Barclays to Freeze Crypto Trading Project

This is reported by two anonymous sources to Financial News London
15 October 2018   1402

One of the largest UK bank Barclays has suspended work on its own crypto-trading project, Financial News reports citing two sources familiar with the situation.

Earlier this year, the bank gathered a high profile team to explore opportunities for cryptocurrency trading as part of its own business. However, according to one source, the initiative was “frozen”.

The former head of Barclays for energy trading, Chris Tyrer, who headed the “digital assets project,” left the bank in September after management decided to freeze the initiative.

Together with Tyrer, the macro-strategy in the field of foreign exchange and emerging markets was Marvin Barth, Senior Technical Specialist Lee Brain, and Consultant Matthew Jobb Duval.

Their task was to determine whether cryptocurrencies are an asset class with far-reaching prospects, whether Barclays customers are interested in them and what type of IT infrastructure will be needed to work with them, the source said.

Potentional Vulnerabilities Found in ETH 2.0

Least Authority have found potentional security issues in the network P2P interaction and block proposal system
26 March 2020   1026

Technology security firm Least Authority, at the request of the Ethereum Foundation, conducted an audit of the Ethereum 2.0 specifications and identified several potential vulnerabilities at once.

Least Authority said that developers need to solve problems with vulnerabilities in the network layer of peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction, as well as in the block proposal system. At the same time, the auditor noted that the specifications are "very well thought out and competent."

However, at the moment there is no large ecosystem based on PoS and using sharding in the world, so it is impossible to accurately assess the prospects for system stability.
Also, information security experts emphasized that the specifications did not pay enough attention to the description of the P2P network level and the system of records about Ethereum nodes. Vulnerability risks are also observed in the block proposal system and the messaging system between nodes.

Experts said that in the blockchains running on PoS, the choice of a new block is simple and no one can predict who will get the new block. In PoS systems, it is the block proposal system that decides whose block will fall into the blockchain, and this leads to the risk of data leakage. To solve the problem, auditors suggested using the mechanism of "Single Secret Leader Election" (SSLE).

As for the peer-to-peer exchange system, there is a danger of spam. There is no centralized node in the system that would evaluate the actions of other nodes, so a “malicious" node can spam the entire network with various messages without any special punishment. The solution to this problem may be to use special protocols for exchanging messages between nodes.