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  • European Central Bank to Discuss Bitcoin and Blockchain With Youth

    European Central Bank to Discuss Bitcoin and Blockchain With Youth

    One of the three major questions that the President of the European Central Bank will be answering via a series of videos on Feb. 12, 2018 is about cryptocurrencies and Blockchain.

    Mario Draghi will respond to the selected questions, whether Bitcoin offers a viable alternative to traditional currencies as well as comment on the ECB's view on its technology, provided they are submitted by Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Europeans aged between 16 and 35 can also ask questions around three main topics: possibility of a new global economic crisis, cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, Europe’s economic recovery and youth unemployment

    The session is part of the ECB’s third Youth Dialogue which usually constitutes a series of talks held by the Bank’s policymakers with students and young people from different countries and backgrounds.

    As a prelude to the session, the ECB has launched a Twitter opinion poll to ask if Bitcoin could offer a viable alternative to traditional currencies. The poll by Europe’s top bank has received more than 15,500 responses in about 24 hours.

    Central banks and crypto

    While the role of central banks in the digital currency world has always been a subject of debate, the view that they exist to help ensure stability for economies still stands.

    Bitcoin’s volatility has earned criticism of being a vehicle for perpetrating fraud from the likes of Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of the US investment bank Goldman Sachs. Luxembourg's Finance Minister, Pierre Gramegna also suggested that the European Union could soon introduce new cryptocurrency regulations.

    Adoption trend

    What is clear is that 2017 was a crucial year for Bitcoin. Top digital currency soared in popularity globally as its value rose sharply, while crypto gained mainstream media’s attention.

    Though there is no evidence, such awareness increased its adoption in Europe, available statistical data about 2017 shows that its use as an every-day payment method in main European economies is still minimal.

    Crypto Q&A at the Youth Dialogue

    Nevertheless, it is obvious that new information has been dropped into the public domain for many people to sort on their own. It should make the ECB’s Q&A session to be an interesting watch even if nothing new is expected.

    The session is coming in the wake of the recent suspension of Bitcoin-backed Visa debit cards in Europe and proposed introduction of EU-wide regulation on such currencies. It’s also worth thinking what the outcome could mean for the affected payment processors who are reportedly in talks with alternate card issuers in Europe and for those seeking to set up a crypto/fiat bank that would be independent of traditional banks.

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  • Decentralized Travel Distribution Platform Eliminates Middlemen to Make Your Trips Cheaper

    Decentralized Travel Distribution Platform Eliminates Middlemen to Make Your Trips Cheaper

    Outbound trips worldwide had grown by 3.9 percent in the first eight months of 2017, according to the ITB World Travel Trends Report. With low-cost airlines, more people, especially in Asia, are taking trips and enjoying travel. However, not all is well with the travel industry.

    The travel landscape is dominated by a clutch of companies, which has led to a sort of cartelisation that is serving no benefit either to the travel industry itself or the people it should be serving. The end users of the services associated with travel industry rarely seem to get any advantage from the supposedly highly competitive industry. While there may be a plethora of options to choose from when booking trips online, there is no real choice as Nasdaq points out, “Almost three-fourths of the consumers in the US. are unaware of the fact that they are essentially comparing travel booking options between two companies which own numerous affiliates. While Expedia currently owns around 75 percent of the US online travel market through sites such as Trivago, Travelocity, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Egencia, CarRentals.com, Classic Vacations, etc., Priceline owns most of the remaining market through its websites like  Kayak, Booking.com, Agoda, Rentalcars.com, etc. The Association (American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)) claims that together these two OTAs own around 95 percent of the online travel market in the US.”

    If travelers are to get a real choice, they will need the industry to innovate and evolve new ways of product distribution. Winding Tree is building a new decentralized, open-source travel distribution platform that aims to serve the needs both of the traveling public as well as the suppliers of travel products. The platform would involve no centralized control which means that there won’t be many intermediaries to escalate prices. It would also have no barriers for entry so that finally smaller businesses in the industry can have an equal footing with the big boys.

