New 22 Petahash Mining Pool Signaling Bitcoin Unlimited

A new mining facility and pool going by the name of ‘CANOE’ has joined the Bitcoin mining race this week, already claiming 0.7% of the total hashrate with 22 Petahashes worth of mining power. Also read: Network Alternative Bitcoin Unlimited Closing In On ‘Opponent’ Segwit Proposal  New Pool Signaling Bitcoin Unlimited News of CANOE’s launch

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A new mining facility and pool going by the name of ‘CANOE’ has joined the Bitcoin mining race this week, already claiming 0.7% of the total hashrate with 22 Petahashes worth of mining power.

Also read: Network Alternative Bitcoin Unlimited Closing In On ‘Opponent’ Segwit Proposal 

New Pool Signaling Bitcoin Unlimited

News of CANOE’s launch came recently when Chinese Twitter account cnLedger revealed that the pool was attracting much attention in China for signaling the Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) software client. BU is a favorite with many Chinese bitcoin miners. All of New 22 Petahash Mining Pool Signaling Bitcoin Unlimitedthe 22 Petahashes are owned by the pool itself, according to cnLedger.

Bitcoin miners signal their support of their preferred bitcoin client by ‘relaying’ the version number when they mine new blocks. If 75 percent of all blocks being relayed over a two week period are signaling for BU, the software ‘locks in’ and activates.

While the share of the overall network hashrate is not a guarantee of the percentage of blocks being relayed, knowing which pools prefer BU is a common way to form an estimation. CANOE’s addition adds to the roughly 20 percent of total hashpower that prefers the BU client.

New 22 Petahash Mining Pool Signaling Bitcoin Unlimited

The person in charge of the CANOE pool is Ang Li, a bitcoin entrepreneur since 2013 who became a miner in 2015. Li started to build a large-scale mine the following year in Sichuan, which has recently been called the capital of bitcoin mining.

Apart from CANOE, a pool called BTC.top is another newcomer that has been publicly supporting BU. BTC.top was launched in December 2016, and now has about 7% of the network’s hashrate. Other pools that have publicly supported BU’s scaling plans include ViaBTC, the Bitcoin.com pool, India’s GBMiners, and a sizable portion of SlushPool.

Why Support BU?

Li told Chinese news website 8btc that Bitcoin’s network congestion is the reason why bitcoin’s block size needs to be increased. While Bitcoin’s users and transactions have been expanding, the network can still only handle between 3 and 7 transactions per second. Li described:

Now the reward for a new block is (only) 12.5 BTC, but the fees are almost 1 BTC. Many people are paying more fees in order to make sure their transaction will be confirmed soon.

A scaling solution called the Lightning Network is being developed by at least five different development teams. Some believe it to be an alternative to the BU client, while others including the BU development team, have pledged support for the Lightning community. New 22 Petahash Mining Pool Signaling Bitcoin UnlimitedThe network’s solution calls for high-valued transactions to be processed on the Bitcoin blockchain while 0.042 BTC or smaller transactions are meant to take place across their network instead. Entrepreneurs who open a Lightning ‘Payment Channel’ for the network will be able to collect fees from users directly using the Lightning Network.

Keeping transactions ‘on-chain’ will require higher fees under this arrangement. “BS [Blockstream] supports Core dev team’s path which will lead to the Lightning Network”, Li said. “They’re thinking of the interest of their own company and team, but they did not consider the interest of the majority of miners. Meanwhile, their solution cannot solve the long-term problem of network congestion. It is also against the original vision of Bitcoin,” he argued.

Helping Guide the Mining Community

Li also believes that as new miners and big money flow into the network, most miners cannot fathom the potential outcomes of the various scaling plans like BU and Lightning. The lack of technical knowledge has, in his opinion, contributed their indifferent attitude towards scaling. “We are much more deeply involved in the mining business”, Li shared. “Therefore we want to guide miners to work toward the best of their interest. This is also the reason to found the pool”. He also explained that:

To support scaling (on-chain) is to defend the interests of the miners. Mining is the foundation of the whole bitcoin network and business. So defending the interests of miners means defending the bitcoin network too.

The incentives that Satoshi Nakamoto designed in the Bitcoin whitepaper are not enough to sustain mining for long, Li feels, adding that as the block reward halves every four years, miners income will continue to decline. According to him, keeping the block size where it New 22 Petahash Mining Pool Signaling Bitcoin Unlimitedis now will not provide enough incentive and therefore has to be reconsidered. Li also believes that only a larger mining transaction fee will maintain the balance. “By increasing block size, and transaction numbers, the fees will gradually replace the block reward, providing enough incentive for the miners to defend the bitcoin hashrate. This is the fundamental way to achieve healthy development of the whole ecosystem.”

