Developers Release Lightning Protocol 1.0; Perform Successful Interoperability Tests

Blockchain developers ACINQ, Blockstream and Lightning Labs, are announcing the 1.

Scriptless Scripts: How Bitcoin Can Support Smart Contracts Without Smart Contracts

Bitcoin’s capacity is limited. Meanwhile, smart contracts can be resource intensive. So even though Bitcoin has always supported basic smart contract functionality, the two have never been a natural match. But a recent topic of research spearheaded by Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra could help fix this.

This New Scaling Layer Could Make Payment Channels Ten Times More Effective

There is no disputing the fact that the Bitcoin network has scalability problems. Micropayment channels are a solution to increase the transaction rate and speed. Yet, this is not the golden solution … This micropayments solution needs a fixed amount of funds to be locked into each channel’s multisignature wallet and requires a transaction for each channel creation and closure.

The Lightning Network Now Supports Transactions Across Blockchains

Although still in testing phase, the lightning network can now be used to send transactions across different blockchains.

Xapo President: Biggest Bitcoin Companies Could Move to Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum

Xapo will integrate SegWit after all, after the SegWit2x hard fork was called off by leading supporters including Blockchain, BitGo, ShapeShift, and its lead developer Jeff Garzik. But, Xapo President Ted Rogers cautioned the bitcoin industry and community that some of the biggest companies in the bitcoin market may move to more flexible and supposedly scalable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum, taking millions of users and large transaction volumes with them.
How to Stop Worrying and Love the Fork

How to Stop Worrying and Love the Fork

Marc Hochstein is the managing editor of CoinDesk and the former editor-in-chief of financial industry publication American Banker. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday, exclusively to our subscribers.
Hold the Fork: No 2x But Everything Else Goes at Scaling Bitcoin Event

Hold the Fork: No 2x But Everything Else Goes at Scaling Bitcoin Event

"Bitcoin is the currency of enemies." If adversarial thinking like Tadge Dryja's was on display, its target was relegated to theoretical targets on day one of Scaling Bitcoin Saturday. Held this year at Stanford University, the event's fourth edition, first started to bridge bitcoin's then-scaling crisis, saw noticeably less discussion of issues currently facing the open-source project's roadmap.
ZoKrates Seeks to Bring Best of Zcash to Ethereum with Devcon Debut

ZoKrates Seeks to Bring Best of Zcash to Ethereum with Devcon Debut

It's perhaps no surprise Jacob Eberhardt is being given the stage at ethereum's annual developer conference. With scalability and privacy top of mind for the blockchain network, now valued in the billions, the Ph.D. researcher at the Technical University of Berlin is set to debut a new programming language at the Cancun, Mexico, event, one designed to help ethereum improve on these key weaknesses.

What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet

Development of the lightning network, the highly-anticipated second-layer Bitcoin protocol for instant microtransactions, continues to inch forward.

Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Today, Scaling Bitcoin, the international engineering conference focused on Bitcoin and blockchain research, released its program for the 2017 edition. The conference, to be held in Stanford, California, in the first weekend of November, will also introduce a new side event this year: Bitcoin Edge, a bootcamp for starting Bitcoin developers.
Blockchain Forks Are All the Rage, But Can They Ever Be Safe?

Blockchain Forks Are All the Rage, But Can They Ever Be Safe?

Hard forks have earned a bit of a bad name. Long portrayed as dangerous (or at least disruptive), the mechanism is also one of the more intuitive for upgrading blockchains. Quite simply, since blockchains are built on common rules, it can seem like the easiest way to improve them is to introduce new rules (or change existing ones) – and that's exactly what hard forks, one type of a wider variety of forks, seek to do.
Just SegWit? Bitcoin Core Is Already Working on a New Scaling Upgrade

Just SegWit? Bitcoin Core Is Already Working on a New Scaling Upgrade

Bitcoin's core developer team isn't yet done scaling the cryptocurrency's protocol. Despite the fact that a years-in-the-making change called Segregated Witness (SegWit) activated on the network just over six weeks ago (with businesses and users now slowly updating and average block sizes inching upward), the upgrade has already started a chain reaction of work on other optimizations geared toward accommodating more users.

