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Major Korean exchanges delist Litecoin due to its new privacy features

South Korean crypto exchanges Upbit and Bithumb have announced today that they will delist Litecoin because of its newly activated privacy features. On May 20, Litecoin developers activated a privacy-preserving protocol on the coin, called MimbleWimble Extension Blocks (MWEB). This MimbleWimble update will allow Litecoin to conceal transactional data yet maintain its ability to process a lot of transactions quickly. Yet this causes an issue for Korean exchanges, which have to comply with strict laws on privacy coins. Upbit stated …

Grayscale hires Obama’s former Supreme Court lawyer for legal push against SEC

Grayscale, a leading crypto asset manager, has retained a heavy hitter from the Obama-era Department of Justice. The new legal counsel, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., was the solicitor general under President Obama. The role is a Department of Justice appointment that represents the US government in cases before the Supreme Court. Verrilli is currently a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson.  Jennifer Rosenthal, Grayscale’s VP of communications announced the hire in a June 7 Twitter thread, noting the firm’s “unwavering …

Chelsea Manning wants to take crypto back to its cyberpunk roots

Chelsea Manning thinks there’s a problem with crypto.  In a world where celebrities are coughing up more than half a million dollars for a jpeg of a cartoon ape, Manning says that the sector has “unequivocally” been overrun by greed.  “This is just the Gordon Gekko-ization of the technology space,” she says, likening the immense interest in cryptocurrencies and NFTs to the Wall Street film character synonymous with greed.  She says this has resulted in a huge misunderstanding of crypto …

Pseudonymity startup Big Whale Labs raises $3.8 million seed round 

Big Whale Labs, startup building a social protocol to facilitate pseudonymity through zero knowledge and crypto, announced on Wednesday it has raised $3.8 million in a Seed round. The round was led by M13 and Road, with participation from Slow Ventures, C2, Goodwater, Panache, NFR, and angel investors Balaji Srinivasan (ex-CTO of Coinbase) and Roman (founder of Tornado Cash), along with others. The social protocol lets people better manage their interactions online and aims to build trusted relationships through verifiable …

Korean crypto exchanges issue warnings on litecoin over confidential transactions

Bithumb and Upbit, two of Korea’s Big Four crypto exchanges that account for the majority of trading volume, have issued investment warnings about litecoin following an update that allows transactions to be sent confidentially.  Litecoin’s activation of privacy-focused technology Mimblewimble brings a “confidential transaction” ability to the Litecoin blockchain, enabling users to send tokens while hiding transaction information, Bithumb said in a post on Monday. Upbit also issued a similar warning today. The other two large Korean exchanges, Korbit and …

Privacy startup Nym brings in outside backers for $300 million developer fund

Nym Technologies, a Swiss privacy startup that shields online activity from surveillance using a mixnet, today unveiled a new $300 million fund to entice developers to its ecosystem. The Nym Innovation Fund has secured $300 million in commitments from a range of venture capital investors, according to an announcement shared exclusively with The Block. Those backers include Polychain, Greenfield One, Huobi Incubator, Tioga Capital, Eden Block, NGC Ventures, HashKey Capital, Figment, Fenbushi Capital, OKX Blockdream Ventures, Tayssir Capital, KR1, Lemniscap …

ECB board member calls for tougher, coordinated global regulation for crypto

A board member of the European Central Bank is advocating crypto regulation be aligned across the world to mitigate a potentially massive collapse.   Executive Board Member Fabio Panetta addressed Columbia University today about “the Wild West of crypto finance.” In his remarks, he said crypto requires a heavier regulatory burden since it has yet to deliver on its promised philosophy of truly decentralized, trustworthy money. “Crypto-assets are bringing about instability and insecurity – the exact opposite of what they promised,” …

Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash blocks sanctioned addresses from its frontend

Tornado Cash, a popular Ethereum mixer that helps obfuscate crypto transactions, has said that it will block crypto addresses sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) — an enforcement agency of the US Treasury Department. The news means OFAC-sanctioned crypto wallet addresses will now not be able to use Tornado Cash. “Maintaining financial privacy is essential to preserving our freedom, however, it should not come at the cost of non-compliance,” tweeted Tornado Cash on Friday. Tornado Cash said …

An overview of zero knowledge projects

February 9, 2022, 4:43PM EST • 12 min read Quick Take Zero knowledge projects utilize zk proofs to compress data and reduce the computation required for verifiers to validate transactions The two main value propositions for utilizing zk proofs are scaling transaction throughput and conferring privacy for users Apart from the notable names like StarkWare and Matter Labs, there are a number of zk-based projects which have seen increased media attention Unlike StarkWare and Matter Labs, there are some zk-based …

An updated look at Tornado Cash

January 13, 2022, 5:36PM EST • 5 min read Quick Take Tornado Cash uses zero-knowledge proof to break linkages between fund sender and receivers. Token incentive was leveraged to attract liquidity as the total value locked in Tornado Cash increased tenfold in 2021. Tornado Cash Nova enables deposits and withdrawals of arbitrary amounts of Ether, as well as shielded transfers of deposited tokens within the pools. Join The Block Research for exclusive research like this Gain access to this research …