Mapping out the major crypto infrastructure launches of 2018 | Brave browser is collecting donations on your behalf — did you know?

Bitcoin $3,830                    Ethereum $130.05 
Crypto Mkt Cap $129B              BTC Dominance 51.80%  

“Stablecoins are necessary infrastructure for our ecosystem, but they don’t get me excited. Thus, neither is Facebook’s stablecoin move exciting- but what lies beneath the announcement has me ecstatic. Facebook touches over one billion people, of which 100’s of millions of these users don’t have access to financial services. So what has me excited is about financial inclusion, and Facebook’s ability to bring hundreds of millions of new users into crypto via becoming the world’s largest global bank… and the first baby step is this stablecoin.” — Brad Stephens, Partner Blockchain Capital

The Big Block

2018 was a bad year for investors looking for outsized returns from crypto. But for developers, the lull in the market was much needed.

And the quite period marked the launch of major products and protocols that could lay the foundation for the future development of the crypto industry. 2018 was the year that of the launch and growth of the Lightning Network, bringing scaling solutions to Bitcoin. We also the saw the infrastructure of Ethereum’s Open Finance take shape, with the launch of Augur, Compound, and dy/dx.

Companies in the traditional finance sectors also started to contribute to product development for the crypto industry this year. We saw Cash App, Robinhood, and eToro introduce millions to crypto, with each launching their own fiat-to-crypto on-ramp platforms. Additionally, major Ethereum competitors released their mainnet this year, including EOS, Tezos, and Tron.

As our industry prepares for the new year, The Block has mapped out major crypto product launches in 2018. To be sure, this is not an exhaustive list as it would be quite impracticable to map out every single product launch this year.

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Around The Block

Coinmetrics report: Over 2 million Bitcoin Private tokens were covertly premined, breaking the 21 million supply cap

Coinmetrics, a cryptoasset data provider, released a 10-page report titled: “Don’t trust, verify: A Bitcoin Private case study.” The report analyzes Bitcoin Private (BTCP), a fork-merge of Bitcoin and ZClassic, a cryptocurrency with privacy features, which itself was a fork of Zcash. A fork-merge combines two existing blockchain Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) sets into a single chain. In Bitcoin Private’s case, it combined UTXO sets from Bitcoin and ZClassic. ZClassic was originally forked away from Zcash to remove the blockchain’s founder’s reward. Bitcoin Private forked away from ZClassic to revitalize the ZClassic community.

While Bitcoin Private had an intended 21 million coin supply cap, similar to Bitcoin, Coinmetrics found that an additional “2.04 million units were covertly minted during the import of the Bitcoin UTXO and sent to the BTCP shielded pool,” pushing the actual BTCP supply cap to 23.04 million. Shielded pools contain coins stored in shielded addresses, which employ Zk-SNARKS, a privacy technology that anonymizes transactions. — More

Brave browser is collecting donations on your behalf — did you know?

The Brave web browser is collecting money in the form of BAT (basic attention tokens) on your behalf! Surprise!

Free money doesn’t sound too bad. But the second part is an issue.

If you tell someone you are collecting money on my behalf, that means someone could send you money thinking it is actually going to me. But in reality, if you are keeping that money for yourself or using it for some other purpose, that could be construed as fraud.

When popular Youtube personality Tom Scott – who had never even heard of Brave – found out Brave was collecting money under his name, he was not happy about it. — More

2018 Year in Review – Sneak Peak — More

“It would both be over-rated and under-rated:’ We spoke to some of the top crypto experts about Facebook’s reported stablecoin — here’s what they said — More

GMO exits crypto mining industry after recording “extraordinary” losses — More

WSJ: Hundreds of crypto offerings show signs of “plagiarism, identity theft and promises of improbable returns” — More

WSJ: Regulators have brought more than 90 cases over the past two years against crypto companies — More

Indian government panel suggests possible rule change around legal status of cryptocurrencies — More

Bitcoin and Ethereum weekly trading volume reached 7-month highs — More

Bitmain layoffs underway, may impact up to 50% of staff — More

Binance is adding two pairs with XRP as the quote asset — More

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