The Weekly Decrypt No. 6 | February 8-12, 2016

The Daily Decrypt is a daily weekday video broadcast covering a wide variety of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology topics and news stories. At CORE Media we’ve found the broadcast to be an invaluable and entertaining resource in cryptocurrency news and provide a weekly summary of The Daily Decrypt episodes. Welcome to the Weekly Decrypt!

Bitcoin Classic is a variant to the Bitcoin Core codebase which differs primarily in that it supports a 2MB block size. The first downloadable version of its codebase was released last week and since that time the number of Bitcoin Classic nodes has increased to over 500 or approximately 10% of the number of nodes running Bitcoin Classic. This is roughly the same level of adoption that Bitcoin XT achieved last year in its yet-to-be-successful attempt at unseating Bitcoin Core. Of all the variants that have attempted such a feat, Bitcoin Classic and its focus on simply doubling the block size seem to be earning the support of miners, users and Bitcoin companies alike.

Gavin Andresen, ex-Core developer now a Classic developer, estimates that, if 75% of Bitcoin’s hashpower becomes compatible with the Classic codebase, a hard fork will be scheduled to take place approximately 28 days later and those still running Core nodes will have the chance to upgrade to Classic. If even 50% of hashpower switches to Bitcoin Classic, the Bitcoin Core codebase is pre-programmed to give a warning that an upgrade is available.

Bitcoin Classic may well be Bitcoin’s last chance to return its development to more of an alignment with the vision Satoshi Nakamoto had for Bitcoin in his original whitepaper.

Upon learning that the upcoming Ubuntu phone will feature an Ethereum wallet by which the user’s fingerprint will replace a password, many became curious about the privacy and security of such an identity-based feature. Kristoffer Josefsson of BlockApps who is developing the wallet, known as Strato, assured us that the app or the phone does receive any information about the user’s fingerprint and submit it to the Ethereum blockchain. The feature, which is optional, simply determines whether the fingerprint is correct or not.

Prior to the programmable money and associated transactional services afforded to us by Bitcoin and its blockchain, identity was the primary way by which transactions were made more secure. Knowing the identities of the parties involved in a payment or a transaction allows past history and character to be considered in determining whether a transaction is viable and also provides an avenue for recourse in the event that a party defrauds the transaction or payment.

Identity-based transaction and financial systems, although convenient in some ways, cost us as a global society in numerous ways. Identity-based systems incentivize identity theft and make it very easy for governments, banks, and corporations to monitor our finances. These systems also prohibit roughly 4 billion people without government-approved identity credentials from participating.

These downfalls of identity-based systems have paved the path nicely for the anonymous financial tools afforded to us by Bitcoin and other encryption and blockchain-based technologies.

BitNation is an organization and blockchain-based project which began in 2014 and aims to provide tools people can use to build their own nation states complete with various governance functions. An example of a BitNation app under development is its arbitration and dispute resolution app through which users can pseudonymously participate in group dispute resolution chats, appoint arbitrators and call forth witnesses.

BitNation had originally issued its tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain via the Counterparty protocol. However, it recently announced that it will burn those tokens and that it is exploring its options for living on the Ethereum blockchain where it may eventually issue its own tokens once again.

BitNation’s system of governance is being dubbed a ‘Holacracy’ – a form of governance in which individuals, holons, are simultaneously autonomous and yet a part of the general whole. In this system, instead of voting on an issue, a holon can propose to do something and other holons who find themselves in agreement can choose to fund the initiative with their tokens.

BitNation’s Holacratic Constitution is set to be coded into the Ethereum blockchain tomorrow, February 15, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Although BitNation believes in the language of its Constitution, it still plans to develop and implement tools for people who don’t jive with their idea of a Holacracy to create their own nation states and governance guidelines.

If you’d like to watch the BitNation Holacratic Constitution be enshrined on the Ethereum blockchain, point your browser towards BitNation’s Facebook page where you’ll find the latest updates on this event.

Numerous cryptocurrencies have battled for the best solution for anonymous transactions over the years, yet only a few have stood the test of time and continue to innovate within this popular subsector of cryptocurrency development. One such contender based on the Cryptonote protocol is Monero. Monero has a core team of 7 people who both contribute to code development and manage the project’s direction.

According to one of its core team members known as Ric Spagni, Monero transactions are unlinkable and untraceable. Anyone surveying the Monero blockchain via its block explorer will be unable to view the outgoing transactions associated with any given address. All incoming transactions have a number of possible senders each with an equal chance of being the true sender.

Enhanced privacy features soon to come to Monero are a scheme called ring confidential transactions which will also render transaction amounts invisible from a block explorer and a mechanism for disconnecting the broadcasting IP address of a transaction from the transaction on the blockchain.

Although many users of Monero do value their privacy, it does allow for a user to publicize the entirety of the transaction history associated with their account.

Monero development is funded via community donations. Enhancements and upgrades to Monero are proposed via their forum and then users can choose to bring desirable proposals to fruition by donating to fund them. The most recent proposal to gain funding proposed that a graphical user interface (GUI) be developed and implemented for Monero which is presently run from the command line or its web wallet.

For more information on Monero, head on over to its overview page at CryptoCompare.com.

There are a lot of reasons to own cryptocurrency and those who do own some oftentimes find themselves wishing they had more because there are just so many things you can do with cryptocurrency:

  1. Peer-to-peer loan opportunities are available via websites like BTCjam.com, BTCpop.co and BitBond.com.
  2. Trading cryptocurrencies for profit without having to make an account is possible via online cryptocurrency exchanges like ShapeShift.io, BlockTrades.us and MetaExchange.info.
  3. Discounts when paying with cryptocurrency can be had at Amazon, Target and Starbucks via websites like Purse.io, Foldapp.com and Airbitz.co.
  4. Erotic accompaniment can be obtained with cryptocurrency via services such as Xotika.tv.
  5. Cryptocurrency can be used for online gambling and casino gaming at websites like LimoPlay.comBetcoin.ag and for betting in prediction markets such as Betmoose.com and Fairlay.com.

All episodes of The Daily Decrypt broadcast to date can be found on their YouTube channel as well as their website and you may get involved in the discussion on cryptocurrency competition at the Daily Decrypt subreddit.