    Travel should be about freedom

    Winding tree’s platform has a multi-faceted approach for rehauling the travel industry. It will allow distribution of inventory directly to points of sale eliminating costly intermediaries and bottlenecks. It also will lead to more choice for the retailers as they would be able to source products from all the suppliers that exist on Winding Tree without having to worry about markup fee. As a democratic platform, the governance model would allow anyone to propose changes, which would put everyone on the same footing. The Winding Tree foundation will ensure that travel becomes something that everyone will enjoy. Finally and most importantly customers would be able to benefit from all these facets that will transform the travel industry and will be able to use Lif tokens on the platform to pay for their travel.

    Lif at the heart of Winding Tree

    The Lif token is at the heart of the Winding Tree platform. The token would be useful to conduct transactions and also help users of the platform to participate in the governance of the platform. Winding Tree is holding a Token Generation Event starting Feb. 1, 2018. The pricing has been kept in the range of 1,000-900 Lif for one ETH (Ethereum). The fundraiser for Winding Tree would continue uncapped for a period of two weeks. It is expected that the price of Lif would rise after the first week. Lif tokens would be distributed over seven days after the fundraiser ends. There is no cap on the amount of tokens and it will be decided by the markets how many Lif are generated. Excess funds (over $10 mln)  that are collected would be stored in a Market Validation Mechanism (MVM). This will allow participants in the sale to withdraw a part of their contribution by sending their Lifs to the MVM. More information on the ICO can be found on the Winding Tree website including details on how to participate. Additionally, a white paper has also been released by the platform as well as a one-pager that gives details on the project and its dynamics.

    Big-name partners

    Winding Tree has been named one of the most promising ICOs of early 2018 by the Merkle. They featured the MVM as one of the highlights and write, “The public sale will take place beginning Feb. 1. There is a soft cap of $10 mln, and excess funds will be placed in a smart contract that will allow token holders to sell back their tokens at ICO rates. If under $5 mln is raised, investors will be reimbursed and the tokens will not be created. 75 percent of the total supply is to be distributed through the ICO.” Additionally, the Merkle was also appreciative of the fact that their efforts have the potential to change the nature of the travel industry itself. That the project has managed to get established travel industry titans as partners is something that definitely works in favor of the Winding Tree. Currently, they have onboard Lufthansa, Swiss, Air New Zealand, Austrian, Brussels airlines and Eurowings. Nordic Choice Hotels, one of the biggest hotel chains in Scandinavia with approximately 190 hotels in Scandinavia and the Baltic region too has partnered with Winding Tree.

    Interestingly, the tiny island country of Aruba in the Caribbean is going to be one of the first proving grounds for the project. In order to prevent the island’s crucial tourist revenue from flowing abroad due to a select few Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), the ATECH foundation, which is responsible for Aruba’s technical development has partnered with Winding Tree so that tourists can pair up directly with sellers of travel products.

    Winding Tree would be one of those projects that would definitely be worth watching for as the year unfolds. Using Blockchain to tackle one of the most tightly knit industries could unleash a disruption that could be a game changer for all the stakeholders.

    Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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  • Bitcoin Under Increasing Scrutiny on Island of Bali

    Bitcoin Under Increasing Scrutiny on Island of Bali

    Bitcoin is under heavy surveillance on Bali, an island in the Indonesian archipelago, according to local reports. Central Bank officials are seeking to crack down on the use of the cryptocurrency anywhere in the nation. Causa Iman Karana, head of Bank Indonesia's representative office in Bali said:

    "We found out from some postings on social media that Bali appeared to have become a haven for Bitcoin transactions. The next step is we will ban them as mandated by the law. We ask them not to use it anymore. Along with the Directorate of Special Crime Investigation unit, we will enforce the rule that all transactions in Indonesia must use rupiah.”

    The country had previously been reported as having significant local adoption of Bitcoin usage, but recent reports indicate that the government is trying to curtail the use of digital currencies. The risk of money laundering and criminal activity has led to the increased scrutiny.

    The harsh rhetoric against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies falls more in line with the Chinese and potential South Korean bans than the more lenient Australian position.

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  • Price Analysis, Jan. 19: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, IOTA, Litecoin, NEM, Cardano

    Price Analysis, Jan. 19: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, IOTA, Litecoin, NEM, Cardano

    The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of authors/contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

    The market data is provided by the HitBTCexchange.

    After a sharp fall, the aggressive bulls jump in and buy at lower levels. This strategy has resulted in huge gains for the cryptocurrency traders in 2017. However, unlike previous occasions, we have not seen a sharp rise this time. This shows that the traders are not confident of a huge rally from the current prices.

