This post was last updated on February 21st, 2020 at 12:52 am
In this issue:
- Crypto derivatives exchange FTX takes bets on 2020 candidates
- Etherisc and Chainlink bring fairness to flight insurance claims
- myNode makes it easy to run Bitcoin & Lightning
- Orchid offers on-demand online privacy
- Lightning lets e-sports spectators fund live in-game power-ups
We also show you how to build a Bitcoin arcade with a Pandora’s Box, an M5Stack, a pair of Lightning wallets, and hot glue.
All that and more in this week’s issue. But first, here’s some…
🚀 Updates From Nomics
- #1. Nomics Is First to List Handshake (HNS): This week, we completed an integration with Namebase, an exchange and registrar for Handshake domains. The integration made us the first crypto data aggregator to list live pricing information for Handshake’s native token, HNS. For more on Handshake and why it’s important, see our coverage in last week’s Popular Crypto.
- #2. Nomics Adds Exchanges CoinFLEX & Bilaxy, Upgrades 4 More: Along with Namebase, Nomics added crypto exchanges CoinFLEX and Bilaxy. The former earned an “A” Transparency Rating, indicating full transparency with regard to trade data granularity and history. The latter earned a “D” for providing low-granularity non-historical ticker data. Exchanges ZBG, LBank, BigONE, and DragonEx were all upgraded to “C” Transparency Ratings. This means that each now provides us with recent candle data, which we’ve made available on Nomics.com and through our market data API. To learn more about our crypto exchange rating system, check out the following essay.
- #3. New Capital Names Nomics One of Crypto’s Good Guys: In a post titled Crypto exchanges and data aggregators— the good (rare), the bad and the ugly, crypto exchange New Capital recognized Nomics as one of the few good actors in the space. They cited our Verified Exchange Program, which “serves to validate and rank the source exchanges in order to produce professional-grade market data” and our well-documented listing and integration process.
- #4. Economics of Proof-of-Work Mining: We’ve recorded another episode of our live webinar series, Flippening Podcast [LIVE]. This time, we welcomed Hasu, an independent cryptocurrency researcher who writes for Uncommon Core and Deribit. We discussed why Bitcoin needs miners, what miners do, and how the economic incentives work. Catch the replay here.
To join us for future episodes, sign up for invites.
And now, let’s see what the cryptocurrency world has brought us this week.
🙏 Thanks To Our Sponsor: CryptoTrader.Tax
- 🚀 Updates From Nomics
- 🙏 Thanks To Our Sponsor: CryptoTrader.Tax
- 🏇 This Week’s List
- #1. Derivatives Exchange FTX Takes Bets on TRUMP, BERNIE, et al.
- #2. Etherisc & Chainlink Take the Headache Out of Flight Insurance Claims
- #3. myNode Makes it Easy to Run Bitcoin & Lightning
- #4. Orchid Offers On-Demand Online Privacy
- #5. Lightning Lets E-Sports Spectators Fund Live In-Game Power-Ups
- #6. How to Build Your Own Bitcoin Arcade
🏇 This Week’s List
#1. Derivatives Exchange FTX Takes Bets on TRUMP, BERNIE, et al.
Last week, crypto derivatives exchange FTX launched TRUMP, a futures contract that lets customers place leveraged bets on U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election chances.
If Trump wins re-election, the contract will expire to $1. If he loses, it will expire to $0. This makes the TRUMP contract an election pure-play. Investors could always choose stocks based on how they might respond to an election. Now they can bet on the election itself.
As of this writing, TRUMP is trading at $0.64, which means that FTX customers give him a 64% chance of hanging on. At those odds, traders who long TRUMP stand to gain $0.36 per contract.
FTX followed the TRUMP launch with contracts for five Democratic candidates: Bernie Sanders (BERNIE), Mike Bloomberg (BLOOMBERG), Pete Buttigieg (PETE), Elizabeth Warren (WARREN), and Joe Biden (BIDEN). [Link]
Five hours later, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted that 1 million contracts had already been traded, an indication that prediction markets may fare better on derivatives exchanges than they have on platforms like Augur (REP), which typically sees fewer than 20 daily users.
