

A number of projects have been aggressively building what are called cross-chain bridges, essentially digital pathways that allow data, money, and dapps to move seamlessly from one blockchain to another. Though the entire cross-chain bridge industry is experiencing security breaches, the situation for MultiChain is particularly serious. Recently, hackers have continued to exploit a vulnerability in the cross-chain bridge MultiChain.

Polkadot and Wormhole 

 The blockchains as we know them, are essentially walled gardens, in which assets, data, and users find it difficult to move. Take Ethereum and Bitcoin as an example. While all on-chain data is viewable by the general public, that data is locked on that chain. That’s because, in order for the ledger that records all transactions on the blockchain to be accurate and secure, all participants must abide by the rules of the network. Polkadot parachain Acala and its Kusama-based counterpart Karura are integrating with cross-chain bridge Wormhole, bridging it’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems with eight major Layer 1 blockchains.

The Wormhole integration will let users send tokens from other Wormhole-connected Layer 1 networks to Acala and Karura. From there, tokens can either be converted to other Polkadot and Kusama native assets or be used as collateral to mint the aUSD and kUSD stablecoins. Going further, Karura will be the first of the two networks to join Wormhole. Karura serves as Acala’s equivalent on the Polkadot Canary network, Kusama. Like many previous launches and upgrades, new integrations will first be tested on Kusama before being committed to the more secure Polkadot network.

Trade Like Fire

Once the bridge is operational, it will give the Polkadot and Kusama networks easy access to over $200 billion of liquidity from eight other Layer 1 networks. For example, DeFi protocols built on Acala or any other connected Polkadot parachains will be able to integrate tokens sent through Wormhole to use in yield farming strategies or to provide liquidity. Acala and Karura will join Ethereum, Avalanche, Solana, Polygon, Terra, BNB Chain, Fantom, and Oasis to become the ninth and tenth networks to allow token bridging through Wormhole. 

The Hacked Bull Run: CrossChain Lives On

While Wormhole has helped create a more interconnected blockchain ecosystem, many have raised concerns over the security of the protocol and other similar cross-chain bridges. In February, the Wormhole Solana bridge fell victim to one of the biggest exploits in DeFi history when a hacker faked the bridge transfer signatures to steal 120,000 Ethereum worth over $322 million at the time. 

More recently, the Ronin Network team disclosed that its bridge connecting Ethereum mainnet to the Axie Infinity ecosystem was hacked for about $552 million on Mar. 23, further highlighting the vulnerability of cross-chain bridges. Nevertheless, as more blockchains look to offer a way to connect with Ethereum and other Layer 1 networks, demand for cross-chain interoperability solutions remains high.

Cross-Blockchain Platform Will Create Surge in Decentralized Apps

Consumer technology is meant to make its users’ lives more comfortable, but its lack of security can endanger said users’ privacy and safety. Take Zoom’s recent security breach, for example — hackers were able to get a hold of over half a million people’s login credentials and sold them for a penny or gave them away for free. 

Likewise, Google and Apple announced their partnership a few months ago with a plan to trace COVID-19 via people’s phones. Their app immediately raised concerns amongst experts about privacy. Consumers are also growing rightfully wary about how much Facebook tracks its users’ activities off-app, and datasets from two third-party Facebook apps were exposed to the general internet in 2019. 

The internet landscape is not nearly as secure as it should be. Fortunately, technologies exist that can help protect users’ data as the internet becomes more involved in daily life. 

So, What’s the Problem? 

Many of the world’s everyday functions are moving online. Business meetings, classes, social exchanges, financial transactions, entertainment, record sharing, telemedicine, and more can take place over the internet. 

For this transition to happen safely and smoothly, though, we need secure, reliable infrastructure — which does not currently exist. 

This is where decentralized applications (DApps) present a solution. DApps are similar to apps that most people are familiar with, but they exist on distributed networks (e.g., blockchain). They can supply the demand for reliable infrastructure and ensure secure online operations, but they face a few hurdles before they’re ready for mainstream use.  

