New Bitcoin Cash Opcode Shows an Onchain Game of Chess is Possible

New Bitcoin Cash Opcode Shows an Onchain Game of Chess is Possible

Since the recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) upgrade, the protocol now has some newly added features like the re-enabled opcode OP_Checkdatasig. After the implementation, a few developers have been experimenting with the opcode and have developed concepts such as “spending constraints.” Moreover, in another instance, a programmer recently used the opcode to create an onchain chess game on the BCH blockchain.

Also Read: BCH Upgrades: What’s New and What’s Next

Spending Constraints

Over the last week, BCH supporters have been slowly trying to move away from the recent blockchain split and concentrate on building. One example of this is a recent proof-of-concept written by a BCH developer called Pein Sama, which uses the opcode OP_Checkdatasig to explore new capabilities. Sama details that before the Bitcoin Cash upgrade, the BCH script was limited to someone specifying that one could spend a coin but at the time there was no way of adding constraints on how it could be spent. The developer then demonstrates how it is now possible to create spending constraints with the new BCH coding language called Spedn.

New Bitcoin Cash Opcode Shows an Onchain Game of Chess is Possible
Spending constraints using OP_Checkdatasig as described by the developer Pein_Sama. 

After Sama published his idea, the BCH community discussed the concept of spending constraints and other ideas like covenants as well. A few people specifically discussed the end of Sama’s documentation, which says the concept could produce things like OP_Return based tokens that are “miner enforceable.” The programmer explained that it could be argued that OP_Group is a cleaner way of adding native tokens, but he didn’t have a strong opinion on the matter. “My article is just exploring the new land,â€� the developer noted on the Reddit forum r/btc.

A Game of Chess

New Bitcoin Cash Opcode Shows an Onchain Game of Chess is PossibleNot long after the published post about spending constraints with the opcode OP_Checkdatasig, a developer named Tobias Ruck was inspired by the opcode exploration and designed a chess game with the new feature. Because chess rules are deterministic, they can use a third party to help enforce the rules of the game and that’s where OP_Checkdatasig comes into play. By utilizing the “nifty spending constraints� originally published by Sama, Ruck shows how the concept can be applied to a game of chess.

“The good thing about chess is that its rules are deterministic, so no need to throw dice or do some cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generator magic,� Ruck explained in his recent blog post. The developer continued by describing the benefits of using OP_Checkdatasig as trusted oracle within a game of chess by stating:    

If Kasparov were to challenge Anand for a round of chess, they might trust some third party (referee) or even each other to enforce/follow the rules, but if they are anonymous people on the internet playing for not insignificant amounts of money, it would be good if the rules of the games didn’t require a trusted third party.   

In his blog post, Ruck further elaborated how chess can be played with the new opcode and implemented the concept into a Python environment. This is where Ruck adds the “juicy parts� of the code, like operations such as “apply_move,� “white_has_won,� “black_has_won� and “is_stalemate.� After messing around with the program some more, Ruck eventually runs into the situation where a stalemate occurs and the game ends as a draw. Ruck explains that if the game was being played for a 1,000 satoshi incentive “neither white nor black can get any of the 1,000 satoshis, except if they agree to a draw and split the money.�

New Bitcoin Cash Opcode Shows an Onchain Game of Chess is Possible
A look at the chess game code developed by Tobias Ruck.

The chess game creator also explains there are a few issues that could arise, like someone not making a move and the 1,000 satoshis getting locked into the blockchain forever. But Ruck says that a lock time could be added and the game will end after a certain amount of time has passed. Overall, Ruck’s chess concept is extremely raw and basic but shows how the opcode could be applied to all types of decision-based games. In conclusion, the developer’s blog post states that he hopes he was able to convey the idea of a chess game using OP_Checkdatasig as trusted and autonomous referee.

Building a Turing Machine on Top of the Bitcoin Protocol

After publishing the onchain chess game and while experimenting with the new opcode, Ruck realized that it is possible to build a Turing machine on top of the Bitcoin protocol. The researcher published a followup post, which shows how he simulated an old programming language using the BCH script.

