Crypto roundup: Vitalik discusses Ethereum, Venezuela launches Petro, Canadian exchange in hot water

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A roundup of interesting news items from across the crypto space.

Vitalik Buterin discusses Ethereum at Devcon 4

At last week’s Ethereum-sponsored Devcon, Vitalik Buterin took the stage to talk about Ethereum 2.0. The major upgrade, also known as “Serenity”, is the final part of a four-stage development timeline. In addition to improvements in scalability and virtual machine performance, Serenity will also introduce a Proof-of-Stake consensus model (Casper) to replace the current Proof-of-Work implementation. The implications of this change cannot be understated, as it has the potential to change the economics and culture of the entire network. ETH has clearly been struggling in terms of market performance lately, but it’s impossible to ignore the significant importance of the project, as more than 90% of the top 100 cryptocurrencies depend on the Ethereum network to function. According to Buterin, Serenity is “not so far away”, so let’s keep a close eye on how Ethereum evolves from here.

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Venezuela launches the Petro

On October 29, the government of Venezuela launched its Petro cryptocurrency, now available from the official government website along with six other government-approved exchanges: Bancar, Afx Trade, Cave Blockchain, Amberes Coin, Cryptia and Criptolago. In exchange for USD, EUR, CNY, BTC or LTC, consumers will be able to purchase the oil-backed Petro, which is pegged at USD60. Over the past year, West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil has been trading between USD50-80 per barrel. The Petro’s USD60 peg is within this range, meaning that one Petro is roughly equivalent to one barrel of Venezuelan oil, but in reality, Petro is backed by the country’s petroleum reserves, and not barrels of oil. On the technical side, Petro is a fork of DASH, another cryptocurrency available for trading on Liquid today.

MapleChange and Oyster Pearl in the spotlight

Last week, Canada-based exchange MapleChange announced that a hacker was able to gain access to the exchange’s wallets and steal more USD6 million worth of cryptocurrency. Hacks happen too often in crypto so it's important to make smart decisions about where you leave your funds. Read about how we approach security on Liquid

Also getting attention last week, a major breach of Oyster Pearl's smart contract occurred. In a statement dated October 30, Oyster CEO William Cordes confirmed that someone was able to use the contract’s transferDirector function to restart the Oyster ICO and purchase PRL tokens at the ICO rate (1 ETH = 5000 PRL). After, the individual liquidated the newly minted PRL tokens on Kucoin and was able to withdraw more than USD300,000 worth of crypto. Original founder Bruno Block later claimed responsibility.

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