One such obstacle is their insufficient scalability. Network consensus to validate data requires complicated protocols, which, in turn, necessitates a great deal of foresight. Developers often need to develop DApps while anticipating how many people will use them, which makes updating them and improving transaction speeds extremely difficult. 

DApps’ UX is lacking as well; they are often not user-friendly and complicate matters further. Crypto-space jargon is often too difficult for laypeople to understand. While DApps have made significant UX progress in recent years from a programmer’s point of view, they remain alien to the general public, which dramatically impedes their ability to revolutionize cybersecurity the way developers hope. 

Transactions across DApps are also challenging. Two users that want to trade a particular cryptocurrency can do so on the coin’s native blockchain, but what if that blockchain is frustratingly slow? There might even be a change in price by the time the transaction is complete. The transactors can try to use a different blockchain known for its faster speeds, but means of moving a cryptocurrency onto a chain that doesn’t support it are cumbersome. 

Making DApps More Usable 

There is, however, a platform that accounts for many DApp caveats. A company by the name of Swingby enables cross-chain exchanges with unprecedented ease and security. 

In the traditional model, a person who wanted to trade Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain (possibly to take advantage of its speed; the Bitcoin blockchain is frequently congested with traffic) would need to convert their Bitcoin into a different, Ethereum-supported cryptocurrency and go through a third-party custodian. 

This process is lengthy — by the time the cryptocurrency is converted back into bitcoin on its original chain, it almost defeats the purpose of transferring to Ethereum, and the bitcoin holder loses its price exposure. 

Swingby created a network it dubs “Skybridge,” which enables non-custodial cryptocurrency exchanges between all ECDSA-based blockchains (such as Binance, and soon Ethereum). 

It leverages pegged 1:1 swaps so that users don’t need to convert their tokens to a different blockchain’s native currency before transferring to said chain, allowing them to maintain their price exposure to market movements. Various blockchains also charge lower transaction fees, so users would be able to pay fees they find more appropriate for different features. 

The positive ramifications of such a platform are wide-reaching. Cryptocurrency holders would be able to use DApps, DeFi services, and decentralized exchanges on blockchains that don’t natively support them. 

They would have a fast, affordable, and secure way to trade tokens and utilize DApps that allows them to maintain their privacy. Skybridge also has the potential to decongest multiple blockchains because people would be able to use whichever chain they wanted, thus indirectly enhancing transaction speeds. 

The Future of Security 

The world needs robust digital security. Security is especially crucial in a time where more and more tasks are forced online and people store their private information on the Web. DApps can provide this, if only they were able to operate across different peer-to-peer networks. 

Swingby makes this possible. Simplifying the overall cross-chain process will push DApps into the mainstream, make them more accessible for everyone, and create an online space where truly secure transactions can take place. 

Image Source – Pixabay

Decentralized Applications Making a Difference – Zoreum

Blockchain startups are starting to flourish. Blockchain technology is starting to establish Web 3.0 which is far more decentralized and transparent.

Cryptoiscoming explores more on Zoreum – a startup’s venture into Blockchain and it’s revolutionary decentralized applications.

Zoreum – BaaS Solution

Zoreum a Singapore based startup with a skilled set of developers are developing decentralized applications to better the world we live in, with a focus on authenticity, speed and security. Its changing the way technology is better used with Blockchain as a Service – BaaS.

Decentralized applications better known as dApps run on a P2P network of computers rather than a single computer. It gives the power back to the people, as it’s not controlled by a single entity.

The co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Zoreum Labs, RamKrishna in an exclusive chat to Cryptoiscoming spoke about how Blockchain is changing the world.

“Blockchain is taking the next step in making the world a better place, with the technology and capabilities it provides.”

Co-Founder and COO of Zoreum – RamKrishna

RamKrishna explained one of the dApps Zoreum is working on, called AsliMedicine. AsliMedicine in Hindi translates to Real Medicine and that’s exactly what it is helping to provide.

AsliMedicine is utilizing Blockchain to trace medicines along the supply chain to ensure it’s genuinity. It is solving the heightened problem of fake medicines which has emerged as a deathly problem especially amongst people who are not aware of this rising issue.

