Italian central bank considers issuing cryptocurrency to (somehow) avoid bubbles

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

The concept of sovereign cryptocurrency is hardly new. In our report from September on the background and implications of the China ICO ban, we noted the People's Bank of China may be experimenting with digital currency as part of broader agenda to internationalize the Renminbi. Russia, Singapore and Venezuela appear to be doing the same--and Italy could be next (see story below).

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News

Central banks have considered issuing cryptocurrencies - Italy economy minister
(Reuters)

"'Some central banks have considered issuing cryptocurrencies as part of a bid to avoid bubbles emerging in the fledgling market,' Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Wednesday."

South Korea doesn't intend to shut down virtual coin trading: finance minister
(Reuters)

"South Korea’s finance minister said on Thursday said the government has no plans to shut down cryptocurrency trading, affirming market speculation that authorities won’t go as far as China, which has blocked virtual coin platforms."

Commentary

By adding to the debt, tax cut could complicate next downturn
(WSJ, Nick Timiraos)

"Having less fiscal flexibility doesn’t just provide less firepower against downturns. It also creates thornier trade-offs in annual budget fights, illustrated by the partial government shutdown that began Saturday. Other priorities, such as rebuilding the military, could become casualties."

Worries grow that the price of Bitcoin is being propped up
(NYT, by Nathaniel Popper)

"The concern about Bitfinex is one of several issues that have helped depress the value of virtual currencies over the last month, after a roaring, yearlong rally. Regulators in several countries, like South Korea and the United States, have expressed concerns about manipulation and fraud, and hinted at a crackdown."

Why Triton malware will 'change the game' of cyberwarfare
(Techrepublic, by Dan Patterson)

"Obviously they'd be present in many applications in critical infrastructure, and a way to get into the systems to basically allow an attacker from a remote location to be able to disable some security safeguards essentially which would allow for a number of potential possibilities."

Technical

Lessons from the Blockchain Battlefield: How and why we added hard-fork voting
(CryptoNinjas, by Jake Yoco-Piatt)

"At Decred, we chose a hybrid PoS/PoW system because it offered the best of both worlds. PoW allows you to create a distributed timestamp, which adds to the security of the blockchain while PoS cuts a straightforward path to governance."

Schnorr Signatures for Bitcoin: oppotunities and challenges
(by Pieter Wuille)

"Schnorr signatures are a well-known signature scheme that only relies on the discrete logarithm assumption just like ECDSA does. There are various advantages for Schnorr signatures over ECDSA. Some of them are that it supports native multisig, where multiple parties jointly produce a single signature."

Drive-by key-extraction cache attacks from portable code
(Cryptology ePrint, by Daniel Genkin and Lev Pachmanov and Eran Tromer and Yuval Yarom)

"We show how malicious web content can extract cryptographic secret keys from the user's computer. The attack uses portable scripting languages supported by modern browsers to induce contention for CPU cache resources, and thereby gleans information about the memory accesses of other programs running on the user's computer."

Tools & Tutorials

CryptoMiso A website tracking cryptocurrency projects' Github commits.

Updates

Bitcoin instant buying and selling is now available for most of the users of Square's Cash App. Twitter

Decred network hashrate reached all time high today: 1,223.57 Thash/s, suggesting that ASICs are coming to the network. Twitter

Vertcoin announced that on this Saturday at 11 AM EST the dev team will host a Reddit “AMA” (Ask Me Anything). Twitter

Ethereum Classic dev team Ethereum Commonwealth released a decentralized messaging system for ETC protocol. Github

SiaCoin adds a download counter that tracks the downloads of Sia-UI and Sia Daemon is up over 111,000. Sia