BlackRock to Consider Bitcoin Futures

World largest asset management firm created a workgroup to study the prospects of crypto-based futures
16 July 2018   1153

Investment company BlackRock has formed a working group that should find out what benefits the world's largest asset manager can get from entering the cryptocurrency sector, despite the fact that previously its CEO had heavily criticized bitcoin. This is reported by Financial News.

The investment giant, whose assets amount to $ 6.3 trillion, created a team that included experts from various business areas. They must collect information about the cryptocurrencies, the underlying infrastructure and technology of the blockchain.

The working group, which includes investment strategist Terry Simpson, should find out whether BlackRock should invest in bitcoin futures.

Sources also reported that BlackRock is studying the experience of its competitors in this area and the potential impact of their actions on the company's business. The working group will report on the results of its research to senior management.

A spokeswoman for BlackRock reported that the company has been considering blockchain technology for several years, but declined to comment on the cryptocurrency.

The creation of a working group may mark a turning point in relations between BlackRock and cryptocurrencies. Last year, its head, Larry Fink, said that bitcoin is an extremely speculative tool, and the only reason for its popularity is its anonymity. "This is an instrument that is used for money laundering," he said bluntly.

Fink gave his comments even before the appearance of crypto-currency futures. At that time, he saw no opportunity for his company to enter this market. 

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   964

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.