The dApp called AsliMedicine will allow buyers of medicines, to scan the label on the drug’s packing to reveal information about the medicine. If the drug is fake, no details will be flashed on the dApp as it blocks dubious entities to be part of the decentralized application platform.

Decentralization’s Answer to Healthcare Sector

The Guardian reports 250,000 children die a year through fake drugs intended to treat malaria and pneumonia. Even vaccinations important for a child to grow healthy such as hepatitis is seen to be counterfeited. Thus a service like AsliMedicine is bound to reduce this drastic problem which many fake pharmaceutical companies are trying to take advantage.

Companies like Zoreum are taking the step forward in ensuring Blockchain is utilized in the best manner possible in healthcare industry.

From Nick Szabo to Naval: The best crypto twitter threads of the week

We all know Cryptocurrencies are at the forefront of innovation in finance and tech. But the people involved in crypto are also leading the way, fighting in the intellectual battle ground that is crypto twitter to see which ideas gain strength and which die off. Well, at least some of them, others like myself are merely observers. To that end, I decided to make a weekly list of the best and most interesting twitter threads posted by relevant figures from this community. Click the tweets to see the rest of the threads and let me know if I missed any other good ones.

  1. Nick Szabo on Biological Scalability

2. Jackson Palmer on the Centralized “kill switches” of DApps

https://twitter.com/ummjackson/status/1016457850145550336

3. Cory Miller on AUGUR launch

4. Naval on Blockchains replacing Networks with Markets

5. Ameer Rosic with a great tweet about Capitalism vs Socialism

stay safe and remember CRYPTO IS COMING!

Follow us on twitter @cryptoiscomin

Interested in other cool crypto posts….check out Mining Wars: Bitmain vs Dragonmint and The Price of Bitcoin vs Cost of Mining.

 

Vitalik Buterin Says Centralized Exchanges Can Burn In Hell

Outspoken Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has hit out at centralized exchanges, saying that he hopes they “burn in hell as much as possible” while speaking to John Evans of TechCrunch. He has mirrored the opinions of divisive self-proclaimed voice of cryptocurrency, John McAfee.

Centralized King Makers

Buterik took aim at the king-making power that exchanges have, at the exorbitant $10m to $20m listing prices they demand, and the fact that their entire setup flied against the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Improved Verification For Greater Mass Adoption

He also said that it will be difficult to reach mainstream adoption if existing user authentication models fail, and suggested that Ethereum are looking at ways to remedy this problem. Buterin said, speaking during last week’s TechCrunch Sessions, suggested that something like WeChat, which asks for names from your list of social contacts as a means of verifying your identity, could be a better option than the current keys and password system.

Exorbitant Fees

He went on to take a swipe at centralized exchanges. He said that there was really no reason why some tokens are forced to pay $10m to $15m listing fees and said that it gives exchanges the power to be king-makers. However, he was pragmatic in his responses, suggesting that it is still early days and that exchanges exist to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto, but that fiat exchanges will come, allowing users to register with nothing but an email address.

Social Media Scam Accounts

Last week, Buterin posted a list of all of his active social media accounts, in a bid to try and help his followers differentiate between his genuine accounts and the proliferation of scam accounts; a phenomenon that any cryptotwitter user observes on a daily basis. A lot of influencers have been forced to add “not giving away ETH” to their account names, but despite Twitter claiming to try and combat the problem, it still surfaces on almost every influencer account.

 

*With today’s Bancor hack, it was revealed that the Bancor team had the ability to freeze funds.  How many other so called decentralized” DApps have a built-in kill switch that’s centrally controlled? According to Jackson Palmer, a ton…including Kyber, MakerDAO, Enigma and Augur. So much for decentralization. click tweet to see thread.

https://twitter.com/ummjackson/status/1016457850145550336

stay safe out there in the crypto streets.

 

Interested in other cool crypto posts….check out Mining Wars: Bitmain vs Dragonmint and The Price of Bitcoin vs Cost of Mining.

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