Nonetheless, he believes that other scaling plans should not be ruled out. “We support increasing the capacity, it does not simply mean that BU’s plan is the best one. But increasing the capacity is essential,” he noted.

His future plan for the pool is to deploy another facility for mining in Xinjiang, named “Dian Jin Blockchain,” or Electric Gold Blockchain. The new project will have a capacity of 130,000kw, and be funded by both Bitmain and Li’s CANOE team, with the intent to become the largest bitcoin mine in the world.

What do you think of CANOE? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoin Unlimited, and Blockchain.info


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The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin’s Fungibility

Many people within the cryptocurrency environment are on a quest for fungible digital currency transactions. Some have opted to use altcoins while others patiently wait for Bitcoin implementations like Schnorr signatures and Tumblebit. For the time being, there is a platform that Bitcoiners can experiment with that uses coinjoin transactions called Joinmarket. Also read: Europe Lays

The post The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin’s Fungibility appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Many people within the cryptocurrency environment are on a quest for fungible digital currency transactions. Some have opted to use altcoins while others patiently wait for Bitcoin implementations like Schnorr signatures and Tumblebit. For the time being, there is a platform that Bitcoiners can experiment with that uses coinjoin transactions called Joinmarket.

Also read: Europe Lays Out Roadmap to Restrict Payments in Cash and Cryptocurrencies

Coinjoin Transactions Using Joinmarket

Joinmarket was announced by Bitcoin developer Chris Belcher on Bitcointalk.org in January 2015. The platform operates on either Linux or Windows and aims to improve the privacy of bitcoin transactions. Joinmarket utilizes what’s called coinjoin transactions, which means the protocol mixes multiple people’s transactions together to create obfuscation against transaction analysis.

The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin's Fungibility
The concept of coinjoin transactions was first proposed by Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell.

“A coinjoin transaction requires other people to take part,” explains Belcher’s announcement. “The right resources (coins) have to be in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity. This isn’t a software or tech problem, it is an economic problem. I propose a new kind of market is created that would allocate these resources in the best way.”

The protocol’s Github sources state that there are two groups within Joinmarket called market makers and market takers. By initiating a coinjoin transaction, takers pay a fee to the makers incentivizing both groups to perform the process.  “A form of smart contract is created, meaning the private keys will never be broadcasted outside of your computer, resulting in virtually zero risk of loss (aside from malware or bugs). As a result of free-market forces, the fees will eventually be next to nothing,” details Joinmarket.

The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin's Fungibility
An example of a tested Joinmarket coinjoin transaction. Image courtesy of the Open Bitcoin Privacy Project.

Joinmarket’s Vulnerability This Past September

In September 2016, a vulnerability concern with Joinmarket was posted on Github. The announcement called “Joinmarket release 0.2.0 ameliorates this snooping attack” detailed that the platform’s privacy aspect was degraded.

“Joinmarket is a young project, there are some possible vulnerabilities which could be exploited to spy on every user,” explains Github issue #156. “It means that an attacker for free can learn what UTXOs belong to which maker, and can eliminate them when analyzing coinjoins on the blockchain. It’s not trivial to actually obtain all the UTXOs from a maker, but even learning a proportion of them is enough to spy on a large amount of coinjoins.”

This news caused concern towards using the project across many social cryptocurrency forums. However, crypto-privacy advocates still applauded the project and believed the platform was still in its infancy. Monero’s Riccardo Spagni had good things to say about Joinmarket when the vulnerability reached the public’s ears.    

I’ll still continue to promote Joinmarket as the best coinjoin implementation, and the best combination of trustlessness + privacy + ease-of-use + liquidity for bitcoiners who don’t want to use altcoins or OTC trades or mining.

Joinmarket is still a popular coinjoin application within the community. The platform’s developers had also addressed the snooping attack in a matter of days with Joinmarket’s release version 0.2 and asked the entire community to update.

The community of Joinmarket users has a very active subreddit, and IRC channel for issues with the platform and general development discussion. The protocol’s code is updated regularly and has a vast array of guides for users to implement Joinmarket to the Bitcoin client or Electrum wallet support. At press time, Joinmarket has 80 orders by 62 counterparties on the platform’s order book.

“[The] aim is to improve the confidentiality and privacy of bitcoin transactions, as well as improve the capacity of the blockchain, therefore reduce costs,” explains the platform developers. “The concept has enormous potential, but had not seen much usage despite the multiple projects that implement it.”

Have you tried Joinmarket? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wiki commons, and the Open Bitcoin Privacy Project.


