Crypto Exchange ErisX Planning Launch of Futures Trading

Chicago-based crypto exchange ErisX has notified its members and participants that it will start trading futures digital currency products in a strangely low-key announcement.

On Dec. 16, ErisX reached out to its members, informing them of its intent to start trading crypto futures tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 17. The notice is strange, considering that it appeared without the fanfare one would expect of the launch of such a major product, leaving doubt only magnified by the history of the exchange, as well as rival LedgerX.

In July, the TD Ameritrade-backed crypto exchange procured a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Laurian Cristea, General Counsel at ErisX, remarked at the time that when crypto futures become available, the exchange will offer a single platform that accommodates both spot and futures trading. ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas added:

“ErisX is unique in that for our digital asset market, we have divided the trading and settlement functions using traditional DCM (exchange) and DCO (clearing) models [...] This reflects the structure that institutional investors expect from other asset classes and will help drive these markets toward greater relevance and accessibility.”

Just a week before ErisX received its license, competitor LedgerX procured its own DCM license when the CFTC approved the application of LedgerX LLC for designation as a contract market.

However, in a controversy between LedgerX and the CFTC it came out that the Commission had not yet approved LedgerX’s physically-settled bitcoin futures product. LedgerX had said on July 31 that its physical futures offering went live on its Omni trading platform, but the CFTC suggested that this could not have occurred.

In September, the controversy continued when LedgerX’s claimed that the agency’s former chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, obstructed the approval of its amended DCO registration because of personal bias against LedgerX CEO Paul Chou.

PoSToken — World’s First PoS Smart Contract Token

In the world of crypto currency, Proof-of-Work(PoW) and Proof-of-Stake(PoS) are the two most important algorithms, although more and more algorithms are being proposed. Bitcoin is the first p2p crypto currency and is also the first crypto currency to use Proof-of-Work algorithm. Soon after, Peercoin was created in 2012 and is the first implementation of Proof-of-Stake algorithm. In simple terms, coin holders can earn some extra coins just by holding some coins for a period of time in the Proof-of-Stake system. To ordinary users, this is the biggest difference between Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Work. Now, PoSToken first implements the Proof-of-Stake mechanism as an Ethereum Token. Holders of PoSToken can get revenues by holding PoSToken for a period of time. It works the same way as Peercoin and any other coin with Proof-of-Stake algorithm do.

POSTOKEN PoSToken is the world’s first Proof-of-Stake smart contract token on Ethereum platform. It’s based on the ERC20 Token Standard and implements all standard methods. As an Ethereum token, PoSToken first implements the Proof-of-Stake mechanism, meaning that every holder can earn some extra tokens just by holding PoSToken for a period of at least 3 days, greater than or equal to The Minimum Coin Age.

Furthermore, the idea of PoSToken is not only to issue a simple Ethereum Token with Proof-ofStake but also to define a brand new Token Standard for Proof-of-Stake tokens. A interface including some standard functions was defined in the code of PoSToken, we call it PoSTokenStandard, which is like the ERC20 standard. PoSTokenStandard is a new Token Standard devised specifically for issuing Proof-of-Stake tokens and maintained by PoSToken Dev Team. Although it’s an unofficial Token Standard, we will do our best to build an entire and healthy ecosystem based on PoSTokenStandard. A series of services and applications that use PoSTokenStandard will be created in the near future. This future of Proof-of-Stake tokens starts here and we believe that a new era of Crypto Tokens is coming.

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3 Major Crypto-Mining Challenges and How to Conquer Them

Crypto mining is the process of releasing cryptocurrencies into a network by completing a given set of mathematical computations. And just like any other mining industry -- gold, data, etc.-- it comes with a unique set of challenges.
For the uninitiated, cryptocurrencies are underpinned by a technology known as blockchain. Blockchains are digital ledgers that permanently store information. More precisely, they are strings of blocks containing verified data joined together by "hashes." Hence, to create a blockchain, data has to be processed and verified. This is where crypto miners come in, verifying data and earning cryptocurrency rewards in return. 
Originally, you could easily mine with your personal computers. However, this isn’t the case anymore, especially with an increase in the number of crypto miners. Theoretically, each crypto has its own “block time.” For Bitcoin, it takes about 10 minutes to mine a block, and for Ethereum, it takes about 20 seconds. With this in mind, it means single computers or PCs are disadvantaged. As such, miners are forced to adopt faster processors. To beat the heat of competition, many miners now adopt a special machine known as an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). 
All in all, crypto mining can still be a readily profitable business venture, but it’s very important that you know the three major challenges crypto miners face and how they can be mitigated.
High Energy Costs
To maximize successful mining chances, you’d need to combine hundreds of ASICs together to solve one problem.  Consequently, this would require extremely high power output, which will cost you exorbitantly high electric fees. A CBS News report revealed that Bitcoin mining consumes more energy than 150 countries. But here are possible ways in which this challenge can be solved.
1. Crypto miners can opt for less power-intensive protocols. One of them is the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus that secures networks through the staking of crypto. Currently, Ethereum and Cardano are leading this shift. (Note: This does not solve the centralization problem, as higher stakes attract more interest. Only those who can afford to hold their crypto, and substantial amounts at that, benefit from the protocol.)
2. Running your mining activities on mining facilities and mining data centers that are powered by renewable hydroelectricity and solar energy. Mining companies like Hydrominers and  Burency mitigate high energy costs by powering mining activities via hydroelectricity, and their mining plants are found around colder regions to reduce heat-dissipation costs.
Vulnerability to Cryptojacking
Beyond creating a democratic space, the essence of decentralization is to assure security, right? Well, hackers are getting more sophisticated at tapping your resources. In fact, in 2017, Auguard reported a 31 percent growth rate in in-browser cryptojacking. Meanwhile, power concentration is not only susceptible to malware attacks, but cyber thieves are now adopting a ransomware-like tactic to remotely mine cryptocurrencies from people’s computers.  
There is no conventional solution to tackle this problem per se, but an improvement to PoS adopted by DigiByte, which uses a hybrid of five protocols on its blockchain platform, is a strong means crypto miners can use to defend against this form of attack. Meanwhile, it is interesting to know that each protocol contributes only 20 percent to secure the platform in this case. So, if one system is under threat, 80 percent remains unaffected. In the same way, this hybrid model helps counter centralization. At any given point, a miner will only control 20 percent of the network, even if they were responsible for 100 percent of mining in a given protocol.
ASICs have proven adept at solely mining a specific cryptocurrency. They are so powerful that once a coin-specific ASIC is released, it’s sometimes challenging to mine without one. While this is a great development in the crypto industry, it is also perceived as a problem, because many crypto miners are influencing the way and manner in which ASICs are being created or designed. And since there are very few ASIC manufacturers, the mining space will eventually be centralized. However, there two possible ways to address this problem: Decentralizing the manufacturing process of ASIC miners, and putting into effect a new hash algorithm that would effectively wipe out all existing ASIC miners.