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Cardano’s Allegra Hard Fork Scheduled for Next Week, Node Release 1.24.2 Successfully Deployed

The next Cardano protocol update, which includes the hard fork combinator (HFC) event Allegra, will take place on Dec. 16….

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Cardano has recently successfully deployed the node release of 1.24.2 to the Cardano mainnet, ahead of its hard fork, Allegra. The next Cardano protocol update, which includes the hard fork combinator (HFC) event Allegra, will take place on Dec. 16.

Cardano hard fork combinator Allegra

According to Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the blockchain development company behind Cardano, after extensive testing on its QA networks, node release 1.24.2 has bee deployed on the Cardano mainnet. IOHK announced:

“This morning, after extensive testing on our QA networks, we’ve successfully deployed Node release 1.24.2 to the #Cardano mainnet. This release supports the next Cardano protocol update (‘token locking’ HFC event codenamed ‘Allegra’) planned for 16 December, so looking good.”

Sebastien Guillemot, the lead research and development engineer at Emurgo recently explained that the upcoming Allegra hard fork does not fundamentally change anything about how transactions are made. He added, “any translation that is valid right now for Shelley will be valid in Allegra.”

What is Cardano’s Allegra hard fork?

Cardano’s upcoming hard fork, Allegra, is a hard fork combinator (HFC) that is different from hard forks on other blockchains which allows the hard fork to be deployed before the hard fork happens. This upgrade is part of the next transition for the Cardano blockchain from the Shelley era to the Goguen era.

What it means for the end-user is that there would not be a time where the server would need to go down before the first upgrade, and they would not see any interruption at all. IOHK’s recent blog explained:

“To enable a smooth transition, Cardano automatically preserves the history of previous blocks. This allows the protocol to be upgraded without radical interference to the chain. The previous state does not vanish. Rather, it is extended to include new capabilities. Instead of splitting into two different chains, Cardano combines the original blocks that comply with the current block production rules with new blocks that comply with the new block production rules.”

The Allegra hard fork will introduce a token locking mechanism as part of Project Catalyst and Voltaire, the treasury system for Cardano. The treasury system would ensure the funding of the blockchain network indefinitely. As part of on-chain voting on Cardano, tokens must be locked up before voting can happen, to avoid attacks.

As Project Catalyst is expected to launch soon, Guillemot explained that the token locking mechanism is needed ahead of time.

ADA price predictions are high ahead of Allegra hard fork

As witnessed during the last time where the Cardano blockchain went through a hard fork, ADA’s price surged ahead of the Shelley update. As Cardano takes one step further towards becoming a fully decentralized blockchain, ADA’s price could benefit and see a rally.

ADA is currently trading at $0.145 according to CoinMarketCap and currently ranks the 8th by market capitalization. Coinswitch modestly predicts that by 2023 ADA coins will reach the $2 dollar mark.

What is Cardano’s Mary hard fork?

Cardano’s Mary hard fork adds a new concept of multi-asset support. Cardano aims to have multiple assets on the blockchain to enable any user to create their own asset. Guillemot explains that non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or assets on other blockchains could be added to the network. All the assets created on the blockchain network would be treated “almost as the same way as ADA.”

Guillemot further explained that the other assets could be sent in the same transaction with ADA, however, every transaction on Cardano needs to contain ADA, fees would be paid in ADA, and delegation rewards would only be paid in ADA.

The Mary hard fork is expected in Q1 of 2021.

Image source: Shutterstock

Source: https://blockchain.news/news/cardano-allegra-hard-fork-week-node-release-successfully-deployed

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Blockchain news

Kazakhstan Launches Public Consultation for Its Proposed CBDC

Kazakhstan is advancing its digital tenge project with a use case design and stakeholder consultation.

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The National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NBRK) is set to launch a public consultation for its proposed digital tenge currency, the nation’s official Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

As detailed by the NBRK, the development of the digital tenge will take a two-tier structure in which the apex bank will provide the infrastructure backing the CBDC rollout while the financial market participants will provide payment services.

The development of the digital tenge according to the NBRK will seek to serve as a complement to the fiat currency, and not as a replacement.

“National digital currency is a promising form of funds that are the obligation of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan and presented in digital form. The digital tenge will be a legal tender, a measure of value, and a store of value,” the bank said in its public announcement.

To make for a successful digital tenge, the NBRK has highlighted the need to consult relevant stakeholders by working together with financial market participants, the expert community, and international partners. The pilot test will be kickstarted with the study of the risks and benefits associated with the issuance of a digital tenge in the nation.

“To make a decision on the issue of the Digital Tenge, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive study of the benefits and risks with the definition of the tasks solved by the digital currency, the method of its emission and distribution, the technology used, the impact on monetary policy, financial stability and the payment ecosystem,” the NBRK noted.

Kazakhstan has been a very bullish nation when it comes to digital currency innovations, adequately nurturing plans to attract as much as $738 million in crypto-based investments over the course of three years. The country also has a dedicated crypto mining engagement, for which it plans to invest $700 million.