“A simple way to show Turing completeness is by simulating a Turing machine,” Ruck details in his second blog post. “For that, we’ll pick a derivative of Smallfuck, an esoteric programming language, which has been shown to be Turing complete — If we can simulate that on Bitcoin, we know it’s Turing complete,” the programmer adds.

After showing how it can be done using the new opcode OP_Checkdatasig, Ruck emphasized that the Bitcoin protocol is Turing complete giving the technology a myriad of use cases. Ruck further adds that if developers optimized the code a “fully fledged and operational Bitcoin virtual machine (VM)” could be built. Ruck also adds that people who claim Craig Wright’s propositions “were right about OP_Checkdatasig introducing loops in the Bitcoin script are just wrong” and this is “false” information. “The idea that you could call another transaction by checking a signature is just ludicrous,” Ruck’s blog post states. In order to keep loops spinning, Ruck’s details that the program has to be fed with more satoshis per loop in a similar fashion to the Ethereum network’s gas limit.     

What do you think about the chess game that uses the BCH opcode OP_Checkdatasig as an autonomous referee? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Honest.cash, Pein Sama, Pixabay, and Tobias Ruck. 


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The post New Bitcoin Cash Opcode Shows an Onchain Game of Chess is Possible appeared first on Bitcoin News.


Source: bitcoin.com
New Bitcoin Cash Opcode Shows an Onchain Game of Chess is Possible

Bitcoin and Altcoins Struggling To Gain Bullish Momentum – Cryptonews

CryptonewsBitcoin and Altcoins Struggling To Gain Bullish MomentumCryptonewsThere was a decent recovery in bitcoin price above the USD 4,000 resistance. Yesterday, BTC/USD even spiked above the USD 4,400 resistance level, but buyers failed to gain bullish momentum. As a result, there was a bearish reaction and the price …Are the Bitcoin and Altcoins returning to uptrend?Finance and Markets (press release)Is Bitcoin Dead? – A Detailed AnswerGlobalCoinReportall 143 news articles »
Source: worldnewsoffice
Bitcoin and Altcoins Struggling To Gain Bullish Momentum – Cryptonews

Jay Powell’s Remarks Are Total Nonsense!

Nelow are some thoughts regarding the comments made by the Federal Reserve chairman yesterday and how it pertains to investors. Gerry Frigon, Chief Investment Officer at Taylor Frigon Capital Management said: By Federalreserve (powell_jerome_060512_8x10) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons “Regardless of what the of the Federal Reserve Chairman said yesterday, including his “two wordsâ€�, the […]
Source: bitcoinwarrior
Jay Powell’s Remarks Are Total Nonsense!

What Does Floyd Mayweather’s Crypto ICO Settlement with the SEC Imply?

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer DJ Khalid have both settled charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to disclose that they were paid to promote initial coin offering (ICO) projects to the public.

The charges against the two celebrities came about after they both used various social media outlets to promote ICO projects that were in the midst of fundraising rounds.

Mayweather sent out a tweet to his nearly eight million followers regarding an ICO fundraising round being conducted by Centra Tech ICO, who reportedly paid Mayweather $100,000 to tweet about the project.

“Get yours before they sell out, I got mine…” Mayweather wrote.

The same project also paid music producer DJ Khalid to tweet about their ICO, who called the project a “game changer” while being paid an undisclosed $50,000 for the post.

Because the SEC largely classifies ICOs as securities offerings, the undisclosed celebrity endorsements were in violation of securities laws.

Steven Peikin, the SEC enforcement division’s co-director, spoke about the charges against the two celebrities, saying:

“Social media influencers are often paid promoters, not investment professionals, and the securities they’re touting, regardless of whether they are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain, could be frauds.”

In a settlement with the SEC, Mayweather paid a total of $614,775 in disgorgement, penalties, and pretrial interest, while also agreeing to not promote any securities products (even disclosed ones) for the next three years.

DJ Khalid also settled the charges, agreeing to pay a total of $152,725 in disgorgement, penalties, and pre-trial interest.

Related Reading: Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled Risk Lawsuits over Alleged ICO Scam

SEC Cracking Down on ICO Promotions

Due to the complex nature of ICOs, they have become the perfect venue for groups looking to garner tremendous amounts of money from investors, while offering little more than broad roadmaps and lofty promises, making them highly risky for investors.

