Welcome to the latest bi-weekly roundup of the most discussion-worthy news content related to Ethereum’s blockchain network and cryptocurrency ETH, in addition to a brief look at periodical price movements.
CFTC Head Heath Tarbert Predicts Incoming Ethereum Futures
Heath Tarbert, current Chairman of the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) has reportedly delivered a soft confirmation regarding the future of the much-anticipated ether futures products.
During a talk which he attended at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Tarbert he stated that he expected the release of the first Ethereum futures contracts within the next 6-12 months.
Tarbert has also said that he believes ether to be a financial commodity, rather than a security. A comment attributed to a speech made at the ‘ Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit’ on October 10th.
The news comes 11 months after a statement released by the CFTC in December 2018, which broadcast a request to the public for feedback regarding the Ethereum network and its ether token.
One of the most recent notable and impactful instances of cryptocurrency futures occurred in September, when Bakkt (backed by the likes of ICE, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, and Microsoft) launched its physically deliverable bitcoin futures contracts to institutional and retail investors.
After much speculation and high expectations, bitcoin saw a marked drop in value after the launch, with the market following across the board.
In related news: CFTC recently established LabCFTC into a full office, which focuses on FinTech and digital assets. The event was also marked by the appointment of its ‘new’ director Melissa Netram (former Intuit ‘Director of Global Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs’.
LabCFTC is tasked with growing awareness and engagement amongst FinTech innovators regarding CFTC regulation and related developments, by building constructive relationships with the community.
Other recent examples of cryptocurrency futures include OKEx (based in Hong Kong and registered in Belize) and FTX (incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda).
ConsenSys ‘Space’ Division Launches Ethereum-Based Satellite Programme
In an announcement that may seem out of this world, renowned blockchain innovation house Consensys has revealed the official launch of ‘ConsenSys Space’ – along with its primary product: TruSat.
“As our societal dependence on space technologies grows, so grows the number of satellites in orbit, and the urgency of addressing the long-term sustainability of the space environment…
TruSat is primarily designed to enable the assessment of satellite operations in the context of space sustainability standards, but may well illuminate new solutions to broader space traffic management challenges”ConsenSys (press release)
The news was broken by ConsenSys founder (and Ethereum co-founder) Joseph Lubin, who was joined by ConsenSys Space co-founders Chris Lewicki and Brian Israel, at a launch event which the press release claims was “attended by space industry leaders, government officials, and scholars from around the world”.
ConsenSys Space is a new division within ConsenSys which is involved with space technology, and it’s TruSat product is marketed towards overcoming a key challenge facing the emerging sector.
Its partners include the Secure World Foundation, Professor Moriba Jah of the University of Texas at Austin (astrodynamicist and creator of the ASTRIAGraph system for space traffic monitoring), and the Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE).
“We must eliminate the possibility of any single source of information to bias or uniquely determine our conclusions and opinions about what and how objects behave in space…
Evidence, at its strongest, must allow for independently corroborated conclusions.”Professor Jah
TruSat is a “space sustainability… open source… open sensor” system, both decentralized and autonomous, which seeks to utilise crowdsourcing to make up and verify its data with end-goals.
ConsenSys Space hopes TruSat will become a hub for data contributions which may eventually inform future predictive algorithms pertaining to space technology, and pertinent sustainability issues.
These include tracking satellite movements in order to prevent and minimise accidental collisions as well as creating a more accessible, decentralized and interoperable environment for the reporting of satellite observations.
“We have barely scratched the surface of what Web3 technology will enable in this system… Right now, the system depends on the intrinsic motivations of satellite observers to participate.
As we progress along our Web3 technology roadmap, we will be able to introduce extrinsic incentives to contribute to the system.”Chris Lewicki (ConsenSys Space, Co-Founder)
Ethereum, TRON and Bitcoin Integrated Into Latest Opera Wallet Update
Opera web browser has recently added major crypto-token bitcoin its integrated wallet, as well as TRON and its dapps. With the introduction of ‘Opera 54’ for Android, these tokens join ether which was originally the only cryptocurrency token available on the platform (along with a Web3 browser)..
The update also sees an overhaul to the browser UI, including new customisation options for mobile app users such as 10 different colour palettes.
Another feature introduced in Opera 54 for Android is the implementation of the ‘Web Authentication’ (WebAuthn) standard, an API created for accessing public key credentials. WebAuthn was created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which is comprised of various huge technology companies such as Microsoft PayPal, Google, and Mozilla.
Other web browsers to have embraced blockchain technology include Firefox and Brave. Mozilla’s Firefox added measures to its browser to protect users against malicious cryptocurrency mining and tracking tools.
Brave is a fairly young browser, based on Google’s open-source Chromium and founded earlier this year. It utilises a proprietary cryptocurrency token called the ‘Basic Attention Token’ (BAT), which is used as an alternative means of compensating content creators from traditional advertising models.