Unchained Forms Strategic Alliance with Bakkt to Enhance Bitcoin Custody Network

Unchained, a player in the bitcoin financial services sector, has announced a strategic partnership with Bakkt on November 15, 2023, marking a significant expansion of its Collaborative Custody Network. This alliance not only strengthens Unchained’s position in the cryptocurrency custody landscape but also enhances its capability to secure over $3 billion in bitcoin assets for its clients. The announcement reflects Unchained’s substantial growth, with a nearly 40% increase in secured bitcoin assets since October 2022.

Established in 2016, Unchained has been instrumental in helping individuals and businesses gain true ownership of their wealth through bitcoin key holding. The company’s collaborative custody model, which combines the advantages of financial services with the benefits of self-custody, stands as a testament to consumer protection in the uncertain economic climate. With its headquarters in Austin, Texas, Unchained’s network now includes Bakkt, alongside Coincover and Kingdom Trust, offering an unmatched breadth in the industry for secure bitcoin storage.

The inclusion of Bakkt, founded in 2018 by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) and renowned for its institutional-grade custody, trading, and onboarding capabilities, complements Unchained’s commitment to providing secure and compliant crypto infrastructure. Bakkt Custody, operated by Bakkt Trust Company LLC and an NYDFS Qualified Custodian, adds significant credibility to Unchained’s custody solutions, reinforcing client confidence in asset safety.

Unchained’s innovative approach to bitcoin treasury security involves a model requiring multiple private keys for access, thereby reducing risks associated with exchange hacks and self-custody challenges. Clients have the flexibility to hold a private key or distribute it among trusted custodians, including Bakkt. This method resonates with Unchained’s belief that a decentralized custody solution is more robust than relying on a single custodian.

Gavin Michael, CEO and President of Bakkt, highlights the critical need for qualified custody in the volatile cryptocurrency market. Bakkt’s entry into Unchained’s enterprise custody network is a strategic move to cater to clients seeking regulated and secure bitcoin custodians. Emphasizing security and compliance as Bakkt’s core values, Michael anticipates a fruitful collaboration with Unchained.

Joe Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Unchained, expresses his enthusiasm for the partnership with Bakkt, emphasizing the alignment of both companies in prioritizing client asset security. Kelly underscores the importance of providing bitcoin storage options that safeguard against single points of failure and enable clients to independently verify the safety of their assets.

This collaboration follows the recent addition of Coincover to Unchained’s network in October. As Unchained continues to expand its custody partnerships, it maintains a focus on empowering clients with unilateral control over private keys, a cornerstone of secure and autonomous asset management.

Unchained and Bakkt are scheduled to host a joint webinar on November 16, 2023, to discuss the intricacies and advantages of collaborative custody as a risk management solution.

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Celsius Network Announces Court Approval of Reorganization Plan

Celsius Network recently took to Twitter to announce a major milestone in its bankruptcy journey. In a series of tweets, the company shared the news of its Plan of Reorganization receiving court confirmation, following a successful creditor voting process. This announcement marks a significant step forward in Celsius Network’s efforts to navigate through bankruptcy and restructure its operations.

The company revealed that over 95% of voting creditors were in favor of the Plan, highlighting the strong support from its stakeholders. This overwhelming endorsement is a testament to the confidence creditors have in the company’s ability to recover and move forward successfully. As per Celsius Network’s tweets, the company is now geared up to implement the Plan and is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 in early 2024. This development is not just a win for the company but also for its customers who have been anticipating a resolution.

Celsius’s journey to this point began in July 2022, when it filed for bankruptcy amid a tumultuous period for the cryptocurrency market. At that time, the New Jersey-based firm, known for its range of cryptocurrency products and services, reported its assets and liabilities to be in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion. This move affected over 100,000 stakeholders and marked a pivotal moment in the cryptocurrency lending industry​​​​.

The Plan of Reorganization, which received court approval, involves transforming Celsius Network into a creditor-owned bitcoin mining company. This strategic pivot from its original business model indicates Celsius’s adaptability and commitment to exploring new avenues for growth and stability. The restructured company aims to return cryptocurrency to customers and establish itself as a publicly listed Bitcoin mining firm, setting a new course for its future operations​​​​.

The confirmation of Celsius Network’s restructuring plan by the court is a positive signal for the cryptocurrency market. It demonstrates a viable pathway for crypto firms facing financial challenges to recover and reinvent themselves. Celsius’s successful navigation through bankruptcy and the support from its creditors and the court could serve as a model for other firms in similar situations.

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SSV Network Unveils Jato-V2 Testnet

SSV.Network ($SSV), a decentralized staking protocol, announced the public launch of its new testnet, Jato-V2, on September 4. The new testnet is identical to the version currently running on the mainnet, offering a realistic testing environment for users and developers. The launch also marks the beginning of the end for Jato-V1, which is slated for shutdown on September 18.

Starting September 4, Jato-V2 is open to the public and will run concurrently with the mainnet. Users have a two-week migration period to transition from Jato-V1 to Jato-V2. The testnet has transitioned to an ERC-2535 Diamond Standard, enhancing modularity, scalability, and gas efficiency. The SSV Node now fully supports Miner Extractable Value (MEV), allowing validators to participate in MEV opportunities. The new version allows operators to display more granular information, including geographic location and MEV relays. Optimizations have led to a 30% increase in duty execution.

For existing users, the migration process involves removing validators from the Jato-V1 network and registering them on Jato-V2. New users can directly register on the Jato-V2 testnet. Developers and operators should note that new versions of developer tools and the SDK have been released.

