Sept. 22nd: Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Are Live
This is your daily roundup for Sunday, September 22, 2019. Bakkt physically settled bitcoin futures are now live, Facebook acquires a chatbox startup, and a formal verification of bitcoin’s lightning network suggest the network is stable.
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Lighting Network “As Secure As Bitcoin”
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have released the results of a formal verification of bitcoin’s lightning network. The results show that the underlying cryptography piled together to make the payment system work is stable. According to the researchers, the main result is that lightning network is as secure as bitcoin.
The researchers looked at various cryptographic technologies that underlie lightning, including digital signatures, which in the case of bitcoin can only be produced by a user with the correct bitcoin private key.
However, the research does not rule out bugs in the various implementations, only in the specifications of lighting network. There are three main lightning network implementations which follow the specs including Acinq’s Eclair, Blockstream’s c-lightning, and Lightning Lab’s Daemon.
Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Are Live
The much anticipated Bakkt bitcoin futures are now live, enabling institutional investors to take positions on bitcoin in a federally regulated manner. Bakkt’s futures are physically settled, meaning buyers receive bitcoin at expiration, whereas futures from CME Group are cash-settled.
Director of research at TradeBlock, John Todaro, stated “it is unlikely that there will be an immediate surge in demand for Bakkt’s bitcoin futures, institutional adoption won’t occur with a single catalyst.”
Bakkt’s data feed will be available free of charge through June of next year, after which it will require a subscription. Bakkt is a cryptocurrency and commodity markets exchange owned by the Intercontinental Exchange, the same parent company that owns the New York Stock Exchange.
Kraken and Coinbase Rated Cleanest Exchanges
The Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) has released its latest market surveillance report indicating that Kraken, Coinbase, Poloniex, Upbit. OKEx and Bibox are the cleanest cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry in terms of minimal wash trading.
The Blockchain Transparency Institute uses proprietary algorithms to adjust for all wash trading happening on exchanges. Wash trading is a type of market manipulation where sell and buy orders are simultaneously placed on the same asset to artificially increase trading volume. Exchanges in Japan and the United States lead the world in accurate reporting, likely do to stricter regulatory frameworks.
Facebook Acquires Chatbox Startup
Facebook has acquired the chat-bot startup Servicefriend for customer service integration on the Calibra wallet. Servicefriend provides artificial intelligence-powered messaging bots that mimic the intelligence, comprehension, and empathy of a human.
Bitcoin Donations Feeding Hundreds
Not-for-profit humanitarian organization Bitcoin for Venezuela Initiative (BFVI) tweeted that it used less than $500 in BTC donations to buy food and other essential items for economically disenfranchised people in Venezuela. According to the charity, about $230 in BTC can provide food for hundreds at it’s soup kitchen for a week.
Bitcoin continues to be a popular avenue for Venezuelans as its fiat currency is of little worth due to severe hyperinflation and political corruption.