Despite this, they can prove to be a highly lucrative and efficient method of fundraising for trustworthy projects, and regulation of the space is critical in order to increase investor-confidence in ICO investments.

Last year, the SEC announced that they would be cracking down on paid celebrity ICO endorsements that are undisclosed, explaining that celebrities or public personas who endorse ICOs must publicly disclose all the information surrounding their relationship to the project.

“Any celebrity or other individual who promotes a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion,” the SEC said in a public statement.

Larry Cermak, the head of analysis at cryptocurrency research website The Block, explained the dangers of celebrity endorsed ICOs, noting that many unsavvy investors take their advice at face value and neglect to do prudent research into the project.

“The main reason why so many inexperienced individuals invest in bad crypto projects is because they listen to advice from a so-called expert. They believe they can take this advice at face value even though it is often fraudulent, intentionally misleading or conflicted.”

As the SEC further enforces ICOs as securities, it is likely that the tokens resulting from these offerings will also be regulated as securities products, which could spell trouble for their investors.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post What Does Floyd Mayweather’s Crypto ICO Settlement with the SEC Imply? appeared first on NewsBTC.


Source: newsbtc
What Does Floyd Mayweather’s Crypto ICO Settlement with the SEC Imply?

“Guidance by Enforcement�: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

Enforcement by Regulation

On November 27, 2018, a California judge turned back the SEC’s request for an injunction against token company BlockVest, a company the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pursuing for allegedly conducting an unregistered securities offering. The judge, however, ruled that BlockVest’s token distribution, which was conducted via airdrop, was given freely and received without expectation for returns, so it didn’t constitute an investment contract.

While the judge’s ruling is not a law-binding verdict, it was still a victory for BlockVest and the wider ICO industry, something that’s been a rarity for the SEC’s mounting list of token sale targets.

Among other regulatory developments, 2018 has been one extended game of cat and mouse between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and any number of initial coin offerings (ICO) that have sprung up in the investing exuberance of 2017’s bull market. And the SEC has been catching its fair share of mice.

Back in last year’s unprecedented boom, which saw the crypto market’s assets increase threefold, many ICOs attempted to evade the SEC’s scrutiny by self-labeling their products as utility tokens. If they could prove their tokens were built to serve a function rather than exist as an investment vehicle, then they could avoid a securities classification and continue their sale without registering with the SEC.

The SEC, though, didn’t buy the distinction.

So far this year, the SEC has come out hard against a handful of ICOs, broker dealers, funds and even an exchange, slapping them with fines for acting as unregistered entities. As though a symbolic culmination of its enforcement actions this year, the SEC’s most recent and damning charge was leveraged against EtherDelta, one of the space’s most popular decentralized exchanges that houses many Ethereum tokens whose ICOs the SEC views as securities offerings.

A New Phase of Enforcement

In correspondence with Bitcoin Magazine, Jake Chervinsky, an associate at Kobre & Kim law firm, explained that he believes the SEC established a baseline of enforcement in 2018, one that sets a precedent for how the agency views the burgeoning ecosystem of token offerings.  

“I think ‘phase one’ saw the SEC establish its fundamental views on the legality of common issues in the crypto industry by prosecuting a small number of companies and individuals from various industry segments, including ICO issuers, exchanges, broker-dealers, and token funds. The SEC’s goal was to put everyone on notice that their conduct may be illegal — for example, it’s clear that the SEC views all ICOs conducted in the United States as unregistered securities issuances in violation of the 1933 Act.�

Chervinsky originally posited his theory on the SEC’s enforcement phases in a Twitter thread this November. In the thread, he suggested that 2019 will see phase two; in our conversation, he explained that the SEC is operating under the unspoken expectation that token projects will have to work with the agency to operate legally, as 2018’s enforcement examples have done all the talking for them.

“In ‘phase two,’ the SEC expects everyone in the industry to come forward voluntarily and work with the SEC to make sure they’re in compliance with the securities laws. As SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said to crypto companies during Consensus: Invest 2018: ‘Get your act together!’�  

For those that fail to acquiesce, Chervinsky anticipates that they could be made examples of still.

