Digital Asset Services Platform RockX Launches With a Mission to Accelerate Staking-As-A-Service

RockX, a new digital asset services platform, has been launched by Alex Lam, Founder of RockMiner, to bridge the gap between the cryptocurrency veterans and novices and to further accelerate the development of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) public blockchains. RockX will initially serve as a Staking-as-a-Service platform allowing users to stake their digital assets in select public blockchains.

“RockX will provide owners of digital assets and cryptocurrencies the opportunity to submit their holdings for staking on partnered PoS blockchains. Contributors will receive regular staking rewards based on their contribution, allowing them to bring additional value to their digital asset. Initially launching with a Staking-as-a-Service platform, RockX plans to unveil additional services and products in the near future. These services will cater to both individual and institutional clientele and address both PoS and Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain protocols.”

While sharing more details about the new platform, Lam stated:

“PoS blockchains are an important vehicle for the continued expansion of the blockchain ecosystem. With our team’s unparalleled experience and knowledge of both PoS and PoW protocols, we are in a leading position to bring these competing consensus protocols together to offer new forms of value to customers. Through RockX, we hope to safeguard the PoS ecosystem — providing secured and verified transactions and cultivating good-governance across the industry. By establishing ourselves as a trusted partner to PoS networks, we will connect projects and token holders so that they not only benefit from our expertise, but our dedication to the sustainable development of the blockchain industry.” 

Xinshu Dong, Co-Founder of RockX, added:

“At present, access to digital assets is still faced with various challenges and barriers for average users and institutions. RockX is aiming to bridge the gaps, offering token holders and future users convenient and friendly means to earn “rewards” on their holdings. Moving forward, we plan to bring additional industry-grade crypto-deployment services to market, unlocking real value for token holders and accelerating industry maturation. The launch of our new Staking-as-a-Service platform serves as the first step in the RockX journey to becoming a one stop service platform for individuals and institutions entering the growing digital economy.”

Cryptic Labs Announces New Partnership With Fractal Platform: Now Seeking to Solve Some Blockchain Fundamental Limitations

Cryptic Labs, a research accelerator primarily focused on solving fundamental problems in security and economics to advance the viability and growth of the blockchain, announced on Tuesday it has formed a partnership with Fractal Platform to provide what it believes is rigorous economic modeling and bespoke research related to Fractal’s proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.

Cryptic Labs reported that through the partnership Fractal Platform will initially utilize Cryptic Labs’ experts to test and refine their token-incentive model, which relies on a new and more transparent mechanism for rewarding miners who certify transactions, as well as to help the Fractal Platform team refine their algorithm as they begin deploying it. Speaking about the partnership, Stewart Raphael, Cryptic Labs’ Chief Technologist, stated:

“The Fractal Platform supports high throughput and fast finality with provable security for large-scale networks. And yet their algorithm consumes much less energy than current technologies. Plus, their Proof of Stake algorithm is reliable and transparent. Together, these advances will increase adoption by distributed-application users looking to utilize the Blockchain.  We are excited to help Fractal Platform with their economic modeling and ecosystem strategy.”

Humphrey Polanen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cryptic Labs, then added:

“We are a unique commercial research lab in that we offer access to some of the most incisive minds in cryptography, cybersecurity, economics, distributed computing, and game theory to help solve problems faced by Blockchain companies. We are very selective about which companies we advise. We believe the team at Fractal Platform has developed a groundbreaking innovation in the Blockchain space.”

Digital Asset Management Firm HyperChain Capital Adds Professional Proof of Stake Service

Singapore based HyperChain Capital, a digital assets management platform, has launched HyperBlocks Pro, described as a “professional proof of stake service.” The PoS service is said to be the first in the world backed by a major blockchain firm. HyperChain believes that more blockchain companies will migrate to a PoS based service and thus there will be a rise in demand for professional third party services like theirs.

HyperBlocks Pro’s automated staking facility service is initially launching for holders of tezzies (XTZ) tokens used on the Tezos networks.

HyperChain explains that by delegating this responsibility to HyperBlocks Pro, token-holders can free themselves of the time, security and technical costs associated with performing the task manually.

The company says that users do not need to actually transfer their tokens to HyperBlocks Pro, tokens remain in their personal wallets while securing the network.

