"Between May and July 2018, the research team collected survey data from over 180 start-ups,established companies, and individuals from 47 different countries across all major regions. The objective of the study is to provide new insights into the current state of the ecosystem and, in combination with publicly available data sources, capture major trends of the rapid market development." Synopsis below:
Univ. of Cambridge: Second Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study
• Total user accounts at service providers now exceed 139 million with at least 35 million identity-verified users, the latter growing nearly 4X in 2017 and doubling again in the first three quarters of 2018.
• The cross-segment expansion observed in 2017 has continued: 57% of cryptoasset service providers are now operating across at least two market segments to provide integrated services for their customers, compared to 31% in early 2017.
• Multi-coin support has nearly doubled from 47% of all service providers in 2017 to 84% in 2018; a trend primarily driven by the emergence of common standards on some cryptoasset platforms (e.g. ERC-20 on Ethereum) that has resulted in a rapid increase in the supply of tokens.
• The study estimates that as of mid-November 2018, the top-6 proof-of-work cryptoassets collectively consume between 52 and 111 TWh of electricity per year. The mid-point of the estimate (82 TWh) is the equivalent of the total energy consumed by the entire country of Belgium – but also constitutes less than 0.01% of the world’s global energy production per year. A notable share of the energy consumed by these facilities is supplied by renewable energy sources in regions with excess capacity.
• Cryptoasset mining appears to be less concentrated geographically, in hashpower ownership, and in manufacturer options than commonly depicted: the mining map exhibits that hashing facilities and pool operators are distributed globally, with growing operations in the USA and Canada.
• Industry actors are pro-actively adopting measures that appear to comply with existing regulation despite not necessarily being explicitly subject to regulations. The increasing number of self-regulatory initiatives, combined with the emergence of sophisticated and professional services, reflect the growing maturity of the industry.
Fed-Inflated Bubble Bursts
Mathematicians Seal Back Door to Breaking RSA Encryption
"Breuillard and Varjú’s proof effectively slams shut the polynomial back door for breaking RSA encryption. The very large numbers used in RSA encryption correspond to very long polynomials. Breuillard and Varjú proved that it’s nearly impossible to find polynomials of that length that can be factored. Mathematicians and cryptographers alike have long suspected this is the case. But when the cybersecurity of the entire world depends on some mathematical hack not working, it’s good to have proof that it doesn’t."
Who Needs Verizon? Blockstream Broadcasts Entire Bitcoin Blockchain From Space
"The startup Blockstream, which raised $101 million from Khosla Ventures and others, is now streaming the entire bitcoin blockchain from five satellites strategically positioned in orbit around Earth to reach all major landmasses."
Institutional Traders Shift to Over-the-Counter Trading Desks?
"Institutional cryptocurrency trading on traditional exchanges have lost ground in volumes as Bitcoin is being welcomed into major outfit portfolios this year, with more slated to come online in 2019. Cryptocurrency exchanges do have the advantage as working hours in traditional markets might be an Achilles heal too great an obstacle to overcome for big traders within an erratic, global and round-the-clock markets. But high-demand liquidity would ultimately have to be found through OTC trading desks."
Encrypted Messaging App Signal Says It Won’t Comply With Australia’s New Backdoor Bill
"And it’s not just rhetoric. What Signal is saying here is that it can’t, at a technical level, comply with orders to turn over the encrypted content of messages sent over the app. And according to critics, therein lies the danger of Australia’s bill, which has yet to become law. Will it allow the country-continent, home to nearly 25 million people, to compel Apple to create a one-off version of its operating system to get into, say, a terrorist’s phone?"
Blockstream Boosts Bitcoin Satellite Service With Lightning Payments
"Blockchain technology firm Blockstream announced Monday that it has expanded its satellite service to the Asia-Pacific region. It’s also added support for lightning network transactions, allowing users to pay for its service using the “layer 2” scaling solution."
Bitmain’s landmark plan to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in doubt
"'The exchange is very hesitant to actually approve these bitcoin mining companies because the industry is so volatile. There’s a real risk that they could just not exist anymore in a year or two,' said Coindesk's anonymous source. Bitmain did not publicly disclose its financial data for the third quarter of this year amid the crypto price-plunge but is required to share any significant drops in revenue to the exchange."
The resolution of the Big Block experiment
"I suspect SegWit2x was the last big block proposal to gain mainstream traction. As exemplified in the short history of Bitcoin Cash, the community that buys into the narrative of bigger blocks tends to centralize around personalities rather than facts. Inevitably, when there is contention amongst these personalities, the hard-fork culture offers dissidents an easy way out; “just hard fork it.” This is the only death spiral that destroys value from sound money."
Reducing Shielded Proving Time in Sapling
"Since the successful Sapling network upgrade, we have already seen an increased adoption of shielded addresses in the Zcash ecosystem. Services like mining pools are beginning to offer shielded address payouts to customers. Further, the number of third-party desktop wallets supporting shielded addresses is also rising. Looking ahead, shielded address light client support will promote even wider adoption. This is just the beginning for Zcash’s mission toward a shielded ecosystem."
-December 2018- Exchange Volumes Report
"For our December report we’ve taken a deeper dive into specific trading pairs on exchanges which are showing clear evidence of wash trading. This has always been our goal, however we wanted to make sure this data was as accurate as possible, so we’ve been updating and perfecting these algorithms over the past 3 months. ... Also coming out of this data, we have discovered 4 different bot strategies which are used to inflate exchange volume numbers. Some of these bots appear to be set to different trading pairs depending on the time of day. Settings are changed based on current volume trends or hype around a given token for that time period."