The launch of Jato-V2 is a significant milestone as SSV.Network transitions to its Launch phase, with a Permissionless Launch expected later in Q4. The testnet will play a crucial role in the protocol’s development, especially as it becomes the first DVT network to be tested at scale on mainnet Ethereum.

During the migration period, Jato-V2 will operate under a distinct URL, beta.app.ssv.network. After the shutdown of Jato-V1, the URL will revert to app.ssv.network. 

SSV Network ($SSV) has announced that its Discord channel, which was compromised earlier today, as reported by Blockchain.News was then “back to normal and under control.”

The launch of Jato-V2 marks a pivotal moment for SSV.Network, offering a robust testing environment as the protocol gears up for its next phase. With the shutdown of Jato-V1 imminent, users and developers have a limited window to transition, making it imperative to act swiftly.

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Flare Launches Layer 1 Oracle Network

Dubai, UAE, 10th January, 2023, Chainwire

Flare, the blockchain for building applications that use data from other chains and the internet, has successfully completed its long-awaited token airdrop at 11:59 pm UTC on January 9th. The airdrop saw 4.279B Flare (FLR) tokens distributed to millions of recipients, including users on Binance, OKX, Kraken, Bithumb, UpBit, Kucoin, BitBank, & more, in one of the largest scale distributions in crypto history.

The airdrop is a significant milestone for Flare as developers can now start to take advantage of Flare’s EVM and native data acquisition protocols, the State Connector and Flare Time Series Oracle. These native protocols, secured by the network, provide decentralized access to high-integrity data from other blockchains and the internet, enabling the creation of new use cases and monetization models. 

Hugo Philion, CEO & Co-founder of Flare said, 

“For the blockchain industry to flourish, we need more useful decentralized applications. Flare is tackling this through data, not just prices but transaction details, Web2 events etc, so that developers can build applications that provide more utility to a larger group of users.”

Hugo continues, “Flare’s objective is to enable developers to build applications that securely access more data. This could enable new use cases to be built, such as triggering a Flare smart contract action with a payment made on another chain, or with input from an internet/web2 API. It also facilitates a new way of bridging, specifically to bring non-smart contract tokens to Flare for use in applications like DeFi protocols.”

Flare’s State Connector protocols enable information to be used securely, scalably and trustlessly with smart contracts on Flare. This offers the most powerful class of data on the network and enables more cross-chain solutions to be built. The State Connector derives its safety from combining a decentralized set of attestors with a binary forking protocol, which allows for a malicious majority of data providers to be challenged. In contrast to a proof of stake based system where data providers are obliged to stake value, the security of the State Connector is not limited by the amount staked in the system. This means that the State Connector is invariant in its safety relative to the size of a transaction, this offers a secure system capable of handling large amounts of value.
The Flare Time Series Oracle (FTSO) utilizes the network structure to deliver highly decentralized prices and data series to dapps on Flare without relying on centralized data providers. The FTSO is a highly decentralized data feed oracle, with almost 100 independent data providers incentivized to provide reliable data every 3 minutes. 

The Flare token distribution represents the first 15% of the full public token distribution, with the remainder to be distributed on a monthly basis over 36 months. The method of allocation of the remaining 85% of token supply depends on the outcome of a community vote on Flare Improvement Proposal 01 (FIP.01)

About Flare
Flare is the Layer 1 oracle network that allows developers to build applications that are interoperable with blockchains and the internet. By providing decentralized access to high-integrity data, Flare enables new use cases and monetisation models.

Flare’s State Connector protocols enable information, both from other blockchains and the internet to be used securely, scalably and trustlessly with smart contracts on Flare.

The Flare Time Series Oracle delivers highly-decentralized price and data feeds to dapps on Flare, without relying on centralized providers.

Build on Flare with more data than ever before or build with Flare to serve multiple ecosystems.

Website |   Twitter |   Telegram |   Discord


Nadav Dakner


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Bitcoin Lightning Network goes live on Cash App

Mobile payment service Cash App revealed that Lightning Network can now be used to transfer Bitcoin (BTC) through its app. With the new feature, its users can send their BTC to any Lightning or on-chain BTC address.

A few weeks ago, the company announced through a notification within the app that it has integrated the Lightning Network. Now, its users can finally use the feature and utilize the benefits that the Bitcoin Lightning Network brings into everyday BTC transactions.

To use Lightning Network on Cash App, users need to scan a Lightning QR using their cameras, confirm the details of the payment and tap on pay. 

The Lightning Network, sometimes called Lightning or LN, is a layer-2 solution that brings scalability to Bitcoin. Lightning eases the load on the Bitcoin blockchain by creating a separate network where users transact and creating minimal engagements with the Bitcoin blockchain to lessen fees and speed up transactions.

While many users rejoiced that they are able to use the Lightning Network feature through their Cash App, some could only watch. As the firm mentioned a few weeks ago, the feature will be available everywhere in the United States apart from New York. “At this time New York residents aren’t eligible for Lightning,” Cash App tweeted.

Twitter user notgrubles disagreed. According to him, users in New York are still eligible if “they run their own LN node.” Because of the decentralized nature of Bitcoin Lightning Network transactions, it can be used by anyone regardless of their location outside of Cash App. ProofofBrain, another user, also supported this sentiment by tweeting:

Related: Block job postings reveal Jack Dorsey’s Bitcoin plans

Cash App is a service developed and operated by Block Inc., a company founded by Jack Dorsey. Back in 2021, Dorsey stepped down as Twitter’s CEO. While he mentions that stepping down is a way to give the company freedom from the founder’s influence, many speculate that the move means that Dorsey will spend more time on Bitcoin.