Although just two weeks have passed since the beginning of the year, many events have already taken place in the crypto market that have a direct impact on the entire industry. From the launch of new trading platforms and tokens to attacks on the network of one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. DeCenter collected the most important events of 2019 so far that you could have missed.

Proof of Keys Campaign

On January 3, the day the Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined, the holders of the first cryptocurrency ran the Proof of Keys campaign, which was led by the investor and host of the Bitcoin Knowledge podcast Trace Mayer. As part of this campaign, participants transferred their Bitcoins from hot wallets and exchanges to personal cold wallets to prove that they (and not third parties) own the crypto. As a result, users of several exchanges reported difficulties in working with their own assets.

On the eve of the campaign, Trace Mayer reported that HitBTC had specifically stopped the withdrawal of funds and froze the accounts of some users. John McAfee, the Bitfi cryptocurrency wallet team, and economist and trader Tuur Demeester also joined in the accusations against the exchange. The representative of HitBTC, Peter Swen, rejected the allegations against the exchange, noting that the temporary freezing of accounts was the result of a violation of the KYC and AML internal policy rules, to which the company adheres 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of the “flashmobs” held in the crypto market, as Swen called the Proof of Keys campaign.

Also, Bitfinex reported on the problems on its platform but did not specify what kind of difficulties users encountered. And one of the clients of Poloniex wrote on Twitter that he was unable to withdraw funds for several days.

New BitTorrent Token

On January 3, the launch of a new token of a P2P protocol and torrent client BitTorrent was announced. In July of last year, BitTorrent was acquired by Justin Sun’s TRON Foundation. In a published press release, Sun says that due to the launch of a new token, both companies will not only provide access to the blockchain to hundreds of millions of users around the world but also offer them a new tool for monetizing and distributing content.

BitTorrent Token (BTT) will be developed and launched as part of the Atlas project, which allows existing BitTorrent users to earn network tokens. So, high user activity will be encouraged by BTT tokens. Also, tokens can be used to increase the speed of downloading files and encourage the activities of seeders (users who distribute files). To implement the project, the Atlas BitTorrent will connect its peering network to the TRON blockchain.

A 51% Attack on Ethereum Classic Network

Starting from January 5, a series of 51% attacks were directed at the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network. This first was reported by the Coinbase crypto exchange team, which warned of a possible problem on its official blog. According to the exchange, more than 100 blocks of the Ethereum Classic network were reorganized, as a result of which the scammers were able to double-spend 88,500 ETC. Coinbase temporarily stopped servicing transactions with ETC. On January 6, the Chinese company SlowMist warned developers about the threat of a repeat attack. In response, the Ethereum Classic team stated that there were no attacks on the network, and the consolidation of huge computing power was the result of testing new ASIC miners. Moreover, the cause of the problems, most likely, was the so-called selfish mining.

Nevertheless, the developers acknowledged the existence of problems and noted that they were actively working to find their causes and the best solution. On January 8, the exchange confirmed that a day earlier, the Ethereum Classic network had suffered a 51% attack, during which the fraudsters managed to appropriate 40,000 ETC, which was worth about $200,000 at the time. On the official blog, the exchange announced its intention to refund the lost funds to customers and also urged other platforms to suspend the processing of transactions with ETC.

Launch of the DX.Exchange Platform

On January 6, DX.Exchange was launched, the first cryptocurrency exchange built upon the Nasdaq infrastructure. Thanks to the support of the second-largest stock exchange in the world, DX.Exchange has access to advanced trading technologies, such as the matching engine, which is used by more than 70 traditional exchanges around the world.

At the moment, the platform allows one to store and make transactions with cryptocurrencies such as BCH, BTC, ETH, USDT, DASH, LTC, and XRP, as well as trade them in pairs with fiat currencies USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. A distinctive feature of the new platform is access to the tokenized shares of the largest technology companies, such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, and even Tesla. Customers can purchase digital shares both for cryptocurrencies and fiat.

Ethereum Foundation Allocated $5 Million to Parity for the Development of a Network Infrastructure

On January 7, the Ethereum Foundation announced on an official blog that Parity Technologies developers received a $5 million grant to search and develop solutions for the scalability, usability, and security of the Ethereum network. In particular, the team will focus on implementing the Casper protocol and sharding technology, launching developer tools, and integrating new infrastructure updates. The team of Parity Technologies will make a significant contribution to the early launch of the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain. The blog notes that for several years, Parity Technologies has been the leading developer of many solutions for the Ethereum ecosystem—in particular, the open-source client Parity Ethereum, which was developed and launched in a self-financing environment.

tZERO Patented a Technology that Integrates Cryptocurrencies into Traditional Trading Systems

On January 7, tZERO, a decentralized platform for trading security tokens which was launched by the e-commerce giant Overstock, received a patent for a technology that allows combining traditional trading systems with digital assets. This technology is called Crypto Integration Platform. It will enable collecting market information from various sources and using it to identify the best asset prices. Furthermore, the platform will protect the funds of both parties to the transaction, which may include digital assets, commodities, financial liabilities, cryptocurrency, and fiat currencies. According to the patent, the system will perform a cryptographic signing of the transactional items before the match. Moreover, this technology will be able to verify the ownership rights and the availability of exchangeable units on both sides. Thus, the new platform will combine traditional trading systems with cryptocurrency exchanges.

Nick Szabo: Central Banks Will Start Buying Cryptocurrencies

Nick Szabo, a well-known cryptographer and computer scientist, is confident that soon, central banks will start buying cryptocurrencies—in particular, Bitcoin—to replenish their own reserves. He expressed such an opinion on January 8 during the Bitcoin Summit in Israel. According to the expert, the reason for this is the growing global geopolitical uncertainty, as a result of which banks will look for an alternative to existing reserves.

“There’s going to be some situations where a central bank can’t trust a foreign central bank or government with their bonds, for example. One solution that’s been developed is to have the Swiss government hold it for you—that’s not a trust-minimized solution. The Swiss government itself is subject to political pressures, and so a more trust minimized solution is cryptocurrency,” said Szabo.

Beta Testing of KodakOne Blockchain Platform

On January 9, the famous American manufacturer of photographic equipment, photographic materials, and software Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak) announced the successful testing of the KodakOne blockchain platform. The platform is focused on the photo industry and provides users with a system of copyright protection for images and photos. Thanks to KodakOne, photographers can track the use of their own pictures. As part of a beta test, the platform identified $1 million in cases of copyright infringement. KodakONE uses a web scanner and artificial intelligence to find and recognize images registered on the platform. In this way, the platform prevents the use of other people’s images and photos without prior purchase of rights to them. Currently, the KodakONE beta is already used by companies such as Blaublut Edition and Food Centrale, as well as by numerous photographers.