The digital tenge project is a development that models similar efforts by other advanced economies including the United States, Britain, and China, to name a few. Kazakhstan has no set deadline on CBDC issuance.

Image source: Shutterstock

Source: https://blockchain.news/news/kazakhstan-launches-public-consultation-its-proposed-cbdc

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ZDNET

Colonial Pipeline cyberattack shuts down pipeline that supplies 45% of East Coast’s fuel

The attack highlights how ransomware and other cyberattacks are increasingly a threat to real-world infrastructure.

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Colonial Pipeline, which accounts for 45% of the East Coast’s fuel, said it has shut down its operations due to a cyberattack.

The attack highlights how ransomware and other cyberattacks are increasingly a threat to real-world infrastructure. The company delivers refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil and fuel for the U.S. Military.

In a statement, Colonial Pipeline said:

On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have already launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident, which is ongoing. We have contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies.

Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve this issue. At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers and those who rely on Colonial Pipeline.

Cybersecurity: Let’s get tactical | A Winning Strategy for Cybersecurity | Cyberwar and the Future of Cybersecurity

Here’s a look at the Colonial Pipeline system affected by the cyberattack.

colonial-pipeline-system-map.jpg

Colonial Pipeline’s shutdown should it continue may lead to supply shortages since it covers so much territory in the US.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/colonial-pipeline-cyberattack-shuts-down-pipeline-that-supplies-45-of-east-coasts-fuel/

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Techcrunch

Daily Crunch: A huge fintech exit as the week ends – TechCrunch

Hello friends and welcome to Daily Crunch, bringing you the most important startup, tech and venture capital news in a single package.

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To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Our thanks to everyone who wrote in this week about the format changes to the newsletter! Feedback largely sorted into two themes: Some people really like the more narrative format, and some folks really want a more link-list styled missive. What follows is an attempt to balance both perspectives.

Starting today we’ll bold company names, so that you can more quickly pick out startups, add more bulleted points to sections, and, per a different piece of feedback, include more regular descriptors of companies that are not household names.

That said, we’re not going to abandon chatting with you every day, as TechCrunch is nothing if not full of things to say. So here’s a blend of what the new, updated Daily Crunch team had in mind, and your notes. A big thanks to everyone who wrote in!

Alex @alex on Twitter

A mega-exit for American fintech

The news that public fintech company Bill.com will buy Divvy, a Utah-based startup that helps small and midsized businesses manage their spend, was perhaps the biggest startup story of the week. Breaking late Thursday, the $2.5 billion transaction was long expected. Divvy had raised more than $400 million from PayPal Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Insight Partners and Pelion Venture Partners.

TechCrunch covered the impending sale, rumors of which sprung up before Bill.com reported its Q1 earnings. To see the company drop the news at the same time as its earnings was not a surprise. For the burgeoning corporate payment space (more here on startups in the space like Ramp, Airbase and Brex).

I got to noodle on the financial results that Bill.com detailed regarding Divvy — they are pretty key metrics to help us value the startups that are competing to go public or find a similarly feathered corporate nest. In short, the corporate spend startup cohort is doing great. It’s even spawning new startups like Latin American-focused Clara, which raised $3.5 million earlier this year.

Broadly, the fintech market had a huge Q1 and is blasting its way toward a record venture capital year, like AI startups and the rest of the VC world.

Startups and venture capital

5 investors discuss the future of RPA after UiPath’s IPO

Much ink (erm, pixels) has been spilled about robotic process automation (RPA) recently, particularly in the wake of UiPath’s IPO last month.

But while some of the individuals Ron interviewed about the future of RPA believe the technology is in its “early infancy,” the pandemic increased attention toward things we can let robots handle for us. And it’s hard to argue that repetitive tasks like billing and spreadsheeting and paper-pushing should not be outsourced to robots.

“RPA allows companies to automate a group of highly mundane tasks and have a machine do the work instead of a human,” Ron writes. “Think of finding an invoice amount in an email, placing the figure in a spreadsheet and sending a Slack message to accounts payable. You could have humans do that, or you could do it more quickly and efficiently with a machine. We’re talking mind-numbing work that is well suited to automation.”

Although RPA is the fastest-growing category in enterprise software, the market remains surprisingly small. Ron spoke to five investors about where the sector is headed, where there are opportunities and the biggest threats to the RPA startup ecosystem.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

The tech giants

It was a quieter day from the tech giants, who made plenty of news earlier in the week. The good news is that their relative calm means we can take a look at news from other Big Tech companies, those that don’t quite crack the $1 trillion market cap threshold yet:

Community

Some of us are mourning the shutdown of Nuzzel, so we asked … would you pay for it (and why)? Let us know what you think!

Alex @alex on Twitter

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/07/daily-crunch-a-huge-fintech-exit-as-the-week-ends/

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