This week in Crypto -10-13 February
Aztec at Its Core: A Solution to Make Ethereum Transactions Anonymous
Aztec is designed not only to provide a high level of privacy on the ETH blockchain but also, according to its creators, it can significantly reduce transaction costs. Besides, as expected in the nearest time, users will be able to release their assets using the Aztec development toolkit.
The Aztec protocol is already known in the Ethereum community with the ETH blockchain previously used to convert the Maker DAI stablecoin into an anonymous asset. The accumulated experience has helped the Aztec developers realize the best compilation of ideas to improve the Ethereum network. What makes this stand out is the technology of zero-knowledge proofs (Zk-SNARK), which allows hiding transaction amounts using tokens with a high level of anonymity.
The system runs on the Aztec Cryptography Engine smart contract, which validates transactions. The validation process is as follows: When a user transfers tokens, the system encrypts their amount in a separate note thus generating a proof of correctness. As a result, it becomes impossible to see the coins in the recipient’s account. The user can see notes, instead, which are a kind of promise or a claim for the number of coins they were sent.
40 German Banks Seek Regulator’s Green Light to Offer Bitcoin Custody
Local newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Feb. 7 that Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is dealing with a cascade of applications from 40 banks seeking to become regulated cryptocurrency custodians.
The new legislation gives those institutions that were already engaged in digital assets a transitional period lasting until Nov. 2020. All market participants must nonetheless register their interest with the regulator by the end of March at the latest.
The volume of applications has reportedly outstripped the Finance Ministry’s expectations. Frank Schäffler, a member of parliament for the Free Democratic Party, told reporters:
“The market is growing faster than the Federal Ministry of Finance has predicted. This is a blessing and a curse. The high demand […] shows that more and more firms accept blockchain technology, but can also be seen to be a result of the new legislation.”
William Shatner Doubts Craig Wright’s Claims to Inventing Bitcoin
William Shatner, the Canadian actor that played Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series, suggested that Wright is not behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto — the seminal cryptocurrency’s creator. In a tweet on Feb. 11, Shatner said:
“Ask yourself why would someone claim to be Satoshi and offer zero proof? Either put up or shut up, right?”
Wright claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, but in November he told the plaintiff that he could not afford a 500,000 BTC (nearly $4.9 billion) settlement in the case that the Kleiman estate initiated against him. Earlier this month, he was accused of abusing attorney-client privilege to withhold documents and confuse trial proceedings.
$400 Drop: Bitcoin Faces Further Downside After Rejection at Price Hurdle
The top cryptocurrency by market value was seeing bids around $10,400 during the Asian trading hours. Buying interest weakened after the cryptocurrency failed to stay above Wednesday’s high of $10,500 and prices fell sharply to $10,077 around 08:30 UTC.
Overall, the trend remains bullish, with prices still up 42 percent on a year-to-date basis and trading well above the 200-day average at $8,867. However, the $400 drop seen earlier is suggestive of buyer exhaustion, as it was preceded by repeated failure at $10,500 and accompanied by an overbought reading on the money flow index.
As a result, deeper correction to levels below $10,000 cannot be ruled out.