Ethereum Anonymization Protocol Launches Immutable Smart Contracts

https://insidebitcoins.com/news/ethereum-anonymization-protocol-launches-immutable-smart-contracts

Tornado.cash, an anonymization protocol based on Ethereum, has launched immutable smart contracts on its platform. In a press release published late last week, the protocol explained that it had launched its immutable contracts. Tornado, which ensures that Ethereum users can send money anonymously, explains that the new move will make its protocol unstoppable.

The Danger of Immutability

While the development does bring interesting factors, Tornado also explains that there are merits and demerits to achieving immutability.

On the one side, immutability should help improve decentralization on the blockchain and make it virtually impossible for the terms on a smart contract to change. However, this also leaves users vulnerable to bugs and threats.

The major problem with the concept of immutability is the fact that blockchains still aren’t perfect. Hackers get more sophisticated with time, and there’s a propensity for some inventive hackers to find some flaw in the Tornado.cash protocol.

However, with an immutable smart contract, the team behind the project will be unable to make changes to the smart contract’s code. Thus, anyone who finds a flaw and exploits it will have the unencumbered freedom to do as they please. Customers who deposit funds will quite literally be on their own.

No Going Back Now

Ethereum itself has seen some terrible smart contract protocol issues in the past. In 2016, the DAO – an automated venture capital fund and side code to the Ethereum Blockchain – got hacked. According to reports, the perpetrators were able to steal as much as $60 million in customer funds, and the smart contract worked as it should.

Speaking with industry news site Cointelegraph, Covertress, the founder of crypto mining platform Krypton, explained that the incident couldn’t be categorized as a “hack” because of the smart contract worked as it should. Instead, it was more of an exploit.

“Unless it does nothing and allows the funds to remain diverted, Ethereum will suffer a loss of credibility by effectively bailing out DAO investors and reversing what was billed as unstoppable code,” she clarified.

Bringing up a similar situation, crypto analyst David Gerard explained that an immutable smart contract protocol would be a “sitting duck for attackers,” as Tornado.cash will be unable to fix any security threats.

The problem could also backfire on Tornado, as it could mean that the team won’t be able to make updates to their protocol. tBTC, a decentralized Bitcoin-to-Ethereum bridge, recently shut down just after two days of operation due to a bug in its software code.

The service had launched on May 16 via the Ethereum mainnet, but its engineers and software developers found a bug in its code. Despite multiple audits, they found that it was buggy, and quickly executed a temporary shutdown to fix it.

Tornado.cash won’t have that luxury anymore. If technology has taught us anything, it’s that you can never be too careful.

Tezos Foundation Invests $38 Million in Ecosystem Development

https://insidebitcoins.com/news/tezos-foundation-invests-38-million-in-ecosystem-development/254665

The Tezos Foundation is doing its bid to encourage crypto and blockchain developers, as a new report shows that the firm has made significant commitments to help improve its ecosystem.

Earlier this week, the firm released its second Biannual Report, which detailed some of the progress that the firm was able to make in the final two financial quarters of 2019. As the report confirmed, the Tezos Foundation now has a war chest totaling $635 million – a rather substantial figure for a company that made less than $250 million in its Initial Coin Offering.

Prioritizing Internal Growth

Roman Schnider, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), explained that the firm has been able to raise such a sizable amount because of “positive market dynamics.” Expatiating, he revealed that the Bitcoin and Tezos blockchains had seen significant increases in their blockchain assets over the past 36 months, and that has worked out reasonably well for the firm’s bottom line.

The report also shed some light on how the Foundation has been able to use its funds, and it showed that it had provided $37.6 million in funding to its blockchain ecosystem since Q3 2019 began.

The report showed the divisions of the grant – ecosystem projects, research and development, and community support. All grant beneficiaries will need to go through a comprehensive application process, which involves proposal evaluations by several communities and due diligence reviews.

The Foundation already accepted 78 grants out of over 200 applications. While it didn’t reveal the details of the beneficiaries, the report explained that all payments would be made after specific milestones have been completed. For now, most of the grant’s research efforts have been geared towards developing Tezos’ smart contract languages, as well as optimizing aspects of the core software like privacy, staking, and general performance.

Other aspects where grants were also focused include the development of ecosystem applications and tools, as well as Tezsure – an insurance platform based on the Tezos blockchain – and camICase, a FinTech company looking to incorporate DeFi to Tezos’ ecosystem.

The global Tezos community also received about $13 million for their work of spreading awareness and increasing the Foundation’s reach.

The Need for Development and Scalability

The development has so far been one of the focus areas of crypto firms, especially since the industry continues to grow and hopes to replace the traditional way of doing things. As blockchain and crypto companies see a surge in their user bases and applications, it has become necessary to ensure that they’re able to scale effectively and keep hold of these new users.

Tezos is definitely not the only firm investing significantly in development. Earlier this week, crypto exchange Binance and its India-based subsidiary WazirX announced that they had launched the “Blockchain for India” initiative – a fund that will help drive blockchain development in the country.

As the press release to that effect explained, both companies will provide sufficient funding and mentorship opportunities to successful applicants, while also granting them access to Binance’s full suite of products and services.

The post Tezos Foundation Invests $38 Million in Ecosystem Development appeared first on InsideBitcoins.com.