51.1%: Bitcoin Dominates Cryptocurrency Market For First Time Since May

For the first time since May, the Bitcoin Dominance Index surpassed 51.1 percent, solidifying its position as the cryptocurrency market’s most valuable, secure, and widely utilized blockchain network. #bitcoin dominance over the cryptocurrency market hits 51.1 percent for the first time since May.
Bitcoin Meets Netflix? Laolu Is Building a Lightning-Powered App for That

Bitcoin Meets Netflix? Laolu Is Building a Lightning-Powered App for That

A principal developer of the Lightning Network, Olaoluwa "Laolu" Osunokun is understandably interested in tools that could be made possible by bitcoin. But while most developers have been focused on ironing out bitcoin's much-discussed protocol-level problems, Osunokun is taking a notable step in that he is actually considering launching a production application on top of the network.
Vitalik Buterin is Against Many Open-Source Ethereum Scaling Projects Conducting ICOs

Vitalik Buterin is Against Many Open-Source Ethereum Scaling Projects Conducting ICOs

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, recently announced that he will not be conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) for Plasma, an open-source scaling solution he has developed in collaboration with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network co-author Joseph Poon. Incentivization Issues for Open-Source Projects and Scaling Solutions As experts including Coinbase co-founder and former Goldman Sachs trader Fred Ehrsam have noted in the past, Ethereum still has many challenges to address and solve in regards to scalability.
Calm Before the Fork? Segwit2x Goes Silent as Bitcoin Split Looms

Calm Before the Fork? Segwit2x Goes Silent as Bitcoin Split Looms

"It's sort of like the quiet tension before a battle." That's how Jean-Pierre Rupp, a developer at bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain, described the current state of Segwit2x development. With the code labeled "production ready," and the work of contributors like Rupp nearly complete, the main step left is the activation of the code, scheduled for late November.
Vitalik Buterin is Against Open-Source Ethereum Scaling Projects Conducting ICOs

Vitalik Buterin is Against Open-Source Ethereum Scaling Projects Conducting ICOs

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, recently announced that he will not be conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) for Plasma, an open-source scaling solution he has developed in collaboration with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network co-author Joseph Poon. Incentivization Issues for Open-Source Projects and Scaling Solutions As experts including Coinbase co-founder and former Goldman Sachs trader Fred Ehrsam have noted in the past, Ethereum still has many challenges to address and solve in regards to scalability.
Raiden ICO: Ethereum Scaling Solution to Launch Publicly Traded Token

Raiden ICO: Ethereum Scaling Solution to Launch Publicly Traded Token

One of ethereum's most highly anticipated scaling projects is preparing to launch a token sale. To be held this October, the initial coin offering (ICO) for Raiden Network will seek to further fund the development of the payments protocol. Led by blockchain consulting firm Brainbot and its co-founder Heiko Hees, the milestone will be the latest for a project first unveiled in 2015 as a way to increase transaction capacity on the world's second-largest blockchain.
Gravitys Pull? Litecoin Is Down 50% from All-Time Highs and Looking Lower

Gravitys Pull? Litecoin Is Down 50% from All-Time Highs and Looking Lower

The litecoin-U.S. dollar (LTC/USD) exchange rate is again trading below $50, just three weeks after setting a new all-time high just below $100. While the sell-off is in line with the broader market weakness, it may be alarming given the recent losses and the lack of signals for a bullish reversal. As of writing, the cryptocurrency (known as "silver to bitcoin's gold") was trading at around $45. According to data from CoinMarketCap, litecoin has shed 11 percent in the last 24 hours.
Swedish Central Bank Explores E-Krona Digital Currency

Swedish Central Bank Explores E-Krona Digital Currency

Although the concept of central bank digital currency remains severely contested, efforts are being made to turn this into a very real thing. Sweden could be one of the first countries to go ahead with such an initiative. Some more information has been leaked regarding the creation of an E-Krona, which is scheduled to be brought into circulation as early as next year. The Swedish central bank has big plans for this currency, by the looks of things.
Raiden Release: Simpler Micropayments Go Live on Ethereums Testnet

Raiden Release: Simpler Micropayments Go Live on Ethereums Testnet

The developers behind Raiden Network have launched an early version of the scaling solution on the ethereum test network. Designed to power projects aiming to replace the likes of Google and Facebook, one problem facing ethereum is that growing to such scale would require putting an unimaginable amount of data on the blockchain, a shared ledger every node must download. Further, ethereum is already having enough trouble supporting the relatively small number of users it has today.

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Is Released: Here’s What’s New

Today marks the official release of Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, the fifteenth generation of Bitcoin’s original software client launched by Satoshi Nakamoto almost nine years ago. Overseen by Bitcoin Core lead maintainer Wladimir van der Laan, this latest major release was developed by nearly 100 contributors over a six-month period, with major contributions through Chaincode Labs, Blockstream and MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.