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Ethereum Denies It Is Mulling $15 Mln Investment to Develop Verifiable Delay Functions

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The Ethereum Foundation has refuted alleged plans to spend a prospective $15 million on the development of Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs) for use in its transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network. The clarification was made by Foundation researcher Justin Drake in private correspondence with Cointelegraph on Feb. 8.
A report from crypto news outlet CoinDesk had purported that the Foundation was considering an investment of $15 million to develop the technology, given its prospective benefit for Ethereum’s future transition to a PoS-based system. Drake however told Cointelegraph in an email that:

“The EF [Ethereum Foundation] is not looking to spend $15m. We are looking to split funds 50/50 with Filecoin or other financial partners.”

VDFs are a type of technology that functions to protect any system that relies on the generation of (pseudo) random values from manipulation strategies or attack.
In the context of a blockchain that uses a PoS consensus algorithm, a function such as a VDF can be important in order to thwart the possibility that a network participant may influence or predict randomness in order to manipulate which leaders and validators will be elected through the protocol.
As reported, the shift to PoS is expected to be completed with the final upgrade of the Ethereum network — known as Serenity, or Ethereum 2.0 — which will be the last in a series of four stages set out in the platform’s roadmap. At present, the network is in its third stage (Metropolis), which consists of two system-wide hard forks — Byzantium and Constantinople —  both designed to pave the way to Ethereum 2.0.
Ultimately, through PoS and a host of other technical upgrades, Serenity is expected to tackle fundamental questions such as scalability, mining centralization, economic finality and security.
Earlier this month, Ethereum launched its first pre-release for phase zero of the network’s evolving transition to Serenity, which co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed was “*baaasically* feature complete for Casper” — a transitional PoS-Proof-of-Work (PoW) hybrid consensus model currently under development by the Foundation.
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Credit Suisse Completes Joint Mutual Fund Transactions Using Blockchain

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Global investment bank Credit Suisse and Portuguese Banco Best have completed end-to-end fund transactions on blockchain, according to a press release published Feb. 7.
The financial institutions have reportedly processed every part of the fund trade process by implementing a blockchain-based decentralized platform, FundsDLT.
Designed to improve the efficiency of fund transaction processing with the use of blockchain and smart contracts, FundsDLT would purportedly reduce the time between request and the settlement from delivery of the order to trade processing.
Within the initiative, Lisbon-based Banco Best — specializing in banking, asset management and trading — was responsible for the Application Programming Interface (API) integration, and also developed a dedicated application to collect client experiences.
An end-to-end or mutual fund transaction represents a pool of money from a group of investors that is put into a portfolio of stocks, bonds and government securities and which is considered to be different from buying and selling stocks.
Claude Metz, Head of Shareholder Services at Credit Suisse, Luxemburg S.A, noted that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) would be combined with Know Your Customer (KYC) servicing.
Previously, Credit Suisse — which was responsible for around $800 billion in assets in 2017 — successfully conducted the first live transaction of $30 million in securities on blockchain consortium R3’s Corda Blockchain platform in cooperation with Dutch-based ING financial service.
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Italian Parliament Approves Bill Defining Distributed Ledger Tech, Blockchain Terms

The Italian House of Representatives has approved a bill defining distributed ledger technologies (DLT) such as blockchain, Cointelegraph Italy reported on Feb. 7.
With 275 votes in favor, 206 against and 27 abstentions, the bill dubbed “Semplificazioni” has moved forward. The Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale will now define the technical criteria that smart contracts will have to comply with in order to have legal validity.
Maria Laura Mantovani, a member of the Italian Parliament in the Movimento 5 Stelle party, told Cointelegraph Italy that a favorable use case for blockchain is its application in online voting.
However, Mantovani noted that there are not projects in place to implement such systems. According to her, the M5S party is currently looking for researchers able to prove the efficacy of blockchain for voting.
As Cointelegraph recently reported, the Italian bill had been already approved by the Senate on Jan. 23. This bill also establishes that digital records stored on blockchain will be considered a legal validation of documents at the time of registration.
In December last year, the Italian government published its list of 30 blockchain high-level experts to further its integration of the technology at state level.
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SEC Commissioner Says Bitcoin ETF Will Be Approved ‘Eventually’

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A commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) will ultimately be approved.
Robert J. Jackson Jr., in an interview published by government-focused news source Roll Call on Wednesday, said:

“Eventually, do I think someone will satisfy the standards that we’ve laid out there? I hope so, yes, and I think so.”

A number of bitcoin ETF proposals have filed for SEC approval, but none has yet got the green light.
Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC) has said he doesn’t see a pathway to a cryptocurrency ETF approval until concerns over market manipulation are addressed.
The SEC has to date rejected at least 10 such proposals. Last August, it turned down seven filings from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares. A day later, though, the regulator said it would review the proposals.
In July, the SEC for the second time rejected Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ proposal to list a bitcoin ETF on the Bats BZX Exchange.
Discussing the Winklevoss’ proposal with Roll Call, Jackson said it was “not a difficult case,” but the risk of manipulation and harm to investors was “enormous,” while the market has a “very serious” liquidity problem.
He continued:

“I’m happy to say market participants have begun to come in with ideas. Whether or not we’re going to find one that really protects investors I don’t know, but I do know that that [Winklevoss] case wasn’t especially close.”