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The Top 5 Weirdest Alternative Cryptocurrencies in Circulation

weird altcoinsRecently I was asked to compile a list of the strangest crypto-currencies I could find. I had no idea what I was in store for. Here are the Top 5 strangest altcoins I could find. Let the countdown begin! 5. Unobtanium (UNO) UNO is a term for fictional engineering and scientific thought that describes an extremely rare and costly material. Conceptual Unobtanium is the full term; UNO is the short hand version given to this alt-coin by its followers. The UNO community, which is small but regarded as extremely loyal, refers to the coin in kilograms. Currently, only four exchanges are

weird altcoins

Recently I was asked to compile a list of the strangest crypto-currencies I could find. I had no idea what I was in store for. Here are the Top 5 strangest altcoins I could find. Let the countdown begin!

5. Unobtanium (UNO)

uno logo

UNO is a term for fictional engineering and scientific thought that describes an extremely rare and costly material. Conceptual Unobtanium is the full term; UNO is the short hand version given to this alt-coin by its followers. The UNO community, which is small but regarded as extremely loyal, refers to the coin in kilograms. Currently, only four exchanges are dealing in UNO. A rather small number of UNO coins are to be mined: 250,000 over the course of 300 years. UNO is mined right alongside bitcoin. By doing this it makes the process more secure, and it mines three times faster than bitcoin.

4. Potato Coin (Spuds)

potatocoin logo

This coin stands out among the rest, not so much for being weird, but for the ambitious idea behind it. First and foremost, the name is out of the norm for sure, even for weird crypto-coins. It’s creators chose the potato because it is a staple source of food in the area where this coin is going to be dispersed. Now for the really cool part. The main idea behind Potato Coin is to help improve the conditions in Africa for the farmers. It will also try to reduce their dependency on the normal fiat currency of the area. So far, 85 percent of the initial pre-mine is done, and going to an African Trust, as well as directly to the farmers themselves. A latin inscription adorns Potato Coin’s logo and translates to “Potato is light, potato is life, potato is love.” That’s weird to say the least, but the entire idea behind this coin is awesome.

3. Coinye (West)

coinye logo

If anyone has ever gotten too much attention by the media, in my opinion, its Mr. West. Apparently the creators of Coinye West feel completely different. In spite of a cease-and-desist letter filed by West’s legal team, the coin was released in 2014. The coin is still being released, but a few changes have been made. The South Park cartoon Kanye fish was substituted for the original Kanye head, and “West” was dropped from its name. The creators admit that other than the name and South Park reference, Kanye had nothing to do with the coin. They did mention on the website that they were avidly seeking Mr. West’s approval at the time. Turns out, though, that West didn’t approve, and sued the alt coin into ruin six short months after its release. It’s still trading on some exchanges, going by the ticker “COYE/KOI”.

2. NyanCoin (NYAN)

nyancoin logo

When I first heard of NYAN, I thought this would most certainly be number one on the list, but further research depicted a different story. NYAN came out in 2014, and despite its more than off- putting name and logo, it caught on surprisingly well with miners. It was released as the “first officially licensed cryptocurrency”. Creators named the coin after the viral YouTube video titled NyanCat that was uploaded in 2011, and has received over 100 million hits. In my few short years dealing with crypto currency, and cyber security, everything about this coin screams, “scam!” That obviously isn’t the case, though. It is mostly a reference to the 8-bit’esque website design and graphics. The coin has a substantial following still, and a dedicated sub-reddit. Anyone can get started with NYAN by simply going to the site and downloading the software.

1. Wankcoin (WKC)

wankcoin logo

This is the oddest crypto-coin I came across. It’s most certainly the strangest name so far. Wankcoin is the brain child of porno junkies with consciences. If you couldn’t tell, it was created as a way for porn enthusiasts to buy and trade NSFW porn anonymously. While it’s not the only coin of its kind, with this purpose it stands out from the rest because of its name. Everything about this coin makes me laugh. Any slogan for Wankcoin you ask? Well, it just so happens to be “Bank While You Wank!”. One thing I’ve noticed about the Wankcoin site is the ability to mine Wankcoin by watching porn, and apparently the more you “wank” the more you mine. It uses the same algorithm as Bitcoin, SHA-256.  Of all the alternative crypto-currencies I’ve looked into, this one takes the cake. Just imagine it…nevermind, don’t imagine it.

Well, there you have it–some of the weirdest alt-coins I could find. This, of course, is only a small list of what’s out there, so if you have a little extra change and want to do something strange with it, you might as well pick one (hopefully not number one) and see where it takes you.

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