    In the next few days, we expect a range bound action in most of the top cryptocurrencies.

    BTC/USD

    We had expected a pullback from the $10,704.99 levels. But Bitcoin overshot on the downside and fell to $9,300 levels.

    BTC

    Currently, the bulls are attempting a reversal, which is likely to carry the cryptocurrency to the neckline of the head and shoulders pattern at $13,202 levels.

    We expect another round of selling from those levels, which is likely to sink the BTC/USD pair back to the support zone of $10,704.99 to $9,300. If this support zone breaks, a fall below $8,000 is likely.

    On the other hand, if the bulls succeed in holding the support zone, it will lead to a start of a new uptrend. Nimble-footed traders can play the rise, but others should wait for more clarity to develop.

    ETH/USD

    We expected the support zone between the trendline and $940 to hold. On Jan. 17, Ethereum broke below the trendline and fell to a low of $770.   

    ETH

    The bulls bought the dip aggressively, which has resulted in a pullback that carried the cryptocurrency towards the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement levels of the recent fall from $1424 to $770.

    For the past three days, the ETH/USD pair has been struggling to cross above $1097. If the price breaks out of the $1100 levels, we expect a move to $1174.36 and $1284.28 levels. As the stop loss is $930, which doesn’t offer a good risk to reward ratio, we are not suggesting any trade on it.  

    BCH/USD

    We expected the $1733 levels to hold. Still, the bears easily broke through it and Bitcoin Cash fell to a low of $1364.96 on Jan. 18.

    bch

    The current increase is likely to face resistance at the $2072 levels, which was the support of the range previously. We shall get a confirmation of a bottom during the next downturn. If $1364.96 breaks, a fall to $1194 is likely.

    Our bearish view will be invalidated if the BCH/USD pair sustains above $2072 for a day.

    XRP/USD

    We had forecast a fall to 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement levels of the latest rally, however, Ripple fell close to the 78.6 percent retracement levels, which coincided with the lower end of the descending channel.

    XPR

    The cryptocurrency has broken out of the descending channel, which suggests that the downtrend is over. However, the present increase is facing resistance at the 20-day EMA, above which a move to $2.20 is likely. At that price, the XRP/USD pair will face resistance from the trendline that had previously acted as a strong support.

    However, if the cryptocurrency fails to break above the 20-day EMA, the bears will attempt to resume the downtrend. Support lies at $0.87.

    We expect a few days of range bound trading.     

    IOTA/USD

    IOTA broke down of the bearish descending triangle pattern on January 16, which gives it a pattern target of $1.10.

    IOTA

    However, the cryptocurrency took support at $1.93 levels on Jan. 17.

    Currently, the IOTA/USD pair is retesting the breakout levels of $3.032. If the bulls breakout of the overhead resistance and the downtrend line, our bearish view will be invalidated.

    However, if the bears defend the $3.032 levels, we are likely to see another bout of selling, which will retest the lows.  

    We don’t find any clear pattern; hence, we are not recommending any trade.   

    LTC/USD

    We had forecast a likely fall to $100 if Litecoin broke below $175.19. It rose from a low of $140.00 on Jan. 17.

    LTC

    For two days in a row, Jan. 16 and Jan. 17, the bears broke down below $175.19 but were unsuccessful in holding prices down.

    If the bulls breakout of $205, a move to $225 is likely, where both the moving averages converge. This level is likely to act as a resistance.  

    We don’t find any reasonable trades on LTC/USD pair.

    XEM/USD

    NEM fell close to the 78.6 percent retracement levels on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17. Thereafter, the bulls have commenced a pullback, which is likely to face a strong resistance at the downward trendline.

    XEM

    If the price moves above the downtrend line, an increase to $1.45 can’t be ruled out.

    The next fall towards the recent lows of $0.55134 will confirm whether the bottom is in place or is there further to go.

    Until then, we shall remain on the sidelines on the XEM/USD pair.

    ADA/BTC

    Cardano broke below the trendline support on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17, however, the bulls defended the support and pushed prices higher quickly.

    ADA

    The ADA/BTC pair broke out of the downtrend line yesterday, Jan. 18, however, it could not pick up momentum. It is struggling to rally above 0.00006. Once bulls breakout of 0.00006, a move to 0.00007 and thereafter to the 0.00008 levels is likely.