Another SEC commissioner has been even more pragmatic over the possibility of a bitcoin ETF. Back in July, Hester Peirce said that the Winklevoss’ proposed rule change “satisfies the statutory standard and that we should permit BZX to list and trade this bitcoin-based exchange-traded product (‘ETP’).”
“From my perspective, we need to be mindful of what our role is, and it’s not to be the ones who decide which innovations and which technologies get through and which ones don’t,” Peirce told CoinDesk soon after.
Today, Peirce tweeted that she looks forward to working with Jackson “to open the doors to innovation.”
The SEC’s rejections have clearly not deterred all from trying to make the ETF breakthrough.
Last month, due to the U.S. government shutdown, Cbeo withdrew its proposed rule change that, if approved, would clear the way for a bitcoin ETF backed by VanEck and SolidX. Days later it refiled.
Also in January, Bitwise Asset Management announced its plan to launch a bitcoin ETF.
R. J. Jackson Jr. image via YouTube/CECP
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Canadian Watchdog Says It Doesn’t Regulate QuadrigaCX Exchange

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The securities watchdog in the Canadian province of British Columbia has said that it has no remit to regulate troubled crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, which owes customers millions of dollars said to be frozen on an encrypted laptop.
According to Reuters, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) spokesman Brian Kladko said Thursday that, as Vancouver, B.C.-based QuadrigaCX was not trading in securities or derivatives, the exchange does not come under its purview.
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) also told Reuters: “No crypto-asset trading platform had been regulated as a marketplace by Canadian securities regulators.” The CSA is a collective forum comprising the regional securities regulators of Canada.
Possibly as much as $190 million in both cryptocurrency and fiat owned by QuadrigaCX users have been unreachable since the firm’s founder and CEO, Gerald Cotten, died in December, leaving no a way for staff to access the computer apparently storing its funds.
Cotten’s death has been at the center of concerns and theories about the state of the exchange and the sequence of events leading up to the current situation.
The exchange has since sought creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court as it seeks to find a way to refund users and access the locked funds. On Tuesday, a judge from the court granted the exchange its application, giving it a 30-day stay of proceedings to try and resolve the situation for users.
Vancouver image via Shutterstock 
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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Strong Rally Set to Test Overhanging Resistance

Shortly after the London Open, the entire crypto market saw a strong round of buying. Some coins broke their highest volume seen since the beginning of the bear market, and several others broke straight through overhanging resistance levels. Bitcoin, too, enjoyed a nice rally, rising almost 11% in just a few short hours:Figure 1: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Early Morning RallyThis rally was very strong and sudden, running the stops of many late shorters in the crypto market. Zooming out to the daily view, we can see just how strong the move was as it nearly tripled the previous day’s trade volume on very high spread:Figure 2: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Daily Volume and SpreadAlthough the daily candle has yet to close, it looks pretty promising for the bulls. The market is currently in the process of testing overhanging resistance and is currently testing the strength of both the bulls and bears.Even though the move was strong, it should be noted that we are still trending downward as we continue to make lower highs and lower lows on the daily trend. That’s not to say the trend won’t be broken, but it should be a matter of consideration as we take an objective view of the current market structure.As the price continues to rally, the outlined resistance levels will serve as great milestones to judge the health of the bullish pressure. If we can close the two resistance levels, it seems entirely likely we will see a retest of the overhanging resistance in the low $4,000s:Figure 3: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Important Zone for Changing Market StructureLooming just above the outlined zone in blue is a very important and potentially market-structure changing zone, outlined in red in the figure above. The market has been unable to close above this level for months and has been continuously pushed down with every attempt to rally into the region. If we can see a close inside the red zone, we can anticipate strong buyer interest as this represents a change in the market behavior. This will be a very important level to watch as we continue to see upward momentum push this rally further.Again, it should be noted that we have yet to close the current daily candle above overhanging resistance, but given the spread and volume behind the current move, it seems logical the market is good for a bit of a continuation before the bulls lose steam. The outlined resistance levels in Figure 3 will serve as points of interest in the coming days in order to judge the health of the current market. It’s important to wait for the daily close as the market is known for massive slippage due to relatively low liquidity on some exchanges.Summary:Shortly after the London Open, the entire crypto market rallied on very high volume with relative ease compared to the previous weeks of attempted rallying.Several coins have seen record-setting volume for the current bear market, while others have blown straight through their prior resistance levels.Bitcoin is currently in the process of testing its overhanging resistance as the current daily candle has yet to close. There are major resistance levels to consider when viewing the health of the market, but given the strength of the current move, it seems likely we will see a continuation of the uptrend before bears begin to test their hand against the bulls.Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.