#2. Etherisc & Chainlink Take the Headache Out of Flight Insurance Claims
Ethereum-based insurance protocol Etherisc has integrated Chainlink (LINK) oracles to deliver reliable flight status data.
The integration solves several problems with flight insurance, namely slow settlements and high costs. Chainlink’s data can be fed into smart contracts, which pay out whenever a specified condition (e.g. flight delay or cancellation) is met. No longer will customers have to fill out forms and wait for insurers to process their claims. And as insurers save on labor and equipment, they may pass those savings to consumers.
The product is live as a proof of concept on Rinkeby, an Ethereum testnet. [Link]
#3. myNode Makes it Easy to Run Bitcoin & Lightning
When transacting Bitcoin, the only way to guarantee your privacy is to run a full node or complete copy of the blockchain. Otherwise, you have to share information with a third party. After all, someone has to verify that funds aren’t double-spent.
Unfortunately, the process of configuring a full node can be complicated. That’s where myNode comes in. It’s a plug’n’play solution that enables users to run a dedicated full node and Lightning wallet right out of the box with an intuitive, web-based interface. From the home page, users can monitor their node, manage their wallet, and, via the built-in Bitcoin explorer, verify transactions without having to rely on third parties. [Link]
For more on myNode, check out the following video:
#4. Orchid Offers On-Demand Online Privacy
People use VPNs to secure their online browsing activity from hackers, governments, and other snoops. But all VPNs keep a user database, which can be hacked or accessed by the authorities, and some VPNs – especially free services – collect and sell user information.
Orchid addresses these problems with its peer-to-peer privacy network. Whenever you need a VPN, sign in with your cryptographically secure key (no username or other identifiers required), put up some OXT – the network’s native ERC20 token – and you’re matched with a bandwidth provider. The matching happens by smart contract, which orders providers by stake. The more OXT staked, the greater a provider’s chances of being chosen.
Users can select a single bandwidth provider or a “multi-hop” route that distributes their information among several providers. The former is like a traditional VPN – minus the personal identifiers. The latter takes privacy to the next level by completely separating the source (user) and destination (website). No one provider has both pieces of information.
In either case, users only pay for the bandwidth they consume. [Link]
Orchid recently added QR codes to streamline initial setup and facilitate usage across different devices. For more on that, see the following video:
Of course, privacy is also a concern in the physical world. There’s the right to browse the web or send and receive crypto anonymously. And then there’s the right to your personal space.
Ever feel like you’re being watched?
If so, you might want to scan the room with your smartphone. It can detect hidden cameras:
#5. Lightning Lets E-Sports Spectators Fund Live In-Game Power-Ups
At the recent Advancing Bitcoin conference in London, two Bitcoin devs squared off in Raiki, a fighting game that lets spectators upgrade the player of their choice by scanning a QR code and sending Bitcoin over the Lightning Network. Power-ups include super size, bombs, and extra life.
It’s a proof of concept created by Zebedee, a Bitcoin startup specializing in tools that allow game developers to integrate real-time value transfers.
Until now, game revenues have been limited to ads and purchases by players. As Raiki demonstrates, Lightning’s instant, inexpensive payment protocol enables a range of new possibilities. [Link]
#6. How to Build Your Own Bitcoin Arcade
With just a few components, anyone can build their own Bitcoin-powered game. In a tutorial, Ben Arc pairs a Pandora’s Box arcade console with an M5Stack to replace the board’s “COIN” function with Lightning payments. All that’s needed is glue, the M5Stack1.21 project to trigger the relay or electronic switch, and Lightning wallets – one to receive Bitcoin and one to send it.
Once the M5Stack is connected to Lightning, an invoice or QR code appears on its screen. Ben scans it and pays with his Bluewallet. More or less instantly, the game view updates from “Credit(s): 00” to “Credit(s): 01.”
While the Bitcoin arcade concept is certainly cool, the tech has applications beyond gaming. Following these steps, any device can be retrofitted to take Bitcoin over the Lightning Network.