    The cryptocurrency pair will become negative below 0.00004730.

    The charts for the analysis are provided byTradingView

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  • BitPay Integrates With ShapeShift to Enable Instant BTC-BCH Exchange

    BitPay Integrates With ShapeShift to Enable Instant BTC-BCH Exchange

    The BitPay payment processor has announced its integration with the ShapeShift exchange to provide instant Bitcoin to Bitcoin Cash trades. This announcement was made in a blog post Thursday, Jan. 18. The new partnership allows users to conduct exchanges between Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in the BitPay and Copay wallets.

    US-based Bitpay was founded in 2011 and is one the largest international Bitcoin payment gateways. ShapeShift is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that focuses on instant trades between a number of cryptocurrencies.

    The integration allowed users to “shift" between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash instantly, increasing the level of integration between the two coins’ markets.

    Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork of Bitcoin launched on Aug. 1, 2017 in order to increase the size limit of the Blockchain blocks and, by extension, the number of transactions that can be processed by the network every minute.

    Since its launch, BCH has been adopted by a number of major digital currency exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Kraken, ShapeShift and others.

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  • Trading Bots to Govern an Investment Strategy of Newly Created Decentralized Autonomous Funds

    Trading Bots to Govern an Investment Strategy of Newly Created Decentralized Autonomous Funds

    After lurking in investment shadows for a number of years, cryptocurrencies have recently broken out into the mainstream. While Bitcoin hogged most of media attention media and attracted a large portion of newly minted cryptocurrency investors thus far, Blockchain technology has started to garner mainstream interest. Investors in conventional stocks and assets are slowly migrating towards cryptocurrencies. However, those are still very new, very volatile and their market is not easy to navigate. Here is where NaPoleonX comes in. The budding company will merge algorithmic, quantitative asset management with Blockchain technology to make investing in cryptocurrencies more facilitated, secure and profitable.

    Conventional trading with smart contracts

    In anticipation of broad conventional asset tokenization, the highly experienced NaPoleonX team has innovated the Decentralized Autonomous Fund (DAF) that makes investing in both cryptocurrencies and conventional assets on the same platform possible and robust. As trading bots are posing a real challenge to conventional asset management methods, being more effective and cost-efficient, NaPoleonX is introducing algorithms so that cryptocurrencies can be traded securely and transparently. In short, NaPoleonX is an innovative investment platform devoted to cryptocurrency holders.

    In addition to capitalizing on the potentials of asset tokenization and presenting DAFs, NaPoleonX is also introducing the advantages of smart contracts to conventional trading like enhanced security and reduced transaction fees. Up until now, only crypto-traders were able to reap these benefits.

    Even though, so far, Bitcoin and Ethereum market capitalization levels only represent a fraction of the market for other assets, that is bound to change. Crypto-trading can expand beyond altcoins and into real assets. This would mean more diversification for investors and an incredible amount of value transfer to the crypto world.

    Underlying technology and NPX Token

    The platform is described as an algorithmic crypto-asset manager. This means that the trading bots will be designed and operated to make optimal investment decisions for traders. Each DAF uses one or a combination of trading bots to fulfill its purpose.  

    NaPoleonX smart contracts will be deployed through the Napoleon Crypto SAS company, which will hold intellectual rights for the first ten DAFs created on the platform. This intellectual property will be shared with NPX token holders. NPX token holders can get access to buy-sell signals and they are entitled to revenues from sub-licensing according to rules and regulations created by the company. Buy and sell signals are provided to NPX token holders in three speeds depending on the proportion of NPX tokens that they hold.

    NaPoleonX will give access to DAFs on its platform, some of which may be reserved for more experienced investors and will adhere to specific regulations. These precautions are due to the fact that NaPoleonX is the first platform of its kind to offer very scalable investments (more than $100 mln). It is important to mention that DAFs can be continuously proposed to NPX token holders with a diversity of governance models, Boton consumption and underlying Blockchains.

    ICO launch

    NaPoleonX answers two questions. The first one relates to the use of Blockchain technology in investment beyond the crypto-world and the second one relates to the merger of conventional and crypto-trading. In Blockchain-based algorithmic asset management, investors will find a solution to both profitability and security.

