This post was last updated on November 8th, 2019 at 08:54 pm
In this issue:
- The YubiKey Bio – a biometric security key from Yubico
- Human-readable addresses from the Ethereum Name Service
- Phishing-proof passwordless logins for the Trezor Model T
- Binance.US lets customers buy crypto with debit cards
We also cover Gitcoin’s mission to fund bug bounties and open source software development with cryptocurrency.
All that and more in this week’s issue. But first, here’s some…
🚀 Updates From Nomics
- Nomics Update #1: Nomics.com has partnered with the generous people at Cryptosteel to give away 3 (THREE!) Cryptosteel Capsules. The Capsule, a.k.a. “The Mother of All Backups,” is one of the top offline storage solutions for cryptocurrency HODLers. The giveaway ends on November 19th at midnight EST. Enter here. (As a side note, if you’re a product company in the crypto space who wants to work with us on a giveaway, please get in touch).
- Nomics Update #2: This Tuesday, in collaboration with Nathaniel Whittemore, we’ll be releasing a deep-dive blog post on the history of crypto exchanges. (In case you missed it, the Flippening Podcast recently released (a two-part series on the same topic). Meanwhile, check out our most recent collaboration, entitled Crypto Market Cap: An In-Depth Review & Survey Of Emerging Alternatives.
- Nomics Update #3: We’re happy to report that traffic to Nomics.com last month (October) tripled over the prior month to provide us our largest traffic month to date. Thanks to everyone who’s shared our content, marked Nomics.com as their home page, and otherwise spread the word. You make this work worth it.
And now, let’s see what the cryptocurrency world has brought us this week.
😍 Thanks To Our Sponsor: Nexo.io
😎 Cool Products
- Yubico used the Microsoft Ignite conference to unveil its new biometric security key, the YubiKey Bio. The device takes two-factor authentication (2FA) to the next level by requiring a user’s fingerprint. Hardware 2FA has long been recommended by cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase as the best way to secure an account. The Bio supports both biometric- and PIN-based logins and functions out of the box without batteries, drivers, or software.
- Casa Gold members will now be able to use two hardware keys in a 2-of-3 multisig setup. The option to use a second hardware key will bring peace of mind to users who were uncomfortable with the idea of storing a mobile key on a smartphone. 2-of-3 multisig is available on iOS and Android.
- The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) auctions have ended, which means that all remaining three to six character .ETH names are now available for instant registration. Built on Ethereum, ENS allows participants to register human-readable addresses for sending money or interacting with smart contracts. For example, “0x4cbe58c50480…” could be changed to “alice.eth.”
- The Bitcoinist recently reviewed CRYPTOTAG’s Zeus Starter Kit, a high-end seed phrase recovery solution. The kit comes with everything one would need to engrave a seed phrase in bulletproof titanium – including ear plugs!
- Coinkite has released a security upgrade to their Coldcard wallet. With version 3.0.3, the device offers the option to run a countdown that forces a time delay at login. If the countdown is enabled, a user enters their pin, waits out the countdown, then re-enters their pin to gain access. The countdown is a simple way to frustrate a physical attack.
- SatoshiLabs announced a firmware update for the Trezor Model T that equips the hardware wallet with FIDO2, a web authentication protocol that enables users to authenticate logins without entering sensitive credentials like usernames and passwords.
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted his support for a new, open-source protocol for distributed key generation and signing which he believes is superior to multisig, the solution used by most wallets and crypto custodians today. The protocol, known as Threshold Signatures Scheme or TSS, is also implemented off-chain, which means that it uses fewer resources and offers fewer attack surfaces than multisig.
- Celsius Network (CEL), a provider of blockchain-based financial services, has added EOS (EOS) to its interest-earning wallet. Users can now stake EOS and earn 4.25% or pledge EOS as collateral for cash or stablecoins.
- Despite an SEC lawsuit, Telegram’s TON project has released a desktop wallet for its gram token. The wallet is available for MacOS, Windows and Linux. The ongoing suit alleges that grams are unregistered securities. Telegram will meet regulators in court in early 2020.