Stelian Balta, Founder of HyperChain Capital, the creator of HyperBlocks Pro, says that HyperChain started when they realized that digital assets will be a major asset class and a “new digital economy will emerge.”

“We are working hard to create and grow token ecosystems and because we hold our tokens for years, we thought it will be a good idea to offer the community ways to secure networks and get benefits from those networks.”

Balta says that “staking” (or baking in the case of Tezos) is a smart way for holders to contribute to the security and distribution of the network.

“It’s a win-win for them and for the digital asset that they hold a stake in. We’re delighted to launch our first service – professional staking for Tezos – one of the most innovative blockchains in the ecosystem.”

HyperBlocks Pro expects to roll out a wide range of staking services as it seeks to establish itself as the preeminent staking specialist within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The company will initially be offering a professional staking service for Tezos Network, but has plans to offer staking services for Cosmos Network and other blockchain platforms in the near future.

In addition to offering Tezos baking and Atom staking once the Cosmos mainnet goes live, HyperBlocks Pro says it will be launching TomoChain masternodes in Q4 of 2018.

Food for Thought: Will Ethereum’s Shift to Proof of Stake, from Proof of Work, Turn it Into a Security?

Here is an interesting thread I was following recently on Twitter.

As we all know, Ethereum is planning to change from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS). There is no need to dive into the pros/cons .. shoulda coulda debate now, but an interesting discussion regarding its status as a non-security came up in the virtual discussion.

To step back a bit, in June this year, Bill Hinman, the Director of CorpFin at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), pronounced at a Yahoo conference that Ethereum will not be considered a security. To quote;

“… And putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions. And, as with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value.”

The crypto industry breathed a collective sigh of relief.

This appears to be hardening as policy as SEC Chair Clayton has referenced this understanding as recently as this past week.

But in clarifying the “decentralization test,” Hinman raises other questions. What if a non-security crypto becomes less decentralized?

Recently, someone more knowledgable on the topic than I, explained the decentralization test;

“Hinman basically indicated that tokens might avoid securities regulation if the platform is sufficiently decentralized.   What that means is likely to be debated for some time unless the SEC gives concrete guidance.  However, most initial coin offerings (ICOs) I see are substitutes for VC funding where the issuer plans / needs to have a very active role for quite a while / forever.  Even if you read Hinman to allow for the possibility of converting securities into non-securities, I don’t see the majority of ICO projects getting close to an Ethereum / bitcoin like level of decentralization.”

Thus ICOs are, pretty much, always a security.

But taking this debate a step further, would a more centralized Ethereum morph it back into something the SEC would take more interest in? Can you put the Genie back into the bottle?  I am not quite sure.

We reached out to Dan Rice, co-founder and CTO of Sagewise – a legal dispute remediation site for smart contracts, and posed the question;

“Ethereum’s planned move to Proof-of-Stake changes the control dynamics of the network. Right now under Proof-of-Work, miners control network block creation, but under Proof-of-Stake that responsibility shifts to coin stakeholders,” says Rice. “Given that the SEC comments around Ethereum related specifically to it being “decentralized”, the question is, how did they determine it was “decentralized”?

While it is still opaque, there is a chance that Ethereums move could cause the SEC to revisit the current non-security;

“Did the existence of miners play a role in that opinion?  Proof-of-Stake design has some additional commonality with publicly traded company structure in that shareholders/coin-holders have voting power over aspects of the entity,” adds Rice. “The significant difference is that cryptocurrency coin-holders are generally pseudo-anonymous. I don’t believe that pseudo-anonymity makes it more decentralized, but it certainly makes it hard to tell who has control of the network.”

Rice says it would be fascinating if this type of consensus affected the SEC opinion on decentralization.

“I suspect people would shy away from Proof-of-Stake if the SEC suggested that made it more likely to fall under their jurisdiction. For Ethereum, Proof-of-Stake could mean that they voluntarily converted to a system that invited additional regulatory concerns. At some point we probably do need to come up with standardized ways to measure and define “decentralization” and that may clear things up.”

Of course, a bit more clarity, and less circumspection from the SEC would help to clear things up. Perhaps, at some point in the near future, the Commission will offer better guidance but for now, it is certainly food for though.