    It is an exciting project, to say the least, that has a leg up on its competitors for many reasons, most important of which being the extensive experience brought forth by its team members. Indeed the seasoned team brings many years of experience in designing and running high-performance trading bots.

    NaPoleonX will be fully regulated and licensed, and Napoleon Crypto SAS already has 20 high performing strategies which enable the creation of 10 DAFs. The ICO for this ambitious project will be launched Jan. 22nd and the team is aiming to collect €15 mln.

    Author:Zeina

    Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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  • Bitconnect Ponzi Scheme – No Sympathy From Crypto Community

    Bitconnect Ponzi Scheme - No Sympathy From Crypto Community

    What looked too good to be true ended up being just that, as Bitconnect has all but closed its doors.

    Long accused of being a Ponzi-scheme, Bitconnect shut down its cryptocurrency exchange and lending service this week. As stated on their website, Bitconnect had received cease and desist letters from two American securities regulators - leading to the closure of their lending and exchange platforms. Still, Bitconnect will continue to run its website and wallet service.

    Sketchy ‘Ponzi’ offerings

    Since its inception in January 2017, many were skeptical about Bitconnect services. In essence, one needed to send Bitconnect Bitcoin in exchange for Bitconnect Coin (BCC) on their exchange.

    Once you had BCC, you were guaranteed “up to 120 percent return per year.” Users were told they were earning interest by holding their coin “for helping maintain the security of the network.”

    Ponzi

    Source: Bitconnect.co

    Lending platform

    Bitconnect’s lending platform is what really led to accusations of a Ponzi scheme, as well as cease and desist orders from regulators.

    Lending

    Source: Bitconnect.co

    As the above illustration explains, users bought BCC with Bitcoin and then lent out their BCC on the Bitconnect lending software.

    Users would receive varying percentages of interest depending on the amount of BCC they had lent.

    Lending

    Source: Bitconnect.co

    Add in the referral system seen in many other Ponzi schemes and the fact that the operation was run anonymously; it's hardly surprising that this whole endeavor has ended in tears.

    The lending scheme was the main draw card of Bitconnect because of its huge promise of returns. In order to participate in the scheme, you had to buy BCC - which saw the token hit an all-time high of $437.31 per BCC before it plummeted in value following the closure this week.

    That being said, the cryptocurrency is still alive and trading at around $35 at the time of writing.

    BitConnect

    Social media burns Bitconnect

    Following Bitconnect’s closure, social media was abuzz with sentiments of ‘I told you so.’

    TenX co-founder Julian Hosp highlighted the fact that BCC was still trading as a real head-scratcher.

    Everything that's wrong with crypto in one picture! #bitconnect#scam#ponzi#cryptocurrencies#bubblepic.twitter.com/t5o9Nm1rZ4

    — Dr. Julian Hosp (@julianhosp) January 18, 2018

    Francis Pouliot shared a hilarious video of a Bitconnect meet which had been slightly dubbed over.

    People invested billions of dollars in this

    (This video is actually hilarious recommended for memephiles) https://t.co/Jpb8xpJsx7

    — Francis Pouliot (@francispouliot_) January 17, 2018

    American cartoonist Spike Trotman shared one of the most entertaining and eerily accurate predictions back in September 2017, postulating that Bitconnect was indeed a Ponzi scheme.

    Her latest tweet is a screenshot of the Bitconnect Reddit page, with subreddits for a suicide hotline as well as a massive legal action megathread. Do yourself a favor and take a look at Iron Spike’s full threat on Bitconnect - it’s brilliant.

    The current state of the Bitconnect subreddit is truly a thing to behold. https://t.co/QoGgUiE0XM

    — Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) January 19, 2018

    Rodolfo Novak shared a photo of the monumental collapse in price of Bitconnect from Coinmarketcap, highlight the moment the Ponzi scheme hits ‘exit time.’

    This is what a real ponzi looks like at the scam exit time. #BitConnect#BCCpic.twitter.com/2oAlaDMJtZ

    — Rodolfo Novak (@nvk) January 17, 2018

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  • Yale Prof. Shiller Thinks Bitcoin’s ‘Bubble’ Could Actually ‘Linger 100 Years

    Yale Prof. Shiller Thinks Bitcoin’s ‘Bubble’ Could Actually ‘Linger 100 Years

    Yale economics professor and Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller has admitted in an interview with CNBC Thursday, Jan. 18., that he now “doesn’t know what to make of Bitcoin ultimately” after earlier calling it“the best example of a bubble”.