“The SEC will likely prosecute companies that refuse to comply voluntarily. In the end, the SEC’s goal will be to bring the entire industry into compliance with the securities laws, even if that means dozens or hundreds of different companies.�

Basically, the SEC’s rationale is that token companies have no excuse not to register with the agency. They should operate under the assumption that they’ll be treated like a security, unless they can prove otherwise. But the onus is on the company to show why they don’t fit the mold, and simply calling their offering a utility token doesn’t cut it.

Moreover, these token companies have a library of enforcements and charges to consult when in doubt over their securities status. Chervinsky calls this “guidance by enforcement,� an old dog’s trick that the SEC has used in the past. For this new industry, Chervinsky believes that the SEC went after the easiest targets to set firm examples at the outset.

“They chose the ones that they did simply because they were the easiest for the SEC to resolve quickly and efficiently, and the factual allegations in these public cases made for useful guidance for the rest of the industry.�

These examples set a loose standard for token projects going into 2019 “for other crypto industry stakeholders to negotiate their own settlements,� Chervinsky holds. But he cautioned that “these orders are not binding precedent.�

Indeed, in his Twitter thread, Chervinsky elaborates that, for the SEC, the more nebulous the guidance the better. If the SEC plays it loose, then they get to set the rules on their own terms and exercise enforcement at their discretion. Most of these cases, he explains, are settled privately, and the SEC would rather avoid open litigation, as a few court rulings could lead to legal precedents that would lock the SEC’s jurisdiction in rigid, codified confines.

As Enforcement Ramps Up, Guidance Plays Catch Up

Still, Chervinsky expects “that the SEC will provide additional guidance as time goes on, likely through FinHub and ‘crypto czar’ Valerie Szczepanik� — though he’s also certain that the SEC shouldn’t have to hold the guiding torch of regulation alone. The U.S.’s legislature, he says, needs to do its own part to effect the proper legislative changes that would allow regulations, and by proxy, the entities they regulate, to operate more organically within a more mature system.

“I think Congress can — and eventually will need to — do more to clarify how the federal securities laws apply to digital assets. The foundation of the securities laws dates back to the 1930s, long before anyone could have imagined the concept of a digital asset issued via the internet through the use of blockchain technology. This old legal framework simply wasn’t designed for the digital age, and as a result, it doesn’t provide the regulatory clarity that the crypto industry needs to move forward.�

So far, there have been very few benchmarks for moving regulation forward: the Howey Test, a metric to measure whether or not an asset is a security as defined by the Securities Act of 1933; the DAO Report, a report released by the SEC after the DAO hack in 2016; prior enforcement actions; and, most recently, the SEC’s Statement on Digital Asset Securities Issuance and Trading (something that Chervinsky said “reads like a comprehensive primer on the types of securities violations that the SEC wants to resolve in the industry�).

Much like the outdated Securities Act, Chervinsky finds that these various references for guidance are not robust enough to substantiate actual regulation and satisfy the industry’s need for clarity. And even though he thinks Congress should be bringing more to the table than it has already, the SEC should also be doing more to help the industry.

“The SEC can and should do a lot more than regulate by enforcement. The SEC could issue informal guidance explaining its position on the many outstanding questions facing the crypto industry, such as when a token transforms from a security to a non-security, or how a company can conduct an ICO outside U.S. borders without implicating the SEC’s jurisdiction. The SEC could also pursue official rulemaking to formalize its positions on digital assets. This would result in enforceable rules — like Regulation D for private placements or Regulation S for offshore securities issuances — that the crypto industry could rely on moving forward.�

He added:

“… Similarly the securities laws are unclear as to whether the SEC has jurisdiction over cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings located physically outside U.S. borders. Given that the SEC doesn’t appear likely to provide any additional clarity on these issues, the burden may fall to Congress to step in and take action.â€�

Heading Into a New Year, the Industry Has More Questions Than Answers

Other legal experts agree with Chervinsky that the SEC, in a way, has left investors hanging with its sluggish regulatory action that is punctuated with hard-hitting regulatory charges. Some have even said that the new Statement on Digital Asset Securities Issuance and Trading lays a minefield for the digital asset industry and those launching companies to curate it.