- An Illinois man who hit for $500,000 on a scratch ticket revealed that he’d placed half of his winnings in bitcoin (BTC). In a Reddit post – now deleted – he explained that he planned to HODL his cryptocurrency for at least a year.
- A recent study by Juniper Research has found that an increasing number of B2B cross-border payments are taking place on blockchain. By 2024, the total value of these payments will exceed $4.4 trillion. Thanks to automated KYC checks, financial institutions that use blockchain are expected to save approximately $7 billion by the same year. The study found that Ripple, Visa and IBM are doing the most to drive innovation in the cross-border payment space.
- A blockchain pilot project will be expanded from two to 70 of Coca Cola’s North American bottle manufacturers. So far, the program has boosted efficiency by providing plants with access to a permissioned blockchain that enables them to quickly fill shortfalls in inventory. The program was launched in partnership with SAP.
- Gitcoin, a platform that pays freelance software developers in cryptocurrency, shelled out the equivalent of $1,976 per business hour in October. The platform pays devs for solving bug bounties and building out open source projects, many of which are related to the Ethereum ecosystem.
- Volvo has announced that it will be powering the fully electric XC40 Recharge with cobalt sourced from conflict-free zones. All cobalt used by the carmaker will be committed to a blockchain which will track place of origin, size, weight, and whether firms involved in the supply chain adhered to OECD guidelines.
- Square’s Cash App has started charging fees of up to 1.76% on bitcoin (BTC) purchases. The payments company reported that though it processed nearly $150 million in Q3 bitcoin sales, for the second quarter in a row, it netted merely $2 million in profit.
- Coin Ninja announced that it has partnered with cryptocurrency payments company Wyre to enable DropBit users to buy bitcoin (BTC) with Apple Pay and Google Pay. DropBit, which recently added support for the Lightning network, is a bitcoin wallet and payment service designed for sending BTC to “nocoiners” or folks who don’t hold any cryptocurrency.
- From November 15, OpenNode will be lowering fees for processing bitcoin (BTC) payments. The Lightning-enabled platform had previously charged 1% across the board. Now, fees will be structured in tiers, with lower percentages for larger transactions.
- The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the territory’s de facto central bank, has signed an MoU with the People’s Bank of China to create a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Parties expect to start the project in Q1 2020.
- The Central Bank of Azerbaijan plans to unveil a blockchain-based digital identification system by the end of the year. The project, which has been in the works since 2018, is expected to secure personal data, block terrorist financing, and prevent money laundering.
- In a bid to stabilize his country’s economy, Turkish president Erdogan wants the first phase of testing for a digital currency, or digital lira, to be completed by the end of 2020. The government is also developing a platform for instant payments based on the digital lira.
- Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb announced plans for a new “exchange-as-a-service” platform based on its Bithumb Chain. The platform will allow developers to build decentralized finance (DeFi) apps like decentralized exchanges. The testnet is expected to launch before the end of the year with a mainnet scheduled for early 2020.
- Singapore-based Huobi will freeze US accounts starting November 13. The exchange, which has already begun disabling stateside accounts, has asked US users to withdraw all remaining assets from the platform. Huobi will continue doing business in the US through its partnership with HBUS, an independent platform based in San Francisco.
- Binance.US customers can now purchase cryptocurrency using their debit cards. In a blog post, the exchange announced the addition of debit cards to existing USD on- and off-ramps like ACH and bank wire.
- Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt is set to break records this month. After an underwhelming start, trading volumes have been rising, and on November 5, volumes hit close to their all-time high. Prior to its September launch, Bakkt was widely hyped as a means of bringing institutional money into the cryptocurrency space.
- Coinbase will now allow eligible US customers to earn staking rewards for holding Tezos (XTZ). The estimated annual return for staking Tezos is projected to be approximately 5%. Coinbase Custody, the exchange’s institutional service, launched Tezos staking in March 2019.
🏆 Our Weekly Poll
In our last poll, we asked you about your favorite blockchain phone. Here are the results:
This week, we want your opinion on two-factor authentication (2FA). We covered the new YubiKey Bio, but there are plenty of other 2FA solutions such as authentication apps and hardware wallets like the Trezor Model T.