    In fresh comments Thursday, several months after he told host Brian Kelly it was Bitcoin’s “story”  not its value that had sparked public interest in it, Shiller told reporters “it [Bitcoin] has no value at all unless there is some common consensus that it has value. Other things like gold would at least have some value if people didn't see it as an investment,” repeating a common narrative that investment in Bitcoin is like the 17th-century Tulip Mania.

    Though he admitted his uncertainty as to what Bitcoin’s fate will be, Shiller overall remains sceptical, stating:

    “[Bitcoin] might totally collapse and be forgotten and I think that's a good likely outcome but it could linger on for a good long time, it could be here in 100 years.”

    Bitcoin’s two-day slump this week has partially recovered to challenge $12,000, making it worth over 160 percent more than when Shiller made his previous bubble claims in early September, 2017.

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  • Former FDIC Chair Says ‘We Don’t Ban Assets,’ Bitcoin Just Needs To Be Regulated

    Former FDIC Chair Says ‘We Don’t Ban Assets,’ Bitcoin Just Needs To Be Regulated

    Sheila Bair, former US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) chair, told CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Friday, Jan. 19 that there is no precedent to ban Bitcoin (BTC) as an asset, but there is a need for additional regulation of digital currencies.

    Bair had previously written a December 2017 op-ed on Yahoo along the same theme of more regulation without any bans against BTC.

    In the “Fast Money” interview Friday, Bair reiterated that while, “we don’t ban assets,” regulating crypto markets is necessary to prevent both money laundering and the potential for market manipulation.

    Bair looks favorably on CBOE and CME’s recent releases of Bitcoin futures contracts, saying:

    “I think that the fact that CME and CBOE launched futures actually could help because that will actually also give them [government regulatory bodies] a window into providing, getting more reporting from the underlying Bitcoin exchanges that are feeding prices into their futures products. It will give the CFDC a window and some information to make sure there’s no manipulation going on.”

    Bair’s current main concern with Bitcoin is that the public may be attracted by the promise of high returns and begin investing in Bitcoin and other digital currencies without a clear understanding of what these products are.

    In regards to the public’s overall understanding of cryptocurrencies, Bair says:

    “I think there’s a lot of confusion between Bitcoin and blockchain technology.”

    Bair currently serves on the board of Paxos, a fintech company working with Blockchain technology. She noted during the CNBC interview that she does not own Bitcoin.

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  • Bitcoin Core Devs Reveal How Schnorr Signatures Can Help Scale Bitcoin

    Bitcoin Core Devs Reveal How Schnorr Signatures Can Help Scale Bitcoin

    Four Bitcoin 4 developers have released a paper outlining how Schnorr multi-signatures (‘multisig’) can help scale the BitcoinBlockchain.

    In the paper, published Jan. 15, Greg Maxwell, Andrew Poelstra, Yannick Seurin and Pieter Wuille discuss and illustrate how the technology, which ‘bunches’ multisig data together to reduce its size in a transaction, “could improve both performance and user privacy in Bitcoin.”

    Multisig has seen wide use in various applications for Bitcoin over the past several years. Its trademark security benefits are a principal feature of some consumer wallet applications, and this week’s paper pays attention to how Schnorr multisig also offers enhanced transaction privacy.

    Bitcoin scaling solutions continue to be in urgent demand as a variety of improvements move ever closer to mainstream acceptance.

    Chief among those in January is the Lightning Network, a so-called layer 2 protocol that facilitates near-zero-fee transactions for Bitcoin, processed almost instantly.

    Mainnet Lightning transactions are still in the “testing phase”, as Blockstream engineers put it in a post Jan. 16, and are happening on a small scale, with only around 50 nodes and 80 channels in operation.

    Schnorr signatures have long been a favorite for technical commentators, receiving praise   from Blockchain consultant Sam Wouters for security benefits last July. Wouters explained the significance of the technology in a post, saying:

    “At the end of the day, if it is just one person sending that transaction from multiple sources, there should be some way to do so with just one signature, right? This is what Schnorr signatures allow us to do.”

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