Archive for the ‘Crypto News’ Category

After the recent controversy surrounding BitMain and the alleged use of AsicBoost here comes another scandal for the popular ASIC manufacturer. It seems that the company has introduced a backdoor into the firmware of their Bitcoin mining hardware Antminer that allows it to stop miners remotely. Not that they are doing it or will do it at some point, but the ability to do so and control a very large portion of the global mining hashrate is not something that users want. The backdoor is now publicly called and it seems that all recent S9 hardware is affected, and L3, T9 and R4 series hardware are likely to be affected as well.

What is the Antbleed Backdoor:
The firmware checks-in with a central service randomly every 1 to 11 minutes. Each check-in transmits the Antminer serial number, MAC address and IP address. Bitmain can use this check-in data to cross check against customer sales and delivery records making it personally identifiable. The remote service can then return “false” which will stop the miner from mining.

For more information regarding the Antbleed Backdoor and why it is important…

The blockchain-based distributed cloud storage service Storj has announced their plan to migrate from the SJCX from Counterparty (Bitcoin blockchain based) to the Ethereum ERC20 token standard. They have summarized the problems and reasons why they consider the switch to the Ethereum blockchain in order to be able to scale up the storage services that they are offering to a much larger number of users than what they currently have with the service just out of beta stage. Their summary is in line with mostly what is currently not Ok for many people using Bitcoin and the issues that need to be addressed in order for the future development and growth of Bitcoin, so do read the quote below.

1. The official Counterparty wallet software, Counterwallet, has had no major updates in over two years, and provides a confusing interface for new users.
2. Last year, multisig ceased functioning because Bitcoin made raw multisig transactions non-standard. Tokens in multisig wallets were rendered inaccessible. There is still no concrete migration path for multisig wallets without direct miner intervention. This makes us worried that other features will cease to function in the future.
3. Because Counterparty uses the Bitcoin blockchain for transactions, which is currently having issues with transaction backlog, our users have experienced extremely long transaction times (hours to days).
4. Because Counterparty transactions create small inputs and are heavier than normal BTC transactions, users have experienced extremely high fees for transactions. For the February farmer payout we paid over $1,600 in transaction fees, or about 13% of total payouts. This is not sustainable or scalable.
5. Our work on micropayment channels for Counterparty offers promising routes to addressing the problems above but is unlikely to be broadly useful. Micropayment networks require broad adoption to be effective and secure. It is unclear whether the Counterparty ecosystem can support a robust layer 2 network.
6. The Counterparty ecosystem is small. Very few other organizations are using it at scale. To create our micropayment tools, we’ve had to fund large upgrades to the Counterparty protocol. It’s not sustainable to finance protocol upgrades while also developing our network and products.

For more details about Storj’s migration from Counterparty to Ethereum…

While the controversy surrounding Bitcoin and the block size debate among others continues with the number of transactions ranking up, filling the 1MB blocks completely and transaction fees rising we just got a new Bitcoin Core 0.14.0 release. The key aspects of the new releases are focused on improving performance for initial block download if you are starting a new full blockchain download as well as faster new block validation and relay. This is a welcome improvement that can be really useful for users with the Bitcoin blockchain data already close to 115GB in size…

Another new feature available in the 0.14.0 release is the optional fee bumping (not enabled by default) that allows users to users to increase the fee their transactions pay even after they’ve broadcast an earlier version of the transaction. This new option might be useful with the increasing number of transactions to help you move some coins at a faster speed if your initial fee was too little. This however is not a real solution for the problem with the blocks getting filled with transactions… we actually need a solution that will help keep transaction fees at a reasonable low level with the Bitcoin price still going up and that will help transactions confirm reasonably quick even with lower fees.

For more details about the newly released Bitcoin Core 0.14.0…


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