Less a minefield and more a labyrinth, Chervinsky believes that some of the SEC’s other guidance, like the clarification that ether, while sold as a security, has decentralized to the point of not being one, could construct a maze of confusion over what counts as fully decentralized — and how a token company is supposed to get there in the first place.

Chervinsky notes that “in July, the SEC suggested that a digital asset could start life as a security and then evolve into a non-security once it becomes ‘sufficiently decentralized,’ but the law doesn’t contemplate such a transformation.�

Even so, with its prosecution of ICOs, broker dealers, funds and now an exchange in EtherDelta, Chervinsky believes that the SEC has “made an example of at least one target in each of the key segments of the crypto industry.�

The only piece missing, he believes, are the traders — those who engage in “acts of market manipulation, including pump and dump schemes, wash trading, spoofing, and outright fraud.� He believes the SEC hasn’t gone after these actors because of insufficient market data but that they’ll be in the agency’s crosshairs soon enough. (If you read this and your heart skipped a beat, don’t worry; he’s talking about traders who actively commit market manipulation and fraud, not everyday, Dick and Jane traders).

With all the pieces in place, Chervinsky expects 2019 to be somewhat of an open season for the SEC for those who decide to shirk their regulatory responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean that every shot will be a killshot. With each successive enforcement, more questions will be opened and more avenues of interpretation traversed.

In Chervinsky’s opinion, resolution on these fronts will be a slow, painful march marked by a combination of legal battles and molasses-paced legislative drafting.

“The crypto industry won’t have a firm standard for what conduct is allowed and what’s illegal until Congress passes new legislation or the SEC’s theories are tested in court.�

Some of these standards are in the making, as the recent court action in California surrounding BlockVest suggests. As for the rest, the industry will have to hunker down and withstand the brunt of what’s become a slow, blow-after-blow exchange with an evolving regulatory landscape. But, so long as it can take note of where the bruising has set in, these blows should become less damaging (and less frequent) over time.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.


Source: bitcoinmagazine
“Guidance by Enforcement�: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Receives Honorary Doctorate

<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Vitalik Buterin left academia four years ago to pursue a career in crypto. Now, the Ethereum founder’s contributions to the industry (and the computer science field at large) have earned him an honorary Ph.D. — in the same year he might have eventually completed his undergrad degree.In 2014, disenchanted with academics, Buterin accepted a Thiel Fellowship for his preliminary work on Ethereum and dropped out in his freshman year at the University of Waterloo to work on the smart contract platform.Today, the University of Basel’s Faculty of Business and Economics has awarded him an honorary doctorate. The distinction was given at the Dies Academicus celebration, an annual event that commemorates the opening of the university.Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel, Prof. Dr. Aleksander Berentsen calls Buterin’s blockchain innovations “game-changing,” adding that he has “blazed a trail for science and industry to follow and work together.””I’m honored to have received an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel the oldest university in Switzerland. Switzerland is well known for its innovative blockchain research,â€� Buterin stated.Buterin first introduced his concept for the groundbreaking Ethereum in a white paper titled “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform” in 2013, wherein he proposed the development of a new platform with a more flexible scripting language than Bitcoin for building applications on the blockchain. Coinciding with the awarding of its creator’s honorary degree, this month marks the fifth anniversary since the paper was published. Before his work on Ethereum, Buterin also co-founded Bitcoin Magazine alongside Mihai Alisie, serving as the site’s lead writer. He also held an editorial board position at Ledger, a scholarly cryptocurrency and blockchain journal.Buterin has continued to contribute to the application of blockchain technoloies through essays on topics such as consensus protocols, Plasma and Casper.Buterin was born to Russian parents on January 31, 1994, in the ancient city of Kolomna in Moscow, before he emigrated to Canada where he was able to explore and develop his love for math, programming and economics. He first learned about Bitcoin from his father when he was 17. After travelling the world in 2013 to interacting with other developers, especially those working on Mastercoin, he published a whitepaper that proposed Ethereum the following year. From July 22 to August 30, 2014, Ethereum raised $15.5 million in an initial coin offering and went on to launch on July 30, 2015. <br /><br /> <br /><br /> This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.
Source: worldnewsoffice
Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Receives Honorary Doctorate